Wednesday, December 23, 2009

God Is So Good

Apparently, I got in a car wreck on the interstate coming home from work, last Thursday. I rolled the car at least four times. I don't remember it at all, and am still recovering from the concussion. But God protected me and everybody else. I was wearing my seat belt, and nobody else got hurt.

Somebody hit my back quarter panel and drove off. But we're not mad, just glad everybody is okay. God is so good.

Brad has been the most wonderful man in the world, since the accident (as always). He lovingly takes care of me and has so patiently answered my loop of questions that I have continually asked over and over. I know it has to be more frustrating for him than it is for me that my memory is out of whack, but he just keeps on loving me. It is getting better every day. I'm pretty sure I can remember all of yesterday and today, so that's a really good sign.

I had a follow up appointment with the doctor today, and he wouldn't clear me to do anything, yet, at least until he sees me again next week. He says that my reaction time, energy level, and memory isn't good enough to resume regular life. Symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome can last up to six weeks, but we're sure praying for a speedier recovery than that.

However, on the bright side, at least it's Christmas time! If I have to get knocked out for a few days, there's nothing better to wake up (over and over) to than a Christmas tree! I have been pleasantly surprised every time. I do love my Christmasness.

Also, I have some great friends who have been here for me, visited, called, brought food, and offered prayers on our behalf. Truly, God is good, and we are blessed. He most definitely protected me during the accident and continues to care for us during the aftermath. And, oh yeah, Chester has been almost as great as Brad, constantly staying by my side. I'm definitely in good hands.

I pray that you all have a Merry, and safe, Christmas! God Bless!!

Only if you want to, (some people have asked) you can see the rest of the pictures of the car. Also, sorry if this post was incoherent. Hopefully, soon, I'll be 100% again. Love you all!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

That's the Spirit!

A group of Christmas Carolers just gathered on the bottom floor of our office building, dressed in holiday cheer. People on the floors above gladly gathered around the open center to look down upon them as they merrily sang Christmas songs to the entire complex. What a great break in the middle of the work day. Oh, how I love Christmas.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving, 2009 #2

Brad's family is really good about celebrating holidays after the fact. Since they have three boys, they've found that it's easier if those three boys spend actual holidays with the girls' families, and then the following weekend together as Mehaffeys. As a married-in, I so much appreciate that stress-free solution.

Also, since all three of the boys and their prospective girls live in Nashville, they decided that it's more convenient for the parents to travel down South than for the 6 kids to go up North. For our commencement of a Nashville Mehaffey Thanksgiving, Brad and I hosted the meal for the family. Yep, you heard that right, Brad and I hosted the family Thanksgiving. How grown-up is that?? I was a little nervous since our kitchen is about the size as my office cubicle, but we somehow made it work.

We turned our dining room table sideways, and added our card table to the end of that to have enough room for all of us. (Classy, huh?) Which turned out to be a great idea for the cooking, too, because we used that card table in place of counter space. Don cooked the turkey in the laundry closet, and the girls were completely pushed out of the kitchen when it was cutting time as all of the Mehaffey boys crowded in to gathere around their dad and learn the art of turkey carving. But overall, Heather and I totally proved ourselves worthy of the Mrs. Mehaffey title, as we split the meal with the Momma Mrs. Mehaffey. You won't even believe how much food we cooked. Let me just tell you.

Turkey, dressing, cornbread stuffing, noodles (upon Brad's insistence and thanks to the Amish people at the Farmers' Market), mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, a relish tray, grape salad, cranberry sauce and crescent rolls. And we had both fudge pie and pumpkin pie for dessert. Oh yeah, I totally had my hand in that. I even baked pies!

Seriously, we loaded the table with all of the food, sat in our seats, and held hands to pray. But before we could give thanks for all of our numerous blessings, I glanced up and down the table(s) at our feast, and yelled out "What?? Look at this! We are totally freaking awesome!!" and Heather and I high-fived across the table. Yeah, I'm not going to lie. I was pretty darn proud of ourselves. For this anti-cooking amateur, I crossed over a huge hurdle that day. I couldn't hear "Mmmmm..." "Yum!" "This is great!" "Wow! So delicious!" or "You girls did amazing!" nearly enough. We were all beaming with pride.

One very great thing about hosting Thanksgiving dinner, is that you get to keep (most of) the leftovers! And believe me, even eight grown adults couldn't consume all of those fixin's! We had so much extra turkey, that Chester even got to enjoy a piece! Now, as a general rule, Chester does not enjoy the luxury of people food. But all the other dogs were getting some (oh, I haven't told you yet? Yes, there were other dogs), so it was only fair. I do believe he loved it!

Each year on Thanksgiving, we pose for the Mehaffey Family Photo that will accompany the annual Christmas letter. This year, Heather finally got to be part of it since she and Matthew are officially married and she's a legit Mehaffey! (Pay no attention to the clock in the background of the following pictures. Don't judge us. It could be referring to the morning.)

We also took the opportunity to take pictures of each mini-family and then a picture of each couple with their dog, since each couple had their own dog... Here's Don and Elaine with their new schnauzer puppy, Buddy!

Here are Brad and me and our little family photo with Chester.

Married Matthew and Heather and their baby girl, Kate.

Jeremy and Madison with his new (4 year old) dog, Abigail (Abby).
Of course, we had to take a picture of all of the proud Mehaffey Men with their dogs. Yes, the heights of the boys and then of the dogs is very humorous. I totally agree.

We could not resist trying to get a picture of all four dogs together. You can tell that "Grandpa" has a bag of treats off to their right. Abby (who loves food enough to steal a cinnamon roll right off of our kitchen counter!) couldn't wait. Then, when we got Abby settled, Kate was bored and decided that if she had to sit there and not move, then she was going to lay down. I think that the "cousin" picture (well, Buddy is technically an "uncle" even though he's the youngest) is absolutely adorable.

Surprisingly, having 8 people and 4 dogs in our house for 3 days wasn't nearly as chaotic as it could have been. Sure, Scattergories did get a little bit out of hand, but we had a great time spent together. I always count our family as one of the biggest blessings in our life. Definitely a great way to spend Thanksgiving.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving, 2009 #1

This year, we celebrated Thanksgiving Day with my family at my brother's house. Jennie (the creative school teacher that she is) made us girls matching aprons to wear while we cooked. Hers says "Mom," Rachel's says "Rachel," and mine says "Aunt Mindy" with both Rachel's and Clinton's hand prints. I absolutely love them! They are so cute, and were the perfect ensemble we needed to embark on the cooking challenge of the year.

This was the first Thanksgiving since my parents' divorce, so Jennie and I really had to step up and prove that we were grown-ups enough to handle a big undertaking like Thanksgiving dinner without my mom around. We were, of course, a little nervous (and a little sad). But I do believe the meal was a complete success.
We didn't even overflow the candied yams with too many marshmallows, like we've grown so accustomed to doing! However, we did forget to allow the rolls to rise, and then did the "quick rise" method that worked so well that they kind of blew up and became big, soft, roll monsters. But they were good! (And funny.) Rachel was our "Big Helper" for the day. She tried to help me peel eggs, and successfully peeled away the entire white part in one swipe, and then licked the yolk. Maybe 2-year-olds shouldn't be in charge of the deviled eggs. Hmm. However, she did offer her great assistance with the Waldorf salad, perfectly placing the diced fruits into the bowl and then helping stir them up.

Jennie impressed us all with made-from-scratch noodles as well as pies. Seriously, she's setting the bar very high. I made the deviled eggs, green bean casserole, and two corn casseroles (on accident. That's what happens when you're not paying attention and you mistakenly double an ingredient). We also feasted on mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, cole slaw, cranberry sauce and a relish tray. You would be surprised how many casseroles can fit into the oven at once! Thank goodness they all baked at 350 degrees.
For the most part, the boys (including Clinton and Chester) all hung out downstairs watching football, but Brad and TJ did take responsibilty for the turkey basting and cutting. TJ, the firefighter, got called out during the last five minutes of the turkey roasting, so we set the oven on low and kept everything warm, while we cleaned up the dishes. It was a weird feeling to be completely done cooking with a clean kitchen but no food to eat yet. But the wait was well worth it. When we finally dug into to our overflowing table, we were completely satisfied. It even took us hours to get up the courage to attack the delicious desserts.

It was great to spend time with my family, including my brothers that I don't see very often. And later in the evening, my mom stopped by for a visit. What a good feeling to see her again! Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without my mom around - it's her absolute favorite holiday. I'm pretty sure it was the first time I'd seen her since last Christmas, so I really needed that visit. We all sat in the kitchen and talked for hours. She even ate some of the Thanksgiving leftovers we had made, and approved of our cooking! Yea!

It was wonderful to have my whole family in the same house for a bit. As we've gotten older and more spread apart, that's been harder and harder to achieve, even before the divorce. I'm so pleased to know that we're still making wonderful Thanksgiving memories together, even with all the changes going on in our lives. God is so GOOD! And I am so blessed with this family.

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