Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Very Public Reminder that I Don't Have it All Together

So I just ate Chex Mix for lunch. After I ran, so don't be too judge-judgy.

It's the first day of vacation for the holiday break, and a day that I have spent mostly in the kitchen (thus the Chex Mix and the run!). I have been a little stressed today, to say the least, as we're down to the wire until the Big Guy comes and makes his presents (get it?? That's not a typo.) known!

Last night, as I was rejoicing in the fact that we finally got a Christmas tree (see previous posts about one year old destructive and curious twins and the other one about a loss in our family, and you'll understand), and humming along to Christmas music as I made dinner, I felt together. At peace. Ready for the season to truly begin.

Then, Joe received what started as hilarious and ended as an utterly embarrassing stream of text messages.

We had just sent out our beautifully, seemingly perfect Christmas cards. They were to arrive on the doorsteps of friends and family BEFORE Christmas. Whew.

However, this text made my Christmas daze of awesomeness come to a screeching halt.

The text asked if Jack was sending out his own Christmas card.


Friends, I am not the Christmas card person in our family. Until last year, we sent a letter that Joe wrote. He takes the Excel sheet and updates addresses. He's the one to lead this. However, it was a busy time for him, and since we weren't doing a letter this year, I took the reigns.

And forgot a KID.



The good news is, it's on the back, as we have so many lovely people in our family, we couldn't fit on the front. So, if you didn't even flip our card over, you wouldn't have even noticed. I also have heard some really awesome "oops" stories, thanks to my posting on Facebook the card and my owning my error.

However, it's moments like this that just make me shake my head at myself.

I do not have it all together.


I may appear to at times.

But generally, it's just a facade.

This incident, to be known know as "The Year We Forgot Jack on the Christmas Card," will be a constant reminder that I am not together. I forget things, try as I may to not. I multitask to the extreme, and forget to double check things.

I'm human, and thus, a mess at times.

However, I am going to just own it, either way.
Yes, there are a lot of us.
Yes, I probably was holding someone or helping someone while I was working on Shutterfly.
Yes, I should have been more careful, and YES this is not a big deal in the grand scheme. It will make for a great story, and it will also wake a mother up at night, and possibly come out in therapy for our "forgotten boy."

Gah, again.

In light of this very public reminder that I am INSANELY HUMAN, I wish you all the Merriest of Christmas. I wish you peace and love in the time when we celebrate God who became Man. Our celebration is about the Son of God who came to us to be our Savior. During this celebration, may you remember that this time is not about a perfect Christmas card, it's about remembering those who are important in your life.

Even if you forgot his name on the card.

Wishing you a blessed holiday season!
Joe, Emily, Anna, Josie, Amelia, JACK, Mary & Caroline

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Living in the Present

We lost Joe's grandpa yesterday.

While he was 90, and all the right things have been said, all the suffering and illness are gone, all the goodbyes have been shared, it's still hard. Even when you're 40, your grandpa is still indeed your grandpa.

This relationship, however, between Joe and Grandpa Dick is one that has spanned not just four decades, but acres of fields, many, many fence lines, countless hours spent in the pasture, and many, many, many phone calls.

When Joe and I first started dating, whatever we were doing on Sunday night had to stop for about an hour so that Joe could call and update Grandpa. "What do ya say, Dick?" was always the beginning, and once I was offered the phone, I knew I was "in" with the family.

I'll miss hearing his voice on the other end.

His last few years have been dotted with illnesses, some more severe in spirit than in body. Growing old was hard for Grandpa Dick. He was a young soul, and rarely did I ever think of him as someone who was pushing 90. I have to believe that it was because Grandpa Dick wasn't one to reminisce. He wasn't one of the old guys at the coffee shop who would talk about the good old days, the years he spent playing basketball (which he was really, really good at), or the times spent with his family as a child. He rarely spoke of any time but the present. He enjoyed the company of friends who were several years his junior, and loved being around his grand kids and great grand kids. As I think of this, I don't think there's a birthday party we hosted here that he didn't come to. That's pretty amazing.

From my observation, he lived in the present, the here and now.

No sense fretting about the past, and while he cared about the future, and his plans were set for the end, his role on the farm only morphed just a few years ago from one of the major workers to a more retired role. Joe always marveled after days spent working with his grandpa how he was outworked by a senior citizen. He never seemed his age, which was always a surprise to me when we would celebrate it. He was one of those men who seemed to never age, until only recently.

Joe has been hit hard by this loss. We lost his mom two years ago, and that was hard too, but this relationship was different. Joe was Grandpa Dick's sidekick from the earliest of his memories. Grandpa Dick encouraged Joe to show cattle, praised his efforts in the corporate world, commiserated with the ups and downs of farming, puffed up with pride when we named Jackson Richard after him. Grandpa was Joe's mentor. One of his biggest cheerleaders. One of his friends.

It's a loss that cannot be replaced.

I can only hope that with Grandpa's passing, we can take a moment to live in the present. To grieve this loss. To remember the life that was lived for farm and family. To hug each other tight as we remember good times (ask Joe about an unfortunate golf cart incident) and try to remember that the bad days he had are behind him.

I'm thankful I got to know Grandpa Dick. He has been a big part of our lives, and his memory will continue to impact how we live...he was never short on opinions, calling us "reckless" when we found out about the twins! Ha!

Rest in peace, Grandpa Dick. We miss you, love you, and will see you on the other side.