9 years young

Yesterday my first and only little girl turned 9! I honesty can’t believe that our sweet Piper girl is actually that old. We couldn’t have gotten luckier with this sweet, sweet puppy. I love you tons our water loving, baby guarding (she follows the babies EVERYWHERE, it’s really the sweetest thing ever) fur baby and I am so glad that we were chosen to be your humans.

Piper turns 9

assuming the positions

sweet girl

Piper and Luc

loving on our girl

not too impressed with her hat

one without

happy new year

2015 hasn’t been an easy year for our family. However, regardless of the difficulties there has always been joy. Our three boys bring smiles to our faces and laughter to our house on a daily basis and for that we are always grateful. Regardless of what 2016 brings I hope that we can always focus on what really matters, our family. Happy New Year everyone, here’s to a wonderful 2016.

2015 a year in review…

January
We celebrated Luc’s 1/2 birthday, Jay’s 5th Birthday, he requested a “Blue Heart cake with Flames on it”.
Lucas half birthday
Jay- 5 years old
his cake

February
We read books, we built a ridiculous amount of things with duplo, enjoyed the cooler weather outside and it even got cold enough one night to freeze water outside. The boys set up an “experiment” and were thrilled that some of the water froze.
duplo building
concentration tongue
our experiment

March
We played outside in the pool and also in the rain, we raced cars and Kristen finished her first queen sized quilt.
playing in the pool
playing in the rain
queen sized quilt

April
April was a crazy month. We hosted the annual Shrimp Boil which also served as George’s retirement party, Jamie got a new standing desk, we rearranged most of the office after getting the desk and created a lego area for Jamie and a sewing area for Kristen, we celebrated Easter and decorated a bunch of eggs, did a heck of a lot of lego building and Kristen finished another quilt.
George's Shrimp Boil Retirement Party
testing out Daddy's desk
Jamie's new desk
the lego area
Charlie building away
Easter Eggs
Luc decorating too
Charlie's

May
We built a bunch more lego, we swam in the pool for the first time in 2015, finished up a the school year at MSEE, Charlie got a new bike, Jay started riding a bike without training wheels and Luc got his first haircut.
playing lego
all of the boys in the pool
more swimming
Jay Bird flying fish
Charlie's new bike
Luc's first haircut

June
We spent a lot of time in the pool and we spent the week on Anna Maria Island with Jamie’s family.
all four boys on the beach
our boys on the beach
the whole family

July
We spent the week at the beach with my Mom, celebrated Luc’s 2nd Birthday, Jay’s half birthday and our 9th Wedding Anniversary.
boogie boarding with Dad
boogie boarding
enjoying a evening walk on the beach
Luc enjoying the waterI am 2!
he's 2!!

August
We enjoyed some time with cousins visiting from Canada, swam in the pool a WHOLE lot, Charlie started a 3 day 3’s program at MSEE and Jay started Kindergarten at Brookshire Elementary School.
pool fun with cousins
a family walk before school started
pool fun
pool fun!!
Charlie's meet the teacher
first day of school
walking to school with Dad

September
We adjusted to our new school schedule, took a trip to Terra Ceia and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
hanging out
three boys in a tree

October
We played outside a whole lot, dressed up in both Halloween costumes and a ton of dress up clothes and we took Jay and Charlie to Disney for the first time.
playing outside
playing outside
3 Peter Pans
Peter Pan!!
frist trip to Disney
Halloween 2015

November
We had to say goodbye to our sweet kitty, Bella, and we celebrated Charlie’s 4th Birthday for which he requested a “mouth cake”.
saying goodbye
Charlie is 4!!
Charlie is 4!

December
We prepared and decorated with the Holidays, Charlie learned to ride a bike without training wheels, we took a trip to Jacksonville to celebrate Memere’s birthday and got to see a lot of family and we celebrated Christmas.
boys in PJ's
listening to Daddy play
celebrating Memere's birthday

celebrating 5 years

This year for Jay’s birthday he got to celebrate a few times; once with cupcakes and blue icing (his request) and another time with a blue heart shaped cake with flames and lightning bolts, also per his request. I am no icing expert but I certainly tried to fill his requests ;) Also, he is pretty awesome for requesting what he did.

cupcakes

candles

cupcakes and candles

the cake

birthday boy and his cake

Flash Cake

letter to my 5 year old- just a little late…

Dear Jay Bird,

A few weekends ago your Daddy and I took just you to get some 5-year-old photos. I checked my LCD screen at some point during the “shoot” and was taken back by how old you look. I cried a few big fat Momma tears and then dried them up so I could continue following you around with my camera. You are FIVE, how did that happen?! To say that you have grown and matured (mostly) seemingly overnight would be quite the understatement; I blinked and you grew up. The top of your head comes up to my chest and your legs are starting to look all lanky and big boy-ish. When I look at you I see the boy you are becoming rather than the toddler/little boy you once were. Is this unsettling for a Momma? Sure, but man am I proud of the kid you are turning into.

You are sweet with your brothers and love to help me when you can; always offering to help set the table or pick things up if need be. You help your brothers find things that they need/want and put together wonderful contraptions with duplo for them. You don’t always get along, I would be painting an incorrect picture if I said otherwise. I frequently hear  “No Charlie” shouted from another room when Charlie isn’t following your rules and occasional screams when Luc finds and “rearranges” one of your duplo projects. However, you are boys and bothers and you love each others’ company and I love to watch you play together. Just last night you and Charlie where racing in the backyard, back and forth between the fort and the climber. You all did this until long after the sun went down and your laughter was so wonderful to hear. You are doing amazingly well at school; you make friends easily and your teachers adore you. You knew all that you were supposed to know at the end of the year in January! We are going to have a hard time challenging you in the years to come, you love to learn about things. Frequently, you will ask Daddy during bath time to talk about something- honestly, fill in the blank with whatever random topic that you would like and you may have covered it- and then listen while he explains every little detail about the topic you choose. I think Dad enjoys these exchanges as much as you do. You still love to look at books and listen to books. If you are quiet and I don’t know where you have disappeared to it’s likely that I will find you with your nose pressed into a book or at the table coloring. Coloring and art are one of your other great loves these days. I constantly am finding art supplies strewn all over the kitchen table (you aren’t as good at cleaning up as you are at the creative process my dear). You are constantly coloring and drawing; you make things from plans for your new cars, pictures of super heroes or cards for people. It is not infrequent for you to run up to me at some point during the day and hand me a card or scrap of paper with a single heart on it or one filled with hearts, sweet boy you do this to make me feel better and you usually have the perfect timing. Other than books and coloring, being outside or building with lego or duplo are the things you enjoy most. I love to watch as you come up with elaborate creation after elaborate creation while you are building. Your imagination is limitless dear boy ;)

As bitter-sweet as this whole growing up thing is. I have to say I am enjoying it. I love watching your creativity blossom and watching your heart grow. You find new ways to love on people all of the time and I can’t help but be so proud of you. I grow and am so glad that I get the privilege of being your Mommy.

I love you sweet boy!
Love,

Momma

Jay Bird

Jay Bird- 5 years old

Jay Bird

Jay Bird- the FLASH

Jay Bird

silly faces

bored faces

Jay Bird- 5 years old

Me and my boy

Jay Bird

playing at the park

This one isn’t in focus but I still like it ;)
fuzzy but I still like it ;)

climbing

3 years old

Silly faced Charlie

Charlie Tuna

Charlie Tuna

Charlie Tuna- 3 years old
Charlie Tuna,
As per usual, I am having a hard time grasping that one of my babies is turning another year older! I think that is is something that Mommy will have a hard time with regardless of the kiddo and regardless of the age. Sorry buddy, you’ll just have to get used to the ridiculously long birthday hugs followed by me asking “are your sure you’re THREE (or whatever age you currently are) years old, I don’t believe it?!?!!”

If we are starting with true honestly here I will tell you that three is by far not my favorite age… Newborns are cute and cuddly, one year olds adorable, funny and still cuddly, two is when you start to talk and your personality shines and well three, while it has some major perks, it is tough!!! You know how to use your words but you choose not to a lot of the time. Opting for either full-out banshee screaming or mutters, grunts and foot stamping when you don’t get what you want or even sometimes when you do. Really there is no predicting it sweet boy. Some nights for supper I give you options, you’ll choose exactly what you want to eat and then refuse to have even one bite when the exact thing you requested is placed in front of you. This happens when you aren’t given the choice as well, just in case you are curious. I guess the most predictable thing about three (and by the way you are advanced and started your decent in to full on threes a few months early- I am hoping this means you will find your way out of them sooner as well) is that nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is predictable about you dear boy. It’s true; one day you want a nap and hop right up in bed and crash nearly immediately, the next day you spend 20 minutes screaming at the door (in full banshee mode, as referred to earlier) until you pass out on the floor waking for another round within 15/20 minutes after you crashed. Sometimes you want to play with your brothers/share and act ridiculously silly with them. Other times, the mere sight of them throws you over the edge! Sometimes you hop into the car eager to take whatever car ride we currently are taking, other times you wail because your buckles are TOO tight!! By the way, they aren’t ever changed and are never too tight. Its unpredictability at its definition sweet boy and man is it challenging. You’re fiercely determined and stubborn but you are also charismatic and genuine. What you see is what you get with you Charlie and because of it you have people wrapped around your little finger minutes after meeting them; being rewarded with smiles, extra cookies and even 10% off our bill at a restaurant (yes this really happened). You love people and the stories they have to tell. When you play, you are always talking about people we know or making up grand stories about the duplo guys and the lives that they live. You love looking at pictures of people that we know and asking what they are doing or where they are now. You want to know about strangers, their names, where they are from, you want to know their stories. You talk to everyone, this makes public outings time-consuming but entertaining to say the least. Really there is not one person that you won’t talk to; most often referring to them as “Sir” or “Lady” and occasionally “Man” if we are forgetting our manners. You feel and love with every ounce of your being (this is not a bad thing sweet boy) but it does mean that your feelings get hurt from time to time and that a more gentle approach can work wonders with you.

Simply put, little boy, you are wonderfully and beautifully created and I am so proud to be your Mommy. Nightly I pray that I can meet the challenge of being your Mommy with grace and an understanding heart because I know three is hard for you too. I pray that I enjoy those glimpses of the truly astounding person you are and are continuing to become. I can’t wait to see what is ahead for you sweet boy, it’s greatness I am sure of it, but even more so I am really looking forward to watching the journey.

Happiest of Birthdays, Charlie Tuna!!! I love you!!

Love,
Momma

32 years young

It’s been the best day! I have been loved on, cuddled with and cherished by all four of my guys. I laughed until I cried and spent a wonderful day surrounded by those I love the most. 32 is going to be the best year yet!

Underwater family selfies are the best!
all four of my guys

underwater family photos

pool selfies

Also, this is my 700th post. How can that be?!?

grateful

Jamie and I are so incredibly grateful for our families, our village, who spent the majority of their weekend celebrating our sweet little Luc. I am not sure that I can accurately express our gratitude to all of you. We loved having you here, celebrating with us and sharing in our life. We are so lucky to have you all in our life and in turn our boys are lucky beyond measure. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Luc is 1!

Luc's Baptism

happy birthday sweet boy!

one year old Luc

Dear Luc,
I know that each birthday (first birthdays more specifically) are bitter-sweet, I know that I will be a big mushy ball of emotions;Β I’ve done this before. However, I also know I will find no greater joy than celebrating YOU today! Luc you are such a joy little one and every day I am so thankful that I get to be your Momma.

Luc you surprised us by coming 20 days early. You were in a hurry to join our family and man am I so glad you did. I didn’t know it at the time but I couldn’t have waited one more day to snuggle you. From the moment you entered the world you have been such a joy. You are a go-with-the-flow, easy-peasy baby. Rarely do you fuss or complain and there is almost always a huge smile on your face. You are the much-needed calm amongst our storm (aka your brothers) and you spread happiness wherever you go. You love to clap and wave and get such joy out of making others smile. I can only imagine what you will do with that gift as you grow. Right now you use it to be a cheerleader and appreciative audience for your brothers but years from now who knows; the sky is the limit. You love music and spinning around with your not always on beat Momma. You fuss occasionally when I have to put you down and do something else after we have been dancing. Which, if we are being completely honest, makes me scoop you right back up and dance some more. You are full on cruising now and while you stand on your own you have yet to take any steps on your own. I am really okay with this, having one more running little one is going to be quite the challenge! You love playing ball, your brothers did too, but you are the first to play endless games of “toss and catch” with me. You bounce any ball you can get your hands on with such enthusiasm and vigorously crawl after it when it manages to get away. You love the water, both pool and tub, and you love to splash until your heart’s content in either. Just tonight the bathroom was filled with the sound of your laughter as you happily splashed away in the tub. Your laughter is heard often in our home; whether it’s laughing at your goofy brothers or just finding joy in the things that surround you. I love the way you babble at us, fully expecting us to know exactly what you are saying. I can’t wait to see and hear the things you will come up with sweet boy, this world is going to be such a happier place because you are in it.

Like I said earlier, the passing of each of my babies’ first year is always bitter-sweet. I want you to grow and flourish and continue to conquer the world but at the very same time I want to hold you tight and have you never grow out of my arms. I know that one day the hugs and kisses won’t be as frequent, that I won’t always be your comfort and that I will long for the times when you were squishy and would fall asleep on my chest. I snuggled you for a little bit extra last night savoring the last few minutes of you being my “baby”. I promise to savor all of the snuggles I continue to get, however few and far between they may get, all the while proudly watching you spread happiness wherever you go.

I love you sweet boy!

Love,
Momma

a letter to my Jay bird- 4 years old

4 year old Jay Bird

4 year old Jay Bird

Jay Bird,
A few days ago you sat across the kitchen table from me at lunch, grabbed two grapes and explained (correctly I might add) how the earth revolves around the sun and about night and day/light and dark. After you were finished you grabbed one of the grapes, bit it in half and jokingly announced “now there is only half of a sun!” I sat there in awe of you. Lately, you seem to be growing and maturing overnight. I am constantly amazed by all that you already know and what you are so quickly learning. I wake up one day and your pants are two inches too short and the next day you’re trying new tricks or telling me the most amazing stories. It is baffling really how easily the days turn into weeks and the weeks to months and so on. It feels like just yesterday they placed you in my arms making me a Mommy. I constantly find myself wishing for time to slow down so I can enjoy all of the craziness that is our life right now but for whatever reason time keeps speeding past me like your constant car races- zooming by with endless speed, energy and enthusiasm.

Speed, energy and enthusiasm are wonderful ways to describe you these days kiddo. You, for the most part, are a ball of constantly moving energy. You don’t sit still, you are constantly moving and always have something new and fun “planned”.  You frequently say “I was thinking…” or “Mommy, don’t you think that is a good idea?” inserting whatever new plan you have.  You are still infatuated with cars and race them daily. When you have been away at school you come home and go straight to racing without much talking or awareness of anything else for that matter. It’s as though you have gone through withdrawal while you were away and need to get your fix as soon as humanly possible. While racing, you dream up scenarios and stories for your cars and lately you have built elaborate “sets” with our wooden blocks to race your cars in. I am not exactly sure how long this infatuation of yours will last but right now it is still holding strong.

Aside from racing cars you still love the outdoors and adore being able to run, play soccer, hit the ball off of the tee or ride your bike while you are out there. You would dance in the rain every chance you got if I would let you and dig in our sandbox until the sun is down and you can no longer see. You are moving from sun up to sun down lately, which has honestly been a bit of a challenge. We’ve been making it work with a mandatory “rest” time in the afternoon although it is seldom that you actually “rest” during rest time. You usually are racing your cars or reading quietly in your room. You want so desperately to be able to read on your own right now and are making great strides towards achieving that. You know your letters and numbers like the back of your hand and are starting to recognize the sounds of words and letters. It truly is amazing to me how much you absorb these days. You have really enjoyed going to school (no real surprise there) and Mrs. Coates is usually complementary of how much you know and what a nice friend you are. I am so proud of you sweet boy! Aside from books and cars, your other love would have to be art right now. Frequently, you ask if you can color, draw or paint. Most of your pictures are of cars or of you with other people. You are getting really good and most of your pictures are easily deciphered without much explanation. You add details that are so accurate and will color for hours if I let you.

Kiddo you are exhaustingly awesome and each day you make me so proud to be your Mommy. You love hard, you play hard and you do most everything 110% of the way (Daddy’s note: this dedication includes your stall-tactics). This is not to say that we don’t have struggles dear boy because we certainly have. 3 was really tough, but nothing that we haven’t been able to work through. I love watching you grow. I love watching your learn new things and I love the bone crushing hugs that you so easily give. I hope that you continue to greet each day like it is an adventure, an adventure to be met with enthusiasm, curiosity and a kind heart. You will go far sweet boy, I have no doubt, and I am thankful every day that you are taking me along for the ride.

I love you sweet boy!
Love,
Mommy

happy new year

2013 year in review…

January
We played outside (in diapers and underwear since it was SO warm), Jay learned how to ride his first bike and we celebrated his 3rd Birthday!
Charlie playing outside

Jay's third birthday

Jay learning to ride his push bike

February
We made some updates around the house, I painted some new bedroom furniture, Jay was potty trained and Charlie really started running around.
furniture update

potty training

Charlie running- 02/2013

March
We enjoyed a little bit of a cold front, found out that we would be welcoming another baby boy to the family, built our super cool backyard fort and hosted the shrimp boil.
it's a boy

fort building

building a fort

April
We battled some a nasty cold where Charlie had to do breathing treatments, I finished Jay’s quilt, we played with cars, played outside and enjoyed our new slip and slide.
Charlie completing a breathing treatment

Jay's quilt

playing with cars

slip and slide

May
We celebrated Charlie’s half birthday, we grew butterflies, we played out front in our kiddie pool, started swimming again and played outside in the rain.
Charlie's half birthday

butterflies

kiddie pool fun

pool fun!

playing in the rain

mud covered Charlie

June
Charlie got his first haircut, we took a trip to Starbucks Springs, we swam a whole lot, I painted the boys joint big boy room and we vacationed in Anna Maria Island with family.
before

during

canoeing with Daddy

the big boys shared room

swimming!

Anna Maria Island

July
We welcomed our third beautiful baby boy, Luc, into the world, Jamie and I celebrated 7 years of marriage and I turned 31 years old.
LUC!

Luc and Mommy

three boys

August
We spent a lot of time in the pool, the boys finished their swimming lessons and Jay started preschool 3 days a week.
swimming

swimming stud

jump!

Jay starts school

September
We visited with extended family while they were in town, attended Jay’s first school parade and swam some more!
Memere and Luc

Jay's school parade

ga-ga's

ring diving

jumping

pool tricks

October
Jamie celebrated his 33rd birthday, worked out the kinks of our new shared sleeping arrangements and therefore battled with some very tired boys; we built a whole lot of duplo towers, made some pretty adorable Halloween costumes and battled off some terrible preschool germs.
built towers

more tower building

hanging out

sleepy Charlie

sleepy boys

sleepy Jay

November
Jay attended his first Florida State football game with Jamie, Charlie celebrated his 2nd birthday and we enjoyed visiting with family when they were in town visiting.
birthday boy

uncle scott and auntie frannie

perreault family

December
We decorated our house for the holidays, enjoyed Jay’s preschool Christmas program, took a trip to Terra Ceia and enjoyed holidays with our boys and extended families.
decorating

christmas tree

Terra Ceia
merry Christmas!

Every January as I look back at our year I can’t help but feel so incredibly blessed. We have had a wonderful 2013 and I can’t wait to see what 2014 is going to bring!