Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jared!!!

Last night we went to Incredible Pizza to celebrate Jared's 18th birthday!!! It was so much fun and we all got to act like kids again. Lauren and Easton were fascinated with the whole place and they both did great!!!!

I know this isn't an attractive picture of me, but its the only one I have to prove that I actually beat my brother, Zach at one game of skee-ball. I was just a tad bit excited!!!

Aunt Victoria was so sweet to help Lauren play a bunch of games. This was one of Lauren's favorites. The trash cans opened and she threw balls into them. She was actually a really great shot. And Aunt Victoria was super patient and sweet with her.

Oh my goodness....I LOVE this picture of my mom and dad and Easton! Everybody says that Easton looks like my dad and I think this picture shows that!!! Nammy and Easton were big buds all night. Usually he is a pretty big mama's boy, but he let Nammy hold him most of the evening! Probably because she walked him around and let him see all the lights and she sat him in front of the go-karts and he really loved to watch them!

Jared and his super sweet girlfriend, Taylour...oh and scary Shawn in the background!

Lauren calls him GiGi. She came up with it on her own when she was first learning to talk. This is a much better picture of the two of those cuties!

We were SO excited that Lauren wanted to ride the go-karts! She wanted to ride with Uncle Zach! Aren't they the cutest things? She is so blessed to have such awesome uncles!!!

Go-kart cheering section!!!

After Lauren rode the go-karts, GiGi, Big Papa, and Taylour rode the fast ones. I loved watching Lauren's face as they went around and around and around.

Lauren wanted to play a car racing game so Aunt Victoria did the feet pedals and Lauren steered. We were all cracking up because she was SO into it and serious. :) She actually did pretty well.....there were a few unfortunate trips into side rails and buildings and other cars on the road, but she stuck with it and seemed to enjoy it!

Aunt Victoria won Lauren a free go-kart ride so she wanted Big Papa to drive her. She was so happy because she wanted to ride in the tiger car!

Big Papa, Nammy, and Lauren had a lot of fun playing skee-ball. Lauren actually got the hang of it toward the end. Mostly her ball just kept coming back to her which was perfectly fine with her! It just meant more time for her to play!

We had a blast celebrating GiGi's 18th birthday and I was reminded again last night how thankful I am for my family. I love that we can all go do something silly and child-like and have the best time! Lauren and Easton are truly the luckiest kids in the world.

Happy Birthday Jared. I love you so much. You are a remarkable young man. You've gone through a lot the past few years and even in the midst of some scary stuff, you stayed strong. You crack me up all of the time. I love how much you adore my kids and I know that you would do anything for them. I love that you have your own style and personality and don't change a thing for anyone. I'm so glad I get to be your (weird and wacky) sister.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Lauren, my precious firstborn. You are a beautiful light in my life. What would I have been without you making me a mama?

I know it isn't your birthday or any "special" milestone, but there are just too many wonderful things about you lately that I am terrified time will remove from my memory. So, I thought I would try to capture a bit of the essence of who you are at 3 1/2 years old.

You are just like me in the morning. If I go in to wake you up before you are ready you will be grumpy! Sometimes I just ask if you would like a little more time to wake up and you always say, "Yes!" I'll shut the door and let you wake up at your own pace. When I do that you are a much happier little girl.

You know how to sign "I Love You" and it is our special little code when we are out or around a lot of people. I always want you to know how very deeply you are loved. I hope that you do. We also love the book The Kissing Hand and read it often. I love how you ask me to kiss your hand and then you hold it close to your heart and squeeze it really tightly as if trying to get it as close to your heart as you can. 

You have a sensitive soul. You love deeply and hurt easily. You are extremely shy and cling to me when we are out and around people you don't know (and sometimes even people you do know!) Some people get offended by this, but I don't think you are being mean on purpose. I really think you are trying to figure out all the emotions that come with your shyness.

You've entered into a difficult disciplining stage for us. We aren't used to it (you or us) and so we are making our way through the murky waters as best we can. I've read books and tried a zillion different things and yet we still haven't found what works best for our little family. In all honesty, you are the most precious just have moments (like all kids do) that challenge and grow us.

You are super creative. You love to color and do any kind of craft I bring out for us. You are always asking if we are going to do, "sumping 'pecial" or if we are going to "wern about sumping" I absolutely adore your excitement about spending special time together. Sometimes you will have me sit down and you will tell me stories from your Bible. You tell me that the Bible is, "God's trufe worf" (God's true word) and that God is in our hearts. You learned something new at BSF where you grab your Bible down from the shelf and open it up and read something (all pretend) and it is just too cute. I love that God's word is already seeping into your sweet heart. I pray with all of my heart that you will know how deeply you are loved, how precious you are in His sight, and that He has a plan for your life my darling daughter.

You make me laugh every single day. Most days you still take a nap. This might sound crazy and silly, but I always miss you when you are sleeping. Ha! I enjoy and often times need that time to get things done, but I still miss you under my feet as I'm going about my daily chores. You help me fold laundry, sweep the floors, clean the dishes from the table, put away the silverware, and are usually always really sweet to help me do whatever I need.

You are growing so fast my little baby girl. How you have gone from a completely dependent newborn to this very independent pre-schooler just baffles me. You go potty by yourself and wash your hands by yourself. You know how to brush your teeth and wash in the bathtub. You like to pick out your clothes (and would wear pajamas every day all day if I let you) and don't like tags or anything that scratches.

You are the absolute best big sister in the entire world. You love your baby brother with a love that I am just in awe of. Yes, he is getting to that age where he is getting into your stuff and yes, you are getting to that age where you are ready and willing to tell him what to do and what not to do, but generally you guys are the sweetest things together. You LOVE to be the first one to go in his room after a nap. You will open the door and say, "Hey handsome!" You do anything to make him laugh (it usually doesn't take much...he is smitten with you) and would rather chase him around the house or "pway wiff Bubby" than just about anything else. He is so lucky to have you as his sister. I pray that you guys will have a special bond throughout the years. 

Lauren, I love you. I. Love. You. I thank God that I am your mama. That he chose ME of all the mamas out there. So often I feel inadequate or unqualified for this job, for this important work, but I trust that He has a great plan for you and me Sissy. Even though you need to slow down on the growing up, I am excited to see what's in store for you beautiful girl. You are a priceless gift. 

I love you to the moon and back fourteen million times. 


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Boy and His Bath

Easton you LOVE bathtime. Seriously. Love. It.

You get SO excited when I start to run the water. You bounce up and down on your sweet little legs and grunt and reach for the water. Oh are seriously almost too much. :) I am so thankful that you love your bath time so are a messy little boy! Ha!!!

I am so glad I grabbed my camera to snap these pictures of you. I know (with such certainty that my heart hurts) that you will never again be the size you are today. These moments of laughing at your enthusiasm over a simple bath are the important things. They are the things I want to remember.

Every day I see more and more of your personality. Most of the time I get to see this sweet smiley face. ;)

or this silly one....

Yes, you are growing up. These pictures show me that you are not the newborn you once were. Yes, it hurts my mama heart to leave that in the past. I just thank God every single day (even in the midst of some rough ones) that God made me your mama. That he has given me another day to watch you grow, to teach you, to love on you, to cuddle you, and to play with you. For that I am so blessed.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sweet Love

Meme and Papa came by to see the new house the other day and I caught a few precious pictures of their time here. :) Lauren always wants Meme to hold her....even though she weighs a ton Meme always gives in.

The next two pictures crack me up because we were trying to get a cute picture of the four of them. As you will notice Easton was just a tad bit obsessed with his sister...

...and Lauren kept doing these weird poses! Haha!!!! Oh well!

Lauren showed Meme and Papa her magnetic nativity scene and they played together for a while.

We got this precious picture with Easton but by this time Lauren had had enough and was off playing with something else! :)

I love my Meme and Papa SO much and I am more than extremely thankful that my kids get to be loved on and spoiled by them as well. It is almost too much for my heart.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy (late) Eight Months, Easton!!!!

Dear Easton,

Well, technically this post is late as you turned 8 months on December 4th. Sorry, buddy. For one, you've been sick and I have been waiting to take your pictures when your nose wasn't all runny and full of junk. Finally today I just decided to take them...sick boy and all. At least it is a pretty good representation of how you spent the first weeks of your eighth month!

Taking pictures this month was hard! You are so funny and busy and you were not interested in sitting still at all! :) Plus, I forgot to comb your hair so you have a sweet little angel wing behind your left ear. Haha!

You are really such a happy baby. I LOVE your smile. It melts my heart every single time. You are still a really big mama's boy. But that's okay with me. I know that one day you'll be more interested in daddy and all the stuff that boys are into so right now I will enjoy all our sweet cuddle time. Even if my arm feels like it is about to fall off! :)

You are a big boy! I think I've said that every month but you are just so strong and big and boyish. I love it! You weigh 19 pounds!!! You wear size 9 to 12 month clothing and a size 3 shoe. I love dressing you like a little man and think you look absolutely precious in jeans and a long sleeve button up like your daddy wears.

You are crawling like crazy! It seems you make a bee-line for anything you aren't supposed to have. The outlet, the Christmas tree, the drawers, daddy's tools, Lauren's little toys, etc. It's like you know you aren't allowed to touch those things and so you race as fast as you can to get it before we notice.

You have been pulling up on furniture for a little while now, but today you cruised around the coffee table! I was so proud of you!!! And also a little sad for me...where is my baby going?

You love your sister. She fascinates you. You love to chase her around in your walker and she is so sweet with you. When you wake up from a nap she is the first to run upstairs and open your door to check on you. She always says, "hey handsome!"

You are still nursing, but not as much. You really LOVE table foods. Just this week you have had grilled cheese, pieces of cheese, black beans, green beans, little pieces of chicken, bread, muffins and more! You are SO cute feeding yourself and I think you are kind of over the baby food texture now that you've had a taste of the good stuff. :)

Son, I love you so much. Words will do it no justice, I know. You completed our family in a way that still baffles us. We really didn't know what we were missing before you. Now, it feels so perfect. So right. We love you more than you will ever know.

You are doing better with sleeping. You usually go to bed around 7:15 and then wake up around 4 to nurse. You are up for the day around 6:30 most days and then take two good naps throughout the day! You are the most precious thing when you are sleepy. As soon as I walk into your dark room and turn on your white noise you lay your little head on my shoulder. It happens every time and I love that you feel so comfortable in your room. Your daddy still checks on you (and sissy) every single night before we go to bed and he will often call me in there to see how cute you are and how peaceful you look. 

I love you to the moon and back fourteen million times. 


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pulling Up

Oh Easton. Just a few days shy of your 8 month birthday you decided you were done sitting. Yep, you pretty much just made up your mind and then grabbed hold of your walker (it was wedged against a door) and stood right on up. No hesitation, no fear, no trouble.

Since then I have loved catching you enjoying your newfound freedom. Your favorite time to stand is when you wake from sleeping. I walk in and you are seriously beaming with joy and pride. No matter what kind of day I am having when I see that sweet smile (even behind that binkie) I melt into a huge puddle.

Also, I absolutely ADORE your hair when you wake up. I really don't think you could get any cuter. :)

I love you so much little man but I have to admit that I am getting more and more nervous about how big you are getting. It won't be long before you are using those sweet legs to walk run!

And PS.... we are lowering your crib tonight! :)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Sure Sign Things Have Changed

As we were decorating our tree this year Shawn and I stopped and smiled at the way our personalized ornaments have changed over the years....

We started with this one:

Then a sweet little girl changed our ornament to this one:

And finally, this year our little man made our ornament look like this: