Merry Christmas Everyone! Wow, I know we say this a lot, but can you believe it’s Christmas Eve already? Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the whole year. It’s a day that I can think back and remember so many Christmas Eve’s during my childhood with so many good memories. Christmas Eve always meant time with friends, family, playing games and eating a delicious dinner. It was a day always filled with anticipation and excitement for Santa Claus to come. I remember my brother would get me up at some crazy hour of the night to look under the tree and see all the presents. I remember one Christmas Eve night in particular where we got bikes for Christmas and at 2:00 in the morning we were riding our bikes around the living room and having a blast. I wonder if I ever told my mom that… hmmm…
This time of year I always think back and reflect on all the events that truly shaped the year. This year has been a tough one- both physically and mentally and I have to say, I am glad that we are at the end of it. Between my dad passing away this year, 2 surgeries and losing our precious Sammy Dog this past fall, I am so ready to start fresh in 2020 and make it a great year. But I can’t help to see all the blessings we have had this year. My boys are healthy and happy, my business continues to grow, and my body is slowly getting back to normal. I have to admit, the vain part of me looks in the mirror at all the new scars from this past year and it makes me a bit self-conscious. I look like a dot-to-dot with scars across my abdomen and left breast and I think to myself that I look like a hot mess. But, in a way I know those are my battle scars. Scars that represent progress, personal growth and perseverance this year. It’s the hard times that define the good times and for that, I am thankful.
Probably the biggest scar of the year is the one that isn’t visible. It’s the scar on the inside after losing Sammy Dog this past fall. Man, that was a big blow. I mean, I knew we were getting close. His body was just physically giving out and we were having to carry him everywhere because his feet, legs and shoulders just couldn’t sustain him any longer. I know he is in a much better place and for that I am so thankful. But I miss my buddy that would always have me in his line of sight. I miss looking next to my desk and seeing him curled up, sleeping. I miss not hearing his barks, the creaky way he walked and his “thumps” as he would lay down on the floor. Animals are such precious gifts and they truly become a part of our family- as he was for almost 14 years. I realized I hadn’t existed a single day of my Seattle life without him. Jack had never known a day in his life without him. He was a legacy and he was my first child. I know I will miss him forever and that I will always be listening out for him. They are a part of our hearts, souls and I wouldn’t trade any of it. I was so lucky to be his human and so thankful for every minute I had with him- even that last one. It’s a scar I know I will carry forever and it’s okay. It’s okay to miss him, it’s okay to mourn. We are moving on and recovering one day at at time and carrying him wherever we go, in spirit.
Reflecting and looking back on all that we have gone through makes us stronger and more prepared for the road ahead. I am so excited and looking forward to all that 2020 has in store and excited for the next week of holidays and spending time with family and friends. With the New Year also comes my birthday- a day that I always LOVE celebrating with my boys. The benefit to having a winter birthday in the Pacific Northwest is that you can always find snow, and so we intend to do some sledding and snowball fights (like every year) and enjoy the day together. That’s what life is really about- spending time with those we love and make us better versions of ourselves. I am so blessed to have a tribe of friends and family that help me, love me, and support my every step.
When we were in California last month we met up with our favorite family photographer for some family photos. Kelsey always brings out the best in us and captures our crazy, silly and loving little family. Thank you Kelsey for the gorgeous pictures and thank you, Janna for the one special picture at the end. I am so very thankful I have these images to look back on and remember where we are today- new scars and all.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone. May God bless each of you in the New Year.
As always, thanks for reading.
Dedicated to our beloved Sammy Dog. 2/6/2006-10/22/2019