Tag Archives: journey

11 Month Old Jake


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


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!


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.


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.


I love you to the moon and back.


10 Month Old Jake


10 Month Jake


You are on the go, go, go these days! Full fledged crawling has led to a constant state of discovery for you.  Vacuum cords, outlets, trash cans, dusty corners…if it’s there, you need to see it and touch it and feel it and (in some cases much to Mommy’s chagrin) taste it! We have done more household “baby proofing” since you started moving than we ever did with your sister.  Thank goodness for outlet covers!! You pull yourself up on anything and everything you can.  You examine any and all items or objects that you find fascinating.  Everything goes into your mouth after what seems like a lengthy and thorough examination by you.  I wish I could know what you are thinking when you look so intently and touch so carefully something new to you.  You are 100% determined to see all that this world has to offer!

10 Month Jake

This month brought along with it some super sweet moments.  Your first word (and I’m super proud of this) “Mama.” At first I thought maybe I was just hearing things or that it was more like wishful thinking, but when our friends and family started to notice it too, I knew I wasn’t just being totally smitten and delusional about your intelligence. 🙂  Shortly after “Mama” was said, you added “buh buh” (bye bye) to your sweet little wave.  I have loved watching your little personality develop even more this month.

10 Month Jake

You love to crawl.  You hate to be contained–gone are the days of being in your jumper for any extended length of time.  You really love to walk when people hold your hands to help you and you are loving all of your new table foods.  You are starting to prefer food over bottles and are slowly weaning yourself from your afternoon feeding.  When you want more food you bang on your high chair tray and squeal.  You obviously have certain forms of communication down pat. 🙂

10 Month Jake

Rachel is still your favorite person in the world and anytime she comes into the room you turn and smile at her like you’ve just received the best surprise of your life.  You have been known to pull her hair in order to get her to come down close to you so you can give her a smooch or a snuggle.  The best part is, she doesn’t even seem to mind.  She tells you that you’re “so cute” and “so soft.”  Who could disagree? Especially with the sweetest little babe giving big open mouth slobbery kisses any chance he gets? Heart. Breaker.

10 Month Jake

Naps are predictable now, your sleep at night is going awesome too.  THANK YOU for giving us back the gift of sleep! It only took 10 months for me to feel comfortable saying that, but you know what little buddy, I wouldn’t change any of the sleepless nights with you for the world.

10 Month Jake


A new tooth popped through this month! We said hello to your top tooth with a low grade fever and lots of snuggle time during the day.  The top tooth wasn’t very nice to you, but you handled it like a trooper and I enjoyed the extra cuddles in between giving doses of Tylenol to help ease your pain.  I love you so much, little guy!

10 Month Jake

Happy 10 months, sweet babe!

I love you to the moon and back.

Love always,


Happy New Year!


Happy New Year! 2012 was, in many ways, the best year of my life. We spent most of the year getting to know our sweet little babe and growing together as a family.  My daughter and my husband are true blessings to me and I hope they know how much they are loved.  I can not imagine life without them!  I am excited for what the future holds for us and have no doubt that many more great things are in store for our family in 2013.

My New Year’s resolution is to focus on what is important and meaningful.  Life is about loving others and being good to those around you.  Too often we can get bogged down by the small things that, in the grand scheme of life, don’t really matter.  Focus on what matters…family, friends and love. Don’t sweat the small stuff!  🙂

Enjoy some of my favorite pictures from the past year.  When I think back on 2012, these are my “happy thoughts.” 🙂 Sorry it is a bit long, I had a hard time choosing only a few happy times!  Guess it’s not a bad problem to have.  Happy New Year, friends!


Welcome Fall!


Fall is here! Mums, candy corn,  and pumpkin scented candles are in abundance at our house this time of year.  Summer is by far my favorite season, but I can not help be lured into the season of fall and all the coziness that it has to offer.  There is something about putting on that favorite cozy sweater and sipping on some hot apple cider that is just so….beautifully simple.

Rach is getting so big these days and she is definitely growing into her own little person! The battle of the headbands has begun, I had hoped we would be able to avoid it by all of my diligent efforts to make it seem customary for her to wear one.   …We’ll see who prevails in the end 🙂

This weekend we are going to the pumpkin patch with a very good friend of mine and her husband and also their adorable daughter who just happens to be Rachel’s best friend! 😉  I can’t wait to soak in all the sweetness that Fall has to offer and spend some quality time with a dear friend and our girls!

Happy Fall!!

Girls Week!


While my husband has been away on a golfing trip the past few days, Rachel and I have been having some fun hanging out just the two of us.  Unfortunately she get her first cold a little over a week ago (yes, I was a mess that my baby was sick for the first time!) which gave way to an ear infection during the middle of last week and she has been recovering ever since.  This ear infection business really put a damper on our girls week plans.

Excited for a girls week!

Although her sickness kept us from having “fun” in the traditional sense of the word, I know I had a great time getting snuggled and slept on at the end of each day.  Having a baby fall asleep on your chest is the best way I can think of to end the day! If only she didn’t have to be sick for it to happen…but I’ll take it when I can get it! 🙂 So for our girls week we spent the week playing and snuggling and learning how to blow her nose.  We’re still working on that last part!

Please keep little Rach in your thoughts as she fights off the last bit of this cold and ear infection!

Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You!


Watch out! Rachel is on the move! Anything she can crawl to, pull herself up on, or stand and observe with is fair game in our house! With that excitement comes a lot more challenges in the “baby proofing” department.  Rachel has been keeping my husband and me on our toes recently! Each stage is proving itself to be fun and exciting and we are blessed to be able to watch her grow!

Sometimes I wonder what the world must seem like to a person her size.  I’m sure from her perspective (you know, 6 inches off the ground), things seem very different to her than what they seem like to you or me.

Miss Rachel is a quiet observer but is also quick with a smile or a laugh.  She watches everything and notices everything.  Every time the dog barks, a siren goes by, or she bonks her head, her first reaction is to stop and look.  She’s looking for the reaction of the people around her.  I notice that if I say “oopsies!” after she falls she will usually laugh it off, but if I yell at the dog when he barks she will get a panicked look on her face because she thinks something is wrong.

Since realizing my ability to influence her reaction to things,  I have become more aware of how I react to things.  It’s hard not to be reactive when things don’t go “my way.” I’m sure we all feel that way sometimes.  But knowing that she is watching me and learning from everything I do keeps me focused on the greater picture.  Raising a child who is kind, loving, intelligent and happy is what I am aiming for.  Not that I haven’t ever slipped up or that I never will again, but I am trying my best to be the best I can be for her.  And because of that, she has  made me a better person.


Have a great week, friends!

The Best Things In Life Are Free


What a whirlwind of a week it has been! The first week of school has left me feeling a mixture of emotions ranging from sadness (about leaving my girl) to excitement for the upcoming school year and just about everything in between.  The mornings this week seemed to get harder instead of easier for me as the days went on. By the end of the week, I felt like a kid counting down the minutes until Christmas when I thought of spending all weekend with my baby.  Rachel, on the other hand, spends her days as happy as a lark as I am told, so atleast I do not have to worry about her! I know that she is very happy during the day and that is very much a relief to me.  Please pray that it gets easier for me to say goodbye to Rachel in the morning.  I LOVE my job and my students (and even their families!) and am so thankful for being able to teach in a school I love with so many great colleagues around me,  but I never thought saying goodbye to my little one would be SO hard to do!

This weekend I have had the chance to relax, sleep in and snuggle, snuggle, snuggle! I can’t believe how fast my girl is growing, it seems as if she learns something new every day! She went from crawling to standing to “cruising” to clapping in what seemed like a matter of seconds! With time moving so quickly, I wanted to be sure that we had some good “meaningful” play in together this weekend.  There is nothing that I look forward to more than sitting on the floor and playing with Rachel.  It is the highlight of my day everyday!

Since we moved last December we have accumulated tons and tons (and I mean tons!) of moving boxes.  Most of them have been taken apart and stored in our attic incase we ever move again–even though I swore last December that we would never move again!  Moving at any point is stressful, but we chose to do it two weeks before Rachel was born and it totally pushed me over the edge! I will never move again!! Unless it’s somewhere that has a beach, in that case, I’d pack up in a nano-second!

Since Rachel is crawling pretty quickly these days, I thought she would enjoy a simple obstacle course to crawl through.  We brought some boxes into our living room and propped both ends open and the fun began!

At first Rachel was a little unsure of what she was supposed to do.  At one point she even collapsed the box and started patting it.  After explaining to her that she is supposed to crawl through the box, not break it (yes, she’s very advanced ;)) I decided to use the flaps on the end to play “Peek-A-Boo” with her hoping to distract her from her recent box breaking discovery.

Once she started laughing and giggling from our “Peek-A-Boo” game, all she wanted to do was crawl over to me! Leave it to “Peek-A-Boo” to get her motivated to crawl through! Once she figured out how it worked, she spent quite a bit of time crawling from Mommy and then back to Daddy and Zeus waiting for her on the other side. Who said toys have to be expensive? You never know what you might come up with when you “think outside the box!”

What are some fun and inexpensive play activities you have tried?