merry christmas

Oh, come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant!
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the king of angels:
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Highest, most holy,
Light of light eternal,
Born of a virgin,
A mortal he comes;
Son of the Father
Now in flesh appearing!
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God
In the highest:
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given!
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing!
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Composer: John F. Wade
Tune: Adeste Fideles
1st Published in: 1767

MERRY CHRISTMAS from our family to yours

Joshua Manuel: newborn.

our friend Kristi Steeger is a very talented photographer.
her website.
she gave us an incredible gift.
newborn pictures of our sweet baby Joshua.

one of my favorites:2 weeks old.

my momma's favorite.

the best Christmas gift.

seriously. THANK YOU KRISTI!
perfect pictures of our perfect baby.
can't wait for her to take more pictures of Joshua

Top 10

So here’s an update in “Top 10’s”

(none of these are in a particular order)

Top 10 Most Surprising Things that Happened During Labor:
1. the whole process was much more laid back than i imagined.
2. the epidural didn't make me lose complete feeling from the waist down (yes, i got an epidural. and yes, it was great (for me))
3. the pitocin really did suck. making my contractions very strong and very close together.
4. there was only one nurse in the room with manny, my mom and i as i began to push.
5. i saw the doctor for a total of about 20 minutes, including when he "caught" my child.
6. i didn't cry as much as i thought i would…
7. i just laughed with pure joy as my husband and i met our son for the first time.
8. the doctor didn't even ask me how i felt about getting an episiotomy, just snipped away. ouch.
9. i could really feel being sewn back together. no thank you.
10. lost was not a good choice of "lets watch a show as we wait for baby." much too intense.

Top 10 Favorite Things About Being a Mom:
1. He’s mine, all mine!
2. He really does know and love Manny and I most ☺
3. I get to stay at home with my son- a dream come true.
4. That I miss him when I’ve been away from him.
5. Picking out his outfits ☺
6. Since I’m home most of the time I have plenty of time to clean my house!
7. Taking pictures of the most handsome baby in the world.
8. Nap time. I can get important things done, do some crafts, watch a movie, or just sleep. Like I said, he’s such a great baby.
9. I’ve been able to read A LOT. I read most every time I nurse, especially at night. And I’m a pretty fast reader. I think I’ve read close to ten books since he’s been born.
10. Kissing the cutest boy in the world. Knowing that he’s all mine & I’ll be kissing him forever

Top 10 Hardest Things About Having a Newborn:
1. Making the tough decisions (especially at night)… Do I let him cry? Do I feed him now? Does he need to burp or a new diaper? Is this a growth spurt? What should I do about his goopy eyes? Should we just stay home or can we handle another outing? Etc.
2. Listening to him cry. I really never thought I would struggle with this. I’ve always been a little heartless when it comes to letting kids cry it out, but seriously sometimes my heart just breaks!
3. In the first weeks… nipple pain/ discomfort. Ha. Thankfully it’s gotten much better.
4. Engorgement! Thank goodness for that pump!
5. (this is probably the hardest list to make…)
6. Bath time. We don’t have an actual bathtub at this house & it makes bath time quite difficult.
7. I’m always worried about him being cold…
8. How he poops/pees every single time you change his diaper. Really I think it just means he’s very talented and is just laughing at us as we go through two sometimes three diapers a changing. (This is getting better… I’m learning his ways!)
9. Feeling completely helpless when I know he’s hungry but won’t latch or when I know he’s exhausted but fights sleep like its death.
10. And… He pooped in my hand once. That was gross.

Top 10 Favorite Things About NOT Being Pregnant Anymore:
1. Sleep, O Glorious Sleep. This might be strange to say, but now that I’m not pregnant I can actually enjoy sleeping. It may be a little less and it may be interrupted, but it is so great climbing into bed knowing sleep will come comfy, cozy, and fairly easily.
2. I don’t have to wear those dang white shorts anymore.
3. I’m in long pants! For the first time since like month 6.
4. People are always telling me how great I look for just having a baby. It may be lies, it may be truth… Either way I appreciate it!
5. I know what he looks like!
6. I can reach my toes/shave me legs/ put on underwear/ bend over/ etc with very little effort.
7. No more heartburn!!! I still can’t believe I had heartburn during labor, up until the moment he was born.
8. Hugging/cuddling with my husband is much easier.
9. I get to cuddle with my son!
10. I have a son! ☺

Top 10 Reasons I Miss Being Pregnant:
1. I have to worry about my stomach hanging out now. Boo.
2. My wardrobe is very limited… My pre-pregnancy clothes may fit, but my post-pregnancy body is very different!
3. People were always telling me how great I looked pregnant. . It may have been lies, it may have been truth… Either way I appreciated it!
4. Feeling him kick & get the hiccups ☺
5. Having to be much more conscientious about what I’m eating…
6. Well considering I’m not pregnant that means I birthed a child. Healing has not been very fun…
7. Having to worry about when I’ll get back to working out…
8. (running out of reasons)
9. yea, I would much rather have Joshua than be pregnant ☺

Top 10 Favorite Moments from the Last 43 Days:
1. Watching my mom and Manny laugh, cry and hug as they watched Joshua get cleaned up and stuff right after he was born.
2. Manny reading God’s Word to our boy.
3. His smiles.
4. That quiet moment in the hospital when Manny was asleep and no one was there except for Joshua and me. Holding him close, gazing on his sweet face, and thanking the Lord for the incredible gift He gave Manny and I.
5. Watching the many, many people come visit and love on my son.
6. Reading with my boy.
7. After he gets a bath, lotioning up his cute little body.
8. Joshua falling asleep on my chest/ cuddling with me.
9. Awkwardly trying to bathe him for the first time. Neither Manny nor I had any idea what to do. We just laughed.
10. How awesome he was at this last doctor’s appointment. He had to get a shot. His face got insanely red. He cried for like ten seconds. And then was smiling at me! He’s so great.

Top 10 Ways My Husband Has Amazed Me:
1. He did so great trying to get me through those contractions.
2. He supported me when I couldn’t take them anymore.
3. And he laughed with me in relief, and we really were able to enjoy the birth of our son.
4. He jumped right in. No hesitation, no selfishness. He just became the daddy Joshua needed.
5. He helped me in bathroom. Gosh, there aren’t even words to describe his selflessness in helping me those first few days as I began to heal.
6. He’s been an incredible leader as we’ve adjusted to life with a newborn, life with one income, and a wife who can sometimes getting a little emotional, irrational, and ornery.
7. Without question, he changes a lot of diapers when he is home. And he really did change every single diaper in the hospital.
8. Without one complaint, he will get up to put that pacifier back in Joshua’s mouth or rock him if he is fussing in the middle of the night.
9. How he reads God’s Word to Joshua.
10. How he loves us both. So much.
(Manny, you are so beyond greatness. I love you so much. I’m so thankful for you.)

Top 10 Favorite Things About Joshua:
1. His smile. Formerly- from gas/ bodily functions. Currently- smiles right at you & with you!
2. His cute wrinkly forehead.
3. When he “talks” back.
4. How his hands always have to be by his face.
5. How he likes to be all stretched out.
6. His growing belly, thighs, and cute baby bottom.
7. His ridiculous hairline!
8. How he knows Manny and my voices so very well.
9. How he sleeps so great! Have only been getting up once a night for over 2 weeks ☺ I’m a very blessed momma!
10. He’s just so stinking cute!
11. He’s just an easy baby. So thankful. We can cart him most everywhere. He sleeps through everything. And rarely fusses just because.
12. How he tries so hard to suck on his fingers! Just not quite coordinated enough…
13. I think he’s going to have blue eyes like his daddy.
14. Ok, really everything about him. He’s so great.

The End.