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!!