, by Flora and Fauna
We got a white Christmas after all!
The snow was just the cherry on top of the best Christmas ever! It was so laid back, cozy and wonderful. This year Christmas was so simple and felt so right. We spent hours cuddled up on the sofa in front of the fire watching Christmas movies. We left the lights on the tree lit around the clock, Christmas music was always playing and there was such a sense of peace and gratitude that we both felt. This Christmas felt like the culmination of everything we have been working towards - we are finally home, we are finally a family.
Valentina gifted us with a nap during Christmas Eve dinner so we were able to enjoy the roast chicken I made and the lemon cranberry cake I bought. Belle was overjoyed at the amount of snow she was able to bound through and kitty was grateful for the crackling fire that kept her nice and toasty.
And I was grateful for the two people in my life that make every day the best day ever!
I hope you had a lovely Christmas and forgive me for all the photos, I can't help myself when there's snow involved.
We went for our first walk as a family of three today!
It was a little cold and we were "those people" who struggled to collapse the stroller for a few minutes but all in all it was a success! We even ran into a sweet couple that offered to take a family photo of us! I love kind souls like that!
We also learned that Valentina loves her stroller and it's a great way to get her to go to sleep, so score! Mama is pretty happy with it too.
As I type this I can't believe that Christmas day is just a day away which also means that in just one day our sweet Birdie will be two weeks old! These two weeks have just flown by and she's changed so much already... I suppose this is what it's like to be a parent - the moment you get used to one stage they're on to the next one!
Speaking of Christmas I can't wait for papa bear to light the fire tomorrow morning and for us to officially begin the Christmas celebration. We packed the car full of delicious food, some last minute gifts and diapers, of course, tonight so we're ready. It will be just the three of us (and the pets) and I really like that - our first Christmas as parents.
I would like to wish all of you the most wonderful Christmas! Thank you so much for being a part of our journey here. Thank you for your support, kind words and advice - you are all so wonderful!
May your Christmas be full of love, laughter, hope, warmth and joy!
Merry Christmas darlings!!
Our darling Valentina arrived into this world at 2:30 am on a Tuesday, her due date to be exact. The hours and days at the hospital were an exhausting blur and we couldn't wait to bring her home. Everything felt better, easier at home and we all fell into a routine. I'll never forget carrying her up the steps to the deck for the first time, introducing her to the home she'll grown up in, take her first steps in...
My parents arrived on Friday bearing balloons, bouquets of flowers and sparkling grape juice (for me). Mum made us plov and they both marveled at our brand new baby girl. It was a wonderful, emotional and joyous time.
I love waking up to this sweet face every morning.
I love the way she smells.
I love the funny faces she makes and her smiles (even if they're supposedly not "really" smiles).
I love how much she needs us and one day I hope to tell her how much we really need her.
I still have moments where I can't even believe she's ours.
I will never forget feeling her body squirming on my chest for the first time...
I will never forget the way finally feeling her took my breath away...
I will never forget when the last nurse left & we turned down the lights & papa wrapped his arms around his new family and said the most beautiful prayer entrusting us all into God's arms...
I still can feel tears welling up in my eyes when I go back to those moments.
She is the biggest blessing we have ever been gifted.
As promised, here is the first installment of my "wish lists." Perhaps some of you may be looking for some inspiration as we draw nearer to Christmas.
*I'll be posting the rest this week.
We are so overwhelmed with the warm welcome that Valentina has received here.
Thank you ever so much for all the kind words, compliments and well wishes!
We are so incredibly touched!
Our baby girl arrived right on her due date!
She has filled our hearts and home with so much love. I really had no idea it was possible to feel this way...
She is an absolute joy to be around and makes us laugh, cry, smile & just feel so lucky every day.
Welcome to the world darling!
*Valentina is my maternal grandmother's name who lives in Moldova
I was recently inspired by this post from Jen about Christmas.
Part of my attraction to the idea behind paring down Christmas, so to speak, was of course the obvious - it feels like Christmas gets crazier every year. Part of it was the desire to start our Christmas traditions on the right foot now that we will have a child in our family. And lastly, part of the attraction simply came from practicality - I am well aware that picking, shopping and wrapping gifts with a newborn at home was going to be a challenge this year. So I figured why not try something different?!
And so we decided to follow the "something you want, wear, need and read" rule that Jen created for her family. It's so simple but still gives you freedom and the opportunity for some gifts that will be just indulgences.
Now don't get too excited, I have not every remotely started shopping even for these gifts but I did put together a few wish lists for our family that I would love to share with you!
And because I believe there can never be too many good ideas I'd love to hear what, if anything, you and your family are doing to simplify Christmas this year!
Still here guys. Still pregnant.
If someone were to chart our emotions from these past couple of days it would look like a complete bell curve. We've been excited, disappointed, angry, happy, tired, etc...
By the end of the week though we both made peace with the fact that this simply happens to be our journey to birth. The baby is running the show and he or she will come into this world when he/she is good and ready, even if that does mean playing games every once in a while. We've learned to ignore the contractions as much as physically possible and we've stopped making predictions. At the end of the day this baby will come out sooner or later.
I woke up super depressed on Friday and cried into papa bear's shoulder. He comforted me by reminding me how incredibly blessed we are to have this baby and how much we prayed and hoped for this little one (I am one lucky, lucky gal to have a husby like papa bear). I think that changed everything for me right there.
My mama and papa drove up yesterday to spend the weekend with us. They've been distracting us with tales from their house and mama is making her legendary chicken noodle soup for lunch. We went for a walk this morning and just have been having a wonderful time together.
We're all anxious but we're trying to keep our mind off counting, predicting or hoping.
And hey these are the last few days I will ever be pregnant for the first time. Baby bear and I will never be as close again as we are now. And there's something to be said for all that. So I want to cherish that and remind myself how beautiful this whole process has been.
So that's where we are now.
I also want to thank all you that have emailed, commented and supported me these past couple of days. I have been so touched by your kindness. I am grateful I can share our journey with you.
Hope all of you are having a lovely weekend!
No baby yet. So instead I give you baby & I at 39 weeks.
Also, we are trying every cooky idea out there to get this baby out.
Still haven't tried the castor oil... we'll see how I feel about that by the end of the week...
This weekend we were surprised to discover that baby decided to start it's journey towards birth.
I've been having contractions on and off since Saturday and needless to say I'm exhausted.
We finally got to see our midwife today who was surprised to discover that I was dilated and 90% effaced! I was beyond thrilled to hear that all that work baby and I were doing wasn't for nothing.
I'm still having contractions but not "hospital worthy" ones so we wait...
Papa bear is taking good care of me, we're going on lots of walks and when it gets too bad I nestle into a warm bath.
Hopefully we'll be meeting our little one real, real soon!
Just thought I'd share some of my favorite photos from last year's Christmas.
It really is the most magical time of the year...