Thursday, December 1, 2011

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

So as I was getting ready to write this post, O Christmas Tree came to mind. As a result, I pulled up the lyrics. Who knew part of the song said, "And trust in God unchangingly," towards the end?!? I haven't sang that song in years and of all things, it mentions trusting in God -- wild. Trusting in God seems to be a theme in our lives these days so anytime I see it mentioned, it stands out.

Anyways...

With Thanksgiving behind us, Christmas is just around the corner. Just the thought of it has left me feeling a lot of mixed emotions. I seem to be swaying back and forth as to whether or not I should be happy or sad. Happy, simply because this is Samuel's FIRST Christmas and we should be so excited about celebrating that with him! Sad, because I'm missing our three and am having a hard time finding that lovely scar tissue that would supposedly help cover the gaping hole that is still obviously there after what happened 2 years ago. Olivia's passing hit us HARD -- probably because we put everything we had into believing she was going to make it -- and it's been hard recovering from where that left us. We protested against the commercialized-side of Christmas in 2009 and 2010. However, we're going to try and get back into it this year...maybe...

We're making little baby steps...We reluctantly put up the tree. We sponsored an 8 year old boy through The Giving Tree at church -- ironically, he's the same age as what Jake would be. I've done a little Christmas shopping -- keyword being little...I don't anticipate us going all out this year. And most of all, I've started to toy around with the idea of sending out a Christmas card. I'm still not sure if I'm going to, but the wheel is turning. I realize that this all makes me sound like Scrooge himself, but I just can't help it. I am trying, though. Sam is the reason for that.

So while I constantly think of Olivia and the days ahead that will undoubtedly be emotional, I'm trying to get in the spirit. On Sunday night, I had James drag out the tree and the countless boxes of Christmas decor from the garage. It was almost weird opening it all up. It has sat for 3 years. How insane is that?! The last time we decorated for Christmas was in '08, as I had planned on waiting for James' R&R to decorate for Christmas in '09 -- only, his R&R ended up being spent doing something completely different -- then Christmas '10 was spent grieving. So, yeah...while unpacking the decor the other night, I seriously forgot we even owned some of the things that I pulled out! Crazy.

Considering the fact that it was more of my push to decorate than James', he sat and played with Sam while I set up the tree. If there's one thing I loved about that night, it was being able to turn around and see a happy little boy laughing, talking, etc. It almost makes me wonder why I have such a Scrooge-like attitude when I have this happy little boy to celebrate the season with. What's wrong with me?! Oh, darn you, grief! Either way, we're making the attempt. We even continued our little tradition of having the movie, Elf, on while decorating. I love that movie!


Here's James and Sam behind me...
You can ignore the fact that I just got Lightroom 3 so I can't help but toy around with the presets.
I promise the obsession will die down eventually.
Oh, and I'm also sure you've noticed by now, but James rarely wears a shirt at home...


And before I go further, here are a couple other shots relating to the tree...

A lot of our ornaments are themed around our babies. While introducing Samuel to the tree, he stared right at Olivia's ornament that we bought in '09...


Sweet Sam. He now has two of his own ornaments on the tree. I just realized I didn't get pictures of them, but one of the only things we did last year for Christmas was buy an ornament based on our pregnancy with Samuel. It said "HOPE," which was exactly what we were leaning on. He also has a cute little penguin ornament that for some reason made me think of him -- his "Baby's 1st Christmas" ornament if you will...


On another note, but relating to our baby steps to getting back into the spirit of Christmas...We went shopping over the weekend for an 8 year old boy who, without The Giving Tree, wouldn't have any Christmas presents under the tree. We didn't pick his age or gender on purpose. In fact, we had originally picked a little girl (thinking of Olivia), but she was already taken. It wasn't until we were walking around Old Navy that I realized this little boy was the age of what Jake would be. Crazy. It was bittersweet -- slightly painful, but also brought a hint of joy. If we can't buy for Jake, I'm glad we can for this little guy. As we were walking around the store, I mentioned it to James and he immediately had a little kick in his step, as did I. We immediately had a different attitude about it. Sure, we were happy to help out a kid that otherwise wouldn't have anything, but it was different now. James then wanted to buy him lots and had a lot of input on what to get. Does that sound strange? It ended up being a fun time shopping for this kid. If only we could see him in his new outfits...

Oh, and while I'm mentioning little things that we're doing to try and get into the spirit, I must mention the fact that we took Samuel to see Santa! Even though James is very passionate about not telling Sam that Santa's real, I still felt that he HAD to meet him! If nothing else, I wanted to see his reaction to a big, burly, white-bearded man, ha. Sure enough, Sam didn't disappoint. He was quite unsure about the big man, but he liked his wife...


Oh, sweet Sam...

I hope that the years ahead get easier. I hope that December can at some point become a month that I look forward to and not dread -- like it used to be. The month is full of joy and sadness -- Olivia's birthday along with the meaningful dates before and after, my birthday, and most importantly, the day in which we celebrate Jesus' birth (Christmas). As Samuel gets older, I want him to be excited. I want him to honor his sister's birthday with a cake, just as he will with Jesus' birthday. I remember doing that as a kid -- making two cakes, one for me and one for Jesus. I would love for Sam to have similar experiences. I can only hope that this grief fades a bit with time so that it doesn't rub off on Samuel. It's definitely not as rough as last year, but I'm not anticipating it being easy either. We're going home for the week before Christmas so that we can visit our daughter on her burial date (James has class on her actual birthday) and I'm hoping that we can also share in the joy of those around us while we're there. Perhaps we'll take a carriage ride with Samuel in downtown Indy and take him to see the Circle of Lights. Who knows. We will definitely have one moment of joy mixed with the sad reason that we're visiting. We're going to introduce our Samuel to Allison's Genevieve. Oh, I can't wait! Two rainbows together. If that's not enough to bring a smile, I don't know what would. In fact, we're meeting up ON Olivia's burial date. So we'll start it out with a visit to her grave and then have lunch with two sweet little rainbows. Here's hoping that makes all my fears and worries of having an emotional Christmas subside...

Well, now that I've rambled on about this month, I will leave you with a few things that make me smile -- no matter what kind of mood I'm in...

Best buds...


Our dream come true...


And last, but not least...that laugh...oh, that laugh. I love it...

3 comments:

  1. Know that I'm thinking of all your babies in heaven and I will praying for you and thinking about Olivia on her bday..I can't even begin to imagine your emotions...the holidays can be so hard!
    I love that picture of Sam looking at Olivia's ornament. Precious.

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  2. I am sending you hugs and support over the upcoming weeks and will be remembering and honoring your precious Olivia <3 I hope that one day December will make you feel similar to what it once did. I love your idea of having a cake for Olivia, for Jesus, and for you. Olivia will always have a special place in December.
    I can't wait to meet you. Who knew that two years after such a terribly painful day, you would be introducing your rainbow to another rainbow. Life is so unpredictable.
    Sam's pictures are so cute. He didn't look quite sure about Santa. haha
    Olivia, Jake, and Jordan are in my heart!

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  3. I've been so crazy busy with everything It's been so long since I looked at your blog! Samuel is so cute and he's gotten so big! I hope your December goes well, I know it can't be easy and you are trying to stay positive. Just know all of your friends and family thinking about your family and little Olivia. I hope you are doing well. I will try to stay in touch better, but with baby hopefully coming soon, I might get even busier. Have a Merry Christmas.

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