Abbie turns THREE oh and hiiiii New Years

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Abigail Elizabeth / family days

So, I think I’ve really just been holed up, trying to survive this renovation. I’m so dang stressed, I’m getting bumps and rashes all over my arms, poor Greg comes home from work so happy and is instantly hit with the presence that is me and my goodness I just can’t wait to be done with it. If you think I’m joking, here is our cheese plate for our New Years party.
I’ve clearly given up on all things life.

Anyways, in other less depressing news, let’s go back to new years which is a marvelous memory because THIS YEAR I GET A KITCHEN THAT WORKS. I can’t even express how excited this thought makes me.
For Christmas, Taylor’s boyfriend gave me what I like to call “friendly lights” cause they just make any patio oh so happy and I mean really, do unfriendly people possess such joyful luminaries? No. Since my patio is covered with said renovation things, they obviously went up in our living room to show our guests how friendly we are and distract them from the cheese plate.
Just look at that precious little back shoulder combo. Little girls are just the dearest.


Aaaand this is pretty typical. Why she’s suddenly into bottles again? Who knows… I’m thinking it has something to do with the one on the right there. It’s so amusing to me how early the sibling rivalry and games start. And it goes both ways – the boy who is silent and toddles from here to there like a slow drunken sailor, can all of a sudden possess the swiftness of a master ninja if he sees something of hers that she loves and he knows she won’t let him have. It is amusing ;)
This is Sabrina. She lives outside now. I don’t wanna talk about it. You guys, so much poop in our life. From everyone and everything. How does everyone in the universe know my washer is not hooked up right now!? HOW!?

But then came baby girls birthday!

 

 



We really wanted to take her to a little horse riding lesson for her birthday but the weather didn’t allow such wonderful ideas to come to fruition soooo naturally we went bowling. As all people do when their first idea doesn’t work out.


This kid was so dang cute clapping for everyone <3



Also, all she asked for was a pink cake and a dance party. This cake is not pink. She noticed. THEY ALWAYS HAVE PINK CAKES. BLAST YOU YEAR OF NO OVEN! I thought carrot cake would be sweet cause that’s what I baked Greg when I found out she was coming. She didn’t get the sentimentality either. I thought I could easily find some bunnies to be all cute like on top. I went to four different places… guests were arriving… no bunnies. So into the cake went her brand new toys. She was so confused as to why they were in there. She’s a very practical girl ;)


I got her a tutu which saved me a little. I forgot the slippers… I am learning so many things.

Papi demonstrated how to ride the horse. She was confused why it didn’t have a body.



And there was pizza and a whole bunch of things I didn’t make (which really just means one plate of sad limp vegetables) because remember my brain does not think to think of other people on account of being in my first-world-survival-mode. I’m so fun to be around these days ;) Bless that husband of mine. BUT THEN she was playing so nicely in the front room by herself and we put her favorite song on… those lil eyes lit up and she exclaimed “I HAVE TO GO PUT ON MY PRETTY BLUE DRESS!” And away she pranced to put on her proper dancing attire and led the night in the sweetest little dance party. Bless my family for putting up with all this. It warmed my whole dang soul.

Happy birthday to the sweetest little girl I know, who daily holds her mess of a mommas face between those sweet little cupped hands and whispers “it’s okay momma! It’s all going to be okay!” I sure love you, Abigail Elizabeth. Happy three.

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If you could only hear the sounds

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family days

We have a little slideshow that plays family pictures when our apple tv is on, and the other night Greg and I were just sitting there watching it go round and round, listening to music and I thought, my goodness I really haven’t taken many pictures lately cause I’m tired and lazy and sometimes just wanna enjoy the whole dang experience doggonit but I sure do love looking back at all these times I would most certainly forget had that picture not been emblazoned in my mind. So this is now – lots of feet in the face, lots of personal space being shot to hell ;) but lots and lots of the sweetest giggles you ever did hear and so much heart bursting I can barely stand it. These people are my everything.



This girl <3 they don't come much sweeter!


^^HIS LITTLE SMILEY EYES. I. just. can’t. take. it.^^


^^YOU GUYS THAT FACE. He gets away with freakin everything because LOOKIT.


And one more of Bentley being dominated ;)

HEY! The kids are napping, the dishes are DONE… I KNOW. (If you’ve visited me lately, you know this is a rare occurrence and a modern day miracle…) maybe I’ll just keep posting away and play catch up ;) get ready for a potential bombardment!

A city day

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family days



Don’t you just love the city at Christmastime? I do :) I love to go up there this time of year hoping it will be especially festive …which it wasn’t …but we still had the best time! Abbie’s been begging to go ice skating recently and I was all geared up to watch Greg take his daughter around the rink till he switched up the game and said that I in fact would be the one precariously holding up a wobbly child on sharp blades and slippery ice. All good days start at the ocean so that is where we began.
The winds were a blowin and MY GOSH it was cold but by golly it is December and I’m so thankful for just the slightest chill in the air! I hate hot Decembers. Except the last couple of days when our heat was not hooked up… it would have been nice to have some freakishly warm nights then ;)


^^When your baby doesn’t want a booster seat or high chair and orders her own meal and looks like a proper ADULT :’) :’)


I’m just so proud of this little lady for trying ice skating and being so big and brave! We went around three times and my back is still recovering. My goodness it is hard to balance and help someone else balance. We were a sight ;)


Aaaaand we looked like this most of the time.

This is my favorite picture Greg took ;)

BEST BOY. Sat all day and didn’t complain :) Sweetest lil guy!



And all of a sudden she’s a giant girl :'(

The rest of the day was filled with chasing bubbles and perusing shops. It was delightful :) I just love this lil family of mine.


When you try to get the bubbles like your big sister but you’re strapped in a stroller ;) heheh Hope you all have a very merry Christmas!

Gingerbread Houses

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family days

HALLOWEEEN!? That’s the last time I documented anything?? My goodness I have a lot of photo vomit to throw at you but for now we’ll start with last night cause it was just the sweetest thing.

This is hard for me to say, but we got a *gasp* kit gingerbread house…. and I must say…. I just may be a convert. It was all the fun without the tears! AND it actually got made this year and the memories are warm and fuzzy and all the good things! Some pictures to document how lovely an experience it was ;)




I think of all the things I’ll miss, the little foots might be right on up there. I’ve noticed Greg hardly ever takes pictures of my reaching foots… ;)




This is my boy – lover of all animals <3 I just can’t get enough of the squat and “hiiii” combo he does to all creatures, chickens included. LOVE that little man!


Someone didn’t read the part about waiting 15 minutes before starting to decorate. Hence the icing props.


She was mighty proud of her little creation :)




They are obnoxiously cute together.

Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season! Merry merry Christmas!

Happy Halloween!!!

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family days


Oh yes, there’s more! Imma just put these up here cause they make me unbelievably happy. Luke lit up when he saw this mass of feathers on his head and I just got such a kick out of him toddling around with that giant hair. So worth all the pricked fingers trying to find that dang needle amidst the mess of blue fluff. I’m so behind on sorting through my pictures so let’s just start with Halloween and perhaps skip over the bit of me turning 30 last month and then while we are at it, move on to the fact that IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!!! ;) I got so excited last night realizing that well, now that Halloween is over, it’s basically THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!! And since I was basically in grinch mode last year HELLO NO SLEEP AND SOME SORT OF HORMONAL THYROID DISEASE, I’m very much looking forward to experiencing all the cheer I missed in the rage that was last Christmas ;) Anyways, Halloween was so dang fun this year. I made the simplest costumes of all time and the kids actually didn’t cry the entire time they were in them – they didn’t rip the stickers off immediately and the wigs held together for the most part so I’d say it was some sort of a spooky miracle! Behold! 750 photos of fluff! I’m seriously struggling with decision making these days so you can’t possibly expect me to choose one!


THE HAIR! THE HAIR!


^^This one may be my favorite cause he’s literally rubbing his eyes and it was just the cutest thing :):)


In case you were wondering, the girl that will not let me touch her hair ( :'( ) would only tolerate such frivolity for so long – hence the excessive pictures of the man in blue. I swear I don’t have favorites ;) But while we are at it, here’s one more :)


Despite not ever receiving one trick-or-treater while living here, we decided to just try our street. I’m so glad we did cause we met so many of our neighbors and everyone was so friendly! Also, Abbie was so shy and scared to go (despite the promise of candy) but by the last house, she was telling me “come on, mom! we got to go knock on the door!” I hope she understands our neighbors won’t always be handing out candy…. what a strange holiday! haha. Anyways, I was so proud of her and so happy that we have so many nice people on our block :) who knew! Happy Halloween! AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON! sorta.

CA >> TN >> KY >> IN >> IL >> CA

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terrific trips


^^How cute are those two walking through the airport? WE MADE IT! We flew with one spinning, screaming baby and a thank-the-Lord-quiet-toddler across the country, drove up up up from state to state and finally made it to visit Greg’s family for the first time in way too long (sorry guys!). We had the best time!

^^They were really into looking out the window before we took off. You guys LOOK! WE ARE LITERALLY FLYING THROUGH THE AIR!!!! Nothing. :/ One day they’ll see the wonder of it all ;)

^^Greg has been looking forward to using his new headphones on a flight for the longest time. So when I saw him hand them over to his daughter cause hers kept falling out of her ears, I might have just fallen in love with him all over again :) it’s the little things :)

First stop was Tennessee to see Greg’s friends from way back when. They just had their first child and Abbie could have not been more excited!

She got my smothering gene.


We got to explore Nashville on a cold blustery day which was quite fun ifIdosaysomyself! There was delicious barbecue and some killer music for a Wednesday at 1pm and these kiddos loved dancing in the street. I sorta adore this picture Greg took of Luke even if my camera did feel like being blurry that day.

How can you not love that face <3
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ONE DAY I will get a picture with my kids where they are actually looking at the camera. One day.
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She’s a music girl. They both are really. Luke starts clapping immediately when it comes on and this girl just loves to dance. It’s safe to say they loved this town :)
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We got some coffee in a little shop where Abbie came with me to the bathroom and cheered SO loudly that MOMMY! YOU ARE DOING IT!!! YAY MOMMY!!! Can you tell we’ve been potty training?? Anyways, that was funny and slightly embarrassing considering I’m sure everyone in the shop could hear how well I was doing at using the potty ;)
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^^One day, guys.
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Thanks for having us Caleb and Shannon! Your daughter is beyond adorable and has sparked the baby fever in one little persistent girl ;) WE LOVE YOU!!! Now come to California!
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These pictures are trash but the drive was just so dang pretty, I couldn’t help myself!
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I LOVED driving through Kentucky! I don’t know why but I thought it would sorta be real dry and ugly but it was gorgeous and GREEEEEEN! And we happened to stumble upon the BEST friend chicken and frosty beer and mamma mia I was so happy and full!



I just love how much she puckers up :)
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So when you’re a Christian in Kentucky, you go see the Ark ;) And so we did. With an hour and a half till closing. Somebody didn’t plan the drive time correctly and my goodness it is large! but the good news is, we missed all the lines, it was practically empty and we had the best time even if we did have to basically run through it to see the whole thing!
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Abbie was slightly terrified at first cause when you walk in all you can hear is animal noises and she sorta had the ‘what the’ face plastered on for the first bit, but then she seemed to really like it. She said woah! that’s a big big boat! when we were pulling up. I got strangely emotional walking through hearing the rain and such but that’s not really new news in my life these days cause HELLO hormones! but all in all we had a real good time. I hope Abbie remembers it forever and ever. Is that asking too much? ;)

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Then it was off to Indiana to finally finally finally visit Greg’s family! I must say, it meant so much to me to see everyone welcome these kiddos and just love on them even though we don’t get to see you very often. They just seemed so happy and you guys welcomed them so warmly so thank you! It happened to be Greg’s brothers 50th birthday which was so much fun. There was a party. Everyone could make it. This was the first time all those siblings have been together since our wedding!
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THERE WERE THUNDERSTORMS!!! Abbie was sometimes a fan, sometimes not so much ;)

We got to meet up with some more of Greg’s hometown friends and their little girl! Abbie, sweet child. She needs more friends her age. She just lights up around anyone her size that might be willing to play with her. I love that little girl more than I can say :)

Greg showed me around Lafayette and it was so beautiful. I know you mid west folks don’t consider this Fall quite yet, but this California girl was beyond happy with the hint of changing seasons!

Greg kept saying, “now what exactly are you taking pictures/videos of?” ;)

It was so so good to see all of you! And to my dear mother in law who slept on the couch for a week :'( I’M SO SORRY! but thank you for putting up with us and not saying anything about the crying babies all night every night and for feeding us and loving us and and and. We are very blessed to have such a wonderful family on that side of the country. Just wish we could see you more! trip-63
And then it was off to Chicago to fly on home! There was less crying, just a touch more sleeping, and all was well. trip-64
AND YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS NOW!?!? FALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!! Happy Fall y’all!
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Camping with chillens Round 2

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terrific trips


We tried our hand at camping with littles again! It was so dirty! It was so fun! I seriously had the best time. The weather was glorious and the smells were all I could hope them to be and the lake was stunning and I am so glad to be sleeping in my own bed again but I also can’t wait to go back :) Some pictcha pictchas to document!

^^Just try to find Luke’s feet. And this is after lightening the photo…

These girls were SO cute together – holding hands and jabbering away about who knows what. Abbie LOVED having a buddy around, poor friend-deprived child.

This hammock. I think we need one STAT because I’m fairly certain they would have stayed in there all day if we had let them. Think of the sanity this lady could acquire. JUST THINK OF IT!


We finally found the dog beach for Belly dog! He was that happiest guy for those couple of hours :)


Those people. I love.

Their relationship. I’m so jealous.

Aaaand these are the pictures I get with my kids :/ ;)

^^This was definitely one of my favorite moments of the trip/my life. I took the kids back to the tent to get their nap in but as nature would have it, it started to thunderstorm. Bentley was SO nervous but Abbie just went up to him and held him and kept saying “It’s okay Bentley, I’m here, I gotchu. I’m here, it’s ok!” It was the sweetest thing :):) and Luke just thought the storm was the funniest thing. No naps were had but it was so dang fun. I LOVE STORMS. WHY DO I LIVE IN CALIFORNIA??


The camping ensembles. They are my favorite.



^^You know it’s been a good day when all three of your kids are asleep at the same time *insert HALLELUJAH hands*



There was an outing to other pretty places!



^^We wonder why it’s difficult to make friends… ;)

And went to see a meadow and some horsies. Many horsies.


^^She says her favorite animal is a horse right now so her face was pretty priceless when she saw them. I freakin love that girl.

And I may be biased but I think this boy is the cutest boy in the world. CUTEST. boy.

Some rear ends for ya.

The last time I took the kids to go see some horses, Abbie was obviously so excited but Luke :) I’ve never seen him hang on to me so tight. He’s a pretty brave n tough lad but he seems pretty aware these are pretty big animals :D his finger warmed up to them this time :)





Did you know my momma had horses growing up? She was a horse girl! I love to see her gently stroking them when she thinks no ones looking :)


Greg and I are in the matching hats stage of life. Wish us well.


There was a Saloon. Greg was so happy.

And then down to the river for picnics and whining dogs!



He’s just the sweetest most content little guy. How do I keep him One forever!? I love One.


This kid and her faces :D

She saw daddy put some on his face and wanted in on that action. How can you not love every little thing she does!? Innocence. There’s just nothing like it.

AND THIS BOY. He is the most tender ice cream licker I’ve ever seen. I could watch him all day. I sorta really like my kids.


And then we lucked out and got to take a spontaneous ride on Papi’s boat!


Fish were caught! Impressions were made! Abbie is still talking about how Papi kissed the fish ;) She also informs me daily that when she is three, and a big girl, she will catch a fish too. Also, she will see Spiderman when she is a big big girl. These are her life goals thus far.




Till next time, Pinecrest! You were awfully fun!

WE MADE IT! WE HAVE A ONE YEAR OLD!

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12 months of Luke / family days / Luke Blane


More importantly ^^these^^ pictures are DONE ;) definitely was picturing a smiley finish but alas, such is life. We had the best time celebrating little man last night. I still can’t believe it’s been a year and I still can’t believe he came out a boy! HA! Boys are so great. This one in particular. He’s so sweet and so dang mellow and undemanding. I think he knew all this was for him and he was just so cute and smiley. Ahhh I just love this lil man.


What better way to say good morning birthday! than with a candle in your melon! ;)




^^Bentley: “they forgot my birthday….”^^ ;)



Abbie only wanted to be in the picture if she could be upside down. She has opinions.



^^And this is where Abbie chose to put her watermelon, moments before guests arrived… she also decided to cover herself and the entire bathroom in lotion, moments before guests arrived. Quiet toddlers are terrifying toddlers. Also, cabinets were being emptied moments before guests arrived. Many things were happening. Thank you everyone for not showing up early :D


^^this man… how can you not love him :D ^^


^^Just look at that standing, toddling baby! Here’s to hoping they’ll be best friends foreverandeverandever^^


^^I think he liked his pie :)


This is definitely one of those fraction of an inch moments where I CAN’T CHOOSE! He’s just so dang cute! :D


I’m telling you! They just don’t come much sweeter!!


Those little outstretched toes <3


The mens… testing the slide, tractor combo… this year should be fun ;)

Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who was able to come celebrate little Luke and for all who have been involved in his life and ours! This year has definitely been one of the more challenging and your support means the world to us. We love you guys! And dear little Luke, you are such a blessing and my goodness, my mind is overwhelmed with thankfulness when I think of what a gift you are to our family. We sure love you little man! Happy birthday, son.

Fourth of July and other delights

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family days / terrific trips

Whelp, it’s July. You know, THE VERY MONTH MY BOY WAS BORN A YEAR AGO [what. the. HOW.] and we moved into our little house TWO years ago! and I’m feeling all sorts of joyful to be living in this little town with my little family. We just got back from my cousins houseboat and then had Greg’s friends in town for a couple days, sooo playing catchup while everyone sleeps :) A few pictures below. as is customary ;)

THESE GIRLS. They are so sweet together! Cheeto faces and kisses obviously signal summer.

That girl. She has my heart.

Remember how last time, he was in my belly?!


BEST auntie that can get the boy that doesn’t sleep, to sleep. in a life jacket no less!


Some of the best cousins that ever were



I’m too old for tubing. Says my neck. That wouldn’t move the next day.lake-17lake-18


When you get back in the boat and your daughter has started a dance party <3

Three generations!

THIS GUY. I love him.

lake-25When your older sibling is a girl… you get to wear the pink puffs

lake-28lake-29Did I mention all my furniture has teeth marks on it?

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lake-32lake-31I apologize but HOW do you pick just one!?

lake-43lake-45I’m pretty sure they are besties

lake-44That glorious moment when…lake-46

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That form!

lake-53lake-54lake-56lake-55Our relationship these days ;) lake-57These girls! They were just so dear!
lake-59And then these two!
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lake-61 Luke!


Dad’s face ;)
lake-64Testing out diaper strength.

lake-63Seriously, how cute are they?

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Thanks, Coz’s! We had the best time!

lake-76But then the next day was the Fourth! Which if you are American at all, is all things wonderful!

IMG_3807We went to a parade cause that’s what you do. There was meat a roasting on a float. Because Santa Cruz. Aptos, rather. lake-72

lake-74Hiiiii Mike

lake-73Did I mention he’s teething.

lake-75Hiiii dad

lake-77And then when the fog burned off, my baby girl, who hates all things water, turned into a daredevil pool goer – splashing and jumping and kicking all around! WHO IS THIS CHILD. I was so proud.

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lake-80Luke, learning the ins and outs of the GT

lake-81“So you say 50/50”lake-83“Ah, I see!”

These babies <3 I just can’t get enough of them!

lake-86So Abbie is back to being all brave and such AND SO we may have gone on her first kiddie roller coaster and I was all sorts of proud of her! IMG_3855IMG_3834Summer, you’ve been mighty fine! Happy July everyone!

ELEVEN

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12 months of Luke / Luke Blane


When he just won’t give you the smile he gives every other minute of the day ;) such is life.


^^Sister always ends up at the end of all these pictures ;)

WHAT THE HECK! WHERE DID THIS YEAR GO!? How is my baby boy almost a year old!? I know he still has a month but my goodness, I feel like eleven months is always more of a shock than twelve. It has just snuck in there somehow and caught me by surprise, both times! Anyways, this kid. I’m just so smitten by him and this month, well, it’s been a total game changer.

For one, I feel like I’m starting to feel normal parent tired rather than woah the walls are swaying tired. When Abbie was tiny, I went to the dentist and the lady that cleaned my teeth told me her son woke up every hour for a year. I remember thinking I could never do that. Abbie had her ups and downs with sleep but for the most part, she was fairly decent. Luke has shown me I can do things I never thought I could! Made me absolutely nuts in the head but hey! I feel like we have turned a corner ;) He’s napping pretty well and sleeping from about 7:30 till 4 fairly consistently till this last week where he forgot how fun 2am was. BUT he’s getting back to sleep pretty well instead of just screaming and needing to be walked around so that’s been nice. Now if only I could get back to sleep too, then we’ll really be cookin wiss gas!

He’s a water boy. I got him and Abbie a little kiddie pool for the hot days this summer and man, if I stick him out on the patio and don’t watch him, he’ll crawl right in, fully clothed, every time. It’s sorta funny, sorta WHY CAN’T I REMEMBER THIS HAPPENS EVETY TIME!?

He’s like a totally different baby! So sweet. So happy. Like, he was sweet and happy before but he’s just kicked it up a notch lately. Which makes me think he was just super tired before and trying his best? He would just zone out but was so sweet and mellow… and now he’s excitedly crawling everywhere, curious about everything, so quick to smile… he’s just the best! Aaaand I feel terrible.

He’s very into food *BINGO* and very into whatever you are eating.

He’s a stair master. I don’t worry about him at all anymore. He looooves going up to sister’s room and is very good about telling momma when he’d like to come back down. I love looking up and seeing his little head peering down at me with a big ol smile :):) FAVORITE.

Still such a momma’s boy! God must have known I needed that :) Abbie climbed into bed one morning and got between where he was soundly sleeping nestled against me …he woke up so fast and was SO mad till he worked his way back over and was immediately content. He makes my heart smile. BUT lately he’s been giving daddy lots of love. Whenever he comes home from work he excitedly crawls over to him, gets on his knees and raises those precious arms for giggly hugs. I don’t think I’ll ever be happier than when I see those babies love on their daddy. It’s the best.

He finally stood on his own for the first time! You cannot force him to do it. He only does it when he doesn’t realize he’s doing it. And he can take his merry time walking too. bemybabyforeverandeverandever

Speaking of walking, my dining room looks like an avant-garde painting all. the. time. Son loves to push those chairs ev-er-y-where. He has the best time causing disorder. Speaking of. Spice jars. Somehow he knows how to get into the cabinet and unscrew the tops. There were a couple days where curry was a very strong smell in our house. Bathroom cabinets are also rarely organized and toilet paper is no longer a friend to the roll.

We have found the choking sound he makes is actually a game he’s been playing! If you make a choking sound, he’ll make one back! Now I know! He also loves to play toss with dad. If Greg tosses a ball up, Luke will do it back. This is all very exciting.

He’s pretty dang mellow but definitely has a dramatic side. When sad, tired, or angry, that head will be laid on the ground in utter frustration. It’s rather dear.

Speaking of that head, he’s the toughest kid I know. For example, definitely accidently flipped the hammock over and all of me landed on that tiny head… he was a little upset but didn’t seem to really mind. Sister lands on it all the time. It almost always has a bruise on either side of it from running into things. He fell and hit his lip on the tile the other day and it was all bloody, plus he had some scratches from momma not keeping up with manicures, and a pretty bad teething rash on his chin… he looked all sorts of abused but he never ever complains. I’ve never heard him cry for more than a minute when he gets hurt and seems quite content to just be snuggled. He’s just the greatest boy. Did I mention I love him?

Dearest Luke, I love how you sit on your knees, and smile so big when you crawl around with really high arms and loud hand slaps. You have serious fears of missing out and hate to be put down for naps but you’ve been doing so good about trying. I love how you dance to music now and fling yourself through the air not knowing if someone is going to catch you. Actually, let’s work on letting momma know you’re about to do the flinging and then both of us will have less bruises. Dear son of mine, I sure love you with all my heart and thank Jesus every day that he put you into our lives. Happy last :'( month :'( of your first year!