Friday, December 31, 2010

My Sweet Angels,

As I think about the great anticipation of meeting our newest family member in just a few short days, I want to try and get down some thoughts about how special you both are to me.

Sydney-I could not imagine having a more precious daughter than you. Your daddy and I have so many moments that we just look at each other as we marvel at how loving and sweet you are. I get the sweet privelege of hearing "Mommy, I love you so much" so many times in a day. You are thoughtful, smart, considerate and fun. Even at the age of 3, you love Jesus, and are always so anxious to learn more about his life. You love your family, church, school and gymnastics. You are, and have been so excited about meeting your baby brother Luke. You talk about him, and to him, all the time. I know that he will adore you.

Lately, one of my favorite times of the day is your bedtime, since after prayers and book time with Daddy, I stay with you for a while to just talk, sing or tell stories to you. Sometimes you tell me stories. You are, and always have been, such a good sleeper. Lately, you have been coming to wake up your daddy and me at least a good hour before your brother decides to rise & shine for the day. We call you our "sunshine girl." This nickname is very fitting for you. You are my sunshine.

JJ-You are the son we both always dreamed of having. Your daddy and I love watching you develop and learn more about your world. You know exactly how to show us what you want, and are learning more and more how to verbalize those thoughts into words. I will admit that much of the time you are daddy's boy...I don't blame you. There are definitely times, though, when you want just "Mama."

Your hugs and kisses are so sweet. You love Mickey Mouse, balls and books. One of my favorite things about you is your smile. It is absolutely contagious. Big sister calls you her "charming," and she couldn't be more right about that. You are the main reason that we are having Luke when you, my sweet baby boy, are only 20 months old yourself. Anyone who has the privilege of knowing you, raves about how sweet and content you are. I am not so sure what you will think about Luke at first, but I'm prayerful that he will be a sweet playmate and friend for you the rest of your life. We will all be so lucky if he inherits your disposition and health.

And so, my sweet angels, our prince and princess, there you have it.

My selfish prayer every day is that I get to be here every second and watch you as you grow up. I want so much to be able to have more fun with you and your sweet Daddy than any of us could ever imagine.

One of my favorite things in life is just sitting and watching you all play together and enjoy each other. I can't believe that we will soon have another sweet face in our midst.

Tomorrow is New Year's Day and we are so looking forward to spending the next year(s) with you. You have made 2010 the best year of our lives, and in that way, it is a little sad to see it go. Here's to many, many more "best years" sweet babies.

I will never understand why God has given me the honor of being your mother. I would do anything for either of you and love you both more than you will ever know.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cinderella and "charming"

Here is Cinderella and her "charming" dancing tonight.  :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010 was a special Christmas indeed! We always are extremely thankful, but this year has most certainly been a special one for our family.

Our Christmas travels were sooner than usual this year with the clock ticking on Luke's impending arrival, so we got to enjoy several days at home before the big weekend.

We had a great weekend at home, with the only hiccup being a nasty virus for JJ on Christmas Eve. Thank goodness we got him in the doctor and our strong little boy fought it off right at about 24 hours. He was almost entirely back to normal and able to really enjoy Christmas morning/day!

On Christmas Eve, we celebrated Jesus' birthday with a party in his honor. Here, Sydney enjoys the party food:

On Christmas morning, we opened our gifts. The big hits turned out to be JJ's ride on train set with tracks, Sydney's princess costumes and the ball pit that we got for both of them. Here they are enjoying:


(He really is not asleep, but loves to cover himself up in the balls...400 of them !)

Hope your Christmas was a wonderful one too!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Polar Express, Pony Express

Last Monday night, Sydney and JJ put on their pj's and we headed to board the "Polar Express" at the old train depot. The event included hot chocolate and cookies (thumbs up from JJ), boarding an old train to hear the reading of the story, and even a visit with Santa (for those who wanted to visit with Santa-we wouldn't really know about that).

Enjoying the preboard snack of cookies!

Snuggling with Daddy during the reading of the story. He was so good. She loved it too, but was not in a picture taking mood.

Daddy was happy to pose with Santa on the way off the train. JJ was scared to death. (And his reaction was the milder of our two kids). Oh well, they both still received a bell.


After leaving the Polar Express, Daddy surprised us and took us downtown on the square to a special carriage ride overlooking all the beautiful lights and decorations in our downtown. We all enjoyed the Polar Express, but this was the favorite stop of the night.


After the ride, we walked around to check out the lights and decorations at a closer distance. Sydney did not want to leave. I can certainly relate-I don't want moments like that to pass by so quickly either.

Special night, special memories for just the four of us.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from two (of our three) indescribable blessings.


At Christmas, we have the privilege of celebrating HIS amazing birth and life with our sweet babies. HE has given us so much, when we all have so little to offer.

Merry Christmas everyone. Happy Birthday sweet Jesus.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Preparations


This afternoon I made Christmas cookies with my daughter. Her favorite part was using the cookie cutters to make shapes and shaking on the sprinkles :) We are getting ready for a special birthday party at our house tomorrow night.

Our family is establishing a new tradition this year and having a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Eve night after we get home from church. She picked the menu...cookies and ice cream.

Seriously, Jeff and I are trying to make sure we have lots of fun while also being very intentional in our Christmas planning, celebrating, traditions and gifts. We can always do so much better, but I'm proud of the steps we've made this December/Christmas season.

As far as the party tomorrow night goes, we want our kids to head into Christmas morning excitedly anticipating the birthday of our savior. JJ is not old enough yet, but she will be so excited to awaken and see baby Jesus finally appear in the nativity set (on our kitchen table) we've been watching and talking about all month long.

And that is what the celebrating is all about.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Keeping Pace

I have been enjoying my sweet kids, getting ready for & celebrating Christmas with friends and family, wrapping up the semester and completing projects that need to attention before Luke arrives. We have all been so busy.

After 7 years of working at a great place (but in Nashville), Jeff is in his fourth week of working as Controller at our church with a group of wonderful people we have so much respect for. JJ is growing, changing and learning more every day. And, our sweet Sydney ...who is always busy...continues to enjoy all of her activities at school, church and gymnastics. She LOVES going to school two days a week, and her preschool has been such an answer to our prayers. We are so blessed to be partnering with a wonderful church and school who are also tranining her in God's word and the life of our sweet savior Jesus.

In the past month, I have gotten to help plan & enjoy two classroom parties with her. Our whole family enjoyed attending their fall festival, where we also watched her sing. Here are some photos of her enjoying special times at school.

Here she is enjoying cupcakes at our "Happy Birthday Jesus" party last week:

A few weeks ago, we also celebrated Thanksgiving in her classroom:


Below, she sings and dances with her class at the fall festival. She was so proud of herself (and we were too).


May it be HIS will that we can always enjoy classroom parties and school events with our three kids.

Luke and I had our 37 week checkup today and everything is going well on that front. January 7th is only 16 days away!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Big Boy

We went to the mall last Saturday to complete a few "to do's" on the ole' Christmas list. Sydney begged us to take her in Chuck E Cheese to ride a couple rides (we keep a few tokens on hand). We went...she chose a ride...she got scared and got off the ride (twice)...but guess who didn't?!

Later, he enjoyed some custard at one of our favorite stops, Culver's. AND, it was even in his OWN bowl!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Luke, we are counting days!

Luke,

Four weeks from tomorrow (unless you decide sooner), we will be holding you!

Daddy and I are getting very excited. I am still feeling selfish at this point, and the truth is, I'm not ready for this to be over OR to share you. Your Daddy is still amazed and full of thankfulness that you are a part of our lives. Your big sister talks about you all the time. She makes sure you are included in all family discussions and she loves to talk to you. Your big brother has not a clue but you will likely be his best friend for life :) soon enough.

At first, I was apprehensive about being pregnant at this time of the year, but I have realized how special it is to be so excited and expectant during the Christmas season. I am so thankful that I have gotten to experience these late days of pregnancy during the days leading up to Jesus' birthday.

The other day, your sister asked when the angel told us you were coming. We explained that we did not get the message from an angel like sweet Mary, but you are indeed a gift from God this Christmas. He has provided for our family in unimaginable ways again and again.

From what I've been reading today, you probably weigh at least 6 pounds and are close to 20 inches long. It feels like you are bigger than that! I am cherishing every movement because I sense that you are getting more and more crowded. Actually your gymnastics at night have slowed down enough to let me sleep better!

Weeks are moving as fast as days...days as fast as hours. It is inevitable that the moment will be here faster than I can imagine, so I will just embrace that and enjoy the rest of this precious ride. I can't wait to hear your cry, see your sweet face and hold you...

Mommy