Saturday, November 28, 2009

Heart Strings or Apron Strings?

My mother in-law use to tell me...When your children are young they pull on your apron strings but when they are old they pull on your heart strings.I never understood what that meant until now. I think I would rather have the apron strings if I could just remember that when they are driving me crazy!

Well today was the dreaded long awaited boy has left the building! For several weeks I have been relishing in every little moment. I knew this day was coming...why did it have to get here so quickly?

Moving day...a day Justin has waited for since he was least that is what he says. Two hours away...sitting in a two bedroom apartment is my baby boy all alone. A day he has anticipated for several weeks. The ride down began with a speeding ticket...not a way to begin your new life! I was doing ok until I walked into the apartment. At that moment I wanted to scoop him up and go home! Will I ever stop wanting to protect him? I don't think so! He's 24...6'3...275 lbs and I'm wanting to scoop him up?! As much as I want to support him in his dreams...this has been harder than sending him to Africa for 3 months. I have cried all afternoon and I have 8 more kids behind him... 2 of them ready to move out within the next 6 months. Surely this will get easier...surely I want fall apart every time they leave the nest...surely I won't need medication!

As mom I'm always questioning myself...Did I love him enough?....Did I teach him all the things he needs to survive? All I can do is trust that God has equipped him with all that he needs to walk this road of manhood.

As the face of our family changes over the next six months, there will be more moments of longing for the past but hoping for the future. Today the life of our little boy passed before my eyes...a lifetime of love for a young man who introduced me to this awesome road of motherhood at the age of 19. I am so proud to have walked this road with him...and will be forever grateful!

I love you Justin!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Traditions...they keep them coming home!

Tis the season for family and la!

From the very start of our marriage my husband and I have talked about what traditions we would like to experience in our family. Many traditions are handed down from generation to generation and we would love to hand our childhood traditions down to our kids ...and grandchildren.

 Early on in our marriage, my husband and his brothers would go to his moms on Christmas morning for breakfast...tradition. Baking and decorating sugar cookies with my mom and sisters before Christmas...tradition. When our older kids were younger, my sisters and I would make gingerbread houses with them after the Thanksgiving meal...tradition. Christamas day night at my in laws house, gift giving was a blast(50-60 people in one house). Can I say awesome paper fight?!...tradition. Christmas day morning for the past 10 years we have had a HUGE Christmas morning breakfast...tradition. This is one tradition similar to the one my husband experienced with his family.

Whether your traditions last 3 years or 100 years, having something you do as a family on an ongoing basis, can bring a time of bonding among family members that creates memories for your children and grandchildren. I often find my kids will ask if we can do something that they remember doing the year before. Making memories with my kids is so important. It's those memories that they will someday share with my grandchildren...hence the passing down from generation to generation. Traditions bring stability in a family. In a world where families are moving  from place to place, losing jobs and parents need something that is familar,something that never changes...the simple little things they can count on to always be. Things that bring memories of a better time and place.

We are always trying new traditions... some stay and some go! As the face of my family changes, so will the many traditions we have. However, I know one that will always keep them coming home...that HUGE Christmas morning breakfast!


1 a : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom) b : a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable

2 : the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction

3 : cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions

4 : characteristic manner, method,

Monday, November 23, 2009

~ Bittersweet...A new season of life ~

This past week as I have been trying to focus on being more thankful, but have encountered a few bittersweet moments.

A few days ago I heard my 2 year old tell our oldest son "You don't need to go to have to stay home and watch movies with me." Justin and Mackenzie have a special relationship...our oldest and our youngest (21 years a part). Justin, a couple of months ago, brought home a huge bag of pistachios. He sat down with Mackenzie and taught her how to open them. Wouldn't you know...every time he walks in the door she runs to where the pistachios are stored. I wish you could see his smile when she does this...She adores her brother! Many times he will take the younger girls down stairs to watch movies with him. I think they really look forward to movie time with him...he does too! I love all the memories he is making with his sisters. I pray they will remember each one.

Well the time has come...a time I knew would happen eventually. It just got here way too soon...I blinked too quickly! Justin will be moving out of our home in December. I am excited for him...but sad at the same time! Many tears are flowing at the thought. God is taking our family into a whole new season of life. I hate change and all the adjustment that comes along with it. I am really sad for the younger girls and all they will miss not having Justin around. This change won't end here...We have an older daughter who is getting married in May of 2010. Our other son will be working hard to get through school and making changes also. The next six months are going to be major adjusting for the Holcombe family. Having the extra space is going to be great but very bittersweet. Somebody must have prayed for excitement in their lives!

Having a large family comes with a lot of never ending joy, laughter and tears…this week I‘ll have plenty. As I have watched my oldest with my youngest this past week…my heart has been moved to take the time to cherish every moment. Oh! How I wish I could just prop my eyelids open with toothpicks and focus on being more thankful for the little things in my life!

Webster’s: Bittersweet
1: something that is bittersweet; especially : pleasure alloyed with pain