Another year...

After Zoe passed away, I declared that 2013 would be my "year of fun."  The trendy phrase "YOLO" (You Only Live Once) was the driving force behind my new attitude.  I started my own business teaching dance classes, took on a new calling as Ward Girls Camp Director (taking 36 girls to camp), kicked Diet Coke to the curb, took up running, ran three 5k races and lost 30 lbs in 5 months.  Needless to say, I really took this YOLO business seriously.

With that said, every change I have made this year was with Zoe at the forefront of my motivation.  My business is just as much about providing quality dance experiences as it is about supporting families of CHD's.  Even turning to a healthier lifestyle has been with Zoe in mind. I am so blessed to have a body without defects or disabilities. I owe it to her to protect and take care myself for both of my children.  It has been pretty straightforward to exercise and eat healthy but saying "Farewell" to DC has not.  I still think about Diet Coke every single day!  I dream about it too... and the dreams are so real that when I wake up, I can't tell if they are fantasies or nightmares.  I still have over a dozen cans of DC in my fridge.  I still respect it's magically delicious goodness and can't bare to pour it down the drain.  It haunts me but keeps me strong at the same time.  Twisted... I know.  All of you recovering DC addicts know what I'm saying.

Amazing Grace Dancers: 1st Winter Showcase

The Color Run: My Very first 5k

As the holidays come and go, the new year sneaks it's way in and I am hit with the painful reminder that no matter how fast I go or how much I fill my plate, she's still gone and it still hurts.  With two holiday seasons under our belt since Zoe died, I have found that it isn't Christmas that's difficult.  It's New Year's.  The holidays are beautiful and filled with everything that brings joy, but New Year's is just a smack in the face with all of the time that has passed without her.  Even the highlights and accomplishments are tough to bare because she wasn't here to share them.  In 2013, we got through many firsts together.  Her 1st birthday, the anniversaries of every hospital stay and the anniversary of her death.  We celebrated her life and mourned just how brief it was.  I don't know what is more painful... the firsts themselves or the fact that their are so few of them because she was only with us for 149 days.  

When my parents leave for their mission next month, I'm going to miss how they  keep Zoe's headstone so festive for each holiday.

Christmas fun throughout December

Christmas was perfect this year.  My all time favorite thing to do is give presents to the ones I love.  It's a combination of finding or creating the perfect gift, the buildup of suspense and then the final moment of surprise in their eyes.  It's like a high for me!  I especially love surprising my husband.  He isn't a surprise kind of guy but has learned to humor me and appreciate it.  This year was absolutely and positively flawless.  We have been talking about getting him a different car over the past few months and a Jeep Wrangler was at the top of the list.  I loved the joy ride on our Hawaii vacation but wasn't sure it was the right fit for our family.  One of his dream cars has been a Mini Cooper, but he never thought he'd get one.  I signed the papers right before my birth mom came and planned to have it delivered on Christmas Eve but I just couldn't wait!  I gave it to him early and Christmas was truly a success even before December 25th.

We also spent the month of December with our Elf on the Shelf.  Lulu decided to name her Rosie because she has rose colored cheeks.  We LOVED this new tradition and can't wait to do it again next year.
My grandparents invited us to see Santa at their assisted living facility.  Lulu asked Santa for a sled and a Furby.  It was fun singing Christmas carols and eating desserts with GG and Great Grandpa.

We had our annual Christmas Eve Bingo party at my Brother Kevin's home.  We LOVE this tradition!

We sprinkled reindeer food on the front lawn, put milk and goodies out for Santa and then put our little one to bed.  Andrew and I had Santa business to tend to but Lulu was too excited to sleep.  After getting out of bed a couple times, Andrew finally told her that she could play in her room but couldn't come downstairs.  A few minutes later I heard her playing in the hallway.  Nervous that she was sneaking around, I went upstairs and asked her what she was doing... she said "I'm just playing until it's morning.  My daddy said I could."  Once we were ready to go to bed, we let her sleep on her "ground bed" in our bedroom.  Andrew and I were wide awake at 4:30AM and she was passed out.  Who were the eager kids on Christmas morning now?!  We couldn't wait any longer and woke her up at 7:30am.

Londyn was excited about all of her gifts and Andrew still salivating over his Mini Cooper.  Andrew had told me about a month prior that he wouldn't be able to top his gift for me and that it wouldn't cost much at all.  Of course, I was intrigued!  I hadn't uttered my Christmas wish to anyone, accept in my prayers.  In my heart, I just wanted to have another baby.  I have wanted another baby since Zoe died.  My desire isn't to fill a void but to further complete our family.  Andrew and I have not shared this same feeling and to be perfectly honest, he had made it clear that he didn't know if he would ever want to have another baby... ever.  I had been praying to Heavenly Father, not for a change in Andrew's heart but for peace and contentment in my own.  Over the past several months I have been blessed with that very peace.  Once I was able to let go of my own desires and put it all in God's hands, I have never been happier.  I have been truly amazed at how happy I really am.  My marriage has never been stronger, we have two wonderful daughter's and we will be together for all eternity.  How could I not find contentment?
About a week before Christmas, Andrew placed an envelope in the tree.  It was for me and said "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS."  He also placed 3 small wrapped packages with my name on them under the tree.  A few days before Christmas, I asked him what was in the envelope.  He wouldn't budge.  I told him that he didn't know what I wanted.  No one did.  The first present I opened was Burt's Bees Mama-Be body cream.  I thought to myself, "there's no way... it couldn't be."  I was then instructed to open the envelope.  It was a card that started out with the words... "For the Mother-to-Be..." followed by some beautiful words about the gift of motherhood.  On the inside of the card, he wrote something like "I know that this is all you really wanted for Christmas... so LET'S MAKE A BABY!"  Tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn't believe what was happening.  Have you ever had something that you absolutely, positively wanted more than anything and never in a million years thought you would get it?  Well I just did.  I don't even remember what was said after that but I remember tears and a perma-smile on my face for the rest of the day.  The other presents were large bottles of prenatal vitamins.  He was right... he can't top this and it didn't cost very much... not yet at least.


Cade and Kelsie said...

Your post often have a way of bringing tears to my eyes! What a wonderful gift! Good luck!

Jocelyn said...

I have blog stalked for a while. I kicked the DC habit 3.5 years ago. I was like you for the first 2 years. I would dream about it, think about it, it was ever present in my mind. I quit drinking soda as a whole 1.5 years ago and that is when I stopped thinking about it. Keep it up, you can totally do it.

I love your gift from your husband! What a beautiful gift he gave not just you but your family! Happy baby making!