Sunday, December 28, 2008

Is it Christmas again tomorrow?

For kids, and some adults, there is a such a let down the day after Christmas. Fortunately, that was not the case in our home this year. Everyone truly enjoyed the holiday and the realization that the celebration continues in our hearts daily helped to encourage us all. That said, we were having such a great time the whole day that I don't think Soph's smile left her face once....not even while sugarplums danced in her head during nap time....with which she went willingly. This was the first year that she really seemed to grasp the concept of Christmas. She opened her presents with zest and seemed to comprehend the idea that we were celebrating Jesus' birthday. I have to say how proud I am that both girls came downstairs and sat very patiently on our couch near the tree and gifts as they waited for Marty to get his coffee and me my Diet Dr. Pepper. They also lovingly participated in our tradition of a prayer of thanks to God prior to opening even one package. The day was wonderful and what made it truly great this year is the increasing awareness of our family's blessings...'specially the one that has the four of us under one roof! The day ended with a funny note from Sophie Grace - sitting on the couch discussing bedtime...she stood between Mart and I and while shaking her head back and forth very slighty asked in a hushed tone, "Will it be Christmas again tomorrow?" - - - we both laughed and said, "Not tomorrow, but definitely next year!" - She nodded her head, accepted our answer and readied herself for bed.

In a blink, as quickly as the day began it ended. Mart and I tucked Sophie in bed, followed her nightly instruction on how to properly say good night, hugged and kissed Bella and with each step down the stairs, listening to them giggle about the day, we were reminded, yet again, that the most precious gifts we are given are not found under any tree or in any stocking. The very things we, as humans, seek to make us happy have already been given to us. They aren't wrapped in perfect paper and can't be purchased in any store. They're not delivered by the postman and certainly don't cost a thing. Simply put, they are those joys that let your heart sing, the moments that take your breath away, the fragrance of memories and the awareness of wisdom gained. These are the gifts that are priceless!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Short and sweet....

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you ! Hope your day has been filled with joyful sounds, wonderful tidings and super yummy eats!! And more than anything I hope that you found yourself full of spirit and surrounded by the true "presents" of Christmas - the Good Lord himself!!!

Love to you all!!

"All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord."

Monday, December 22, 2008

I am so spoiled....

For a week now Marty and I have been sick. It seems to have started with Bella and just made it's way around to the two of us, thankfully Soph is in good shape!! We have both felt so lousy that we haven't done much of anything. That said, I can't sit still....if there are dishes in the sink I must wash them, garbage that needs to go out, I must take it. And because I am such a germaphobe laundry needed to run regulary and baths given daily. I have been exhausted...but what I have hated most is how this type of situation can feed on anything negative. I was just a grump...and short of feeling terrible couldn't put my finger on why....until yesterday.

For so many years, I was the one doing all of the meals in the house, every dish, every bath, all the cleaning and so on. No help. I was physically exhausted and didn't even know it then. NOW, things are quite the opposite...I am married to a man that doesn't have to be asked at all to help. He does more than I imagine and probably more than I could recount, so while I was not feeling well, nor was he and I perfectly understood this.....I guess the subconcious fear of past reality crept in...overwhelming me to the point of tears. I never want to go back.......and I need to get better about letting Mart know just how much I appreciatate all that he does do! Spending so many years counting on only one person in a relationship is an exhausting and scary experience.....nor the way the Good Lord intended. So I spend today getting better, taking care of a terribly sick hubby and being incredibly grateful for the amazing man given to me, as well as for the wonderful knowledge that I will never experience past circumstances again and especially for the incredible hope that burned all those years in the process!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jabanero Peppers!!!

Bella has been wanting to try a Jabanero for awhile while in the store the other day I bought one specifically with her in mind. I warned her that they were really spicy, but she still wanted to try. So we cut it into small pieces and she took a bite. She loved it and was very proud that she could handle the heat. I smiled and congratulated her and told her that if she really wanted to taste the spice to eat a seed. So, in true Bella form, she did....this time, however, she chose to eat about 8 seeds and a piece of the pepper itself. She smiled again and was very proud and while I continued to cook, I listened to her boast about how strong she is and that it's all because she's got "Italian blood" in her and I don't - I just gave her the look as she exited the kitchen with a very "I'm the best" kind of look on her face. Moments later, she returned, rushing saying in a very hushed tone with tears streaming down her face......"I know Mom, God don't like ugly - God don't like ugly" - - - I nodded my head and smiled as she ran water to quench her need for cool. I didn't say a word....just turned to give her a hug and tell her that I was proud she tried something new so willingly AND that she learned something from it.

Nice to see that she got the message in the lesson pretty quickly. BTW, the phrase she used has been passed down by a friend of mine that introduced it to me years ago......I am pleased to see it's still being put to good use despite it's grammatical errors!!! ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas tour

A couple of friends of mine via email and one of the sites I follow instituted a day to do a Christmas tour of each of our homes. Since I've now seen it in a couple ways I decided to participate. The idea is just to post pictures of things you'd find around your home that might be of some importance to you over the holidays, to make us feel like we were there! So I thought it would be a nice idea to follow through on over the next few days!!
So look for the incoming tags guys!! :) First, I tag Jen at Against All Odds.

Soph's favorite!

My ornament wreath!
Marty decorated our norfolk island pine

The Santa ornament my dad carved for me!

My Santa Doll and Bella's Snowman plate

The girls' snowflakes

Marty's Santa - he was his Grandfather's!

The Hand Wreath Bella made in Kindergarten

Our outdoor wreath

The banister

Our nativity and some old ornaments!
Our Advent Calendar!

Our Tree!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Date night with the hubby

Sunday night Marty and I attended a dinner/fundraising event for the Pujols Family Foundation! It is a foundation that Albert Pujols and his wife established to help families dealing with down syndrome and families in the Dominican Republic.

Upon moving to St. Louis I became very familiar with Albert Pujols. He plays for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and has gained a great deal of respect in the city and league because of his integrity. Not only is he a phenomenal ball player, but his faith in God is astounding. His motto is "faith, family, friends". We were very excited to receive tickets to the dinner, just to be able to take part in some fashion for such a terrific cause warmed our hearts. And the event did not disappoint. The people at our table were wonderful and the presentations moving. We were surrounded by a variety of people from professional hall of famers to the average family affected by DS. I have to say that the level to which individuals praised God at this event was surprising. Reminds you that no matter your lot in life, we are all the same - and that God has you just where he needs you regardless of reason or obviousness of reason.

Our night took an unexpected turn from our plans and allowed Marty and I an opportunity to do something valuable. I mentioned the terrific people at our of them was a man named "Bob". He's an older gentleman, about my mom's age. I became enamored by him from the get go. He was a happy guy, experienced and genuine. He spoke of many things, but especially of his wife "Grace". He lost her to an aneurysm ten years ago. They went to sleep and she never woke up. When he retold the story, even in short, his voice cracked and I could clearly see the pain he still feels in the loss. Throughout dinner we chatted of things; items he was bidding on, his three daughters and grandchildren, his travels, his business. I was really taken with him......gotta admit I love older gentlemen...and that's only grown since I've lost my father. I know Mart gets this...he's amazing. Before long Bob was really feeling sick. He did not want to leave because he wanted to pay for the items that he bid on; of which I thought was one thing - a cake that he bought as a gift to Marty and I....a really thoughtful gesture. I assured him that we would take care of it and insisted he head home. He just nodded and headed out. Not long later we saw him sitting on the steps, miserable. He was feeling lousy and looked horrible, and still wanted to take care of the cake. I grabbed his bidding number and asked Mart to stand in line to pay for it and he did without question. I helped Bob up as he told me he was heading home. Mart and I stood in line together....I wanted him to let me handle it...I hated that he was passing up his opportunity to meet the Pujols and the many others...but he didn't want to leave me. While in line, my heart was aching and I couldn't quit thinking about I told Mart that I felt I needed to look to make sure he was gone. I walked to the foyer of the ballroom and there he was, nearly passed out on a couch. When I put my hand on his to wake him, I frightened him greatly. I borrowed Mart's phone and asked Bob for his daughter's number......I explained the situation and she said that she and her husband would be there as soon as they could. They lived about a half hour away. So I waited. I went back and forth between my husband and this wonderful man, checking on them both. At one point when I walked away from Bob, I turned to look at him and I instantly held my was this man....all alone, missing his wife. Tears just came to my eyes. What it must be like to spend a lifetime with someone only to wake up one day and find they are gone. How sad that is. His wife died when she was 55, my Marty is 40. The difference is 15 years....less time then he and I have spent together and it's just not enough, 'specially since we just got it right to begin with. Before I started back I caught my husband smiling at me...waiting very patiently for me in line, for a man he doesn't even know...because what he did know is that it mattered to me. There are not enough words to describe the love I felt for him even at that moment. I sat back down next to Bob and held his hand as he apologized for keeping us from our family and evening. I explained to him that we were right where we were supposed to be and that we were not leaving him. Before long Marty came around the corner - cake, bags and boxes in tow. Seems that Bob had won more items then I thought and in his attempt to make a night easier an old guy, Mart covered the cost until Bob could pay us back. Bob was very thankful and apologetic at the same time.....I just teased him saying how thankful we were that he didn't win the VIP box at the Cards game....that would have broken the bank for sure....he laughed and assured us that he would be in touch as soon as he could. We weren't concerned for that, we knew he would. After about 45 minutes his daughter arrived and we felt comfortable leaving him in her care. The whole way home I held my wonderful husband's hand.......Bob served a purpose for me that night. The last month I have been missing my father greatly.....taking care of Bob filled a need I didn't realize was so abundant....the need to feel closer to my dad.....secondly, Bob served as a reminder that marriage and love, in all it's stages is precious. That there will come a day that either my husband or I will be living without the other.....that each day I have with him is a blessing and that no amount of time is enough. It's my hope that if there is ever a day that Marty endures a similar situation that someone would show him the same kindness we showed Bob.......just like Bob, he deserves it - and more!

Monday, Bob's daughter called to tell us that her father has a bad case of the flu and was still feelng pretty lousy. She thanked us for our time with him and Marty explained that we wouldn't have had it any other way. My mind still goes to him and I look forward to seeing him again.

Date night with my husband was more than I could have wasn't enough that I was there with the best looking guy in the room and the love of my life.......God chose to sprinke a little more of his magic on blessings can not be counted!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Well, I've been Jen at Against All Odds.

The instructions are these:
1--choose the 4th picture folder on my computer
2--choose the 4th picture
3--explain the picture
4--tag 4 other people

Okay, here is the pic -

The week of Easter we found a rabbit's nest in our yard. We watched over it and after awhile noticed the mother wasn't coming back, she left this one after one had already died and took the largest one with her, we watched as she left it. So we tried to save this little guy, but was not able to. He was adorable, but just too small!

Now, most of those bloggers I know have already been tagged....sooooo I'll be tagging via email!!!