Friday, December 11, 2009

Little man is 2 months old!

Happy 2 month to Thomas today!! He's getting to be quite the chunky guy! He's holding his head up really well now and enjoys staring at our Christmas lights! Last week he batted at my hair and some of his other toys! I can't believe how fast time is flying by! He loves to have conversations with us! We've been getting lots of smiles lately too!

Here are some recent pictures of Thomas and Anna-Kate!

She loves holding him

Sweet big sis!!

Notice he's really working on a double chin!

So serious!

Cheesy smile!

I can't believe she's so big!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Tree Farm

Last week, Derek and I decided to try something new. We took Anna-Kate and Thomas to a Christmas tree farm! It was a first for all of us! We had so much fun. What a neat experience getting to choose your tree and cut it down! I can't wait to do it again next year! Now, on to the pictures!

Brace yourself... There's a lot of pictures

All the pretty trees!

Running between all of the trees! It's nice to be free!

Anna-Kate picked the first tree she saw!
"Hey! It's my size!"

Anna-Kate and Thomas posing with our tree.

Anna-Kate got to "help" Daddy cut down the tree!

Thomas was lots of help!

After we cut our tree down, we got a little hayride back down the hill. Anna-Kate really loved riding around and looking at all the trees!

At this point we had to contain Thomas' excitement- he was just way too loud!

Time for a picture in Mommy's lap!

When you think Christmas Tree Farm, I know Petting Zoo comes to mind... :) Anna-Kate got to play with chickens, roosters, ducks, goats, and even sheep!

Derek and Anna-Kate feeding the goats and sheep! Anna-Kate was not very interested in getting her hands gross, so she preferred throwing the food at them.

Thomas woke up long enough to eat :)

She loved swinging! It was probably her favorite part!

I know this is silly, but I love it!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just Some Thoughts

I stumbled across this quote when I was looking for some ideas for a new header:

"From you I have learned courage to face my fears and the freedom to pursue my dreams. From you I have learned the true meaning of strength... and have attained the gleeful spirit needed to rise above the hurdles life may bring my way."

It wasn't until I uploaded it that I really took time to think about what it said. I can't help but get a little teary eyed thinking about the past two and a half years and how much our little family has grown!

So many of my decisions have been based on this idea. When I went to my first La Leche League meeting to get advice on breastfeeding Anna-Kate, one of the first things the ladies told me was that if I wanted to keep nursing I should consider taking some time off of school. I wrestled with that idea- believe me! How much simpler things would have been for us!! Fall semester started when Anna-Kate was only a month old! My classes did not consist of just lectures and tests either. Interior design classes are studio classes which mean time intensive projects on top of lectures and texts and papers. I shed a lot of tears over whether or not I should just take a break. However, the one thing that got me through was knowing that Anna-Kate could learn through my struggles. I was afraid of staying in school but I tried to face my fear and push through. There's so much that I could have done better, but I find peace in knowing that I can tell Anna-Kate I didn't give up on myself!

I have spent many years proving people wrong. In fact if you want to motivate me... tell me that I can't do something!! This made for some VERY difficult teenage years (sorry grandma and grandpa!) but I'm so grateful to have that fighter spirit. It's something that I see in Anna-Kate and I hope to see it in all of my children.

Another reason I wanted to finish school was so that I could make a better future for my children. I want to provide for them so that they are able to experience life at it's fullest. At least that's what I told myself. I quickly realized that my dream job wasn't quite right for me at this point in my life. I realized that money really will not give my children the experiences I am wanting for them. I am the one who gives my children freedom by helping them to learn who they are.

I think the freedom that Derek wants to pass on to our children is more of a political issue, but I will let him share his thoughts on that soon as he could do a much better job of explaining it than I!

My prayer is that whatever happens to our family, that our children really can see my strength. I pray for that strength every day. Even more important than strength is the attitude that we have when we deal with struggles. I really believe that a gleeful spirit is the key to getting through the tougher times.

I think it is so easy for us to get caught up in wishing the tough times away. We dwell on all of the bad things that have happened in our lives and sometimes we might justify dwelling on them. It's so easy to look at everyone else and make comparasions. But the truth is that everyone struggles, we all are presented with ups and downs. Our sense of what's normal is defined by movies and television. So many times when I'm feeling down I think about how much I wished that things were simpler or easier. I tell myself that what I am going through is unique to me, but we all know that's not true. Those are the feelings that will keep us down. Our attitude is what keeps us going or brings us down. How valuable would it be to teach my children how to rise above the bad situations and actually be happy during the bad times?

Sorry for the rambling today! Just some food for thought!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Life Lately

I have no excuses for my lack of blogging lately... none! Except that finding some down time is difficult and it's even more difficult deciding if I should nap or actually get some things accomplished! Naturally, I chose napping!! :) So, let me update a little on our life lately:

Thomas will be 7 weeks old tomorrow (just 1 week shy of two monthsCheck Spelling!) Where does time go?! I'm so sad to admit that the mom who has over 5,000 pictures of Anna-Kate has been TERRIBLE at taking pictures of Thomas!! Partly because I've got a little stinker (I mean angel) who likes to snatch my camera and take pictures for herself! So, finding a charged camera is rare these days! Another disaster is that I have lost my camera cord so I can not put my pictures on my computer right now! Don't worry, I'm way to obsessed with snapping pictures of everything and way too proud of my cute little babies to keep this negligence up for long! So I beg of you to please bear with me!

A lot of people have asked us how Anna-Kate is adjusting to the new baby. I have to say that she's the BEST big sister! She's been absolutely adorable with him! From the second she met him she's wanted to love on him. We have to really watch her because she'll just walk up to him and start patting his head or playing with him. A few weeks after Thomas was born, we were all going to get lunch out and so I got Anna-Kate and went outside to wait on Derek. He soon followed, closed the door and started to lock it... until Anna-Kate started bawling! Derek had forgotten Thomas and Anna-Kate was not about to let that happen! When people ask if they can take Thomas home with them Anna-Kate always replies very adamantly, "No! My baby brudder!"

Everyone wants to know what kind of baby Thomas is. Especially our friends who know what a scary and tough 3 months we had with Anna-Kate. Poor little girl was diagnosed with reflux after a few very scary episodes where she stopped breathing when she was eating. Derek and I were very prepared to have a difficult time with Thomas in some way or another. We've been very surprised by how wonderful of a baby he has been! He usually has the most content look on his face! He has been smiling and grinning in his sleep since birth and the last two weeks he's been showing us more smiles and grins! He absolutely loves to snuggle and be held! I realized how quickly they grow and really missed that snuggly time with Anna-Kate so I'm eating this up! Thomas does have a temper though. Usually it's when he has gas that just wont get better or if I don't feed him at his first hunger cues. He sleeps good, but nurses every two hours around the clock. This week we had a night with a 4-hour and a 3-hour stretch between feedings, so hopefully we see more of those! I think that he's going to have a healthy appetite like Anna-Kate too! He's quite a chunk! We go back to the doctor in a few weeks and I'll be interested to see how much he's grown! He has to be near 12 pounds already!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This year we went an hour and a half away and enjoyed a nice dinner with Derek's family. This was my first year to make some things for Thanksgiving! I made corn pudding, broccoli and cheese casserole, sweet potato casserole, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, cherry pie pops and turkey cake balls!! Everything turned out delicious if you ask me! Of course I did make my favorite casseroles! :) I had so much fun cooking too! Anna-Kate helped me with the corn pudding! She loves to be in the kitchen cooking with me!

Derek got some REALLY great news last Wednesday- after nearly a year of searching for one, he has a JOB!! He still preaches on Sundays but now he will be doing some marketing and pr, alongside a copy clerk job for Harding! This is a huge blessing for us. I had been planning on applying for this job but I've had a lot of reservations about leaving Thomas so early. Finally Derek decided to just try it out, knowing that it could lead to more opportunities. Well apparently they were looking for someone who could do more marketing with the job! I'm SO happy for Derek! I know that it's a huge relief for him to have something consistent here in town. Right now we are planning on keeping Derek's preaching job for at least the next year but things could always change! Anna-Kate is going to start going to day school 3-days a week in January and then in the fall she will start preschool! Derek and I had SO much to be thankful for this year!

I plan to start decorating for Christmas this week! Friday we are going to our first Christmas tree farm! I'm very excited for this experience. I hope that this will be something that we can make a holiday tradition! I'll be sure to post about it soon!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dorothy, Toto and a Few Other Friends!



Glinda the Good Witch

The Cowardly Lion

Fall Fun Fest!

Sweet Big Sis!
Personally I think I have the cutest Dorothy and Toto ever! :) Anna-Kate had so much fun going to Trunk or Treat at Harding and the Fall Fun Fest at church! It's been difficult keeping Anna-Kate out of the candy though! At least Halloween is only once a year though!
I have to leave you with one more picture of my cute Toto! Thanks Aunt Sara for hemming the Dorothy costume and knitting the Toto costume!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Long Time Gone...

Derek and I want to apologize for our blogging negligence lately. It seems like September and October just snuck past us. We have had such an exciting couple of months!

Derek and I made one last trip to Franklin in early September; where we dropped Anna-Kate off with my grandparents, picked up my sister and headed to Saint Louis for my first Cardinals game!! We had wonderful seats and really enjoyed the game. I don't want to bog this post down with pictures, so here are just a few I took:

Derek was so excited that I was finally at a Cards game with him! And of course I had to sport the "Moms Future MVP" shirt for him!

My sister and I on our way up to the top of the Arch!

Anna-Kate had a wonderful time with my grandmother and even made her first trip to the nail salon! She gets girlier by the day. She loves getting her nails painted and playing in my make up. I have to watch her because she will grab chap stick and lip gloss and layer it on her lips and cheeks!

Anna-Kate at a horse show in Franklin! See her pretty nails!

This is just one example of how Anna-Kate likes to throw on random "accessories." This time she was going out with her baby, but had to take a break to feed it! (We were practicing for baby Thomas)

When we got back to Franklin, my sister and cousin threw me a baby shower! I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it was! They are just so thoughtful! I had a great time and we got some really nice things for Thomas!

Anna-Kate and my cousin Greer- aren't they beautiful??!!

Since I was pregnant I believe I can admit that this was my favorite part- the food table!! My cousin knows me so well!! She even had a chocolate fountain!! All of the decor on the table matched the nursery and we were able to use it!

Last fall Anna-Kate loved going to Ryne's football games and this year was no different! She absolutely adores getting outside and watching the game. Well I wish I could say she goes to see her uncle play, but the truth is she adores the cheerleaders! Every time they start, she stops and just stares at them! I've been able to teach her a few cheers so she can join in with the girls. It's so cute! My sister got her a couple of pom poms and I cannot wait for Anna-Kate to take those to the next game!

This is a rare moment for Anna-Kate- she never sits down during the games!

Twirling after one of the cheerleading routines

This game was rainy- but she had so much fun!

Making silly faces at Granddaddy! We can thank Kristen for teaching her this one! :)

Another of Anna-Kate's favorite events last fall was the pumpkin patch. This year we went with my friend Liz and her little boy Ben. We got to pick a pumpkin for everyone and then we went on a hayride. Anna-Kate and Ben enjoyed seeing the animals and they even got to feed a pig! We carved our pumpkins tonight, but I'll wait to reveal those later this week when I blog about Halloween!

They loved the hayride!

Not sure about feeding the pig

I'm so excited to say that Anna-Kate is almost fully potty trained!! We tried off and on all summer, but she just wasn't ready! Finally, late September she started showing more interest and it didn't take long before she caught on to the whole idea! Derek and I have been really hesitant to get too excited because we've been afraid she'd regress once Thomas got here, but so far she's doing great! The only time she's wearing a diaper is overnight. We've not begun to train her for that because she's still sleeping in her crib and we want her to be able to get herself out of bed to use her potty. I do have to admit, it seems like Derek and I were the ones who needed potty training! It's not tough being 9 months pregnant and potty training a 2-year old! Luckily our little girl has a mind of her own! :)

I have lots of pictures like this from the first few days of potty training!

I have some exciting news of my own! In late September a friend approached me about helping her with a full-service design project. What a blessing that was! I hope to get a chance to blog about that sometime in the near future!

Last but certainly not least, Derek, Anna-Kate and I welcomed our newest family member almost exactly two weeks ago! It so nice to finally have the little guy here! He's absolutely perfect! I'll post a couple of pictures, but I plan on making a more complete post in the next few days!

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