The last time we sent out Christmas cards, I think I was pregnant with our second child. He’s almost 8 years old. A strapping young man who surprises us, daily, with his ability to love sacrificially. This kid is altogether the most tiring thing I’ve done (you see, he never stops talking) and one of the very best things I have in my life, along with his sister. She’ll be 11 in a few short weeks and is moving on from being a TEN-ager to Eleven-teen. We’ll keep her, she has this uncanning musical ability. She picks up melody and can play it back (by ear) on her violin. She also writes, composes, and all-in-all is more badass than I’ll ever be.
I reign in at still being “Just A Mom”, albeit not very politically correct. But I’ve been shown, over and over again, that showing up for them in the thankless and very exhausting way I’m required to, voluntarily, will be a legacy I’m happy to leave. We are also still married! Let’s take a moment to celebrate that. We are still in business, as Aaron tirelessly works to build something he’s proud of – we’re all rallying behind him because we believe he can, he will, and most importantly, he does. The last time we even mentioned divorce has to be 2012. Progress, yes?
We’re going on 12.5 years of marriage and 15.5 of dating. Pretty soon I’ll have that little notch about being with him longer than I was ever without him and it’s honestly terrifying. But in a really beautifully, trusting, let’s do this, sort of way. I continue to waiver in denial about being Type 1 Diabetic, it’s a thin line of believing it’s not a death sentence and accepting that life is still worth the effort in the midst of uncertain circumstances and absolutely no clear answers. Touche, right?
It’s true that the older I get the less my vision for the future is 20/20. It seems my plans have cataracts and instead of undergoing a simple surgery to regain control over my vision – I’m lead, blindfolded, into the greater unknown with a heavy hand in trusting that my Lord will carry me through. This year we celebrated with Oliver at his decision to be baptized, we rallied around Jessica as she overcame her own social fears and heard clearly, maybe for the first time, how valuable she was and is. We wept with each other over the loss of so many dreams and held tight to the belief that the other side of 2015 was another chance to get up and try again.
None of that is easy to convey with a photograph once a year with a simple message of “Merry Christmas.” Not that I don’t wish I could get myself in gear and just execute the Christmas Card and I also love receiving all of your thoughtful words and happy faces. But friends, family, strangers … it continues to be of upmost importance to me to be transparent and authentic. To be real in a very messy life. It’s spectacular to get to live this, but it’s paralyzing to do so in a box that’s all tied up and sitting neatly in the corner.
May your next year be full of the unexpected, wrapped in joy, and when the darkness visits may you be able to see the light for what it is: everything that will set you free.
Merry Christmas! Love, Aaron Jodi Jessica and Oliver.