We stayed two nights at a small hotel overlooking Friday Harbor, and enjoyed the gas fireplace and the view looking out of our corner room.
We thought it sounded like a great idea to leave Julianna asleep in her pack and play while we went down to the hotel restaurant to enjoy their five course Thanksgiving meal, but we weren't so sure others would agree. So we had it delivered to our room where we watched Ferris Buellers Day off, sipped wine and tip-toed around the room to ensure that Baby Jules would allow us the time to finish our scrumptious meal uninterrupted!
The following day we drove around the island and checked out the scenery. The next time we return, we hope it'll be in the summer when the weather is a little warmer and Julianna will be old enough for us to enjoy some of what the island has to offer (whale watching, wineries, golf and a lavender farm!). But for now, just being together as a family and seeing some beautiful sites was enough for us to be quite content!
This holiday season, we are so thankful for new beginnings and especially for conversations with this little Jule!
Julianna, do you know what is guaranteed to put a smile on my face? Looking in your future closet and seeing little baby outfits hanging in a row, waiting to be worn. I love to hold them up and see how small they are, but it's still pretty hard to envision what you might look like in them. Anything pink really catches my eye these days. I think it is just a nice reminder that I am about to have a sweet baby girl!
Lots of people have been asking us if we know what your name is going to be yet. But honestly, we've had names (boy and girl) decided almost since the first day we were pregnant. I don't know how this decision came so easily, in fact, when daddy and I agreed so quickly I wondered if we were rushing into it (weren't we supposed to have long lists that we fretted over for months, or buy a library full of baby name books, or at least get into one little fight?).
But I think the simple truth was that your name was meant to be from the start.
Julianna Rachelle George
Julia is my mom's first name (even though she goes by her middle name, Cristy) and Matt's mom's first name is Anna. So we were able to honor them both by putting the names together, Julianna. I loved it from the moment I heard it, and it just seemed meant to be.
Rachelle comes from Matt's grandmother (Ammachy). Her first name is Rachel. So we adapted the name to flow together better with Julianna and made it Rachelle.
I do have to admit that we have had one small dispute over your name - it's pronunciation. I think we have finally settled on it being pronounced Julie-On-Nuh. This doesn't come naturally for me, but it certainly does for your daddy. And we agreed that it has a more ethnic sound to it. So we'll see how it works out... when we are welcoming you into the world, I have a feeling we'll know what feels right.
We got to see you today. You were posing for your senior picture with your little cheek resting on your fist. We saw your heart pumping away and we even saw you open your mouth like you were yawning (taking after your mother who loves to get her beauty rest!). Daddy held my hand through the whole sonogram; it was so good to have him there by my side... to experience it together. Of most importance to me was hearing that you are healthy, but second on the list was getting the confirmation that you are indeed a GIRL! Honestly, we both would have been shocked to hear otherwise after the 90% chance given at the first sonogram.
Even though Daddy claimed he was holding on to the 10% chance that you might be a boy, I think he's warming up to the idea of having a sweet little girl (now that he has thought about it and realizes he can still teach you golf, track and volleyball). He did have to swallow his pride and admit to his best friend and his brother that they were right after all. I think they both knew that he needed a little girl dressed in pink to soften him around the edges and melt his big heart.
And trust me little one, that's what you are already starting to do!
We've completed a second successful year at Artfest. Not only is it about exploring creativity and letting go of your inner critic, for mom and I this weekend is about spending quality mother/daughter time together. I truly cherish the fact that I enjoy spending time with my mom. There are so many people who I know who struggle with their relationship with their parents, and I feel so blessed that when my mom decides to come for a week, I honestly can't wait for her to get here and I am sad to see her leave.
At Artfest, we took all three day-long classes together. We had to plan our supply lists and determine who would bring what, and we talked countless hours on the phone planing our projects ahead of time so we wouldn't be completely stressed during our classes. I'm so glad that art is something we have in common, something that allows us to enjoy the simple things in life and reflect on our thoughts and feelings. We've always had our own artistic avenues; for a long time my mom's was quilting and now it has moved on to collage, journaling and assemblage. For me, it has been my photography and scrapbooking. But despite our own interests, we have always had an appreciation for the other's work and talents.
I hope that this is something I can share with my daughter some day. I know she may not have the exact same interests as me, but I hope that art will provide us an avenue of common interest and self expression. I know the bond between mother and child is a wonderful thing whether you have a boy or a girl, but I feel so blessed to know that I will have a daughter to share my passions with and who will hopefully enjoy looking through one or two of my scrapbooks!
It's important for me to note that Matt has been working on his MBA during my pregnancy. He'll finish his first year just about the time the baby is born, and then he'll still have almost two years to go. Definitely too much time left to feel like he is making any significant headway yet. And that's frustrating for him since he is working out in the middle of nowhere. Nowhere, while pretty and scenic, is about an hour's drive in the mornings during rush hour traffic and his MBA classes are at the University of Washington (in Seattle, which is far from nowhere) on Tuesday and Thursday nights. He gets up in the morning for work around 6:30am and doesn't get home on school nights until 9:45pm. They are very full days, often with no lunch breaks, so I try to have dinner ready for him as soon as he walks in the door in the evenings. His manager status also makes him permanently on-call, so you never know if that means he'll be interrupted on a Friday night while we are out to eat with friends or if he'll be woken up at 2am to address an outage.
It's a busy life he is leading - working a crazy job, going to classes, doing homework and studying for tests. He put it to my dad this way, "I have about two free hours a week, so I thought it would be a good time for us to have a baby."
I'm not sure if when he made that decision, he knew about pregnant women and their hormones. I have to admit, I have had a few cravings here and there. Nothing requiring Matt to go out at 10pm for a special request, but there was one time when I called him just as he was arriving home from a long, busy day at work and declared that I wanted a hamburger. I think it was the need for protein, but suddenly all I could think of was MEAT, and it had to be big, juicy and fattening! So matt reluctantly turned around and went through the McDonald's drive through, hastily delivering hamburgers and french fries to me with a scowl on his face. I wasn't quite sure what this disgruntled look was all about, conveniently I had forgotten his stress levels as of late (and did I mention that I was still in my pjs?). He also pretty much hates Micky D's and their vat of grease that they disguise as a hamburger by adding a bun and a wilted piece of lettuce. I, on the other hand, couldn't imagine that anyone could be less than thrilled with the idea of eating that vat of grease. My heart sank into my stomach and tears literally filled my eyes. My excitement turned to utter anguish as I realized just how irritated he was with the whole ordeal, and I assumed that this heat of emotions was all aimed at me. Upon seeing that his bulbous wife was actually about to cry over this incident, Matt's tense demeanor quickly softened, turning to confusion. Since when did Stephanie cry over getting her way? And in fact, the tears shocked me a bit too. It was the second time in two weeks that I had felt like a small three year old who needed to bite her lip to control her emotions. I think the whole thing took us both by surprise, and the matter was quickly resolved by laughing over my increased sensitivity and Matt's lack thereof.
Future Rule of Thumb: When a pregnant wife's hormones are raging and a husband is overtired and overworked see if The Brewery would be willing to deliver Angus beef burgers and a six pack.