Thanksgiving 2011

Although I have some very obvious things to be thankful for this year, its been a little hard this weekend to truly get in to the thankfulness spirit. While I am so filled with thankfulness for my children, my husband, my home, and my extended family, it is hard being a mom, my husband has taken up snoring which is interfering with my sleeping, my yard has been destroyed by the contractor who did our sewer hook-up forcing mud to be tracked all over our home, and my family is in a hard pre-grieving stage waiting for my grandfather to pass away.

Saturday morning EVERYTHING seemed like a hopeless problem with no way to fix it. I cried, I vented to my mom, and I cried some more. I was alone with the girls that morning and couldn’t get anything done. I found that even though we had cleaned and revamped where Parker, our cat, has taken to peeing in the girl’s room, he had done it again. A puddle of pee splashed on my leg as I was investigating, their shoes were splattered, and it was in the rug again. I cried. After a hug from Sofie and a few choice words yelled at the cat, I washed all their shoes.

For the rest of the morning everything looked dingy, dirty, beyond repair, and gross. I was ready to get rid of the cat, tear out all the flooring in my home, re-do the bathroom and kitchen and/or seriously talk to Jon about moving. My yard seemed to be in such disrepair that my kids would probably never have fun in it again and they definitely couldn’t be out there alone because of all the apparent dangers! I think I over-reacted a bit 🙂

I do stand by my dissatisfaction with the yard. The contractor was supposed to come today and he is going to get an earful when he does come. But, I have a lovely home. It is one of the nicest basement suites I’ve seen and we do own it! We have huge bedrooms, a play area for the kids and even an office! I’m truly blessed to live downstairs from my mom. She is such a great support and I’m glad I can be there to help her out too. I love that she has such a close relationship with my girls. Livi wakes up at 7:30 each morning and heads on upstairs for breakfast with her! She doesn’t quite understand why we don’t let her up there on weekends though. She hasn’t grasped the concept of sleeping in yet.

Speaking of grandparent relationships, my grandpa, whom I have be extremely close with and who participated greatly in raising me, is dying. He is now on ‘comfort care’ only. That means no IV’s and no medical interventions other than pain medications. He has lived a long life and been ready to go for a long time. He had hoped he would go in his sleep or have heart attack and it would be quick. It has been slow and painful though. The last two years have been a steady decline in his physical and cognitive abilities. It has been really hard on everyone, especially since he has been home with Grandma and home support up until a few weeks ago.

Yesterday I took my daughters to the hospital to say goodbye. They usually see him a few times a month but since he has been in the hospital we’ve gone about once a week. He wasn’t conscious yesterday and had just had a shot of morphine but I think it was good for Livi to see him like that. I’ve been trying to talk to her about Opa dying, as much as she can grasp. We’ve explained to her that Opa has lived  really long time and wants to go to Heaven now. His body isn’t working very well and when it stops working he will die and go to Heaven! We’ve told her that she won’t see him again and Mommy, Marmee and Oma will be very sad because we miss him so much, but Opa won’t be sad. He will partying it up in THE BEST PLACE EVER! He won’t be sick there anymore. She told Oma about Opa going to Heaven yesterday. It was quite precious and we all got a little teary. I am so glad that he will no longer be in pain. He has lived with chronic pain ever since the war. I am very ready for him to die… well as ready as I can be I guess. But, I am going to miss him terribly.

We did get to celebrate Thanksgiving though. On Friday we joined Jon’s extended family for a very delicious dinner. It was a little ill-timed for young kids so Sofie, in particular, was hungry and tired before we even got to the dinner. It was also her first big gathering held somewhere other than her home so she was over stimulated. I had also just had an update about my grandpa and hadn’t slept well at all the night before, so I was not the best guest and Sofie’s fussiness was extra stressing me out. The aunts and uncles who couldn’t make it to Sofie’s Blessing were finally able to meet her though! They were really awesome about giving us our space too, which I think I needed as much as Sofie did 🙂

Sunday was my family’s dinner. I made the best turkey you’ve ever tasted, thanks to Gordon Ramsay. Sessa was in charge of all types of potatoes (mashed and sweet), my mom bought the veggies but I think my sisters ended up cooking most of them and Liz made two pies and a trifle! It was a tamer and more appropriate dinner than usual since we had a guest with us. My mom threatened all of us to be on our best behavior… or else! I don’t think any under cover body parts or bedroom humor was mentioned even once! I definitely think this is a holiday for the history books. I’m not sure we can pull that off again. My mom has a lot to be thankful for this year. It may never happen again!

Typical moment of Livi trying to be the doting sister with Sofie ready to swat her away.

Our family did get to enjoy one of our spontaneous dance parties that seem to happen every holiday. I love it. My kids love it! I think people driving by our open window leaving their dinners must think how cool our family is… or look at us wondering what meds we aren’t taking. Both might be true.

Sofie didn’t quite get it all but she enjoyed the dancing and loved the chocolate trifle!

I’m so thankful for my girls. Livi is literally amazing. She is fills me with joy everyday. Sofie is my exceptional gift. She is exceeding all expectations. I’ll say more when I blog about her two month anniversary. I don’t know why I am so blessed to be her mom but I’m thankful for it. For both of them. I’m thankful for my husband. He is patient, caring and willing to work on us. Not all men will work for their relationships or their wives, but Jon does. I’m thankful for my mom who listens and gently guides me through my life. I don’t know where I would be with out her. I’m thankful for all my supportive family and friends who make me laugh and genuinely care about me and my little family. Writing this is reminding me of all the things that I really am thankful for and blessed with… so I’m thankful for blogging. It is an outlet where I can organize my thoughts and feel a sense of connection through this mommy stage in my life. Thanks for staying with me and sending me your emails and comments. It means so much to me!

3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving 2011

  1. LeAnna et David says:

    I'll be praying for you. *hugs* I don't think it's ever easy, whether it is fast or drawn out. At least you are able to spend time with him now.

    Also, did your Grandpa fight in the war? I thought most Mennonites were conscientious objectors. My Grossvater couldn't get called up, as he was missing some digits, so it wasn't an issue for my family, and dad only remembers collecting airplane cards. It is just an aspect of cultural history I find interesting.


  2. Deb says:

    So sorry about your Opa. It's hard to watch and even harder to say goodbye. May God give you and your family strength. Thanks for your posts. Not only do you enjoy writing, but I enjoy reading. Blessings.


  3. Carol says:

    I'm so sorry to hear about your Opa, Katie. Not sure what else to say since words hardly seem adequate when facing death and goodbyes.

    Also wanted to say I love the dance photos. I'd definitely be one of the folks walking by thinking, “Man, that's one cool family!”


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