Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Em-Em's first Christmas!

We have all sorts of nicknames for Emma - for some reason Em-Em and Poops are my go-tos lately.  NO, she doesn't poop a lot (or more than ordinary), we just love calling her that.  And I am loving seeing her turn her head to the sound of my voice:)

We decided to take the trek to Pennsylvania this year with my parents.  I thought about flying, but by the time we changed flights, it was faster (and cheaper) to drive.  Plus, we could control our stops/breaks by driving and take all we wanted to.  In true family style, we rented a mini-van and piled in - mom, dad, Brent, me, and Miss E.  I have to say that Emma did awesome.  Hands down, the best traveller.  It only took about an hour or so longer with her.  She was fantastic - she would nap at the beginning, then get entertained and fed by whoever was sitting hear her for the rest of the trip.  I was afraid she would nap the whole time, thus really throwing off her schedule, but she didn't.  She actually had a hard time falling asleep after being in the car for awhile, and that was really the only time she was fussy. 
Emma sleeping through VA...

We left about 10am Saturday morning, and got to Bethlehem at about 7pm - traffic in DC was awful.  Each night, she slept so great.  It was the first time she was sleeping in the same room with us, and she was a champ - it didn't phase her at all.  She went down at about 7:30 every night and slept until about 7:30-8 each moring.  My parents ordered us room service for breakfast (so delicious!).  The Hotel Bethlehem is a historic hotel right downtown and acorss from the church we attend there, so we walked everywhere...and it was so nice not to cook or clean for a change.  We have some family friends that also return to Bethlehem every year for Christmas.  They grew up with my parents, and while none of their families are living anymore, they all come back at Christmas.  The tradition the past 5 years has been wine, cheese, crackers, and meats in the hotel Christmas Eve night after church - talking, laughing, is really neat to hear all the stories from the past.

We also went to a train show while we were there.  My dad, uncle, and grandpa were very big into trains (as most males were that grew up in the early part of this century)...and it was really neat to take Emma.
Emma loved thr trains and all the scenes.

The church services on Christmas Eve are beyond compare - Moravians invented the lovefeast and candlelight service, so they do it right...and in a 207 year old church, it is such a spriritual experience.  We did Children's Lovefeast at 12:30, and took Emma.  She slept for half the service (snored to be exact) and was awake for the last half.  Thank God for Chewbeads necklaces....this girl loves to gnaw on those things.  I have two..and am thinking of investing in more.  They are super stylish AND functional!)  Afterwards, it felt as though every person sitting around us came up to tell us how beautiful she was and how great she did.  I was a super proud momma:)  It is amazing how many people come up to you once you have's kind of nice actually.  We then took Emma to the nursery for the 5:30 Candelight service.  It was so relaxing to be there, listen to the amazing organ and choir that Central Moravian has, and participate in a tradition that my grandparents and their parents did..and others have since 1747.  When we walked out of church, it was could not hav been more perfect.  Back at the hotel, we put Emma down to sleep and enjoyed room service (complete with wine) and watched It's A Wonderful Life.....a very awesome Christmas eve indeed.

One proud dad.....

"Do I smile now, mom?"

I love this picture of Emma looking up to my mom.

Santa at the hotel....Emma's been enamored with beards lately. 

Christmas morning, we all piked into my parent's room across the hall and opened presents.  Emma had a blast, although she is a bit slow in the unwrapping department....and is more interested in eating the paper/gift than playing with it.  She was such an angel the whole trip - not sure if she even cried at all.  Did I mention that?  The child never cries - hardly ever.  She will fuss and moan....but she is easily calmed with food or a nap.  I know how lucky I me...I thank God every day for an easy baby (we all know Elizabeth couldn't handle anything more!)
Tired out from unwrapping presents!

We decided to drive back Christmas day since there was a huge snowstorm coming the following day. 
"Are we in the car AGAIN?!"

Sweet Emma....

It's actually way easier to travel Christmas day and the traffic is almost non-existent.  For those who travel, I highly recommend it if you can. 

The view Christmas morning from our hotel room.....Central church.

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