Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas past...Christmas present.

Chip will probably give me the silent treatment for posting the top photo here. It's our family Christmas picture from 2001- the year Teagan died. We took our pictures in Hanna Andersson jammies with her favorite blankets and her stuffed pig. It seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time. Now? Just a funny memory as we look back through photos and reminisce about how we have changed and grown. I still can't get over how tiny Wyndham was back then. She was wearing newborn clothes (size 0-3 mos.) and she was a few weeks away from her first birthday. It's amazing to see how she has caught up to the growth curve as she now nears her 8th birthday. It's been a long journey for her, but she's doing great with her growth hormones. And I am still amazed at how you can barely notice the scars on Chip's face even that first Christmas. He had about 80 stitches across his cheek, eye and forehead after his injuries. Yet you look at this picture and between our smiles and his healed face you can hardly tell what we had been through.
I still remember how hard things were in our life at that time. I could write a whole chapter about all the issues we were dealing with each day, and yet somehow- even that wrapped in sorrow and grief, we could sense Hope that we would see Teagan again. More than that I remember smiling during those pictures- still missing Teagan- yet so grateful that there was still four of us together as a family. It was a really important thing for us to get our photos taken because I think it helped Chip and I feel like we were still holding together and we wanted to share that with the friends and family on our Christmas card list that year. We wanted them to see that God was carrying us through the most horrible time in our lives- and we were on the mend. We also had just found out we were expecting another baby (Isabella) and we announced that in our card too. I never imagined losing a child and having another all in the same year- but that's just how life turned out for us back then.
So here we are now.
The other {almost entire} family picture was taken by Chip just before the kids' Christmas program at church this week. I still notice a 'hole' where Teagan should be standing, but I also thank God for how He has blessed our family. Brock did a great job with his part in the program and all the kids did great with their carols and songs.
You can see we have done some decorating in our home. Wyndham was the most into decorating the tree out of all the kids this year. She was humming while she hung ornaments on the tree and even signed for "help" to put a few up higher than she could reach. She was so fun to watch. So were all the other kids and later, Bella put on a small concert for us and Ava ran around with a Santa hat on her head. It was a fun time last night. I'm still working on getting more Christmas cards in the mail this week. Bella has her letter to Santa all written out, and the envelope is addressed. Guess what tops her list this Christmas?!
A real, live puppy of all things.
Do you recall I recently wrote about her fear of dogs? Apparantly she is wanting to get over it, or thinks she already has. The sad part is I think this will be the year she stops believing in Santa Claus.
I plan to order some toys either from backtobasictoys.com or kangarooboo.com. Both those sites offer free shipping and they have some wonderful classic and lots of wooden toys. But no puppies- so Bella will have to get something else.
I hope you are having a chance to look back at photos or bake favorite cookies from years' past or simply recall how life has changed for you through the years. Christmastime is always such a wonderful time to look back, enjoy the present and make dreams for the future too. I promise to never take another family-jammie photo. Ever. =)


Anonymous said...

AWE that is precious!! You just amaze me....GOD is soooo good! My son is 7 and only child wants a puppy too (indoor) we already have an outdoor one. He has wanted one for 3 years=every holiday he just wants a puppy....on his list to Santa he has puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it is funny- I gave in and said OK ...Santa will deliver it to him in person Chirstmas morning.

happy holidays!

today is the present said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
today is the present said...

Sorry about the deleted post, I had a few typos.

I love your pictures!

We just gave in and did the puppy thing, too. I don't think I could do it with a newborn as the puppy has to go outside so many times a day!

joy said...


I just love reading your blog and I thank God for you and your family. You have helped me put so many things into perspective without even knowing it. About the puppy thing - I had said no for over a year and a half and then about a year and a half ago, we got a 10 week old puppy. Then the begging began again for another puppy - and I believe you met Dewey the other day at school. Maybe one Christmas Ava will get her wish for a real live puppy, but maybe a FurReal puppy would work. I think I would have been a little more ecstatic about that one myself. No potty training, feeding, etc. just a friend.

Anywho - MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Rosema Family! (that includes the puppies too - Toby and Dewey, anytime Ava would like to visit the puppy, she is more than welcome & Daniel would love to have Brock come see too.

N, Kelly, D, E and Zoe said...

Jody, I love your soul and your heart. I love that you share those equally here. I am amazed to see how God is working through you, even though I know you've been struggling with the holiday spirit this year.

For the record, I think it is adorable that you decided to wear pajamas and got Chip to do it too. Major kudos to him for going along with that.

Good luck with the puppy thing. I've been saying no to my husband for 4 years now. The begging still hasn't stopped! :)

Have a great Christmas.


Adrienne said...

Jody, loving the jammie photo...our family can't do that due to the nature of Jason's 'jammies' :) Thanks for sharing your heart on looking back. We've been doing it a lot, it's like our own version of advent...thinking of you guys.
Ade xoxox