Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fare Thee Well, 2009.

I loved 2009. 

In it, my boys got bigger.  I found more reasons to love my husband.  I found increased passion about health care reform and our general care for humanity.  I became more secure and comfortable in my own skin.  I learned a lot from so many people.  I was challenged by those who don't feel the same way I do.  I watched the Obamas become the First Family.  I worked really hard.  I, with the country, said good-bye to Senator Ted Kennedy, and subsequently read his autobiography.  I joined Facebook and reconnected with so many people.  I realized that some people love me in spite of my beliefs instead of because of them.  I fell in love with Modern Family.  I went on my first ever week-long summer vacation.  I had my first-ever garage sale.

It was a good year.  In it, I was very happy, and could not ask for anything more than that.

Wishing you a very happy new year.  God bless you all.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Family Christmas

Christmas at my parents' house.  Gorgeous.


Friday, December 25, 2009

My Favorite Present

For Christmas, my husband had the first six months of my blog published in a book (Volume I).  I don't know where he did it or how, but I am grateful.  I now have a hard copy of this special place.  It's something I've always wanted, and it was the most thoughtful thing! 

I hope you holiday was as special!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Year in Status

For those of you who couldn't read it on Facebook:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Christmas Letter

I didn't send one with my Christmas cards this year (a first in many)
so I'll share it here. 

2009 was an incredible year for me, especially from a human-connection standpoint.  I have always loved people.  I am facinated by personalities and love to learn from and interact with others...always have.  So when I joined Facebook in January, I was blown away. 

I was back in touch with people I thought I'd never have contact with again.  I was back in touch with people I had completely forgotten about.  I had an easy way to share my life with my online-only friends.  I spent some time actually missing some people.  When we reconnected, I remembered the reason we were friends in the first place, and I was lonesome for their actual phyical position in my life.  I have made peace with web-only relationships, though.  Our communications will never be the same, and for that, I am grateful.

In regular news, we had a regular year.

Cory worked his ass off.

I worked my ass off (had a lot of listings; but not very many sales...'tis the market today).  I spent a lot of time raising my kids. 

Cole successfully entered 7th grade, got his Gun Safety Permit, and went hunting (and shot his first doe).

Matthew is a typical four year old.  I love this age of learning.  Right?  Everything is a question..."Mom.  What letter does 'shoe' start with?"  "Mom.  What words start with 'L?'"  "Mom.  What is that word?"  "Mom?  How do you spell sister?" 

Jack is...Jack.  You already know him, I think.  Love personified.

We're happy.  We're super healthy (thank God).  We're ready to kick some butt in 2010.

I wish you love this holiday season.  I wish you comfort, and warmth, and happiness.  God bless.

Remember, Christ, our Savior
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we have gone astray,
O tidings of comfort and joy!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The One

The Sunday before Christmas in 2002, Cory proposed.

We met in May 2002 and pretty much knew by the end of that summer that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.  So, I was kind of waiting for the proposal.  There were two occasions prior to that Sunday that I was pretty sure he was going to do it.  I was wrong. 

My mother-in-law's family had planned an ornament exchange.  I think his cousin Scott (Shane?) had my name.  I had no indication there was anything going on, except I do remember noting that it was strange that everyone had their cameras out the entire time.  I just thought they made a really big deal out of ornament exchanges...seriously, each person holding up their ornament for photos, videotape...big ordeal.  When it was my turn, Cory had wrapped my ring inside a glass ball ornament.  It was wrapped in tissue, though, so when I pulled on the ornament string, the whole top popped off, so I pulled the ring right out.  Cory got down on one knee and well...that's the story.  I said yes. 

I love that it was unexpected.  I never would have imagined he'd propose in front of anyone else, so I was clueless.  And I wouldn't change it for anything.

(Heading out to show off my ring.)

A couple weeks ago, Jo wrote a lovely blog entry about her wedding and asked how we knew He was the one for us.  I told her I'd blog about it, but now that I'm doing it, I'm finding it hard to put into words.  All of it is so cliche and really was this:

I just knew.

I think Cory and I had had enough Wrong to recognize Right.  We were both worn out from really hard relationships, and there was just never anything hard about ours.  We communicated easily, connected instantly, and to this day, have nothing but the greatest respect for each other.  I can honestly say that I never had a moment's doubt prior to our wedding, or since.  I realize that this is the greatest of blessings.

I'm an idealist, not a realist, so I believe with all my heart, that we'll be together forever.  I do believe that God brought us together at exactly the right time...after all the heartache of previous relationships so that we never take for granted what we have together.

Also, when I said I was going to make a paper chain for the remaining 30 days until our wedding, he didn't laugh at me. 
He simply hung it up. 
That's love.

Oh, and a great Part II of this story.  Cole wasn't with us that day.  So the next time we were together, he was sitting on my lap (he was five) and we were putting up the Christmas tree (a tiny three-footer, as I recall it).  I told him that Dad had already given me my Christmas present and that I was wearing it. 

"That sweatshirt?!" he asked of my grubby garb. 

"Nope," I told him, "It's on my hand."

"Oh, that ring?!"

I told him that it meant that his dad and I were going to get married.

He pumped both fists in the air, "YES!  I'm gonna have TWO moms!"
(Bet he doesn't feel that strongly about that still today!)


I just knew.  I just know.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Matty's Christmas Program

I'm too tired to blog tonight, and I might be tomorrow too. Here are a few photos from Matty's preschool Christmas program today to tide you over. I'll get back to blogging as soon as I get a nap.

(It's a donkey. With glitter.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

My First Parental Head Wound

I've complained about it before, but it's a lot of work to get a family of five organized for any time away.  This weekend we're at Grandview Lodge in Brainerd.  It's delightful.  Everything is beautiful and I love this family.  But it's a ton of work to prepare because, well, it's winter.  So I need really warm bundling clothes for being outdoors and sleigh rides.  I need swimwear for the indoor waterpark.  Plus the regular clothes, dress up clothes for the party Saturday night and a few pair of shoes.  For five.  Oh, and a potluck dish.

And I'm the kind of mom who doesn't like to leave the house a mess to come home to, so it's a lot of work to get out the door.  Cory is working today, so most of it fell on my shoulders this morning (to his credit, he helped me with everything I asked him to yesterday.  God bless my sweet husband.).

---  I typed up three long paragraphs about how it happened, and then realized it wasn't that interesting. ---

This is the short version:  Matty plowed into the corner of a wall at 10:30, half hour before our anticipated leave time, and left a gaping, bloody wound. 

It's my first head wound.  I didn't know what to do.  Cory was in an all-day training.  I called our friend Chuck, a paramedic, and then realized that it was Friday, not Saturday and he wouldn't be available to help me.  I called Matt, a friend, firefighter and EMT.  He didn't answer.  After I carried Matty upstairs, Chuck called me back (wonder how frantic my voicemail was...?).  He asked me a few questions and urged me to take him in.  I decided to err on the side of caution and do just that.

As I was loading the kids up, Matt called me back.  He said he didn't have to be at work at the fire station until noon and would head right over.  By then I had a new plan and told him I appreciated it, but it wasn't necessary.  I already had the bleeding child loaded up and the other two at my inlaws. 

Long story short, they didn't have to stitch it, they just put a little Durabond on it - glued it together instead of sewed it - and after tons of blood and even more tears, all was well.

Matt called me a little later saying he planned to have the guys come by in the fire truck to cheer Matty up (we were already enroute to Brainerd).  Chuck sent me a message saying to call him anytime - day or night - whenever I needed help.  Those guys rock.  They make me feel warm and special and loved.  To have that kind of support system is amazing and I am grateful for them. 

And with three rough boys, I'll probably need them again.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's a Winter Bubbleland

Matty begged and begged to play bubbles when he found them in the toy closet today.  So, I told him if he bundled himself up, he was welcome to take them outside.  He did.

Here he said, "Hey, Mom!  Look how high they went!  Do you think they went to Jesus?"  I'm sure they did, Son.  I'm sure they did.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Jack has a LOT of 'tuff.  He likes to collect things around the house, and claim it as his 'tuff.  Sometimes it's all in one bag, and sometimes it's loose.  Statements heard around here lately: 

"This is all my 'tuff."
"Don't touch my 'tuff."
"Can you carry my 'tuff?"

This is tonight's version of 'tuff.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Card

Oh Matty.  Where did your pudgy little boy legs go? 

I miss him as a baby so much.  Time does go so fast, doesn't it?

Happy beginning-of-the-holidays!