Happy Holidays!

Hello Friends!

So happy to be checking in with you!  As three times in the past two weeks I have sat down to write and have gotten half way and then I have little helpers either wanting to assist in typing or I have the always loved “MOMMMMMMM!” being screamed…usually to tell me they have to go to the bathroom (which they do completely alone but like to let me know), or someone isn’t being a good sharer!  Story of my life and if your a mom YOURS!!!

Anyway, the holiday season is here!  I will admit so many factors played in to my struggle with really getting in to the season this year.  Including the weather being gorgeous (I’m NOT complaining).  When you live where come Thanksgiving it snows until usually or at least end of February. Then this year we have had 45-60 degree weather the entire week of Christmas and the weeks leading up to it.  Which I’m sure to some is FREEZING!  But to us midwestern peeps this is warm.  I’m not saying I live here for the seasons because I don’t, I actually have a very hard time with winter.  I do however love the way it looks especially on Christmas morning!  But then happy to see it leave!  Another factor which I mentioned in my previous post 2015 has been a challenge for our company.  Joe did some really beautiful work and has been booked out until end of Spring 2016 but when we decided to make business changes we realized some things that needed to be addressed and it got rough.  Which I’m happy to say I think we are over that hump but my goodness that was a stressful few end of year months there. We also know it had to happen the one specific contractor has been un-professional over the past few weeks.  Or maybe I should say kept us fighting!  I’m just going to say you can’t run a company from a tree stand… Ok wait maybe some companies you can but not in the construction company.  Appreciate those that are with and have been with you giving 110%.  The few things that have happened have reminded both Joe and I that we never will treat those that work for us this way.  Ok I’m done…had to just vent for a second!  My quote for all of this is “No one changes the world who isn’t obsessed” not sure where I grabbed this but when I read a few things jumped out.  Mainly change and obsessed.  Joe is the most obsessed person I know about stone and with obsessed comes passion.  These things are needed to make change happen.  So I look forward to many positive changes and success to Moonlight in 2016!  So here is why I struggled to decorate.  Then I did decorate and…this is where I started another blog with “It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

Duke (our just one year old shepherd) didn’t decide while I ran errands to tip over the half gallon of red and not any red SHOCKING red paint in my craft room.  Walking through it and creating beautiful paw prints outside of the GINORMOUS pool of paint throughout my house including all over my couch!  Thank heaven I wasn’t gone too long and was able to get just about all of it off my floors.  The couches on the other hand are done!

It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

When arriving home Duke hadn’t knocked down the Christmas tree and stepped on a glass ornament.  Leaving water everywhere and pine needles scattered like confetti throughout the house!  The Christmas tree went to the front porch and all the ornaments were hung off our metal railing going up stairs.  Duke was fine thank goodness!

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There are many more which I will continue to share but these are just a reminder that it doesn’t only happen in your house we all feel your pain!  Yes, I do still recommend buying a puppy if you were thinking and this post made you question.  As we all including my siblings say “if he wasn’t so cute!”

Christmas arrived and we had a great eve and day!  Christmas eve we spend with our grandparents.  First stop was Joe’s Grandma who is seriously one of the sweetest ladies you will meet.   We were an HOUR late!  Which is standard for us-boo!  Over the past two years grandma has shown many signs of aging.  She felt terrible that she forgot we were coming.  The kids were ecstatic to see her.  There is something warm about her that especially Kole just loves.  He kept going by her snuggling and giving her sweet eyes.  Grandma told us a few times how much trouble we were going to be in down the road with him and the ladies!  Letting Joe know his children were beautiful; which was so sweet.  As parents we all think our kids are the cutest but when grandma says it, it makes you feel really good.  Joe set up a tea party and the kids invited her to join them having orange juice and cookies.  She shared a few stories about Grandpa and their Apple Orchard and how it came to be.  Which I can say I never really heard.  We brought their gifts from New Grandma and New Papa (Joe’s mom and dad) with us so the kids could open there.  They did so and loved their special gifts.  They had books made that included the kids and their friends!  These added to the magic that as a toddler Christmas brings.  The visit was wonderful and reminded us that we need to make it happen more often.  The moments Grandma would loose track of what was going on were hard but I also know she has truly enjoyed her life the life that Grandpa and her made together.  I can honestly say they shared an incredible love.  One that all should experience.

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Next was to my grandma’s house.  Which for as long as I can remember is called the “Mad House on Midland!”  Which it always hold true to.  My grandmother has went through five rounds of chemo.  She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 79 and given one year to live. That was in 2008 and here we are 7 years later!  After the last round being so hard on her body and truly not doing anything she decided it was time to stop.  Letting her body and this terrible disease take its course.  Her stomach very bloated as it is filled with cancerous tumors and her unable to leave the house as her leg strength is not there as it used to be.  She got out of the hospital the weekend before eve.  She was very weak at our visit and barely spoke.  If you ever met my grandmother you wouldn’t believe this.  My grandmother is a very strong in every sense of the word women.  She has always been a no messing around, crack the whip lady.  But at the same time loves you with all she has.  The mad house part of this is that at all events at her and my grandpa’s home are crazy!  A lot of talking over one another and a lot of laughing until you cry moments!  Even with grandma sick this still was the case.  With only two of her kids and their kids and their grandkids there it’s LOUD!  I know she didn’t say much but I truly think this makes her the most comfortable.  Never knowing her house to be quiet this was how home is and should be at the “Mad House on Midland.”  Overall, the visit was nice it reminded me of how much I enjoyed going to their home growing up but also made me sad to know that life has a window and we never know but in this case I’m sure it’s not much longer.  Over the years family dynamic has changed which changed my relationship to my grandmother.  Once very close seeing pretty much daily if not then weekly is now at a few times a year.  As S asks every time this grandma is spoke about as she only remembers her meetings with her when she had no hair so she refers to her that way.  “Will she get better?”, or the day after our visit “I hope she is feeling better today.”  We all know its a journey and when it ends we don’t always know but what we do with it is up to us.  I can’t change the past but I can make sure I stay close to my grandma now.  The kids elves Francesca and Frankie delivered their departure gifts and a letter to the kids at my grandma’s house.  The box contained reindeer food, magic pajama’s that would help them sleep, socks, mini lego/littlest pet shop surprise pack and ornament.  The kids loved this.  We spread our reindeer food when we got home and the kids were in their magic jammies before we left my grandma’s!

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We celebrated Christmas the week before with my other Grandma!  This visit is always nice.  Grandma always brings the best homemade cookies and looks amazing.  I swear she hasn’t aged she is 87 or 88 (can’t remember) and looks amazing!  Our visit is always nice I honestly don’t know exactly what we often talk about but I do know she let my dad know he is EXACTLY like his father was!  She also shared with us that her doctor has called her twice to discuss her weight and she let them know both times she wasn’t interested in discussing it or having them assist her in how to loose it!  I almost fell of the chair as my grandmother is sweet and in no way needs to loose any weight.  Plus as I said to her “Grandma at what point do you just get to enjoy your life?”  I mean when you are 100 are they going to be calling you with this?  Have the extra cookie you deserve it!  She always puts thought in to the kids at Christmas going out buying them gifts that are always perfect.  She is a wonderful women and hope when she did go in for her appointment last week she let the doctor know what I said!

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Christmas day started at 650am with Sid saying “Mom I must have been on the really good list, there is like 51 presents down there for me! Come on lets go take a peak!”  Me sooo tired as I didn’t wrap any gifts until Eve said “Go tell Daddy.”  So she climbed over “Daddy let’s go take a peak!”  Joe said “Kole’s still sleeping we need to wait.”  She said “I won’t open his just mine! Come on let’s go take a peak!”  Joe said “If she says lets go take a peak one more time!!! LOL I said ok let’s go the big day is here!  I will get coffee you get Kole!  Sid woke him he wasn’t having it “I WANT DADDY!” Joe went in there and after S brought up the ton of presents and he saw them with his own eyes he said “Hurry daddy get down there!”I will mention there was not 51 presents for each child!  But at four I know it probably seemed like it! Sid decided to try and guess each gift before opening which she did a pretty darn good job at! HMMMM!  K just opened and enjoyed each one.  Many of the gifts were for both and those they have played with exactly so.  S received and is loving her mechanical cat which has been named Scarlet.  K received a John Deere service station which is the only gift he actually showed me to tell Santa.  So glad I found as he LOVES!

My family arrives in the afternoon for gift exchanging from Grandma and Papa to the kids.  Cousins pick names so they exchange and Santa shows up for stories and gifts!  Then we eat!  Its an eventful afternoon/evening!  Everyone SHOCKINGLY was a bit late this year-my family is ALWAYS early!  So Santa arrived and the kids loved his visit as his books include each of them in the story.  For dinner we had broccoli and cheese soup, ham, beef tenderloin on the grill, creamed corn, sweet potato casserole, and pistachio marshmallow salad.  We enjoyed basil, tomato and mozzarella skewers and brie, pecans, and jalapeno jelly on crackers while we waited!  Grandma and Papa then gave their gifts out!  This always gets a bit crazy!  S and K as well as their cousin Samuel are the littlest and still get a bunch of FUN stuff as I noticed the older boys were like WHAT!  As my sister said this was the year she had to explain to her oldest that once you hit a certain age your gifts cost a lot more so you get less. My parents made each of the kids gifts this year.  As I told my dad they are very lucky to have such talented grandparents.  My dad built S an American Girl Doll one room module as well as a bed to go inside.  My mom got a wicker chair and made curtains and clothes for her dolls!  My dad made K a fire station as he is obsessed with fire and rescue vehicles.  Mom gave each of us kids a journal with a letter asking that we each begin January 1st with each day writing one positive thought/sentence/paragraph/book.  As we can easily consume ourselves with negative but need to find positive in each day.  She started this when she retired and was having a hard time.  This coming year she plans to take a positive picture each day.  Something great to do and I encourage others to take on this challenge for 2016! Thanks Mom!  Well I think that wraps up our holiday season so far!  I hope all of you are having an amazing December as well.  Looking forward to New Years Celebrating! Hoping to do a balloon drop for the kids!  Keep you posted!

Have a great Sunday! Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Happy Holidays!

  1. Merry Christmas, Amanda you have a beautiful family! This was a great, as it brought smiles (dog stories are the best😉) and tears (the older we get we recognize so much more around us, to be a kid again❤️). The struggle is real, life can become so complicated, however I think it’s the way we move forward that matters, with grace and positivity. The gift from your mom is awesome and what a great idea. Happy New Year! – Randi

    • Randi, Thank you so much for commenting on my post! I hope you and your family had a great Christmas and Happy New Year! I appreciate that you read the post exactly as I wrote it! Life is a wonderful thing and darn I wish I was a toddler many days! Always remember there’s something grateful in each day even when it is crazy, complicated and we need a break. Thanks for following me in my blogging journey! I look forward to hearing from you more often!

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