Sunday, January 3, 2016

December 2015 and a New Year

December!  What a fun month!  I have always loved the holidays but this time of year with Austin made it 10x better.  I loved starting our own little family traditions and already can't wait until next year when he'll be able to participate even more.

December started off with this gem of a conversation I had with my nephew.  His mom denied it went down this way but I think I trust Will on this one.

In our last ward there was a group of ladies I became good friends with and four of us have done IVF.  I've lost track of how many cycles they have all done but between all of us it's right around 20!  Those mamas sure have been dedicated to get their babies here!  At the beginning of the month we were able to get some of the miracle babies together.
Adelaide: 2 | Russell: 2.5 Weeks | Austin: 6 Months | Eddie: 6 Weeks | Ruby: 2
The Festival of Trees is one of my favorite Christmas traditions, especially since Eli had a tree there.  Every time I walk through the doors I feel the most special spirit the entire time.  Can you imagine how many angles are in there?  This year I was able to go with my mom and sister-in-law.  The kids were so cute sitting on Santa's lap!  My niece, Lily, kept saying: "I didn't know he would be here?!"  Austin wasn't too impressed with him but at least he didn't cry, right?


Austin turned seven months in December!  He woke up with a nasty ear infection the day he turned seven months so we went straight to the doctor to get him on an antibiotic.  I couldn't believe how fast it came on but I knew that's what it was.  He suddenly had a fever, runny nose, and was pulling on his ears.  He had a rough 24 hours but as soon as the antibiotic kicked in he was back to his happy self.  At the doctor he weighed 15lb 13oz and the doctor (who we had never seen before) kept saying how much she loved his Buddha belly :) At seven months, Austin is a happy clam and surprises us with hilarious noises, faces, and mannerisms every day.  I can tell he's dying to crawl by the way he looks at things and kicks his legs but he's not there yet.  

Another one of my favorite Christmas traditions is going to dinner and Temple Square with my family.  Fortunately we had awesome weather and we went in the middle of the week so it wasn't too crowded at all.  We made sure to bundle Austin up really well just to be safe and he enjoyed a nice snooze the whole time.

We had a really nice Christmas Eve with Logan's family this year and enjoyed being at his parents' house eating dinner and watching the kids open a few presents.  Austin loves attention (which he gets a lot of) and thought it was pretty great wearing his older cousin's Santa hat.  We made it a fairly early night so we could get Austin to bed and because Santa had quite a bit of work to do still!  Minus the awful migraine I got toward the end of the night, Christmas Eve was a great success!

Matching cousin PJs from my parents :)
Christmas Day was perfect!  Our busy day began bright and early but we wouldn't have wanted it any other way. We spent the morning at home opening a few presents each and enjoying our time as a little family.  We only got Austin a couple of presents and it's a good thing because he hated every present that was given to him that day!  I think he was super overwhelmed by everything that was going on because every time we put him in front of a new toy he would shake and burst into tears!  (Thankfully he has since warmed up to all of them and loves his new toys.)
Don't let this smile fool you--he HATED this thing all day!  Now that it's at home he is a much bigger fan.
After getting ready we made a quick stop at the cemetery to wish our boy a Merry Christmas.  Logan and I were FREEZING but Austin had a giant grin on his face the entire time.  I like to think his brother was there making him smile :)

We then went over to my parents' house for my mom's traditional Christmas brunch.  We spent awhile with my family enjoying being all together and feeling so blessed for everything we have.  I feel so fortunate to have so much in my life when so many others have much less.  After my parents' house we made our way to be with Logan's family at his aunt and uncle's for dinner.  Logan's uncle is a great cook and capped our day off with a super tasty dinner.  The day couldn't have been more magical and I feel like Austin's first Christmas was perfect!
Exhausted baby boy cuddling his mimi :)
My parents' neighbors set up a really neat Christmas village/train display every year and we love going to see it. Austin was fascinated by everything and was being such a good boy watching the train go by until he quickly whipped his hand out and derailed one of the trains before I could stop him!  A little girl looked up at me and said: "You're not supposed to touch the trains!" and I couldn't help but laugh and defend myself.  You bet I blamed it on my baby!  We were super embarrassed but fortunately no damage was done :)

I have two great friends that I went to college with who both had babies a couple months ago and we were finally able to get together for lunch!  I love that we all had babies this year and can't wait to get them together for many more play dates!
Bo: 2.5 Months | Korynn: 2.5 Months | Austin: 7.5 months
We celebrated New Years Eve with my family by going bowling and it was so much fun!  I hadn't been bowling in years and man, I'm terrible!  My brother and Logan were both on the bowling team in high school so it was a bit competitive between them but we all had a great time ringing in the new year!
I can't believe 2015 is over!  This past year was filled with miracles and blessings we could only dream of and also had several challenges that made us much stronger people.  I'm sure everyone can guess what our highlight of the year was!  Austin has brought us more happiness than we ever imagined possible and has brought a light back into our home that we have sorely missed since Eli died.  The spirit of a child is incredibly powerful and our home feels like a new place since Austin has come into our lives.

Austin's health challenges this year were unexpected and at times difficult to handle but we know they helped him and us become who we are right now.  We are grateful the Lord has continued to give us trials and challenges because we have so much to learn!  There were times earlier this year that it was hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel with Austin's health but here we are at the start of a new year and he couldn't be healthier!  In the next month or so we expect him to be discharged from all PCH services and be given a clean bill of health.  I can't express what an amazing feeling that is!

We are looking forward to 2016 and are sure it will be a great year!  No doubt there will be trials this year but we are confident we can make it through them if we continue to rely on the gospel and our families and friends. Many, many prayers have been offered on our family's behalf this year and I wish there were words to express our gratitude to all of you who have remembered us in yours this year.  Please know that we pray everyone will feel of our gratitude for all that has been done for our little family.

So long, 2015!