What a Christmas! We had an awesome day; in fact, we've had an awesome week. It's been so nice to be able to be home together as a family, without worrying about school, and work, and clinic visits, and everything else we've been worrying about the past 6 months. I've learned a lot this Christmas season, more than any other year, and I want to share some of those things.
-It doesn't matter how old your kids are, they still get just as excited to open presents. I thought we would all go crazy sitting through church. I know we were just supposed to sit and enjoy it and think about the true meaning of Christmas, which we did, but that doesn't mean that we had to sit still and be quiet. It was a beatiful meeting, but, it's a good thing it lasted only an hour because by the time it was 10:00, we were all ready to open presents!!
- Being off work makes me feel like I can be "off" everything, including going to Salt Lake. We have to go back for clinic on Thursday, but I really don't want to. With Abby's swollen feet and legs, they didn't want to wait more than 2 weeks to see her, so we have to go back already, it's only been 10 days. We were supposed to go get some labs drawn today to determine whether or not they want to do another cath/biopsy on Thursday, but the lab was closed so we'll be going tomorrow. Abby has been feeling okay, but every night she ends up sitting down, with her big swollen feet and legs up....they don't feel very good. Other than that, she's feeling great....but we still have to make the drive to Salt Lake on Wednesday.
-There's nothing better than watching Britt, Brock, and Abby play Just Dance 3......hahahaha
-When my family gets together for our annual Christmas party, we have lots of fun! Although everyone thinks they have to talk at the same time, especially while playing Encore, and the girls "let" the boys win, it was still fun for all! The talent show can't be beat, the kids' gift exchange is always a hit, the food is delicious, the chimes can't be forgotten, and having everyone there, together is the best! I can't wait for next year, I need to start practicing my talent now!
-People are placed in your life at the time when you need them most. Some people are only there for that one moment that you need them, and you never see them again; like the lady that recognized us at PCMC and told us how Abby's story has changed her life (just at that moment we were feeling discouraged), or the lady at the gym this morning that told me the difference I've made in her daughter's life since I've been back to teaching (when I've been trying to decide all week if I really can still teach school after everything we've been through). But, other people, because of the friendships we've formed, are going to be there forever. I'm in awe every time I think about all of the incredible people that have come into our lives in the past 6 months, these friendships are some of the greatest gifts we've been given this year.
-I always get 2nd place in Ticket to Ride. If you haven't played that board game, you should....it's addicting, even when you can't quite pull off the win :)
-I love Christmas music and could listen to it all season, my kids don't and are sick of it already.
- I'm going to stop eating so much crap and I'm going to get back in shape again. I want to get back to participating in triathlons, but I've got a long way to go. I need to stop with the excuses that I'm so tired from everything, and just be consistent again. I learned this the hard way.....now I have an extra 5 pounds, on top of the other weight I gained since May, to get rid of.
-We received 2 of the greatest gifts this year, gifts that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. One of them was Abby's new heart. Even though I still don't know who the donor family is, I know that they are selfless, kind-hearted, thoughtful, and our forever heroes. We think of them and their generosity daily and I hope their Christmas, even with the loss they suffered July 12th, was still peaceful and filled with joy.
The second gift we received, one that I haven't talked much about, was the gift given to us by our Heavenly Father. It was the gift He gave to us last May when he let Abby make the decision to stay with Him or to come back to us. When we look at the facts of what happened to Abby on May 18th, she really shouldn't still be here, but He gave us the gift of letting her be with us for at least one more Christmas, and hopefully many, many more. We will receive this same gift every Christmas we "get" to have with Abby, and I do see it as a gift...every day she's with us is a gift, and for that I couldn't be more grateful. I can't even imagine Christmas without her, my mind won't even allow it, I'm bawling even going there a little bit!! I am more grateful for this gift than anything.....anything.
We will never have another Christmas quite like this one, we had lots to learn and it was filled with lots of emotion.......so I hope it's something we can hold onto for a long, long time. I hope all of you learned something this Christmas, and that it was filled with as much joy as we had!! How could it not have been our greatest Christmas ever??