Happy New Year!! Another year has ended, and once again I remain optimistic about what's to come in 2016. But let's start with a few highlights and a holiday recap: December was such a whirlwind of a month, so much happening but I must say it ended well. On top of lots of things on the calendar, doctors appointments for all of us, dinners with friends, fun times with neighbors at the Cookies with Santa and Chili Cookoff, we also took the boys downtown to see a Charlie Brown Christmas production, and hosted a surprise 40th birthday party for their awesome uncle. It was SO busy, and that was all BEFORE Christmas!!! There was also the sudden shock we get got the news my sister-in-law's dad died a couple weeks before Christmas. It was so unforeseen, and I think her family is still recovering and adjusting to a new life without him. It was nice to be able to spend a little extra time with my niece and nephew the days she was gone with her family, and the services were beautiful. It's never easy to deal with tragedy, but at the same time it puts new perspective on the holidays and what is really important. You never know what tomorrow will hold, so we must treasure the moment we have now.
Christmas and New Years was delightful, I was able to dodge taking any time off this week, but the flexibility of teleworking made the work days much easier. We went to Christmas eve mass with matt's family and went to aunt Mary's for a lovely dinner before heading home to get ready for Santa. We put cookies and milk out for him, and even through a few carrots out the front door for the reindeer. We looked up in the sky hoping to see him, but the boys went to sleep happy and excited for what the morning had in store. They woke up at usual times and Christmas morning (like Christmas eve) was once again magical. Reliving it through your own children makes it wonderful all over again. Seeing their eyes light up, and they anticipation in their hearts, magical is really the only word that comes to mind. We spent he morning together playing games, eating, and then headed over to the matt's moms for the huge Christmas party they host every year with the entire family. It was again a bustling house but it truly felt like Christmas. We are so blessed with such a loving family, and SO much food!!! The days between Christmas and New Years are kind of a blur, I knew I still had some shopping to do, and some work to do, but we left mid-afternoon Wednesday to spend 3 days with my mom and ring in the new year with her. I know her house may have felt smaller than it usually does for her, with the dog and my energetic boys, PLUS matt, dena and I. But it was nice to not have a busy schedule. We played games all the day with the boys, stayed in our PJs way later than we ever do, ate lots of good food, and even visited some neighbors. It time well spent. And then finished the weekend for for Matt's immediate family Christmas. The generosity and the love/care that family shows towards us and especially the kids is astounding. It doesn't even need to be said how much those kids are loved, but all love and attention they get. It is beyond my wildest dreams, and truly do feel blessed.
It was good holiday ending, and a year full of lots of ups and downs. But definitely more ups. It's strange to look back at pictures at this time last year, the children show the passage of time more than anything else. Chris was so small, he was just coming out of babyhood. And how he is this insanely sweet, bright-eyed, full of life little boy who has the most adorable voice in the entire world. And Nick has turned into a PERSON! Thoughts and opinions all his own, and frankly, I find it remarkable. We got to go on two really neat trips, Hawaii for my dad's wedding (without the boys), and a fun cruise with matt's family with everyone. We went to kings island a lot, we did lots of stuff with friends, attending a few weddings, and countless other fun things that are so much to document. But most importantly, we closed out the year in anticipation of another child.
It's still mind boggling that in 2016 there will be three children in our family. And I will look back on this at this time next year and hardly remember what life was like without the newest addition. We have no idea if you are a baby girl or baby boy, but I know we will love you unconditionally. So far you have made the first 29 weeks of my pregnancy go with ease. I have had such mild symptoms, no sciatic pain, no sore gums, not a whole lot of swelling really, no major food cravings or aversions, and generally I've felt fairly comfortable. I know the next 10-11 weeks will go by so fast, and likely may be more uncomfortable than the first 29, but you have blessed us. And w cant wait to meet you.
Lots to look forward to in the months ahead. The cold, winter nights are hard, but I know 2016 will be full of change. And I am sure there will be both good and bad, but I am praying for positivity and gratitude throughout. I truly have a lot of reasons to give thanks, and I hope I can improve myself and the world around in the new year... any little bit I can. Happy 2016!