Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bring on 2016

My thoughts have wandered quite a bit lately. We have "Liquidated Inventory" as my sensitive husband likes to say in regards to moving Lauren out of our house and into Erin's this week. Erin, equally as sensitive as her father has advertised she has adopted her sister. Poor Lauren. She simply wanted the freedom to explore herself and find her own way but was met with the sudden acquisition of her room by her brother and her father celebrating the emptying of our particular nest. I on the other hand wrestle with the change. All change has the potential to be good but sometimes my heart has to be quieted a bit to appreciate and embrace it. I have full confidence Lauren will soar. It's her momma I am worried about.

With two of my families now out on maternity leave and the kiddos returning to school, I am entering a rare season of quiet days with no real to do list. In time, I might welcome this slower pace but right now I am trying to wrap my head around it. I have books to read, bible studies to pour in to and relationships to invest in. 2015 was rich and full of difficult topics, beautiful births, the loss of friends to moves and untimely deaths,  and milestones. As I reflect, I see a list of books I read that challenged my beliefs, stretched my comfort level and encouraged me to ask more questions rather than accept the truth as it's being fed. It wasn't easy to push through some of those topics and I have come away less convinced I know anything to be sure than I was just five years ago. This life is called a journey for a reason. 2016 promises more bittersweet growth.

Tonight my husband is home for the first time in weeks and we plan to relax by the fire until one or both of us falls asleep. I suspect it will be before 10. We need to rest up for new adventures or just simply recover from this season of joyful exhaustion. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

Silent Night by candle light gets me every time. I start off singing along and before I know it, I have a lump in my throat and and a tear in my eye, unable to continue singing. No matter how much I loathe the season as a whole because of the chaos, that song grounds me. And this year, it was Kate's pure innocent voice that kept singing when I no longer could that did me in. In that precious moment, Christmas arrived. It arrived in it's purest form and I was finally at peace.
Tea parties with Grandma are fun

A pet turtle (battery operated) for a ninja turtle. He named him Tyler.
Christmas is exhausting

Awkward Family Photos

We are so weird.

Monday, December 21, 2015


At the Galt House Kaleidoscope tonight, several kids were writing wish lists to Santa. This is what my children wrote and rather than mail the letters from the hotel, they brought them home to place in Layla's stocking. They have reason to be concerned. 




Sunday, December 20, 2015


How has it been twelve years? Each birthday I stumble through what it is I am supposed to do to honor Ryan on this date. It is his day and I want it to be special. I suppose if he were here with us, we'd also struggle through how to celebrate around the insanity of this season.

Ty has come to understand he has a brother in heaven. He writes "Ryan" and "my brother" all over his papers and drawings which tends to catch me off guard. It stings as I also wish Ty had a big brother to toss a ball and wrestle with in the yard. So in balancing the peace we've had about Ryan's short life with the reality of that loss, we try to focus on celebrating rather than mourning. Some years are harder than others as time heals a lot of wounds but the scars remain.

The years I weep through the days leading up to his birthday are almost harder than the birthdays the date itself kicks me in the gut. It's been an emotional month and I am somewhat relieved the day has finally arrived.

I ache to hold him in my arms again someday. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Lights

Once Greg started his twelve day run of fourteen hour work shifts, I knew we needed some distractions for those of us who miss him most. We elected to take on several local light exhibits with friends and once again tackled a scavenger hunt. Sweet treats were enjoyed during our outings while Christmas music played on the radio or was belted by failed memories. We created some interesting lyrics and fun memories. Here are some highlights.