Disclaimer: I almost never write anything about my husband, simply because, well, I feel like that's one area of my life that should be off-limits, but in this case, I'm making an exception. I hope you enjoy.
For many families it seems either you are a solid 'real Christmas tree' family or you're 'artificial tree' all the way, however in my little family, we've waffled back and forth over the years (real shocker if you knew us at all...Insert dripping sarcasm here).
The year is 2002 and we're preparing for our first Christmas as a married couple. Let me just say, married life in general...BIG transition to say the least, but that's another story for another day. I, of course, am adamant that we get ourselves a real tree, so off we go to the various tree lots in search of the most perfect tree ever. The details on this part are a little fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure we ended up going to a few different lots before we found the tree. P.S. Two novices should not be allowed to go tree shopping together. I had gone with my dad every year while I was growing up to pick out the family tree, but he's the one who paid attention to the details - not me.
Now before I dive any further into this story, let me clue you in to a conversation we had while at the tree lot. Me: "We're gonna need to get a tree stand." Husband: "Eh, gramma has like 20 at home, we don't need to spend money on that." Me: "Okaaay...If you're sure..." (Thinking to self: If she has 'like 20 at home,' what's wrong with them???)
Okay, so fast forward to getting the tree home. The tree proceeds to go in and out of our house at least three times. Yep, you read that right THREE times. With each passage in and out the door as we (by we, I of course mean he) work on the most crooked tree trunk in the universe, the frustration levels are mounting. Finally, we get enough trunk cut off so that it can stand in our free tree stand. Guess what...There's a reason it was in the garage and not being used for a repeat performance. Oh yeah, it fell down. *sigh*
A new tree stand is purchased.
I can vividly recall as we're wrestling with this tree saying, "I wish my dad was here," and promptly going to the bathroom to cry it out. Now, the total irony of that statement is that things didn't necessarily go all that awesomely with my dad over the years. I remember many a time he was cursing over the stupid, er, beautiful tree. Apparently, though, I had blocked all of that out. So there I am, crying my eyes out in the bathroom, poor Husband is probably thinking this isnot what he signed up for - and seriously..."Why is she crying??" Enter my sister. My beautiful, thoughtful sister comes over with a box of ornaments for our first Christmas. I make my exit from the bathroom trying not to look like this entire experience has been complete misery. Ahh, good times.
The evening ended well, with feelings mended, and a ginormous pizza delivered from Pizza Hut, but it's an experience I will never forget, and that we uproariously laugh over now.
We did give the real tree a try again a couple of years later, but that darn thing fell over too, and we decided, enough is enough and have embraced our artificial tree in all it's easy-peasy glory ever since. Our greatest source of debate now is an annual argument over getting the lights on the tree. I amso challenged. However, eight years into this marriage, gone are the tears - they've been replaced by laughter up front instead of later.
I'd love to hear your stories! Leave a comment below!
Did you know that October is National Down syndrome Awareness Month? (I'm thinking the title should have provided a clue, but...) Perhaps you remember the Kibbes? A Spokane family whose youngest child has Down syndrome. I did a series of articles on their family back in July.
Mary has a blog of her own, which she started writing in 2008 in order to participate in the "31 for 21" challenge. So with the first day of October nearly over as I write this, she has posted 1 of 31 for 21 today.
I love this and look forward to reading her posts each day. For my part, I told her I'd comment every day on her posts. What can you do to
raise awareness? Take to your Twitter accounts, Facebook, blog, whatever and spread the word. Even today there are many misconceptions about individuals with Down syndrome. In the course of the research I did for their story I found this quote:
“The most important fact to know about individuals with Down syndrome is that they are more like others than they are different.”
--National Association for Down syndrome
I dare you to learn more about Riley and even for a moment question the wisdom of that quote. To me, it says it all.
Haven't had a chance to Meet the Kibbes? Simply mosey down the page just a bit for the links to their articles. Also, check out Mary's blog. Perhaps she'll leave us a comment sharing some of her favorite blogs who are also participating in the 31 for 21 challenge.
Part 1: Meet the Kibbes
Part 2: Learning about Down syndrome
Part 3: Resources for children with Down syndrome
Part 4: Just a boy and his big brother Rex
Part 5: Looking forward
Mary's Blog: Hurricane Riley & his Big Brother Rex
Parenting. Like any relationship the parent-child relationship has its highs and lows. There are days when I feel like a complete and utter failure. Then there are days where we’re clicking and it’s perfection. And of course there are the in-between-kind-of-days. Regardless what kind of day it is, she is my everything and my heart feels ready to burst with love more often than not.
You might know that Abby is three-years-old. It’s such a short time for someone to be in your life yet so profoundly impact you, isn't it? When in truth, from the first moment I felt her move in my belly, I was hers.
My pregnancy was not easy, but still I loved having her with me all the time. I spent a lot of time talking to her when she was in my belly. The day I found out she had stopped growing and she would be coming earlier than expected, it was truly my first mommy moment. I remember driving home following that appointment alternating between talking to her and God. Reassurance for her and me and begging God to take care of this life I could no longer imagine being without.
But I digress…This week I’ve been very aware of the best part of my day, which is what spurred this post. My absolute favorite part of the day, one of the best parts of being a mama, is the end of the day last kiss before I go to bed. Often when I sneak into her room and lay the softest of kisses on her beautiful cheek, a smile will briefly flit across her lips.
Earlier this week we shared a similar moment and I swear- it felt as though my heart would burst into a million pieces. As I neared her bed, the floor creaked a little and it drew her every so slightly out of her sleep. Reaching her bedside, she automatically reached out her hand for me to hold. She murmured a few things as she hovered between that deep sleep and slight wakefulness, but wouldn’t release my hand. Her face was completely relaxed and more “baby looking” than I’d seen it look in a long time. I whispered equally unintelligible things to her as I knelt by her bedside, holding her hand, stroking her face for I don’t know how long, watching her sleep before I finally left her side. It’s moments like that, where everything is right in our world and it’s just us, that take my breath away and make all my shortcomings a little more bearable.
What are your favorite parenting moments?
*(Originally written/posted on October 1, 2010)
The Angel of GriefPhoto by: tkksummers via Flickr
The article I posted to my Examiner page today took a lot of work - mostly of the emotional variety. I've been working/wanting to pull this piece together for several weeks and I kept putting off the actual writing of it simply because I just couldn't handle it emotionally.
It's only been posted for about two hours now and the responses I've gotten have been amazing. It's as if I was meant to write this article now. What's it about you might be wondering? Helping loved ones cope with miscarriages. This topic is tough. No one wants to talk about it and it's constantly swept aside as something not to be dealt with by those of us on the outside looking in. It's not out of malice or lack of caring, rather it's not knowing what to do or say. For some tips on how to conquer those worries, please check out my article.
As I mentioned above, it feels as though this was meant to be and here's why. Just in the span of me getting my source's thoughts as she wanted them shared and pulleing everything together to post it, she gets a phone call from her sister-in-law asking the very questions this article answers. Immediately after posting I received an e-mail stating how this was just what she needed. It's reaching people in just the way I hoped it would.
Thanks for stopping in. Let me know what you think.
The second piece to this article was posted today:http://www.examiner.com/early-childhood-parenting-in-billings/finding-support-following-the-loss-of-your-baby
Thanks again to the Kibbes for letting me share their story!
Tomorrow my series on the Kibbe family will be all wrapped up. As I've mentioned this is my first attempt at interviewing someone and putting their thoughts into something meaningful. I don't know if this is my forte, but I'm hoping their story can touch people who don't know them as well as those who do.I'd like to get their story out there beyond the reach of the Examiner, but I'm still trying to figure what outlet would be best. I honestly don't know where to start...While I worry about this story and its basic avoidance of the 'local' aspect, I still felt like this was a story more than worth sharing. I can't imagine the fears and doubts one must feel when learning their child will be born with any kind of condition. Ironically, on the other side of the coin, in discussing the series with my sister-in-law, she noted when they were going through their issues with their first pregnancy years ago, she remembers wishing it could've been something like Down syndrome, which would've meant their baby could've survived. I guess it's all a matter of perspective.I'm excited to publish the final segment - as I told Mary when I sent it to her for approval, I was by far the most nervous sending her that section than any of the others as it was the most subjective. She loved it, and I'm hoping you will too!