Last Friday, Nick and I were watching movies. He fell asleep so I decided to watch Heaven is For Real for the first time. I just finished Die Hard before starting Heaven is For Real. I realized I needed to pee and grab a ginger ale(my fav) before I got invested in the next movie. So, I paused it, and guess what time I paused it at……. YUP, 3:21.
By the time I noticed, I tried to grab my phone and take a pic. But, it disappeared off the screen. HI BUG! I know you are in Heaven!
Every first born girl on my moms side has the middle name Joy. It’s my grandmothers, my mothers, mine, and Aria’s. When I found out I was having a girl, I wasn’t sold on a name. I liked Ava. Rico liked Alicia (pronounced E-Lee-C-Ya), I didn’t. Whether he knew it or not, it wasn’t going to happen. However, there was no question her middle name would be Joy.
When she was born on March 21st, 2005 at 10:52pm. She was quiet. I was nervous because she wasn’t crying. However, the doctors and nurses assured me she was fine. She was bright eyed and alert, just taking it all in. When they handed her to me, I laid her in front of me. I counted all her fingers and toes, made sure they were all there. Took her hat off, examined her ears, her eyes, her arms, legs. In pure disbelief and “aww” of the miracle that this little being was JUST living inside of me. It’s a crazy yet incredible and indescribable feeling. That’s my baby. The one who had hiccups 3X a day. The one who made me hate waffle fries. The one who made me LOVE Apple juice( which I hate). Here she is! Oh the JOY!
After spending the night and day with her, I realized she wasn’t an Ava. Picking a name is a HUGE deal. The night before we left the hospital, me, Ashlee, Alli, Rico, and LaRon were all hanging out in my room. The baby was on my lap. We put 5 names on the white board that were potential possibilities. I looked at the baby and asked her what she wanted her name to be. I said each name one by one. She was quiet while I named all the names except for Aria. Once I said Aria, she squealed, made a noise, and stretched. Almost as if she was raising her hand.
I said “That’s it, she wants her name to be Aria Joy. She just picked her own name, OMG.”
Aria loved that story. She loved hearing it over and over again. She also picked her birthdate. March 21st was the only day that no one in our 30 person family pool picked. She was one of a kind, Miss Aria Joy.
Aria loved Christmas. Christmas music, caroling, movies, Church, trees, lights, cookies, giving to those in need, family time, and PRESENTS. She could feel the LOVE in the air and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus. When she was 4 or 5, her favorite movie was Santa Paws. Below was her favorite song, for years. She would sing it non stop. I can barely listen to it without crying.
Aria would spend every Christmas Eve with me and my mom‘s side of the family. At night after my moms festivities, we would go home. She would sleep and then wake up and open Santa’s gifts at our place Christmas morning. Then we would go to my dads house and spend a few hours with him before I dropped her off at the Burches. Last year, I decided I wasn’t going to drive Aria to the Burches anymore. I thought it was time that Rico came to get her to bring her to his family’s Christmas, it was only fair. The plan was that he would get her by 12:30pm from my Dad’s house. However, we couldn’t get ahold of him until 3:00pm. She was anxiously awaiting to hear from her father. He got to my parents house around 4:30pm. My family and I felt so blessed that we got to spend more time with Aria last year than any other Christmas. The featured image on this blog is a picture of Aria, Rico, and I from last Christmas when he got to my parents house. It’s the first picture we’ve taken together in probably 10 years and it is the last.
Now, I’m a mess. I’m trying to figure out how to get through this holiday season without my baby. I’ve decided I’m going to take 2 weeks to myself. I wont be posting on Christmas or New Years. But you better believe I’ll be back 2020 to continue my mission.
God Bless you all!! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May this Christmas bring you lots of JOY! Remember, Christmas is not about presents, it’s about family and celebrating the promise we have in the birth of Jesus.
Enjoy this beautiful video of Aria singing Christmas, 2017. Miss Joy you will forever be ALL I WANT!!!