Celebrating Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Hey Four!

You are giving me the gift of connection and reassurance.  I can feel you..a lot more now!  It is crazy how you can make yourself felt and then at other times I sense nothing.  I think you are still pretty low in me and there are times when I swear I pee myself a little because you kick my bladder.  It is all good though because I know you are there.

It is Christmas morning and Santa came!  We are going to head over to Grandpa E and Grandma G’s house for our traditional breakfast.  We will open some gifts there and then head back to our house to start cooking the turkey dinner that we are having here.  Our Christmas is off to a nice, relaxing start.  So far it has been very sweet.  Last night, before we both turned in, your dad and I read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to you.  Your dad laughed when he said, “breast of new fallen snow.”  He is such a boy!  So far this past week was all leading up to that sweet moment with us reading to you.

A week ago we celebrated our “cousin Christmas”.  This is Aunt D and your dad’s one of two cousins on Grandma G’s side.  Cousin C has two daughters and they were there.  We took some family photos and just enjoyed hanging out.  We didn’t do much for that get together other than bring gifts and some food.  It was all very easy.  Then as the week wore on it was nice to have some time to bake cookies.  And did I bake!  We have a great variety of treats and it has been fun making platters to give out to friends.  I just finished my last batch of cookies at 10 p.m. last night.  I really wanted to make peanut butter blossoms.  They are not as good as the previous ones that I’ve done, but that is ok. I made chocolate chips (which aren’t unique to the holidays but still remain everyone’s favorites and run out fast).  I also did snickerdoodles.  Those kind of flopped and I am not sure why.  They ended up very crunchy and that is not good.  I probably won’t do them again as it was a waste of ingredients.  Then I did these “plain” cookies made of yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding.  They seemed like they would be good, but they didn’t really come out that great so I won’t do those again either.  The chocolate snowflake kisses were ok, I think I needed more coco in them.  The candy cane chocolate crinkles were ok.  I thought that I would really like those and I just don’t seem to like them as much.  My sugar cookies were fantastic!  I am thinking I will make more of those.  I used a sour cream recipe from Pinterest.  The frosting got a little messy, but overall those were pretty awesome – not easy, but worth it.  Then there are the various pretzel ones: the Rolo turtles, the Hugs with M& Ms, and the Cookies and Cream with mint M&Ms.  I would not do that last kind again.  It didn’t taste right putting mint with salty pretzel.  The other ones are super easy and always a hit.  I think I took pics of most of them, so I feel pretty accomplished for all of my baking efforts.  Two years ago I did up a storm of cookies and then last year hardly any at all.  Next year I will try to do the candy cane twist cookies and some Corn Flake wreaths.  Yikes, enough about all that sugar!  I find it ironic that my previous post was about being overweight and here I am making a ton of cookies.  I can’t wait to see the scale this Wed – yeesh!

Since we ordered almost all of our gifts online we were done with shopping a long time ago.  As the packages were delivered I would wrap them and put them under the tree.  It was nice to have that all set since it was so organized.  Our Christmas cards were all done before December and then we just sat back and enjoyed getting cards.  We hung two ribbons with metal alligator clips on them to keep our cards displayed by the door.  All of our decorations were done Thanksgiving weekend as well.  We were able to really enjoy having those up to get the spirit going.  I simply loved having our house all decorated and feeling so cozy.  I sure will miss it when we pack everything away.  But we will soon be getting ready for your arrival!  That just floors me to no end!

Back to the holidays, though, we have really stayed on top of things and it feels so nice to know we just needed to dust, vacuum, and de-clutter to have company over.  Yesterday Aunt J and Uncle J came over.  It was so fun to just sit in the living room with some drinks and treats and “shoot the shit” (sorry, but a lot of our conversation was about that and it was funny).  We didn’t get extra stressed to have people over, it is just easy.  I think that our house is nice for entertaining because it just feels very welcoming and everyone has room to sit comfortably – which was not the case at either your dad’s or my former townhomes.  I had some tennis ladies visit during the week as well, so it is so nice to be a place we can welcome people to and they feel cozy too.  I simply love everything about this year’s holidays so far!

We had some snow earlier, but in the past day and for today and tomorrow we are having a little warm up which means that today we are having a rainy Christmas.  Tomorrow we are due for 50 degree temps, which is very unusual for this time of year.  I don’t even think we are expected to have snow for days.  This is all fine with me as that means I can be out and about more safely.  We are having Grandpa M, Grandma J, and Aunt A’s family over tomorrow.  Since it is supposed to be warm, we are going to try and do a candy cane hunt.  I have fun activities for the kiddos and really look forward to playing with them.  They have been sick, so I hope that they get better soon and don’t spread their germs to me or your dad.  I also have my “tennis posse” (a group of 4 former players who I have kept up with over many years) coming over for a lunch hangout.  I have to work early in the morning, but then the rest of the day will be with friends and family.  We are leaving for breakfast now….catch up soon.

Okay, we are back from our Christmas day celebrations.

This morning we left to go open some presents from Grandpa E and Grandma G at their house.  Aunt D brought her dog Aries and he tore open some dog presents too.  It was fun.  Then we had a nice breakfast and all felt like we could take a long mid-morning nap.  However, we got home to start preparing the turkey for the smoker.  We got the table set with our fun plastic Christmas plates.  Then we just worked on little odds and ends.  When I was sitting for a break at one point you were kicking me nicely.  Then Aunt D got here with a bunch of gifts for everyone.  We had drinks and just enjoyed the afternoon.  Everyone got nice gifts.  Your dad got me an awesome Yoda Christmas decoration.  I also got a penguin blanket which is super soft.  We had a fire roaring in the fireplace and Aunt D had fun with that.  We played a silly card game together (laughing so hard we cried) and just really had a memorable Christmas – and our first Christmas here at our home.  It was wonderful.  Now your dad and I are just relaxing on the couch together.  The fire is down the final logs and I need to go to sleep early so that  can get to work early as I have stuff to do before I can escape for the rest of the day.  Tomorrow will be fun with more family and friends.  I can’t wait!

I appreciate how nicely this life that your dad and I are creating is coming along.  There is this part of me that realizes this will be the last Christmas where we are so adult like.  We look forward to a Christmas where we can watch you bask in the magic and glow of these special few days.  We want you to feel all of this warmth too and know that you will be very happy here.  In less than 4 months you will be our whole world and everything will continue to change.  That is why this life is just so blessed.  We have both waited a very long time to get to a place like this: relaxing together as a comfortable couple sitting on the couch by a warm, crackling fire in a lovely home with a baby growing and things feeling so right.  While I got nice gifts for the day, this feeling of contentment and security that I am experiencing right now is the best gift of all.  Just know little one, your dad and I can’t wait for next Christmas as it will be so much better than anything either of us have known because of you!

So Merry Christmas and we will certainly have much more to tell as the week goes on.


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