Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Hello all! Merry Christmas Eve to those who celebrate it, I'm having a pretty cozy one so far. More about that later, first of all I have some backtracking to do! Not that I have such overly exciting things to do, but there is something unsettling about leaving things out so I feel like I should cover the last few weeks. The past few have gone by pretty quickly... My guess is because Eric and I were able to get away for a few days last weekend, and also because between then and now I have done 4 births and that makes the weeks very busy. They make for long days, but when you sit at the end of the week and think back I can hardly find where the time went. I feel very very lucky to have gotten the births and now is the big question-- usually I like to put birth money towards big things like buying tickets home. I have been planning to make one last trip home in January before I our little man comes in the spring, because I want to see the family and meet my new niece who will be here soon! I'm having trouble deciding if I should go however. I would still really like to but I know it will be a long few flights for a short few days while I'm 31-32 weeks pregnant and swollen. It's still really important to me thought, that I see everyone and meet this new person, so I hope it works out. It's amazing how fast everything is changing, and in such exciting ways that every day I look forward to the next exciting moment and stage, but sometimes I wish I could have a tad bit of extra time to do some things like go visit home!
So my wonderful husband planned a weekend trip for us as a birthday gift to me, and since my work Christmas party (which was extremely fun!) was the weekend after my birthday, we had to go another weekend so that ended up being last weekend! We went to Girdwood, AK which is about 45 minutes away from here. It is nice and close, and somewhere we've passed through many times but we have never really explored the area. It's a small town, and a ski town so it's easy to explore the whole thing in not much time, but that makes it extremely relaxing. And it is so very beautiful! I tell you, when I picture living life in Alaska, Anchorage is really not what thrills me. But the minute you get out of Anchorage, even 5 minutes down the highway, everything changes into the beautiful place it is. The drive was gorgeous, we drive along the coast the whole way, surrounded by mountains. On the left people are ice climbing on the side of the road, and on the right is the ocean covered in ice chunks with snow covered mountains alongside. Really not a drive to complain about so we were off to a very good start! When we got to Girdwood, we stopped at a little restaurant right next to the skiing action so we could see them come down the hill, and the brunch was delicious! I most mostly in awe of the space-- it was a large house and the seating area is in the large 4 season porch area. Huge windows that let all of the light in, surrounded by snowy trees, and it was really beautiful inside. I kept telling Eric I want a house with a room like that!! It was then that I decided, (though I've thought of it before) that when we get our new couch set I want to turn one so that it faces out our back window. We have an interesting layout where there is only one windown downstairs and it goes straight to the back yard. I personally like to see out onto the street but even so, I just want to be able to sit and look outside so we will be doing this soon I hope :)
After brunch we walked into an adorable shop that had fun jewelry, clothes, little knick knacks, and baby things. We bought Henry a little onesie that seemed perfect because it reminded us of Iowa. And though this babe is going to be born in Alaska, he'll still be a little Iowan. It's a onesie with a big ear of corn on it. I'm sure that will seem a lot cuter when you see the photo of him wearing it, but really it is very cute. Eric bought me a really great hoodie as another birthday gift (feeling spoiled). It was so comfy, and FIT me! A really unique dark redish color, and on the back there are white dandelion prints going across the back. Hard to explain, but it's really lovely and it kept me so warm. We then went to the "downtown" which is one street that took us about 5 minutes to get from one end to the other. I love towns like that! We stopped in the coffee shop where a little group was playing music and we sat there relaxing for a couple of hours. I told Eric while we were there, that it's funny we feel like we don't have time to do that kind of thing anymore. We used to go to coffee all of the time together when we were dating, and now we rarely do... It's funny because we still could but it sometimes takes getting out of town to really feel like you have free time, even if you could make some while at home. It felt great, and we were entertained the whole time by a fluffy 4 month old puppy named Joe. It was easy to tell he spends the day with his person at the coffee shop every day because this 4 month old can put on an entire show of tricks. Very impressive. The man making our coffee told us they have a lot of time on their hands :)
We then checked into the bed and breakfast which was amazing. So beautiful, comfy, perfect, and we'll definitely be back there. To Mom and Denny and Mike and Ruth: I think you guys would REALLY enjoy it and I would strongly encourage you each to spend a night there sometime during your visit up here in the spring!
We had dinner at a restaurant called the Double Musky which is famous nationwide for their huge steaks. Huge indeed-- we at 16 ounce steaks at this place which were amazing. Every night of the week the restaurant is STUFFED full, both in bellies and in overall space. It's hard to even walk in there it's so busy, but so worth it. We spent the rest of the night watching movies and being cozy, and then enjoyed the wonderful breakfast and company of the owners at the bed and breakfast the next morning. Back to Anchorage, and we went straight to pick up the nursery furniture that had come in!
Eric wasted NO time putting it together, so it was done a few hours later. Over this last week the painting has also taken place as we decided to change the color of the room from yellow to a nice latte color with one green wall. So it's starting to take shape, but there is a lot of work yet to be done.
We ordered this wonderful wall decal that is a tree with an owl sitting on it--brown and green. It's perfect! I ordered it on Etsy of course, because I am thoroughly obsessed with that website and have been a little "etsy happy" recently. It came quickly and yesterday we put it on and it looks fabulous I think!
That essentially brings us to today-- it's been a busy week of trying to get Christmas shopping and such finished. We are going all out with Christmas together this year, I'm not sure how that happened but it looks like Santa hit our house with gifts. Usually that isn't how it goes, but I think it's just a special year for us and I like to justify it by saying that in the following years it will be about our little guy so this year we're spoiled.
It was so lovely to be able to sleep in today on Christmas Eve, not that I really slept in that much... I hopped out of bed at 8:30 to get ready, and Eric and I headed out for some last minute things, a trip to the grocery store etc. I had planned to put away laundry then, but instead I fell asleep for over an hour which was lovely! We spent the evening at the UU service, then came home for some homemade soup. Bekah/Ted made oyster stew, and Eric/I made cream of chicken and wild rice soup. I tried to replicate the Panera soup, but this was a little funkier. Still very good though! Eric and I took Finn on a walk afterwards which was chilly to be sure, but felt so good. I really like to get a walk in each day, but it's harder to keep that motivation when it's bitterly cold out. We had to get out one of Finn's "christmas presents" early... His feet have been getting really cold when we go out and walk on ice, and sometimes he gets balls of snow caught in his pads so I bought him booties. Of course this led to the funniest walk I have ever seen in my life which gave me a great laugh, but he caught on soon and didn't mind them at all. It's funny, it's as if the minute something warm and cozy, however unusual, touches his feet his limbs no longer work. He was walking on three legs with one back one hiked way way up, and then was wobbling the front two all over the place and he just looked plain ridiculous. But look now, he's a natural in his booties! We are home now, I'm comfy in my sweats and my big slouchy grandpa sweater :) Another thing I got during the birthday weekend. I wear a lot of slouchy sweaters usually but now that I have a belly my big sweatshirts are like spandex on me so I bought a maternity one and it looks just like something I would have before, but now it fits! Long thigh length brown sweater with toggles, I love it!
(These last 3 pictures are from tonight), I like the last one because Eric's mustache froze on our walk.
I'm thinking I'll go put the laundry away and head to bed, I just now realized it's already 11pm and I go on call at 6am... I would love another birth this weekend but I'm hoping for Sunday because I really don't want to miss Christmas! Whatever you do this weekend, I hope everyone is safe and happy.

Merry Christmas!

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