The Start of Something New

I spent the week after Christmas and New Years Eve with several of my siblings, my husband, my kids, my Nani, and my parents. Being with family is a healing balm when everyone around you is feeling the same loss that you are. We buried Papa two days after Christmas. It was harder than I thought it would be, but we tried to spend most of our time reminiscing in smiles and enjoying each other just as Papa would have wished. 

My Dad wrote a touching speech that he delivered at the gravesite for us all. It's so hard to face it all--because it's so final. Such a cold feeling. But I know it was Papa's time, and we got so many more years with him than the doctors originally had told us we would have. We also know where Papa is and know that we will see him one day. We are blessed. Our sadness is not forever.

We sang Papa's favorite songs, we played games, we went out to eat and shop, I tried on his old U.S. Marine Corps helmut, but the best part was just hanging out in the family room, lounging on couches, chatting and laughing with each other like we all used to when we all lived at home. We're missing someone now, but we still have each other and we know that Papa is much happier where he is. 

New Years Day we made it back to Ohio and saw that our garage is finished! Fun to see it with the siding up. 

Chris has already posted this on his blog, but I had to take one more shot of the beam that now allows us to keep the two main rooms in the house totally open. Love it!

We decided the kitchen could use some more light so we had requested a window addition. The window is already up and the repair work to the wall is almost done!

This wall was damaged inside and out, so new siding had to be added to the outside wall of the kitchen.

And this is my favorite part - everything but the bathroom has been re-plastered upstairs!

CJ's room has been the sitting area for Chris's lunch/dinner breaks in between work.

Chris has the shower framed out and tonight he got the shower base cement poured.

The school/guest room.

The girls room.

Upstairs hall and also the corner where I'll keep my sewing cabinet.

Another shot of the beam downstairs separating the kitchen and family room.

Loved seeing the sun set through the tree when I was taking these pictures Sunday. The property is messy with all the construction yet, but the sky is still pretty.

2016 was a good, fulfilling year, even though it ended with some sadness. We have much to look forward to in 2017--the house renovations will be done sometime this year, I'll be in the groove with my new job, the kids will keep growing and learning new things, I'll run my first marathon this year, and we plan to road trip out to California to see family.

Whatever 2016 was for you, good or sad, I pray that 2017 brings you closer to Jesus so that you will have His peace that passes all understanding. Happy New Year and blessings!