Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This is in our local paper today....

On your 3rd Anniversary in Heaven

Sheila Ann Sikora
I read this on my friend’s blog, and it really hit home to me. She lost her 4 year old daughter suddenly like we lost my Mom. I have spent the last 3 years wishing I had just known what lay ahead for us…. Wishing I had some warning that she was about to be taken away from us forever…. Then I read this and it really made me think:

“Yes, sometimes I'm glad that I had no clue what awaited me. I would have missed out on the simple goodness of the time we shared those last few days. I had no worries or fears to cloud the time I now consider the greatest days of my life.”

Knowing that my Mom was happy and spent her last night with my children just loving them, brings me a small sense of peace. We had an incredible holiday and got together every day for the week before she died. Every day was spent just being together. I know that should be enough, but in my heart, I am selfish and wish I had her for longer. I do realize how lucky I was and I loved every last minute of having her in my life. I always considered myself privileged and blessed to be her kid. I still do. I just wish she was here with us. I wish we were all still together. But I also pray she is at peace in Heaven with our Auntie Kathy laughing by her side. Watch over us Mom. Keep us safe. And please protect Busia from any sadness and pain. The pain is greater now than before because you have missed more and we have missed you for longer. Our only hope is that we will all be together again one day. We love you Mom and miss you more every single day.

Kristi, Neil, Kalli, Kaya, Mindy, Matt, and Busia

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Three years ago tonight

My happy and healthy Mom had dinner here with my family. It was simple and they just stopped by and ate with us. Nothing major, no photos taken....  just time spent together eating and hanging out for a bit. Then, sometime in the next 24 hours, she died. That was it. She was gone forever and I had no clue it was coming. I cannot stop wishing I had known what was coming so I could have apprecaited that simple dinner a little more. I miss everything about her. She was honestly my best friend and I talked to her at least a couple times every single day. To go from that to her just being gone is still hard to accept. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday, sometimes it seems like a lifetime since I have heard her laugh in person. I have an audio file of her laugh that I play almost every day. I could not even handle listening to it tonight. It just broke my heart. I hope there is no pain in Heaven and that she can see down and view the awesome things the kids say and do. I just want her back. I know that is wrong to wish for, but I cannot stop.

That bottom photo is exactly how most people remember my Mom. Laughing to the point of tears. I had someone tell me it was sad that she was gone, but that he would jealous of me for the rest of his life because I got to be her kid. I never took that for granted....  I was grateful every day and thanked God over and over for putting me in her belly. I wish I had more faith that this was all part of some big plan....  right now, I just miss her and I cannot stop wishing that I could have somehow changed things and saved her.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

So this is Christmas...

We had a wonderful Christmas. We were able to help a family in need on Christmas eve, and both kids gave their Newly Received Target Gift Cards to get gifts for a family who had nothing. I was so proud of them. On Christmas day is was peaceful and nice. Simple and happy. Uncle Matt, Rahul, and Busia spent the night here and were here to watch the kids open their gifts from Santa.

Here is an early shot
We had great sunlight coming in so I tried to shoot without flash. I love my flash, but I was worried about washing out their white PJs so I tried to shoot without it. 
All Kaya wanted for Christmas was a Chocolate Lollipop which she was more than thrilled to receive

I just love that look on her face when she is eating her lollipop. 
Here are a could shots during the opening process....
During opening....  they completely stopped over and over to open and play with what they had just opened. I love that. I wish they would always stop and savor the moment instead of rushing to the next thing....
Here is a great after shot that summed up the moment quite well...
And here are the girls playing with their new bead art and Easy Bake Oven with Uncle Matt and Rahul....  it was an amazing day. 
I felt blessed to be here watching them enjoy every little thing. It just felt right with Busia and Matt and Rahul being here, too. I hope they never forget Christmas mornings like this one. I know I never will.  

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

I have loved this nativity set. The girls play with it every single day. I always wanted to find one they could  have fun with and not worry about it breaking. Other than occasionally misplacing Jesus...  I love watching them play with this one. They are so excited about the holidays. I miss my mom over these next few days more than most other days...  but the kids sure help you plow through any sadness. Hard to believe that three years ago today we had an amazing Christmas Eve and just a few days later my Mom was gone forever.  I need to stop wishing I could relive that last Christmas and accept things for what they are, but it is hard. I hope you are warm and safe and you realize the blessings that surround you every day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why does anyone live here anyway???

I know, I know, we moved back to live by family... but COME ON PEOPLE! Please move south with me. I hate the cold....  it has barely been above 1 degrees....  what is that? And my kind southern husband is tired of trying to chip away chunks of ice on our driveway. I think some of the ice will be there until May. I am already tired of being cold and the other day was only day one of winter. I might not make it.

Kalli on the other hand...  LOVES IT!

The other day she could not stop making snow angels....

Neil came in once his eyes honestly froze shut. It was horrible. Come on spring....  hurry up please.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fashion Show

How lucky am I to get treated to a Fashion show??

This last one is my favorite of all. She has more style at 6  1/2 than most people do in a lifetime.

Happy Holiday Week!!

Friday, December 19, 2008


I am very lucky. And I know how blessed I am to realize that. Looking at photos as they uploaded tonight consumed me. I had other things to do, but I was staring at the mac....  looking at my life....  and in just this past week, I am lucky enough to have more happy moments than some people do in a lifetime.

Holidays are hard. I miss my mom. It is just sad without her. I wish she could have seen Little Kaya up there dancing and singing out her little heart. Maybe she was allowed to peak through the sky and look down on her. I hope she would be proud of these little people turning into bigger people. I am lucky to be their mom.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Santa Rocks

I had to work so I missed this event...  but Neil got this great photo of the girls with Santa.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I love this kid

This picture just cracked me up. She did NOT want me to take her photo, but I could not help it. I love this kid.  

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wonderful People Surrounding Me

I had a very busy, but very good weekend. I connected back with people I met this summer and ended up at a wonderful person's home today and made some cool connections. I created the album below for a family who just lost their grandma. I am delivering it tomorrow. (If you ever need me to custom create one of these little "10 things I love about you" books, send me an email. I can get it to you pretty quickly, and all you have to do it add in a little journaling and some photos.....  I am also teaching this class as a Mom and Me class Monday night at the Schererville Town Hall from 6 - 7 PM).

I love that paper and glue can connect me with people and I can help them do little things to preserve their family's memories. I had a great time today meeting new people and showing them the value of doing just one little thing and loving that they did that! I felt connected to people in an odd and peaceful way. Like I was exactly where I was meant to be today....  and it was last minute and I felt unprepared....  (which you know I hate) but it went so well. It was good for my family because I can get a couple little things I needed for the holidays because of the success of my business this weekend, and I can sleep well knowing I helped a couple of moms feel excited about the little things they do. Have a great week.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Made a fun project tonight

Had a GREAT show today at the Lake Central event. I think there were 150 booths there. I wished I could have walked it but I was nice and busy. Had the best show I have ever had and it felt great. I am even doing an event tomorrow with some cool people I met today at the show. I made this for a lady to give to her parents for Christmas. I cannot wait for her to add her photos. I even made clear templates for her to use to trace and cut the photos! I am so excited for her to give this gift!! 

Have a ton to do.....  CCD in the morning, then the fun open house event, have two more trees to make, and a bunch of 10 Things I Love About You books for my class in Schererville on Monday. Plus, Girl scouts and teaching on Monday too....  Man, I better log off and go to bed! Hope you are having a great weekend!

Also, Tammy....  if you are reading this - the girls LOVE opening a gift on their trees every day. It is so fun watching them. We got a couple days behind and they opened three at once and had the BEST time. Thank you for the amazing gift for them. You have brought them SO MUCH daily joy this holiday. I am grateful.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Look Of Love

Can you tell how excited Kalli was to open her gift from Neil's parents???  She was SO HAPPY to get the Just Like You American Girl Doll (that looked nothing like her, but it is the one she really really wanted). I love that look of sheer surprise when she realized what it was. They got one for Kaya as well...  she was too shy to join in the family photo with the new dolls. Kaya picked one that looked like her friend from China...  and she gave it her name.... SONG.... Song, if you are reading this, send us your email because she really missed you. She loves her doll that looks like you! 
I love when a kid has that look of shock and love. Another awesome holiday moment.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kids singing together

A group of girls at the party decided to sign together... they practiced then sang in front of all of us. They sang Rudolph the red nosed reindeer in front of all of us while they passed a stuffed toy. it was great. They were awesome and it almost made me cry. I wish I had it on video. They were so cute. I wish Kaya had been well enough to come...  she would have loved it. Just a great, happy holiday moment. Now that is what it is all about to me.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Santa's Lap

Kalli was sad to go to our friend's annual party without her sister who has been sick. She asked him to bring a surprise present for her and a puzzle for her sister. I love that kid for missing her sister.