Two Days in a Row!

Can you believe it?? I actually am posting two days in a row! And it feels good. I’ve missed it and will do my best to post more often. Really. I promise.

I just had to post this picture of Owen. Last night Owen insisted upon wearing his Santa Hat while watching the Santa Claus movie. He tried so hard to stay awake and only missed the last 15 minutes or so. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a picture of my sweet little sleeping baby boy. Kids are always so sweet when they’re sleeping, aren’t they? Too bad they can’t be that way all of them time! I’m just kidding. Kids are always sweet all of the time, right??

I’m going to bake today. It’s a lazy day and the weather is turning stormy. It’s the best time to bake. I’ve always baked and my dream job is to be a pastry chef. I bake atleast 3-4 times a week, but more so during the holidays. Baking is soothing to my soul. It comforts me greatly. You can always tell by how much I’ve baked, during non-holiday times that is, that I must have been having a bad day or I’ve been stressed.

Since I was a little girl, my holidays were always busy with family gatherings. Large family gatherings. When I first took my husband to one, who at the time was my boyfriend (and you only took boyfriends/girlfriends to a family gathering if the relationship was serious. The men in my family just loved to grill whatever boyfriend or girlfriend any family member brought when we did this. But I digress…That’s a whole other story in itself!), was overwhelmed by the size of my family. I think we had 60+ people there at the time. Now, 15 years later, they are non-existent. My grandfather, brother, dad and now uncle have all passed. My brother had made the family promise that the family would continue to get together once he was gone. He loved our gatherings. We promised him we would, and we did. They weren’t as big anymore. We were all originally within driving distance of eachother, but then family members married and moved out of state. Older family members couldn’t really travel anymore. My Uncle Bob, my stand-in dad for so many years, continued with the tradition. He loved them too, and he had personally promised my brother he would continue with them. His last one was last December, two months before he died. The family gatherings have officially ended. Not that I haven’t tried to get the family together this year. I did. My aunt, God love her, just can’t do it. It’s her first Christmas without my uncle, so I don’t blame her. My grandma is in no way up to traveling anywhere, or my mom. My grandma’s brothers, my uncles, are too ill. One is in Arizona and one in Nevada. They made it last year. This year, one has had a heart attack and is too ill, and my other uncle is in the hospital after having a stroke. Needless to say, I’m heartbroken over this.

My mom and grandma were not up to a big to-do for Thanksgiving, so it had been decided that my own family would go out to dinner with my husband’s mom and brother and his kids and then on Friday, we would cook dinner for my mom and grandma. When I awoke on Thanksgiving, I didn’t feel quite right. I couldn’t put my finger on it. My neighbors, a young couple with two small kids, were hosting their first holiday gathering for their families. They had never cooked a turkey before. That morning, we got a phone call asking if we could help them out with the turkey. My husband is the Turkey Man in our family and jumped on the chance to go over and help them out. We went over and my husband showed them what to do. They were so nervous and excited to be doing this for the first time. I rememebered my first family gathering after I got married. It was a big deal. When my husband and I came home from my neighbors, I went straight to the kitchen. I needed to bake. I went through my cupboards to see what I could make and decided on Pumpkin Bread. LOTS of pumpkin bread. My husband came in to see what all the ruckus was about and when he did, I stood there in the middle of the kitchen and started bawling like a baby. He didn’t have to ask. He knew what was wrong. He gave me a big hug and then immediately began helping me. For the next couple of hours, in silence except for the sound of our task, we made 8 loaves of pumpkin bread. The boys even came out and helped. They even managed to make me laugh a couple of times. With each pan that was put in the oven, I felt my sadness start to lessen. It didn’t go away completely, but it had lessened greatly. The wonderful smell of the baking pumpkin bread was soothing my soul. Having my husband and boys help was a great elixer as well. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

I’m sure Christmas is going to be just as difficult this year. It’s weird to realize that I no longer have an important, male family-figure in my life anymore. I miss my Uncle greatly. He was more of a dad to me than my own father ever was. It wasn’t as hard losing my dad, grandpa or brother because I knew I still had my uncle. I know what to expect now. Trust me when I say I will be baking like a mad woman this Christmas! In fact, I just found this wonderful recipe for Lemon Loaves that I will be making later today or tomorrow. Lemon is my favorite and I can’t wait to fill the house with scents of baking lemon bread. My aunt has always been a voracious baker and I think I got my love of baking from her. She always would make tons of pumpkin pies and chocolate chip cookies for our family gatherings. I think I’m going to call her and see if I can come over one day and we can spend the day baking together, in memory of my uncle. I’m sure there will be much laughter and even some tears, but I can’t think of anything more healing than that. In the meantime, I’m off to gather my ingredients and prepare for the next couple of days. Have a great day everyone!

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2 Responses to “Two Days in a Row!”

  1. OldOldLady Of The Hills Says:

    How wonderful that you have baking to help you through these hard days of the Holidays and loss…I understand that and empathize with you and how very sweet that your husband and kids worked with you…THAT is your family, for sure….And I bet you are a fantastic baker! I hope you will be naking Chocolate Chip Cookies…YUM, YUM, YUM…during these coming Holidays!

    I will be watching our weather from my windows, for sure…And hope I can get some wonderful pictures…! I LOVE that there was this synergy about “views”…!

  2. Andrew Says:

    I love pictures of sleeping kids. My favorite is a pic we took of one of our kids when he fell asleep in a plate of pancakes. You got it — his face is lying in a pool of maple syrup while he snores away. He was REALLY tired, I guess.

    To Love, Honor and Dismay

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