Sunday, December 23, 2012


Last week we all sat down together and made a Nativity Gingerbread house, complete with marshmallow sheep and coconut hay. Brendan read the Christmas Story from the Bible and we talked about the true meaning of Christmas.

The kids had fun making the scene and eating the leftover candy... and we were proud of our accomplishment, although the whole thing was a little crooked.

Tonight I am sitting in our front room where there are two decorated trees and a mantle full of vintage Santas and Elves. I love this room. There is no television and for the most part everyone leaves me alone if I am in here. I was thinking tonight that we needed to make our wishes for the year... We started the tradition last Christmas Eve, we all wrote a wish and placed them inside a beautiful "Wishes" ornament that two of my dearest friends gave to us as a wedding gift. This year as I was unpacking the ornaments, I found the wishes ornament. I opened it up and read the wishes from last year and immediately started crying. Last year on Christmas Eve we found out that we were expecting Zoe Jane. I took a test that morning and it was positive... we were so excited. Brendan and Keira had wished for toys, of course. Bryan had wished that Brendan, Keira and his new little one would be happy and healthy, and I wished for a baby girl. I am almost afraid to wish this year. It seems that some of our wishes came true, but the most important ones didn't.

I don't even know what to wish for at all. I am not ready to try again. I have no desire to be pregnant anytime soon. I would be sick with worry the whole time. Bryan wishes that we can still be here, doing what we are doing next year... I agree with him but most of all I just wish to be happy again. There are too many things that have crushed my spirit, broken my heart and made me lose faith in the very things that I used to treasure. I think that people take for granted happiness and joy. When you have nothing to grieve then it is a natural tendency to be happy. Then grief sucks the life out of you and makes you feel nothing but every stitch of hurt and pain.

It is the day before Christmas Eve, we have not finished our Santa shopping and have decided to not buy gifts for one another because we have spent so much trying to get back to simple and normal that we just really can't do a lot this year. I have the lists for the kids and will get those things tomorrow. I have made some special things for family and I hope everyone understands how much I wish to buy everyone something nice.

Tomorrow will not be a happy day for me, but I will find the strength to fill the house with excitement for Brendan and Keira, this will be their third Christmas with us and they are so excited they can barely sleep.

I want next year to be different. I want to be happier, more prepared and just enjoy the season. Now that it is almost over I really do not want to take down all of my Christmas decor. It will be sad to pack it up for another year. I am not sure if I will blog tomorrow, but with this writing before Christmas I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Love one another, hug those kids tight and remember that Jesus was born to give us eternal life. I do find comfort in knowing that Zoe Jane is in Heaven with Him, celebrating right along with us.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Favorite Things

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year and it begins the Day after Thanksgiving. That is the day that I pull everything from storage, organize, make a game plan and get ready for the Saturday after Thanksgiving decorating. Back in the old days, I always had a pajama party for all of my friends. Guests would come in their pajamas, bring a snack and favorite drink and help ME decorate my Christmas tree. The pajama part was just fun... and comfy! After a little too much to drink, everyone was already in their night clothes when they returned home after the party. These were the years when THE tiara made an appearance and everyone knew that I wore mine while decorating the Christmas tree... I have never been a beauty queen, I quit pageants when I was very young, but each year at the pajama party while everyone else was wearing a Santa Hat, I wore a tiara... just for fun....

I kept the tradition up even after those fun parties with friends. I remember one Christmas when I was single and poor as a boot... I pulled out the decorations, organized, put on my tiara and got to work... to my dismay there were several strands of lights that were not working on my tree and one of my best friends walked in to find me in the floor covered in lights, tiara askew and crying... I had NO money to buy new lights and I had to find the ones that did not work and replace the bulbs... after lots of looking, a few too many tears at being single and alone for Christmas, we managed to get them working. Being the amazing friend that she is, she patiently handed me each ornament so that I could place them on my tree because she knew that I would take them all off and redo the tree if anyone else helped... I just had to have it a certain way... that was the first year in a long time that I only decorated the tree once, normally I let my guests decorate it and then I redid it the next day.

I didn't wear a tiara this year, although I did buy Keira one so that she could wear it and decorate the tree. We have 7 or 8 trees in the house, so we all got to decorate our own... the kids tree is ridiculously weighted with ornaments that are too heavy because they haven't quite mastered spacing, one tree is without lights but holds all of our Christmas cards from friends and family, one is my Santa tree with Santas collected from my adult life, one is a Chef tree in the kitchen, we have a girly tree in the front spare room and a really beautiful gold, silver and blue tree in the main room. We also decorated a tree in silver with butterflies for Zoe Jane.

I miss cherishing my favorite things. I have been too sad to experience them this season, but tonight I thought that I would list them and experience them in a new way...

Homemade wreaths with berries
Hot chocolate with too many marshmallows
Love Actually
Christmas books by Richard Paul Evans
Cheesy Hallmark Movies (and commercials)
That one Folgers commercial where the son comes home for the holidays.
Getting tired of Christmas songs but listening anyway because they will be gone soon.
Hand made Christmas gifts
Family memories
A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version)
Stocking Stuffers
Believing in Santa
Angel Trees, Toys for Tots, all of the people who do a lot of good...
The bell ringers that actually sing Christmas Carols
People saying Merry Christmas... it just doesn't happen that often these days...
Fruitcake (But only my Mom's)
When it smells like snow outside
Fuzzy socks
Remembering the best gift from childhood
Pretty wrapping paper and bows
Knowing that even if you can't buy everyone something, even a little homemade gift will do.
Christmas Dinner
Being excited For Santa on Christmas Eve, even though I am now Santa....
Warm blankets and a good book
Losing the light of day way too early and getting to bed at a decent hour
Rudolph Claymation
Remembering all of the loved ones that have passed and just how special it was to see them during the holidays.
Wishing that all children receive gifts and have a nice, warm home with loving parents.

I could go on and on about the things that I love, but you would soon tire of reading them. I do love sitting in my living room on the sofa in the dark with just the light of the tree to illuminate the room. No matter the tree, the room or the year... just that single moment of looking at the tree fills my heart with happiness. I think that white twinkle lights should be on something all year long just so that happiness stays alive. 

I sure miss my little girl and I wanted so much to share the favorite things with her. Instead I have shared them with you and I know that by just thinking on my favorite things it helps to heal my heart from the brokenness.

Remember to make memories, store them in your mind to bring out year after year... and don't forget to wear that tiara... it makes putting up the tree just a little more special.

Monday, December 17, 2012


This weekend was so busy. We had catering events for four days along with trying to get settled in our new places. I haven't had a lot of time to focus on much else. In fact, I still need to pay "Santa" for Christmas and pick some things out for the kids. Christmas sure is getting here quick!

This weekend I have read a lot about the events in Connecticut, I have shed tears, I have prayed for these families and seen the pictures of all lost. It has brought up emotions that I have been trying to suppress through the holiday season. I can tell you that I have not been well the past few days. There are so many things to understand about losing a child. I hope that through my blog some of you have learned how to deal with the feelings and emotions of parents that have lost a child. The senseless acts of a troubled man has led to so much heartache.

Since the holidays began I have decorated, baked, and tried to keep my thoughts on all things positive. We have had the worst year imaginable. All I want right now is to make Christmas special for Brendan and Keira. After we lost Zoe I didn't think that things could get much worse, but the year wore on and every month there was something else that hurt my heart. Deciding to move back to a small town and bring our businesses with us has been a scary thing to do. I always remember the movie "You've Got Mail" and how Meg Ryan's character closes her bookstore because of the big company that came in around the corner... the lady that works for her tells her that closing the store and moving on to something else was the brave thing to do. I keep telling myself that this move was the brave thing to do.

We have had such an outpouring of support and love from the community and we pray with all that is in our hearts that our businesses are successful here. The most important thing right now is that we can provide for our family and be happy. Starting over is exciting and worrisome, all at the same time.

I want to challenge everyone to spend time with their families. Watch a few Christmas movies, bake some cookies, go look at Christmas lights. Love one another, hug your kids tight, tell your spouse how much you love and appreciate them and remember that there are people out there who need your prayers, your kindness, your hope and love. Let's all join together and send a blanket of love and prayers to those families hurting in Connecticut. The children who witnessed the events, the people who have lost those close to them, they all deserve our thoughts this time of year.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Santa is Coming To Town

We moved to a new house. I cannot tell you all how thankful I am that God put this place in our path. It is perfect. We love it and the kids are happy here.

For the past couple of weeks we have done nothing but move and unpack and decorate. Christmas trees are up, elves out, vintage Santa collection things all through the entire house.

Decorating the trees and the house was more like a job than a fun experience. I knew that Christmas would be hard but I didn't know that it would be this hard. Yesterday I went to Zoe's grave to take her a pretty little metal tree with colorful jingle bells hanging from it. I wasn't even to the cemetery before I started crying. Heart wrenching, gut tightening sobs. I want her here with me so much. Her first Christmas and she gets to spend it in Heaven.

The tree looked perfect and I know that she loves it. Even from her spot in Heaven. We also decorated a tree in her honor uptown at the pavilion. There are lots of trees there. Ours is a Zoe Jane tree. It is beautiful and lit up and has a big bow on top. When I drive through town I look in its direction because it seems to shine so bright.

We found out that we were expecting her on Christmas Eve. I know this year it will be a tough day. One of my closest friends who also lost a child called me today and she is having a hard time too. It comes in cycles, she said. The sadness, the anger, the acceptance. And then it starts all over again.

People are still telling me to get over it. I still think that no one would ever tell someone to get over it if they lost their spouse or grown child. I really think that people have a lot of nerve talking about me behind my back, too. Some of my friends have told me what others say and they take up for me because I have gone through a rough time. I am so tired of not being able to tell people the truth about things!

I put something on Facebook about it today and several people responded. When the truth is told and cold, hard facts are presented, people get pissed off instead of realizing they are the ones with the problem. The truth is... I am sad and mad and resentful and I don't like a lot of people these days. Mean people especially.

I know that I am mad. It is no secret that I am depressed and angry and sick about what happened six months ago. I would rather FEEL those things than keep them locked up inside... that is when people buy guns and go on shooting sprees.

There are a lot of things that I wish I had kept to myself, a lot of people that I have pissed off, a lot of circumstances I wish were better since we lost Zoe Jane... but I still have feelings. I still think about my little girl a majority of every single day. I still think that it is unfair that I wanted her so much and there are people who don't want their children.

I think this move is the greatest thing that we could have done. Getting away from the stresses of the bigger town that we were in, slowing down a little but still working at the professions that we love... I don't care if it is more inconvenient to live in a small town... it is worth it for peace of mind.

Last night was the Christmas parade, an ice skating rink, vendors and pretty decorated trees...the marching band and cheerleaders were there... the football team that is undefeated....Santa Claus and the Volunteer Fire Department... it made me feel warm and safe and secure to be in this community where I know people care. A community where people wave and say hello to you... a place where young men hold the doors open for you as you walk into a convenient store. Things are so different here, just 20 miles away. I needed the change. I needed the stars that shine so bright even though we live in town... I needed to be closer to my little girl and start trying to find my happiness again.