Thursday, December 22, 2011

Silent Night




"Silent Night" - Sarah McLachlan
 



With a title like, "Silent Night"...
Let's see if I can keep this post nice n' quiet.  (Yea, right!  This is like 3 posts in one.  Grab some egg nog and a box of candy canes.) There's already plenty going on. I was up all night.  Digging through photos - both old and new.
Concentrating on those moments captured in my life. 
The 80 December images (yea, I'm a photoholic) in this post - I see so much in them. 
So much raw emotion.  It might not appear so, but when I look at my photos, I remember each day.  Each night.  My senses come alive.


One little, two little, three little fluffy heads givin' me the stare down.  It's all I needed to see.  I knew what they wanted.  Their expressions said, "Mama, get off your lazy a##, stop watching LMN, and fancy up that Christmas tree!!"

So, with the help of Muffin, Twinkie, and Krimpet...


(Okay, Muffin totally snuck in a lil' snooze in between all the decorating.)

And after many hours, sore hands (and paws), a few hundred reheated cups of coffee, a 40 minute vacuum session, 3 ultra cheesy Christmas movies, extra sentimental tears, and an infomercial including Chuck Norris...

Our tree was shining bright.
(More photos later)

*****


Muffin was eager to help from the moment Steve brought up the Christmas lights.  We even found an old "piece" of last year's tree in the bin.



Something you don't see often - Me making breakfast.

That french toast is straight from a box. 

I'd like to dedicate this song to my one and only, Jessica.  Jessica, if you're reading - notice this is a two for one - there's a YCHTT at the bottom!!

Muffin was mesmerized at Mr getting the outdoor lights ready.

Fake snow.  $1 a can.  I'm in.

Lighty McSteve

*****

We had dinner in the city with Jen and Sean - the newlywed bugs.  There was food.  Lots of it.  There was pasta.  Lots of it.  "May we have more bread please?" - was asked 3 times.  We toasted our red wine to memories made and new ones to come.












*****

We saw "The Nutracker."





Kelly and Kurt (Drosselmeyer) took the stage.  They were fantastic!  From the moment the curtains opened, my eyes were glued on stage.  And my camera, flash off, (theater's orders) made sure to catch some of the magic. (even if the photos came out super blurry)




From ballet...




*****

To freezing cold football.  I went to my first ever football game.  It was Giants against Redskins.  Giants lost.  Big time.  Adam and Kim were so thoughtful to invite us along.


Adam and Steve were bravin' the chilly temps much better than Kim and I.


I mean, I came prepared with my crazy cat lady blanket and everything.  Steve gave me his letterman jacket and asked me to go steady.  I even had 2 bras on.  No joke!  Still, I was super cold.  I was helping Kim warm up her hands.

Adam didn't seem to mind.


Uh yea, that would be Steve to the left and me to the right.  Adam had his double XL Carhartt overalls in the truck.  I totally wore them.



People were staring at me.  I don't know why.  This was taken right after Steve caught me taking a "sip" of my cup o' cheese.  Hey, it was warm.

Me and Kim.  Just chillin'.

"Are we smiling?  We can't feel our faces!"


***

Kelly and Kerry brought their sweet lil' munchkins over for a girl's lunch.  We made our own salads and munched on chips.  Chloe, especially.  We danced to festive tunes.  Muffin came down for some fun and enjoyed some treats, compliments of Addison.  Veronica enjoyed the lights and colors of our tree.  And it was a merry little afternoon.


Chloe, sweet n' stylin' as can be in her outfit from Jessica.

Superstar!



She's a walkin'.



She gets it from Mimi, I'm told.



Pretty Mama.  Pretty daughter.
Veronica Kerry and I

Lil' Mins getting the special *treat*ment.

She spots a good one.

I. LOVE. THIS.


*****

So, decorating...
It is very special to me.  This year, especially. 
The past two Christmases hold such significance - that I wanted and needed to really take my time.  And not rush into it.  Steve and I put the lights on the tree and it stayed like that for days.  It was nice and simple and bright.  My feelings expressed in my last post...
They poured out as each ornament was hung.  Steve knew how important it was for me to take that time and put all that love and bittersweet emotion into something good.
We decorated our tree in 2009, the first time I found out I was pregnant. 
Last year's, I decorated right before our fourth loss.  It was such therapy.

And this year...it was the same - the cure for my aching heart.
Steve went to bed.  I checked to make sure he was asleep and quickly got to work.  I stayed up through the night.  Listened to my music - kitties keeping me close company and watching my every move.  It was so peaceful.  And when Steve walked into the living room first thing that morning...
It felt like Christmas. 

I remember my Mom turning the house into a Winter Wonderland every single year.  I remember the rows of Christmas cards she'd tape to the door.  Our porcelain Christmas tree, with those little colorful peg-like lights I wasn't allowed to touch.  That tiny green house that sat on our television...the one with the window that I "accidentally" poked my finger through.  The 500 and one "brother and sister" ornaments.

Christmases weren't always easy when I was younger.  I remember the trying times back then. 
I learned a lot in my early years.

It's like I said to Steve the other night...

We've got to focus on the good and every single ounce of it.  Because the good always outweighs the bad.  I look back to when I was a little girl...
 And I wonder if my Mom and Dad realize - that I never noticed the sad times as much as the happy times.  When I remember the years past, my heart aches with much more good.
Because I knew...

I was loved.

And I'm forever grateful for all this love in my life.

***

I did it all for love.


























I wish you...

MUCH HAPPINESS
INFINITE HOPE
MANY SMILES
TONS OF LOVE
JOY
AND MOST OF ALL...



Thank you.
You all know who you are.
You've brightened my days.
You've lighted my nights.

Merry Christmas.
Merry Every Day.


LOVE, BLESSINGS, FAITH AND HOPE...ALWAYS,

22 comments:

Maria said...

So much to say in this short little comment... First let me start by saying that I am so envious of the fact that your bathroom is decorated for Christmas! LOL I would love to stop over and have myself a very festive tinkle in that bathroom! Second, If we could mix my first football game experience with your first football game experience we would have had perfect weather! If you recall at my game, Doug would clap and I was splashed by arm sweat! LOL And third, you are right the good always does outweigh the bad. May you have a Christmas full of good this year! Merry Christmas!!!

Rebecca said...

Your house looks great!! And your tree is huge! Have a great Christmas!!!!

JennRox said...

Merry Christmas, Maria!Your decorations are super awesome. I hope you holiday continues to be amazing!

Steve said...

Merry Christmas everyone!! Beautiful post and decorating hunny. Here's to 2012!

Ashley said...

Merry Christmas Maria! Your tree is beautiful and so full! I absolutely love that yarn wreath.... you may have just inspired me to make another one!
You are so right about focusing on the good.... the bad times only make us appreciate the good ones that much more.
Lots of love and wishes for a wonderful Christmas!
Ashley

Mrs. E said...

Okay, three things. One: I always love your posts and this one is no exception. You're right--the good always outweighs the bad. So important to remember and so easily forgotten... Two: Um, my pregnancy hair is not even half as good as your regular hair!!! I seriously admire your hair every time I see it lol (now is *that* creepy? haaga!!) Three: Will you pretty please come decorate my house?? I have a major case of Christmas-decoration-envy right now!! =) xoxoxo~~~

Moosey Mommy said...

I love how you say the good always outweighs the bad. Having moved several states away from my hometown this summer, I am having a hard time this Christmas. Things really are so wonderful for us, but I am having a hard time not focusing on all I have lost. It's hard. But reading beautiful posts like yours definitely helps! Enjoy your lovely home, your wonderful friends, and your loving husband. We are all so blessed, even when we lose sight of it. Thank you for this post!

Alexis Kaye said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
1) Your tree is BEAUTIFUL I love it!
2) You're gorgeous!
3) Ballet is awesome!! so fun that you got to go!

Kathy said...

I love your football outfit! You are one of the few people on this planet who could look gorgeous even in that!! Looks like you have had a busy week!! Your house looks great! So pretty!!

Maria you are so right, I too think that the good always out weighs the bad! I remember that my first miscarriage was right before Christmas and the next year that Christmas found me going through my fourth miscarriage. Yet the next Christmas I was a mom to the most beautiful 2 week old baby who is now 13!

Much love to you! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! I so admire your ability to give yourself the time you need. You are amazing!!

Bernadette & Duane said...

Merry Christmas Maria! I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to some very positive 2012 posts! You are an inspiration and I admire your ability to appreciate all the good things in life. All the best to you! B

momto8 said...

Wow! the tree and the decorations are fabulous! good for you! I am a new follower from the hop..pls follow back if you can.

Aleisha McD said...

This was breathtaking...like you, my darling! Your pictures were wonderful to look at, and I particularly enjoyed all the decoration pictures. It's fun to see your home, and to imagine myself there one day--enjoying a laugh and a sinful dessert. (Is that super-dee-duper creepy and stalker-ish!??) I LOVED the picture of "peace" at the end! I absolutely adore mine, and I look at it at least four times a day!!! As always, I'm blessed by you. XOXO

Colorado Mountain Mom said...

Hello - neat site! Dropping by on the 'Find Friends' Hop. Following you every way I could find! :) Hope you can drop by my site, too.

Thanks,
Tami
http://coloradomountainmom.blogspot.com/

Amanda said...

omg, so many awesome photos! Happy Holidays to you and your family!!!

Following you on GFC from the Weekend Blog Hop, please visit if you can!
http://momonreview.com/

Judy Haughton-James said...

Hi Maria,
Your pictures are always so beautiful. I just love your decorations and I can see that your cute cats love them too! I am happy to see that you continue to have happy times with your wonderful friends. You and Kim were certainly well prepared for the cold times. Oh, all the wonderful food including your breakfast is making me hungry tonight in Jamaica. Luckily supper is not too far away. It could do with some of those goodies though! You mentioned candy canes! I just love them! I wish you, Steve, the cats, your family and relatives a very special Christmas 2011! I have found a wonderful friend in the blogosphere! Take care and Lots of Love & Friendship.
Judy

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

Happy CHristmas to one of my greatest blogging friends! Everytime I come to your site, I stay for awhile:) Your pictures are so gorgeous and this one in particular because we got to see your beautiful tree! I love the football pictures- you guys looked so cute all bundled up. Lots of love for you and Steve for this Christmas. XOXO Maria!

waitingforarainbow said...

I la la looooovee your email like comments. They make me happy. So keep them coming! :) (no pressure)
It makes me happy that you thought about me while cleaning. I randomly think about you too. In fact, I just now thought about you while in bed unable to sleep. And I got this big smile on my face, because I just have sooo many good vibes for you in the new year. I really feel like something big and exciting is coming your way!
Thank you for agreeing with me on the whole *people* thing. I HATE what people decide to say for words of encouragement too!! I COULD NOT agree more-I HATE hearing, "well at least you lost the baby before something bad happened" too. And, "Obviously it wasn't meant to be." It's like, oh, jee, thanks? I feel much better now. -_-
I reallllly enjoyed this post, and got all teary eyed over it. I know what it's like to put all of your feelings and emotions into something, and I especially know what it's like to spend an entire night doing it. (we're both vampires remember?? I'm leaving this comment at 4:45am... on Christmas morning. Haven't slept yet) Your house looks beautiful. One of the most beautiful parts has to be the relief you felt after you were done. It's so nice to be able to find peace in things.
Thank you for your nice Christmas wishes!! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas too, and have all kinds of awesome pictures to share with us. I also hope that my creepy late night thoughts about you are true, and that you have a year full of amazing surprises. I am excited to continue following you through next year, and hear all kinds of wonderful news! Until then, take the holidays slow, and enjoy them. You deserve it!
much MUCH love <3 Michelle

Babblings and More said...

YOu have such a cute blog! We are now following you! Come check us out!
Brooke from babblingsandmore.blogspot.com

KERRY said...

Maria I love love love your tree!! It is beautiful just like you (and your kitties).
I loved this post, you write so well. And you made me smile and chuckle at your fashion faux pa at the footy lol, no seriously, it was a sexy look, overalls and all. And two bra's lol, it must be freezing over there!!!
The ballet looks like it would've been fun :)
Thankyou for making my Christmas that bit brighter, you are a sweet, thoughtful person!!
Merry Christmas to you and your Steve and your cats xoxox

Rachel said...

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!! Your tree and home look beautiful! You are to funny with your layers of clothing at the football game :-)

I hope you have a wonderful and happy new year.

Jenn said...

What lovely photos! Your Christmas tree is gorgeous. I love how you shared your sentiments and reflections on what decorating the tree means to you and what incredible significance it holds. You are such a beautiful spirit!

I had to laugh at the football photos! I'm not a big fan of going outside all bundled up and freezing my patootie off on some cold, hard plastic seats either (one year I actually bought this cushion that was supposed to reflect my butt's heat back at me so my rear could stay warm! LOL)

Anyway, I hope your holidays continue to be merry and bright, and many blessings to you in the new year!

Oh, and I love your blog design!

Smiles and hugs,
Jenn @Misadventures in Motherhood

Stephanie of Gumdrop Pass said...

You made a winter wonderland of your own! <3 Seriously, it all turned out BEAUTIFULLY.

I love how you wrote about all of the emotions this time of year brings your way -- and how you hold on to "every ounce" of good. The good really DOES outweigh the bad - it's all in how you look at it. I admire that you seem to have many more half full kind of days compared to half empty ones. I could take a page or two from your book!

I hope you and yours had a great Christmas -- and that you made great memories that you'll look back on for years to come. <3

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