Do you ever have those moments when you realize that there are some really amazing, good-hearted, and special people in your life?
What about a moment when you look around you and realize that you are truly lucky, and — dare I say it — blessed?
I have been so fortunate to have not one, but TWO baby showers thrown for me in the past few weeks. After each one, as soon as I returned home, I had a little happy-cry in my bedroom because of the beautiful people that made me feel so special and loved. (Maybe hormones and feeling semi-overwhelmed played a part too…) I’m so lucky to have such an amazing family and group of friends who support me, Brice, and our little Wiggle-munch.
The first shower was at school — Aunties Karen, Amanda, Joanne, and Jolene came together to show Baby-Man some love…
My mother and sister, Cara, were also there for the shower — and they had a little bit of fun on my whiteboard after it was all over…
I’m so bummed that I can’t upload videos to this site — Auntie Jolene made the most beautiful owl quilt for Baby-Man. I definitely cried while opening it (just as Auntie Amanda predicted I would). Auto Karen did an amazing job decorating her room and putting little owl trinkets out for us to decorate Baby-Man’s space. After everything was in the car, I couldn’t quite make it home before the tears started flowing. Many, many thanks to the beautiful women at school for their support and love.
Two weeks later, my cousin, Lauren, a new mama herself, threw me another shower. This time, my mother and Cara were there along with Brice’s mother, Karen, and his Aunt Cyndi, along with many other family members and friends! I had a hard time keeping the tears back when I looked out at everyone, and only kept it together when I started to think about how my mascara would run ALL over my face.
There are more pictures to come, but here’s a few…
Brice and I feel like we’ve surrounded ourselves with some of the most amazing people in the world. We love y’all.
Brice and I made our big (tiny right now?) announcement to all of our family and friends over the Christmas holiday. We started with my family on Christmas Eve. At Grandma & Grandpa Moran’s house, we traditionally have our dinner and then open gifts and our Big Box. (The Big Box hold lots of little gifts for everyone and we like to have a different “Kris Kringle” every year to pass out the items in the box.) Brice and I put together a little gift for our G&G that they would open after the Big Box. We gave them a pair of yellow, crocheted baby booties and G&G ended up telling the family for us when they held the booties up for all to see. Of course, a few family members sensed that I am pregnant because I wasn’t enjoying my usual
glass glasses of wine, but for the most part, everyone was surprised and happy!
After Christmas, Brice and I traveled to his hometown of Austin, Texas to spend time with our Lone Star family and friends. We told Brice’s grandparents, Ben & Wanda, about our news in the same way: with a pair of baby booties that I gave to Wanda as part of her Secret Santa gift. Again, she and Ben were both so surprised and happy!
Once everyone in the family knew, we felt comfortable sharing our news with friends online. I used my brother and sisters to help us make the announcement…
We are so happy that we can reveal our little secret!
I don’t know how to say much in French, but I’ve gotten very comfortable saying “merci” to nearly everyone I meet here! The people we’ve met are so kind and despite one horrible restaurant in Bayeux, we’ve been fortunate to have really pleasant experiences here.
France, Day 2:
Our second day here was spent in Paris, and this was a long, amazing day. Brice and I started our morning with a quick walk to the Eiffel Tower, which was about a 15-minute walk from our hotel. We went much closer this time — underneath it, in fact — and stopped for a coffee (tea for me) and quiche for a bite to eat.
Afterwards, we took the subway to the Musée de Cluny, a tiny museum with a huge collection of medieval tapestries and artifacts. There are some really spectacular items housed here, and their exhibition on travel in the Middle Ages was absolutely amazing.
Afterwards, we stopped for lunch (I had my first croque madame), and then walked to the Notre Dame. The plaza out front was slammed with people, and yet I still managed to fight my way through them to take some pictures. There were a ton of
morons tourists taking pictures of themselves with backpacks under their jackets like the famous Hunchback — I am proud of myself for resisting the urge to tell them to go play Disney at home.
Next up, a walk to the Louvre (yay, an up-close picture), and more crowds, so we avoided them by staying out of the museum and heading towards the Christmas market at the Champs-Élysées. It was absolute mayhem – you’d think that Christmas was the only holiday ever and that it was only coming this one time!
After a hot wine (it sounds horrible, but it’s actually really delicious) and some strategic weaving through people, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up and head out to dinner at Le Royale. This place was fabulous! The wait staff were all so kind, and one man in particular became a little friend and gave us some tricks and things to think about in Paris (tipping your waiter for example — good stuff to know!) and made the absolutely delicious meal even more amazing with his demeanor.
Day 3 update to come! I’m behind, but hoping to get caught up in the next day or so…
Day 28: Today, I am thankful for a fun Thanksgiving with my family. It was wonderful to see everyone and catch up, and then spend some time being silly and eating awesome Thanksgiving food. A fabulous day.
Day 23: I am thankful for my awesome brother and equally awesome three sisters. We have fun whenever we are together, and I am so proud of the adults that they are becoming. My brother is getting himself ready for graduate school, one sister is performing in operas and getting ready to graduate from college, another is pursuing her dream of being a photographer, and the baby sis isn’t a baby anymore and is counting down the days until she graduates from high school. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring for these awesome people that I’m lucky enough to call my family.
There is always so much happening around us. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that you need to take just a moment to absorb the events and appreciate your experiences.
In mid-October, Brice and I were lucky enough to go to the Austin City Limits Festival, located in the heart of Austin. We were so fortunate to hear amazing bands: Weezer, Father John Misty, Michael Kiwanuka, First Aid Kit, Esperanza Spalding, Trampled by Turtles, The Roots, Teagan and Sara, Alabama Shakes, and The Shins. The weather the first day of the festival was miserably hot, and the second day was miserably rainy, but the experience of the festival was really fun.
ACL Fest was awesome, but I always have the best time seeing family and friends that live in Austin. After the second day of the festival, Brice and I went to a bar we frequent when we’re in town, Donn’s Depot (“the place where magic happens,” according to Brice). We ordered some drinks, and soon, friends of ours met us to enjoy the smell of old popcorn, dim lighting, and lots of laughs. We eventually made our way over to a local 24-hour diner, where we enjoyed some more laughs and a meal before heading back home.
The following week, I took Brice to meet my aunt and uncle and their family in Conifer, Colorado. I hadn’t seen my Aunt Irene, Uncle Ed, and cousins in a really long time. It was so nice to see that no one has changed, and that family always feels like family, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen them, or how much your life has changed since the last time you were able to spend time together.
Not long after that, I called my mother to check in. She and my father and sister live 15 minutes from Brice and I, but like it does for everything else, life makes it hard to get over to my parents’ house as often as I’d like to. My mom and I talked for about an hour about everything: how my brother and sisters are doing in Boulder and Greeley, what it was like to see my aunt again, how I’m doing, how my other sister, who is still in high school, is handling the events in her life, and how my mother and father are juggling their extremely busy schedules. I love talking to her, and to my dad, who stopped by later that same week to drop off a birthday gift for Brice.
A couple of weeks later, I got together with two of my fabulous girlfriends, Rachel and Nay. Rachel made dinner, I made dessert, Nay brought the drinks, and we all had a great time. We had so much fun catching up (it’d been a month or so since we’d all gotten together) on our jobs, on the latest events in our lives, talking politics, and talking about all of the other things that girls talk about when they get together.
I’m sure that we all have people in our lives that are our touchstones. They keep us sane, grounded, safe, laughing, and we can’t imagine our lives without them (in my case, I can imagine it, but my imagination shows me slowly rocking back and forth in a straight jacket). It’s the people in your life that make any experience one that’s worth remembering. Lucky for me, I’ve got plenty of people to catch up with.