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"This year for thanksgiving I'm keeping my list short..."

I sat down at my laptop, to begin that impossible card: the Christmas card. Where I write about the past year, and where my 2 (oh wait, 3!) amazing lil's are, and all that has transpired in the past year.

What amazed me, as I continued to write... from the first sentence, to every sentence onward - I just wrote the most positive things ever.

In fact, I wrote that the 30th year of my life was the best year of my life yet.

Because I had a family (even if it's merely a "chosen" one). Because I had an amazing career. Because I had an amazing support network. But most importantly, I had the three children that completed my heart.

I was so afraid that I would write about the heartache the past year and a half had been.
I was afraid I would be consumed by the things that didn't happen, the people that didn't step forward, or the shortcomings.

But so quickly into that letter? I realized how blessed I truly am. Not in the Southern 'Bless Your Heart' sense. But in the actual blessings from our Lord sense.

I have 2 'bigs' who have forgiven me despite my so many shortcomings.
And who beyond anything I've ever seen, love their little sister more than anything.
I have 2 'bigs' who see that family is family.... and WE are family.
We are a UNIQUE blend of family, but WE together, are family.

I've never been so excited to celebrate Thanksgiving - because it's the hardest season of my life. It's the day my father died.

But this year? I get to celebrate not just Thanksgiving day with my 3 beautiful, wonderful, and amazing children. But 3 days later, I get to celebrate a "friendsgiving" with the best friends I have been blessed to have the past 4 years since I moved (and moved back) to Frederick.

I have so much to be grateful for.

Which acknowledging, has finally made "moving on" so much easier.

Telling my bigs, that "he" lied --> that he had no intentions of ever moving, and I am so sorry for getting their hopes up - and hearing their responses, confirmed how much better life is going to be moving forward.

My sweet Bella : "Hasn't he lead you on the past year, Mom? Do you want him to do that to Em?" (She gets it, at not even quite 10, she gets it).
My amazing genius Brooks: "You knew that Mommy, you knew better. Why did you believe him? We've been here for Emily since the hospital, but he stopped then. Where was he after that?".

My bigs get it so much better than they should have to.
Especially since when I actually told him Brad was going to move, Addy quickly said "Please don't get engaged again, that just leads to your heartache, that's what engagement and marriage is, heartache."

My heart about died in that moment, when she said that; but I know now, that whomever becomes Emily's father (should she ever have an earthly one), I will have to be so much more cautious to introduce. And as Em's amazing G-dparents have reminded me time after time - that man needs to be a TRUE MAN OF GOD - so that my lil's can know what an actual Christ focused relationship is.

I will never hurt any of them ever again because I chose an earthly man; that wouldn't also chose them, and writing that simple Christmas letter, proved that my heart is so ready to move forward and find that Godly man.

I am ready.
We are ready.
So with the rest of 2015, I applaud my strength, because of the opportunities given to me, the friendships I've had, and the devout unwaivering love of so many friends and family for Emily, Brooks, Addison, and I.

And 2016? I look forward to finding the father of my fatherless daughter.
But I look forward more, to finding the man who loves Christ as much as I do - so we can raise Emily ( and Addy and Brooks) like a Christian family should.