Saturday, August 28, 2010
Happy Birthday to me: A year in review
What's the saying..."The difference a day makes." ? It's kind of mind boggling when I think about the difference a year has made. Especially this past year. Today is my birthday. In honor of it, I have decided to review the year- what has gone on, what I have learned, and what I hope to see for this new year. My 39th year of life. Wow.
The year I turned 38 started off a little rough, with what I have not-so-fondly nicknamed, The Wedding From Hell. In life, and as a wedding designer, I have never before experienced such entitled, ugly people. It is sad to even have to say this, but that is how the start of my 38th birthday went- because The Wedding From Hell was on August 29th (the day after my birthday). I went so far as to tell my friends and my family that we would not be observing my birthday until after August 29th. I did not want any part of a fun or special day for me wrapped up in the memory of those two. I also suspected I was pregnant, but refused to take a pregnancy test for the same reason...
I hoped to be able to look back on The Wedding From Hell and say that I learned something valuable for my business...something that would propel me forward into more success as a result of dealing with these miserable people, but I did not. I did, however, learn even more how to refine my judge of character. I did learn and appreciate the fact that I don't have people like this in my life, and for good reason. I did learn that no amount of money and no event notch in my belt buckle is worth that kind of energy. I learned that the best part of being a small business and working from home, is the freedom I have to avoid clients like that. So, I did learn something. I learned how to avoid that.
I took a pregnancy test shortly after that event, and confirmed my suspicion: I was pregnant!! We were thrilled, and like my pregnancy with Christian, things progressed easily. The pregnancy hormones did me well. I sailed through the first 3 months of my pregnancy, but when December hit, we had quite an adjustment to make. On December 4th, I received the results of my amniocentesis that revealed our baby boy, Elijah, has Down syndrome. We were genuinely terrified. We had outdated, preconceived ideas about what that meant and thought our lives were never going to be the same. It's true. Our lives never will be the same again, but it's a different picture than I imagined 8 months ago. Our lives will never be the same because now we have two beautiful boys that will keep us busy and love us in ways that words don't do justice. Elijah came into this world, completely naturally, and without drugs on April 20th and it was the most beautiful experience I have ever had in my life. I learned that when you're to busy or uncomfortable or distracted to have expectations that you get to experience the most beautiful things in life. I learned that when things don't come in the package we expect that they just might be a better gift than we would have given ourselves.
We also had a TV backyard makeover done by HGTV's show "The Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie". We were chosen for the show and shooting began on December 6th...that's right. TWO DAYS after discovering that my baby has Down syndroome. So, if you see our show (which has not yet aired) and you see me teary eyed about the fact that they are giving us french doors...rest assured...it has nothing to do with the french doors. But it was a nice thing. We have a great backyard now. We have grievances...especially Charles...because it is television and what's important to them is...television. What's not necessarily important is how the yard functions for our family. Even still- I love it. I spend more time out there, and my children adore it. Christian spends hours watering the plants (which is a very good thing, considering the show just covered right over our existing irrigation system and gave us nothing in place of it.) And Elijah seems to literally commune with nature. When I bring him outside and put him into his little sun tent, he stares and takes in all of the sights and smells and feels of the fresh air. I learned from all of this, that the little things are so worth enjoying. A friendly and beautiful backyard can give you just a small breath of fresh air...and fresh perspective.
Sadly, we also had to say goodbye to our golden retriever, Buddy, in early April due to cancer. He was my first "baby", having raised him since he was just a few weeks old. He was my rock. When life was tough I could snuggle into his fur and give a giant hug...although, it was nearly impossible for him to allow that without drenching me in wet kisses. I miss this dog so much. Thank you, Bud, for being the best friend and best dog a girl could ever have. My life was richer and I experienced more love because of you.
Most of all, this year brought into focus the friends that I have. That these friends are warm, open minded, kind, loving, loyal and in it for the long haul. Through good and hard this year, my friends have been there saying, "How can I be there for you? You let me know." It was also a year that saw an influx of new friends. I am so blessed by the people that are currently in my life. It might have taken me 39 years to find you all, but I found you, and now I am wrapping my arms around you in a big hug and not letting go...
Goodbye thirty-eight and hello thirty-nine. Whatcha got up your sleeve for me this year?? BRING IT!!
And tonight celebrating with just a few of my cherished friends...