Monday, November 26, 2012

Chicago Trip Thanksgiving 2012

We just returned from a wonderful week in Chicago! We're all filled up on PIZZA, Baby Gifts, and love from friends and family. Always SOO good to be back! 

Yeah Friends! 
Me & Melissa

Leah, Me, Greta, Stephanie

All expecting babes in 2013! Greta, Me, Annie, Stephanie

Jon testing out the gift of the "Sophie" teether toy

Baby Shower in Naperville

Everything was ADORABLE! Baby's nursery is primary colors, hence the matching decor at the shower. Also, I loved the Whale theme .....I might even have to incorporate that into the nursery too! 
Forever friends! Known all these ladies since childhood. LOVE you gals!
(Andrea, Britt, Becky, Me, Laura, Rachel, Abbi)

Me, Andrea, Abs & Crosbi
Martie  (MIL), Linda (Mom), Me,
Steph (pseudo sister in town from California), Mary (Pseudo Mom also  in town from California),
Katie (Sister In Law) 
Stephanie & Me

Laura and her fabulous diaper cake- still impressed! 

Thanksgiving & More
The Thanksgiving Tables.
This is a panoramic photo Jon took ..... don't mind the  double headed man and creepy floating hands! 
Post Dinner Wi Dance Competition

Celebrating Beatrice's 5th Birthday 

And of course, Nathan's 1/2 Birthday

Puzzle Time

Pancake Time
Pizza Time! 

Photo Shoot @ 26 Weeks

 Thankful for all the celebrating with our friends & loved ones in the Midwest.  Chicago and the burbs will always feel like home to me, and the Holiday season never feels complete without a trip home! We got a good taste of winter as it dropped to 28 degrees... I have to admit, I forgot how much I genuinely dislike Winter! I am such a wuss, and probably even more so now that I am not used to it! Although my roots are in Chi-Town, I don't mind calling Santa Barbara home now too. I am realizing that the warm weather and beautiful surroundings are not a bad "second" home.... and of course, there are some great people here too :) They say home is where the heart is and I think my heart is finally feeling more at peace sharing space with California. Now if we could just find a way to skip that 4 hour flight.... and I could have it all that would be great! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Holiday Anticipation: Merry Wishes of Joy & Sorrow

I know Thanksgiving has not happened yet. However, I can't help think about Christmas already. I am beginning to anticipate the emotion now. (Which knowing me, by the time Christmas comes I will have gotten all my emotion out of my system and be totally fine on the day!)

Why I wish we could "Skip Christmas" this year:

 1. The Obvious. No Baby Drake. We will never get a first Christmas, or any Christmas, with him.

 2. The Memories. Last year I bawled my way through the Christmas Eve service at Church. It was my first Christmas EVER away from my family.

Also, I was filled with so many emotions as we were in the trenches of dealing with things with Drake, who was still in my belly at that time. Blessings of God's Love in the midst of sheer sadness and terror. The Christmas season was when we found out the devastating news Drake would probably not make it. December 6th was one of the WORST days, if not the worst, days of my entire life. After that, it all went downhill fast, and I am greatly anticipating all these "anniversaries" and "firsts".

 3. I just don't know what to do about Christmas cards. Ok, I know this might seem dumb, and Christmas cards are just a part of the holiday "ritual", but I usually do them every year! This year, it feels weird. Our family is not complete- it is still feeling broken, but it is also a work in progress. Alive with sorrow and joy. How would I even begin to summarize all that this last year has meant in a few lines, or even a short letter, in appropriate holiday card? Sending out the status quo cute photo card just isn't feeling right to me this year. Now is the time I would usually start planning photos or layouts and it is starting to taunt me. I know I am not obligated too, but it goes against my nature NOT to.

 4. We will not be able to go home, because I will be too late in my pregnancy to fly. Thankfully, we have wonderful family friends here who we can be with. We will not be alone. However, I will still miss the comforts and traditions of "home" and wish we could be there.

 5. I am extra emotional, because I am pregnant :) I am not typically a crier, but this pregnancy has turned me into one of those people who cries over the sad puppy commercials on TV (OK, those have actually always gotten to me... they are SO SAD!)

On that note, of course, I am very happy that I am pregnant and at least have that as a HUGE positive and hopeful thing. Little guy is doing GREAT in there and we are so thankful for that. We don't take it for granted!!

Would it be wrong to send out a Christmas card that just stated:

 Happy Holidays 2012 
Sending you our JOY & SORROW 
Much love and thanks, 
The Petersons 

 I won't do that, but that's what my card would say if it were honest.

What would your card say if you were to give an honest "Holiday" proclamation?