Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas through Bronson's eyes

I made the mistake opportunity to take Bronson Christmas shopping with me on Saturday and what would you know the following conversation happened when we got home.

Bronson: Daddy. we got you a brand new fresh tire for Christmas. You will love it! (I guess I forgot to mention that we don't tell Daddy what his presents are)

Bronson woke up on Sunday morning and came into our bedroom. Every morning he keeps asking if it is Christmas yet. This morning he told Kyle that he had the following dream. He flew to the North Pole in a plane that he had built, but it was a REALLY cool plan that had a Corvette engine and a choke that he had to pull to make it go. Apparently playing "Elf" all the time is making his dreams have a Christmas mission too. He is so excited for Christmas!

Yes, it sounds like our stories are mostly about presents and Santa, but without drilling it into my son's head he also is very aware of the meaning of Christmas. Some recent conversations that we have had in the car have solidified that we are bringing our son up with love in his heart for Jesus.

Bronson: Can God see us all the time?

Me: Yes, of course

Bronson: Where is he?

Me: Everywhere

Bronson: You are right mommy. I can see heaven right there as he points specifically to the sky. It is so beautiful.

I then heard him reciting the order of birthdays in our house and he says, first comes Olivia's, then baby Jesus, and then December 28th, my birthday. After he does this little countdown he says if it is baby Jesus' birthday does he need presents too? As he pauses he says no, all he wants is to love us and us to love Him.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Memory Snapshots

Ashley (Christmas 2010)
Yesterday I attended a funeral of a young woman that went to my church. It was a beautiful celebration of life that reminded me of what legacy we would like to live on beyond our short lives here on earth. This woman made such an impact on so many with her love and desire to live for Jesus Christ. After the funeral I packed my little boy up and went to spend the day with my baby sister who is doing quite well by the way. My sister is such a remarkably beautiful person inside and out. When I watch her with her little boy I find myself taking mental memory snapshots. I don't take nearly the amount of pictures that I did with Olivia and Bronson. I feel myself savoring each and every little moment with my sister Ash and her son.

This month she will be moving (only 3 hours away), but still far enough away that I can't just drop whatever I am doing and spend the afternoon with her. I am beyond happy for these days that we get to catch up and laugh together at our inside jokes. Cancer has taken away our ability to not be scared about the future. The two of us can openly talk about our inside fears and inabilities to go into the next CT-Scan without thinking about the what if's. Never for a moment will any of us take for granted the health of our family members. I will never forget August 10th as the day that took my breath away. I seriously thought that we would be sent home with a plan for a minor hernia/mass surgery, nothing like cancer.

I am working like crazy to remain neutral in my feelings towards this battle. I try not to let my emotions get the best of me as I think about what could have happened during that 12 hour surgical battle. I am so grateful that the good Lord provided my little sister more time here on earth. I am also reminded often that sometimes our plans and God's plans might be completely different and that I have to trust the Lord that he will provide answers to His will. No one will ever begin to understand why some people don't win their fights with cancer.

I marked a special day in my 2012 calendar a few days ago. I marked "1 YEAR CANCER FREE" on September 8th. I plan to take tangible pictures of my sister on that day so that we can look back years from now and remember this as just a bump in the road. I know without a doubt that God is using this journey to add to my sister's testimony. I also know that it has caused her to become more patient, love more, and realize what is important in life. I also realize that it has caused me to become even more sentimental if that was even a possibility.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Wishes 2011

Merry Christmas Family and Friends-

Our family hopes that these Christmas wishes extend to your entire family. This year we have fought battles that we never thought we would fight and have had abundant prayers answered. I am so thankful that I get the opportunity to spend my nephew's 1st Christmas with him. Even more praise worthy is that his mommy will be there to cheer him on. Life has a way of making you focus on the things that are important and I have been reminded more than once this year that what is most important is my family and relationships; especially with our Lord above.

Our little man will turn 4 this month and has continued to amaze us with his wonderful personality and ability to make others laugh. If we lived in LA I think he would be earning us millions with his uncanny ability to do stand up comedy. This child has the best personality of any little human being I have ever had the chance to know. In my heart I know that being a work outside of the home mommy suits me, but I do find myself thinking about him all day and looking forward to picking him up just so I can snuggle him and see what great conversations we will have that night.

Kyle is going on 9 months with his new position. He loves being the Director of Disability Services and Workoptions at Catholic Community Services. It is a very stressful job, but with the stress comes lots of opportunities to learn and be challenged. I am so proud of his decision to make this change and feel more than blessed with the opportunities it has allowed our family.

I just finished my first term of teaching at Western Oregon University. I still do my full-time position in the Graduate Office; however this part time teaching position has really allowed me to tap into one of my passions. I had a great group of students this term that taught me as much as I hope I was able to teach them. It was a great surprise to have more than 60% of my students arrive at their final presentations dressed professional and really see that they had taken their final projects seriously. I will be using all of their encouraging feedback to make my class even better for next term.

We as a family hope that 2012 brings better news and more answered prayers. My sister will continue to get her CT's through out the year and we hope to celebrate a one year free of cancer  in September of next year. As our family continues to pour our extra time into raising awareness of prematurity through our involvement with March of Dimes, we will also not forget the other mission to CURE CANCER. If you set new year's resolutions possibly you can think about involving yourself in some community services or other non-profit organizations to support or raise funds for their missions.

Merry Christmas~

Amber Deets

Monday, December 5, 2011

Las Vegas

Kyle and I got a much needed work vacation this past month! It is hard to believe that it is the first time that the two of us have left the state of Oregon since we said, "I do" nearly 8 years ago. I was going to Vegas for a work conference so Kyle and his best friend Jim tagged along with me. We had a ton of fun, but don't think unless we have a very special event it is on our list of repeat vacations. I had a great time looking at all of the amazing architecture and of course enjoyed the nice meals. The best part of the vacation was having uninterrupted adult conversation with my husband. After 8 years my husband still rocks my world and keeps me on my toes. Jim, Kyle, and I saw everything that we hoped to see on our short trip with the minor exception of the inside of the Pawn Stars location. I did manage to get a quick picture as our bus drove past, but it wasn't on my list of priorities for the trip. Kyle's highlight of the trip was the roller coaster ride at New York, New York and getting a real coin jackpot down on Freemont Street. Our next planned vacation is this next fall. The two of us are going to stay in San Diego. I was lucky enough to be sent there this past July and really think that my honey would enjoy it with me.