Something I was so excited to do this year for Christmas was making handcrafted and homemade gifts for my family and friends!! There were so many ideas to choose from (thank you Pinterest), that the hardest part was narrowing it down and choosing projects I could actually do without overwhelming myself. So I went with the following:
|Homemade bbq sauce and peach jam!|
|all-natural, alcohol-free! perfect for sensitive skin :)|
|Homemade simmering potpourri - smells SO good!|
This year, we spent Christmas morning just us! All during Christmas Eve, we were preparing Gemma for what was to come. We'd tell her "Guess who's coming tonight?? Santa!! And guess what tomorrow is? Jesus' Birthday!!!" She got the Jesus' birthday part and was pretty excited about that, but she was still struggling to understand the whole Santa thing.
Us: Well, baby, Santa is a guy who realllllllly loves Jesus and is so excited that it's his birthday that he goes around and gives gifts to everyone to celebrate.
Gem: Santa Cwause comeeng to town??!!?!
Us: Yes! That's right, he'll come here tonight and leave you a present under the tree so you can celebrate Jesus' birthday too!
Gem: I Gemma. This is MY twee for Happy Burtday Jesus! (point to Christmas tree)
Us: That's right, you are Gemma. And Santa's going to come to Gemma's house and leave a present under Gemma's tree for Jesus' birthday!!
Gem: (Unblinking, terrified silence for 15 seconds).
Us: You okay baby?
Gem: Santa Cwasue comeeng to Gemma's house??
Gem: Dat's weally scawwy!!!!!! (runs behind Daddy's legs and starts crying)
Us: It's okaaaaaaay Gem!! It's not scary baby, Santa is really nice and just wants to spread joy for baby Jesus!
Gem: Santa Cwause WEALLY scawwy Mommy!!!
Us: ..........yea, I guess it is kinda scary, huh? It's okay! Santa Clause doesn't have to come tonight! But baby Jesus will still have his birthday tomorrow okay!?
Gem: Okay. I LIKE Jesus.
Sooo, all in all, so long as Santa apparently scares the crap out of our kid, I guess we'll just leave him out of our Christmas celebrating altogether. Fine by me! We care way more about our kids getting excited for Jesus' birthday anyway! And Gemma is definitely solid on that, so maybe we're not awful parents after all.
Here's some pics of our Christmas this year:
|Action shots - opening presents!|
|The after-carnage :)|
|Playing with her new toys after Mass|
|Gem and her Rudolph!|
|She loves him :)|
|She thought it was so funny to make Rudolph "bite" her finger while he sang.|
One of the things I love about celebrating the liturgical seasons of the Church is that Christmas is so long!!! And we really have been carrying the Christmas spirit with us all these days since the 25th. And we're not done yet - we'll keep the carols spinning and the cocoa pouring till Epiphany! :)
I'd say that our best Christmas gift this year came to us on the fourth day of Christmas. We went as a family to have an ultrasound and got to see our beautiful baby! I absolutely love baby boys and of course would love to be blessed by a son some day, but during this entire pregnancy, both Rocky and I have sooooo deeply desired this baby to be another daughter. Well, I guess God was preparing our hearts for what's to come because sure enough our hopes were fulfilled - we are having another baby girl!! I thought I would cry when I found out because eeeeeeverything makes me cry these days, but just the opposite happened - I burst out laughing! I was SO overjoyed and just could not contain my happiness. The u/s tech actually had to stop for a minute so I could compose myself enough for her to continue with the anatomy scan!! Which, was just a continued blessing as our baby is perfect in every way. She's camera shy though - she hid her face the entire time so we never got to catch a glimpse of her profile for even a second. Just an ear :) The cutest little ear ever of course. So we won't get to see her beautiful face till her debut - which is getting ever closer! Only three months to go!
I am so looking forward to all the blessings God has in store for us this 2013. Although I kicked off the New Year in the worst way ever. Oh sure, we went to a few parties and saw our friends and had tons of fun. But right around 11:30, the stomach beast from Hades violently overtook me, and we had to rush home. I was writhing in pain in the backseat and just praying I wouldn't have any issues in the car. Somehow I made it till we got home, and while the world was watching the ball drop, sipping champagne and kissing loved ones at the stroke of midnight, I was crying and hugging a toilet bowl. I'll spare further details. Problem with being pregnant is as soon as you tell anyone you're sick, or that you got sick, they think it's pregnancy-related. Nope. Just ate something that didn't quite sit with me too well. Not too well at all, actually.
So, this rather dismal ringing in of the New Year episode made me think. Wouldn't it be cool to start keeping a personal record of how you spend each New Year's? Who you're with, where you are, what you're doing right when the clock hurdles us into a New Year... I think I might start. I'll back-log the years I can remember, and maybe if I'm feeling super-momish, I'll keep a separate log for my kids so they can have it and take over when they're old enough to track their own. I just think it would be such a neat thing to look back on when your 70 years old and see all the different chapters of your life, all the different friends and homes, all the different ways your life changes as the years roll by.
As for Resolutions, I'm keeping mine simple this year:
1. Love more, yell less.
2. Write. Write for work, for fun, for relaxation, for prayer, and for no reason at all sometimes.
3. Finish my TSOL certification. (Certifies me to teach English as a Second Language)
4. Set small goals; be optimist and positive in completing them.
I have all kinds projects and improvements I want to make this year - in my personal life, my relationships, my work, my home organization, etc. I'm not going to list them all out as my "New Year's Resolutions" because I know I get overwhelmed easily by long to-do lists. So instead, I'll just pick a project and complete it. When that's done, onto the next. Small goals, one at a time!
I hope you all are having a lovely Christmas season and I pray your 2013 will be very blessed. What are you thankful for from 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013? Any resolutions?