January 15, 2005
A Year in Review - 2004
As we enter 2005, I give thanks for the new year. We can begin anew, celebrating the next chapter of our lives. I've taken the time to reflect on 2004 adn the blessings and challenges I have had in the last year.

The year began as we rejoiced in holidays spent with family - everyone made the trip to Atlanta to be with us for Christmas and the New Year holidays. We were so blessed that the first year we were away from our family for the holidays, they were all willing to come to us - it was also the first year that A's sister and her husband had been with the whole family for a holiday in nearly 3 years. We had many visitors and I was so busy running a little B&B in our home.... It was exactly as the holidays should have been, even though I was totally wiped out! We had more visitors later in January. It was wonderful to have friends with us!

The year's beginning also included celebration of new life in our family - no wonder I was so wiped out! We were expecting our third child - what an immense blessing! Careful not to tell others of the pregnancy until we were past our "danger" point, we rejoiced in February when we were at the point that our pregnancies "stick." Unfortunately, sadly, broken-heartedly... our Gabriella died at 18 weeks. You can read more details
here and here.

I was blessed to go to Europe (for FREE!) as a chaperone for a high school trip. I had a wonderful week spent in Paris, Versailles and the final two days in London. The highlights of the trip for me were exposition and veneration of THE Crown of Thorns at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (I actually got to KISS the Crown of Thorns, well, the casing that protects it) and spending an afternoon and evening with my aunt and uncle in London. Though I was HUGELY pregnant on this trip, I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed experiencing a new city (first time I'd been to Paris) and a brief visit to London, which I love!

After my return and the loss of my third daughter, things kinda went haywire. I was handling the loss as well as possible, submitting myself to God's will and just praying for peace. The hard part was experiencing all the hormonal things that go with post-partum. I produced gallons of milk - was producing milk through August (the loss was the end of March). I was having short cycles... hormonally, I am still not back to "normal". I have been told that I might not get back to "normal". I had lingering postpartum depression and a good dose of anxiety, which was treated with medication.

Back to the Spring: In April, we had planned a vacation in Florida, to relax in the sunshine. We went even though I wasn't really up for vacation. We knew it would be good to have the time together to regroup. A wonderful friend hosted a birthday party for little A so we could see all our friends without having to visit everyone seperately. It felt good. We had a memorial mass for our daughter. We had a week spent with family before we enjoyed a week at a resort in Orlando. We enjoyed ourselves. I napped every day. I cried some days. Then we went home to Atlanta.... I crashed. The depression set in. The anxiety set in. I was faced with day-to-day life and my out of control hormones were winning the battle of wills.

I finally got word from iParenting that my
diary was set up. I poured myself into the diary....

I felt at peace with the loss of our daughter. I felt at war with myself, my emotions, my hormones. I trudged through the summer, calling my therapist (in FL) and talking for hours (I LOVE her!) We had switched churches in March and I was able to make some friends. I spent my time with the girls going to storytime at the library, going to the park, spending time with our new friends. I went to monthly scrapbooking nights at church. We helped a friend do a mini "While You Were Out" on their bedroom while her husband was at work - a surprise for his birthday. I went back to Florida twice for visits with family and friends, making sure my therapist was first on my list for visits. We had two wonderful weekends in Chattanooga. The first was spent acting like tourists, the second was a wonderful first meeting and visit with
Cara.

My sister-in-law and her husband came for a visit. We had a fabulous time.

I started a blog. You are reading it, so you know of it. :) I have met incredible women here. Just look through my blogroll. They are just the most amazing women! I became friends with some wonderful women through church. I welcomed two sisters into my life. You both know who you are. I have been blessed with lots of time spent with my closest girlfriends.

Florida was hit by 4 hurricanes. We spent a lot of time worrying about our friends and family. We actually visited Florida in between two of the massive storms - to go to Disney W*rld. We gave thanks that our family and friends went mostly unaffected by the hurricanes. Everyone we know was safe.

V started school. She is amazingly smart. I am so impressed with her. I took a job at her school - one of the biggest mistakes I made in 2004.

A got a job with a new company after being screwed by his old one. The job is in Florida. Where 3 of the hurricanes trekked. One hour from our families. This meant, unfortunately, that he was in Florida for nearly 3 months while the girls and I were still in Atlanta. It was a difficult time for us, being apart. It was stressful for me being a "single" mom, it was hard on the girls to be without their daddy.

I hosted a blog party, enjoying some much needed girlfriend time with some fabulous women! Have I mentioned how fortunate I am to have met some of these incredible women? I also had a really fun sleepover along with a few other visits with Becca. So blessed am I.

The girls and I moved in December, the week before Christmas. In the week before the move, things were crazy and the girls and I were so blessed to be invited into the homes of a couple other amazing families.

We enjoyed the holidays with family - again in Florida. We spent A's 30th birthday with some good friends. We're happy to be witnessing the beginning of a family as some friends of ours are expecting their first child. We are happy to be witnessing the renewing of love as some other friends of ours are rebuilding their marriage. We are happy to be witnessing the miracle of life in our children and the children of our friends and family. We are happy.

We are home. We are blessed. We are grateful for the new year. New Beginnings.
Posts written by humble servant
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