Thursday, December 24, 2009

Festive Firsts

This season is full of festive firsts at our house! December 13 is always a big day for us since it's 12 days before Christmas, and the day we have always decorated our house, including getting our tree and putting up lights. This has been our special family tradition since Michael moved over here from Scotland 13 years ago, a few weeks before we got married. This year the day was even more special though because we included a trip to see Santa at a local general store. This was a different experience from the mall Santa in that it was much more relaxed and simple. We also took our own pictures, as opposed to paying lots of money for them to do it, which was important to me. Charlie was fairly neutral about the whole thing, not overly thrilled and not overwhelmed either.

As for me though, I was giddy just like a little girl. I can hardly believe this is all really happening! When I sat him down on Santa's lap for the first time...a little thrill went through me at the realization that this is our son. I used to dream about becoming a mom, and part of my vision was always the excitement and joy I would feel surrounding the holidays. All I can really say is that reality has been even better than my dreams. Sure it's different because there are obligations and finances with which I am concerned now that were never a part of what I imagined, but the magic is still here and it is very real. I know Charlie is too young to really get it this year, but he is still full of wonder at all the new experiences he's having. I love being the person who is providing those for him...I love being Mommy, soaking up the joy of my son's first Christmas!

Here we are, less than 24 hours away from the first Christmas morning when I will wake up, and for the first time in my life, be immersed in the experiences of the season through the wonderment of another person. Christmas has always been about sharing and family, but this year it's completely different for me to be "Mommy," in addition to wife, daughter, sister, and aunt.

I honestly can't wait...

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Hippie No More

The moment of 12:47 p.m. EST was quite momentous for my dear hubby today...I chopped off all his hair! Until a little over half an hour ago, the man hadn't had a haircut in 20 years. He used to joke around with our nephew every time we saw him about how his hair was older than Nick.

's about changing and today marked a big one for Michael. He always said that when we had a child he was going to get his hair cut to mark the momentous life-change of becoming a daddy. He picked today for the big event, as a way to commemorate the winter solstice, "for Charlie."

I'm still pretty shocked, and I think he is too, that hair has been with us through thick and thin! The length of the braid I cut off is 21!

Since I'm a far cry from a cosmetologist, our next item on today's agenda is to go to a salon where they can beautify my initial efforts.

And at the end of the day, our baby boy still knows Daddy, how divine!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

{a little} Conflicted About Chirstmas

With my entirely too busy semester finally winding down, Christmas is barreling straight towards us - I know it will be here in the blink of an eye. I've been feeling a little conflicted with what to say here on my blog regarding the topic of Christmas this year. Back then I wasn't even really talking about how sad I felt, but last Christmas was hard for me. I was reaching an all-time low, and was feeling more down than I could even admit. I can vividly remember holding my then tiny newborn niece during our family's Christmas celebration, and not being able to contain my tears, though I vehemently tried. Some tears of joy at her beautiful existence, certainly...but also deeply rooted tears of sorrow and anguish at what I didn't yet have at this time last year. I can remember that well-concealed pain, and it was intense.

Flash forward to now, and I'm less than three weeks shy of the best Christmas of my entire life! I am finally at that place where I will begin to be able to relive the magic of the holidays through the eyes of our son. At long last, we have the hoped for, dreamed of, and so very much loved answer to my (and so many of your) prayers.
Thankful, grateful, overjoyed, thrilled - none of those can even come close to what I really feel.
Hallelujah! I want to shout my joy from the mountaintops, I wan to dance and laugh. I want to sing.

But then I remember, and I stop in my tracks. I know some of you who read this are still where I was at this time last year. I know that pain with which so many of you are still struggling every single day, and I cry again. I know the impending holidays carve out the anguish and make your sadness that much more intense, that much more painful. I know like only someone who has been there can know.

And I struggle with how to articulate this. How - or even whether to tell you that I do remember. How to say to you (without saying any of the countless unhelpful things people say) that I haven't forgotten. That I know how it feels to be waiting, longing, hoping, praying, and hurting through yet another Christmas.

Then, I see the amazing reminder of our son when he smiles at me, and that John Mayer song, "Say" flashes into my mind. I realize that I do need to say what I need to say...that I need to rejoice and be happy as I enjoy the countless gifts I have been given this year, I realize that I can really only be where I am, as much as it pains me to realize and remember where some of you still are.

I've been sitting here for several minutes, staring at the screen. I've been trying to figure out how to end this post. I guess what I want all of you to know is that your pain and sorrow is not lost on me. Even when I (inevitably) get carried away with the joy this Christmas brings for my family, the sadness it brings for some of you is still tucked away in the back of my mind. Blogging, and this community of shared experiences is a gift for which I will always be incredibly thankful. The connections here are not something I will ever be able to fully understand, but I do know they are to be treasured.

So here's to you, blogland...and to all you've done and continue to do in my life. For the enrichment you've brought to my mind, my heart, and my spirit. May those of you who are rejoicing alongside me create memories this year that will last your entire life long...and may those of you who are still struggling know that you are not alone. May you be able to stand a little stronger against the storm with the knowledge that your sadness is not forgotten.

Saying what I need to say,

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Every so often....

...people come along in our lives with whom we have an unexpected and immediate connection. Surprisingly, I've learned that this can even happen in blogland where the connections are virtual but still so real. Kel is one such person for me. Ever since she and I found one another's blogs, we have been connected, inexplicably, in this way.

After a long wait, peppered with some pretty intense disappointments, Kel and Jer met their baby boy, J.C. today! This is one of those matches that makes me cry tears of joy, and makes me remember what this is all about. This little family is gorgeous in every way, and they deserve every ounce of happiness that comes their way!

When you have a chance, stop by Kel's Blog and congratulate her on the best blogosphere news I've heard in a while!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Raisinig Small Souls

I found a really cool parenting advice web site that I thought some of you might enjoy. Check out Raising Small Souls. Be sure to watch the video previews when you have a chance, they are worth the time!