Monday, August 12, 2013

How it all began

So I finally got around to converting our wedding slideshow from an antiquated power point version to a  legit slideshow. Doing this was like taking a step through time. Bear with me as I don't often write about my marriage, I tend to stick to my kids. Unfortunately, I think that is a pervasive theme applicable in more ways than blog posts.  But taking this step back was just what I needed. In the hustle and bustle of diaper changes, nursings, grilled cheese sandwiches, burp cloths, bill paying...it's easy to forget how we got here. But what all started this wonderful life was a remarkable relationship that I hope one day my children are lucky and blessed enough to share with another person. I knew from the beginning that I was going to marry George. As I look at these photographs of the beginning of our life together, I am overjoyed that I got to share this with another human being and continue to do so. Sure the butterflies fade and the excitement and newness wear thinner but at the end of the day, I have my best friend by my side every step of the way. That is a beautiful thing. I am also reminded how very blessed we both are to have such loving family and friends.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy Second Birthday, Mark.

In pretty much every post about my babies, I remark about the speed at which times flies. Any parent is no stranger to this idea that time propels forward at a faster rate than it did pre-kiddos. Although I am aware in my head that time goes fast, I don't think my heart has quite grasped the concept. As I look back at where we were one year ago, I am stunned that so much has happened in those 365 days. I am speechless at what has transpired in two years. I can still remember exactly what we were doing the night before your birth. If I close my eyes, I can recall the overall sense of excitement mixed with a healthy dose of fear. When I hold Jack, I struggle to remember what it was like in those early months. As he has started cooing, I find it difficult to remember what your coos sounded like. I am so thankful for the pictures and videos we took. Now, what I do remember with exceptional clarity is that my entire world shifted. There was life before you and life after and the two are totally different. I prefer the latter. My life has been blessed beyond measure the moment I conceived you. When they placed you in my arms, I knew I would never be the same.

In that first year you changed so much in those short twelve months. The change since your first birthday has been possibly even more dramatic. This time one year ago we were in the Florida Keys...and you were hopefully asleep. I had just found out that I was pregnant with Jack. Which turned out to be the best surprise of my life. You and I both felt under the weather that trip but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I remember how much you loved the water, a love that holds true today. You were still nursing as well. It puts a lump in my throat to know that such a tender and beautiful relationship between us has ended. I'm not saying I would still nurse you today, in fact I cannot imagine it.  I know I am raising you to go out into the world and be your own person and these moments are but fleeting. But I will treasure that time all of my life. Those sweet times when you would put your hand on my chest, look into my eyes with those huge, beautiful brown eyes, and smile...and the milk would leak out. Or when I would wake you for your nighttime nursing and you wouldn't even open your eyes. You would just open wide, curl into me, and fill your tummy. Those are some of the most peaceful and fulfilling moments of my life. Those are the moments that take your breath away. I gave you life inside and outside of my body. I am very thankful I am sharing this with Jack. One day you will be embarrassed by this story but I hope that eventually you will appreciate it. When they place your child in your arms, probably not before then. But I am getting ahead of myself, you are only TWO!

This year has been a blast. You have grown from wobbling baby to full-speed ahead toddler (although if I can be honest, you are still my baby. Always will be.) You had a great birthday party where you were able to see how blessed you are with so many friends and family members who love you. You have mastered walking and you have running pretty much down pat. You are a pro at climbing, much to my chagrin. You love an audience and love to make people laugh. You are very independent and grow frustrated when you cannot do for yourself. Your vocabulary is vast. People always comment on how well you speak. I think this is the reason you don't throw many temper tantrums, you can express your wants/dislikes etc. to us with great ease. You love being outside. You LOVE the water and have no fear. Please have a little fear...for mommy. It makes me nervous about what the teenage years will be like. You have really warmed up to "baby Gack" (as you call him). I have spied you petting him when you think I am not looking and saying "it's ok baby". I know too that you like attention and you aren't a fan of the adorable Jack stealing any of it from you. You love taking a bath with your toys "kitty" and "bunny" (literal names for these toys). Your favorite characters are Mickey and Elmo and Barney occasionally. Your favorite movie for most of this year was the Lorax (formerly pronounced "Lolap"). You love to play with daddy but when you are hurt, it is mommy that comforts you. You have no idea what joy it brings me to comfort you and take the pain away, however slight. You have been in 3 schools this year. Just after your first birthday we switched you to Mt. Carmel's Cub Corner where you thrived and flourished. You were so excited to see Ms. Jan on MWF. You wouldn't even look back at me if she was in the play yard when I dropped you off. Now you are in a new school on the Northshore and although you give me quite the performance when I drop you off, I see on the webcams that you are having a blast. We moved into our first home this summer and you LOVE the backyard. I love that you will be able to ride your bike in the neighborhood and have an outdoor childhood (safely).

The biggest change came in March when you were 19 months old and baby Jack arrived. It took you a while to warm up. I know it was hard on you and it broke my heart to see you so distraught. But again, you bounced back with flying colors. I am always amazed at the resiliency of a child, specifically yours. I know you two will grow to be best buds. Sure you will fight, but there is no other love like that of a sibling and I feel so blessed to have given you both this gift. Treat each other well, family is forever.

I could go on and on about the changes we've experienced over the past year but the fact remains that you have changed my life and daddy's life for the better. I won't remember it all but I do have an overall sense of peace that I am savoring this time, enjoying the blessing that is you, and trying to live in the moment. I can only vaguely recall what life was like before you. And if sharing our life with you means less sleep and more worry, I will take it over and over again because the joy that you bring to it is immeasurable. We love you to the moon and back. Love always, Mommy and Daddy