Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"And what have you done/ Another year over/ And a new one just begun"

Christmas has come and gone, and my house is still showing signs of the event. It was a wonderful time. Our church had a Christmas Eve service which I love going to, because I feel it always gets my mind/heart in the right place. After the service we headed to the Bratton’s to celebrate Mike’s birthday. We spent Christmas Eve and morning with my in-laws. It was a very special time with family. I was absolutely thrilled to wake up to a beautiful white Christmas and will always remember that Charlotte’s first Christmas was snowy. Charlotte seemed to enjoy the affair and loves the bunny sofa that her Nana (Mary) and PawPaw (Mike) gave her. And I am loving the Ipad that they gave me. In fact…I’m a bit obsessed…it’s hard for me to put it down…it might be the reason my house is looking like a nuclear bomb site!

Anywho, it was wonderful to be with the Bratton’s for the morning events, and after checking on the weather we made the snowy drive to Covington to spend time with my family. Charlotte was a champion and slept almost the entire way. Once again the presents were a hit. Charlotte received a Beaba Cook from ChiCha and Papa, which I am thrilled about. Some of the recipes for baby food look better than what I cook now! But I have to say her favorite Christmas present is a teething toy which her Uncle Will gave her. It is a pink ring with a beautiful silver bell. She LOVES it!!! After celebrating with my family for a few days, my mom brought Charlotte and me home to help with the de-decorating process. She was a huge help and it was wonderful as always to have girl time.

New Years came and went in our house without much event. Ben and I did manage to eat a nice diner at Surin, which Charlotte thankfully slept through. And then we went to bed at 11pm which is pretty late for me! New Year’s was uneventful but it brought back so many memories. New Year’s Day 2010 we told my in laws and my family that I was pregnant. It was an exciting time but I look back and laugh. How little I knew!!! How little I knew about the work involved and the joy that a baby would bring. I’m sure 2011 will bring many memories. I can’t help but reflect on what a tumultuous year 2010 was.

  • 2010
    1. We discover I am pregnant…Ben made me take the test three times to be sure!!!!
    2. …..we discover we are pregnant right after Ben purchases a motorcycle!!!
    3. We paint the nursery: yellow and gray
    4. Henry and Dana find out they are expecting as well….I’m an AUNT!!!
    5. This baby turns out to be a GIRL!!! But with that news comes the fear that all is not well
    6. We wait…I cry…We wait….UAB visit is looming in the distance
    7. Ben and I cling to one another as we find that Charlotte does indeed have Spina Bifida
    8. I cry and pray for peace
    9. My 25th birthday comes and I start to feel a bit old :)
    10. Ben and I celebrate our third year of marriage and laugh at how clueless we were that first year.
    11. My body is not my own….I call pregnancy Invasion of the Body Snatcher
    12. We celebrate the union of Beth and Graham (Ben’s sister) and what a ball it was!
    13. I cry and ask God: “Why her? Why not me?”
    14. Summer is HOT and maternity clothing has WAY too many layers
    15. I find I now like Ranch dressing which I have hated my entire life
    16. We head to Canada for cooler weather….hahaha not going to happen
    17. Henry and Dana let us know that a girl is on the way: Amelia Estes Little!!!
    18. My tummy is growing at rapid speeds and I can now see the bottom of my belly button!
    19. UAB visits seem constant. Charlotte is looking small but they tell me they will wait till 39 weeks before inducing
    20. Our house is starting to look like an explosion of pink from all the shower gifts
    21. I cry
    22. Charlotte will not turn and I settled into the fact I’m going to have a c-section
    23. Aug. 30 Charlotte arrives, no crying, meconium in her throat, finally I hear crying from far away, they wheel her past me, she is gone, I’m sewn up and rolled away, hazy, when will I see Charlotte?, touch her little arm for the first time, unfathomable love
    24. Aug 31. Charlotte has surgery, I’m in physical pain from surgery and emotional pain from Charlotte’s procedure.
    25. God is taking me through the fire…refine me oh Lord
    26. The next week and a half are the longest of my life. I cry and pray more in those to weeks than I have in all my years.
    27. Our daughter is home. What joy fills our house!
    28. My mom stays with me for a week and I hated seeing her go.
    29. Charlotte does well.
    30. Sleep is a rare commodity
    31. Ben and I are amazed by our new little wonder!
    32. More Children’s visits where all is well. Praise GOD!
    33. A trip to the emergency room finds me crying out to God again and asking Him for mercy. And once again He is merciful.
    34. Tears for my baby girl and what may lay ahead
    35. Church for the first time in weeks. It is such a treat and a joy to be back with all our friends who have prayed so fervently for us.
    36. Lia arrives and it is not as uneventful as we had hope, but she is healthy and I am anxious to meet my beautiful niece.
    37. My mom hosts Thanksgiving in Covington for the first time. It is a wonderful time with family and finally, the two girls get to meet.
    38. The realities of Spina Bifida come crashing down on me in the oddest moments; cuts on Charlotte’s legs she can’t feel, limited muscle tone, constant diaper rash, etc.
    39. Christmas season has started and Charlotte enjoys watching our tree fall down…five times
    40. Having a child brings much greater understanding of the birth of Christ.
    41. Charlotte spends the night with Nana and PawPaw for the first time and we celebrate a wonderful white Christmas

2010 has been one of the most difficult and best years of my life. I hope 2011 brings as much joy as this past year and I hope that God continually seeks to mold me into something worthy to one day stand at His throne.


Meghan said...

wow. It has been an amazing year, hasn't it? Thanks for sharing it all with us as it unfolded on your blog! Love you!

Dana said...

I agree with Meghan! Thank you so much for spending your valued time, physical and mental energy to update your blog so often with all that has been on your brain throughout this journey. I was impressed at your persistence before Lia arrived, but now I'm just flat out amazed!! I need to go back and read your posts relating to putting aside the laundry to enjoy the moments that this stage brings. I feel like I go to bed with this huge list of things to do. I think I will pick just one to do each day from now on. Maybe that will help. :)

I have also cried more this year than ever before. It has been by far the most eventful year! So many challenges, but the joyful times totally outweigh the obstacles. Thanks for being such an awesome sister-in-law! I'm thankful that we've been able to experience so much together this year! Love you!

Susan B. said...

Hi Ben, Esther, and Baby Char!!!

Its sooo good to hear from you again and to hear about all the 'stuff'! Esther, you're a very good writer. You must have some journalism genes in your blood. Thanks for sharing your lives with us. And you amaze me at your spiritual maturity. I think I was about there last year and I'm 53! Your parents did a good job of instilling Truth in you. Life rushes by so very fast and many things compete for our precious time and attention. It sounds like you've chosen the best thing...Jesus!

I look forward to seeing more of your vids on Youtube. That's pretty neat and I even get notified by Youtube when you post one! What will they think of next!

Love to Ben, Esther, and Baby Charlotte!

Susan Barber

Ann said...

I very much enjoyed our visit today! I checked out Passionate Homemaking and realized I became familiar with that blog awhile back. I started looking at her food and recipe category. I got a little overwhelmed. But I really like her stuff and now I definitely want to go back and look at some of the other things. Hope you have a fun trip!

BTW-totally ditched dinner at home tonight. Steven dangled the offer to get some pizza in front of me once more and I took it!