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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving in Florida

This year, we mixed things up a bit by spending Thanksgiving on vacation in Florida with my immediate family and my Aunt Janell's family. Since we knew we'd be inside the park at Disney World all day on the real holiday, we celebrated Thanksgiving a few days early on Sunday. We slept in, went to church, visited the Orlando Temple, ate a delicious Thanksgiving feast on paper plates, and then played games to round out the night. I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Matt's mom sent Jake this cute Thanksgiving bib and we made sure to bring it to Florida with us.
My cousin Matty and niece Tasha were the best of buds.
Outside Janell's in-law's condo where we spent the week.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This Thanksgiving, I'm especially thankful for my two greatest blessings.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The little things

Jake rarely sleeps on his own, so I tried not to disturb him as he napped quietly in his Boppy. But I just couldn't stay away any longer. I slowly lied down next to him, face to face with my two-month-old baby boy.
I put my nose up to his cheek, basking in the feel of his soft skin and his heavenly smell. The scent of his baby lotion faintly lingered from his bath the night before, and with each exhale, I caught the sweet smell of his baby breath. It was intoxicating. I closed my eyes as I breathed him in, then pulled my head back a few inches -- just enough to clearly see the little details of his face.

His big blue eyes were closed, and gently fluttered as he dreamed. I looked at his beautiful eyelashes-- long and with the perfect curl, like my brothers'. I gave those to him, though I don't have them myself. There is hope for our gene pool yet, I thought. I turned to his cute button nose. Some say it looks like Matt's, while others see more of my family. I've seen both sides, but on this night, I decided his nose looked more like mine. Time will tell. His ears, on the other hand? I have no idea whose they are, but they are perfect. I hadn't paid much attention to ears until I saw his. And now his cute little ears are in my direct line of sight a dozen times a day when Jake nurses. I never knew an ear could be so endearing. My gaze then moved to his cheeks. Oh, those cheeks! They get a little bit chubbier and more scrumptious every day. I find it difficult to keep my lips away from them.

Finally, my eyes rested on his lips--so soft and full and moist, with those cute tiny lines. I loved seeing his perfectly pursed lips on our weekly 3D ultrasounds during my final months of pregnancy. I was sure he'd inherited his daddy's lips. I was right. And now, I smiled as I stared at those sweet little lips. The ones that grin up at me throughout the day, and at his daddy the second Matt walks in his door. The lips that just hours before had mustered up the most convincing pout to let me know he was hungry (again). Those lips that coo at us more and more, and will someday say my name -- Mama. I began to daydream about that day as I looked at my son, who had already grown so much in his first two months. And then, Jake smiled.

My heart soared and I couldn't take the separation anymore. I lifted my hand and gently stroked his cheek, then leaned in to give him a little kiss as he slept. "I love you, Jake," I whispered. "I love you, my sweet boy."

And he smiled again.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Coast to coast

Look who's going on his first flights today!

Where to, you ask?
We couldn't resist "surprising" our little guy with the big news. He's excited!

That's right, we're headed to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with my family at Disney World. Taking our two-month-old from coast to coast for his first trip? Seven hours on a plane? Brave, we know. But go big or go home, I say! And let me tell you, this is going to be one big party.

PS- Guess how much luggage one 11-pound baby needs? I'll give you a hint: Only 1.5 of these 6 bags are for his parents.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hanging out

Aaaand here's the last of my family's trip pictures. You know, just in time for our next trip next week. We're sort of spoiled and get to see them twice within a month. It's a good thing, too, because Jake is a fan of his fans, as you can see in the pictures below! As much fun as it was to go out and do things with my family, it was even better just to have them in our home and share our regular ol' life with them. We watched football, played games, cuddled up on the couch, and just hung out. It's so nice just to be together.
We included Jordan in The Game of Things via Skype. Oh yeah, and I schooled Christian in cards. NBD.
All the fun and games wore the babies out!
On his way to church for the first time!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sunset in Santa Monica

We couldn't have asked for a better October day at the beach. The skies were clear, the weather was comfortable, and the sunset painted gorgeous shades of purple and gold across the horizon.
The last time we visited the beach, I was 37 weeks pregnant. I remember holding Matt's hand and looking out over the water, thinking about how beautiful our lives were and how much better they were about to become. Nine weeks later, as we stood at the edge of the Pacific with our baby boy in our arms, I had those same thoughts:
Life is beautiful. And it just keeps getting better.
The only thing that could have made Jake's first beach outing better would have been our camera lasting for more than 10 minutes. But hey, that's what cell phones are for, right? I did manage to get a couple pretty pictures of my parents and sisters before the battery passed away. Then I accepted Matt's "I told you so" smile as he handed over his iPhone, and proceeded to record our few hours at the beach with my family. (Matt spent the last two years pointing out every occasion where we would have "needed" an iPhone, and now I think he feels a little smug every time it comes in handy.) When the light started to fade, we walked to the pier and watched as the sun sank down over the water. It was a lovely evening.
Jake has the best (and the best-looking!) grandparents around.
Yes, my sisters are gorgeous.
My mom makes the sweetest Grammie.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Airplanes and Airmen

Happy Veterans Day! I'm forever grateful to all those who have served and those who continue to serve our country and protect our freedoms. When Matt and I took my family to the museum at Edwards Air Force Base, I was once again struck by all the incredible feats our military men and women have achieved. For the last 60 years, Edwards has been the hub of flight test for the United States Air Force. More than 100 planes have taken their first flights here, and countless heroes who went on to become famous pilots and astronauts have called Edwards home for a time. We loved learning more about their accomplishments.
Jake riding an airplane and sitting in an ejection seat. Future pilot, perhaps? (As long as he doesn't inherit his daddy's eyesight...)
My dad with his all-time favorite plane, the SR-71 Blackbird. He fell in love with it years ago when he worked at Lockheed.
I'm so proud to be an American, and to be married to my Airman.
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