Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sadness and a Little Holiday Cheer.

I was going to write on Friday...something I like to do before we begin a weekend.  Reflect on the week and look forward to things coming up.  However, I couldn't do it.  In wake of the tragic school shooting, I knew anything I wrote just wouldn't come out right.  Writing about the sadness I felt for the families just wouldn't work...I had no words.  Lots of feelings, but no words.  Writing about normal, happy day to day things wasn't even an option.  I, like so many, have a very heavy heart.  So much emotion...sadness, anger, confusion and just wanting to run to the girls school, scoop them up, take them home and never leave again.  I found myself stuck to the news, watching events unfold.  I know I could have simply turned it off and went about our day, but felt like I needed to take in the full heartache of that community.  They don't have the luxury to just turn it off and go on.  I remember having a similar reaction to 9/11...drawn to watch the tragic events in awe of what was happening.  Wondering why and feeling so strong for the victims.  I feel such sadness for all the families who lost loved ones in this horrific event.  They have been in all my prayers and will continue to be.  I have been hugging my babies a little tighter and little longer than usual and I will continue to do so.  

After I picked them up from school on Friday I felt the need to just be close to them.  Once in awhile on Fridays we do a tea party for snack.  We haven't done this for a long time...they ask a lot, but it just hasn't happened.  This day, I didn't say no when they asked for a tea party.  We set up snacks, got out the tea set, put on some holiday music and fancy jewelry.
We talked a little about what had happened at the school in Connecticut.  I didn't want to scare them, I just know they may hear about it through friends and I wanted them to hear it from me.  They asked a couple questions and then we moved on.  

That evening was Matt's holiday work party.  Holiday parties are always such fun...any excuse to get a little dressed up in our casual town.  I didn't really want to leave the girls at first and had mixed feelings about going out to celebrate the holidays when I was feeling somber.  However, I knew the girls were in the best in our house with Grandma and Grandpa so we headed out.  It was a fun evening, good food, way too much wine and lots of laughs.  Celebrating didn't end that evening...Saturday we had plans with friends to go to dinner and to a concert.  Tis the season of parties, right?  Although, as we've gotten older staying out late two nights in a row takes a lot more out of me.  Anyways.  During the holidays we always try to go to dinner with our dearest friends to celebrate.  We get to hang out with Amy and Chad all the time with our families, but it is so nice to get a night just the four of us.  Yet another excuse to get dressed up and go out on the town.  This particular night was even better because one of our favorite local bands was playing.  Amy and I first started listening to them when we were in high school and they would play at coffee shops and occasionally Sweet Pea Festival.  They were Chris and Johnny then...just two talented guys, their guitars and and an occasional harmonica.  Now, the name has changed...Storyhill, but they are the same.  Throughout our college years they played often and we tried to go anytime we could.  I remember one particular weekend a group of us went to a coffee shop here in town to hear them and then drove to Helena the very next day to hear them again.  Now they play in Bozeman about once a year and I was so excited to get to see them last night.  They are so crazy talented and passionate about can't help get caught up in it.  They played at the Gallatin Gateway Inn, which is just a beautiful venue especially when decorated for the holidays.  I did not want it to end, it was awesome.

The music theme continued into today as the girls had their Sunday School Christmas program at church today.  It is always so cute...a bunch of little kids all dressed up, partially singing.  All dressed up except for Ava that is.  I told the girls to put on something nice and she comes out in leggings and a sweatshirt.  After I tell her that she needs to dress up a little more, like a skirt or something, she pouted back to her room, pulled on a skirt over her leggings and came back out.  I did finally convince her to take off the sweatshirt and put on a dressy shirt.  However, as you can see from the pictures she put on a different sweatshirt because she was cold and I forget to have her take it off before they went up.  Oh well.
I love the church program because they sing more traditional holiday songs.  The schools always put on a fantastic program but don't sing the traditional music. At the school one they include different cultures and religions...Hanuka, Kwanzaa, etc. I like how the kids get to learn about more than just Santa Claus.  However,  the songs they sing at church are the best.  Silent Night is my absolute favorite and when they sang it today I couldn't help but tear up a little.  I always get a little emotional when I watch my girls in things like this, but this song does me in.  I think it's because I used to sing it to them when they were babies.  I was never good at remembering the words to lullabies.  Maybe a little of "Rock a bye baby"  but it was never really my thing.  Christmas songs were more my thing, even though both girls were born in April.  Whenever I hear Silent Night I go back to holding a teeny, tiny newborn Ava in the middle of the night in our bathroom and singing it softly to her.  (We kept the bassinet in our bathroom...weird I know, but the white noise from the fan in there helped them sleep.  Whatever works, right?)  It's hard to believe it was over 7 years ago because the song takes me back and I can actually feel her in my arms.  Oh, I get so mushy about it.  

This afternoon we ended up at my parents house to help decorate their Christmas tree.  Both my sisters and their families were there to help as well.  In the end the tree was terribly over decorated but the kids sure had fun.  Luckily my parents always get a huge tree.  I understand where I get all my desire for holiday traditions because my mom is the exact same way.  She is why we are all Christmas crazy and I love it.  (Except my older sister this year, but I know next year she'll be back to being as crazy as the rest of us)  My mom gets everyone of us a new ornament each year to put on the tree.  Now, our family has grown so this in itself could decorate an entire tree nicely.  You add the new ones with the tubs of other ornaments and you can see why it gets overdecorated.  Another tradition is she buys each of us new pj's to wear on Christmas Eve.  She gave them all to us today and it just makes me smile.  It has gone from her getting them for just us three girls to now us, our hubby's and all the kiddos.  She's like Santa Claus digging in this huge bag and handing out jammies to excited little kids.  Love it.  On Christmas we'll all show up in our new pj's and stay in them all day.  Best way to spend a holiday.
I am TOTALLY loving this new app I found to collage my photos
After way too much hot cocoa, cookies and candy canes we took our sugar crazed girls home.  I end this weekend feeling tired.  Tired from too many late nights.  Emotionally tired from thinking of such sadness going on in our world right now.  Feeling apprehensive about sending my babies to school tomorrow, which I know is kinda silly but I can't help it.  I know I am not the only parent feeling this way this Sunday evening.  Feeling blessed for all that I have and the love and family around.  

I leave you with a couple of lines from my favorite Storyhill songs because I've been singing them all day and I love what they say.
"If faith can move a mountain, tell me what's going to move my faith?"
"Your reason for, you're an answer why"
"They can't believe, they've never seen someone, someone fly outside their dreams"

Hug your loved ones a little closer this week and send prayers to those families who have lost so much.  

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