Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas this year was so magical. I'm sad it's over. We got to celebrate it twice this year since we didn't have 2 of our daughters with us until the day after Christmas. We sure missed them, but I can tell you that I didn't cry on Christmas day this year like I did the first year they were gone on Christmas. I did all my crying the day they left. Then I let it go, and had a great time with my husband and 2 other children. It was still sad, but I am learning, with time, how to handle it much better. Time is healing the pain! All my praise be to the Lord for mending my wounds and making me a better me.
My favorite part about this time of year is getting to see my children's faces light up. There is also just something about the lights, music, and cheerfulness in the air that makes this time of year so special. Anything for us to all join together and celebrate our Savior is so magical.
This year I made sure we had all the gifts wrapped before Christmas Eve. My husband was a great help. My husband and I are usually busy wrapping gifts all Christmas Eve night after the kids go to bed. Blah! So not fun! I wanted it to be low key and relaxing this year. I didn't do any wrapping, but my husband sure did. He wrapped my gifts on Christmas Eve. Hehe.
On Christmas Eve we spent the day delivering treats to our neighbors and friends, sipping on homemade crock pot hot chocolate (it is delicious. I'll post the recipe later), watching Christmas movies, watching the snow falling down making it a beautiful white Christmas, opening a Christmas Eve gift, driving around town to look at all the beautiful Christmas lights, reading the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible, and watching the King is Born. We had such a great day.
On Christmas day we opened gifts, watched movies, I made a Christmas dinner and had 2 of my sisters, my sister's boyfriend, my grandma, and my parents over for Christmas dinner. We had a wonderful day playing games, eating, and enjoying each other's company.

Marshall's Chrismas Eve pajamas

Myriam's Christmas Eve pajamas

Santa came!
Our tree looks kind of silly.
We had to take the ribbon off the bottom part of the tree, and move all of the decorations on the bottom part of the tree  to the middle and top of the tree. That's why our tree looks so crowded and just thrown together.
All thanks to having a baby in the house who thinks it's fun to eat, and play in, the Christmas tree :)

He filled our stockings too!

Ben got a picture of Marshall taking his first peek on Christmas morning!

Marshall and Myriam opening their first gift on Christmas morning!

Marshall was so sweet to help Myriam open her gifts!

She is so adorable!

I love how Marshall is taking Myriam's hand and helping her open her present

Santa left a note with one of Marshall's presents explaining that when he was on our roof and had gotten out of his sleigh, one of Marshall's presents dropped out of his bag, and Rudolph accidentally stepped on it. That was why the box to his gift was dented on one side. He let Marshall know that Rudolph felt very bad, and that it was personally re wrapped by Santa.
He also told Marshall that he has been a very good boy.

So cute! I can't help but notice Marshall's red lips. He was just eating a red ring pop haha.  

Two of my loves taking a much needed nap on Christmas day
Christmas Dinner! Just waiting on the meat.

I love him! He is so handsome!

Look at my Grandma. Isn't she just so cute!?

Mady and Courtney opening their first gifts at our house!

They are too cute!

I have never seen anyone get this excited over getting leggings and church shoes!
Makes me happy.

Mady hugging her new church shoe. Silly girl!

A shoe? Why yes, I think I will.

She is claiming Courtney's stocking, Mady's shoe, and Courtney's dolly diaper and bottle set.
She is so funny.

Myriam loves the sparkly shoes. She likes to eat them hehe!

He is so handsome!

Whoa! What a mess!

 Merry Christmas from our home to yours! We hope you had a Christ-filled Christmas full of love and joy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saying goodbye but only for a moment

It is 2:30 Christmas morning yet I can't seem to sleep. My heart is so full and joyful yet so heavy and sad.
Last Friday, Mady and Courtney's (2 of my daughters) dad and step-mom came to pick them up to take them out of state for 5 days for Christmas vacation. I tried to be happy for them, but as I held them so tight in my arms on the couch the hour before they left, I could feel my nerves twisting in my gut. My 4 year old daughter told me she was nervous to go to Idaho because she was afraid she would be too shy. I tried to calm her nerves by expressing optimism. When I was zipping their coats up for them to leave, I felt like I was going to puke. I held it together for them. I put a smile on my face and said as energetic as I could, "Merry Christmas! You will have so much fun. I'm going to miss you, but I'm glad you get to spend Christmas with your dad and step-mom, and you will have so much fun seeing and playing with your cousins, grandma, aunts, and uncles. I love you very much." I squeezed them in my arms so tight, and walked them outside. I sat on the porch and watched them for as long as I could handle, then walked in the house. My sweet husband could sense that I needed him because he was waiting for me just inside the door. I didn't have to say anything that was on my mind, he knew. He wrapped me in his arms and my tears streamed quickly onto his shoulder. Through my tears, I managed to say, "This just isn't fair. I miss them so much. No mother should ever have to be away from their child on Christmas. There is no love like a mother has for her child. No one loves them more than I do." This was a very weak moment of mine. Yes, I was being extremely selfish, this I know. I dried my eyes, and put on a smile for my other 2 wonderful children.
The reason I share this extremely personal (and selfish) experience is out of inspiration far greater than I understand. Inspiration from my loving Heavenly Father. I know there are people out there struggling with this very situation. I want you all to know that I understand. I know it's hard. But I also know that time and trusting in the Lord makes it easier. I know that God works in mysterious ways. I know that these experiences will make me stronger. It is hard. The hardest thing I have ever went through. I love my kids more than life itself. When they are away, a part of me is gone with them. Keep the faith. God will never abandon us.
I'm not proud of my mistakes and down moments, but I won't hide behind a shadow and not share what I know my Heavenly Father wants me to share just because I'm scared of being judged. Maybe this is to humble me, maybe it is supposed to help someone else. This I do not yet know. But, I know I will gratefully do God's work.
Merry Christmas to all. May we all remember Christ while we celebrate His birth!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Marshall's 9th birthday! Your letter included!

My baby boy turned 9 on December 19! I cannot believe he is already 9. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was just holding him in my arms for the first time. Time flies. It is oh so bitter sweet.
Marshall chose some friends to take to Provo to play laser tag and eat pizza for his birthday. Ben, our girls, Sherrie & Terrie (Marshall's Aunts), and I went up to Laser Assault in Provo with Marshall and his friends.
When Marshall got home from school, we started getting ready to head up to his party. He started complaining of feeling sick. I checked his temp, and he had a low grade fever. I gave him medicine, and we gave it a try to go. He did well once the medicine kicked in. He did good up until he came home and got into bed. He started to run a fever again and complaining again. I gave him some medicine and he fevered off and on the next couple of day. Poor little guy. Thank goodness for medicine that kept the fever under control. 3 days later, he is now just coughing and sniffling. Other than that, he is feeling much better.
I think he had a good birthday. He sure is a happy, good kid.
I have been making it a goal of mine to write each person in my family a letter for their birthday. Here is Marshall's letter:

Dear Marshall,

You have a such a special spirit. I don't understand how you are so happy-go-lucky all the time... but you are. I wish I could be half as great as you are. No boy deserves to have gone through all that you have in the short amount of time that you have been on this earth. I am so deeply sorry for the actions I have made in my life that have caused you to hurt. As for the other people that have hurt you, I am deeply sorry. Just remember, it has made you stronger because of it.
You are the cutest boy I know, and you are such a good big brother to your beautiful little sisters. They look up to you so much, and just adore you. I know you will all remain close throughout your lives. Thank you for taking such good care of them, and for looking out for them all the time.
You are a true gentlemen. Ben is teaching you so well. I know that you are seeing how he is with me, and that makes me so happy.
One day after school when you and Madison were walking to our car, you were in front of her, and you turned around and saw that she was struggling to carry all of her papers, her backpack, and her coat. Once you were aware of this station, you turned around and helped her carry her stuff the rest of the way to the car. I honestly don't know any 9 year old boys that would do that for their little sister. Most kids don't recognize that kind of stuff, and would go on their little merry way (in my opinion).
You have such a giving heart.
I am so proud of how well you keep your room clean. Thank you for your help around the house. Thank you for all of your sweet letters that you write me. And thank you for all of the pictures you draw for me. You never fail at letting all of us know just how much you love us.
I love you more than words can express. I will always be here for you. There is nothing that you cannot accomplish without hard work and desire.
You are still so little, and have so much to learn. I promise you that Ben and I will do our best to teach you the the things that you will need to learn to make it in this life. But in the end, it will be up to you where you take your life. I know you will make great decisions and go far in life. Excuse your mistakes. Know you're not perfect, and never will be. Don't kick yourself for too long when you make mistakes. Strive to be better. Say sorry when necessary. And never let past mistakes haunt you and hold you back. Mistakes are a part of life. You will make plenty of them, just as we all have and will continue to do. They are meant to make you a better, stronger person, so let them. Learn from them. Don't let them break you down. You are better than that. Never forget you are strong and capable of anything. The adversary will shout in your ear things that will make you doubt yourself and doubt what is good. Remember where that is coming from. You are a child of God. There is no greater gift. Remember how great you really are. Also, never ever forget just how loved you are. There are so many people who love you so much, and want nothing but the best for you.
I have loved you even before you were here, and I will love you everyday for the rest of forever.


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