Archive | November, 2011

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

30 Nov

I realized today that I haven’t uploaded or posted pictures of the girls in quite some time.

I am lame, I’m sorry.  I will aim to get that done this week!

As November comes to a close (and with it, our free XM trial…sniff), the Christmas season really gets into full swing.  I love Christmastime & all that it brings!  I am excited for our upcoming travels, for all the visits we get to have with family & friends.  But for the first time that I can really remember, I am really ready for the new year!

2011 has been heartbreaking in many ways, in several lives around me.  I know that the new year is just arbitrary & it doesn’t REALLY mean that this bad streak won’t continue.  But I just hope that it brings change, fresh air, new perspective, less pain.

There have definitely been great moments, too!  We got to take 2 awesome trips to Disney World.  Both girls have accomplished several milestones.  We got a brand new car.  We’ve celebrated quite a few important birthdays.  We’ve had many fun nights with friends & family.

And we are lucky in many respects.  Dave has a steady, stable, pretty secure job that provides us with everything we need.  We have good insurance that helps take care of us when we do need healthcare, and great doctors to heal us.  We have great families that help us out with many things & love our kids as much as we do.

I took Audrey to an appointment with the immunologists at Children’s Hospital last week.  It was a follow-up; they are double checking some stuff, but she is most likely just fine.  But as we entered, the hospital was decorated for Christmas.  It was a bit surreal, because the first time Audrey was hospitalized last year, the Christmas decorations were up.  She went in on December 3.  It was strange, bittersweet, sad.  I’m so glad that Audrey is healthy right now, that we are not imminently approaching another hospital stay.  It’s strange to see the decorations up again…that a whole year has really gone by since then, even though it certainly doesn’t FEEL like it.  But Audrey herself is so much different: 15 months old, walking, talking, teeth, chubby, happy, lots of hair.  Ella is different, too.  Taller, skinnier, smarter, sweeter.  But I guess that week will probably forever live in my mind as something that “wasn’t that long ago”.  I hope that Christmas doesn’t always have this stigma for me – the thoughts of my sick baby.  I’m sure each year will seem a little better.  But since that first hospital stay is really what started the “crappy year” ball rolling, it just sticks out.

Right now, in this moment, I’m grateful for my 2 healthy children.  I will approach this Christmastime with all the hope & happiness I can, knowing that we are lucky & healthy, happy, well cared for, safe.

And here’s to a better 2012!

The Grateful Tree…

1 Nov

Last year, I was inspired in November to make a “grateful tree”.  It was fairly simple, just a trunk with some branches and blank leaves.

Each day, Ella, Dave & I would pick a leaf & write down something for which we are grateful.  Often, they were sweet sentiments reminding us of the people and things in our lives that we don’t give enough thought to loving, such as each other, friends, distant family members.  Sometimes they were a bit sillier, like candy, My Little Ponies or Halo.  Either way, it forced us to take at least a moment each day to reflect on something we have that we are truly glad to have in our lives.

I think the concept was a tiny bit lost on Ella, at least as a bigger picture.  She did understand to tell me something she loved to write down, but I’m not sure she was 100% on the reflection & gratitude part.  This year will probably be a little better.

As November begins, thus begins the “Holiday Season”.  I LOVE the holidays, as I know I’ve stated before.  All the decorations, songs, gathering, food, and just the joy in the air all give me a rush.  But I think all of that gives us even more reason to take a moment each day to reflect.  Amidst all the chaos, having just a little bit of peace & using it to be thankful add a whole lot to our lives.

I’m excited to see how our grateful tree grows each year as the girls get older, more understanding and more grateful.  Here’s to a happy, HEALTHY & thank-full holiday season!