Wednesday, January 25, 2012

same stripes

People are starting to comment that Joseph looks like Hannah. Until recently I didn't think they looked alike, but I'm beginning to see a resemblance........especially when Joseph is wearing Hannah's clothes.

Joseph: 8 1/2 months old {Disregard his boo boo.}

Hannah: 13 months old {Yes, same outfit.}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

nine months!

Between the holidays, Joe's birthday, and the usual busyness of life, the last month has flown. Joseph is now 9 months old.

...and crawling. I had to use the wagon to contain him for pictures.


We went to the doctor for Joseph's 9-month check-up on Tuesday (1/31). He's 28" long (75%), weighs 17lbs 7oz (10%), and his head circumference is 17 3/4" (50%).  He is a very busy crawler and it was impossible to keep him still on the examination table. He's met all the developmental milestones he should and is doing great!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

an evening at the farm

Last Friday we celebrated Joe's 40th birthday. It was so much fun. The food was amazing - thanks to several friends who helped. It was not a surprise, but I tried to keep the details Joe knew to a minimum. I think he was surprised anyway...and thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Before the party started, and before it got too dark, I took some pictures... Beautiful night, but cold.

Thanks to our friends, Kelly and Michael, for an awesome venue.

the "Want to be Joe?" photo op

 thanks to my mom for her help with the photo enlargements

 triathlon cake, celebrating Joe's new racing age group

 not quite ready, but you get the idea.

s'mores bar, thanks to the help of Brannen and Emily.

{Crystal took it from here and was the official party photographer. There were lots of good ones, but I tried to keep it manageable for the blog - it takes a while to upload these things.} 

trophies and swim metals courtesy of Joe's mom

 specialty drink: green tea champagne fizz {Joe drinks green tea everyday...}

welcoming the birthday boy!


 thanks to Crystal for her help with the koozies.

 I had a slideshow that played throughout the night...the picture mat was the guest book.

Joe, the naval officer.

Joe, the triathlete.

 Joe, the minister.

It was a great celebration, but I did not do it alone. Thank you to all of you who helped make it a success. And a huge thanks to those who made the trip out for an evening at the farm. 

Happy, happy birthday it was.

Monday, January 9, 2012


I took this on New Year's Eve. Sibling love...

and this one was taken New Year's Day:

I think this is one of our best family pictures ever. Hannah is talking and Joseph looks unsure, but hey, everyone is looking in the right place! I think there were 3 or 4 people behind the camera... {I wish you could see Joe's tie that says "World's Best Dad". My mom gave it to him for Christmas and he wore it proudly.}

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

farewell 2011

I just took a quick trip down memory lane and re-read this post from New Year's Day last year. We did have quite a year in 2010, but it's safe to say we had an even bigger year in 2011. As I skimmed over hundreds - ok, maybe thousands - of pictures, I am amazed at the last year. 2011 was a whirlwind for us!

Among the highlights...

We packed up and moved our family to a new town in June. It was an exhausting few months but we settled in and love it here in our new home. We have gained many new friends and plan to stick around for a while. {It was not easy moving with a toddler and a newborn.}

Joe took on his new job as the pastor of Sandersville United Methodist Church. The church is a perfect fit for him and he is very happy there. He finished his coursework for his doctorate last January. He is now busy (repeat: busy) working on his dissertation. If all goes according to plan - and let's just say that it better - Joe will graduate with his Doctor of Ministry degree in December. In the meantime there will be lots and lots of hours of work, study, reading, analyzing, writing, and editing. With all we had going on, he was only able to compete in one triathlon, but continues to maintain his training. Joe has been extremely supportive of me in my role as a mom and is the best husband I could ask for. Of all the things Joe is good at, I am most proud of the person he is as a daddy...

Hannah went from a baby to a child right before my eyes. Her vocabulary exploded and her personality blossomed. She is as stubborn and strong-willed as can be. She makes us laugh everyday. She is very loving, social, and curious. She is also brave. In May, she started wearing braces on her feet, or magic shoes as we called them. She never once cried or complained. She started preschool in September and is thriving. With all of the changes Hannah went through this year - new home, new people, new baby brother, starting school - she amazed us with how well she handled it all. We are so proud of her. She is a great big sister. She is a happy and healthy {and very typical} two year-old...

We welcomed our son, Joseph, in April. He was a wonderful baby, and much lower-maintenance than Hannah was. He continues to nurse like a champ, and I am so thankful for that. He survived months of bad reflux and is now in the midst of teething. We have learned what having a boy is all about. And anyone that has had a baby boy knows what I mean. His daddy baptized him in August and that was a special day. We have celebrated many firsts, including his first trip to the beach and first Georgia Tech game. At Christmas, I found myself more than once holding my baby boy and thinking of Mary holding hers so long ago. Joseph is taking over more and more of my heart every day...

As for me, I've tried to hold it all together, balancing everything as best I can. I packed up our house and feathered our nest in a new place. I delivered my second - and perhaps last - child and celebrated five years being married to my best friend. My children are changing so fast and it's all I can do to try and capture it all in my memory. I am very happy. I strive to be the best Christian, wife, and mother that I can, but just when I think I have things under control, I am humbled and get a reality check that only HE can give. I am bursting with love and can't contain the joy I feel inside when I think about how blessed I am.

Farewell 2011. I am excited about what lies ahead in 2012.