Friday, December 25, 2009

First Christmas

Wow. I can't believe our first Christmas as a family of 3 has come and basically gone. And boy has this Christmas been full of adventures.

It all started on December 19th. We left Greenville around 10 AM by car and endeavored a 15 hour car trip to Rockford, IL. Jewell did just splendid. She took about 2, two and a half hour naps and entertained herself quite well in between them. That is, until it got dark out. Jewell HATES dark car rides. This of course was when I decided to drive. After about 25 minutes of listening to piercing screams, we decided my driving was just not going to do for our little one. We pulled over, switched drivers, and of course I calmed our little Jewell right down, by holding her. It was crazy. We did however make it to Rockford around 12 AM central time. :) Happy times. Of course, the coat she decided to destroy on the way (this was how I discovered she needed a size bigger in diapers) went straight to the dry cleaning pile when we arrived!

The next day we went to Northlove Baptist Church. This church played a great part in my husband's life growing up. Matt's Dad built and took care of many things there. We had lunch that afternoon at the Pastor's home, which Dad built, and we enjoyed remembering Dad for the day.

On the 23rd we celebrated Christmas with Matt's family. Jewell was all dressed up in the Clause outfit that her grandma bought for her. The family just loved seeing her festive outfit and her happy smiles. I of course put her to bed promptly at 8:30 and she slept until 7:30. :) I know, a little crazy of me to put her to bed before she opened her presents, good thing she's too young to do that!

On the 24th we packed the car again and we were off to a lovely Swedish Breakfast at the Stockholm Inn. Swedish pancakes are definitely worth trying! Jewell even got to sit on Santa's lap while we were waiting for a seat. Approximately one hour later we headed out for the second leg of our trip, Lambertville, MI!

6 hours later, I was finally at my Grandpa Kistner's Christmas Eve dinner. This is my favorite dinner of the year. I haven't been home in 2 years so this was very special to me. I was able to introduce my darling bundle of joy (Jewell) to her Great Grandpa Kistner. He was so happy. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner, a ton of present opening, and lots of catching up. It was just splendid!

And then we had Christmas Day! Jewell has been excellent! I woke her at 7:30 to feed her and she went right back down. This of course was a wonderful present to me because it's been ages since I've been able to just sleep in. We had a great day at my parents house together. Jewell was just well--a Jewell!

Tonight I can honestly say that I have been blessed with the best baby God could possibly give someone. She's only had 1 day of fussiness and has slept at least 10 hours each night (except those that we traveled and put her to bed late). And of course, she loves being the center of attention. So, Merry Christmas to me!

Jewell got a bath the first morning in Rockford. This was her first bath in a sink ;)

She likes to fall asleep when I burp her.

Jewell loves to be in her Daddy's arms.

Nap time!

For all you Southern folks...this is a snow plow! Boy was it good to see one of those again.

Jewell is all dressed up for Christmas.


First time on Santa's lap!

Andrew and Emily--LOVE them. I missed my brother so much.

Jewell finally got to meet her Great Grandpa!

The three of us ;). I am very close to Grandpa. I hope Jewell can be too.

Monday, December 7, 2009

For My Jewell

Dear Jewell,

Tomorrow you will be 12 weeks old. I can't believe how fast time has flown since you were born. 12 weeks! Has it really been 12 WEEKS? Having you has changed me so much. You have taught me how to love in a way I never thought possible. You have made me a much better person. You've taught me what really matters in life. And you have become my everything.

You have grown so much since you were born. You were 6 lbs 3 oz when we brought you home. Now you are about 11 lbs! How crazy is that! You may have grown, but there is one thing that hasn't changed. You LOVE to look at lights. I mean, you stare at them forever. Sometimes that's all you want to do. You've been that way since you came home. You also hate tummy time. I started working on this about 2 weeks after you were born. You lay on the blanket for about 1 minute before you scream and scream. Your Dad is so concerned about you getting enough tummy time. So I let him do this with you. I prefer to let him be the bad guy!

Jewell, you truly have become my everything. I do need to tell you 2 things that bring tears to my eyes. First, I have to go back to work on Monday. I don't want to leave you during the day. I want to see everything you do for the first time. I want to be the one to bring you comfort when you cry. I want to be the one to read to you during the day. I have really prayed that the Lord would allow me to stay home with you and just be your Mommy. But the Lord has chosen for me to go back to work. Believe me Jewell, it breaks my heart to have to do that. Second, your Grandpa died last night. He was one of the most amazing men I have ever known. Your Daddy is doing okay, but he's going to miss him. You have brought a lot of joy to your Daddy through this time. I thank God for that everyday. Your Grandpa couldn't wait to meet you. He had all sorts of things he wanted to build for you. But the Lord decided to take him home instead. I'm sorry you won't be able to meet him. However, I know you'll make him proud! I promise to do my best to make you feel like you did know him ;).

I love you so much my little Jewell. You are true blessing to me and your Daddy. Thank you for being so sweet and loving. I can't wait to see you in the mornings.

You made me so proud when you did this! You figured out that if you shake the keys that it makes noise! You were even starting to laugh.

I actually had enough time to take a picture of you before you started screaming. You really don't like tummy time.

Here you are all dressed up for your first adventure to see Christmas lights.

Your face is too funny here! You'd prefer I not give you a bath ;) But I still do!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend Festivities

I can't believe Thanksgiving has already come and gone. Boy did we have an eventful holiday weekend. I cooked the dinner for the ENTIRE family, 9 of us to be exact. I'm so thankful I was able to have so many helpers.

It all began on Wednesday morning. I took Jewell over to the in-laws house and basically cooked half of the meal. I actually enjoyed this day the most. All I had to do was cook. The baby was taken care of by our wonderful friend Bethany Smith. It was a nice break to just cook and not worry about when the baby would need me again. I did feed her, and missed playing with her dearly though. My parents came into town that evening and took Jewell home while Matt and I went to our church praise service. Of course, all I did was worry about my Jewell. I couldn't stand to hardly spend time with her that day and then have to give her up that evening. We rushed home to see her as soon as the service was over!

Thursday the girls prepped the turkey and put it in the oven for me. That was a nice blessing because I was exhausted from cooking the day before. We ate our dinner around 3. I must say, it was excellent. I'm so glad I researched new recipes for this year. Jewell slept through the entire meal! Now for the sad part. As soon as dinner was over we got a call from Barge (where Matt's Dad is being taken care of) saying that his blood pressure was dangerously low and his fever had spiked to 106. Fortunately my parents were able to clean up the dinner so we could all rush over to the hospital. We then knew that the dying process was truly beginning for Dad. It was sad for us all, but we rejoice in knowing that he won't have to suffer for much longer. We all stayed for a few hours and then headed home.

On Friday I went shopping. I did sleep in until about 7 since I had to feed Jewell. I only bought a few things at Kohl's this year. I felt bad for shopping with Dad being so sick. No one else was in a shopping mood either. Then that evening we went to purchase our Christmas tree. Thankfully my Dad helped Matt put it up, it was much quicker this way. I was sad though because Matt's Dad has always helped us do this. Instead, Matt went to see him in the hospital as soon as it was up.

Our weekend didn't go quite like we had planned, but it was still nice just to be with family. Of course, Jewell made everyone smile! I'm so glad my daughter is able to bring so much joy to us right now. She truly is a "Jewell."

Here the "sisters" are cooking!

My Dad enjoyed holding Jewell while we cooked.

The table is all decked out.

The turkey was perfect!

We are all ready to eat!

Jewell wasn't real into the whole tree hunting thing...

Jewell enjoyed helping all the family look through pictures of Matt's Dad :)