Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Makings of a Christmas Tree

A few weeks ago I attended the Nutcracker Market. While at the Market, I purchased deco mesh, ribbon, and more to make this year's tree the prettiest yet! In my head I envisioned a music note theme that would compliment the blue hues of our home. It would be elegant, tasteful, and worthy of the cover of a Pottery Barn magazine. I had plenty of beautiful globe ornaments in navy, gold, and silver, and knew that I would not be putting up very many of my novelty ornaments that had been collected over the years, because they wouldn't all fit and they wouldn't match my theme!

As I unwrapped each ornament this year for our tree trying to decide what would make the cut, I was filled with sentiment, emotions, gratitude! Before I was born my mother began a tradition for our family that continues to this day- every year she picked out an ornament for each of us that would be ours to have forever. It was certainly appreciated our first Christmas when we had more ornaments than our little 2 foot tree could hold! Looking at each ornament, I was filled with so many memories.

Of course THESE ornaments would have to go on the tree- My first ornament and Peyton's first:

Can't forget my Beauty and the Beast years:
Or my NASA years:
My Choir years with Mrs. Wynne:
Ornaments from my travels around the World:
And of course this Texas gal can't forget her Texas Capital ornaments! My parents have given me on every year since they began making them more than a decade ago!


And special ornaments that have been given to me over the years that include a sweet sticker covered stocking from my niece, Clifford from Gretchen, TCA ornament, an ornament for my second year teaching, and even the missing monkey that my mom sneaked on my tree one year HAVE to be on the tree:

Marriage brought in a new collection of His & Hers ornaments, as well as a few from Daniel's childhood! I love the addition of MUSIC to our tree, that truly represents not just Daniel's talent, but the effect it has had on our home:
I of course want to carry on this tradition with Peyton, so I HAD to hang up her ornament we picked out this year (the little "pea" its holding says "Sweet Pea"):
Before I knew it, EVERY "novelty" ornament made the cut, and the tree was full! The pretty globe ornaments are still in their boxes, and wont make it on the tree this year. My Pottery Barn dream was nice, but this tree is so full of memories, and that is SO much better. As I look at our tree, I am thankful for each memory the ornaments represent. From the handmade Choir ornaments, to the silly Clifford inside joke ornaments, to the "our firsts" and "baby's firsts", I love our tree. I especially love this years addition- a baby gate!

I'll end on this thought- It is SO easy to get wrapped in everything that Christmas really is not- the decor, the gifts, the food, the stress all this can cause- it is not about ANY of those things, but about love. Not just the love of family and friends, but the kind of love it takes to send your One and ONLY Son to Earth, to be born to die. To die for you, to die for me, to nail our sins to not a Christmas tree, but a Cross, so that we can all find true forgiveness and freedom from our bondage. Let us get wrapped up in that freedom. 

Merry CHRISTmas!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

the making of Peyton

Well... once again it has been a while, and I thought today would be the perfect time to sit and share our baby story. I'll be honest, this is mostly for Peyton. I know one day it will be special for her to read this. My last post was about painting our kitchen. It is fun to look at those pictures because little did I know I was already pregnant!

Finding out we were expecting
What many do not know is that it took Daniel and I many months to get pregnant. While I know many struggle for years, and others never are able, those 9 months of "infertility" were so hard for me. Emotionally I felt like a failure. After about 9 months I went back to the doctor and she decided I was the "perfect candidate" for fertility medicine. She did some lab work, gave me lots of instructions, and wrote me two different prescriptions. On my way out of the office, she came running after me and said, "Hannah! Don't fill those prescriptions!" I looked at her with confusion, she smiled and hugged me. "You're pregnant!" I remember feeling SO shocked that I needed to sit down. I was shaking, crying, I was over-joyed and terrified all at the same time!

Daniel and I both had commitments that evening, but I knew I could not wait to tell him. I decided that in the few minutes we had together after work and before the next thing I would share this miracle with him. About  year earlier we had found cute University of Houston onsies, so I wrapped them up and just in case he didn't understand, I also included a pregnancy test stick! He of course said, "We already have these..." haha but then saw the stick. He looked at me at said a few times "really?.... really?.... are you sure???" It was a lot to take in. Yes, we had wanted this for so long, but now that it was actually here it was overwhelming. And wonderful.

1st & 2nd Trimester
I am SO thankful for my MK business and that it has allowed me to stay at home, for I can NOT imagine teaching with the morning sickness I had. Make that all-hours-of-the-day sickness. It's funny, because I remember thinking at the time "This will never end! I don't think I can do this anymore!" and now, months later, I can't even really remember it. I KNOW it was hard (and I lost a TON of weight), but I survived and I know I could do it again. The nausea lasted from about 7 weeks to 25ish. At about 22 weeks it was no longer all day, but just once or twice a day, and then one day I realized, "OH! I haven't felt sick in a few days!" My sisters always refer to the 2nd trimester as "bliss" and while I didn't exactly experience the bliss, I am thankful that the nausea DID come to an end. I will admit that it was a great diet! By the time I reached my 3rd trimester I was almost 20 pounds below my starting weight! Wahoo!

The Name:
Daniel and I decided before we found out the gender that we would name our child Payton Stephen (Daniel's middle name) if if was a boy or Peyton Elizabeth (my middle name) if it was a girl. We both loved the name, and considering there were not too many names we agreed on, it was an easy sell! ;)

Finding out we would be having a girl:
We both knew we would be thrilled regardless of the gender, but we will admit that Daniel secretly wanted a boy, and I secretly wanted a girl. There we were, looking at a tiny baby on the screen, moving around, sucking her thumb, and the sonographer said, "Oh she is beautiful!" Immediately I asked, "SHE?!" and then started crying. A lot. I was so overjoyed. Don't worry. Daniel was not at all disappointed, but already thinking about all the fun he will have raising a little girl. It was so fun calling my family because I am the only one so far to have a girl first. Kristy was especially over joyed!

3rd Trimester:
I remember waking up one morning and thinking, "When did my belly get so big?!" It was like it grew over night! My little butterfly flutters became full gymnastics in my womb! We filled our 3rd tri with working in the nursery, visiting family, and lot's of dates. It was fun spending Thanksgiving with my family. It amazes me how real it is for my niece and nephews. When I would see them they would hug my belly and kiss it, saying hello to Peyton. Little Josh was especially affectionate. He would cuddle with my belly, bring it toys, and say the sweetest things.

We were SO blessed with our baby showers. I still can't believe all the wonderful gifts we received. God has blessed us with great family and great friends.

So. Here I am. 2 1/2 weeks from our due date. Feet swollen, back aching, and going absolutely CRAZY waiting for this baby! I just can't wait to hold her. It will be here before I know it, and the past 9 months will have seemed like a blink of an eye.