Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas






Merry Christmas from the Yllescas girls! I hope you were able to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. We received a LOT of snow! I got snowed-in in Iowa but it was with great company and we had fun playing games and making forts in the snow. :) I finally made it to my parents yesterday where the girls opened their Santa gifts and next weekend we will have our family Christmas with them since it had to be post-poned.   Christmas was less of a blur and a little easier than last year, but we still miss Rob terribly and wish he was here with us.  I can't believe how fast the month of December has gone by. The 2nd week of December, Julia and I were invited on the Snowball Express. This is an organization for children who have lost a parent in the war since 9/11. It is an all-expensive paid trip and this year it was in Dallas. The whole experience was so amazing. When we got off the airplane in Dallas, people were clapping for us and waving flags.  The whole weekend consisted of so many different activities including the Southfork Ranch, Mesquite Rodeo, Dallas Convention Center, and the Dallas Cowboy Stadium.  There were about 1500 of us.  Julia and I had a blast and I know it helped her see that there are other children in the same situation as her.  The most amazing thing to me during the trip was how the Patriot Guard Riders escorted us everywhere.  On 2 different days, the main interstate was closed down just for us as we had a motorcycle police escort followed by the Patriot Guard Riders to our destinations.  It was quite a site:  24 buses carrying 56 people, 20 or more motorcycle police, and at least 60 Patriot Guard Riders going down the interstate.  I'm sure people were wondering who the heck we were! :)  Please have a safe New Years and I will write again next year...

23 comments:

Sue Wolf said...

Hi Dena,
So glad to hear how well you & the girls are doing. I am Nicole Sampson's stepmom & she told me about your situation so I have been praying for you ever since. I'm praying that you have a great New Year that's filled with many more blessings.
Blessings to you,
Sue

Haole Wahine said...

Dena, thank you for allowing Americans to demonstrate to you and your girls the promise we made to your husband.

Rob, and his girls are not forgotten.

with all my gratitude and prayers.

Nancy said...

What fun! Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year girls!

brat said...

{{{{{{Dena Julia and Eva}}}}}}The PGR are because you are all super stars.....:)

No words from me, just BIG bratty hugs - with much love, and prayers, as always..

The Bender's said...

Merry Christmas to you girls! And may many blessings come your way in 2010. We love you!

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful that you have a strong family who has gotten through this sad time. GOD bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through an article in the Washington Post. I read through every single post.

I know I can never fully understand the painful sacrifice that military families like yours make, and I know that thanks will never be enough, but from the bottom of my heart: thank you. Your husband sounds like he was an amazing man who gave his life for a cause in which he truly believed. You and your girls should be incredibly proud. Thank you. And Merry Christmas.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/29/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Anonymous said...

Like many others, I read your story on the front page of today's Washington Post. Thank you so much for sharing your poignant story in such a simple yet elegant way. It is so very important for all of us to understand the amazing sacrifices that our service men and women and their families make to keep our nation safe and free. For that we shall always be grateful.

I am sure that Rob would be so very proud of you and I pray that God continues to give you the strength and courage to live life to its fullest. May God bless you and your family and bring lots of great things to you in the coming new year!

Claire - Fairfax, VA said...

I made my way to your blog from a link included in an article about your family that appeared in today's Washington Post newspaper. I am a 61-year-old, married mother of a 22-year-old college-age son.

I was very touched by the story about you, Rob, Eva, and Julia...and wanted to let you know how much my family and I appreciate the sacrifices you have made on our behalf to keep our country free and secure. While I wish I could change that which cannot be changed, I hope that the love and caring this message brings will lighten your load a little bit today.

I have enjoyed reading your various posts and, from them, know that you and your girls will be just fine. You have the inner strength and resilience to get through this difficult time and to make the girls the better for it. I am so very pleased that your extended family, friends, and neighbors honor you for you deserve it.

My sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. May you all be blessed.

Anne in Virginia said...

I read the article in the Washington Post today and have thought about you all day. What a beautiful family you have, including the furry new little family member. Not really knowing any military families, I thought I had an idea of what it would be like. Having read this article, I realize I had NO idea what you go through on a daily basis. Your story has deeply touched me. I am so sorry for the sacrifices your family has made and continues to make. You will remain in my prayers. May God continue to bless you in the new year.

William H Wilkins III said...

Hi Dena (& Nancy):

I just read your story, and I want to wish you and your beautiful family a wonderful new year! If there is anything we can do for you please don't hesitate to contact us. All of my very best to you!

Bill Wilkins, CEO
Network Noir Web Radio

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to you and your family! May this next year bring more joy than you imagine. Your courage is inspiring. The love you have for your girls honors all that you and Rob had planned. You have given me a real person to consider when I think of our troops so far from home, some never to return. Thank you for your willingness to share your pain and joys. Your family is in my prayers. May God bless you richly.

Anonymous said...

I read your story in our local paper today. I live next to Ft. Bragg and am very thankful for the sacrifices our service men and women make each day. I am sorry your husband had to make the ultimate. You sound like a strong, sensible person and I think you will do ok. I will pray for you and your girls. Best of luck to you all. Time makes things easier.

God Bless,
D. Gregory

Anonymous said...

I thank you very much, webmaster, for this great blog. I really appreciate your posts.

Long-time RN said...

Oh my, that snow eating baby girl is adorable! The girls are lovely in their Christmas dresses, and growing up quickly.

Happy New Year! Best to you and your family in 2010. Thank you for continuing to share your life with us out here. We've not forgotten.

Blessings.

Anonymous said...

You're an amazing woman , you're so strong for your children.My heart goes out to you.i don't want to make this long & drawn out, i wish you all the peace & tenderness life has to offer.

God bless you.

Nancy said...

I love the new blog look Dena- Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

I read your artical in the Omaha paper, sounds like things are going really good for you, I am happy that you have been able to keep going with your life and move on. I bet that was really hard but Rob would have wanted that. Keep us updated Love reading your blog and watching your lovly girls growing up. Take care

Mindi said...

I read your blog in the Omaha paper also. What courage you've shown this past year. I can't imagine how you found the strength, but I know God played a part in it. God bless you and your girls. God bless your husband for making the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing us to thank you! Keep up your strength and please take solace that so many people you never will know are pulling for you and sending prayers to God in your behalf.

Anonymous said...

dena,you are such a neat person,with such a big heart,my heart is with you all.friend of your uncles,and classmate,patti roehrs,webers

Christy Harris said...

Dena, I am also an Army Wife and I'm not even sure how I found your blog....but it has touched my heart today. You are an inspiration to us all...we are sisters and always will be. Thank you for your precious sacrifice and for loving your sweet husband. I am just honored to have found your testimony to life and relationships not only with the people around you but with Christ. May 2010 bring you even more peace and comfort and healing.
Christy Harris
Army wife for 17 years
Mannheim, Germany
*husband currently serving in Afghanistan*

Toni said...

Dena~

Cold dreary day in January....just wanted you to know my family and I are still praying for you and your girls.

We want you to know that Robs sacrafice will never be forgotten.

As a military wife I know it is the quiet of a normal day that at times can be the hardest....

Know we are out here praying for you....thank you for your example in how you are continuing on for your girls...you are a courageous lady....even though you did not ask for this job!!

Blessings to your family!!