a JAMin Christmas time in Reno

Wow it’s December already… and that means we are getting ready to celebrate our first Christmas with Audriana and our first Christmas in our new family home!

We’ve already been bitten by the snow bug, and we are in love with what we see in our backyard winter wonderland.

If you didn’t already know, we moved from Millbrae to Reno, Nevada on June 12th. It’s crazy to think about all the events of 2018, commencing with the birth of Audriana, but here we are nestled in our forever home and lovin’ it!

Reno life has been beyond anything we could have imagined. Our move from Millbrae while a surprise to everyone we know, was also one we just ran with. We didn’t really know what to expect, but we had a good feeling about it. Short version of the “how we got here” story: In the middle of our second story addition planning (and just terrible customer service, frustration and poor engagement with the city of Millbrae) we had an Ah Ha moment. Were we trying too hard to stay here because we love it, or because we don’t know what else to do? When we thought about this idea of “what else to do” and how much we love Truckee, we thought maybe this is the answer. We looked and considered it and realized, there were a lot of things missing in Truckee that we kind of needed with a child and for us. During our search, our incredible realtors and friends introduced us to Reno, sharing all the excitement of development and growth, and the emphasis on it being a place great for families. Intrigued we visited Reno twice (during Thanksgiving last year, and a few days after Christmas) liking what we saw, we put an offer on a perfect house, after visiting it three times three days in a row, and it was accepted. Of course you know we had this little thing called a baby on the way happening, so we knew we wouldn’t move any time soon. But we would get there. At the New Year we realized,

oh my gosh, we just bought a house, we are going to move!

While we didn’t have a big grand plan that lead us to Reno, our core idea was to have a great place to live that would be easier for raising a child and to be able to enjoy our time with Audriana.

After getting through the early months after her birth, with not much sleep and adjusting to becoming parents, adoring Audriana every second of the night and day, we set the date to move. We closed on our home on February 28th when Audriana was just four weeks old. Audriana very quickly became a road trip baby! After the closing that we made the trip four more times with a couple of Uhauls and a few truckloads full of our treasures before our big moving day.

Since moving on June 12th, we’ve done quite a bit too! You know, besides the whole packing/unpacking, moving and selling two houses before the move…

We spent an awesome week in Ohio the week after we moved (I know great timing on that one Jenn!) for Audriana to meet most of my family and also Michael’s Ohio family and those nearby in Pennsylvania.  We attended a celebration of life weekend in Oregon for Michael’s Auntie Diane, who passed away earlier in the year, staying with Michael’s cousins Cindy and Grant to meet all of the Pelfini side of the family at the end of July and were able to squeeze in a visit with friends as well. Family came to visit and stay with us for 10 days, where we discovered more of Reno visiting with Aunt Patty, Uncle Ed and cousin Beth the first week of September. Mom came to visit for 8 days in October during Halloween, and most importantly Audriana’s Baptism.

Audriana’s Baptism was beautiful and beyond anything we could have imagined. It was held in front of the congregation at St. Alberts Church, a place we also have found as a home for our family. Mom stood up as her Godmother and Michael’s cousin Bob as her Godfather. Michael’s Auntie Marie and cousin Ashley attended as well. Father Tom Nelson who lead the Baptism, was both humorous and reverent during the service and Audriana took that oil and water bath he gave her like a champ! It was a truly special day. Audriana looked like an absolute angel wearing my Christening outfit that we had restored, after Mom saved it all those years, and we wrapped her in Michael’s Christening blanket on the way to the church. We had a very fun celebration afterwards with delicious food and cake with local area friends that could attend. It was a lovely day.

We have had good friends come to visit and experience the many fun local Reno events, enjoy time with our family and stay with us. The big advantage of our new home is that it is perfect for hosting, something the Pelfinis enjoy! We welcome guests and visitors!

Michael retired November 9th from 27 amazing years at Deloitte. We celebrated with a night out. When it was announced, Michael was flooded with notes from colleagues who are friends regarding his fabulous appreciated contributions during his tenure. He will truly be missed. He is ready to play some more golf (our community has a fantastic Tom Kite golf course) and enjoy more time with his family. We’re working on some new ventures, but nothing that will take us away from our priorities to enjoy our lives and our precious time with Audriana.

Thanksgiving week was a super busy and fun week with friends, who are like family to us, visiting us during most of the week. Special moments with all of them. We have so much to be grateful for!

Audriana at ten months… my gosh what to say about this baby girl? First, she sleeps all night and has done so, since around 5 months. When she’s awake, she’s super active, crawls and has us chasing her around the house, stands up against anything she can find, giggles and laughs, has 8 teeth and is truly a fabulous eater of almost anything we are eating, her smile brings us such joy. She loves talking to family and friends on FaceTime. She is focused, intensive, smart, sensitive, beautiful, loving, a happy sweet baby and we wish time would stand still with these changes as each day she lights up our life more and more. I’m not going to lie, staying at home as a mom is something I never could picture for myself and it is a definite labor of love every single day, but I am also reminded daily what a gift it is to not miss a moment of her daily development and dang, those snuggles really do rock! Better than any bonus I’ve ever received!

So what about Reno? Unless you are one of our new Reno friends reading this, you likely think the Biggest Little City in the World is just for gambling… Ah no it’s not. We live in a fabulous community that offers much on its own, but Reno, goodness it blew us away. Food truck Fridays, Hot August Nights, the Rib Fest, Great Reno Balloon Race, nearby Virginia City (we’ve been there 3x already and love that old western historical town), parks! Sooooo many parks for walks with Audriana and playgrounds, festivals (Italian, Greek, Hawaiian) something going on multiple days of the week and every weekend in this area most of which is very family-oriented. Reno has many excellent restaurants (YES! we finally found good pizza), concerts and theatrical events. And no, we didn’t have any idea about any of this. I remember researching Reno when we first were introduced to this idea thinking… hmm I’m not sure this will be anything like where we are living now in the Bay Area. It’s not. And we love it! The people here are wonderful and so friendly! We also have been blessed once again with great neighbors and we live in a fabulous community. We are meeting people, finding our way around and enjoying the experience as a family.

This Christmas we wish you all health, peace, happiness, lots of laughs and some serious downtime. As we’ve both learned, downtime is a good time. 2019 will never compare to the craziness of 2018, but we are looking forward to the calm.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a very Happy and Healthy 2019 to all! We hope to see and hear from you in 2019!

Love, JAM

Jennifer ~ Audriana ~ Michael

PS: I post frequent updates on Audriana and our Reno adventures so if you are on Facebook or Instagram, feel free to friend me on FB or follow me on Instagram