25 February 2016

Celebrating 34!

I am always blown away at how fast my kids are growing and how fast time goes so it isn't surprising that I am kind of blown away that I turned 34 this month! Good God... THIRTY FOUR?!?!. I swear I was just 18 and headed to college! Of course, I know that 34 is actually very young and truthfully, I have really loved my 30's so I am very content at this age.

My 30's brought a heartbreaking and life-changing loss in my own life.
They also brought loss for several dear friends of mine. And I swear, I am just constantly hearing of sadness in so many people's lives. So as I welcomed 34, I really just felt.... grateful. And thankful. And honored to be living a healthy life surrounded by a whole lot of love. Because really... what else is there to really want or need for? Not a dang thing. 

We made the long trek up to... wait for it, wait for it...  BELLEVUE for a fun night out with some of my very best friends! We used the excuse of it being to celebrate mine and Margaret's birthday but really... it was a great excuse for a parents night out (which is somewhat like releasing caged animals!). NO really.

In our short afternoon/night away we squeezed in ping-pong and afternoon beers, bowling, dinner, dancing, and A LOT of laughing. Then we all met up for breakfast the next morning (after Heidi and Brian "grounded" themselves in the swimming pool) where we ate a ridiculous amount of food and laughed some more. Love these friends of mine, I really do.

We've made some big plans for 2016. Big plans. So stay tuned. ;)

Kennedy is SEVEN!

Our girl is seven! Seven years have truly flown by and I can say with complete honesty and a lot of emotion... they have been beautiful. Each of my children holds a special place in my heart and each of them holds a special place in our family. Kennedy is the one who made me a mom first. She's the first child we parent. I always say she's our "guinea pig." I say this jokingly of course (but it is kind of true). All of our parenting experiences happen first with her. So that makes her pretty special to us. Well, that and all of her amazing and wonderful traits. This girl is all kinds of funny, filled with emotion and passion. She's so kind and such a deep thinker (LOTS of thoughts floating around that head of hers). 

We celebrated Kennedy's birthday twice this year (actually, this seems to happen every year). Her birthday fell on a Wednesday so we celebrated at home with family and she had a great time running around with her cousins. She requested beef stroganoff for her birthday dinner (funny, right?!?!) and ice cream sundaes instead of a cake. She wore a cute little long skirt and this purple sweater and I braided her hair and I swear, she really did look seven which really was bittersweet for her mama. The weekend after her birthday, we celebrated at the skating rink with a little party for her and a handful of her school friends. She was so excited to have a "friend" party! It was really cute and all of her little friends are so sweet. 

There are so many things I want to remember about Kennedy at this age and at this point, I think I always will. But I know I won't. This seven year old girl will soon enough be replaced with an eight year old and then nine, ten and so on. She will change and grow each and every year and I think I will remember everything but I know I just won't. Which is where all this writing comes in. 

So here are a few precious details about my 7 year old girl for when I forget. 
** She's a crafty, artsy little bugger. She loves all things artsy - painting, gluing, cutting, CREATING. I was like this as a kid too so its fun to watch. 
** She's a huge snuggler and loves big hugs. She loves when our whole family hugs and we all say "group hug!!!." She thinks its the best thing. That deep thinking mind of hers causes lots of night time fears for her so she is in our bed a lot. She comes running in, hops up on our bed and snuggles down in between us and falls soundly back to sleep. I am not a big fan of kids in our bed but she so sincerely feels safe in between us that I mostly let her stay. 
** Kennedy loves to color and she loves to color with me. It's probably our favorite thing to do together and always makes her so happy. I hope I always remember that. 
** She's a reader! She is reading lots of beginning and intermediate readers. She is flying through sight words and while we are still working on her fluency, she is well on her way. I have started reading chapter books to her at bedtime (we are currently reading the Ivy and Bean series). It's a great way for her to listen and comprehend and I love the one-on-one time we get. 
** She loves her school friends and in particular, Becky. She and Becky have been inseparable since Pre-K and it continues to be true. I love their little friendship so much. 
** Kennedy is dramatic. Like, really dramatic. While this is one of her great traits (love her passion).. it is also a downfall at times. She and I can definitely butt heads because I have such a hard time with all the drama (I am working on my patience with it) and I have to remind myself that she is only 7 and that her way of processing situations is obviously different than mine. I am trying to teach her and give her tools to work through her emotions. It's a constant work in progress. ;) 
** Kennedy and Mara currently have a love/hate relationship. I suspect this is very normal but as someone who was raised an only child, I think it's weird! One second they are playing great together, laughing and having a grand 'ole time and the next second they are fighting and pushing and screaming at each other. I am bracing myself for the teenage years. 
** Kennedy has an enormous soft spot for her brother. She absolutely and whole-heartily loves him. and is SO good to him. It's been really wonderful to watch. 
** Kennedy's favorite t.v. show is Full House (also one of my favorites as a kid!). We are excited to watch the premiere of Fuller House on Netflix this week! :) 

Happy Birthday, Kennedy Renee!!! You are my sunshine special girl. 

Evelyn, Izzy, Kennedy
Mara, Kennedy, Annalese
Claire and MaryAnn 
Michaela (Becky's little sister) and Mara ... the next set of best buds!
Becky, Evelyn, Kennedy
The girls! 
Silly girls!

18 February 2016

Aiden | 8 Months Old

Much to my dismay, he's EIGHT MONTHS OLD.
I won't be repetitive and dwell on how fast it's going but gosh... it's going really fast.

Aiden Sean at 8 months old:
- He's getting mobile! Lots and lots of rolling and a little "up on all fours" action (I resisted the urge to knock him down when I saw this... I'm not super excited for the crawling phase!).
- All this mobility has earned him lots of time in the play pen (the first time I have ever consistently used one with one of my babies. What a beautiful invention!).
- Eating and loving solids - favorites include fruits, squash, sweet potatoes. Recently started some finger foods - bananas, avocados and the ever-popular puffs. 
- Aiden is a chatty kathy (another thing he has in common with his oldest sister). He's constantly babbling and even pretty consistently and clearly babbling "ma-ma" and "da-da."
- Waking 1-2x per night (sigh....).
- Has had the LONGEST cough and cold ever. It doesn't really get any worse, it has just been lingering for weeks.
- Happy, happy boy who loves to be outside and go for walks and as of late, swinging!
 An extremely accurate visual depiction of his and Mara's relationship:
And some visual documentation of Kennedy's recent fixation with the peace sign:
Big sis has a pretty special relationship with her little brother - she just downright adores him. 
Some other recent favorite photos (mostly from my phone):

And oh yeah, ...  He loves his mama.