Friday, December 3, 2010

a girls weekend.

my aunts from chicago are here. and its been great. justin is out of town for the weekend. so its just the girls. and ava is loving it. more attention for her. on monday night when justin was at yl club and ava was asleep. i decided to work on something i have been putting off for months. i am not sure why but i have. when ava was born i was given a calender for her to document different milestones for each month of her first year of life. i did a real good job from january to july. july 20th to be specific. but then it stopped. because our life stopped right about then. or just shifted focus for a bit. so when i opened the calender and saw the blank pages. august. september. october. november. my heart sank. and i wept. hard. i just hated that i felt like i had missed those months with ava. i didn't. i know that. but i hated that i could not remember the exact day she crawled. or when she first waved. or the day she said "dada" for the first time. but i pulled it together and just started writing. trying to remember everything. when it happened (ish) and i am okay with that. and thankfully i really did not miss anything. because i am with her everyday. and that is a gift in itself. i just hate how quickly you forget the little things. and man i love this little girl. and i swore i would not forget anything. and i would nurse her until she was one. and i would make her homemade baby food. but life happened. the way it does sometimes. things go differently then you planned. or things happen that you never would plan in a million years. but that's life. things change. they do not go the way we thought. but in our fear and despair...we are surprised. and God moves through it all. and everything is different. but its good. not all of it. but some of it. justin and i were talking last night over dinner. and because we were connecting and i wanted to keep talking i unknowingly gave ava more graham crackers than any person. let alone an eleven month old should eat. but he said...."babe. we never thought we would spend half of our daughters first year of life going to chemo every other thursday. and thinking about death. and experiencing what we have. but in the middle of it all we now know how much God loves us. how he is for us. even in all the darkness and pain. he is so for us." and its true. 

the ryder family of three has officially decorated the river house for christmas. our stockings are hung. the tree is up. its fake and its too small for the room. but we will be purchasing a new larger tree at an after christmas sale. but until next year our little tree will work. and i love it. ava found an ornament in the pile of decor and it was a bell and she rang that thing. and she loved it! so we are ready for the season. and this season we are grateful for many things. but mainly that my cancer is shrinking. and that i am not bald...yet. and for ava. and that i love my husband more than i ever thought possible. really. 

and we have a little family adventure coming up...


  1. that guilt is an ugly thing. sometimes i cry at how much energy i put into photographing other people's children while mine go unphotographed for important milestones that i can never get back. i like to think i have them all saved in my heart though...and that i could call them up if i really needed to.

    an adventure indeed...i'm looking so forward to it.

  2. Libby,
    I am glad you are doing well...enjoyed this post.
    The "condo tree" is fake and a little small as well. I burn a Yankee Christmas candle and spend more time enjoying the tree and less time putting it up and taking it down. It smells like Christmas here. I bet your tree looks huge to little Ava! Keep an eye on the mail...something for Ava. A family adventure?
    More photographs to Pop Pop! Actually I have a place for two 8 x 10 black and white profile shots...hint...

  3. Libby, that guilt thing is there for everyone. I thought I would remember and video every single thing that all of my babies did. I did (sort of o.k. the first time) second time I pretty much missed but could recall when things happened. My third? Sad to say, life does happen. I don't remember when he did much...just before he turned 2 as we were eating dinner and he sat there using his fingers to eat I realized I had never offered him a utensil to eat with...I gave him a spoon and that little guy just started scooping and harm done, we just sometimes are busy. But they always know you love them, and they ALWAYS love mama no matter what! You are an amazing woman, wife, and mother! Never forget that! :) Merry Christmas to you and your family! Glad the house is all decorated!!!! :) Just wait until Ava wants to do it all herself! I have three little elves that do most of it for me...with a little help! :)

  4. You aren't the only one who feels that guilt! So you are perfectly normal! I drove myself crazy trying to keep my son's calendar updated along with 2 journals - a baby book for him and a book for Mom's first year...there were a few things that I had to guess on as to the 'date' that something happened, and I wasn't nor am I going through what you've got on your plate. Wishing you and your famiy a very happy Christmas season...such a great time of year to BELIEVE in the good that will come to you. I am especialy believing that your cancer will be knocked out of your system!

  5. i'm proud of the mom your are to ava...proud to be your sister...have fun with the aunts...i love u!...


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