Last night marked the ending of an incredible year and we had a great time sharing it with family and friends [minus Emi and David who thought it would be more fun to cruise to Mexico for a week :)]. We enjoyed a bountiful meal of shrimp and grits, grilled halibut, crab dip appetizer and delicious sides and desserts before attempting to do some "ski jumping" on the Wii (I failed miserably and ended up in a snowball after every attempt but gleefully blamed it on my unwieldy belly- it gets blamed for most things at this point). All in all, a great way to wrap up 2009.
Since I've been so focused lately on upcoming events I thought I should take a little time to think about all that has happened throughout 2009 and how much God has blessed us- so richly!!
January we had a covered back porch/overhang built and it has been a much appreciated addition to the house! I also met and completed my goal of exclusively pumping for 1 year and officially "hung up the horns". Although reaching the goal was bittersweet, Mike and I fully enjoyed celebrating the milestone at Bonneville Hot Springs Spa and Resort for our first overnighter away from Eileigh (who did great). We celebrated Eileigh's first birthday with family and Eileigh started crawling three days before she took off walking on her own, all within the same week of her birthday.
In March we adopted our cat Sterling and he's been great from Day 1. Mike enjoyed the annual fishing trip to Wikiup Reservoir in April and came back with some great stories and nice fish.
We headed up to Seattle in mid-May to celebrate four years of marriage at a Mariner's game and stayed the weekend with Mike's family in Olympia. Mike and I had a blast at the game enjoying time for just the two of us- it wasn't until two days later that I discovered it wasn't just the two of us at the game like we'd thought but in fact I was pregnant and due in January 2010!! We were thrilled, to say the least.
The summer months were a whirlwind of frequent trips to the Oregon Coast, gardening, trying my hand at canning peaches, pears, making pear butter, jalapeno jelly and huge batches of freezer corn, watching Eileigh play outside in the little backyard pool, garage saling and keeping Mike supplied with fresh ice water and Gatorade while he worked diligently to build our back deck- at times seemingly an insurmountable process. July 12th my baby sister Emily got married in a beautiful outdoor wedding, in the rain! It was an amazing time- so special for all of us who were blessed to share in it. In August we were blessed to attend Mike's cousin's wedding during the annual family reunion at his Grandma's lakefront property- the only time I've ever gotten to swim in a lake during a wedding reception- and it was perfect. We also found out my sister Mindi is expecting and due in February 2010!
The end of August always begins my official hunting widowhood as I lose my husband to the pursuit of four-legged, horned creatures. Mike spent a week over East bowhunting elk, a few days camping at Detroit with his old C-shift crew from the fire dept. and then mostly stayed in the area for the rest of elk and deer season- first and second season, that is. The last day of deer season he bagged a nice forkie to add to the wall collection that is steadily growing in our house.
September we travelled back to the Oregon Coast for my family's yearly camping/yurt/5th-wheel trip and spent what was to be our last vacation in our 5th wheel. It was surprisingly cold at night even in the 5th wheel and so the last night Eileigh bundled up next to me while I spent a sleepless night realizing how much things are going to change in the next few months and to enjoy each and every moment as it comes.
The end of October saw Eileigh costumed as a flower and Boone decked out as a spider as we went to a few houses on the street in search of "goodies". The kids liked going up and knocking on the doors perhaps even more than getting the candy (probably because we didn't let them actually eat the candy).
Thanksgiving was spent at Mike's parents' in WA and we also enjoyed a trip up to the mountains to play in the snow in November. I spent the rest of the month trying to wrap up all of my Christmas shopping!!!
In December we eagerly looked forward to Christmas as Eileigh is now old enough to somewhat start to grasp the excitement of the Season. This year we started my childhood tradition of the Elf Pail (it was the Elf Box when I was growing up but I couldn't find a "box" ornament and instead decided to use a little tin bucket I found to hang on the tree). Once the Christmas tree is up the "elves" bring a "goodie" (generally a butterscotch chip and a chocolate chip) every morning until Christmas, when we open presents instead. I always loved this tradition since it gave us something to look forward to each morning and it was so much fun to see Eileigh's excitement as well! It was almost like I was experiencing it for the first time myself. One of Eileigh's favorite things this Christmas had to have been the Christmas lights (which she pronounced Kee-fee yights... although she soon shortened that to just requesting "Kee-fee ON!!") We spent several evenings just driving around and looking at homes all decked out with lights and eventually had our favorite routes that included all the best displays. Christmas Eve was spent with some of my mom's side of the family and then Christmas morning Mike, Eileigh and I had a great time exchanging gifts. Mike and I had decided to buy a really nice camera for a "family" gift and not do anything extravagant for each other- which he totally disregarded and shocked my socks off (literally) when I unwrapped a beautiful pair of brand new Uggs!! He was so sweet about it it brought tears to my eyes- he has been such a rock for me to stand on. After that we headed over to my parents' for more gift-exchanging and brunch. Eileigh and Boone went a little into overdrive and actually seemed a little tired of opening gifts by that point and ready to just play. Eileigh got a couple dollies to love on and even tried to take away Boone's little boy doll too- she is definitely excited for our baby to be here (although I know she cannot conceive what all that will entail- not that I do either).
This year of 2009 we experienced some incredible growth in our relationships as well as watched Eileigh grow like a weed and expand her vocabulary exponentially. 2010 we're looking forward to Selah's arrival and becoming a family of four- won't be too long now! We are so richly blessed and I love knowing that our God will supply all our needs, strengthen us and carry us through whatever this next year holds!! There is such a peace in knowing it is HE Who holds our future. Blessings to you in 2010!!