Sunday, May 31, 2009

Expecting Baby Jacob

Sometime in the next 11 days my newest nephew, Jacob Allan, will enter the world, and I can't wait to meet him.  Today I went to my sister Emily's house and took pictures of her very pregnant tummy and her happy little family to document this special time in their lives.  

There is something so precious to me about taking maternity photos.  Having been pregnant to this point only 3 times and realizing now that I am probably beyond that stage of life forever, I wish that I could live it all again.  I wish that I could have realized how incredibly miraculous it was. I wish that I could have absorbed it.  Frozen it.  Appreciated it even more than I did. Maybe all women feel like this once this amazing stage in their lives has passed.  So in taking these pictures for my sister, I hope that I have helped her to preserve this little moment in the span of her life forever.  

~ Emily ~
my beautiful sister and friend expecting her second baby, first son, very soon

~ Allan & Emily ~
Jacob's parents

~ the happy family ~

~ Big Sister, Claire ~
~ the proud parents ~

~ waiting in Jacob's nursery ~

~ Em in her room ~

A Sneak Peek

Today I took pictures of my beautiful baby sister and her family as they await the arrival of their second child, Baby Jacob.  Emily is 37 1/2 weeks pregnant, and I think she looks amazing. Just seeing her little body carry her big baby boy reminds me of what a miracle pregnancy and birth, and well... life is.  I hope to post more soon.  Until then, here is my favorite of the 165 photos that I took... so far.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Today is the first day that both of the big kids have officially been out of school for summer break, and I decided to take them and Cooper to the opening day of the new Disney Pixar movie UP.  It was so good!  In fact, it might be my new favorite Disney movie ever.  The story was so sweet... I even got teary eyed a couple of times.  And this old guy...

I loved him!  Mr. Fredrickson is such a grumpy old man, but he had loved deeply and dreamed big in his life.  Really - I just loved this persnickety character to pieces! 

So, if you can't tell, the kids and I give this movie 8 THUMBS UP!  You should see it.  One word of advise - we paid extra for the 3-D experience, and I don't think that that added anything to the movie for me.  Don't waste your money on 3-D, but definitely go see the movie.  And you better take a kleenex if you cry easily.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What A Difference A Year Makes

The screen saver on my computer is a slide show of all of the photos that are stored on it.  This morning a picture of Itty Bitty Chloe came up, and I had to compare it to the most recent one that I have of her.  Chloe's first birthday was the day after I got home from Mexico, and I didn't say a bloggy Happy Birthday to her then... so here's your official Bloggy Birthday Wish, Baby! 

Chloe Grace, 

I had the privilege of coming to stay with your family to help take care of you in the days after you were born.  It was a special time that I will always hold close to my heart.  Every day that I was at your house, you and I slept in the recliner for the first few hours of the night while your mommy & daddy power-slept.  It was therapeutic for me snuggle you, inhale your baby-smell, and hold you as you slept.  I began to love you during those middle of the night sleeps in a special way.  You are turning into a sweet little girl.  A quiet, peaceful soul that knows how to throw a hilarious little fit when you really need to.  I have loved watching you grow during the last year, and I love you, Chlo!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dinner - "the kind where they set the table on fire"

Last night we went to dinner at a hibachi grill and had an impromptu birthday dinner with Skyler.  From the moment that Cooper realized where we were going, he was very concerned about the fire on the table... he vividly remembers it from last June when we took the kids to a special dinner at a similar place.  He wanted to sit in Corey's lap even well before we ordered, and as soon as the chef appeared, he ducked under the table where he spent several minutes on the floor.  Poor little guy!  Finally, after the "big fire" he was brave enough to join the rest of us for dinner.
~ the birthday girl ~
~ baby sister, Chloe Grace ~
(She just had a birthday too!  I can't believe that she is one!)
~ Allie & Jack waiting to order ~
~ Cooper hanging out in Daddy's safe lap ~
~ Our chef, Honda, with the onion volcano ~
~ Cooper eating with chopsticks ~
~ MiMi & Skyler ~
I love it when they both crawl up in my lap!
~ Adrielle, Chloe, & Coby ~
~ singing Happy Birthday to Sky ~
(They brought her fried bananas, and they seemed to be a hit!)
All the kids had ice cream after dinner.

Swimming With The Fam

Yesterday we went to the Community Center with Coby & Adrielle's family and Allan & Emily's family for a swim.  The outdoor area - what we call "The Waterpark" - opened this weekend, and it was the perfect place to spend Memorial Day.

~ Cooper, getting ready to dive in ~
~ Allie Cat & Claire Bear ~
~ Emily & Allan ~
(and Baby Jacob, due to arrive very soon)
~ Adrielle & Chloe ~
~ Jack ~
~ Cooper getting ready to go home ~
~ Skyler, drying off ~
~ Claire, taking a juice break ~
~ Me, with my "head in the clouds" ~ 
(taken by Cooper)
~ Emily & Jacob ~
Isn't she adorable?!?

4 Years Ago

Yesterday was my niece Skyler's 4th birthday.  I have about a gazillion nieces and nephews (really, I'd have to count them to tell you how many), and they are all super special.  I could recount memories about each of them... things that I love to remember about them.  Things that make them special.  One of the many things that is special about Skyler is this...

Her mama, Adrielle, and I were due with she and Cooper on the same day.  Literally.  The night that I went to Waco to tell my family the news of my pregnancy, she and my brother were there waiting to tell us the exact same news about themselves.  It has been ironic and very fun to share every single stage of Cooper and Skyler together since that night.  The end of our pregnancies were filled with "What did the doctor say at your appointment?", "What are you feeling?", "What do you think this means?", "Is this normal?" phone calls.  

On the night of May 24, 2005 I went to a Texas Rangers ballgame with my family.  Honestly, I am not even sure how my big ol' body fit in that little bitty, very uncomfortable chair.  In retrospect, I am sure that I was hoping that all the walking and uncomfortable sitting, and excitement would put me into labor that night.  I just knew that I was ready to have this baby!  Just looking at me, the employee that was working our section at The Ballpark that night was too.  She even insisted that I take a golf cart ride to my car after the game, so I wouldn't have my baby there and then.  ('Cause you know?  That's how baby-having happens?!?)  Just about the time that we arrived home that night, and I hoisted my pregnant self into bed the phone rang.  It was my brother.  He began describing several things that Adrielle's body was doing, and we ended the conversation with the verdict... Her water had broken.  She was in labor.

Weeks before, my doctor was clear that I should not try to go to Waco (a 2 hour drive) at that point in my pregnancy (so I certainly should not go on this night - 10 days before my due date). I got off the phone with Coby and cried.  This baby that I had shared most every detail of her pregnancy with was going to be born without me there.  In my family, we simply don't miss events like this.  And last, but not least... I was going to be pregnant longer than Adrielle. (Okay, that was "least", but any of you women out there that have been pregnant before know that the end of a pregnancy is something to wish away while it is happening.)

My sister, Emily, was visiting from California with the hope that she would be here for the birth of a baby - either baby.  If my memory is correct, she had been here several days, and she was planning to leave on Monday if there were no babies by then.  After we got the phone call from Coby she began packing up to drive to Waco, and I think that I continued to cry.  Everyone would be together to welcome my first niece on my side of the family, and big-ol'-STILL-pregnant me would be stuck 2 hours away.

Then I decided.  I'm going!

I threw some clothes on and gathered my sleeping kids, and we 3 and Emily jumped into the van for a middle of the night drive to Waco.  As soon as we were on the road I began having contractions.  Seriously - I had them all the way to Waco.  All the way there, I hid my pains from Emily trying not to scare her to death as I plotted in my mind how to get to the nearest hospital in every little town along the way.  (And there were not many choices!)

When we made it to Waco, and I walked into the LDR department of the hospital, the nurse looked at me with confusion and panic.  On this full-moon night, women had been going into labor like crazy, and every bed was full.  She thought that I was there to check myself in to have a baby and was so relieved to discover that I was only a visitor.

When I walked into Adrielle's room, she and Coby were surprised to see me there.  Adrielle and I cried.  We were both so thankful to get to unexpectedly share this experience in our pregnancies together too.  After a short visit,  I went to the waiting room to try to sleep until Baby Skyler arrived.  As you can imagine, that didn't go over too well, with me looking like this...

So, I went to Coby & Adrielle's house to catch some shut eye.  The next morning, I went back to the hospital and stood across the hallway (hiding with my sisters and mom in an empty room) as we listened to the last moments of Adrielle's labor, and the first moments of Skyler's life.  It was amazing, and I am glad that I followed my heart - or was a little insane - on that day 4 years ago.  If I hadn't, I might have missed this...

Needless to say, a few hours, gobs of photos, tons of kisses, and many of my own contractions after Skyler was was born, I felt the need to get back home.  Corey had my friend, Jenny, drive him to meet me and drive me back home.  (Thanks again for doing that Jenny!)  I was sure that I would drive back into town and immediately need to go to the hospital for a birth of my own, but God had other plans.  He knew Adrielle needed 9 days to recover, so she and Coby and Skyler could come to my town for this... 

It could not have been more perfect.  On June 3rd, we got to introduce Skyler to her newest cousin, Cooper, and we all got to see the two babies that we had been waiting on together. They were like twins - but easier.  There were 4 parents handling the 2 of them, but we got to dress them alike and watch them grow up together.
So, Baby Girl, because of those first days and because of every day that I have spent with you since, I love you a ton.   You are special!  I love your feistiness.  I love your passion.  I love that you take charge.  You will be a great leader someday.  One that I am certain will still be shaking her finger at Cooper and reminding him of those 9 days of seniority that you have on him, like I saw you do yesterday.  You are beautiful... you started out that way and you still are.
Yesterday, Skyler and her family were visiting my house on her real 4th Birthday.  (She had had her birthday party a few days before, and she was convinced that yesterday was not her birthday... although she didn't mind the candle in her biscuit at breakfast as we sand Happy Birthday to her.)

Happy Birthday, Sky - Bo!
Your MiMi loves you like crazy!

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