Pockets of Joy

Low expectations. Two words I could’ve never imagined to be associated with my approach towards Christmas. Our goal this year was literally to survive Christmas. Survive! Survive the most magical time of year. So twisted and yet so real. I’ve been in writing hibernation as we’ve tackled this holiday season. One part because we’ve run ourselves into the ground in keeping busy, one part because my body has revolted against me in the form of colds & flu that had I gotten them last year at this time, I would’ve been hospitalized and one large part because words could never do justice to the daily power struggle between the magic of the season and the absence of Hallie.

As this holiday weekend was approaching my Mom texted me to keep low expectations and to face each day as if it was a normal day. They weren’t holidays, they weren’t special days. We took it to heart, gave ourselves permission to do it all one step at a time and promised each other to stick close together and to check in. You never know when or what could or would set either of us into a wave grief.

The result? Those low expectations delivered a few days full of incredible memories with family and friends, old & new, laughter until there were tears in a (accidentally) wildly inappropriate game, a new found love for onesies as adults, reflection on the big moments of 2017, a #1 fan photo shoot for our fave CMU lax player, a legit Christmas surprise from Kevin in the form of bikes and one freaking beta fish that Kevin won in our family white elephant that well, I think is gross. But, I guess that fish, Coach Q, is the greatest representation of our Christmas season – it truly is the simple things in life that make you happiest (as he is Amazon priming a way too aggressive habitat for this thing….).

Pride is something I feel right now when I say that we didn’t just survive Christmas, we truly enjoyed the festivities. It sure does not mean we didn’t have to power through difficult moments and it certainly doesn’t mean we wouldn’t trade it all in to have had the Christmas we should’ve had this year with Hallie, but while conquering yet another milestone, we were able to find pockets of joy that we are so thankful for. Turns out, low expectations are quite powerful. And so taking that fulfilled feeling despite our circumstances, we look forward, with hope, to the idea of what Christmas 2018 could look like for our family.

We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas with those closest to you. And while I hope Santa was great to you, I hope even more that you were surrounded by those you love most. We send you so much love!