Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas recap and a little merry & bright scrap!

Merry two days after Christmas, everyone! I hope you have enjoyed or are still enjoying this extra special time of year! My family and I have had a quiet, cozy first Christmas in our home here in Michigan. There was lot of snow and cold outside, but we have found ways to stay warm, busy and have full tummies inside! From Santa brunches, to my birthday to Christmas services and chocolate souffl├ęs, it has been a pretty great time together. We sure miss being with others and sharing these moments with family and friends, but we are grateful for our home, our health and all the other undeserved blessings we have received this year.
Our tree was cut by Chip, Brock and Ava and although it's an 11-ft Frasier Fir {for only $25!}, it almost feels too small for our living room space. We definitely thank God for the home He opened the doors for us to move into and even as we are finishing off a bedroom and bathroom in our downstairs and have had some frustrations with that project, we know that this place is a real gift for all of us.
I have a mini tour of my scrap space on the Cocoa Daisy blog if you enjoy seeing where I create and scrap in my free time. I have sort of liked the slow pace of just the 8 of us being here for Christmas because I have been able to make several cards to send to friends, and I just loved the January Cocoa Daisy kit~ "Blueprint", which debuts live tomorrow night at at 9pm eastern time. It is always so fun to see the layouts and projects that my friends on the design team create too. They always inspire me and the kits that Christine puts together each month are just so full of great things that fuel the creativity in all of us! I feel so lucky to be on the team at Cocoa Daisy and I am looking forward to lots of fun memories to be made AND to be scrapped in the coming year too! Merry Christmas and all the best to each of you who still stop by here and read the slim posts at Nitty.Gritty. This next year could be the year I get back to blogging like I used too!

Friday, December 13, 2013

The moments that matter most.

Wow. So many thoughts and emotions going on in my heart and mind today, that I just need to put them down somewhere. This is my outlet~ my mother's heart that has never stopped beating even when this world broke it in two.
This note flows out of that brokenness. It flows from the place in me where I can still 'see, feel and recall' the brokenness in such detail all these years later. It flows from the heartache an empathy I am feeling for the families in Newtown, CT who are re-living their pain and nightmare on this anniversary eve of the loss of their own little ones. It is spilling out from the goosebumps I got as I read the text from a dear friend who is headed to the ICU to quite possibly say her final goodbye to a special little girl even as I type this out.
Life is cruel and cold at times, and my own experiences have softened me toward other broken hearts in this world. When I hear of other hurting hearts, my own heart remembers a time and details that have yet to fade year after year. 
The details of Teagan's final days and moments are etched on my heart and mind forever. The littlest moments were elevated to some of my most precious memories in light of her loss. It is those moments that matter most. The moments that we all have with our loved ones every single day. But for some reason, we don't hardly recognize their greatness or worth. Often times we even get annoyed by them, or frustrated and worn down. By their timing, and their frequency- by their 'mundaneness' among all the long to-do list we all have every day. These moments are the ones I cherish the most. Yet I STILL take them or granted far too often, even after learning the lesson of their value and worth having been schooled by sudden loss, heartache and grief. 
They are moments we all have with the people around us. We sit down at a meal and eat together. Do we listen and laugh? Do we care about the smallest accomplishments our children or spouses have made that day? Do we see how sweet their tired eyes are as they wake to another day...another good morning hug...another bowl of Frosted Flakes? Do we have any idea how special it is that we can hug them and hold them in our arms? Do we study the color of their eyes? Do we tell them how much we love them- even if we are all running late and we can't find the cellphone or keys? 
I can remember sharing the last bowl of tapioca with Teagan on the night before our incident. She was delighted over a bowl of warm tapioca. She and I sat at her small table and talked about how much we both loved real whipped cream. The earth didn't shake. The mountains didn't tremble. But it was a moment I will never forget. There was love and innocence in that time and place. There were dreams to be chased and more dancing to do when we were done! There was no reason to believe that moments like this weren't going to last forever. Hours later I would wake her up from her cozy night of sleep and help her get dressed and brush her hair and tie a ribbon in it one last time. The details were about to change. Forever.
Some days I mess it all up. I hurt from missing Teagan. I hurt because I miss the sound of her voice- her joy and delight over the littlest things. Sometimes I miss her so much that the people around me wonder what they did to make me mad. They wonder what they could do different to make me smile. Some days I wake up so sure that it must have been a dream, but it's real every day. Some days the strength comes and my heart and eyes re-open to beauty, happiness and joy. I am reminded of the details that I cling to and they make me want to love more, live more and try to be better- even with a broken heart.
I write this as I sit at the little table where Teagan and I shared countless meals and that last bowl of tapioca. I haven't ever been able to part with it {plus all the other kids have used it countless times too for the very things Teagan loved and used it for- playing Playdough, coloring pages, eating meals and snacks and hosting tea parties at it too} and I love being able to have a tangible remembrance of those special times spent with her. I am thankful for all the new memories made at this table, and I am grateful that broken hearts heal little by little. I am reminded again as I my heart weighs heavy for others facing grief and sorrow and heartbreak this Christmastime, that each and every moment is a gift. Every detail a blessing. The smallest moments blur together and get lost even more so this time of year. But if even for a moment we open our eyes to them and see their true worth, we will hold a priceless treasure in our hearts forever.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Hello, December!

Somehow November had a way of slipping by very quickly and here it is December again! We had a quiet Thanksgiving Day weekend, just our family here in Michigan. The snow came down most of the day before and during Thanksgiving, and we ventured out around the corner and had our meal at the clubhouse. It was nice to not have any prep or clean-up. But we missed the warmth and smell of turkey dinner- not to mention leftovers! So the next day we made a Thanksgiving dinner at home. It was just as delicious the second time around. =)
I am doing some Christmas crafting and if you are wanting a deal on some supplies too, today is your day to grab some at Cocoa Daisy. There is a special on Daisy boxes and stamps for cyber-Monday. You can also get the December kits or add-ons right now too. I made a mini December album and a couple of layouts with mine. I am loving the washi tape in the kits for some holiday crafting too! Always one of my favorite things; one can never have too much cute tape, if you ask me!
I hope that this month brings you some special holiday memories, and some good food and most importantly, a deep peace and thankfulness for the gift of our Savior! Jesus is the reason for the Season!