Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas and the New Year

Christmas has been bittersweet.  There have been many reminders that Joey isn't here... and this is the first Christmas that he hasn't been.  The 23rd at my Meemaw's was probably the hardest.  Christmas day wasn't so bad because we had so many people at our house and I was busy from sun up to sun down.  Yesterday, as people started leaving, I was thinking about him a lot again.  I just have so many things that I don't understand about the whole thing and that I wish could have been different.  But, there's nothing that we can do now... So I just have to trust that he's much more at peace where he is and be thankful that he's with Jesus.
On the "sweet" side, my mom and dad-in law brought us an almost 9 cubic feet deep freezer :).  It fits nicely in a spot made for a deep freezer in our new garage.  I have been wanting a deep freezer for a llloonnnggg time.  And with cash that I received, I think I might hit up the farmer's market and stock up on meat :).  Yes, I am thinking about buying MEAT with my Christmas money... very weird I know.  I'll either do that or buy a grain mill.  We'll see.  Also, my parents bought our family a zoo membership!  My sister in law and I are planning on using it this week as the guys are painting our living room :).  My mom's idea is that it's more important to make memories than to have more things that we don't need.  I completely agree.  It was a wonderful idea!  It will DEFINITELY be used... probably often.  Karis LOVES the zoo.  It's a great way to spend a day as a family.


Robert surprised me with a wonderful gift as well :).  I have been saying that I want a new Willow Tree "figurine" because I LOVE them.  I only had two, and I wanted more because I think they are beautiful.  I had one that my mom and dad in law bought me when I had Karis (and mommy and daddy holding a baby), and Robert bought me one when I was pregnant with Ethan (a pregnant woman).  Well, apparently Robert asked his mom to find one for me :) (he didn't have a chance to get away to buy one).  So when we were opening up gifts last night, there was one from Robert (we each got a new CD and that was our "gift" to each other, so this was a surprise).  His mom was trying to find a way to fit all three of my kids into one.  She couldn't find one, but she found two that go well together.  One of them is a mommy with two little boys, and another one is a little girl (which, by the way, she drove all over Dallas to find for me!).  So, when you put the two together, it's a mommy with two little boys and a little girl :).  It's perfect. 

The kids enjoyed opening gifts this year, and we didn't receive an overabundance of junk, but just some nice toys :).  I will be cleaning out some of their old toys soon to make room for new toys.  Here are some pics of them opening gifts on Christmas morning:

Ethan received some Dr. Suess bowls in his stocking and he was happy with that.  :)

And the best gift of all was a "house" made out of the box from our freezer :).

I'm looking forward to a new year.  New year means new beginnings and we have many things to look forward to.  Although, things will never be "normal" again without my brother here... so that's something that I'm going to have to get used to.  But, some positive things are that we moved into this wonderful house, I am having a new little one, and I get to stay home VERY soon. 

I have a long list of things that I still want to get done before Levi gets here... we'll see what happens.  A few of these things are:
  • Paint living room/dining room (this week with the help of family)
  • Finish unpacking and organizing rooms and closets
  • Buy the last few things for baby (nursing cover, breast pads, birth kit)
  • Write Spring 2010 outline for school and several weeks of lesson plans (this one's a must, and very soon)
  • Stock up on food and make many freezer meals for when baby is born (previously written on another blog post)
  • Clean the house well right before
I'll be back later to write some goals for the new year.  I need to get off the computer because we have family here :).  

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The House After We've (Mostly) Unpacked

We have almost completely unpacked (with the exception of a few boxes that I just decided to wait on), so I thought I would show you some pictures :).  We are still planning on painting the living room/dining/kitchen area (next week, with the help of some family!), so it's not even completely finished, but it's good enough. 

I'm assuming you can figure out what room is what, so I'm not going to explain everything!  I will say that we still need to hang things on the walls in the kids' rooms, and Levi's room isn't close to being finished because we have to paint before we put furniture together.  And, our "office" area in our bedroom needs organization.

Monday, December 21, 2009

More Important than Your To Do List

This blog explains how I feel better than I can: Life as Mom: More Important than Your To Do List.

I've really been struggling because last year was one of the best Christmases that I've had probably since we've been married... and I wanted to do it all again.  All homemade gifts (and great ones), Christmas baking, etc.  But, it just wasn't possible this year for many reasons and it has been bothering me.  But, that's not what Christmas is about anyway.  It's about Jesus coming to this earth to be born, live, and die for us.  That needs to be what we focus on, despite my desire to have everything perfect.  Maybe next year we can try the homemade gifts again.  And, if not, oh well.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Celebrating 6 Years

Today is Robert and my six year anniversary.  It has been a wonderful six years.  I can't imagine a better life partner.  He is an amazing, godly man, who would do anything for his family.  He has more integrity than anyone I know, he is a true servant who would do anything for anyone, and he always makes me feel special.  We very rarely even have arguments, and when we do, we "make up" very quickly because we can't stand to be mad at each other :).  I'm so thankful that God created us for each other, and I am looking forward to many, many more years together.
I don't know what I would have done without him these past 3 weeks; he has taken care of me and many others.  He didn't care if it was hard for him; he did whatever he needed to.  I just love him so much.  I feel undeserving of such a wonderful blessing.

Because of all the craziness that has been going on, we aren't doing a whole lot.  Robert was planning to surprise me with a cabin for the weekend at a wonderful park in Brownwood, but that wasn't possible after all because of finances (losing out on 2 weeks of work and having to get our car fixed!), moving, and all that has been going on with my family.  Maybe later :).  Instead, we are here with our cranky children and unpacking :).  My parents are going to take them tonight so that we can at least go out to eat.  Then we can enjoy our new home and fire place without crying children.  It will be a nice, quiet, peaceful evening.  Maybe we can even sleep past 6:30 in the morning!  Maybe.  We are both used to waking up early now :). 

We have our living room mostly unpacked and organized.  There are just a few random things here and there to put away, and we need to put pictures on the wall.  Of course, we are planning on painting next week, so they will just have to come back down.  But, I need them on the wall to make it feel more at home (especially since we're having Christmas here)!  Next on our agenda is to finish up the kids' rooms (which won't take much), then tackle our bedroom/bathroom (which will take a while).  We're getting there.  The biggest goal is to make it ready to have Christmas here, and we're almost to that point (with a few days to spare!). 

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Well, with the help of my wonderful camp family, we are all moved in (with the exception of the garage and a few outside things).  Now, we are in the process of unpacking... which, is very difficult when 32 weeks pregnant.  My back is hurting and I'm just sore all over because of being on my feet for several days straight.  But, I am so thankful for this wonderful home... I will get through it. 

Since I'm not anticipating the move anymore (and having that on my mind all the time), my brother is on my mind even more.  It's starting to become more and more real to me that I will never see him again (on this side of Heaven).  It's pretty tough.  This Christmas is going to be a hard one... usually Christmas is my favorite time of year, but this year I'm having a hard time even remembering that it's Christmas time.  I'm forcing myself to do "Christmas things" for my kids, but I don't enjoy it as much. 

I have realized lately why this whole thing is difficult for me to grasp.  This past year with my brother has been very different.  He hasn't been around much because he's been in and out of hospitals.  We didn't talk much at all, and when we did, he wouldn't really say much.  He has been so different.  And, this last time that he got out of the hospital, he was even more different because they had done electric shock treatment on him and he couldn't remember a lot of things.  I was more worried about him than I had ever been before.  But, there wasn't much anyone could do.  I guess that worry was there for a reason.  

On top of everything that's going on, I found out this morning that my dad's uncle is in the hospital and may not make it.  He had a heart attack and medicine is the only thing keeping his heart going.  I'm not real close to him, but my dad and my grandmother are... and they both just had a very difficult loss... I'm not sure how much more they can take. 

I'm looking forward to the day that things start to settle down and life will become somewhat normal again.  It will be a different normal, though.  So much has changed in the past 3 weeks; I feel like my life has been turned upside down.  And, I am having a new baby in less than 2 months... so not only am I anticipating that (although, it hasn't been on my mind as much as everything else lately), I'm very hormonal/emotional, which makes things harder. 

I need to just stop and spend some time with Jesus.  I haven't been doing that as much lately because I've been so busy.  I know that He is the only one who can give me strength and peace.  I need to rely heavily on Him as I go through this very difficult season in my life.    

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pics of the House Before Moving In

Today has been a good day; although, my brother has been on my mind a lot... as well as me constantly worrying about my parents.  I guess that's to be expected.  I think once things really start slowing down and Christmas week gets here, it will probably get more and more difficult.  For now, I'm trying to just enjoy the blessings that we have been given (although, we don't feel like we deserve them!!).

The volunteers completed the clean up/touch up of our house today, and Robert installed an RO system under the sink so that we don't have nasty well water :).  Tomorrow we are having a "moving party" and many wonderful people here at camp are going to move us.  A great friend of mine is going to come and help with the kids so that as people are moving our things in, I can be unpacking right away.  I don't know what I would do with out such wonderful friends (who I am happy to call FAMILY).  You are all amazing.

Here are the pictures of the house:

For some reason I'm having trouble figuring out how to write underneath each picture, so I guess you'll just have to figure it out :).  As far as the kitchen goes, Robert was working on something still when I was taking pictures, then my camera ran out of batteries... so the pictures are of when it was messy (a few days ago).  Since those pictures, we have taken down the gingham wall paper.  It looks great. 
The last room is the "office," which we will be using as Levi's room.  It has a cowboy wallpaper border, which we will be removing.  The things that are in it are my friends; she will be moving those out tomorrow so we can move our things in :).
The pictures of the room before the turquoise bathroom are of Karis' room (the turquoise bathroom is hers); the pictures before that are our master bedroom, bathroom, and closet (yes, that is a closet!). 
The pictures after the turquoise bathroom are of Ethan's room and closets. 
The yellow and gray room is our laundry room and sewing area :).  The random white shelves is our pantry. 
The last 2 pictures are of our "guest" bathroom.  
I took pictures of all the closets and storage areas, but I decided not to include those.  There is TONS of storage in this house.  We also have a two car garage and separate one car garage with a separate storage room.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it all!