I made a "little" video of Bentley's first year... I couldn't condense it to less than ten minutes so I'm sorry... but once again... this is mostly for my kiddos to look back on. I melt at watching all the amazing moments of Bentley's first year. I love you my sweet baby boy!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I can not believe you are ONE... this year has absolutely flown by... much too fast for your parents' taste. I did not write this to you on your birthday since your actual day was spent getting you through the roseola virus. You had a fever (followed by a rash a few days later) and were not yourself, but you certainly tried to play and be as normal as possible.
(here you are on your actual birthday, but you just weren't yourself...)
Bentley, you are your mommy and daddy's absolute joy! Your addition to our family has marked love and emotion we did not know existed. When you were born on October 14, 2010 I was so thrilled to be holding my healthy (9.6lbs!) baby boy. I remember the nurses commenting on how you had 3 month-old hands and a 3 month-old cry. You were one big boy... I was a little afraid that I had a bruiser on my hands!
I didn't really know what it would be like to have a son... well, my mister man, you have far surpassed anything I may have expected! You have rocked our world Bentley boo. Our hearts are full of love for you as our son and will continue to overflow forever. The sparkle I see inside of you, the life and joy you contain, gets me choked up because it is indescribable and stunning. Everyone who meets you, comments on your overwhelmingly joyous spirit. It begs the question: how did God bless us with a second perfect gift?
You have epitomized what a chill and laid back baby looks like. Seriously, I thought your sister was pretty easy-going... but you definitely showed us. From the start, you have been a great sleeper, eater, traveller, little brother, you name it... Now that you are older, it makes sense - you have your daddy's personality (which is a fantastic quality)! You are laid back but can be intense in short, select moments (I love it when you tighten your fists and shake - you do this when you're really ready for some food); you smile ALL the time and your smile is an absolute show stopper - you have your daddy's smiley eyes; (unlike your sister and I) things like a lack of sleep or a lack of food don't seem to affect your mood too much, you are usually happy and even-keeled; you have the BEST belly laugh and look for the fun in everything. You are a dream my boy.
These days, you love climbing on everything! Just the other day I caught you clinging onto the edge of the bathroom counter and using your feet to scale up the cabinet doors like a monkey! Oh, how my heart stopped! You were a rather early walker since you started walking on your own at 11 months. You still have your wobbly moments, but you are getting really fast! You are a true boy in that you make all kinds of "sounds"... like "vroom" and "roar" and you love making sounds by smacking your mouth and clicking your tongue. It seems true for you about the stereotype that boys are less verbal at this stage. You have refused to do much sign language until you turned one... but you now sign milk and dog! Your dad and I adore your "signature" move at this stage, which is that you point to everything! You almost always touch your pointer finger to your lips first and then point us to where you want to go or to what you want to touch. It is precious to us! Hands down, my favorite thing you do these days is give us kisses. You especially give mommy lots of these (daddy needs to shave I think) and you love kissing your sister too... You kiss us with a wide open mouth and you press your little face intensely against ours and look us right in the eyes. Melt. My. Heart.
(We actually caught you giving daddy one of your sweet kisses)
Bentley, you are my little man and you are my everything... the spirit God has placed inside of you is contagious and a blessing to your mommy, your daddy, your sister and everyone who meets you. We literally just commented tonight on how unbelievable your zest for life is! Your daddy and I have so much hope and desire and pray regularly to raise you as a godly man of character; that you will grow to love God and serve Him with your whole heart. We cherish every moment with you and soak up every ounce of your amazing personality. We love you always and forever sweet Bentley boo.
Yesterday we got to go to Disneyland with Jeremy's side of the family. It was a FULL day of our kids experiencing the magic of disney... There were so many "firsts" and memories created, but it all paled in comparison to Harper's dream coming true...
She got to meet Repunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled!
Buzz who? Lightning McQueen who? Repunzel has turned into her first obsession and Flynn Rider has turned into her first crush. She acts it out all the time and has labeled me as "Tangled", Jeremy is Flynn Rider (can't figure out if she idolizes her dad or really has a crush on Flynn...) and Harper is Repuzel (in a 2 year-olds mind, she and I are completely different characters ;) Anytime Jeremy does his Flynn Rider impression, she screams with delight!
We stood in line for 40minutes just so she could meet the REAL characters. She was a little shy and didn't say what she was going to tell Flynn (her un-evoked response to us previously asking what she wanted to say to him was "I love you"), but she has talked about it non-stop today. We never thought we'd turn into "those" parents, but what you won't do when your child's eyes light up and you see how innocently they think something make-believe is SO real. It was such a fun memory for us and quite a big deal for our 2 year-old!
Friday, October 21, 2011
While in San Diego, we got to spend quite a bit of time with our dear friends Adam, Rhiannon and their son Carter. We feel so blessed to call them some of our closest friends. It's rare to find husbands, wives, and kids who all get along so well individually and collectively. I know I can say that I didn't get enough Rhiannon time during the month (when is it really enough?), but understandably so! They are expecting twins (sweet Caleb and Noelle!) in December and Rhi was put on bed rest while we were in town. Nonetheless, we were able to create some great memories... and snap a few fun pictures!
Harper and Carter indulging my picture-taking requests... These two have had a very special and unique bond since they met when they were tiny. They talk about each other all the time, even though we've been moved away for over a year!
Cutie-pa-tuties!I'm not exactly sure how... but we always manage to get the most amazing pictures of them giving each other kisses. Rhi and I joke that they act like a married couple ;)
Just for the record - Jeremy hates this picture since it does appear that Harper is fully embracing Carter... ;)
Me and my girl... Yes, this tiny, little thing is carrying TWO babies - you are amazing Rhi!
Just had to get a picture of my little guy in here. He loved tagging along with Harper and Carter - although they sometimes wanted their 3-year old space.
Another amazing smooch caught on camera!
He's running away now... but just wait... someday that will change... it always does ;)
Yes, this picture IS what it appears to be. Adam cooks and bakes! Amazingly, I might add. He made us some of the best homemade chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted (not exaggerating... he has a secret I think)!
The kids testing out the finished product...
We love you Meshot family. We cherished this evening in your home... especially since the next time we do it again, the kiddo count will almost have doubled ;) We can't wait to celebrate your growing family with you and we are so thankful for your honest friendship with our family.
We have been loving spending time with our friends in San Diego this month... especially getting to see everyone's kiddos - they grow up so fast!
This past week, we were able to spend time with our friends Tatum and Avery...
On one day in particular last week, I didn't have a car so Tatum and Avery, without hesitation, jumped in their car and spent the day at our house. Tatum saved my spirits and Avery thoroughly entertained Harper and Bentley. Thank you Tatum, I am so thankful for friends who understand the joys and struggles of the mom-thing... and the emotional thing ;) We love you guys!
The three kiddos playing together...
Seriously, Bentley and Avery are about the same size (he's one year and she is almost 19 months!). She is ALL girl, and he is ALL boy.
We also got to meet up for a coffee play date in the park in Ocean Beach. The kids played and got out their energy... and then we spontaneously walked over to the library, since we had heard they were having story-time. It was, again, wonderful to spend time with our friends and get to know Avery a bit better. She is one sweet, adorable little girl... and we can't wait to celebrate the arrival of their second kiddo in a few short weeks!
These two were mesmerized when all the kids began singing songs with hand motions between stories... too cute!
My big girl... trying to keep her focus during story time... the girl just wants to go, go, go!
Tatum, nearly full term with baby number two and looking fabulous, with Harper & Bentley at story-time.
Precious Avery, watching all the big kids in awe.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
We love our friend Carter... for many reasons! He and Harper have had quite the little friendship since they were little. Carter is the one friend that Harper asks if we can exchange text pictures with, just so she can see him. So sweet.
Just the other day, we met at the park and we caught a little bit of the "super hero moves" that Carter has been showing Harper. I kinda adore the fact that most of her friends are boys... maybe she can pass on some of these moves to Bentley.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Every so I often I do this... I reflect on where we've come from and look forward to where God may want to take us.
As many know, our family is in San Diego for the month of October due to Jeremy's work. So far, it's been a wonderful treat to stay in a house in our old neighborhood, go to the old parks and on old walk routes with the kids, and most importantly see treasured friends.
It's a treat... but yet weird. Weird to walk around a place that is so familiar you could navigate the streets with your eyes closed, but now it's a place where your life no longer belongs. We used to be active participants in this community and now we are merely observers. I'm not down trodden or being negative. It's ok. God has us in Oregon, with our families right now. It's just an odd feeling.
Jeremy and I knew that God was calling us to move to Portland. We didn't know exactly why, but we responded. For a while, we prayed for clarity as to why God wanted us up in the NW. I mean, it wasn't like we left anything bad in San Diego. In fact, things had really come together for us in our last year in San Diego as far as church, community, and spiritual growth. We were pretty settled, happy and content.
But this is where I've seen one of God's biggest answers.
Jeremy and I have grown and learned so much in this past year. Things we might not have if we would have stayed in that "settled, happy, content" place. We have been out of our comfort zone, felt like foreigners, and often felt like giving up on going God's way. We have succeeded in learning some things, and failed miserably in learning others. Change and transition is hard and it takes time. I feel like I sort of (please note the bold and italics!) understand why military life would be so hard. Jeremy has travelled a lot this year so I've seen that doing the mom-thing alone is stretching; and I cannot imagine doing the moving-thing over and over again. God bless those families. But who am I to say "no" to moving again? My heart would go anywhere in order for my husband to fulfill his dreams and, of course, go if God wanted us to go again.
God has been incredibly faithful to sustain us, comfort us and guide us everyday - even when we've been at less than our best. He has blessed our time and our relationships with our families. Our families know and love our kids, and don't merely here about them over the phone. He has brought friends who have been God-sends to us. Miraculously, He has been slowly showing me how the rain can be beautiful. Most importantly, He has challenged us both to take very seriously our growth in our relationship with him. Which means we are actually reading our Bibles ;) and constantly grappling with how we are to actually live-out this Jesus-thing every moment. We mess up constantly but, we are thankful, He is changing us.
Jeremy and I have also been reminded over and over and over again that God does not owe us an explanation as to why He asks us to do certain things. The important thing is for us to seek and obey Him. That's been a hard one to learn... and we are still learning.
I miss San Diego and everything it has brought to our family. I miss our friends desperately... I miss feeling comfortable. But even though I feel and think these things... I am acutely aware and ever thankful that God is loving us, working in our lives and holding our hands through the process. Thank you Jesus.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
I loved my birthday. There is no better way to spend it, than spending it with my husband and kids in the sunshine. After Bentley woke up (he's our morning snoozer), we headed up to hike Torrey Pines. On our hike, we realized Harper has been away from the ocean a little too long. Every time we came to a viewpoint, she kept saying, "I want to swim in there. I want to go in there". Water to swim in feels like a rarity in Portland ;)
Stretching Bentley's legs before putting him in the Ergo for our hike.
Me and my boy. He is so happy on my back! If my kids would have lasted... I would've requested to hike all day. So beautiful!
But they didn't last... they both fell asleep on the hike in order to get power naps to help them last through our breakfast stop. Jeremy and I melt at these precious moments with our big girl since they are few and far between.
We stopped at Pannikin Coffee & Tea in Encinitas for a little bite to eat. It was the perfect location for two busy toddlers. We sat outside in the yard area, where the kids allowed us to take this picture. They are seriously cute together these days... it warms a mama's heart.
After the kids took naps, we headed down to our favorite park in Liberty Station. We climbed, played on the swings, dug in the sand and raced down the slides. Our kind of family time.Later on, after the kids were in bed, Jeremy picked up our favorite dinner in Point Loma from Old Venice... foccacia pizza and their ensalada venicia... accompanied by a spicy... yum! We enjoyed some quiet, alone time with each other and got some good sleep. It was a quiet, beautiful, perfect birthday. I felt loved and so, so thankful.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
I couldn't have imagined spending my birthday any differently than combining my three favorite things: my family, exercising and sunshine! Jeremy planned the perfect day for me and part of that included a hike in Torrey Pines, one of my favorite spots in San Diego!
I feel so blessed and loved today.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
This video is just because... This is a regular type of conversation and moment Harper and I have often. 2 year olds are so creative and persuasive! Here, Harper said she needed hot chocolate... to make her tummy feel better.
Ok, ok... you can have some hot chocolate my girl :)
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
We have just been back in San Diego for 2.5 days now and Harper has been thrilled to see her buddies (and of course we are thrilled to see our friends too)! When we lived here, we had regular play dates with her friends Carter, Josiah and Annika. Annika now lives in Northern California, so now it's just Harper and the boys in San Diego! We are looking forward to what fun this month will bring for the kiddos.
Josiah and Harper had a blast taking turns on his truck... going down the hill our house is located on. At moments, I couldn't look!
Josiah sweetly grabbed Harpers hand so they could go on a "walk" together... 2 year old independence at it's best.
Carter came over to play today and they had a blast jumping on the beds, hiding and (just like old times) eating pumpkin bread together. Carter was the first friend Harps got to see on this trip, since they sweetly picked us up from the airport... but today they really got to have some fun since it wasn't 9 o'clock at night! Carter even taught Harper some superhero moves!
Immediately, Harper's time with her buddies has been as if no time has past since we moved away... very fun and much needed!
Most would not argue that cooking dinner for your family mid-week is a tough assignment. Especially in the midst of an extra busy one. I have mentioned before, that I have learned over time to be more strategic about my approach to cooking in order to feed my family healthful meals. I have learned to meal plan, to do my shopping for the week early on, and to be ok taking short-cuts in preparation steps when necessary. The latter step is one that I have learned to give myself grace to not have to make everything from scratch.This is one of my favorite quick, mid-week meals: store-bought black bean burgers on whole wheat buns with a mixed green salad. The perfect combination: simple, quick and nutritious. The black bean burgers are low calorie and full of protein and fiber. The whole wheat buns contain no preservatives and are smaller than the average bun. We get extra iron, vitamins C, A and K, and antioxidants from making our salad with a mix of kale, green leaf lettuce and spinach. We also get an extra “green” boost by piling kale on our burgers instead of low nutrient-dense leaves like iceberg lettuce.
It’s a delicious and nutritious option to through into your dinner menu when you’re too tire to spend extra time in the kitchen. Enjoy!
Monday, October 3, 2011
About two weeks ago, Jeremy and I came home from a night out and our babysitter told us that Bentley had started walking! I had seen him take A step before, but she said he walked out of our play room! The next morning, he woke up bright and early at 6:30am and I couldn't wait to see if what she said was true. I grabbed our camera and stood him up in our living room to see him attempt walking. This is what I got... It's so precious to see these first wabbly steps! They change so fast... even in the past 2 weeks, he has changed immensely. Love, love, love these moments!