Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Thanksgiving Week Part 3 - Home for the Holidays

My Oma (my mom's mom and my last living grandparent) passed away unexpectedly last week and her services are today in Canada.  I'm heartbroken.

 Some of my earliest and fondest childhood memories include her as she had a way of always making me feel loved, special and important.  She was funny and fun, witty and wise.  She had an incredible servant's heart and was always serving her family and others.  I was her first grandchild and I adored her with my entire heart.  Even though we didn't see each other very often we always had a way of picking up right where we left off and even as an adult with children of my own sitting next to her on the couch was a place of comfort and peace.  If I'm 100% honest I really didn't think this would ever happen (I know, I know) because I just can't imagine a world without her.

My aunt is speaking at her service today and will be talking about the word "gezellig"... a Dutch word that roughly translated means, "a feeling, warm, inviting and comfortable.  A friendly ambiance and a cozy atmosphere".  It's little lamps and having cookies in the pantry for guests.  It's having ice cream in the freezer for her grandkids and always having a margarine container of homemade soup frozen in the freezer in case someone just needed a hot meal.  It's extra flannel blankets on the end of the beds and hot tea waiting in the kitchen in the morning.  It's homemade jam and a well-stocked game closet.  It's holding hands and a million other little intangible things.  I'm going to miss her terribly but will think of her every time I'm snuggled up under a throw blanket in the lamp light in the evening or sending friends home with baggies of cookies after a visit :)  As sad as I am that she's gone, I'm even more thankful to have had such a wonderful woman in my life for so long.  

Thank y'all so much for all of your kind comments, messages and prayers for our family this past week.  I appreciate it more than you'll ever know.  THANK YOU!

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I say this every year but Christmas on the downtown McKinney square is one of my FAVORITE things ever.  I worked in several shops downtown from high school through my first couple of years of teaching and some of my fondest memories are on the square.  From going in the basements of the antique shops to drag out the decorations for the big tree outside the courthouse to having really special dinners at some of the older "fancier" restaurants that used to be downtown (Goodhues and Mama Emilia's for any old McKinney locals!).  Shopping for the perfect gift for my mom and then stopping at the Sweet Tomato to eat a bowl of their tomato soup out on their garden deck and helping to plan a Christmas guitar concert in one of the beautiful historic homes. SO MANY great, festive memories take place on the square for me and is one of the many reasons I love spending time with my own family on the square at Christmastime.

We headed to the Home for the Holidays festival on Saturday morning and were excited to get on the rides and check out all the vendors!

I'm not sure how many years of festive outfits I have left so I'm going to make the most of it while I can :)  (skirt -  sweater -  tights)

First stop was making ornaments...

... and then the petting zoo.

They give the kids brushes to use which my kids always love!

This sheep kept trying to eat her skirt and the balls on her sweater which she found hilarious!

Next up was the giant slide...

... our annual sleigh pic...

... and then a stop to see The Grinch (where only one out of three wanted a picture).

Mason, Luke and I took a ride on the ferris wheel...

.... Griffin was ITCHING to get on the carousel...

... and it did not disappoint :)

We watched a tap dance show (by a dance program for women ages 55 - 85... how cool is that!?!?)...

... checked out the train show...

... and then devoured some Smooth Operator pie (chocolate with a pretzel crust) from Emporium.

We stopped into a few shops to pick some things up...

... took another go on the carousel...

... and called the morning a success.


  1. Oh Andrea I am so, so sorry for your loss. I am absolutely heartbroken for you. I lost my grandma (whom I was extremely close to) in May, so I know exactly how you are feeling. I'll be thinking of you & your family during this difficult holiday season.

  2. I'm just so sorry, friend. Love you so much!

  3. I'm so sorry about your grandma, Andrea! I've been praying for you this week. Xoxo

  4. Prayers for you and your beautiful family to have peace in your hearts and everlasting joyful memories with your Oma!

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you thoughts and prayers of comfort and strength.

  6. I'm very sorry for your loss. Your grandma sounded like a wonderful person. Glad you have great memories of her.

  7. So sorry for your loss! I too lost my last living grandparent last year very unexpectedly. I never thought it would happen either and it's still painful. Prayers for you today and in the days to come that the special memories you have will always be a comfort.

  8. I had the exact same relationship with my grandmother (my mom's mom). She died when I was 40 so I am so grateful to have had her in my life for so long. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don't think of her. It's nice that your kids got to know her.

  9. What a sweet tribute to your beloved Oma. I'm so sorry for your loss. A lot of what you wrote about her is what I see in you through your life via the blog. I know you will miss her terribly. The older I get the more I miss my grandparents and cherish the time my kids have with theirs.

  10. Continuing to pray for you! Love the festival pics!

  11. So sorry for the loss of your Grandmother! I lost my beloved Roro about 2 years ago this past Fall and I still miss her so much! There is nothing like the love of a Grandmother and never will be again. I only have 1 Grandmother left (I had 4 sets because my Dad died when I was 4 and my Mom remarried so I got 2 more sets)! Such wonderful memories they leave us with to cherish and recreate when we have our own grandchildren.

  12. I'm so sorry for your family's loss. Your Oma sounds like an incredible woman. Oh, that we all could strive to leave such a legacy of warmth, hospitality, and love. Thinking of you!

  13. Oh Andrea, I had to drag myself away from the first paragraph and pic of you with your grandmother. What a beautiful tribute to a lovely lady. Her legacy lives on through you, the way you describe how she made you feel with all the cozy comforts of her home is exactly how I feel when I read your blog. Praying for you in the days and weeks to come. I especially love the look of wonder and excitement in GG's face in the festival pics, makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it?;).

  14. Just said a prayer for you and your family. How special Oma was.

  15. So very sorry for your loss. Your Oma sounds like an amazing lady. I see a lot of her in you!

  16. Sorry to hear of the loss of your Grandmother, you were lucky to have such a special person in your life.

  17. So so sorry to hear about your Oma. you and your family are in my prayers. God Bless.

  18. So sorry for your loss, Andrea. Prayers for your family.

    Your town Christmas activities are amazing! And you can't help but smile big when you see the joy the carousel brings to GG! She's such a cutie.

  19. I've been thinking about your grandma and her legacy ever since you posted that she passed away. What a special gift though that you had her for so long! Praying for you and your family.

  20. I'm so so sorry for your loss, Andrea. Your family is in my prayers. <3

  21. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandma (last grandparent, too) in October and it has been hard. I miss her a lot but what you said the other day on instagram helped me. You said something like being sad for you but happy for her since she is in heaven. That is exactly how I feel, so thank you! I will keep your family in my prayers.

  22. Bless her, she clearly was a beautiful person.xx


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