Saturday, December 31, 2011

30 weeks is bittersweet

  30 weeks pregnant seems like a big milestone somehow.  It is actually a little bittersweet, knowing this will likely be the last time I am ever pregnant.  People say things like, "I'll bet you can't wait until that baby gets here!", and thats so far from the truth!  Of course I look forward to Avery's arrival, but I don't want time to speed up, no matter how uncomfortable I get.  I want to enjoy each and every day of this pregnancy.  I am going to treasure her delivery when it happens.  It already makes me sad thinking about it all being over.  Sad to think about having a brand new baby only one last time.  All this sad and nostalgia may have you thinking, that woman isn't done having kids!  Maybe you are right, and I don't know what God holds in store for us.  However, I just don't know how we will financially swing a fourth child, so I am preparing myself for life with three kiddos only, and treasuring the last weeks in a chapter in my life that feels like it is almost over.

  I started writing this post this past Tuesday, when I actually hit the 30 week mark.  Now its New Years Eve.  Tomorrow it will be 2012, and it will be the year we welcome our baby girl Avery and my big girls will turn 3 and then 6.  I know you are supposed to make New Year's resolutions, but really I just want to make a New Year's wish.  I wish for time to slow down!  I guess I can turn that into a resolution by saying, I pledge to enjoy every fleeting moment, both the good and the bad, because I can already see it going by in the blink of an eye!!

Monday, December 19, 2011


     Seems like so many family traditions revolve around the holidays.  I have lots of fond memories of the holidays of my childhood, and strangely, I don't have many real memories at all of the "things" I got from Santa.  I vividly remember walking through the snow with my dad and brother searching for the perfect (aka hideous) cedar tree to chop down and bring home.  Later in the years, my parents bought an artificial tree and my brothers went on Christmas strike because they hated it.  My parents tried to keep the tree tradition alive by taking us to the same farm we cut our trees from so we could instead, hunt mistletoe.  We always brought home a bunch!  One year, we were all tossing rocks at this particular branch to knock down a clump and my dad said, "hold on guys, quit throwing rocks for second.  I am going to walk under here and try to get it with a stick."  Can you picture what happens next?  My dad under the tree and my sister Melissa throws a rock anyhow, and busted my dad in the head!  My goodness, if I had that on video, we could've been million $$ winners on Funniest Home Video!!  We laughed like maniacs!  Well, dad not so much, but we all laugh at the story to this day!!  I still remember the way my dad used to hang our Christmas lights outside and how I loved the way it made our porch glow.  I also remember when my cousin spilled the beans about Santa to me, and how upset I was, and how my dad comforted me by saying he would let me be his little helper elf!  I will never forget helping him put out the Christmas gifts and how special it made me feel!! 
     I try to remember this with all the hustle and bustle of shopping and sales and toy adds.  I draw on those memories when I worry about whether Santa will be able to make the kids happy this Christmas.  We will never be a family whose kids get hundreds of dollars worth of things for Christmas, but mostly because I know what they need more are family memories that will last them a lifetime, not the "it" toy this year.  I am actually a little sad that when the girls open their gifts this Christmas, I won't get any credit for all the hard work and thoughtfulness!!  Really, why should Santa get all the credit?!  That being said, I am really excited to see their faces when the open the special things they are getting this year!!  I am more excited about sharing the joy of Christmas with family and making happy memories with them that they can smile or laugh about when they are older.
     I say this last, not because it is least important, but so its the last thing you read!  As kids, we did go to church as a family, and we did know the real reason we celebrated Christmas.  I am trying very hard to impress upon Lilly and Ryley the importance of the whole season, and why we celebrate at all.  Perhaps I am making a bigger impression than I think because the other day at the local library, we took the kids to hear a reading of "Llama llama, holiday drama".  (A must read!!)  The library worker was referring to Santa and Christmas and Lilly raised her hand and said, "We have Christmas because its Jesus's birthday!"  I was so proud of her!  Of course, being non-secular, the reader just said, "oh yes, some people celebrate that."  Luckily, Lilly was too busy beaming at me and giving me a thumbs up, so she didn't notice the lady's tone!  We have been missing out on church a lot lately because Carl and I have both been working Sundays.  It makes me sad to miss church because I want the girls always to remember why it is we celebrate this wonderful holiday.  Being pregnant myself, I think it makes Christmas especially poignant.  I frequently think about Mary riding a donkey for miles and miles and giving birth in a barn and having nothing but rags to wrap her newborn baby in.  Makes for quite a picture and it makes me especially thankful that she was willing to do that so we would all have a Saviour!!  What a miracle!  I think this year we may get a birthday cake and sing happy birthday to Jesus on Christmas morning.  It seems like it might make a good impression, and how can you go wrong with an extra reason to have cake??
    I am going to leave you with a picture of the girls that I took at the end of a cookie baking/decorating/eating session.  Every single cookie Ryley iced, she asked, "can I eat this one?"  Even if I had said no to the previous 8 cookies, she still asked anyway.  Lilly was particularly focused and intense when decorating, carefully adding each sprinkle and chocolate chip.  I honestly just sat back and watched them both decorate, loving the looks on their tiny little faces, wishing I could freeze time!!