Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Letter 2011

2011 Holiday Season

After the 2010 we had it was hard to imagine that 2011 could be better, but this year has been filled with just as much excitement as the last one. We both could barely keep up with everything happening.

This year started slow until our first anniversary in April. We enjoyed a piano concert by Jim Brickman at the Van Wezel in Sarasota. He spoke of celebrating anniversaries since he had just celebrated 15 years of writing and performing in December. It was a perfect concert to celebrate the occasion. I made Kris an album keepsake that highlighted our early years together and our first year of marriage. It was a wonderful weekend of romance and reminiscing.

The most exciting highlight of 2011 was learning we were expecting our first baby in January 2012. I had suspected for some time that we might be pregnant but was too nervous to test. After two weeks of waiting, we decided to take a home pregnancy test on my 37th birthday. Even though the line was faint, we were both excited to learn that we were, in fact, pregnant. It was the best present that I could have ever received.

The past couple of months have been quite busy trying to prepare for the baby’s arrival. Thankfully the pregnancy has been uneventful. I did not have much more than slight morning sickness and fatigue the first trimester. It had me out for the count on some days. The second trimester I had more energy and felt like I could get more things done. I tried to take advantage of these bursts of energy to get some cooking done ahead of time. During the third trimester we have been busily trying to get the house and nursery ready. It has been a slow process as fatigue has set in again.

Early in the pregnancy we referred to our little one as Special K since we did not know the gender. Everyone wondered whether our Special K had strawberries or blueberries (girl or boy). Kris had been hoping for a girl while I was hoping for a boy, so one of us was going to be right. We both would have been happy either way. In August, right around 20 weeks, we were happy to learn that we were having a GIRL. We have chosen the name Felicity after my 92-year-old grandmother, Felicidad, who went home to the Philippines shortly before we were married.

This year we enjoyed a babymoon vacation in September. We took a tour of Florida beginning in Naples with the baby shower of our friends Gary and Christine Huber. I was excited for our baby bumps to meet for the first time.  The rest of our vacation consisted of a visit to Mom and Dad Mendoza in Fort Pierce, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse in Daytona, the hot spots in St. Augustine and a quick lunch with a good friend in Orlando. Kris climbed all 203 steps to the top of the lighthouse while Mommy and baby visited the different museums on the campus. While in St. Augustine, we visited the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche and Potter’s Wax Museum. It was nice to have one last getaway before baby girl arrives.

Other family highlights this year include celebrating my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary, my Mom’s 65th birthday and the 12th birthday of my oldest niece Lexy in November. Mom and Dad hosted a nice dinner for family and friends to celebrate. We also welcomed Izabella Anna, the daughter of Kris’ brother Paul and his wife Nicole. Izabella is the 9th niece and nephew between the both of us. It was wonderful to share the pregnancy experience with Nikki and we are looking forward to the two cousins meeting.

Here we are now at the end of 2011 and the new year is fast approaching. We both are looking forward to meeting our daughter and the many adventures 2012 has in store for us. We cannot wait to share with you all our exciting news of the upcoming year.

We would like to send you and your family the love and blessings of our Lord this holiday season. We hope you find the joy of the Lord this new year and many years to come.

Sending love, joy and peace from our family to yours this holiday season. May the new year bring good health, happiness and prosperity.

With lots of love,
Kris, Eileen Mae and, coming soon, Felicity

Our Christmas 2011 photo

8 1/2 months pregnant

Christmas 2011