I wrote about our early Christmas celebrations and travels in my previous post here. After we returned home from that trip, we had a relatively mellow week at home, with lots of little celebratory things sprinkled into the week of Christmas.
On Monday, I had a midwife appointment. I haven't written much about this pregnancy so far, but it's going well! I am seeing a different midwife provider for this pregnancy and have been thrilled with her care. Baby boy is incredibly active (much as Cooper was in utero), which brings me joy, and of course feels reassuring to me, as well. The week of Christmas I was 25 weeks pregnant (27+ weeks at the time of writing this).
Over the next few days, Nicholas was wrapping up work, pre-Christmas, and Cooper and I filled our days with baking grain-free Christmas cookies (not that tasty, honestly, so I won't link the recipe), but the process of rolling and cutting them out together was enjoyable. We made simmer pots and watched Christmas movies, including Frosty the Snowman, The Grinch (original and the 2018 version), and the Home Alone movies (1 and 2). We listened to Christmas music and went on walks around the neighborhood. Cooper fell asleep in Nicholas' arms. The three of us drove through an outdoor light display at a local park; Cooper loved it of course. I baked some paleo Chocolate crinkle cookies that were so so good. I had been missing the flavor of a childhood favorite cookies, the Choco mint snapper (think chocolate and cinnamon and peppermint, so good). So I tweaked this recipe to mimic that a bit (subbed in peppermint extract for vanilla, added 1 tsp cinnamon) and they have become our favorite paleo cookies.
On the morning of Christmas eve, I finished preparing and baked sourdough cinnamon rolls (having made the dough the day before). We skip the icing, since they don't truly need it, we think. We had Cooper open his stocking a day early to spread out some of the gifts, and he loved it, including a set of twist-up crayons. We colored most of the rest of the day, and watched Christmas movies, and then got ready for Christmas Eve service. For a quick, make-ahead supper, I made sourdough biscuits (having prepared the dough the day before so it could ferment for 24 hours) and a paleo sausage gravy. After the Christmas Eve service at our church (beautiful and gospel-centered), we went to my in-law's for dinner and to open stockings there, and then drove home. Nicholas and I made notes of the lovely things we received and he assembled a table and chairs for Cooper.
Christmas morning, we all woke up together, Cooper in our bed as he is most nights these days (a happy thing for all three of us). Coop slowly made his way downstairs to the tree saying, "Should I go look at it? Whoa, look at those. It's my water bottle. I'm really tirsty [thirsty]. Whoa, look at those. Wow!" as he saw his own little table, his water bottle atop.
We read the Christmas story together, ate breakfast, and then opened gifts together. Coop had so much fun delivering gifts to each of us, and helping us open our gifts to each other.
After a lunch of leftovers, we drove back over to my in-law's across town to exchange gifts. My SIL, Katelyn, received an espresso maker, so we enjoyed figuring it out, and I got to reminisce on my time as a barista at a local specialty coffee shop in college. It was so much fun to have a homemade latte alongside a homemade cinnamon roll on Christmas day. We ate a beef roast for dinner (thank you, Katelyn!) and then drove home in the early evening.
Overall, it was a low-key, relaxing celebration of Christ's birth and coming to earth. We spoke about Jesus' birthday and the significance of why we celebrate, not just focusing on the gifts and to-do of Christmas. It was fun to see Christmas through a toddler's eyes and hear his many thoughts on it, as well.
O come, O come Emmanuel!
It's been months since my last "life lately" post. As with any season in life, each day brings a mixture of good and hard. I mention the hard things here sometimes, but I really want to share the joy of our quiet life and many days spent at home with littles, as well. In that theme, here are a few of the highlights from the last several weeks:
It's been several weeks since Finn's arrival. I wrote about his birth story here, in case you missed it. I simultaneously feel like there is so much I want to share about life the last several weeks and so few moments to sit down and write. I'll do my best to share some goings-on from recent weeks below.
Amongst all the meal prepping and nesting I've been doing, the newest member of our family joined us a couple weeks early! In due time I will write more of his birth story, but Finn was born at home, in the birthing tub, with a smooth and rather fast active labor. We are doing great! Recovering, lots of snuggles and naps, snacking, nursing, and all getting acquainted with our Finn.