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Showing posts from November, 2015

Simplifying Christmas: Getting Organized

I believe that one of the main reasons the season of Christmas can get out of hand and stressful is that we don't prioritize and get organized. There's so much to do. So many functions to go to. So many gifts to buy. The list goes on and on.

This year I am hoping that by getting organized and prioritizing what is important to us and having a plan of action, it will be less stressful, more enjoyable and we won't lose the core reason why we are celebrating Christmas: Jesus!

A few years ago I made a Family Planner that keeps our family organized throughout the year. It works great. Then I also made a separate Christmas Planner which is perfect for someone like me.

For my planner I needed:

1 1/2 inch three ring binder.Page protectorsDividers (I had stick on ones so just stuck those on the page protectors)PaperThree hole punched zipper pouch.  Then I printed off title pages. Although, you don't need these if you have the regular type of dividers. And this is what is…

Simplifying Christmas

The Christmas season can get so incredibly busy and hectic that it is very easy to lose the true meaning of this blessed season.

For a number of weeks I have been thinking about how we can simplify Christmas and still keep it special and magical for our children (and ourselves).

A few years ago I planned a mini-series around this idea of simplifying Christmas. I've updated and revised that mini-series and thought I'd share it again, this December.

Goal setting has become imperative for me when it comes to planning a simplified Christmas.

When we lived in Grande Prairie, we didn't have family around us so one of our goals was to still create a sense of family and celebration even though our 'related to us family' was not near by. Now that we live near family, we find that we need to pick and choose which activities/traditions we are going to take part in so that we still get that sense of family and celebration, but don't wear ourselves thin and lose the magic …

Kisses from Heaven

Sometimes there are moments when we feel like we are forgetting him.

What did he look like? His hands? His feet? His sweet cheeks and charming smile? His walk and his talk. His jokes and his giggles.

They seem to disappear.

And then we panic. We can't forget.

We beg God for a sign that we will be okay. That he is okay.

Sometimes there are no visible answer to our pleas and sometimes we are given a holy kiss from heaven, like today when Olivia looked out the kitchen window as I was making supper and exclaims:

Mommy! I think God went up to Mikail and asked him to paint the sky pink for me!

Home: The Cross Makes All the Difference

Before we lost Mikail, my draw to heaven wasn't all that great. Yes, I looked forward to eternity in heaven, but it always felt like 'there's so much more life on earth to live first'. I think it was because I hadn't had, what was for me, a significant loss yet. True, I have lost all of my grandparents.  All four lived long, full lives and were ready to meet their Jesus face to face. There were tears and sadness, but not a grief as deep as we are experiencing right now.

When we lost our first baby to heaven, through miscarriage, my heart was broken. I carried a heavy heart for ten months. I wondered what she would be like when we meet one day. I mourned the future we would never have together, this side of heaven. That loss, was very different, and much healing took place when we found out we were expecting Mikail, and he was born a year and a half after our first loss.

When Mikail passed away, this desperate longing for heaven was born deep within my soul. In 2 C…

3 a.m. Demons

Have you ever woken up from a nightmare? Adrenaline rushing, sweat soaked sheets, fear gripping your whole being? It's quite frightening, isn't it?
In the past couple of months, the flashbacks to the morning of January 23rd have intensified and my physical reaction to these flashbacks are equal to waking up from a nightmare. The only problem is that when you wake up from a nightmare, the dream is over. A flashback is often defined as a sudden and disturbing vivid memory of an event in the past, typically as the result of trauma. It's not a nightmare you wake up from. It's a nightmare you experienced in real life.

When these flashbacks occur, it's like I am right there, and that morning is playing itself out again...the scream, like no scream I have ever heard, that I heard from Jason when he found Mikail; the lifeless body of our boy when I came running to his side; the police arriving, confirming our worst nightmare, that he was gone; EMS; detectives; statements; …


Family pictures taken in fall have always been super important to me. We always take the time to book a photographer, or if worse comes to worse, I set up the tripod and we take our own pictures on the timer. Last year I tried various avenues of getting a photographer, but we just didn't know anyone in the area, so my search didn't go far. We happened to be at a beautiful park one evening, and I set my camera up on picnic tables, because my tripods were still all somewhere in the dark depths of our moving trailer. The pictures didn't turn out the greatest at all...they worked perfectly for our photo Christmas cards, but I am unable to enlarge them for framing purposes. Breaks my heart. The last family photos we took are forever stuck in a blurry 4x6:

Yet, I treasure it so much.

We found a fantastic photographer this year. She knows grief intimately too and that alone helped us to take another 'first' step without Mikail.

She did an amazing job photographing the th…


We were warned that three months following Mikail's death would be a difficult milestone for us. We prepared ourselves and were ready. Six months following his death, was a given--it would be difficult. What we didn't expect was that the nine month anniversary would be the toughest time since January 23, 2015. We didn't see it coming. It was brutal.
It reminded me of the day, many years ago, when I was at the beginning of my cancer journey, and I crumpled to the floor in my parent's kitchen, sobbing. Thinking, I can't do this anymore. That year is mostly a blur to me. I have very few memories of it, but I do know that that moment, was a turning point for me. A sort of 'crossroad'.
I wonder if I will look back and see this difficult day/weekend/week/month--the ninth month since Mikail went home, as a turning point in my grief journey? I hope so. They say that the monthly anniversaries of the date of his death will become less of a complication in our grief …