letter to my jay bird- three years

my sweet three year old

My dearest Jay Bird,

Sweet boy you are three today; this fact should neither surprise nor shock me since we have spent the last 12 days counting down until this day and jumping up and down as each day passes. Never the less, I find it hard to believe- my baby is 3!  You are growing up before our eyes kiddo and man-o-man do I wish that I could slow down time. I am positive that if I blink too long these days that when I open my eyes you will be graduating and leaving our nest – a thought that I just can’t bear to consider right now.

I struggle to find adequate words to describe you these days…  You delight in the smallest of things, you adore cars and books, your heart is so gentle and kind and you are stubborn to the core. Honestly, each day can be a constant battle; we have really, really great moments followed by knock-down drag-out fights that end in temper tantrums and time outs more times than I care to admit. And more often than not I am not really even sure what set you off. Sometimes it’s that you don’t get what you want, sometimes you don’t get things exactly your way and sometimes it seems as if there is no reason at all (i.e. you are 2!). Most evenings at supper time I get to play witness to a battle of the wills- opponent A: Jay Bird- fierce determined and decidedly going to declare that you want/like nothing that you are being given for supper. Opponent B: Daddy- fierce, determined and decidedly NOT going to give in or budge one bit. If I were an outsider I believe I might find quite a bit of humor in these battles however, since I have fought during both breakfast and lunch the humor seems to escape me.  So instead I sit, observe and hang on the knowledge that this too shall pass. And it will because it is a phase and all phases pass; however, at the risk of sounding contradictory, I don’t want this phase to pass too quickly because while you are stubborn to the core you are gentle, kind, sweet, smart and just so stinking cute sometimes!

You adore your brother Charlie and while y’all do fight over toys and have normal brotherly moments you are generally SO good to him. You let him play with your stuff, want to make sure that he is included and are the first to try to cheer him up when he is sad and crying. Most often, when he is crying, you will head over to him and ask in your sweet and concerned voice “what’s wrong Charlie?” and then start singing because you know that usually makes him stop.  It’s moments like these that make all the day-to-day crazy so incredibly worth it. A year later you still adore cars and while you vary the things you play with, almost everything is an accessory for cars.  Tools?  Things to fix cars with. Used dryer sheets? Parachutes for cars. Duplo? Used to build garages and things to house cars (although you do on occasion build with Duplo without cars) Mommy’s hair tie? Rope to tow cars with.  I love to watch your imagination at work and listen to your conversations as you play; some of the stuff you come up with is hysterical. Games are also another thing that you have taken to lately.  You love being able to play with me and Daddy after Charlie goes to bed and frequently request to play before your nighttime stories.  It is so fun to watch you play because you really don’t have a competitive bone in your body (you got that from me, not from Daddy).  You are ecstatic when anyone wins and you jump up and down and cheer them along giving congratulatory high fives.  It’s so great and I really can’t wait to see what you will use this encouraging part of your personality to do as you continue to grow;  whatever it is I know it will make me proud.  Along with cars and games you also still love books and want so badly to be able to read them on your own; we are working on getting there and I am sure it will come soon if you have anything to do with it.  You have already memorized all kinds of books and frequently “read’ to us.  Often, in the mornings Daddy and I will come into you room to find a pile of books on the ground that you have been reading all morning waiting for us to get up.  I also find books tucked behind a pillow and under blankets on your bed from before you fell asleep either at night or during nap time.  It melts me when you look at me with sleepy eyes (usually after nap time) and ask me… “Mommy let’s cuddle and read stories okay?”  I try to drop all things whenever possible at those requests because there is nothing that I would rather do than cuddle the day away with you.

Like I said earlier, I am finding it so very hard to accurately describe you sweet boy.  We have our moments and I do want to pull my hair out from time to time; however, more often than not I want to scream at the top of my lungs that you are mine.  Daily, you teach me new things, show me how to delight in the smallest and most simple things and you teach me over and over again how to love.  I hope you always know how very proud we are of you.  I know you will continue to do wonderful things and I can’t wait to see what is yet to come.  This life is quite an adventure kiddo, thank you for taking me along for the ride.

I love you sweet boy, Happy Birthday!

Love, Momma





It’s one of Charlie’s favorite games these days; although I mostly love it because he rarely covers all of his face when he is hiding but regardless laughs and smiles SO big when you ask “Where’s Charlie?!” So cute!

Oh and as another random fact guess who finally cut two more teeth today! This sweet (although teething and grumpy at times) kiddo. The random part of it all is that he cut two top molars… not the two bottom teeth he is still missing or his canines… is that normal?

“we have two babies”

If you ask my little Jay Bird these days he will joyfully announce that we have TWO babies!!! Which is true, in a sense; we are very excited and blessed to announce that baby number 3 is baking and that we are anxiously and excitedly waiting for his or her arrival in late July or early August. However, let me clarify for a few of you before any rumors start flying… yes we are expecting number 3 but not number 4 just yet, no twins for us ;)  Jay counts both Charlie and baby #3 in his “two babies” count- sweet boy!  Also, to cover a few questions that I know you have (we have already gotten them many times) so you don’t have to go to the trouble of asking…

-Yes, we know what we are doing.

-No, this baby was not a surprise but rather a very exciting planned (well as planned as babies go) event.

-Yes, this does mean we will have 3 kiddos ages 3 1/2 and under.

-Yes, our house will be crazy… crazy full of LOVE!

-No, we did not do anything to try for a girl.  While we would be thrilled to add a little pink to our lives we are just thrilled to add a perfectly happy and healthy little person to our family, regardless of gender.

I think that about covers all of the big ones however if I missed anything feel free to leave a comment below and I will happily answer away :)

We had our 12 week ultrasound today and were thrilled to see that everything is growing and developing perfectly, so without further ado we introduce our little bean.

Just in case you aren’t versed in ultrasound photos the first photo is of baby #3’s profile and it extends past the shoulders and the second photo is of a tiny little hand, fingers and arm (it looks kind of like a little paw- but is incredibly adorable).

baby #3

waving baby #3


On Friday we spent the day surrounded by family and friends remembering Jamie’s Grandpa; I never knew that my heart could feel so heavy yet full all at the same time. Throughout the weeks after losing Grandpa, story after story was shared, memories were recounted and the same sentiment was reiterated over and over again about what a wonderful, wonderful man he was. I ache with our human sorrow, finding it still so difficult to believe that he is actually gone and I struggle each time Jay asks if Grandpa is coming over or where Grandpa is. Moving on without him will be so difficult but I can’t help but feel SO richly blessed for the time that we got with him.

ready with Grandpa

laughs at lunch with Charlie

As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (New Revised Standard Version, 2 Tim. 4.6-8)

Family Circles

Kristen and I have wanted to make a printable family tree for a while and what better motivation than Christmas gifts? We looked at a few ideas and the inspiration for the design we ultimately landed on is now nowhere to be found so we can’t link to them. Anyway, below are the three family “trees” that we created. And by “we” I mean that Kristen did all the design concept work and I clicked the mouse a few times in a graphics program with her supervision. We gave these to the grandparents and any other family members whose names we happened to draw and we’re happy to print more for other family members.

Houghton family circle

Vickers family circle

Perreault Family Circle

I will also point out that my very compulsive wife insisted that all photos be chronological by birth. Whether the aesthetics worked best clockwise or counter-clockwise, the second generation is in age order and then the third generation is in age order while staying within the bounds of their parents, etc.

Unfortunately, we didn’t do a circle for Kristen’s Dad’s family, the Westlakes. We don’t get to see that extended family often and obtaining all the required pictures would have been exceedingly difficult.


The ball has dropped and the New Year has been rung in and as we begin 2013 I have a hard time with some people’s approach to the past year. I think that it is easy for most people to look at the past year and only remember the difficult times and the things that they so quickly want to get away from.  I think it is difficult, yet so much more rewarding, to point out the things, regardless of how small, that were so wonderful and I can only wish to  relive a million times over…

Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so as we begin 2013 I want to take a moment to remember, remember those cherished moments and times I don’t ever want to forget because I can only hope that is what my children will do when they get to an age where they are able to reflect.

This year…

-My baby boys turned one and two years old.  They are happy, healthy and so FULL of life.

-Jamie and I celebrated 6 years of marriage.  We didn’t have a big celebration or go out for a fancy meal but we did take a moment to acknowledge just how lucky we are to have found each other.

-My baby boy, Charlie, learned to sit on his own, crawl and then walk.  He is exploring his world with each new mile stone and taking it all in.

-Charlie started giving kisses, hugs and started saying Mama and meaning it.  Melt me…

-Jay Bird learned SO much… news songs, new words, colors, shapes, the beginnings of reading.  I could go on but this post just isn’t long enough. He is a sponge and I LOVE that he is continuously soaking it all in.

-Jamie’s job got better and he got to finally work from home once a week consistently which means that we got to have lunch with Grandpa almost every week for the last year; something so simple yet so cherished.

-We watched as dear friends expanded their families and welcomed precious babies into this world.

-We visited with family and friends that we don’t get to see often.

-We welcomed family back home.

-We played.  We played inside with toys, we played outside at the park.  We played uninterrupted with our children for as long as we wanted to.

-We celebrated holidays both big and small with joy and the enthusiasm of our children.

2012 has been a year full of blessings; here’s to 2013 and another year of the same.

sweet moments with my boys