Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Sorry it is late, but better late than never. We had a wonderful, but busy, Christmas. It was so nice to be with almost all of our family. Billie had a wonderful time, of course. Her favorite gift was her new bike. Now she will not hit her knees on the handle bars when she tries to pedal, hehe! That really made riding hard for her, go figure. She got wonderful baby dolls that she has been busy taking care of the last few days, too. She loves baby dolls just like I did when I was little, and they keep her busy for hours. She especially likes to wrap them in blankets and take them when we run errands or go somewhere. It is so cute. She is going to be an exceptional Mommy one day... a long, long time from now. She loves real babies, too, and is so good and careful with them. She wishes still so bad for a baby brother or sister. We always tell her it has to be in God's time. She usually says something like "OH! But I have been waiting soooo long!" It is so sweet, she will be an excellent big sister. She is enjoying her winter break. We are going to take her to a movie tonight, she is very excited. She absolutely loves movies, and especially getting to see them at the theater.

Christmas was wonderful, but it was hard, too. We couldn't help but think about Joshua and Caleb and how this would have been our first Christmas with them. I guess they still had their first Christmas, but in a totally different way that I know I can not even imagine. I know it was beautiful and spectacular and fantastic, though. We did miss them so much. We managed to include them in little and big ways, through special gifts for our family and each other that included pictures of them. We made special ornaments with their pictures in them and hung them on our tree. We had a little tiny tree in their room and we made picture ornaments for that tree, too. We had a total of three for that tree, and each had a picture of one of us kissing the boys. It turned out very cute, and made us feel closer to them. We also took a photo album that I made for Matt for Christmas with all of the pictures from our photographer in it around with us to each house we visited that day and shared that with everyone. All of those things helped us feel closer to them. We also went to the cemetery and visited Michael and the boys on Christmas morning. There are always a lot of people at the cemetery on Christmas, so I guess that wasn't too weird. We have done that every year since Michael died, so it seems very normal to Billie.

Enough of that sad stuff. I hope everyone has a very safe and happy New Year's celebration. We are planning on sharing it together playing Wii and just having a good, fun and relaxing time. Billie and I have become very much addicted to the Wii. It is so much fun to play together. I will embarrassingly admit that my favorite game is American Idol. I know everyone is laughing at me, and that's OK. Billie and I just sing at the top of our lungs and belt those songs out! I am sure our neighbor is looking for a good realtor. Matt hooked it up to the surround sound this weekend, but I have been sick and haven't tried it yet. I am sure all of you will be able to hear it when I do. I think that catches everyone up for now. I have to get started on dinner so we can make our movie! Love to you all!

Friday, December 19, 2008

How Many Children Do You Have?

How many children do you have? I HATE this question. When I am asked this question, I struggle every single time with how to answer. Most people that ask me this question have a reason, and it is not to get to know me and gather information about my life situation. It is either to give me a children's menu at a restaurant, or maybe to decide if I have the same struggles in my daily life that they have in theirs. I have talked about this over the last couple of days with some of my friends, out of guilt and just to see their opinion, but I still have the same question in my own head as to how to answer. I went to Billie's class Wednesday for her Christmas Party. I was talking with another Mom and we had a lot in common. She is also a full-time student, and a mom and a wife and she was telling me how hard it is and how especially at Christmas it is hard to buy for all 3 of her children. Then she asked me if I just had the one, and I hesitated. I didn't know what to say. Instinctively what came to my mind was "No, I have three." But she wasn't asking me how many children I have had, how many children I love with all of my heart, how many children spent 9 months in my belly and captured my heart the moment I found out about them. She was asking me how many children I have to feed dinner to, how many children I have to get up and get ready in the morning, how many children I have to buy Christmas presents for. So as I struggled with my own thoughts, she asked me "Do you just have Billie?" I think she must have thought I didn't understand her first question. I answered "yes." and then as she continued to vent about her struggles with 3, I barely could listen as I thought "NO! I have three children. I said only one, but I really have three! I feel so guilty that I said that to you, and I want to go back in time and fix it. I am so proud of all of my children, and I don't want you to think that I am not." I could think of nothing else the rest of the time I was there. I never went back to her and corrected myself, because it was not the appropriate place or time to get into a huge discussion and explanation of the past year of my life. And she was not asking me the question that I wanted to give the answer to. I find myself feeling so guilty if I don't tell people about Joshua and Caleb because I am afraid the boys would feel like I am embarrassed or ashamed of them. I am so proud of them, and I see them so beautiful and perfect just the way they were. If they were alive today, I would take them everywhere, although I know I would worry that they wouldn't be safe in the car since they wouldn't fit in a car seat. I would worry about how Billie would feel if someone asked a stupid question or laughed or pointed or something. But I would proudly show them off and take them everywhere, just like you would with any twin babies! I know that question will be asked of me a lot and I will have to get over my guilt with how I answer it. But in my heart I have three children. I am so thankful to God that he gave us Joshua and Caleb and they are a big part of our family and they always will be. I would love to be celebrating this as their first Christmas, but I am also thankful to God for the way He handled their lives and the way He stayed with us and carried us through His plan. When I let myself day dream about what it would have been if they had lived longer, God always shows me that eventually it would have been harder as they suffered and I had to let them go anyway. God is good and He knew what we could handle and what we could not bear and He protected us from that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thank God

I have so many things to thank God for in my life: my family, my husband, my daughter, my sons, His son he sent for me, a roof and hot food, wonderful friends, presents under our Christmas Tree. I could literally take two days listing everything I need to be thankful for. But today I want to share with you the most wonderful experience I had. I "met" a dear friend today, over the phone but I bonded with her so strongly. Vanessa Delgado, who I already loved dearly but now consider her one of my dearest friends. Her twin girls, I mentioned them in an earlier blog, Melody and Madison, born on November 11, they were conjoined similiarly to Joshua and Caleb and lived for about the same amount of time, too. I finally talked to her on the phone today, after some emails back and forth over some time. I was trying to wait to call her until I felt strong enough. I have been very sad over the last few days, the holidays are just hard, and I didn't want to cry and be all "moosh" when I talked to her. I wanted to bring her comfort; you know, say the right thing and somehow fix her pain. Like anything I could ever say would do that! HA! Who was I trying to fool? I have no idea, but I finally could wait no longer. And then we got a package in the mail from them! It was amazing, it included a wonderful gift for Billie that she LOVED, and an ornament for us that wasn't meant to look like Joshua and Caleb and Melody and Madison but it SOOOOO does! Her 2 year old daughter, Kenya, found it at the store and she said to them that it was Melody and Madison and "look they stuck together!" Could that be any sweeter? And they are, and they "share" a heart. Ok, the company that made them never meant for us to take it that way, but she did and we do and it is the most perfect thing for our tree. We so wanted an ornament for this year for the boys, and now we have it. We didn't want "Baby's First Christmas" because it isn't. Although, I bet they will have some crazy fun birthday party in Heaven! I know we may celebrate on a different day then it really was, but you know what I mean! Still, if we are all celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on the same day here on Earth, don't you think that forces Heaven to feel warm and happy and want to party right along with us? So, as Matt said, here they are comforting us and sending us gifts when they are closer to their pain than we are (meaning we are 5 months out and they are only 6 weeks out.) We were floored by their kindness, support, love- everything that we should have been doing for them and here they were doing it for us instead. That is amazing. So.... I called Vanessa today. We talked for about 2 1/2 hours, and it wasn't enough! I could have talked to her all day and night and still found more stuff to talk to her about. We have basically been through the same experience. It is just amazing. Some of the things that really bother me, bother her, too! And some of the things I feel guilty about, or second guess, she does, too! It was just an amazing time for me, and I know it was for her, too. And when I told Matt all about it, he asked me when we were going to visit them. So, he feels it, too, even through me. I just have to be thankful to God for bringing us together and giving us someone that can totally understand where we have been and where we are now. They are such strong, wonderfully faithful people, too. I am so glad they can appreciate our desire to do the will of God and to glorify God through our lifes and through the birth and deaths of our children. Not that so many of my friends and family do not understand and support that, but Vanessa also feels it with me, too. SO don't any of my wonderful family and friends get your feelings hurt by all that I am saying! I still need you and am so thankful to God for you, too! Ok, so I am going to stop now going on and on about this, but I just wanted you to know what an amazing experience this is and how excited I am to get to know her and her family more.

I haven't been good about keeping my blog update, and I am sorry about it...again! I guess I get to a place where I don't even want to share, plus we are so busy all of the time. I know everyone is busy and you all take time out of your day to stop here and see if I have updated, so I promise I want to update more often. Maybe I can make that a New Year's Resolution! HEHE!! Because those always work out, right?

Billie had her piano recital last week. It was wonderful! I am going to try to load the video up here for you all to see. I am not technically savvy, and it scares me to have such a big responsiblity, but I really want you all to see what a natural entertainer she is! She has such stage presence, she does not get nervous at all. She actually looks forward to perfoming on stage! It is so opposite of how I was as a child! I was so scared and shy, I wouldn't even try out for things because I was just too scared to get in front of people, even though I loved to sing and dance. I always had regret about that, even as a child, but my shyness and fear were greater than any regret I felt. She wants the lead in the play, she asks me if they get to have more than one recital this year for dance because she can not wait to get on that stage and perform. She is good, too. Like I said, I will upload it as soon as I figure out how and you can see for yourself how tallented and gifted she is. I know she is mine, but I think I am not too far off here!

We are getting ready for Christmas, just about finsished. We are having two different breakfasts here at our house, one on Christmas Eve for Matt's family and one Christmas morning for my mom and Danny. We are very excited for that. It is so fun to have our family around, and to do something nice for them. And then later on Christmas day we will go to Bill and Wanda's and spend Christmas with them, too. We are looking forward to that, too. We also get to visit with Kellee and Greg on Christmas Eve night after church. Billie absolutely LOVES Courtney and Mackenzie, so that will also be a wonderful evening. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family and extended family and spending time with them is all that I want for Christmas. I wish we could transplant our family that is far away in Michigan, California, Florida and Virginia here for Christmas, but a phone call will help them not feel so far away.

I know I have been lengthy with my update today, sorry! I will be back soon with the video of Billie's piano recital, so check back! Love to you all, and thank you for your continued support.