Thursday, December 25, 2014


I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude this year. It has been the hardest year and journey for me personally. I know that more than ever I have grown to see the Lord in my life and in our family and certainly in our home. I know what matters most. I always have, but losing Tyler has given me a greater perspective on life, and the future. 

I know that in my weakest and darkest times, there is a LIGHT that I have in my life. It really is simple it's GOD. I know that I am alone now, but not really truly alone. I have been surrounded by the most amazing friends, family, neighbors, and my kids. I have had so much time to THINK. I probably think TOO much. 

I have grown in ways I never thought possible. I know that we are NEVER too old to learn, to grow and to discover MORE about ourself. I see the good and the gifts that life offers...even alone without Tyler. It's hard the world just goes on, but for me... it's oh so different. I have never been great with change so I'm having to adjust and accept things out of my control. I am choosing and focusing on being THANKFUL for what Tyler brought into my life and the many valuable lessons he taught me. I adore this man. I am never ever going to forget him. I simply live each day with the most profound feeling of LOVE for him still. I cry because it happened. 

How outrageously LUCKY am I that a man could LOVE me so much????? I only wish everyone could feel this kind of love and adoration from a man like him. He was certainly not perfect, but he was perfect for me. He loved God and gave this same love to me and his children. He choose to be a doctor to help others. He cared. I want to raise my children in such a way that they see me being strong in character like their dad. I am learning a "new" me. I am learning to be more self reliant. I am learning that I am stronger day by day. I still cry every day. I think this is allowed, right? If not, I'm okay with this too. 

It's CHRISTMAS 2014.
We woke up and opened gifts and showered to go visit the grave.
It was a beautiful snowy day.
I know Ty knows how much we love him.

The headstone is not there yet, but that is okay. I wanted to take a flower for him. I look forward to the headstone being there. I was so scared today I was going to be the BIGGEST MESS. I had prayed for strength and for peace. I have felt it so strongly. 

Zach wanted a photo today visiting his dad. He has been so strong, but it's been really hard for him. I love this kind boy so much. 

Christmas is so special with McKay home. She is just a truly special girl. She just LOVES others like no one else. I know she was so happy to be celebrating with us this year.

Tyler was the sweetest. He went and bought me a really nice bluetooth music player. It was all white, stylish and  easy to use. He said, "Mom, I wanted to do what dad would have done. He always took care of you and gave you gifts.  I didn't want you to not get something special like dad would do if he was here." He used his whole paycheck to buy it for me (he worked for Matt recently). This was so touching and his thoughts behind it made me cry. 

I am learning to SMILE and just be thankful MORE. I am so fortunate to know that Tyler and I will be together again. Death is not the end of LOVE or of US. I feel this so strongly.

Taylor and Travis and Jaxon were running behind and finally made it. YEAH! She is loving her new dog- Kevin. Isn't he precious?

We always have the CRAZIEST times. Oh, how
we missed this crazy girl. 

I loved wrapping all the gifts this year with my own designed wrapping paper. It made it extra special.  

McKay has a tradition to wear her "CHRISTMAS" sweater every year.

Our dear neighbors surprised us by lighting our walkway to our door with lights. It was so very special and we loved it. We have the most amazing friends. We really do. I am so thankful.

I love that my kids made me smile tons and we have really enjoyed being together as a family.

The highlight was talking to Seth today from his mission. We got to talk for an entire hour. I was so thankful and he just lifts my spirits. He is amazing and I love and miss him so much. We are so close and I adore him. In all ways, he is my son. Even though Tyler is gone and I'm really just his "bonus" mom- well, that is not how we role. HE is very much still MY son. I can't imagine my life if he was not in it.

Seth was sick and came home from his mission in Mexico. He and I had months to grow so close and we bonded forever. I can't wait to hug him again.

My sister did the most kindest, thoughtful thing ever. She told me a surprise was coming to our house today by 10:30 am. I had NO IDEA what it could be. She is all the way in Hickory, NC. I opened the door to see my friend Michelle Dahle. She said she was just the ELF delivering food sent from my sister. Yes, my little sister called around and talked to food businesses to ask them to make sure we had breakfast on Christmas morning.

Crazy, we had breakfast planned then the store closed earlier than we thought, so we were going to have cereal. 
My sister had a hard time finding a company that could make breakfast. She called Golden Coral and asked them to cater it. She explained that her sister was widowed with seven children and wanted to make sure that we had a hot breakfast. They had to think about it and call her back. They did not open that early.
They called her back and said, we will have workers come in early and do this for her. WOW... WOW... this was such a kind and amazing service to our family. It was a blessing of love and I will never forget my sister, Michelle and Golden Coral for
making this Christmas day so special.

PS- the food was really AMAZING!!!!!!
I love you so much Shelley.

In the END. It's really TIME with those you love.
I appreciate TIME and PRAY that I will have 
much more time with these amazing children and my family and friends. I wish you the most JOYOUS and happy
Christmas, Holiday and pray you will feel
surrounded by love and people who UPLIFT you. 

Don't take this TIME- your time for granted!!!!!!!

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Lori Apgar said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family!! The firsts are so hard and I am happy to see you and your family celebrated today! Keep on talking, remembering, crying and smiling!!!

Jean said...

It is nice to see the smiles. You have a wonderful family!

dorism6220 said...

Merry Christmas! What a fab thing that Tyler did for you!

pam said...

What a beautiful post. ♥

CA Scrapper said...

Merry Christmas and God bless you and your family.


Becky said...

My heart is so touched by your post and your love of God. Merry Christmas!

Karen L K said...

Very nice Teresa! You have lots of love around you!

kathy jo said...

Merry Christmas! It's wonderful to see the blessings in your life.

Teresa said...

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Char said...

Loved your blog and the photos. Your sister was so kind to take care of your family so far away!!! I'm loving seeing your smile again! I promise, sweet girl, it will get easier...take one baby step at a time.. I wish for you and your family that 2015 is healthy, happy and prosperous for all of you. (I'm trying hard to spend those $$ on TC products...:-)

hotpotato said...

Beautiful photos. x

Cathy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You will never know how much you touch your readers (friends) and how much we care. You have been in our prayers and will continue to be so. May 2015 bless you and your family in ways you never dreamed possible!

Jean Bullock said...

What a beautiful post, Teresa. Yes, you can cry all you want to, but I am glad that your beautiful smile is re-emerging. Hugs to you and your sweet family. By the way my friend Pamela Haskin mentioned you in her recent blog post. I thought you would enjoy seeing it.

Melissa said...

Love this post! Ty would be so happy and proud! You have a beautiful family!!

Cowgirl Crafter said...

Teresa, I lost my mom 10 years ago and my brother one year ago. They were both too young to leave us, but like you, I trust God's will is best. While I don't cry daily any more, I still cry weekly. I lost my dad 25 years ago, and while I don't think of him or miss him constantly like I do my mom and brother, I still have times that I miss him so much, or wish he could have met my children or grandchildren that I get all teary. I guess what I'm trying to say is to give yourself some slack and even if you have bouts of tears years down the road, it's okay. It's a sign of how much the ones who are gone are still missed and loved. Feeling this way about my parents and brothers, I can't even begin to imagine the loss of a spouse - the one person in you life you truly choose to spend life with. Hang in there. Enjoy the memories through the tears. It will get easier, but you will never truly get over the loss, and I believe that's a good thing.

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