New Memories
And some old ones.
Some good.
Some not.

But, it's a new day. I personally slept the day away, but it is indeed a new day. And I'm ok. I woke up teary eyed yesterday. I could feel the memories taking over me, suppressing me. And then, life happened. I sat down at the table with my head in my hands, and Eric sat pancakes down in front of me. And life went on. We watched the parade (which I had TiVoed) with my parents, trying to keep the kids' attention for more than 5 seconds. About halfway through the parade my head started pounding. I thought it was funny because my therapist and I had talked about me faking a migraine, but I decided I didn't want to suffer so I took meds and a hot bath.

And life went on.
Eric cooked an amazing meal. I wish I would have thought to take pictures. It was fantastic. We had turkey, ham, green beans (to die for), mashed potatoes, shells and cheese, stuffing (which, I made! I had to do *something*), sweet potato casserole (Mom's, which I reheated) and rolls that Stace bought, that I also reheated. I know. I'm so talented at this whole Betty Crocker thing :) We sat down to dinner, the six of us. It was so nice. Every year we start with the youngest and everyone takes a turn saying one thing they are thankful for. I thought it was worth mentioning that Dylan was thankful for his toys, and grilled cheese sandwiches. I never thought in my life I would say that I was grateful for viral meningitis, but indeed, I am so grateful that that's all it was. I'm so thankful he's here, and on the mend. God is good.
And life went on.
After dinner we watched the Dallas game while the kids played outside. More tradition, I guess. It wasn't bad though, I stretched out on the couch and worked on the Christmas cards and such. It really helped to keep so busy. I started to feel down, I could feel my defenses falling and I knew that if I didn't do something, it would all fall apart. My mother asked if my nephews could stay the night and I figured, why not. More kids, more distractions, less time to think. I told them that if they would help me clean the house (the living room, hallways, dining room, kitchen) that we could put the tree up. I actually did the dishes last night! I was only planning on putting up the tree and letting the kids decorate, but... I just got carried away, so we did it all. I decorated the whole house. I did it quickly, as if on a mission because there are so many things that I've inherited from my mother over the years that are from my childhood and I knew I couldn't dwell on those things. I had to keep going. I needed new memories. Like these :)

The risisng of the tree:)

My nephew Ryan

After much work and some Christmas music we ended up with this...

That last Santa Mom and I made when I was a very little girl. Maybe 6 or 7. It's hard for me to have it hanging on my wall, and yet, it holds hope for me. Strength. New memories.

We were done decorating at about 8, and I was running out of things to do. I couldn't stop. I knew I couldn't. So I decided I would look online and see what kind of Black Friday deals Walmart would have. I decided at the last minute that I would indeed go shopping, and brave the insanity. I had $125 to do Christmas for my kids. I knew this was the *only* way. So I called Stacey and at about 3 am we headed to the local Walmart.

As I said, I had $125 in cash. That was going to be all I was going to spend. On the way I had to stop to get gas. I was hyped, and running my mouth on and on to Stacey, not really paying attention to my surroundings. As I opened the car door an older lady walked up and asked if I had 2 dollars. She was probably the same age as mom, and she said she just lived up the street, but she wasn't sure she had enough gas to get home and that all she has was a check, etc. So I started digging through my purse, found a 5 handed it to her and went on about putting gas in the car. In the process of all of this I found 30 bucks in the back pocket of my jeans, and an extra ten in my purse. This put my grand total of Christmas shopping money up to $160. And God is good. And God is faithful.

And to Walmart we went on.

O. M. G. First I would like to say that it isn't okay to take your three year old Black Friday shopping at 3 am. Didn't someone get trampled last year?!?! I mean, come on people. Use your brains! :) Stacey and I spent the first few minutes giving out 'Parent of the Year Awards' because the first thing we saw was a family with a newborn (which I can understand bc, really, the kid is all snuggled and sleeping in the car seat anyhow), and then a lady with two boys around 8 or 9 and a girl who looked to be about Ali's age. Wow.. Anyhow. We got there at about 3:30.

I decided it would be fun to goth out a bit and wear my fangs and fishnets and black eyeliner to discourage people from messing with me, but as you can see I was so giddy I was more like Abby Sciuto than any mean vampire. We had a blast in the beginning when there weren't as many people there. I was half scatter-brained and we laughed. A lot. I took this pic bc I promised Sam I would tweet some. Stace will probably hate me, but I love it. And now.. on to the best part.

This *cart* full of toys. Oh. I got everything on my list. And then some. Okay, so I forgot the list at home, but I did get the things I had set out to get, even the box of blocks that I had to search the entire store for. I finally found them IN THE GROCERY SECTION of all places. But whatever. I was so glad to be done and I had everything we needed to give our kids a fantastic (my word of the week) Christmas. Now. Here's the really cool part. I walked in with $160. I filled this cart up and we got in line. I put everything on the thingy, knowing full well it would be over and I'd have to use my card. At that point (5 am) I didn't care. The lady rang it all up, I put it back in the buggy and she hit subtotal.

And my jaw hit the floor.

And my eyes bugged out of my head and about hit the cashier in the forehead.

Subtotal: $160.44. I giggled, looked at Stacey with this OMG look and asked her for fifty cents. Which she of course didn't have. But then I remembered that when Eric was in the hospital she had given me all of her change for the vending machines, and I had exactly 50 cents of it left. I did a happy dance all. the. way. to. the. car.

And life went on.

I took the presents to mom's house and put them in her shed. I got home at six, but I didn't get good and asleep until well after nine. I was so tired, I was shaking. There were two kids in my bed, and I just couldn't shut my mind up. But it was so good to know that Christmas is taken care of for us. Because God is good. And God is faithful. And walmart deals on Black Friday are crazy!

1 Response
  1. Katie Says:

    I am loving all these pictures and you putting your face out there :)

    So glad you took advantage of black friday..we sure as heck did! we also decorated too! are you beat? I am!!

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  • I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
    This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
    Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
    Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.