Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Christmas Promise

Baby's first Christmas ... such a special occasion.  I have been thinking alot about how to make this Christmas special for Bentley.  After a lot of reflecting, I have come to this conclusion.  No matter how many presents you receive or how many lights there are on the tree, you will not remember this Christmas.  I think the special gift we can give you this year is a Christmas promise ... a promise for all the Christmas's to come:

Bentley, we promise to teach you the true meaning of Christmas.  To take you to church where you can go to Sunday school, where you can fill your heart with the love of the Lord and fill our fridge with colored pictures of him.  We promise to teach you that the star on top of our tree represents a heavenly promise of long ago. That the Christmas wreath hanging outside our door symbolizes that love is one continuous round of affection. The candy canes we hang on our Christmas tree represents the shepherds' crook and that we are our brother's keeper. And that our Santa Claus is a symbol of generosity and good.

When I think of Christmas the thoughts that overwhelm me are that of family.  No matter how many presents you have under the tree, if you have no one to share them with, they are worthless.  The last couple days I keep thinking about the poor families that lost their little ones last Friday.  How many of those families already had presents wrapped under the tree dreaming of their beautiful children excitedly opening them on Christmas morning.  And now they have no one to open them.  Breaks my heart and is just a reminder to keep things in perspective.  Bentley, we promise we will fill each and every Christmas day with the love and joy of our family.

Love always,
Mommy, Daddy & Karter Blain.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

What is Christmas without a Christmas tree?  To me a Christmas tree symbolizes family, tradition and memories.  There are so many decorations that have such sentimental value to me.  Some from when I was  a little girl, some from Karter's first Christmas and the family we continue to build. 

I remember as a young girl going out with my father into the woods to find that perfect tree.  I remember the excitement of finding the "perfect one", then to look down and realize it had two stumps :(  As you will see below, we definitely settled for second best. 

It has been fun for me to look back at these pictures and the trees and traditions.  Starting out with real trees, the traditional tinsel, candy cane and circle balls.  Really, decorations have not evolved that much over the years.  Then looking at my tree, pre-children.  It was perfect, everything matched and placed proportionately - the tree being a Walmart special.  Then, enter Mark and two kids later, the tradition has shifted back to a real tree stuffed with mismatched decorations and touching memories.  To me, this is now our perfect tree.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ho Ho Ho Santa Is In Town

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is getting a picture taken with Santa.  Surprisingly, for how SHY Karter is, he has never cried or made shy with Santa.  Last year he even got some cuddle time in.  I also like going to Santa because I know what Karter tells him that he wants for Christmas is for sure his top favorite on the list.  This year Karter said he wants "How to Tame your Dragon" movie. 

And of course this was a special visit as this is Bentley's first time meeting Santa.  She did good, she really didn't care and let her brother get all the attention.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Karter's Room

We gave Karter's room a make-over the same time we did Bentley's room.  Obviously it is sports theme.  We chose this as it is a theme that Karter will enjoy for years and was fitting for a big boy room.  My favorite part of the room is the signed roughrider onsie. It was his first jersey and the tickets were for his first game he attended with Daddy. 

I love how proud Karter is of his room and quite often he will show whoever comes over his room. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Party you Never Want to Plan

It is hard when one of your parents has a terminal illness.  I think it is even harder when they are single.  The children have to step up and I find I have taken on a lot of the worries, resposibilities and stresses that the spouse would normally have.  Such things as taking my mom to appointments, making sure she has her medication, cleaning her house when she is sick.  Making sure she is not alone for too long so that she does not get depressed and taking care of her when she is sick.  I gladly sign up for these responsibilities but it does wear on a person after awhile. 

Another responsibility that the children have is planning a funeral.  This has been on my mind a lot since my mom got sick.  We discussed it briefly, but found that my mom, brother and I were not on the same page.  I discussed this with Mark and we left it at that.

Then one day Mark came home from one of his business networking meetings and that morning a lady from Hillcrest Memorial had given a presentation about pre-planning your funeral.  Mark said that there are so many options available and we should meet with her.  I thought this was a good idea.

I had a hard time bringing it up with my mom and bro that we should meet her.  I think because it is awkward and not fun and the realization that this is going to happen.  However, the spin on it is that my mom is currently healthy and I would rather make arrangements now as to when she is on her death bed and we are all super emotional.  Plus, then we could make arrangements that we all could be comfortable with.

The meeting went really well.  No one cried!  I was close when we went into the room where you view the body and they were explaining how sometime you use the bed that was on display because children are not as scared to see someone lying in a bed as opposed to a coffin.  I instantly thought of Karter and it made me really, really sad, but I pushed through. 

After that they took us to the celebration room.  All three of us instantly felt relaxed.  As this is what my mom wants is a celebration not a funeral.  It is a beautiful, welcoming room. 

Overall it was the best experience that it could have been.  The staff are awesome and the grounds are breathtaking.  It made it all worth it when my mom said "I feel at peace here".

This experience has definitely made me think about pre-planning my own funeral.  I don't want my family to think "well, would she have wanted to be buried or cremated", a church funeral or celebration.  There is enough emotion going on that it will be nice that it is all planned out in advance.  That was one of the things they said also is that people spend more when things aren't planned out in advance.  And I don't want my family to have to worry about the cost.  The nice thing about pre-arranging is that you can lock in the costs now of the funeral service and burial site and make payments as small as $50/month. 

My grandmothers funeral was pre-arranged and it was so nice for the family not to have to make all the arrangements and we could just grieve and remember her.  And there was comfort in knowing this is what she wanted.

Anyway, enough about the hard stuff.  Have a good weekend :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Purple People Eater and My Romeo

My Purple People Eater

My little girl has been fighting thrush for over a month now.  After two failed tries we are on to the purple violet treatment.  Good news is that it looks like it has cleared up, but we still have five more days of treatments to go.  Bad news is that this stuff stains everything - so you can imagine what this breastfeeding mom looks like.  I have to be very careful with her clothes and since majority of Bentley's clothes are borrowed that really limits what she can wear.  I will be happy when we can say good bye to this purple dye and thrush and hello to cute colorful outfits once again.

My Romeo

Karter has a soft spot for the ladies.  When he was two years old he declared Strawberry Short Cake his girlfriend and would let everyone know that was his girl.  He has since moved on to Layla a little girl from daycare.  Like his daddy, he loves the older ladies.  But, since Layla has started school and is only around occasionally, he has moved on to his new girlfriend Melanie.  I never thought much of him calling these girls his girlfriend, like he really knew what that meant.  Then one day I picked Karter up at daycare and he went to say good-bye to Melanie, which included a hug and an "I Love You".  I was shocked and looked at Bonnie his daycare provider.  She said "I know, he is a real Romeo".  Moving on to yesterday they went to the fun factory.  Bonnie said that Karter barely went on the slides or ball pitt.  He was too busy sitting driver in the fire truck giving a ride to all the ladies.  At one point he even had six girls in there.  Bonnie jokingly mentioned we may have trouble with Karter. Since I don't have any pictures of Karter and his ladies - here he is with the two most important ladies in his life.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bentley's Room

We finished the final touches on Bentley's room last week.  I could not be happier with her room and I hope she loves it as much as we do.

Sunday, June 3, 2012