Look what a peanut she was -- a mere 14 pounds, the same weight Garrett was the previous Christmas at 4 months! Now my big girl is 27.5 pounds and 34 in. tall! But she'll always be my peanut.
It was such a different way to experience the holiday for us -- no blood family, no large meal, fireworks lighting up the night sky at midnight. Elena was so quiet and observant, nothing like the instigator and giggle-puss that I have living in my house this Christmas. Garrett and Elena were just learning to feel each other out, whereas now they love and torment each other in alternating cycles. They are the best of friends and I honestly can say that each would not know what to do without the other. Both Chris and I struggle to remember what life was like before both these angels graced our family.
However, despite being in a strange land we met some wonderful people, wonderful new friends. We formed a new extended family of sorts in the baby room. Visiting in the afternoons or in the middle of night when one of our children refused to sleep created bonds between our families that Chris and I hope will last a long, long time. So to the Rice family, Kurn family, Meverden family, Dillons and others we met last year -- thank you for helping us have such a wonderful Christmas and thank you for sharing your life with us. We miss you this holiday season and pray that we can celebrate together again some day in the not-to-distant future.