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

Our Blessing, Audriana Marie Pelfini

She’s here! Arriving via c-section on 1/31/18 at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, 20″ long, Audriana Marie Pelfini (formerly Baby Girl A and LBP) made her appearance known with the sweetest loud cry we ever could have imagined, indicating she was our healthy little baby girl. Setting the scene of the day she was born, Audriana’s Welcome playlist crooned in the background in shuffle-mode and happened to land appropriately on “Everything I Have is Yours” by Billie Holiday. Each time we watch the video of when we first meet her, we can’t help but shed a tear.

Unbeknownst to us when we chose her birth date for the first day of week 39 of my pregnancy, she was destined to be born on a once in a 155-year occurrence of a Super Blue Blood Moon. Michael latched onto this excitement and is able to share the story for years to come, with an article to be framed in her nursery for her to tell it, accurately of course! Our 5-day hospital stay was incredible. We could write a blog posting on just the birth experience/first days alone. But suffice to say it was nice to have a beautiful reason to go to the hospital for once, and we enjoyed the personal time together as a family.

Audriana’s the A in our JaM, a long-awaited dream that has been fulfilled for the two of us. At just about 6 weeks (where is the time going?) she’s had some fun adventures and has met many of her fans via visits to our home, being out and about and FaceTime chats for those that are not nearby.

Our home has been adorned with precious cards of welcome and gifts, of which we are extremely grateful for, and our dining table quickly transformed into her processing head quarters for gifts, announcements and baby projects. We’ve been fortunate with friends stopping by with a homemade dish to eat or freeze for us to enjoy which has been a huge time saver for us when bleary-eyed sleepless nights result in grabbing whatever is around to inhale easily! It’s true what they say, our home is primarily hers now. There’s no area in the house that hasn’t been christened with Audriana gear. Her dresser is full of clothes from those that love her. She’s well-dressed and fully stocked until around 9months of age. Everyone loves clothing this sweet child!

Our lives have changed for the better with her. A transformation we never could quite imagine until it became our every day life.

Michael took paternity leave so we could all be together to adjust and enjoy our transition as a family. He has some more time to use we are saving for throughout the year. It was a sad day for myself and her when he returned to work after caring for us both, but never fear he’s a super involved participating dad, we miss when at work. As parents we are taking a crash course in real-life stop and smell the roses, as her scent, her sweet faces, cries and coos all make us stop and wonder, what is she thinking, what is she looking at or seeing, what does she need? We Just Stop. It’s an incredible feeling to learn more each day about her and to experience her “firsts”.

She’s alert, a great sleeper, fantastic snuggler and is making all kinds of progress in her development everyday. We have adjusted to working around her schedule of eating and sleeping, but we have already created structure of our own. We start our mornings with lots of light, playing that birth playlist until we can’t hear “You’ve Got a Friend” anymore. She enjoys bathtime 3-4 times a week (plus those “blowout” bonus days) and sometimes we play the Italian Mambo station and dance around with her, which is definitely more fun for us! Our evenings are quiet with dim lights as “Ocean Waves” tracks mesmerize all of us in whatever room she is in until she wakes. Part of her sleep ritual includes Tippy the turtle, with sparkling blue sea lights reflecting on the ceiling and that nameless song we can hum in our sleep. Nights were tough at first, but now she sleeps more.

Without further bragging (yeah, I guess we have become those parents that can’t stop talking about their kid), here’s a very special set of pics taken during her 5th week by our cousin visiting who is both a photographer and a nanny (double score!).

Thank you for all your good wishes, prayers, cards and gifts as we went through the journey to get here and after her arrival.

We keep saying we are blessed. We are. That’s the only way we know how to be grateful for this precious angel from God.

We hope to see you soon via visit or FaceTime, if you haven’t met her yet! While she’s alert and awake more now, she’s still on a heavy sleep schedule… so you might meet her “eyes wide shut”… often just as entertaining as when they are very wide open.

Photography credit below to Emily Bucholz @tellthebeesphoto

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year from the 3 of us!

Wishing you all a blessed and happy holiday! This year has been quite a ride for us, with the usual transition and change we’ve come to know together, but at the end of it we are so much closer to fulfilling our family and dreams.

We’ve enjoyed celebrating these special moments with you and are grateful for your love, prayers and support along the way. Baby Girl ‘A’ is on the way due February 7, 2018 as far as we know today. She’s doing well and outside of tiredness, I am doing great too. Not working has brought a lot less stress for me, and the ability to really focus on this time of becoming a mom. Michael has been fabulous at preparing painting, assembling, getting the house ready and we’ve been attending classes together. Such a special bonding experience for both of us. Once again team JaM is in play. I’m certain his tiredness is equal to mine!

We are both thrilled to become parents and embrace this new stage in our lives.

We are finishing up preparations in the nursery and getting ready to welcome our little girl in, whenever she is ready. It’s a true miracle we have this blessing in our lives and we don’t take a minute of it for granted. Just saying “welcome our little girl in” is something we only could have dreamed of a few years ago.

We can’t wait for a celebratory quiet holiday and an exciting 2018. We are taking the season to enjoy at home peacefully.

Wishing you and your families love, peace and happiness and pure moments of joy this holiday season, and especially time away from the hustle and bustle.

As we’ve learned the past year with the loss of Moms, time is short, moments are fleeting and precious, but the love in your heart can last forever when you are present for it.

Isn’t that the greatest gift of all ~ being present.

Much love from the Pelfinis ~ JaM ~

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JaM’in news

We have some JaM’in news… 
Michael and I are thrilled to share we are expecting LBP (Little Baby Pelfini) in early February! Currently we are headed into Week 13 (month 4). 

We could already know if we are having a girl or a boy (we have the sealed envelope in hand), but we will find out together at our LBP Reveal Party 9/16. We are so excited to share our joy with family and friends. The party will be lots of fun and be a true celebration for us as the week prior will be our first anniversary! What a year we’ve had… we feel very blessed and grateful for this special time in our lives. A true gift from God. 

A few snaps, including yes LBP’s already been indoctrinated to our love of sports and loyalty to our teams, kicking off with the SF Giants vs. CLE Indians. A little hometown rivalry for mom and dad! We’ll be sure to be fair and let LBP decide which way to go!

On our 3rd year of our first date, we also were celebrating the pregnancy of LBP!
The joyous morning we heard LBPs heartbeat for the very first time!
LBPs first baseball game featuring the SF Giants and CLE Indians!
Momma to be at 13 weeks.