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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Family of Three

Last summer, on the evening before moving away from California, we took family pictures on our favorite beach. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am that we made time to capture our little family at that stage in our lives. Such happy memories! I never shared the pictures because of the great technology crash of Fall 2012, but wanted to share them now before we add another member to our family. I about died going through them again and seeing how much Jake has changed. He is such a big boy now!

Naturally, a few things went wrong that day, like Matt realizing as we were getting dressed right before walking out the door that his pants had been packed and sent to Utah and he only had non-matching shorts with him. So we had to run into a Macy's on the way there to buy pants, which put us just behind enough to hit traffic. Also, my bad hair day. And then where did the sun go? Plus, we thought taking pictures at the beach would be perfect for Jake since he loves the beach so much. However, we didn't take into account the fact that he loves playing at the beach, and more specifically in the water -- not being held and kept dry for pictures. Having Uncle Jordan and Aunt Coley along for the party helped a ton, and our photographer Jylare was wonderful. And in the end, it all worked out and we got beautiful pictures and once those were done, Jake still got to chase some birds and play in the water. And what better way to spend our final night than spending quality time together at our favorite beach? It was lovely.
We have this one on a big canvas in our family room and it makes me happy every day.
Look at that baby grin!!! It kills me.
I took this last one of Jake as the sun went down. My happy place? Right there.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


One of the books in Jake's current bedtime lineup is called "I Love You More." It's a big old for Jake, but he loves it and requests it every night anyway because of one particular page -- the beach page. "I love you more than all the grains of sand on the beach," the book proclaims as Jake excitedly points at the picture. The reading is paused while we engage in a little conversation about the beach and the ocean and going splash splash and playing in the sand. Once we've addressed the things Jake wants to talk about, I ask him if he wants to go to the beach. He smiles and says "Wah," then is finally satisfied (that his message has gotten through, of course) and turns the page so we can finish the story.

My boy is a beach lover and I love it.

Sadly, we can't just pack up and head to the beach on Saturdays anymore, so we work with what we've got. That includes the "beach" by my parents' house to satisfy the sand cravings and the wave pool at Seven Peaks to fill the wave-jumping void. (It tides him over well enough - pun intended - but we're definitely excited for the real deal in August!) When I was 38 weeks pregnant, we took Jake and my little brothers to the water park and it was a big hit all around. My pregnant self loved the water, Jake couldn't stop squealing, and my 6-year-old brother Gabe declared it the "second best day" of his life. Considering that Disney World takes the top spot, Matt and I felt pretty good about that ranking.
My little sunbather!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pink Party! {Baby Girl's Shower}

The Graf ladies threw a "Pink Party" in honor of baby girl a couple weeks ago and it was the best kind of baby shower ever.

Since she's my second baby, they steered away from the typical, big baby shower concept and came up with an adorable girl's night idea instead. Our Pink Party consisted of lots and lots of pink, obviously -- pink clothes, pink flowers, pink dessert, pink candy, pink drinks, you name it. We chatted non-stop, ate yummy treats, made headbands for baby girl, and then cuddled up on the couch for the ultimate baby-themed chick flick: Father of the Bride Part II. Everyone spoiled us with the sweetest gifts and made the cutest little headbands to play dress-up with. (Thanks so much to all of you!!! And an extra large thanks to Heidi for being the brains behind the operation. She is the best sister/aunt.) It was so much fun just hanging out with my aunts and cousins all night, and it was really special to share the excitement of our baby girl's impending arrival with them. 

Pink parties are definitely the way to go.
Look, Kim and Lis! I figured out how to change your shirts! Haha. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


You'd think after 21 months of having Jake in our lives, we'd be used to the amazingness of it all, but Matt and I still have to pinch ourselves multiple times a day. How on earth did we get so lucky? Jake is the happiest, sweetest, smartest, cutest, most fun little guy that we could ever imagine and he brings so much pure joy into our lives. Being his parents is the greatest blessing.

We are beyond thrilled to be welcoming baby #2 into our lives in the next few weeks (I'm 37.5 weeks along right now!?!). And at the same time, I'm wishing I could push pause or somehow slow down time to really soak up the last few moments with just the three of us. It's been such a beautiful, happy little chapter in our lives and it's a little bittersweet -- mostly sweet, of course -- to turn another page. We know it's only going to get better from here (somehow, that is apparently possible) with the arrival of our baby girl. I just wish that time didn't have to go by so very fast!

The moral of these thoughts on parenting is that we, along with the rest of America, celebrated Mother's Day and Father's Day -- and felt quite lucky to do so. Matt went all out with flowers and decor and breakfast and a sweet note and the cutest little drawing from Jake for Mother's Day. (And a gift card for a prenatal massage. Those things are the best.) He, in turn, was spoiled for Father's Day with bacon waffles, Jake's first  official painting (apron, easel and all), and about 317 gifts. (First, it was the lawn mower. Then the shoes. Then the books. Then the...) He deserved it, though :) As far as Jake and I are concerned, Matt is the best Daddy in the world. I love my boys.
33 weeks with baby girl:
And I'd be remiss to talk about Mother's or Father's Days without mentioning our own wonderful parents. Love you!
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