Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby Rose!

Ron summed her up best when he said recently, "She's been sweet every day of her life."

He's right. All 365 of them.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Little Humans.

Kids are little humans. One thing I love about little humans is that they haven't learned to hide some of the less pretty parts of humanity yet. My brother loves how kids often say "Look at me!" He says everyone is always thinking that but kids are the only ones who say it. I think he is right. That is why I love these pictures. Raw humanity. The part of humanity that is stingy and grabby by turns. The part of humanity I would like to think I have risen above, but then I look at these pictures and I can relate to every face both girls make in every frame. If you can't see yourself here too I'd be surprised. Nothing like kids to remind us who we are and how much we need a Savior.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kinda Reminds Me Of Nap Time

I am taking this year off from Facebook. Oh, I still check it every now and then and use it as a means of communicating with specific people. I am just taking this year off of posting things to it and feeling like I need to read every single update every single day. It became a lot of noise in my life. Its absence has been as refreshing as the moments after someone turns off a TV that has been left on but that no one is watching. Deep cleansing breath and "Why didn't I do that a while ago?"

I joined Facebook when Afton was three months old. I was three months into being home alone all day with someone who couldn't talk. My husband worked a lot back then. Leaving at 8:00ish and coming home at 7:00ish was normal. Facebook was a life preserver to me in what could have been a sea of loneliness. I don't hate Facebook. I think Facebook is pretty awesome.

This winter though I didn't update my status for about three weeks. I just didn't feel like it. It was so freeing. The longer I went without telling people what I was doing or thinking the less inclined I was to do so. I just felt like everyone I had ever known didn't need to know where I ate dinner. That was a feeling I hadn't had in a while. Facebook had become such a part of my life that I felt like each family outing, each cute or frustrating (depending on the day) thing my kids did, each original thought, each milestone, all my grievances, successes, questions had to be shared and shared with A LOT of people or it was almost like they didn't happen. I didn't realize I was under that kinda pressure until I just stopped posting and it didn't really matter.

During that three week break I realized I could have dinner at Chipotle with my family and my adorable children could say something cute or do something embarrassing and afterwards we could all go to the Ice Capades and when we get home there could be a brand new car in my drive way wrapped in bow with a card that reads "To my beautiful wife from your devoted husband!" and I could not tell everyone I had ever known and it would still be just as special. I can enjoy my life without making it into a documentary. (None of this happened by the way, just good old fashioned hyperbole. Well, actually, I am sure we did eat dinner at Chipotle. That place is delish.)

Sometime during those three weeks something else happened. I started realizing I don't really care where most of my "friends" eat dinner. I don't really care whether or not most of them went to the Ice Capades, etc. When I hear about those things I think I care, but when I don't hear about them I realize my life is still just as full and happy. Sometimes even more so because I have more mental energy to spend caring about those who are actually around me. Particularly a couple of very special little people who are always around me.

So I decided to take 2011 off from posting statuses and doing daily (at least) checks of everyone else statuses. I am three months in and I don't miss it. I am slowly leaving behind the habit of thinking in status updates. I am enjoying my life just as much as I did when everyone else was reading about it. I am still just as connected with life long friends and I may have a better awareness of who those people actually are. The break has been nice so far. Kinda reminds me of nap time. A big deep breath and some long absent silence.

Like I said I don't hate Facebook. I think it is one of the best ideas ever. I will probably be back in your face with as much of my business as you can handle as soon as the calendar changes to 2012. But until then I am enjoying my quiet. Because as we learn from nap time sometimes we need a break from even the very best things in life.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Afton!

1. She is very eager to please.
2. This year I think she has found a best friend for life in her cousin Ben. It is so fun watching them together.
3. She loves going to Sunday School.
4. She is a peacemaker. When Sissy is in trouble she always tries to explain it to me and help me see it from Sissy's side.
5. She gets overwhelmed easily but it is because she wants to do everything perfectly right.
6. She is a little planner.
7. She needs to know the logistics of all our family plans.
8. She loves playing outside.
9. She loves office time with Daddy.
10. She loves dancing and ballet.

11. She loves having her finger and toenails painted and took off her shoes to show her pretty toes to Cinderella at Disney World.
12. More than anything she wants a brother. She keeps asking me when we are going to get our boy.
13. She is always telling me how many babies she is going to have. It changes everyday. Sometimes she is going to have three boys and one girl. Other times it is going to be ten girls.
14. She loves playing games on Mommy's phone. It is pretty adorable watching her operate the touch screen.
15. She loves playing house and Toy Story and Sleeping Beauty.
16. She has a very sweet and yielding heart and will always agree to "be" the prince and let Sissy "be" the princess. Maybe this is why she wants a brother so much.
17. She did some homeschool preschool this year and had a lot of fun learning her letters. She had even more fun learning to serve others. She thinks of ways all the time for us to think of others. She also loves to make sure I notice times when she thinks of others.
18. When she asks me for something and I have to tell her no she ofter tells me "Mommy, you're not thinking of others."
19. She has also been learning decorum. She walks across the room, eyes on where she is headed, chin up, hands at her side. May sound pretty fancy but it is actually hilarious.
20. Sometimes when Sissy and I are going out for errands she asks to stay home and "take care of Daddy".

21. Here favorite thing of all is Jelly Weekend. Every Saturday when we all hang out in the den and watch kid shows and Daddy makes toast with jelly for breakfast. It is so precious how something so simple can fill her heart with joy.
22. She is really trying to figure out days of the week. Most mornings when she wakes up she asks me if it is Jelly Weekend. I will tell her what day it is and then she will ask what that day means. Do we go to church? Do we go to the library? Does Daddy get to stay down? Days when Daddy gets to "stay down" are her favorite days of all.
23. When she gets out of Sunday school and comes back into the church service she is always really excited to show me her craft and tell me what she learned. She is so happy and earnest about it I don't have the heart to tell her to be quiet because the service is still going on.
24. She has had a lot of fun making new friends since we moved.
25. She is a little too worried about who she is going to marry for my liking. I always tell her to let God worry about that and to ask him to send her someone just like Daddy.
26. She loves pretending to plant carrots in the backyard.
27. She loves pretending to play with maps.
28. She loves pretending.
29. She tries very hard to follow all the rules and gets really sad and upset when her sister or friends do not.
30. She still likes for Mommy to sing "If You Listen" to her at night.

31. She has overcome a lot of fears this year like doors being shut all the way and being alone.
32. She always wants to know if she is as big as Travis yet.
33. She is very concerned about where she and her husband will live after they are married. She doesn't want it to be far away from Mommy and Daddy. She is always coming up with scenarios that will work like building a house near us or us giving them this house. She spends time thinking about this problem everyday.
34. She is a little drama queen. She practices all her facial expression in the reflection of the window every night at dinner. It is amazing.
35. She loves Cattie. They have a very special relationship.
36. She is very sensitive.
37. She is very protective of Sissy.
38. She loves reminding people of things.
39. She is very detail oriented and wants to understand every aspect of everything we do and every decision we make.
40. She is very kind and loving to Rose.

41. Library Story Time is one of her favorite things. Her face lights up and she enjoys every moment of it.
42. She definitely knows how to enjoy life!
43. She has started adding a "T" sound to some of her words. Cousin Ben is "Bent". It is pretty adorable.
44. Her eyes are extremely sensitive to light.
45. She loves everyone in her family intensely. At the thought of any of them being hurt or separated from her her eyes instantly and very sincerely fill with tears.
46. She is rambunctious.
47. If she is awake she is probably talking.
48. She is very yielding.
49. She enjoys tea time with Mommy and Sissy everyday after nap.
50. She may not have a brother but she can definitely play like a boy. She has received this "compliment" from several little boys that she plays with.

51. She loves to color, draw, and make things.
52. Cleaning up big messes really overwhelms her. She doesn't know where to start so she usually starts with a lot of tears.
53. She experiences all of her emotions very fully. Happy and sad feelings go from 0 to 60 with her with amazing speed.
54. She can spin quite a creative tale at story time.
55. She needs everything to be just so.
56. She still sleeps with matesie every night.
57. She still sucks her thumb some but now it is only at night and when she is scared or worried or trying not to cry.
58. She loves "bike races" with Daddy.
59. It has been a joy to see her grow in her interest in and love for the things of God.
60. She is also fascinated with bad guys. "Mommy where do bad guys live? Mommy what do bad guys do at night? Mommy what do bad guys do in daytime?

61. She has left behind a lot of her childhood speech. Sleeping Beauty is no longer Sicka Booty and Adam and Eve are not Adam and Steve.
62. She is really looking forward to starting preschool this fall.
63. She is very creative. Her scribble pictures always amaze us in how much they look like real art.
64. She really thrives in group settings like Sunday school and library story time.
65. She enjoys doing "projects" with Miss April at the nursery during Mommy's Bible Study.
66. She and Sissy love putting on ballet shows for Mommy and Daddy at bedtime.
67. She loves to pick out her own pajamas.
68. She loves learning about and celebrating holidays.
69. She started helping Mommy feed Rose this year.
70. She is very concerned about the health and well being of all her families members. We told her Coke was bad to drink and that it makes people sick and she burst into tears the next time she saw Daddy drinking some.

71. She still loves eating at Chipotle and Chick fil A and still loves playing at the mall playground.
72. She has gotten a lot taller and slimmer in the past few months and looks like an little girl now. Our precious chubby toddler is gone.
73. She enjoys playing at the park and going down the big slide all by herself.
74. She likes going on nature walks and finding leaves and flowers and pine cones.
75. She enjoys watching her shows. Some of her favorites are Dora, Little Einsteins, and Special Agent Oso.
76. When shows that I have told her are yucky (mostly because they annoy me) come on she starts crying and saying "Turn it off! It's a yucky one."
77. I made the mistake of saying Wendy's was yucky restaurant one time because I didn't want to eat there. Now she can spot a Wendy's sign from yards a way and yells "Mommy I see the yucky restaurant! Are bad guys eating there?" I actually don't even think Wendy's is yucky. Guess I should watch what I say!
78. She loves community group and calls it memory group. Anytime we eat dinner at anyone else's house she thinks it is memory group.
79. Her conscience must be developing because anytime she does something wrong she comes and confesses. "Mommy remember how you told me not to touch Daddy's bike in the living room? I just touched it." Ummm....I'm not sure what to say to that.
80. She had a lot of fun meeting the princesses at Disney World this year and reminds me everyday that Belle told her that Gaston has been working on his manners.

81. She would really like to visit Paris one day only she calls it "the place where Madeline lives and has that tower."
82. She is a very good big sister. I wish I had a big sister like her.
83. I can trust her.
85. She is a great traveler which is good because we have been traveling non stop since she was born.
86. She loves games. If I make anything into a game she will think it is fun. The quiet game actually works on her.
87. It's a good thing too because she loves to hear her own voice.
88. She loves trying out adult phrases and will just randomly throw them into conversations where they don't belong. Sometimes for no reason she will say "Are you sure about this?"
89. She loves celebrating birthdays with others.
90. She can recognize almost all of her letters, can spell and recognize her name and can write the letter A.

91. She has the sweetest, purest heart. It is a gift that I treasure.
92. She loves having fun.
93. She loves loving people.
94. She wants everyone she loves to be with her and to be happy.
95. She was born with her eyes wide open and has been full speed ahead ever since.
96. She is growing in grace.
97. It is a honor and privilege to be her mom.
98. Four years ago today she made me a mother. I couldn't have asked for a better baby. There couldn't have been a more adorable toddler. I know there is no sweeter little girl.
99. I wouldn't change a thing about her.
100. I love her with all of my heart.

Happy Birthday Afton Adele!