Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

Fun and a Festival May 6, 2013

My break from classes has been going well thus far 🙂 The girls and I had family pictures taken on Saturday (well…we gave it a go…not quite sure how the pictures will turn out because one of my daughters was tired and cranky and another was being defiant and whiny, but…I had a good time), and on Sunday we attended a Wizard of Oz themed Kids Festival!

Sleeping baby :)

Sleeping baby 🙂

Amara and Terra beneath the balloon arc

Amara and Terra beneath the balloon arc

Terra and Amara riding ponies

Riding ponies

Amara and Terra getting as fire safety lesson from the fire deputy

Getting a fire safety lesson from the fire deputy

Showing off their sand necklaces

Showing off their sand necklaces

Climbing into the bounce house

Climbing into the bounce house

Shooting apples into the trees

Shooting apples into the trees

Aaugh! The Wicked Witch of the East is dead!

Aaugh! The Wicked Witch of the East is dead!

Amara made it through a hole and won a prize!

Amara made it through a hole and won a prize!

Terra made "Emerald City" out of sparkly green play-doh

Terra made “Emerald City” out of sparkly green play-doh

The lion must have been hiding from the Wicked Witch of the West

The lion must have been hiding from the Wicked Witch of the West

After the festival we went to the playground :)

After the festival we went to the playground 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I got started on my cleaning (I am nowhere near finished), and I began scheduling interviews with babysitters. I think the interviews will go well; I’ve already got a feeling about the one I think will be the one 😉 I still have a ton of things to accomplish, but I’m attempting to just allow myself to take it slow and only do what I’m capable of doing without feeling too stressed and/or overwhelmed. Besides the unshakeable nightmare that I had last night (actually NOT about him this time, about the baby…it was terrible…that’s all I’ll say) things have been quite well. I’m hoping it only gets better throughout the week.

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Oh Christmas Tree December 3, 2012

We’ve been given another gift of generosity. This time, a free live Christmas tree! I couldn’t believe it when we got the voucher, it seemed too good to be true. We’d just purchased an artificial tree on Black Friday and I’d been meaning to set it up, but time (and my reluctance to love it) kept me from opening the box. Good thing, because we got to return it after we used our voucher.

XmasTree2012

On Saturday morning we went down to the farm where they were giving the trees away. I figured it would be some slummy setup with the poor-people-trees in a shabby corner and the others spread about the farm. I wasn’t going to complain either way. How could I? A free tree. A live tree. A guarantee that we’d have help strapping the thing to the roof of our vehicle.

XMasTree2012-2What really occurred nearly brought me to tears. We were greeted by the farm workers as though we were family. The girls giggled with Santa Claus and told him what they want for Christmas (Dinosaur Train toys and Hungry Hungry Hippos) while a woman took my voucher and showed me the stations I was supposed to visit.

At the first station we indulged in cookies, brownies, cider, and candy canes. At the next station I was given three bags of ornaments (typical gift bag sized bags, there were about 40 ornaments total). The next station had specialized ornaments, decorations, and household items (candy dishes, candle holders) that had been donated and were free for the taking (I choose two packages of purple and gold ribbons to tie on our tree). The last stations were for getting a tree stand, and choosing a tree.XMasTree2012-3

We all agreed on a chubby tree that Terra wanted. It stands about five feet so we were able to fit it into the back of the van easily. I got it into the house by myself and got the stand set up. I even found my husband’s saw and cut the branches from the bottom to make enough room for the trunk to fit securely in the stand. I could not, however, jam the trunk into the base of the stand and screw it in without assistance, so I called a friend.

XMasTree2012-5Tonight the girls and I decorated the tree. It looks amazing to me. The first tree of our new beginning. I am still holding back my tears though. This is so difficult. Being without him…trying to stay strong. Last year he decorated the place so beautifully. There were lights around our entire living room and our tree looked amazing. He bragged that we had the best decorations in the condo association, and I (more humbly) agreed.

The girls think the tree is perfect. They do not see it as small and don’t know how it compares to our previous trees. They do not notice the personalized ornaments missing. They do not know that the afghan I’m using as a tree skirt was a free gift from someone who makes them and donates them to the domestic violence center. They do not know that every time I get a whiff of the needles I am crying inside because my wedding anniversary is on Winter Solstice. They do not know how much it’s killing me to stay merry, to teach them how to appreciate everything while I’m still mourning.

XMasTree2012-4

It’s good that they do not know. I want them to enjoy the tree. I want them to enjoy their Christmas. I want so badly for them to just be happy children, and not let any of this other stuff bring them down. I am very happy for our Christmas tree. It’s going to force me to cope with these painful memories, compel me to address these unhealed wounds. But it’s a beautiful tree, and I am very grateful indeed.