Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Almost Done

And by almost done, I mean the year 2010. It has been one for the books and not in a good way. Don't get me wrong, there were certainly high points of the year, namely WE MADE IT OUT ALIVE! Sadly, the most memorable parts of the year were terrible. So, I am ready to kiss this year goodbye. KISS IT! Anywhere it wants it!!! :)

Let's see, we celebrated Isabelle's first birthday. I've been looking at the pictures from that day and it's so wonderful to see how she's grown and flourished. She is so independent now, but yet totally a mommy's girl. I make everything better and sheepishly I have to admit.....I like it. I know it hurts Daniel's feelings sometimes, but there's some things that mommy's do better. She is a little ham in front of a camera, but yet so shy around strangers until she figures out that they are ok by her standards.

Adam turned 3 this year and I went into panic mode! It ocurred to me that he needs to be in pre-school. I went into full on anxiety attack, Daniel why aren't you freaking out with me!, mode. It took a bit for me to calm down and see the big picture. Yes I want him to be ahead of the game and know what school is about, yes he needs to know that everyday isn't a free for all, BUT he's also just a kid. A kid that has at least 12 years of schooling ahead of him. So, while I think he should be in a school environment, I also want him to enjoy this last bit of time of pure bliss. I think I would feel different if he was behind schedule or showed signs of delayed development, but I don't see that being a problem at all. So, I settled into the thought of working with him on his skills; alphabet, letter recognition, writing, and other pre-school / kindergarten skills. Yes, we will put him in pre-k, but I'm just not panicked about it anymore. Whew! I am sure Daniel appreciates this!

Then everything fell apart. The issue with my nephew, the health of my stepdad, the van breaking, work issues, marriage speedbumps, everything seemed to just come flying at us at once. But, like I said, we made it out alive! YAY! My stepdad is doing great finally and that is such a blessing. I was proud to be able to stand by my mother's side and support her as she has done for me so many times. My stepdad was terribly ill and I was terrified of what would happen, but we made it! WooHoo.....albeit minus one little pinky toe. LOL!

We managed to take a wonderful trip to Milwaukee to visit my nephew. That was awesome. If it wasn't for the winters I think I could live there. Everything is so scenic. The scenery is beautiful, the city just works because it has to since you got to get around in the winter, there's tons to do because it really is a family friendly city, the homes are even built differently.....then you think of the winter. Uh, heck no!!!! Anyway, Joseph had so many distractions this year, ones that could have easily discouraged the most stubborn of people, but he didn't give up. He still managed to obtain a 3.85 GPA this semester! I just love to brag about him! He has held his head up during this and I think that is a true testament to the way he was raised. He was raised by all of us, but the credit is due to my mom and stepdad. They demanded integrity.

I was able to reunite with my daddy's side of the family. Facebook is an amazing tool! I have communication with family I haven't had since he passed 17 years ago. I am so thankful.

I reunited with friends from high school, even junior high! I've taken up scrapbooking, which I LOVE!!!! It's these same friends that got me into scrapbooking. They even gave me a complete starter kit for scrapbooking so I didn't have to even go shopping for trimmers, punches, paper, adhesive, embellishments.....truly a blessing.

This Christmas was amazing! Of course everybody went overboard for the kids. But my highlight was watching my mom actually be happy. My parents bought me a Cricut machine. For those of you who don't know, it's the most awesome machine EVER! It makes letters, it makes anything you can think of, it cuts paper, it cuts vinyl, it can do ANYTHING us crafty types want! It is so versatile, even Daniel is amazed. Sure we missed Joseph, but she passed out the presents and you could just see the joy on her face. She truly is the rock of our family and I am truly blessed to have such a role model to emulate. She has always been steadfast and true, even when this year has rocked us to our core. We were able to FaceTime Joseph and they finally got to see him. I <3 iPhone 4!!!!!!! My only wish is that we could have pulled off a surprise. Our plan was to fly him in for Christmas, but with the arrangement of his (ridiculous!) sentencing, we just couldn't.

So, now as we close out 2010 I can say that we are stronger as a family. We pulled together and comforted each other. We realize just what we all mean to each other. I am truly blessed. Perhaps that was the true meaning of this year, to show us that we have each other, and with that we can do anything and get through anything. Thank you God! But, PLEASE, could you go easy on us for 2011? Pretty Please!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Downright UGLY!!!!

Something has been bothering me alot lately and I've been dwelling on it for too long. It's an emotion that has me wondering if I am a good person who does try to see the best in others. This emotion has kept me up at night, it has made me want to be so hurtful, and has actually made me want to wish physical pain on someone. I decided I need to put this out there so I can vocalize my feelings and release this pent up emotion.

I will only say this once. I have to painfully admit that in all my years on this Earth, I actually HATE someone. I know it's a strong word and one not to be taken lightly, but this is why I've struggled with this for months. This person has purposely tried to destroy someone very close to me, someone who I consider my brother. So many things went wrong and so many things went her way because no one dared to say otherwise. This person is a liar, who manipulated the system to work in her favor. This person was able to take away so much that my family worked so hard for, without so much as a real tear (although there were plenty of fake ones). I ask myself how a person can possibly be so manipulative and heartless and still live with themselves. This person has also convinced her "friend" to be so disgusting and vile in public places when this friend of hers happened to encounter my "brother". Insults were hurled from her mouth that we so nasty and I can take comfort in that she made herself look like a complete idiot. Thankfully, my "brother" kept walking, never interacting with this deranged person. However, it did shake him up, how could it not? He did the right thing and reported it to the authorities and documented the information. Much to their chagrin, he is too much of a gentleman and will not stoop to their level of immaturity. This two people are in college, but yet it seems have the maturity of high schoolers. And to make it worse, they are in law school! Scary, huh?

I hope no one looks differently upon me for revealing my feelings like this. I can honestly say I have never wanted to see someone's life and all their hard work fall apart. I hope eventually they can look back and realize what they did, that they had the chance to avoid all this, but honestly I don't think they will. They are wrapped up in the themselves, their lives will be consumed with tearing others down who they feel have done them wrong. See, that's what this stems from. My"brother" had moved on, his relationship was going great (and actually still is), his career was on the fast track, and his aspirations for graduate school were happening. In the end, she may have put a speed bump in his track, but he's actually more determined than ever. That is one thing they can't take away. He's looked at these adversities as stepping stones to prove how determined and strong he is.

So, let me end with this. She said she was attacked, abused, held captive, and almost strangled.
She wasn't. She threatened to harm herself in texts that she sent him. He has a big heart (too big apparently), went to check on her, and it got him into all this. Next time, I hope she's NOT crying wolf. One day she is going to know what it feels like to truly be abused and experience a night of terror, and on that day, I wish I could see her. I've been in an abusive relationship, so when someone like this cries wolf it infuriates me! In the end I know God will serve his punishment for her actions and lies, just a small part of me wishes I could take part in delivering the punishment. She told people this was all a misunderstanding and even offered $500 for his defense! She called me one night as she and her "friends" walked into a club at 12:30AM! But yet, she experiences nightmares due to the trauma. During the trial, the DA even stated their were inconsistencies in her testimony.

Lessons learned: It's guilty until proven innocent. Money may not buy happiness, but it sure makes it easier to get justice for your loved one if you have it. Family is truly the strongest bond and as long as you have yours, everything will be ok. God has his hand in everything, and that includes dealing with those who deserve all they have coming to them- Good and Bad!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Get Outta Town!!!!!

Without getting into much detail, my family has had some very difficult times lately. Since late May, we've dealt with health crisis, an ongoing issue that rocked the family to it's core, and a few other events that we've managed to pull through.

Thankfully we are all alive, mostly healthy and the kids are doing fantastic. Adam is no longer a toddler, he's a full fledged little boy. He comes up with the most interesting ideas and he speaks with such emotion (and with his hands). Adam loves to learn, he's fully potty trained now, and is eating more items on the menu than just chicken and pb&j. He's always been a picky eater, that's for sure, but I think we're turning a corner.

Isabelle is adorable. What can I say? She just is! She is still quiet and reserved when in new environments, but once she feels safe, she is outgoing and fun. She has begun to talk and is learning new words everyday. She sings Itsy Bitsy Spider and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and on my birthday I heard her singing Happy Birthday To You from her carseat. I was able to record it and I'll keep it forever.

They seem to carry on conversations on their own and really enjoy spending time together. She loves music and dancing, Adam loves action movies and cartoons. He really likes Scooby Doo!

We are soon leaving for a weeklong visit to Milwaukee and we are so excited. I can't wait to give Joseph the biggest hug ever! The kids are looking forward to it and Adam has known for days and won't let us go anywhere without asking if we are going to Milwaukee now. Joseph will be amazed at how grown the kids are. I've heard the city is beautiful in the fall and we are staying near Lake Michigan. While the weather here was 96 degrees today, it's mid 60s up there!!!! It'll be nice to enjoy a real fall for a few days.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Long time....No blog

Hello world, yes it's me Christina! How's everyone been? Oh, really, you're wondering what the heck happened to me? Well, in a nutshell.....I suck at blogging. I tend to update Facebook more than anything, and honestly I'm quite surprised I remembered my dang login to Blogspot. It's been months and months since my last post so let's get started on the big happenings in the Spencer household.

September- Daniel and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary with a trip to Hot Springs. It was beautiful, he got a stomach bug and everyone in the b&b knew it, I had to drive all the way back home while he complained the whole way. Poor guy! It was still a great trip and what memories we have!

October- Isabelle's first Halloween. She was a bumble bee and Adam was Thomas the Tank Engine. We went to Grapevine Mills for some trick or treatin' and that was pretty much it.

November- Isabelle had surgery. She was born with her left eye not having a muscle in the correct place. Her eye would not move inward at all. We decided on surgery to see how much correction could be done with it and to hopefully keep the vision strong in the affected eye. So, two days before Thanksgiving we took her to Childrens' and I tearfully handed her over to the nurses as they wheeled her off. OMG! I was heartbroken. So many thoughts of what could go wrong, what did I do wrong that caused this defect and her not being "perfect", is she scared, and will it work? It was hard sitting there not knowing exactly what was happening to my princess. Thankfully my parents were with us and by the time I settled down, they were coming to get us to wait for her in recovery. It was about 40 minutes, but it sure seemed so much longer! When she woke she was hilarious! The nurse was so amazed how she woke up, looked around, dozed in and out of sleep, but she never cried! All around us you could hear kids crying as the anesthesia wore off, but not by princess. She's one tough little girl. I think it's because of all she went through when she was born and a good dose of brotherly love from Adam!

December- Well, the kids were spoiled rotten. 'Nuff said. The day after Christmas, Isabelle took her first steps. It was so exciting! Adam didn't quite know what to think about this development. I think he was hoping he'd always be able to outrun her. WRONG!!!!

January- Isabelle's first birthday. It was hard to believe she was one already, but yet it was true. We had her party at Abbey's Playtown which was fun. The play area is for smaller kids like her and Adam. We were joined by family and friends and it was a wonderful way to celebrate our little girl's amazing journey so far.

February- Hmmmm....well I think it was pretty quiet. No major milestones here.

March- Daniel and I got tattoos. I finally got one in honor of Isabelle. It is her name with a tiara over it. It is on my left foot and it hurt worse than the other two, but it was worth it and it looks great. Daniel had an old one reworked and it is full of color now. He didn't cry, but he may have invented a new curse word or two.

April- Full of birthdays! We also made a trip to Houston for my cousin's baby shower. Now, that was an adventure. Let's see, Daniel in handcuffs, kids crying, cops swarming, and cousin furious! No, it was nothing Daniel or any of us did. It was certainly a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. After all the confusion, Daniel was uncuffed, everyone was fine, the cops were high fiving the kids, but my cousin was still furious. We can laugh about it now, but it was pretty bad then. I'm glad Daniel was a good sport about it and didn't get too upset with the whole situation.

May- Well, we are in full party planning mode. Adam will be 3 on the 11th! W-T-H! How did he get that old? And since when did he learn to talk so much? And did I talk back to my mother at this age? We are trying to nip that in the bud. Problem is the child is too smart. I know I probably shouldn't think like that, but it's kinda upsetting that he is sometimes. He knows the rules and when someone else breaks them he will let you know it. Smarty pants. He's become quite the cuddler and I very much enjoy our evening cuddles. I think he does too......I hope this is something he'll enjoy for a long time. Isabelle now talks more and more. She loves Dora and Spongebob. She just now started saying thank you and she shakes her head yes. These last two things to Adam forever to do no matter how much we tried. These two are like night and day sometimes.

Today a friend of mine lost her mother. How terrible this must be and made all the worse when Mother's Day is a couple days away. I pray that she finds comfort in knowing her mother is safe in the arms of God and is now reunited with her loved ones who have passed on also.

All in all, life has been grand, sure I get frustrated and wonder how I got here, but then I think of those who'd love to be in my shoes. I'm so happy for those who are beginning their journey into parenthood and I hope that I can pass along some tidbits of wisdom now myself (I promise not to be pushy or a know-it-all). Since it is almost Mother's Day I do have to say that I am amazed when I think of my mom. She raised two girls on her own, doing what she needed to do to provide for us. It's hard enough with two parents and she was alone. I didn't realize how much she loved us and sacrificed for us until I became a mom. We always had what we needed and I knew she loved me even when I did bad in school or wrecked the car. She is an amazing mom to me and now my husband, but to see her face when she sees my children is truly a gift from God.