Surprise Pregnancy Reveal #3

Bemusings of a Baby Life

– Story takes place December 8, 2013 at 14 weeks pregnant.

I have only missed Hagberg Christmas once.  That was last year.  And after missing last year I vowed to never miss another one, even if Josh couldn’t make the trip with me (he had to miss again this year).  Yeah, that’s how awesome my family is!

We are a family steeped in beloved traditions and boisterous celebration.  Between the singing, all the uncles sporting booming voices, the large collection of cousins, the Christmas meal, and the Christmas presents it surely is an event unlike any other!  I have always loved getting together with this family.

We are loud. I remember forewarning Josh about the very loud, very big experience he was about to have as we walked into his first Hagberg Christmas.  I told him they are overly loving and rapidly hearty question askers.  He was not disappointed.

We love to sing. In fact, every year we sing carols together and are treated to a barber shop quartet performance of “Go Tell it on the Mountain” by the Hagberg brothers.

My dad is the handsome fella on the left.  And can you tell which uncle is a professional musician? 😉

We are many.  All of us 14 cousins (17 including Joshua and my cousin’s serious boyfriends) are around the same age, only a year or two apart between each of us with lots of overlap.  Add on our parents and you get the picture!

We eat heartily!  Every year we have a Christmas spread that could feed an army.  Our army.  The traditional meal center piece is Chicken Divan.  Since we are of Swedish heritage sometimes we also serve dishes like Swedish meatballs or lefse.  But, the one food item you can count on at a Hagberg Christmas extravaganza is Grandma’s famous rice pudding.  Every year she folds a raisin into the mix and it is tradition that whoever receives the raisin in their scoop will have good luck for the year.  At least we have the bragging rights to a lucky year anyway 😉

We love to give gifts.  Over the years this tradition has morphed.  In the younger years all the cousins drew names for a gift exchange while the adults participated in a White Elephant exchange.  When a cousin reached the age of 18 we graduated into the White Elephant tradition until all the cousins were a part of the adult circle.  A couple of years back we retired the White Elephant exchange completely and now we all give gifts to Grandma and Grandpa and they have a little something special they give out to all of us.  Every year we all get a handcrafted Christmas ornament made by Grandma and then some sort of collection of very randomly appealing items.  For example, a couple of years ago all the granddaughters received a care package from Japan (Grandma and Grandpa took a vacation there that year) including the world’s smallest tube of toothpaste (which if you take a look at my “Itty Bitty” Pinterest board you will rapidly understand why a gift like that was so appealing to me), terry cloth hotel shower slippers (I use these religiously in the summers, especially when we lived in a run-down, wood floor covered apartment that refused to get clean even with daily sweeping), and a little coin purse (mine was all the bright warm colors).

To keep up with our surprise baby announcement tactic I wrote Grandma and Grandpa a Christmas card with a Christmas poem announcing the summer arrival of their first great-grandchild.  And now, I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking 🙂  I have posted the words to the Christmas poem grandma is reading below the video.

A Christmas Poem

by Kaia Calhoun

We bring you warm wishes this bright Christmas season,
Bringing cheer like caroling and bear hugs for no reason.
Our hearts are always holding you close,
And are excited to give you a great-grandchild who will love you the most!

Movie Review | Rise of the Guardians

Rise of the Guardians came out around Christmas time last year.  Since I’m a sucker for animated films I’ve been dying to see this one.  I wasn’t expecting much and I don’t know why I felt that way but I was more than pleasantly surprised by the quality of this movie.



Rise of the Guardians is about a band of children’s heroes forced to put aside their differences to fight the onslaught of evil suddenly invading the children of the world.  The Boogeyman has unleashed his evil powers on the children in attempts to gain the children’s belief in him and, in turn, snuff out their belief in the guardians.

Our main character in this film is Jack Frost.  He is a spirited and fun-loving young man with a deep longing for friendship; however, he is invisible to all children, no matter how hard he tries to get them to believe in him and, in turn, love him.


This film is a perfect feel-good, holiday movie.  The screenwriting, characters, and artistry were whimsical, colorful, and all around lovable.

The Rise of the Guardian’s screenwriters did an excellent job making Jack Frost lovable and relatable.  He is everyone that has ever been left out, misunderstood, or ignored.  They also did an excellent job with character arc.  Most of the characters molded into new, more lovable characters throughout the movie.  They each were confronted with their own wrongdoing and forced to battle it head on.  The only character exempt from any character arc was the Sandman and that’s because he was this sort of role model, grandfather figure who had it right from the beginning.

Creativity oozed from the characters.  The Rise of the Guardian‘s knocked these done and redone characters out of the park and gave them wholly new, and very appealing, identities.  And all the little details about the stories of each of the characters were not only addressed but they were integral parts of the story.  The new take on how the Sandman, Toothfairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa got to each child in one night was intensely imaginative and eye-popping. I particularly loved how they focused more on the lesser known characters of the Sandman, Jack Frost, and the Tooth Fairy and brought reason to dreaming, the collecting of teeth and all things cold and wintery.

By the end of the movie I was left with a heart beaming with gladness, eyes full of wonder, and all of two small qualms.  My issues were a result of two open-ended statements left unattended.  At one point in the movie Jack Frost lets the band of guardians down.  The Easter Bunny is particularly let down and he says “Easter is about new life and new beginnings…”  The reason why this line bothered me was because if that’s what the Easter Bunny’s “center” is about then he should have been the first to accept Jack Frost and the first to forgive him for making a mistake, however grave.  The second statement that remained unanswered was in the final battle of the film.  The kids had discovered a secret to the demise of the Boogeyman and in one instant Jamie, the first friend and believer of Jack Frost, says “I know what we have to do.”  I assumed that this meant it was up to the kids to defeat the Boogeyman once and for all; instead, the Boogeyman is simply knocked out and when he awakes again he is suddenly no longer a threat because the children don’t believe in him.  For such a brilliantly woven film to leave the movie hanging on a loose thread that could have been tied in beautifully was very disappointing.  As a result of this the ending was stiff and generic.


I love how this story was written through the eyes of our children’s imaginations.  So many movies now-a-days are created from the parents perspective where there is revelation that the parents put the presents under the tree and the parents trade the tooth for the gift.  I’m not even an advocate for planting lies in little kid’s minds, however innocent and small, but in the made-up world of imagination and creativity, keeping the real world wholly out of it is truly a stroke of beautiful brilliance.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone of all ages and backgrounds.  Whether adult or child we all need a little dose of childlikeness every once in a while.  Besides, I promise you will be left with a heart that feels like it was just warmed by the fire while you sat in the world’s most cozy chair with a heavenly cup of hot cocoa in hand.

If you had to be one of these children’s heroes, who would you be and why?

  1. Santa Claus
  2. Easter Bunny
  3. Tooth Fairy
  4. Sandman
  5. Jack Frost

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