Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Best Photo Series Ever

Need I say more?

Lowry Park

This child has been given no shortage of opportunities to see animals in her life. We took a trip to Lowry Park on Friday, making her fourth zoo trip! She was barely 8 months old the last time we took her, and wow what a difference one year makes at this age! So interested in the animals, she said their names, made noises, and got oober excited about all kinds of sights at the park, including the other children! She loved the animals, but I think the water attractions and train ride took the cake!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Best Mother's Day!

Last Sunday was Mother's Day and I still haven't quite got over how spectacular that day was for me. Last year Grace Louise was around 6 months old on Mother's Day, so this ain't my first rodeo... My first Mother's Day wasn't all that memorable, though (apparently, because I can't remember much about it... except that I got two really special cards from my amazing in-laws... or was that for my birthday... see.)

This Mother's Day, on the other hand, is one I will never forget. I took a break from all of my obligations, responsibilities, and traditions, and on a whim, went with my mom and baby girl to the beach! We kept it simple (though the looks of my packed-like-sardines car wouldn't suggest so). Driving over to Vero, we only stayed for a couple hours, the most comfortable part of the day. Clear skies and BIG waves. We ate, we played, we read, we walked. No agenda. No distractions. Just enjoying each moment and each other. I loved every second :-)

By the way... You should hear this little girl say "seashells". And the shrieks of delight when the waves come crashing in. It will melt your heart...

(I think she's shrieking here.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

18 months and Missed Adventures

So, my baby girl just turned 18 months old... 6 more months and we start counting her age in years! Its funny how we start out meticulously counting those weeks, careful not to make our babies any older than they truly are- an effort to hold on to a toddlerhood we know will disappear so quickly. We reluctantly count age in months... and then years.

I've read at 18th months toddlers experience "vocabulary explosion". Grace Louise is out to confirm the theory, chattering away with more words than I can count. Her voice is sweet and accent southern. We have conversations, even if no one else knows what she's saying :-) She's loving to be outside... always. Swinging, herding the chicks in the yard, pushing her cozy coupe, stroller, or grocery cart, and using her growing imagination for play!

We've had so many adventures in the past month, I just haven't been able to keep up with blogging. This is my last-ditch effort to capture some of the highlight moments... beginning with this post and continuing in a series of Missed Adventures... Enjoy!

Such a sweet moment. Grace Louise's first time playing with mommy's hair. I look forward to braids and other beautiful styles!

What? You don't read the paper on the pot?

Gardenias at BeBe and Pops' house. She picks flowers every Tuesday, and they smell so sweet!

Hanging out in our future backyard. Move in date is June 1st! Exciting!
A prayer request for our family- please pray for a buyer for our current home and trusting hearts to follow God's direction in all things concerning this move.

A spring break visit from Aunt Linz. Can't wait to see her again this summer!

No, Grace Louise doesn't have a baby brother... this is the adorable end result of my first doula client! It was a great learning experience for me, and I'm looking forward to my next delivery in June. Jimmy and I will be heading down to Ft. Myers next weekend for my Prenatal Yoga certification training. Lots of cool things happening with the Doulas of Lake Wales!

Missed Adventure- LONG LOST FRIENDS

I was starting to wonder if this was ever going to happen, but FINALLY... my good friend Kristy and I got our rugrats together for a day of fun. Beckett and Evie entertained Grace Louise with a (poor) toad, among other things, and I got some sweet baby lovin' from little Elin.

I am so thankful for this lasting friendship! Even if Kristy and I only catch up once a year, it is so easy to pick up where we left off.

The (poor) toad.

Grace Louise was amused with the mussels in the lake!

Missed Adventure- TURKEYS!!!

Not one, but two! One of the most incredible experiences I have ever shared with my hubby, was this turkey hunt where we both took gobblers in back to back shots. Everything about the hunt was perfect, from setting up our little palmetto blind, hearing the birds gobble in the tree as we were setting up, watching them come off the roost at daylight, and then calling them over to the decoys so we could make a shot. A big thanks to my amazing father in law who made this great memory possible!

Missed Adventure- EASTER!!!

Last year Grace Louise could sit in this Easter basket and this year, here she is toting it around, investigating the treasures inside, and hunting for eggs. It's amazing how quickly they grow and change in these early years! And again, we are enjoying creating our own traditions for the holidays, always trying to point Grace Louise to the glory of our Savior!

  • Resurrection Eggs- really cute way to tell the Easter story, each egg containing a symbol of some part of the story. Grace Louise played with ones that I borrowed from a friend the week before Easter, and now has her very own dozen to enjoy!
  • VeggieTales- Twas the Night Before Easter DVD- I played this for Grace Louise during breakfast on Easter morning, but she doesn't have the attention span for shows or movies yet. It's the thought that counts, though, right?
  • Easter Surprise- look/flap board book. The best one I could find for her age at the Christian bookstore. She LOVES this book and says "knock knock" on all the flap doors. Very cute.
  • A stuffed bunny and duck that were given to her last Easter- one of the joys of the early years- they don't remember what you gave them last year and they are still just as excited to get it again!
  • Organic Surf Sweet Jelly Beans- the closest this child will get to candy for a while! They're actually delicioso, made with apple juice concentrate!

Enjoying her jelly beans!

With Grandaddy at church on Easter morning.

Loving on cousin Hayden.

Wise/DuBose Grandbabies

Instructions for the egg hunt.
This brought back lots of memories for me, hunting eggs with cousins on Easter. So much fun!

I get by with a little help from my friend.

Hope your Easter was just as blessed as ours and that you have true joy that comes from trusting in our resurrected Lord!

Missed Adventure- CHICKS!!!

Just in time for Easter! Pops surprised Grace Louise with four of her very own chicks (after consulting with mom first, of course)... And daddy was no chicken about it, he got out there, put his ingenuity to work, and built one heck of a coop! Check it out...

Grace Louise was a bit chicken at first, but now loves to chase these furry (feathery?) friends around the yard and desperately wants them to eat out of her hand. Looking forward to all that personal poultry will bring to our lives (headache, eggs, lessons of responsibility and hard work...)

Missed Adventure- CONCERTS!!!

The Concert Under the Stars is something I look forward to every spring and fall here in Lake Wales. I'm a lover of Bok Tower Gardens and especially love the fun and relaxing atmosphere that these events bring. Everyone brings their favorite wine and cheese and at least acts a bit cultured for the evening. The concert this past Saturday evening was also a celebration for our friend Erica's birthday! So... Happy Birthday Erica and thanks for a hilarious adult evening out!

Missed Adventure- SWIMMING!!!

The first swim of the summer and another great birthday celebration for Brant, McKenzie, and Triston. The twins have officially entered their teens! Ahhhh!!!! And Triston turned 9. He was just born, wasn't he?!?!

Grace Louise loved watching all the kids swimming and riding the tube. She would have joined right in if she could. We settled for splashing and a boat ride with daddy. We will be starting swimming lessons soon, though! After seeing how interested and independent she was in the water, I'm sure its prime time to get this little fish moving. More to come...

"I will say CHEESE but not while looking at the camera."