happy birthday sweet boy!

1 day new!

Remy- 1 year old

My Dearest Remy,

Today has been bitter sweet for me; you’re one, my baby is one! I’ve done this three times before but it doesn’t get any easier with the repetition. I LOVE watching you and your brothers grow and learn, discover new things and turn into the person that you are always going to be; but with each passing day and each accomplished milestone it’s hard not to long for time to slow down. I miss those slow cuddly days when you were tiny. However, since that won’t happen I will enjoy the cuddles when I get them and enjoy each of your many accomplishments as they come. You have firmly and sweetly rooted yourself into my heart and I don’t know that I will ever be able to describe just how much you mean to me but I will try.

Joy is one word that most accurately describes you sweet boy. You spread joy with your constant smile and easy going nature and find joy in everything you do. You, for the most part, are SUCH an easy baby. You sleep well, you play on your own or with your brothers and you enjoy just taking everything in. You are constantly pointing lately, showing us things that you are interested in and just pointing to point. You go with the flow when we are picking up and dropping off your brothers and you sit sweetly with me while I volunteer in your big brothers’ classrooms. You love seeing the older kiddos and you smile without complaint while we help out. You love on the kitties and Piper constantly, giving them kisses and hugs and (mostly) gentle pets. You are sweet and content but also such a trouble maker all at the same time. You are constantly stealing away to play in the dog’s water or push the battery back-up buttons over and over again. You, for the most part, know that you aren’t supposed to be doing those things and while you are walking in the direction of trouble you shake your head no. It’s cute and exhausting all at the same time! I keep telling your Daddy that I can’t get anything done right now because you are into everything! Unpacking the cupboards, pulling the folded laundry out of the baskets while they wait to be put away, pulling all of the books off of the shelves and the toys out of the bins; I can hardly keep up kiddo!! However, you do all of your mischief making with the sweetest of smiles and occasionally, giggles. I love the sound of your laugh. You belly laugh at your brothers when they are silly, while playing peek-a-boo or when we tickle your sweet little toes. You also have this sweet excited laugh when you know something you want is coming- food, nursing with Momma or when we start getting ready for afternoon naps. I love the sound, it’s full of anticipation and joy, and hope I don’t ever forget it. You are cautious and daring at the same point, not wanting to be tossed up in the air by Daddy but climbing the chair, shelf etc. You’re a mess of contradictions but I couldn’t imagine having it any other way. You are so perfectly and wonderfully made.

I am constantly amazed by you and you make me proud to be your Momma. I can’t wait to see the silly things that you will do, meet the sweet friends that you will make and watch all that you will accomplish. I know it’s impossible to know just how far you’ll reach or the lives that you will touch along the way but I am sure it will be far and many. Thank you for taking Daddy and me along for the ride; we can’t help but love the journey!!

I love you sweet boy more than I ever thought possible and that was a whole awful lot! Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!

Love,
Momma

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

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