What a week. It was totally wonderful and completely crazy. It was busy and it was meaningful. It was emotional and it was hysterical. And by the time last night rolled around, I was enjoying that wonderful, exhausted feeling that comes when you can finally let your hair down and relax after a whirlwind schedule.
The good news is, now I finally have time to tell you about it! So here we go.
Thursday: Day one of the Christmas Tea at Faith (my church!). My pastor's wife called me months ago to see if I would be able to speak and share our story, and I was thrilled. I remember over a year ago having a conversation with God, telling Him that I wanted Him to use our story to however He would, in whatever ways He wanted to. If that meant me sharing it, I wanted to do it. The story of Poppy is the story of God's faithfulness. It is the story that shows how amazing, how loving, how good, how powerful, and how all-knowing our God is, and if He can use me to share the hope I have in Him, I want to do it.
The night was beautiful, and I was so humbled to be able to have a part in it. The theme was "Jesus, the Light of the World," and I shared how God is the light that brings us hope for living, even in our darkest hour. As I retold so many aspects of our story, I was blown away once again by how God took care of us, loved us, and blessed us through the gift of Poppy.
Friday: I got to do it all over again. The Christmas Tea is a two night affair, with each night bringing in a new group of ladies. It was great.
Saturday: The big day. Marianna's 4th birthday.
But first, I had a 5k race to run. That morning I got up early before anyone was up and headed out to run with my friend Samantha. We got to the race at 8:15, thinking the race began at 8:30. But it didn't. It started at 9:30. The big bummer was that we had planned on running our extra mileage (we were supposed to run 8 to keep up with our training for the 1/2 marathon) after the race, but instead we found ourselves running 3 miles before the race started. Then we ran the 3.1 for the race. And then we ran two more. The really funny thing was that we both managed to get 1st place in our age divisions, even with the less than optimal conditions. So all in all, success!
In the meantime, Marianna was spending her birthday morning having a date with daddy. They had pancakes at Ihop before running over to the mall to go on the spider jump.
As you can see from the clip below, it involved some high-flying action, and the birthday girl loved every second.
And finally, the moment had come for the pink poodle party—the one Marianna started planning just two months after she turned three. It was so much fun, from the poodle cake, to the silly games, to the dog collars, to the poodle "paw"dicures. Marianna loved it.
There is no such thing as too much pink believe it or not, but if there was, we got awfully close to the limit =).