Well, we are barely one week into the new year, and our family has already has so many new memories to share! First off, we kicked off New Year's with a bang by doing a few sparklers, watching a movie, and going to bed at 10:26 p.m. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, we know how to party over here! No, seriously, it was a really nice Christmas and New Year's holiday this year. Besides having a new baby, we were able to just stay home and enjoy our family without the stress of traveling. Usually we go back and forth between our house, my Mom's house, and my in-law's house. Which I really enjoy, because I love being with my family for Christmas, but it gets hectic now that we have so many children, and it gets difficult to keep perspective about what the season is really about in the first place. So, Philip's family came to visit the weekend before Christmas to celebrate the birth of Luke, Baby Jesus, and one of his brother's graduation from college. Then, my family came up this past weekend to celebrate Christmas and Luke's Baptism. Call me selfish, but it was SO NICE to have everyone come to us instead of us going to them (I should say that we don't live in the same town as our families...we are 2 1/2 hours away from each, so it gets to be a lot of driving when we go see both families in just a couple of days). So, we had a beautiful Christmas at home. We went to the Christmas Vigil, then just enjoyed the day with good food, a few gifts, and my Mom. She stayed with us for a little over two weeks after the baby was born to help me out...which was extremely nice!
|2010 Family Christmas Picture|
Ok...so, I didn't actually take this until a few days ago, but it still counts! It was taken before Epiphany (you know, the January 6th one), so still in the Christmas season ;)
Also, this year, our little Rachel turned 2 years old! I can't believe she is growing up so fast...they all are, really. She is just such a sweet little girl.
|Rachel's Second Birthday|
She is quiet and cautious, which is so unlike my Natalie. They are both beautiful girls with kind hearts, but their personalities are SO different. While Natalie is bubbly and outgoing, always on the go and looking for something to do, Rachel is more reserved, and content to stay at home and just be with those people she loves the most. It's interesting to watch how different they are.
|Rachel's First Birthday|
She is content to just quietly play at my feet, or follow me around all day long, trying to help out with whatever I am doing at the time. She loves to read books! I think that may very well be her favorite past time...well, that and holding her new baby brother!
She absolutely ADORES him! It is so cute. As long as he isn't crying, she will sit and hold him forever...once he starts crying, she call me: "Mom! Luke's crying...I'm done!" =) She loves to put her finger in his hand and let him hold it.
|When we brought Rachel home from the hospital 2 years ago =)|
And, of course, this year has also brought with it so many new experiences with our new family member! It's funny, because now that I have four children, everyone just assumes I'm this 'experienced' mother now. Like I'm a pro or something O_o. All the nurses at the hospital, my pediatrician, my OB, the lactation consultant...they pretty much all said the same thing...."oh, this is your 4th baby; you know what you're doing, just call me if there's a problem." Thanks for the vote of confidence! On the one hand, it's kind of nice, because I get a lot less unsolicited advice that people feel like they are required to give to new Moms...and, I'm guilty of it, too! I love dishing out my mothering secrets to women who are inducted into motherhood for the first time! But, at the same time, I don't feel experienced at all! I mean, sure, the nursing thing I have down pat...co-sleeping - not a problem!...and diapering, well, I'm sure I could hold my own if there were a contest to see who could change a baby the fastest using only one hand (which is a common activity when there are 4 to deal with!). But, this is still new territory for me! Having four children is a totally different ball game! WOW! I thought three was a lot of work...sheesh. So, yes, I do have a small amount of 'experience', as people like to say, but in reality, I'm just learning as I go through this whole process. Which keeps things fun, for sure =)
And, finally, we had Luke Baptized this year! So, we have a brand new member of the Catholic Church as of January 8th! The Baptism was absolutely gorgeous! While I've been to many Baptisms in my life, this one was completely new for us. We had the privilege of having Luke Baptized in the Traditional Latin Rite. It was awesome! Kind of stressful, since I had no idea what to expect, and I'm even WAY less experienced in Latin than I am in mothering. So, I had a little trouble trying to follow along in the booklet, hold Luke, and make sure Father could reach the baby's head, chest, and such for the different blessings...all while wearing heels! But, the ceremony was just beautiful. Our Priest did a fantastic job of administering the Sacrament (complete with the blessed salt and the knocking on the Church door to enter!), and he explained each part of the ceremony very nicely, since the majority of those present had never attended a Latin Baptism before. My niece, who is pretty talented at photography (No! Of course I'm not biased!) got some really nice pictures for us.
|My Mother-in-Law makes one of these for each of my babies on their Baptism Day =)|
|this was actually taken the day before the Baptism, but it was just so sweet!|
|This was part of the Exorcism rite, and Luke was smiling at me =)|
|Father and the Godparents just after Luke was Baptized|
|Luke's God-Parents, Parents, and our Priest|
Ok, Phil's going to love me for this next one, but there is a story behind this Baptismal gown. It was hand-made by my a friend of my Grandmother's. She made it for my brother, who was Baptized over 40 years ago! Everyone in my family wore it, except for one of my nieces and my only nephew. For each of my boys, I made sure Phil was ok with them wearing the 'dress'...and, he has said yes both times, but then when we get to the Church, and start dressing the baby, he gets this look on his face and shakes his head. I think it's funny, but I always make sure to put something very manly underneath the Baptismal gown for his sake =). For me, it's a beautiful family tradition, and I love that gown!
|Luke in his Baptismal gown|
|The God-Parents =)|
I hope everyone had a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year's!! Welcome to 2011!!