…To feel the tug at my heart as I realize all three friends who conceived at the same time that I did last spring have now given birth to their babies…and I have not. One in four women miscarry…I was the one in my four.
…For pulling 22 boxes of Christmas decorations out of storage, spending a total of 18 hours transforming our home into a Winter Wonderland, and then, over the next thirty days, dreading when I have to put it all away again.
…When it is impossible to avoid newborn babies and pretty little bumps because every single soul is out and about, shopping, eating, laughing.
…To hang my Baby’s First Christmas (circa 1983) ornament on the tree, right next to one of the ceramic mice that my grandmother crafted and right below the ornament that Honey made for me just a few years ago.
…For making eight kinds of cookies in just as many days and then delivering them to friends, neighbors, co-workers, and the odd passerby (you know, because it’s the season of giving and all that jazz).
…When I must schedule RE visits and ultrasounds around Christmas shopping, baking, partying, planning, preparing, gift-making, gift-wrapping, and more.
…To pull out the boots — rainboots, not snowboots, because that’s how we roll here.
…For remembering who has gone before us, for feeling their absence intensely, and for wishing they were still here.
…When I start to wonder when our first power outage will be, because in this season there are often many here.
…To gorge myself on peanut butter cup cookies (a family recipe!), homemade fudge, eggnog, our traditional Christmas Eve trifle and everything else that this season brings into our cupboards and fridge — and then waste the next 340 days or so regretting it, only to do it all over again.
…For going way, way, way over my Christmas budget. Shame. On. Me.
…When I send out 50+ photo Christmas cards that I have spent hours designing, and then wonder why I do so because the most cards we get in our mailbox is fifteen or so.
…To tell myself it’s okay if I’m not pregnant by Christmas because then, at least, I can indulge in a Polar Bear, a kahlua-ice cream cocktail that has graced my family with its presence every year since before I was born.
…When I make 18 dishes over the course of two days (Christmas Eve and Day) with only the help of my mom. And all that food is for just five people!
…To reflect on the past year, the joy and pain it has brought me, and to dream for the future and all that it can be.