Tag Archives: child

Happy 4th Birthday, Jake!

Standard

jake4year-2

Jake,

Happy Birthday to you! You are so excited to be four and you have been reminding us all day today that you are “a big guy now.”  We are so proud of you and feel so lucky to watch you learn and grow every day.  You are fun, and exciting and challenging and spirited and a great big ball of energy all rolled into one.

jake4year-1

You remind us that life doesn’t have to fit inside the perfect cookie cutter box and that when there’s a will, there’s a way! Your excitement for life and adventure reminds us that it is important to slow down and appreciate life.  You remind us all the time that we don’t have the answers, and that it’s ok not to have those answers.

jake4year-3

Thank you for reminding us not to take life too seriously. Every day is an adventure, every day is a gift and every day has something exciting to offer. 

Thank you for showing us the beauty of individuality and for sharing your zest for life.  Thank you for being exactly what this family needs–even if we don’t always know it.  You are a gift, you are delight and we are so thankful for the day you were born.  We love you and are so very proud of you.

jake4year-8.jpg

Keep smiling, keep learning and keep questioning.  I can’t wait to see where life takes us.

I love you to the moon and back, forever and ever.  Happy birthday, little guy.

 

Love always,

Mommy

Happy 2nd Birthday, Jake!

Standard

Happiest of birthdays to you, baby Jake! You are our smiling, happy go lucky, sweet little boy.  You can be found at any given point of any given day reading, emptying drawers, or playing with your trucks.  No pair of shoes is safe with you around–you claim them all as your own! You LOVE to run and jump and kick soccer balls.  It certainly didn’t take long for you to learn to push yourself on the scooter, and did we mention you taught Rachel how to drive the PowerWheels Corvette? JakeTurnsTwo-2

 

There are so many things I’d like to say to you about how sweet you are and how precious you will always be to me, but my words are failing me right now.  Instead I have a little bit of a lump in my throat thinking about that teeny tiny baby that I held in my arms the first day you were born. So delicate and sweet. I remember your tiny little hands and how they would grasp to hold on to mine anytime yours were set free.  I knew right away that you were “my” little baby, the one that I had prayed for since I was a little girl, given to us to bring so much love and joy to our family.  Since then you have done that and so much more! We love you more than anything, sweet babe!

JakeTurnsTwo-28

JakeTurnsTwo-39

JakeTurnsTwo-45

Sometimes it’s still surreal for me to think about all those times I prayed for you before you were born.  I remember praying for my future children when I was just a little girl…and now here you and your sister are.  I had no idea what you were going to look like or act like, or how your little personality would light up my life, but I knew that I would love you always–because I already did! You are such a blessing little Jake, I hope you always remember that.

JakeTurnsTwo-47

Thank you for reminding me that it’s o.k. if things don’t always go according to plan.  Thank you for reminding me that it’s o.k. to smile…even if people don’t smile back, that doesn’t take away from the smile that you gave.  You help me to appreciate the little things in life.  I’ve never paid as much attention to birds flying by, ants crawling on the ground, or cars stopping at a stop sign before you were born.  When the wind blows, you stop and close your eyes just to be able to feel it blow across your face.  I could cry at the sweetness of your innocence and it reminds me what life is all about.  Thank you for that, Jake.

JakeTurnsTwo-49

JakeTurnsTwo-58

JakeTurnsTwo-76

You are the best Jake I could ever ask for.  Thank you for being so precious and perfect for our family.  Being your Mom is truly one of the greatest blessings in my life.  I love you always, little Jake.

JakeTurnsTwo-69

To the moon and back.

Happy Birthday, little buddy.  xoxo

Love always,

Mommy

 

Reflections on Love {Part 2}

Standard

Happy Valentine’s Day to my sweet little valentines who mean more to me than anyone else in this entire world! I hope you always know how much you are loved, not just by me, but by the One who made you! You were created in His image and likeness, and I believe wholeheartedly that we are here on this earth to spread His love to others in any way we can! You can read a little bit more about my thoughts on what love is here. 🙂

jake valentines day 2015One of the best parts about being your mom is that I get to watch your life grow and change right in front of my very eyes.  I know that you were created for a purpose and that your life has meaning to it, and I can’t wait to watch you both grow.  One thing that I wonder about is how you will react to the world’s expectations of you when you are a young adult.  I hope that the values that I am trying to instill in you today will carry over into your experiences as you try to make sense of this big ol’ world around you.

rachel valentines day 2015

I wonder, if by the time you feel the desire to have a significant other, will you still value yourself if you do not find someone in the time frame you were hoping to? Will you still stay true and steadfast to your core beliefs–both personal and spiritual? Will you know that your life’s worth, and who you are as a person, is not measured as “successful” by the ability (or inability) of someone else to love you? If the answer to these questions is “yes!” then I will feel as if I have done my job successfully in preparing you for the inevitable disappointment of a failed relationship or in the longing of a new relationship.

YOU, my sweet ones, are worth the wait in any relationship.  Hold strong to your worth and know that you are a prize.  You are so loved already by so many people around you.  No matter what happens, your life has a purpose and your life has meaning.  Do not let others make you feel lesser or that you are not worthy according to society’s standards (those standards are bizarre and unrealistic most of the time anyway).  The only standard that really matters is His, and He loves you more than you could ever know.  Think about that for a minute or two, reflect on that…..Know that love.  Feel that love.  Share that love with others. You are worth it.rachel valentines day 20152

I  love you to the moon and back.

Love,

Mommy

One Year Old Jake

Standard

Sweet Jake,

First things first little buddy, Happy Birthday!!!!!

jakebday

I have been thinking a lot lately about where we were a year ago and how I was anxiously awaiting your arrival into our family.  After months of carrying you and what felt like just as many months having trouble sleeping, walking, eating and doing virtually anything that required even the slightest bit of movement, I couldn’t wait to finally hold you in my arms and kiss your little lips and tell you how much I love you! You came into our lives and brought a sweetness and love that could not have been predicted or even replicated with anyone else.  YOU, my little love, are such a blessing to our family and I can’t imagine what life would be like without you! Heck, it’s hard enough to even try to remember what life was like before you!  Let’s take a little trip back from your very first moments to where we are now.  These are some of my favorite pictures from the last year.

I remember the day that we brought you home and how you slept so much that I really had difficulty waking you.  Your first week of life is pretty much the only time you slept during your first eight months of life! I’m kidding–although, not by much! You really took your daddy and I for a loop with your (non)sleeping habits.  Luckily you came to your senses about eight months in.

You have always been a very happy and smiley baby.  You greet strangers and friends alike with a big smile and sometimes (if you’re feeling it that day) a hug or a kiss.  People often ask if you are “always so happy?” and the answer is, of course, yes! Your daddy and I joke that your smile and happy personality “saved” you on those long nights where you would wake every 20-40 minutes night after night after night after every bloody night.  We love you just the same….whether you needed to be fed or needed us to snuggle you or you just wanted us to snuggle you, it didn’t really matter.  Our beliefs were that if you needed us, we would be there for you no matter how many times a night you needed us.  Those moments are slightly poetic in retrospect, but at the time it was grueling.  One thing is for certain, little buddy, and that is that we were there for you then, we are here for you now, and we will always be here for you. No matter what happens in this life, I can promise you that.

One year has been so much fun with you, little buddy! You love to clap, wave, blow kisses and walk while someone holds your hands to help you.  You love your sister and Zeus and often times will go looking for both when they are not around.  You say “Hi!” and “Bye!” and “Mama!” and “Dada!”  You love to play peek-a-boo and to read stories.  You are happy, you are a go-getter and a daredevil.  We have baby-proofed our house ten times more than we did with Rachel.  We practically clean your highchair with a pressure washer after you eat a meal in it.  Everything you do, you go all out doing it.  You play hard, you sleep hard (now), and you love hard.

We love you Jake, more than anything in this world.  We are so thankful for you and everything that this year brought us.  I wish you the happiest of birthdays for this year, and many, many, many years to come!

jake birthday

 

I love you to the moon and back.

Love always,

Mommy

11 Month Old Jake

Standard

jake113Dear Jakie,

Happy 11 months, sweet boy! You are getting bigger by the day and what seems like faster by the minute! Nothing is out of your reach these days as you love to open drawers, explore and empty out cabinets and hide in closets (but only after checking everything out first!).  You haven’t taken any steps yet, but your Dad and I wonder if it will happen soon.  You stand freely on your own for several seconds at a time and then get so excited that you “go boom!” down to the floor.  Sometimes you even giggle and clap for yourself and my heart just melts a little bit more over you when you do that. You still have only 3 teeth, your bottom two and then your top left front tooth.  Although I suspect by your slight fever and cuddly attitude tonight that a new one might just be making it’s debut soon.  You love to do your “SO BIG!” trick, although you hardly ever do it when someone new is watching (it’s ok, we know you’re probably just wondering why your silly parents insist on asking you how big you are in front of everyone).  You are slowing saying good-bye to your bottle, despite my best efforts to get you to take it.  You just smile and scoot around and push it away with a gentle yet determined force.  Speaking of smiling–everyone always asks us if you are “always so happy” and our answer is a resounding “Yes!” Sometimes I wonder how we ever got so lucky.  Happy kids=Happy life

jake114

This month we took a trip to the beach where you spent your mornings *not napping* and playing on the beach with your sister.  You loved to splash in the waves at the shore and LOVED to be carried out to where the waves could crash around you.  You even rode your first horse this month! You loved it!! The horse came out with less hair after your ride because you still have some hair pulling issues we are trying to work out, but the horse didn’t seem to mind one bit.  Speaking of vacation…did someone say french fries? I think there was one day of vacation where french fries were pretty much the only thing you would eat, thank goodness that didn’t last long!

jake112

Usually your days are spent exploring and babbling some sweet baby talk (like “bababababababa” or “mamamamamama” or what sounds like a very high pitched “eh!”).  Other than your laugh, I enjoy hearing your baby talk the most.  I wonder sometimes what you are really trying to tell us and I know all too soon I will be finding out 🙂 Everything is happening so fast, Jake Man.

jake115

Everything is happening so fast buddy–you are changing and growing every day right before my very eyes.  One of my greatest joys in life is watching you grow and learn and explore and try new things.  With all these changes around us little buddy, there’s one thing that will never change—and that is my love for you.  One of the most interesting things that I’ve found about motherhood is that overwhelming feeling of love feels like an old love and a young love all wrapped up into one.  New love because we have only been together for a short while, I’m always learning new things about you and finding new things that I find endearing or special about you.  Old love because it feels like, in many ways, that our bond is so easy and natural and strong that it couldn’t possibly develop that way in just a mere 11 months alone….right? I feel like I have loved you and known you my whole life. More than my whole life even, it feels more like forever. Infact, I like to think and believe that I have.

jake111

I love you to the moon and back.

Love,
Mommy

In the Blink of an Eye…

Standard

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.

rachel

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.

keeping a close watch

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.

IMG_5850

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.

IMG_5898

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

Love You Forever, Baby Jake!

Standard

Welcome to the world, baby Jakob Timothy Donald!

It’s hard to believe baby Jake was born exactly one month ago today.  Wow! What a great month it has been!

photo

I can not believe how beautifully this little guy has just fallen right into place in our family.  Even though we’ve only spent a month loving on this little guy, it’s already hard to imagine what life was like before him.  Our family feels more whole now, like he was always meant to be apart of our daily happenings.  He is just the sweetest little guy we’ve ever met.  It’s amazing how much your heart grows with love with each child that is born.  I am totally smitten and majorly in love with this little babe.  How could I not be!?

photo 3 (3)

Every once in a while, I find myself looking around and feeling like I should knock on wood or something because everything just seems so….perfect.  And wonderful.  And amazing.  It’s really unbelievable. We are truly blessed!

Here’s a look back on our first month together as a family of four!

Happy Jakie Day!