So sorry I missed wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! I wanted to post our Christmas card, but our scanner at home isn't working. And I've been working on getting all my new "toys" set-up so I can blog and share pictures with everyone from the hospital...and now I'm back at work, so I've been a bit MIA. Plus we had a very busy family-filled Holiday and when we weren't running around, my butt was parked on the couch. I know, excuses excuses :) We spent Christmas Eve with Billy's parent's at their house and went to the candlelight service at a nearby Methodist church. It was a very warm, relaxing service and I managed to only cry once; during Away In a Manger. It's one of my very favorite songs and if you really read the lyrics, it's a very sweet song. A lot of the Christian Christmas tunes were a little tough since so many refer to a little baby boy being born.
Christmas morning was absolutely wonderful! Billy, Mabel and I all woke up snuggled in bed together with snow falling outside. It was awesome! Billy then lit a fire (in the fireplace) and we exchanged gifts together and then Billy's parent's came over for Christmas morning breakfast. After exchanging some more gifts, we then went to see True Grit. Honestly, save your hard earned cash and wait for it to come out on video. I'd give it a 6 out of 10. Apparently the original is much better than the remake.
Later that afternoon my parent's came down from PA and we just hung-out at our house, exchanged gifts, and spent time together. Sunday morning, my sister, brother-in-law and my two nieces made their way down to our house from PA and the real party begun! My nieces will turn 5 and 2 in a few weeks so it was really fun watching them open their presents and run and chase Mabel around the house. Later that day we all headed over to Billy's parent's house for a big party and get together with lots of friends and family. My sister and her family went back to PA on Monday afternoon after a brief trip to the Natural History museum to check out the elephant, butterflies, and animals and my parent's went back to PA on Tuesday afternoon. All-in-all it was a great Christmas!
And Santa was very good to me this year as I did get all the tools I'll need to keep everyone up-to-date on Stephen while we're at the hospital. We now have an iPad and an awesome DSLR camera, so we'll be able to share photos and videos almost instantly with everyone. But we also received some really special gifts this Christmas that I'd love to share with everyone (I hope to post some photos later once I get things figured out).
You already know that I got the kidney/PKD necklace from Bill, but Billy also got me a very special garnet ring that I absolutely love. Garnet is January's birthstone, which will be Stephen's birthstone. It's beautiful and I love it so much and I dread having to take it off when I go to the hospital. My sister so thoughtfully had PKD awareness ribbon pins made bearing Stephen's full name for all of us. The ribbon color for PKD is teal. I love the pins and it was such an incredibly thoughtful gift and I will definitely be bringing/wearing that to the hospital. She and Kevin also got us our maternity photos which was also incredibly sweet and thoughtful. It was something I wanted to buy myself, but probably wouldn't have bought the whole collection, but I'm so glad I have them. I downloaded them to my iPad and computer already and hope to share with you some of my favorite photos. I will cherish those photos for the rest of my life!
But the most unexpected gift was actually from the photographer, Danielle Hobbs, who took the maternity photos. Danielle was so touched by our story (she herself is a Mom of three and had a friend go through a similar situation to ours) that she made us a beautiful photo album/book of our maternity photos. It's gorgeous and her thoughtfulness and generosity seriously touched my heart and made me cry. I still don't know how exactly to thank her...but I'm working on it! Words really can not express how much that book means to me. Please do yourselves a favor, if you haven't already, and check out her website. http://www.daniellehobbsphotography.com/blog/ Her newborn pictures especially are just amazing!
Danielle - if you're reading this....thank you from the bottom of both Bill's and my heart!!!!!!
We also had a doctor's appointment thrown in there on Tuesday morning. Nothing new to report though. He's still sitting pretty in my belly growing like a bean stalk. We got a glimpse at his heart beat and the doctor said he was taking some breaths, so that was really cool. We go into the antenatal testing center Tuesday morning at the hospital to check his heartbeat again, so hopefully we'll know more then. But the #1 thing on the to do list this weekend.....pack our "to go" bags!!! :)