Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mom, I Miss You More Every Day

Dear Mom,
Your presence in our lives is greatly missed every day. So much has happened this year that you would have loved to experience. 2008 brought us heartbreak and sorrow as well as joy and excitement. Derek tried his best to help me pick up the pieces after your passing and during our swift move to Flower Mound. We have a beautiful new home in the neighborhood you loved. Claire has her own room and reached a milestone of her own by moving to a big girl bed this past summer. Shortly before the move we discovered I was pregnant. We decked out our little boy's room the way you would have done. We spent Easter back at Spanish Oaks with Leigh, Wayne and Lisa and their boys. Claire had so much fun at the petting zoo and egg hunt. Claire and I spent the summer traveling and visiting family. In Pennsylvania Claire enjoyed time with cousins and a family reunion. You were greatly missed at your 40th high school reunion. We made sure to see Leigh at least every two months. Claire enjoyed a summer of swimming and playing with friends. Our weeks went by fast with McKinney playdates and weekly visits with Heather, Parker and Peyton. With the fall came school for Claire - she goes two days a week and her teachers say she loves to learn. You wouldn't believe how verbal she has become. She has learned so much from shapes and colors to letters and numbers (and even a little Spanish). October was a busy month with birthdays and the birth of our son Carter Douglas. He arrived via surprise c-section and is the most beautiful boy we've ever seen. Aunt Nancy came down for a week and was a great help with Claire and the cooking. Claire even called her "Grams". It was wonderful to have her here and we surprised her by asking her to be Carter's godmother. Kathy came to visit next and even watched the kids while Derek and I went on a date to celebrate my birthday. Halloween was fun as Claire (Minnie Mouse) trick-or-treated from house to house for the first time while Carter (Little Monster) and I sat on the front porch. Novemeber was a tough month as Carter was admitted to the hospital for four days with RSV. We had a scare and I cried for you each night I was there by his side. However, I am happy to say that he is now a big, healthy boy who seems to smile all day long. Thanksgiving was hard since it was usually spent with you, but Leigh made it up to Dallas to spend it with the whole Crabtree family. The holidays were particularly hard on us all this year. It was our first year without you - the one who always knew just how to decorate and cook for a perfect season. You would be so proud of Leigh - he decorated the house in Austin and had so many fun presents under the tree for Claire. This Christmas we also lost our dear cousin Sharon after her long fight with breast cancer, but I rejoice in knowing that you two are now together in heaven. Many phone calls to Leigh, Aunt Nancy and Grandma got us all through the end of the year. I know you are looking down on us now and smiling. As you can see, we are surviving. Every day is a struggle, and we miss you so much. But I know you are in heaven. You are one God's angels now just as you were our angel here on Earth. I love you Mom.

Thank you to all of my friends and family who have helped me through this past year. I couldn't have done it without your love and support.

Carter 3 Months

Our precious little boy turned three months last week. I can't believe how quickly time has gone by with him. I couldn't ask for a sweeter baby. I swear he smiles all the time and constantly looks at me with a look of wonderment. He's absolutely in love with his Daddy. He has started laughing out loud and reaching for things. Before I know it he'll be walking around terrorizing the dog just like his big sister. Now if I could just get him to sleep through the night...

Hope you enjoy these new pics of our little man.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Crabtree Family Christmas

We've had a crazy Christmas, as usual, so it's taken me a while to find the time to post about our holidays. Christmas Eve was spent at Derek's grandma's house (Ranny's) where we had a casual evening opening gifts with family and playing Doug's annual horse race game. Claire was especially excited to finally be able to open some presents - she was taunted for weeks by the many presents under our tree. After we came home, Claire put out her cookies and milk for Santa and apples and carrots for the reindeer. After the kids went to bed, Derek and I had a nice evening opening our presents to eachother. This was the first year we did this, and we found that it was nice to be able to focus on eachother for once on Christmas.

The next morning, Claire was so excited to come out and see what Santa left for her. Santa got her an easel with all the accessories and Pops got her a kitchen. It was so hard to get her out the door after she opened all of her wonderful presents. Next, we were on our way to Derek's grandparents' house (Memaw and Papaw) where we have the "Crazy Crabtree Christmas." We opened tons of presents and played all kinds of crazy games and won all kinds of awesome prizes. Many of the prizes are gift cards or household items. I won't have to buy detergent for at least a year! This Christmas lasts hours, and just when you think it's almost over, we head down to Derek's parents' house for more. This is where we exchange with Derek's immediate family.

The next day we took a much needed breather and spent time organizing the house for the imminent cleanup. But just when you thought we were finally done, we jumped in the car Saturday morning and headed up to Austin to have Christmas with my stepdad. After Claire was done opening her presents there, it looked like the house was converted into a toy store! We left on Monday and had a couple days to regroup before living it up on Wednesday night for New Year's.

New Year's Eve we met our good friends Adam and Heather for dinner, a movie and a champagne toast. Derek's parents kept both kids overnight for the first time, and Carter only woke up once for 15 minutes in the middle of the night. I'm so proud of them both for being so good for their Nana and Dooj. We had a great time trying new foods (the restaurant was Korean and Japanese food). I fell asleep in the one movie I've wanted to see all year (Slumdog Millionaire), but woke up just in time to catch the ending and head back to the bar for a midnight toast. After another relaxing day with the whole family at home, it's back to the grindstone for Derek and back to school for Claire.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/Holiday season! We'll see you in 2009!