Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Everyday Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is really my favorite. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that November is the best month of the year. You can't argue with the changing colors, crisp sunny days and hello comfy cute clothes.
Also, it's my Birthday month, and several friends as well. And then there is Thanksgiving itself.

Growing up we spent each holiday at my Grandpa and Grandma's house. It was filled to the brim with people, food and a crackling fire. Thanksgiving was especially fun because my Grandpa and I had just celebrated our birthdays and it felt as if the celebration just lingered until we all met up on turkey day.

After we had eaten our fill we would all load up in cars and head to the freeway. In the back we had ornaments, garlands and tinsel. We'd pick out a tree near the side of the road, pile out of the cars and begin decorating.

Yes, we decorated a tree on the side of the freeway on Thanksgiving. It was random and it was crazy and it was fun. I have memories of muddy boots some years, some years we didn't all pile out..maybe there was a baby that needed to stay in the car or maybe it was too steep for some. We always got a honk or two out of a trucker who was on the road instead of at home for the day.

Thanksgiving will always be my favorite.

Now I am learning to live Thanksgiving all year round, learning to have gratitude in all things and teaching our boys to live with thanks and appreciation for each day.

I'm learning to be thankful because of who God is and not because of how I feel, my feelings ebb and flow but He is constant. Never changing, never lacking.

I am been given a beautiful family. I sometimes am amazed at my life. Just 12 years ago I was graduating High School and here I am, in the blink of an eye married to the most selfless, humble God-fearing man I know. He always, always, always puts me and the boys first. That's not an easy task, especially when you are in ministry as a full time job. I never wonder where we stand and I never feel like he's married to the church...he has done so well balancing that and I am beyond grateful. I never tire of him and the favorite parts of my day are with him. I know that is not always the case and I am just now realizing what a treasure our marriage is, more than I ever have before.

And my boys. Oh my boys. Yes, they are precious and beautiful but oh their hearts. They are all so different and so unique and when I catch glimpses of what they will be in the future my heart skips a beat. They love deep and they feel deep just like Trevor and I do.

My friends. I don't even know where to begin. How I am blessed with friends that love our family the way they do. You are answers to prayers and you have become family. The ones we see near daily, and the ones we only see on social media more often than not. You have our hearts.

And my parents, sister and her husband, Grandmother, Uncles and Aunts and Cousins... you give and love from near and from far. You pray for us, you support us in all things and you give of yourself in so many ways. You are the heartbeat of our family. The messy crazy bits that make us who we are and the solid firm foundation that we hold fast to.

I hope you all know how deeply you are loved, how thankful I am for you and how you bless us.

Thank you. Thank you for being a part of my everyday Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When Grief Surprises You

I've been loving the Timehop app. It allows me to remember moments and pictures that I had otherwise forgotten. Pictures of the boys from 2 years ago, Twitter statuses from last year, Facebook posts from 4 years ago. It's been a blast.

Until my Birthday.... Timehop reminded me of my Birthday 5 years prior where I spent it with several different friends each one a surprise orchestrated by my always amazing husband.

Don't get me wrong, that was amazing, but I had a secret that day. I was pregnant. We decided to wait until Thanksgiving to share the news, but all day long I knew and I held it in. The memories came flooding back.

5 years. 5 years ago we lost our baby at Christmas. The day in between two Christmas programs.

It felt like I was hit with a tidal wave, knocking me down with emotions I didn't see coming. I lost it.

I was so confused. Why am I shedding tears now? I haven't shed tears for several years.

The complete sorrow and ache I felt when we lost the baby moved through all the stages of grief and we walked them together, Trevor and I. Due dates came and we remembered and it was sad, but it wasn't the same....just as it is with all loss. The date of the loss would come, and because it was Christmas it was always a little bit more heavy...but we remembered and saw what God had done since.

This laid heavy on me all day, until I finally broke down to Trevor that night. I was so confused and it felt so weird to all of the sudden be so sad again.

Looking at Camden and Christian, nearing 4 years old and full of life. This beautiful crazy life of mine- why am I sad again?

It's not as if I've forgotten that little one. I still remember seeing the heartbeat, That reassurance that is supposed to mean all will be okay.

I wrote to two of my friends who had also miscarried and who I knew wouldn't think it strange to feel the way I was feeling. I wanted to process with them, where I felt safe.

One of them had recently had similar feelings about her babies and the guilt that comes with not thinking of them for awhile and why do we feel guilty...
The other friend re-shared a blog post she had written after losing one of her babies, and it just felt good to know that....

Grief doesn't play by any rules, it comes and goes and sometimes hibernates for a long time before it needs to expose itself once again. I am sure this is the same for many types of grief. A wave of emotion can knock you down at any time throughout the years.

Trevor and I all along felt strongly that this little one was a girl. Even Jack has stated that without prompting a long time ago.

All this time and we hadn't named her. I don't know why, we just never did. My friend Adriel suggested maybe that would help now and so we talked it over and we did. We named her. It made such a difference.

Jack asked about that baby yesterday. He reminded me again he thinks it was a girl, so I told him her name. Then he said "You were sad and you cried when you lost her, but then God gave you Camden and Christian and you were full of joy"