Passage of Time

It’s been a really long time since we have wrote here but I was thinking of this the other day and wanted to start it back up.

So much happiness has happened since our last entry, which I think I’ll let the other sisters do their writing about their own moments, and I’ll later write about my joys.

Today, I want to talk about the grief that was the cause of us to forget about this blog for a while in the first place.

Our daddy died.

Those three words have had the biggest effect on our lives. A ripple effect really, causing waves and waves of changes- both in who we are and how we live our lives.

It was a cold Saturday in December. ” A day that will live in infamy” both for people remembering Pearl Harbor, and for me,my family and father’s friends. As most days that turn out to completely change you seem to go, it felt very normal. I remember being really excited because Christy and Rick were coming in for the weekend. I had been busy decorating my first apartment for Christmas. because I saw the visit as a great opportunity  to throw a little get together at my place, and do some wine and chocolate tastings that I had learned about at a tour, the week before.

Mom called me that morning and told me that Dad was making breakfast for everyone and that I should come over. Usually I would never turn that down, but I was busy prepping for everyone to come over. I started hanging garland and making buffalo chicken dip, in anticipation for the day. While I was baking for the party, Mom, Christy, Rick, and Daddy went to get the Christmas Tree. That night we would decorate, as was family tradition.

Everyone came over and I was in my joy, hosting. I remember when Daddy came in the door. I had seen him on Thursday but he hugged me like he hadn’t seen me in days, like he really missed me. As he hugged me, he kissed my cheek. Maybe God let the moment stick in my mind because it was my last hug. Even so, the hug would have remained in my memory, even if it had not been the last because I remember thinking in that moment, how much my Dad loved me, and how much I loved him. It was just one of those moments in time that completely freezes in your mind and stays there. A moment that when you remember it, you not only remember it but you FEEL it. I still feel it to this day.

After the party, the guys went back to chop wood at the house. The girls went to some boutiques and a party the health food store was having. We got back to the house around 4:45.

I remember pulling in the driveway and it was dark, my car lights were on. I remember my lights shining in the back of the truck, and seeing the Christmas Tree still there. I remember thinking it was weird that Dad wouldn’t have insisted that they bring in the tree before dark. I remember walking in and the guys being in the kitchen but Daddy wasn’t in there like he would have been preparing snacks for our tree decorating, if things were normal. I remember Mom asking where he was and Rick saying he was laying down. I remember walking back the hallway with Mom, because we both felt something wasn’t right. I remember seeing my dad and knowing instantly that he was gone….forever.

Very little from the upcoming months really sticks out to me. I think God guarded my heart with a shield to heal. It was more like coasting through life, rather than living. I say that, although, I felt peace about it the entire time. Everything about the situation, God handled in kindness. He took him instantly, the coroner said. I know God had us come home shortly after, because there was nothing we could have done. If I had been there, I would have blamed myself, thinking there was something I could have done in those moments. God made it very obvious that it was my Dad’s time, my kind, gentle, funny, and loving father.

Death is not easy to deal with but it does get easier with time. You develop into a different person. You think completely differently. Things that were important to you before, you now realize are trivial.

Always treat the ones you love like it’s their last day, and last moment. Usually, when that moment actually does come, you’re not expecting it.

 

 

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Showered With Love

My bridal shower on Saturday was a day of cupcakes, presents, games, laughter, and love. It had all the pieces of a wonderful memory! Held at a local restaurant, my girls created a creative and personalized space perfect for the occasion. My bridesmaid, Megan, made confetti and heart streamers from pages of my favorite novel, “The Great Gatsby.” My big sister and matron of honor, Laura, having organized the event, brought the most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever eaten! There were amazing hors’ dourves and flavored water and lemonade. We all raved about the food for days!

My maid of honor, Kelly, had contacted Rick and had him write the story of how we met. Guests tried to fill in blanks, which resulted in some hilarious responses! The biggest uproar resulted from the line, “When in Baltimore, Christy first introduced me to______.” The correct answer is “sushi,” but my mother in law screamed out “Sex!” Horrified, and sitting next to my mother, my face turned scarlet red. My friend, Colleen, immediately defended my honor with, “Christy’s not that kind of girl!” Haha, thanks Colleen! Later, Rick and I laughed that our parents meeting is a bit like the movie “Meet the Fockers,” as their conservative and liberal lifestyles combine. In our opinion, it is the perfect balance!

The generosity bestowed on me that day from my family and friends was overwhelming. Rick and I are truly blessed to have such caring, sincere people in our lives. We stocked our kitchen with all kinds of new things, including a coffee maker, crock pot, kitchenaid and more. My best friends put thought into their gifts with framed art of where Rick and I are getting married connected to where we’re honeymooning. They had a bridal bath robe embroidered with my new name “Mrs. Dietz,” and supplied us with our first set of Christmas ornaments. Laura also personalized her gifts with a Dietz family doormat and my something blue, a handkerchief with our names and wedding date embroidered on it. All in all, I could not have asked for more! Enjoy the pictures taken from the well known photographer in the family, the youngest Z, my Bekah.

Love, Christy

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A California New Years

“I don’t think I can handle another winery.”  I slightly sway and giggle as I look over at Rick’s sister, Heidi, who is not in a much better condition than I am.  “How is it that I was only drinking tiny sips, and I feel this lightheaded?”  Heidi laughs, a resident of California, she has done the Napa and Sonoma Valley wine tours with her friends and family numerous times before.  She tells me laughingly that those little sips sneak up on you, and as I can now tell you from experience, she’s not kidding!

Our day at the wineries was one of my favorite days on our week trip to California over New Years.  The beauty of the northern California countryside is breathtaking, and I felt a bit like John Steinbeck as I admired the rolling hills of the valley.  I finally could see for myself the beauty of a state I had read so much about in my literary studies.  For those of you who have never explored the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma Valley, I would recommend both, but Sonoma is certainly more affordable, and you experience the same beautiful land, luscious wine and captivating, friendly people.

Prior to our day at the vineyards, we spent three nights in Bodega Bay, residing in a charming “bungalow” on the coast.  Home of the setting for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” I fell in love with this quiet, coastal town, that you can pass in the blink of an eye.  I told Rick that I could truly see myself living somewhere like Bodega Bay, and buying a cute, little house near the ocean, where each morning I would take long walks by the water with our dog, or sit a top a rock and write short stories and novels.  He laughs lovingly at my dreams, embellishing my whims with tales of us eating fresh fish and chips and picnicing on the sand.

Our bungalow was spacious with a hot tub and a fireplace.  With hardly any neighbors, we were able to relax in the hot tub and watch the sunset as deer pranced by.  We brought in the new year next to a roaring fire, playing board games and sipping on delicious almond champagne.  My New Years Eve for many years before have been filled with loud voices and overcrowded venues, and it was remarkably peaceful to be somewhere calm and serene with the man I love and will soon marry.  I imagine this feeling is what I have heard so many older people talk about; the time has come where going out, clubbing or dancing all night no longer has the same appeal.

We spent a day each in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, relishing the fall like temperatures and watching the dolphins and sea lions.  It amused me how the sea lions prop against each other and sleep without a care in the world.  We walked the boardwalk of Santa Cruz, the beach empty except for a few homeless people on blankets.  We explored the small shops of the San Francisco wharf, stopping to buy chocolates and get pictures in front of the over-sized Christmas tree.

The decision to vacation over winter break is quickly becoming a tradition for us.  After spending a bustling, exciting Christmas with our families, it is nice to get away to a new place we have never been, and soak in new people, new experiences, and unexplored pieces of God’s beauty.  As we flew home on the plane, and wrote in our journal of travels together, I felt overwhelmingly lucky to have the opportunity to see new places in the world with this man as my companion.

-Christy

The first of many wineries...

The first of many wineries…

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Surprise Vacation

Being the end of December and I was already feeling bad for myself for being back at work and Christmas being over already, I held in my mind that I at least had New Years left!
I was sitting in my cube doing my usual duties when my mom called and asked me if I could get off of work for a week to go to the Bahamas in two weeks! I, of course, found a way! I am so excited! I have never been there before 🙂

Keep watching for details of this spontaneous vacation!
❤ Kate

The Santa Express

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There are tons of fun family Christmas events and activities in our area.  Unfortunately though, most of them are not for one year olds.  I thought The Santa Express though would be perfect for Aviana, so I booked our family 3 tickets!   “She’d get to ride a ‘choo choo’, see Santa, sings songs, she’ll love it,”  I thought, well I was WRONG.  One of the many things I have learned in my 17 months of motherhood, you just can’t predict the actions of a child.  I should have known my dear curious child would not want to sit still on a train.  I should have known that it is torture for a 17 month old to sit when there is so much to explore!  My thoughts are that The Santa Express would probably be fun for older children, but by the end of it Matt and I were exhausted from trying to entertain our squimy little one!  Oh and also, Aviana is VERY afraid of Santa.  I could not even get her within a foot of him, looks like no Christmas pictures with Santa this year, sigh.  I love my husband, he calmly reminded me to not stress, to enjoy these moments, this is what memories are made of, not all memories are perfect.    How thankful I am for my little family, even the not so perfect memories,  but even so there will be no more Santa Express for me!!

xoxo,

Laura

P.S.  Above is the best picture I could get of her, she was moving so much!

Pumpkin Soup

Last time that Laura visited, I decided to make the good doctor some vitamin-A-filled pumpkin soup! Below is how I made the comforting dish 🙂

Ingredients :

1/4 cup of butter

1/2 cup of onion, chopped

2 tsp brown sugar

14.5 ounce can of chicken broth

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

15 ounce can of pure pumpkin

12 ounce can of evaporated milk

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 gala apple, chopped in small squares, skinned

Melt butter in a large saucepan until it sizzles. Drop in the chopped onions and cook until carmelized. Stir in brown sugar. Add chicken broth, salt and pepper. Wait until it boils and then reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 mins. Stir in apple squares and cook for 5 more minutes. In side bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, and cinnamon until smooth. Slowly scoop the mixture into the saucepan and cook an additional 5 minutes, until warm.

Enjoy!

Kate

 

 

The Hunt

It has been about two years since my “hunting” hobby started. My mom does not understand why I like to do it and she is not always supportive, but every now and then, I can get her to agree to come along with me to do some thrift store shopping!

At first, it started with my love of design and I wanted to buy pieces of furniture that I could re-do. I started in the thrift stores because I did not want to feel bad if I ruined a piece. The prices are lower so I knew it would not have as much of an impact on me. I started with a nightstand from the 60s (?). Others may have thought it would be a waste but I could see the potential of what it could be. That was enough for me!

Second, I moved on to household decor items. I have bought so many anthropologie-like items, paintings, colored glasses…. I love trying to think of fun ideas of what to do with them! Collecting these items is one reason I NEED to look for my first house. It’s definitely time 😉

 

Now, I try to go weekly to check out certain places for unique finds. Recently, I went to my town’s thrift store which does not feel like the cleanest surroundings and hat is putting it nicely! I saw a cabinet in the window that I really liked but it had a price of $40 (Which is above my DIY goal range) and I had no truck to take it in. I sadly walked away and looked at the dresses, another of my obsessions. To my surprise, I found several that I wanted to try on and I actually ended up buying a few!

To follow the original fashion rule I made for myself around the age of 13, NEVER make a store off limits. You can find the best finds in the most unlikely of places!

Have a great day everyone 🙂

Kate