Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy 2009

Hi blog friends! It has been a long time since I've written. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years.

I cannot believe it is a new year again. This past year went by in such a blur that I barely got used to it being 2008 and now I have to get used to it being 2009. Has it really been 9 years since Y2K? Remember that little thing? Ha ha. A lot of people I know have mentioned that 2008 was such a horrible year and they are so glad it's a new year. I started thinking about that and realized that from the outside most people would probably say it was a horrible year for us, too. But as I pondered it I realized I just don't feel that way. I would never say it was a horrible year. We had some really trying times, some nightmarish things to walk through, but we also had some very dear and precious memories with Joseph-- and he was still with us in 2008. So in a way I think I didn't want to leave 2008, because that is the last year Joseph was with us.

Usually at the beginning of the year I have some goals or hopes for the new year. This year I'm having a hard time doing that. I am just having trouble getting excited about moving forward. I'm not completely stuck--I feel like I'm just resisting moving on. One thing I have been doing lately that I'd like to continue into the New Year is memorizing scripture. I am in the middle of Psalm 139 (at the suggestion of a blog friend, Angie) and I love that if I have some alone time in the car or doing errands that the truth of God's word comes into my head and reminds me of my true identity as a child of God. Oh, and I got some great stationery for Christmas so I also plan to write lots of hand-written letters to my long-distance friends (because, you know, without cute stationery it just couldn't be done :)).

We didn't send out Christmas cards this year. I ordered them and went to pick them up at Walmart, but when I looked at them I just felt sick. The whole way home I cried and then I decided I just couldn't send out a card without Joseph in it. So, I have about 85 Christmas cards on top of my fridge. Who knows, maybe I'll send them out in July just to be silly. But, thank you to everyone who still sent us a card. I make a little collage out of them after Christmas and it hangs on our wall all year:

While digging out Christmas decorations this year, my mom found a dress that used to be mine so I tried it on Holly and was so excited that it still fits her. I think it is the only article of clothing we kept from when I was little (after 3 trans-Atlantic moves things get lost or given away). Here is a picture of Holly in it:

We had a wonderful time on the cruise. It was just what the doctor ordered for us. A great diversion and lots of fun time with family. Holly got to sleep on a "loft" over our bed, which was big fun. After a couple of nights we read that children under 6 were not supposed to sleep in it. Oops. She did great, though.

Santa came aboard!

I hope and pray all of you have a very happy and healthy New Year.


Anonymous said...

You are so amazing, your words give me such inspiration! May God bless you and your family in 2009 and may you have His peace through the year!

Carey Heid
(sj friend)

jody (atlanta) said...

Thanks for taking the time to post. I admit I thought of you lots when doing our holiday card and was tearing up thinking of how 'impossible' it would be for you all. Thanks for sharing your sadness and being so honest, as usual. I am glad the cruise was a happy time and LOVE seeing the pictures. Holly looks adorable and like mini-mommy in that dress. My hat goes off to your mom/dad for keeping it all these years.

I thought of you ALL so many times throughout these last few weeks (evident by my many rambling voice mails on your cellular....sorry about that). I love you so much Gill.

MISS you and always loving, sending hugs and prayers from Atlanta.

Love you lots. Jody

Shannon said...

Just want you to know I think of your precious family often and pray, pray, pray for you. Our God is mighty to save!

Lynn T said...

Thanks for sharing so openly. I love you all so much and miss Joe P with you. What you said makes a lot of sense about not wanting to leave 2008. You have so many treasured memories with Joseph during that year. I'm praying for you.
Oh and I love seeing Holly in your dress and with her cousin on the cruise.

Anonymous said...

What great pictures and memories, Gill! I can't wait to hear all about the cruise. Let's get together this week? :)

Suzanne said...

Hi Gillian
everytime you write I feel so emotional! Thanks - it's because of you and what you write that I remember to cherish everyday with my kids - even though some days and some weeks can be so challenging!

Anna Tester said...

XXXOOO! Warm sunny kisses from the OC. You all were consistently on my mind as Joseph's name is obviously mentioned lots over the christmas season. What a wonderful name for a wonderful boy. Such a sweet family - cannot help but see it in all your faces! Miss you. No news out here just figuring things out. learning to surf- JK JK.

Nana said...

Gill the Pill as we used to call you thanks for posting on the blog .I am so encouraged that you are memorizing Psalm 139.I am going to do it also.I know what you mean about 2008 there were some hard times but the good times by far outweighed the sad many great memories Joe P. being Lightening Mc Queen you being Sally Allen being Sherriff me being Guido he just named each of us and I will just treasure those times in my heart forever.He also loved those make believe stories so much especially when he and Holly snuck out at night and took Allens truck he would have that look of absolute glee when I told he and Holly that is still one of Hollys favorites.God is so kind and merciful to us to allow us to remember all the fun we had"This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it"We love you all dearly and we miss Joe P .a lot.

Christy said...

So fun to see familiar faces on your picture board. :-) And I love the dress on Holly - sooo cute. I'm thrilled the cruise was fun, and I'm way impressed with your Holly girl sleeping way up high! I think Andrew would spaz at the idea. :-)

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you...I said lots of prayers for you and your family to be able to "make it" through the holidays......I hope you continue to feel all of the prayers continuing to be sent your way. ~~~a friend in Texas

tiffany c. said...

Thanks for sharing with us - so glad you were all able to get away. Praying as always for you..

Margaret said...

Thanks for the update. I'm so glad you had fun on the cruise. Holly looks sooo happy snuggled between you and Al in front of the tree. I predict that 2009 will hold lots of new and happy memories, too!
Every Jan I wonder what the year holds, but the last few years I only resolved to keep my priorities in check and not sweat the small stuff. I learned many lessons from you and your family over the last year and suspect it won't be much of a challenge this year.
Much love and blessings to you for 2009!!

Randi said...

Gillian, I love the picture of you and Holly (and her cousin?) with Santa. How sweet!
I am happy that you guys all went on a cruise.
I still think of Joseph every single day. I probably will until the day I die. This is coming from someone who never even had the honor of meeting your beautiful son. Some day, I hope to meet him.
Also, Holly looks like she is getting tall. Is she going through a growth spurt? She looked adorable in your dress!
Take care,

Jean Joiner said...

happy new year! love you guys!! it was wonderful to see you at beth's shower, gil.

Allyson@House of Stephens said...

What a great post! I pray for you all often! I'm so glad you had a great time on the cruise! Did it feel strange to wear shorts in December. (As I sit here in my shorts and short sleeve shirt in early Jan and type this out -- only I'm not in an amazing tropical location.)

I hope 2009 brings sweet rememberances, new memories and is full of more blessings than you ever thought possible!


P.S. I bet I know where the great stationery came from. I bought a fabulous stamp from the same great place :)! Wanna make note writing really fun? Get a new pen! It always makes the words flow better.

Susie (So Blessed) said...

Praying for your family as the new year begins...

Katy said...

Hey Gillian-
Thanks for keeping everyone up to date with your insightful writing. We make a card collage too! I just can't bear to throw all the pictures away. Lilla was talking about Joseph the other day and wondering if he was having fun in heaven. I said he was. So sweet how he has impacted her heart even though I don't think they ever met. Katy

SouthernMama said...

We continue to pray for ya'll all the time. Your blog is such an encouragement as you share God's hand on your lives and glorify Him.

Anonymous said...

Happy 2009 sweet Gilliam Allen en Holly bear. You've got so many treasured memories you'll take them with you into 2009 and far beyond. Loved all the beautiful pictures I'm sure the cruise and holiday did you a power of good.
love ann Ben & the boys

Jody (atlanta) said...

Gill - Margaret, me & kids were playing today at my house and we both just thought of you and miss you. Having you and Holly here last month for playing was just AWESOME (no better word).

Hoping 2009 is going well and cannot wait to catch you live and talk. MISS YOU and thinking of you all always.


Chloe said...

thinking of you gillo.
i'm sure it was heart wrenching trying to send those christmas cards. time will help you on your way. for good or for bad, time stands still for no one. i am sure joe p would be chuffed that in honour of him you didn't send cards this year! i like the new year's resolutions, especially back to pen and paper. the internet is wonderful, but also very different to the intimacy and ritual of a penned letter.. My new year's resolution is to continue to read more poetry, i am sure inspired by Joe P. Often words are not enough, but sometimes other's words say more than one could've imagined!!! Deep, I know, it's all the poetry..

So my darling cousin, I love Hollser in the dress. We all had dresses in that style, the gaberdeen/check design, with the miniature 18th century collar. Sweet. I also love her long hair. she is gorgeous.

Hello Allen, Hello Holly. All my love and lots of peace be with you during 2009. xxxxxxx