Wednesday, June 22, 2011

.1 year-old.

My little bean is ONE! I distinctly remember Alathea & Abigail's first birthday, and feeling a tiny sense of sadness that a whole year had flown by and they weren't tiny babies anymore. Amazingly, I only feel gratefulness and excitement as we celebrated Ava's 1st birthday last Tuesday. Maybe its because, despite this being probably the fullest (and most challenging) year of my life, with tons of change, I made a point to cherish every moment I had with Ava, fully knowing the "baby stage" is so fleeting. Also, having now a 3 and 5 year old, I know that every stage of raising a child has its own unique joys that I can look forward to!

Despite being my biggest baby at birth (8lbs 1 oz), she is by far my tiniest now! At her 1 year check up she was only in the 3% for weight (17lbs 10oz) ! I can't say I mind her being so many ways its a back doesn't hurt from carrying her, she's not out growing clothes very fast (she can still wear 9 and 12month clothes), and she still looks like my little baby. But despite her petite self, she doesn't act little. She is packed full of life and personality. Her name, Ava, means "life", and how appropriate that name is! Ava definitely makes an effort to keep up with her big sisters. She's making strides in walking...up to about 10 steps at a time now. And she's saying a few words too: Da-Da, Ma-Ma, baby, night-night, ball and duck.

We celebrated Ava's birthday on Tuesday with a trip to the birkdale fountains (she LOVES them...and literally is not afraid of them at all) and Cold Stone Ice Cream (yes, she was a happy girl). And that evening we had her favorite dinner of pizza & watermelon. It was a happy day!

We are totally smitten with this fireball of energy and cuteness! Happy 1st birthday, my sweet baby girl.

.Little Friends.

We have been one blessed family to have the priviledge to host some of our dearest friends, the Seavers, four times in the past few months, since they moved from Charlotte to Summerville, SC to lead a church plant there. I still distinctly remember Mike & Kristin inviting Joe & I over for dinner, just two weeks after they moved to Charlotte with an 18-month-old Emma and 2 month-old Sarah Evelyn. I was 9 months pregnant with Alathea. Fast forward 5 1/2 years of friendship, 5 year of serving on staff at the same local church, two beach vacations together and the addition of FIVE more girls- they are some of our most cherished friends and we miss them so much!

We now have SEVEN girls between our families (ages 7, 5, 5, 3, 2, 1 and 6 months)...and they sure have fun together! We loved every minute of their visits and can't wait until they *hopefully* plan another one soon!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

.Spring Adventures.

We love spring and summer around here. Who doesn't, right?
We love having the windows open and spending hours outside in the sunshine.
I've been loving life too much to take a minute and add a post.
So here is our spring in a nutshell:

{We've spent many hours walking to the park & pond down the street.}
Which included watching eight baby ducklings grow up.
The girls wanted to go to the pond daily to build the ducklings a nest to sleep in each night.
(I believe we've read "Make way for the Ducklings" one too many times!)

{Pop-Pop & Ray-Ray came in town for a visit!}
Always a treat for each of us!
The girls have said that they'd chose Pop-Pop & Ray-Ray visiting over a trip to Disney World...that's saying a lot for our little girls!
We get spoiled to the max, including lots of pizza, ice cream and starbucks for me!

{Trip to Hilton Head}
Joe will be in Mexico over our anniversary in July, so we took an early trip and spent four days in Hilton Head (with Ava in tow). It was a lovely trip, with lots of sweet time together- but also four straight days of rain!! We had only 6 hours the entire trip to really enjoy the island. We soaked up every minute and spent a good bit of time riding bikes on the beach. (OK, I know I'm just a big eight year old, but I LOVED it! And now I want a bike really bad ;)

We had Easter at our house this year, including an Easter egg hunt.
Sweet times with the family.

{Strawberry Picking}
Nothing says spring like Strawberry picking.
This is the first year we actually picked more than we consumed on the spot!

{Real Life}
This picture makes me so every day life.
Any given moment there is a good chance on of my three is joyfully smiling, one is screaming at the top of their lungs, and one is off in outer space. They rotate rolls throughout the day. Despite the challenges "real life" can bring with three little ones, I couldn't be more grateful for them and the privilege it is to be their Mom. They are precious gifts from God that I cherish!