Here's a family picture from Christmas Eve. I love the picture, but next year, I want to take the picture standing next to Aaron because he seems so far away from us in this one. The Berkey's celebrate on Christmas Eve so we exchanged presents in the morning and went to church that evening. After church, we had a family gathering with the Berkey's family friends, the Bollinger's which was fun! It was a very long day, but Christmas Day was low-key because Aaron's sisters went off to their in-laws and we had the house to ourselves with his parents. Ava got to play with Grandma, Grandpa, Daddy, and I while exploring her new toys!
This has been a huge year for our family! A year ago, we moved into our new home that we bought to raise our family for years to come. We have settled in, but we have lots of plans and house projects. Here's a look back at my post New Year's 2009.
We moved into the house a couple months before Ava arrived on March 12. After 26-hours of labor, I might add! Childbirth and becoming a mother has been one of the most empowering aspects of my life. In fact, this past week, I've been very sick with the stomach flu and nursing my baby the entire time. I nursed her a lot in bed, but I noticed my milk supply had gone down as I was having trouble staying hydrated and nourished. Not only did I have to keep thinking of myself, but by doing that I was putting Ava first. I realized that is a new lesson for me in motherhood. Making sure that I'm healthy is essential for me to take care of my baby so I can't put myself on the back-burner. Aaron took care of me by bringing me home medicine at lunch one day and Gatorade so I could stay hydrated.
Last month, Aaron and I celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary! We both feel lucky that we didn't "settle" and held out for each other. I'm so happy that we waited to have Ava because we had years of fun trips, late nights out, and lots of laughs with friends.
Today is the first offical day of our new vegetarian lifestyle and experiment! We started a "meat detox" diet a couple months ago when we cut back our meat consumption for health reasons. We didn't start right away to ease into it and also for practical reasons, we wanted to eat the rest of the meat the freezer. We have a couple steaks left in the freezer to serve guests in a pinch. I've stocked our pantry with grains, dried beans, and have been having fun experimenting with vegetarian food. See my recipe for Veggie "Meat" Loaf made of barley and quinoa. We waited until today because Christmas was a big "meat-fest." My in-laws serve almost every meal featuring beef or pork. But the cool part is that they're willing to let me cook in their kitchen and even try my food. I made vegetarian chili on Christmas night for dinner and they liked it! We're still eating dairy to help us with protein and we just can't live without cheese!
As we look at 2011 with hope and excitement, we are looking forward to watching Ava grow and become more independent and mobile.
We hope 2011 brings you good healthy and happiness!
Aaron, Amanda, and Ava