Leah’s Two Year Old Photo Shoot

So, I know Leah’s birthday was a good two weeks ago, but we just hadn’t gotten around to taking her “official” two year old photos until this past weekend. I had a vision in mind of exactly what I was hoping to do and how I wanted them to turn out and, overall, I’m happy with what Brett was able to get! We kind of threw in the photo shoot right before lunch (and therefore, right before nap) so we figured we wouldn’t have too long of a time slot before our model got grumpy, which turned out to be the case. She loved her balloons, then hated them. She loved her bracelets, then hated them. She loved her crown…..Welcome to being 2!! At the end of the brief 20 minute shoot, when I could tell that she had had enough, I asked her if she wanted to take some pictures with Lucy and she responded with an overwhelming, “YES!” This girl LOVES her puppy and as soon as we set Lucy up in the shot, Leah had her in her typical choke hold hug, ready with beaming smiles for the camera. And of course those pictures turned out to be some of my favorites! It’s so special that we will have these pictures to look back on when Lucy and Leah are both grown, to show her the start of her love for her dog. 🙂 So with that, here are some of my favorite pictures!

 

We sure do love this big, beautiful, spunky two year old of ours!!

 

20 weeks

 

Half Way!!!
So the biggest news this week is that we found out that baby is a GIRL!!! Cue shocked expressions….The night before we found out we jokingly asked friends and family members to cast their final votes and the result was overwhelmingly “boy!” Brett and I (and Leah!) were also firmly planted in team boy. (Side note on Leah..our little girly trouble maker is VERY intrigued with boys these days, so she had been saying baby was a boy all along…)

Thursday morning I awoke with butterflies in my stomach, both excited and anxious to head to our scan. We decided to bring Leah along, not that she would ever remember, but we thought it would be a fun memory for us that she was there when we found out her sibling’s gender. We lucked out with the world’s sweetest ultra sound tech who patiently put up with Leah’s multiple “what’s that?” questions and walked us through the entire scan. At one point when she was measuring baby’s legs, she did a quick scan over the “area” and I caught a quick glimpse.  At that point I was pretty sure it was a girl, since nothing major stood out, but I wasn’t 100% positive. So we waited while the measurements continued, my heart pounding the entire time. And then came the big question…”Do you guys want to know what you are having?” We gave an overwhelming “YES!” and she laughed and commented that baby was positioned with her goods perfectly visible. (Which really was so sweet and considerate of her, compared to her older sister who made me work for it-drinking juice, peeing, and jumping around like a mad woman before she finally showed us her goods. I guess we know who the easy child is going to be…) And then we heard the big news, “Looks like Leah will be getting a sister! Baby is a GIRL!” Immediately tears started streaming down my face and I couldn’t stop smiling. And the crazy part was, as much as I really thought baby was going to be a boy up until that moment, when we were told that it was a girl a sense of peace swept over me and I thought “well of course baby is a girl!” I felt at that moment that I had always known she was there with me and that obviously she could never be anything other than her sweet self. Motherhood is funny that way. Even while still in the womb the baby becomes uniquely and indistinctively yours and you feel like you have already loved them your entire life.

Brett was, of course, shocked but thrilled. The tech joked and said “Sorry daddy!” but, looking at the sweet smile on his face as he heard the news, I felt that this man was made to have girls. He reminds me of my own father when I watch him with Leah; patient, fun, loving, and instilling a strong confidence in her that can only come from her daddy. And as for Leah? I cannot stop smiling when I think about the gift she is getting. A sister!! There is honestly nothing in the world like a sister. I should know, I have three of the very best ones in the world. Three God made best friends. And I can only hope and pray that Leah (and baby no name) cherish their relationship as I do my own. Brett and I are already planning on how to change Leah’s room around to accommodate her new baby SISTER and my heart feels full.

If you are still reading after all that, here’s a few more updates for the half way point!
Total weight gain: 6 lbs. I jokingly told Brett the other day that my body seems more than competent at making up for lost time. Yes, I might have had a slow start with the pregnancy weight gain, but, no worries! We can catch right back up in no time. My body is all, “Oh you just ate a yogurt? Okay, I’ll just add another lb for that…”
How clothes are fitting: So the other day at work I’m walking to lunch and all of the sudden “pop!” my pants came unsnapped. That’s when I decided that it might be time to make the switch to maternity pants. And then, as I slid my maternity work pants on the next day, I thought “Why the heck did I put this off for so long! These are so comfy!!” And then half way through the day, after the 10 millionth time of pulling up my pants I remembered why. Yes, maternity pants are the bomb, but they are also a pain in the butt when your bump doesn’t exactly fill them out yet….
Movement: Baby girl is rocking and rolling in there, but definitely not as much as her big sister was. I definitely feel her moving constantly, but she seems more relaxed and chill unlike her sister who started her tumbling career in the womb….Let’s just say I am hoping that this calmness in the womb translates into a calm baby…it’s possible, right???
How I’m feeling: Awesome! Lots of energy, no excessive sleepiness. I’ve been hitting the gym a few times a week and feeling great at work so let’s just say I’m fully enjoying this “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy…
Random: I don’t remember if I’ve said this already, but my sister-in-law AND two of my best friends/co-workers are all pregnant as well and we are all due within 2 months of each other. Now, as we are all finding out the genders (2 girls and a boy so far…the last of the group will find out in month or so…) I find myself giddy with excitement at having all these babies at the same time. My friends and I already joke about forced play dates, whether our kids like each other or not, but there really is something so fun about having babies at the same time as friends!

Leah’s first year in pictures

Prepare for photo overload of just a few” of my favorite pictures from Leah’s first year…

And just like that, we have a 1 year old.
It’s crazy how many pictures we took of this little girl over the past year. Between our camera and our phones we have well over 2,000 photos of her, which averages out to more than 5 photos a day for the past 365 days. Funny photos, touching photos, blurry photos, caught-the-best moment photos…all beautiful photos of our gorgeous, perfect Leah Grace.
It makes me so happy that we have the technology to easily catch these moments whenever and where ever they may occur. Moments that I know we will look back on years from now with “oh, remember that?” and “look how small she is!” Moments of love and joy with this precious little family of mine. Here’s to many more years of perfect moments with our Leah Grace.

Does Your Face Hurt?

Do you know what I love best about our island? I love that, although less than 2 hours away, it’s still far enough to feel like we are really getting away. We load the car, grab some snacks, and head north. And as soon as we cross that bridge onto our island and breath in that salty sea air, we have arrived. Welcome vacation.

We had the best time with hub’s family. Walking into that condo and hearing over 20 loud voices laughing and chatting is amazing. I am so blessed to have married into such an amazing, close-knit family. It sure makes hanging out with them for a whole weekend a blast. 🙂

The whole clan

cousins with the grandparents

We celebrated Brett’s grandpa’s 80th in a big way on Saturday, first with a boat cruise and then with dinner and a party at a local bed and breakfast.

We saw dolphins!! And man did they come close to the boat.

Brett’s sister gave grandma and grandpa these great shirts. Grandpa’s is his great saying “Does your face hurt? ‘Cause it’s killing me!” And grandma’s is her usual reply. They wore them with pride.

I haven’t been in this family for too long, but I’ll tell you this. It was amazing sitting around that table on Saturday night and hearing all the amazing stories his kids and grandkids told about him. He is the strong, spiritual leader of this family and his knowledge and wisdom has deeply touched every single member of his family.

Family devotions on Sunday morning

Family weekends=the best. But let me tell you, they sure go by fast. Although sad to leave on Sunday, hubs and I made our usual Sonic stop on the way home for our traditional strawberry limemades and that helped make us feel a little better about leaving the family and our island behind. We’ll be back soon, island, but it sure won’t be the same without the whole family.

What happens when the barista at Starbucks messes up your order…

They remake your drink and give you the largest possible mug they have instead of your originally ordered “tall” size. “Oh yes, don’t mind me as I sit here and drink my cereal bowl size mug of pumpkin spice latte. Oh, what’s that? My nose gets lost in the whipped cream every time I take a sip? No worries, I’ll make sure to lick it off.” I mean, really, not that I’m complaining, but drinking this much caffeine at 4 o’clock in the afternoon is probably not the smartest idea. But thanks for the upgrade Starbucks, it’s why I continue to give you my business.

Let’s look at more wedding photos, shall we?

But first…the running (slash yogurt) club met for our first run in the park after work today. And it was awesome. We’re going to kill that Disney Princess half marathon in February! And yes, I understand that we have like 20 weeks or something ridiculous like that to train. We are in pre training. You know, so the actual training (which we will start 12 weeks before the half marathon) won’t be so hard. Hopefully. We’ll just be such crazy runners that 13.1 miles is like a walk in the park. Oh yeah.

So back to the wedding photos. I’m in love with so many of them and I just need to do one more post to share a few more of my favs. And then I’ll move on, I promise.

Okay I’m done. Can you believe the week is almost half over already!? Happy almost Wednesday.

The joy of that day

Brett and I finally got our wedding pictures the other day and man oh man are we pleased. As we looked through them I kept finding myself being drawn to the pictures that weren’t posed and perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I lOVE our posed pictures (and a lot of those pics will soon be framed all over our apartment), but these other types of pictures just spoke to me. The ones that showed the emotions of the day…the happiness, the excitement, the sheer joy that was our wedding. They might not be perfect, I might look a bit ridiculous in some, but they’re real. They’re us on that day.

Some of my favs-

Yup, that's how I dance. I'm skilled.

Oh the happiness. It makes me want to go back in time and relive the day!

More favorites to come.