- Gave away our first pass-along card to a stranger at the San Jose airport at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday. The San Jose mission president and his wife were in line behind us at the Southwest counter and we had a bonded over a shared love of Costa Rica and being law school grads (the mission president was a '78 J. Reuben Clark law grad). I finally just reached into my purse and pulled out a card to give to them. Paul told me later that he had just been about to pull a card from his wallet but I beat him to it.
- Held/cuddled/kissed/played with/adored my niece Emma. She just turned one on the 8th and she is the most hilarious and cute and fun little girl ever. But I might be a tad biased. She has this great, deep laugh that makes her sound like an old French man - you know, the "ohn-hohn-hohn" kind of a laugh - and I love it so much. I was worried that it would take her a while to warm up to me because my mom had warned me that Emma is somewhat stand-offish around anyone but her mom, dad, and grandma. But within the first hour or so of being around her she was not only letting me hold her, but she would reach for me (as long as her mom wasn't too close by). Emma is stingy with her kisses, but I have been able to coax her into planting half a dozen of them on my cheeks and she even condescended to give Paul a smooch on his cheek too, which amazed us all. It has been so wonderful to see what a great mom my sister is and to watch my mom interact with her granddaughter. Emma and my mom both obviously adore each other and I think that my mom is better at getting Emma to laugh or smile than anyone else.
- Celebrated Paul's Grandma's 83rd(?) birthday with Paul's family and met our two new nephews. Robert is 6 months old now and seems like he is just about to sit up. He has big brown eyes. Colton is just 2 months old and everything about him seems to wobble. His head wobbles, his legs wobble, he wobbles his fists, etc. Seriously, it is like baby overload around here with all these tiny nieces and nephews.
- Surprised some of our favorite people from law school by showing up on their doorstep on Saturday night just so we could say Hi and bask in the adorableness of their daughter, who is quite possibly the most brilliant child in the world. I have never met an 18-and-some-month-old kid who can say things like "water chestnut" or "speakers make music" or "stinkyface".
- Went to church at my parents' ward where we gave out more adoption pass-along cards. Last year my parents' bishop knew of a birthmom and also knew a family in the ward who was hoping to adopt. He told the birthmom about the couple's blog and helped them connect, so the whole ward has seen the miracle of adoption first-hand. The bishop even told me that he knows another girl who is planning to place her baby for adoption, although he is pretty sure that she has already chosen a family. But still, it gives me hope to realize that bishops are often aware of young women who have unplanned pregnancies and are able to talk to them about couples like Paul and me and our hopes to adopt.
- Had a huge dinner with my extended family - something that my mom does every year where we make a special Christmas meal (chicken cordon bleu) and use her festive plate settings.
- Worked out at the gym with my mom. She asked her personal trainer to put me through the wringer and I am paying for it now with sore stomach, shoulder, back, arm, and leg muscles. We finished our workout and left just before they were going to start filming a segment for the next season of "The Biggest Loser". Apparently, one of the contestants is from the area and there will be an episode where the contestants are sent home for the holidays while trying to continue to exercise and lose weight, and the contestant uses the same gym as my mom so they have been filming there this past week. I thought about waiting around just to see what filming was like, but we had more important things to do, like play with Emma.
- Went shopping. Our Christmas shopping is almost complete. I love giving presents. It is one of my favorite things about this holiday.
- Ate at a bunch of our favorite places - Bombay House, Cafe Rio, and Noodles. I will pay for this after Christmas when I am dying on the treadmill, but it seems worth it right now.
Oh, and we will be taking photos and trying to post some soon. I know that there has been a dearth of images on this blog of late and I promise that I am planning to remedy that.