Ok, I know its been way too long since I've posted. Since my last update my baby boy turned 1! Where does time go? Ryan had an awesome birthday and I've never in my life seen any child enjoy a cake like he did! I made him a firetruck cake. Grandmommy & PaPaw were here for their first grandson's first birthday, so I thought a firetruck cake was perfect! I am so so thankful my parents were here to celebrate with us! We had a terrific Thanksgiving and have been preparing for Christmas and our beach trip with my family. I can't hardly wait to take Lelia & Ryan to the beach for the first time. My most treasured memories as a little girl (and a grown girl) are of my mom & I walking on the beach picking up sea shells and enjoying the lighthouses. I can't wait to share that with both my mom and my children!
This year, for the first time in many years, it feels like Christmas to me! I realized that earlier this week and thought about "what's different this year?"
Here is what I came up with:
-Since Claire went to heaven, I have really focused on what really matters to me.
This Christmas, I've really tried not to get so stressed out about
making "things" perfect. What good is a beautifully decorated home or every detail
planned out if you miss out on the precious moments with your children?
-Shane, Lelia, Ryan & I have been so blessed with a loving church family! Our
family was blown away when we were given gifts for Lelia & Ryan. I can't wait
until Christmas morning to see what they are going to open. To have a church
family who loves us and our children means the world to me and is a huge answer
-I've enjoyed hearing Lelia talk about Baby Jesus, Mary & Joseph. She plays with
the three of them all the time. As a mother, it is so amazing to me that she
already is beginning to understand the real meaning of Christmas. I have
said "Ryan, take Baby Jesus out of your mouth please. We don't eat Baby Jesus"
more times then I can count. And "I think Baby Jesus is under the couch again"
Oh the fun of having two this age!
As I sit here writing this, my heart is filled with mixed emotions. I am so excited about Christmas morning with Lelia & Ryan! I can't wait to spend time with my family at the beach this weekend! My heart longs for us all to be together. I am also feeling a broken heart like I've never felt before. I can't imagine what Angela & Jeff are going through right now. I feel so helpless that I can't make things better for them or for Abbie, Caroline & Sarah. To see my parents grieve the loss of their granddaughter and not be able to "fix it" for their daughter, is one of the toughest things for me to see. I know Sandra & her girls are missing Claire terribly as well and that makes me feel so helpless as well. I am thankful that Lelia & Ryan are young enough to not really understand right now. But at the same time it breaks my heart that my children didn't get to spend more time with Claire to have so many memories. It amazes me though, how much Lelia remembers about Claire and I enjoy showing her pictures and talking to her & Ryan about Claire Bear. Sometimes, from the little things Lelia says, I can't help but think her big cousin is around showing her the ropes! I know that Claire wouldn't want me to be sad. But there are times with I am overwhelmed with the sadness of her being gone.
This Christmas season, I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father loves me so much that He sent His Son to earth to die for me so that I could one day spend eternity with Him as well as with Claire. When I really get to missing Claire, I am reminded that Christmas is about the birth of my savior and that is what gives me strength this Christmas season.