Here’s what I imagined our family Christmas card would look like this year (and by family Christmas card, I mean my annual “blog card,” since I’ve only ever mailed out one Christmas card in my life):
I imagined I’d be ready to go into labor any minute, or *maybe* that I would be in the hospital on Christmas (though , for the baby’s sake, I really, really didn’t want him to have a Christmas birthday).
I definitely didn’t imagine that I’d have an almost-two-week-old in the house.
But welcome to our current reality (and our “real” Christmas card this year):
A little family update for the year:
Matt kept exceedingly busy all year between his regular full-time job and his self-appointed “suburban homestead” duties (for more on that venture of ours, check out this series). He’s been seriously working on bulking up his building skills, as he built our massive chicken coop, a gorgeous mudroom bench (which he did in a night class he took on cabinetmaking), a sandbox for the kids, two more garden beds, and some other odds and ends around the house. It’s funny to me now that just two and a half years ago, when we first moved in, I definitely wouldn’t have classified him as being very handy, but now I think that he can basically do anything he puts his mind to! He’s also had to seriously step up these last several months as I’ve dealt with a back injury, then being put on bed rest, then having the baby. I thank my Heavenly Father every day for the gift of this wonderful man in my life!
Raven (4.5 years old) completed her first year of preschool in May and started her second year (with a different teacher) in August. She LOVES going to school and learning and can write her name, most letters of the alphabet on her own, and several numbers. She loves imaginative play, making friends, doing arts and crafts, and ALL THE BOOKS (that’s my girl!). She also completed her first swim lesson course in October/November, which went really well. She’s extremely helpful around the house (both with chores and with her siblings), and she’s about to finish up her first year in Primary at church. We love this responsible, sweet, quick-witted girl!
Mathias (18 months) finally started walking! We were getting a bit nervous when he still hadn’t done much, if any, by 16 1/2 months, but when we sat down one Sunday to give him a “walking lesson” at the beginning of November (determined not to quit until he’d at least taken a few steps), he surprised us all by walking across the whole room without assistance. However, he basically thought it was just a parlor trick for the longest time (and never did it on his own), but when my mom was in town to help us with the new baby, he really started taking off with it, mostly because my mom refused to let him crawl anywhere (ha ha). Now he’s walking everywhere! He also jabbers up a storm and knows a few dozen words and short phrases (including thank you, several animal sounds, and “burp!”, which he screams out loudly on the last page of his favorite book–Dino Bites). He loves to snuggle and give big hugs, and he’s been surprisingly soft and gentle with his baby brother, at least thus far. He seriously is just the sweetest kid.
And then we have Hyrum, our 13-day-old ball of sweetness and dark hair, who sleeps all day but refuses to sleep most of the night. He likes to grunt and try out his lungs and is extremely strong—he’s been holding up his head easily since birth and has even rolled over from tummy to back a few times when he gets mad enough (just like his two older siblings did at this age). He’s just the cutest baby, and it’s all I can do not to basically take pictures of him all day long.
And then me. It’s been an up-and-down year for me between trying to figure out my back pain, anxiety issues, and then dealing with pregnancy and postpartum hormones, but through all of it, I have felt very blessed, especially that Hyrum arrived safe and sound (albeit early) and that I was able to be a witness to the Christlike service that was offered to us by so many this year, especially while I was on bed rest and in these past couple weeks since the baby’s arrival. Each year I feel like I experience a lot of personal growth, but this year, even more than most, I have felt myself being refined and polished by the harder things that have come up, and I am so thankful for the many, many answers to prayers.
Most of all, our family is grateful for the gift of our Savior, whose infinite sacrifice for all is what gives our lives purpose and direction, and in whom we have all hope.
Merry Christmas to you, and thank you so much for being a part of our lives!
For Christmas cards of years past, click here.