Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bryleigh - 10 months old

That's right...Bryleigh is now 10 months old!

On Sunday, Bryleigh turned 10 months old. 10 amazing months have passed us since she joined our family! We spent some time on Sunday thinking about this and reflecting on how far we've come and especially on how our life has changed in the past 10 months. Her presence in our lives have truly impacted us in ways that we never could have predicted.

10 months ago we never would have guessed that another baby would make life this busy. We never would have predicted that 2 kids would wear you out so much. Sure, we planned on less sleep with a newborn. Yes, we knew that we would be playing "man-on-man" defense from here on out, but we laugh now at how even though we were aware of those circumstances, our predictions were still very skewed. Never would we have been able to guess that our life would feel this blessed...that we would be so excited to see our daughter grow and change right before our eyes...that we would be so proud that our son would love his sister without us prompting him! We did know exactly how much Bryleigh would bless us and we're learning each day that this blessing keeps giving and giving to us. God is amazing!

Now, a brief update on Bryleigh. A lot has changed since her 9 month post. She loves crawling now and is definitely ALL over the house. She is also pulling her body up off of the floor to get a toy, shoe, or object that she wants. We think that she has developed her taste buds now because she is rejecting food for the first time. She tends to lock her jaw with some vegetables or push the spoon away from her mouth. She LOVES finger foods but Cheerios are possibly her favorite thing so far. She still only has 2 teeth but is gnawing on everything like another one may be popping in at any moment. She enjoys waving bye bye to everyone and will say "hi-hi-hi" when she sees you from across the room. She has DEFINITELY learned how to show her emotions and has gotten especially good at crying when she is ignored or doesn't get her way. (Drama for the rest of our lives, for sure!) She's into banging her toys, putting things in and out of baskets, and stealing her cars from Brenden. :)

This is such an exciting age for us because she is learning new "tricks" and developing a personality more and more every day. We love seeing her blossom and know that many more changes are still right ahead of us!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

MawMaw, and PawPaw, and Soccer...Oh My!

We were all VERY excited that MawMaw and PawPaw came in town for the day on Saturday! They have been wanting to come to Durham so they could see one of Brenden's soccer game, but it has been harder to coordinate than we would have ever guessed at the beginning of the season. However, thanks to rain predictions and PawPaw not being on-call, they were able to finally make it and it was such an exciting day for us all!!!! We can't wait to see them again ASAP! Here are some pictures of our fun day together...

Bryleigh spending quality time with MawMaw!

Brenden and Daddy celebrating a victory!

Brenden and Avery getting in position.

Bryleigh cheering for Brenden :)

Check out Brenden's hair...it was HOT!!!!

Our little "TarHeel" enjoying his snack after the game

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

On a personal note, I wanted to write a little something about Mother's Day. I think that sometimes Mother's Day can turn into a day that looks similar to Valentine's Day. It can become a day when people feel like they should be showered with gifts, flowers, breakfast in bed, compliments, and affection. Often times I feel like people want their day filled with these things so they can then brag to their friends and family members about how lucky they are while listing all of the material things that they have received throughout the day.

Maybe I'm weird, but Mother's Day has such a different feel to me than any other day of the year. For me, it is not a day where I'm expecting my husband to spend a lot of money on me. It is not a day where I'm expecting my children to serve me and wait on me while I lay on the couch. It is also not a day for me to call up my friends and compare notes over who had the best Mother's Day. In my life, Mother's Day has taken on a completely different meaning.

There are 2 main components of Mother's Day to me...
1. To recognize and show appreciation towards honorable Mothers.
2. To praise God and acknowledge how blessed I am to be a mother.

There are many women out there that deserve every ounce of honor, praise, admiration, and appreciation that I have in my body for being such amazing mommies -

Karen, Amy, Kelly, Tonya, Jenn, Monica, Suzie, Amy B., Mary R., Mary T., YaYa, Donna, Debra, Samantha, Courtney, Megan, Kat, Julie, Michelle, Laura, Jen T., Angie...

These mommies have all taught me something about being a better mom. They have taught me better discipline strategies, they have taught me how to be more patient, they have shown me how to live in the moment, they have been encouraging words of wisdom, they have been strength during difficult times, they have been strong in their faith and firm in their support for their child, they have been a blessing over and over and over to me and I'm so thankful for their friendship, for their honesty, and for their example.

However, the greatest examples that I've had in my life have come from my Me-Ma and my Momma! Never have I met 2 woman more amazing both as wives and as mothers. They have raised kids that love them and work hard to honor them daily. ("Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her..." Proverbs 31:28) They have shown their children unconditional love and they have forgiven them numerous times. They showed God's love to each child and worked hard their entire lives to be sure that their kids experienced God's love first-hand. I am so amazingly blessed to have been given such an amazing Momma and Me-Ma and I can only pray that one day my kids and my kids' kids will think of me with half of the admiration that i have towards the two of them. "There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!" (Proverbs 31:29)

Finally, Mother's Day has changed even more for me over the past 4 years. I have become overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and appreciation ever since bringing home my first "bundle of joy". I know that I do not deserve to be a Mommy. I also know that God doesn't "owe" me anything, especially 2 amazing children. This day is not a day for me to let people recognize me, instead, it's a day where I want people to recognize what God has done in me and for me. I am a Mommy because of Him...I am an okay Mommy because of Him. I get to wake up in the morning and spend time with my kids, because of Him. He gave my kids to me. He picked me to take care of them and to nurture them and to plant Godly seeds in their hearts. It is because of all of this, and especially because of what He did on the cross for me, that makes this day feel totally different than it used to feel. It is because of this that today I say...

I am one blessed woman, friend, teacher, sister, daughter, wife, and

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's official...
we're Soccer Moms...
and LOVING IT! ;)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Berry" Fun...

Brenden had a field trip to the Strawberry patch this week with his preschool class. He went with Nana, Papa, Daddy, Bryleigh, and Hailey on this fun trip and LOVED being out in the fields picking strawberries. He wouldn't necessarily eat the strawberries but he would suck on them and said they tasted just like apple juice (?). He also loved teaching Daddy the right way to pick the strawberry from the vine..."turn and pull...you got to turn and pull". He said "Agent Oso" taught him that. Below are some of the pictures that Nana managed to take of the field trip.

Brenden's first trip to the strawberry patch.

Hailey and Papa picking the strawberries.

Brenden teaching Daddy how to pick 'em.

Bryleigh and Lilly

Brenden with his buddy Avery ....

Hailey with her berry collection.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Let's Go Bulls!

One of our favorite things about the Spring/Summer would have to be getting to go to as many Durham Bulls Games as possible. This weekend we were VERY excited to get to go to our first one this season. Bobby's work had a picnic dinner that they provided along with an air conditioned suite and boxed seats for all of their employees. We had such a good time watching the game, hanging out with the Blue Monster and Wool E. Bull, and shopping in the gift shop. This was Bryleigh's first game and we're not quite sure she's going to love it as much as Brenden does, but for the most part she seemed to have a blast as well.
We can't wait and go back in 2 weeks!!! :)

Picture Details in case you can't see:

Top Row: Brenden and Bryleigh watching game, Brenden and the Blue Monster, Bryleigh at her first game, Brenden and the huge glove and bat, Bryleigh at the gates.

2nd Row: Daddy and Brenden, Brenden watching the game, Bryleigh and Mommy, Brenden telling us to watch the game.

3rd Row: Brenden begging for a hat, Brenden on the bench with Wool E Bull, Brenden really meeting Wool E. Bull, Brenden and Mommy.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bryleigh - 9 months old

We don't know where the time has gone, but it has definitely passed quickly. Our baby girl is now 9 months old! 9 amazing months have passed us and we still remember seeing her for the first time like it was just yesterday. We are still reminded of how blessed we are every time we look at her, listen to her giggle, or kiss her goodnight.

She is still a very happy baby that appears to have a lot to say (even though we can't understand very much of it)! ;) She is sleeping VERY well at night but her naps tend to get interrupted frequently by her big brother. She is eating 3 meals a day (1 bottle and Stage 2 baby food at each sitting). This month we decided to also start more finger foods so she enjoyed her first taste of puffs as well. So far we have not found anything that she won't eat for us. :)

She is continuing to sit up very well on her own and is also still rolling all over the house. This month, she appears to have mastered crawling. She is still not lifting herself up off of her belly to do it, but she seems to manage just fine "combat crawling". She started out very slow with her crawling but has recently picked up her pace tremendously. (We think she's trying to keep up with Brenden.)

We had her 9 month check-up on Tuesday and the Doctor was very pleased with her progress and appearance. She was 15 lbs 1 oz and 26 1/4 in. :) (We know, she is petite! We know, most babies are 15 lbs at 6 months! ha!) The doctor assured us that Bryleigh is growing as predicted and by "the curve" she is continuing to grow in both weight and length on the same scale she has each month previously. He was also pleased with her crawling, sharp bottom teeth, and constant chatter over us talking. He seemed to like her waving "bye bye" most of all! :)

We did have some "what next" questions for the doctor and were both pretty surprised by the answers. We wondered about needing to move her out of the carrier car seat into a regular car seat (because of length, not weight obviously) but he said that he couldn't foresee her needing to switch until she was a year and ready to turn around to face forward. (Courtney, what do you think about that?) We also wanted to know about best practice for transitioning her to formula. He asked us some questions about family history and then encouraged us to go ahead and try regular milk and skip formula all together. We processed that advise for a few days and then decided we'd try...so far she seems to like it and it seems to settle fine with her! We are going very slow, though, and know that only time will tell if it really works well with her little tummy. :)

It makes us very sad to think about how fast this time has passed us, but we don't have time to sit around and cry. Every day we wake up to Bryleigh's adorable smile and we're filled with appreciation for all that God has given us. We know that she is His child and we're just blessed that he picked us to be her parents! Seriously, look at how cute she is...