Wednesday, January 14, 2015

November: Part 2 - The Birthday

I'm finally getting around to sharing some shots from Reid's birthday party. I went back and forth a TON on what we should do for his birthday. We considered everything between a huge party with every adult and child we could think of to no party at all. ;) 

Ultimately, a busy schedule won out and we kept it simple. Just a few close in-town family members, adults only, at our home. I bypassed cute invitations for quick e-mail messages and just ran with it.

The 'theme', if you could call it that, was Pow-Wow. Here's a few of the decorations.. they're mostly just fall-ish things.
The week before, I had spruced up this little IKEA table by adding wood planks to the top.
We had sugar cookies and carrot cake cupcakes for treats.

This was the food table before everything was out. The pictures are of Reid from the last year. The frame on the table is a tee-pee print. We had potato soup (made by my mom), taco soup (made by Dac's mom), all the toppin's, chips, and dip.
No complaints from the birthday boy.
After dinner, we sang happy birthday then dug into treats and presents.


He had a great time being a ham all night.
Dac, my G-ma Millie, and G-pa Ed
Same - plus Kevin.
Aunt Darla and Terese
G-ma Jo and Margaret (Reid calls her Margie)
Val
My mom and Dad
Opening presents... that's Austin in the background.


Aunt Deb



David and Terese



He loved making everyone laugh and having so many playmates to choose from!






I hated not to include more people but it was manageable given my stress level at that time. =) Reid was happy and I'm glad we went ahead and did something to celebrate. We are so fortunate to have SO many people who love our boy and support our family.
 That night, after the party, I held my almost two year old and thanked God for another year with him.
The next day, on his actual birthday, we went to church then went to Gambinos for pizza. =) Reid approved of that too. Then, following a good nap, he got to play with all his new toys.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Quiet

This past year has been... interesting. To say the least. Aren't they all though? For different reasons?

This was a year that rocked my world. That seems to happen every couple years or so.

There was 2010... the year our family lost two very important men to cancer. It was a year full of wait, and anger, and grief, and travel, and remembering, and making new memories. It was haaaaaaaard. But beautiful too.

There was 2012... the year our love grew exponentially as we welcomed Reid into the world. It was the year all things were new and different. It was a year full of sleepless nights, sadness, pain, self-doubt, and oh so much joy. So much joy and love I thought I'd burst. It was hard. Hard, but beyond beautiful.

Then, there was 2014... the year of... quiet. Aside from chasing a giggling toddler around the house, life was quiet. It was steady. Busy, of course, but fairly consistent and predictable (outside of parenthood). It was routine and mostly comfortable. Until it wasn't anymore. In a hurry it became a year of loss, confusion, fear, stress, stepping in and stepping up, feeling helpless, having a loss for words (yes, even for me), change, and the unknown. Yet it was still the year of quiet. It was and still is in a lot of ways. It was a year for keeping what seemed like everything inside. It was months of huddling together with those close to us while, unfortunately, other important relationships and priorities got shifted around. It was a year of knowing we really had nothing to complain about but still feeling the pain anyway.

Outside this quiet was turmoil and noise... locally, nationally, worldwide. With that, there's been a lot of debate over law enforcement. Facebook comments have run the gamut from cops can do no wrong to cops are serial killers with badges. I'm a fairly laid back, moderate thinker on issues... usually seeing both sides and knowing that it's rarely just black or white. This topic has been a little harder for me to swallow but I've managed to remain pretty quiet. I've bit my tongue and kept it in and worked to 'get' both sides. This quiet, however, is dang near eating me from the inside out.

So now I say this: I appreciate, respect, and literally thank God for the men and women who serve our communities in this capacity. I am grateful for their work and for the sacrifices they and their families make. I know not all officers play by the rules but I truly believe the vast majority of law enforcement professionals are good people who truly care about the work they do and want to help others.

I know the job isn't always what it looks like on TV. I know it's long hours, less-than-fantastic pay, physically, mentally, and emotionally draining work. I know they walk into horrible situations, see pain and suffering daily, deliver bad news, and sometimes get just a few hours of sleep before getting up to do it all over again. I know they miss holidays, baseball games, and dance recitals. I know that sometimes, they use their own money to make sure a hungry child gets a happy meal while they themselves are missing family dinner. I know, in my heart, that they are not to be feared. I know that sometimes, in the line of duty, split-second decisions have to be made. I trust that they have the training, discernment, and heart to make the best possible decision in those times. I know sometimes they end lives but I know that, more often than not, they're saving them.

I just wanted today to be not so quiet. Ya know? I wanted to speak up and get that off my chest and if you've made it this far, I appreciate you listening to me share my heart. I hope that while this year has been hard for so many, they'll soon see the beauty that will no doubt come from the ashes.

I saw this Dear Officer letter yesterday and while I'm not a law enforcement spouse, I can certainly respect what this letter portrays. Again, I'm so thankful for all the sacrifices these families make and I wanted to, in this quiet little way, show my support.


Also, I've felt the need to hug every cop I see... so if you're in the area... look out! ;)

Here's to 2015. May it be a whole other type of quiet!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reid: Two Years

Nothing like being a month late. Again. I've tried to keep the highlights limited to the time between late August and his birthday on November 30. A lot has changed even in the past month - mostly an expanded vocabulary, him looking a lot more like a big boy, and having LOTS of new things to play with. =)

Dear Reid,

I can't believe we're already here. You're TWO and definitely not a baby anymore. I can't even kid myself by calling you a baby-toddler. Nope. We are 110% in toddler territory now. I mean, you're two.

Reid, two is already a whirlwind. It's the calm and the storm. It's leaving the house with less stuff (hooray!) and time outs in public places. It's a pouty face and crocodile tears quickly followed by a grin and giggles that won't stop. It's mini dance parties, chasing you around the house, and building towers. Two is you grabbing our cheeks with both of your chubby little hands and planting a big kiss on our lips. This age is Mickey and belting out Let it Go. It's grabbing your blankie, milk, and at least three books then backing it up onto our laps. Two is tantrums and embarrassment and sleeping through the night. It's eating everything in sight and still wanting more. Two is all about new words, stringing together sentences, and repeating everything we say. Two is "mine" and "no" and "love, love, love." It's about you having buddies and showing us, by example, what it's like to love unconditionally and be a kind human being. Two is stubborn, hilarious, exhausting, easier, harder, fun, sweet, and a total adventure. Two is love. You are two. And I love you.

Mama


Highlights:

You're busy, inquisitive, matter of fact, sweet, funny, a boundary pusher, persistent, stubborn, slightly obsessive compulsive ;), kind, ornery smart, loving, and so, SO loved.

You still love books and tend to 'read' them aloud to yourself instead of just pointing at things to ask what they are (though you still do that too). You love saying the words you know. Sometimes you sit on our laps very well to hear a story and other times you're still too busy for that.

You continue to add new vocabulary. You say 'uppo' for hippo, 'cocky-doo' (with much enthusiasm I might add) for rooster, and every kind of bird, aside from the rooster, is a 'guck'. You say the names of many, maybe even most, family and friends. Water is 'wahtee', sleep and sheep are both 'eep', and you request 'doast' for breakfast a lot. You're repeating everything we say too.

You love to take walks and ask for them regularly. You really enjoy being outside.

You still love to eat. =) You continue to eat just about anything and everything we toss your way. You're no dainty eater either. ;)

You suddenly LOVE Mickey and ask to watch Mickey often. Even if your'e not really watching it, you like it on in the background.

Some favorite activities over the past three months include: reading, walking, watching Mickey, making a mess with play-dough, naming the people in our little family - including yourself, playing with blocks, driving cars around, and playing with zippers. You've also enjoyed singing along with 'Let it Go' and 'Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog'.

You ask for your 'blankie' off and on and it always goes to breakfast with you in the morning. =) You don't take it everywhere you go but you do tend to need that specific type of blanket (Aden+Anais muslin blanket) to sleep.

You love to play and make us laugh. Especially at bedtime. ;)

You are a wallerer!

You began to use the potty and wore big boy undies for the first time... but that all kind of faded away.

You now wear size 7.5-8 extra-wide shoes, size 2T and 3T (mostly 3) shirts, 2t bottoms, and size 6 diapers.

You can open any door and even the baby gate with no trouble.

You have a very effective pouty face and sometimes get a little stubborn and dare I say a bit rude and demanding.

You are good at taking stairs, climbing up on anything and everything, and hopping back up when you get hurt.

You give the sweetest hugs and it's rare that someone gets a hug without also getting a kiss. =)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

November: Part 1

Here's a quick rundown of our November. Another whirlwind month in the books.

First, Reid got new PJ's. His Aunt Val does that for Halloween. =)
 Sky and I had a dinner date at Pizza Hut before taking a painting class. Look how grown up!! =/
 We had a great time. This girl is funny.
 Arteests!
 My snowman. The sample work showed a pink hat. You know I couldn't be having any of that. ;)
 Reid's a little stinker. One day I was talking to him while he ate a banana. I said "that banana is good for your belly isn't it?" so he lifted up his shirt and rubbed the banana on his belly. Makes sense. But I see he's literal like his daddy. =)
 He thought he was pretty funny. =) So did I.
 One day, Dac and I did a photo session for our dentist's office. While we up there, we tried a new local place for lunch... Fork and Fennel. It was different... but cool and pretty good.

 We had our first snow of the season. Here's Reid not cooperating for a picture with Felicity at church.
 And here he is being mind blown before we left for church.
We went to our first birthday party of a daycare friend. Reid had been invited to one in October (the one of Oakley pictured below) but we were out of town for a wedding. Hutton turned one and it was an adorable milk and cookies themed party. Reid loves Hutton so I was glad we got to go.

Reid and Oakley had a great time. =) They are 1.5 months apart and are just cute as can be together.


We had a TON of family photo sessions and we photographed these guys' pretty wedding. 
 And snuck a family photo while we were there. =) I had just danced with Reid a little earlier and he got mud all over the front of me! Thankfully you can't see it in this picture.
 Val and I at the reception.
After a long day, we headed out for a family dinner. After a couple months of feeling like I never saw these guys, it's been nice to spend more time together again!
 One of my new treat loves is the chocolate chip peppermint brownie fudge sundae at Braums. Yum.
 I got a haircut!
 We got new flannel sheets for our super chilly bedroom. Love them.
 We had a wonderful (unfortunately pictureless) Thanksgiving. We both had a couple days off and used that time to prepare for Reid's birthday party later in the weekend. We also got to spend time with both families that day.

That night Dac and I ordered our new Christmas tree from Lowe's and ran to pick it up the next day. For a number of reasons, we haven't got a new tree since moving into the house several years ago. We've still been using (when we've actually put one up) the one after being married a couple months. We were living in a small, one-bedroom apartment at the time so the tree was very tiny. I loved that tree though... still do! It just looks even smaller in our bigger front room so I've been excited about a new one. We got a good deal on it and here's Dac putting it up!
 I also tackled a little DIY project. Thanks to Pinterest and instructions from a blogger who'd already done this, I covered our 'seen-better-days' IKEA end tables with wood planks. It was simple. I just had our local lumber store cut the wood down to size, stained it (twice), then had Dac attach the boards to the top of the table. Voila!
 The day of Reid's party (I'll have a whole post on Reid's birthday soon), Val came over and used her new Conair Infiniti curling iron on my hair. That thing is so cool and it was fun to have curls for the night!
 Here's a little sneak peek of Reid's party decor.
AND... the treats I took for his daycare buddies. =)
More to come soon!