Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Cheer

We were all eager for Christmas this year, even Leif caught the bug. Phoebe's return home from Senegal was quite exciting and our 86 year old grandma came to spend the holidays with us, as well. The house quickly became full and lively!

Much to our surprise, we were also greeted with a white Christmas! Four inches came down quickly on Christmas Eve creating treacherous conditions, a car in the ditch, quick outfit changes from church clothes to work clothes to run ashes and a shovel down the hill, and missing the church service. So, we made our own music and sang Christmas carols in the evening!

Phoebe's friend, Kelly, joined us and added another willing singer to the group!

The days were filled with delicious meals of roast beast, beautiful and delicious pie, yorkshire pudding, and much more!

Christmas day brought lots of cheer and giving. Phoebe's gifts from Senegal were a huge hit, especially Jim's awesome sun hat!

A pancake breakfast was followed by our traditional hike up to the Paris View. Here's our Abbey Road shot :)

Yay! We had an extra person to take a whole family picture :)

The Krumich Trio
Who can resist a snowball fight when you have perfect packing snow? Dad's an excellent shot; all of those childhood baseball games with the neighborhood kids paid off! But Jim & Willem kept trying.

 Hearts, Othello, Fusball, and Apples to Apples were quite fun! Grandma even joined in on the latter.

We wish you a very merry holiday season filled with joy, laughter, & love. 
Here's to a great 2013!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Big, BIG Day!

In a hospital room in the Cleveland Clinic, my uncle received a bone marrow transplant today! He's fought the hard fight against leukemia for six months and spent months before that visiting doctors to find out what was wrong.

It's been a long, rocky, roller coaster of a ride and today many prayers are answered. The fight't not over yet, but we are one step closer to a cure. His brother was a perfect match.

My uncle John is a talented man. He's an airplane mechanic, avid woodworker, bass in choirs, organizer of community projects such as adding handicapped ramps to people's houses who are in need, and he's a comedian. Okay, well he's not officially a comedian, but ask anyone who's spent a few minutes around him and they'll tell you that he is one quick-witted and hilarious guy.

The roads not over yet, but we are so grateful and excited that this day has come! Here are some pictures for him and for you to enjoy :)

Classic relaxed pose, when he's not sleeping on a bench somewhere :)


He LOVES his grandkids
Imagine the stories they get to hear!
She must be pinching herself to make sure it's real.

Oh gosh, Junko!
We all love you SO much Uncle John! Many prayers and thoughts for you today and always.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ta Da!

On the way home from his rotation today, Jim stopped and bought a longer set of Christmas tree lights. Our tree is now complete with lights and ornaments! It's still quirky, but a little more put-together now. 

Always check the length of lights before purchasing- got it! They do sell lengths that are too small for even our itty-bitty tree. Lesson learned :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

In the Spirit

... of the holidays!

On Friday we went to Home Depot with the plans of getting a shrubbery for our Christmas tree. We ended up getting a Norfolk Pine, so that we could have it all year long. The fact that it's actually an evergreen makes me almost forget it's not the real deal. We love it.

While in Walgreens I grabbed a short length of lights, thinking it would be enough, and it just barely goes from the outlet to the top of the tree, making one swirl around the tree. Hmm, this may need to change.

Soon we'll get our ornaments on it, but for now I will enjoy gazing at the tree while the upstairs is dimmed.
My Pandora station plays only Christmas and holiday music these days... 'tis the season.

Yesterday we went to Floyd for their Winterfest and walked around many different booths and rooms of artists. That's one of the best ways to spend a few hours! Well, let's be real... I could spend days doing just that. I mean there's nothing better than gleaning new creative ideas, talking with interesting people, and getting truly one-of-a-kind gifts.

Today it was the little things that brought the most joy: hiking our backyard trail, making potato soup (the second time in a week!), smelling banana walnut bread cooking in the oven, and lighting our "Christmas" tree.

Now it's time to hunker down and knit one of my last Christmas gifts. Good night!

Listening, Learning & Yearning

Since August I have experienced the hardest, most emotional time of my life. Many internal pressures & expectations, family events, and external stressors contributed to create the perfect storm.

A dear friend of mine recently posted an image that read "Depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are NOT a sign of weakness. They are a sign that someone has remained strong for too long." It went on to mention that 1 in 3 people are affected by this at some point in their lifetime. Well, my time was now and it hit me hard. Staying strong was not an option for me any longer because my body was breaking down and attempting to respond to normal life became paralyzing and debilitating.

For those who know me well, I have seen some really dark patches and have not been myself. There have been days, weeks, and months, when smiling was not possible, exclamation points were despicable, food was a chore, sleep a constant and elusive battle, and joy in any activity was unattainable. Physical symptoms dominated my body and mind. Anxiety and guilt were so strong and painful that they made life miserable and spun me into a wild spiral at the mention of simple words and phrases.

Fortunately, when the going got tough, God surrounded us with people to help. I reached out to a friend in the area who kept in contact with me every day and she and her husband, a doctor, got me in to see another doctor in the knick of time. My doctor has been the most incredible blessing and truly cares about my symptoms, my life, and my recovery. The couple also got me connected with her parents, one of which counsels, challenges, and encourages me, while the other is one I can care for. A new network of friends has also been part of this season and I feel connected and comfortable for the first time in a while. Through my struggle, friends and family have come out of the woodwork who also are struggling or have gone through this before in their lives and it's opened up conversations I never would have believed were possible.

All this to say that I apologize for the break. I am sure that my life will never be the same-- in a good way! If you struggle with the same, you are not alone even though it really feels like it and it's hard to hear that spoken. I never understood before just how debilitating this can be. It's not your fault. It will get better. Feel free to contact me (kkrumich(at)gmail(dot)com).

If you've never been through it, then it is very hard to relate or understand. Err on the side of caution and allow the person to speak to you about what they are comfortable talking about at that time. If it's nothing, be content with that. As people we seek to receive something from other people in our relationships. Sometimes you won't receive anything from someone going through this. Sometimes you need only listen or to be still. It's amazing how quickly something can be spun out of control through a simple question or story you tell. Think about the motives behind why you want to know this person's pain or engage this person. And think about what you will do with this information if/once you get it.

I hope to return to blogging soon. Thanks for being patient :)

If you've been thinking you're all that you've got,
then don't feel alone anymore.
'Cause when we're together then you've got a lot,
for I am the river and you are the shore.

And it goes on and on, watching the river run,
Further and further from things that we've done,
Leaving them one by one, and we have just begun,
Watching the river run...

Listening, learning and yearning, run river run...

"Watching the River Run" - Loggins & Messina