Holy terrible at writing, batman.
So here is a recap on December/January.
Toby discovered that sledding is a new favorite pastime. Even 0 degree weather doesn't phase this guy. Lucky for us we have the perfect little hill for sledding at the top of our street.
We did a little gingerbread house decorating...and eating.
Sometime during December we hit the holiday lights at Thanksgiving Point for a family night. It's safe to say this is becoming a yearly tradition.
A Rarick family tradition (my side of the family) is to go see "A Christmas Carol" at Hale theatre. Most of the time it ends up being me, my sister Vanessa, my parents and maybe a couple nieces and nephews attending the play. This year I talked Nick into seeing it with my family and totally expected moans and groans as we watched it. To my surprise and delight, he loved it and wants to join me every year. He even said he'd like to bring his parents along next year.
Toby had his kindergarten Christmas performance right before the holiday break. I should set this up by saying normally my sensitive little man gets extremely nervous in front of big crowds. He either clams up and won't sing at all or he won't even sit up there with the other children. He told me a few days before his performance that he didn't want to sing and that he was really scared about being in front of so many people. He kept saying, "There is going to be like 250 people there, mom!" (not sure where he pulled that number from) I just kept reassuring him that he just needed to look at me and daddy, to sing to just us and that he'll do awesome. Well, when I showed up to his Christmas program I fully expected a shy, uncertain Toby. What I got was quite the opposite.
So I had an AWESOME video of Toby nailing "Jingle Bell Rock" but my computer is acting up and won't let me upload it!! Grrrrrr.
Just know Nick and I were shocked at his burst of enthusiasm during his performance. I admit I was a bit teary eyed watching him look so happy and care-free up there.
Christmas Eve day we headed up to my parents home to hang out, eat an amazingly delicious meal, and open presents.
Oh, and it looked like this on Christmas Eve day. Beautiful!
Have I ever mentioned that my mom is a lot like Martha Stewart (minus the going to jail part)? She has impeccable taste for decorating. Walk into her home and it's like you stepped into a department store. These photos won't do her justice, but you get the idea. And no, I didn't inherit t an ounce of that talent. Maybe it's one of those "when I'm older and don't have little ones tearing the house apart I'll be able to put my time and energy into that stuff" kind of thing.
Right now, it makes me feel tired just even thinking about putting up all those decorations.
Kudos to you, mom.
Kudos to you, mom.
Christmas Day was spent with just our little family at home. Just how it should be I think.
Aspen loved her new kitchenette. It was the first thing she ran to.
Nick loved his Oregon stuff.
Loki loved his Christmas bones.
And poor T-man was sick with the stomach flu on Christmas Eve. He woke up at 2 am and threw up every 30 minutes (not exaggerating). He had some relief just long enough to open presents and then continued being sick for half of the day. Later on he took a long, much-needed nap. He was so weak and tired and miserable. Not fair to be sick on Christmas. :(
January 1st came and went. I've never been into celebrating News Years Day in years past. And to now have this holiday coincide with the day my sister died really bites. Every year I vividly remember where I was and what I was doing when I received the horrible phone call from my brother that she had died. I remember the extremely difficult days leading up to her funeral and how foreign the emotions of losing a close loved one were to me. I just remember thinking over and over, "She was just here, I just saw her on Christmas Eve."
It has now been 3 years without Mikel and although it still hurts to not have her here with us (I think it always will), I take comfort in knowing that this life is not the end. We will see her again. That belief, although I've carried it with me my whole life, never became challenged or in question until she died. But I truly do believe it, hold onto it and cherish it with all my heart. There was a line from Jeffrey R. Holland's last conference talk that shook me and reminded me how incredible that reunion with Mikel will be. He says that one day our loved ones who have passed on will "stand before us glorified and grand, breathtakingly perfect in body and mind. What a thrilling moment that will be! I do not know whether we will be happier for ourselves that we have witnessed such a miracle or happier for them that they are fully perfect and finally 'free at last.'"
Miss you so much, Mikel. Just wish that reunion day could come a little sooner than later.