Thursday, December 21, 2006

As you might expect...

I stuck to my motto all day yesterday and kept things simple and as routine as possible, and it was all good. I made it to part of Bella and Wyndham's preschool party and got to watch a room of 4 year-olds be excited about a sugar cookie, stuffed bears and lining up to read a story by a big Christmas tree. Then on to 2nd grade where the kids got to eat as much candy as they wanted to while decorating little houses. So fun. That's what made my day... realizing that the blessings aren't in big extravagant gifts (which I will admit can be nice at times!), but that the best gifts come in the form of good feeling and contentment.

Isabella was so proud that she 'made me a birthday cake all by herself'. I had no idea she could make such a beautiful cake- she's never drawn one before. I was so proud of her and seeing her creative mind at work. Of course, I was taken back to the last birthday I had with Teagan in my life and it made me a tinge sad- even on a day like my birthday. Bella is about a week or two older than Teagan was when she died. I remember thinking how old and grown up Teagan seemed as I sat by her bedside those last few hours. We had a few moments to cry together and say our goodbyes (which doesn't really sink in until a much, much later time). I couldn't believe she was really going to be gone at that time- forever- the finality of it is just so surreal- even now it doesn't always seem real.

Yesterday, as I spent time with my kids and watched them in their daily activities and felt their hugs and just loved them as they were, it hit me just how young they are and how much life they still have ahead of them. It struck me as I watched Bella at preschool, and then as I tucked Wyndham into bed (and gave her 34 kisses) that these little 'gifts' of mine are still fragile and tiny and have a big world to take on someday. It sunk into my head just a little bit more throughout the day, that I have missed out on Teagan's life more than I will ever know. She wasn't as 'old and grown up' as I used to think, now that I compare her life with my growing kids. She was a little girl with a whole lotta of life ahead of her.

But, you should know me well enough by now to know that I didn't get hung up in reflecting on my past and the sorrow that could easily consume me. Instead, I thanked God that I had four healthy kids and a lot of love from all of them and Chip, that I didn't have the opportunity to become overwhelmed with sadness. There were smiles and laughter and hand-made paper cards and simple goodness in my life at every turn. The best part about my day were the things that didn't cost a thing...

~the memories and thoughts I had as I thought about Teagan and the joy she brought to my life

~the fact that Wyndham could go to school after missing more than a week- she has finally gotten her smiles and personality back to her usual self

~getting to spend time with Brock at school and knowing that he was excited to have me be in his class next to him...I know that could easily change in a year or two from now

~all the cards, emails and comments that I have received in the past few days from family, friends and bloggers that support and care from me- even if we live miles apart

...and the best part of my birthday by far, was climbing into bed at 9:30 last night (with all the kids and hubby tucked in too!) and not having to get back out of bed until 8:30 this morning. I think I got 9 hours of sleep during that time...something I can't recall happening to me in months! It was wonderful. The only thing that could have topped my day would have been to have indulged in some buttercream. Today we plan to have dinner as a family and make up for that missed opportunity with some really tasty dessert. Afterall, my kids have a whole world ahead of them (if God allows that in their lives) and I can't help but think that it involves decadent desserts and sweet memories along the way!


Anonymous said...

You have beautiful children. And Isabella is a lovely name. :)

Steph said...

Hi Sis,
Thanks for the reminder that the little things truly are the big things in life, if we stop long enough to live in the moment and savor them. Glad you had a nice birthday, and a luxuriously long night of sleep! Enjoy being 34:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jody...
Happy Belated Birthday!!!!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you had a great time with your kids! I hope you had a great birthday. Enjoy your family dinner!!

Anonymous said...

happy birthday!
you have experienced more in your life than most of us who have lived twice as long-
you are still a youngster!
and merry christmas blessings to you and yours!