Friday, November 30, 2012

Feeling Gratitude

Gratitude : the state of being grateful : THANKFULNESS

{Taken from my old collegiate Webster Dictionary.}

On this day two years ago, we brought our sweet baby Andrew home from the hospital...

What an amazing day that was.  A day full of much gratitude, hearts over flowing with thankfulness.

I am so thankful for all of the blessings given to my family.

I know it's been over a week since Thanksgiving, but we've been busy, so I'm just now writing about how thankful I am for our time spent with family throughout the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thankful for our Riffel family...

{Especially our new baby niece...Reese's first Thanksgiving!}
{A dinosaur costume that Grandma Julie picked out just for Andrew!}

{The Sandbox that is played in year after year after year...}

Thankful for our Strahm family...

 {Andrew loves Sadie!}
{Goats at the farm.}
{Cousins playing in dirt...}

{A 'Yee-Haw!' from Andrew, while wearing his boots and a stocking hat!}

{A football game with Grandpa Mahlon...}

{And tackling Uncle Lance!}

And, even though we didn't get to spend time with them over Thanksgiving, we are very much thankful for our Davies family. {We spent time with them at Andrew's birthday celebration and have some major plans in the works for a trip to Crown Center  and on Christmas Day - stay tuned for those pictures!}

I am also thankful for my older sister who has been overseas for the past month working.  She is amazing and although we missed her at Andrew's birthday and during Thanksgiving gatherings, we are looking forward to seeing her this weekend!

On this last day of the official month of Thanksgiving, I am full of gratitude.

Happy Homecoming Day Andrew and Happy Big Brother Day to Parker!

 {Unfortunately, they're both spending it at home with buckets close by...a stomach bug has hit our home.  It's so sad to see my boys sick.  No fun at all.  Well...I guess the snuggles are nice!}

**Disclaimer: You may notice that there aren't very many pictures of Parker from Thanksgiving.  Parker has become camera shy and gets upset with me if he sees me snapping his photo.  Maybe it's the thousands of times I've had that camera in his face...either way...he's done with that {for now}!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Wonderful Day

I'm playing a little catch-up here...Andrew's 2nd birthday was one week ago.

We had a wonderful day.

In my 32 years of living in the 'Kansas City area', I've never ever been to the Kansas City Zoo.

And, because my little boys love animals more than anything, and because the forecast for last Tuesday was a beautiful, warm, fall day, we decided that the zoo would be the perfect place to celebrate my little monkey's 2nd birthday.

We loved it.

Ask Andrew what his favorite part of the day was and he'll say: 'Bear.  Beeeiiig Bear."

And, this wasn't just any big bear.  It was a big Polar Bear.  A big Polar Bear that liked to show off.

Doing back flips.   Again.  And again.  And again.  I think my boys stood at that Polar Bear window for a good 45 minutes before we finally told them that the Polar Bear needed a nap {and they needed some dinner}.

Okay, now ask Parker what his favorite part of the day was...besides the Sea Lion Show...besides the Polar Bear...besides the train and the carousel...and he'll tell you it was riding the 'ski lift'.

And, just like that Polar Bear, he wanted to ride it again and again and again and again.

We ended up limiting it to two rides.  Oh man, he was sad when we told him we were only going two times....poor kid.

Luckily Andrew decided to take a little snooze while Big Broski wanted to ride the lift.

I tell ya.  That lift made this nervous Momma freak out a little.  I think I repeated this a hundred times: 'Sit still, Parker.  Scoot back, Parker.  Hold on, Parker!'

Here's what made this special day such a wonderful day: Andrew.  My little man had no idea that this day was just for him.  Two year olds don't really understand the concept of birthdays.  Or that the party is just for them.  Or that their mom planned out a special day just for them.  He had no idea that Parker was in on this plan...a plan to make it the best day ever for Little Bubs.

But, my Andrew, he ate this day up.  No, wait, he devoured this day.

A picnic lunch at the zoo.

A birthday train ride {or two}.

Seeing animals that Andrew's read about in books.  Hearing Animals that we've only heard on TV. Watching his eyes light up as we fed a baby orangutan {don't tell the zoo people!}.  Playing on the playground.  Waking up to a Sea Lion show.  Feeding Llamas, goats, mules, and watching an elephant snarf up his hay snack.  Riding a carousel.  Andrew loved it.

My baby boy is two now.  He's lived a whole week of being two.  And, just in this past week he's changed so much.

Yep, he got a big boy haircut.

And, not only does he look like a big boy, he's talking like a big boy.  Playing like a big boy. Watching big boy TV shows like his Big Bubs.  Wearing big boy clothes.  Eating big boy food.

This whole 'being a two year old' thing?  He's got it down.

I think two year olds are my favorite.

What a wonderful day we had celebrating my favorite two year old.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Two Years Ago...

Tonight as Bella and I were out for our nightly walk around the neighborhood, I started thinking about what I was doing two years ago at this time.

I was huge.  I was super pregnant.  Andrew's due date was still 6 weeks away, I was scheduled to have a c-section in 4 weeks, and I felt pretty good...I thought I had it all planned out.

My boys both had grand entrances into this world.  One late, one early, and two years ago today, I had no idea that my sweet baby Andrew would be making his entrance in just a few hours.

That part is a blur.  It went by way too fast.

And, tonight while on my walk with Bella, when I got to this part of the story, I just happened to look up at the sky to notice all of the stars and the moon, and I felt this overwhelming sense of gratitude.  So overwhelming that my eyes welled up and I remember how scared and helpless I felt two years ago at the time of Andrew's birth and the days following.

I have gratitude because tomorrow is Andrew's second birthday.  Tomorrow Brandon and I get to spend the day with our two boys...doing everything that Andrew loves.

Every year on my birthday, my mom starts off the day by calling me to say 'happy birthday' and then she proceeds to say {depending on the year}, "Thirty-two years ago today...."  I was also an early baby, and while I love to hear this story every year, I am looking forward to this feeling of gratitude I will feel every year on Andrew's birthday.  And, I will love telling Andrew on every one of his birthdays, this story of gratitude and just how lucky I am to be his Momma.

Happy second birthday, sweet, sweet boy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Turning Two

We are celebrating my baby boy's second birthday tomorrow.  Words can't describe the craziness going on in my head right now.  I think I'm almost in denial {I would say that I am totally in denial, except for the fact that I am so excited to celebrate his big day with all of our family and friends tomorrow.  He is such a loved boy}.  Tomorrow will be a wonderful day.  Andrew is going to love it and I can't wait to see his face light up when he figures out that it is a party just for him!

When I think about the early early morning that Andrew was born, I get a lump in my throat.

That was the scariest day of my life.

Oh okay, now I have tears.

But, thank goodness, today, those are tears of relief, of joy, and of happiness that I am sitting here, two years later...having just tucked my boy into bed...knowing that scary night is merely a memory and we've seen so many {727 to be exact} happy days since the morning of November 20, 2010.

Sometimes I go back and read what I wrote in the days following Andrew's birth.  And, I count my blessings every single time.

Although I can't believe that he's turning two, I am so so so excited about what being two means to Andrew.  He said it tonight in the car - I told Andrew that tomorrow we are going to have his birthday party and he is going to be two.  He looked at me and said: 'Beeeeiiig Boy.'

Yep, that's right Andrew, you are now Momma's big boy {but, you'll always be my baby}.

Thank you for making me a Momma to two boys.  I can't wait to see what this year of being two holds for you!