Tag Archives: son

Happy Birthday, Jake!




Happy birthday to our lovable, energetic, wild and super sweet baby Jake! Life in your eyes is like one big party.   From the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to sleep–you never, ever, EVER stop moving. Ever.  You love to play with trucks and cars and have recently started loving anything and everything Star Wars.  IMG_9596


Earlier today when I asked you what you wanted to do, you said “Dump water on something.”  That pretty much sums up what life with you is like.  It’s expecting the unexpected, looking for fun in every situation and not being afraid to bring a little bit (or a lot) of love and laughter to each moment.  Some times your Dad and I feel like we’re not sure where exactly all of your spunk and energy came from, but we know that we are blessed to be your parents and so lucky to have you as a part of our family.


You play hard and you love hard, and for all these things and more we will be forever grateful that you are our boy.  I can’t wait to see where life takes you, or more appropriately in your case, where you are going to take your life.  Thank you for reminding us that beauty and fun can be found all around us.  From chasing a falling leaf, or clapping for motorcycles passing by, or when you’re just looking for something to “dump some water on,” you always show us that there is good and happiness just waiting to be found in this world.



I love you to the moon and back.  More than you could ever know.


Love always,


Jake’s 1st Haircut



Today you had your first haircut! Of course I had to take pictures to document it all, but ironically did not get one of the finished product until much later in the evening! 🙂 You were so good and sat in the chair like a big boy and once Jen, your hairdresser, gave you a squirt bottle to play with you were quite content!







We opted for just a trim around your face and just enough trimmed off the back so that it didn’t look like you had a mullet.  My only real concern was that she would not cut your curls off, and thank goodness they ended up staying! 🙂






Love you, baby Jake! I am so thankful that I get to share these “firsts” with you!

Love you forever,



18 Month Old Jake


Jake 18months

Baby Jakie,

It’s hard to believe you are a year and half already! I got a little pit in my stomach thinking that this is the last month that we will refer to your age in months.  Why does everything have to go so fast little guy?! You are the sweetest, happiest little babe! You LOVE to laugh and play with trucks and your sister’s toys.  You kiss Rachel’s babies and carry them around tucked safely under your arm from room to room, and sometimes I feel like I am getting a glimpse of the great Daddy I know you are going to be someday.


Walking? Who has time for that! You run from room to room, you run outside, you run in your crib, you really just run any and everywhere you can! Your favorite pastime may very well be throwing food off your high chair just so you can say “Uh-Oh!”  You love to greet people with a fist pound and sometimes you insist on giving someone a pound just because you feel like it.  You keep us on our toes, but we love keeping up with you and experiencing life through your perspective.  Everything seems new and magical to you and it has been a joy to watch you grow so far.


You’re not quite a hugger or a snuggler, but when you do–you really do! And those moments are even more special since they are few and far between.  I wish I could bottle up your giggle as you play with your Jack-In-The-Box, one of your favorite toys! You love to sit at the table and build with blocks.  If there is a car or truck around, you will roll it around until your heart’s content.  You love to read books and sometimes when we can’t find you, it’s because you are in your room reading quietly to yourself.




All in all, little guy, you are just a joy to be around.  You are the sweetest little babe and I am so blessed to be your Mama.


I love you to the moon and back.

Love always,





My sweet babies,

Let’s talk a little bit about purpose.  Everyone wonder’s about it at some point in their life. “What am I here for?” “What is my calling?” “How can I find happiness in my own life?” At times you might feel that your purpose in life is not totally clear, or you might feel that your purpose in life and what you are actually doing in life do not coincide with each other.  I’m here to tell you, my sweet ones, that the answer to this question is not a simple one.


What I do know, my dear ones, is that this life is not all that there is in store for us.  I do know that there is more.  There is more waiting for us when we get to heaven.  There’s this trend I’ve noticed in my own life, and I’m curious to see if you notice it in yours someday too.  What I have noticed is that through almost every stage of my life (and it’s not like I’m old and gray, I’m still in my twenties after all! The tail end of them, but I’m still in them!) I have always felt like there should be more.  I’ve always thought “Well, if only I could have this or see this or do this then I’ll never want anything else! I’ll be totally happy!” That’s not to say that I’ve never felt contentment–I have! Just not 100% of the time in all aspects of my life.  It’s human nature to want more, to desire more, to push yourself to do more.  I’m convinced that the reason for that feeling….get ready for it….is because this world is not our home!


Just because we live in this world, that does not make it our home.  Be careful that you do not find your identity in things that belong in this world, but find your identity in the One who created you for eternity.  It can be so easy to get caught up in the material things of this world–an expensive watch, a nice car, a fancy handbag, a new expensive house–these are all things that popular culture tells us are measures of success!  These items though, really will not leave you feeling satisfied, many times they will leave you feeling like you want more.  When you realize that your life’s purpose does not have to do with material wealth or prosperity, you can begin to live as a changed and focused person.  Try thinking about it this way–much like a dolphin could never feel totally satisfied living in captivity because it was meant to swim freely in the ocean, or a bird could never reach it’s full potential if it never was able to fly; you will never feel totally satisfied in this life because, like the bird with the clipped wings or the dolphin held in captivity, you were made for so much more.


Invest your time wisely.  Do not focus all of your energies on things that are only important to your earthly lives.  Your life on earth is just temporary, a fleeting moment in the entire scheme of our lives, and once you know that and really believe that, it can drastically change your values and what you hold most important in your life.   Know that just because you take the time to develop a prayer life or a closeness with God, that does not mean you will be without suffering or sadness.  If you ever find yourself wondering why there is pain or suffering in this world…remember, this is not the end of the story! This life is not, it can not, be the end of the journey for us.  We are called for so much more!   Don’t worry about “having it all” on earth in terms of material items.  Work hard, do your best, and know that there is more to life than what you see here in this world.  There has to be.

Now, sit back and enjoy the inspiration behind this blog post.  I hope YouTube is still around when you are old enough to read this in 16ish years.  This song is “Thrive” by the Casting Crowns.

I’ll love you forever, to the moon and back.

Love always,




One Year Old Jake


Sweet Jake,

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


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,


Relationship Advice #7


Rachel and Jake,

Last year I wrote to you about what I felt to be some pretty important relationship advice.  I plan to continue to do that each year on your father’s and my anniversary as a way to share with you some things that I have learned about what it takes and what it means to grow in love.  I am not an expert, just a Mama trying to share my thoughts on what can make a marriage work in today’s “what have you done for me, lately” world.  Maybe by the time you are older the world won’t be so “me focused.” …I hope that is the case!

So, without further adieu, here is your #7 relationship tip from your dear old Mom.

#7.) Remember Who you were made for.  

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

rachelandjakeIt’s hard to really articulate this piece of advice, because it’s something that needs to be more of a “belief” or a way of thinking rather than something I could just tell you so that you’d remember to apply it to your life.  Society today (and I’d imagine it would be even more so in the next coming years) tends to objectify both women and men.  Some people can look at women and men as an object or as something that should please them (ex. “She shouldn’t wear that type of bathing suit when she looks like that.”  or “Wow, I want to date him–he makes a lot of money!” ).

My advice to you–You are not an object or something to be used in order to please another person.  You are not disposable and should never be treated as such in a relationship.  You belong to God, and He loves you unconditionally just the way you are.  He knows your struggles and your strengths and will always be there for you when you need Him.


This is similar to the way your relationship should be with your spouse.  When you get married, the vows you take bind you to your spouse for an eternity.  It is not just an earthly commitment that is a convenient tax break or until something better comes along.  When you say “I do” you are saying that you promise to love that person for an eternity.  Yes, you might have some cool looking “bling” on your finger because of it, but your rings are simply an outward symbol for the seal on your heart binding you to your spouse.  Although you are married, it is important that you both recognize that even though you love each other more than any other person on this earth, your greatest love is waiting for you in heaven.  Your spouse should be someone who recognizes that this life is not all there is in store for you.  You and your spouse should be  a team that works together so that you can both reach your highest potential while you are here on earth.  That sounds like a big job–and when looking at it as a whole picture, it can sound pretty overwhelming– so here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help see if your spouse is helping you reach your full potential.

1.) What is the big picture of our relationship? Where are we headed? Do we work together towards a common goal that we both feel called towards?  If not, what can we do to change that?

2.) Do we encourage each others thoughts, dreams and desires? Do we value the life path that our spouse has chosen?

3.) Are we communicating effectively to get our thoughts and feelings across in a respectful yet direct way?


If you answer no to one or all of these questions, then one or both of you may end up feeling defeated or not valued in your relationship.  When one person is unhappy, it can change the dynamics of your relationship and your life.  Work hard to make each other happy in a way that lifts your partner up to be the best they can be.  Be careful that you do not objectify each other in a “what have you done for me lately” kind of way or think that the other person is there specifically to please you, you are worth more than that.  Remember–life is not just about you, it’s about Him!


When your dad and I were married (7 years ago today!) we both had common goals for where we wanted to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, etc. We knew we wanted to be married for a few years before we had children and we hoped and prayed that we would be blessed as parents one day.  We knew we wanted to retire early and live out our golden years on the beautiful beaches of North Carolina.  Our beliefs are similar, our goals are similar and our overall outlook on life is similar.  I’m not saying it can’t be done without these things, I’m just saying that life will be smoother for you if these things align.

I love you both very much.  More than you could ever know.

Love always,



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,