This update is all about our seasonal happenings for December. I'm not including any medical updates...that will be for another update. Just the happenings for the month is pretty overwhelming so I will leave it at that for today!
Thanksgiving-1st week of DecemberMy wonderful sister Emily came up from Las Vegas for a little while. We managed to have a sisters only outing where we went to Dinner together and shopping. (so needed, so fun, and so expensive…) We also went to Temple Square with her and her boys, as well as my lovely sister-in-law Jen and her two cuties. It was really neat to have Grace with us. Not so neat was how insanely crowded it was! Thus causing Topher and I to have massive panic attacks about keeping everyone AWAY FROM OUR BABY! The lights, however, were beautiful and the feeling by the temple was awesome, so awesome, that even our thick headed little Gracey might even have been able to feel it!! ;)Anyway, I loved being able to see and spend some time with my sister and her ADORABLE boys. :)
This was Finals Week for Topher, so it was pretty crazy. Topher ran around like a zombie half of the week, and a chicken with its head cut off the other half of the week. Or maybe he was a cross of the two the whole time. I dunno.December 21
This Sunday was the Christmas party with Topher’s extended family. It was very exciting as well as nerve-racking to bring Grace with us. Everyone definitely loved getting to see her, but there was always a bit of nervous tension in the air when we walked in a room. Everyone thinking to themselves if they had sneezed at all during the day probably. We got some neat gifts and also were able to go to Austin’s (Topher’s little bro) Eagle Award Ceremony. (Way to go Cpt. Awesome!!)
December 24 Christmas Eve
We went to Topher’s folks and had Christmas Eve festivities with them. We did our family Gift Exchange, where I was able to give some gifts I had been slaving over the for past few weeks. I had made my sister-in-law Misty a diaper bag, and then filled it with goodies. (my pride and joy!) I had also made pj pants for her spouse Jose, an apron for the master chef, Curtis,(dad) and a skirt for Venice(mom). Lucky for my nerves, everyone seemed to like their gifts, and and that was a big relief. :) We also did a mini performance of the nativity scene and then just enjoyed the evening.
After we came home, I made my last attempt to try and get into the Christmas spirit. For some odd reason, I just could NOT get into the spirit of the season this year. I tried very hard to make a lot of presents from scratch, trying to not spend as much money, but more time instead. I tried to get things done early, I made cookies for neighbors, read Christmas stories with Grace, put decorations up right after Thanksgiving…and yet whatever I did, I just wasn’t feeling it. So, once home, and having put Grace to bed, I set to work determined to feel it before I went to bed. I read the majority of the stories in the December's Ensign, one after the other, each one making me cry more than the previous (I definitely should have done this MUCH earilier) and that had the desired effect. It was able to completely brighten my spirits, warm my soul and give me an immense gratitude and love for our Savior, and for Christmas as a time to remember him. Way to go me. And way to go Ensign writers!
Christmas morning was spent with just us 3. I woke up early and made a Gourmet Breakfast for my sweet husband. I let him and Grace sleep in as long as possible, and then we had Christmas morning together. To think that last Christmas time had been spent with Topher and me crying on the couch in each other’s arms almost every day, fearing our little girl might not live to see her first Christmas, and then to have what we do now; a healthy, growing, beautiful little girl sitting in front of us, enjoying Christmas with us...well it was almost too wonderful to seem true. Truly, we shouldn’t have needed anything else for Christmas at all. Grace is enough of a gift to last us a lifetime of Christmases. But, I guess that didn’t register well enough for either Topher or myself, because we still had a very spoiled Christmas. Grace wasn't really into the whole opening presents thing this year...in fact, I'm pretty sure I ended up opening almost ALL of her presents. But oh well. She certainly loved playing with them once they were open, and that was the important part anyway, right? Here is our little elf...In the evening, my cute pregnant sister Dacia and her crazy spouse came over, and then slept over for the next 2 nights. In 14 short hours, we managed to watch all of Chuck season 1. (THANK YOU AMY!!!!) We’re thinking of making a tradition of it, it was so fun. My sister told us on Christmas morning that they were expecting a little girl, YAY!!!!
We had a Christmas at Dacia’s house with my Mum and her sweet spouse, as well as my brother Alan (who we had not seen in nearly 2 months! We missed you!) and his family. I was so excited to give my sisters and Mom their gifts! I had made them aprons, and it was very rewarding to see them all like them as much as they did. Dacia also gave us a very sweet gift, the Proclamation to the Family, framed, with pictures of our little family all around it. I love this so much, Thank you!
For New Years, we had Christmas at my Dad’s with my brother and sister again.Topher and I were able to go running together, it kicked my butt! But, it was good since to get some exercise in, since I probably haven’t run at all since my Triathlon. We enjoyed some VERY yummy steaks, (thank you daddy!) as well as a good breakfast, gifts, lots of games (RISK 2x in a row until 3 in the morning!! Yikes) and very good time all around.
So, that was our month. It really wasn't as insane as it sounds...only partially. We loved our first Christmas with Grace, loved having Topher home for a 3 1/2 week break, loved seeing love ones, and truly enjoyed the season.