Jason’s been traveling a lot in December (but is now home through Christmas. Yay!) So Ali and I have been enjoying lots of holiday festivities together. On Saturday we went to Cheekwood Art and Botanical Gardens to see reindeer and check out the craft activities. We spent a long time making a Christmas tree our of sticks, pipe cleaners, paper, glue and beads. The cookie decorating was quite delicious!
On Sunday our church had their big Christmas program, which means special music, candlelight service, and lots of kids dressed up in adorable outfits gorging themselves on cookies and candy canes. Alianna was quite proud of her freshly painted nails.
That evening Ali and I went to our next door neighbor Elizabeth’s house for a Latke Fest. I’m pretty sure that was the first Hanukkah party either of us had been invited to and it was great! Lots of tasty treats and nice people. I brought Elizabeth a dozen eggs to thank her for informing us and helping to wrangle our chickens when they escape our yard.
I hope you’ve seen this video of Jason playing the most beautiful acoustic guitar rendition of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen that has ever been played.
I wanted to let you know he’s also giving away copies of the whole amazing album on his Facebook page this month. All you have to do is share the video and let him know you did. He runs a new contest each week so if this week’s hasn’t started yet, check back in a day or two.
And if you don’t win but would like to buy one, you can do so through his website JasonAhlbrandt.com. We offer free shipping. They’re the same price in person and at his shows. He’s on iTunes, Spotify and other online/digital music retailers, too.
Last month Jason did a project we’ve been thinking about since we moved in two years ago—he tiled a backsplash and added under cabinet lights in the kitchen. He spent many nights working from after dinner until long after Ali and I were asleep. He’s such a hard worker. I LOVE how it came out. My only contribution was helping to pick out the tiles, which were a special order from Home Depot, in case you’re wondering. We picked the color and straight-stacked pattern to mirror the exposed concrete block wall that’s across from the kitchen in the dining room. (You can see it here in my grapefruit-belly photo.)
I haven’t taken any photos of the backsplash in our master bathroom yet but Ali snuck this one on Monday while I was getting ready for work.
I’m playing a little blog catch up. I meant to share this photo on Thanksgiving. Every day in November leading up to the holiday we would think of something we were thankful for and write it on the chalkboard wall. It was fun to hear what Ali would come up with. She answered “trees and leaves” or “leaves” at least three times. I think it’s safe to say she had fun playing in crunchy, colorful leaves this fall. My favorite, though, was when she’d say “Mommy-Daddy-Ali love” or “Mommy-Daddy love” or any combination of our names. I’m not really sure if it’s our love for her that she was thinking of, or if it was each unique relationship dynamic. Either way, it melted my heart. She also listed “baby brother or sister” and “messy [fried] eggs.”
Here’s my little heart melter on Thanksgiving. We hosted at our house but I failed to take any photos once the gathering began.
I snapped this selfie (bumpie?) of my baby belly and a grapefruit because at 19-20 weeks, the baby was supposedly about this size. I thought that seemed crazy until I looked at the photo. OK, I guess a grapefruit would fit in there.
Twenty weeks. 4.5 months. Halfway to my due date. Baby’s kicks are harder and more obvious this week, which is nothing but amazing at this stage. I love the interaction. It was so fun seeing all that action on the big ultrasound screen Tuesday…rubbing an eye, touching toes to forehead, yawning, talking or chewing, kicking legs, wiggling fingers. Now I’m even more excited for the little one’s debut in April.
Big sister is also quite excited. She likes to pretend there is a baby sister in her belly too. She thinks it’s a baby sister but is quick to add that we won’t find out until Christmas. We had the ultrasound technician write the gender and seal it in an envelope and we’re going to have a friend or two help us with the reveal on Christmas day. She also knows that the baby isn’t coming out until April, though I’m not sure she has much of a concept of what April means.
Look at that cutie! In the one below, baby’s toes were all the way up by his or her forehead. I love that she captioned it “TOE HEAD.”
I love baby feet! (The one on the right is one foot plus some umbilical cord.)
Ali and Jason came with me to the big 20 week ultrasound, which was fun and sweet. I’ve been feeling lots of movement this week, hard enough now that Jason can finally feel it with his hands against my belly. The feedback is so neat – baby kicks, we push back, baby kicks, we push back, etc. It was really special to see all of the movement on the giant ultrasound screen because it gives me a visual for all the bumps and pops I’ve been feeling this week. I feel good in general but tired (which is why I’m so behind on blogging…and my to do list in general.)