We are home! We had a wonderful Christmas this year and were so blessed to be able to spend time with our families. We had a great visit in Jackson and got to see lots of family members and introduce Nora for the first time to several of them. On Christmas Eve, the entire family went to church for the Christmas Eve service. Nora looked so beautiful in her Christmas dress, and she was able to stay in the service for almost the entire time. Naturally, during communion she started talking so Jonathan took her out to walk the halls. He brought her back in at the end of the service as we were lighting the candles and singing Christmas carols. We returned home to eat a delicious, traditional Christmas dinner. We opened a few gifts before going to bed, but opened up most of them the next morning. Nora was spoiled by her grandparents and aunt....she got several toys and some cute clothes! Her favorite things are those that she can chew on as she is constantly drooling and wanting to eat whatever she can get her hands on. We've got a teether!
We left Jackson on Thursday, Dec. 27th and headed to New Orleans to have a few post-Christmas days with my parents and sisters. They spent their Christmas in Texas visiting my grandmother and other family there, including my brother Jeremy and his wife Laura and son Tanner. We spent Friday the 28th making my dad's Million Dollar Gumbo. Actually, my dad makes most of it, but we all contributed a bit. The recipe is actually my maternal grandpa's that my dad got from him years ago after spending a day with him and writing down every step and every ingredient as my grandfather prepared it. It is a delicious seafood gumbo with TONS of crabmeat and shrimp. (My dad calls it Million Dollar gumbo because he says it costs close to a million dollars to make...not really, but seafood can get expensive. My dad gets a little crazy with it though. For example, the original recipe only calls for 4 lbs of shrimp, but my dad puts in 9.) Regardless, it is amazingly tasty!
On Saturday, my grandmother and aunts came over for a visit, and surprise, surprise, we had MORE seafood. We ate the gumbo and then we fried fresh catfish and shrimp, and my mom got a few boiled crabs. We ate like kings! It was wonderful to spend time with the family, and I particularly enjoyed my grandmother getting to see Nora again. It was a year ago exactly that we broke the news to her that Nora was on her way, and I cannot believe how quickly the past 12 months have gone by. After everyone left, my mom, my two sisters, and I sat around the table and played a game of Scrabble. It was so fun and felt like old times just hanging out and spending such sweet time together. With Jonathan and I living in Knoxville, my parents and Hillary in NOLA, and Emily in Brooklyn, NY, it is rare that we get to all be together. It was such a wonderful weekend.
We are finally home after a very long week, and we are anticipating getting unpacked and being able to relax for a bit before Jonathan goes back to work. Nora goes to the doctor on Friday for her 4 month check-up, so we'll have plenty of updates about her progress after that.