Sunday, January 2, 2011

What oh what will the New Year bring?

I am a huge fan of Christmas. The New Year always just sort of gets tacked on to what's left of the Christmas holidays for me. After spending nearly 2 weeks in Atlanta visiting family and friends for Christmas, I was grateful to be home in my own house with my own little family by the time 2011 arrived.

Our 2010 holiday season was really quite bittersweet. Of course, we had a blast visiting family and going home for the first time since moving to Virginia, but it was definitely the most eventful holiday season I've ever encountered - both in good ways and in not so good ways.

First off, I was FINALLY spending Christmas with my beloved. Its been so long since I've spent a Christmas with him; it was incredibly joyous. Just having him here to load up the van when we headed home, having him do the driving, the unloading, and the getting of the gas, everything...the list could go on and on. I felt so blessed to have him see the faces of our kids as they received their awesome gifts at Christmas. It was beautiful!
Our first family picture on Christmas morning in 3 years!
My Dad in his first picture with all three of his sons-in-law. First time they've all been together in one place!! From left to right - My Army hubby (traveling or deployed frequently), my youngest sister's fireman hubby (works crazy shifts), my dad, my middle sister's Air Force hubby (lives 7 hours from my parents and 18 hours from us!)
Though my heart was on cloud nine at the beginning of the holidays, it became heavy quickly. Just as we finished making plans to see our great family friends one evening, we learned the next day that their house burned down the following morning. They lost everything. My heart broke for them. I couldn't sleep at night because each time I'd awaken, I'd find myself praying for them. My heart just ached for their loss. Please keep them in your prayers as they make plans to do whatever they feel the Lord is leading them to do in the ways of a building a new home.

Next, we learned that my hard working husband finally got promoted!!! This was AWESOME and very welcomed news! He and I were incredibly thrilled to learn that as of January 1, 2011, he was officially promoted :-) What a great way to start the new year!

As you know, this is the year of the baby in my family. My sister and I are about 8 weeks apart in our pregnancies. Well, my cousin was also pregnant with her first baby - a boy as well - due mid-January. He surprised us all by coming 3 weeks early and was born on December 26 instead. It was amazing to learn of his sweet birth and see his beautiful pictures. I love babies and I love seeing families develop and grow. I couldn't be happier for my cousin, her husband and their whole family with the addition of this new little life. Praise God!
Here is a picture of us three preggos just one week before her sweet baby made his debut!
Unfortunately, my husband's grandfather was in the hospital the whole time we were in Atlanta following a series of falls. My husband was able to go and visit him shortly after we arrived. By the time we were packing to leave, he had been moved to hospice care, and on our way home at 3:30am, his mom called us to tell us he had gone to be with the Lord. It was bittersweet because this lovely man was 87 years old - married for 67 years to his bride. He had lost most of his memory and remained pretty confused for the last few years. His mind is now perfect. His body walks without a hitch. I hope he is playing a game of golf and chatting it up with old friends in Heaven. Please keep his wife, my husband's Nana, in your prayers. After being married 67 years to this sweet man, I can imagine the silence and loneliness in her house is now deafening.

By the time we made it home a few days ago, we thought we had seen it all within a matter of about a 10 day period. It was then that I learned of a complete tragedy in the life of a fellow Army wife and MOPS mom in my old town. I will not go into details (most of which I do not know), but I learned yesterday that she tragically lost her husband, and father of their 2 young children, on New Year's day. He wasn't deployed. Completely unexpected. I can't imagine how she must be feeling. Shock. Numbness. Confusion. I feel these things for her. Once again, my heart is heavy and burdened. I can't stop praying for her and her babies. Each time I awakened last night, I found myself again in prayer. I keep reminding myself how short this life is. How sweet each day truly is. How blessed I am to have my husband not only here on this earth, but here in my home. Please keep my Army sister and sister-in-Christ in your prayers this year.

If you made it reading this far, thank you. You are too kind! I'll leave on a happy friend and I are going to be doing my very first giveaway very soon. So, keep checking back with me this week. I should have it up and running soon! You'll definitely want to get your entries in. The prize is wonderful :-)

Have a Happy and Blessed New Year. Now go hug and kiss someone in your family. Tell them how special they are to you. Then, thank the Lord for them.

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