Sunday, November 9, 2014

......our beautiful, Mae......welcome to one.....

.....why, hello my beloved blog.....boy, have I neglected you........it hasn't been purposeful.....life with four has been a juggle and then you add Beachbody, social activities, Stefan's travel and homework; just to name a few, and the days slip by without many visits.......but November was just what I needed- a milestone family event that has brought me back to you with an open mind and a clean white slate of virtual paper so I can capture the feelings of the here and now in our bustling home.....

.....our last addition to the family turned one on Friday and we celebrated her all weekend.....honestly, we celebrate her everyday.....her bright, loving, charming, sweet and peaceful disposition have most people stopping in their tracks to admire her and we don't mind it.....we all agree that she is the most precious baby who has every existed (except my other 3 children, of course) and the other five of us in the family are all love struck to the core......every single one of us......

......deep, deep love is what we all have for this child......she has made our family complete and I think each and every one of us appreciate that fact......

.....and so, Mae Elizabeth, I will do my best to capture the emotion of the here and now.....I will try to wrap up the last 12 months the best that I can because I want you to know how truly special you have been to our family.......




.....Mae, I prayed for you for months before we even knew you were coming......and my pregnancy with you taught both mommy and daddy a lot of about faith and love and trust and hope......you, my beloved baby girl, taught me more in 9 months than I learned in years of adulthood......you were knitted together perfectly in my womb and although God knew of your innermost being, we waited anxiously to know you too......



......when you arrived looking splendid and pink and perfect, it took our breath away.....you were everything and more we had ever dreamed of and your disposition was apparent from the very beginning......you were peaceful, affectionate, bright eyed and wanted to be in the center of the family action......



.....your siblings were ecstatic for your arrival and I will never forget your birthday afternoon when the troop rolled in to meet you......I could hear the squeals down the hallway 2 minutes before they arrived in our room......




.....and since I knew you would be our last baby, I savored every second alone with you......I studied your features, smelled your skin, watched your chest rise and fall over and over again.....I could have stayed at the hospital for several days just to have you all to myself, but I knew there were others who were chomping at the bit for you to come home.....




.....your first day at the house you fit in perfectly.....you went with the flow for every event we took you to and you we probably said you were the easiest baby in the world 10,000 times in your first 12 months of life......if you needed to sleep, you slept.......if you were hungry, you would politely let me know.......if you were bored, well, actually in this house I don't think you have ever been bored.....and when you have had enough of the crew, you let me know too and we make sure to give you some space to decompress......



.....you love to be silly, you love attention, you love to explore, you love independence and you love to be on the move......



.....we took a lot of photos of you.....gave you lots of hugs and kisses and I am pretty sure at the ripe age of 12 months, you know full well that you are completely and utterly adored......





.....and it just hasn't been your parents and your siblings who have loved spending time with you......you are doted on by the whole extended family, too.....











......and so when your birthday weekend arrived, we were ready to celebrate the beautiful first year of your life.....


.....so we planned a gathering with the Schallers.....the family whose four children all align up with ours.......all 10 of us planned a party to celebrate both you and Gracie.......the baby who slept next to you in the hospital nursery your first few hours of life......



......and the baby who would be your little sidekick for many months and years to come......






......around 7 months you two started to recognize and show interest in one another.......



.....and it is easy to tell that you are both fourth children because on spontaneous play dates in October, both of your mommies have you dressed in Christmas hand me down PJs at lunchtime.......you two didn't seem to care......


.....we celebrated big......lots of cake, lots of good food and lots of family......






.....and Michele and I did not miss a beat acknowledging that she and I made it though the first year as new mamas of four, too......


......Mae, you are an absolute joy.....I hope you know that everything we do as a family is so much fuller because you are here.....I wish I could capture you laugh, your little snort when you are proud of something you have done, your smile, your coos, your sweet voice, and your expressions......the time has slipped through my fingers so very quickly; but I promise you that I have inhaled every last second of you being such a little baby.....I am anticipating so much joy in getting to unwrap your little personality that emerges more and more each day......toddlerhood will hold so many other firsts for you, which will also be our lasts; but I am loving each moment of being a family of six.....


.....thank you for blessing each and every one of us.....we love you to the moon and back, sweet girl......

.....Happy first birthday......

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

......back to school with Stuck on You.......

.....the preparation for school is so exciting.....I remember it clearly when I was younger and it may be even more fun for me now that I have my own children....the difference is that in this day and age, you electronically purchase the school supplies months before the first day and they go directly to the classroom....so it is less shopping for rulers, glue sticks and pencils and more shopping for trendy and fun gear.....

......this is my third round of partnering with Stuck on You and I am thrilled each season we have come together because I love their products!.......my children tear open the bag of goodies and every time we receive incredible items that also become great ideas for gifts, favors, stocking stuffers or birthdays......

.....With my oldest child just beginning first grade, I have learned that there is a certain "cool" element to having bag tags for your backpack......all of the girls have a multitude of souvenirs dangling off their bags and Elsa loves her new keychain style bag tag......



.....she also loves that it is personalized because for the past several months, her name has been a popular ice breaker......(and if you don't know why the name Elsa is a hit, go see the movie Frozen).......


......Callie loves her junior messenger bag, which is a nice break from the oversized backpacks......this is perfect for Kindergarten because it is large enough to hold her folder and snack, but is still small enough to be portable on the bus and easy to carry......


.....it also has a front pocket for emergency cards, sunglasses, a sunblock stick, a favorite bracelet, a random coin, a half eaten bagel, a rock, a broken Barbie or whatever other knick knack carry items your little likes to cart around......

.....there is also a great selection of icons to choose from, so these bags can be personalized in several different styles.....


......nursery school still has another two weeks to go until Brody has his first day.....there has been a lot of hustle and bustle around here as we have been getting the girls ready for elementary school; and he has been anxious to have his turn......

.....my little man typically will not pose without bribes for pictures; however I think he was so excited it was his turn to break out the school gear that he made the exception......not to mention, this junior backpack is amazing.......it's made well, it's stylish and Brody loves the design......



.....the best part about it is the insulated snack compartment.......it is easily accessible for them and it lightens the load in my purse since he can carry his own snacks and water bottle........


......every mama has to love a product that fosters independence.......


.....Stuck on You has fantastic products that are unique and made to last.....many of their back to school items are on sale and they are also generously offering two readers a $25 gift certificate to use for purchase toward their products........


......good luck and happy back to school shopping.......


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