Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Advent, The Trav Tree, Christmas

I'll start with the rest of our activity advent-
Dinner by the fire at Kneaders....
Followed by Juanito Bandito.
Good job Pickleville!
Ice-cream cone Christmas trees.

How beautiful (and old!) does she look?
Breaking my heart daily.

Decorating the Trav Trees.
I don't want to take these down!

Inside the glass ornaments are green settlers pieces,
because they were his color ever game.
An ornament from a friend.
Lots of aggie blue, orange fighting ornaments, and green (his favorite color)
and an Aggie flag!
Aggie golf balls, and a Masters ball.
Photos everywhere.
By far, my favorite Christmas decoration!
(someone added this to our tree...isn't it sweet?)
Gifts to Jesus
Frosting cookies.
(Not part of the advent, but must be included)
My sweet friend Kristin is moving for 6 we had a fun little going away party.
I love these girls. Some of my dearest, dearest friends.

Helping during the Christmas party in Roo's class.
I love being her mom!

 Our family was very fortunate this year to be the recipients of 3 12 days of Christmas!
I was reluctant to post much about them because I didn't want the people doing them 
to feel  like it wasn't special because others were doing it....
but it was so special, and so different.
One did a very non-traditional 12 days.
Very lovely, very thoughtful, very generous gifts that just made us smile.
They sent us food and fun activities and beautiful books and music.
It was so lovely and thoughtful.
Another did a very traditional 12 days...
and we loved guessing at what would come next!
They were so creative!
3 french hens?
Frozen chicken cordon blue.
The dancing ladies...
these beautiful skirts for my girls!
This was so special for us.
Thank you, to whoever spent the time on us.
It was magical.
(There is a photo of the 3rd 12 days below).

Buying a gift for someone in need.

Our favorite Christmas party!
Early Christmas Eve at the Johnson house.
These cousins-they are the best of friends.
I love seeing them together.
We nailed the gingerbread houses this year.
Orange Travstrong lights.
sleepovers and home alone with friends.
Mrs. Clause clothes.
My favorite tradition.
We celebrated Christmas Eve at the Kidmans this year.
No words can say how much we missed our Travis.
The kids had a blast.
Here's our 3rd 12 days...
It was a wooden nativity that we unwrapped a piece to each day.
There was a beautiful message that came with each piece and it made us truly 
think about the real reason for the season each day.
I loved it so much!
After watching a Christmas movie,
we opened our usual pjs...

And they were off to bed.
This was hard.
I will write more about how I truly felt about Christmas on the cancer blog...
but I will mostly say this,
it was much harder then I anticipated.
And I feel a bit like I've been run over.
And yes,
Santa came.
The best part of Christmas was that I had a few things that T and I picked out together.
We bought these roll top desks and had them refinished, and we shopped together for the
cute blingy accessories.
It really helped make their day.
And the desks are sooo cute!

Each year they come to the top step and see if Santa came..
he lets them know by leaving slippers and candy on the top step.
They wait patiently (not really patiently), till I check to make sure things are ready
They were excited!
Santa brought what they wanted... and a lot more.
This year they got a little spoiled.
Apparently I grief shopped...
But they were grateful and too happy to realize how hard it could have been,
so I'm ok with it.
(Ps-Santa brought giant hershey kisses!)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

{Hannah, Thanksgiving, Christmas Advent}

This Month my dearest high school friend came to visit!
I can't even tell you how excited I was to see her.

I looked and looked for pics of us way back when, 
but could find none.

I didn't meet Hannah till I was 14 or 15,
but once we met,
we were inseparable.
We practically lived together our Senior year.
Hannah moved to Minnesota right after we graduated and my heart broke.
And then her parents moved and I didn't think we would see each other again.

But we both were able to come to each others weddings,
and she came to support me after Travis passed away.
She's a genuine friend and has a heart of gold!

It seems that after 10 years we haven't grown up a lot...
we ate way too much,
drove around listening to music (though we weren't stalking boys' that's changed)
and giggled like teenagers.
Even Adyson said "Mom, your acting like a teen!"
I still adore you.
I cherish our friendship and can't wait to come visit you next!

My girls...they are smitten.  They loved having her here and we all just cried when she left.

Sienna had her ears pierced years ago...
And they got pretty infected.
She's been begging us to try again.
My mom scored points by agreeing to take her.
She was nervous!
But feels so pretty with them in.  She is counting down the days for new earrings!
Our Elf, Skeeter, made his first visit.  He left the girls scarves and a lovely note telling them how sorry he was they lost their daddy.  These little things just make their day!
I added a little pop of color to my kitchen.  I'm bringing in joy wherever I can!
My amazing-lovely sister sent me a package with some gift cards, only usable in her town...
she's sneaky!  So we made a trip to visit and it was such a joy!  I'm so grateful to my sweet family for taking great care of me, and for the cousins who keep my kids smiling.

Adyson went and MELTED my heart by getting the role of Goldilocks in her school play, and singing BEAUTIFULLY.  I am so proud of her.  She's so brave and fearless and it's pure joy to be her mother.  I couldn't help but picture Travis watching her with pride.  She's come a long way the past few years and I'm in awe of my sweet kid.
Thanksgiving came.  We spent the day with my parents and siblings and while I missed Travis-fiercely, it was a joy to spend the day with my family who is so supportive and loving to me and my kids.  They are always here to support me without asking what they can's just done.  I love them and like them all at the same time. 

This year my heart was full of joy and grief.  Joy that Travis isn't sick anymore.  Joy that I'm still surrounded by so much love.  Joy that my kids are surviving this storm.  And grief because I just miss my best friend.  I hate not having my partner.  He was always by my side, always taking my side, always listening and understanding, and putting me in my place when I needed him to!  I still just love him so dearly.  I'm so thankful he is mine.

Thanksgiving was also my wonderful fathers bday.  My dad..He's just such a good man.  He is hardworking and sensitive and so helpful.  This week he's been here helping me clean out storage that is long overdue.  He's got dust everywhere, he's probably sore from carrying so many heavy things for me, but he hasn't complained or tired.  I just love him so much.

Me and the girls-Thanksgiving

We ran into the big guy black friday..
Ellie and Sienna couldn't wait!
We started our annual Kidman Advent.
Day 1-the tree of course!

Day 2-The Nutcracker
Day 3-Decorating the downstairs tree with friends.
Day 4-A trip to see the lights with cousins.  In a blizzard.
Day 5-Santa beard countdown...5 days later then I meant to start.
Day 6-Wrapping presents for sister...

Day 7-My cousin took us to the Little America for their annual Santa Brunch.  WHAT FUN we had! I'm still full!

We also went to The Grand America to see the beautiful window displays.  It will be a tradition from now on!

Adyson's dessert plate.
Ps-I learned later that she had 13 slices of bacon.
I'm on alert for signs of a heart attack...

Day 8-Lunch at school.
I loved seeing them in their element.
I'm raising little Hams!
And last, but not least!
This little lady is a fantastic reader and was able to rock the halls in school last week.
She was SO proud and so happy...her's so lovely and contagious!
I'm so blessed to be her mom and so grateful that she still has such a joyful countenance.
I adore my kids!