Monthly Archives: December 2013

Looking Back and Moving Forward

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2013, what a year you were! Filled with wonderful moments of “firsts” for our sweet girl and littlest guy.  First breaths, first steps, first smiles, a first “I love you too, Mommy” that brought tears to my eyes (and that can still give me goosebumps!).  This year, for many reasons, was the best year of my life.  My children, my husband–our family, is the most precious gift I could ever have been given. My New Year’s resolution was to “not sweat the small stuff,” and I think I did an O.K. job with that.  It’s hard to maintain that attitude when you bring a new little life into this world–the responsibility I feel every moment of the day for baby Jake and also Rachel can sometimes be overwhelming.

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We welcomed this sweet babe into our family in 2013.

Rachel realizing she has a shadow!

One of my favorite pictures from 2013–Rachel realizing she has a shadow!

For 2014, I am planning to stay in the moment and focus more on quality time spent with my children. I hope to use my phone less and snuggle more.  I plan to spend less time on Facebook and Twitter and read to and play with my babes more instead.  Afterall, they are what matters most to me.  How I spend my time speaks volumes to them for what I find most important.  I want them to know it’s them, and it will always be them.

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I am grateful for all that 2013 brought us and am also looking forward to 2014 and all that is to come. Life is good, friends. PTL.

Here’s a look back at 2013, our best year yet!

 

Happy New Year, everyone!

In the Blink of an Eye…

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Sweet Rachel,

Happy 2nd Birthday! It’s hard to believe that two years ago you were born into this world, and our lives haven’t been the same since.  You have taught us (and continue to teach us) what it means to love someone more than we could possibly love ourselves.  You remind us every day of God’s promise of goodness and everlasting love.  After all, if we love you as much as we do–He must love us even more.  Hard to imagine, but it is true.

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This year was a big year for you! You learned to walk, and soon after you learned to run! And since then, you haven’t stopped! You were nicknamed “Go, Go, Rachel” and it has seemed to fit you well ever since.  We have gone to Art Classes, StoryTime at the Library, and Gymnastics.  You found a new love for the sand and the ocean and all things “beach.” You started going to school once a week and have made lots of new friends already! You love going to the pool and playing with your cousins.  But most importantly, this year you became a sister! You, my little love, are an amazing sister! The way you love on little Jake and try to help me take care of him is just beautiful.

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keeping a close watch

Already you have shown that your heart is full of love.  You greet others with a smile and are quick to give hugs to anyone who needs one.  You make friends every where we go–from the cheese man at the grocery store deli or the lady beside us at a restaurant–you make people feel loved and happy.

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You love to read and are just starting to make up your own stories to the pictures of your familiar books.  You love to dance and have the  cutest little waddle move when your favorite songs come on.  You insist on sleeping with just about every stuffed animal you own in your crib.  Do you prefer chicken or beef? The answer is most definitely neither.  Strawberries, grapes, applesauce and noodles would make the perfect lunch in your eyes.  Your butterfly wings are a staple in your daily wardrobe.  If your rain boots were the only pair of shoes you owned, I’m quite certain you would not mind at all.

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You are the embodiment of the person I would like to be–vibrant, exciting, loving, forgiving, compassionate and kind.  You are a thinker and a problem solver.  You are determined to figure out puzzles, games, and the world around you.  You admire the little things.  Looking for the moon each night before bed, listening to the sound of a train go by or watching a bird fly in the sky or a squirrel climb up a tree…these are all ways that you enjoy the the world around you, and at the same time you are reminding me to do the same.   You give “kissies” without hesitation and say “I weave you” just as quickly (I love you too, sweet girl!).  If something makes you happy, you let us know it.  If something makes you sad, you let us know that too.  You love everyone, and judge no one.  Maybe we should all be like that….

Moments after Rachel was born. And so the journey begins...

Moments after Rachel was born. And so the journey begins…

Rachel, I love you and I am amazed by you every day.  Thank you for all that you are and for making me a better person.  The world is a better place because you are in it.

I love you to the moon and back,

Mommy

Oh TWO-odles!

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What a great day we had celebrating with family and friends for your 2nd Birthday, sweet Rachel! It’s hard to believe you will be two in just a few short days! Of course, what better way to celebrate than with a Mickey and Minnie Mouse party! From the time you were itty-bitty you loved watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and dancing along to the music.  So it seemed only natural that we embrace your love for Mickey while we planned your 2nd birthday!

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With the weather predictions calling for a large snowstorm, we were unsure if the party was actually going to happen in the first place.  Luckily for us, most of the snowfall held out until after our party was over.  And an extra special surprise happened during your party! Uncle Eric, who recently returned home early from Afghanistan, showed up on our front steps to surprise you! What a special birthday and Christmas gift!

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Children’s squeals and laughter could be heard while you and your friends and cousins crafted a special ornament and played together with toys, adults chatted (and munched away on goodies!) and gifts were opened slowly but surely throughout the morning while Christmas music played in the background.  Little Jake napped through most of the party, but woke just in time to watch you blow out your birthday candles after you were serenaded by our friends and family (which you LOVED, by the way!).

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Happy Birthday Party Day, Rach! We are thankful that God trusted us to be your parents so that we could share in these moments with you. You are so very precious to us all.   I hope you had a wonderful day!

“Jake Man”

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Happy 3 month Birthday, baby Jake! It’s hard to believe that you have been in our family just a mere three months–it seems as though we have known you forever!

This month you celebrated your first Thanksgiving (even though you couldn’t eat any of it), and you had a great time.  Your big cousins wanted to hold you and kiss you all the day long.  Can I blame them?! Not at all, of course…I love to do the same.

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You earned your first nickname from your sister one afternoon when you awoke from your, ahem, nap (if we could call it that!).  Your sister burst into your room and said loudly and excitedly “JAKE MAN!” She just loves to rescue you  any time you are crying! This month we also found out that you have quite a little arm on you.  You love to toss your toys across the room and Rachel loves to retrieve them and bring them back to you.  When she hands you your toys back and you flash her the sweetest little smile, I can’t help but think that you look at her like she is some kind of hero to you.  I love to watch you two interact together.  The way you search the room for her is just priceless.  Your love for each other is such a beautiful thing.  

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Your sleeping habits are still a little scattered, but you are happy and content when you are awake.  You coo and “talk” all day long.  When you let out your sweet little laugh my heart can’t help but melt with love for you.  According to you, your hands belong in your mouth at all times. And tummy time? That’s for the birds! You would rather be on your back looking at the world around you.  

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You love to go out to lunch with Mommy’s friends and are always so patient, even when it is feeding time.  You let others hold you and love on you and you don’t mind waiting until we get home to eat.  You have your Daddy’s “Go with the flow” attitude already.  Your facial expressions change from happy to excited to curious to sad in a moment’s notice.  

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You are figuring out this big old world little by little.  Infact, just this morning while I was taking your pictures you decided to really roll over for the first time! I missed the actual roll but I got a cute before and after shot. You were so proud!

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Just seconds before rolling over

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Wahoo! You did it!

How did we ever manage to be so blessed? With you in our family life will never be the same–and we are not looking back for a second!

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I love you baby Jake! You are a blessing to us all!

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Happy Jakie Day!