Baby R’s first Christmas!!! What an amazing and memorable first Christmas we had!
It was so exciting to carry on some of the Christmas traditions we grew up with. On Christmas Eve, we went to our church’s Christmas Eve service. That evening, we opened one present together (a tradition from Jake’s childhood). Baby R was so happy to play with the wrapping paper! At night, Santa paid our home a little visit and delivered a gift for Baby R!
Christmas morning, the three of us circled around the Christmas tree and opened gifts!! Baby R was thrilled to chew on all the bows. She wasn’t so interested in the actual toys she got. It was such a special morning. We can’t wait until Baby R is older and can feel the magic of Christmas morning.
On Christmas Day, we celebrated with Cindy’s family. We had some DIY KBBQ! It was delicious! Baby R got to enjoy some meats as well. The next day, we celebrated with Jake’s family. It was so great to spend time with all of Jake’s brothers and his brother’s wife. We all played a few rounds of soccer and basketball, really earning our dinner.
While it was a special first Christmas, it was also a really hard week. It felt like we fell into a deep pit. Baby R was extremely cranky, clingy, and fussy. We kept asking what happened to our normally chill, happy baby. She cried the most shrill cries whenever Cindy left her sight, every time we changed her diaper, and almost every night before bed. Baby R didn’t want anyone but Cindy to hold her, not even Jake (which made him sad). Her naps and sleep were all over the place. On top of all that, she developed a diaper rash. We felt so drained after each day. By the end of the week, we couldn’t help but compare our baby to other babies we know, and wonder if it will be hard like this from now on. We know it isn’t healthy nor helpful to compare, but we just could’t help it. Maybe it was because we were having a difficult week, but we ended up getting into an argument Christmas morning right before leaving for Cindy’s parents. We ended up blaming one another for Baby R’s fussiness. We know we won’t always agree on how to parent, but we realize it’s important to remain a team and talk through those disagreements instead of blaming one another. We’re sure this will be an ongoing lesson. We had such high expectations of how Baby R’s first Christmas would unfold that it felt like Christmas was basically ruined. While the day didn’t turn out exactly how we imagined it, we still had a wonderful time once we resolved our argument. We’re learning that having a baby means lots of things won’t go how you imagined and that it’s far better to let go and enjoy the chaotic moments than dwell on unmet expectations.
On our fridge, above the water filter, we have a bible verse that reads, “Be still, and know that I am God”. We had been so caught up in Baby R’s crankiness & fussiness that it was starting to consume our every thought. There’s something about baby cries that is just so grating. While getting water the other day, we stared and ruminated on that verse. It was like a reset. Suddenly, all the struggles from our past week paled in comparison to the power of God. And while Christmas magic, baby’s first Christmas, and holiday spirit are all special things, we were reminded not to lose sight of why Christmas is so meaningful. Because Christ came and along with that a greater hope.