Tag Archives: Rachel

Hopes and Dreams

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Sweet babies,

Already your little lives have left a positive impact on our world.  So many times when we are out, people– strangers even–can’t seem to get enough of you.  They smile at you when they pass us in the aisles, sometimes they stop and say hello or to compliment you in some way, and most often say things like “Your children are so sweet!” or “This made my day!” Now don’t let your head get too full here, there have been plenty of times when you (ahem, Rachel…sorry but Jake is just too little at this point for this to be geared towards him!) meltdown in a store and embarrass me to no end and I’m sure other people are thinking it would make their day if we would just leave! But I digress….

Other times I can see and feel people looking at us with a slight smile in a way that makes me feel as though they might be remembering similar times when their children were little.   When those kinds of looks happen, it reminds me to take a moment to take it all in.  To look at you, really look at you, in a way that I can almost breathe you in.  One day you will be big and grown and I will not be able to protect you and hold you the way that I can now.  The world can be  a scary place.  But you, my little loves, are a bright spot in it all.  You are hope that there is a future, and that it is very good.

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My hope for your future is that it turns out exactly the way you want it to.  If you want to grow up to be a doctor, I will do everything I can to help you meet your goal.  If you want to be a writer, or a teacher, or a chemist, or a veterinarian…whatever you choose to do, I will help you in any way I can.  I will always be here for you.  I mean that with every ounce of my being. The road will not always be easy, and sometimes you’ll decide that what you thought you wanted, isn’t infact what you really wanted.  And that is O.K., too.  Whether your dreams have taken off and you are flying and soaring to new heights, or whether you fall, or are unsure, or unsteady, or even if your dreams have become stagnant and seem so very far away–keep going.  You can do anything your heart desires.

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My dream is that you find whatever it is that you are passionate about and go-all-out.  Don’t be afraid to fail–because you will! It’s inevitable, but you will learn and you will grow…so in the end it will be good! I promise! The world is, and will always be, a better place because you are in it. Find what gives you strength, what makes you feel whole and what drives you to love.  Afterall, love is what it’s all about.   Your willingness to love others can be used as a good barometer for your own happiness.   Choose to be happy. Choose to love.  Most importantly–be yourself.  You are a gift.  You are a treasure. You are everything I hoped you would be…and much more.

I love you to the moon and back–forever and always.

Love,

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!

Happy New Year!

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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!

 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Christmas time is here! We have been busy decorating our home for the holidays and also preparing for sweet Rachel’s first birthday party! I am excited to get together with family and friends soon to celebrate the birth of our sweet babe.  The past few weeks have been  a blur with work, home, my grad class I am taking and taking care of Rachel who has had four ear infections in the past two months! I’m hoping this latest round of antibiotics has put her on the rebound for good.  These ear infections are no fun at all!

This past week brought us Rachel’s first visit from St. Nicholas! It’s a good thing Mommy remembered to put out her shoes so St. Nicholas would be able to come and leave her a treat.  No candy this year, but a book is just as good in my opinion!

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With all the busyness that this time of year brings, my husband thought it would be a good idea to take his girls out on a breakfast date.  This morning we all got ourselves together bright and early and headed out to one of our favorite places.  As you can see, Rachel is quickly losing interest in puffs and baby food and is starting to prefer real and flavorful food.  Can you blame her? This Cobblestone muffin was delicious!

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Have a great week, everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! It is the last of the “first” holidays for Rachel, and with that comes a bit of nostalgia and sentimental sappiness that I seem to get every so often when I realize that my girl is growing up! All in all, Thanksgiving was a great day for us. This year our family has a lot to be thankful for, and a lot of it has to do with our little girl! She has brought us so much happiness and we are thankful for her every day. All the sweet giggles, smiles, belly laughs and kisses from our babe bring us such a sense of peace and contentment, it’s a wonder that life ever felt complete before!

I have been keeping a log of things that I am thankful for during the month of November. While I try to maintain a thankful attitude throughout the year, sometimes we can get so busy with life that we forget to sit and really reflect on things. This November I tried to find one thing every day I was thankful for. Some days were easy, some days were a challenge. Here’s what I have so far 🙂 Sorry if this is a little long…

November 2012 “Attitude of Gratitude” Challenge

November 1st- Today I am thankful for having heat in our house! I am also thankful for a speedy plumber who came to our rescue when our furnace decided to stop working!

November 2nd- I am thankful for our special breakfast spot and the memories Rachel and I are making there each week!

November 3rd- I am thankful for having the opportunity to catch up with good friends to remind me what life is really about!

November 4th- Thinking of where I am in life today and where I was not so long ago, I am thankful for the clarity and acceptance only faith can provide. Psalms 27:13

November 5th- Grades are in! Wahoo! Today I am thankful for officially surviving the first marking period of the school year. Next up- to get all of the report cards stuffed and sent home with students 🙂

November 6th- Today (and many days) I am thankful for supportive classroom parents! It is such a blessing to have such great families to work with. I have been very lucky this year and every other year to have wonderful people helping to create a true partnership in their child’s education process. We are in this together! 🙂 Afterall, a parent is a child’s first and most important teacher! So, a big THANK YOU to any parents reading this (past or present) and know that when I think back on my classes and reminisce, I think of you too! 🙂 You are all wonderful!

November 7th- Today I am thankful for the two lovely ladies who watch my littlest lady while I am at work! It is comforting to know that Rachel is in good hands while I am away from her. If it can’t be me, I’m glad that it is them! 🙂 I know she is very well loved and very well taken care of. That’s all I can ask for 🙂

November 8th- Today I am thankful for the advancement of modern medicine. Putting my girl on this antibiotic for her ear infection has made her seem more like herself! I am sure she is more comfortable too!

November 9th- I am thankful for a three day weekend after a stressful week!

November 10th- Today I am especially thankful for my husband. He doesn’t mind if the laundry isn’t done, never says a word when the house looks disastrous (much like any house with a curious 11 month old in it!) and could care less what I make for dinner. He loves to play with our girl, go for walks as a family and lets me sleep-in most weekends. He is quick to overlook my faults and just as quick to offer encouragement when I need it the most. I love him and am so thankful to have him by my side. Thanks for working so hard for us Tim, you are the best!! ♥ Solomon 3:4

November 11th- I am thankful for all the veterans of our country!

November 12th- I’m thankful for a happy and healthy baby!

November 13th- I am thankful for my grandfather! My “PopPop” has always given me advice when I asked for it, guidance when I needed it and shown me love unconditionally! He is fun to talk to, always willing to help when needed and values the importance of spending time with and loving others. He has accepted and loved my husband since day one and is so sweet with my baby girl. He is a great role model and has achieved so much in the 83 years he has been on this earth! The world is a better place because of him! I love my PopPop and don’t know where I would be without him!

November 14th- I am thankful for the few extra hours I got to spend with my baby girl today! 🙂 Life is good!

November 15th- I am thankful for my dog! We have had some fun times together and some sad times together, but no matter what, he is always by my side! He dances around the house with me when I’m happy, and lets me cry on him when I’m sad. He’ll come running inside if you even mumble the word “cheese” within earshot and he loves to play fetch in the yard. He might not be my “baby” like he used to be, but he’s still the best dog I’ve ever had! For his loyalty and companionship, I am very thankful.

November 16th- Today I am thankful for surprise breakfast dates with my little lady and some wonderful coworkers!

November 17th- I’m thankful to be able to spend the day celebrating with Courtney and Josh as they start their new life together as Mr. & Mrs.! Congratulations to you both!!

November 18th- I am thankful for fleece pants and fuzzy socks. Doesn’t get much better than that… 🙂

November 19th- I am thankful that my husband has no problem jumping in to help out when things start getting a little hectic!

November 20th-I am thankful for my brothers and my little sister! Life’s not always easy, but it’s nice knowing that there are people out there who know your whole story. I love you all and want you to know that I look back on our times growing up together with fondness….except for that time you guys stuffed me in the toy box 🙂 And that one Good Friday episode. But other than that, fondness for sure.

November 21st- I am thankful for my best friend! She always knows what to say to make me feel better and knows when to just let me vent when I need it most. She always puts other people first and will not hesitate to swoop in and save the day just because she can! She has the kindest, most sincere heart of anyone I know. She doesn’t mind if we go weeks without talking, and always makes time to come visit or go on random last minute trips! We may be very different (just take a look at the inside of her car and you’ll see what I mean 😉 …but all in all, we really aren’t! Love ya Kricket! And I am so thankful to have you in my life! Our friendship has come a loooong way since our first class together freshman year!

November 22nd- I am thankful for the most precious gift I have ever been given–Rachel! She has brought so much happiness into our lives throughout the past year and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her as she grows older! 🙂 ♥

All I need in life is what I already have–a loving husband, a sweet sweet daughter and our love that makes our house a home. For all this and more, I am very thankful. What are you thankful for? Happy Thanksgiving!

A Weekend to Remember!

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What a wonderful weekend we have had! Saturday was a “Rachel Day!” It’s so hard to believe that my little lady is 11 months old already! In our household we have been slowly starting to prepare things for her first birthday party coming up next month.  I can not get over how fast this year has gone by! It seems like just yesterday I was calling a photographer to discuss maternity pictures and now I’m calling local bakers to discuss cakes for Rachel’s first birthday party! Where does the time go?!

Another great highlight of our weekend was the wedding of my very dear college friend, Courtney and her new husband, Josh.  It’s hard to put into words how beautiful they are as a couple.  Just to watch them together and see how they interact, it is clear that if ever two people were meant to be together–it is them! The whole ceremony was beautiful and the reception was amazing.  Everything was perfect! And let me tell you what, I have never seen a wedding crowd more pumped up than theirs.  The dance floor was packed and everyone was having a great time! I am so happy for my friend and can’t wait to see what the next few years bring for her and her new family.

 

This little one is constantly on the go these days!

We are gearing up for Thanksgiving later this week.  With all of the things going on in my life lately, I have been trying to make a conscious effort to have an “attitude of gratitude.”  Some days are easy, some days can be a challenge.  Thinking about this weekend and reflecting on my own marriage and my own family,  I have been reminded of the magnitude of God’s love for us.   Often times when I think about how much I love my daughter, I can’t help but think that God must love me the same way, too! For as much as I want her to be happy and to hear her laugh and to see her smile, He wants all of those things for me, too.

Motherhood has been an interesting experience so far, and has changed my outlook on life and love in a very drastic (but also, good) way.  I know that raising my daughter to be a kind, caring and intelligent member of our society will be the most important thing I ever do.  My goal is to be the best I can be in order to be a role model for her.  I know it won’t always be easy, but I know in the end, everything will be worth it! She makes me want to be a better person and gives me hope that their is still so much good left to be done in this world.

For all that I have been blessed with, I am very thankful.  Of course, my husband and my daughter are at the top of my list.  What are you thankful for?

 

 

Puppy Love on Halloween

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Rachel loves our dog, Zeus.  She loves to lay on him, pet him (which in all actuality is just her pulling his hair out ), and to chase him around the house.  She squirms when he comes in the room and let’s out a sound that Tim and I both agree sounds a whole heck of a lot like “Zeus.”  It would even be a safe bet to say that she started saying “Zeus” before she started saying Dada or Mama.  And if you ask her to say it when he’s not around, she won’t do it.  She only does it for him.  They are best buddies.  They nap together, play together and even eat together (as in, Rachel shares her food while he waits patiently by her high chair).  My girl loves dogs of all kinds–big, small, medium, hairy, hairless, black, brown, white–it doesn’t matter to her.  If it has four legs, a wet nose and barks on occasion she is all about it.  She’ll take a sloppy dog lick kiss over just about any toy you can give her.  If the dog is in the room, she is probably trying to get to it somehow.  So, it came as no surprise that she was going to be a puppy for Halloween this year.

On Halloween night we made our rounds to a few family members that live close by.  Rachel had a great time with her “treats” and by the end of the night she could be found digging diligently in her treat bag for her new apple cinnamon puffs. After we got home we passed out candy for a bit then snuggled our little one to sleep.  After Rachel was in bed, Tim and I watched “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on DVD.  I spent some time reflecting on the fact that we have watched that movie together every year for the past 9 years.  I had to count a few times to make sure that was right.  Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess!

Overall, our first Halloween together as our new little family was a success.  Next up is Thanksgiving, the last of the “first” holidays for this little one.  I can’t believe how fast this year is going!