Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I wrote this like a week ago, but I've been trying to space out my many posts (I caught up--hurrah!) . . .

A year ago at this time, my Dad was on Hospice and we had just moved and we were just starting our business. Walking amidst boxes and mess in the midst of promoting our business while feeling like I was in an emotional haze was not easy and didn't feel particularly festive. I remember that our good friend Denise got us a whole bunch of fun presents as part of a 12 Days countdown--one of them was a 1,000 piece puzzle of the 12 Days of Christmas. That puzzle kept me sane as it was something I could sit and focus on to quiet my mind as we worked so hard to arrange things to get up there and see my Dad before he died. I knew he was slipping away.

I've been doing pretty well these past couple of months. But I think some of my emotions might be just below the surface. We've been doing so many fun things and spending a lot of time with family and friends and things are, thankfully, good. However, every so often, if I allow myself to think about it, details, feelings, smells, sounds, conversations, I feel the emotion well up in me and my eyes start getting wet. I don't want to go there--not that I don't want to remember or even hurt about it, but because I so desperately am working to have a very Merry Christmas. For our kids, for our family, for me. Coming up on the 1st anniversary of his death weighs on my mind. This past Christmas was incredibly difficult and I miss my Dad terribly.

But I also know my Dad would want us to celebrate and have fun. So while we think of him and I desperately wonder where he is and what he's doing and why we earthlings don't get messages from the other side (that just seems terribly unfair to me), we are trimming trees and baking cookies and listening to Christmas music. It IS feeling festive around here and it's a nice feeling. I'm grateful.

We always decorate the day after Thanksgiving--we put on Christmas music and put up our decorations and bake our Portuguese cookies (biscoitos). We love it. It was great to have my Mom here as well as Bob and Lora. I think the company added to the festive feeling. My Mom isn't having the best time with the holidays so we're being really respectful of her wishes--so far, she has wanted to be alone, but I think she enjoyed herself here so much that she's rethinking that. Though we understand if she chooses not to, we do hope that, if she feels up to it, she'll join us for at least New Year's and Thing 2's birthday, if not Christmas as well (but only if you want to, Mom!). It's very comfortable to have my Mom here. Anyway . . .

On to the decorating:

Thing 1 works on the kids' Hershey Tree and Thing 2 puts the tags on the most awesome countdown calendar that my Sweetie made me years ago when I was dealing with a deep depression. I love him and the kids so much.

Thing 2 and I play with the train around the Hershey Tree

My Sweetie

Vavo and Thing 1 make biscoitos--YUM! We eat these for breakfast, snacks, and dessert all through the holiday season. They are SO yummy.

We already love our hutch a lot. Add to it that now we have a place to enjoy our Christmas village and hurrah! I'm pretty proud of myself for setting up the village. :)

Thing 1 decorates with characters and extra pieces

Thing 2 excitedly chooses where to set more of the pieces

Menedy (Thing 1's FAVORITE stuffed animal--Menedy is in many a picture of ours!) got to put Papa Noel on top of the tree this year!

The kids and I put up the tree while Mark worked on the biscoitos. We love our tree--Mark and I bought it as newlyweds on sale and we are so happy with it. As we put it up, I couldn't help but have "rigging up the lights" in my head, so I played "The 12 Pains of Christmas" for our kids--we love that song. In fact, here it is:

"Rigging up the lights!"

We always take our Family Christmas pictures after decorating, too. It was nice to have my brother do it instead of setting it up on the tripod! There are 5 pictures here--which is your favorite as a family Christmas picture for this year?


emily said...

It IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas! You guys have a fun house to decorate I bet. Merry Christmas!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Typically I find Christmas quite melancholy ... but this year - SO FAR SO GOOD! (Which is rather ironic, considering the financial "issues" we're dealing with...)

I guess it's just all a matter of perspective... and realizing how many blessings we truly do have, and focusing on THAT! :-)

Merry Christmas to you and your family! :-)

Swawaeve said...

Wow those are such cute pictures, and for your Christmas group picture I think I like the close-up one. We also always decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving with Christmas music the way I looove the 12 pains of Christmas song, my favorite is the guy whose ringing up the lights. I also definitly think your Mom should come here for Christmas or at least New Years (But I will also not push your Mom to do so)(although I don't know how I could).

a skateboarder who plays guitar. said...

"NOW WHY THE HELL ARE THEY BLINKIN" thats my favorite part, anyways you guys seem pretty stoked for the holidays.Merry Christmas.

Boquinha said...

Emily, it IS fun. We're excited for you guys to see it someday. Merry Christmas!

HWHL, I'm glad to hear that! Merry Christmas to you, too!

Sierra, thanks! That's my favorite, too. And I agree. :)

Ronald, BEST line in the song (though there are many!). I hear you guys are super busy, too. Merry Christmas!

Chelle said...

I would imagine that the first holiday season without a loved one would be the hardest. The fact that you were dealing with the decline and loss of your dad at the same time would make that a double whammy, wouldn't it? I'm so glad you can find it in yourself to feel festive while missing your dad at the same time. Maybe having kids helps a bit with that?? I'll be thinking about you and your mom in the coming weeks.

Fun pictures! As for the family photo..the close-up with the great smiles for sure. Stacy, you need to work on your crazy faces :)

Jill O said...

Beautiful hutch! I am coveting it from afar. It compliments your village quite nicely. Looks like you guys are in for a great Christmas.

Boquinha said...

Thanks, Rachelle. Overall, it's been really, really nice and festive. I'm so grateful. It got rough as I started writing our Christmas letter (still in process) and then dealt with writer's block for a while. But overall, thankfully, it's been good. Thanks for your nice comments. I know--those crazy faces . . . working on it. :P

Jill, thanks! We got it this year and we love it!!