Christmas 2015 – Year 4

It doesn’t seem possible.  4 Christmas holidays without Jay.  As I sit typing this blog I am listening to Christmas music…and enjoying it.  If you would have told me 4 years ago I would be where I am today I would have cried and said you were out of your mind.  And yet here I am.

The remember the first Christmas, it was so difficult.  My family had asked how I wanted to celebrate.  I told them I didn’t want to be at my house and I didn’t want to be at their house.  So, we went to a hotel with a water park.  Looking back now, I don’t remember much of it to be honest.  I slept a lot.  Looking back, I become very aware of how lucky I am to have the family I do.  My parents, brother and sister-in-law took Aaron swimming and played with him.  I was exhausted.  I wish I could tell you the memories of that first holiday have faded.  Truth is, if I allow myself, they come back crystal clear.

After surviving the first, I thought the second would be much easier.  I was a year and a half into this journey without Jay.  I had moved forward through so many tough conversations, situations and emotions.  But I can remember thinking, this doesn’t get easy, just a little more livable. I bought Christmas gifts for everyone in my life.  I expected and wanted nothing in return.  I wanted to make others holiday happy.  If mine wasn’t the way I envisioned it, I wanted to make others the way they envisioned it and more.

The third year brought a whole new set of emotions.  I had started dating and was starting to feel “normal” again.  This should make the holidays much easier right?  In many ways it did, but there was still difficult emotions to navigate.  Guilt and fear being two big emotions to navigate.  Did I deserve to feel normal again?  Was I suppose to feel normal again?

Year 4, where I am now.  There are moments I still feel like I’ve been a real scrooge the last 3 years.  By age 4, most kids have visited Santa.  This year was the first time I took Aaron to see Santa.  And from the picture below you can see how it went.  Maybe that is how I have felt about Christmas as well.

12341538_10207947250939828_1151503009631635630_nYear 4, Aaron is finally understanding who Santa Claus is and what Christmas is all about. He learned the Santa says “Ho Ho Ho!”  We put the tree up and for the first time he called it the Christmas tree.  A year with Kelby has been good for him.  A year with Kelby has been good for me.  I still have this feeling of not wanting any gifts for me.  I have slowed down on the amount I get for friends, but when asked what I want for Christmas my response is either “world peace” or “for all pain and suffering to cease in this world.”  Joking aside, this really is my Christmas wish.

Year 4 will be yet another adventure as we do something completely different.  It will fun and exciting.  And all said and done, I will be with the most important people in my life.  And although life is amazing and beautiful, the holiday is still difficult at some level.  I now enjoy Christmas music.  Aaron has met Santa.  Who knows what next Christmas will bring.

Year 4, here we go.


Planning a Wedding

Planning a wedding is a lot of work.

As a woman, to say I wasn’t already thinking about where I wanted to get married and what dress I thought I would want, would be a lie.  As much as I would fight the feelings of doubt whether I “deserved” love again, the thought of being married again and how we would celebrate it was in the back of my mind.

It would be no surprise to many of my close friends to know that within a week of saying “YES!” I had an appointment to try on dresses.  And I did.  It was within 3 weeks I had the dress not only picked out but purchased.  I’m not sure why that was such a big thing for me to get done right away.  And now just a few days over a month after saying “YES!” I have a signed contract and deposit paid to the Florida hotel whose beach we will be married.

Full steam ahead says the conductor of this train.  When I first told my mom the dates I was considering in May and June, I go the look. “Why is this so fast?  Is there a reason?”  I’m not gonna lie…I could feel that question out of many friends.

The answer is, “No, I’m not pregnant.”

This is how I do things.  This is how I planned my first wedding….WAIT.  Stop the train.  Yeah, when I heard myself say “this is how I planned my first wedding”, you can be assured I stopped the train dead in its track.  Maybe I am doing this too fast.  I love him.  He loves me.  I heard myself say “Why are you questioning yourself?  This is you, this is what you want, do it.”  Then I hear in my head, “what if the past repeats because you are doing something like you did before?”

I listened to this thought for a good 2 days until I called the woman I knew could help me.  I called my grandma.  She answered the way she always does when I call.  It makes me smile.  I reply with “Hi Gorgeous, how are you today?”  I can hear the tone of her voice instantly calm me.  After a few updates on what we have been up too I ask her, “Grandma, do you think I am putting this wedding together to fast?  Do you think I am rushing things?”  I expect to hear “Well, honey, what do you think?  Have you talked to your mom, why do you think this?”  Instead I hear…”No.”  I have to admit, it took me off guard a bit.  She then said “You love him and most importantly he loves you AND Aaron.  You want to get married in May, then do it, don’t doubt yourself.”

Planning this wedding, living and writing my Chapter 2,  is so amazing.  But I’d be lying if I would tell you it has been super easy for me.  One moment, I am super excited and happy.  The next moment, I feel guilt and anxiety.

But in the end, happiness wins…because life is good…I am happy…and I am planning a wedding!