Family Bonding · Soul Searching

Taken for granted.

SO. I got my car back on Monday! And yes it was as wonderful as you and I have always dreamed about (I can say always when it was gone for a whole month!).  Driving home (haha home…what’s that?) to work, I enjoyed the smoothness of the ride and my luxurious steering wheel (seriously, I’ve been marveling over my steering wheel all week). It got me thinking about how we take things for granted in our life and how we don’t realize the amazing things we have until we don’t have them anymore.
A few days later, my friend Jillian came to visit me at the Bucks. I was especially excited to see her because she lives in Hawaii and I haven’t seen her since my wedding in July! I immediately ran around the bar and gave her the world’s biggest hug and said hello to her mom as well who she was shopping with. A few hours later while making frappucinos, I saw another friend, Sean, and his mom, Marianne waving to me. Sean grew up with my hubs and their moms are also good friends so I know them both well. (Both Jillian AND Sean were in our wedding party!) After waving hello, offering them a drink (Sorry I forgot, Jill!) and then waving goodbye, I went back to the drink I was making, and it hit me just like it always does in the most mundane everyday circumstances. I’ll never shop with my mom again. It’s weird I thought of it that way because besides one time for bridesmaid dresses, I haven’t shopped with my mom in years, maybe a decade. We fought a lot when I was a teenager and between that and my busy gymnastics/cheerleading schedule, I didn’t go to the mall a lot anyway. Plus the mall was 45 minutes away from my house growing up so no one ever wanted to drive that far unless you were putting in some work (which we did when I was younger!).  Even though shopping really wasn’t a recent activity my mom and I did together, I was still upset that it was something that WOULDN’T be happening again. While rationalizing with myself and trying to make myself feel better, 2 things hit me. 1. Although I was a jerk when I was younger and am still coming out of that phase, I feel like I could have been much closer to my mom as an adult. Had she lived in NJ, maybe we would have gone shopping or out to lunch. Then again I think a lot of the ways I am changing (for the better) are a result from my mom’s passing and more recently, my grandfather’s passing. It made me realize the importance of family, even if you don’t always get along.

I’m extremely lucky to have the support system I do because it gets pretty hard sometimes to get through this first year without my mom. I almost think it’s harder to grasp because we lived so far from each other and didn’t see each other or speak often. Everytime I think of something to tell her or feel sick or upset (no matter what my mom is always the one I want when my tummy hurts or I’m sad), I actually take out my phone to call her. One time I did. Weirdly enough, nothing happened, the phone didn’t ring. I think that happened for a reason. It would have hurt too bad to get a disconnected message or hear another voice pick up the phone. I know my mom lives on and is with me all the time. I’ve been thinking of her so much this Christmas season because she was so great at Christmas. Some of the things I’ll always remember:

  • Picture frames wrapped in wrapping paper
  • Also, PERFECT gift wrapping
  • Decorating the Christmas tree together while listening to this song
  • My mom re-decorating the Christmas tree because she was a perfectionist
  • Her pinecone ornaments that she hid in the tree so they looked like the belonged
  • The light up Santa Claus head she hung in my bedroom window. The red and white lights were so comforting at night.
  • The millions upon millions of presents we used to get
  • How she NEVER bought someone a gift card, something I used to question but nevertheless the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
  • Snowmen…everywhere. My mom loved them. I know have snowman place mats and a snowman shower curtain (courtesy of my mama-in-law!) and I plan to add more over the years
  • Anything crafty and DIY. My mom was DIY before DIY was cool. She made so many adorable ornaments and Christmas decorations. My favorite was a large wooden Christmas tree she gave to my grandparents that had all the grandkids’ names on its branches.
  • Personalization…she put my sister’s and my names on so many ornaments! After I met my husband, she started doing it with our names.
  • Our stockings would be hung on our doorknob when we woke up in the morning and my sister and I would take them into my parents’ room (without looking at the tree!) and open them together on my parents’ bed.
  • Christmas morning in general. My mom LOVED watching us open presents. She tried so hard to make us happy and I’m pretty sure she never failed.


Sorry to get all melancholy on ya around the holidays. Blogging is part fun, part therapy for me. It truly helps to be able to get my feelings out about my mom & it’s actually opened conversation with a lot of friends who I probably wouldn’t have talked with about it. Christmas is the perfect time to be thankful for what we have and give to others. I’m doing so through Operation WANA thanks to MODG. Anyway you can help this time of year, even if it’s just a smile for a tired Starbucks employee (hint hint), do so. It feels so good on both ends. (that’s what she said) (sorry I’m not sorry)

I PROMISE…a fun post tomorrow. Merry early Christmas!


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