Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Linger On the Sticky Places

This was our craft at MOPS today. A photograph modge-podged on a small block of wood and garnished with a ribbon. Simple, really. Yet so sentimental. An ornament you hang on the tree year after year. I knew this was our craft project, but the tears that threatened to fall when I saw that little block waiting for me were unexpected.
 Grief is tricky like that.
 Suddenly, I was a kid again, standing in the front hall of my grandparents' home and staring at their collection of "ornaments". Only theirs were not seasonal. Grammie had modge-podged a baby picture of each of her grandchildren on her wooden blocks and hung them on the wall. Other pictures in larger frames were added over time, but the baby pictures were always my favorite.
There hasn't been a lot of time to grieve the loss of our grandmothers. Like everything else in this crazy busy season of life, this, too, gets shoved aside. To be dealt with later. Yet it can't be rushed. And I'm always surprised when the tears show up.
The message of the day at MOPS was to linger. To savor the moments of the season, delight in our children, relish the memories we're making...and try not to micro-manage it. In theory, I want to linger. To stop the rush and the madness. But the truth is, sometimes I like this pace. It saves me from dealing with the messy and the sticky.
It's the first Christmas without both of our Grammies. And though I want to rush through and get past the hurt of missing them, I'm going to try and linger on the sweet memories of these two wonderful women and the joy they brought to our lives.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

How Can It Be...The Little Mister Turns Three

 I can't hardly believe that our baby turned three. I'm acutely aware of how quickly time moves. Somebody at MOPS once told me, "the days are long but the years are short." So true. Here's Eli tackling the presents like a professional.
 We had two very special guests at the birthday celebration. Grandma and Papa made the long trek from the Northwest. Grandma and Eli share the same birthday so it was fun to have a combined party.
 We can always count on Andy to entertain us. He sang the most beautiful version of Happy Birthday. I was able to capture it on video but he is standing behind an oversized Mr. Potato Head and we can't see his face.  Such a sweet brother.
 As usual, it didn't take long for the older brother to abscond with the new toy. This spud family is a big hit.
Grandma and Eli blowing out the candles on the cake. 

It's Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas

We are spending Christmas in North Carolina this year, which inspired the acquisition of a real tree. Luke loves his penguin ornament that he received from his 1st grade teacher. I love that my kiddos are sentimental. 
 Andy was beside himself with excitement about decorating the tree. He would have hung every ornament if I  had let him.
Eli was very curious about the whole process. He wanted to take the ornaments off the tree and put them back. It took some convincing that they belonged on the tree for now. 
 This is our third year in a row attending the Apex Christmas parade. I guess that makes it a tradition. This year had the best weather by far and quite possibly the largest crowd. Steve and I were out of patience long before the first float rolled by. It is so hard to wait for anything with three little boys. But we persevered and it was worth it.
 Eli was fascinated. He stood the whole time and waved faithfully to every single float, band and car that went by. He was totally freaked by the old cars honking their horns. Then when the race cars revved their engines, I thought he was going to spontaneously combust. The man next to us kept yelling "C'mon, rev it!" Eli would cling to my leg, eyes wide with terror and say, "reb it?" It took me awhile to figure out why he was afraid. Such a tender-hearted boy.
 Everybody but Eli thought this truck was pretty cool. He "rebbed it" and Eli was not impressed.
Andy asked us about every five seconds if we were going to see Santa. The Apex High School marching band proceeds Santa's float. I was never so relieved to see that band come into view. At last, the big guy in red made an appearance. The grand finale of one of our new favorite Christmas traditions.