Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, and Happy Birthday!

I wanted to take a minute and tell a few of my favorite mom's how much they mean to me. First...

My own dear mother. I hardly know what to say, or where to begin. I struggle to manage two darling little children (and keep the house clean -- which, let's face it, I have a lot of room for improvement), so I have no idea how she managed to do it all with EIGHT kids. Not just any eight kids, but the eight of US. What's even more impressive, is that she did it with a smile. Mom, you have been one of my greatest examples of sacrifice. You always put your kids needs and wants above your own, and never complained. NEVER. I tried really hard to recall a time when you raised your voice with us, but couldn't think of a single time. So mom, for your sweet kindness and unconditional love, I thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I know it doesn't do what you have done for me justice, but I love you. A lot.

Next, I have to take a minute and brag on the world's greatest mother-in-law, whom I consider just another mom to me. I didn't have the opportunity to grow up with you as a mother, but Ryan has shared with me all of the good you did as a mother for your own dear three children. Kudos to you on the work you did with Ryan. He is who he is today in large part to you. You laid the foundation for his testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the greatest gift any mother can give a child. For the past 3 1/2 years of our marriage you have been our full time "researcher" on anything and everything and have probably saved us hundreds of dollars :). I can tell that you spend your time thinking about your children and what you can do to help them in whatever situation they may be in. Most importantly, I can tell you love your children, and I know that you love me. Thank you for raising such a wonderful man to be the love of my life and father to our beautiful children. What a strong and loving woman you are! Thank you! I love you too. A lot.

And to all you other moms out there...keep up the good work, for it truly is the greatest, and most important, work in the world! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

And of course, how could I post on my mother's today and not wish my own dear father a happy birthday, because TODAY is indeed your birthday. Dad, you also had a wonderful mother who has helped to turn you into the man you are today. So thank you grandma for giving me a wonderful father. Dad, I just wanted to tell you how much I love you for who you are and how you have helped me to become who I am. I have so many fond memories with you, but I'll just list a few.
1. Christmas shopping for mom's gift every year. Remember the one year the sensors went off at the bookstore when we were leaving? I do :).
2. I remember you taking me to store to buy ice cream one night, only to discover that your real reason for going was to give someone a pass-a-long card. That was one of the greatest preparations for my mission.
3. I remember you stopping by the hospital after Eva was born. No one else was there, it was just the three of us. It was so nice to spend some time with just you there.
So dad, on your birthday, just know that I love you just as much as I do mom. A lot!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Who says a 2 year old doesn't have style

Aubrey loves to go out in the backyard and play, but the rule is she has to have weather appropriate clothes on. She asked to go play outside the other day and I told her she had to put clothes on (she would live in her pajamas 24/7 if she could). This is how she came back.

The shirt is for comfort (it is a pj top inside out and backwards -- apparantly the only real way to wear a shirt. We'll see if it catches on.) The shorts are for functionality -- lots of room to run and jump. The sandles are good for airing out the feet, and let's just face it -- the hat is just for cuteness factor. All in all, Aubrey has her own sense of style and we let her fly with it.

More easter

Step aside easter bunny, my easter babies are here! Thanks Grandma for the beautiful dresses...they looked adorable. Across the street from our house (we live on a cul de sac) is a small lake/pond with a fountain and ducks. We headed over to take a few easter pictures. Mind you, I am by no means a professional photographer, but with models like these two little girls it's always fun. They may not be smiling in these pictures, but you can guarantee that I had a smile the size of Texas (a quick shout out to all our family in the great Lone Star state :). So sit back, relax, and smile.

March of Dimes

Mike, Tracy, and Izzy (some friends of ours here in MO) have been through what no parent should have to when they lost their little Brooklyn last year. She was born around 28 weeks, and fought hard for 11 days, but was called back home for some reason we can't begin to imagine. There is something extra special about those little ones who are called home so early. Nonetheless, it must be difficult. March of Dimes is one of those organizations that works to help those who truly can't help themselves -- those babies who are born early and fight so hard for their time here on this earth. What an inspiration. As a mother, I literally can't (nor do I want to) imagine what it must be like for the parents of those most precious babies. Long story short, Mike an Tracy invited us to walk with them in the March of Dimes walk a few weeks ago. We gladly accepted and it was a perfect day. The sun was shining and the turnout was amazing. It took us forever to walk the three miles because there were so many people in front of, and behind us, that we could hardly move. The thing that impressed me most was that most of the people had been through the unimaginable and had lost their babies prematurely, yet they were positive and upbeat. They enjoyed themselves and realized that they were better, and stronger, people -- and parents --for having been through that. They were smiling. It touched my heart like few things can, and made me proud to be part of such a great cause. We also got to see our friends from VA, the Wright's (minus Paul who was at a track meet). We had a great time and can't wait for next year's march! Count us in Mike and Tracy!

Our little snoozer. She slept for the last half of the walk and just chilled in the stroller. She is her father's daughter :)

I highly recommend any, and all, of you get involved in March of Dimes.

In honor of the Olympcs, and in preparation for sept. 25...we bring you Dwight Shrute!