Here's an update of some of the events that have gone on since I wrote in October...
AUTUMN IN WISCONSIN...
As much as I truly feel like I'm not a true Wisconsinite, considering my disdain for the cold weather, I absolutely love the other three seasons. Aristana loved playing in the leaves this year, and helping Dad outside with yard work.
ARISTANA IS THREE YEARS OLD!
Aristana turned three years old on December 3rd. This birthday was so hyped up, considering it was the beginning of a whirlwind of changes and craziness for our family. Aristana's birthday, then her party, St. Nick, Baby shower, prepare for Christmas, a bunch of holiday celebrations, New Years, then Baby... Plus, now Aristana is old enough to get excited about these things.
We started off the morning with a birthday muffin with candles, some signs and balloons. She loved it. ...probably not so much my singing to her, but the celebration.
Grandma Kriss came to town, and the three of us went to Build-A-Bear, where she picked out an adorable puppy, named "Silly." She picked out a Milwaukee Brewers outfit, cell phone, and firefighters outfit to go with.
After lunch at Grazies, we came home, napped, and by the time she woke up, Dad was home. We ended the evening with some custard at Zestys. A perfect day!
THE OFFICIAL BIRTHDAY PARTY
Like we did last year, we celebrated Aristana's birthday at The GuestHouse Inn, in Bellevue, with a pool party for all of her little buddies. She loves to swim, and with the weather, our options for a birthday party are limited. Maybe next year the kids will have the attention spans to do something else, but for now we took the safe route.
She got to choose her cake from Festival Foods, and decided right away on Thomas the Tank. She was so excited to pick it up the day before, and stared at it every chance she got. It helped that it tasted awesome too!
We had about 25 people there throughout the day, which was really nice. The kids get to hang out and have fun, and we get to catch up with our friends. It really was a win-win. Aristana was loaded up on sugar, and loved her gifts of Hot Wheels, big rigs, trains, semis and her other boy items. Ironically, she did get a Barbie, which she has really taken to. We're all weirded out by this, considering she normally wouldn't touch anything "girly."
It was a fantastic day, and we all pretty much passed out when we got home.
That evening, St. Nick came. However, with all the birthday excitement, and the upcoming baby shower, St. Nick was kind of a flash in the pan this year. Sorry Nick...next year will be your year.
THE BABY SHOWER
My mom threw a beautiful baby shower for me, on December 6th. There were about 12 guests. Aside from Sarah K and my Mother-In-Law, everyone else was from Lia Sophia. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful ladies! The decorations were beautiful, and we really had a nice time.
I was given so many great gifts, and truly appreciate every one of them! We gave away most everything up to 12 months, so we were hurting in the preparedness aspect of this pregnancy. The shower gifts definitely helped us out a lot!
A BIG thank you to my mom for setting that up!
PREPARING FOR THE HOLIDAYS
When Mike and I were child free, we used to bake Christmas cookies for our friends/family. It seems that time flies, and we weren't able to keep up that tradition once Aristana came into our lives. However, this year, Aristana and I put on our Packer aprons, and did the baking while Dad was at work.
This was Aristana's project. She choose the recipes, helped with all the baking, and decorated the sugar cookies. Many times, the ingredients would end up outside the bowl, on the counter...and the sugar cookies were buried in sprinkles, ready to send anyone into a diabetic shock. These may not be the best tasting or most beautiful cookies, but you will never eat a treat with so much love and work put into it. I was extremely surprised by her attention span. She had fun picking out who to give them to, as well.
Hopefully, I'll write more often again, so I don't have to write a novel to catch up. Then again, with this time of year, and the baby around the corner, you may not hear from me for awhile... If that's the case, I wish you all a very blessed holiday! Don't forget to take the time to reflect on our Savior and the true meaning of Christmas. Take a moment to look back at all the good in your life, and give thanks and praise to the one who gave it all to you.