THE NICHOLS FAMILY


Thursday, April 12, 2012

I used to blog

I used to blog.

I used to read other's blogs.

Somehow, these days, I can't seem to find the time.  Most days I feel like I can't even catch my breath and life is passing by so quickly.  Too quickly.  It has been an insane 5 months, family illnesses and deaths and just trying to keep up with everyday responsibilities has almost done me in.  I'm thankful for a God that is bigger than all things because He has kept me going, even when my spirit has been less than willing.

So our trip to Disney never made the blog.  Valentine's day never made the blog.  Adeline starting big girl gymnastics (not mommy and me anymore) never made the blog.  My time serving on a Jury never made the blog (now that was a story too).  Spring break never made the blog.  To be honest I can't even remember what else in the last few months never made the blog.  Easter, however, will make the blog....

We had a happy Easter.  A million egg hunts and a quick trip home to be with family made it happy. 

My Grandmother, who has been sick since before Christmas and spent almost 2.5 months in the hospital had returned to the hospital the Tuesday before Easter.  She had some medicine that was making her sicker (is that a word?) than normal but while she was there they ran some other tests and came to the conclusion that she is suffering from Cirrhosis of the Liver.  Sad news especially for a woman who has probably never had a drop of alcohol in her life, but that's how it goes sometimes.  So now there is a diagnosis, not one we want but one none the less.  She was actually feeling good and got to come home on Easter Sunday.  That made Easter even happier because it was another holiday my girls got to spend with her.  I think her knowledge of her condition is making her slip into a mindset of 'it would be better if I just died.'  Better for her maybe......hopefully she doesn't give up on us too fast because the doctor said he thinks she still has fairly good liver function.

My poor mother is drained.  She is my grandmother's primary caretaker and she is physically and emotionally spent.  I feel bad for her and I feel guilty that I can't do more to help her or support her.  And I miss her.  I just miss my mom.  I was lucky enough to get two quick visits in with her a few weeks ago where she was able to spend the night with us again.  They were very short, quick trips but my girls were in heaven.  They miss Goon too.  I just pray Goon can survive this....Bless her.

In the midst of all of this craziness April has really snuck up on me.  My birthday pops up in just a couple of days.  Not just my birthday, my 30th birthday!  See what I mean about life passing me by.... where did 30 years go? Oh and it's not just my birthday lurking around the corner but Adeline's 3rd  birthday is one week away.  Forget 30 years, where did just 3 years go?  My baby starts preschool next year, sigh. I suppose that will make time go even faster, double sigh.  I have had a big time planning Adeline a fabulous Wizard of Oz birthday party.  I hope it turns out as wonderful as we have dreamed it up to be.

As I read this, I sound like a real downer, oops, not how I intended it.  There have been many fun and great times in these last few months.  We are happy and very blessed  I've just been to busy and too tired to blog about it.  I'm not complaining, maybe whining a little, but not complaining, I'm thankful for our life and count it all as joy, even the difficult times.  Just pointing out that it seems things have gotten to be busy, marriage and parenting are full time jobs and I have lost the time to blog.  The 'passion' to blog and read all of your blogs is strong as ever, it is the time I can't seem to get my hands on.  Maybe one day, hopefully soon, I'll get my blog back up and running consistently......after all I will have to share this wonderful 3rd birthday party I'm throwing. ;)

If it makes you feel any better I have also neglected Pinterest and I think my DVR might explode soon.  At least I'm not neglecting my children.....just Grey's Anatomy, which I do believe will survive without me.  If it is cancelled after this season then you can blame me.  Here are some Easter pictures for your viewing pleasure.....



Adeline and Greatmama


Mary Selwyn and her Great Grandmother, fresh out of the hospital



Psalm 63:3
3 Because your loving kindness is better than life,

my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The best I could do...

One of the neatest things about being married to Shay is getting to be a part of his unique and enormous extended family, the Shackelford clan.  Every holiday, Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, whatever the occasion there is always a group of 50+ gathered together.  Now this is not a group of 50 that you only see or talk to once or twice a year, it is a very close knit group of siblings, aunts, uncles, grandchildren, great grandchildren and cousins.  I don't know how else to describe it other than unique.

Well this weekend we lost a vital member of our clan, Shay's sweet Aunt Becky.  Let me be clear that nothing I could ever say will even come close to describing what a remarkable woman she was or how important she was to all of us.  I could never fully express to you what a precious, kind, loving, compassionate, thoughtful, SELFLESS, caring, positive, Christ-loving woman she was.  She was someone that I would so desperately loved to be like or compared to....if I could be even a quarter of the kind of woman she was I would be happy.  I don't think it will offend anyone to say Aunt Becky seems to be every one's favorite.  She never forgets a birthday, anniversary or special occasion.  She always called once every few weeks just to let us know that she loved us, missed us, was thinking about us and praying for us.  She never failed to make you feel special.  She has been one of the only people in our lives that really takes the time to do that on a regular basis.

I could go on and on, blog after blog, about how special really was but my words would never be enough.  In the midst of this terrible cancer that so quickly took her from us, she remained positive and constantly praising the Lord.  It blew me away.  Aunt Becky kept saying what a blessing it had all been.  That is a concept that is hard for us to grasp.  How could this awful, unfair illness, that has left the rest of us with deep sadness and feeling cheated out of precious years with her be a blessing?  Although we may never fully see this as the blessing Aunt Becky described, I know it was in the Lord's perfect plan. 

The undeniable blessing would be that I was lucky enough to be loved by Becky Jones.  No one loved you like Aunt Becky.  From the moment she met you, she loved you like no other.  A sweet and again indescribable, unconditional love always accompanied by support and encouragement.  I'm so thankful to have known her and been part of her family.  She has impacted me in immeasurable ways and I long to be a woman like her....if only.  

This blog post has been delayed because we left straight from the funeral and headed to Disney World.  Since returning from our trip I have really been missing Aunt Beck because she would have been the first to call to hear all about our vacation.  Oh how I wish I could share with her...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

When did we get here?

I try really hard to be an enjoy the moment kind of girl.  I try really hard not to wish my life away, always trying to rush nap time, bedtime, the weekends, vacations ect.  I'm not always successful but I try hard to enjoy life's everyday moments because I have always noticed that they pass rather quickly.  I am the mom that is sad that school starts back tomorrow and that before I know it, in this new year, both of my children will be turning another year older. Yes, I am that mom that secretly (or not so secretly) cries the night before my kid's birthday because that means they are getting older....it is a happy/sad cry of course because I am so thankful for every year but sad they are moving further away from being my baby.  Back to the point, even though I consider my self to be "stop and smell the roses" kind of person there are many moments when life kind of just hits me.  It stops me in my tracks and I think to myself, "I can't believe I'm married with two children.  Seems like I was just a little girl dreaming of these days."  It is hard for me to believe I have been out of high school for over 10 years, (but if I am being honest those were the days I tried to soak up the least) or over  7 years since those super fun college years.  Seems like my wedding was just yesterday, I've always felt like I didn't get enough time in that dress.  And gosh, I remember every day of both pregnancies.  I was that pregnant girl that was never "ready."  I liked having those babies in my belly, I savored the pregnant days and the days before the changes their deliveries brought. 


The Tuesday before Christmas my Grandmother had to be taken to the hospital with some seriously scary health issues.  She has been in the hospital ever since and in and out of ICU twice now.  Her first day in ICU  I drove up for the day to be at all the visiting times.  Having to leave the hospital was really hard that day with so much uncertainty.  As I left her room from my last visitation I think I had already told her I loved her 10 times but the last time I said it, I was closing the curtain and this time she replied, "I love you more."  Yes, I lost it.  Yes, I am crying now as I type this.  She tells my girls this all the time but it was the first time in a long time that I had heard her say it to me, like that.  It is hard to explain exactly but on my quiet drive home her words rung in my ears and then it hit me, how did we get here so fast?  


I remember exactly where on the highway I was when this question literally slapped me in the face.  How is it possible that my grandmother is at an age where my family sits nervously in hospital waiting rooms.  It hasn't been that long since we came to "live" with her for the summers and slept on horrific blue futons with bright pink bunnies.  It hasn't been that long since I was the child, even as a teenage, that loved to spend the night at grandmother's house and now I have two children that beg to spend the night there.  I mean werent we just gathered in a dressing room buying my wedding dress?  And the day she officially became "Great-Grandmother", when she walked in the room during an unpleasant contraction grabbed my hand and said "I am so proud of you.  Grandmother loves you so much," that really was yesterday, not four years ago.  How could all of this passed me by so quickly?  When did we get here and how could I be so unprepared for this? 


Recently after knee replacement surgery, my Granddaddy had to come to the realization that it was going to actually take him more than just the day he had expected to recover.  You have to really know him and his positive, love life attitude to appreciate that he told us, and I quote, "I'm not sure what happened.  I just woke up one day and I was old." 


That was what I felt driving home in that moment.  Like I had just woken up and realized my grandparents, my grandmother, is old.  In that moment, I longed to go home, pack up my girls and  camp out at their house for days spending as much time with their great grandparents as possible.  The I realized that our next camp out will not be taking place any day soon, I am confident we will have the chance to do this again but it will not come soon enough.


Do you ever have those moments where you just wake up and say wait, how did I get here so quickly???  I think I have those moments more than the normal person.  I think the normal person just thinks 'that's life.'  They would be correct, that is life.  I just wish 'that life' happened a little slower sometimes.  I bet my grandmother is feeling like 82 years went by pretty fast too right about now.  Thank God for vivid memories.


p.s. After several setbacks, my grandmother was moved out of ICU again yesterday and finally seems to be improving. We still have a very long road to go but I am so thankful there is a road ahead.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas thus far

We have had some fun Christmas activities so far this December.  Mary Selwyn has had two performances and both of the girls have had some Christmas parties.  Nana and Poppy came to visit this week and got to watch Mary Selwyn's school program.  Mary Selwyn had a speaking part in the program and she did so well speaking clearly.  She was one of the easiest kids to understand.  She did great.  We also got to have a mini Christmas morning with the great grandparents, exchanging presents with them, which was a fun treat this year. 

Last night we took the girls to 'A Drive Through Bethlehem' at a local church.  It was neat and the girls loved it.  Before you entered the gates of Bethlehem the soldiers standing guard at the gate approached the car and said to Mary Selwyn, "Why have you come to Bethlehem, young lady?"  Shay and I thought for sure she would be a little scared and freeze; instead, she looked straight at him and said, "We came because we want to learn more about the Bible."  The guard was impressed by her answer and needless to say we got in the gates to see Jesus.  It was a small but proud moment for this mom and dad! Adeline didn't say a word, (very unlike her) she just flashed a quick smile to the gaurd on her side....I'm sure we could have gotten in on that alone. ;)

It has been a busy Christmas season already.  Now that school is out for a few weeks I hope we can take at least a few days to just snuggle and be lazy around the house. 


Our church program.  I didn't have a great seat so I didn't get super great pictures.  Mary Selwyn and bff Owen held hands the whole time they sang.  Precious!

Before our school program

with Nana and Poppy

can't leave out tiny liney


MSN and her sweet teacher Mrs. Young

"I give my heart for loving, and promise I will pray."

Our very own smart car!!
video
This is a video of the girls opening their power wheels from Nana and Poppy.  It was so fun to watch them.  After a while, MSN said, "I didn't need this, but I REALLY wanted it."  We have enjoyed it so far and are starting to learn how to drive, however, I don't think I will be trusting Adeline anytime soon.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The North Pole Express

Our trip to the North Pole....
leaving the station, waving to bye to everyone

excited


singing christmas carols



admiring mrs. claus' jewlery of course

i love this picture!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thankful

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We did.  The girls helped me cook dinner for the four of us and it was yummy.  We had a minor accident when Shay hit his head on the car door and got a nasty gash.  We were fortunate enough to avoid the emergency room, thanks to the doc (obgyn) across the street who looked at it and said we could make it without stitches....close call.  We finished up our night with a family sleepover in the living room, a favorite past time of ours.

Our Thanksgiving decor....high dollar stuff right there.

Silly wild indians.... it is hard to get a serious smile face these days.

Kitchen help

Yummmm... look at that mess.


Thanksgiving bath, is that a bubble bath or what.

Last week Mary Selwyn had her Thanksgiving feast and program at school.  It was cute and the "pilgrims and indians" sang lots of cute songs. 
My little pilgrim, who also had an indian identity, princess wild flower.




her 'feast' which she didn't eat a bite of


 It was a happy Thanksgiving...now lets see if I can really get caught up. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

absent blogger....

....that's me.  I have been distracted by life, and maybe, possibly PINTEREST.  It is my new obsession and has thrown me into project mode.  I've refinished a table and am working on two more.  We have also done some fun crafts and I have more projects lined up.... now just to find the time.  We have been super busy lately, school, church and lots of friends having babies that I need to spend time holding.  Yes life has been busy and not without drama unfortunately.  Very sadly and unfortunately my brother and Jess called their wedding off and ended their relationship.  This has been difficult for everyone, especially me and the girls because we loved her so and wanted so desperately for her to be in our family.  It is for the best though and we are thankful they made the right decision before the wedding.  God has bigger plans for both of them I'm sure.  I will try to be better about blogging, especially with the holidays coming up.  I know there are so many people out their distraught because I'm not blogging (insert sarcasm here).  In the meantime I will share some family pictures that my neighbor took.  I'm loving them so far. 




a little pixelated but that is because i saved it from my email and don't have the actual cd yet.