Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 2014 - when my family came for Christmas & to be here for the birth of a grandson/nephew...

My sweet sweet fam flew in late Monday, December 22, 2014.
They came to our house the following morning and what a joyous reunion it was!
Right before they arrived I'd had my 39 week doctor's appointment (with new a doctor I had been seeing the past few weeks since my OB was...on maternity leave!) and she had asked if I wanted my membranes stripped.  I went back and forth trying to decide and called Jared and my mom and asked their opinions…and opted not to since I didn't want baby boy to be born on Christmas or to go through pain of getting them stripped!  Oh Carly…if you thought THAT was going to be painful, you were in for a surprise…
I had wanted to since it meant baby boy might come earlier than Dec 29th (my due date, but also the day before my family was to fly out), but with Christmas in between and me being a chicken, I decided to not have it done.
We spent time lounging at the house and then met up with Jared at Cracker Barrell for a yummy dinner.
Then we watched Home Alone and I read the family Christmas letters my mom brought all the way from SLC because she knows how much I love all the ones we receive from military friends around the world.
Jared and I went to bed soaking up the last few days of being just a family of two.

The next morning we headed to Wild Florida!
I woke up with signs that labor may be imminent…and everyone was quite excited to hear the news, but sadly  real labor did not start for quite a few more days.  
Here is Aly speaking to baby boy to come out.

Love this girl

Fluffy, the alligator.  :)

That night we had a yummy Christmas Eve dinner at Panda Express.  (We go all out. ;))
Oh, in-between Wild Florida and Panda Express we had a pitstop at the Insta Care for Lauren who was plagued with a nasty cold.  Sorry Lo Lo :(
We then went to my family's hotel and decorated a gingerbread house and demolished and ate it within minutes, and watched our favorite Christmas movie of all time, White Christmas.

Then we woke up and it was…Christmas morning!  I made a breakfast casserole and a stovetop potpourri that I mean to make each year and never do :), turned on Christmas music, and then the family came over to our house.  We opened some presents and then watched the Grinch.  I was so happy.  So happy to have my family here, be with my husband, and that our life was about to change any day.  Also watched Home Alone, then we prepped our traditional dishes for our Christmas dinner - ham, salad, sour cream potatoes, apples & yams, and rolls.  YUM.  We also made our Great Grandma Kramer's famous apple cake which I could probably eat for every meal of my life.  Then my mom helped me sort through baby clothes but we didn't make it very far because we were too busy (mainly my mom - I was still in denial) ooohing and ahhhing over all the clothes.  We FaceTimed with Jared's family and it was so fun to "be" in the Reid living room and talk to all Jared's siblings.  I love the Reid family.  Then Jared, my dad, and Jace played volleyball outside, I went on a walk to try to coax baby out, we watched an NBA game, and then ate Christmas dinner.  We read Luke 2 and talked about what we're grateful for.  Then we drove around looking at Christmas lights.  I love my family!!!
Bottom left pic - pic from SLC relatives Loren & Britney & Tate!

Jared and his love

We started out December 26th with a fun game of mini golf at Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf.  My mom was so cute and was taking pictures of everything and her children every two seconds.  Then we ate at Panera Bread, took a stop at Target to buy clear, large bins for organizing baby items, watched While You Were Sleeping, Home Alone 3, then went to Downtown Disney.  It was so fun to see all the Christmas decorations but the crowds, eh.  Not so fun.  Then we ate dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse and it was there that I felt my first "ping" of possible labor pains.  Telling my family this was probably not the best idea because they were then convinced I was going to go into labor any moment and I felt like I was in a fishbowl. :)  I truly DID want our baby to come while they were here so all of us were praying quite hard for that!

Jace & dad and their cute Wild Florida shirts

Bottom right pic - my dad and I pretending to play that one game from the 80's?

We should submit this to "Awkward Family Photos" ha ha :)

Loved all the cute decorations.

December 27th was spent at Cocoa beach.  It was a beautiful day!  Had a fun time laying on the beach, walking around the pier, and eating lunch. Then later that night we went and got frozen yogurt.  

Reinacting a picture from Hawaii in December 2009 :)

December 28th the fam came to church with us.  It was so fun introducing them to people we love and vice versa.  This day was also the day before my due date so you can only imagine how many questions I got of "How are you feeling????"  When we got home we had leftover Christmas food, watched some football, went on a walk with my sisters and saw a beautiful sunset, read more Christmas letters, and then mom gave an amazing lesson something she heard from Michael Wilcox's discourses about "I won't, not I can't." She is my example in life and I want to teach and love just like her! 

My mom's nickname for Aly is "Pet" - this was perfect since they were in their suite at the time :)

The next day….drumroll….December 29th…was D-Day!!!!!
...with no baby to show for.
So we decided to walk him out at Epcot.
First, that morning, I had my 40 week doctor's appointment.  The doctor informed me I was 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced.  Blah!  So I consented to her stripping my membranes hoping that would help baby come before my family was to leave the next day.
I got home and packed my hospital bag and while doing so my cute hubby was giddy with excitement that he would/could/should? be a father quite soon.
We then met my family at Epcot and walked around the "world"!
We started on the Canada side, saw the Canadian movie, stopped at the French bakery to try some yummy pastries, listened to my favorite Voices of Liberty singers at the American pavilion and then saw the awesome movie that leaves you high on American pride, then stopped at our beloved Germany (I was feeling quite pregnant and also woozy at this point) and ate some yummy currywurst, stopped at Mexico, Norway, and then on our way home stopped at…wait for it…Panera Bread.  On the drive home Jared and I were quite tired and discussed how we are really in for it if we're so tired right now and we don't even have a baby to care for yet...

Trying the yummy (and gross) Coke products from around the world.

12/29/14 - 40 weeks!

I woke up on December 30th realizing I had been cramping all through the night…yikes!  But yay!  Maybe baby could come before my family flew out that afternoon?? :)
My family came over around noon, we played some Catch Phrase, ate lunch, watched the Hannah Montana movie, and then they left to catch their flight. :(
What a wonderful trip.  I love my family!  And I'm sorry baby boy didn't come while you were here!

Stay tuned...

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 2014 - before my family and baby Oliver came

Setting up Christmas

The night before YW in Excellence.
We laughed the whole time while setting up this red carpet, which took way too many people.  :'-) 
It was quite the task.

"A Night of Excellence"

This year's mutual theme was "Come Unto Christ and Be Perfected In Him"

Cute Sister Cedeno
There were tables for each YW value and the girls displayed Personal Progress projects

Selfie with the Bishop :'-)

Seeing the amazing Christmas lights at Hollywood Studios with the Barwicks

Our favorite thing:  Shark Tank!

First Presidency Christmas Devotional

The status of my swollen ankles on that lovely evening

Grandpa & Grandma Stephenson and their seven children
Such amazing people!
Back row:  Scott, Brent/dad, Mark, Bob
Front row: Pam, Cathy, Grandpa Robert, Grandma Ethel, Sharon

FINALLY finishing the project I started with friends in October.

My sweet friends at Orange Lake threw me a baby shower!

It was a "surprise." :)

Michelle, Rose, Tracy

My boss, Robin

My sweet friend/the other admin, Lisa

Michelle, the only other Mormon at work who became my fast friend and who kept me sane!

LOVED this
"Reid" monogramed on a hunting backpack from my friend Tasha
I couldn't wait to show it to Jared who is so excited to take baby boy hunting one day!

Jared's sister Heidi gave birth to a beautiful baby boy whom they named Lewis!
The funny part was that I was talking to Heidi on the phone a few weeks before our due dates (we were five days apart) and said, "It's crazy how within a few weeks our lives are going to change.  We could go into labor at any moment."
A half hour later Heidi emailed us saying her water broke. :)

So adorable

Love this.  Sweet older sister, Florence.

Making apple cake for friends and neighbors
Love this tradition from Great Grandma Kramer

Sweet Yamilet and her boys, Ramon and Andres

"Christmas crack" from Pinterest - it was sooooo good!

Christmas fun night with the Barwicks
Lindsey's baby was due end of February 2015

Saying goodbye to two good Elders, Elder Crismon and Elder Bagshaw

Missing my fam putting up the Christmas tree.  
We love it because most of our ornaments are from places we've traveled to and it's fun to reminisce.

Last.Day.Of.Work!!! 12/22/14

My commute

Celebrating last day of work with nothing other than…Little Caesars deep dish Hawaiian pizza :) yum!

I thought these cookies were so adorable!

Driving around to see the Christmas lights in our neighborhood
That night my family was flying in for Christmas and soon after it would be baby time!!

"We're coming!"

12/1/14 - 36 weeks - cantaloupe 

12/8/14 - 37 weeks - four grapefruits

12/15/14 - 38 weeks - leek

12/22/14 - 39 weeks - watermelon
(It was so hard to hold that thing with one hand!)