Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Even though Christmas is supposed to be the "most wonderful time of the year", I admit that I have been dreading this day for some time now. I have so many emotions that are just too hard to put into words, but I wanted to take a minute to jot down how I am feeling at this exact time and place.

Right now, I feel content in the silence of the night, in our quaint cabin in NC, with our pre-lit Christmas tree that the owners of this cabin put up for us, reading our books and listening to the occasional snore from Abby. At this minute everything in my life is good.

But, if I let mind wander, I can't help but a get a little teary-eyed when I think of all the happy times in my childhood that my parents created for me and my brother and knowing that those days are all just a distant memory relived through photos and video. These were the days before the chaos of life happened.

Like many children, waking up on Christmas Day was the day that we would look forward to for many months prior. My brother and I would of course wake up many hours before we typically would on a day out of school, and usually found ourselves anxiously awaiting for our parents to get that first cup of coffee in hand. My dad had this tradition, and I'm not sure how it got started, but he had a huge chalkboard with a message that read something like- "Merry Christmas to Micah and Mishael" with the year at the bottom. Every year my dad would make me and my brother sit in front of that board and smile (or at least fake it) for a picture. It became a ritual for many, many years. When Aleea (niece) came along, her name was added to the board. In fact, that chalkboard from our last real Christmas is tucked away in a room at my dad's. I can't bring myself to erase it or throw the board away. It's the last year that we would enjoy a real Christmas w/ my dad.

I always hate that my blogs end up being a depressing post about the loss of my father, but at this exact time in my life this is all I have to think about. I pray that as this next year comes and goes, so will the pain and sadness that I feel.

I am so thankful for such an amazing husband who doesn't get frustrated when I slip out a few tears here and there. I am thankful for such a wonderful mother who has been a constant support system this year. I am thankful for such wonderful friends that are always close by.

I know a lot of my friends and family have experienced a hard 2009 and I believe we will all make it somehow. I pray that all of you find peace, direction and happiness in 2010. I pray that we will always remain close to each other and will always be a source of fun and laughter.

Love to all my friends on this journey....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

November/December 2009

A lot has happened in the last couple of months and I have not had the mental ability to keep up with my blog. In October, I lost my grandmother who in a lot of ways was a second mom to me. She was always the person in my life that I knew I could visit and ask for guidance and I was never judged. She was 89 years old and was longing to be with her late husband and her son. As much as it hurts to deal with the loss, I am at complete peace that she knew how much I loved her and I know beyond a shadow of doubt that she loved me.

Thanksgiving was hard without my dad and mamaw, but Chris and I decided to have T-Giving at our house instead of spending it at my Aunt's (dad's sister). So while our condo is not big, we were able to squeeze 11 people into our dining room and it was a wonderful day spent with my mother, my in-laws, niece and special friends. I have been thinking that this time last year was the exact time that my dad was in and out of the hospital and we really didn't celebrate the holidays. In fact last year, the holidays were and still are a blur to me. So I was able to remember my dad and grandmother but also realized that I needed to relish in the fact that I had such amazing people sharing this day with me.

For Christmas, Chris and I have decided to go out of town. We have rented a cabin in NC and are packing up our dog and ourselves for a mini get away. No calls about probate, no calls from my attorney, just Chris, me and Abby. We have been married for a little over 2 years and we have gone through more in these 2 years then what most couples experience in a lifetime. I could not have made it this year without him.

On a brighter note, Chris and I will be planning a cruise with my mother, her sister and a couple of cousins to somewhere yet to be determined. I have never been on a cruise but am really looking forward to it.

Work is going well for both of us. It's hard to believe that next month will be one year that we and so many people lost our jobs with Goody's. But our new careers are going well and we are blessed to have a good company to work for.

We are one class away from finishing our Financial Peace University. Over the last 13 weeks we have had a dramatic lifestyle change in the way we spend and think about our money. We have learned to make and stick to a budget- even though it's not always been easy. We have learned to communicate and have had our share of "discussions" about our money but it is a relief to know that we are on the same page. I would highly, highly recommend anyone reading this blog to look into it.

In closing, I was cleaning out some papers today that were at my dad's and ran across something I had drawn in 1987- I was 9 years old and thought it was pretty profound. It says:

"I am young, but I won't let anyone treat me as if I'm not important.
I will be an example to show believers how they should live.
I will show them with my words, with the way I live, with my love, with my faith
and with my life. "

This might be my new motto for 2010. "I won't let anyone treat me as if I'm not important".