2013: A Love Letter and New Year’s Resolutions

Dear 2013,

Last year as 2012 came to a close, I prayed that you, 2013, would have mercy on me.  I was afraid to hope and dream, but I did anyway.

This year was different.  This year was better.  This year, my world changed-  for the better.

2013, thank you.  Each day in your calendar was a blessing.  You have quieted my anxieties and let my hopes and dreams run wild.  I would have never imagined that I could feel this way again.

You were the year of the rainbow.

Thank you for sprinkling in so many days of sunshine, yellow flowers, and butterflies.  Thank you for all the quiet moments when I was truly present and the most alive.  Thank you for the noisy ones too-  loud cries and echoing laughter- noises I so longed for.

Last year, I couldn’t turn the page fast enough on 2012.  This year, I’m wishing for more hours in each day just to stretch out this magical time.

2013- I will miss you.

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I have some new resolutions for 2014.  Last year, we started the Kindness for Callie project as a way to honor Callie and spread random acts of kindness in her memory.  I was moved to tears by the response to K4C.  I have to admit though, that a little 7lb, 3oz bundle of joy kind of affected my productivity and somehow, I wasn’t quite as prolific with my kindness in the second half of the year.

In 2014, my first resolution is that I’d like to do at least one random act of kindness a month.  To help myself stick with it, I’ve created a monthly theme (thanks to Lindsay V. for that idea!).  I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to join me in our Kindness for Callie project this year.  Doing one act of kindness a month is totally manageable and will be so good for your soul!  As before, if you email me your act of kindness I will add it to the log.  Although I will post the monthly theme at the beginning of each month, I thought I’d give you a preview of what is to come in 2014:

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My second resolution is to actually complete a personal photography project.  I’m hoping to continue to grow with photography because it is something I really love doing.  If you notice me slacking, could you please kindly kick me in the buns and tell me to get crackin’?!?

When I was a kid, I never thought of myself as creative.  I think I mistook being ‘original’ for being ‘creative’.  I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’m not always the most original or inventive, but after looking back on the past two years, I realized I actually am really creative.  I love photography, music, writing…even sewing!  This leads me to my third resolution… to start seeing myself as an artist, a writer, a photographer.  I am all of those things, even if I’m not the best.  I’ve decided to allow myself to let go of that perfectionist-y attitude so that I can experience the joy of doing things I love without hearing any negative self-talk about it.  I’m pursuing my passions this year and, in 2014, my goal is to carve out time each week for me to delve into these things without guilt.

What are your resolutions this year?

Happy New Year and best wishes for a kind 2014!

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This Christmas

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My heart is so full as I sit on the couch cozied up under a blanket listening to the rain.  I cannot even begin to tell you how lovely this Christmas was for us.

We decorated.

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We made cookies.

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We dressed Charlotte up in all sorts of Christmas outfits.

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We did gifts.

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We did family time.

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We filled those holes that were so big and hurt so badly last Christmas.  Charlotte did that for us.  If I had not received a single thing under the tree, it would not have mattered.  I would have been completely content with the gift of her life, love, and laugh.

But even still, there was still one hole left behind that wasn’t filled by Santa or decorations, cookies or gifts.  I found myself wondering often this holiday season… What if?  

What if she were still here?  What if we had known?  What would we be doing with Callie right now? 

We will never know.  And those unanswered questions hurt sometimes.

On Christmas Day, John and I went to Callie’s garden alone with a yellow rose.  As we left it there for her, I thanked Callie for giving us Charlotte Grace. Without Callie, Charlotte would not be here.  And I can’t imagine our Christmas Day without her dimpled smile and squeals of delight.

Christmas was wonderful this year.  Merry Christmas to my angel in heaven, my rainbow on earth, my amazing hubby and wonderful family and friends.

xoxo

A Farewell Note to My Therapist

In the low light of evening, I paused and looked back at the office building behind me.  My eyes searched for the light of the room I have come to visit regularly for a year and half.  Finding it, I took a deep breath, wiped a tear, and turned back to my car.

That first step forward felt important.  Like I had just walked into a new existence.  I felt a sense of peace wash over me and I knew it was right, leaving there.

I had said goodbye to my therapist.

When I started going after Callie died, she told me that I would know when it was time to stop.  And I did.

It was time.  I had realized that mostly our last few sessions had just been about life.  Normal life stuff.  And that the few times that it was grief stuff, I could handle it without much help anymore.

She had done that for me.  Taught me how to handle it.  She listened as I cried, questioned, worried, and reminded me that it’s ok.  It’s all ok.  I let it all out there.  She heard my darkest thoughts and helped me let go of my guilt for them.  I learned so much about myself, beyond the grief.  Even though it was terrible circumstances that made our paths cross, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

We had a great goodbye, with a  few tears.  She told me that yellow will always make her think of me and of Callie.  Butterflies will always make me think of her, but I don’t know if she knows that.

I never hugged her after our sessions even though I always wanted to.

Except the last time.

A big hug.  And a farewell to the most wonderful person that I hope to never see again.

I’ve got this now.

Charlotte’s Time Capsule: 8 Months

*Re-edited to correct typo!  8 months old, not 9!  ;-)

*Re-edited to correct typo! 8 months old, not 9! 😉

I was going down memory lane this morning…scrolling through the last eight months of pictures.  It is amazing how much Charlotte has grown and changed since the day she was born.  I said this last month, but I’ll say it again…she is SO MUCH FUN right now!

Memories for the time capsule:

-Charlotte desperately wants to crawl.  She stretches and pivots, pushes forward with her toes, and extends her limbs like Superman.  It’s quite comical.  In the end, she usually just does a few barrel rolls to get to her destination.  We’ve seen her get up on her hands and knees a few times so I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s officially ‘on the move’ by next month.

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-Her monkey feet…  when I’m nursing her, she takes her feet and holds onto my arm with them like a little baby monkey grasping a vine.  It’s adorable.

-Charlotte can stand up all by herself while holding onto something.  Maybe she’ll walk before she crawls?

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-She literally says “Goo Goo Ga Ga”.  I love her baby talk.

-She has also said Mamamamamamama which I would love to think is me, but really it’s just babble.

-Update on her eye color:  I *think* they are green with some gray mixed in.  Her little brown eye freckle is here to stay!

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-Charlotte enjoyed Sweet Potatoes and Turkey (pureed) on Thanksgiving.

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-This girl definitely has a sense of humor.  Recently, she thought it was funny to pretend like she was asleep.  She squinted her eyes shut and then would open them when we laughed.  It was hysterical!  I didn’t know babies this age could do stuff like this on purpose just for laughs.  She definitely inherited her Daddy’s ability to make people smile 🙂

-First trip to see Santa.  She told him she wants an iPhone, a remote control, and a water bottle for Christmas.  These are her favorite “toys” (a.k.a. she rips them out of our hands so that she can slobber on them).

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-I could probably say this every month, but I just love it when she falls asleep in my arms.  If I could pick one thing to do forever, it would be this.

Happy 8 months to our sweet Charlotte!