Simply beautiful...

Simply beautiful...

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Christmas WAS just as special as I was imagining... even though Bentley was mostly interested in the bows and wrapping paper and Harper's main objective was to get through each present as fast as she could just so she could get to the next one ;)

The "specialness" or magic wasn't necessarily from their reactions to gifts (although there were a couple cute ones) but to some of the little moments surrounding Christmas:
  • We loved hearing Harper over her monitor, laying in her bed, singing Jingle Bells.
  • ANYtime she heard Silent Night on the radio, tv, or at church... she would say, "That's my song!" - that's been one of her good night songs for months.
  • Driving home last week, we were trying to distract Harper from a meltdown. Jeremy told Harper to tell him when she saw Christmas lights. From that point on, Harper has said on repeat to every house that is lit up, "There's some Christmas lights dada! There's some Christmas lights dada! There's some Christmas lights dada! And there's Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas..." We didn't think she would take him SO literally!
  • Harper was very clear that everything we did or said in preparation for Christmas was for Jesus' birthday... it was so authentic, simple and inspiring.
  • During the candle light service at church on Christmas Eve, Harper's eyes were sparkling with the magic of Christmas... It was a "stand still" moment for her mama watching her take it all in.
  • Bentley, is still quite too young to understand it all, but we cherished his love for the Christmas tree and wanting to dismantle it and then rehang the ornaments each day.
  • He did do an adorable little "dance" when he helped unwrap the Toy Story action figure set... we got that on video ;)
This year was a glimpse for us... as to how special, tender and touching the story of Jesus' birth, giving to others, and being close to those you love is to our children. It makes me wish we could carry the spirit of Christmas throughout the whole year. And why shouldn't we? I guess that is my challenge... to continue to keep Jesus' life, giving to others and being close with those we love at the core of who we shape our family to be.

I didn't capture many pictures from Christmas Eve or day... But here are a few that we did capture.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Yesterday we did the annual "visit to Santa" thing. And let's just say Jeremy and I laughed a lot... When it was all over.

Harper was excited to see Santa, before the actual visit. Every time we asked her, "what do you want to ask Santa for?" she responded with, "where's rudolf the red nose reindeers' mommy? He's kinda sad... (hand motions of tears falling down her face). Bentley, on the other hand, was of course oblivious to the whole idea. We had fun standing in line, drinking coffee and hot chocolate together. The simple moments are what end up being cherished, right?

When our wait was finally over, we were ushered into a private room with Santa so the kids could have their "moment". Harper immediately was on the verge of tears and clinging to me for life; Bentley was literally clawing for the door as soon as he laid eyes on the big guy! Even though Santa was extremely nice and tried very hard to get Harper to talk to him, it was with no avail. We took our picture, reluctantly paid our $20 and walked outside to pick up the pieces.

Even though one may have considered it an utter disaster, it was a great family memory and lended itself to a fantastic picture!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

So much fun at Christmas

Bentley and Harper, Christmas hasn't even arrived yet and your parents are already calling this one our most favorite yet! It's because you both are at an age where you are in the beginning stages of soaking up everything... Everything about Jesus and decorating and lights and Santa and presents and giving... Everything.

We really want to let you experience everything... But reality sets in and your parents realize we can only do so much...

This past week, we've enjoyed making snowflakes, mommy/kiddo shopping days, celebrating uncle Brent's birthday, quality time with Mimi and auntie Kara, and taking cookies to our neighbors.

You both have been pretty excited and tired this week, all at the same time. This Christmas season is pretty tiring for everyone involved with two youngsters, but it's wonderful none-the-less. I love that Bentley wants to dismantle and re-decorate the Christmas tree everyday and Harper still answers my question of "what is she most excited about Christmas?" with, "It's Jesus' birthday!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Too fast

When did my kids get so big? Harper's hair is so long now - which is really just indicative of how old she is acting too... And Bentley just upgraded to a big boy car seat! The poor guy literally couldn't even wear a jacket in his old car seat because it would be too tight - sorry bubu! It felt like it took forever for Harper to make the same transition.

Perspective: it. goes. by. really. fast.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Peacock Lane

Since Christmas is just one week away, we decided to take the kids to a classic Portland location to see the Christmas lights. Peacock Lane has been around forEVER! Well, at least as long as Jeremy and I can remember. It's pretty cool since it is a pretty long neighborhood block and every single house is decorated like crazy. We bundled up and brought hot chocolates to-go to keep warm (Harper had her own Starbucks mug too, thanks to Auntie Kae and Uncle Brent).

The kids both soaked up all the sights - the lights, the yard decorations, the music and all of the people walking around. We asked Harper when we first arrived to make sure to tell us when she saw her most favorite house. We walked up to a house with beautiful colored lights and two GIANT candy canes in the front yard. Harper starred at the house with a glazed/mesmerized expression and stated confidently and simply: "This one's my favorite". Bentley even found his favorite house that was lit up red and green... we literally had to drag him away from it.

It's so refreshing to see the magic of Christmas through the eyes of your children... and so fun to see them try to understand it too. Just today while we were out shopping as a family, Harper was asking me what everyone was doing. I said they were all getting ready for Christmas. Harper then pointed at a man walking past us and asked, "is he going to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus?" I love that having these little people in our lives really help us, as adults, get back to the real importance of Christmas - celebrating what Jesus did for us and loving others the way he loves us.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Growing up

Oh Bentley boo, you are growing up faster than I can keep up with. Each day you act older and older and I can hardly wrap my brain around it.

I wanted to quickly record a few milestones for you (14 months old) since I haven't for a while.

•You refused to do any sign language for a while... I think this was for your mother's benefit to keep her pride in check ;) you now have caught on and sign: milk, eat, more, hot, dog, cracker
•You say: mama, dada, hot (ha), that (dat), ball (ba), and we have sworn more than once that you've said door! Just the other day you started putting two words together - you signed "more milk" and then said and signed "dat ha" (that hot) and pointed at the candle.
•You are a CRAZY climbing machine! Every day now, if I leave you in the playroom for even just a minute, your sister is screaming "mommy, bentley's standing on the table!" Your dad and I keep saying we see stitches in your future. Its definitely your curious and bruiser personality, but I think it's also due to "second child syndrome" - which means you take note of everything your older sibling is doing, and then you figure out how to do it better (i.e. more dangerous) and sooner.
•You are a complete boy... Literally crashing and banging on everything. There is nothing dainty or naturally gentle about you. However, I do ask you to show me what being gentle looks like and you stroke my face with your hand... So precious.
•You weigh 26lbs now, which is only 3 pounds less than your sister. It's impressive, you still have some baby rolls, but generally you're just a solid brick. You have been since birth.
•Right now you're a bit of a mama's boy... You're going through one of those attachment phases where you don't want me to hand you off to any one else! I secretly adore it ;)
•You still smile ALL the time and it melts everyone because you have "smiley eyes" and they are full of pure joy. I think there's a tiny flirt-factor you're working too...
•Right now you make me laugh because you usually won't just give out kisses. But lately, if I count to three in a silly way, you lean in for a kiss every time without fail. It cracks me up! I think you like playing games. Many a girls' heart may be crushed by you my boy ;)
•Your walking skills obviously keep improving. You now have more of a run going on... Which makes us a bit nervous ;) you have also found your rhythm and dance a bit here and their.

Bentley, we absolutely adore you! You're personality and charm is dynamic and we are so thankful for the joy you bring to this family. Just please... For your mama's sake... Stay away from the stone wall and don't learn to climb on anything else!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Our First Christmas in Our Own Home

This Christmas feels special to me. This is our very first Christmas, as a family, in our own home... Every year in the past, we spent it out of town and always with others. We are already realizing how special it is and how blessed we are to be able to spend Christmas as our very own family this year. We have sweet, sweet memories of Christmases past but there's just something exciting about looking forward to Christmas morning with two tiny kiddos and my dear husband. We have exciting Christmas plans with both sides of the family this year and we always cherish that time. But this year, I'm going to relish sitting next to our very own tree with the three people I love the dearest. Taking the little things for granted is not what I'll be doing this year.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bentley's First Hair Cut

On Friday morning my little man still resembled a baby... That afternoon I took him to get his hair cut. He now looks like a little man. He did so good sitting relatively still for his stylist. I must say, it was one of those moments that remind me how much I enjoy having a little boy.