My parents, grandmother, brother, sister-in-law and niece all left yesterday, taking with them many pieces of my heart. I can't even begin to express how awful these goodbyes are--I don't believe I'll ever get used to them, or that they'll even become easier. When you are close to your family and truly love just being together, there's nothing easy about being on the opposite side of the country from them. I suppose it's a price you pay for having great relationships--but I'll take that problem any day of the week over the alternative!
You would think with family in town for 8 days, you might get bored or run out of things to do--but that's certainly not the case when you live in a playground like Northern California! We are all utterly exhausted from a week of going, doing, and seeing. Thankfully, we had a couple of rainy days where we could rest and just be lazy, play games, watch movies, eat yummy food, and cat nap by the fire. And of course, open presents!! We did stockings for everyone (dogs and baby included!), and of course my parents and grandmother brought lots of fun goodies and spoiled us as well. My mom also brought along an entire suitcase of clothes for Baby Boy Carr, and it was so much fun to go through all of them!!! I just want to stare at those little onesies and pants and shirts all day long. So hard to believe he will be here before we know it!
All in all, this was one of the best Christmases I've had in a long time. I had all of last week off from work (plus today & tomorrow!), and it felt so good to have everyone here for a nice long while! It was a blast getting to cook with mom, shop in the crazy pre-Christmas crowds, and give all the fam an idea of what our life is like here in California. After being immersed in family and away from work for so long, I finally felt like me again!
This past week, I also experienced a couple big pregnancy milestones, so it was fantastic to have family here to share in that joy! First, I've finally started feeling baby boy's kicks--what an incredible feeling!! I absolutely love feeling him kick and punch and move around. Everyone said this was one of the best parts of pregnancy, and I couldn't agree more! Second, my belly has finally "popped"! I am in my maternity clothes, and I'm afraid there's no going back :-). Yes, the bump is small, but it's finally there and will only get bigger. Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that all the good, rich Christmas eats had something to do with the burgeoning belly, ha!
Overall, I am incredibly thankful to have had this week with my family, and to celebrate Christmas in peace, joy, and love. There is so much more I could say now--I am full of emotion about this upcoming year and all that lies ahead . . . I'm also still feeling a bit "raw" since everyone left. It's always tough to get back to normal, and just takes a while for the sadness to pass. But for now, I'll keep this as a post all about Christmas and pictures, and leave the heavier stuff for later!
Happy New Year to all!!
|Mom & me, enjoying the gorgeous snow in Lake Tahoe!!|
|My baby and me :-). We spent a day enjoying the snow & had a lovely lunch in Tahoe City with everyone!|
|My parents & grandmother, enjoying the view of Donner Lake|
|Such a beautiful day!|
|We also spent a day in San Francisco with the whole fam - what a day!! Here we are, enjoying the gorgeous view from Twin Peaks|
|Thankfully, we had a day with perfectly gorgeous weather|
|My sweet parents|
|We also spent a day in gorgeous wine country! Here's Aaron at Round Pound Winery, where we had a tasting and lunch|
|Unfortunately, Leslie and Granny stayed home with Evi, who was sick! :(|
|One of the views at Stags' Leap Winery - it was so.very.gorgeous.!!!|
|The boys, walking & sipping :)|
|The gang, taken in front of the Manor House at Stags' Leap|
|Overlooking the beautiful vineyard|
|This was a Century Plant (I think that's the name?) - it blooms only 1 time per century, and we got to see it! Timing is everything :)|
|Lovely spread of wine and fine olive oils! I may not have been able to fully enjoy the wine tasting portion, but I did enjoy learning how to taste olive oils!|
|Lastly, a pic of the bump at 19 weeks preggo!!!|
Of course, I didn't get any pics of us lounging around the house, opening gifts, etc. In those moments, I prefer to just enjoy and drink in the moment versus pulling out the camera! Plus, I'm pretty sure no one wants to see pics of me in my PJ's :).