Tag Archives: family

Thanksgiving Rewind 2013

It’s a little late I know. But here’s my Thanksgiving Recap

So every year now my husband and I go to his parents house and have a lunch/dinner get together with our family (my in-laws and aunt/uncle+cousins, grandma and his brother). So we headed over about 1:30pm and food was ready around two o clock, but then uncle had to go back and get his grandma who has been sick for a few years and has a hard time getting around. WE all love her so much and it great having her wise cracks and sweet stories around, even when her opinion isn’t the same as ours. I still love and appreciate her. (I’m feeling awful that I didn’t take pictures this year and we just got a brand new camera, oh well what can you do?!).
So after grandma got there we talked all a little bit, caught up and watched the Macy’s Day Parade! My favorite part of Thanksgiving is the parade on television. We saw the floats, the big huge balloons and then the DRAG QUEENS?! I had no idea they would also include so many musical performances, it was nice I guess.
We all prayed, thankful for family, friends and food and then we ate a lot. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, green beans with bacon, veggie chopped salad and of course then pumpkin pie. 

The cousins and us started talking about likes and dislikes, favorite movies and our worst fears…. simple things since they are young like 10, 15, and 17. It was funny to hear some silly things the kids were afraid of and how we were all so different. It was a nice family time. The downside was when everyone started mentioning how we have to “get on track” with our lives and also hashing about having kids. I got pretty irritated, but I know in the end, its our decision and they’ll be happy when it does bless our family.

Then his brother, Sean and I had a long talk out in the cold garage and laughed our butts off when told hilarious, sarcastic and terrible jokes with heavy influence. The kids were chasing each other, fighting with each other and having fun outside that evening. It is always so nice to talk to his brother since he has so much going on between work and school and living more into town away from us, its hard to see him other than holidays. At least he isn’t in another state!

At the peak of gathering our stuff, his brother mentioned how he was basically broke and didn’t have much food (since our check was coming) we offered to give him basically all our food to last him awhile and take that stress off his shoulders, we were happy to do it and I’d help him again- anytime, because that’s what family does (especially when we are so blessed and able to help in any way).Anyway, the best time of my night, which may sound weird, but his side of the family is not very good at showing affection or expressing love. No “I love you’s” or hugs or displays of affection, it is just a known thing. So at the end of the night, we all got big hugs from mom and grandma and said bye to the kids. I’ll take what I can get and it was the cherry on top of the cake. His dad took us home and we gave his brother like ten reusable bags full of food and non perishables! He was so happy that he hugged us both and that was a huge moment. Especially for this family. Nearly moved me to tears, honestly I didn’t wanna let go. It was sweet and heartfelt and followed by a sarcastic, “answer your phone next time we call you!”

Nevertheless, a wonderful thanksgiving holiday for the Spauldings!

honest, real, personal

I thought I’d try something kinda new… maybe you’ve read about it here once or twice or maybe not? But if you don’t know, here it is: honest, real, personal & yes maybe too personal but here’s the thing, I’m trying this sharing attitude now so deal with it. {Maybe that makes me a bit more of a real person on here but that’s good right?}  I lost my dad to suicide (when I was only 13 years old), many years too early and a much too selfish and sick reason. Although I was not there for the ‘act’ I was still there for all the drama to happen and unravel-before and after. But I deal with this fact everyday and the missing him part every. single. day. It hurts, yes it does but I was once 13 years old, traumatized and lost, missing and spinning in a lost world.

Now I’m 24, almost 25 and coping with it everyday. I don’t always feel okay or fine but most days I’m lucky I do. I think of him often and have memories or even flashbacks a lot still but I’m alright and still healing now. I also think of myself as a survivor- they listed me as that in the obituary so why not- it was an ordeal- a lot to go through so I survived that and it could have gone many other ways. I started to write poetry for few years to cope and deal with the feelings I had to sort through. I went to counseling for a very long time. I learned coping and anxiety techniques, ways to calm myself or different perspectives to see and ways to not constantly ask myself hard questions I’d never get the answers to.
Instead I know often think of few amazing or even just good memories I have/had with him. And it eases my heart, makes me smile and not cry even. I look at pictures and now it’s much easier to glance at them a lot more than in the beginning. But sometimes I think “I wish he was here for this or that, I wish I could call him right now, I wish he could know what I’m thinking”…so I talk to him often, which is another technique and a lot of counselors say that helps when you lose someone especially so close to you. I am not entirely religious or full of faith in God, I don’t doubt but I do it in my own quiet, solemn way; but I know he sees me and listens to me, so that’s another comfort to me. I also believe, he gives me signs-weird okay, I know but it’s true. I’ll think “I miss daddy.” then this singer (James Taylor-heard of him?) will always come on the radio, at home-the mall-the bank wherever I may be or I’ll see something else that could seriously only be him, showing himself to me in heaven. So that makes me feel amazing and I talk to family a lot when I get sad or depressed about it even. I have good days and bad days- holidays and birthdays, Christmases are hardest. That was a huge family holiday for my family before my parents split when I was ten years old. 

I’m recovering still, slowly, each and everyday of the rest of my life. I have pictures hanging across from my kitchen table right now, some I was too young to remember but I love them that much more. 
I like to think I’ve done great at this whole being a daughter without a father thing, but I miss him. 
I’m listening to some good ‘ol James Taylor right now, oh and I should have mentioned that if you don’t know of him- we can’t be friends. (of course I’m kidding, right? maybe…)  Check him out, take a chance and listen, he is calm folk music and he’s nice to listen to with wine and a bath or whatnot-try it out!
Thanks for reading all this schtuff. 

Blog This! Holiday Shopping Edition

How do you power through your holiday shopping? Are you a list-maker or a last-minute shopper?
or
Every family celebrates the holidays in a different way; what is your favorite family tradition? 


First question: 

I’m going to blog about these both because I’m trying to not do only link ups, so this is something a little different and gave me a new idea to write on. 
I power through my holiday shopping a lot by drinking lots of coffee and trying to take my time through stores and not be a crazy rabid shopper. I hit each store and limit my time in each so I’m not spending too much time at one store.  say 15-20 mins per store or shorter times if I don’t “need” anything there. I get in and out and try to get things crossed off my list and make sure I think of who I’m shopping for.

I try to list for each person ex. Sean: —– excalibur
Angela:——best buy/barnes and noble 
Cynthia: —-best buy/spencers/zumiez etc
 but I also just wing it! If I see something someone will like I narrow down who and decide to buy it or not to buy it and who it fits for.
&
Second question
I have somewhat blogged about this once before in a link up but I’ll try to give more detail and be more through about it now. 

My family was big on Christmas- I only say was because most of my family is passed on now so we’ve drifted a lot from celebrating holidays together. 
My mothers side had the 21st of December for a holiday party at my uncles house in Oregon City. A feast of food and a fun time to hang out, catch up, share stories and have a Secret Santa exchange. 
My mothers parents also kinda would have us over to open presents and hang out. Eat some dinner and look at their fun and festive decorations all over the house. 
I would almost always get exactly what I wanted from Grandma and Grandpa (mom’s side) it would make me ecstatic! I would also visit my other cousins and my Grandpa’s sister aka Little Auntie was her name to me and she was a lovely woman who would always offer us coffee like the adults, I loved that part. Her house was spotless and had cabinets of collectibles and porcelain things so again I was very careful.

me and my grandpa jack

——————
My fathers side however was like going to a holiday mansion or gala, no joke-seriously. Well if you couldn’t guess my fathers side is wealthy; no rich wealthy. Go here to see the difference. if you have never seen the Chris Rock rendition of Rich vs Wealthy- 
watch it now! it’s hilarious!
I would walk in with my fanciest dress on greeted by a larger family of close and extended family, cousins, in laws, etc. I never really knew who was who but I really tried and I cared about everyone and attempting  to be a good little princess for my parents. 🙂 more so than the other kids!

The kids would run downstairs and play casino games, play the jukebox and our version of pool while dinner was being cooked. I sometimes came up for amazing fancy appetizers and Hors d’oeuvre. I enjoyed stuffed mushrooms and mixed nuts along with my Shirley Temple which was very fancy in my mind. I would actually talk to some adults checking out what was going on. Once dinner was ready we would go to the kids room which had a nice fireplace and festive clementines on each table by the end of our dinner, we’d be begging for more clementines. And as I remember no one would eat their baby onions in cream sauce. But the ham/turkey was gone-potatoes and gravy devoured and we’d be wired on soda or sparkling cider. Afterwards there would be some extravagant dessert of pie or flan or some crap like that so we’d just get ice cream. I enjoyed the food but I think that was about it- the conversation was over my head and I could really care less- maybe that’s black hearted but whatever.
We’d sing the 12 days of Christmas with the entire family and HUGE cuecards, which I hated honestly so I despised participating. But I guess I did anyway because I felt I had to, they would make me do it. Even when I said no. 
I guess at some point we’d open presents and I will keep that simple. It was again extravagant and over the top, nothing simple or fun.  And more coffee/snacks and more playtime for the kids to run off the sugar. 

Nothing about my family was simple. 
everything over the top and fancy
 I stopped going years ago when I got sick of the fakeness. And when I had nothing left to impress with- no school, no marriage they approved of and no family left basically. 

that’s the not so fun part of Christmas but of course no one agrees with me or thinks it was “that bad”- oh but it was! 
 Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my version of Christmas festivities and Christmas morning with my immediate family every year- my sisters and parents all in our pj’s opening presents together and having a huge breakfast- I think that’s what I miss most…..That was my Christmas miracle.

Hence my family…:)

Good news always comes right when you need it!

 1. What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?
My favorite memory was probably when I was about 10. I had my entire mom’s side and whole immediate family around us. Lots of prayers, amazing food and lots of laughs. I remember being so FULL of food that year, I slept for hours after and I was watching football with the guys- who didn’t even care for it much themselves.

2. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?
Turkey and Potatoes are my favorite, I love green beans and bacon or a sweet chocolate or peanut butter pie too. Not a fan of pumpkin. 🙁

3. What is a Thanksgiving tradition you and your family have?
Not many traditions. We used to have a feast at my sides of family when I was younger but being married and grown up has ended that. Missing our loved ones isn’t the same, so now we go to a Red Lion hotel for their feast, I think it’ll start to be a tradition this year.

4. Show us a favorite Thanksgiving picture(or 5) from years past
I don’t even know if I ever had any pictures from Thanksgiving. Sorry 🙁 
Lots of loud Italians! 
Much laughter!

5. What are you most looking forward to about this Thanksgiving?
Starting new traditions and new beginnings, my in laws are moving and by next Christmas we will hopefully have a house ourselves so starting new traditions with us will be exciting!

 

 Have a great Sunday! 

Happy Veteran’s Day!

God Bless all veterans and service members!!

 

A Sister… Part 2

If you missed it, please read A Sister.. Part 1 before you read here so you know (what in the world) I’m talking about…. I love my sister(s)!

     As I sat there shocked, my mom burst into tears and got rather standoff ish. Guess she had a right to be. Come to find out, everyone had known before me, I had just discovered (and would continue to find out family secrets) that more things were hidden from me which I had every right to know just like everyone else. I was really excited actually I took it the best I think. I wanted to meet her right now. I guess my sister Angela found out from my grandpa and I don’t know about the others, but either way- I felt betrayed that no one cared to tell me. How would that make you feel? Pretty awful right? I suppose I got over it right away, sent off to camp was even more exciting and I would start my to write the sister I never knew I had, even though I always had a sneaking suspicion.
Off to camp I went, riding horses at Camp Tamarack and if you’re in the NW area, you should  know what an amazing place it is. I went for several years and here I am getting way off track……. OMG.
okay. 
One day I wrote my *new sister, ya know the one I had no idea about until about a week earlier. 
 I do not remember my letter to her, but I guess I wrote something about finding out about her and wanting to know #every.single.detail of her life that instant. I asked for pictures and details of my new niece. I think that first letter must have been like 5 pages. I asked about her adoptive family and how they were to her etc. I had never felt like this before and it was so important to me that this was my chance to uncover who she was. In her letter back here’s a sample of what was said ….
[This is one picture I will put up in regards to adoptee rights!]
 (she sent me a few photos back too- back and forth- these are ones of me and my niece early on, ones I could find) I don’t have anymore of my sister, but she got rid of a bunch for personal reasons so that’s why I haven’t featured her yet.

 

 in the first pictures I ever got of J.

 

 

 the first picture I had of my sweet niece, J.
“Thank you very much for the pictures. I’m putting them all together. Except for the one of all of you. I have to show that one off 🙂 Hopefully one day soon, we can all take one together. That would be really neat. 🙂
 Oh and my mom’s name is ______. 🙂 
Nora, you’re such a sweet girl! I am so proud to call you my baby sister. 
Okay not a baby, but I always wanted to say that 🙂 
If you ever want to ask me anything about me or whatever, ask! I’d love to answer anything for you. And I’d love to keep writing you. 🙂
You take care! We need to have you out here again soon! Talk to you soon:) Tell your Mom I love her if you hear from her before I do. 🙂 (okay the smileys are getting scary!) 
I love you! Big Sis, Kim
 
     How could I get so lucky?! Such a sweet sister, someone I barely knew. I suppose I visited before I went to camp, I can’t really remember. I went there a few times before my dad passed in 2002, and I never knew what a crucial part of my life she’d eventually be. It’s kinda hard looking back too knowing things happened the way they did- but I am so thankful to have her everyday! When my dad passed away I spent a year or so bouncing around and finally ended up in Vancouver with my pretty new sister.
     To make a long story short I ended up living with her and her family for the rest of my high school education, to have a stable house, family, school and residence. It was about time, they generously decided to expand their house and make an extra room for me and increasing their house value. I loved living there and unfortunetly I went through my bad teenage years and sorta put her through hell. Oops! (didn’t mean to Kim) Well I also wanted to feature another letter from the following year after I moved in and went back to camp. The first letter anniversary. I loved it! And once I left for camp I recieved another letter covering the recent events at home and talking us through our own new “family” struggles.. aka me being a BRAT!
Here goes:
J misses you!  August 2 2004 11:21pm
 “Nora, 
This may end up being short because its late here. But I wanted to write something so it reached you before you leave camp. Things are good here. J’s oarty was pretty good. Mom actualy came with Angela and Matt, which was nice. J got lots of new toys that you and I will enjoy, TONS of Polly Pockets! 🙂
Micheal will be here Friday. I’m getting really nervous. 
 Yes, J’s scab is healing. Almost gone. She shows me everyday. 🙂
I’m glad you are having fun! But I’m hoping things got better since you called me. I do understand your worrying. But remember- it won’t happen. 
You need somewhere to be where you won’t feel that way- And guess what? You’re here! 🙂 We love you very much!
I have noticed that you have offered to help. And I do appreciate that. Maybe I’ll put you to work when you get back. 🙂 he he.
Bad news- Whiskers (cat) will probably be gone when you get back. 
He totally peed all over your bed again. Good news is all the blankets and frame don’t smell-And we had to buy you a new mattress. 
I’m sad he has to go- but we can’t all live that way. 
We’ll have to maybe try some St John’s Wort together. Maybe it will help me too. I’d better go. Have to get up @6am. Please call when you get to Grammys. Love you lots, Kim

It wasn’t our shining hour but I remember so so so many times when I was struggling that year when I really had no one else close enough to talk openly to, she was there and made me feel better every single time- I don’t know how but she always talked me out of being sad. Sweetly. Sisterly. Calmly. Lovingly. I couldn’t express how immensely important that was to me. To give me a home and a place to stay with a toddler let alone and not knowing me very well either, it was incredible for her to do. I went to a good school, had pretty good friends for the most part, extracurricular sports and clubs, good teachers and tried so hard to pull good/acceptable grades- I was NEVER a good student. My only 4.0 was in middle school. I was by no means out of control i.e having sex etc but I wasn’t easy on her either i.e lying, sneaking around, not telling the whole truth, avoiding chores constantly- not a good situation, typical teenager behavior.

Anyhow, I hate to cut this short but I don’t think I need any more details than that- for the sake of being discreet. BUT I hope you enjoyed it. I sure did. I hope you comment and continue to ask or at least maybe relate to it, understand where I’m coming from. It’s a special bond I think between siblings but when you meet someone who belonged in it for so long- that’s different. I am so blessed and glad to have her found all of us. That’s her story…..I’m glad she did!