Tag Archives: house

Hope for the Holidays

30 Nov

Christmas has always been my very favorite holiday. Time with family, celebrating Jesus’ birth, church, traditions, memories, food, and gifts. There really is so much that makes this a season of joy!

On Christmas Eve, we would go to the annual candlelight service at our church, followed by dinner with family. Then on Christmas morning we would wake up, wait for my mom to get her video camera ready (anyone else’s parent do this? It seemed to take her forever!), then my brother and I would open our gifts. Once we finished, my Daddy would start cooking the most delicious breakfast. My grandma and grandpa would come, and we sat around the table talking and laughing.

Growing up, Christmas to me was always mostly about the gifts, as I think it is for most children. However, the holidays are not always easy for everyone. I never understood that until I experienced it first hand.

It was December 2011 when my life changed forever. My Daddy had struggled with health problems for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until April 2011 that he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. That following October, he had surgery to remove his bladder. We knew that this was a very serious surgery, but we were believing that he would come out just fine. He had surgery on Halloween and everything went fine, but the healing process after was anything but fine. For 50 days, he was touch and go. Then on December 12th the doctors told us what we feared most; “there is nothing more we can do.” As a family we decided to put my Daddy in Hospice. We were told he would probably have about 4 days left. However, at 11:59 PM on Monday December 12th, 2011, my Daddy took his last breath this side of Heaven.

Our family, though strong in our faith in the Lord, was shattered. We knew this day would come, but we were no where near ready to let him go. That was the hardest, saddest Christmas I have ever experienced. Though it has been almost 7 years, the pain by no means has gone away.

Every holiday since then, we are reminded that he is in Heaven by the very real absence we feel. We miss him every second of every day, but Christmas is no longer a time of sadness. After the year of firsts, we realized that my Daddy wouldn’t want us to live our lives being sad. The holidays are now filled with laughter, joy, and memories that make my heart swell with love.

People deal with grief in many different ways. I have seen many individuals stop living their lives after the death of a loved one; they are so deeply affected by this loss that they find it nearly impossible to go on. Others, from the outside looking in, may seem as though they have forgotten about their loved one that passed. They live their lives like nothing ever happened and are often judged very harshly because of it. No one knows the real level of a person’s grief except for that person.

So the question seems to be, how do people face the holidays while still grieving the loss of a loved one? I have learned a few things over the last 6 holidays since losing my Daddy.

Traditions

For most families, tradition is an integral part of any holiday, specifically Christmas. After losing my Daddy, we felt very lost the first Christmas without him. We were overcome with sadness and truly didn’t feel like “celebrating” anything. There were a lot of tears that year and because the loss was so raw, we didn’t do any of our normal traditions. As time went on, we realized that we needed those traditions to continue to heal. With tradition comes structure and when you lose someone, everything feels chaotic and in disarray. Many of the same traditions we had when my Daddy was here, we still continue today. We mention him and how much he would love someone who has been born since his passing, or mention a funny comment that we knew he would make in a situation. The twinge of sadness will always be there, but we are able to smile because we know that we will see him again someday in Heaven.

Keep Their Memory Alive

When a loved one passes, sometimes it may feel like mentioning them is taboo. I know that for me personally, I worry that if I mention my Daddy to certain people, I will bring a wave of sadness on them, and I don’t want to ever do that intentionally. When people mention him, depending on the person and the situation, I often smile or laugh, but I still feel sad because he’s not here with us physically. As someone who has personally experienced this, I realize more and more that we must learn to move forward. When I say moving forward, I mean never hesitating to mention their name or share a funny story about them. By talking about them, we keep their memory alive. We are allowing family members who were born after their passing get to know them. For example, I have two nieces and a nephew, who were all born after my Daddy passed away. Though they never met him, my nieces both know who their Pop was, that he would love them so very much, and that they will see him in Heaven someday. They recognize him in pictures and even talk about him sometimes. My nephew is only 5 months old, so as he grows, he’ll know all about his Pop too!

Cherish Each Moment

The main thing that I have learned through my loss is that each and every moment in this life is precious. We knew that we were going to lose my Daddy; the doctors told us and while it wasn’t necessarily a shock, the pain was still so great. After such a terrible loss, I realized first hand how much I cherish time with my loved ones. You gain such a different perspective when your world is turned upside down. Arguments and disagreements over little things seem so petty, time with loved ones doesn’t feel like a burden, and slowing down when life is pulling you in a million different directions feels like a breath of fresh air.

So if the holidays are a difficult time for you, like they are for so many, I hope that you can begin to heal by using some of these tips. I hope that you can find solace in the Lord Jesus and know that He is with you and sees your hurting heart.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34:18

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” –Revelation 21:4

And if you are experiencing the pain that comes from a loss, whether recent or not, please know that it is okay for you to grieve. You will never and are never expected to “get over” this loss.

The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.” —Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Losing someone is the hardest thing in life to go through , but please know that if you have gone through a loss such as this, you are given the opportunity to help lift up others. The loss and pain that you have suffered has or will make you a stronger person as you continue on your life’s journey. You will meet people that are just now going through something that you went through yourself and when you meet those people, use that as an opportunity to lift them up. Let them know that what they’re going through will never be easy, but they have someone to talk to if they so choose. Tell them that you love them and that you are there for them; you will not have all the answers, but you can listen and sometimes that is all a person needs.

And if your heart is overwhelmed to the point that you feel you truly cannot go on, please know that there are counselors that are trained to help you process what you are going through. Many local churches have licensed counselors on their staff, please reach out because though you may feel alone, you do not have to be.

As you can tell, this post is very different from any that I have made before, but as Christmas is getting closer, there could be someone that desperately needs to read these words of encouragement.

Blessings,

Mrs. Hannah D.

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More Than Just Fireworks 💥

7 Jul

Oh it has been sooooooo long since I last blogged. Don’t even remember when the last time was? I think it was for my wedding anniversary…yes that’s it! That was the last time I posted!! So I guess I’m technically doing good…it’s been less than a month! Haha 😆

Anywayyy…I’ve been so inspired the last ten days. So much joy in the midst of a very busy, stressful season in life.

Let’s start with last Thursday, June 28th…I became an Aunt (again!!! 😍) to a precious, perfect little boy. 💙

Cole Daniel 💙

I’m completely in love with him just like I am his sisters. And may I add, they are just the best big sisters to him already. 💕💕💙

When I became an aunt 6 years ago I had no idea how much love my heart would hold for these babies. My heart could just burst! I can’t imagine what it will be like with my own babies someday! ❤️

Now let’s jump forward a few days to the Fourth of July. It was a day spent with family! That night Houston & I headed back home from my mom’s and I mentioned something about the annual fireworks show they do each year in our town. He asked if I wanted to watch them and I suggested driving to our land to see if we could see them from there.

We haven’t been over to our land in a really long time. Life has been so dang busy and we just never make time to go over there. We saw that the hay had been cut on our first section of land (in front of where we want to build our house someday) so we drove out on it.

As we waited on the fireworks to start we listened to music and talked about events of the day. Our latest song, “I Like Me Better” by Lauv came on and it was perfect. We discovered that song on the radio on our anniversary getaway back in June. The lyrics couldn’t be more true…

“To not know who I am but still know that I’m good long as you’re here with me…

I like me better when I’m with you

I knew from the first time, I’d stay for a long time ’cause

I like me better when

I like me better when I’m with you”

The fireworks started and my heart began to swell as I realized we had a perfect view!!

We watched for a while and began to talk about the future. When our house is built we will be able to invite all our family over for the Fourth of July. The girls and Cole can run in the yard and play with Creed, maybe we’ll have a baby by then and we can all sit on the porch and talk as we watch the fireworks. I was almost in tears thinking about how wonderful that will be. My heart is so happy. ❤️

More often than not the dream of building a house has seemed more and more distant. Between life and finances, it just seems hard to fathom. God has realllllyyyy been dealing with my heart on this. It seems that each week at church the sermon is meant just for me. Whether it’s about believing in the dreams that God has given you or speaking life over your situation…it’s stepped all over my toes.

I cannot wait to build our dream house. 🏡 It will be OUR house on OUR land. It will be perfect and it will be a huge blessing. God is working behind the scenes and He is going to make a way. I just need to sit back and TRUST in Him.

And don’t worry…when we begin this house-building journey, I’ll take you all along for the ride! 🤗

What are your God-given dreams?

Never give up on them!

Blessings,

Mrs. Hannah D. 💜

1,461 ❤️

7 Jun

I am the worst. I haven’t posted on here since April 23rd. If any of you read this, you’re probably not surprised. But as I usually say, life has been so busy and I truly haven’t had time to blog as much as I’d like.

Things have been very, very stressful this last month or so. Work has been busy, Grad School has just started back up for the summer, and we’ve been stretched so thin lately. I constantly feel like I’m running in 100 different directions but not really “getting” anywhere. Know what I mean? And then, about two weeks ago, my car messed up. I’ve had my car for a little over 9 years…yes NINE, and it has been such a good car. But you know that saying “when it rains, it pours!”? Well, yeah, that’s accurate. We were able to get it fixed (thank God), but not without a HEFTY price to pay. Anyone in need of a kidney? Ha. 🙃😬

But I am not writing this post to talk about my stresses. Life is stressful enough for everyone else in this world, the last thing you want to read about it MY stress. This post is in honor of my FOUR year Wedding Anniversary. ❤️

One thousand four hundred sixty one days as husband and wife. To be quite honest, I’m surprised he’s put up with me this long! 😂 He is such a good man. I say that all the time, but it couldn’t be more true.

We have been together for just over 8 years. Over that time, we have celebrated and mourned, learned, grew, struggled, laughed, smiled, watched endless hours of TV, and so much more…TOGETHER. My husband has been with me through the most devastatingly heartbreaking times and the most wonderful, joyous times.

It has never once been him or me, it has always been US. When he’s not with me I don’t feel like myself. He is truly my much better half. He is the encourager when I feel discouraged, he is the one that pushes me to be more like Jesus, he believes in me, he supports me, and so much more. I’m his biggest fan.

When God made him, I know that He was making him just for me. Our love and our relationship has been God ordained from the beginning. I pray that He is glorified in us and through us all the days of our life and that when people look at our marriage, they see Jesus’ love shining through.

I can’t wait to build a house with you someday.

I can’t wait to continue spoiling our nieces and nephew with you.

I can’t wait to have babies with you someday.

I can’t wait to see you smiling at me as I graduate with my Master’s.

I can’t wait to travel the world with you.

I can’t wait to continue loving and celebrating this beautiful life with you. Forever and ever and ever.

Thank you for being you.

Let’s grab some ice cream and run away together.

I love you eternally.

Blessings,

MRS. Hannah D. 🖤

A Sunday Well Spent

17 Jan

I’m a little ashamed that this is the first time I’ve blogged all year. 😛 Hehe!!

This Sunday, I was so inspired by life that I knew I had to compile all my thoughts into this blog.

Almost a year ago, Sunday’s were filled with anxiety, stress, and tears. It was one of my least favorite days of the week. Nowadays, Sunday’s are quite different. A really good different.

Within the last year, my momma started an unspoken tradition of lunch at her house every Sunday after church. Previously we would just go to a restaurant in town, but being in a small town we were very limited with our choices.

It isn’t the food (though it is always delicious!) that makes Sunday lunch so special; it is time with the people I love. We all sit at the dining room table, eat, talk, laugh. It’s perfect.

Our conversations are sometimes filled with tears, sometimes laughter, but always smiles.

After lunch my nieces play and we all lay around and relax.

Sunday morning church fills my soul and Sunday lunch fills my heart (& stomach! 😋)

This time with family is something I so cherish. God is so good and I am so thankful.

Find time to cherish the little things.

Blessings,

Mrs. Hannah D. ❤️

Weekend Adventures

26 Aug

Hello to all my dedicated blog readers!! Most of you have either heard or read about my adventures living in the country. If  you are a new visitor and have never heard (or read) about said adventures I highly suggest starting here! It’ll make ya smile…promise! 😁

So let me just tell you about my latest adventure…and for the sake of transparency…I’m going to include specific details. All I ask…no judgement! But you would never, right?! 🤓

It was a usual Saturday morning; slept in, laid in bed watching The Pioneer Woman until about 11 AM while Houston was away painting. My Saturday mornings are full of me time; and that’s just how I like it. 🙂 Anyway, my mom and I were planning to have lunch and hang out together around noon so I knew I better get up soon so I could let Creed (our precious pup!) out and still have time to get ready! Still in my silky black pajamas (with no bra on might I add…remember? no judgement!!!) and my red rubber boots. I was a sight to see…but Creed loves me and he was the only one I’d be with right?!


He’d been running around and playing for about 15 minutes when I thought, “hmm…I better go get a spoonful of peanut butter so I can put him up and get ready.” Yes I said peanut butter. He’s only a little spoiled! 😏 I headed to the door when I discovered…it was locked and inside were my house keys and cell phone.

I had my “oh crap!!!” moment and then spent the next 10 minutes pondering what in the world I was going to do. I had a few options…I could stay outside and wait on my mom to pull up, I could wait on someone I knew to drive by so I could flag them down, I could start walking down the road to my in-law’s house to get their key but risk Creed running crazy in front of a car (and risk someone seeing me!!), or I could just walk across the field to their house. I finally decided on walking across the field. I guess I should’ve prefaced this with the fact that it was like 95 degrees outside with a heat index of like 150 degrees. Ughhhh. 😩

So I start my trek across the what felt like 40 mile field…realistically it’s about 1/2 a mile…whatever. Creed is running crazy and I’m POURING sweat. I get to my in-law’s house and Creed barrels up the steps acting crazy like always and I finally make it up there. When I arrive I see my mom-in-law, and TWO of my hubby’s aunts…and his brother drove up. Of course. So here I am, soaking wet with sweat, no bra on, out of breath and asking to borrow her spare key to our house. All the while trying to keep Creed from eating her two pound puppy. It was a mess. I apologized for my appearance, got the key, and headed back across the field. But of course, Creed was still hanging out at their house while ignoring me calling for him to come. He’s a mess. My mom-in-law found a chain, hooked it on, and brought Creed to me. So now I’m being drug across the field in the 150 degree heat by a 45 pound dog. Gracious. 😓

When I finally arrive back to my house Creed plops down in his kiddie swimming pool and looks at me like “mom it sure is hot today!” …yes, yes it is… I get Creed in the pen and my mom drives up. She rolls down the window, looks at me like I’m crazy (understandably so) and asks me what happened. I break down in tears as I give details of the events of the last 30 minutes. 😭 She laughs and says, “go take a shower!” Love you mom. 😉


What a way to break up the normalcy of my Saturday morning routine. Lesson from this experience? Always have a spare key. 😊

All in all, this country life is so wonderful. Plus, it makes for the BEST stories! ❤️

Happy Weekend!!

Blessings,

Mrs. Hannah D.

 

“This is Home”

5 Jan

I’ve written about home before. My post Home Sweet Home was inspired a few months back. Anyway, here I am, inspired once again. 

We just got home from staying with my mom for the last few days. The river has been up again and cut us off from our house. I’m beginning to think I’m being tested… 😉

My mom’s house will always be home. It was in that beautiful white house  with a big yard and lots of trees that I grew up. It’s a house filled with memories, laughter, tears, and love. My heart smiles each time we pull into the driveway because it isn’t just a house, it’s a home. It was my home for 20+ years of my life. It was where I grew into the woman I am today. It is not just a house, but it is the house that built me. 

My home now is in a different town 15 or so minutes away. It’s a smaller house with several trees and brown siding. It is pretty inside and is filled with my favorite decorations and pictures. It is my favorite place to come after a long day at work. It is my first home of my own. This house is where my husband and I are building the early years of our marriage. It is where we make memories we’ll never forget and have experiences we’ll tell our children about. 

I love each of these houses. My first home is where I became who I am, my second home is where I’m becoming who I will be. 

I must say though, my favorite part of home is who I share it with. Whether it is my mom and family in the house I grew up in, or my husband and me in our first house. Each place is home; each place is special. And my heart will always be grateful for each one. 

  

Blessings,

Mrs. Hannah D. ❤️🏡