Sunday, January 10, 2016

Christmas in Texas

Since Grady was due the 10th of December, we didn't travel for Thanksgiving and obviously planned to remain in Texas for Christmas as well.  This would be the first time EVER since Ryan and I left Medford for college, that we wouldn't make it back to Oregon for either of the holidays (besides Ryan's mission).  We were really, really disappointed.  Almost all of our family members live in Oregon, and we knew what fun lay ahead and also knew we wouldn't be there to share the memories.

But, good news came quickly.  It just so happened that my three sisters were planning on spending Christmas with their in-laws, so my parents asked if they could join our family for Christmas this year!  Then, they sweetened the deal by bringing my brother Eric along.  Christmas doesn't feel quite as magical without Eric.

Grady came home from the hospital the night my dad and brother flew into town.  Surprisingly, I wasn't stressed at all with company.  I was excited!  I was excited to have family in my home, to see Cal have fun with his buddies, to watch movies and play games, and especially to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day together.

**Sidenote** The first two weeks my mom was here she had Cal on her own, and they were the best little buddies.  He loves his Grandma.  They read books, played the piano, went on lots of walks to find and pet the kitties, ran around and played chase, and snuggled.  Then, when my dad and brother got into town, he went to the park, played in the yard, danced with Grandpa to his new favorite song ("Santa looked a lot like daddy...") and was exploding with happiness every morning when he realized his friends were still in town.  So, obviously I cried my eyes out the day my dad and brother left, and cried even harder the morning Cal woke up to an empty house.  He looked for my mom for was so sad.

Anyway, even though Cal didn't quite get the whole Santa and presents thing, it was still so fun to see his excitement Christmas morning.  My parents found him the cutest little "moke" (what Cal calls motorcycles) that he could push himself around on, and his cousin Lucy gave him a real Buzz Lightyear!  Ryan's mom sent Ryan's old Buzz Lightyear spaceship, and Cal was in heaven.  But, my favorite gift of all was the arc my dad made.  He gives one to each sister, and this year was supposed to be just Alison's year.  But, he surprised me and built our family's arc as well!  It is such a treasure.  If the house was burning down, I would somehow find a way to strap both my Cedar Chest (which he built me when I was 16), and that arc to my back and save them from the flames.  I am so grateful for my parents and their sacrifice and service.  They give so much, and do so much, and are wonderful examples.

I will forever cherish the memories of Christmas 2015.  I had a sweet newborn, my loved ones around me, and a quiet little Texas Christmas.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Grady's Newborns

One of my goals was to try out a newborn shoot with my new little man!  Although he was a little older than two weeks by the time I got around to taking them, I still feel like they capture his sweetness.  He is my angel baby.  It is fun to look back and think about what Cal was like as a newborn, and these two are different in every way - looks and attitude.

Although I am quickly remembering what sleep deprivation feels like, and have turned into a messy-bunned diaper-changing, baby-feeding, sweats-wearing zombie...I love it.  It's hard, but so so worth it.