~92~ Christmas Recap & 24 weeks

Merry Christmas!!
I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as we did.  Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without a little crafting and baking involved.  Per usual, I made frosted sugar cookies to bring to school and to our Christmas celebrations.  Each year, I feel like I refine my technique and make better and better looking cookies.  Here's what the last 2 years looked like

and now, this year's

In addition to cookies, I also made a gift box of blank, any occasion cards, which were specifically requested.  I decided to create 5 different designs and make 4 of each.  I also wanted to make sure I had a variety of styles and color designs. 

Finally, I wanted to include a box to house all of the cards and envelopes together.  I have made card boxes before, but they were stand up boxes, and for this project, I wanted a more traditionally looking box.  I contemplated finding and buying one, but then ultimately decided to try making one.  I had some sturdy black card stock left over from my cousin's wedding invitations, so I used that for the base and then covered it with some pretty paper that I had received from my secret santa at school.  The final touch was adding adhesive velcro so that the box could be held shut and easily opened. 

I also just got done making some thank you cards for our family and friends who spoiled us this year. 

Our Christmas celebrations officially started on the Tuesday before when we drove up to Minneapolis to celebrate with my side of the family.  As usual, on Christmas Eve, I made Swedish meatballs - a much anticipated staple in our evening feast.  Unfortunately, much of my family was battle illness, and my nephew was unable to join us.  Thankfully, with the technology of Skype, we were still able to "see" and wish each other a Merry Christmas.  

The best part of that night was a surprise Jake had been keeping from me.  Traditionally, we spend Christmas Eve with my side in Minneapolis, and then hurry home early Christmas Day to be with Jake's side of the family.  However, this year, Jake arranged for us to stay at my parents for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that I could see my aunt, uncle, and cousin who were coming Christmas afternoon, and live in Baltimore.  

I've always been particularly close to them, and what made this year even more special was the announcement that my cousin is expecting a baby in June!  I was incredibly touched by Jake's gift to me!  It was so special getting to see and share in the excitement with my cousin, especially since we realized it would most likely be over a year until we'd get to see each other again-due to busy schedules and both of us having newborns.  

The day after Christmas brought another fun-filled day with family as we traveled back to Iowa to be with Jake's side of the family.  We ate lots of delicious food, opened presents, and played a couple of games. 

I don't know what Jake or I did this year, that got us on the nice list, but we were beyond spoiled this year-by our families, and each other!  
Here are some of the highlights: 

A new bathmat for our master bathroom from my grandma.  We finished it off by getting a plush grey rug and a new scale.

Lots of crafting gear, including a crafter's encyclopedia, chalkboard craft paper, "The First Few Years" cricut cartridge, and a new embossing folder for my cuttlebug.  Side note: the Anna Griffin embossing folders are awesome! 
 Most of her designs are A7 (5x7) sized, which have been hard for me to find.  In addition, they tend to have more modern designs and include not only an A7 folder, but a border as well. 

Even with our limited amount of time, and time tight schedule, I always make time to see my BFF, Lauren.  She was able to come over for about an hour on Christmas Eve, when we caught up on our lives, and chatted about the Serial podcast, and exchanged gifts.  One of the items she gave me is this beautiful trivet that she got from the Korean Heritage House in St. Paul, MN, which is run by our dance instructor from Korean Culture Camp days.  I absolutely love it!

From my parents, I got a new computer bag that I desperately wanted.  The one I currently had was worn and starting to fall apart.  It was also very "college-student-esque" in style and I wanted something that looked more grown up and professional.  

It's a beautiful black quilted bag with lots of pockets, including one specifically for my laptop.  One of the first things I did when we got home was transfer everything from the old bag to my new one.  

Aside from my unexpected surprise, my favorite gifts were necklaces.  One was from Santa and features a beautiful pearl sitting underneath an iridescent bead.  The other is from Jake and features the Korean Hangul lettering for mom, or "Umma".  For many years, I had a similar necklace that I bought at KCC and said, "peace", which I sadly lost during one of our trips to Vegas.  the best part of the necklace is the adjustable chain that Jake bought from our favorite jeweler.  The chain easily adjusts to a longer or shorter chain and has a cute, tiny heart on the end.

Of course, Jake and I weren't the only ones who were spoiled this Christmas.  Baby H got quite a lot as well.  My aunt and uncle gave him an Iowa State knit blanket and hat, which goes perfectly the ISU onesies Jake got from his secret santa at work.  Baby H also got a bunch of books from my brother and sister-in-law which were some of my nephew's favorites.  Jake's uncle, got him a Walking Dead onesie, and lastly, Santa got him some adorable knit booties. 

Christmas Eve also marked my 24th week of pregnancy.  This week is significant, as it is the first milestone of viability.  This means that if I were to go into labor early, and Baby H were born, his chance of survival would be more than 50%.  While this provides a sense of relief and comfort, we certainly hope that he keeps baking for at least 13 more weeks. 

My brother, SIL, and nephew hadn't seen me in over 7 weeks, so my bump was one of the first things they noticed.  Even compared to 4 weeks ago at Thanksgiving, there was a noticeable difference for my parents and grandma. 

Monday we have our last appointment of the calendar year.  Our 1st appointment in January will include my glucose challenge test (hopefully I'll pass with flying colors!), and then our appointments will be scheduled every 2 weeks, as I'll move into the 3rd trimester!

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