Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas Letter 2017

Finally making time to write my letter… hope you enjoy reading…

Sebastian is a teenager with growing taller and changing voice and all that Peter Brady stuff. He is busy with co-op classes, robotics club, and karate (he tests for black belt next month!) One of my favorite memories with him this year is going to see two shows on Broadway. I took Savy to Wicked awhile back and ever since then – he memorized the Wicked soundtrack and loved it. I was a bit skeptical on how much he would enjoy a play. Getting to share in his excitement as he watched the productions
-was like opening a long, anticipated gift! You know how you hold your breath just a little and you feel that warm, fuzzy feeling from your head to your toes… that’s what I felt. When people have asked him what he liked about NYC – he will say – the Broadway shows. I am excited to go to more shows and share this with him. My favorite daily, life thing about him this year is that he comes in most nights, carrying his laptop, and climbs into my bed to watch Netflix with me. We made our way through all of the Gilmore Girls and a few other sappy shows. I know that very soon he won’t want to chill watching my chick shows with me. Silly, simple, but just perfect. He’s my last baby and I think I’m going to hold onto him a little bit closer than the other two. It’s a little piece of the good stuff and I’m going to enjoy it as long as I can.

Savy is in her last year of her teens, graduated high school, and started college full time. The plan is to complete the Occupational Therapy Assistant degree. She can apply to that program next fall. My favorite memory with her this year was breaking into a dog park in NYC! The complete joy that gave her will last with me forever! Who would think that in a city filled with so much magic – this would be it, but it was perfect. Well, the dog park and the amazing chocolate cake at some hole in the wall NYC diner – those are priceless memories with my girl. My very favorite thing about her this year is seeing her confidence in herself grow! She sometimes misses how gifted and talented she really is. Little by little, she is starting to realize that she is capable of many great things. She is seeing that she doesn’t just have to settle for whatever life hands her and that is a really priceless to witness as it unfolds. I am happy to say that the struggles we endured last year have fallen away and the little girl I so very much wanted to grow into my friend, has done just that. Another very favorite thing with my sweet girl is texting! I just love our silly texts to each other. It’s like a running dialog all day long. Sometimes I gotta tell her, “Get outta my head, freak!” because she tells me exactly what I was already thinking! Love grown up kids!

Tim II aka Timmy – I miss him. It does get easier and then it doesn’t. I just miss him terribly. When he was about Sebastian’s age, he asked me if he could make his email address DEMON TIM. I was like, uhhh… no. So then her persisted and came back and asked if it could be PYRO TIM. I thought for a bit and decided that I wouldn’t be the worst mom if I agreed to that. And so – the nickname started. I had actually forgotten about this story until his friend, Patrick, reminded me. Patrick laughed and said, “Aren’t you glad you vetoed DEMON TIM because otherwise that might be on his headstone instead of PYRO TIM!” Oh my, that made me laugh. One of my very favorite things about Timmy was his humor. He had a way of making me laugh and as he aged, we could joke about so many silly things. I miss his sarcastic ways and the way his phone calls would brighten my days. Good thing my other two are sarcastic and have sick senses of humor as well!

Tim – it has been one crazy year for him. He injured his back at work last spring. That led to a steroid shot in the spine that sent him into a seizure minutes later. I know people have seizures all the time, but I can’t express in words how much it scared me. The side effects from that seizure and shot were pretty all consuming for months. He is doing better now, but still dealing with issues on top of his back injury. He will not be able to go back to mechanic work and that is a very scary thing after nearly 25 years. So, he is navigating what is next. Of course, we have 8 rental properties to maintain and that is a giant commitment alone. But we are in new and uncharted territory. I can’t predict what the coming year will bring, but I do know that we will figure it out. Somehow we always do.

Me – I am a 45 year old perimenopausal crazy lady. Quite literally, as Sebastian would say. One minute, I am crying. The next I am laughing. I am a bit loony, but really… aren’t most of us? It’s been a year of transition for me. Savy is very much on her own and I miss her even though I know that this is how kids grow up. I missed Timmy when he joined the army at 19 – it’s a bittersweet age. Sebastian is doing most of his homeschooling classes with outsourced teachers – some live classes and some online. So my roll has changed to more of a facilitator in getting his school done. And – that marriage vow of “in sickness and health” – yeah that has rocked my world this year. Tim and I have had to dig deep, remember that our connection is solid, and in many ways learn a whole new path for our relationship. I read this quote and it really sums it up – “My point is, when you love someone, you have to do it through the good and the bad. Not just when you’re happy and it’s easy.”L.Oliver That’s the whole conundrum right there! Who knew marriage was choosing bedroom d├ęcor with your loving wife and going to one doctor appt after another with your dear husband? And you know the secret to a happy marriage? A king sized bed that doesn’t move when the other person is getting in and out! Seriously! We have more blessings than we could ever need or deserve. It really is all in perspective. I remind myself that most of the time JOY is a choice. We just have to choose to see it! I wish you a Merry Christmas and JOY for the New Year and remember to hug your loved ones!
Lots of Love,
Tim, Kari, Savy, and Sebastian

Monday, January 02, 2017

Christmas Letter 2016

 It’s me again… yes, another year and another letter. I know that nobody really does cards and letters anymore. I should quit too, but it makes me sad that it is a lost gift. I always think of a Christmas card as a small gift in your mailbox. It doesn’t have to be a big deal – just a little bit of love sent your way. Some might follow me on Facebook, but I am still going to share some love the old fashioned way!

Sebastian – Yeah, 12, middle school, karate, computer games, blah, blah, blah. You know this stuff, right? Did you know that he is my only kid that randomly stops me wherever I am and says, “Can I hug you?” Yes, I love this about him. He is very not emotional a lot of the time. He is like me in that he says what he believes to be factual even though sometimes it isn’t maybe the most loving way to phrase something. But, inside his heart and soul, he is a gentle and kind boy that will stop me and say, “I need a hug.” He loves his dog, Scout. He keeps him by his side much of the time. But, now we have our new puppy, Rainy, and Bass is playing with her and trying to train her. It has been fun watching this new side of him with this new family member.

Savy – 18, senior, Sonic employee, make-up artist, creativity oozing everywhere, blah, blah, blah. You know this stuff, too. Did you know that she always takes the time to walk with her Grandma and put out her arm to help steady her? Did you know that she created a beautiful plant area by our otherwise downright ugly back door space? How about that now that she drives – she runs errands for me a lot. Silly, but it’s not been an easy year for me to get stuff done – so this simple kindness means the world to me. This has not been the greatest year for our relationship. I’m all about real, so I say this because if somebody else struggled with somebody they love – it’s okay to say that sometimes you love people, but you still disagree. I raised a very strong young woman. Sometimes, it is like battling with myself. I do believe that God has very special plans for this girl I prayed for Him to send me. I am happy to say that we are close, we love each other fiercely, and we have a connection that was one of my greatest wishes for my life.

Tim II aka Timmy. When he first died, I could only call him Timmy to everyone. I think because he will always be my baby. Over time, I can now remember he grew to be Tim II. He grew to be a wonderful man. I miss him, but even more these days – I miss what he was supposed to add to my life. A wife, babies, and grand dogs. I live in a constant battle of accepting what is and giving thanks for what was. Did you know that he stayed with me while I labored with Sebastian? He made jokes and kept me company. When Bass was born, Timmy came in and stayed with me till the early morning hours. Tim took Savannah home to bed. But Timmy sat there holding his brother and making me laugh. There was so much love in that room. It was one of my most favorite moments in this journey.

Woofie – you may or may not know that she was my dog kid for almost 16 years. We had to send her home to Timmy just recently. I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea how much this would hurt. I miss this sweet soul in my life so much. I don’t think I have peed in 16 years without her standing next to me demanding that I pet her. Our lives were truly made better by a gentle, always shedding, always in the way, magnificent dog. I know she is with her boy and she is still probably always shedding and always in the way in heaven! The good news is our new puppy, Rainy, also follows me everywhere and I didn’t get to pee alone for very long. She faithfully demands that I pet her anytime I sit on the toilet! She doesn’t replace my sweet Woofie, but at least I won’t have to be lonely on the potty.

Everything with my husband is pretty much the same – work, rental houses, and oh yeah… Pokemon. He loves taking Sebastian out on Sunday afternoons to catch ‘em all.  It has been a great thing for the two of them to do together and it gives me a couple hours of alone time.

Me? Well, I am choosing to focus on the joy this year. If I am being real, I have some sort of autoimmune pain – maybe fibromyalgia – that has really ticked me off this year. I am not writing to whine, complain, or get sympathy. It is what it is and I think the lesson I am learning from it has been the lesson my mom has been preaching at me all along. Do not take time for granted. Do not push off things you really want to do until tomorrow. The joy and the gratitude is that meds make a huge difference. How can I not be thankful when I have amazing help! There has been a shift in my life this year – Savy is much more independent and Sebastian is moving into the roll of a doer. He has classes and stuff going on and much of the time – it is just me and him doing life. In some ways, I really miss managing more kids, but in other ways – I enjoy the ease of guiding this last baby along his way. Of course – Savy will have college stuff to guide and more adulting to oversee. I think we are moving into an intriguing time. 2017 is going to bring more travel because the best way to learn about the world is to see it. And, hopefully, it will be filled with joy even if there has to be a few icky, no good, bumps along the way. I hope this “gift” from me brings you a smile and you feel like I sent you some love. Hug your people and have a Merry Christmas and an absolutely JOY filled New Year!
Lots of Love,
Tim, Kari, Savy, and Sebastian