Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Navy Nephew...

The last few weeks have gone by in a blur, full of excitement and events. Let me start from the beginning...On December 2, my Nephew Nick, came home for one month on leave and got to spend Christmas with all the family. And I think I might have mentioned a time or two how much I miss that kid??? Yea, I do. So when he first got home, his parents had a family dinner so we could all come over and see him. Little did they know I was stalking outside waiting to jump him when he came out. ;o)

It was so good to see him. To get my arms around him. He has had a tough last year, being out at sea, homesick and stuff, and its killed me to not be able to hug him or be there for him physically. Although I was there via Facebook IM chats late into the nights, email, phone calls and care packages. He knew he was never alone.
Nick and his sister, Stephanie and dad/my brother.

The cousins all missed him too. Nick is the oldest grandchild/cousin, so everyone looks up to him and adores him. He's always one of the ones who gets down on the floor and plays with them. And Emily has a special place in her heart for him. She always gets a special hug from him. She always has a place on his lap. And he always goes looking for her when she plays shy and hides. And then you can hear her giggles when he captures her in his arms and tickles her endlessly.
Austin adores him too, although he's a little more subtle about it. He has to play it "Macho" you know. He would pull out the Xbox every time Nick would come over and get him to play games with him. He would stand close by him and listen to every word, absorbing as much as he could of his big cousin. Even trying to fit into the conversation. He would ask me almost every night if Nick was coming over.

So Nick's last week here, we had him over by himself for a home cooked dinner and some quiet family time with him. It was so awesome. The kids almost jumped him when he walked in the door. After dinner, we visited and played card games for several hours. He looked relaxed and I couldn't help but sit there thinking to myself that this man before me was the little boy who would curl up in my lap and cuddle and watch Barney with me. Who would come spend the night and I would take everywhere pretending he was mine before I had children. That this man before me was going to be leaving soon and I just hadn't had enough time with him. That I hadn't said all I needed to say. That I hadn't hugged him enough. And then...I knew. I knew that he knew. That he knew he had a very special place in my heart. That I didn't need to say it. That he knew I would always be here for him. Because that's all I've ever been or shown him all his life. I've always been there. I've always loved him. And as much as I want him to stay, he must go out into that sometimes ugly world and make his way. He has to find his happiness. But there is no doubt in my mind that the foundation all his family has built for him, will help guide and hold him up no matter what he may face.
His ship is underway as soon as he gets back, and with the threats and status of the world today, he will be sent to god knows where to defend and assist whomever may need it. I worry about him. But I also believe in him. I know he is right where he needs to be.

Nick, I love you more then I can ever say. And I am more proud of you then I've ever been.
Just don't forget to call once in awhile.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A message from...

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
Be safe, Be jolly, and Be happy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Friday Quote...

"The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past as better then it was, the present worse then it is, and the future less resolved then it will be."
Marcel Pagnol

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Trees and...

Ok, I admit I tend to be a LITTLE bit of a perfectionist or maybe a little OCD about decorations being perfect. I will follow behind the children and "fix" what they hung, or adjust lights, or move tinsel around the tree so it looks "perfect". I do the same thing with the Christmas Decorations. They must be evenly spaced, facing the right direction, set in certain spots, etc. I have no idea why, or where this came from. It can be stressful and frustrating at times, especially when the kids were little and pick something up to look at.

This year, we decorated very little. Out of the 6 tubs of indoor decorations, I only used two. Part of the reason being that we are taking it all down before Christmas anyways, so it was hard to make myself put it all up.

We weren't even going to put a tree up. We have an artificial 4 ft tree, we were just going to plug that in and viola! But the kids begged and pleaded, and honestly, the house didn't FEEL Christmasy at all without one.

So Austin and I ran up and bought a 6ft tree and came home with it. DH was not too happy with us, since he had just put all the tree stuff away in the shed since I had said we weren't doing one. Oops. As soon as we got it up, Austin started begging to do the lights himself, and the star and was relentless. So I started thinking...I could totally use this to my advantage.

I let the kids do the tree all by themselves! I literally did not hang one thing. And it was GREAT!

The stinker of a son of mine, rubbed it in that he could reach the top to put the star on without a step stool! Emily hung Christmas Ornaments and tinsel with her brother.
I may have "suggested" that they make sure all sides of the tree got decorated, but that's as far as I went. I merely sat and handed out the ornaments.

We only put about 20 ornaments on and about 20 bulbs. But Austin loved putting lights on and used 6 strands on this tiny tree. LOL
They had a blast, laughing and giggling. And it was great to see them working together.

"Austin, you need to hang this one up there" Emily would say.

"Emily, Do you want me to help you with the tinsel?" Austin would say.

And I sat back and relaxed!
In my defense, I have only "fixed" one clump of tinsel that was in danger of catching fire on lights because it was so thick a clump and hanging on lights. I have not touched anything else!

And if you know me, that is really hard for me to do. But I'm proud of myself and the kids!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Black & White...

Everything takes a whole new perspective when you go black and white.
I absolutely love how the photographer captured these poses and how much better they looked in B&W then in color. I think I just might keep this family after all...pretty good looking bunch they are! ;o)

Do you see the world through color lenses where everything is bright, cheerful and colorful? Or do you see the world through Black & White lenses where everything is sharp points, as it is, no gray area?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Family Pictures...

Every year at Christmas I make sure to get some kind of family picture taken to help document our family history. Now DH hates having his picture taken, no matter the cause. So usually he puts up with it for me the few times I ask, but he usually grumbles a lot. So I've taken to alternating years between family ones and just the kids. Last year, it was just the kids, so this year, it was time for the whole Fam to be in it.
If you've ever had to coordinate pictures, then you know it's a lot of work. You have to decide on a color theme, then find outfits that match somewhat in that color family, and then make sure everyone has the right accessories. You have to get everyone there on time, showered and hair perfect, clothes pressed and make sure every ones smiling.
So to be able to look at the final project and be pleased with it, is a major feat.

And boy am I pleased!!!
And a little sad.

Because it's not until you look at your family all dressed up, standing next to each other, that you really see how grown up they are. That those years are slipping by. You see from year to year, how their faces change, who they start to look like, how tall they are, how their hair has changed, braces or no braces, glasses or no glasses, babies or teenagers.
I just want to freeze time. I want to capture the innocence of the moment. The joy on the faces, the happiness of childhood, captured in a flash.

I mean really, I'm still young, why do they have to get older??? ;o)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Do you believe...

Do you believe in Santa?
I mean really believe.
The Magic that Santa brings. The Feeling that Santa brings.
Do you believe in Santa?
I do. I believe in Santa.
My Son informed me that he KNOWS about Santa this year, and that he's cool with it. But a little part of my heart felt a tug when he said that. I want him to believe in Santa. I want him to remember what it felt like each year to run into the room believing in Santa being there the night before. I want him to feel and remember what Santa resembles about Christmas.
It's not just about a man in a red suit. It's about believing in the good. i believe in the good in people. I believe that people can change. I believe that Christmas is a reminder for us to be good unto others. To give to the less fortunate, but remember those around us who help us day in and day out.
I love Santa because for a few short weeks of the year, the children behave. I love Santa because you can't help but smile when you see one. I love Santa because he reminds me that no matter how dull or crazy life can get, that there is always more i can do for others.
Santa promotes Hope. Santa embodies the very symbol of selfless acts and kindness in the world. He loves everyone, no matter what color, size, shape, age or breed we are. He will hug you, love you, listen to you, sit with you, read to you and talk with you. he keeps your secrets, knows all your names, and reads every letter. He answers most, brings a toy for all, and eats nibbles of anything left for him.
Santa is the epitome of what a perfect parent would be. He gives kids the world without consequences, and gives parents an excuse to spoil their kids. He lets our kids believe all is good in the world, and peace on earth. He has songs written about him, books read of him, stories passed down from generations, pictures that last a lifetime. He is the one constant in an ever changing world.
He goes by many names. St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, Santa, St. Nick, and many more. But no matter what the name, we all know him. We all believe. We all wish for those feelings as we grow older, and we try and teach that to our children to cherish. And when they reach that age, of being "too old" to believe, we hope that the feeling carries on with them.
We hope they can still hear the bell ringing...
Because I can.

Happy Friday Quote...

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our Gratitude."
Cynthia Ozick