2008 held lots of “firsts” without Cooper for our family. Holidays went uncelebrated and even the good things that happened were and always will be bittersweet. I have learned a lot about my God and myself this year and I am still learning to practice my trust and faith in Him. Thankfully, even in the times when I don’t do so well, He waits patiently and faithfully for me. He has answered our prayers and continues to bind our broken hearts, and provide us with the hope we need to face the future.
Here are all the girls... Becky, Krissy, Amy, Me, & Steph at the shop she found THE dress!
In May, we got a new sister-in-law! Adam (Devin’s brother) and Lauren were married on May 3rd! So the months leading up to May were filled with showers and parties to honor and celebrate the happy couple. Devin and I were both in the wedding and enjoyed so much getting to be a part of their special time! This picture was actually taken in March at Sam's wedding... Devin and Adam were both groomsmen.. I am telling you it was THE year of weddings for our family!
May was also a big month for us for other reasons. I finally finished my bachelors degree! At the party to celebrate my graduation, Devin and I made a big announcement--- A BABY was on the way!!! What a special time for us, and we were so blessed to get to share the news with so many of our family and friends at the same time!! This picture is at graduation with my parents. My Mom would kill me for putting this one on here, but its the only one I have with them at graduation!
Like I said earlier, 2008 was the YEAR for weddings in our family! In June we got another new sister-in-law! This time, on my side! My brother, Beau and Kristy were married in June. Their wedding was so sweet and very much about the joining of their two families. Kristy has two children and Beau has one, then we got the news just a couple months after they were married that a new “surprise/blessing” was on the way! We just found out a few weeks ago that it’s a BOY, and Garrett will be here in the late Spring.
The summer months for us are spent around the water. Devin & I enjoyed a week long vacation in Perdido Key, FL with some friends in August. We had a great week, and even took a day trip to New Orleans (we enjoyed the good food & sight seeing, but we were sure to get out of town before dark, though!) (PS, we also found out in August that we were having a GIRL!! It would take months for us to decide on a name, though!) Here's my sweet honey and me in New Orleans at the aquarium.
September was Stephanie’s wedding! What an honor to be a part of her special time! She’s not only my cousin, but she truly is a sister to me. I love her SO much and there are no words to even describe how special she is to me! She and her husband are living in Houston, TX and I am just itching for the opportunity to go visit them! (Annabelle will have to be a little older, though!)
October brought us Allie Claire Mizell! How sweet and fun it was to be pregnant with my BEST FRIEND!! Adam and Carrie got their sweet Allie on October 8th! She is BEAUTIFUL and has a head full of bow-ready hair! (Lord, forgive me for being a little envious of all that hair after Annabelle was born, but thank you for allowing me to find those sweet headbands with the big bows already attached!) Back to Allie… I of course, along with a whole bunch of other family and friends was there at the hospital waiting to see that sweet girl! I couldn’t wait to meet Annabelle’s future BFF. This picture is Allie at 8 weeks old on December 3rd (just 6 days before Annabelle was born), she and her Momma came over for the day to have some Ivy House take out and wrap Christmas presents… we didn’t wrap the first present, but we did go and pick up the chair for Belle’s room…THAT was a trip and a half! We nearly lost that chair 3 times! I was driving 40 mph the whole way home. We had to pull over like 5 times to let cars pass us! Wow, how did I jump from October all the way to December and picking up the nursery chair? Can yall tell I am a HORRIBLE story teller? Well, actually I can tell a story pretty good, I just get off on 10 other ones before I can finish the first one! I have serious A.D.D. moments.
Devin spent every Saturday of the Fall, watching the Gators play football, either at the stadium for home games or with the crew watching them on TV... (he DOES NOT miss a home game! Well, he did miss one this year (the first since he was like 12 or something crazy like that), for Stephanie’s wedding… the Gators lost that game, so it’s still a touchy subject…ha) But I spent my Saturdays working on Annabelle’s room and planning for our sweet girl’s arrival! Here’s a picture of her room! I cant take all the credit, though... Of course Annabelle's Daddy & Grammy was here to paint and refinish furniture and we even had her Pop hanging wallpaper in her dressing room and bathroom the weekend he got back from Australia!
As November got closer, I got BIGGER! I had really changed when my Dad came home in November from a 12, yes I said 12, week trip to Australia (for work). My mom was able to fly out mid-way through his trip to see him and spend a couple weeks “Down Under.” We picked him up from the airport in Jacksonville and we were so glad he was back! Here he is sporting his authentic hat (I don’t remember the name of it, but his friends in Australia bought it for him for his birthday, since he was there on his B-Day). This picture was at baggage claim and his “Digaradoo” (spelling?) was the first thing off the plane… it’s an aboriginal music instrument… I thought I was going to go into labor when we got it home and he played “Jingle Bells” on it for me!
Thanksgiving was our last “first” without our sweet Cooper. Then, on December 9, less than 3 weeks after Thanksgiving, our God blessed us with our baby girl, Annabelle Peg. Christmas could have brought no better gift and I am so thankful that we serve the God of restoration. We are so thankful and blessed to have another child to love and to parent. I never understood the way my momma described the ability to love more than one child equally. After we had Cooper, I was convinced there was NO way I could ever love another as much as I love him. Annabelle has proven that her Grammy indeed was right again—Mom always talked about your heart just gets bigger and the one child moves over and makes room for the other. That’s exactly how it is… So this Christmas I feel like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas! (When his heart grows three sizes, of course!) I looked into that sweet face on December 9th, and woah, did this “Momma Heart” of mine grow! Cooper and Annabelle will have my heart forever, just like my Mom said they would, EQUALLY! Have you ever seen such a sweet girl? Me either!
I am looking forward to all the great blessings of 2009. And I am thankful that in fact, I do know who was “doing the driving” in 2008, even when I was too weak to look out of the back window! Thank you, Lord for carrying me through this year and for all of your many blessings.
Wishing everyone a wonderful 2009!