Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Holidays...

Well, I figured it's been a month and a lot of people are asking how we're doing... so here's another update!

Many people have questioned how we're doing since the holiday season is upon us and it's our first everything without Skylar. To be honest, we're doing pretty well. Obviously we miss her more than we could ever express, but for me, her birthday was the hardest day to get through. As I said in previous posts, birthdays were always a big deal in my house and I loved it!!! It was always something I wanted to make special for my own kids as well - a day all about them and filling it with love. With Skylar gone, that day was absolutely miserable. It was all about her, but she wasn't here and it was hard to be positive even though she's not suffering anymore. I am so glad that day is behind me and I hope next year won't be as miserable.

As for Thanksgiving, we were able to be with family and enjoyed our time with relatives. We focused on being thankful and kept moving forward. With Christmas approaching, we are taking the same approach... spending time with family and friends and focusing on the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus Christ and what that means in our lives.

We're grateful for the people who have surrounded us with love and continue to support us as our lives change. Speaking of change, I realized I never posted a picture of my tattoo so here it is:

The text at the top says "I Shall Arise" to match what we have on Skylar's gravestone - the latin version "Resurgam" (I know the text is a bit difficult to read - I am going back in January to get a few things changed to make it a bit easier to see). I described this in detail in a previous post, but here it is again so you don't have to search for it...

The orchid is purple because that is the color I had picked out for Skylar, even though she was so stinkin' cute in pink. It's also the color associated with royalty and the color I associate with Jesus in Heaven. The flower has a gold center, also representing Heaven and the light that Skylar was to us. The base of the orchid has three leaves - representing the trinity, but also our family of three. Within each leaf is written "Faith" and "Hope" and "Love" to express how Skylar has helped us to grow and what our priorities are in life. It's my physical "scar" to represent the trauma and pain we've been through.

I didn't really plan on it being as big as it turned out to be, but it's just another symbolism of Skylar's life. I had something completely different pictured in my head, something much more dainty and thin. However, when Matt at Only You Tattoo in Atlanta showed me this drawing, I really liked it and decided to go with it. As a friend said when first seeing my tattoo, "go big or go home!"

There are so many things in life that turn out differently than we hope for - sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. I am starting to realize that the key is to roll with the punches and keep smiling.

Another update on change: Kyle let his hair grow out to his shoulders and was able to donate it (meaning he buzzed his head)!!! He has never had hair this short since he was a young boy, but it looks awesome - especially with a slight beard growing. I don't have any pictures yet, but I'll try to get some over the holidays.

So lately, I've seen some hilarious yet disturbing holiday videos (google jimmy kimmel christmas presents video to see what I'm talking about). I've seen some startling images - one of starving kids in Africa holding their hands up for food displayed right next to a picture of several moms with shopping carts full of toys fighting for their place in line. I've also witnessed the craze as Atlanta drivers somehow multiply exponentially to shop for the holidays and meanwhile forget to show basic courtesy and follow driving laws in the process. It's a bit overwhelming. I hope we are all able to sit back, take a deep breath, and relax. This season was not meant to be a stressful one... Somewhere between Santa and Christmas trees, the real story was lost and commercial marketing took over. It became a morning of presents instead of a season of anticipation and celebration. I know I've been guilty of getting "too busy" with work and have really had to challenge myself to set time aside to be still and re-focus my priorities.

Regardless of our situation, I hope we can all be grateful for the lives that we have - our health, our comfort, our friends and family and our homes this holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. May 2012 bring many blessings for you! Peace.