Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Vann!

Well, it's hard to face reality and say that our sweet little baby is an entire year old. He's been with us for over 365 days and we have LOVED every single minute. We have never smiled more, and I smile A LOT so that's a bold claim! I am not going to lie, it's been a learning curve, but every second has been a gift and I wouldn't change a thing!

We had a fun party with our family and Vann's friends that are around the same age! I love watching them grow up together.

I had the hardest time picking a theme and because Vann couldn't tell me what he'd like...we picked. I love themed parties and really enjoy planning them. It's the "pulling it together" part that's hard for me. I found some cute "County Fair" parties and made a spinoff of that idea. It ended up being like a Patriotic BBQ!

I am so thankful for Mom's listening ear, creative ideas, and showing me the ropes of throwing a birthday party. I mean she would know how to do it! Mom planned our birthdays before Pinterest and they were so detailed, custom, and memories that will last forever. There were no McDonald's or Chuck E. Cheese birthdays for us. No, it was fall festivals, costume parties, sports themed parties, Barbie, and none were purchased at the store. She's good y'all...I have lots to live up to!

We also love that both of our parents helped us with tables, chairs, and other props...Daddy's fan came in handy on the hot August day. Dad smoked extra meat for the party in case we ran out. Mom made Vann's cake and plenty of pecan & chocolate tassies. We served the beautiful cake up with Mayfield vanilla ice cream complete with the wooden spoons. I loved that the cake was simple, topped with fruit, and completed the look of the party. Vann enjoyed his handfuls!

To decorate, I kept it simple, but Ryan may think otherwise. Bales of hay, picnic tablecloths, burlap banners, quilts, red toy trucks, flowers in colorful vases! One of my very favorite details was the red highchair. We My friend, Brittany, found it at a thrift store for $8! Ryan took two cans of red spray paint to it and it turned out just perfect. I made a few banners to add to the chair and one for the backdrop of the food table. Mom made his hat and Vann actually kept it on his head!

Erin had a great window we used to display his monthly pictures. Mom had a vintage chalkboard where we shared the birthday boy's stats. Each month season I update a chalkboard that is displayed in our house with a verse or motivational quote. I have gotten really great at copying them, so I decided to look at Etsy for some inspiration and make the board myself. I think it worked out perfectly! Every kiddo received a small mason jar filled with animal crackers with a "thank you for coming" tag on it.

Ryan made his amazing bbq. I am not saying it just because he is my husband, but it's hands-down the best! Take it from me...he needs to enter it into the next BBQ Pitmaster contest. We also had the classic Sunbeam white bread, veggies, fruits, original potato chips, and bottled water and glass-bottled sodas to drink.


 {Easton and Vann}

 {Vann and Lolli}
 {Aunt Lexi and Ava}
 {Uncle Adam and Anna Beth}
 {Mimi, Adam, and Richard}
 {James and Vann}

 {Crazy Pop}
 {Vann's sweet great grandparents}

 {James, Mommy, and Vann}

 {Ava, Aunt Lex, and Erin}
 {Danielle and Jase}
Danielle blogged about Vann's birthday here! Thanks for capturing the sweet moments seester!
 {Gabby, Aiden, and Vann}
Thanks A for grabbing the birthday boy as he tried to escape from opening his presents!
{Ava and Bryce}

We loved seeing so many sweet friends and family! Vann has presents coming out of his ears! Several gifts were put on his closet shelf and will be pulled down soon!

Vann loves reading books, can say several words; mama, dada, baba, dog, lyla, no, yeah, hey, thank you, done, byebye, he is walking (nearly running) everywhere, waving, clapping, drinking whole milk, enjoys playing outside, and so much more. He makes our world such a happy place! I love how others light up around him. He is such a people person! God definitely blessed us with Vann! Love you sweet boy and happy birthday son!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Saying No!

That title of the post makes me think back to elementary school days when we all learned the slogan, "Just Say No", right? Well, I am not talking about drugs today, but I am talking about something else that can steal your life. Saying YES to everything. I am soooo very guilty of this. Yesterday, I was updating a calendar that Ryan and I share to make sure we don't double book ourselves...Ryan texted me as he got the updates and said, "guess I will see you next week". He was being sarcastic or was he?

I totally am guilty. I can't say NO! It's awful because it takes away from the people that matter most. It takes away from my two guys and that is not ok. My plate keeps filling up for other people and I try to keep them all spinning. But you know what's gonna happen? They are all going to crash if I don't keep the most important ones first: God and my sweet family.

Today, I am writing this to make a point for myself to say NO. I love what I read yesterday on Proverbs 31 (it's a fantastic site if you aren't following it). It's titled Overcoming the Need to Please Disease. Man did it hit me hard at 6:30 am. I loved the response she gives people who are asking of her time: “Thank you for asking me. Let me check my calendar and think through some other commitments I’ve already made. If you haven’t heard back from me by the end of the week, please connect with me again.”  

That is awesome. I would totally respect that if a friend responded in such a way to a request I had. 

So, here are some things I will consider before making a decision:
*How will it impact my husband?
*How will it affect my son? 
*What will we gain or lose from this commitment? 

Of course I will always think of what others' concerns are, but at the end of the day...life is about those who care the most about you, those you love, and pleasing God. 

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” Galatians 1:10 (ESV).

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Monday, June 30, 2014

9 Months Old

9 months old. 9 months old. Is this real life? How does it go by so quickly. It feels like we just found out that we were going to be parents.

Health: At Vann's 9 month doctor appointment we didn't have to get any shots! That was a plus. Vann is in the bottom 5% of his weight, around 50% for his height, and 79% for his head. I think he is the perfect child and I am not worried about the comparison of all of his percentages. How can I say that? I remember who he is being compared to. 1. It's apples to oranges with his nutrition. He is breastfed and eats super healthy choices and LOVES food. 2. He is extremely active. He is pulling up, standing up, crawling like a mad man. Let's put it this way...he is still when he sleeps. THAT. IS. IT! 3. He is hitting every single one of his milestones at or ahead of time. I will not lie. When the dr. focused in on his weight (he is gaining still, just at a slower rate than the kids he is being compared to) I did get a huge lump in my throat. However, after speaking with his incredible pediatrician he confirmed Vann was getting enough calories, not developmentally delayed, and had terrific muscle tone I was better and the urge to cry disappeared. We go back for his one year. Holy COW!

Nutrition: After buying jar after jar of food, I decided to make Vann's food. It has worked out great. I really surprised myself that I enjoy finding cool recipes and foods to mix together. He LOVES apples with a bit of cinnamon and sweet potato with veggies.

Playtime: Vann really enjoys cars and rolling or throwing balls. He loves the wheels on cars or anything for that matter. He will find them. We were very surprised when one day Ryan and I were rolling the ball to him and he picked it up and threw it...really threw it! We have a pitcher on our hands...taking after Daddy.

Milestones: Vann is a super crawler. He knows who "DaDa" is. I love when he sees a picture of Ryan and says DaDa! Each morning he wakes up, smiles, and goes through all of his tricks. He says "bye bye" and waves. Then, he looks around for his daddy and starts saying "DaDa. He looks at me and gives me a kiss. I just love it. He is pulling up on things and taking steps around furniture while holding on with one hand.

Fun times: The most exciting part of month 9 is Mommy coming home full time! I am beyond excited about this amazing opportunity (more on that to come). So far I have been home for half of Vann's month 9. It's been a learning experience, but an easy and welcomed adjustment. We went to the beach for Vann's first time at the end of May. It was a wonderful experience. The best part was seeing his excitement and curiosity when he saw the ocean and felt the sand for the very first time. Vann also had his first taste of Lyla's food. We were putting food in her bowl and he reached in and swiped a handful. I thought I got it all. Then, there came this cloudy drool...I dug my finger in his mouth and out came three tiny pieces of Lyla's breakfast. Boy was he mad when he didn't get it back.

Vann, you are such a precious part of our life. We can't imagine life without you in it. Thank you God for allowing us to be his parents and trust us with his life.

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10 Months

Vann turns 10 months today!

Nutrition: He is busy exploring new foods! Some that he has been eating are: strawberries, sweet potatoes, green beans, sometimes broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, chicken, cinnamon-raisin Ezekial bread with greek yogurt, bananas, cheerios, blueberries, grapes, pears, peaches, peas, rice, carrots, apples with cinnamon, and probably some others I am forgetting. Vann continues nursing and I am so happy he is. The more I learn about breastmilk, the cooler it is. God is so amazing allowing a mother's body to do all that it does. Simply INCREDIBLE!

Milestones: Vann is standing and, as of Thursday 6/26, taking a few steps! He's still a little unsure, but we are going to have a walker soon. **Update** On Sunday, 6/29, Vann decided it was time to show us his skills and he walked across the floor for the XBox controller. He loves to clap and woke up on Wednesday morning (6/25) showing us his new skills. He points at everything and we tell him what it is. Connie gave us her "My Baby Can Read" and we play that each day. He loves to watch the animals and tries to say some of the words. I think his next word may be "dog". He is trying! He loves to feed himself and picks up his food. The other night he didn't care for his broccoli and the majority of it landed on the floor.

Playtime: Vann is still really enjoying cars and trucks and pushing them around. He loves walking with his "learning farm". Balls are so much fun to him. We have a big bouncy ball and that is the most popular toy. He is beginning to enjoy matching shapes up with the correct spot on his Fisher-Price bucket. We love wagon rides on our nightly walk. He really loves being outside in his little blow-up pool or just picking blades of grass and dropping it in the wagon. That's the cutest thing.

Mommy and Daddy: We have gotten to go on several dates which is an awesome blessing. Our families love spending time with Vann and seeing how fast he is growing and changing. Spending time with friends on our some of our date nights has been a blast. Ryan is seriously the best daddy. I think I tell him so much he doesn't believe me. He comes home, loves on Vann, and the smiles on both of their faces are just too much to take.

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