In what is possibly my biggest parenting fail to date (in all 4.5 months…) we have but one family photo of Hudson’s first Christmas. And while I’m really glad we have that one—many thanks to my sister in law!—it’s not even by a tree or a single, sparkly light. Ugh.
Thankfully, we have the Driehaus photos of the three of us, and all of the fun photos below of Hudson opening presents with our families.
In my defense, I was running on basically zero sleep. All of the activity, people and new places were a lot for our routine-loving baby, and we were rewarded with three nights straight of Hudson up every hour, crying. Even in his earliest newborn days, he was giving us at least a couple of hours in a row, and his lung capacity has improved significantly since then… so little newborn mews have evolved into full fledged wailing. So, yeah. I have a new appreciation for moms that survived weeks on end of that.
A not-so-Christmassy story: one of my top five life moments was a day spent in Italy with good friends on a trip to Europe in 2013. We spent the day at a wine and cooking experience with an Italian couple on their farm and vineyard, and it was as beautiful and surreal as it sounds. We drank their wine all day long while cooking, and capped it off with a dinner—and more wine—under the stars. I fell asleep on the ride back to our hotel and expected that to be the end of a really beautiful day.
Except, it wasn’t. I woke up when we arrived back at the hotel to find that everyone had continued the party on the ride home and I summoned one of the only instances I can remember of a second wind. The hotel was an old castle in the Tuscan hills (see why this day was one of my top life moments?) and we took all of the wine we’d purchased that day out to a patio and continued the night there. Later when we went adventuring around the grounds, we found that they left their indoor pool house UNLOCKED. I love to swim, and we were up until almost dawn running around the Italian hills and swimming in the beautiful, ornate pool house.I kept thinking, is this real life? I’ll never forget how lucky I felt to have such a crazy, beautiful experience.
I’ll also never forget how I felt the next morning, because when I woke up to our friend telling us that we had to get on the move to our next destination, I burst into tears out of exhaustion and chianti. My own doing, of course, and I turned the day around with a long snooze on the drive to Rome and a TON of espresso. Plus, now this story is a funny one: J will say, “hey, remember the time you woke up and started crying because you were so hungover in Italy?” No regrets! I can say that years later, anyway 😃
Anyway, I share that long and rather unbecoming hangover story here because that morning in Italy came to mind as the only real comparison I have to the feeling of three nights of sleeping no longer than an hour or so. I don’t think I actually cried in the morning of day three, but I really, really, thought about it. And then even that seemed too tiring, so instead I just drank eight or so cups of coffee that day and survived to tell the tale.
Plus, look at his little face! Those chubby cheeks and big eyes make me completely forgive those rough nights.
Thankfully, we’ve gotten back to normal-ish around here, though we’re far from the days of sleeping through the night at 3 months. Did that ever really happen? But, lest I go down another infant-sleep theorizing rathole, I’ll end my whining here and tell you that despite the above six-paragraph-tale of sleep deprivation, it was actually a great Christmas.
We did our little family Christmas here in the city early, and had a great morning with just the four of us (counting Blitz!) in our jammies, opening up presents by the tree. Then we headed out to visit both of our families over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and our trunk got more and more packed with presents for our lucky little dude’s first Christmas as the weekend went on.
Hudson is SO loved—by us, of course!—but also by two families and lots of friends. I found myself holding back tears of gratitude more than a few times when I’d find a quiet moment and watch Hudson surrounded by people that love him. I have always loved Christmas for the slight feeling of magic that comes with the lights, the extra time with family and friends, and the excuse to eat cookies for a month straight. A temporary break from the real world that reminds me just how much I have to be thankful for.
Having Hudson here with us to share this Christmas amplified that feeling tenfold. A hundred-fold! I kept thinking that last year we’d just found out that I was pregnant. Then somehow, as it does, time leapt forward and here we were at Christmas again, with him in our arms. I am so grateful that he’s here, healthy, and thriving. I love my little family and the wider circle of family and friends that surround us with all my heart, and I’ll forever remember the feeling of joy that accompanied his first Christmas.
And the coffee 😃
Cheers, friends. I hope your holidays were happy ones!