A new background! We took this photo last weekend just before going into our first Christmas celebration at Aaron’s dad and stepmom’s house. They live high up on a hill and have an incredible view from their driveway.
We celebrated Christmas four times with different members of our family, and each time felt extra-special because we experienced such an outpouring of love and excitement for our daughter.
Shortly after Thanksgiving, we sent our baby-registry link to our parents so they could choose gifts from it if they wanted to. Well, those grandparents-to-be sure are excited, because we received so many generous gifts! Santa brought everything from big items — like a car seat, high chair, and swing — to safety must-haves — like baby gates and a video monitoring system — and of course plenty of toys, books, clothes, and more. It was like a pre-baby-shower shower! We are overwhelmed, so grateful, and working hard on our thank-you notes. 🙂
Luckily, the only time I cried was during our first celebration with Aaron’s dad’s side of the family. We were in the middle of opening presents when I pulled out an adorable pink onesie and just started sobbing in front of about 10 people. Those were the very first gifts we’d received for our baby, and seeing them just made everything feel so real. Gotta love those pregnancy hormones!
Our next celebration was hosting my dad and brother at our house on Christmas Eve — or what we called Christmas Evie, since she received the most gifts out of anyone by far.
(Yup, I’m wearing the same top. My “festive maternity top” selection is quite limited.)
I really need to look into finding an adult version of this activity gym; it converts into a ball pit, and what could be more fun than that??
Thank you so much to my dad and brother for their incredibly generous gifts, and more importantly, their wonderful company on Christmas Eve!
And thank you to Aaron for making our delicious dinner of glazed ham, roasted potatoes, biscuits, and salad. Actually, I made the salad. 🙂
Aaron and I opened our gifts to each other first thing on Christmas morning. I got him a pair of Ugg slippers he wanted, plus some cookware he’d been coveting from Crate & Barrel because he is truly obsessed with cooking/baking and I do everything I can to encourage it. 🙂
Aaron got me two pairs of my favorite cozy socks — I’d been begging for a replacement pair, because they’re the greatest ever and I’ve worn holes in mine — and he also booked me a prenatal massage in our hotel room during our babymoon in February! YESSSSSS!!!
Next, we were off to Aaron’s mom and stepdad’s house for Christmas brunch. Santa had been busy!
We enjoyed a fantastic brunch my mother-in-law Greta made of blueberry French toast casserole (with challah bread!), egg nests, and fresh fruit. So good!
One funny moment we had while exchanging gifts was when Aaron’s stepdad Mark opened this sweater that Aaron had chosen for him, and then Aaron immediately opened one very similar to it that Greta and Mark had gotten for him! So cute.
I was thrilled to receive what I had asked Santa for: a super-cozy pair of gloves and a cold-weather headband. If you have some Christmas money to spend and need to bundle up for the winter, I highly recommend those!
Thank you, Greta and Mark, for an amazing Christmas morning and so many wonderful gifts!
It was very special to have Grandpa O with us, too, as he recently moved into a nearby assisted living home after having lived independently to the age of 89.
Next, we went to my mom and stepdad’s house for our final celebration and Christmas dinner. My mom had all my favorite holiday snacks ready upon our arrival: fancy cheese and crackers, deviled eggs, Ruffles with sour-cream-and-onion dip, and more. A pregnant lady’s dream come true!
After exchanging gifts, Aaron cozied up by the fire like a distinguished gentleman in his new sweater…
…and Don modeled his spiffy herringbone vest.
We capped off the day with a delicious homemade dinner of a rib roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, and biscuits, and with my brother teaching my mom how to play the super-violent video game he works on at his job, which was quite entertaining. Thank you, Mom and Don, for having us and for all the fantastic gifts!
Whew, I’m exhausted just recapping all that Christmas goodness. Oh, one last thing! One gift we gave each set of grandparents-to-be was a custom ornament made by our friend Katie, who recently started a calligraphy business called Ink & Sable.
They turned out so beautifully. Thank you, Katie!
I went to the gym a whopping one time this week, the day after Christmas. It felt really good to walk and lift weights after a whole lot of sitting and eating. My weekly at-home weigh-in indicated I gained 2.5 pounds since last week. I believe it!
There is an elusive front view of the belly, which is not nearly as cute as the side view. So, yeah, we’ll just stick with side views, huh?
After last week’s weird resurgence of exhaustion, I felt back to normal in that sense this week, and made it through multiple movies without falling asleep! Aaron and I saw the new Star Wars movie thanks to a free screening his company did, and we watched a fantastic movie at home called Chef (watch the trailer). I can’t shut up about how good it was. It’s on streaming Netflix, so go watch it now!!!
My intense thirst has dissipated, so that’s nice. Hunger is about the same as ever — pretty normal.
I’m still just feeling really good, with no major complaints. I anticipated the worst while imagining what pregnancy would be like, but I’ve had it very easy so far. Even my first-trimester nausea and exhaustion weren’t that bad, compared to what many women experience. I do imagine the third trimester will suck, though, so I’m trying to enjoy this easy phase.
The best parts of every day are when I feel our baby kicking. I feel her every day now, multiple times a day, and Aaron is often able to feel her from outside my belly, too. My mom even got to feel a kick on Christmas!
I usually feel her during the quieter moments, like when I first wake up, when I’m watching TV after dinner, and when I’m falling asleep. It’s not a jabby feeling anymore; more like a hearty thumping. It makes me smile and feel so incredibly excited to meet her.
It finally feels like it’s no longer just Aaron and me, but the three of us — a family.
This is our holiday card that I was stressing about getting in the mail last week. We used a tripod to take the photo after my usual weekly picture, and then printed it at Aaron’s office print shop for super-cheap. Whatever works!
That’s all for this week; I’ll be back next year with another update. Have a safe and happy new year, everyone! We’ll be on the couch sipping sparkling cider and falling asleep well before midnight, I’m sure. Nothing sounds better, at this point!