Thursday, December 31, 2009

Farewell 2009

This has been a strange year for the Melnick's and so many other families that we know. The energy of our society is shifting and families are experiencing things that are challenging and scary. We all face challenges in our lives but it seems some people take a larger portion than others. However between all the struggling, worrying, planning and wondering life happens and this year life happened for us in a big way.

2009 brought many GREAT blessings that we are so grateful for. The most remarkable part of our year was having Priscilla Mae. We kicked off the year with a brand new baby!! How can you top that?

She has been just what this mama needed. She smiles at EVERYTHING. She makes us all laugh and she is EASY GOING. We don't get many of those types around here.

As I say good bye to another year and welcome in whatever 2010 has in store for me I can't help but to be hopeful for all the unknown that lies before me. I always have resolutions that seem to fade before the beginning of next week. But one of these years I want to run a marathon. I am hoping this is my year. I realize I need to do more than hope...I need to run like 500,000 miles to train. I just have to figure out how to fit more time into a day. Have a great night and thanks for coming back next year.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

OK...I have Been Doing A Little Bit More Than Watching Lost

I have been spending A LOT time these last few days catching up on Lost (and some good old fashioned cuddle time with Pete). But another addiction has plagued me. Let me explain. When I was visiting my friend she casually made an incredible dinner one night. Amongst steak and baked potatoes Jane put out the object of my new obsession. Asparagus in browned butter.

The recipe is simple enough, browned butter, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar....but the taste is amazing. I like asparagus (you cuss, I cuss, we all cuss for asparagus???). But this asparagus is amazing. Its is life changing and I can't stop thinking about it. I called Jane on Christmas Day and asked her for the recipe. She told me that browning butter is an art and the key to this recipe. I should have bowed out when she said art....being that I am NOT an artist. But I am in now. I have made more asparagus in browned butter over the last week that any person should admit to. I have even practiced browning butter for fun. I am giving it another try on New Years day. Wish me luck! I am dying to eat this and Jane can't make it for New Year's dinner.
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We Have Been LOST!

I am sorry about the lack of posts lately. I realize you all are living your lives just fine without reading my random thoughts.

I do miss my blog...but for the last few nights I have had the pleasure of keeping company with Jack, Kate, Sawyer. Pete and I are watching season 5 on DVD. We look foward to this all year. I love the show and also find it VERY frustrating. I want answers!! We stay up way to late and think way to much about smoke monsters and time travel. I hope to be back from the Lost very soon.
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Still Christmas

This is truly the first week of Christmas break for us. Last week was filled with so much that I am feeling a bit hung over this Monday. It would have been nice if last week the kids took a break from needing to be parented. If they woke up and said, "Hey Mom, you seem like you might need to get a few things done, I'm good go about your business I'll be good." Talk about a Christmas miracle!

I loved every busy minute. I love to be busy. I love knowing that the many moments we are in are making up the memories my kids will cherish forever. It is not perfect. It is tiring and sometimes stressful but we do the best we can and ask for forgiveness for the rest.

One of the best parts of being Catholic is the liturgical calendar. Up until Christmas day we were in Advent. Advent is a time for preparing for the coming of Christ. Then Christmas day begins the season of Christmas...12 whole days!! We get to continue the celebration of Christ' birth for 12 more days. It makes so much sense to me. The baby Jesus is born and when babies are born there is a period of time that kind of stands still. The church is telling us to stand still and REJOICE in Christ. I am all about rejoicing...the standing still part always gets me.

These little people make it hard to stand still. And as you can imagine NOTHING was still here Christmas morning.
There was a level of chaos that rose beyond rational excitement. We survived and feel thankful that we get 360 more days
until the next round of Christmas memories are made.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Christmas List

This time last year I was VERY pregnant with this sweet smiling baby. I was so glad to be having the last few months of my pregnancy in the "winter". Being fat and happy is hard to do when you are roasting too!!
This year we have 5 living breathing present opening
folks . Another new thing we have this year is a Christmas with no gifts for me. Usually I am at the top of my list for people to buy for. And I have to admit when I shop for others it usually goes something like this, "One for her, two for ME". I can not help myself, I LOVE Stuff. However, we have had so much "buying" to do since the fire that I am kinda needing a "I need " break.
Pete is a little scared. I have said things in the past like, "Don't worry hon, I don't want anything this year". He foolishly believed me back then...poor guy. But this year is different. I don't know why. I just feel different about the whole thing. Maybe it is because I already feel like I have everything I need..for the moment. Trust me, this post easily could have been about all the sparkley fun things I have to restrain myself from buying myself.  Maybe, just maybe, I am figuring out the difference between a need and a want.  Or maybe I am finally sticking with my promises over the last few months when I have wanted something a little pricey that we could let that count for Christmas, like my camera, my purse and wallet, my trip to DC, my new piece of furniture from White House Antiques, my coat and boots for my DC trip, my turkey platter.  Wow, I better go get to the business of thanking Pete for such a generous Christmas!
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Monday, December 21, 2009

...So Be Good For Goodness Sake!!

I know the definition of discipline means to teach. I know that it never stops when you are a parent. I also know that I am just beginning the hard road of "teaching". Not just the ABC's and multiplication, but how to be a good person. How to be a leader and not a follower. How to listen to the little voice from within.

I have to teach all of them that each situation we find ourselves in we have a choice to make.

And each choice has a distinct consequence. And administering that consequence usually breaks a mamma's heart.

I guess I need to go over the whole "He's making a list and checking it twice" business because one of my little shadows did not get the memo that I am on Christmas break and this mama needs it!
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

It Is Almost Christmas Eve's Eve

I remember as a kid having the same feeling my kids are feeling right now (wait, I still feel it myself). There is energy in the air, excitement everywhere so everyday must be an eve of something great. I totally agree! There is a lot of greatness that goes on this time of year. Sometimes I am like, "Can't we spread the joy out over the year a bit better? Do we really have to cram this much fun into 4 weeks?"

Tonight we had a kids Christmas gift exchange, cookie decorating, general mayhem party with my friend Tammy, mom of eight!!! Every time our families get together it feels like a party but tonight we actually called it one. There are a couple of reasons it always feels like a party...

The number one reason is anywhere you take Lucy feels like a party, instant chaos (just add Lucy). Another reason is there are 13 children between the 2 of us and there are usually only 2 adults. As you can imagine with 13 people there is usually food and drink involved. Turn on some music to drown out the crying and you have a party.

So here we are, home from our party and entering the home stretch. This is the 4Th Sunday of Advent. This is the week my kids have been waiting for all year. We get to take a break from school and Pete gets some time off from work. We make it to more Masses this week and then we have the ultimate Feast of Christ's birth. This night does feel like the eve of lots of joy to come!!Rejoice!
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

....The Winner Is...

a girl who has been a big part of my life since moving to Mobile. She lives in this house and they were made for each other. Elizabeth is the picture of Southern Hospitality. When we moved here she took me right in and made me feel at home in so many ways, always inviting me places and making sure I was included in things she was doing. After a while I loved her family so much I had them move in....(after we moved out of course)

It was at her house that I had my "It's a Wonderful Life" night to remember. When I walked in and saw her beautiful HUGE tree I knew it needed this ornament on it.

I loved reading the comments about the First Ladies. My own favorite is Abigail Adams. I fell in love with her after watching the John Adams series from Showtime. Pete and I loved watching that series and I learned so much. I am so amazed at what the women in our country had to endure during the American Revolution. It helps me to have perspective sometimes when I am feeling over worked and over least I have shampoo, conditioner, a blow dryer and flat iron. You know, the basics!

Thanks Elizabeth for commenting and I think I have your address around here somewhere...
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Fire, Jimmy Stewart, Great Friends!!!

About six months ago Pete and I lost everything in a storage fire. Kind of a random hardship. We were all just fine, never in a moments danger. We just lost all our material possessions, with the exception of summer clothes and homeschooling books. The whole situation has been a blur. We just picked up and went on with the business, and craziness, of raising these future saints. When people ask how we are doing with the loss from the fire we always remark on the difficulty with loosing pictures and ALL of our Christmas things. Up until recently I had never really felt the pain of starting from scratch.

Then about 3 weeks ago on the first Sunday of Advent the pain settled in and made a home in my heart. We had our first Advent dinner with no Advent wreath. I had not replaced ANY Christmas items and now all of us were feeling the emptiness the fire had left. Then one afternoon, after quietly feeling sorry for myself, my friend comes by and drops off a beautiful Advent wreath that her son had made in his CCD class. I was truly amazed. This gesture touched my heart and made me so grateful that God cared if I had an Advent wreath. He wanted me to have one as much as I wanted one. I know I could have just gone out and replaced the Advent wreath myself, but my old one was given to me by my great friend Kathy in Alaska and I knew I could never replace THAT one. Knowing that, God sent me another one through a new great friend and her family!

And then last night I had my own "It's A Wonderful Life" moment.

Pete and I attended what has become an annual ornament swap for us. When we moved to Mobile 2 years ago we met an amazing group of Catholic families and they invited us to share in this yearly tradition with them. After a lively game of ornament swapping the room grew quiet. The host looked at Pete and I and said, " We know you guys lost all your ornaments in the fire. We all wanted to help replace some of them for you. We all brought an extra ornament for you guys to take home and put on your tree." eyes swell and my heart is in my throat. How do you show people just how deeply they have touched your heart? I was so filled with appreciation and humbleness.

I feel so blessed to have such good people in my life. I want to be a better person just so I can become worthy of the thoughtfulness of these great families.

And just because I have to say friends have really GREAT taste in ornaments!!

And speaking of ornaments I am going to announce the winner of the Give-a-Way tomorrow.  I am sorry about the "not keeping the deadline".  I have been busy licking my wounds!!

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