Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

My baby girl turns 4 today! Where has time gone? We have done so much in these last 4 years. Let's see if I can recap a little:

We became parents. In Rhode Island. Of all places.

We moved from Rhode Island back to California. We lived in Joshua Tree.

We moved from Joshua Tree to 29 Palms to live on base.

We moved from 29 Palms to San Diego.

So, 4 moves in 4 years.

We flew from Rhode Island to California, California to Wisconsin, Wisconsin to California, California to Virginia and Virginia to California.

So, 5 flights in 4 years.

We attended 2 weddings, with Madison, (Kellie and Marc & Angie and Eric) and were in my "sister's" wedding (Jaclyn and Barry).

So, 3 weddings in 4 years.

We have had visits to the ER where IV's were involved and ones with stitches involved.

So, 2 MAJOR visits to the ER in 4 years (that's not too bad).

Madison started preschool.

We had another baby. Madison became a big sister.

There are so many other things I could write about, but I'll leave it at those!


From the moment you were born, your darling personality began to shine. You are a girl filled with passion. You have such a tender heart. I know that God has gifted you with an indescribable compassion for others.

You have such a zest for life. You are always creating things and laughing. Your imagination is bigger than life itself. It brings me great joy to watch you play.

I love watching you play with daddy! You guys have such a sweet relationship! It reminds me so much of my relationship with grandpa. There is nothing like the love of a father and his daughter! You are so blessed to have daddy in your life and you'll realize it more and more the older you get!

You are an amazing big sister! You can make Hudson laugh and smile, simply by being in the room. I love to watch the two of you interact. I can just tell you guys are going to have a special friendship as the years go on.

Your laughter fills our house with smiles. Your goofiness brings just the right amount of silliness to any situation.

I love the tender moments with you. I love when you say your prayers at night and you sincerely pray for different people in your life or for God to help you to be kind to others. I love when you crawl up in my lap and snuggle with me while we read a good book! I cherish our little conversations and can't wait to have more with you as you grow older. I love when, for no reason at all, you run to me and wrap your arms around me and tell me that you love me more than anything.

I love your outlook on life. You are a "the cup is half full" kind of girl! Your spunk and love of life is inspiring.

Thank you for being such a blessing in my life. Know that I pray for you each and every day! I love watching God work in and through your life and can't wait to see what plans He has in store for you as you grow and learn during this next year of life! I love you sweet girl!

Love always,

Your proud mom

Friday, June 24, 2011

I Couldn't Resist

The other day I went to get Hudson and found him asleep and looking oh so cute, so I went and grabbed my camera and snuck a picture of this sweet moment! I simply couldn't resist!

I love my baby boy and he's getting big so fast! He is such a joy!

Then yesterday, I went to tell Madison her quiet time was over and here is what I found! Again, I couldn't resist.

I can't believe that she is going to be 4 years old in four short days! I love this sweet girl!

New Friends!!!

Madison is in pure heaven.

We just had new neighbors move in to the house in back of us and they have a little girl that LOVES Madison. Her name is Alexa and she is so sweet. She is eleven, but LOVES to play with Madison. It's so sweet to watch them interact and play!

Alexa just bought a trampoline for their backyard and after a long talk with Alex about whether we're okay with a sometimes clumsy preschooler jumping on a trampoline, we decided with a few ground rules it would be okay. I was able to capture some fun pictures from her first time bouncing! Madison has so much fun on the trampoline and is always excited when Alexa asks if she wants to come jump.

Julie and Ellie Come to Visit

Our sweet friends, Julie and Ellie, were in California for a visit last week and we were so thankful to get to spend a little bit of time with them! We hadn't seen them since they moved to Oklahoma, shortly after we moved to San Diego, so it was fun to see Julie's smiley face and to see how big Ellie is now!

Madison had so much fun playing with Ellie and Ellie had so much fun with Hudson. On one of our little visits, I remembered to get the camera out and snapped a couple of shots, but it's a harder task than it sounds when you're trying to capture a toddler, a preschooler, and an infant in the same shot!
Julie, we had so much fun seeing you and catching up, IN PERSON! Hope the rest of your travels go well and look forward to seeing many pictures and hearing many stories!

This was my attempt to catch the hugs good-bye, but I kept missing them! :(

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

I had hoped to get this post up before Father's Day, but it just didn't happen. Nonetheless, I couldn't let Father's Day pass and miss out on the opportunity to post about what an amazing Father Alex is to our children.

Alex just adores Madison and Hudson and it is so fun to watch them all interact. Alex has such a sweet, gentle heart, the kind of heart that is perfect for raising a little girl. Alex also has an amazing endurance and goofy sense of humor that makes him perfect for raising a little boy. He possesses so many more qualities, but these ones in particular stick out and cause me to fall in love with him all over again as I watch him interact with our children.

Alex is so patient and kind. He helps keep me in line when the house is stressful, as it can be having a preschooler and an infant. He is also caring and nurturing. He helps make boo boos better, he scares away monsters in the closet, he gently wipes tears away, he brings comfort through hugs, he brings laughter, fun and so much more!

We are blessed to have Alex as the leader of this home. Hudson and Madison couldn't have a better daddy and I couldn't have a better Husband! I love you babe! Happy Father's Day!

PS~Happy Father's Day to my dad! I love you so much and I will always be your little girl!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Swinging with Melissa

Madison just adores our sweet friend Melissa. The other day while we were at the park, Melissa hopped on the swing and let the kids all take turns swinging with her and I happened to catch some pictures of her with Madison and her with Caleb.

They all had so much fun! We love going to the park with our wonderful friends and this is just one of the many fun activities our families do together on a regular basis. Having them in our lives makes us better people! They are a HUGE blessing!

Monkey is Getting So Big

Here is a picture of Hudson playing on his tummy time bug! He is such a happy boy!

This is a picture of Hudson snoozing at the beach!

Wouldn't Change a Thing

Have you ever thought you knew more than God? Have you ever thought, "surely you're mistaken God?"

Well, this happened to me about a year ago. This time last year Alex and I found out that we were pregnant with Hudson. Last May, I clearly felt the Lord pressing upon my heart that it was time to grow our family, Alex felt the exact same way. I kept saying, "Sure, I want another baby. It would be fun to have another girl!" In my head, I'd already worked out all of the details and one of those details was that if we were to get pregnant we'd be having another girl, mainly because I'd never pictured myself with a boy, but also because I had some fears about having a little boy. Nonetheless, we were obedient and the following month we were pregnant. Finding out we were pregnant this time was much different than when we found out we were pregnant the first time.

When we found out we were pregnant with Madison, it was an answer to a childhood prayer of being a mom someday, but this time when we found out we were pregnant, it was an answer to prayer for an obedient heart. We were content (or so we thought) with our little family of three. So, this time, when I found out I was pregnant, I was filled with doubts and fears. I wasn't sure I could do it again. I wasn't sure I was ready for this, but then I would be filled with peace that could only come from God.

The tricky thing about how God works sometimes is that even though we can be obedient, it doesn't mean that everything is going to turn out or feel exactly like we think it should, but when we're walking along side Him and following Him daily He gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding. This peace is what sustained me!

When we found out we were having a boy, it was no secret, that I was devastated. Now, having a chance to look back on it though, it wasn't so much a devastation as a pure and utter fear of what to do with a little boy and all that having a little boy entails. I'm a girl, most of my friends are girls, I babysat mostly girls. Naturally, I was a little apprehensive.

Here is a little side note that is necessary for the story:
For the last year to year and a half, I have desperately been praying for God to soften my heart, to give me more compassion, to give me more grace, to have more self control, and to give me a more quiet gentle spirit. I have been praying for this daily and seeking Him more than ever because I desire to posses these qualities and fruits of the spirit.

Back to the story:
Fast forward to the night before having Hudson. I was still nervous (mostly about the upcoming surgery, but also knowing I was going to be a mother to two children), but once again, the Lord covered me with a peace that only He can provide. Alex was awesome, he prayed with me before I went in to be prepped for the surgery and then within a few minutes of Alex joining me in the OR, Hudson was out and I was staring into his beautiful blue eyes!

God completely and utterly blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. I had no idea how much I was going to be in love with Hudson from the second I heard his little cry and saw his sweet little face. Everyone always says your heart just keeps growing as you add children, but I couldn't imagine loving another child as much as I love Madison. Wow, can I just say God is awesome!

Now, the reason for the side note: everything I've been praying for, for me, is embodied in this sweet little boy of mine. It's amazing. I am learning how to posses these qualities through watching Hudson. He is simply the sweetest little boy. He has the most wonderful personality and I learn new things from him each and every day.

Hudson touches my heart on a level I never knew existed and I believe it's because he was born out of faith and obedience. God knew that I needed him in my life when I didn't. God knew what was best and through this journey has once again grown my faith and trust in Him. Hudson is the blessing I never knew I wanted and I wouldn't change a thing.

Watching Madison and Hudson interact touches my soul and makes my heart smile. I am in awe when I see just how meant for each other they were and clearly God knew that as well. I know they are siblings and they will have their moments, but I can just tell they are going to have a very special relationship with each other.

It's fun to know that our story as a family of four is only in the beginning stages and that we have so many adventures ahead.

So Much More Than Just Reading...

We love to read stories in this house! I snatch up whatever time I can each day to just sit back on the couch and read stories with my little loves! Hudson is so fun to watch while I read. His eyes track when the pages turn and he giggles when Madison laughs or responds to the stories.

Madison has always loved reading (I also read with her from a very young age). I am hoping that her brother develops a love for stories and imagination as well. It is so fun to watch Madison act out stories and songs she hears. Her little imagination is at an all time high right now and I can't help but link that back to her love for stories.

I cherish this special cuddle time with my children and look forward to it each and every day, even if we have a crazy day and don't get to just sit back on the couch and read, we always finish the day with two stories and that time is oh so sweet!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Little Morning Smirk

Sleepy Boy

This isn't the best quality picture, but I loved it just the same!


Okay, so for those of you who know me well, you know that I am not a huge fan of seafood! There are a few types of fish that I like: Halibut and Ono and sometimes Tilapia (depending on how it's prepared).

I was beyond excited when Alex and I last went to Costco because they had Ono. Tuesday night we decided to grill it and followed the recipe on the back of the package...it was AMAZING! I am posting the recipe because it was the best marinade I've ever used on fish and it came out beautifully! Even Madison LOVED it...so here is a picture of her plate because I remembered to actually take one! We made Madison a mock Mai Tai with just pineapple juice, orange juice and a splash of grenadine!

Marinade (from Black Tie):

2-4 fish filets
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 TBS Fresh Lemon Juice (I might add a little more next time b/c I love lemon so much)
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 sea salt (I used Kosher Salt and it worked just as well)
1/4 tsp ground pepper
lemon slices to garnish

**Marinade for 15-20 minutes than throw on grill...

Fun with Robert and Caleb

Over Memorial Day Weekend, we grilled with our dear friends Bobby and Melissa! Our kids had so much fun. As soon as we walked in the door Madison, Robert, and Caleb all did a HUGE group hug and I happened to catch it on my phone! Yay for cameras on phones!

Then the next day, we got our blow up pool out and Madison and Caleb played in it for a bit, while Melissa and I enjoyed a nice conversation in the relaxin in the beautiful San Diego weather!

Fountain at Balboa

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Alex and I have wanted to take Madison to the Museums down in Balboa for awhile now and on Monday we were able to go to one of them! Madison had sooooo much fun! We went to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center! It was so hands on and sooooo kid friendly. It was great to go somewhere that Madison could explore and have fun without having to really worry about her volume or keeping her hands to herself!

There were two floors at the Science Center and they were both equally fun, although the upstairs definitely had more preschool type activities!

We had a lot of fun, but probably won't go back because even with the military discount, Alex and I didn't think that there was enough stuff inside to pay what we did. It was great for one trip, but we would probably go to other museums or the zoo before choosing to come back.