christmas and big updates.

we had a lovely time celebrating cohen's first christmas.  we took advantage of cohen's complete lack of the christmas concept and slept in, ate a big helping of freshly baked monkey bread, slowly sipped a few cups of coffee, and then finally got around to opening gifts at a snails pace.  we attempted to let cohen open gifts, but he could have cared less about all of the little bags and boxes lovingly wrapped just for him.  chris and i laughed each time we opened a gift, and he would play with the box/paper instead of the actual gift.  oh, and the thing he loved most was hiding out under the tree.  he would drag a book under the tree and sit there for what seemed like half the day.  just a boy, a book, and a twinkle lit tree fort.   it doesn't get better than that when you are 9 months old.

 this christmas was a lot different than ones in the past.  with all of the decisions chris and i had to make in the couple weeks leading up to christmas, we barely had time to set up a tree, send christmas cards, or decorate. no really. i stunk at sending out christmas cards (sorry to all of you who didn't get one this year, i promise next years will be in your mailbox) and instead of decorating the tree in my usually obsessive way, i just made this simple fabric and burlap garland to wrap around it.  when the garland was up and i was sad because of our overall lack of christmas cheer around the house, chris sweetly told me he thought this tree was the best one yet.  i really needed to hear those sweet words.

now onto these decisions i keep referring to.

as most of you know, chris recently finished grad school which meant we had to start figuring out what was next for our family.  we had to put on our big kid pants and start making decisions.  the main decision we had to make was where we would want to live. more importantly, where did we want to start raising our family. when we moved to iowa two and a half years ago, i always assumed the move would be temporary.  chris applied to jobs all over the world, so i assumed we would move somewhere new and exotic, but when offers started coming in nothing seemed right.  so we sat down, and listed out everything we wanted for our future city. our main criteria included:
-college town
-good schools
-safe neighborhoods
-close to family
(can you tell we are parents now?)
the first three were easy, but the proximity to family was the difficult one.  chris and i were born and raised in the northwest, our parents and siblings still live in the area but the place where our largest amount of family members live is iowa. so we really started praying about staying in iowa or moving back to oregon. a couple weeks later, chris got a job offer from a company in iowa city. iowa city, home to the university of iowa (college town check), safe neighborhoods and lots of great schools (check and check), the same city where all of my family lives (check). oh, and it's same city my parents fell in love in (not on the list but amazing).  we were shocked! the interview he had there was three and a half hours long and consisted of three separate panel interviews.  talk about intense.  by the end of the interview chris was so brain dead he couldn't remember half the things he said.  he didn't know if he had nailed it or completely blew it. apparently he nailed it because the offer was also his best yet.  after a few back and forth negotiations, the contract was signed last week making it official. chris got an awesome job and we are moving to iowa city
two huge decisions complete.

we still have a bunch of other hurdles to cross in the next couple months, including listing our house for sale, finishing my job, packing our house, finding a short term rental and house hunting in iowa city, but the two biggest decisions are behind us. yay!  lots to celebrate. happy tuesday! {monica}


  1. Congrats on the new job! I can't believe Cohen is only 9 months old. He's doing all the things of a one year old and then some. I really enjoy reading your blog and I can't wait to see what God has in store for you in the coming year. Have a wonderful New Year! And Piper says hello!

  2. congratulations! such awesome news :) x

  3. that's so awesome monica! i'm so happy for you two! and congrats to chris on the new job :)