Monday, December 19, 2011

a birthday party

I can't believe I am just now getting around to posting about baby girl's first birthday party.  We had a lot of fun celebrating her special day.  Her party was actually the day after but I remember on her actual birthday, Russ was home and when 1:19 pm rolled around, we went into her bedroom where she was waking from a nap and sang happy birthday to her.  She didn't have a clue what was going on but enjoyed the attention.
Anyway, back to the party, I'm so thankful for all the friends and family who came over to celebrate with us.  It really means a lot when others really love and care for your child.  Baby girl is well loved :)  For the party, we just made it simple and did some different little treats and of course her smash cake.  I was excited to see how she would handle her cake but she wasn't all that interested.  It was cute because she didn't seem to want to get all sticky so she just had a few licks and she was over it.  She didn't last long for the party either.  After all the attention from the cake and birthday singing, she was exhausted.  Whats a girl to do?  But, I'm glad so many could come to the party and celebrate with us.  I got a lot of pics with her cake but not a lot of the guests (or of all the family...kicking myself for that one).  

some of her aunties that she loves

someone remembered the party hat

The first birthdays are always just for the parents and family/friends.  Obviously, a one year old could care less about all the craziness but birthdays have always been a big deal in my family growing up and I think it is important to celebrate the ones you love on their special day.  This day was certainly very special to us!

***thanks pinterest for tons of party ideas :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

starting traditions {& gettin' crafty}

I love starting new traditions especially now that we have a little one.  Although she is still too young to understand it all, it's important to me that we have special little moments as a family that we do year after year.  It reminds me of my childhood and the ways my mom would make each holiday special and meaningful.  It's just special little moments that will always be cherished and looked back on and remind you of sweet family times.  I know in all the craziness of the season, we can easily get lost in the unimportant things and miss out on the real reason we celebrate so I really wanted to make an advent calender this year.  I was looking around for ideas and found a really cute one on pinterest and here.  I definitely procrastinated so mine turned out a little different than I had in mind but I'm sure it took less time.  I just grabbed some Martha Stewart gift tags that were on sale and then wrote a Christmas activity on the back to do each day as a family.  Cute and simple and sure to create some memories while reminding us to stay focused on Christ during this busy season.

And not that this has anything to do with traditions, but I made a Christmas yarn wreath in my spare time ;)  Well, I say Christmas but afterwards, I think I'll just take the red ribbon off and keep up in the house (since it is gray and white...typical).

I have seen these cute yarn wreaths all over and found this tutorial that is so easy.  I think I'll be making more of these.

Monday, December 12, 2011

O Christmas Tree

 A few weeks ago, our friends invited us to the Christmas Tree Farm with them.  We were excited to go to an actual "farm" instead of our usual Lowe's trip to get a tree.  I decided that this year I wanted the "charlie brown" look rather than the perfect all put together tree.  Just wanted something a little different and I knew it would be a challenge having a Christmas tree in the house anyway with a little one running around.  So, after looking around a bit and seeing what was left, we found our perfect little charlie brown Christmas tree!  I love it because it is different.  It reminds of the Christmas trees that Russ grew up with when his parents would just go out on their farm and chop one down.  It looks even better in its little spot in our living room...I need to take some pictures of it with all the lights on and ornaments before it dies!  Anyway, here are some of our first Christmas tree farm adventures, which we will be making a family tradition from now on!

our tree in a lopsided picture :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

one year pictures

This little  one year old apparently has much better things to do than be still for a photo shoot.  Hmm, really?
She was way too into the leaves and grass and all that nature stuff to pay any attention to her parents looking like crazy people trying to get a good picture.
Anyway, here are a few.  Still can't believe this little girl is already one!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

my baby is one

My baby girl turned one just a few days ago.  On her birthday (and the days leading up to it), I found myself looking back on all the pictures and videos of her first year of life.  I could remember so well the day she was born...the anticipation and waiting, knowing we were soon to find out if our baby was a boy or girl.  Russ and I kept saying it was like Christmas Eve.  But really, we had felt like it was Christmas Eve for a few days now.  About two weeks earlier, when my doctor checked me, I was already pretty well dilated and he thought I was going to have that baby within that weekend.  So, that meant he thought I was going to have it within a day or two.   We were sure this was our "Christmas Eve" as we kept saying.  Family got ready, came into town and we were anxiously awaiting for something to happen; water to break, consistent, painful contractions....nothing.   Boy or girl, boy or girl?!?!  The excitement and anticipation was overflowing.  Well, baby held on and family went home to wait longer.  My sister had made me some "push pie" to help get that baby out but apparently the babe was pretty comfortable, taking its sweet little time on the grand entrance.  After waiting about another week, the big day was finally here!  This time for real!!  After another doctor's visit, we decided it was best for him to break my water the next day so we knew for sure our little one was coming.  I remember after the doctor visit, we called family and close friends and then we went to Russ' work place and I remember the complete joy and excitement he had as we told everyone our baby would be here the next day.  He was so proud and had a smile on his face like I had never seen...or so I thought :)  The next day would prove me wrong.
November 18th 2010 came...the day my baby would come into this world.  It was a prefect day, an amazing delivery.  Everything went so smooth and we had amazing staff around us.  I couldn't believe that within only a matter of minutes, I would be holding the little one we had prayed for.  The little one we couldn't wait any longer to meet.  We were so close to finding out whether we would have a son or daughter!  I can't even put into words the emotions that were running through me.  Russ was amazing throughout the whole process, just loving me and holding on tightly to my hand while giving me ice chips.  I remember being so thirsty and just wanting something to drink!  My sister (also my photographer that day) was cheering me on and rubbing my hair.  What a great sister :)
Then, I knew it was my last push...I knew my baby was here!  I can't remember if there was crying right away but I remember looking up, trying to sit up to see whether it was a boy or girl.  I looked, kind of like in a daze but the umbilical cord was in the way so I couldn't tell the gender so I looked up at my doctor and he was holding the baby up so I could see and he was smiling so big and says, "It's a GIRL!"  Aw, I couldn't believe it!  All along I was sure I was having a boy and it was a girl?!!  I was in complete shock but in a very good way.  I wanted a little girl so bad and there she was.  So perfect and healthy.  They immediately put her on my chest and she was breathtaking.  Here is this little baby girl lying right on me in my arms and to think the Lord has given this gift of life to us.  I just couldn't stop thanking Him for what He had done and for what He was giving us!  I looked into her tiny face and the love I felt that moment is a love I have never in my life felt before.  I knew I didn't deserve such a precious gift but God has allowed us the privilege and honor to care, nurture and love this little helpless being lying in my arms.  There is absolutely nothing like it.  Nothing like that feeling I had then.  It was the moment I had been waiting for and believe me, it was every bit worth the wait.  I would do it all over again.

I kept looking at my husband and seeing the joy radiant through his whole face...he was so proud.  The tears in his eyes and smile on his face...this was sure to be the happiest I have ever seen him!  Complete joy!  I knew he was already in love all over again with his new little girl.  He was wrapped up tight from the beginning.
And things haven't changed since.  This daddy loves his little girl like nothing I've seen before.  Their bond is so strong and special and that means the world to me.   She has every reason to feel secure in her daddy's arms.   I really hope she grows up a "daddy's girl."  I have a lot of hopes and dreams for my little girl.  I hope and pray that she will always know how much her mommy and daddy love her, believe in her and support her but most of all that she would always know the love of Jesus and not follow the ways of this world but look to Him in this life.
So, we've had an amazing first year.  We've had ups and downs, challenges, sleepless nights, tired days and the sweetest moments as a family of three.  I look at my baby and constantly remind myself to soak up all the little moments and to cherish this time now of raising a little one that the Lord has entrusted us with.  I always want to remember the "shift" work Russ and I would take turns with during the nights at 4 am, walking up and down the hallway or watching 19 Kids and Counting at the wee hours of night while rocking her to sleep.  I want to remember nursing her, bath times and the kisses she would give after.  I want to remember Russ singing her to sleep in our bed and the time she first her daddy.  I want to remember all the sweet memories as these days just fly by and she grows right before our very eyes.
Our little girl has been such a blessing to so many and I look forward to watching her grow each day.  We truly are so thankful for the gift she is!

Of course, I couldn't end the post without a look back on her first year:

I can't believe how big she looks in this last picture!!  She has filled our hearts with such joy and one thing is for sure, she will always be my baby!  

~ I hope to get around to posting some pictures of her party soon but this post was of more importance to look back on her first year and document it...