Lakin ~ Thank you for being so smart and beautiful. Thank you for having the biggest heart of anyone I know and for always asking to make sure that the people you love are feeling okay. I am so grateful that you are my first born, the girl who made me fall in love with being a Mama. You make me proud to be a mother and you reassure me that I must be doing a decent job, because you are such a good person. I love you, my little bear, and I always will.
Addah ~ Thank you for your fearlessness and your no-nonsense attitude. Thank you for teaching me to be a better person, by being who you are, without apology. Thank you for always knowing how to make me laugh with your silly silliness, and for giving me the best hugs when I’m feeling down. You are a beautiful and wonderful girl, and I love you to the moon and back, my bee girl.
David ~ Thank you for being my husband, my lover, and my friend. Thank you for being the one person who can always make me smile when I really don’t want to, and for holding me together when I’m falling apart. Thank you for Clara… for every moment that we shared with her. Thank you for being a wonderful stepfather to Lakin and Addah. You are the best father they could ever have, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me that they have you to lean on and learn from. Thank you for being the best friend I’ve ever had, and for sticking with me during the best of times, and the worst of times. You are my other half — the whipped cream to my pumpkin pie, the optimist to my pessimist, the calming touch to my manic rush. I adore you, and I always have, and I always will.
Mama ~ Thank you for being a wonderful mother. Thank you for showing me how to be a better mother, by raising me with a standard that I want to live up to. You have done so much for our family, always, and the girls and I wouldn’t be the people that we are, without your guidance and generosity. Thank you for listening to me when I need to talk, for giving me advice when I need it (and sometimes when I don’t), and for being a truly good person. There isn’t anybody else like you, and I am so very grateful that you are my mother. I love you very much.
Papa ~ Thank you for always having time to listen to my problems and successes. Thank you for giving me an outlet when I need to vent or cry or boast or reminisce or grieve. Thank you for being strong, and for worrying, and for always doing the right thing, even when it isn’t the most attractive option. You’ve taught me so much about being a good person and looking out for others. I love you.
Lee ~ Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for all the late nights in the back yard and at Waffle House. Thank you for the years that we’ve shared, for every laugh and every tear and every time we’ve commiserated over our wild children and our crazy husbands. Thank you for every hug, every sage piece of advice, every penny borrowed, every moment that we stayed in your home. You saved us, quite literally, and I can never repay you for the love you have given my family and I. I love you so much.
Hilary ~ Thank you for all the time we’ve spent together since you’ve been home this fall. I am so grateful that we have had this time to talk and bond and laugh. I know what you’re going through is hard, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to help as much as I have. Thank you for sharing your children with me, which has been very healing for both David and I. I love you, little sister.
I cannot possibly list every one who has touched my life this year. We have been so fortunate.
I am thankful for…
- my new sister-in-law, Charlotte
- finished (and long overdue) knitting projects
- a brand new and much-needed baby loss support group
- every healthy baby born to my family and friends
- my Nook (a special gift from David)
- having our own home for the first time in a long time
- friends and family who gave us a roof over our heads when we were out of options
- every nurse that took care of us and provided a shoulder to cry on
- Dr. Raheja, who saved my uterus, even though he couldn’t save our baby
- our new-to-us car, which actually starts when we turn the key!
- the ladies in my due date groups, who allow me to watch their babies grow up from the sidelines, so that I might imagine my baby is growing up with them
- christmas lights
- James, Kory, Beth, Kelly… and all of my wonderful friends, whom I love
- funny toddler expressions
- this blog, and every blogger I have met through it.
- cable internet
- David’s job and steady income
- checking and savings accounts!
- hand-knit winter wear
- my brother Zeb, home safe and sound from Afghanistan
- holding hands
- stolen kisses
- goodnight wishes
- Colin, Stephanie, Jesse, Laine, Isaac, Jared… all of my family
- prescription medications!
- capturing my grief
- curling up next to my husband every night, safe and warm
- hugs from my nieces and nephews
- beautiful artwork on the walls of our home, courtesy of my love
- my sister-in-law Mishelle
- sweet dreams
- precious memories
- the few moments that our baby was in my arms, so I could memorize her face and never forget her for even a second
- falling rain, washing away the sadness and bringing hope to new days
- rainbows, stretching across the sky and filling us with wonder
- texts and facebook messages that make me smile
- butterflies in the sand
- sweet tea
- Lifefactory glass water bottles
- our dining room table, passed down from my childhood
- vacation days
- my family, who give me a reason to wake up each day
- family and friends who have been where we’ve been, experienced what we’ve experienced, lost what we’ve lost, and who understand that we need time, talk and support to get through those things
- family and friends who haven’t been though what we’ve been through, but who understand and love us unconditionally