I guess Christmas will be in a constant state of flux for both sides of our family from here on out because of coming additions to various families. Here's how we flexibly celebrated!

Let's start the story in the Quad Cities with Gerard's side of the family. I don't think I've shared this here yet, but Gerard's mom had brain surgery Dec. 10th due to a fluid build-up in her brain. They are continuing to do tests to try to discover the cause even this week, but the surgery was successful, healing is going well and we were very happy to still have Cheryl with us for Christmas. Cancer free. We were also happy to have Mimi with us. 6 months pregnant! Prior to Christmas day, my shutter didn't trigger much, but then it went a tad bizerk...Ella seriously knew how to pose for me!

Opening presents:
Mimi
I'm guessing that now, a gift for the baby counts as a gift for the hubby?
When we went to Italy last March and visited the Vatican, we got Cheryl a rosary...Also, in the midst of the Christmas week, Cheryl had the energy to pick out a wig at a store where she had gotten a wig 20 years earlier when she'd had cancer. Poetic is it not? Now she really looks like Carol Burnett!
Then, Mimi went to work in the kitchen. That girl was 6 months pregnant and didn't break a sweat over all those pots! She certainly could have treated herself to a facial though with all the steam...
Then the really fun part: maternity shoot with Mimi!
I wanted to somehow highlight Mimi's massive God-given lashes ;)


This was Mimi's idea and my execution, of it that didn't quite hit the mark, but when you have 8 inches of snow on the ground...what can you do for outside shots? (sidenote: Adam is completely barefoot in this photo! Crazy Californians...)
The next day, we drove to Kalona, IA where Grandma Billie and Grandpa Vernon reside in a nursing home. We threw an impromtu baby shower for Mimi and for once, we were all able to keep a secret! But first, we had one more Vatican gift to give Billie.
A few minutes passed after Gerard gave her the gift and I looked over at Billie to see how she was doing. She was saying a rosary with all the hubbub of family about her.
She also got the gift of feeling baby Caden kick for her!
Ok, this post is getting pretty long, so I'll summarize Mimi's shower with the epic portrait of Adam holding what could quite possibly be the best present of all time. Read the title carefully and work your abs while laughing! :)
After the baby shower, Gerard and I made our exit to get home to DSM to repack for sunny SoCal. That will be Part 2!

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