One Saturday we headed out for a little adventure over the to western part of VA and went to Natural Bridge. It was gorgeous!! We wanted to go there a little earlier in the fall - but didn't have time to make it there, so a lot of the trees had already lost their leaves, because it is colder on that side of the state. Kind of a bummer - but it was still gorgeous! It was really fun to be able to go out and enjoy the beautiful state we live in!
We also decided to go to Natural Bridge Caverns just down the road. It's always fun to see caverns and think about how they are made - pretty amazing!
After that we were killing time before we headed back to the bridge for a light show, so a worker told us about Foam Hedge. We headed down the street to find this! Ha. It was so random and kind of in the middle of no where, but added a little fun to our day!!
Then we went back to the bridge to watch the light show on the rocks. It was really cool! Hard to capture in pictures though, but we were really glad we went!
THEN, we got to go to our most exciting doctor appointment - the gender reveal!! We were so excited, I was I certain it was a boy. I told Alex I would be completely shocked if they say it's a girl. However, Alex felt the exact OPPOSITE way. Ha! So we decided there was a 100% chance one of us was going to be right!! We were so nervous and excited! We got in there and she was moving the thing around my belly, showing us the baby's little arms, hands, head, face, body profile, feet and finally the legs. When she got there she did a shot looking up at the baby's legs / bum. She said "see, now here is the baby's leg bones and pelvic bone and OH!! Look at that! There's definitely a little something there!" Pointed it out to us and exclaimed, IT'S A BOY!! I don't think Alex (or I) stopped smiling the rest of the day. We are both SO excited!!!! It was such a fun day and so much fun to be able to see our little guy!! (Also, how gorgeous is the fall out here?! I was dying over all the leaves and colors!!)
The day before Thanksgiving, we went over to our friends (Michael and Rachel) house for a "pie night." I had never done that before - and thought it was such a fabulous idea!! I may need to steal that tradition! So instead of having pie on Thanksgiving day, you have it the night before to actually enjoy it! Especially because you eat so much on Thanksgiving it's hard to stuff in and enjoy the pie at the end. I loved it and it was so much fun to be with these amazing friends!!
On Thanksgiving day we were "those people" and went to a movie in the morning! We went and saw Big Hero 6 and looooved it! So, so cute! Then we headed over to our good friends house and enjoyed some amazingly, delicious food. INCLUDING a bacon-wrapped turkey. Yes. Bacon-wrapped. It was amazing - along with everything else! We are so blessed to be surrounded by so many great people and be apart of such a fabulous ward out here!
After dinner and things - Alex and I headed out for BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING. Yes, I know it started at 6PM this year. Do I think it was ridiculous? YES! Did I hate that they did it that early? YES. Was I still going to go? ABSOLUTELY. Judge away! We got some great deals and got about 90% of our Christmas shopping done that night! Poor Alex - hated me for dragging him along. It took a loooot of bribing - trust me. But he didn't want me to be out alone and knew that starting next year he can stay home and watch the baby while I go out - so this will officially be the last year I drag him with him. He actually wasn't too miserable, until the 49ers started playing and we missed the first quarter......then I became just about the worst wife of all time! We hurried and wrapped up our shopping so he could watch the game, and all was good - except for when they lost terribly...but we don't need to talk about that. Ha.
The following Sunday we had some friends over to celebrate Alex' birthday! We played games, ate cupcakes, blew out candles and had ice cream cake. I would say it was a success! Seriously don't know what we would do without these amazing friends in our lives!
I didn't have to work on Alex's birthday, so I got up at 5 (AM....yes, 5AM!) to make homemade cinnamon rolls before he had to go to his clinical. They were pretty delicious, if I do say so myself, but man I was exhausted! Thank goodness I could go back to bed for a little bit!! After he got done with his clinical, we went to Chile's, opened presents and had more ice cream cake! I LOVE birthdays!!! It was so fun being able to spoil Alex and celebrate with him! I'm so beyond grateful that he was born 27 years ago!!!
We enjoyed the Christmas season by completely exploding our house with decorations, went to my work Christmas party, our ward party and stake party! We also went to Newport News to see the "Celebration in Lights." You just drove through the park and got to stay in your warm car the whole time while enjoying the lights!! It was really pretty and we got free tickets - so that's always a bonus!!
We also were able to go up to DC and see the "festival of lights" at the temple. We were able to do a session before hand and then enjoy the beauty surrounding the temple. Granted, it was no Temple Square - but what is really? It really was so much fun to go! It's always hard to see pictures from home - especially during the holidays, so I was so glad we were able to do something a little familiar!
The Tuesday before Christmas we did probably our favorite thing of the Christmas season! We went to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens!! It was ah-mazing!!!!!! There were 4 different shows and a couple of Christmas trees that would light up with music. The shows were so fun and all of them were completely different! One was "soulful" singing and a live orchestra - so great!! Another was a ballet with singing - especially loved that one! Another was 2 couples singing a melody of Christmas songs with dancers and the last was the play "Scrooge No More". All the shows were about half an hour and so much fun! Alex went on a roller coaster and I walked around some of the shops and we saw some live penguins - they were so cute!! Then we walked around enjoying the 8 million Christmas lights and took a sky ride to get the birds eye view of the park. It was such a fun day and I'm SO happy we went - we were told it was definitely something we needed to do before we moved away and everyone was right!! I'm so glad we were able to go!!
Christmas was pretty quiet, but nice around here. I worked for half a day on Christmas Eve and then we spent the rest of day watching Christmas movies, making homemade donuts and face timing with family. It was fun to be a part of the party even if we live across the country!
Christmas day was so relaxed! We got up, came downstairs and opened presents - enjoyed our new things and spent the morning playing with everything. We went and showered and then got straight back in our pjs! We spent the day calling and talking to family--I even got to do a video call with all of my siblings! All of us are in different states now across the country (Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona, Utah, & Washington) but I still got to see them all on Christmas! It was so fun and I love that we are able to do that!! Then watched some of our new movies, had a nice dinner, played some games and just hung out. It was very quiet, but really fun to just be the two of us. It was fun to be able to just be in our own home with our own tree and everything on Christmas. We realized that this will be the last Christmas just the two of us - forever. Kind of a weird thought! Ha. It was a very Merry Christmas!!
In the middle of all this Christmas fun, Alex officially finished his first clinical!! He learned so much during the eight weeks and really, really enjoyed it! He is now officially HALF WAY done! 4 semesters down. 4 to go! I'm so grateful for him and how hard he works. I'm lucky to be married to someone who is so determined and hard working!
As for Baby J, he is good!! I have been doing really well! I am almost 27 weeks and still feeling great! I am still sleeping through the night and haven't really had any pains. I will sometimes get charlies horses in the middle of the night - which are the worst, but besides that not too much to complain about here. However, I did have a little scare in the middle of December. I have been feeling the baby move a lot more (which has been fun!) and one weekend I just kind of stopped feeling him as much. I didn't think much about it or really worry about it (because I figured maybe he is still small...maybe this is how it goes?) Anyways, I felt him a lot on Friday, then nothing Saturday, once on Sunday and then a few times Monday. Then nothing....nothing....nothing. Late Wednesday night Alex and I seemed to try everything, I ate, I laid on my left side, we tried to poke him, nothing worked. Finally I decided it was time to call the doctor. On Thursday during my lunch break I called the doctors office and told them what had been going on. They immediately said I needed to come right now for an ultra sound. I told them I was just on my lunch break and had to work that afternoon. They asked if I could get it off because this was kind of an emergency - so then of course I'm freaking out at this point (as you can imagine). I tried to call Alex about a million times, but he was at his clinical and isn't allowed to have his phone with him. I told my work what was going on and they immediately let me leave to go (thank goodness, I was a wreck at this point!) I bawled the whole way to the doctor, not only because of the reason I was going, but also because I was going alone. I wanted Alex to be with me more than anything and it was so hard to not have him there. I got to the doctor and they pulled me back in for an ultra sound - the tech had the screen turned away from (just in case) and looked around for a little bit. I heard her just keep saying "okay. alright." and then she said "OH! Thank goodness." She turned the screen and showed me the heartbeat. Of course, I break down in complete relief and she proceeded to go around and show all of him. It was so fun to see his little face and hands and toes again! (I just wish Alex would have been there! :( ) I was SO grateful that everything was okay. They said it may just be that he is still really small or maybe he just doesn't move as much as some other babies - which is fine.
We really had such a fabulous year and I am so excited for 2015!! Goodbye 2014!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! :)