(i wrote this on saturday night)
i wasn't sure what to expect for the holidays this year. i had told tanner several times i was really excited to have a baby for the holidays and that we would get to start our own traditions as a family. today as i took down our fall/thanksgiving decorations, i didn't feel sad. it was when i put up our tree and started decorating for christmas that i started to feel it. it was that empty pain that i have often felt. it's a real, physical pain in my heart. i should have been decorating with a baby in my arms. this should have been the time that we got to start memories and had our "babies first christmas."
i heard cuba barking at something under the couch so i went to see what it was. i pulled out a wooden children's block. we had people stay at our house while we were gone for thanksgiving and they must have left it. i was getting ready to throw it away and was looking at it as i walked to the trash can. i paused, kind of in shock. one side of the block had an "elephant" (elephants are a memoir of ivory for us) another side had the letter "i" (for ivory) and another side has the number "5" (she was born august 5th.) it's moments like these that i feel her near. i love these kinds of things that remind me of her and i truly feel they are signs of her watching over me.
earlier tonight, tanner and i went to get a stocking for ivory and a ornament for the tree in remembrance of her. as we were browsing through the isles with all the options, the pain hit again. really hard this time. i could feel my heart breaking and a lump swell up in my throat. my nose started to burn and my eyes watered. i somehow held it together though. we ended up not finding anything we liked. i was kind of glad because i think i would have lost it right there in the store. walking away felt like a relief and i couldn't get away fast enough. i wasn't expecting to feel this way. i still want to get an ornament and a stocking for my sweet ivory, but i might have to prep myself first. as we were leaving the store, i picked up some random ribbon without paying attention to the color. i went to look for the price and the word "ivory" stuck out on the tag. i realized i had picked up some off white colored ribbon and put it down and turned around and ran into a stuffed elephant. shocked again, i walked away feeling happy. i have constant reminders of my baby girl and i'm grateful for them. so as far as i'm feeling with the holidays, it hurts, but i'm happy. i love this time of year so much. on the car ride home i told tanner about some traditions i want to start when we have more kids. i can't wait for those times to come :)