It's that holly jolly time of year when I take a minute (or two or twenty...) to reflect on the year and the coming holiday season. Last Christmas was our first as a family of four, and aside from being completely overwhelmed and exhausted, it was wonderful. Emma started crawling on Christmas Eve after posing with a carrot and realizing her sister had a plate of cookies (talk about motivation!). Annalyn was finally starting to understand some of the magic and joy of the season, and made it so special for all of us.
After our New Year's celebration with our BFFs, 2015 started off on a very tired note thanks to two full time jobs, two kids under 3 (one still refusing to sleep through the night, or let anyone else hold her or look at her), and two crazy parents who thought it'd be a good idea to list our house in the middle of winter in order to buy our dream house. And my sister-by-marriage had her baby - another sweet, adorable nephew. Whew, it was one heck of a January!
Spring was an exciting time as we packed up (and gave to Goodwill) everything we owned to move to what will hopefully be the last house we ever purchase. It was so hard to say goodbye to our first house and the most amazing neighbors on the planet, but we were excited to move out of the city and have room to stretch out. Our favorite part of the new house? Emma started sleeping through the night! I guess she just wanted her own room. The girls quickly adjusted to life in the country, and we enjoyed a big family party outside for Emma's first birthday.
October brought the long-awaited milestone of my thirtieth birthday. Although the big party I'd always dreamed of didn't work out, we enjoyed a couple small celebrations with family and friends over the next couple weeks, and even splurged on a night downtown without the kiddos. For Halloween, Annalyn decided that she would be a witch and Emma would be her kitty (which worked out perfectly since she fit in Michael's old cat costume his mom made him as a baby!).
Thanksgiving week was a busy one, but included a celebration with both of our families and Margo's baptism where we were honored to serve as godparents. We got to take my sister's puppy for a little "puppy vacation" at our house and the girls loved spending time as her stand-in "puppy mommies." And who could resist a little pre-Christmas photo shoot with two little girls and a fluffy puppy? Not this mama.
This Christmas, we are looking forward to taking Annalyn to the Yuletide celebration at the ISO for the first time, driving through the light displays in the small town parks near us, teaching Emma more about Christmas in general, watching as many Christmas cartoons as possible (Mama loves them), seeing the Charlie Brown Christmas play at the civic theater nearby, baking lots and lots of cookies, and cinnamon rolls, matching plaid pajamas, and visiting family and friends. We are constantly reminded of how much we have to be thankful for, and we are forever grateful to the family, friends, coworkers, and teachers that make it all possible. We couldn't do it without your help - we aren't nearly as put together as we look in our Christmas letters! Love you all and wish you all the joy in the world this holiday season. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The Eddie Family: Ashley, Michael, Annalyn & Emelina