Sunday, December 29, 2013

January Hymn

"On a winter Sunday I go
To clear away the snow
and green the ground below.
April all an ocean away
Is this the better way to spend the day?
Keeping the winter at bay
What were the words I meant to say before you left?
When I could see your breath lead where you were going to.
Maybe I should just "let it be"
and maybe it will all come back to me
Sing, Oh January, Oh
How I lived a childhood in snow
And all my teens in tow
Stuffed in strata of glow
Hail the winter days after dark
Wandering the gray memorial park
A fleeting beating of hearts
What were the words I meant to say before she left?
When I could see her breath lead where she was going to
Maybe I should just "let it be"
and maybe it will all come back to me
Sing, Oh January, Oh"
                                                                                        - the Decemberists, "January Hymn"
these pictures were taken this morning on the Great River State Trail that Phantom and I frequent 

 We've really settled in well and made this little corner of Wisconsin as much of a home as we could in the short months we've been here.  We each have things we're looking forward to in the future and a lot of that has to do with living here, in our small corner of this great big world.  We approached the holiday season with little expectation, as has been our mantra - to not expect things to look a certain way or plan for much.  We slowly started to incorporate our old traditions with new ones. It was tough.  More for me than the kids, and that seems reasonable.  There are things about this time of year that Rob and I had done together - that I was now carrying alone.  Two of the hardest things this year were:
- picking out the Hallmark ornaments for the stockings that we buy for the kids every year. 
- we would be wrap the presents on Christmas Eve because (even though we swore we wouldn't wait until the last minute this year) we got too busy, so we'd open a bottle of wine, put on the Bill Murry classic, "Scrooged", and stay up way too late wrapping the presents.

There were new things we did this year that are sure to become traditions with the four of us, customs that mean we're moving on. We were all so excited for this, our first Christmas, in our new home, but with everything that was different I was painfully aware of how much further we were stepping away from that piece of our world.  The piece that was him.
 I was so grateful when  My brother and his lovely Suzy chose to come and spend Christmas Eve and Day with us - then when Sarah's boyfriend, Evan, was able to make plans to come up during his school break it was a complete reunion of last year.  They filled the house with laughter, games, good food, and activity.
I was so pleased when a few close families' who knew us in Germany (and some that I least expected it from) sent little care packages and small gifts to let us know they were thinking of us.  It brings tears to my eyes even now, because it means a lot that some of you remember and know how hard it is for me to try and carry on.  
 I was recently telling a friend that anytime I get sad or frustrated with things, I try to list all the obvious doors, windows, nudges, and blaring sirens that God has put in our path to let us sternly, but lovingly, know that this is exactly where He wants us.  It's hard to argue with that.  I get impatient sometimes for things to seem normal again.  To feel whole.  Then I think, though, that part of feeling those things will come at the cost of not missing Rob so terribly much, and as painful as it is to so desperately long for him, I don't exactly want to move on from there.  And so I start reciting the list in my head again.......
"Maybe I should just "let it be"
and maybe it will all come back to me
Sing, Oh - January - Oh"

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas cards

Christmas at the Murphy's on Monday night was a great time full of card games, treats, presents, and more card games.  Grandma had a great time teaching the kids a new game.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Snow! Snow! Snow!

We traveled to Waukesha to celebrate Christmas with Ann & Lee (Rob's Mom and step-Dad) and were treated to 6" of snow!  The kids had never seen so much snow and enjoyed a little time outside being goofy, throwing snowballs, and figuring out what it tastes like.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

the great sleepover reunion

In the transient life that is the military you come along friends that you know will be with your for a season, neighbors and coworkers that you enjoy during your time (or theirs) at different bases around the globe.  Every so often you come across a friend that you know will be around despite the different  time zones.  It doesn't happen very often for kids - especially young kids - as they just kind of move on, but for these 4 boys they just connected in a way that makes them friends for life.  Our families also became friends and we were so blessed when they decided to make a trip happen to visit us.  Just the moms and the boys, this time, but it was such a welcome reminder of times-past and reaffirmation for a future with friendships that last.  
The boys spent most of the time in the house enjoying all their favorite things.  I ended up with a nasty cold and so my dear friends took care of me and we enjoyed good food, wine, and endless laughs and conversation.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Piano recital

We have found a great new teacher for the boys and enjoyed being a part of her annual Christmas Recital.  She teaches a lot of talented kids.  After the recital we came home for some hot chocolate (it is COLD in Wisconsin)