The one thing I was very most tense about (I'll let Kendra share on her blog if she wants) was a goal accomplished on Christmas morning! Once I reads that news I felt the knot in my stomach (that I didn't even know had been there) release. I feel like I have had Christmas now. Way to go, Kendra! It is not a final thing yet (took me about a month to confidently feel I was actually getting the hang of it consistently and on command) but this was a HUGE landmark! So very excited, my friend!!!
My hubby also surprised me with a new Samsung tablet on Christmas morning. My speech therapist had shown me how handy these little gadgets can be and I mentioned my intrigue to Rick months ago. Apparently he's been looking for a good deal ever since. Poor guy - the first one he ordered for me got lost in delivery, so he had to order a used, refurbished one to replace it in time for Christmas. Now he's dealing with the whole insurance claim thing. Single-handed typing is SO much easier now. This makes a great therapy tool on so many levels (and would be an incredible gift even if I weren't needing adaptive or therapy equipment)! Thank you, Rick.
Our gift to him was that my parents took the kids and I to the Target a half hour from home last month, to our nearest location that still has a photo studio. We got pictures taken, as a surprise for Rick. My first professional photos since the stroke, so a landmark too. I have posted here before, how very much I despise having my picture taken now, so it was probably the most emotionally costly gift I could have given. I literally had several nightmares about giving this gift. But it went well, I think.
Rick's got to Photoshop a few images before I get brave enough to post any (I've had horrid acne since the stroke and wouldn't be nearly confident enough to share the pictures as they are, for this reason alone), but I do hope to eventually share a few. It was fun being able to pull off this surprise and the photo lady asked to take a photo of our daughter's skirt to use as a photo frame background. So if anyone else did holiday pictures at a Target this year, and you were offered any pictures framed in grey plaid, that's my daughter's skirt (I think it went into a national database that any Target studio could use).
Speaking of Target, one of our friends got such a giggle out of my last Target story, that she sent two gift cards so my mom and I could go get lost play again. We did yesterday (play that is, nobody got lost this time ;) ) and found some great after-Christmas clearance deals! If you are reading this post, thank you, Laurie! :) We had a blast, mom got two pair of leggins (she sais I'm dragging her kicking and screaming into current fashion) for way less than you could normally pay for one pair, and I love my lacy new long top! I stocked up on clearance gift bags (I've never been so thankful for gift bags as I was this year, since I still can't use my hand well enough to traditionally wrap) and some clearance school items for the kids' upcoming changes too. It was a great way to spend my afternoon after counseling yesterday. I think retail therapy is definitely my favorite form of therapy. ;)
Yesterday was the anniversary of our first miscarriage. Every other Dec. 27 (since 1994, when she died, except probably last year when I was still too unaware to notice the date), I have been teary. Yesterday passed without one tear. Yes, I still feel a little melancholy for the missed out years without Noel, sad for what might have been, sad for me, not for her. For the most part, I just envy her. She is in Heaven. I am more jealous than anything else. (If you don't understand why, here's what I've recently posted on this topic.) After years of recurrent grief triggers, this is a strange, new experience for me.
(I love the thought that grace IS found in Jesus!)