Where did 2009 go? Not that it was a busy year for us or anything...Student teaching (for me), graduation (me again), marriage, moving, a new home, and finding out we're having a baby...no big news this year!
Now that the morning sickness was ebbing away, I started to love being a wife again. Cooking, cleaning and especially eating were all exciting tasks rather than torture. David was definitely happy to have me back : ) With my new-found energy, the first half of December was consumed with all the unpacking that had gone undone in November. We also had extra motivation to get the house in order, we were about to receive our first overnight guests. Our friends Stephen and Kelly who we'd met up here, but had since relocated to the South came up for a weekend so Stephen could preach at a former church member's funeral. Although it was a sad reason for them to have to travel, we were delighted to see our friends again! Accompanying them was their one year old daughter, which led to our very first baby gift...a pack-and-play! Audrey had a safe place to sleep and our own baby started seeming a little less surreal with this addition of furniture. The first weekend of December brought another welcome surprise...the first snowfall! It was beautiful, but I think Audrey enjoyed it the most : )
December 14th brought us another exciting milestone. We got to hear the baby's heart beat for the first time. The doctor cautioned me before she put the doppler on that sometimes it was hard to hear the beat at 12 weeks. It might take a while, or we might not hear it at all. However, the moment she placed it on my belly the room was filled with a whoom, whoom, whoom. Our baby's heart was beating quite nicely : )
Of course, what month in our home would be complete without some travel? We had planned to head to my parents on Saturday the 19th. However, a blizzard was on the way and although it appeared I-95 would stay clear (since it wasn't going to get that far west until further north than our route would take us) we decided to leave Friday after work instead. David's boss told him to go home at noon and get on the road. We managed to get the oil changed and car packed in time to be on the interstate by 2pm. The original plan when we were leaving Saturday was to make the 14 hour drive in one trip, but that was starting to come into question. Halfway down Virginia, at about 4pm, we noticed it seemed to be foggy ahead of us...was it snow? Why, yes, it was! By 5pm we were driving 30 mph on the interstate with several inches of snow accumulating on the road as we passed signs that read, "Avoid Travel Saturday. Heavy snow expected Sat." SATURDAY...not Friday at 5pm! Oh well, hopefully once we reached I-95 all would be clear. By the time we hit Richmond (5 hours later) 8 inches had already fallen and we continued to go 30mph on I-95. David did an incredible job driving in the snow. Around midnight, we felt we were far enough south that the blizzard wouldn't leave us snowbound the next morning so we stopped in a hotel for the night. The forecasters may have been wrong about how fast the blizzard would travel, but they turned out to be right about where the snowfall would end. The next morning we got on clear roads and made great time the rest of the way to mom and dads, whew! In total our 14 hour trip turned into 20.5 hours.
The time at mom and dad's was wonderful. I felt even better than I had felt over thanksgiving. We cooked, talked, played games, ate on the back porch (which felt very strange after all that snow!) and enjoyed being together. Mom, aka ebay jedi,got to show off Baby Gainey's cloth diaper stash, as well as some adorable swaddlers she found. We had fun testing these out on my stuffed animals, while David tried to ignore his eccentric wife : )
We also got to visit several other special people while we were in the area. We spent a day or two in Tallahassee and visited Jen and Jimmy who were about a month away from meeting Samuel, their first little one! It was great to talk to another couple who is just a few steps ahead of us in this process. Speaking of a few steps ahead, we got to meet Jim and Crissa's 4th child, who was just 8 weeks old at the time. I'm so thankful I got to spend time around him because newborns do weird things! They grunt, the turn colors, they flail and twitch. Not that I'm saying their kid is weird. That's all normal...and I'm glad I know that now! They were even really brave and let me change a diaper. I'd forgot how different infant poo is, it gets everywhere...ah fun times ahead! Aside from getting a newborn refresher course, it was great to hang out with them and their other kids. I learned that if you want to know something about anyone in the family, ask Emma. Oldest children are like the secretaries of the family, they know what's up. She handily beat us in a game of guessing players "favorites" from a given set of choices, lots of fun : ) I now know that Lindsey loves monkeys and that Jim is a nerd. Not sure how I missed that last one before...
Before we left Tallahassee we made one more very special visit and had a lunch date with David's Grandfather. It was wonderful to get to visit with him and show him sonogram pictures of his great grandchild (who looked like an amoeba, but hey, you take what you can get!)
No matter how much we tried to slow time down, it was time leave mom and dad's and head to destination #2, Sarah and Eric's house in South Carolina. After a crazy busy year where vacations were mostly dedicated to splitting time between my parents, getting to know soon-to-be in laws and wedding planning, I saw a lot less of my sister-by-love this year than ever in the past. I was really excited to finally be getting a decent length visit with her, Eric and the kids. We had a wonderful time playing games, running around with the kids, celebrating Eric's birthday, and ringing in the new year with new and old friends. I ate like Sarah has never seen me eat before, going back for seconds, and often 3rds : ) So although it was sad to say goodbye, I'm not sure how much more their pantry could take!
So we drove back to PA, where the snow was piled up into mini mountains in every available grassy space, but the roads were clear, our driveway had been plowed by a sweet neighbor and although I missed everyone, I still felt in my heart, that this was home.
December's Belly Pic/Baby's 1st Christmas