Merry Christmas to you all!
We hope that this holiday season is finding you with health and happiness. We have been spotty about sending out Christmas letters, and figured this was an easier way to do it. You'll find links to previous blogs with more details throughout this one.
This past year has been quite the interesting and life-changing one for our family. Last fall, we found out we were expecting our second baby. We were absolutely thrilled! However, the horrible morning sickness I suffered with Jilly, returned just as intense and soul-draining. Jillian turned 2 last Thanksgiving Day, and with that birthday came all the attitudes, tantrums, and destruction you'd expect from a two-year-old. The holidays were spent mostly with me being very sick and getting dumped on by tons of snow, but they were nice anyway. With the new year, I felt renewed and was finally able to get really excited about our new baby. Jilly has definitely kept us on our toes with her appetite for destruction. Who knew we had such a crazy girl on our hands? Oh right, we did. ;-)
In March, Steve and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. We are in love a little more each day. ;-) Come April, we started seeing the midwife. For this birth, I had a much different plan. I was seeing a midwife and planned a natural (unmedicated, eek!) home birth. We loved the midwife we saw and would highly recommend her to anyone. We also had the ultrasound and found out Wildcat was a handsome little boy! Once we knew he was a boy, things got very real, very fast. We had so many preparations to make!
May found Jilly and myself, along with my family, traveling to Pullman, WA for my sister's graduation from a college which shall not be named. It was quite the trip, with a 2 1/2 year old and a 7 months pregnant mama, but my family took awesome care of us since Steve had to work at the last minute and couldn't come. The spring was quite nice and we got to spend lots of time outside. As we got ready for Wildcat's arrival, Jilly kept surprising us, and not always in a pleasant way! Soon enough, it was time for Wildcat to come! He faked us out on a Friday morning, and we ended up going to bed that night rather disappointed. But it was not to last! After a crazy, fast, intense, and short labor, our baby boy Jason Emmanuel Hall was born in his grandparents' bathtub on June 27th. It was a beautiful birth!
We spent the summer settling in as a family of four, learning a new family dynamic, and enjoying all our friends and family and the awesomely warm weather! Jilly had an extra special trip, when her grandparents took her to Lake Chelan for the first time. It luckily coincided with the record breaking temperatures here in Seattle (it hit 103*!!!). While it was still hot over in Chelan, she was able to play in the lake lots and get tons of attention, instead of being trapped in a sweltering 3rd floor apartment (like me and Jason!) while Daddy was at work. In August, Steve and I had our birthdays (Steve turned 30 and I turned 25) which were great! We did so much fun stuff before I had to start going to back to work. We hit the zoo, got late night Blizzards, and discovered our love of coloring.
At the end of August, Jason was blessed by Steve at church. It was a wonderful day with lots of family and friends there to share with us. We are so grateful for all of the amazing people in our lives! Our friend Will came for a visit over Labor Day and we had tons of fun with him. Soon, it was time for Jilly to sleep in a toddler bed! Crazy times, I tell you. I swear, she was just born, and before I knew what happened, she was sleeping in a big girl bed! The nursery turned out awesome!
Halloween brought us lots of parties and fun times, but also a big change. Steve was laid off from his job at the end of October. It was a shock and very scary for us. We have been blessed beyond measure by amazing family members and friends who drop by or send gift cards, notes of encouragement and anything else they think we might need. It has been a very humbling experience to watch the hand of God working through others. We are being taken care of for sure! It may not be the path we planned on or imagined for ourselves, but we have faith it is the right path for us and will lead us to bigger and better things.
November held even more exciting events! My friend Sariah and her girls came to visit for Veteran's Day, and even though it was short, we jampacked it full of fun! :-) I took on a challenge to blog about something I was grateful for everyday of November. It was no struggle to list my amazing blessings. I have so much to be grateful for! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with my family, followed the next day by Jilly's 3rd birthday! What a special and fun day that was.
Now in December we are just having fun playing around and getting ready for Christmas. I am still working at Kenmore Air part time (evenings and weekends). I love my job and am lucky to have it! I am also still serving in our ward's Primary (the children's organization at Church) while Steve serves in the High Priest group leadership. We've joined the ward choir as well. So between our meetings, activities, job/job-searching, playgroups, and parenting two small kids, we are quite busy!
Jason is a cuddly, smiley, giggly little boy of almost 6 months now. He is adorable! He lately really loves watching his big sister walk around and do silly things. You'll see him just staring at her and following her every movement and then dissolving into giggles. It's pretty hysterical to watch. He is sleeping pretty well at night, most of the time, and still nursing mostly. He wants to eat solids SO BAD but I am waiting until 6 months old, because it's safer and I want to keep him nursing as much as possible. So I made him a deal, that he can have rice cereal for Christmas dinner. ;-)
Jilly is an eccentric, silly, goofy, sweet, dramatic Birdie Girl who always keeps us guessing. She still has her delicious cheeks to you just want to munch all the time. (Go ahead and do it, I do! ;-)) We've had some concerns about her speech and language development, and will be having her evaluated in January. She understands what we say to her and can pronounce words well, but tends to just repeat back to us, like a parrot. But we do feel that whatever it is, once we find the key, it will unlock and we'll never get her to stop talking! ;-) Jilly is very musical! She has always had a great sense of pitch and can sing along. We're finding now she learns best through music and can sing much more complex phrases than she can speak. And she has such a cute little girl voice! She'll be starting Sunbeams in a couple weeks, which should be pretty exciting.
We've had quite the life-changing year for 2009!! And we have loved it! We are very blessed in so many ways. We hope this season finds you in good health and happiness. Please keep in touch all year long here on our blog, via email or Facebook! We love you!