As I look back over 2012, I realize it all went by so, so quickly! It seems like a blur; although, as quickly as it went by, I have so many memories from 2012 I will cherish forever.  Each year we gain with our kids will be a blessing to us, so having now spent two years with Collen, I feel like the luckiest Mommy in the world.  We have been allowed to keep him, and I thank God every single day.  And Miss Charlotte, oh, that sweet girl. By far, she is the absolute highlight of 2012.  Our little surprise baby!  January 8th, 2012 is a day I will never forget because I got the shock of my life when I learned I was pregnant once again.  Unplanned....and so unprepared.  However, she is just what I needed in my life. And I'm pretty sure Jeremy would say the same goes for him as well.  And Collen...well, he thinks she's the best thing ever.

2012 marked 3 years without our son, Ayden.  As each year passes, the loss is further away than what we are to gain, which is a future with Ayden once our time here is over.  The pain of losing him is still excruciating.  I don't expect that to change.  But the hope that we carry in our hearts is our silver lining. 2012 also marked one year since my dad passed away.  I still doesn't seem real that I've lived these two losses. More like SURVIVED these two losses.  After losing Ayden, I didn't know how I would put one foot in front of the other again.  Laughing or smiling seemed to foreign to me.  I had to learn how to live all over again because a part of me died that day.  A part of me I won't get back until I see him again and see Jesus! - only then will I be whole again.  And then, losing my dad....it hit all over again.  My dad has been my strength for so long.  I think every girl who has a good relationship with her dad can say that.  He and I shared a connection.  We got each other 100%.  I don't know if he ever knew just how much I loved him.  To lose him...a person who brought me so much strength, wisdom, love, and laughter....just brought my world crashing down all over again.  We had all gotten to a point where we could say we were doing okay...making it...learning to live with our new normal....and then our rock is taken from us.  To see that we have made it a year...wow.  It hasn't been easy.  I second guess myself all the time - I think all of us do - because he isn't here for us to run it by him.  But again, hope keeps us pushing forward because a year without him/them means we're another year closer to being with them again.

My prayer for 2013 is that it sees my family through safely, securely, and happily.  Loss is going to come.  We can't change it or stop it.  But hope will always remain.  I say that while in my mind I'm saying, "But please God....please...don't take my kids..my husband...my mom...my sister...and so many other faces run through my mind - faces of those I can't bear to lose.

2013 is bringing changes for our family.  I am starting a new job on Jan. 22.  I actually interviewed for this job last year but narrowly missed it.  I was choice #3, and they hired the first 2 choices to fill 2 positions.  Over my maternity leave, I was being nosey and browsing the job listings for the College of Education at ECU and saw that the same position was listed again.  I emailed to inquire about this and found it they did indeed have another opening.  I was encouraged to reapply, so I did.  I interviewed and later found out I got the job!  Basically, I will be working with student teachers/interns - placing them into their schools and with their teachers, handling paperwork, putting our fires, and anything else I may be needed to do.  I am so, so excited about this opportunity.  It will be great for us all the way around!! I hate to leave AGHS...especially since I just got back...but I can't pass up this opportunity.  I'm going to miss my AGHS family - these are people who have been my support system and true family during the hardest time of my life.  They are absolutely the most wonderful people I have ever known.  It's going to be so hard to leave, but I will definitely be staying in touch.

I go back to work tomorrow after this wonderful Christmas break.  Want to hear something ironic...sickly ironic?  Tomorrow, Charlotte will be 3 months and 28 days old.  Tomorrow is my first day back at work after a break.  Sound familiar?  Yeah...same circumstance as Ayden.  Same age.  Same thing. Do you think I'm a bit scared?  Oh yeah....  Please pray tomorrow.  Pray for Charlotte.  I know she is going to be just fine, but still...pray.  Pray for me as I face a day that will hold a lot of fear and anxiety.  Pray that I can just let tomorrow be just another day and not focus on the irony of it all. Pray that I will come home and pick up my sweet babies and live to see them see another day.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!  I pray that 2013 treats you well and brings you joy and happiness!

I will leave you with a few pictures from our Christmas:

Some of these are a little out of order, but I think you can put it all together.  Some are from Christmas day, some are from Christmas photos with the cousins, and the rest are from our big family vacation to Florida.  The big kids (me, Jeremy, my sister and her husband) went to the Harry Potter theme park (AMAZING by the way!!) and the next day everyone went to Animal Kingdom and had a blast. :)

 Jeremy's cousin - mesmerized by Charlotte.

 My mom, me, and my sister


  1. Praying for you tomorrow. You all are never far from. my thoughts and prayers. Looks like you guys had a great time in Orlando!!

  2. I'm so jealous of your family vacation, I bet it was amazing! I'll be thinking of you today sweet friend!

  3. Prayers for you and your family and congratulations in your new opportunity.