Monday, May 30, 2011

3 day weekend, how I love thee

These 3 day weekends just make my heart happy. There's actually time to do all the things we need to do AND want to do. At the top of the list of things we WANTED to do...take Jackson swimming! We figured he would love it and we were right! He loves all things outside, his bath and having mommy and daddy's undivided attention, so swimming=perfect. Thank goodness for friends who live in apartments and are nice enough to share the gate code with us! (Thanks, Carrie!)

And he was the cutest little water baby I just wanted to eat him up.

We also got to spend a great, leisurely weekend with my mom. My dad had gone on a bear hunt in Idaho, and she had a work furlough day on Friday so she came to spend the long weekend with us. Jackson got to play hookie from school on Friday and hang out with his Grammy. Mom's birthday was Monday, so we enjoyed a belated birthday celebration with her and took her to dinner on Friday night. On Saturday, Mom, Jackson and I spent the day at the outlet mall. Jackson did pretty good, but I don't think shopping is going to be one of his favorite hobbies. As long as we were moving, he was pretty occupied people watching, but he hated being stuck in the dressing room with me. I can't say that I blame him! And then as I mentioned before, on Saturday night Mom stayed with Jackson so Justin and I could go out for our anniversary. We enjoyed a pretty leisurely Sunday with church, pedicures for mom and I and even a long nap for everyone!

Mom had to leave this morning, but not without some last sweet hugs and kisses from this sweet guy...

Doesn't he look big here??

It's nice to head back to work actually feeling refreshed, and the timing couldn't be better. This week officially kicks off my "busy season" at work. In reality, my busyness really started about a month ago--hence the lack of blogging this month. But I have a very special guest blogger (Justin!) who has vowed to pick up my slack this week! Check back later in the week for that!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

6 years ago...

Happy Anniversary (yesterday) to my wonderful husband!

6 years ago we were married in a lovely wedding in our home town. It rained cats and dogs that day--and we had an outside reception planned. Dozens of people that day tried to cheer me up by reminding me that "it's good luck if it rains on your wedding day!" To which I, not to be deterred in my pity party, would quickly retort that "that's just something you tell brides to make them feel better when their day is ruined by the rain." Looking back now though, perhaps we did earn a little luck that day. I thank God every day for the blessing of our wonderful marriage. Many things in our lives have changed in the last 6 years, but knowing that Justin will be by me every step of the way makes every new step and phase of our lives a fun adventure. With the addition of our sweet boy and getting to become parents together, this year has hands down been my favorite so far. We look forward to a lifetime more! We spent some time yesterday watching our wedding video and looking at pictures from the big day. Enjoy our trip down memory lane...


My sweetie took me to our favorite restaurant last night. Jackson's sweet Grammy stayed with him and we took advantage of having an extra adult who could serve as photographer before we left for our date.

And then our little monkey insisted on being in a picture too. Normally our kid wears clothes, but he had just finished his messy spaghetti dinner and we have learned it's just easier to strip him down.

At the restaurant we enjoyed delicious food, some wine and conversation that did not involve animal noises or poop. They even made our dessert festive for the occasion. Yum!

Here's to 100 more anniversary celebrations!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy 11 Months Jackson!

Our big guy is 11 months old! I can't believe that next month's update will have us celebrating his first birthday! It's going by way too fast. As always, he's had a busy month....

We've taken to calling him our little bulldozer. If he has his sights set on something, he doesn't let anything get in his way...he just plows right through, whether that be through his toys, the cat, kitchen chairs, etc. He had me laughing so hard the other day when I went to pick him up at his school. He spotted me when I walked in the room and took off, determined to get to me in as few strides as possible. Nevermind that there was this little house toy between us. I guess I just thought he would go around the toy, but no...he threw open the door to the house, crawled through the tunnel on the other side and arrived triumphantly at my feet. I can only hope that he applies this same determination and disregard for the obstacles in his life in the years to come.
"Hey, check that out! 11 months, huh?"
He may be determined, but he certainly does things on his own timetable. He's a bit lazy when it comes to gross motor skills. He dawdled around army man crawling for months before deciding that a proper crawl was more efficient, and now he's taking his time beginning to walk. I firmly believe that he could walk if he wanted to, but he's content to just crawl. It's faster, afterall. He can walk like a champ behind his push toy...when he feels like it. He's even exhibited his skills on his ride-on toy, able to propel it forward with his legs. I'm exercising mommy patience and struggling to avoid comparing him to other kids. I know he is a perfectly normal, happy, healthy kid, and will walk when he's good and ready. I will likely look back at this post and laugh in just a few short months when he's running through the house and wish again for the sweet simplicity that we had when he was "just crawling".

 He loves to laugh and to make others laugh. He still thinks that mommy or daddy jumping out to surprise him is the funniest thing ever. His fine motor skills took a big leap forward this month. He can now pick up tiny crumbs with his little pinchers, and loves to give high fives.

He loves to drink from a cup, sans sippy, and spends his bathtime practicing this skill. While he enjoys it, I do think we will stick to letting him practice this one in the tub only for the time being, or else be prepared to change his shirt.

He's eating lots of table food now, although we still have to trick him into eating meat. He does seem to be a true Texas boy though and enjoys his BBQ! Favorite foods are yogurt, applesauce and grapes. He also does pretty good with a spoon if we fill it for him.

He weighs about 22 pounds, and cut his 6th tooth last week. We've had a few consecutive restless nights with him recently, so I think he's moved on to number 7. He's mastered saying "mama" and "dada" and has really begun to mimic sounds now. We've heard "Hi!" and "Bye" a few times and we swear that we heard him say "Hi Jilly!" the other day when he and my dad were talking to his girlfriend Jillian. We have to really begin watching what we say now that we have a little parrot in our midst!

"Photo shoot over."
This little boy is just the light of our lives. I can't remember what we did, talked about or thought about before him. We wouldn't have it any other way!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

(Belated) Mother's Day Weekend!

I had a fantastic first official Mother's Day! Last year I was 8 months pregnant, and definitely feeling like I deserved to be celebrated, even though Jackson had not officially made me a mommy yet. My sweet hubby dutifully agreed (he didn't dare defy the huge and somewhat hormonal woman who had taken over his wife's body) and made me breakfast in bed. I remember thinking that by the following year on Mother's Day we would have an 11 month old who would "help" daddy make the breakfast. I remember having a hard time imagining that scene, and our lives at this point.

My, what a year it has been! We decided to have our mother's day celebration on Saturday morning because we had family coming into town for the next day. My sweet boys made me an omelet AND french toast and it was delicious. Jackson's favorite part was the orange/mango/pineapple juice. Normally he just gets water in his sippy cup so when he discovered it was something else, he was delighted.

That evening, my parents arrived and we made a special meal to celebrate my mom and let Cafe Eccel help with dessert--strawberry tarts...mmmm. The next day, we were joined by Justin's dad and stepmom. It was a very special Mother's Day because everyone came in town to help us celebrate Jackson's baby dedication at church. The baby dedication is a formal committment by the parents before the church body to raise our child to be a follower of Christ, and a committment by the church to pray for and support the family and the child along that journey.

Here's a few pictures we were able to snap before church...

Our little family just about the time the sun really came out...

And a few with Jackson and his grandparents...

And me with my sweet Mom!

Here we are at the church right after the service. The church gave Jackson a sweet little illustrated children's bible. Coincidentally, it was the same one we gave him for Christmas! I guess we picked a good one!

We were so blessed to have our families and even some friends there! We had a big group: in addition to our parents, my brother, Marc, his wife, Crystal and their daughter, Annabelle; and our friends: Abby; Amber, Julian and Jillian; Jake and Christen; and even Emily and Liz happened to be visiting that day, so we will claim them as part of our group! Afterward we went to our house for lunch, where Annabelle and Jackson enjoyed playing together. Really, Jackson had a great time watching Annabelle play. She's 3 1/2 and had a good time teaching him how to play with all of his toys in the way that they were actually designed to be played with. The last time they were together was January when Jackson was immobile and relatively boring by Annabelle's standards. This time he was able to follow her around and was fascinated by her every move. She was so good with him and they had fun playing together. It's going to be so fun watching these two grow up together!

Marc and Crystal were also so sweet to bring a beautiful and delicious cake!

Jackson got a few little gifts including a precious bible from my parents with his name on it!

My boys did great in the Mother's Day gift category! They gave me a beautiful pearl necklace and earrings. The pearls are extra special because it is Jackson's birthstone (insert audible "awwww" here).

It really was the perfect first Mother's Day, and I am so lucky to be this little guy's mom every day of the year!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rub-a-dub, cute baby in the tub!

Sometimes I don't blog because I don't have much to say. But with cuteness like this, who needs words?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jackson, meet Miss Reveille!

We had an exciting middle of our week this week! On Wednesday, Justin and Jackson got to come up to my work on campus for an event and got to meet none other than our Texas A&M mascot, Miss Reveille. She's a real sweetie and it was so much fun getting to hang out with her in the NSP office. One of my staff members, Emily, has some pretty sweet connections so she made the arrangements for Rev to come visit. What a fun surprise!

Oh yeah, and my mom and dad were there too. That was an even better surprise! And they got to meet Reveille too!

Thankfully, Jackson was really sweet to Miss Rev and didn't try to pull her hair or poke her in the face like he does with our dog. 

Gentle, Jackson!

Oh yeah, and the biggest surprise of all and the reason everyone was randomly at my work in the middle of the week...

I was so incredibly shocked but honored to receive one of these awards. My co-workers conspired with Justin to make sure I was surprised and even got my parents there without me knowing. My wonderful mom and dad made the trip and stayed in a hotel just a few miles from our house on Tuesday night to be at the 8:30 am awards program on Wednesday!

I might have been the one to walk on stage and accept the award but it really belongs to my whole team. These ladies are incredible and have been miracle workers for the last year. To Molly, Xiaodan, Brooke, Erica, and Erin: I couldn't be more proud to be associated with each one of you. You are talented, creative, smart, incredibly hard-working professionals and just plain wonderful people. I am delighted to call you colleagues and simply lucky to call you friends. Thank you! To Carrie and Emily: Welcome to the circus! =)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Check this out!

Look what Jackson can do!

He's so proud of himself. He thinks he is SO big! How is it possible that my baby is walking??