Rainbow dog

At Joanna’s request we came to Chick-fil-A for breakfast today. She loves it here because the staff is so friendly and “they make the bestest burritos!!!”

It’s nice to get a break from cooking and cleaning, and to eat something different than we make at home.

And, after we finish our food we can enjoy some drink refills, coloring and phone time 🙂

Today she colored a rainbow dog and snowflakes complete with a drawing of her walking the dog. 

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Fun new toys!

These 2 new animals are already friends! 

After opening them J welcomed them to our house and introduced them to each other and began playing with them right away. 

It’s so cool to see her really check out and enjoy each item she receives. Instead of rushing to open another present she takes time to investigate and interact with them as she opens them.

I hope she keeps this curiosity and excitement as she grows.

Her 1st basketball game

We made it to our first basketball game today. 

Before today we’d been to 2 practices and missed 2 practices and 2 games (both games were on the Saturday we were in Indy), so our girl is a bit behind her teammates. Not only is this her first year to play, she’s only made it to 2 of their 6 gatherings prior to today. 

She was excited to be there, but unsure what to do. It was tough for this Hoosier to watch my girl lost on the court! 

During a break I asked if she knew what to do out there. She said no. That pretty much summed it up.

I’m hopeful that a few more practices will make a big difference at this stage 🙂

Threads made it into a newspaper!

Chances are if you know much about me you know that I like to crochet and that I’ve been making scarves for Threads of Compassion. An article was just published about our work! You can check it out and learn more about what I’m doing as well as see some of the ladies that have been joining me in this cool work.

When my friend Chellie asked me about doing a story on us for the Christian Chronicle I had no idea what to expect. I think she did an awesome job! It’s so cool to see our group in action, as well as get a bit of perspective from Karla at the YWCA. She really did a great job showing some about the scope of our work.

If you knit or crochet (or want to learn) and live near Edmond, please join us! We always enjoy having more people at our meetings.

Suicide: don’t do it!

Thirty years ago today my mother successfully ended her life.

There are lots of phrases people use when saying that someone died: “she passed away” “she moved on” “she died” “she killed herself” “she committed suicide” “she’s no longer with us” and more.

It’s interesting to note that years ago one of my brothers and I discovered that we both have responded the same when people push us about what happened. We were talking with a stranger and we mentioned she passed away and the other person said “what happened?” and we respond “she killed herself.” In those moments we aren’t trying to be gentle with the truth, we’re no longer protecting the nosy conversationalist or ourself, you asked and we answered. Chances are you have now learned a lesson and in the future let the one telling the story decide how much to tell. It may be we were protecting you from the harshness of the reality, or maybe we were protecting ourself from saying again what happened. In any case, when talking with someone, especially a stranger – let them tell their story their way! If they want to share details they will. If they’re leaving details out chances are they have a reason.

So, I have no idea what she was thinking. I can imagine some of what could make a woman who is 3 days shy of her 34th birthday decide being all done is more appealing than carrying on. But, as in any situation like this, she is only one that truly knows what motivated her decision. I do think that if she had any idea of the scope of difficult things that could follow her choice she may have reevaluated and decided to hang in there.

One of those hard things happened this week. My sweet 5 year-old (who never knew this grandma) and I were making sugar cookies. As she was excitedly mixing the dough with the electric mixed she looked up and said “did you make cookies with your mama?” I didn’t have a good answer. The truth is I have no idea. Chances are we did make cookies together in those 11 years she was present. But, I can’t picture it happening, I can’t recall a memory of standing together creating something yummy to share with others. I just can’t. So I answered as best as I could with an “I think so”. In the joy of the moment I’m hopeful my kiddo didn’t see the tear forming and sliding down my cheek. I believe it’s ok for her to know there are sad things. And she knows my mommy died when I was young, but I don’t want our fun moments to be tainted by this sadness that can pop up from time to time.

As tends to happen on anniversaries I am thinking of her today. Actually I began thinking about it when I reserved a car to be picked up on 12/7. That’s when it hit me that the 30 year anniversary was upon us. We made that reservation to be able to take a quick trip to Indy this weekend. One of my mom’s sisters has been battling cancer this year. Her daughter planned a “Holiday Bash (And F Cancer Party)” for Saturday night (which would have been mom’s 64th birthday). Figuring out how to go celebrate with them was tough. We’re in a period of searching for full-time employment for Morgan and our car just can’t make the trip, and we usually turn that 11 hour drive into at least 16 hours. So, there were lots of reasons that it may just not work to be there. But I kept thinking about it and wanting to make it work. In the end we decided traveling to celebrate with family while my aunt is still living would be better than making the trip once she’s passed. So we hit the reserve button on the car and began making arrangements to be gone for the long weekend.

I just told my kiddo that I’m writing about my mom since she died 30 years ago today. “Are you sad?” “A little bit”. “Ahh, I wish she could have stayed and meet me”. “Yep, me too”.

So, while I don’t have many memories of fun holiday stuff with my own mom and for years this time of year has been difficult due to her death and birthday, I’ve decided that enjoying today is important. I get to decide whether to let the past cast a shadow and take over today or whether I want to have a day of good times. And, I’m intentionally choosing joy. I’ve decided to celebrate this season with my husband and kiddo. I get to make up our own traditions that let us have fun together. With some time and energy we’re having a blast watching movies, decorating the house, drinking hot chocolate, baking cookies to share, decorating ornaments to give, and just relishing the time we have to be together having fun.

It was easy to spend a lot of years just wishing December would finish up so the sadness would pass. But, many years ago I decided that over a decade of that was enough. I took some time processing, thinking, praying, and deciding to move forward with a new perspective. I’m so glad I did! Doing that work on myself made it a whole lot easier/more possible to have a good December. I’m able to embrace the fun of the season like I couldn’t before. And, I didn’t have to figure all that out with a kiddo by my side.

So, if you’re still reading my rambling thoughts and having a tough day: hang in there! We can all choose joy. Don’t give in to depression -deciding to end your life can make life a whole lot harder for others, for some you may not even know yet.

 

He’s home!

We’re glad Morgan was able to attend WordCamp US, but we’re even more glad he made it back home.

Joanna knew that a plush Wapuu was part of his swag and asked to sleep with it tonight. She’s excited to snuggle Wapuu just slightly less than she is excited to snuggle Daddy.

Yay for sweet reunions!

The Lego baby sings

We are really enjoying our Lego advent calendar. Just three days in and this is now a favorite part of the holiday season. 

Today’s Lego was a microphone and speaker (probably to go with the firefighter rocker we put together yesterday).

Not long after it was assembled, our girl built a firetruck for the mini figure that included a baby in a crib space. This was so the baby could go to work with her mama.

Next the baby was standing on top of the snowman and singing away on the stage. Hope you enjoy her song 🙂 

Cheesy Christmas movies and crochet

It’s a perfect night for watching cheesy Christmas movies and finishing crochet projects for the Sonshine School craft fair.

Joanna’s finally asleep, so I’m on movie #2, first was “12 Dates of Christmas” and now it’s “Christmas with the Kranks”. Quality movie watching going on here 🙂 

Yay Netflix! I can have a month-long Christmas movie adventure.

I’ve made several scarves, dishcloths, and coffee cozies that need to be finished. since there are just a few days till the sale I decided I better finish these up before making any new ones. 

If you happen to be in the market for crocheted items I’d be glad to let you have first pick of the items before the sale, just let me know.