My sister Nikki was kind enough to run across the street to our local park and snap some shots of our family. We only had an hour and Cash was a total disaster, but we ended up with some gems. She's a life saver. I never would have gotten my act together to hire a photographer to take them and I wasn't sure I wanted lasting pictures of me in this not-quite-showing-yet fat stage. Miraculously, she made me look good. She made us all look good. Thanks a million Nikk.
I am 18 weeks pregnant right now and I'm not sick anymore! Hooray! I am finally feeling like myself again. I haven't thrown up in a week and I even wake up and get dressed most days. That is a giant step for me. I still don't have the energy that I used to, but I am getting there. The lack of energy thing probably has to do with a few factors. First, I have been busy shopping and preparing for Christmas. This includes staying up way too late finishing presents, wrapping them, choosing Christmas cards, etc. Then Casey left for Qatar (a little country in the Middle East that borders Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf) for a volleyball tournament. He is playing indoor with the USA team made up of athletes that were still in the States during the winter season. It was an honor for them to ask him to play and he was dying to go play somewhere. Casey left on Dec. 12th and will be gone until the 21st or 23rd, depending on how they do. We crammed all of our holiday shopping and activities into the week before he left, so I wouldn't be too stressed with him gone right before Christmas. That left one tired Mommy and baby alone without our Daddy. I didn't realize how much I counted on the little breaks that Casey offers throughout the day. Oh boy I do now. The first couple of days were rough because Cash didn't nap well, he was super cranky, and I was one grumpy single parent. Despite my lack of energy, we have managed to keep it together. I only have a few more presents to buy, cards to deliver, and one overdue visit to Santa for a picture. Besides that I am sitting pretty.
I really do love this time of year. It gets busy and stressful, but I take plenty of down time to enjoy my favorite things. Christmas music, hot chocolate, Christmas tree lights, advent calendars, treats, Christmas cards, Christmas movies, and of course the celebrations of our Savior's birth. Just writing about it is giving me more energy to go and enjoy it some more! We can't wait until Casey is back home with us and we can enjoy this joyful holiday season.