Yesterday, on a glorious 55 degree and sunny day, we headed up to Ligonier after church for a day trip to visit Gramps and Granny. It was a short visit, but we spent every moment laughing, playing and sharing stories.
Charlotte was the most excited of all—she skipped her nap, and chattered the whole drive about seeing “Gamps Ganny!”. We played outside most of the day—Charlotte ran around picking flowers, and we played “school”.
Ellie had a hard time settling down for a nap, so she rested with daddy while we played outside. She was so happy to see Gramps and Granny too—she of course loved all the attention. Not to mention….crawling and exploring every where!
I’ve mentioned before that Gramps and Granny have a house way out in the country. It’s incredibly peaceful and serene. The day was perfect for a family walk up their long hill.
I can’t begin to express how much it means for me to have not only grandparents in our girls’ lives—but great-grandparents too. Granny and Gramps treat our girls like their own, and the relationship they are building with Charlotte and Ellie is something they will always have with them. Truly a blessing in all of our lives!
Never underestimate the joy in the simplicity of…
Planting flowers on a spring day:
Watching your 8 month old learn to pull up to stand:
Running around with no agenda or care in the world:
A squeeze from your little ones while they both still fit in your lap:
I was reminded by my husband the other night of something that caught my attention. Right now in our lives, we aren’t in our “ideal” situation.
We would love to buy a house with more space for our girls to run around in, and have our own back yard.
We would love the freedom to live comfortably with the ability to take big vacations and save for the future.
We would love so many more “things” that right now we just don’t have.
But Andrew said to me the other evening on our little porch—“You know…we are going to look back on this time and think of it as such a happy time. When our babies were still babies and everything was simple.”
That pierced my heart and brought tears to my eyes. He’s right. We are happy, healthy and have everything God has planned for us for this moment and stage in our lives.
So—I’m going to work on enjoying the simplicity in this season we are in. The bigger and better aren’t necessarily bigger and better, and I want to cherish these days.
In PA, the weather has been the #1 topic of conversation lately. Our friendly Groundhog told us back in February we would be sure to have an early winter.
He was wrong—VERY wrong.
In fact, I recently looked at some pictures I had posted on Facebook from March 2012—we were wearing spring clothes and playing on the playground. Nothing like this March where it snowed for more of the month than not.
But now, our winter weather seems to have finally faded away and in it’s place we have had a string of gorgeous sunny spring days.
This weekend was exceptional—not too warm, not too cool. Robins running around the grass, birds singing sweet melodies in the distance—and that “springy” smell has arrived.
You just can’t help but smile.
Yesterday before church while Ellie was napping, Charlotte and I took advantage of one of our first spring mornings of the season by sitting out on our porch.
I sipped on hot coffee while she sipped on cold orange juice, and we sat together like girlfriends.
We watered her brand new pansies, and talked about the different sounds and smells around us. She pointed towards the blue sky and I explained to her all about birdies and nests, and what flowers need to help them grow.
In that small moment, I realized something. A year ago out on our porch, Charlotte was a baby. She would toddle around and I would watch her, and make sure she didn’t fall or get too dirty. I was her care-taker.
Now, of course, I’m still her care-taker—but our relationship has grown in just one year. This year—she is my pal. We have real conversations and laugh and tell stories. We play together, and she asks me big life questions like “where the birgies live mommy?”.
I have found a friend in my two and a half year old. Sure, she may still be a toddler and she has a lot of growing to do—but there is no one I would rather share a morning coffee and a giggle with at 9am than my sweet Charlotte.
How blessed I am to have a daughter—I know our relationship is only beginning. The years we have ahead of tears, laughter and girl talk has only just begun.
Didn’t I just write one of these posts? March FLEW by…and I think Ellie turning into an active baby has kept be busier than I realized!
The biggest milestone actually happened ON her 8 month birthday: Ellie started crawling! She has been really trying hard to crawl for about a month now, and finally figured out how to move forward. It is so much fun to watch her zoom around now. She is still so little, and younger than Charlotte who crawled at 9.5 months—so she looks like a little wind up toy moving around the room! Ellie skipped the army crawl and went straight for hands and knees. I’m already looking up baby knee pads for those sore knees of hers!
Ellie is really starting to interact with us. When I play music, or sing a song she will bounce and “dance” to the beat. She also imitates clapping now and babbles all day long! She says: “ma ma ma”, “da da da”, “ba ba ba” and “rah rah rah”. And of course, still blows raspberry bubbles and sings along to the music in the car.
Ellie still proves to be an awesome eater and sleeper. She takes four formula bottles a day and eats three baby food “meals”. The only thing she absolutely will NOT eat are bananas. She makes the same face Charlotte used to make for pretty much every vegetable—ha! Ellie tried yogurt this month and absolutely loves it…she gets jealous every time her sister eats yogurt. The jealousy has already begun!
As far as sleeping goes, she has been sleeping a lot recently. I think now that she is more active she needs more rest. E goes to bed around 8pm and wakes between 7-8am each morning. She takes an hour nap in the morning and recently has been napping 2-3 hours in the afternoon.
Ellie has reached the stage of wanting anything that is not hers. Stickers, paper, spoons, plastic bags, ALL of Charlotte’s toys etc. Charlotte is having a hard time with this recently. Now that E can crawl, CG can no longer take her toys to another part of the room. I’m trying to encourage her to share or to give Ellie another toy instead of pushing and yelling “NO ELLIE!!!”. It’s a constant battle!
Speaking of Charlotte—Ellie just loves her sister. She doesn’t need much entertaining from me because she has free “TV” by watching her sister play and trying to join in. I smile every time I see them interact—it is such a joy!
I love this little bundle more and more every second of the day—life is just perfect with you in our lives, Ellie Virginia! God has truly blessed our family :)
Our Easter weekend was another one for the books.
I always say this, but I truly think Easter is the most special holiday. Christmas is fun, but there is something about celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord with young children. Wearing our Sunday best, going on egg hunts and spending time with family—all of that is fun and important—but the true meaning touches me every year.
We started out the weekend with CG’s first Easter egg hunt and meeting the Easter bunny. She fell in LOVE, and followed him around everywhere!
We then had our first Easter dinner at my parents, where Charlotte enjoyed another egg hunt and got lots of treats from Mimi and Pop-pop. The dinner was of course, AMAZING. My mom out does herself every year!
Easter morning we went to early church. This meant we had to delay the baskets and egg hunt…so we told Charlotte the Easter bunny would come to our house while we were in church. She totally bought it, ha!
After a beautiful service celebrating Jesus, we came home to find the EB had in fact stopped by! Charlotte was sooo excited, and spent the morning looking at all her treats and talking about how much she loved her bunny friend-ha!
After naps, we joined my dad and brother at a fun Easter brunch and egg hunt. My poor mom woke up with pink eye that morning, so she sadly had to stay home for all of the festivities.
We ended the busy weekend with dinner at the Colemans. Of course, the girls were spoiled with more treats and we left with full bellies. It was an Easter to remember!
He is not here, he is risen, just as he said. Matthew 28:6
I hope someday our girls will know how blessed they are to have a savior who died for us. So that we may have eternal life in heaven. Easter will always be a special holiday for our family, and the joy this weekend brought Andrew and me is indescribable.
Happy Easter, friends!
Today I’m linking up with some of my favorite bloggers to join in on a series called Build ‘Em Up. This week’s topic is ” the joy of playing with your kids”.
When I first became a mom, I had a LOT of experience with playing with young children. I spent my high school and college years working part time at a gym day-care, I babysat on the weekends AND was the oldest of four children—my youngest brother being 12 years younger than me. So, I think it was safe to say that playing with kids was something I knew I could master as a new mom.
The difference with being a mom as opposed to a part time baby-sitter or nanny…is when you’re a mom, you don’t ever “go home” at the end of the day. Being a mom requires a LOT more than play-time.
There are chores to be done. Dishes, laundry, cleaning up, cooking, changing diapers, bathing…..just to name a few.
The chores leave little time to sit on the floor and play with my girls all day long. That said—in our home, the chores might be put on the back-burner once in awhile. When Charlotte was first born and started to become more interactive, I had a really hard time balancing everything. I felt like because I stayed at home with my baby, I should be the PERFECT house-keeper, cook and wife along with being the PERFECT mom.
I started to realize that this left sweet Charlotte to play on her own a lot of the time—something she wasn’t great at doing in the first place.
So—something that my own mom told me once really stuck with me:
“The dishes, messes and laundry can wait. Your kids won’t remember all the sparkling housework or amazing meals or perfect, clean sheets on the bed. What they will remember are the memories you made together. Making messes might be a part of that, but they are moments you can’t replace.”
I will never forget that.
I am now a much more relaxed mommy about the chores, and spend most of my time playing with the girls when they are awake.
We play tea-party, color, play with the doll house and baby dolls.
We dress up and have dance parties, and bake and laugh.
And sometimes—when I’m cleaning up dinner, or folding a few towels—a little person will come tip-toeing over and a tiny voice will say, “Mommy—will you play a’us too?”
How could I ever say NO to that?
These memories are priceless—and I am so thankful to be home with these girls so that I can be the one playing with them and raising them and building them up.
And thankfully—I also have a husband who doesn’t mind how long it takes me to do laundry….as long as I (eventually) get it done!