Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Kelsey Jane's 8 Month Update (Dec)

Dear Kelsey Jane,

Sweet girl you just get cuter and cuter every month!!  What a joy you are to us.  We are so thankful for you and I look forward to seeing what each and every month will bring.  Times seems to by flying by though and I often find myself puzzling over how you are already doing the things you are doing!!  Slow down little girl!!

This month you started pulling up on furniture.  You weren't very steady but you were very persistent.  We often find you standing up!

You can kind of see those two little teeth poking through here!  After these first two you haven't gotten any more!

You love food.  This is a picture of your first meal eating out.  You had a sweet potato and just ate it up!  You'll eat pretty much anything we give you and are doing well grasping food and putting it in your mouth.  You eat 3 meals a day and nurse very erratically!  Lately at night you haven't been very interested.  The morning is the only time I can count on you being very hungry!

You are still in size 1 diapers and in 3-6 month clothing.  You are just a tiny little thing!

We had a great time in Kentucky celebrating Thanksgiving.  You loved getting to visit with your great-aunt and uncle and great-grandma!

Found you like this one morning with all your pacis on the floor!

I often find you here when the boys are downstairs playing.  Practicing standing up and trying to see what is going on down there.  Pretty soon you'll be big enough to play with them!

I would say this has been the month of standing up and eating :)  You love to do both.  As always it is so fun to watch you.  You are getting to be a speedy crawler and I think you'll start cruising along the furniture soon!  So far you just like to stand up in one spot.  You particularly like to stand up in my lap when I'm sitting down and just hug on me.  It's pretty sweet!

We sure love you little girl!!  You light up our lives!!

Mama & Daddy

Kelsey Jane's 7 Month Update (Nov)

Dear Kelsey Jane,

It's been another busy month.  The last month seems to have flown by with all the traveling we've been doing!!  You have been a busy girl!!

We started solids right after you turned 6 months.  It took you a few days but you love eating food!  You are still nursing 5 times a day and by the end of the month you were eating solids at two meals a day.  You have eaten everything but don't seem to car for carrots, peaches and you weren't a fan of bananas at first.  You are very insistent about the spoon so oftentimes I will give you a spoon to chew on and then use another spoon.  You've been doing a LOT of drooling!

After moving into our new house we took our first road trip to Kentucky to visit!  It was so fun to introduce you to all of your family there!  You were SO close to crawling while we were there but showed off all your sitting up skills instead!

And all of your cute outfits!

Your cousin Nola is totally enamored with you.  It's fun to have another girl around!

You are still wearing size 1 diapers and 3-6 month clothes.  I keep debating about purchasing more 3-6 clothes for cooler weather but think that surely you'll outgrow them soon!  You sure eat enough!

By the end of the month not only were you crawling but you started pulling up as well!!  We had to lower the crib and keep a close watch on you during diapers changes!!  You are a busy girl!!

At the beginning of November we traveled to Tennessee so you could meet the rest of your family.  You were super fussy while we were gone and we discovered you were getting two teeth!!  The bottom two middle teeth started poking through!!  I can't believe how fast you are growing and changing!!

We can never say it enough Miss Kelsey Jane.  We love you so much.  We pray for you daily that you will grow up to be a woman of God.  That you will love and serve Him with your life.

We love you Peanut!

Mama & Daddy

Keley Jane's 6 Month Update (Oct 2010)

Dear Kelsey Jane,

It's been a CRAZY month!!!  We spent the first part of the month closing out our time in Tacoma.  You decided you wanted to hit some milestones while we were still there.  We had to move you out of the Rock N Play sleeper because I kept finding you sitting up!  Then I decided I would see if you could sit on your own....and sure enough you could!!  Such a big girl!

I spent a lot of time reflecting on our first few months together as we were packing up.  What a joy you are to me.  How incredibly thankful for your life I am.  I have to say that I cried almost everyday for the first few months you were born...because I was (and AM) just so grateful.  We spent a lot of time in this chair those first few weeks.  Lots of time and tears. But so worth it my sweet girl.  Oftentimes the hard things in life are some of the best.

You moved into the Pack N Play this month and look at you!  Up on all fours!!  You really want to be on the move!!

You are still a tiny little girl.  You are in size one diapers and finally wearing your 3-6 month clothes.  I'm not sure what you weigh...we will have to get an appointment once we move!

You were an amazing traveler.  We spent 2 weeks on the road and you did such a great job!  You are a great sleeper and usually sleep through the night.  Occasionally you get up in the late hours of the morning to nurse.

You brothers love you....and you love your toes!

By the end of our trip you were sitting up like a pro!!

Once we arrived in Illinois you decided to start some exercise :)  I kept finding you on all fours like this!!

You also started giving me kisses.  I say to you "Where are my kisses?" and you will take my face in your hand and give me kisses.  I love it!

Kelsey Jane you are the perfect addition to our family.  Laid back and sweet.  You are always smiling and happy.  We just can't get enough of you!!  We love you so much sweet girl!!!

Mama & Daddy

Farewell 2014

This has been a year full of highs and lows.  We celebrated the birth of our sweet baby girl.  We (or mostly I) mourned as we moved across the country.  We've had adventures, challenges and lots and lots of fun.

One of my biggest regrets from this past year is getting super behind here in this virtual space.  I love writing and I love recording what is going on in ours lives.  Sometimes it's super helpful (like when I need to look back and see when to start solids or how we did sleep training) but mostly I just enjoy having it as a reference.  

Because I'm WAY more OCD than I ever realized growing up, I feel like I have to "catch up" on the neglected moments.  Then I get overwhelmed and so I don't do it at all!

So I'm excited to turn the page to tomorrow.  It's a new year.  A new beginning.  A fresh start.  I'm WAY more excited about the new year than I have been in the past.  Maybe I'm just happy to be finished with the last month or so.  Or maybe it's just a fun thing to anticipate.  Regardless I am enjoying setting aside time to make goals and plan for this year.  I've also been thinking and praying about what my "word" for 2015 is.  I think I've finally landed on something but I'll share that in another post.

I will be catching up on Kelsey Jane's posts because I want to make sure I am recording her milestones etc.  So get ready for lots of that sweet face!!

Looking forward to 2015!!!  I hope you and your family have a wonderful new year!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Day 13-31 Day of Being New-Proximity

I've found that when I'm feeling down or frustrated one of the quickest ways to get myself out of that funk is to go shopping.

Just kidding!! (Although I do love some shopping!!!)

What I really like to do is make a list of all the things I am thankful for.

This list is short and sweet.  


We are finally within driving distance of both sets of grandparents.  Great grandparents...aunts...uncles...great aunts and uncles...the list goes on.  

I am so thankful.

We are so very blessed to have such loving and supportive families.  And even though they loved visiting us out in the PNW I know they are going to love living closer and really getting to be a part of our lives.

My parents have already been to visit and clearly I did an awesome job of taking pictures while they were here because this is all I got!!

The good part about that?  I'll have the opportunity to get more next week!!  So excited to be able to see my family and Peter's family more often!!!

It's a short list...but it's a good one!

Day 12-31 Days of Being New--Hands Up

We were fortunate to live in a magical spot in Tacoma.  Especially if you were a toddler boy.  About  a year ago I started always taking the long way home.  I figured we wouldn't live in Tacoma forever and I wouldn't regret spending an extra five minutes in the car.  I never did.  

The long way included trains, ships, water, mountains and "our hill".  The boy's loved to go down "our hill" and every time we went down the hill they would yell out...hands up!!!....wheeee...whooohoo.....hands up Mama....hands up Daddy!!!

It was awesome.

I love the way kids always seem to find happiness in simplicity.  Southern Illinois doesn't have very many hills.  Yes somehow the boys have already managed to find a couple (we are talking TINY here) and each and every time we go down the hill I hear "hands up Mama" coming from the back seat.  

It's comforting.  And familiar.  And a little sad right now.

I knew I would miss my home but I wasn't prepared for the way my heart literally aches at night when I go to bed.  The tears that would come when someone posts a picture and I can just see myself in the place.  The frustration that I can't just drive around the corner to have a playdate with someone I know.  Someone who is familiar.  Who knows my heart.  My weaknesses.  

I reminded though that I don't need that playdate.  That familiarity.  That ease.

God has called me here and He didn't send us alone.  He came before us...before me....paving the way.  

 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deut 31:8

And honestly I kind of just want to ignore knowing that and sulk.  I want to cry a little (or maybe a lot).  I want to complain.  I want to give in to feeling like it's never going to be the same.  To thinking that if I could just go "home" everything would be better.  

So tonight I'm praying and thanking Jesus that he is a friend.  That he has gone before me and is beside me.  That I won't be discouraged.  That I would KNOW that in this time of being new that he hasn't forsaken me.  

There is little I love more musically than old hymns.  This one seems fitting tonight.  I hope it encourages you wherever you are in your journey.  

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Day 11-31 Days of Being New--Alone

I remember taking this picture over the summer and thinking how vast the ocean looked next to my tiny little guy.  He didn't seem phased.  Children are fortunate that way.  They are pretty go with the flow.  I can't decide if I want to be more like that or less like that.

I don't really want to go with the flow right now.  What I really want to do is rewind time a bit.  I want to go back and have one last chat on my friend porch.  One last play date at Puget Park.  One last Sunday to sing with the worship team.  One last...pretty much everything.

I feel stuck in this weird place of being grateful that God has provided such a spacious and beautiful home for us to live in and missing the view from my WA bedroom.  Grateful that we live so much closer to our families and desperate for a hug from any one of my dear friends that became my family.  Grateful that the Lord has always provided precious, precious friendships and in tears that I have to start that all over again.

One of my sweet friends from "home" before Tacoma became home told me once that it's ok to be upset.  Even if someone else wouldn't be upset about it.  It's ok to cry.  Even if someone else doesn't think it's worth crying about.  My life isn't about how I should feel it's about how I do feel.

Sometimes what you know to be true and what you feel are in opposition.

And tonight.  I feel alone.

Interview with a 4 Year Old

Last year I asked Stafford these questions on his birthday.  I love seeing how his answer and comprehension have changed over the last year.  Some of them are so funny!

1. What's your favorite color? yellow & green

2. What's your favorite toy? trains, airplanes & buses
3. What's your favorite fruit? blueberries

4. What's your favorite TV show? Mighty Machines
5. What's your favorite thing to each for lunch? PB & Jelly, pickles
6. What's your favorite game? Gogogolaugh (best described as chasing, laughing, wrestling)

7. What's your favorite snack? chocolate chip granola bars
8. What is your favorite animal? shark, walrus, whale

9. What's your favorite song? ABC song and Gac-Goon

10. What's your favorite book? Team Umizoomi
11. Who is your best friend? Vivian, Kaiser, Ethan, Jonathan, Lamar & Sheila
12. What's your favorite thing to do outside? Play with Vivian

13. What's your favorite drink? Lemonade
14. What do you take to bed with you at night? a lot of animals
15. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cheeros

16. What do you like to eat at birthday parties? ice cream cake

17. What do you want to be when you grow up? fireman, construction worker (mountain climber)
18. What would you do if you were invisible? have fun with Vivian & Kaiser

19. I am very proud because...I clean up my mess
20. I am afraid of...monsters.
21. Name one thing you are good at.  Finding crabs & turtles

22. What does it mean to be a good friend? Take turns with toys and share.  Play with each other
23. What's your favorite part of the day? breakfast, lunch & dinner...when we wake up

24. Describe your best day ever.  Vivian coming to my house.  Playing with Reed.  Read books.  Cleaning room

25. Describe your favorite hobby.  I like to have fun!

26. Climbing is...cats and dogs climb.  I do know how to.
27. I wish there were a law that said...Have fun at the Frog & Kiwi.

28. What makes you feel sad?  Pushing.  When Vivian doesn't want to play.
29. What makes you feel happy? Playing with Vivian, Waking up

30. Pretend you could fly.  Where would you go? TN & KY
31. Where do you want to go on vacation? TN & IL & MN

32. If you could pick another name what would it be?  Stafford-bafford

33. What is your favorite thing to do with Mama & Daddy? go for a walk

34. What would you say about Jesus? I love Jesus.  I like to pray and read with him.  He gives us new people when we go new places.

It's very funny to hear what he has to say.  I can definitely tell that his answers reflect what is one his mind when I ask him the questions.  During this time he was very concerned about having a playdate with his friend Vivian before we moved.  So he talks about her a lot.  He always REALLY likes her :)

The only answers I was really surprised about were his favorite book (he said Team Umizoomi which is a search and find book.  He likes that one but I wouldn't have guessed he would say that. I was also surprised he said lemonade was his favorite drink.  We must have had it recently because it isn't something he has often.  I looked back at his answers from last year and he mentioned lemonade in them also!!!  So funny!

I love what he said about Jesus and being a good friend.  And his favorite hobby is definitely having fun!!

Loving life with 4 year old S-man.  Can't wait to see what he says when he is five!


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