Friday, April 15, 2011

Anniversary Traditions and our 1st MEND Meeting

We had a wonderful time celebrating our anniversary yesterday.  When I left for work both Daniel and Briley were still sleeping but I did have this on our mirror when I walked in to the bathroom...
That couldn't have made the day start any better :)
When I got home from work we left to go see Hadley, drop Briley off, pick up a quick dinner, and then head to our first M.E.N.D meeting in Irving.  Every time we leave her grave I say the same prayer in my head, "I love you more than life and I can't wait to hold you again".  It's simple and it just makes me feel good to have something special I say to just her.  At night, Briley and I always sing "Jesus Loves Briley" and I wanted something between Hadley and I too.  So, we dropped Briley off at her Auntie and Papa's and stopped at Chipotle (our favorite!) and headed to our meeting.  We got there a little early so we decided to go ahead and exchange our cards, letters, and gifts.  

When Daniel and I were meeting with our Pastor before we got married he talked to us about a lot of things.  One of the things he told us to do in our marriage was make traditions, and he was going to help us start the first one.  He told us to write a letter to each other on our wedding day that he could read during the ceremony.  So we did, and I loved that our family and friends where able to hear the heartfelt words we wrote to each other on that day.  What we didn't know, is that during the service Pastor Jeff challenged us to continue this and write a letter to each other every year on our anniversary.  This is one of the most treasured traditions Daniel and I have and I thank our Pastor so much for giving us this idea to do!!

This is the box our Pastor gave to us to keep the letters in.  We will have to move to a bigger box eventually!!
1st letters we wrote to each other on our wedding day 4-14-07
1st Anniversary Letters 4-14-08
2nd Anniversary Letters 4-14-09
3rd Anniversary Letters 4-14-10
4th Anniversary Letters 4-14-11
Daniel and I were thinking, as we were reading this years letters, how wonderful it will be for our children and grandchildren to have these letters later on.  I can just see Briley and our future children sitting around with our grandchildren and even great-grandchildren reading some of our letters that we wrote to each other :) Makes my heart feel so warm inside!! 

We decided we did NOT want to buy each other gifts this year but who really listens to each other when you say that?? 

Daniel got me a beautiful charm bracelet from James Avery.  When Hadley passed away I decided that I wanted a "Mother" charm bracelet to add charms about Briley, Hadley, and our future children on it.  I love the style he picked elegant.
I wasn't as thoughtful in my gift :) But I know a way to a man's heart is his stomach so I got Daniel a gift card to Chipotle!!  He loves going there to grab a burrito before Ranger games and I knew he would enjoy it.
After sharing our letters and gifts, we went to our MEND meeting.  We were the 2nd couple there and I think Daniel was a little relieved to see another man in the room :)  He did not want me going to the meeting alone, but I don't think he wanted to be the only man either!!  There was about 20 people at the meeting and when we where introduced, Rebekah, the founder, said to us, "It's nice to have you here, but I hate that you are here."  Isn't that the absolute truth?  It was so honest and I appreciated it so much because it is exactly what I was feeling and thinking.  The other families stories ranged from miscarriages, pre-term labor, genetic disorders, incompetent cervix, stillbirths, etc.  No one had PPROM, my situation.  That didn't surprise me since it is so rare in pregnancies, but it was comforting to hear that parts of our stories were very similar.  The meeting is pretty much an open discussion and I liked that.  A topic is laid out on the table and anyone that wants to comment or ask questions can.  Our topics last night ranged from Easter and Mother's Day coming up, to pictures of our babies, grandparents, dealing with pregnant friends and family, ways we plan on honoring our babies, and it goes on from there.  Our meeting started at 7:30 and we didn't leave until almost 10.  I am so grateful that our first meeting was on our anniversary.  I think in the coming anniversaries it will mean a lot to us when we look back and think about last night.

My family and friends have been nothing short of amazing during this time in mine and Daniel's lives, but I want to be honest about something...they don't understand.  It's not because they don't have compassion for us because they do, with all their hearts.  But, they do not understand what I'm feeling.  The women in the room last night did and that was really comforting.  I knew Daniel and I weren't alone and we weren't the only parents in the world that have lost a child...but there are times I feel like I am alone and no one can possibly begin to understand what I'm feeling in my heart.  Of course, those are the times I turn to Him and He brings me the most comfort of all.  I feel like I have always had a good relationship with God but I can't even describe to you the relationship we have now.  He and Hadley brought me that.  

He has given me so much in my life...

I want to share one section of the letter I wrote to Daniel on our wedding day, 4 years ago.

"What can I say to you that can explain the overwhelming joy I am feeling about becoming your wife?  I think the most important thing I can say is that I thank God first, for his unconditional and everlasting love he gives us.  What is so AMAZING to me is that God had a plan for both of us when we were born and he knew the second  he created us what our lives had in store for us.  I am so thankful that you are part of that plan God created for me."

God knew the second he created Hadley what he had in store for her sweet life...and I am so thankful that Daniel, Briley, and I were a part of her plan he created.

To end, I know most of you are wondering about my week back at school and it went soooo well!!  Just another reason to praise Him :)  He and Hadley are always taking care of me!!

As I was typing this post, I found a picture of Daniel and I a LOOOOOONG time ago and I have to share it...
It is kind of hard to tell, but that is me on my 13th birthday and I'm about to pass the orange to Daniel!!  I can't believe my Mom let us play that game!!  15 years later here we are celebrating our 4th Anniversary :)

In Christ's Love,

No comments: