Dear Hope,

Wow! I can’t believe I went this long without writing to you. I am so so sorry. Things are finally settling down at home. We have a lot of catching up to do.

I left off the day before thanksgiving. Well, Thanksgiving went well. I think because I was moving all day, I didn’t have that much time to think to myself. Everything went smoothly and I think you helped with that. You were watching over us, making sure everything went well. Thank you. It wasn’t until everyone left I had time to think and get upset. I really miss you. I often think of how life would be with you here, especially with the holidays.

The next few days we did a little bit of shopping. I just wasn’t into it this year. Dad and I went out on Black Friday but not until the afternoon. It was crowded and we really didn’t feel like dealing with all those people. On December 3rd, I left for Florida on a work trip. I knew it was going to be hard because we were going to Orlando; the happiest place on earth. Last time I was there (April), you were still here and I was excited to think of what the future would look like. However, it wasn’t as bad because Dad came with me. He did some exploring on the days I had to work. One day he said he found the most beautiful scenery and carved your name with a rock. It made me smile.

Hope Carving

The last couple of days, we had to ourselves. We visited some friends in Tampa and went to Busch Gardens. They had a ton of animals there, you would love it. I imagined what it would be like taking you there. We also went kayaking and saw an alligator! Dad was so scared! I was a little but I wanted a pic so we hung around a little bit to get one. When we did, we went back ASAP! The last day, we went to some of the parks. We avoided Magic Kingdom because we thought that would have the most little girls dressed up as princesses. It was a good choice. We enjoyed Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Again, we imagined what it would have been like with you there. Of course, we wouldn’t have been there at that exact moment but eventually. We hope to give you a brother or sister one day and we can all share in visiting this magical place.

Once we got back, it was back to reality; Paying bills, going to work, blah blah blah. I also had to fit shopping in there because we hardly got any done. It went by so fast that before we knew it, it was Christmas Eve. Dad had a hard time that day; he was really sad. I was sad, but I was able to be strong for him. He is always so strong for me, that it was my turn. It also broke my heart to see your Mommom (my side) get upset in church. Luckily there weren’t too many kids there but there was a cute girl sitting in front of us. I couldn’t help but to think of you older playing with your doll.

Christmas Day was hard. Again, it’s not how we imagined celebrating. Dad was really sad again and I am thankful I was able to be strong. While I was extremely sad, I had to be strong for your Dad. He doesn’t always show his emotions (although lately he has which is great); I needed to be there for him. We did enjoy time with both our parents but it was still a sad day for us.

Your Grandpa’s side of the family had a Christmas party on Saturday. While it sounded like a good idea when we sent the RSVP in, it wasn’t. We didn’t go. Mommom told us later that not going was the best idea. Two of my cousins are pregnant and there were tons of kids running around, too many reminders.

I know eventually we will have to face everyone. In a way, I think may have been able to handle it, put everything to the side but your Dad wasn’t ready and that is fine, he needs to take his time. I think I can thank therapy for helping me realize this. I go every two weeks and talk about you. She helps me see things from a different perspective. Maybe that is how I was able to be so strong for Dad over Christmas, maybe not. Maybe I was just having a better day. I’d like to think it’s the therapy helping. Dad mentioned coming to another session soon but we will see. He went to the very first one and it wasn’t for him. However, maybe he sees it’s helping me and he wants that same help. I’ll keep you posted although you’ll already know since you watch over us.

One last thing before I go, we are trying again. We are looking to give you a brother or sister in the near future. We want to be able to have children and tell them all about you; their big sister. We will find out next week if we are or not. I want the test to be positive. I am not sure how I’ll handle a negative result. Deep down, I know there is a chance it won’t happen right away but I hope it’s not the case. It only took one time with you.

We never realized how many times we use hope in conversations. Every time I say or hear it, I stop for a minute and think of you.

Until next time,

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