03 January 2013

The Holidays

I'm not going to lie.  They were hard.

I didn't even visit my blog over the entire break just because I didn't want to write this post.

Yep, this one right here.

But I have too. So here it is.

Christmas was actually "fine."  Or maybe I should say, "better than expected"?  We continued on with our usual Christmas traditions.  That's what my dad would have wanted.  We had our annual Christmas Eve party at my parents and the house was so full of love.  It was bursting at the seams with some of our favorite people.  There was a lot of laughter and certainly some tears.  But more happy moments than sad.

Yep, it snowed.  On Christmas Eve.  That's the only day of the year that that's officially allowed to happen.

We headed home just before midnight to get the kids tucked in bed before Santa arrived.
He was extremely generous to everyone this year.  What a guy, right?

On Christmas morning, we woke everyone up early to get the day started.  We had places to go and lots of people to see. As we got the coffee on and made sure everything ready, Reid got a sneak peek before his brother and sister... he was definitely the best gift under the tree!
So handsome!

One of my favorite moments was watching Carter open his Angry Birds Star Wars game. He's wanted this game for MONTHS and the look on his face when he opened the gift was absolutely priceless and something I'll never forget.

Brynn's favorite gift was her Doc McStuffins medical bag... she just loves it! She even sings "time for a check-up" every time she uses it.

The rest of the day was spent with family. We headed to Bob's parents house first for gifts and breakfast. It was lovely.  We then got to my mom's house earlier than usual.  We spent the day in jammies, opening gifts and eating a ton. 

In the early afternoon, my sisters and I snuck out of the house to head to the cemetery.  We wanted to visit our dad for Christmas.  My mom took some pieces of her tree and made a nice wreath for my dad's grave.  {She wanted to use her tree because it was the last tree my dad picked out and he was so excited about it.} Along with the gorgeous wreath my sister had already purchased, my dad had a nice little decorated space for Christmas.

For dinner, my mama made her usual homemade lasagna with spaghetti and meatballs and it was absolutely delicious. She rocks for even being able to host an entire house full of people on Christmas Eve and then also making dinner for 10 adults {+kids} on Christmas night. I can't even do this on a normal year, yet my mom is able to do it flawlessly just 3 short weeks after losing her husband {of 37 years.} You want to know why our family is so strong?  It's because of her.  She's amazing.

Later that night, we headed home so the kids could play with their toys. Carter fell asleep during the drive, but Brynn was too excited to sleep because she just wanted to open! all! the! toys!

I found December 26th to be harder than Christmas Eve/Day. I think it's because things are a little slower and it was always a day that my mom and dad would come over and see all the toys that Santa left the kids for Christmas. 
I was happy that my mom {and sister} still came over though and so did Bob's parents, so we all enjoyed dinner together. It was really nice. 
The rest of the week between Christmas and New Year's was spent with basically the entire house being sick.  Good times.  Bob was better by New Year's Eve just as I was getting worse.  We wanted to ring in the New Year at my mom's house, however, so we decided to make it a PJ party {sense a theme, here?} and that made it much better.

I found New Year's Day {night, actually} to be the hardest of all.  The thought of starting a new year without my dad in it, just hurts my heart tremendously.

Overall, I think my mom, sisters and I did pretty damn well. There were many tears, of course, but there were also jokes, smiles {and wine.} Our family rocks and we're all sticking together and staying strong.

We'll get through this. I know we will.

24 comments:

Leanne said...

Jenni,

You have been on my heart and in my prayers, and you will continue to be for a long time to come.

MommaM said...

Christmas is always hard. :( Luckily, you have those beautiful kids to help you out. Their faces of joy are priceless. I hope you had a happy holiday despite the hard moments.

Jacelyn said...

I'm glad that you were able to find some joy in your traditions and in your children, even after such a tragedy. Thank you for writing this post and sharing so much of your life, even when it is hard. You are so strong! Stay brave.

Sarah said...

Hugs to you, Jenni. After 13 years, the holidays are still hard for me without my dad. I hate to tell you that it never goes back to the same but it does get a little easier each year.

Susannah said...

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I'm so glad you were able to celebrate with your family but I'm sure it will never be the same without such an integral part of your family.

Gina said...

What a lovely post. I'm sure your dad is smiling watching over you!

Erin said...

Christmas was bittersweet for us as well...Losing Mom suddenly in October has been so hard, but I got out all the crying the week leading up to Christmas, so the actual day I was able to focus on our present family. I also thought New Years was difficult, because I can't imagine entering a year where Mom won't exist at all. I understand exactly what you're going through, especially as all these "firsts" continue...next for me is my birthday in two weeks, and I'm having a hard time handling that. Please know you are in my thoughts during these times, and I admire you for your honesty!

Molly said...

Love you, Jenni. What a blessing that you have such a big strong family to help get through these hard times. Your kids are adorable as usual!

Shan said...

Sending you a tremendous amount of love. Your babes will ease the pain, but it is absolutely the most difficult thing to have to face. If you ever need to talk, I'm here :)

KC Squared said...

Sending lots of love and hugs you way, Jenn!

<3,
Kristen

Erin Callaway said...

Jenni - the first of everything (first xmas, first NYE, first birthday, etc) without someone like your dad will be very hard. I find myself always saying Wow dad would be so proud of us if he were here. But you know what your dad was there watching over you guys and he would be proud that you all carried on and enjoyed your xmas with your kids and your mom! You guys are strong!!!!

Tasha - The Edible Earth said...

What a beautiful Christmas, Jenni. You are all still in my thoughts. Wishing you a healthy and healing 2013!
PS - Jordan LOVES Doc Mcstuffins, too! I bought him a doctor set this year and he sings the song ALL of the time! So cute!

Allie's Mama said...

Your family sounds so amazing. When I read the post about your dad passing I had such sad tears in my eyes (even without personally knowing you). After reading this post, I also have tears in my eyes but they are happy tears because you guys sound like such wonderful people. I'm so sorry your dad is no longer here with you but I'm sure he is smiling at you guys from up above.

Kimberly said...

I'm in tears... my heart just breaks for you. You are so blessed with an amazing family and it's awesome how you are all able to come together and make something so beautiful after such a devastating loss (losses). Hugs, thoughts, and prayers are with you.

Jill said...

I thought about you the entire week and continue too hun. I have to agree with you, your Mom sure is amazing, your Dad was one lucky man to have her as a wife and you and your sisters are to have her as a Mother! Continuing to pray for you guys, you are an amazing example of what "family" really is xoxo

Erica said...

I thought and prayed for you and your family so much through the holidays and continue to do so. Thank you so much for writing this post. I can't imagine how difficult it has been for you and your entire family.

Anonymous said...

I've been a reader for some time now...I'm so very sorry for your family's loss. It was very obviuos through your writing how much you love your father. May he rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

I lost my father many years ago, and found New Year's to be the most difficult part of the holidays too that first year. I felt I was leaving him behind and the new year just emphasized that even more. Be proud of yourself for being as strong as you are and remember that you will alwasy miss your dad, but it will get easier with time.

Chrisduh said...

Big HUGS!!! God Bless your mother and your entire family. Thank you for taking a moment and putting it all down into words and allowing us to share your strength and tears with you.

raisingkane said...

I lost my mom in May and my experience this year mirrored yours. New Years was so much worse. My thoughts are with you.

Becky said...

Oh Jenn I just cried reading your post! Big hugs! You are a strong woman just like your mom.

Caitlin said...

Hugs! Christmas is always the hardest without loved ones. I'm glad to see you still had a wonderful holiday - you are SO strong! Thinking of you and your family!

Jennifer said...

Been thinking of you Jenni.

Lisa said...

Thinking of you all! From the sound of it, I think you did pretty damn well, too :) Hope the new year is off to a good start for you.

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