|We baked chocolate chip cookies, made ornaments, and Ryan helped to decorate the tree at church during the children's candlelight service.|
|Before going to bed, we left out milk & cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.|
Barry cooked us a delicious breakfast and then Ryan opened all of his presents from Santa. Ryan was such a good boy this year! We spent the rest of the day putting together his toys and playing with them.
We were so happy to have my mom's sister, Aunt S, join us in celebrating today. Aunt S was very close with my mom, and has been a huge support for me throughout these past few years. I feel very blessed to have her in my life. Spending time with Aunt S makes me feel closer to my mom because we share so many wonderful memories and stories about her.
This was our first Christmas without my mom's beautiful smile, and she was so dearly missed. It still doesn't even seem real to me that she will never celebrate another holiday with us again. The pain is so deep right now and I am in a very dark and confusing place emotionally.
This picture was taken three years ago, Christmas of 2009, a few days before we found out that I was pregnant. My mom knew that we had been hoping and praying for a baby throughout that year, so she wanted to give Ryan some of his very first presents. (We knew that she was very sick and we didn't know how much longer she would have left with us.) My mom loved Ryan with all of her heart, before she even knew that he existed. Through God's grace, she stayed with us for two more years, long enough to make it to Ryan's first birthday party. I thank God every day for that extra time that we were given with my mom.
We have some difficult anniversaries coming up. January 6 will mark two years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. January 13 will mark one year since my mom passed away. Please pray for me and my family as we enter into the new year. I truly hope that 2013 brings happier times than 2012 and 2011 did. I am excited for our little family to finally move forward, while remembering to appreciate every single moment. Life is too fragile!