This is the month that I was looking forward to the most because it's the month of the year where I was most PRESENT with my family. I had a massive revelation at the beginning of the month where I "woke up" and shook off the fog and found my strength.
When Natalie was first born everyone's first words about her always had to do something with the fact that she looked exactly like her father. As she has grown up throughout the year, although in her eyes she is most definitely CRAIG, her facial expressions have grown to be more like mine - especially when she smiles....or is angry. Ha.
And thus begins her love affair with Santa Claus. Seriously. She was enamoured. Maybe it was the beard.....I don't know. But she wouldn't take her eyes off of him.
In the month of December she definitely got more mobile and braver as she scooted around our house trying to test her boundaries and see what she could get into. A box of diapers? Go for it.
Christmas trees sure are magical, aren't they? At my parent's house the Christmas tree was always in the front formal living room and I can remember being in awe of it as a small child.
Eek! Santa is coming soon and I'm wearing a tutu! Life is so exciting when you're almost ten months old!!! I love her excitement in this photo and I'm so glad you can't hear the crazy voices I was making to get her this wound up for a photograph.
On the first full day of our Christmas vacation Natalie and I met up with a very good friend and her two kiddos and we explored the Dallas Zoo together. Although I'm sure Natalie had fun cruising in her stroller and gazing at the different animals, this trip was more fun for me and Beri because it gave us a much needed chance to hang out and catch up.
What good is having a little girl if you can't dress her up once in awhile and put an enormously PINK hairbow in her hair? Seriously. This kid lives in jeans, tennis shoes and hoodies most of the time. I absolutely reserve the right to "girly" her up for special occasions like a ladies tea with my mother.
Speaking of which - here are the two most important women in my life with some of the women that laid the foundation for the tradition of strong women in my family. These paintings are of my mother's grandmother and her sister. My mother can remember them hanging in her grandmother and mother's homes and now they are in hers. I can remember them in my grandmother and now my mother's home and someday they will reside in mine as well.
Craig's favorite time of the day with Natalie is bedtime - he rocks her to sleep every single night (at least when he doesn't have basketball games) and it's their special time together. Christmas Eve was no different.....with the addition of Twas the Night Before Christmas of course.
Riding her pony. Our house is now overflowing with toys and it's been so fun watching her figure out how to "play" with all the wonderful things she was given for Christmas.
WHAT. A. YEAR.
I don't really even know what to say now that I haven't said before. On most days....I enjoy my daughter and I enjoy being her mother. I still have my moments of anxiety, frustration, anger, depression and all that other junk but the good news is that they're just that. MOMENTS. Not hours, not days, not weeks. Just little blips on my radar. Craig knows the signals....hell even ANGIE knows the signals and they do their best to take care of business so I can get through the moment in one piece.
There you have it. My year. Now onto planning a very important first birthday party. Holy cow. Are we really already here?!