Wednesday, March 9, 2016


There are moments throughout your life that seem to have huge impacts, dare I go so far as to claim they define you?  These moments define who you are going forward from that point, they are a shadow of who you used to be, they point to your heart and your training, they are an arrow towards your beliefs.  I would love to claim that all of my life "defining" moments have been encouraging and/or uplifting.  Now, don't think that they have all been bad either!  When I reflect and consider all I have seen, though not very expansive, I feel like I can count more positive impacts than negative, and for that I am grateful!  I would put towards the top of my list following my Savior at a young age, marrying my husband, and having our daughter (there are many many more on this list, but I find it absolutely impossible to not be changed by these experiences).  The many positive life changing experiences I feel like I've had make the negative ones seems eternally loud in my much so that they often haunt me.  One of these happened this past weekend.

Barring a long story and numerous details that replay in my mind, our adventurous daughter fell a very short distance and hit her head.  Initially, what seemed like just a run of the mill bump on the head quickly turned very scary as she went limp in my arms and her eyes began to roll into the back of her head.  Blessedly my husband took her from my arms and began rubbing her body and cradling her, encouraging her to continue breathing, and blessedly she regained consciousness within the minute that seemed like an eternity.  (We obviously took her to be evaluated and she checked out okay, but upon regaining consciousness she was inconsolable for about 20 minutes, which at that point we were just happy she was alert and breathing.)  Thankfully, the Lord has protected my sleep and kept me from reliving some of these moments in my dreams.  And thankfully, He saw fit to spare our daughter something much worse and provided us with knowledgable friends immediately present to lend support and encouragement.  For this I will always be grateful.

And for this, I will always be changed.  The flood of emotions and feelings in that minute is almost indescribable.  The initial panic, the adrenaline rush that pushed all other possibilities away, the slight relief accompanied by intense concern and watching, the subconsciously held breath to finally be followed by the exhale, the let down of intensity, relief.  All the while, a little nudging in the back of my mind reminding me that she is His and He cares for her more than we do.  Comforting on the one hand, and scary on the other hand.  I've always wanted to be the kind of parent that holds their children with an open hand, loves them unconditionally and tries my hardest to show them the love God has for them.  I want them to know that they are first, and foremost, His children.  But I selfishly want all the time with them I can get, and in those moments that I was not entirely sure she was breathing, my mind scattered to a million places- there's so much more she doesn't know, more she hasn't seen, open hands, what the heck just happened, is she having a seizure, is she breathing, open hands, get to the door, did I miss something, did she hit harder than I thought, open hands...

This is still too fresh for me and my husband.  It will take some time for us to process and digest it and tuck it away.  But to say we will walk away unchanged would be like saying the sky isn't above out heads.  We are exceedingly grateful that everything has had a positive resolution and we are exceedingly thankful to have this spunky little daredevil in our lives and hearts.  We love her more than she knows.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

1 year

Dear baby girl,
You are now a 1 year old!  You are becoming more of a toddler than the little baby I remember from so many of these past months.  Though I remember those days (mostly) with a smile, I do miss them!  But, I am also looking forward to witnessing the person you are becoming daily, tantrums included!  It has never ceased to amaze me how you have learned things so quickly and discovered your surroundings; how the daredevil in you comes out in the weirdest times, but you are overly cautious at other times; how we've always had to work a little bit to get you to laugh but how much that laugh brightens our house; how it seems impossible that you can be 1 already but it also seems like you have been in our family forever!!

The past year has been a whirlwind at times and crept by unnoticed at others.  There is nothing I would change about this past year with you.  I've tried to soak in every moment I've had knowing that this precious time will only go by faster as you get older.  Those creeping days, I have enjoyed and intentionally have taken slow.  Do I remember exactly when you hit certain milestones? No, but I remember how excited we were when you smiled the first time, when you figured out how to roll over, how proud you were when you ventured to crawl those first few inches ever so cautiously.  Even now, how you will stand unassisted for minutes, but caution kicks in and you sit before you take a step.  There are moments emblazoned in my memory from this past year and most of them include your smiling face.

There are times I catch myself wondering who you will be, how you will face the world, what kind of career you will choose, and much more.  Though I truly look forward to finding out all of these things, I hope and pray that you will ultimately love the Lord with all of your being and that you will follow His path for you.  He has great plans for you, little one, and I pray daily that what I do today with you will prepare you for what He will do with you one day.

Know that you are loved by many, sweet girl.  You are a bright spot for many in our family.  You have learned lots over this past year, but you have also taught us all more than you will ever know!  I am truly blessed to call you daughter!!

Love you always,

Friday, December 18, 2015

11 months

This kiddo is growing way too fast!  It's hard to believe we are planning a birthday party!  Some fun things that she is doing so I don't lose track- she leans in for hugs and makes the kissing sound, but can't quite figure out how to kiss...she will sign for more and all done (especially at meals)...she lets the dogs out every morning whether I want them free or not...she loves to dance to a good beat...she can stack up to 3 blocks...can climb the stairs (and scare me!)...eats pretty much anything we offer her so long as we are eating it too...she still only has 2 bottom teeth, still 2 naps a day, still size 3 diapers and kinda fitting 9-12 months clothes "Mr. Brown can moo, can you?" and "Goodnight Moon." She is definitely a little sponge!  She will crawl everywhere, and pretty quickly at times, but still no walking (totally fine).  She is quite attached to her blankie and 2 wubbanubs (lambie and Tony the Tiger), but those generally only come out at nap time and bedtime.

We are definitely looking forward to the festivities in the next couple of weeks and know E will at the least enjoy all the food!  And at the end, she will finally get to taste some cake!  Now if I can just get her to blow a little harder she might be able to actually blow her candle out!

9 and 10

The last 2 months have flown by!  Once we started getting close to holidays, things got so much busier than normal!!  I mean, it could be that some little person decided she wanted to move around the whole house...nah!

But seriously, this kid is everywhere, all the time, into everything.  We have "safe" drawers in the kitchen that I will steer her towards when I'm cooking and lots of toys that migrate around the house.  Thank goodness I have kept up with her baby book because I cannot keep up with when she started doing what anymore!!  She is so inquisitive and seems to be connecting lots of dots!

In October, we took our annual "just us" family vacation and went for half of a week to Chicago.  B spent a very short 24 hours there last year (for work essentially) and wanted to go back since he didn't get to see anything.  It was the perfect time for us!  The flight went really well, E totally enjoyed the tall buildings and people watching and the museums were impressive!  We actually want to go back again because we missed some things still!

We did a little trick-or-treating for Halloween and E was an owl.  She seemed to love being dressed up- totally a girl!

Then into November.  She turned 10 months in November and we celebrated by introducing her to thanksgiving food!  She was a huge fan!  Sweet potato casserole and mac'n'cheese seemed to be her favorites, but she ate everything we offered her!

A week after thanksgiving we went to Greenville to celebrate B's sisters marriage!  Everything turned out beautifully and the bride and groom couldn't stop smiling!  E did great all day as well, she got to hang with the big girls all day!  Needless to say, she enjoyed exploring!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The World

E and I were able to join my family in September on a vacation to Disney World (B was unfortunately working!)!  Though I debated this trip at times and put a lot of thought into it, I'm glad we went and we had a great time!  E is, thankfully, pretty content to ride around in her stroller and the baby carrier and was very fascinated by everything new to see.  She handled the crazy schedule fantastically and would nap in the stroller when she just couldn't possibly look at anything else.  She thoroughly enjoyed her time with her cousins as well!  I most definitely could not have done the trip without all the extra adult hands and older kid hands to help!!  And my biggest goal was for her to not get sick- mission accomplished!  It was a busy but fun week!  She was totally thrilled to see daddy and her doggies when we got home, but I believe she had a great time too!  I'll let some pictures tell the rest...😊
Wind blown😁
People watching with Papa while some of the big kids ride a roller coaster 
Imagination station- my favorite place to play!
It's a small world...she looked like she was watching a tennis match on this ride!
Barking at some of the many ducks...she thought thinks every animal is a dog😝
The safari ride in Animal Kingdom just before the zonked out in my lap!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

8 months (and some random stuff)

This little turkey is 8 months old!!  She has been such a joy and blessing to me and B!!  It's hard to imagine our lives before this spunky little thing happened to us!!  She has been a awesome baby and continues to roll with whatever we throw at her!  

She went to her first Auburn game this month and did great!  We have headphones to muffle the noise and after a few minutes of them on, she cautiously pulled at one side and held it off of her ear.  After a few minutes, she pulled the whole thing off and didn't want it back on!  Around halftime she started "yelling" as well and would throw her arms up for touchdown when prompted.  So, I think in general, she likes football!

My increased time at home and wi her has been well spent this month!  She is prepping us for toddlerhood as she is already trying to get into everything, despite her inability to really move on her own!  I believe crawling is coming as she goes from sitting to hands and knees pretty easily now, and is somewhat successfully going from belly to sitting (sometimes she ends up just rolling around as she misjudged her actions).  If she gets close to something reachable, she will pull up to her knees and continue to try to get on her feet...we are going to be in trouble!!  The most she moves right now is backwards when she attempts to crawl (she gets pretty frustrated when this happens) and she rolls around a ton!  I would say one of her favorite things is the jumperoo- she will jump for 20-30 minutes straight if she's really into it!

The biggest thing for this girlie is the emergence of teeth!! Last weekend, we felt the leading edge of a tooth and a couple of days later the other one was well on its way too! At times, she acts like there may be more trying to nudge through, but I've seen no evidence of them yet.  She been a trooper too! A little clingy, but not really that fussy.  She will constantly rub her tongue across those teeth and sometimes get this really confused look like she can't get food out of her mouth!  Other times I'll hear her smacking her mouth really loudly as if she's trying to chew her teeth up!  Poor thing can't figure out what's going on!

A few other things of note, she will wave hello (and at times sound like she is trying to say hi), she will put her hands up for touchdown, she will "bark" at the dogs and still tries to feed them her food, she babbles a fair amount (b,d, g, m, and l sounds so far- some more than others), she loves playing with the dogs and they are particularly gentle with her when taking a toy away, she LOVES puffs and is starting to only want to feed herself, she will still eat most anything I offer her (ie- beets and cottage cheese, zucchini has become a favorite too!), she still isn't a fan of the sippy cup but we keep trying.  We continue to try to do some sign language but nothing seems to be sticking yet.  She is still in 6-9mo clothing, size 3 diaper, 3 meals a day and 4 bottles, 3 naps, and bedtime around 7:30-8.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

7 months (!!)

We are officially past the half year mark and moving ever closer to that first birthday! For some reason, this month, that has been more apparent to me...there are glimpses of toddlerhood in this child and I'm slightly dreading it (for many many reasons)!!  Thankfully there are still many things that have to happen before we get there and I will be soaking up every moment!!

This past month for us was actually really nice.  My work schedule changed (for the better) and life seems a little less stressful and hectic which is HUGE!  This little girl seems to enjoy the changes as well!  Although, she is quite the flexible child so long as she is fed and entertained!  One of the toughest things lately has been the beginnings of "attachment" issues, for lack of a better term.  She generally goes to other people fine for a short period of time, but then she is looking for me (except at daycare where she is too wrapped up watching the other kids and playing).  And many times at home, she will get panicked and upset if left in a room by herself for more than a few minutes.  I think some of this will change once she realizes how to move...then I will have a shadow!

Thankfully, E appears to be wanting to chew!  Despite her lack of teeth, she will chew really soft baked sweet potatoes and seems somewhat successful with apples today!  This excites me so much as I will be able to pack the blender up soon!  I will still coarsely purée some of her foods, but the soft mashable stuff will be cubed! Woohoo!! She has also explored some new flavors and seems quite taken with cinnamon (in her oatmeal, apples, and sweet potatoes), nutmeg (in pears), and I've let her taste basil, mint and ginger while I've been cooking- all of which she seemed to like!  She's also doing a TON better at successfully getting food into her mouth on her own! 

No real stats this month and nothing has hugely changed about her schedule.  She has had huge struggles with daytime napping but some of that has gotten better with my schedule change.  I'm thinking once she starts moving she will be too worn out to resist!  Every once in a while she can't handle staying awake as it is😉  She surely seems like she is going to be quite a rascal, but we are definitely enjoying watching her make connections and learn new things!!