Tag Archives: christmas

2012 in Pictures

Do you know what I call a 2012 wrap up post before summer 2013? Victory.

Here are some highlights from the craziest year of my life, stolen from our unashamedly narcissistic Christmas card.

January: This little coffee bean was a’brewin’. We also moved back to Tampa from Newport News, Virginia. We shacked up with my parents for about two months.
sono 17 weeks1 (2)February: We escaped for a sweet Valentine’s date at the restaurant where we had our wedding reception. I chose to wear a shirt that would not fully button thanks to a blossoming Addie bump and also to stick it out with highlights that obviously passed their prime.

clay nat vday4

March: We bought a house! And were somehow so outrageously excited we ended up looking like crazed lunatics in every picture but this one. (See reject photo below.)
Normal happy:

Hide your loved ones happy:

April: Probably the slowest month for the Noa’s. Not a reference to Clayton’s finishing time in this race, I swear, as opposed to someone who only showed up to waddle pregnantly around the finishing line and snag free bagels. It was most certainly not a slow month for my brother and his gal, who got engaged! My notable contribution was a collection of blurry photos captured from the bowels of the nearby bush I was crouching under. Neither party is identifiable in the pictures I took, but it’s the thought and grass stains on maternity jeans that count. 

proposal 1

May: Miss Maya joined our family! We spent the next few weeks Dog Whispering it up. We love the little lady, but I still miss my Bryson.  
m picnic island

June: We shopped, assembled, washed, organized, prayed, napped and braced for what was just around the corner.

July:  Yeah. That happened. And then we didn’t sleep for two weeks.













August: Slightly more sleep. Falling so much more in love. Hard to believe her thighs were ever that proportional.
1 month cry

September: Back in the saddle. And by the saddle, I mean real clothes and makeup for one of the happiest days of the year and the answer to lots and lots of prayers—my brother got hitched and my pal became my sister.

noas alvarez's grandma

October:  A Halloween throwdown with an appearance by the Joker. I showed extreme restraint by only purchasing two costumes for my infant.
fam2November: A trip to the pumpkin patch and our first trip to see Clayton’s family. Our girl never looked at her car seat the same way after spending 16 hours in it. The unsuspecting traveler at pump 2 never looked at me the same way after I breastfed in the car at the gas station.
fam steps

December: Baby girl’s first Christmas! And the one and only Christmas where we spent less than $20 on presents for her.
Whew. This year we are going to keep the party rolling by going to bed at 9, banning any more babies and keeping Red Box in business. Happy [10 days into] 2013! 

Christmas for Three

Clayton and I rolled over to look at each other on December 26, blinked for a few seconds, and then groaned at how utterly exhausted we were.

“I feel like I got hit by a truck,” I whined.
“I feel like I did the hardest workout of my life,” he muttered.

Christmas was quite the tiring affair with a mini-me in tow. But it was also more meaningful and special than it has ever been.

The season was celebrated with get-togethers and festive events that lasted about three weeks. The kick off was Clayton singing with our church at an outdoor shopping center on December 4th. It was a little hard to embrace the Christmas-ness of that performance in the balmy 79 degree evening.

On December 9 we threw a surprise retirement party for my mom. Girlfriend was completely caught off guard.


Since she was unaware of the party, my mom planned one of her own on the 15th, which made two for us that night. We also made a last minute trip to visit the big guy that afternoon. Addison was less than impressed.

santa suit collage with sant

We were part of a group organizing a toy drive for a pediatric nursing home through our church. December 18th we had our group over to our house to wrap and arrange the gifts.

lifegroup gifts

We had loosely Christmas-motivated dinners with friends the 19th and 22nd. December 23 we spent the afternoon and early evening with my dad’s sisters and cousins from that side of the family for an early Noche Buena celebration. Yes, sometimes I am Spanish. Rarely, but sometimes. (Sidenote: One of Addie’s Christmas presents counts to three in Spanish and it makes me way too happy thinking I might not raise a complete Gringo.)


Dec 23 Collage









I swear she has a neck in real life.

On Christmas Eve we enjoyed a casual chili dinner with my parents. That night Clayton and I jumped on the Christmas Eve pj bandwagon and started a new tradition by giving each other a new pair.

And, as always, we had a full day of festivities on Christmas Day where everyone got completely, outrageously spoiled. Clayton, Addison, Maya and I began at home opening our presents to each other. I got Addie exactly one present: a book. I hope she doesn’t already resent me.

If I try to wait until I have time to recount each of my favorite moments in detail, this post would never get published. Instead, maybe 3 billion pictures will capture some of the memories. In a nutshell: Addison was unbelievably happy and content through all of our running around and, though we thought she wouldn’t understand the “present phenomenon,” we were sorely mistaken. It took her about 8 seconds to figure out behind that colorful paper (which was as equally entertaining as the present), there was a bright, shiny new toy to play with.

DSCN1866  He’s a serious gift shaker. Babe, if it walks like a shoe box and talks like a shoe box…








And the best part of all had to be her growling in approval at all her new swag, captured here at the very beginning. Then she took to flirting with her Daddy.

Lots of themed outfits for the peanut. In any pictures where she is not wearing something festive, it’s a safe assumption that particular outfit had already been sufficiently pooped on to warrant a costume change.

As magical as Christmas was before, it was all magnified seeing things through a baby-sized view. So incredibly fun and exciting. But also more exhausting than it’s ever felt. Although Addison can’t tell me she agrees, her 14-hour sleep-eat-sleep-eat cycle on the 26th did that for her.

Now who wants to come sanitize that big ol’ mountain of new toys so the kid can actually use them?