Archive for December 2008

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 26, 2008

As I try to hold myself back from tearing down the decorations--yes, I am so ready to bid 2008 good-bye--I thought I'd post some pictures from our Christmas. I was not particularly looking forward to the holidays this year. So many traditions I love were not part of our plans this year. Partly due to three snowstorms and 10 days of below freezing temperatures and the lack of funds. I was in a downright bah-humbug sort of mood for the better part of this month. I commented to Trey that I hated feeling like Christmas was just another holiday to be endured. I just wanted it to be over with and I was dreading having to be "up" for two days when I felt the exact opposite. I really desired to have joy and focus on the "reason for the season" but the funk continued on. In spite of it all, I desperately tried to hold on to "the glass is half full" attitude as we headed to Seattle for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to be with my side of the family. It ended up being such a redeeming, special time--isn't that just like God?

December 25th was a day with many firsts. It was the first white Christmas the Seattle area has seen in 18 years. It was the first time my children went to a Christmas Eve service in the church I grew up in. It was the first time in several years my mom had all three of her children and their families together for Christmas Day. Everyone spent the night and my sister and I stayed up well past midnight re-hashing the day and reminscing of Christmases past. I can't recall us doing that since our college days. Finally, my uncle announced his engagement to a lovely lady we all adore so our family continues to grow. It may not have been what I was expecting but it was exactly what I needed.

Merry Christmas to all!
December 23rd

The whole gang

Uncle Bob and soon-to-be Auntie Grace

My always glamorous little sis



Monday, December 15, 2008

I don't even know how to begin this post. The above logo is one some of you local folks may have seen on bumper stickers or t-shirts over the past 18 months. You may have wondered if it was a new brand of surfboard or perhaps a cartoon. Unfortunately it is neither. The slogan and cute picture were put together by some dear friends of a young 7-year-old boy who is battling a "brain bump"--as he likes to call it.

Kyle "Kylie" Roger was diagnosed in February 2007 with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma or DIPG. This particular tumor is most often found in children between the ages of five and ten years old. There is no cure and it is deemed inoperable because of the tumor's preferred location (at the brain stem). The average survival rate after initial diagnosis is 11 months. Children with DIPG living beyond a year is a mere eight percent. Kyle has defied the odds again and again.

Kyle's mom, Christin, has been a friend of mine since her older son and my middle son were classmates in preschool many years ago. I liked her the minute we met. This beautiful woman has had to bear more than anyone's fair share of pain and suffering yet through it all she remains tirelessly optimistic yet amazingly honest and vulnerable. She has kept all of us updated through Kyle's blog and most recently added "Christin's Diary" where she posts a daily journal entry. I know it is her private therapy yet I'm so thankful she trusts us to have a glimpse into her heart.

As the tumor grows more dense, in spite of chemotherapy and radiation, Kyle is beginning to display the many physical symptoms that often accompany its progression. In spite of this, Christin decided to host a Holiday Open House this weekend. I was reluctant to go for my own selfish reasons. What would I say? What if I broke down and made it worse for her? How would I respond when she asks me how I'm doing? How bad could my life really be compared to what she endures on a daily basis?

I'm so glad I went. It was great to see her. To hug her. To see Kyle. To see all the support she has from this community. To see her house and yard all decked out in "Griswold style"--as she is calling it this year. She is choosing to live and live fully no matter what the future may hold. May we all do the same this Christmas season and beyond.


It's the most wonderful time of the year

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Things I LOVE about this time of year:

  • Pulling out all the ornaments and recalling the fond memories attached to each one

  • Salvation Army bellringers. God bless those men and women.

  • Opening the mailbox and finding stacks of cards instead of bills and ads

  • 24 hours of Christmas songs on the local radio station

  • Seeing all those precious pre-school decorations the boys made over the years and being thankful I kept every one of them.

  • The kindness and generosity of people who "just know" that this is a season of giving even if they don't believe in Jesus.

  • Opening the family Christmas album, reading last year's letter and adding the current one.

Enjoy these next 22 days of Advent.