November 25, 2014

Making Some Room on the Couch

“Perhaps we don't like what we see: our hips, our loss of hair, our shoe size, our dimples, our knuckles too big, our eating habits, our disposition. We have disclosed these things in secret, likes and dislikes, behind doors with locks, our lonely rooms, our messy desks, our empty hearts, our sudden bursts of energy, our sudden bouts of depression. Don’t worry. Put away your mirrors and your beauty magazines and your books on tape. There is someone right here who knows you more than you do, who is making room on the couch, who is fixing a meal, who is putting on your favorite record, who is listening intently to what you have to say, who is standing there with you, face to face, hand to hand, eye to eye, mouth to mouth. There is no space left uncovered. This is where you belong.”-- Sufjan Stevens

I'm so thankful for you, Rian.
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November 18, 2014

We Go Well Together

Today I took a walk around my neighborhood and soaked in the last bits of fall. Between wind storms and occasional rain, the glorious leaves have all but disappeared.

It was a great season (as it always is), and it reminded me of one of the biggest truths in my life: we go well together. Sorry Rian, this love note isn't to you. It's to the one who has actually been with me longer. Who held my hand during my first rainy season and showed me how beautiful a daily sprinkle can really be. To the one who introduced me to all four seasons. To the one who showed me how good a craft beer can be and that organic food doesn't have to be pompous. This letter is to the one who said "I'm worth it. Take that leap of faith. Come to me!"

And seven years ago I did just that. And seven years later I am still enamored.

Here's to you OREGON. I am so utterly and completely in love with you.
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October 20, 2014

Glorious Fall

I wait all year for these three months: September, October and November. I love the changing of seasons. I love the cool mornings of September that eventually turn into cool days of October. I even love the cold nights of November.

Some people love the sunshine and warm days. I love the drizzle and overcast skies. I love jackets and flannel sheets. I moved to Portland knowing the majority of my days would be gloomy. But I thrive off of gloomy. When the skies are dark, my spirit is bright. Some people don't understand this. But that's OK- I don't really understand the love for hot summer days. To each his own, right?

So now that we have embarked on my favorite season, I've been sure to fill our calendar with as many special activities as possible.

First up, a visit to the Pumpkin Patch.

Next up:
- Harvest Festival at our church
- Trick or Treating a the library
- Pumpkin carving at home
- Trick or Treating FO REALZ in the neighborhood with BFF Callie (and the red wagon, of course.)

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October 14, 2014

Hannah Joy Turns One!

We had such a fun time celebrating Hannah's first birthday with friends and family. I'd love to tell you all about it, but I really think the beautiful pictures that our dear friend Annie took tell the story much better than I could:)

Thank you so much to everyone who came out and helped us celebrate Hannah Joy's first year!
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Hannah Joy: 12 Months

Hannah Joy is ONE! What an incredible, life-altering year this has been for all of us. No doubt our lives are so much fuller now. We've been through so many ups and downs this past year- but in the end all I really see is JOY. Joyful memories, joyful family and friends, joyful moments together as a family. Thank you to everyone that has loved us and supported us on this crazy journey. We love you and we are grateful for you!

And now, for my last monthly update!

At 12 months, Hannah...

- Walks everywhere! And she does it quite well :) She's an independent kid- walking herself into nursery at the church, walking away from her parents when they are holding her hands and even walking OVER the dogs at home.

- Attends nursery 2-3 times a week now. On Tuesdays she's with the babies while I am at The River Bible Study, every other Thursday she is with the 1s during Sprouts and every Sunday she's with the 1s for church! All of these activities take place at our church and I am SO grateful for a safe and loving environment that I trust for Hannah. So depending on the week, she's either in nursery for four or six hours. This is a HUGE blessing for us- especially as a SAHM. I think it's important for Hannah to be exposed to other children and a variety of caregivers.

- Always gets "As" from her nursery teachers! I'm sure this sounds super braggy, but she really does get so much praise every time I go to pick her up. She's just genuinely happy 99% of the time and thankfully hasn't exhibited any separation anxiety when I drop her off.

- Though speaking of the 99% of the time happiness...she has started a new habit of mini-tantrums. This technically started AFTER her birthday, but I still feel the need to post it here for full disclosure ;) She's definitely NOT a perfect baby! haha

- Is starting to drop to one nap a day. It's been a tough transition- so here's to hoping it gets easier.

- Still pretty much hates finger foods. If it's pureed, she'll eat it. If not, good luck :( Since she weighed in at 22.5 lbs (84th percentile!) at her one year appointment, our pediatrician brushed off my concerns about her eating woes. She advised me to simply continue to put food on her tray every meal and let her go from there. So that is what we will continue to do. (And yes, I still struggle with the fact that she's a picky eater...but that's something I need to work on.)

- Has grown out of 12 month clothes and only fits in 18 month now. Yikes! Where did my little baby go?

- Now drinks whole cows milk. Our breastfeeding journey has officially ended! I'm so proud and grateful that we made it a full year. It was an incredibly positive experience for us and I'm immensely thankful that it went so smoothly.

- Enjoyed her first Oktoberfest in her traditional Dutch wear :)

- Plays hide-and-seek by herself in her tent :) And it's adorable!
- LOVES her friends! She's at the age now where she can really interact and enjoy their company. It's such a blessing to have fun friends in our lives!

- Has six teeth and is working on her seventh! It's been a bit of a tough time with number lots of cuddles have been going on over here!

Some favorite pictures of Hannah at 12 months:

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