Marriage

Beam of Light – Mike H.

Because men can give light too. This one comes from my father-in-law. He’s a big fan of the double chin selfie. I’m lucky and honored to be a part of this story.

Mike H. 

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My Giving Light is a daughter-in-law who completed my family. I thought it was perfect until she came along. I was so wrong. It is more than perfect now. She has taught me to see the good things in our lives all around us.

My son…who makes me proud as he finds his way in this world.

My business partner/boss shows me how to laugh at ourselves everyday!

Feeling good after being in pain for awhile.

Fresh snow at Christmas in Colorado.

A wife who everyday shows me the true meaning of love and understanding.

 

If you are interested in giving your own light, click here to learn more about how you can enter the Give Light Giveaway. I’m accepting submissions through December 31st. 

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Nope. Not this year.

Thursday – A Rushed Morning

7:05 am

Katie’s phone buzzes.  Olive pounces on me as I reach from my comfy flannel sheets to read the message.

Dylan: Can you bring me my jacket?

Type type type.

Katie: Sure – do you need it this morning?

No response.

We’re up late. Rush out of bed.

8:02 am

Katie puts cushions in bathroom so the dog won’t eat them, shuts all doors, unplugs curling iron, grabs jacket and says a silent prayer that Olive won’t chomp on the unlit Christmas tree while away. Drive to Dylan’s work.

8:17 am

Katie’s phone buzzes.

Dylan: No – I don’t need it this morning. Just for later tonight.

Said coat sat on my drivers seat as I waited for a stop light to stamp out a reply.

8:18 am

Katie pulls into Dylan’s work parking lot.

Type Type Type

Katie: I’m in the parking lot. I have your coat.

Dylan came out to greet me, walking up to the driver side door. He said thanks, and then repeated he didn’t really need the coat until later that night.

Katie swallowed down emotion and said out loud, “Ok, I’m feeling frustrated.”

And then Katie promptly started crying.

In the parking lot, Dylan came round and sat in the car as Katie shed some tears, holding her hand.


I wept about how pissed I am at my dog for peeing in our house all the time. I wept about feeling like schedules need managing and tasks need completing, and dishwashers need unloading and like I need help. That’s what I told Dylan.

What I didn’t tell Dylan –

At 7:40 am I also got an email from The Dinner Party. This group hosts grief tables for 20 and 30 somethings who have experienced significant loss all around the country.  I’ve been on the waiting list since October. Waiting to get placed in a group of people who get it. Just how total suck-fest this thing called grief can be.

I’ve got lots of supportive people in my life, yet I still crave connection with people my age who can say, ‘yup – me too – I’ve lost someone big and their them-sized hole will never be filled.’

As I read the email, I think I stopped breathing a bit. The Dinner Partiers might have a spot for me soon. I hate that I can belong to this club. She ended her note, “I hope you’re finding ways to take care this holiday season.”

So there I was, in the parking lot, crying tears and blurring my mascara and trying not to calculate how late to work I would be. Sure, I was pissed at my dog and helping people get their needs met. More though, I was pissed that I’m not sure I have been taking care of myself this month as others have so wisely recommended.

We got through Thanksgiving with grace and smiles this year. We decorated for Christmas and I was doing just fine. And then I opened that gracious, hope-giving email, and I sank right into the hard truth that my dad isn’t with us this Christmas.

Damnit.

Worse, too, that I haven’t been giving myself space to expect the slide backwards. Because who want’s to expect that?

I wiped off my face and drove to work, finished out another week and started asking myself – how can I take better care of myself this Christmas season? A beautiful reminder that sometimes even strangers can nudge us towards the self-care we didn’t know we needed.

I’ve found freeing answers in unexpected spaces. The beauty in saying, “Nope, not this year.”

For example. This season I can’t bring myself to make Christmas cookies. I bought the ingredients to make peppermint shortbread for Dad and then I just couldn’t stop thinking – well where would I bring them?we don’t have a graveI certainly can’t eat them myself. And why would I give them away. They are Dad’s.

And Mom and I were going to make gingerbread snowflakes like always but really I just wanted to send my Christmas Cards instead. Our time got eaten up as the grief gremlin gnawed on my heart. Sneaking cookies from tins in the morning reminds me of him and so I just can’t do it. Not this year. The weight of grief has pressed pause on our cookie tradition. The red snowman tins shall remain empty til next year.

Today, as we Christmas shopped I bought a Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Cake Mix  . We came home after a lovely afternoon out downtown and I whipped up the batter in ten minutes. After thirty minutes my house smelled lovely. I cut a warm square that looked  beautiful my white plate, gummy ginger crystals still melted from the oven. I ate a piece while watching The Santa Clause and got choked up as Santa calls Charlie Sport. Dad always called me Sport too. More feelings of Damnit. Let’s put that word in caps shall we? D-A-M-N-I-T. Let’s YELL it at the mirror!

So this is what taking care of myself looks like. Saying no to tradition because tradition hurts like hell. Finding substitutes that make life easier – like cake mix. Asking for help with Olive and holding hands. Reading my Advent devotional and remembering Jesus is coming – bringing light and banishing darkness.

And saying hello to my grief gremlin friend as she waves her candy cane Christmas wand from my heart pocket. She’s here this season too.

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P.S. – I told Dylan all of this before I shared here. He’s in the know. You can be too.

P.P.S. – The Give Light Giveaway is still going on. Send me your entry soon!

Giving Light – Dylan. H

*Disclaimer – Dylan is my husband. He more than willingly contributed, and I am thrilled, but I told him he can’t win the box of goodies. No nepotism here. *

huey

Hello everyone I’m Dylan Huey and yes you guessed it the husband to the amazing woman that created this blog. I’m a graphic designer from Boulder, CO with a love for the outdoors, my wife, our dog, things that go fast and good music of any sort – minus country Ew!

You can find me on Instagram @drummerhuey.

Here are my five – cough cough- seven things.

1. My beautiful wife Katie

katie

You all already know so much of her beauty and love for this world. I am the luckiest guy that I get to be her husband. She brightens my day everyday. I love spending time with her no matter what we are doing. We have been together for around 10 years now and being with her never gets old. I enjoy hearing her views, beliefs, and stories everyday.  I can’t imagine my life without her and I hope we get to spend so many more years together on all sorts of adventures.

2. My dog Olive

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This little creature is the newest addition to the house and she is great. She is a constant ball of energy and joy. I love the way she is always happy and has a smile on her face. She is always ready to play ball or wrestle and go hiking with us.

3. Projects with Dad 

My dad owns a 1970 MGB and recently the two of us have been working on it to get it back into driving condition. It sat for quite a few years and now is getting the love it needs. I hope to someday do a full restore on it but that will be some time from now. Other than the car he has been helping me do some projects to our house such as the wainscoting, painting, and the banisters. I love working with him on anything. We are a lot a like so being around him is like hanging with one of the guys.

4. Colorado

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So I have to admit that Colorado looks nothing like this photo right now. Yesterday we received our first decent snow storm so we are in a winter wonderland today. That being said I truly love where I live and feel so lucky to have the mountains so close. I have visited a lot of places and couldn’t call any of them home. I love exploring this state and taking advantage of where we live.

5. My WRX

So it might be a little weird to think one’s car is beautiful but I really love my car. I really enjoy going for drives in it and doing things to it to make it better looking and faster. I had wanted a WRX for a long time and the wide body GR version is by far my favorite. If there are any car people out there you can follow what I do to the car on Instagram @lexthewrx.

Ok so I’m cheating some but here are two more things in my life that I couldn’t leave off the list.

6. My Drums

drums

I have played drums for around 15 years now and love them. I had an amazing middle school music teacher show me how and have been learning and getting better ever since. I truly love music and love what it can do to people and the world. I was given a great gift of having an eclectic music taste and love sharing that with anyone.  

7. Blastoff Branding

blastoff

Finally is my business. My goal is to grow my small freelance business into an agency of 15 or so designers that does work for large scale clients. I have been working in graphic design for 5 years now and love every minute of it.  I believe that great design can change the world. For more information about Blastoff Branding follow me on Instagram @blastoffbranding or visit http://www.blastoffbranding.com

 

If you are interested in giving your own light, click here to learn more about how you can enter the Give Light Giveaway.