Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho & Happy New Year!

I’ve been having a glimpse into what maternity leave might be like, as I’ve been away from work since the day before Christmas Eve. Granted, I’m much more able to get things done now than I will be once the baby comes, but that doesn’t mean I do a whole lot – some cleaning, some sewing, some shopping, some baby prep...The time at home has been nice, but it’s gone by quickly, probably since we weren’t really even at home until a couple days ago. Just enough time to put the crib together!!

The celebrating kicked off on the 23rd, which was Diana’s 5th birthday. After presents, dinner, and yummy cupcakes, we headed straight to Elysian.

The rest of the Byrons made their way to the lake house the next day, making for a full and fun Christmas Eve. The day got off to a good start when Santa stopped by, before continuing on his way to China!

Next up on the Christmas Eve agenda was a re-enactment of the Nativity Story. In order to play the part she so wanted for her school performance (the Star!), Diana figured out that it pays to also be the director. In the end, Jena was given the role of the Star, Diana and the other girls were angels, Baxter was the little lamb, Danny was Baby Jesus, and the boys were the Wise Guys...I mean Wise Men.

I always miss “home” at Christmastime, especially the lovely services my Dad puts together. This year I missed them all even more, despite having seen most of the family just a few weeks earlier, for two reasons:

1 - All of my family made it to NC for Christmas...and I still haven't heard any stories!
2 - It was a balmy 70 degrees in NC, while Patrick and I tried to find the warmest clothes possible to survive our lovely 3-degree night!

The next couple days were mostly spent lounging about. Spud and I got to enjoy some quality rest time, in between his increasingly active awake moments. This kiddo is getting big and strong! I still can’t tell exactly which body part is poking about, but I certainly enjoy watching him (and my belly) shake!

The Christmas week ended with an extended Byron get-together. After lunch and the circle of gifts, we ended the night at a St. Paul Irish Pub - good music, good company, and good games!

Last night was New Year’s Eve and also our 4th wedding anniversary. Time is certainly flying by! I must admit, though, I’m very excited for 2009…If it’s anything like this year, we’re in for some fun times!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's Christmas Time in the City

I am now 100% in the Christmas spirit, for 3 reasons:

1 - Our (fresh) Christmas tree is up and decorated. And I think it’s just beautiful. (And yes, I put Christmas music on while I was decorating it. I can't help myself!!)

2: My first Christmas party of the season was last night. Actually, it was the second Christmas party of the season, but I missed the first because I was home with fevers. Now I have a huge platter of shrimp cocktail in the freezer, and I’m not sure when it’ll get eaten. I also had an entire carrot cake, but that somehow disappeared...

3 - I'm totally and completely done with my Christmas shopping! Yep, that's right - almost 2 weeks to go, and I'm all done. This is mostly due to the fact that I spent the majority of last week working from home, since I came down with the flu. (It's really not fair, especially since I had my first flu shot ever about a month ago.) While the obvious benefits were nice - not showering til 2 pm, working in my pajamas on the couch, etc., the secondary benefit was the chance to complete my gift shopping during my "lunch breaks". The stores are actually quite manageable on a mid-week early afternoon...I just had to make sure to get in and out before I felt faint and/or sick...some of those stores are WARM! Oh yeah - the other slight disadvantage to shopping under pleasant conditions: some of those sales are just sooo it wrong to buy myself (and Spud) a few presents while I'm out there?? I sure hope not!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanksgiving in North Carolina

Thanksgiving was again spent with my side of the family this year. But unlike last year (the entire family spent a week together in Orlando...I love the sun!!), none of the older kids made the trip with us. Instead, we got to spend lots of time with the youngest half of the family - including Leah (who was on break from App State). It's great to see that not a whole lot changes between visits - if you don't count the fact that Ty grew about 6 inches and Leah picked up a new hair style.

Patrick and I flew into North Carolina on Thanksgiving Day - which meant I got to watch the always-corny (but never-missed) Macy's Day Parade before we left. In addition to my immediate family, my Aunt Dale and her family and my grandma were also there. Sadly, my grandma came down with pneumonia the day after we arrived and since Patrick (rightfully so) banned me from entering the hospital, I didn't get to see her as much as I had hoped.

Thanksgiving dinner, howeverm was yummy, as always - and I took full advantage of the miniature-sized baby in my belly to have seconds (or maybe thirds...) of everything!

My dad's side of the family was also in NC, staying at my aunt's lovely lake home. All of us girls headed up there on Friday for an afternoon of eating and gift opening.

#1 highlight: strawberry jello pretzel dish

#2 highlight: adorable baby gifts!

Patrick and I returned home with 2 new extra large suitcases full of baby gifts and clothes (thank you EVERYONE - I'm overwhelmed by your generosity and thoughtfulness!), an acute need for closet organizers and hangers for the baby room, and a larger baby belly than when we left!