Thursday, January 11, 2018


Still to come, Judah's newborn pictures we did with my mom when he was 1 week old! In the meantime... December! And all its Christmas spirit! There is nothing quite like celebrating advent with a newborn in your house - I felt so humbled this Christmas season and felt more aware of what God did for us by giving us Jesus than ever before. Lots of quiet days, play dates, Match Day (!!!), hikes, a visit from Stephen's parents, a day trip to Sacramento, working, holidays and trying to find our groove as a family of five. Sometimes overwhelming, a lot of the time tiring but always full of joy and love.

 ^^ Tree hunting on December 1st! Our first Christmas here in Palo Alto was our first one spent in our own home. It was out of necessity, as Stephen was working Christmas Eve and Christmas day, along with the following year, but this year we stayed home out of choice. Stephen saved his five days of paternity leave to combine with the five days he had off for Christmas (yay for third year residents, woo hoo!) and it just felt so right to spend those ten days together. ^^
 ^^ Baby in a bath! He loves it! ^^
 ^^ The kids and I joined several of our friends one Saturday morning at Wunderlich Park for a Christmas themed few hours at the beautiful horse stables. Pony rides, Santa, games, petting zoo, popcorn, cookie decorating, ornament making... Thankful for friends who let us tag along with their families when Stephen is working call days and weekends! ^^
^^ There are lots of sleeping baby pictures in this post...! I spent almost every nap time in the month of December laid out on the couch with a sleeping baby on chest, Grey's Anatomy on the TV and chocolate on the menu. It was Heaven! ^^
 ^^ Christmas jammies! One of the things I was looking forward to most about Judah's arrival was getting all three of them in matching jammies for Christmas. It did not disappoint! They wore these several times to playgroup and out for errands, making me smile from ear to ear every time! My little candy canes! ^^
 ^^ Again with the sleeping baby...! ^^
 ^^ The day before Match Day... We all had a bit of a cold - runny noses and coughs - so the kids and I spent the day picking up school books from the library and walking around the neighborhood collecting treasures. I had the kids work on a lesson while I made dinner and we all waiting patiently for daddy to come home the following morning and to open our Match email...! ^^
 ^^ Everything about the month and holiday just seemed so much more magical with Judah around ^^
^^ Post Match Day hike! We spent most of that Wednesday on the internet looking up the program at UC Davis, reaching out to people who live there, Zillow house hunting, school searching and day dreaming about our next adventure. Next year we'll be hiking in the mountains around Lake Tahoe...!? I can't believe our time here is limited. We sure are going to miss living in such a beautiful place! ^^
 ^^ Judah gets all the attention around here :) ^^
 ^^ Post church, nursing in the car in the parking lot smiles ^^
 ^^ First time in the stroller and looking as angelic as ever! ^^
 ^^ It was somewhere around this time that Judah started sleeping for 8 hour stretches at night ...our December wasn't bad at all! ;) ^^
 ^^ Evening bike ride with this goof! She's a hoot and I love watching her personality develop and change as she gets older ^^
 ^^ Our very own King and Queen. These two are the very best of friends and it is my favorite thing to watch them play and listen to their imaginations bounce off each other ^^
 ^^ All three of my babies dressed up for Church! Gosh they're the best! ^^
^^ The annual Westervelt Christmas party (thought it was our first year attending because Stephen is usually working!) We left our kids (and 6 others!) sleeping at Ally's house and walked down to the party with our friends. Good food and even better company made for an excellent evening! ^^
 ^^ Advent morning with the Appels! Stephen went over early in the morning to workout with Eric in his garage gym and the kids and I joined shortly after, just in time for breakfast. This beautiful place we live in certainly won't be the only thing we miss when we move...! ^^
 ^^ Stephen's parents came for a quick visit, their first time meeting Judah since he was born, and we made sure to sneak away for a hike through the redwoods ^^
 ^^ We also made it to the zoo with them! We bought a family pass this summer and it has proved itself to be worth it - the kids love it every time we go and I'm always thankful for the fresh air and long naps it provides ;) ^^
 ^^ "Christmas dinner!" The Appels and Quicks were heading out of town for Christmas, so a few days before, we got together for our own little celebration! These families mean so much to us and we're so thankful for them and the role they've played in our lives these last two years. ^^
 ^^ Christmas Eve Eve hike with friends! We've ended up going on a hike on Christmas Eve these last few years and were so happy to bring our friends along on this years traditional trek! ^^
 ^^ Pizza for dinner, matching jammies and a new family game to play by the light of the tree before bed. Christmas Eve with this crew was a wild success! ^^
 ^^ Our lazy, happy Christmas morning. Joy (and messes!) all around! ^^
^^ We have little photographic proof of our day trip to Sacramento, but the day after Christmas we drove the two hours north to spend some time checking out different neighborhoods. It's not quite time to start house hunting (renting) but we wanted to see the area for ourselves and know what neighborhoods to be looking in when the time came. We stopped at a few parks, had a picnic lunch, went out to dinner and happened upon Chick-fil-A's family night (hence the face painting). It was a long day, but it was successful and exciting! ^^
 ^^ Post Christmas errands to the mall! ^^
^^ Finished out the month with play dates and park days, lots of lazy mornings playing at home, handsome haircuts, a little bit of school and more Judah cuddles, always! ^^