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Humoring the birthday girl

I am just about done with celebrating. Between Peyton’s birthday and the non-stop Christmas funfest we’ve had, I am over anything that involves gift bags or the phrase “Guess WHO’S here!”

Peyton’s birthday started a week before the actual day, the last week of NOVEMBER. She got yet another birthday gift tonight. That means it’s been a never-ending barrage of birthday well wishing and presents. This poor child. She is doomed to expect birthday gifts for a month, for the rest of her life AND to be sadly disappointed forevermore. Maybe I’ll be nice and transition her into birthday reality and just spend 15$ on her at the Dollar General and give her a trinket every day for two weeks. When she decides, “wow, this is all crap, I’d rather have just 1 day of cool presents” we’ll all be able to move on with our December.

As far as Christmas goes, Santa showed up again tonight at the Lightning game we were attending and she couldn’t even work up any real enthusiasm. She’s seen the man so much she’s beyond getting excited, she’s already told him what she wants and she’s just waiting on the big guy to deliver.

We were able to enjoy another fantastic night of friendship and fun at the Brad Richard’s Richey’s Rascal Suite for a WINNING Lightning game! Go Vinny Lecavelier for scoring the winning goal!!! I have to tell you that we’ve never gone to a losing game at the suite, I think we’re a pretty good luck charm…in fact, maybe they should take us with them on the road. Peyton told me a while back that she thought we should get a Vinny (Lecavelier) and a Brad (Richards) to have at home….as if we can just run by Home Depot and pick one up like a hammer….which if you could, I think I know what would be topping a LOT of Christmas lists this year. But because I firmly agreed with her decision to have a Vinny and Brad for our home, I hope that she was a good girl this year and that Santa will fill that wish!

I am so thankful to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation for their offer of letting me be one of the speakers at the Breakfast of Hope in February. This is a fundraiser that really brings the reality of what cancer is, what it does, the children it affects to so many. I know that Dana Bertoch will also be a speaker at this event this year, and I told them flat out that I have to speak before Dana…I refuse to go on after HER!! Are you kidding me? They won’t hear a word I say after listening to that sweet girl talk. It will be all over. But this a great opportunity to truly say something about how passionate I am about funding a cure and getting these kids the weapons they need to wage war on cancer. We wouldn’t send our soldiers out to battle the enemy with slingshots, but we can’t fund research to give kids a fighting chance at life??

With so much celebrating, time spent with friends from the Children’s Cancer Center, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, the Brad Richards Foundation, the Children’s Dream Fund, the Brandon Foundation, Giving Hope Through Faith Foundation, just each and every precious person we’ve been blessed to get to know in the past year and a half, and the friendships we’ve built over our years in Brandon, I am so sad. I can’t even bear to stop and really think what a loss it’s going to be to drive away from these amazing people, to say goodbye to this support system we’ve been blessed to have. I know that our choices are absolutely the right ones, that we’ll be so blessed through this move, that THIS is what God wants in our lives. But I find myself praying “God, can’t you give me a chance to grow that doesn’t involve me hurting?”

This is totally my selfish feelings about the move. Pete is relishing the challenges his new job brings, he’s making new friends and getting his feet firmly on the ground there. I know without a doubt that my kids are going to make new and fast friends, and will adjust the quickest. And I know, KNOW!, that this right and the best future for our family, but a part of me just wants to stamp my foot and throw myself on the ground and writhe around in a pity party. I like my friends here. I like my life here. I like knowing what my purpose is here. I like feeling secure here. I like having people here when I need them and being able to be there when someone else is in need.

Yet, I hear that voice in my heart saying “But THIS is where I want you.” So, I suck it up and I embrace what lies ahead. I have to tell myself 100 times a day that God’s plans are so much bigger than my pain (Thank you, Sherry, for those precious words) and by trusting in Him we’ve gotten this far, He’s not going to let us down now.

In the face of so much Christmas joy and frivolity, I’m always reminded of the flip side of that coin. The families who will be spending their holiday with a desperately sick child, the families who will be spending so much of their day remembering past Christmases with their loved one whose no longer there to celebrate with them. I feel this sadness to know so many around us will be facing a Christmas morning tainted by the knowledge that there is someone missing and no matter how hard they try, it will seep some of the joy away. Whether it is a child, a mother or father, a friend…the loss seems to be expressed more and felt deeper right now, when the focus is on the family and precious time together.

I don’t want to be the bummer on your holiday, but please don’t forget to think of those less fortunate than you. Not just those who don’t have as many nice trimmings for their holiday, the ones who don’t have the newest and coolest gifts under the tree….but those who’s Christmas will be about just making it through a day filled with grief and loss, for those who will be considering that this might be their last Christmas together and hold tenuously to each moment, for the ones who have been through the worst they ever dreamed of, for those who don’t trust in our Lord and don’t have that peace and comfort that comes from Him. Keep them in your prayers. And let that make your moments more treasured, let it enrich each second of your days, let it humble you and keep your perspective of what’s truly important.

f.r.o.G….fully relying on God

4 Comments on “Humoring the birthday girl”

  1. #1 dug
    on Dec 21st, 2007 at 10:55 am


    Here is Angela's List:

    1. Brad Richards
    2. Brad Richards
    3. Brad Richards
    4. Brad Richards
    5. Brad Richards

    OK I get the drift, drop 50lbs, workout, grow my hair out, get plastic surgery and make 200x more money a year all before Christmas.

  2. #2 Aunt Angela
    on Dec 21st, 2007 at 11:44 am


  3. #3 Ami Czorapinski
    on Dec 21st, 2007 at 11:44 am


  4. #4 Julie V.
    on Dec 21st, 2007 at 4:08 pm


    Very well said Anissa! I'm wishing you and your family a very joyous and wondrous CHRISTmas!!!

    It seems like there will be lots of change and adjustment happening for you in 2008. I'm so thankful the Lord doesn't lead us somewhere and just drop us off. He is with us every step of the way. His ways are so much higher than ours. He is going before you to pave the way and will be with you every step of the way.

    Merry CHRISTmas!!!

    God's Blessings,

    Julie V.