Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Cheer

Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, 
and their children to the next generation.
 Joel 1:3

And so went the passage of Christmas....With some absences felt, I believe the wisdom of this biblical verse sums up how our holiday went.  It was tradition, handed down from my grandparents to my parents to us--and now to our children-- that ultimately provided peace and joy and comfort. Maybe not physically, but my Mom's spirit was ever present. And Lucy's wonder and excitement at experiencing all things new, along with the togetherness of family, were priceless gifts--in fact, the best of them all.

Christmas Eve

Lucy with Uncle Ray, baby Maddie and Aunt Lisa

Cousin Josh

Cousin Lindsay
Papa and Lucy;  by far my favorite picture of the season.
Aunt Lisa, baby Maddie, Auntie Jessica and Uncle Ray
How cute is my niece?
  Christmas Morning

Dr. Lucy

She would get so excited when opening her gifts!

Lucy loved her new guitar!

Daddy wanna-be?
Happy Girl!

Christmas Night

At Aunt Lisa's beautifully decorated home...
The Buzzelli Crew

BFF Layne
My Greatest Gifts...

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Joys of the Season

Life continues to take its twists and turns, as it always does.  During a time when it may be easy to focus on absence and sadness, I am trying to remember to focus on that which is positive and the continued graces that our family is blessed with.  And there are many special things that have been happening to remind us of how blessed we truly are. 

Our neighbor Barb made this gingerbread house for Lucy. I couldn't help but think that this act of nurturing and thoughtfulness and giving--through food--- is something my Mom would have done for Lucy during this time of year.  And since my Mom is not here, she made sure someone else did it for her.

"I really get to eat this?"
"Here I go!"

Look at the excitement in her face!
It was so fun to watch Lucy enjoy this treat.

Then there was this little something that arrived at my door:

Are you noticing a theme here with food?  (My mom wouldn't have it any other way!) This was from the caring people at my church, remembering me at the holidays.  At the top of this beautiful arrangement of home baked goodies was a pizzelle.  This is a delicious Italian cookie that my Grandma Buzzelli made throughout her life, until she was no longer capable.  I grew up loving these!  This gesture, and the personal connection at the top of these cookies, was food for my spirit.

Lucy at "Breakfast in Bethlehem" (at church)

In keeping with one topic from my last blog post, and as a result of my last blog post, I have received several other emails 'from my Mom'  (via her friends). These are emails that my Mom wrote to them around this same time last year.   It is so hard to explain how reading my Mom's words like this for the first time felt.  She is showering me with her presence.  

Finally, we had a wonderful dinner and evening of fellowship with my former cross country coach from college, and his wife, Penny.  (They had not met Lucy yet.) I attribute much of my commitment to health (through exercise) to my Coach, as he provided so much support and encouragement throughout my college years. My friend Molly (who also ran cross country) stopped over for a surprise, along with her husband Damon and their four children.  The evening was a gentle reminder of how blessed I have been by the people God has put into my life.  And plus...I think Lucy might have found herself a new boyfriend in Molly's youngest son, Charlie! 

I choose to think that all of these special occurrences are not coincidences but more graces sent from above, to provide nurturing and comfort during this time.

I thank our Creator for His love and Divine Intervention.   

May the spirit of Christmas, and all the wonder it has to offer, be with you during this time.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Forever Family Day

It was on December 6th, two years ago, that we met Lucy for the first time.  We see this as our “birth” day for Lucy, so we try to honor it every year by doing something special.  This year we headed to Build-a-Bear to let Lucy create her own little something to treasure. 

Behold "Tabby:"

Getting her ready for her "bath"

wash, wash...

Giving her new friend a "nose bup"

 and picking out her new outfit!
It was a great time, although Brian was a little worried that teaching Lucy to “have fun at the mall” may not be setting the best of precedents. (For those who know Brian, I know, I was laughing too.)

It just so happened that this year, our special day also fell on St. Nicholas’ feast day. So in keeping with family tradition, Lucy put her shoes outside of her door, in hopes of receiving some treats from jolly ole St. Nick.  It took her about 20 minutes to decide just what shoes to pick (and she doesn't have that many)!

It brought back such fond memories of my childhood, and gave me a renewed sense of gratitude for all the traditions I grew up with.

The day was complete with one final grace that I received.  My dear friend Mary sent me quite an email.  It just so happens that she has kept a lot of her email correspondence over the years.  This was an email that she dug up from my Mom;  my Mom had sent it to Mary the day we met Lucy for the first time, December 6th, 2009:

Mary, wasn't that blog just fantastic today? We had been checking for several hours  before they posted.  Lisa and Lindsay went to 9:30 Mass and called immediately after to see if Lucy was here yet! They had been checking before they left for church too!  Now we can't wait to see more pictures and meet her in person.  We are having a great day...hope you are too!  Blessings. Marcy 

Who knew this system of saving emails that Mary has would bring such a gift to someone like myself…two years later.  It was like my Mom was talking to me, letting me know she was celebrating our special day with us. What a blessing…. Thank you Mary.

Lucy opening a Christmas gift from jammies!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

This and That

Lucy eating her first buckeye of the season!

Lots to share, as we have been busy, and I have been tardy in posting pictures... Here is some of how we have been spending our time the last few weeks:

Lucy at her first play:  Seussical!  She LOVED IT!

Back home in NY for Thanksgiving with cousins Brandon and Macayla
and Aunt Bibbett.

Uncle Timmy brought Lucy a Christmas gift all the way from Florida!
Mickey Mouse!!!
Lucy loves him!  Thanks Uncle Timmy!
Hanging out with the boys...

Showing off my new outfit from Aunt Bibbett.

Here is the funniest story of the month....

Many mornings Lucy wants one of her dolls to join her for breakfast.  She diligently will put her doll in its little high chair, and then position the doll next to her at the table.  On this particular morning, Lucy accidentally spilled her rice krispies all over the floor.  Next thing I know, this is what I see:

Lucy explained that "baby needed a time out for spilling her krispies all over the floor."  Words cannot explain how hard I was laughing!

We already made it to the mall to visit with Santa.  Even though Lucy still didn't want to have anything to do with sitting with Santa (look at her body language!), we still had great fun with our friends Abby and Tammy:

The girls loved strolling around the mall in this.
Today we made it to Big Tree Plantation to cut down our Christmas tree.  The weather was a far cry from our snowy day last year.  It must have been 50 degrees.  Beautiful.  Best weather we have had in years for this occasion!

Lucy loved being pulled around in the sled...snow or no snow!
Supervising Daddy, making sure he is cutting it down right...
The goal of the next few weeks is going to be to try to relax, remember the reason for the season, and enjoy!   This is my hope for all of you as well!