Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Warning: Long post!

Wow! What a week I've had! I had the great pleasure of going to Nashville for Anne's wedding this past weekend and it was truly wonderful. I got to see friends that I haven't seen in a while and Anne was an absolutely stunning bride (I'm sure I've never been to a more beautiful wedding in my life). It was really nice to catch up with all my girls from high school. We've all been friends for at least a decade now and it's such an exciting time in all of our lives with weddings and babies and big moves and job searches. I'm so glad we've stayed together all these years, even though our visits are few and far between. Trish and Erin didn't make it to the wedding, but Christy and I got to spend time with them last night and it was equally great to catch up with those girls. I was constantly amazed at how much energy I had this weekend for all the wedding festivities and I attribute much of it to the pure joy of being with my girls.

That's not to say it didn't take it's toll!!! I was quite fatigued by the time I arrived home on Sunday night and I think all of the movement and emotion of the weekend hit me at once. I cried for a while and slept really hard! When I look back at the pictures from the weekend, I can see how swollen I really was in my face (I could feel it in my feet by Saturday night, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been), no really surprising effect of traveling and being on one's feet in the third trimster. My feet and ankles were still a little swollen at my dr. appointment on Monday afternoon. It was a short appointment in which he just took my vitals and a few measurements, listened to Benjamin's heartbeat and sent me on my way. He said we're right on track with everything and he expects Benjamin to be between 7 and 8 pounds at birth. I have three more two week appointments and then we'll start going every week until D-day!

On a final note, the wedding and the holidays have served as eye-opening reminders of the joy and also the sorrow that so many can experience at the same time. My sister-in-law Amber lost her daddy just about two weeks ago to a brain tumor. A lady in our school district lost her son in a gun accident just before Thanksgiving. I talked to people this weekend who are going through heartbreaking things within their families....divorce, sick children, mental illness, trials of all kinds. And yet, I saw so much joy as well. Including Anne, three of my close girlfriends have gotten married in 2008. We have so many friends and family expecting babies and two who have already welcomed their little bundles of joy into the world this month! We are so excited as things continue to go well with little Benjamin and I really believe he's going to be a healthy little baby boy for us to welcome in the spring! The last of our little group of girlfriends told us she is getting married in September of next year. Kelly is living it up in Japan (that is both joy and sorrow, as we miss her so much but cheer her on as she lives one of her dreams).One of Jon's best friends is getting married in June and Jon will have the extreme honor of serving as best man. At such a joyful time in our own lives, it can be easy to overlook the pain in another's eyes. And even within the joyful times, people can experience such loss and fear. I can't imagine, for instance, what it must be like to say goodbye to your children as they start new lives as married people, or leave a job you've had for sixteen years even if it is something you want. Let us remember to pray for the people who have no joy in this holiday season, and the ones for whom the joy is tempered by grief or fear of the future. And for those of you who fall into that category this year, please know that our prayers are with you and that we love you. Remember that a new year is coming and it may hold joy you have never known. Merry Christmas!

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