Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas and New Years

Christmas and New Years
This season was very blessed. We had school off from our co-op early in the month. We leisurely shopped and decorated and joined in many Advent and Christmas activities.
It was smooth and very pleasant.
Even our (mandatory) Christmas Card setting went fairly well. No yelling, no crying. haha

The week before Christmas my parents dropped  by to exchange gifts.

We attended midnight mass.

Every year I say it's our last because it is hard to stay up so late. Nick is usually scheduled since he knows the mass well and he's a good example for other servers to follow.
Molly and Sebastian were able to join us for mass. We slept in and opened gifts in the morning. A lovely chaos that I refuse to photograph. Pictures could never do the joy justice.
Everyone was pleased. Everyone was generous with each other. I received many surprises, and was delighted with the creativity and generosity of my kids.
We had our Christmas dinner a little early because Molly and Sebastian had to go to his family. Steak, twice baked potatoes, green bean casserole, Hawaiian rolls, sautéed mushrooms, wine with chocolate pie  for dessert. 
The day was restful, relaxed,  and happy while we all played with or discovered our gifts. 

The week between included packing up and seeing Molly off to California. We all followed their journey driving a while day across Texas, and amazingly finishing the drive the next day through New Mexico, Arizona and California to the coast . Ah, to be young. Lilly and I decided we would take four days if we drove out there.

Max was home. He had many days off to recuperate from so many days off shore and knowing he was facing more days to come.  He's already left for a long stint now. 

Craig had days off and started trenching and laying water line and power lines to bring water and power to the garden, chicken coop and his shed. He was thrown off track by a kidney stone attack. I do believe he was blessed by a quick passage. Max suffered this summer and it was many days of suffering. After a trip to the ER for pain management and confirmation, Craig felt better the following day. Dehydration always seems to bring these on.

We finished the week with a New Year's party with a wide age range of family and friends. Everyone was happy. There was good food, Craig cooks sausage from a local place, everyone brings sides, sweets and drinks to share.
Fireworks and bonfire were fun and a little tamerite. We had many teenage boys in attendance who were quite delighted with all the celebration explosions.
My parents were able to come again, and brought two dogs they were babysitting for my niece.
I enjoyed every bit of it and took no photos at the party. I soaked it in. I hope these memories don't fade.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

When Children do Adulting, Marriage and Use Free Will Differently From What Was Planned

First, let me wish you a happy New Year, with blessings abundant for 2017.
I'm excited and apprehensive about this new year. Many changes right off the bat, many uncertainties looming, some stressful, some so unknown I can only work on my New Year's resolution and new word: Trust. Resolve to give up worry.

My oldest daughter and my new son in law have moved to California. This last year I fought this, whether I realized I was fighting it or not. Mostly all of 2016. I prayed more against this from happening than I've prayed for anything. Ever. And yet, it happened. They are alive and happy and working toward getting their marriage blessed in the church.   I pray she finishes her degree. But I have to let her live her life.

So I have come, slowly, to accept my will is not what's happening here. I pray for their protection and happiness. I will and already miss them terribly. But life has changed. Some things have stayed the same. I am needed to be present in the lives of my children here. They need me as a nurturer and teacher and all else I do. They need me to do it with love and specific attention to them. I have accepted this, I embrace it and look forward to what 2017 brings me and them.

When I first knew what my heart had told me about Molly's plans, I cried, I cried for two months. My priest told me about what a priest told Saint Monica: a mother's tears and prayers are never wasted. So now I pray, a few tears will still fall. But I am beginning to let go, be happy for her and wish her well. It took a lot of courage to go against the norm. I wish it had been different, but I accept it now. Unconditional love doesn't come easy.

I have gone through all stages of grief! And now, I'm tired of grieving. I want joy back in my heart. I'm looking forward to a church wedding in their future and wish them all the joys life can bring.

Their smiles show their joy. I am so thankful for that!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Space Center Houston

Field trip while Max was home and everyone was offf school.
There are never enough hours to visit! So much to see and do. Can't wait to go back.