Monday, July 30, 2007

Baby Update

Good news...we went to the DR's today and heard a good strong heart-beat for the little baby. For those of you who have asked, and to which I responded I had no idea, I am now 13 weeks. On August 30th we'll go in for a sonogram and hopefully see if we are having another little girly or a boy. I am starting to feel a lot more energetic this past week, which means I am finally napping less and getting more done during Alathea's nap time.

As far as our big baby goes, she's growing up sooooo fast. I'm actually not sad about it, just enjoying each new stage she enters. On August 10th she will be 18 months old! It seems like we just had her b-day party. The other scary thing about her being 18 months is that means we'll have another baby in just 6 short months!

Alathea is finally starting to talk. She actually has been quite vocal for a while, carrying on true conversations complete with pauses, questures, looking at you in the eyes and lots of different words...just in her "own" language. It's quite hysterical if you have ever been the one she's talking to. About a month ago she started saying more English words and is now up to about 50. She says things like "bubble", "Ju-lee" (Julie, my sister), "ower" (flower), "baa" (ball), "melmo" (Elmo-which now she has three Elmo dolls since my brother & Dad thought it was so cute) of course "Dada" (her first word) and all the animal sounds. The sweetest thing is that her favorite word is "Mamma", which she says over & over again with a smile- a sure heart melter for me! She is such a sweetie pie.

We've now entered the real-deal training stage as our little sinner is displaying her sinful heart on a regular basis. There is nothing like being responsible to "bring up your child in the Lord" to reveal your dependence on God. I am regularly at a loss for what to do in the moment and find myself crying out to the Lord for guidence. In reality it is a great place to be in. Joe has brought excellent wisdom into how to train Alathea. We have also been blessed with so many godly examples who have gone before us! Alathea is quite a girly girl, even when it comes to discipline. She has learned the art of manipulation so early- when one of us is about to discipline her, she sweetie calls out for the other parent. Smart girl, unfortunately it doesn't work :) On Alathea's 18 month b-day I'll give a more extensive up date on our sweet girl.

The pictures are of Alathea after playing in the fountains at Northlake. She loves going there and the fountains at Birkdale. It makes for a fun family day!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

5 Years and more In-Love than ever

July 27, 2002 was the day I married the man of my dreams. What is amazing is that life with Joe keeps getting better and better with every passing day. I can honestly say I love, cherish & respect Joe more now than I did five years ago...and if you had asked me then, I loved him so much I thought I could explode! God has been so good to us these past five years. Joe has been the most loving, tender, caring husband. He leads me so well. His genuine love for the Lord and His Word inspires me daily. We continue to grow closer as friends and have more fun together than I ever imagined possible. Joe has exceeded ALL expectations I ever had of him as a Father to Alathea...we are two of the most blessed girls in the world!! I LOVE YOU, BABY!!!

This friday will be our 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!! WOW! That sounds so long! We will be away on the CGLR at Lake Junaluska, NC Thurs-Sat (so over our anniversary). That is why we took our beautiful trip to Savannah a month early. Pray that Alathea does well while we are away- she has entered a "I want Momma all the time" phase. Heather & Joe's Mom will each have her for a night, so she will be in good hands.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer Vacation at the Beach- (part 2)

We sure did have an incredible vacation- thanks to my awesome Dad! Alathea loved the ocean and would run at full speed into the waves (we really had to watch her closely!). We ended up buying her a $3 baby pool for the beach to satisfy her water cravings in a safer way. One day we spent at Assateague Island, where they had wild horses running on the beach (which is why there is a picture of a horse). We went out for Ice Cream lots- and even once to my favorite "make your own sundae" place- Candy Kitchen.

It was so fun to see how Alathea clearly remembers my Dad (Pop-Pop), Rocky & Julie (and even Rocky's girlfriend, Jess). That was a huge blessing to me as I want them to have a big place in her life even if they don't live in the area. I also enjoyed getting time with Grandpa, Jane & Miles as well as my Aunt Jeanie, Grace & Isaiah (who now live in Kansas). We don't see them but maybe twice a year. Aunt Pat opened her beach house on the beautiful canal up to us almost every night for dinner & kayaking. Her husband Bill is the pro jet-skiier, which is always a bonus on each trip. As always, it was great to be with Uncle Billy too- he feels like part of the immediate family since he lives with Dad now.

The only down side to the trip was Joe got food-poisening from the famous Grotto's pizza (he ate a cold cut sub) and was sick for an entire day. Besides that, our little family created many more memories that we'll cherish forever!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Where have we been? (part 1)

Sorry for our two week absence! Being in the 1st trimester of pregancy, while over all I feel great and have nothing to complain about, I move slow. With Alathea I said I feel like I am running on 75% capasity, and now with an almost toddler on top of it, I'm lucky to get my daily chores done each day, let alone blog :). But I am just entering week feeling energetic again is hopefully on the near horizon. This coming Monday we will hopfully be able to hear the baby's heartbeat for the 1st time.

We have also been on vacation!! We spent 7 wonderful days with my family (and lots of extended family) at my childhood vacation spot at Bethany Beach, DE and Ocean City, MD (they are within 5 miles of each other). Before Joe & I got married I spend at least 3 weeks at my grandma's beach house every summer (nice life, I know). Joe has been with my family a few is even the 1st place we ever held hands. It had been over three years since Joe or I have been back.

So here is a "photo documentary" of the trip (which I have to say a HUGE thank you to my incredibly generous Dad who paid for the entire trip!):

Joe's brother, Aaron, joined us on the trip. This is where he & Alathea sat on the 9 hour ride up north

Alathea was most excited about seeing "Juu-leee", who may be her favorite person in the world

Aunt Jeanie, Julie, Grace & Alathea

Alathea enjoyed "boating" with cousins Grace & Isaiah...

...while we enjoyed our 1st day the the beach Jet Skiing with Aunt Pat & Uncle Bill (pictured)

Alathea enjoyed vacation very much!

We went to "Funland" and Alathea LOVED every ride...the same rides I went on when I was her age!

This is the Bakery where I went on "Donut Dates" with my Mom as a kid- and now I could take Alathea

...I realize I haven't posted even once beach picture yet (we spent most of every day at the beach), so I will post our vacation part two in the morning!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

4th of July

This post comes a bit late, but we had a fantastic holiday. I told Joe that the 4th of July ranks high as one of my favorite holidays. I love the patriatism, the outdoor BBQ's and partys, the warm summer nights spent watching all brings back great memories of how I spend the 4th growing up. We would gather at my parents bay house with 30+ friends and spend the day swimming, eating hamburgers, spending time with each other, wearing red, white & blue and then it would be topped off with Uncle Billy's famous firework's show at the beach. How fun!!

This year we spent it at Jon & Heathers house along with all of Joe's family and some of Heather's family. It was wonderful. Alathea especially loved Andrews swing. She spent a good 45 minutes swinging really high as Joe pushed her. She was laughing hard! Before the party began at night Joe, Alathea & I took a tour of the Panthers Stadium. It was pretty cool watching Joe's face as he got the "behind the scenes tour" (like sitting in the same seat as John Madden when he announces the seen in the inside picture above). All in all it was a fabulous day. The only thing that would have made it better would be if my family was with us!