Thursday, January 30, 2014

feeling rich

It's been such a rich week.
So full and encouraging and joyous.

I have been so thankful.
My days with my family have been so fun. This stage of life that Lux is in just brings so much laughter and hugs and kisses and her daddy and I can't get enough of that girl. 
This week I've thought so much to that moment when I found out I was having a little girl. At the time, my heart sank and I cried because i desperately wanted a little boy. 
Now, I can't even imagine what life would be without this little girl that has stolen our hearts.
We're so in love. 
She's changed our lives drastically and each day with her I try to memorize what she's like that day. 
What her smile is like, her chubby legs, her busy hands, her giggles, and words.

I ran across a former co-worker in the grocery store. 
She looked at Lux, who was happily "da da da da"ing in my cart, raised her eyebrows and said, "You're just staying home with her? You're not working anymore?"
I'm glad I don't look at my life like that. 
Just staying home.
I'm so thankful that I get to stay home and be a full time mom.
I adore being a part of Lux's every moment the past 7 months. I get to kiss her when she climbs things and falls, I get to figure out her likes and dislikes, I get to comfort her cries and be her hero when she's unhappy or upset about something. I get to play and laugh and talk to her in a silly voice and do silly things just to hear that contagious giggle and see those two little white toothies.
I get to clean, cook, and keep our home and have dinner ready for when Ryan gets home.
I love every aspect of being home with Lux and Alexio and the exciting celebration every time daddy comes home.
It's the best thing I've ever had the privilege of doing.

Lux and I have so enjoyed our time with friends this week too.
While living here in Storm Lake, I rarely had time to just hang out with friends. 
I didn't have the time or energy after work to cultivate friendships the way that I wanted. I was always so mentally and physically exhausted and would just want to go straight home, change my clothes, snuggle on the couch and not have any commitments after work; and if it was winter? good luck trying to get me to leave the house unless I absolutely had to.

Now, I have the chance to enjoy sitting on a couch, over a cup of coffee and talk.
I've had so many wonderful conversations with friends and have been so encouraged...and even in just this week alone. The week isn't even over yet and I've already been blessed with encouraging and meaningful times! I'm thrilled to get to spend time with women, from all walks of life, and enjoy their words of wisdom, stories, and laughs. 
I don't even mind leaving my house in the winter for a good time with friends!:) 

Not to mention that I've had some quality time with my baby's hot daddy. 
I love those days that Ryan, Lux, and Alexio start the day off playing and chasing each other around. And then seeing him with Lux, hearing their conversations, and watching her reaction to the things that her daddy does...just priceless.
Dinner time this week has been later in the evenings, because of meetings that Ryan has been at, so Lux has been in bed. which means we've been sitting at the table, talking, leisurely eating, and taking as long as we wanted:) And after it, we end the evening snuggled on the couch with Alexio, cups of coffee, and a tv show or two. 

My heart is feeling so full right now. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014


It's been a long blah week.
It's no fun when baby is sick and she can't tell anyone how she feels.
So she has to put up with my constant guessing of what she's feeling.
Poor little girl.

I'm sitting on the couch, with a big fluffy blanket, sitting by my husband, and catching up on our current tv shows.
I feel like blogging, but I don't feel like putting any thought in it.
So I'm stealing this from my older sister, Ilene, from Much Love Illy, and filling it in with my own answers.
Should be fun!
[and here's a pic of me and the babe snuggling and watching High School Musical 2 on her sick days]

Making : a list for grocery shopping tomorrow
Cooking : nothing currently, but for dinner I baked tilapia with olive oil, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper and cilantro lime rice, which is the perfect side for any meal
Drinking : water, trying to keep myself hydrated for nursing...and coffee with Salted Caramel Mocha creamer which is my current FAVORITE drink to look forward to every day
Reading: I wish I were reading something, anything, right now.
Wanting: To teach my body to sleep through the night...i've lost that ability 
Looking: forward to heading to Chicago for the Founders week and getting to see two of our three sisters
Playing: all day long with Lux or Alexio...we can actually play together now!!! it's so fun.
Wasting: mmm...time on Facebook when I should be doing laundry or something
Sewing: haha, that's funny. I ask my husband when i need something repaired.
Wishing: that my family was closer so that they could see Lux
Enjoying: that Lux finds more things to laugh about each day
Waiting: til Ryan gets home every's the highlight of everyone's day 
Liking: having friends come over for coffee 
Wondering: if i need my bottom retainer's loose and i keep playing with it with my tongue
Loving: that I get to eat lots of calories since i'm nursing 
Hoping:  to get to a burger from Five Guys in the near future...or wings from Buffalo Wild Wings...i'm craving lots right now
Marveling: at God's goodness in blessing us with Lux
Needing:  the weather to warm up so I can start running again
Smelling: my shampoo...I just took a shower and wrapped up in a blanket
Wearing: my Aerie plaid pajama bottoms and a VS PINK vneck shirt
Following: nothing new right now, same old, same old. 
Noticing: that my stomach is growling and I'm hungry for something salty
Thinking: about how good a massage would feel right now
Bookmarking: recipes that I'd like to try one day
Opening: the door and letting the freezing cold air in to the house when I let Alexio out to use the bathroom
Giggling: about the 9 best texting pranks that my sister just sent, me and Ryan to husband was crying from laughing so hard
Feeling: achy and tired from being sick

I haven't filled out a survey like that since high school. That was kinda fun! Feel free to copy and paste and fill this out with your own answers.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

7 months of "light" in our lives

Our little girl is 7 months old today.
I can't believe it.
This month had the most rapid changes in her development. I think every day I pulled out my iPhone to either record a video for Ryan to see or FaceTime him at work to show him stuff Lux figured out how to do while he was away!
It was also SUCH A FUN MONTH.
She's getting to be more active and energetic and alert and she responds to so much now!
I loved this month

Here are her 7 month pics...
She's actually sick today.
She's not really herself and isn't quite as smiley or energetic as usual...You can kinda see it in her eyes that she's not feeling good.
She still moves ALOT even though she's sick, and wiggled and wiggled all over, in between her runny nose and sneezing, so most of the 200 pics that I took were blurry. haha.

This month has come and gone so quickly.
She spent half of it in South Carolina and half here in Iowa...she's become quite the traveler. 

Lux has learned how to sleep through the night! After our doctor encouraged us to sleep train, we finally did, and after two torturous nights, she was sleeping through the night! Whooo! 
however, after 6.5 months of waking up numerous times in the night, mommy over here needs some help sleeping through the night herself. I have been trying for two weeks now, and still can't sleep through the night. 
any good tips out there?:)
Lux has had some fun play dates this month.
It's fun to see her actually interacting with others now, and playing with the same toys, and sharing cookies, and drinks...She is going to grow up with some sweet friends.
 She's kinda a ham. This is her most of the day.
She makes these weird little faces, and does this strange noise, and then laughs.
The only time I'm opposed to it, is when i'm aiming a spoon into her mouth and as I get the food in, she blows and makes a sound...and her food goes everywhere.
that's my girl;)
Her love for books is starting to ignite.
I'd been reading every so often to her, both it always ended the same...which the book in her mouth.
But recently, she's been interested in the pictures and flipping the pages! I've left her in the living room and watched her just flipping the pages and talking to the book.
My heart is happy.
I can't wait til she likes to listen to stories and when we can visit the library for a stack of books.
 So one day, she decided she needed to see all her toys in her toy box.
and pulled herself up.
I started freaking out when i saw her trying, and got a video of it, the very first time that she pulled herself up. She fell immediately, but since then, has developed amazing balance and confidence. She's  constantly standing up and bending her knees to go up and down and up and down.
 oh and this is just a cute pic of her on Christmas day.
i love her little toe in the pic.hehe.

My mom started this with lux and taught her to really jump. Lux used to just spin and spin and spin, and then try to walk in it, but she had never jumped until we were in Beaufort. My mom would always say, "Jump, jump, jump, so much energy!" and she'd start jumping! We still say it to her now, and she starts jumping:)
 this girl has learned to push up and crawl on her hands and knees, but prefers to army crawl for the time being. I think because she can get places faster. She's going through some separation anxiety whenever I leave the room, and so she crawls as fast as she can after me. Even in the kitchen. Which gives me more incentive to wash my floors more often than i do.
 Lux was my taste tester while i made her food.
I'd done it a few times before, but since traveling, it was just easier to peel back the gerber tops and feed her from that. But when I started giving her real table food, bits and pieces of ours, she totally preferred the flavor and spices, and I decided to start making her food again.
I love doing it, i just hadn't done it since before Christmas! I like knowing what all is in her food, and I like being able to flavor it to what she likes. 
We made cooked carrots, butternut squash, two different chicken recipes, and vegetables. 
It was fun, and she liked trying everything out! We use lots of italian seasoning, paprika, pepper, and garlic...I made crock pot chicken and roasted chicken. she likes both!
 Oh, we love Zac Efron in this house.
He saved us on our three day road trips. 
Lux loves three songs on the playlist. so we watch that over and over again.
 These three are currently her very most favorite toys. 
They sit on top of the bunk beds in her room, and whenever her daddy is in her room with her, they move and talk to her! She's utterly amazed, and talks, and laughs at them.
But when we go in the room and daddy isn't home, they just sit there and stare at her, and you can just see her face drop when they don't move for her.
They always play with them before bedtime, and Ryan tosses her up to the top bunk and she wrestles them down. It's the best time ever for her.
Here is a daily occurrence in our home. Lux loves loves LOVES her dog, but Alexio isn't too sure about her. She is constantly chasing after his toys, rawhides, blankets, and him. she just loves him so much! But when she learned to crawl, and started chasing after him, he'd always run to me and give me this look:

 Toys are especially interesting nowadays.

 After Lux grew TWO inches in a month, but only gained 8 ounces, our doctor suggested trying to beef her up...three solid meals a day, two snacks, and then in between all that, extra nursing, plus supplementing with formula. 
we are having fun experimenting with foods and finding new things to eat. 
she REALLY likes yogurt with fruit, especially blueberries. 
she loves cottage cheese on the side of chicken and veggies too.
and for snacks, we're doing a lot of fruits and gerber finger food snacks.

 and lastly, this pic is so sweet it makes my heart just melt.
I do the same thing to her practically every day, kissing her, smelling her baby hair, snuggling her, and eating up my baby girl being a baby.
it looks like lux is doing the same thing! except, her doll ended up with lux's slobber all over her.

Our Baby girl, 
Your time of being a baby is going too fast.
I never thought I'd see the day that you'd be big enough to sleep through the night, but here we are, and you're sleeping 12-14 hours each night now! You're laugh is contagious and your joy is unmistakable. We are continually praying for you to know the Lord at a young age, that He will be your personal joy and salvation and as you grow up, that your heart will be teachable and loving to others. 
I'm so thankful to get to spend every single moment of your day with you. I get to see the first time you do everything and celebrate all those victories with you. I get to hug you when you cry, and kiss those chubby cheeks when they are warm and feverish. I never imagined loving the fact that your daddy is so in love with another girl, because you have completely stolen his heart!We love you so much and our loves just grows more and more each day, sweet girl. 

Love, Mom and Daddy

Sunday, January 19, 2014

only a few of the best things of being home

When I'm home, I'm brought back to my childhood.
My parents provide such a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere whenever we come home, and for some reason, my sisters and i click back into being kids again and enjoying our parents taking care of us.
Mom and daddy have always had beautiful servants hearts, and I think now as a grown woman myself, I recognize it and cherish the example they've set all our lives. 
When we're home, we definitely notice my parents' hospitality and love...everything from Daddy making each person their coffee each morning and night to mom's delicious home cooked meals. 

Anyways, some of the best parts of being home is the relaxing atmosphere.
Both Ryan and I feel like we can just relax and enjoy resting and sleeping. Lux is always taken care of by someone in the house, even early mornings:) 

another favorite part of going home is every morning, Lux heads to my parents room so I can sleep in and so they can snuggle.
 I usually don't end up going back to my room though, and my sisters and I pile onto their bed too, while enjoying morning coffee and news. 
It's so cozy, and all our lives, even coming home from college, or getting married, we become those little girls again and join mom and dad in their room. 
We're a big snuggly family, if you didn't notice. 

Another great thing is the weather...even in the dead of winter, we can go outside and run or bike or do whatever. 
Ilene and I went for a morning run (first run since I was like 3 months pregnant!) and it felt amazing. It triggered that desire to want to run...but then I came back home to the freezing temps of Storm Lake, and the desire went away. haha. 

Shopping with my family is like none other. 
We always hit up the mall when we visit.
My mom has a special gift of finding all the very best deals. like a $20 jean jacket at the children's place...but only paying 99 cents for it.
or finding Ryan clothes for like a fourth of the price...shirts, sports jackets, stuff like that. 
and lunch is usually included...and if Ilene is along, she'll buy you coffee.:-D

Another thing about being home is feeling comfortable with Lux staying with the family while Ryan and I go out.
Here's babysitting at it's best.
lol. Ash.
Actually, mom was the one that placed her down, asleep. and Ash just happened to be sitting there;)
I ran errands, went on dates with my husband, went out with my sisters, went to the movies (GAAAH! Catching Fire!!!!), and Lola and Lolo watched Lux all those times.

They even offered to pay for our next date, so that we could go out again.
Talk about amazing...the babysitters offer to pay for you to go on a date.
Ever since she was a newborn, Lola had a special effect on Lux...she can put her to sleep with no problem whatsoever...she's the Lux whisperer.

Grocery shopping with mom is always fun.
We all go, and just keep tossing the snacks and food we want to eat while home, in the carts. 
Like I said, we all turn into those kids when we visit home.
Mom always has food ready for us when we get there, and then we go grocery shopping with her every few days and stock up on goodies.
Snuggling with BOTH my boys is the best. 
I love getting to snuggle Peyton...and then Alexio competes for that attention.
Mom has the best breakfast.
then dad makes coffee.
and we sit and talk and start our day that way. 

And more family time over games.
This was over New Years.
We usually celebrate it with our good friends, the Cerrillos, but sickness took over and we couldn't do our traditional family game night.
So we borrowed some games and played as a family.

Late nights with Ashley.
Lux even got up a couple times and hung out with us in Ashley's room.
Ashley serenaded us with her guitar and some worship tunes.

the food.
We always have a steak night one night, and a seafood night on another.
and then all the fabulous meals mom makes in between.
we get spoiled ROTTEN at home.
Can you blame us for enjoying our visits so much?
We never feel like it's long enough.

And those are just a few things I enjoy so much about home.
Mom and dad create such a fun welcoming atmosphere.
I can't get enough of it.
I knew how special our family was as I was growing up, but now, I appreciate and cherish it even more.
I hope we can create just as wonderful a home for Lux and our future kids to grow up in, as my parents did for us...

Our crazy fun family.
Lolo, Lola, and Lux Ann.

I can't get enough of it.
They're so sweet together.
The kids, minus Butler, ilene's hubby.
I realize I have barely any pics with Lux.
I'm usually the one taking the pics!
So this one is SO special to me.
one of the few special moments:)
our family!:) 

OH and a couple cute bonus pics of my daddy and my daughter.
Makes my heart just melt with happiness.

Two weeks post Christmas break...
can you tell how much I want to go home again?