Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas 2016

Christmas celebrations for us always start on Christmas Eve when we head to my parent's house for the Perrault family tradition of a spaghetti dinner and opening some presents. Growing up we always opened gifts from our west coast relatives on Christmas Eve, and now we open gifts from my parents and siblings since we don't see them on Christmas day.

The cousins in front of Nana's tree

As usual, my family was joined by some family friends of my mom's who have been doing holidays with us as far back as I can remember. One son is married, and the other son's girlfriend has started to join us so it's always a house full of people. This year we started what I hope is a  new tradition of wearing pajamas for the evening. Perfect for filling up on spaghetti and dessert!

We've also been doing a white elephant gift exchange for the past few years and I ended up with what I wanted (thanks to Luke stealing it for me twice): a big fleecy blanket and a cat wine glass (mostly I wanted the blanket!) Lots of fun, and we decided the gift "theme" for next year would be getting something from Goodwill- should be hilarious!

We ate dessert and then the kids tore through opening their gifts. I know they're only 2 and 4, but we really need to work on being thankful! All they wanted was the next gift. They got some good loot- lots of Paw Patrol stuff, clothing, fire trucks, books, and so much more. We left around 9 to get them to bed so we would be ready for church in the morning.

Even though Noelle wanted to start opening gifts the moment she came downstairs, we decided to wait till after church to do the opening. They were allowed to open their stockings, which Luke filled with little flashlights, coloring books, playdough, a My Little Pony for Noelle, cars for Jonah, and candy for both. Church was abbreviated, but it was so wonderful being able to worship with other believers on Christmas morning. I chatted with a friend who is also due in June, and we got to see everyone in my family, which was nice since we don't normally all see each other on Christmas.

After church we headed home and I put the cinnamon rolls (made from scratch for the first time!) in the oven, we ate lunch, and then the kids opened gifts from us. They were of course excited over everything (a doll for Noelle, Lego train for Jonah, a book for each, and something to wear), but disappointed when they ran out of presents. We let them watch a movie they got for Christmas, while Luke and I enjoyed the cinammon rolls, which Noelle refused to try and Jonah said he didn't want either. Goofballs- just means more for mom and dad!

After that we headed to the Wiedemans and opened more gifts, and then ate a delicious Chinese dinner of duck, pot stickers, cabbage, green beans, and more. Ruth and Max were in town so it was good to catch up with them, and it's always fun being at Grandma and Grandpa's house!

All in all a very fun filled Christmas with lots of family!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


We are praising the Lord for this sweet little babe estimated to arrive at the end of June!

The above picture does not include many other pill bottles from the various prescriptions taken over the last 16 months. So many hormones, so many disappointments and frustrations, feeling like it would never be my turn. BUT also moments of looking to God, and FULLY trusting that it was in His hands, in His timing. I know without a doubt that God was with me throughout it all. I didn't always feel that way in the moment, but looking back, I can see it.

The amount of needles in this picture is also nothing compared to what many others go through to get to their little blessings. It was hard for me, but I am counting my blessings that God answered our prayers and created life on our first IUI, and that we did not have to go through more meds for subsequent IUIs or make a decision about IVF.

One of the things that has weighed heaviest on my heart since getting pregnant, are the friends I have who are still waiting for their baby. I've been praying through a list of names that God would hear their prayers and answer with a resounding yes! The heartache of waiting is hard to understand unless you're in it, and I'm all too familiar with the sinking feeling of sadness when someone else announces their happy news. And especially around the holidays when it seems like a time filled with experiences and traditions that are often centered on children, it can be SO hard.

We are 14 weeks along as of yesterday, and the last four weeks or so have been a lot better. Weeks 6-10 were a bit rough- nausea, all day sickness, and exhaustion. I've puked probably close to 20 times with this baby, whereas with the other two, I only puked once or twice. The all day sickness was the worst in the morning and evening, and combined with how tired I felt, I crawled into bed by 7 most nights just to let my body rest. There's been some lovely nausea on and off in the last week, but not nearly as consistent as it was earlier on.

Baby at 8 weeks 3 days- also the day of my last visit to Shady Grove

I am so thankful to be in this place, growing a little human to add to the crazy and chaos of our family. I might also be a tad more paranoid about what's going on with baby and use our fetal doppler to listen to the heartbeat every other day or so. It will be wonderful when I can start feeling baby move around! We can't wait to meet you, sweet baby!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Recent Adventures

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we headed out to Cumberland, MD for a train ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. My mom bought us tickets as an early Christmas present, and Noelle and Jonah were excited about being able to ride on a train!

It was about a 2.5 hour drive out to the railroad, but the kids did really well, and were excited when we got parked and walked into the railroad station. There were Christmas decorations, and that combined with the historic waiting area, made everything seem kind of magical. We got there just in time to grab our tickets and board the train. We packed our lunch and ate our PB sandwiches while we watched the scenery change from city to country.

It was about an hour ride out, and on the way, Santa came through and brought candy canes for all the kids. When the train stopped, passengers were able to disembark and walk around for a bit. We took some pictures in front of the train and wandered around to get some energy out before getting back on and buying a snack from the snack bar.

On the ride back, Noelle and Jonah got a bit antsy, but we walked down the line of train cars and explored for a bit. And even though they were a bit cranky on the way back, as soon as we got in the car to drive home, Noelle asked when we could go on a train again.

December started off with a weekend full of birthday parties (3!), as well as a trip to a local farm for our Christmas tree! We went with our friends Megan and Joe, who had also come with us when we went to a tree farm three years ago- basically it's a sometimes tradition (ha!). Noelle and Jonah ran from tree to tree asking if that one was going to be our tree, but we finally all settled on one and Luke cut it down. Thankfully the weather cooperated and it was just cold enough to feel like the Christmas season without feeling like we were freezing.

This past weekend, we did pizza with Santa at a local fire station. The kids were free, and we were able to take free pictures with Santa- win/win! My sister met us there with my nephew, and we had all three littles in their matching Christmas pajamas for the pictures. Jonah, of course, managed to hurt himself moments before it was our turn to visit Santa, and so he was quite unhappy and wanted nothing to do with Santa. But we made it work and got some pictures for posterity's sake!