Monday, December 31, 2012

Castle Christmas:

We got to spend several days with Doug's side of the family. All three siblings have a baby boy all born within five months of each other. It is safe to say, this Christmas was very baby focused. We passed around the babies, guarded the stair case, played games with a baby monitor humming in the background, and were all up and going in the morning much earlier than we have in the past.

Some of my very favorite things about Doug's family are the conversations that we have together, the constant source of humor, the true feeling of all liking each other and genuinely enjoying the time we are all able to be together.

Some highlights of this year: spending time at our home with Dad and Julie, making fun of Dad for being a zoo friend, car rides to visit grandparents and to Tulsa, Dad's chili, game nights, boy burger date, Mom's Christmas lunch, Anson cuddling with me, matching Christmas jammies, quoting parts of Home Alone that were left off of the t.v. version of the movie, Beth's bacon toy, and time with aunts/uncles/grandparents/cousins.

We have told Greg and Beth and Brad and Jeannette 'bye' many times since they have both lived long distance our entire relationship. But this year it was much much harder. Harder not knowing when we will see them all next. Harder now that we have our little boys. We are so thankful for the wonderful time that we all got to spend together and are excited for more time together in the future.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

This Past Week We:

- Had a 12 month Dr. visit. Everything looks good and we have an almost 20 pound, almost 30 inch baby.
- I made two pecan pies for two different dinners
- Watched a little boy for a few hours who peed on our carpet because I did not get to the bathroom to help him fast enough. Something I am sure will happen more in my future.
- Had a going away potluck for some families here at camp
- Went to Lowe's to buy some stuff for Doug's newly arranged office. 
- Went to Doug's mom's annual self-esteem dinner.
- Had a Christmas party in town.
- Doug took Henry and I out to pizza because he loves us so well.
- Found a little monkey in my pantry
- Doug had a dentist appointment

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Our Weekend:

This past weekend Doug and I attended a marriage conference. It was put on for our staff and we just had to drive down the hill to go to the sessions. We had a babysitter arranged for us that came to our house and loved on Henry well. We really enjoyed having a weekend to sit down and intentionally talk about our marriage. We were also reminded of what a huge blessing our relationship is and how blessed we are to have a marriage that is not full of conflict and big issues. The biggest thing we took away from the weekend is that we need to be much more intentional in praying together and studying the word together. We were also challenged with the idea of our marriage being a shining light to the gospel of Jesus. People are watching how believers love each other and we need to do that well. Be examples for all to see of God's work in our lives. 

Then we had a fancy Christmas dinner with our closest friends. The meal was beautiful and delicious. We watched Henry run around the house with a banana in his hand, ate duck, played our favorite game, and ended our evening encouraging Alex as he moves on to his next adventure. It was such a festive, encouraging time as close friends. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thankful For:

- A healthy, growing, boy. (20 pounds, 30 inches)
- Free Christmas music through Pandora and Spotify
- Only being a phone call or text messages away from long distance family
- Getting to see all of that long distance family in the next few weeks
- Three free pounds of coffee given to us over the past few weeks
- God's tremendous love, grace, and mercy that challenges and encourages me daily

Friday, December 7, 2012

This Past Week We:

- Made a Sam's trip and blew Henry's mind by showing him all the Cheerios.
- Our super talented and wonderful friend Justin came over and filmed a short video of Henry. It is not finished yet, but once it is you will see it. I know it will be good.
- We had people in our living room this week watching sports
- Had lots of good play time outside since the weather has been so nice.
- Worked on our Christmas card, letter, and mailing labels. Tis' the season.
- On one of my runs this week I ran through a pasture full of horses and saw several deer. That is a ranch run for you.
- Enjoyed lots of evenings at home this week.
- I made my first pot roast.
- Henry slept through the night!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Henry's Apple:

Doug was eating an apple after lunch and someone decided he wanted to have the apple. Henry was entertained for at least 20 minutes playing with his apple. We have entered the fit throwing stage, so there was quite a fit once apple time was over and we put it in the trash. Our little baby just keeps growing up.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The First Year:

I have heard parents say that having a child is one of the best things you could ever do but it is also the hardest thing you could ever do. I never really understood what they were saying until now. This past year has truly been the best and the hardest year of my life.

The best: watching the love for our little one grow and grow and grow. Knowing that he is our child and there is no one else in the whole world like him. Seeing him grow stronger, faster, smarter by the day. Watching the transition from simply being his caretaker to being one of his favorite people in the whole world. The feeling that 'we are actually doing this'...the knowing what he likes to eat, how to fall asleep the easiest, games he likes to play, how to help when he is in pain. His smile and laugh. The love...oh, the love. Nothing like I have ever experienced. The excitement that comes from learning about our boy. Playing together. Bath time. Snack time. Genuinely laughing at things he does. Seeing our friends and family embrace and love him. Watching Henry play with other babies. The daily dose of joy he brings us.

The hardest: Learning how to be on the same team as Doug, we are not against each other. We have to work together, take care of each other, and not get frustrated with each other when we are simply worn out and exhausted from our baby. Those cranky days, where nothing works and everything is a big deal. Getting him in his car seat. Teething. The worry. The desire to sleep in a little longer but the reality that is not an option any longer. Transition from working outside the home to staying at home, some days it would be easier to 'go to work'. The lack of sleep. 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm, the witching hours.

We talk to Jon and Emily a lot about parenting. It is great to have close friends that are going through the same things. We were talking about how babies make everything harder, but also make everything better. If you want to go somewhere it is a lot harder. More details, things to think through, planning involved...but if you just leave the baby with a grandparent or a babysitter you just wish the babe was with you the whole time. So, you end up bringing the baby because you want them with you, but take on the added stress and responsibility that come with bringing them along.

This boy has changed our entire world. He has makes it better each and everyday. Even on the hard days.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

1st Birthday Party:

This is our first child birthday party to throw. We like simple, easy, and cheap. That way we can focus on the people that are here, our baby boy, and not be stressed and worried about putting on the perfect party. We had family and a few neighbors over. Ate cake and ice-cream. Opened presents. Watched Henry run all over the entire house with his new toys on wheels. He knew it was a special day and enjoyed having grandparents here and older kids to chase with his toys. We enjoyed having people in our home that care for and love our sweet little one. Another beautiful reminder of how blessed our lives are.