Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crazy, joy filled days ...

Having all the kids home, under one roof, has caused this winter break to fly right by. Too fast. Mark's company shuts down for two weeks as well, so we truly have all been together. Complete. Christmas Eve Mass was beautiful. I looked down at the row of my family and was filled with such overwhelming pride. One moment, a strange one to some, brought me to tears. Zoey was due for a feed. She was in Jessica's arms and I told Jess to send her down my way but she said she would do it. And there it was. My first born, with my last born, hooking up her g-tube and very effortlessly and confidently feeding Zoey, just like it was second nature. Our beautiful norm and to me, the sight was just that, beautiful. Christmas morning found all happy with their haul and we relaxed the majority of the day until we went to our dear friends house for Christmas dinner. The Seguy's, a family that we have known since Caitlin and their Lauren were in preschool, called at the beginning of the week and invited, ALL 11 of us, to join them for dinner. I cried at the invitation. It was so gracious and touched me in ways I could never explain to them. We enjoyed a wonderful meal with the 4 of them and some of their own extended family members, followed by great conversation and some cut throat Bananagrams. We are filled with immense gratitude and love to the entire Seguy family, for including us all. The timing of their invitation could not have been more perfect as this year found our family at a crossroads of our family traditions due to a very sad and devastating estrangement from my extended family.

We have had many late nights, playing board games and utilizing our gift of Wii Sport's Resort... a huge thank you to Matt's parents, Mike and Jean, for that. Lots of lazy pajama days. A trip to Legoland and today Mark, the boys and Taylor, headed to the snow. Danny, Caitlin and Charlotte left this evening. I was so sad to see them go but they needed to get back to their home and life. School starts back on Monday for Danny and I want them to have a few days to hang out, just the three of them before their busy lives resume. Matt went home for a few days prior to Christmas and he just began as an official hire with McCormick Ambulance Company. Yesterday was his first shift...1pm to 1 am. He will be anxious to get to a 24 hour shift that is for sure. He is covering the Hawthorne area. Pretty intense area of LA so I am sure he will see a ton of action, variety of calls and gain much needed experience before he applies to paramedic school. Very proud of him. The rest of us are status quo. Happy and healthy except for a few stray colds here and there. Zoey took about a week but finally kicked whatever that was that she had. Very strange bug and when she she was down she was down and out and now she is back to her smiley, loving self. No plans for the New Year. Staying close to home. Relaxing and savoring the remainder of everyone's time off.

As much as most might think we would be anxious to usher out this past year, and trust me, we are in many, many ways, this past year has also yielded great joys alongside the greatest and deepest of sorrows. We have had to make sense of the senseless and pull from the darkest of days the blessings buried in the depths of those moments. Our hearts have broken time and time again as we have said goodbye to far too many of our precious little friends. We have watched our friends, fellow parents, begin the unimaginable: the walk through the remainder of their lives, without their children. We have watched, awestruck, the amazing strength, resiliency and courage of the youngest of young, shouldering the unfair with such forgiving spirits. These children and their families have changed us forever.

We bid farewell to this past year with a mix of emotions. We enter into 2010 with much of the same. Uncertain of what lies ahead for any of us but equally confident that the faith by which we have relied on thus far, to see us through, will continue to be our ultimate guide. We look to God tonight and thank Him for His unwavering, unconditional love, even and most especially when we have questioned yet another obstacle placed before our littlest love. We are indeed blessed and look to 2010 with great hope. With that hope and steadfast faith, we will no doubt continue to find our way.

Our family wishes you all a very, very Happy New Year, abundant in love and laughter and overflowing with health and happiness.

I have never been big on resolutions but thought I'd leave you with this. My wish is that I might live a little closer to these beautiful, simple words.

"People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, People may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, They may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway."

Mother Teresa~

If your still with me, mega pictures to follow. Most are self explanatory. Some from Christmas Eve. Everyone in their new Christmas jammies, except Matt who went upstairs and in true Matt form, whipped up his own! Everyone sprinkling Reindeer food out on the lawn, followed by our traditional read of "Twas the Night Before Christmas." New jammies, reindeer food and all of us piled in one room for the book read, have been traditions since the big girls were very little. A few from Christmas morning. The only one in need of explanation might be Jake with his favorite Santa present. He asked for a ventriloquist doll. Why? Not quite sure, but much to Jakes surprise a "Slappy" arrived wrapped under the tree. He didn't ask for that one, didn't know they even existed but Jake is quite taken by the "Goosebumps" books, saw one of the shows, I believe called "Night of the Living Dummy," nice, I know, with the very creepy "Slappy" as the main character. ...He doesn't read the books mind you but rather "collects"them for the covers...that's my Jake. And then there is Joe ... need I say more... favorite gift that morning... Ultimate Dart Tag .... the pose is classic Joe!



Ellen said...

Nice post! We've been having joy-filled days, too. Funny, I was just working on a post about the highlights of 2010 and my Max, and realizing I have so much to be grateful for. I guess we all do, no matter what challenges and hardships we face with our beautiful kids (and Zoey is a beauty—and, hmmm, I know a nice boy for her named Max)!!!! :)

Happy, happy New Year, my new blog friend!


The VW's said...

What a beautiful family!!! Many blessings to all of you, as we say goodbye to this year and hello to a new year! HUGS!!!

Anonymous said...

lovely words, awesome photos = Happy New Year one & all

Aunt Bluebelle

Proud Grandma said...

What a beautiful family you have - I wish you all a very happy & healthy New Year - I also have my family around at Christmas - we have 3 children whom are all married and we have 10 grandchildren so when we all get together there is a houseful but I love it (and we all get together often)!

sheree said...

I know I don't have to tell you this but MY GOSH, your family is SOOO beautiful!!s

scrappy quilter said...

What wonderful, wonderful pictures and memories. Happy New year Heather. I wish you all the best in 2010. Hugs

Angi said...

To someone I may never meet in person (Heather) : You are a true inspiration, I LOVE reading about your wonderful and amazing family! Your Christmas presents (from your girls) had me in awe, I hope my children will grow into such beautifully spirited adults!! You have an amazing way with words and I wish you and your family the very best in 2010!

Dawson said...

Happy New Year guys. A big thank you for the many many times you touched our lives in 2009 as well as the love you have shown for Dawson. I know ive said it before but I need to say it again....

Your family is truly amazing!!!

So we usher in a new year with many uncertainties but still there is that common bond that joins our families across many miles.

We would like to send Miss Zoey some love so give that girl a kiss on the cheek from her fans in Alabama.

Happy New Year!!!

sturpin said...

Sounds like a wonderful time :)
Happy 2010!

Anonymous said...

It was great to spend the afternoon with you sharing family stories! I think we could have talked about "stuff" forever. Your home is filled with love, the way it should be.

I hope 2010 continues on as 2009 ended, with all the people who support you and love you close at hand (you know who they are!). Thanks for being my friend, I depend on that.