Monday, December 24, 2012

First Birthday Party "On the Farm"

 We celebrated this big boy's first birthday last weekend with a special party and lots of friends! 

The Farm Menu:
Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches
Corn Cheese Dip (Recipe coming soon)
Tractor Wheels- Oreos
Chicken Feed- Chex mix
Pigs in a Blanket
and the cutest Tractor cupcakes made by our friend Heidi & her daughter Carlee!
 (easy construction paper banner!)
I made John Ryman his own little Funfetti Cake...  not sure which he liked more- the actual cake or everyone watching him & singing Happy Birthday!
We are so thankful for so many friends, our Texas family, that joined us in celebrating one year with our precious boy!  Wish I had taken more pictures of everyone.  John Ryman had a special day!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

a lake getaway

 A few weeks ago, we all loaded up in the Jeep and had a little overnight getaway to a nearby lake.  The weather was beautiful!  The furs sure wanted to jump in the water and John Ryman loved the lake & leaves.  Quick trip but thankful for time as a family!

 (mainly he just loved to eat the leaves...)

Birth Story- Part 1

 (our 2011 Christmas Photo- taken at 39 weeks)
Note to expecting mothers: My sweet friend took some wonderful photos, but I would recommend taking any maternity photos before 37 weeks :)  Unless you just want to remember how HUGE you were!  It was one of those things I just kept putting off until, well, it was almost too late.

I thought it would be fitting to share John Ryman's birth story today and tomorrow as I look back on those special days one year ago.  I had planned on sharing his birth story about 11 months ago, but after postponing and forgetting many times, I decided a few months ago to just wait until his first birthday.  I'm so excited to relive our 2011 Christmas with you and I'll be glad I have it in writing one day when I start to forget the little moments. 

Don't worry, no gory details or crazy drama that will have you running from ever getting pregnant.  I feel like I read so many horror blog posts and extreme birth stories while I was pregnant, that after I delivered I was frustrated more people didn't share the beautiful stories.  I tried to prepare myself for the worst possible scenario, remind myself that even if that occurred Christ was still in control, and then remove my thoughts from those fears.  Thankfully, I had a mom and several sweet friends that told me their sweet stories and how much they actually enjoyed labor & delivery- crazy huh?!  I know that good birth stories are rare mainly because every delivery is different, but I wonder if that's simply because most people share the horrible, screaming experience and you prematurely expect yours to be the same?  I went into the day looking forward to the process and encouraged by friends that it is okay to enjoy labor and delivery.  My next pregnancy will probably be the complete opposite of John Ryman's but there is something to say about a calm mindset, free from horror stories read online.  Okay, probably thinking too much into it... All that to say, this is a birth story you will want to share with pregnant friends or people with a fear of delivery :)
John Ryman was due to arrive on December 23rd, 2011.  My parents, Sadie and Sam drove down on the 22nd in hopes the little man would arrive on time.  My doctor said she would only let me go one week past my due date, so they knew they would stay over a week and get at least one day with John Ryman.  Thankfully, they only had to spend 2 days with my pregnant self and the rest of their time they had a precious baby to snuggle. 

I guess it all started a week before the due date, well actually 9 months before... but about a week before I started some of the old wives tales to induce labor.  I tried some spicy wings at Buffalo Wild Wings (which for me is just medium!)  A little eggplant with dinner.  LOTS of walking and shopping even though I was done with Christmas gifts- TJMaxx was a favorite.  Then on the 22nd, I took some evening primrose vitamins and continued the dosage until I woke up in labor.  I highly doubt any of these things helped, but who knows!
 (looking Large at Christmas Eve Eve Church Service)

Christmas Eve Eve (the due date) came around and no signs of labor.  We spent a lovely day with my family shopping and eating.  That evening we all went to one of the Christmas services at Compass.  It was strange because it was the first time in 20 years that my dad did not have to be a part of a Christmas Eve service.  Patrick helped out on Christmas Eve Eve, but didn't have any specific responsibilities either because of the uncertainty of whether he would make any of the services.  What a beautiful service and a joy to spend the evening with my whole family worshiping and celebrating the birth of our Savior!
After the service, we walked my family around the church and were actually one of the last to leave. They were all trying to think of ways to get me to go into labor.  I actually did a couple of laps up and down the steps- in heels and skipping every other step- quite hilarious and my dad got it all on video!  Then I raced my brother to the car in the back of the parking lot.  Not sure if that started labor, but my crazy bursts of energy should have been sign I was getting close!
Before heading home, we all made a stop at Krispy Kreme!!  To this day, my dad tells everyone that Krispy Kreme sent me into labor.  Lets just say I ate a LOT.  I tell all pregnant ladies about the original glazed because who doesn't like an excuse to indulge in such goodness! 
Patrick, Sam & I headed home (the rest were staying at a nearby hotel) with still no signs of labor. 
Who knew that after a great night sleep I would wake up Christmas Eve with my first contraction!
and this little Christmas blessing would be here before the day ended:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

10 & 11 Months!

The last two months you have hit some big milestones, John Ryman, and each month probably deserves it's own post!  But we are putting them together since your big first birthday is coming up and I'm already behind on updates.

Just after you turned 9 months, you took your first steps.  One day you took one step and then sat down.  Then the next day we were over at the Miller's house and you were playing with the kids.  All of a sudden, we looked over and you took 5 steps to the girls!  From that night on, you were a walking boy!  We were excited that you started walking before our trip into Louisville because we knew your grandparents would be dying to see those first steps.  By ten months, you were walking everywhere, only crawling to something so you could pull back up and get to walking again.  Now at 11 months, you can stand up without holding on to anything!  You love to pick up something (anything but an actual toy) give us a mischievous grin and start running away as fast as your little legs will go, giggling all the way.  You spend most of your day walking the house in circles with something in your hand.  Sometimes you carry your puppy or jingle bells, or other times you choose one of my shoes or a dog bowl.  I think your favorite place to walk is at church after the last service.  When everyone leaves you get so excited walking the halls or aisles in the sanctuary.

You sure are good at mimicking noises.  You click your tongue, try to whistle, blow bubbles and make funny faces.  You are great at blowing kisses (although it looks like you are doing a backwards punch to your mouth with a "muah" sound!) and will even come up and give us random kisses.  I have even found you sitting on the floor repeatedly kissing your toes and saying "muah"- haha!
John Ryman, you are constantly talking and babbling.  You can say: mama, dada, nana, mimi, banana, baby, baba, wawa, wow and whatever combinations you decide.  You try to repeat "I love you" and it just comes out "laaav".  Baby Sienna was over last week (7 weeks old now!) and you heard us all saying baby, so you walked over to her and said "baby" several times and it was adorable!  You also picked up a baby picture of daddy and brought it to me saying "baby".  It is probably the word that you say the best.   

You still love to dance (shake your head back and forth) when we say that word and of course you love to clap.  You also have started to point.  I think it started when we put the Christmas tree up.  I really wanted you to not touch the tree and learn to do something else instead of instantly grab an ornament, so every time you walked up to the tree we would point and say "wow"!   It's so cute to hear your little voice say "wow".  Now that you know how to point, I have started asking you how old you are and you point your finger.  I know it's a little early, but you'll be ready to go when you are actually ONE!

You now have 4 teeth (bottom 2 and top 2) and it has really helped you with eating food.  You prefer to eat finger foods over pureed baby food simply because you can do it yourself :)  Bananas, avocado, sliced turkey are some of your favorites, although I know you and Vali sure love cheerios too.  She is your best friend when you are eating and you laugh so hard when she catches some food or tickles your toes to check for extra food.  Even after several trims, your hair is just curlier and curlier.  I think pretty soon you might need an official haircut as it just keeps getting longer and wilder!  

You love playing and talking with me, but you sure are daddy's favorite buddy.  Your face lights up the second you hear the front door open and run down the hall clapping!  You can say "daddy" but the other day I think you called him "patch" haha!  I guess that would make sense because that is what I call him a lot.  You laugh so hard with your daddy and he takes such great care of you.  I think the picture above is one of my favorites I have ever taken.

You are growing into such a joyful handsome boy that loves people and loves to entertain.  We love you so much!

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's December!

I feel like I haven't posted in forever!
I have lots of updating to do since I missed JR's 10 & 11 month posts, pretty quick too because his first birthday is coming soon. CAN'T BELIEVE IT!

Hope you all had a special Thanksgiving with family and friends- we sure did!

We have been trying to intentionally keep the holiday season calm and enjoyable.  A friend of mine shared some great words of wisdom at a "Holiday How-to" event at Compass- talking about how we must rest and get rid of the busyness that surrounds us in order to fully encounter Christ and what He has planned for our lives.  Not only is that true all year round, I especially feel like as a mom and woman, the Christmas season can be clouded with shopping, planning and parties.  Beautiful and enjoyable things... but can overwhelm our spirit and take away precious time with God and our families.  It has been hard to pick and choose what Christmas events and parties we want to go to, but it has really helped to decide on  a couple family days ahead of time that we already blocked off.
All that to say, I may not be blogging as much or spending hours picking out the perfect gift for every person.  I am enjoying this Christmas season and praying I can take the rare quiet moments of my day to get to know my Jesus a little more.

Merry Christmas!
If you're interest in reading some verses I posted in the past as a little Blog Advent click on the link {here}
(Reagan and Vali wanted to be on the blog- they are still around and sweeter than ever!)