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Remembering 2012

It's hard to believe that we're a month away from the New Year. The Christmas season is upon us and we're looking at our 2012 in retrospect. For me, 2012 was a year where my life changed dramatically overnight -- twice. Ironically, on the unofficial starts of summer and fall (Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends)

In May, we welcomed our new baby Hayden. He came out crying and didn't stop for three months. He was the first colic baby I had ever dealt with and I certainly hope the last. Those sleepless nights my wife and I shared seemed to last forever. We worked in shifts to help soothe him and keep him comfortable knowing that he wasn't feeling any better about his situation than we were.

In September, my wife was jolted out of her sleep to the cracking sound of fire coming from our bedroom ceiling. She woke me up, grabbed Hayden and we rushed out of the house. We later discovered that a neighbor's cigarette caused the fire that consumed our possessions. Thanks to the American Red Cross, our families, our friends, Mommy Traders, Wiggle Worms, Fredricksburg Parent, Vine Covenant Ministries and people in the community, we were able to rebuild our lives rapidly. It really showed that the benevolent human spirit in the Fredericksburg area was alive and well.

Now we're facing Christmas. For the first time in many years, I'm going to decorate the house. I always saw it as "just another day," but I can't live thinking that way any more. Life has a funny way of making you appreciate things you once took for granted. Every day is a celebration.

Whether you observe Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or nothing at all, I wish you and your family the warmest cheer this December. To quote my favorite thinker, Henry David Thoreau, "The greatest art is to shape the quality of the day."

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Pouches' Community Corner

This month Pouches learned about a very important resource for families who have lost loved ones to sudden tragedy, an organization called LLOST.

keepsake box

The foundation has helped 44 hospitals in 22 states through their Treasured Memories program. The program sends nurses to bereavement training, and provides or supplements the $55 memory boxes that include clothes, booties, handknot blankets, pictures, foot prints, hand prints, clipped hair and other mementos.

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