Decorating was even harder. We bought a new frame at the tree farm to put our family picture in. When I took it out the box, my heart felt like it was bleeding. I realized that now we are starting to take family pictures with Aubrey. Now, I have to choose which "family" will go in my frames. Will it be the family picture with Avery Kate or the one with Aubrey? I won't ever have them both in the same picture. A friend of mine gave me a very good idea to have the entire family in one picture, so hopefully that picture will come soon ;) Anyways, I pulled out the stockings, the ornaments, and all the other fun Christmas decorations. Then I just sat down, held Aubrey, and cried. What if something happens to her too and she will miss out on Christmas too? My heart was just so heavy to know that Avery Kate should be here helping us decorate. And as I would look down at Aubrey, I kept imagining what it would have been like last year with Avery Kate, what it should have been. I know it's hard to explain, but I know I will always imagine what Avery Kate would look like and what she would be doing if she were still here with us, but now that I have another baby girl, I'm also imagining what my holidays were supposed to be like last year too. It's like double the heartache. But I am so thankful to be able to make this new memories with Aubrey and I will make sure we have a wonderful and happy holiday. I just had to get passed the initial shock of it all. Luckily Brandon's mom came over and helped me to get in the Christmas spirit. I feel like these moments hit me when I least expect them and it's really hard to plan and prepare myself mentally for that.
With all the Christmas decorating, I knew it was time to put Avery Kate's Christmas tree up at her grave. Hallie, Aubrey, Jenny, and I went to the graveyard to decorate. I absolutely hate having Aubrey there because it reminds me of just how small these graves in "Babyland" are and how unfair life can be sometimes. I let Hallie pick out some special ornaments for Avery Kate's little tree and we began to decorate. Meanwhile one of the workers came and asked me to follow him to the back of their work building. He said he had a surprise for me. I followed him to the back of the building to find a big, beautiful statue of an angel "protecting" a little boy and a little girl. He said they dug up the bush next to Avery Kate's grave and they were going to put this statue there. I just thought that was so special! After we finished decorating, we all got back into the car and Hallie began to cry....uncontrollably! She cried, "I just want Avery Kate! I miss her and I want her! Dad can take her car seat down from the closet and she can come back. I want two sisters, not just one... I want two of them!" Well really I feel the exact same way! I calmed her down, but how do you comfort a child who feels the same way you do? She is just so mature when it comes to stuff like this. I feel like I'm talking with an adult when we talk about Heaven and God. She understands so much.
I had Aubrey's name monogrammed underneath Hallie's and Avery Kate's on their First Christmas Stocking. I have decided to keep this one hanging every year as our memory of our little Christmas Angel that we have to watch over us during the holiday season. We have our house decorated inside and out for the holidays and I know we will have a wonderful Christmas with our family and friends surrounding us. I know it won't be easy, but we have some pretty amazing things to be thankful for. God has blessed us with another beautiful baby girl who I fall in love with more and more each day.
Overall I've been getting so much better. I'm sleeping better at night and I don't have as much anxiety as I used to. Although I have to admit, I'm already freaking out about December 10; the day when Aubrey will be as old as Avery Kate was on that last day we saw her. I know that day will be hard and scary. I feel so many prayers and so much love and support from everyone that I know I'll make it through that day as well. :)