We may not have it all together but together we have it all

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

What does Christmas Eve mean to me? It means joy, faith, family and tons of fun!

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year to me. I LOVE everything about Christmas. I love that I have five houses to go to (not all on the same day), I love decorating my house, getting dressed up, making cookies and all the other things we do this time of year.

Growing up with these traditions was awesome. I remember waiting what seemed like hours with all of my cousins, downtown at the Walnut room for Breakfast with Santa. I remember the Christmas parade where I got lost and was scared to death, but new to go to a police man who put me on his shoulders and walked around until my Mom found me. I knew that at this time of the year, I would see my family a lot and that was always exciting. I have the best cousins in the world and being with them on Christmas was always the best time ever.

Christmas Eve is at my Aunt's house. It is stright out of a hallmark movie. Grandma playing Christmas carols on the piano, while the kids sit on the floor and sing, waiting for that knock on the door from Santa. Santa came from all different places, he always had an accent. One time Santa even came after a party at the North Pole I guess, when he had too much Egg Nog. But every year he came, I remember being so excitied waiting for that knock. We would each get gift a from him and it was always something I really wanted, I wondered how he knew. And the food, oh my the Swedish meatballs, YUMMY!! My Uncle should win an award for his Swedish meatballs, they truly are the best ever. Oh the memories!

(Me getting a gift from Santa)

These are the memories I hope I am making for my children. We still go to 5 places, make cookies, some years Breakfast with Santa or some other Christmas event that all the cousins do with our kids. We still sit and sing carols, waiting for that knock on the door. And my kids play with their cousins, just as we all played when we were young. Our family has grown and I am truly blessed to have all of them in my life.
(Most of the second generation of cousins at Breakfast with Santa, we miss our AZ family)

(Kids singing and waiting for Santa to come)

My kids know that Christmas is the day Jesus was born. That is the reason we celebrate, Santa is just an added bonus. I don't talk about my faith much because it is mine and my beliefs, but this time of year, always renews my faith and makes me remember why we are all together. I am thankful for my family, friends and my own little family. To the Lofgren side of the family, I want to thank you again for all of your love and support during the past months. I love you all so much and thank you for all the memories of the past and the ones sure to come. I love you all!

May you all have peace and joy today and make some wonderful memories for yourself and family.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!
(My little family Christmas 2011)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Carrell Clan Christmas

Before I write about our Carrell Clan Christmas, I need to address the sad tragedy that occured yesterday. My heart breaks for those families, for those kids and for those teachers that do their best to protect our children when they are in their hands. May God wrap his arms around the parents of the ones we lost and the parents of the ones who survived and help them get through this time. I grabbed my kids in a bear hug when they walked in the door yesterday and cried when they were asleep. I can't think of what to say, just love your children and each other. God Bless everyone!

Tomorrow we will celebrate our Carrell Clan Christmas (CCC). For as long as I can remember we always celebrated with my Dad's side of them family a week before Christmas (depending on the calander). I remember being at my Grandma & Grandpa's, playing office, dress ups and having shows with my cousins. Once my Grandparents moved down south, my Uncle Fred and Aunt Kathy took over. My cousin Meghan had the best barbies, we would play for hours. Grandma's punch is another thing that sticks in my mind, when I was little, I thought it was so special because we got to drink it our of glass punch glasses. Tomorrow we will be at Aunt Kathy and Uncle Fred's again, but this time it is our children who will make their own memories with their cousins just like we did.

Granddaughters (There are ten of us but Pam and Amy aren't in this one, couldn't find a picture on the stairs)

All the Greats

Tomorrow will also be a sad first for our family. Our first CCC without my Dad, words I didn't think I would have to say for a very long time. My dad loved Christmas, so not having him with us is going to be hard. My heart hurts for my Auntie Ina and Uncle Fred because the loss of their brother is hard on them. And for my Grandma who lost her son, like any mother would feel, she didn't want her children gone before her. But we are all going to be okay, there will be some tears but Uncle Fred will remember him while giving thanks for this wonderful day and all of us in our own way will be thinking of him too. We will celebrate this joyous time of year as a family and the reason for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ.

(Dad, Bob, Auntie Ina, Grandma and Uncle Fred)

I find peace in knowing that my Dad will have a first of his own this time of year. While we are here on earth celebrating Christmas and thinking of him, he will be having a very special celebration in Heaven. He will have his first Christmas with his son, my brother Bradley, his only boy and his beautiful granddaughter Annika. He has his Dad and grandparents there as well and will be joing our CCC from above.

One final thing before I go. To my Carrell family, I love you all very much. Thank you for your love and support to Terry, my sisters and I during these past few months. I am truly blessed to have such a big and loving family, you all mean the world to me. Merry Christmas to you all and may the New Year bring us Hope and Joy. I love you!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Getting back into this game called LIFE

Some may wonder about the title of this post, getting back into this game called life? This is hard for me to write and will be hard for some to read, but I need to find a way to get myself back into the game and by getting all I am feeling out might just be the way. It all started that horrible day back in June my Dad was diagnoised with cancer. Not just one type of cancer but three. On that day he was given only six to nine months to live. How could that be possible? How could my big strong and wonderful Dad be only given six to nine months to live? On that day my life changed forever. I spent the next 5 weeks watching him change, seeing this wonderful man being taken over by this evil beast. Why, why was this happening to him, why MY dad. Why my kids Grandpa Ray, it just couldn't be true. I hated God at this point. I hated this person that I was too believe wouldn't give me more than I could handle. That if I followed his path it would lead me into a good life. How could life be good now, the man I looked up to, loved and my children love is being taken from us. What kind of God would do that to a family. God and I have had many issues in the past, why he would take children from their moms, make it so some can't have any or anymore, why let bad things happen to good people. My faith has been questioned to many times and now this, this was just too much. I was consummed by my Dad. If I could have laid there in bed with him and never leave, I would have. I was lucky enough to have an AMAZING step mom who gave him the best care. I don't know if she will ever know how much she means to me. Because of her my dad was home. When he could he got to talk to his grandkids, tell them he loves them and most times just listen to what they had to say. I got to tell him how much I loved him and and that he was the best dad in the world. And when it was time to tell him that it was okay to go, that we would be okay. I said those words to him because I didn't want him to hang on in this horrible body for us. He needed to go and I know he was scared so I couldn't let him know that when he did go that half of me was going with him. The day my Dad died is the day I checked out. I wasn't okay, I'm still not okay. I have this sadness that overwhelms me, that takes away any enegry I have. I live with this guilt that I can't get passed. Did he know how much I love him? Did he know that I was so grateful for all he did for me, for my kids? Was I a good enough daughter for him? Was I what he hoped I would be when I grew up? Was I a good enough mother like he would want me to be? These are all the things I wish I knew he knew but most of all, I hope he knew how much I love him. Here we are, three and a half months since he passed and I still cry millions of times a day. I have questioned everything in my life, my marrige, my role as a mother, my family and my friends. I go through the motions of the day but not really there. The holidays are coming up and I dread them. It was his favorite time of the year and mine as well, but how I can get through them without him here. How can I walk into his house on Thanksgiving and not have him there? Thank goodness for me, I have an amazing family! I know my husband will be my legs when I can't walk inside the door. That my kids will be my strength when I don't have any. That my entire family as a whole will be light on that day when it feels so dark inside. And because of my kids, husband, family and friends, I need to check back in. I need to believe in this God that I talk to my kids about. When they want to talk about Grandpa Ray in Heaven, I need to practice what I preach. I need to believe that Grandpa is better in Heaven than here at home sick. I need to believe that I can look up into the sky or even at his picture and know that he has my back. He is taking care of me from above and doesn't want me to be sad anymore. That I need to live this life I was given to the fullest because it is only on loan to me. That I need to love my life and all that comes with it, good and bad because he gave it to me. Thank you to my Davey. I have put him through hell and back these last few months. I have loved him, hated him and left him out. But even in my crazy moments of screaming, yelling and blaming him for things that weren't his fault, he has taken it, sometimes better than others but always says he loves me. I apologize for it after the fact and he knows it isn't him personally but my broken heart talking. There must be a God because he gave me this man who isn't perfect but knows how to love me perfectly. To my kids, thank you for being you. You make me happy when you talk about Grandpa and how much you love him. Thank you for the hugs when you see me cry and for being the reason that I wake up every morning and get out of bed. And to my Ben 10, you will be 5 soon and all grown up like a big kid, so I hope you have that rocket ship ready to blast off to "Devan" (Heaven) to bring Grandpa Ray home. To my family, I'm sorry if this hurts you to read. I know my mom & sisters will worry about me but please don't. I will be okay, I'm just sad so so sad. I will be okay! To my friends, thank you for all your kind words when he was sick and for the love you gave me once he was gone. Your friendship means the world to me and I love being a part of your life and you a part of mine. This post is full of errors and all over the place but it is my heart doing the talking and me the writing. This is what I had to get off my chest and although very personal it is me and feels good to talk about it. Love to you all and a very Happy Thanksgiving! I promise to not let 2 years pass before I post again!