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.