Thursday, December 31, 2009

The end of 09- Time for a wrap up!

****I had to break up these posts, because I find blogger to be really hard to use with more than 6 images in a post. I get really impatient with it and having to move them one by one.

We just got home from visiting family in Illinois and yes, I did say "WE"! Caleb's back! Woohoo! After an entire 4 weeks apart- our longest yet, we were finally reunited. And of course, because there is travel involved, and it is us... there was of course a snag.

I flew in to St Louis Thursday (Dec 17th) late at night, landing just after midnight and set to stay with my dad. Caleb was to land in Chicago the next afternoon and then drive the 5 hours to Carbondale to meet up with me. He lands and all is well... except the car they're driving in breaks down on the side of the highway in Chicago! After an hour of calling rental car places, we discover that no one will rent a car for a one way trip. Boo. He ended up having to take the Amtrak the next morning arriving about 18 hours later than expected. But we were FINALLY back together! He did have quite a bit of jet lag and ended up falling asleep at 6pm that night and waking me up at 4 in the morning though! But I missed him so much I didn't care at all! He was surprised to see how big the baby had gotten and felt her kick for like an hour in the middle of the night.

While I was in Illinois, Makaya and I ran out for a quick last minute photo session for some maternity pics. I can't wait to see them and will post them here or link to them when I can.

We both ended up catching colds. I'm just almost over mine now.
We then both ended up catching the stomach flu- luckily it was 24 hour variety, but unluckily- CB came down with it on the way to the airport before our 7am flight. He threw up in the backseat of my dad's car, so we called Southwest- cancelled our tickets and rescheduled for the next morning. We went back to my dad's and spent the day hanging out (on opposite sides of the room, since I was still trying to not get sick) and watching Food Network. At about 10pm and an entire day of quarantine, I threw up too. So we got back on the phone with the airline and rescheduled our tickets for a few hours later in the day, cause there was no way I was going to get up at 4:30am not knowing if I was still sick. Love that Southwest doesn't charge fees- just makes you pay the fare difference. By that time, we had already paid the max, so no additional fare for the 2nd change. But it did mean that our boarding order was reset to the C group. Boo. We had been in the A group. She said we could pay $15 to upgrade the ticket the next day to business class to board first. We woke up feeling pretty good, so we decided to make the flight. BUT when we got there, she couldn't upgrade one ticket to business class. I mentioned that I was 6 months pregnant and not wanting to sit separate and the lady said they'd let us pre-board- Just like that! Woohoo! We got seats together for both flights. I felt a little bit guilty about pre-boarding, but considering all that we'd been through the last couple days, I decided to get over that guilt. I guess pregnancy is considered enough of a disability to allow for pre-board.

We finally make it home and at some point, checked our bank statement to see the holiday damage and start planning our maternity leave budget... We then discovered that someone had gotten my debit card number and charged 14 different purchases at various gas stations in Southern California for around $75 each!!! We got had for $1049 total! After about 30 minutes on the phone, Caleb got the ball running on getting the money back and I faxed in the affidavit saying they were fraudulent charges and we hopefully should get the money back in a few weeks. Bummer, but it was money we were saving for my maternity leave anyway, so as long as we have it back by the time she's born, I'll be okay with that.

All in all it was a great trip home (pictures follow in the next few posts).

We had an amazing 2009. The band had a lot of awesome opportunities- which also meant that he was gone a lot though. I was top booker at work- casting about 22,000 people- I wonder if that is a record. haha We also had some sad times in 2009- both of us having a grandmother pass away in August.

Looking forward to an amazing and life changing 2010. Our baby girl will shake things up in a way I don't think either of us can even fathom yet. I'm also really looking forward to taking some time off work when she comes. The band will be releasing their first full-length album in the late Spring, which we will be awesome too.
Happy New Year everyone!!

Illinois Baby shower pics

Mini Cupcakes made by my mom

The decorations-- wish the color exposure was better, but they were shades of pink and ornaments hanging from the ceiling over the table set with china and tea cups.

The hostesses - Makaya and Harmony

My mom with her tea cup.
Being a tea party, everyone had to wear hats,
and my mom was a very good sport to wear a flower on her head :)

My niece Stella (no longer will be the only girl! yay!)

Caleb's sister Rachel and me seated at the table

Me and my friend Shaina who I haven't seen since I moved here.
She knew me before I started dating Caleb and there aren't many who can say that anymore.

My brother's wife, Annie and I- bump to bump (She's due in May)
Wish I'd thought to hold my dress in a little under the stomach so I didn't look so huge. haha!

My family's Christmas Eve tradition is to hang all our stockings,
pose for a family picture and then each open one gift.

Thomas started us off...

Tom helping Thomas
(I didn't actually get one of Tom with his own stocking)

Then Me...
I told CB that my arm looked fat in this picture- so he retook it...

And this is how he "fixed" it- by cutting my arm completely off

Steven's turn

Then CB

And Annie

Here are our group pics

Our dog, Joby, stood up
and walked into the picture. haha

Then Christmas morning, we open our gifts under Mom's tree and head up to St Louis to visit with family. We spend a couple hours with my mom's side of the family, then go to meet up with my Dad's side.

Aunt Mona, Aunt Marcia and my Mom

Opening up all the presents- haha

My Dad has decided to try his hand at hockey again-
He was a goalie when he played in college. The day after Christmas he put his gear on, we headed down into the basement of his new house and took turns taking shots at him :)

CB's turn

Never was one to let the boys have all the fun.

It snowed off and on the whole time we were in the midwest.
This day the snowflakes were really big, but they didn't photograph very well at all.
I was FREEZING without my coat on. Brrrrr.

Christmas with CB's side of the family

Stella, me and Rachel posing on Christmas Eve

"Family picture"
CB was a really good sport and posed for a few pictures
even though he was still getting over a nasty cold.

The annual group photo... constantly growing

I didn't want to post a lot of early morning Christmas pictures with everyone's bed head and pjs... but kids are fair game.
Here is Levi standing in front of the huge stack of gifts.

Stella had the best reaction

CB and Ashton got cool presents from Harmony-
these shirts have a detachable amp and really play music.

Every year we make gingerbread houses out of graham crackers, icing and candy.
Caleb's are pretty much always a master creation. This year, Mason asked him to make a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse- here's the work in progress.

And the finished product

Jasper turns two!
We then had a birthday party for Ashton's son Jasper.

Of course there were party games-
Levi and Jasper playing Hot Potato

Stella helps Levi pass

Mason and Oliver

The game is played until someone starts licking the potato... haha

What's a party without dancing? :)
We danced to Christmas songs and Miley Cyrus of course

Jasper opening presents in his new Toy Story saucer chair


Make a wish buddy!

And finally, because we got a new camera to play with... here's a little photo shoot of Jasper
Lots of pictures, but there were sooo many good ones, and I want to make sure the family gets to see them all

Candy Cane Hunt

The next day was Monday and CB's family decided to do a "candy cane hunt" on their family's property. This involved a snow trail (fake snow) with candy canes hidden in the path and in the branches of the bushes nearby. The trail led up to a big banner of Frosty with Snowballs for a treat.

Assembling all the kids for a photo and pep talk is a tricky thing!

Harper (the youngest- until ours arrives)
love that single leftover tear. So sweet

The hunt begins- Jasper, Ollie and Levi (face hidden under the hat) carry their stockings to fill with the candy canes

Stella mid hunt

Stella and Mason spying Frosty at the end of the trail

Frosty and his snowball treats

CB eating a snowball