Tuesday, December 27, 2011

That was ROUGH!

Started writing a Facebook post, and thought it might be a bit too personal.. Then I thought about a blog, and again, maybe a bit too personal.. but somehow, writing it out feels better.. and since I know there are MANY out there going through the same thing.. I am not going to worry about 'too personal'.. this is my blog, and those who chose to read it care enough, I hope.. to listen to the not so great things too..

This Christmas was HARD. Beautiful, happy, and I got spoiled rotten.. I got to be at my Mom's with my Jake, my sister and her hubby, my little brother, my parents and grandparents who were in California for a few months.. But two little things were missing. Little B and Kailee Bug. Wow, was that HARD! Who knew a 2 year old and a 4 year old could make life THAT much sweeter? Lots of changes this year.. Linds and I are now married.. The guys were with us last year, but this was our first Christmas married.. No McMurdie family party on Christmas Eve.. that was weird. First Christmas of my whole life not going with the McMurdie side on Christmas Eve.. I understand why, the family is out of control HUGE, and you don't really get to talk to anyone other than your immediate family, but weird, none the less.. We didn't open a single present until after noon.. Which is weird.. We're an early rising, open all our presents before breakfast family. So to wait until after Church and breakfast seemed a little strange.. But mostly.. we were missing two little girls who have stolen all of our hearts! Seems that's all we could talk about.. wondering what they were doing, if they were excited, if Santa had come, all of it! Linds and I were trying to keep each other positive.. Since it was just as hard for her.. Luckily, our next 'off' year, we'll have her little baby to keep us company! :) Grateful for that!

We were lucky and got to talk to Brooklynn and Kailee within an hour of each other.. Brooklynn got a princess tent for her mommies house, and oddly enough, so did Kailee :) We thought that was pretty cool! The girls talked to us for a minute or two, but were so busy having fun with their new toys, that we seemed more of an annoyance than anything.. I get it.. but it was HARD! Last year seemed rough, we didn't have Kailee.. But Brooklynn was there to distract us a little bit, and we were able to get Kailee for the afternoon.. But we had decided around the first of the year when planning holidays with Angie, that we'd try to get the girls on the same year, so we went one more year without having her.. And we also talked about letting the person with the 'on' year, keep her for the whole holiday. Which I know is the best decision.. for everyone. But our off years are going to be ROUGH!

I went up to bed a little earlier than Jake on Christmas Eve. I didn't want to upset him in anyway, and I needed a minute to myself. I laid in bed wondering if Kailee was already asleep.. thinking about how excited she had to have been, and wondering what she'll think Christmas morning. I shed a few tears.. Of happiness, and a little selfishness. I missed her. A lot! I couldn't help but be overjoyed that she was a part of my life..  and that next year would be AWESOME! But a little part of me was SO sad that it meant that every other year would just feel empty. I am so grateful to have the relationship I do with Angie. I know that every year, her and I can talk about how much fun we had, and also how hard it was.. And that we can get each other through the 'off years'. I am not naive enough to think that it won't be even harder for her next year.. it will.. And I hope Jake and I can always be understanding enough to help her through it on her 'off years'. Because the on years, are that much better!

On the positive side, IT'S CHRISTMAS WEEK FOR US! :) We get to celebrate TWICE!!! Merry Christmas week, all! :) We get the girls for the whole weekend coming up, and Santa will be to Grandma Merrilee's on Friday night! We are SO excited! We get 2 Christmases this year!

So grateful for the strong support system that we have.. It keeps us positive, it keeps us excited! Thankful for my mom, Linds, our grandparents, and Angie for making this as easy as possible on us.. As hard as this year is, next year will be TOTALLY worth it! Kudos to those of you who live this same life.. For staying positive and getting through it the best you can.. I know I'm the 'step parent', so it should be easiest for me.. and I can't imagine how Jake and Angie feel.. but I hope to be both of their biggest supports.. It's HARD! I may have underestimated that part.. But I know that neither Jake and I, nor Angie will ever take our Christmas with Kailee for granted! And she will grow up one lucky little girl! And we will cherish every second we have with her..

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! And now, the REAL Merry Christmas week for the Black's and the Andrus'!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

I LOVE this time of year! I always have.. I am as excited now as when I was a kid! When I think about Christmas time growing up.. I always think of my mom and her AMAZINGLY decorated home. The Christmas candles we ALWAYS had going, the Christmas music she would play, and all of her cute decor that COVERED the kitchen, living room, family room and the basement. She went all out with Christmas.. some would say over the top, more than a year or two... or five.. And last year, being her first Christmas as a grandma, even more so! But besides the presents, there were SO many fun things she did for us over the years to make our holidays special..

I remember one fun thing she did after a tramatic year of Lindsay getting one less present than I did.. Linds has always been this CRAZY, outgoing, fun-loving, turns-to-a-brat-in-the-blink-of-an-eye-girl :) Though she's grown out of that last part, Linds has always loved the attention and presents! Well, after a rough year, my mom switched things up.. No more names on presents.. The next year, they were numbered.. and we didn't know until Christmas Eve what our 'number' was.. The next year it was the Rugrats characters.. And, yes, Lindsay was Angelica ;) Ha ha! She did wrapping paper, and several other fun things to disguise who's were who's.. Then for the last maybe 7 or 8 years, NO names on presents for the three kids.. It was a really fun way to slow down the day, take turns and PAY attention.. because that gift that is being opened, might be yours! :) Somehow, Riley opened a bra or girl underwear EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR! We've always had to take turns and watch each other open, but that took it to a different level! SO fun!

My mom has always made Christmas so special.. Not just the presents, or the amazing decor.. but in every way.. The traditions, the spirit in our home, and the constant reminders of the real reason for the season.. I sure hope that some day, my kids feel that way too.. Now that I've entered a new phase in life, the part where Jake and I are responsible for those memories and the traditions of the holidays.. it brings a new joy and deeper happiness to my heart than the excitement of being a child waiting for my gifts from Santa ever could.. I am so excited for our Christmas with Kailee and our first Christmas as a family..

The last few years of my life have been far from religious, but they have absolutely been spiritual.. And when I think about this season and all that comes with it, there is no way that the feelings that I feel could come from presents, Santa Claus, lights, decorations or a Christmas tree. It is so much more than that. To me, it's about family, the ones I love, and my knowledge of something greater than any one of us could imagine. A Savior's love that has no limitations or judgement.. No care of color, race, religion or sexual preference. A pure love that only He could understand. I pray this time of year, that those are the things I can teach my children.. Just like my parents did for me. 

Merry Christmas to you all.. May we take this special time of year to celebrate all we are blessed with!