We celebrated Christmas for the first time in our home in Dallas. Brian had knee surgery earlier in the month and couldn’t sit in the car for long, so visiting Houston was out. We’ve also just wanted to have Christmas at our house, especially since Brady is at a fun age and we’ve also never attended our own church on Christmas eve. Brian built Brady an awesome workbench for his big Christmas gift from us. My mom stayed with us for a few days during Christmas, and we had Brian’s family over on Christmas day evening. It was a lovely blessed week celebrating with family in our own home!
Here are some photos/videos from our 2014 Christmas:
This year was another laid back Thanksgiving at our house. Not as relaxed as last year (when we had a 4 week old baby) when I made turkey lunch meat sandwiches and some homemade cranberry sauce for Brian and me and called it a night. This year Brian grilled bone-in chicken and I made green beans amandine, mashed potatoes & gravy, some delicious (and very inexpensive) rolls from Trader Joe’s, and we had a few snacks of havarti cheese with dill, colby cheese cubes, grapes, and pita chips while we waited. We topped off the lovely meal with a big ole pie with real whipped cream for dessert. Brian’s siblings, Dan, Leslie, and her boyfriend, KB (Bryan), and their daughter, Alexis, joined us in the afternoon. The guys watched football and the girls played with the babies. The weather was decent (not too cold) so, we played outside after we ate. The babies played in the leaves- which was pretty cute. Brady pushed Alexis in his little car (like he was in the “strongest man of the world” contest) with his little belly hanging over his pants – lol. It’s funny to see how different they are. Alexis portrays such girly traits while Brady is such a boy and loves to get his hands dirty (and also eat the dirt).
All in all, we have so much to be thankful for this year (as always). It was nice to have a low key celebration in our home with family a few days before Brian headed off to Midland for 2 weeks to start his new job with Sidewinder Drilling. Here are some photos from the day.
This Christmas began in “2011 style” meaning that only the unexpected would happen. We were driving down dark back country highways with no moonlight, laughing and talking about an M83 song that we both liked. Brian told me to download it (on the new iPhone 4s he gave me 2 days prior) so, I excitedly pulled up iTunes on my shiny new iPhone. I was just about to hit play when brian slammed on the breaks and my heart stopped. (Flash back to 6 months ago on Memorial day – us getting hit by an 18-wheeler.) I looked up from my phone as Brian was ferociously pumping the breaks of his big GMC truck about 1/2 a second before a truck headed towards us turning across our lane crashed into the front of our truck. Everything went quiet except for the sound of crushing metal. I blacked out for a couple seconds. After everything had calmed down and I could take a breathe, it all just came flooding back into my brain. I remember the sound of Brian trying to avoid the impact, pumping the breaks, the impact from the other truck on the front/driver’s side, going down into a ditch to our right, coming back out of the ditch, ending up in a muddy field. Thankfully we could move. George ended up at the dashboard, practically in the cup holders. Presents and dirt from a plant I was going to give to my mom was everywhere in the cab of the truck. It all happend in less than 5 seconds.
The next thing I remember is turning around to assess the damage/accident/where the heck we ended up and seeing the at-fault guy jack knife his Ford truck and trailer, correct it, and speed off with chunks of his truck missing. Oh, if you could have heard me yelling out of shock/confusion. Brian had to shove his driver side door open & took off running towards him. By this time there were about 4 cars surrounding the wreck. Ok, good. Someone will stop to help us as a witness. Nope. NO ONE stopped to help us. WHO DOES THAT?! 2 days before Christmas and you witness an extremely violent hit & run wreck and NO ONE stops to help?! I couldn’t help it. I immediately burst into tears. Sure, I was grateful we just bypassed a telephone pole by a mere 2 feet at 70 mph. I was grateful we weren’t badly injured (just a few scrapes and bruises & a sore back). I was grateful our sweet dog, George, was ok. I was grateful for our big metal truck that probably saved our lives (for the second time). But everything in me was beyond frustrated that only 6 months ago we went through a big mess of a wreck, no truck for almost 2 months, dealing with all the ridiculous insurance crap, countless chiropractor doctor visits, the tension between Brian and I regarding all that mess. We had a nicely repaired perfectly good truck back for 4 months before this. Less than 2 months ago we paid off the truck by the Grace of God. Now this?! What could God possibly want us to learn from this… we just went through it?! I tried to block out these selfish “human” thoughts, but I couldn’t help it. Brian heard me crying and came running. “Honey, we’re ok… we’re ok… that’s all that matters, we’re ok.” I just covered my face and cried as he tried to console me. George was practically trying to curl up in my lap at the same time.
Brian called the police as I called my mom (who lived only 5-10 miles away from the wreck). Brian returns to the car with the best gift. The guy’s license plate was practically shaved off in the impact. Finally, a break!! Thank the good Lord, the cop that was dispatched to us caught the guy who hit us! Turns out the guy was drunk.
Over a course of a year, the Lord has plucked things from my life I think to pull me closer to Him. I’ve never thought of myself as a really materialistic or worldly person, but I’ve learned the hard way that I do rely on and put my hope in the creation and not the creator. He is placing me in the middle of certain circumstances to show me that HE is in control. HE is my hope, my protector, my savior. Circumstances will never change that. He’s taken some of my worst fears and placed me smack dab in the middle of them to show me that I CAN go through difficult trials if I lean on Him. People and things will always disappoint. The Lord will not. His timing and provisions are ridiculously better than I could ever imagine. It’s just a daily battle to remind myself of this. I’m slowly learning.
Anyway, here’s a quick snap of the aftermath of Wreck #2 of 2011. These photos don’t do it justice. This truck is seriously one tough piece of metal. For such a violent wreck, we expected the truck to be completely crushed. Thanks, GMC. There’s also a photo of the path a couple days later with the ditches filled from 2 days of rain. Crazy that we went exactly in between that telephone pole & wooden sign. I don’t like to think about all the “what ifs”…if we were in a smaller car, if Brian had turned the wheel 1 degree more, if the ditch had been dry dirt instead of soft mud to soften the impact, etc… We are very blessed.