Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Number 3

This was our third Christmas spent with Abby in Heaven. I don't know that I would say I "count" the holidays spent without our Abrielle here, but it's more that I just know. While it was better that year one, I don't know that I can say it was better than year two. In fact, it may have been the opposite. We were snowed in like most everyone else, so the distraction of playing cards and games with our local family was not there. Instead, we did our best to stay busy playing with the girls all day, but Mom and Dad are only fun for so long. That's when that spot of emptiness begins to spread, bringing tears. That's when the fact that one little girl is missing can no longer be "distracted" away. To make things worse, that snow also kept us from going to see our little girl and has in fact still kept us from visiting her resting place. (I understand that cemeteries are not a top priority for crews to clean and am patiently waiting for the drive to be cleaned out so we can scoop our way to Abby's grave the way we did after the last snow storm.)

Three stockings were hung from the hangers on Christmas Eve, waiting for Santa to fill two of them.


Santa did not forget about Abrielle though. He left stuffed animals and games under our Abby tree for the Foundation.
Some of the sights of Elly enjoying her new Christmas gifts were almost too much as she reminded us so much of her older sister this year. She too loves to dress up and received a trunk full of Barbie Princess dress up clothes. Elly immediately stripped down to put on the fancy clothes, just like Abby did the year she received hers.


I also want to apologize for my lack of posting these last few weeks, but to be honest, the holidays have been hard for me. Getting through the day is just about all I get accomplished some days. I have quite a bit to catch up on for Foundation posts and will do that soon. Thanks for your support and understanding.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays?

Christmas time makes the sadness and depression I battle so much worse. The "happy face" is harder to put on and the tears flow almost daily during this season. I switch to a "have to do this for my girls" mode and that's what keeps me going. I miss my Abby so much right now that I'm not sure I can describe the feelings inside. It's the little things that get me so often. Sometimes it's the twinkling Christmas lights on houses as we drive through town to show the girls their beauty. Sometimes it's the toys I see as I force myself to shop for gifts. Sometimes it's the music that is being played that stops me in my tracks. Sometimes it's someone saying, "You have a Merry Christmas with your family." There are days that it is so hard to pull myself from the "pity party" feelings of "this isn't fair!" and "why my little girl that was loved so much" to the "we were blessed with an angel for almost 4 years" where I try to keep myself. It gets harder as the reindeer on the advent calendar gets closer to that last star, meaning the big day is here. The "magic" of Christmas just isn't the same when we have to visit one daughter at the cemetery instead of watching her rip paper from packages.

I do want to say that there have been some wonderful moments that bring happy tears during this season too. It's the teachers that gather gifts for the Foundation instead of themselves. It's the friends that drag you out for lunch because you haven't felt like eating. It's the students that give their gifts from a Santa visit to the Foundation. It's the friends that come over to help wrap gifts and keep you company because they know you won't get it done otherwise. It's the friend that searched until they found solar Christmas lights for you to put on Abby's tree at the cemetery (and it looks beautiful! I cried when I saw them on in the dark.) It's the friend that comes over to give you the motivation to get those homemade gifts done. It's the friend that helps you find the gifts they knew you wanted for the girls but didn't want to battle the crowds for. It's the friends that listen and support you everyday in the little things that sometimes can seem so big. I love all of you and couldn't get through this "most wonderful time of the year" without all of you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Preschool Visit

I took gifts from the Foundation to the preschoolers at Eugene Field Elementary School yesterday. They were able to choose from a teeny beenie stuffed animal along with either a small notebook or small box of crayons.

Monday, December 21, 2009

St Gregory's Help Out

Friday I went to St Gregory's School where the first and seventh graders decorated cards as a service project. They also brought in donations that I will share later.











Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ornaments

Each one of these have a special meaning and that is why they are placed upon our Abby tree.

Abrielle loved Disney movies like most little kids, but had a few favorites. She was in love with the movie "Cars". In fact she would pop in the DVD just to play the song "Life is a Highway" so she could sing and dance. "The Little Mermaid" was another one that she loved to sing the songs to, especially "A Part of Your World". Barbies were another of her loves and you will find several of those throughout the tree.


"Finding Nemo" was the first and probably only movie Abby sat through entire thing. She loved that movie. Our Saturday mornings were filled with "her shows" which included "Stanley and his Great Big Book of Everything."

Rollie Pollie Ollie was on this list of "shows" watched every weekend too. Of course we have a JackJack ornament on the tree too. It's a grey kitty playing with a mouse.

Every time we hear the Chicken Dance song, we think of our little girl and her doing that cute little wing flap. The ornament plays the song and now her sisters are able to dance along. You can also see a couple of the memorial ornaments that hang on her tree in this picture.
Abby loved her Elmo, so of course I had to find one to hang on her tree.
And we couldn't have an Abby tree without a letter A! You can also see one of the ornaments that was given to her by Mema for her to have on her own tree someday. There are four of those on the tree ~ one for every Christmas she was here. Hanging above the A is the Little Einstein's Red Rocket. This was another of her "shows" and we have 2 of these on the tree and one plays the theme song from the show.
My Little Ponies was another thing Abby loved to play with her Sissy.

The engraved ornament was a gift for our Abby tree from a friend, the white ornament with her birth date was sent to us from CMH, and the little kitty gymnast on the balance beam was just perfect for her tree to show her love of gymnastics.

We love what each one of these ornaments (and the ones I didn't show) represent on Abby's tree. Each year as we open the boxes, we will be greeted by the memories that each one of these hold. There is one more very special ornament that is hung on every one of our trees along with Grandparents and other relatives.

This glass ornament was made by the Daniels family and given to us by Cole.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Abby's Pink Tree

We added some new ornaments to the pink tree we take to the cemetery this year. Of course they were more Disney Princess and Cars ornaments.
I was really hoping to find some solar powered Christmas tree lights to add to the tree, but all I could find were in huge lengths (35+ feet). Maybe next year I'll be able to find some so that Abby's tree will be lit up for her. We were wanting to have her tree to her by now, but with the snow, decided to wait a bit. It will be there by the weekend though for her.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Certificate of Appreciation

I received a package in the mail from the Department of Health and Human Services that contained a picture of me with the Certificate of Appreciation for Abrielle from the National Donor Recognition Ceremony we attended in Washington, DC in July.



Also included was a video of the ceremony and if I can figure out how, I will try to upload part of it to the blog for all to see.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mac n Cheese

I wanted to share another layout I did for the favorite food challenge at GoodGriefBlog. Anyone that knew Abrielle was sure to know what her favorite food was ~ mac n cheese. She loved that stuff! It didn't matter if we went out to a nice restaurant, she wanted to order "mac-e-roni".

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The journaling reads, "Abrielle loved mac and cheese! Her absolute favorite! Should could not help herselft from cleaning out the pan one night after supper. She got a little messy, but sure looked cute."

Friday, December 4, 2009

"Abby Tree"

The girls and I decided to decorate our "Abby Tree" last night since we had the others up already. Marc was gone to a basketball game, but I did quite well on my own. My "job" was taking the ornaments out of the boxes and handing them off to the girls for them to hang up. We added a few more ornaments this year, but not many. I had found a couple more Nemo and Cars ones that I had to buy.
Mady wanted to string the pink star garland on her own and did a good job with it. She also did the honors of putting the star on top.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Games

Today I'm sharing another layout I completed for a challenge at GoodGriefBlog to document a game played together.
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The journaling reads, "We are a game playing family, so it was no surprise that Santa brought Abrielle her first game at 18 months. That was Old MacDonald, and we wore that game out. Her last favorites to play were her Nemo Go Fish and Dora Memory. Every Sunday evening we would play games together as a family. Abby also really looked forward to when her Aunt Becci would come out because she would play game after game with the girls. Photo ~ Christmas 2004"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Two Trees Are Up

Despite me not wanting to have them out yet, we put up the two main Christmas trees in the house over the weekend, one on Friday night and one on Saturday. It is good that we do this a little at a time for me because I am not sure that I can handle being thrown into the holiday in one big shove. It is still hard for me to decorate the trees. There are just too many memories associated with this event that it really makes me realize I'm missing a little girl to help. The ornaments we hang have been held in her little hands. The magical ornaments have had their buttons pushed by her little fingers as she watched in amazement the first time Mickey Mouse danced or Winnie the Pooh ice skated. The beads have been draped so lovingly by Abby in years past, even if they were all in the same spot. The angel on the top has been placed there by Abrielle as Marc hoisted her up to the top to do the honors in the years it was her turn. The trees themselves have held her gifts beneath them that she was so excited to see. I do my best to not dwell on these facts as we are making new memories with our other girls, but it is a tough. It is the beginning of another Christmas in our house and I am not sure that our third year without her here will be any easier than last year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

JackJack Update

Sorry everyone that I failed to post that JackJack is finally back to his old self. It took a bit longer than what they thought it would and he was still having small tremors in his back until last Monday. But he is now running around like nothing happened. We have noticed a few differences in his personality, but otherwise, we have the same rotten cat back we had before. I am so thankful!