We had a wonderful, very busy, family filled holiday season.
We started November off with a bang, as we had the pleasure of being there as my sister welcomed our sweet nephew Rylan. I will be making a separate Aunt-bragging post in his regards :)
I had the pleasure of working Thanksgiving, but didn't let that slow us down in traditions. We had a great dinner Thanksgiving day with the Dodd family, followed by a second meal we hosted with my Mom and siblings. It was our first time hosting a holiday meal, and it went great overall. My brother was generous enough to cook the turkey and ham so I didn't have to worry about heavy lifting in and out of the oven.
Christmas was even better, as we were able to spend so much extra time with the Kent family. David, Brittany, and Owen were able to fly home for a couple of weeks which made the holiday all that much more special to all be together. We filled our time with family dinners, a ladies outing to The Nutcracker, baking/frosting what felt like 100 sugar cookies, and attending the Kent extended family get together for the first time a couple years. We also had some great quality time with my extended Dodd family on Christmas Eve, as well as spending Christmas morning opening gifts and enjoying the breakfast buffet my Dad prepared. I then volunteered to ring in the New Year at work (who could pass up time and half with maternity leave around the corner) while Jason spent the evening with his family.
We were also very blessed to have three baby showers in honor of little Claire's arrival. My sister-in-law, Kristen, hosted one in November, two great friends from work, Andrea H. and Andrea M. hosted one in December, and my sister, Shandi, hosted one in January. It was so wonderful to get to spend such quality time preparing for Claire's arrival with family and friends. I can definitely say that we are overwhelmed and beyond blessed by the amazing generosity of everyone :)
Here is the link to the album with baby shower pictures:
As for 2012 so far...
We started January out with celebrating Jason's birthday. Tradition landed us at Gojo's for a birthday dinner, followed by taking him to cinema suites for the first time (the only way to go to the movies 8 months pregnant), then had family over for desserts to celebrate. The following week was spent celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary. We had an amazing time spending one last overnight outing just the two of us (at least for a while) on the Plaza. We stayed at Sheraton Suites, had an incredible dinner at Brio, saw a movie, and headed to The Melting Pot for dessert.
Here are some pictures from our celebrations:
In other news, probably the most anticipated- I am officially 39 1/2 weeks pregnant! This picture was 3 weeks ago- we took some tonight that I will share soon.
I truly never thought I would make it this far along, seeing as how everyone around us seems to give birth in the 36-38 weeks range, and especially considering our concerns just a few weeks ago of incredibly intense Braxton Hicks. With my line of work though, I truly count my carrying to full term a blessing :) I can honestly say I still feel great, too! I know, this is the last thing any pregnant or previously pregnant women want to hear... But with the exception of fatigue/leg aches at the end of working the weekend (yup, I am still working two 12 hour shifts back to back), newly developed reflux, all of my shirts being waayyy to short, and interrupted sleep due to frequent bathroom visits, I am feeling just the same as usual.
Over the last week, I have started going to great lengths to help coax our little lady into arriving- Jason and I have walked miles (no kidding in just how plural that is), done a hip/hop dance cardio workout every other day, spent countless hours on the exercise ball, ran stairs, cleaned to whole house, and consumed every "labor inducing" food/beverage (except black cohosh- I am not even sure what that is).
Needless to say, none of this stuff works! Our sweet little Claire must have a plan of her own, and we are just going to (attempt to) patiently await her arrival. We do go in for our 40 week appointment on Monday and will discuss plans for a possible induction if she tries to wait to long.
Well, that is the official highlight reel of the last few months. I will also post some pictures soon of Claire's adorable nursery that is pretty much complete. Hopefully, a birth announcement won't be to far off, either :)
Jason and Crystal