Monday, December 28

Just Sayin...

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Friday, December 25

Christmas

I have so much good to say about Christmas this year.



We've been showered with love and miracles, large and small.



Right in this second, though, I miss Ammon. I miss him so much my heart is pounding sadly in my chest, and I'm fighting away tears.



He should be here. He should have been here to see the kids faces this morning as they opened gift after gift. He should be holding me on the couch right now.



This Christmas is infinitely better than last year, but it's still not right. I'll take time, soon, to write about the many blessed things that have happened this year, but for right now I'm giving myself permission to mourn.



Merry Christmas, sweetheart. We miss you.

Thursday, December 17

Today I...

...fed three children breakfast and got Jeremy off to school on time.

...made an omelet, and ate half. Kadon and Brooklyn at the other half.

...watched my landlord install a new sump-pump in my basement.

...did spinning at the YMCA for 35 minutes.

...attended the first half of yoga, after spinning.

...made a quick phone call to my sister, en route to a playdate.

...had lunch with two friends while the children ran rampant around the house.

...took Kadon to preschool, where I signed up to provide a game at the Christmas party tomorrow.

...took Brooklyn to Wal-Mart, where I was able to get a few groceries, gifts for Kadon's teachers, and a few things for the kids stockings.

...drove home, tried to put Brooklyn down for a nap, put the groceries away, and finished watching the movie I rented from Redbox two days ago while she chattered in her crib.

...got Brooklyn out of her crib, asked Jeremy about his day, and drove to preschool to pick Kadon up.

...made a drive-by the location for Kadon's preschool Christmas concert, so I wasn't groping for directions in the dark.

...fortified my reserves during Happy Hour at Sonic.

...stopped at Kroger to return the Redbox movie, and picked up the Kroger-specific weekly sale items, along with a few more things for Christmas that were a better price than what there was available at Wal-Mart.

...drove home, unloaded the car again, and made the kids put all the cold groceries away.

...yelled instruction from the bathroom for Jeremy to make Ramen Noodles for dinner.

...showered.

...helped prepare Ramen noodles.

...got dressed.

...helped serve Ramen.

...blow dried my hair.

...threatened children to either "eat quickly, or go hungry!".

...skipped dinner, applied makeup, and jumped back in the car to go to the concert.

...crammed 4,000 people into a room meant to hold 400. Strained to see Kadon, who refused to sing.

...chatted briefly with Kadon's teachers.

...drove to Sonic to get myself a sandwich. Skipping dinner wasn't such a great idea.

...drove to the church to attend choir practice.

...accompany the choir, since I am the only female that was able to stay and sing, and the accompanist didn't show up.

...left choir practice when the accompanist finally got there, loaded cranky, screaming, exhausted children into the car.

...drove home, again threatening all manner of punishment if the children didn't go immediately and quietly to bed.

...kissed each child, and tucked them into bed.

...shut the doors, breathed a sigh of relief, and picked the house (mostly) up.

...sat on the couch, able to breathe for the first time in 13 hours.

I meant to do more of an update tonight, even posting pictures. As you can see, I'm exhausted. It's not going to happen. Maybe tomorrow will be better?

Sunday, December 13

Smattering

I was doing so much better about updating...and then I got behind, and the longer I waited, the more behind I got. I decided it would be better to get on and at least provide snippets of what's been going on, lest my readers think I've abandoned them again.

*Brooklyn briefly attempted potty training, which was an absolute failure. No worries, she's still got plenty of time.

*Brooklyn discovered how easy it is to remove her own clothing. No worries, I'm mellow, and I don't mind her wandering around naked as long as I keep the heat high enough.

*Brooklyn discovered poop. This one made me worry. More on that story later, but I'm guessing you'll want to read that particular one on an empty stomach.

*I finally finished school for the semester, and grades were posted this week. I got an A in both my classes, which gives me my first-ever 4.0. I'm pretty excited about that!

*I set up childcare for next quarter. The kids are finally starting at an actual daycare, and I have mixed feelings about that. I'm looking forward to the continuity of who is watching them, and I think they'll probably do well when they're all divided by age. Grief-wise, daycare is yet another tie that has been severed. It's been a tough one, but not as tough as I had feared it would be.

*I've officially decided to stay home for Christmas this year. Again, a tough decision, but one I'm feeling comfortable with right now. I've invited the missionaries over, but other than that it will be just the kids and I.

*The ward Christmas party was last night, and some friends and I were able to put together a few pieces to sing. It was a lot of fun, and reminds me how much I have missed singing with friends! Wish I could make time for it in my schedule more often...

I know there's more. Things that have been rolling around in my head, and I'm past due to sit down and write a really deep post, but it's not going to be tonight. I'm starting to feel a bit of the holiday blues, and although they aren't as depressing and heavy as they were last year, I am still stuck trying to figure out how to get through it all. I wonder if Christmas is ever going to feel happy and carefree again, or if there will always be an undertone of sadness and loss to this time of year?

Sunday, December 6

Sunday Sweet

video

This video is just for fun. I have been trying to use my video camera function on my camera more. Since most of you (namely grandparents clear across the country) would get a kick out of Brooklyn and her cute little voice, I've been just itching to share it. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 5

Card Carrying?

Since I became a member of the Fellows clan when Ammon and I started dating almost 10 years ago, my new family has overlooked a multitude of inadequacies on my part. First came the long, long list of classic movies that I have never seen. It's gotten to be a family joke--somebody will mention a plot line or quote a movie, and I'll present a puzzled look on my face. They'll say "You know, from _______ (fill in the blank of classic movie here)? Oh, of course, you haven't seen it. Never mind."

Then came the revelation that I'm not a big fan of ice cream. Oh, I like it alright, and before Ammon died the in-laws had no reason to know of my secret apathy--our freezer was always stocked with the creamy stuff, courtesy of the man of the house. After he died, though, my secret was out. I never have ice cream in the house, and I don't miss it.

There is my dislike of puzzles, a favorite Fellows Family pastime.

There is my basic ineptitude for household tasks, and ignorance of how to use tools correctly. I can't Spackle, drive a nail, or build a bookcase.

All of these things, they overlook. They accept my various failings, and love me regardless.

This time, I think I'm going to lose my membership card.

You see, the Fellows take their food traditions very seriously. I already mentioned ice cream, but I left it's partner in crime out of the mix--popcorn. It works in my favor that I love Fellows Popcorn, but I'm unable to duplicate it. It's a very specific recipe, and it's never to be varied. There is Grandma Fellows' Pecan Pie. Again, a delicacy that I fully appreciate, but have never made myself. Near the top of the food list is New Hope Mills Pancakes. I've eaten New Hope Mills for the length of my marriage, and considered myself a faithful follower. This morning, though, I broke the mold.

I tried this recipe. And y'all? Best. Pancakes. I. Have. Ever. Had. No joke. Beats the pants off of New Hope Mills.

I'm not sure The Clan will be able to overlook this one.

What do you say, guys, is Cornell Chicken enough to hold us together?

Friday, December 4

Dear

Dear Brooklyn,

Sweetheart, I'm thrilled that you have a zest for life that woke you up long before dawn this morning, but Mommy wasn't as thrilled as you were at 5:30 am. Thank you for getting me up early enough to be able to get in some extra study time, but now I need you to take a nap. Please, before Mommy gets any more grey hairs.

Thank you.

Love,
Mommy

Thursday, December 3

30th

Happy birthday, sweetheart. We miss you.

Wednesday, December 2

Destin

Thanksgiving day was spent in Dothan, Alabama with plenty of relatives around to talk to, but Friday and Saturday were spent in Florida with Lisa, Ammon's sister, and her two children. Lisa's husband is in the Air Force, and they are currently stationed near Destin, Florida.

I think I have officially decided that the beach-any beach-is my favorite place in the whole world. There's nothing like endless water and sunshine to put life in perspective.


This particular beach is just a short walk across the street from Lisa's house on base. Jealous doesn't even begin to describe my emotions.
On Saturday we drove over a huge bridge and did some shopping at a large outdoor mall, but I couldn't believe the sky as we crossed the water.
After the mall, we all went to a different beach, one a little bit more tourist infested, and with slightly better views of the water. I was excited to take my kids to the beach--my first sight of the ocean, many years ago--is something that has stuck with me. I was really looking forward to showing my kids the ocean for the first time, and their reactions didn't disappoint me. I'm only disappointed I didn't have their swimsuits with me!







It was tough to get any of the kids to hold still long enough for pictures. While I was trying to get Jeremy to hold still so I could take this picture, he thought it was neat that his feet were sinking into the sand as the water lapped over them.


Hands-down, Jeremy's favorite cousin, Josh. They are so cute together, and I don't know about Angela--but I sometimes get tired of hearing "When are we going to go visit Josh again?" Good thing they only live in Dayton!

I finally managed to get the kids together for a quick snapshot, but this moment was all I got--almost instantly, they were all off again.

These boys are Angela's two older boys, working together to get the water out of the tide pool.









The 30 or so minutes we spent on the beach this afternoon made the entire trip worth it. All the planning, all the driving, the sleepless nights--all of it. I'm so glad we went, and so glad my kids got to experience my favorite place in the whole world.