Things I’m Loving and Not Loving

I am a Happy Camper

Zico chocolate coconut water: This stuff is so good. It’s like a watery chocolate milkshake and would be the perfect liquid for a chocolate banana smoothie.

Yoga: I bought the prenatal package of ten classes at Dragonfly yoga, and although I didn’t go as often as I would’ve liked, I have been a couple times recently. It feels good to move like that, and it’s actually somewhat challenging now as an almost 40 week pregnant person. Plus there’s always a decent chance I’ll get to catch up with one of these two friends!  

The Americans: Brody watched this show over his lunch breaks, and now we’ve started watching it at night. We’re only in the first season (thanks Amazon Prime!), but it’s really interesting. 

Baking: Everything with sugar sounds good to me right now. In the past couple weeks, I’ve made banana whole wheat waffles, salted oatmeal white chocolate cookies, flourless peanut butter thumbprint cookies, banana coffee crumb cake, and zucchini bread. I’ll share all the links on my next food post.

My family: I love my husband and daughter so much, and as Brody pointed out yesterday as we walked around the Capitol Square, we have such a good life. I probably felt even more sentimental yesterday because a) It was our seven year anniversary, b) I’m pregnant, and c) Brunch may have been our last meal out at a restaurant as a family of three.  

Friday mom and baby play group: What would I do without these ladies?!?! They’ve been a source of support, laughs, food, fun and so much more for me (and Finley) over the last year. 

Relaxing during Finley’s nap: I’m typing this post as I lie in bed. While I did a few things right when she went down, such as laundry and the dishes, I’ve been trying to put my legs up to relieve the immense amount of pressure that exists down there. Baby Girl’s head is LOW.

I Could Do Without

Maternity clothes and my compression wear: I know I’ve moaned and groaned about this already, but I can’t wait to wear normal clothes again. I’m tempted to sell or donate (to a friend or Goodwill) all of my maternity clothes as soon as possible. 

Frequent night wakings: After spending a couple hours lying on one side of my body, my bottom hip starts to ache. Flipping to the other side takes a decent amount of effort, and unfortunately, often wakes Brody up. I know, I know…I’ll be getting up a lot with a newborn, and this is just preparing me for that….

Rain: We got a ton of rain last week, which was great for the grass, trees and plants, but not as much fun for a toddler who always wants to go outside. This week looks beautiful though, and even if I spend it in the hospital (maybe Baby H will come early?), Finley will enjoy it with my mom and/or Brody.

And for fun…Things Finley is Loving

Buses and trucks: She doesn’t play with trucks or cars much, but she gets so excited to see them drive past. She waves to them and says “Hi bus” and “Bye bus!”. 

Animals: Finley plays with her Little People animals every day. We also talk about animals every day, most likely the ones at the zoo. She likes seeing birds and squirrels outside while on walks or playing at parks.    

 Bacon: Maybe this was only a one time thing, but she housed a plate of bacon at Graze yesterday. Also, the anniversary card Brody got for me has a piece of (paper) bacon on the spring on the inside, and Finley keeps trying to eat it.   

Hope you’re having a nice Monday! And tell me: What are you loving or not loving???

Finley Photo Dump vol. X

  Finley tried grapefruit for the first time. It seemed like she kind of liked it but was shocked by the tartness.

  We go to a free play group in Sun Prairie most Monday mornings. Finley almost always has lots of fun and loves to see her friends (Noah, Ady, Ella and Brooks).

  For a week, she read this information book about the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison during meals.

  The girl still uses a paci, and it honestly doesn’t concern me one bit. She only gets it to sleep or in the car. 

  New tradition: Popsicles on the stoop after dinner. Finley’s are frozen orange juice.

  Finley spends a decent chunk of her days playing with her animals. They’re mostly Little People ones. 

 This may be hard to see but Finley got a hold of my Vaseline (used as Chapstick at night) and smeared it all over her face. 

  We’ve had a few last extender-nap cuddle sessions lately. It’s been amazing.

  Brody ran a half marathon over Memorial Day weekend. Finley and I were his biggest fans.

  Finley had a zoo date with a buddy. Unfortunately lots of the animals were inside, as it was very close to closing time. They still had fun even if we only saw the giraffes, camels, an alpaca, and two bisons.

Finley will be two years old in less than a month. It’s been an incredible two years and somewhat insane how quickly it has gone by. We love her so much, and she brings so much joy to our life.

Pregnancy Update: 38 Weeks with Baby #2

How far along? Almost 38 weeks!

Gender? Girl.

Baby’s size? The length of a stalk of rhubarb, so 19.5 inches, and about 6.5 lbs.

Movement? Yes, a lot. She’s very low in my pelvis now and punches the inside of my hip bones. I had a dream last night that I could see her hands through my skin as she moved. Weird!

Weight gain? About 25lbs.

Symptoms? Huge belly, some heartburn (it has gotten better recently), varicose veins, lines nigra, and nesting tendencies.

Belly button in or out? Out, and has been for a long time. Will it be somewhat normal again? I doubt it.

Wedding rings on or off? On, which is surprising. When I was pregnant with Finley, I didn’t wear my ring at night because my hands would get puffy. I’ve noticed absolutely no swelling in my hands or feet this time (knock on wood).

Sleep? Meh. I wake up a handful of times throughout the night to roll from one side to the other, which is a production due to the large belly and extra pillow I use between my knees. I also use the bathroom at least twice. All in preparation for life with a newborn. 

Best moment of the week? On Sunday morning, Brody, Finley and I went to the zoo, and it was lots of fun! She went through a brief stage when she was scared of all the animals, but lately, she’s been obsessed with all things animals. She keeps talking about how she wants to show her baby sister the animals at the zoo. We walked around there for over an hour and then grabbed lunch at Pizza Brutta. It was a great morning!

   
    

Looking forward to? Brody runs his second half marathon on Sunday, and it’ll be fun to watch him. 

Miss anything? A full glass (or three) of wine, stomach sleeping, not needing to wear compression things, and working out.

Exercise? This has been a big difference between my two pregnancies. When pregnant with Finley, I worked out at least a few times a week and walked the the dogs at the park almost daily. With this one, I chase a toddler around most of the day and sometimes get a short walk in with the whole family before dinner. 

Labor signs? As I mentioned before, Baby Girl dropped about a week and a half ago. At my appointment yesterday, I was not dilated. The Braxton Hicks contractions are happening a lot, but nothing starting in my back and nothing painful. 

My Decision to Attempt a VBAC

Before meeting with the OB who performed my c-section with Finley, I was pretty certain I’d be scheduling a c-section for this baby. It seemed like the right decision for many reasons. And then we met, and a few things changed my (and Brody’s) mind.

1) The risks for complications in each situation are comparable, with the VBAC being slightly safer.

2) Although the percent of success wasn’t great at a modest 62%, when (or if) I go into labor, they’ll be able to give me a more accurate percent of successfully delivering vaginally at that moment. 

3) This was the big one for me: the lifting restriction. For up to six weeks, I wouldn’t be able to lift more than 15 lbs. I wouldn’t be able to hold Finley, put her in her crib for naps, or get her into the car seat. I would be so dependent on other people, and I know it would be hard on me and Finley. 

So, I’m going to give it a go. I know my chances of success are higher if I avoid interventions (Pitocin, epidural, etc.), but unfortunately, if I am overdue by a week, I’ll need to be induced. Hopefully I’ll be able to choose to have my water broken, if it hasn’t already, to get contractions going rather than Pitocin. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to handle labor without an epidural, but maybe without Pitocin, my body will respond differently and I’ll be able to get through them. 

Purchases for Baby H

As the second child, and the second girl, this baby is going to be blessed with lots of hand-me-downs. The seasons match perfectly since they’ll be just under two years apart, and as long as this baby isn’t crazy small or big, we’ll be able to use Finley’s clothes. Plus we still have the infant car seat, Bumbo, swing, bouncer, play mat, and so on. Which is great, and I love that we are getting more use out of these things. 

But, I wanted to give Baby H a few new things, and here’s what we’ve got for her (so far):

-A beautiful nursery: It’s a “forest” theme with bedding from Land of Nod, a stenciled tree by yours truly, an owl mobile from Etsy, a porcelain owl, and a sweet moose clock (thanks Bridget and JP!). 

   
The tree required some free-handing to touch up the imperfections.

-New shoes: This week I bought her Zutano booties and Freshly Picked moccasins, both for fall and winter. Adorable!

   
 –Solly Baby Wrap: Even though I have the Baby K’tan and Ergo, I’ve been eyeing this wrap for months. There were lots of good reviews, and it sounded like a more breathable option than the Moby. I bought it in the yellow color and can’t wait to wear Baby!  

This has turned into a long post. If you stick with it, thank you. Maybe the next time I check in it will be with a birth announcement. Probably not though. That’s okay. I can wait.

Finally Friday Facts

1. We have farm fresh eggs! I found a woman on a resale group I’m in on Facebook who lives just outside of Waunakee selling them for $2.40/dozen. I picked up two dozen yesterday and plan on having eggs for breakfast after Finley wakes up. 

2. Finley has to be going through a growth spurt. She’s been eating more than normal, taking 2-3 hour naps every day this week, and been very moody. Sometimes she’s so happy and fun, and at other times she’s throwing a tantrum and insonsolable. I realize this last part is basically the definition of “toddler” but it’s been more dramatic recently. 

3. The freezer is looking good! I’ll do a full update later, but I’ve got eleven dinner items, which each will easily give us two meals. Yesterday I added chicken taco chili and oven baked chicken fajitas to the stash. If you have a favorite freezer meal, send it my way please!

4. Crazylegs is not looking good. I was excited to walk it tomorrow with two friends while pushing Finley in the stroller, but it’s most definitely going to rain. And be cold. And be windy. Yuck! 

5. My thumb nail is almost gone. If you can recall, I slammed my thumb in my car door about two months ago (the day before I broke out in hives from amoxicillan – I was a mess!). Well it died, and the new nail has been growing in. It’s an ugly process, and I’ll spare you photos. Fingers crossed it looks somewhat normal soon because… ⬇️

6. My sister’s wedding is two weeks away! I pick up my bridesmaids dress from the seamstress on Monday; hopefully it fits well and I don’t look ridiculous (not because of the dress, which is beautiful, but because I’m 8 months pregnant). 

7. After two attempts by Brody to buy patio furniture, third times a charm. We can’t wait to sit outside, eat meals, and just relax back there! It should arrive the second week in May.  

8. I’m thinking about buying the Solly Wrap for Baby Girl. Anyone have it? I have an Ergo and K’tan, but this one looks so comfy and easy. I hope to wear this baby a lot more than I did Finley. 

9. Brody and I have two nights out coming up: a birthday dinner for me at The Tempest tomorrow night and a “gala” next weekend. We’ve got to squeeze these in before life is flipped upside down with having a newborn. 

10. This girl – she’s awesome.   

     Have a great Friday and weekend!

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks with Baby #2

How far along? 32 weeks, 5 days.

Gender? Girl.

Baby’s size? She’s a pineapple at 4.25 lbs and 17.2 inches. 

Movement? Oh ya. She seems to move the most in the evening, but I notice it throughout the day. Since this will likely be my last pregnancy, I’m enjoying it.

Weight gain? About 17-18 pounds.

Symptoms? Heartburn! Tums are my best friends, and they go with me everywhere. I feel the burn after eating most food but especially citrus, chocolate, tomato-based anything, and spicy things. I also feel it if I’m starting to get hungry, which I assume is my stomach acid preparing for food creeping up. 

Also, I obviously still have varicose and spider veins. I wear some form of compression wear every day, and it has been helping relieve the discomfort.

Belly button in or out? Out. 

Wedding ring on or off? On day and night.

Sleep? I fall asleep easily and have fortunately not been cursed with pregnancy insomnia (knock on wood). I’m up a handful of times throughout the night to roll to the other side or use the bathroom. 

Best moment of the week? The best was also the scariest for a while. My SIL, who had the same due date as me, had her baby on Thursday at 32 weeks. Mom and Baby are both doing well. 

As for non-pregnancy related events, I had my friend’s bridal shower and bachelorette party this past weekend. It was a blast and so fun to spend time with her and my high school friends!   The bridesmaids and the bride (in white) at the bridal shower. Yes, I’m wearing flats but standing on my toes. I’m a shorty and had no business wearing heels.

High school friends!

  We painted pretty trees.

 

My lovely friend, Susan, had a baby 10 weeks ago. Isn’t she a doll! 

Looking forward to? A quiet weekend at home with Brody and Finley.  

Miss anything? Just the normal stuff: non-maternity clothes, wine, stomach sleeping.

Exercise? Not as much as I’d like, but I’m trying to not get down on myself about it. I know I’ll eventually (hopefully, someday) be able to get back into a good exercise routine and decent running shape.  

Labor signs? Some Braxton Hicks while exercising.

Scenes from the Weekend

We drove up to my mom’s house (formerly our family’s cottage) for the weekend to and had a really nice time with my mom, my sister, and her fiancé. Finley especially enjoyed herself. 

Saturday late morning we went into town to check out Lakewood’s Lioness (I think?) Easter celebration. Finley decorated an egg and made a foam egg magnet.   

 

After her nap, we spent some time outside doing Finley’s favorite activity: squirrel hunting. She saw a squirrel through the sliding glass doors in the morning and kept wanting to see more. She’d yell “Squirrel! Where are you?” We also played inside with Legos from when my sister and I were kids and all of my sister’s Beanie Babies.  

  

That night, the Badgers were playing in the Final Four against Kentucky. Brody went to a bar down the road after dinner to watch the end of the Michigan State game, and my sister, her fiance, and I met him after I had put Finley down for the night. Being in a small town bar with lots of fun Badger fans and nice bartenders was a great time! And I was sober (obviously)! Plus they won! Brody was just a little happy.  

We all woke up around 7:30am Sunday morning, and Finley found her Easter basket. Brody was responsible for buying everything and putting it together; he’s so good with stuff like that! 

 

  

  

  

  

Finley did figure out how to open the eggs with candy in them, so she consumed quite a bit of sugar in the first couple hours of the morning.  

Later, once my grandpa arrived, we went outside for an Easter egg hunt. My sister brought the eggs for her, and the two of us went out to “hide” them. Finley figured out the game quickly and loved it! After she found the last egg, she kept saying “More!”.    

        

  

Thanks to Laura for taking most of the photos in this post!!! I stole them from her FB page. Even though I look horrible in the photo above, I’m glad we got a picture of our little family. 

I hope you had a fun weekend as well!

Survey from a Blog from a Magazine

Did you follow that title? This morning, I read Carrots ‘n Cake morning post, and she answered the questions that Anna Faris responded to in Health magazine. I liked the questions and thought I’d also be a copycat. 

Can you eat what you want or do you have to watch it?

Being pregnant, I’m “allowed” an extra 300(ish) calories a day. However, I haven’t found in either of my pregnancies that my eating habits changed much. Eating fairly clean and healthy has been a part of my life for so long that I don’t even think about it. I do allow myself to indulge in something  sweet almost everyday, whether it be a couple pieces of dark chocolate after dinner, a brownie, or some ice cream (which we don’t keep in the house, so it’s a rare treat). 

After you had your baby, did you feel pressure to snap back into shape?

Surprisingly, no. I walked a lot for the first month after giving birth to Finley, but I didn’t start working out (going to the gym, running, workout DVDs) until  at least 8 weeks postpartum. I felt good about my body and didn’t mind the extra around my middle. Honestly, nursing helped me drop the weight quite quickly, so I started to feel comfortable in my body again after a couple months (or less). With this baby, at least now as a 30 week pregnant lady, I am feeling the pressure to be fit. But I’m not doing so great in that department, so I am excited to start working out regularly and sweating after I give birth.

Do you guys want more kids?

We’re likely going to stop at two. Both of us have one sibling, so that’s what we “know.” Also, as my sister says, we’ll never be outnumbered and the girls will each always have a partner (either each other or one of us) for going to amusement parks. Ha!

What are your favorite ways to pamper yourself?

Ummm…pamper? What does that mean? I’ve never been one to get regular massages, facials, or my nails done. For me, I feel pampered when I can take a shower without a toddler in the bathroom at the same time! Actually, I did get a gel manicure (my first ever!) on Friday night with my sister. The woman spent a few minutes massaging my arms and hands at the end, and that felt pretty amazing.

Besides wine, do you have a go-to drink?

When I’m not pregnant, and I’m not drinking red wine, I like stouts and IPAs. When I can’t drink or just want something special, I love kombucha. 

Do you have any health regrets?

Nothing I can think of.

Are you a yoga person?

Right after I graduated from college in 2005, I got into hot (or at that time it was Bikram) yoga. I practiced 5-6 days a week and loved it. After Brody and I bought our house in Sun Prairie and then I started student teaching, the location and long classes (90 minutes) weren’t convenient. Since then I’ve dabbled in it. I’m currently taking prenatal yoga classes at Dragonfly in Middleton, but I’ve only been able to make it to a class once every other week or so. After the baby is born, I’d love to start going to hot yoga again. 

What workout move do you loathe?

In BodyPump (which I haven’t taken forever), I despise biceps. 

When do you feel sexy?

When I get dressed up for a fancy night out with Brody. The last time this happened was when we went to The American Club in Kohler and had a nice dinner together. I wore a dress, eyeliner, and perfume!

When do you feel your absolute happiest?

In general, I am happy in the morning. I love the promise of the day to come, drinking coffee, and cuddling with Finley on the couch while she watches an episode of Daniel Tiger and does her nebulizer. Otherwise, I am so happy when Brody, Finley and I are out having fun, such as at the museum or out for brunch.

Meal Plan for Saturday, January 31 – Thursday, Feb. 5

Happy Sunday!

I did my meal planning on Saturday morning because I knew I’d have the opportunity to grocery shop alone during Finley’s nap. Brody’s dad is visiting from Switzerland, so while he and Brody watched a documentary about The Basement Tapes (amazing by the way!), I drove to Copps in Middleton.

I prefer to do my grocery shopping at Woodmans, but I knew it would be busy and I didn’t feel like driving into Sun Prairie for the fifth time in a week. One benefit of this store is there’s a Starbucks in the same strip mall area, so I picked up a decaf Americano with a few pumps of skinny mocha.

This week’s meals are nothing spectacular and include lots of leftover nights because Brody will be gone skiing and my mom will be visiting. This was a chance to make a couple things Brody doesn’t love or won’t eat that I will enjoy and make for good leftovers.

Saturday: carry out from Salvatore’s (we had the Forestiere and Forza)
*Brody’s dad loves their pizza like we do, so we knew we’d have it one night he was here. We picked it up after taking Finley ice skating for the first time.

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Sunday: Ohio Farmhouse Sausage Chili (from The Joy of Cooking), cornbread, and side salad

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Monday: leftovers and/or something from the freezer

Tuesday: Emily’s sloppy joes on baked potatoes

Wednesday: The Pioneer Woman’s chicken spaghetti

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: leftovers

Are you watching the Super Bowl? We will be, although I may be hitting up a prenatal yoga class from 4:30-5:30pm. Then I’ll come home to watch football, chase Finley around and eat yummy food.

Pregnancy Update: 22 weeks with Baby #2

Hi! Happy Tuesday afternoon!

I’m blogging again – crazy. Let’s talk about pregnancy. I doubt I’ll do pregnancy updates as often as I did with my first, but here’s at least one to get things started. 

   How far along? Almost 22 weeks

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*picture from about a week ago 

 
Gender? Girl!

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Baby’s size? Spaghetti squash (11 inches, almost 1 pound). 

 

Weight gain? 11 lbs. This is more than I had gained at this point with Finley but I was about five pounds less starting out than I was pre-pregnancy with Finley. So whatever. 

Belly button in or out? Kind of out already.

Wedding rings on or off? On. I had forgotten I took them off at night during my first pregnancy.

Sleep? Good. I go to sleep around 9:30pm, wake up twice to use the bathroom around 11pm and 3am, and I’m up for the day around 6am. 

Best moment(s) of the week? Family trip to Chicago! Brody took Friday off and we drove down Thursday night. On Friday morning, we had breakfast at The Bongo Room and spent two and a half hours at the Shedd Aquarium.

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Miss anything? Stomach sleeping. 

Looking forward to? Brody’s dad is visiting and staying with us this weekend. We’re excited for him to spend a lot of time with Finley. On the baby front, we looking at decor for her room, so that’s fun. 

Movement? I’ve been feeling movement inside for a few weeks, and recently, movement with my hand on the belly.

Food cravings? A few weeks back, I was into Raisin Bran, but otherwise, not much. I have been loving oranges but I wouldn’t say it’s a craving.

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Anything making you sick or queasy? As with my first pregnancy, whole chicken breasts gross me out.  

Exercise? Meh. I try to get to the gym twice a week, whether that’s for a kickboxing class or a session on the elliptical. I did attend a prenatal yoga class at Dragonfly in Middleton with my other pregnant friend, Mel. I bought a ten class package, so that’ll be good for me. 

Symptoms? The varicose veins (on legs and elsewhere) are baaaaack. Yuck. They’re so much worse than last time. I got fitted for compression leggings but haven’t been good about wearing them. The waistband hits at an awkward spot and either gives me ridiculous muffin top or two pregnant bellies. I spoke to my doctor about options if these don’t go away after giving birth. They did with Finley, so fingers crossed they will disappear again…immediately. 

Labor signs? Nope. 

 Have a good day!

Christmas 2014

We bought the house we did because we wanted to be able to host our families and give as many people beds as possible. This Christmas was the first go at that, and I’d say it went splendidly!

I’ll avoid a detailed recap and just share pictures (which are mostly of Finley) with some captions/explanations.

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We watched Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol on Wednesday.

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Brody ordered matching pajamas. We modeled them for the rest of our family Christmas Eve after Finley had gone to sleep. Nothing says “the holidays” like footie Christmas jammies and booze (for Brody, not me obv).

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Finley ate the rest of the cookies left behind by Santa Christmas morning. She had a lot of sugar that day.

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We did manage to take a sleepy-eyed family shot.

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Here’s a good view of our tree and Finley’s new kitchen, a gift from her grandpa.

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The tea set from Grandma Lee was a hit.

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Breaks from gift opening were needed Christmas morning, mainly to eat Sara Lee coffee cake and drink coffee.

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We helped Finley get started on the unwrapping, but once a corner was torn, she did a pretty good job finishing up.

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Finley had lots of gifts to open, including a ton of books.

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We saved a few presents for Finley to open once Grandma Chris, Aunt Laura and future Uncle Ben arrived.

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Grandma Lee reading a new book to Finley.

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Uncle Dan was a trooper and put up with a lot of estrogen during their visit.

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This is how we managed to prevent a meltdown during Christmas dinner. She loves the episode Mickey Mouse Saves Santa.

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The holidays were exhausting for Moose as well.

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Finley and her Aunt Erin made a delicious eggnog loaf the day after Christmas.

Thanks to my sister and SIL for taking some of the photos above (which I stole off of Facebook).

I hope everyone had a happy holiday! Now is it just me or is it time for all these decorations to come down? 😄