Our lives were forever changed the day we lost Corey. He was an amazing man who loved the Lord and his family with all that he was. The pain of losing him is like no other. Our only comfort comes from knowing we will see him again someday.

I have moved the slideshow played at Corey's service to it's own post page above, titled "Corey's Memorial Service - August 10, 2010"

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas 2010

     My Christmas in Vermont was filled with several blessings this year.  It wasn't an easy trip...it took me what felt like forever to get the girls and I on the road to Vermont. I was hoping to leave Thursday morning (12/23) by 10 a.m. and it was after 1 p.m. by the time our car finally left the driveway. The girls are usually left to occupy themselves while I race around the house crazily grabbing everything from toothbrushes to dog food (yes, Bella came too) while trying not to forget any basic necessities (like underwear! and of course it wasn't the kids I forgot ;) Sorry...a little too personal.  Just when I thought I had everything and was ready to start driving, I had to make 3 or 4 more trips back into the house for random items we wouldn't be able to do without for the next 5 days.  The packing was followed by 5 hours in the car (an extra hour for bathroom and food breaks). I was ready for a good long rest once reaching my mom's house. When I did finally lay down to go to sleep a few hours after arrival...I couldn't. I was too sick to my stomach and ended up sick for half of the night with the stomach bug Ali had at the beginning of the week. 'Really God?' was my response and 'Could you just take me home now?' The next morning my mom and sister and I had to cancel our visit to the day spa because of my illness. Big bummer, but with how lousy I felt I was happy to just get to stay in bed. Where were those Christmas blessings? I'm getting there...The silver lining here actually was that I didn't come down with the stomach bug during our drive to VT that day...that would have been disastrous. Plus I had my mom there to deal with the girls while I slept it off. I can't remember the last time I was that sick and had my mom there to take care of me :) Thanks Mom! I did manage to feel well enough to make it to the Christmas Eve service at church that night and was really glad I did. I wrote about the service in more detail in the post before this one.  By Christmas morning, 24+ hours later, I felt like my self again...just in time for breakfast at my sisters after watching the kids tear into their presents that Santa left.
     Corey's brother Scott drove 10 hours from D.C. to spend Christmas in VT this year. The highlight for me was seeing Abigail's excitement when he showed up on my sister's doorstep Christmas morning. I think she was as happy to see him as she was opening any of her gifts. The girls haven't spent a lot of time with Scott since he has lived in D.C. for much of the time since they were both born, so to see her cling to him like she did was heartwarming. I know she felt closer to her Daddy having him there. She asked Scott several times that day if he was going to stay longer. It was sweet. He was a great sport helping me to get all the toys out of their packaging once the girls had unwrapped them.  Mannn, is that a chore! Elastics, twist-ties, tape, thread...Surprisingly, I don't think we needed the screw driver this year to get anything out! And after all that fun, Scott even played Little Pet Shops with the girls for longer than I would have lasted. I'm really not trying to embarrass you Scott. It just really meant a lot to have you with us this year.
     Scott had also planned to take Abigail skiing over the Christmas weekend. Corey had taken her for the first time last March at the very end of the season. I'll try to post a video Corey took of her that day with this entry. She loved it and so when Scott offered to take her she was super excited. It was a blizzardy day that Monday after Christmas. He picked Abi up around 7 am that morning and drove the hour to Smuggler's only to have her dissolve to tears while waiting for her ski lesson to start. Apparently her boot was hurting her and they tried to fix it but to no avail. She cried to come home. Thankfully, the people working at the resort took pity on poor Uncle Scott and teary-eyed Abi and they got a full refund! Scott was such a good sport about it and even said, 'we'll try again another time.'
    Allison's excitement on Christmas day was having a urologist look into her ear with an otoscope after she complained of an earache.  That sounded weird...let me explain.  While Ali can certainly produce a lot of 3-year-old drama, she isn't usually a 'faker' about aches and pains. Out of the blue she started complaining that her ear hurt. I was worried about letting it go and having it get worse come bedtime, so I decided to take action. My sister helped me call around a bit to try to find an urgent care center where I could take her. Of course, there aren't a lot of places open on Christmas day...It was looking like we were going to have to head to the emergency room...certainly not where I wanted to spend my holiday.  My sister's boyfriend (a Veterinarian) and his dad (a urologist) came to our rescue.  Liam (the vet) drove to his office and picked up his otoscope that he uses on hamsters :)  He called his Dad (the urologist), who he assured me was ready for some time out of the house, and they both arrived back at my sisters. Dr. Bison was great and after he put the scope in Ali's ear she was immediately better. No joke!  "My ear feels better now" were her words to the kind doctor. Little did she know it was really the ibuprofen I had given her 30 minutes earlier. I think it made Dr. Bison feel good though and gave us all a chuckle. And maybe it really did do the trick since he said her ear didn't look infected. I was grateful for the kindness of someone I'd never met before who was willing to make a house call on Christmas. Thanks for hooking us up Liam and sparing us that trip to the ER!
     So, all in all, despite this being our first Christmas without Corey, it was memorable and God was for sure in all the details! I just want to say how much I appreciate my family and friends. Everyone really went out of their way to make this Christmas a special one for the girls and I. You all were so supportive in showing us extra sensitivity and adding special touches that really made us feel loved!  I know there were more people than I can count who were praying for us over the holiday weekend. I had one friend who sent us a Christmas ornament with our family's name on it that had 4 stockings, one for each of us...Corey included :)  Another friend thought to take the girls shopping so they would be able to pick out a Christmas gift for me...something Corey would normally have done. I could go on and on and I wish I could list everything and everyone here...it just isn't possible. Know that I love and appreciate you all!

Addendum: This is a funny little add-on to the earache story (I couldn't resist).  Yesterday, Ali's teacher called me to tell me she was complaining her ear hurt (the other ear this time) and that she was in tears over the pain. I thought to myself, 'great, here we go again.' But being the good mother I am ;) I went and picked her up and brought her to the doctor.  Abi came with us and in a matter-of-fact manner informed the pediatrician, "Ali's ear is fine. She did this on Christmas. She just likes the tools" (referring to the otoscope). Have I mentioned I love my kids? Well, to our surprise Ali did have an ear infection! With kids, you just never know...they love to surprise you. 


  1. Thanks for the chuckles, Jill! This was great! I love how you expressed it; I could just hear you "saying" what you wrote.

  2. Wow, where was that doctor for my Christmas ER trip :o) So happy you girls had a good Christmas. praying for you always...
    oh, and those pictures of you all (with the red dresses) BEAUTIFUL! love you, Stacy