The Difference of A Year

It's funny. I'm still wearing the same size pants, and my hair is the same color and length. I've added no new words to my vocabulary and haven't learned a single new skill (unless you count wrangling a toddler AND a newborn).  My attitude hasn't deviated much. 

Unlike HERS which has gone from complete sweetness to a mixture of sugary, spicy sassiness. She's grown. She's no longer a baby. She was in a size 12-18 months at the start of the year, and she's now wearing a size 3T. Her hair has grown from the uneven baby 'do to a cute bob that can be worn in pigtails. Her vocabulary is in turbo-charge mode. She speaks complete thoughts and sentences, and she's continusouly amazing us with what a littler PERSON she's developing into. 

The biggest change? She's now a big sister!

And this little peanut... At the start of the year, we didn't even know about him yet! Each month he grew bigger, and in late August, he entered this world, and our lives were forever changed. He's now 4 months-old and quickly approaching 14 pounds. He coos and smiles and laughs and melts my heart a gazillion times a day. He's absolutely perfect. If, on last New Year's Eve, you would have told me I'd have a son the following year, I would have laughed. I never imagined this, I never could have. But now, I can't imagine it any other way. What a difference a year makes. Indeed.


Merry Christmas from Heaven

This year marks the 11th Christmas without my dad. The holidays have gotten easier each year since he's passed, but those first several years were hard. 

On this Christmas Eve, I'm thinking of him especially, wondering what it would be like if he was here. I'd like to think that he would have had a full-grown gray beard like he always had this time of year (the better to shield his face from the brutal bone-chilling winds of duck hunting season), and I'm sure he would have lost a bit more of his hair and could have been balding on the top (more so than 10 years ago!). 

I'm quite positive that Miss Greta would surely give him a run for his money and wear him out with her constant playfulness, just enough so he'd get cozy on the couch and fall asleep while snuggling with his grandson Teddy. He'd be snoring so loudly that he'd often wake himself up, just like he did every other Christmas Eve.

Sometimes it's those simple little things you miss the most.


When my dad died, our neighbors gave us a poem, and each year, I display it on my mantle. Here's how it goes:

Merry Christmas from Heaven
By: John Mooney, Jr.

I still hear the songs
I still see the lights
I still feel your love
On cold winter nights

I still share your hopes
and all of your cares
I'll even remind you 
to please say your prayers

I just want to tell you
you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders
above all the crowd

Keep trying each moment
to stay in his grace
I come here before you
to help set your place

You dont have to be
perfect all the time
he forgives you the slip
if you continue to climb

To my family and friends
please be thankful today
I'm still close beside you
in a new special way

I love you all dearly
now don't shed a tear
cause i'm spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year.


Just several months ago, we lost a sweet friend, Molly McBride. On this Christmas Eve I reminisce about my dad, but I also can't help but think of Molly and of her little girls, her family and dear friends. And I hate that here are no words that will ever comfort or explain or define -- there's no poem that will ever mend their hurting hearts. I pray for them, that they can find strength to get through. Unfortunately, it's so easier said than done.


Ho Ho Ho

Last week we went to visit Santa.
Greta was skeptical. Teddy was indifferent.
Considering last year's experience with Santa Claus,
I'd call this year's a success.

One day, I'll blog again. Maybe.
It's been an emotional past few months,
and, truth be told, when I do have spare time,
and that is far from frequent,
I'd rather catch a quick catnap instead of write. 
Lately, I've felt like I've had a lot to say. 
So maybe I'll write soon.
If not, and even if so, Merry Christmas.
Hug your loved ones extra tight this year.
I will.