Three Stories from 2014

I sat down to write a post recapping 2014 today, but what came out was either negative in regard to all the stress our family went through this year with our move, botched house hunting, miscarriage, moving again etc, or overly “look on the bright side of things.”

If you’ve been reading my blog this year, you pretty much know what has gone down, so instead of recapping the year – highs and lows – I’m going to share some stories from the past few weeks. Just small moments that have made me pause and smile.

Luke and I were both raised with religion, and we are raising Lila Catholic. We pray before bed and at other random times, but admittedly we are not very good about praying before meals.

Well last night as we sat down to eat our sloppy joes over mashed sweet potatoes, I was about to dig in when Lila said “lets pray!” Then she put her hands together in what can best be described as two claws next to each other and sang “Jesus loves me this I knoooow. Amen!”

Our girl is quite perceptive and picked this song and habit up from spending the week with her Grammie & Gramps (Luke’s parents). It was a sweet moment and a reminder to slow down.

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Okay story number two. When I first met Luke’s family, it was over Thanksgiving at their house about six or seven years ago. I wanted to learn as much as I could about Luke, so I asked to see childhood photos or videos. Felicia put on a video from Christmas past when Luke was about 7 or so.

In the video Luke is shown opening a pack of baseball cards he apparently wanted desperately. After opening them he runs over to his mom and says “THANK YOU MOMMY!!!!” It was so sweet!

This Christmas, I thought of that video when Luke came over to me, his voice breathless “I’m really excited about all my presents! I just want to spend all day playing with them.” He was half joking, but I could tell he really was amped about his heart rate monitor, money clip and other presents. I love how Christmas can bring the giddy out of a 32 year old man.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 9.36.07 AMLast story. Last year was Lila’s first Christmas not as a newborn, so I was thinking a lot about what traditions I wanted to start for her around the holidays. Growing up, Luke’s Grandpa would dress up as Santa on Christmas day. He still does this every year. Go Grandpa Batman!

Well, knowing my Dad and his proclivity to be a good sport, I proposed he start this tradition for Lila and the grand babies. He was all in. This year was our second annual visit from santa and Lila’s reaction was too funny not to share.

From the moment I said “Oh, look! I think someone is at the front door.” Lila immediately bolted to my mom, climbed into her lap and buried her face in her neck. Santa came in the front door and Lila peeked a look at him before covering her eyes with her hand. The horror of this man in red!!

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She didn’t cry or anything, and of course she gladly accepted his presents (before whipping back and burying her face in my mom), but I think it’s safe to say Lila was happy to see Santa GO! Maybe next year St. Nick.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 9.41.44 AMSometimes the big events – happy or sad – take up the most space in our mind when we look back on the previous year, but sometimes its nice to remember all those small moments that make a day, a year or a life. 2014 was filled to the brim with these small, sweet but gone-in-a-flash memories. They are what I’m holding onto most from this year.

Thank you all for supporting me and lifting me up this past year. I am thankful for you all!

Batman Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! We had a lovely holiday in San Francisco with my sister, her husband and their new baby.

Living far from most our family and working in an industry that doesn’t slow down over the holiday makes those special times when we can be with people we love during Christmas even more special.

I just couldn’t get enough of my new niece. Holding her, laughing at her little squeaks and experiencing a glimpse of what being a mom is like made this a Christmas to remember. I can’t wait until she’s older and we can start all the holiday traditions like putting cookies out for santa and seeing her eyes wide with glee when she realizes Santa came.

Anyway, here’s a quick recap on some of the best parts of our Christmas:

The Presents:
I couldn’t help but spoil little girl with some presents. First, this “baby’s first christmas” ornament I found on Etsy (this isn’t my nieces name, just an example).

Then a super cute New Year’s Eve outfit from Zara baby. They have the cutest kids clothing!

Luke got this super-cool duffle bag from J.Crew. I love the leather straps.

I got some PJ’s from Victoria’s Secret.

And new natural face lotion I’ve been eyeing.

Luke’s parent’s also got us this adorable entry way bench and storage unit for our new house!

We got totally spoiled this year.

The Food:
We had two awesome meals this weekend, but since my sister planned the menu, I don’t have recipes to share! One I did make sure to catch though was this amazing stuffed apple we had with our Ham on Sunday.

This is a Food Network recipe from the Nealys. Basically it’s a hollowed out apple filled with a mix of dried cherries, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Then the apple is baked with some cider until it’s tender. It went PERFECTLY with the salty ham. I would definitely make these with pork anytime.

The Movies:
There’s nothing I enjoy more during Christmas than watching a good holiday movie on the couch after stuffing myself full. Normally it’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but this year we decided to go with an oldie and watched White Christmas.

If you haven’t seen this one, it’s a classic. Bing Crosby. Supper clubs. A Ski Lodge. WWII soldiers. And some amazing singing and dancing. We couldn’t get over how small Vera Ellen’s waist was!

All in all it was a wonderful Christmas. Made even better by the lack of traffic on the way back to Tahoe.

I hope yours was filled with family, food, Christmas Carols and visits from St. Nick.