Sometimes I refer to this season as “the holidays,” but that’s usually when I’m referring to Thanksgiving plus Christmas plus New Years. Christmas, for me, is not a “holiday,” it’s Christmas (CHRISTmas). Now that we have that out of the way, I want to share with you some life things and our 2016 Christmas Pictures (card made via Shutterfly).
I have been busy with work projects, launching my January 2017 Group Program (which is FULL already!), planning Christmas gifts, and spending time with Ryan, the babies, and Ceci. Our house smells like Christmas with all the candles I constantly have burning, the wallflowers, and our real Christmas tree.
I feel overjoyed that I have been feeling so, so good! SIBO and all UC symptoms are totally at bay, and none have come around in quite some time. After talking with my main doctor, we decided I’d go back on WP Thyroid, up the dose, and this time stay on it longer than the month trial I gave last time. Additionally, I’m still taking the Antrantil. Beyond those and the LDN, though, I’ve been laying off a lot of extra supplements.
I am getting super excited for 2017 and all the goals I am currently setting. The past couple years were about Less, but not 2017. I’m going after it this year, and I can’t wait!
With all the joy I’m currently feeling, for some reason, the Christmas season brings out all the feels for me. I am over-the-top emotional and tend to gravitate towards being a Hallmark Channel movie 24/7.
Getting these pictures back from Portraits of Grace didn’t help the situation much either because it makes me realize that just one year ago we were 1/2 the family we are today (number wise). And that’s pretty much awesomely insane!
Ryan and I decided to not be in our 2016 Christmas pictures this year because we wanted some great pictures of just them. The session, like our life currently, was pure chaos. Jenni (the photographer) would 100% testify to that, too.
My days currently are a mixture of pure bliss followed immediately by pure stress, and the urge to lock myself in a closet and cry. But looking at these makes me realize that they are the only ones I’d do it all for.
2016 Christmas Pictures
I’ve been asked, “Will you do IVF again?” The answer is a clear, “No.” No, I never will, and if you want the real and raw truth I’ll give it to you. The only reason I am thankful I ever went through infertility treatments and a round of IVF is because it delayed time, time that it took to ultimately get Samarah. No IVF would have meant no Samarah. For that, I am grateful for God’s timing every single day. (In fact, sometimes I feel sick with the thoughts of, “What if IVF had worked?!”) Samarah could not be more Ryan and I. She is a spitting image of us, our personalities, and love for life and humans. And she was so good for pictures!
This Christmas is our first with Isaiah, and it’s been almost a year of big feelings and emotions with this little guy. Ryan and I often joke how we love the name Isaiah because it’s biblical correlating with, “and a child shall lead them,” but so help us all Lord should this child lead any of us anywhere! Words cannot even begin to describe how humbled I am that we ran into Elisabeth this past Saturday. I continue receiving signs for why, and it has truly made these past several days super special. Isaiah has a big heart, huge emotions, and “Mama” continues to be his favorite word.
Oh, this sweet little angel that has been with us now just shy of 3 months! Currently, she’s teething like a madwoman and has been sick with a cold (like Samarah, Isaiah and I) for at least a month now. To say, “I LOVE the baby stage” would be to tell you a lie. I don’t. Not at all. I never have, and I never will. And that is okay because simultaneously I absolutely adore and am crazy about little miss Amiya. Her eyes talk to me daily. She knows exactly who I am. When she smiles and giggles with me, my world stops for just a second. Even though I told God, “No more babies” after Isaiah, He knew that this one would be super special for me. And she is. She was sweet and calm as can be the day of our Christmas pictures. In 2017, I’ll get to show you her Christmas picture, and I can’t wait. Be prepared to gush!
One word: Stunning. If this is the very first time you’ve read my blog, then you’re wondering, “Who is she? And how do you have a 17-year-old?” This is Cecilia from Italy, the foreign exchange student we’ve been blessed to have since this past August. I often think about what people wonder when they see us all in public. Do they think Ryan and I had one “of our own” super young *or* do they think she could be an Au Pair?! I laugh at the thought of both. Cecilia has made this Holiday season extra special, and when Jenni announced these Holiday picture sessions, I knew immediately I wanted to do them with all 4 “children” because I will always, always, always remember this time in our lives…..with Ceci in it. She is so very pretty, carries style and grace, and at 17 she has more class than most grown women I know. Gosh, we are really going to miss her.
This weekend Ceci and I (+ Samarah and maybe Isaiah) are going to make Christmas Cookies. The community we live in has our annual Christmas event on Saturday, complete with making Reindeer food and going on carriage sleigh rides. We have Christmas gifts yet to buy, surprises yet to give, and in just over a week we all get to go to Minnesota.
And even though I’m sure we’ll all end up with the flu or other illness (always happens this time of year when we travel), I wouldn’t trade this Christmas season, family, friends, and each other for anything in this whole world.