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Tag Archives: Christmas

The Space In Between…

It is currently November 4, and I feel stuck in the space in between.

Last week was buzzing with excitement. The anticipation of Halloween was in the air! I was frantically working my fingers to the bone to sew four Halloween costumes for my littles (good Lord let me just tell you, when you have 4 kids, the last thing you should be doing is sewing all of their Halloween costumes! Lesson learned…). The neighborhood was breaking out their Halloween finest, my kids were daily shrieking with the excitement of seeing new decorations, and my oldest three were chattering nonstop about being Batman for Halloween, saying “trick-or-treat”, and getting candy! Halloween night was so fun this year; the older kids really understood the concept of trick-or-treating, and you could see the wonder in their eyes as their goodie bags continued to get more rotund with every stop that was made.





Next week (after Remembrance Day) is my absolute favorite time of the year! The Christmas festivities begin very early in our house, so that we get the most out of the season. Music, lights, decorations, traditions new and old, and the look on my children’s faces as they experience the holiday season. I am barely holding in my own excitement:)

But today? Today I feel stuck in the space in between.
It’s being in limbo.
It’s finishing one celebration and waiting for the next one to arrive.
It’s the let down after the excitement.

It’s also the space to catch your breath, the time to process, evaluate what has passed and look forward to what is ahead. The chance to relish the memories of the past, and dream about the possibilities of the future. The space in between is an important time.

I write this because I feel the strain of this space in between in life, but I feel it even more strongly when I think about my role as an advocate for Jake.

When we were just starting out on the journey, everything was new. I blogged like crazy, partially because I was processing things for myself and blogging was a good outlet for me, and partially because I was advocating in the best way I knew how. I documented everything – my thoughts, feelings, circumstances that arose, situations we encountered, milestones accomplished, conversations spoken, and so much more. And it was exciting, it was cathartic, it was good and purposeful and meaningful.

In this season of life, however, I feel like I’m the space in between.
I don’t always know what to blog about anymore. I don’t feel as much pressure to convince the world of Jake’s worth. (I think you all know how absolutely incredible and amazing he is, and you see his worth without me having to push my agenda on you!) The old season has passed, and the new season is coming. I’m not exactly sure what the new season of advocacy will hold, however, and so I feel in limbo.

And while I don’t love the feeling of being stuck, I am also grounding myself in it, processing what lies behind and what lies ahead, and waiting with eager anticipation to continue to see what this new season of advocacy will look like! I think the changes will be subtle, and I will continue to advocate for Jake and promote awareness and acceptance until the day I die! But I am excited to see the new forms it will take:)

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Posted by on November 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Knock on Wood and “Ho Ho Ho”…

Knock on wood…

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you will remember that from time to time I post updates on Jake’s hearing.  As I look back, the updates started around 2 years ago, when he was just about 6 months old.  And it is only FINALLY this week that I feel like we have a temporary solution that is going to be a great one!

The short version is this: Jake has fluid build-up in his ears, which is causing conductive hearing loss.  The goal is to eventually put tubes in, drain the fluid, and restore his hearing.  This has proven to be quite challenging, however, as my child has the smallest ear canals known to man!

The amazing, fantastic, incredible news is that this week we finally got hearing aids for Jake!  These should help in the meantime, while we wait for tubes.  They are really important in this phase of life, as Jake is now firmly entrenched in the age where he needs to be able to hear properly in order to acquire more language, speech, comprehension, and communication skills.  You can imagine, then, how thrilled I am that we finally have hearing aids!

The even more amazing, fantastic, incredible news is that so far, three days into having the hearing aids, Jake is actually doing a great job of keeping them in his ears (for the most part!!).  This is HUGE folks!!  The more he keeps them in, the better he is hearing, and the better he is hearing, the more positive the experience for him.  And believe it or not, I feel like I can see a difference already!  Maybe it’s just me being optimistic, but I feel like he is attempting to copy speech and to imitate new sounds more than he was doing last week!

Hopefully the streak continues, he keeps them in his ears with minimal issues, and we can finally begin to move forward in this journey that has seemed endless.  Knock on wood…

…And “Ho Ho Ho”…

We saw Santa today:)

At a Christmas party we attended a couple of weekends ago, our children were NOT into Santa in the least.  They screamed, they cried, they liked him from about a 5 foot radius, but refused to get any closer!  So, needless to say, we weren’t expecting the best reaction today.

In a surprising turn of events, however, our visit with Santa was great!  Our kids were totally into it, neither of them were scared or crying (although I did sit with Cole on my lap, just for good measure), Jake said “ho ho ho” as we approached him, and they both said bye with a smile and a wave as we were leaving, candy canes clutched in their tiny hands!

And I guess because I was in the picture, we can technically say that all three of our kids were present and accounted for!!

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Joy, Unspeakable Joy…

Joy, Unspeakable Joy…

These powerful words are a small excerpt from the lyrics of a Christmas song which blends “Joy to the World” with a song called “Unspeakable Joy”.  The lyrics speak of the joy that we have because of the love of God, who sent his Son to earth.  The joy of Christmas.

As I was thinking about these lyrics, however, I was encouraged in my heart once again by the example of my son Jake.  Jake possesses a rare treasure.  He truly is, more than most people I know, a little boy who is full of joy.  And at this point in his young, 2 1/2 year old life, his joy is literally unspeakable, as he does not yet have the words to be able to describe it.  But anyone who is around him can see.  His joy, his unspeakable joy, is such an example and inspiration to me, the often jaded and cynical one.

I see it on his face as it lights up at the recognition of family members and loved ones.  I see it in his smile as he anxiously turns to me and signs the word “music”, asking me to turn on the Christmas snow globe that sits on our counter, playing multiple Christmas melodies.  I see it as he reads his new favorite book, “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, and eagerly exclaims “Ho, Ho, Ho” every time he sees the picture of Santa.  I see it in the mischievous twinkle he gets in his eye, just before he steals his brother’s toy and runs away, giggling to himself.

Lest you believe that my child is a perfect angel, let me assure you that is not the picture I am trying to paint!  I am well aware of the not-so-picture-perfect moments, the whining, the complaining, the stubbornness, the temper tantrums.  When I look at Jake, however, I really do believe that he has a sort of unspeakable joy that I do not possess.  A type of joy that is present regardless of circumstance.  The likes of which I would love to learn how to cultivate.

Amazing how my toddler can teach me about joy.  Amazing that the one who does not yet speak, can guide me as I attempt to follow his example.  Amazing that joy, such a tricky concept, can be seen so simply in one so young.

This is joy:)

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Posted by on December 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Let the Christmas Festivities Begin!!

Last weekend we caved.

Correction.

Last weekend my husband caved.  If it were up to him, Christmas festivities would not start until December 1.  If it were up to me, they would start on November 12 (the day after Remembrance Day!).  This year, ours started last weekend!

There was a snowstorm.  It was a full-out blizzard, blustering winds, drifting snow, and icy cold temperatures.  It was awful for anyone who had to brave the great outdoors, but it looked beautiful, white and pristine from the comfort and warmth of our living room.

There was Christmas food and drink.  I braved the snow to make it down the road to the grocery store, buying eggnog, Christmas oranges, and candy canes.  There’s just something to be said for setting the mood through food and drink.

There was the atmosphere.  The scene was set, the music cued and ready to go, the decorations hauled out of the basement, ready to show their festive faces after a long year of hibernation.  Mariah Carey was cranked up, and the decorating commenced!

Sigh of contentment.

I love Christmas.  Absolutely love it.  I love the peace I feel.  I love the music.  I love the decorations.  I love watching my kids experience all of these things.  I. Love. Christmas.

Our day wasn’t as happy, blissful, serene, or perfect as I am making it out to be right now.  We all felt sick still.  The kids were melting down about an hour into the process.  A lot of work was involved.  Some of us would have rather been in bed.  The eggnog leaked all over the store and I had to go get a new one.  A ball got broken.  But still, all in all, it was a great day.  There are some types of joy that just can’t be taken away by less-than-perfect circumstances.  For me, the joy of the arrival of Christmas is one of those types.

It was a great day.

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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Post-Christmas Post…

Blessed.

If I had to use one word to sum up what this Christmas season has been for me, it would be “blessed”.

I feel blessed by two amazing families who love, support, encourage, and comfort us (and who spoiled us rotten this year).
I feel blessed by friends new and old, with whom we have had the opportunity to connect this season.
I feel blessed to have had precious time with my own little family of four, making memories and beginning traditions that will be continued for years to come.
I feel blessed to have had the means and the opportunity to exchange gifts with the people I love.
I feel blessed to have had the chance to reflect on the meaning of the season, and celebrate accordingly.
I feel blessed to have had not one, not two, not three, but four days of celebration with family.

Yep.  I am blessed.

(I got a 50mm lens for my camera for Christmas, so this is my first attempt at using it…hence all the close-ups!)

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Posted by on December 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Tis the Season…

I am a huge fan of Christmas!

I love everything about this time of year.  I know I have a very idyllic view of Christmas, as a time when the world is right and everyone lives in peace and harmony, filled with love and good cheer.  I recognize that I view the holidays through rose-colored glasses.  I fully acknowledge that not everyone shares my excitement, enthusiasm, and fanaticism over the holidays.  And I’m okay with that.  But for me, ’tis the season!

This year we started the holiday festivities last week.
My little guys are still pretty young, and definitely don’t “get” Christmas yet, but I am excited to start traditions now that they will remember and anticipate in years to come.  My desire for my children is that they have the same sort of memories attached to the season as I do.  As a time when, for a moment, everything is right with the world.  As a time where the true meaning and spirit of Christmas are forefront.  As a time when the art of giving is perfected.  As a time when pettiness and ill feelings are cast aside, and forgiveness, love, and unity abound.  As a time to cherish as a family.

One of those traditions is going to pick out a Christmas tree.  Here’s our stab at a family pic from our outing!

Another tradition is decorating the tree and the house the day after getting the tree picked out!  We actually did most of the decorating once the kids were in bed, but here are some cute pictures of the boys pre-bedtime!

Now if I could only teach Jake that grabbing the ornaments off the tree is inappropriate…:)

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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