Christmas has long since come and gone, but here I am finally documenting the greatest holiday.
We arrived in Germany a few days before Christmas to spend the holidays with my parents and a few of my siblings.
Since Christmas Eve was on a Sunday this year, instead of the annual evening Christmas Eve service, we had a special Sunday morning service, then came home to get ready for an evening of family traditions. One of my family’s Christmas Eve traditions is a fondue dinner before opening gifts, so of course that was a highlight. After dinner and a special Scripture reading, the babies & toddler opened their gifts before we put them to bed and the rest of the family opened gifts. (Side note: growing up, we used to open gifts on Christmas Day, but eventually switched to the German way of doing things and opened them all on Christmas Eve.)
On Christmas Day we slept in a little, had a large delicious dinner that my mom prepared, took a walk, had “Kaffee & Kuchen” (coffee & cake) then played some games in the evening.
And now for the barrage of pictures (get used to it, several more posts with lots of travel pics coming).
It’s safe to say that Emberly’s first Christmas was a success, and we were so happy to be able to celebrate with my family in Germany!
Even though we are now a couple weeks into 2018, I still want to review a few highlights from 2017. Obviously, having an adorable baby girl was the biggest highlight (as confirmed above by bestnine), but here are some other highlights of the year I don’t want to forget:
This year, after the past 2 Thanksgivings down South, we had another one in Cincinnati with Loren’s family and it was such a good time. Since we packed in so many fun things this holiday weekend, this post is chock-full with pictures of all the things I want to remember.
We headed out for Cincinnati after Loren got off work on Wednesday evening and arrived in time for Emberly to hang out with her aunts, uncle and grandparents for a little bit before she went to bed. After putting her down for the night, the rest of us played a fun game before going to bed at a semi-decent hour.
Emberly had a pretty rough night (not being used to sharing a room with her parents), so Thanksgiving morning Loren let me sleep in a little bit before a leisurely breakfast with everyone. After breakfast, we visited the grandmas (E’s great-grandmas) and then came back home to relax and finish getting dinner ready before the rest of the family members showed up (there were 30 of us!). Once everyone arrived, we snapped some family pictures, stuffed ourselves with all the delicious food, sang a few Thanksgiving songs and caught up on each other’s lives. So many wonderful family members to be thankful for!
This actually happened during the week, but Emberly finally met some cousins on my side of the family! Her cousin Pepper is a little over 2 months old and they have already decided to be best friends. 😉
Friday evening we left E with our babysitter, then headed out for a Murder Mystery Dinner (last year). It was so much fun to dress up, eat a good dinner, laugh with friends and solve the murder.
Saturday morning we slept in, then Miss E got a little morning bath while I finished my coffee.
Later that afternoon, we took advantage of the Starbucks holiday drink bogo (carmel brulee latte, anyone!?) before heading out to a photoshoot we did for some friends.
After the photoshoot we hurried home to get ready for dinner w/Smiths. It had been way too long and it was so good to catch up over dinner and dessert.
Sunday evening we had a teen activity at church and Emberly was being hilarious entertaining the teens and being entertained by them. She loves people!
Since I failed to do a weekend recap this week, today’s favorites are a few pictures from this past weekend in Cincinnati with Loren’s family.
ONE // This baby isn’t loved at all.
TWO // Adorable and hilarious nephews and nieces.
THREE // Niece silhouette photoshoots. Loren was playing with the girls outside after dinner, which then somehow turned into a little photoshoot. Then Rachel, who was completely fascinated by this, wanted to take a couple pictures of Loren & me. She was so cute, telling us exactly where to stand and how to pose. Guess she’s a natural!
FOUR // Saturday morning swaddle freedom. The best part of every day – releasing this happy girl from her swaddle so she can stretch like crazy.
FIVE // Saturday mornings on the patio with grandparents.
SIX // Saturday brunch with doting family.
Ok, so I know that’s six things, not five, but they were too good not to share.
A few weeks ago, we decided to make our way down South Carolina for Labor Day weekend so Emberly could meet more of relatives (finally some on my side!).
So, this past Friday, Emberly and I packed up and picked up Loren after work around 3pm, then we headed out of town with the rest of the Midwest. Or so it seemed between the rain and crazy traffic. Emberly did great at first, got fussy during the heavy rain and traffic, then eventually fell asleep for pretty much the rest of the trip. We pulled in to my aunt’s around 2:30am, exhausted, but so glad to be there.
We spent the weekend visiting and catching up with so many relatives and a few friends, and since we took so many pictures, I’ll just let them do the talking.
Our first roadtrip with baby is in the books! Even though the trip to Cincinnati is just under two hours, it still counts since it was an overnight trip. 😉
We got to Loren’s parents Friday evening just in time for dinner and for Emberly to meet her great aunt, uncle and cousin.
Saturday morning, Emberly got in some snuggles with her grandma before we met up with Carrie (Loren’s sister) for a delicious breakfast at Half Day Cafe.
After breakfast we met back up with Loren’s parents and headed out to meet Emberly’s great grandmas. First up was Grandma Monnie, who loves newborns and was so delighted to meet Emberly.
Next, we stopped by to see Grandma Joan (she is 93!!), who was also very happy to meet Emberly.
Later on that evening after we all took naps, a couple other family members and close family friends came over for dinner and we had a lovely evening together.
Sunday we went to church with Loren’s parents, then headed back home after lunch.
Even though we were pretty tired by the time we got home, we had a great weekend and were glad Emberly did so well and was able to meet so many special people.
We keep wondering if this is the last weekend before baby…maybe this one was it!
Friday afternoon, I got to have lunch with my sister and adorable new niece who were in town for a wedding. It was SO good to catch up and meet little Pepper!
Saturday, Loren and I actually attended the wedding Dawn and her family were here for and I snagged a picture because we forgot to on Friday (am I even a blogger!?). Look at those adorable squishy little baby cheeks!! Naturally, I didn’t get any pictures of my nephew who was the ringbearer, but he was adorable in his secret service get-up.
Later on Saturday evening, Loren got to experience a little bit of baby stuff shopping at Target. Don’t worry – I didn’t take too long and he got some new shirts (not from the baby section), so we can call it a win.
Sunday after church we had lunch with some friends, then worked on various things the rest of the afternoon. We did get out a little bit in the evening for a sunset walk.