Wednesday, December 16, 2009

5 months and counting...

Me and My Momma on Easter, April 12, 2009
Beaverton, OR
(I LOVE how prettyful my Momma looks)

...since my Mom passed away. I can't believe it's almost been a half of year. I went to an appointment alone this afternoon and when I headed home I had a big cry. I had felt it coming on for many days...but was trying so hard to keep myself together. We had family visiting all weekend and I didn't want to fall apart in front of them. I'm a private griever and my feelings are so raw and tender that I like to have my moments alone. My thoughts were with my parents unceasingly over the last week. I found myself recalling countless past times, experiences, and things they would say often or said directly to me. I vocalized those and whether or not people were tired of hearing them--it was therapeutic for me to share them. Those are the things I openly do with others as part of the grieving process. So, as I drove home today from my appointment I listened to the song "Eternity" by Diamond Rio and cried and listened to it again and cried. I felt that tug in my heart again that you feel when you are truly heart broken. I felt that "little girl" part of me crying out for her Mommy when only she can make me feel better. I felt that emptiness that doesn't completely go away. I felt better because I let myself feel those feelings and didn't repress them any longer. I prayed that my parents were right next to me and could hear me express how much I love them and miss them. I thought about the regret I feel because I didn't tell my Mom about the dream I had that she died two days before she actually died...I have wished ever since that I would have told her so we could have talked about it possibly happening and maybe had some peace about it. I thanked Heavenly Father for understanding how I feel especially when no one else does. And when I arrived home, I was comforted by the hugs and kisses I received from my sweet husband and girls.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And this just makes me happy...

It's the newest addition to our family Christmas traditions and decor, an advent calendar. I love it because it's so big and the pockets fit something for everyone! We started the tradition this year when I found it at Pottery Barn Kids of all places. It is exactly what I wanted. I filled it with all different chocolates from See's Candies...a real treat! It's our special Christmas tradition so it's worth the extra cost at See's to make it just that special.

Sofia is loving it the most. She loves to feel the pockets and figure out what is in each one. They include gold milk chocolate coins, solid milk chocolate Santa's, different colors of foil dark chocolate balls, and a little something extra special for Christmas Eve--two special dark chocolate bars, and Christmas Day--hand picked chocolates and truffles, everyone's individual favorite. And yes, we all have a favorite. :)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

For the first time in our 9 Staley Family Christmases we have purchased a noble fir Christmas tree, placed it in the stand, and actually took it into the house and decorated it--all in one day! It really is a miracle. You see, for the nearly 9 years we've been married one or both of us have been in school 7 of those 9 Christmases. That means that until finals were over--it didn't look or feel like Christmas in our home. My b-day happens to fall on the 9th and ALWAYS during finals week so it never really felt like my b-day either. There was always a post-b-day celebration...but you do what you gotta do and at least we had our priorities straight, right?

David is in his final year of his Master's degree and yet somehow we pulled this off without adding to the stress of time to get other things done like write 20-page papers and 10-page documentaries and 8-page reflection papers and so on and so forth. I'm so happy that we did. It feels great to get a jump start on the Christmas season and I love the smell of the fresh tree in our home! And she (yes the tree is a girl) turned out so pretty!

And these perfect puppies are compliments of my friend Jennifer Vanderlinden. The same person who we've been praying for and her husband, Pete. Yes, she's mighty talented and seriously I swear she is going to have some multi-million dollar business one day filled with all things hand-stitched, sewn, and perfectly hand-crafted. She made the first three stockings 5 years ago and then a new one for Sydnei when she joined our family last year. I remember that night at her house like it was yesterday. We had so much fun--while she did most of the work. I cut squares but really didn't get the sewing part. I am sewing inept. BAD. In spite of my own sewing disabilities, they came out perfect.

Jennifer has always worked so hard to do everything perfect. For a long time I always thought it was to her detriment (and even to her friends detriment who felt they may not be as perfect and far from it) because I worried she wouldn't be satisfied with herself and the things she created or did because of this concern to be perfect. But now, I get it. I know that "being perfect" isn't actually attained in this life--and I think she knows that. But her drive, hard work, and efforts to be and do things perfectly really push her to improve and progress and anything she attempts to do comes out beautiful (and as it turns out we have this trait in common). So over the years, I learned that lesson from her and it certainly helps me to understand her better as a friend...something I wish would have understood sooner. And, so to not digress too much more than I already have, I'll move on. :D

It was so fun to do these stockings together and I wish I could live closer to her so that we could do things like this and maybe I would even learn a thing or two (even with my craft/sewing disability)! The stockings are so cute and perfect and will be in our family forever thanks to Jennifer!!

Sofia stops to smile for the camera while we're decorating the Christmas Tree

Little Stink, Sydnei. She was running around everywhere with stuff all over her while we decorated the tree. She would stop for little moments to find the Dora ornament and rip it off the tree. The ornament in her hand here is one that never made it up because it because it became her favorite ball to play with!

And every year as I place this ornament on the tree I tell Ryan (David for those of you who only know him as David) that I dedicate this ornament to him. It's my FAVORITE!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update and Thank You!

The doctors were able to successfully warm Pete's body and bring him back to consciousness and out of a sedative state! They are still waiting to see how much if any brain damage was done but so far the scans show no major brain damage. He knows who Jennifer is and that he has two boys and one on the way. I got a kick out of the fact that he said only God knows what they're having even though they found out they were having a girl a couple of weeks ago. Needless to say he still has a long road to recovery and hopefully when the medication has worn off he'll show even more progress.

I want to thank each of you who prayed and hoped and prayed and hoped for Pete and his family. I'm grateful for the opportunity to watch this miracle happen especially during the start of the Christmas season. It reminds me why we celebrate this holiday and the miracle and blessing Christ's birth was to every person that has ever lived on this earth.

Please keep up the prayers as they find their way through recovery. There is nothing more powerful than the strength and comfort that comes from on high--and the Vanderlinden's definitely felt that over the last few days. Thanks again.