Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year - A different celebration with kids :-)

Happy New Year! I have always loved New Years Eve. In years past, I have gone down town, gone on trips, gone to parties. However, in none of these years did I have kids. I wasn't sure what this New Year's celebration would bring. That is why I was so excited when my friend Liz (who also has a 7 month old little boy) decided to have a small New Year's gathering with a couple other families. There were 3 little guys total, Braeden, Declan and Nicholas. Wouldn't you know it, I have the only baby that refused to go to sleep. This really isn't a surprise (he is a terrible sleeper), I guess he just didn't want to miss the excitement of New Years Eve. Chad and I had a great time, even with our little guy awake the entire time. Luckily, he never really gets cranky when he is up late. We enjoyed dinner, some board games and the New Year's countdown, before heading home about 12:15. Braeden was out before we pulled out of the neighborhood. I guess he enjoyed his first New Year's Eve. What will 2010 bring....I don't know how it can top 2009. Happy New Year's everyone!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year!

I think most people with agree with me, Christmas is such a magical time of year. I love all of the family gatherings, great food and drink, and the time of reflection on all of the good in my life. This year, there was definitely a lot of good, in fact there was a lot of great. This was Braeden's first Christmas, and we had a great time.

Christmas with the Bakers is not a one day affair, but more like a week long celebration. We started at my Aunt Luanne's on Tuesday the 22nd. We usually get together with her on Christmas Day, but this year she was going back to Wisconsin to celebrate with all the Dunlaps. Because Luanne and her kids live in Colorado, we are lucky to see them a lot. Lu and I have grown to be more like friends rather than just aunt and niece. Braeden got his first Christmas ornament from his "great" aunt Luanne (the first of many presents for the little guy.) I don't think he will need anything new for a while.

On Wednesday night, we got together with the Staebells for our traditional fondue dinner. We have been having fondue on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. My family has been kind enough to move our annual dinner to the 23rd because Chad's mom's birthday is on the 24th and we are usually celebrating with them on that night. I always love getting together with my whole family. Unfortunately, it is rare that we are all together, now that we have grown and moved our separate ways as we journey through life. That is why I really cherish Christmas and the holidays. Our fondue dinner was filled with lots of great food and drink, lots of memories and more laughs than I could count. I love my parents, brothers and sister more than words can tell. I feel so lucky to have them in my life and even luckier to call them my family.

Christmas Eve was a very busy day. Luckily, I was somewhat organized with my shopping this year, so I wasn't out finishing up any last minute gifts. We met Chad's family for mass at 4 and Braeden took a liking to the man sitting next to me. I think it was because he was wearing glasses and Braeden wanted to grab them. Overall, he was good in the packed church. After mass we headed over to White Fence Farm. This is a restaurant where Chad worked there for 9 years and it is also where we had our rehearsal dinner, so it has some sentimental value. Chad's family has been eating their Christmas Eve dinners there for years. As usual, Braeden did great at the restaurant. He loves eating out (he must take after his mom :-) After dinner, we went back to Chad's parents house to open gifts. We also took a 4 generation picture with Chad's grandma. As always, it was so much fun to hang out with Chad's family. I am so blessed in so many ways, one of which being that I have awesome in laws. Everyone had a great Christmas Eve, and Chad's mom, Michele, had a great birthday.

Luckily, Braeden has been a good boy in his first 6 1/2 months, so he got a visit from Santa. I think his parents were more excited than him this year, but I know that will change in years to come. After we opened our stockings and Santa gifts, we headed over to my parents house for our big Christmas morning celebration. My parents always go WAY overboard and this year was no different. We were showered with way too many gifts, my mom made her awesome monkey bread and we got to enjoy being together. This year was kind of exciting for me and my siblings, as Travis organized a group gift from the 4 of us. My parents have been watching this old tv for years, so we got them a flat screen. They were so surprised and so excited. It was so fun to do something big for them, as they have done sooo many great things for us. One of my favorite gifts to give out was to Travis. He is notorious for not dressing warm enough for Bronco games. I am always teasing him that he should wear a snuggie. So, this year, Trav received a Bronco's snuggie from his nephew, Braeden. Doesn't he look cute :-)

Christmas afternoon, we went over to see Chad's big extended Denver family, which is always a great time. The family is huge, probably about 50+ and growing. There are lots of little ones running around and I know there will only be more and more as Chad and his cousins have more kids. I am definitely looking forward to the years ahead when Braeden is running wild with the rest of the kiddos.

Overall, it was a GREAT Christmas. I think Braeden (and his mom) were exhausted, but it was worth every minute. I can't wait until next year when Braeden can walk down to see Santa's gift on his own. I love this little boy and I am sooo excited to have him in my life. So many good times to come. I love you Braeden. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I love December!

I LOVE December! It is probably my favorite month of the year. Not only is it filled with holiday spirit, fun times with family, and more celebrating than we should do in a year, let alone a month, it is also my birthday month. This year's December 10th celebration was a little different with our new little addition. Rather than go out for a night on the town, we hosted a poker party at our house. That way I could get Braeden to sleep and enjoy the party. Now, if you knew my son, you would say, no way will he stay asleep through an entire party, and I would agree with you. On this particular night, Braeden went to sleep at 7, just as everyone was arriving and woke up at midnight, just as they were saying their goodbyes. It was like his special birthday gift to me. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures, but it was a great night. We had about 20 friends and family for pizza and poker. My dad won and Chad took second. It may be the way I spend all my future birthdays :-)

The rest of my December days have been spent preparing for our Christmas celebration. We are hosting my family at our house for a fondue dinner a few days before Christmas and between shopping, decorating and house cleaning (in addition to working and taking care of Braeden), I have been super busy. Luckily, Braeden is a great little shopper, at least this year. I took a little video on one of our excursions. Hopefully, he will be this good next year.

I also found time during the holiday hoopla to take Braeden for his 6 month pictures. They turned out great. He did great until the very end. It was the photographer's idea to put him in the middle of a wreath dressed in a diaper and his Santa hat. We probably should have done this first, because by the end of the shoot, he did not want to sit in that wreath, he even produced real tears, which was the last picture of the day. We got some great pictures regardless.
Everyone is very excited for Braeden's first Christmas. I know he will have no idea what is going on, but there is just something magical about this time of year, and I am so thrilled to share it with my little boy. I look forward to this Christmas day and all of the holidays to come.