Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas is Here!!

Well, almost. But judging from the toy aisle at Target, you would think it is tomorrow. I went in hopes of finding (another) princess phone for Holly for Christmas and do you believe I got the LAST one, at least at this Target. It was such a fun trip b/c I could feel the Christmas shopping fever but I wasn't stressed at all b/c I am pretty much finished shopping and was basically just browsing and hanging out in my favorite place. I do have to go by the "Cars" aisle every time to check if they new cars, which always brings a tear to my eye but also brings back some very happy Joseph memories.

The last couple of weeks have been really tough for me. I seem to go through phases where I feel like I'm fine followed by a period of intense sadness and missing him so much. I miss his energy and cheerfulness and passion for life, but I also just miss parenting him and taking care of him and watching him interact with Holly, taking on the role of older brother. And I'm sad for Holly that she won't have him looking out for her as she grows up.

We went to Atlanta this past weekend for my friend Beth's baby shower. We are so excited for them as they anticipate the arrival of their 3rd son in just a few weeks. Holly and Logan had so much fun playing together and it warmed my heart to see her racing around the house with cars and trucks again. It was my first time being back in Atlanta since last April and it was every bit as hard as I thought it would be. I was so nervous about going back that I thought, "It has to be easier than I'm imagining," but really it wasn't. Every part of that place holds so many memories for me and makes me miss Joseph all the more. We did really enjoy seeing old friends, though, and I was glad to get some good quality time with the people we love. Holly and I popped over to see some friends on Sunday and below is the picture we were able to catch:

This is what I love about toddlers (which used to drive me more crazy than anything). You just have to grab conversation when you can--in between breaking up toy wars, bringing kids potty, answering questions, etc. It makes quiet conversations at a coffee shop that much more precious and memorable (and rare). I am so grateful that God has blessed me with wonderful friends to go through motherhood with.

This weekend we leave for a cruise with Allen's family. It is our Christmas present from Mimi and Big Daddy. We are really looking forward to it, and Holly is excited about going on a "big boat." So, I think it will be a nice diversion for all of us and we will enjoy not cooking and just relaxing and spending some time together.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and lots of fun family memories. And you better get to Target NOW if you want a princess phone. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Praying for Jackson today

My friend Vivi in Atlanta recently told me her friend found out her little boy (18 months old) may have a brain tumor. They are not exactly sure what the mass is, but it was causing Jackson to have seizures. This morning he is in brain surgery to remove the mass. I am praying that they would be able to remove the mass safely, that it would be something low-grade/non life-threatening, and that Jackson would recover amazingly well with no damage to his brain or other bodily functions. Of course I'm also praying for his parents, that God would surround them with his peace. Please join me in praying for this family. Their website is: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jacksonwilliams
Thank you!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas is Coming!

Now that it is officially December Christmas seems so close!! We put up our Christmas tree and lights, manger scene and light-up Santa. We don't usually go all-out for Christmas, but this year we have more lights and decorations than we ever have, and I have to say I love it. Holly also loves it, and every time she passes any kind of Christmas light or decoration she pauses and says, "It is sooo beauty-ful." We really don't have many Christmas traditions yet, but one that we started a few years ago was to decorate the tree listening to Bing Croby's Christmas Album, and then have Taco Soup and Egg Nog for dinner. This year it was even cold enough to feel like Christmas, and then as a bonus we got snow today!! (After I mocked Target for replacing the rake aisle with snow shovels, saying, "How much snow do we really get?")

Holly is still trying to figure out how Jesus, Santa, and Christmas all tie together. Today she was telling me she wanted a purple and green vacuum. Then she thought about it and said, "Maybe Christmas will get one for me?"

We had a really nice Thanksgiving, aside from the fact that I was sick most of the week. The only good thing about it was that it took my mind off missing Joseph. The really hard part for me was opening up our box of ornaments when we started decorating the tree. I hadn't realized how many ornaments we had for him. There were a couple I had made for him, then a couple with his picture inside, then a few that had all of our names on them. The one that really got me was one with a picture of when he was five months old and Mimi and I thought it would be so cute to put him inside a stocking. It really is a cute picture, but it just made me sad that we won't get to do silly things like that anymore.
I loved getting to spend time with my parents and siblings and their children. One night all my sisters and brothers and I went out to dinner without spouses, something I don't think we have ever done. We had a lot of fun, and I laughed more than I have in a long time. We talked about "Love Languages," of all things, which just made us all really bellyache as we tried to figure out Sam and David's.

Cousin Bella is staying in Nashville for a few days, and Holly loves having a little playmate around. Bella took a nap over here today and she and Holly slept in the same bed for 2 hours. I couldn't believe they did it. After nap I got them a snack, then Holly got them both a box of raisins (one of her and Joseph's favorite snacks). Bella told her that she didn't like raisins and Holly just couldn't believe it. "Just try them! You DO like them." She was practically force-feeding her before I told her that there are people in the world who don't like raisins, and Bella didn't have to eat them. I just thought it was hilarious that Holly was trying to convince her that she really did like them. "They're juicy and sweet!" she said. I can't bear to tell her that they aren't my favorite snack either.

I hope all of you are having fun decorating for Christmas and shopping for or making gifts. A friend of mine dropped over an Advent Calendar today, the kind with the chocolate behind each day (Thanks, Katie!!). That was one of my favorite things to do as a child, so I'm excited to start doing it with Holly. The girl has a serious sweet tooth like her mommy, so I'm sure she will love it. Hope you all are enjoying some fun traditions, too. Stay warm and enjoy those Christmas lights!