Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Love letters to Harper: First Birthday

One year ago my Harper was born.  I think back on what our life was like before she was here. It was calmer, quieter and less work. I always though Harper was going to be a carbon copy of Hadley- I thought they would look alike and have the same personalities. Never could I have imagined that they would be so different, and yet both so perfect. And one year later it’s hard to even imagine what life would be like without this little love.

Here is her birthday letter.

Dearest Harper,

Today is your first birthday. How can that be? Turns out time moves forward in warped speed when you have two small children. Each day is a balancing act of making memories and basic survival!

Your labor and birth were a whirlwind and I remember being desperate in seeing your face. As soon as we made eye contact I knew my silly fear that I wouldn’t know how to love two daughters and that I wouldn’t have anything left to give, was just that…silly. It’s some sort of miraculous parenthood grace that I can’t put into words, but let me assure you, my love for you is stronger than even I could have ever imagined.

I’ve spent the last few evenings going through all of the pictures from your birth and first few weeks at home and it hardly seems like enough time has gone by to justify my reminiscing, but you’ve changed so much. A year is a long time filled with years of progress when you are a baby.

You are special and unique from the top of your head to the tip of your little toe. There is no one like you. You add a light and a sparkle to this world. You love being around people and you are really funny. I can see your little personality growing and see little glimpses of the little girl you are becoming.

Know that you are loved, my Harpie Lou. Your four grandparents (and great-grandparents!) look at you in awe. They hold you in their arms, beaming with love as they take in the wonder that you are. Your aunts, uncles and 8 cousins love you so much- they all think you are the cutest, funniest baby around. Your sister follows you around and can’t get enough of you.- she would do anything for you. You are the light in your daddy’s eye. He loves you more than words can express.

My love for you cannot be measured. Every time I see you, hear your squeaky voice, I feel more alive, more in love, more inspired to be a better, kinder person, and more moved to show my gratitude for being you and Hadley’s mama. (Thank you Jesus for this most wonderful blessing!)

A year ago today, our family of 3 became a family of 4 and the completion that you bring is indescribably beautiful.

And just like I did with your sister…when I woke you up this morning I whispered the same thing into your ear as I did when you were born, happy birthday baby girl.


PS- And to my dear husband Derek- we survived!! Somehow by the grace of God (and lots of help from our families!), we made it through this year! There is no one else I’d rather share this adventure of parenthood with. I love you, too!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Bluebonnets 2014

My friend and talented photographer {Holly Natale Photography} just sent me the gallery of our bluebonnet pictures we took a few weeks ago. Love these girls and love these pictures!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Derek is 30!!

On April 1st, Derek turned 30!  This is our 11th birthday to celebrate together, which is so crazy.  Time flies.

Derek and I on his 21st birthday... we were such babies and we thought 30 was so old! 

Steve, Christi and I threw Derek a party and we had it at our house.

A big group of guys golfed in the morning and then everyone came over to our house that night.  We had it catered by Lockhart BBQ and the food was so, so good.  My dad brought his famous "Gary Margaritas" and a good time was had by all!  The weather was a little chilly, but the majority of the party was outside under our new patio!

Decor Pictures:

Party Pictures:

Hadley stayed up until the last party guest left.  She had so much fun and still talks about Daddy's party.  Abbey put Harper down for bed at her normal time and she slept through the whole party!  Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate Derek's birthday.  We love you Derek!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from our little loves!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Harper: months 3, 4, and 5

I am a little behind on updating Harper! Months 3, 4, and 5 have flown by and she has changed so much. Months 3 and 4 were rough. Harper wasn't sleeping at night- she was waking up about every 90 minutes. That went on for 5 weeks straight and we were exhausted. At her 4 month well visit the Dr. didn't like that she wasn't sleeping enough and we came up with a plan we were both happy with. I'm very happy to report that she is now sleeping though the night! Finally!!!

Eating: Harper's tongue tie and reflux are under control and she is eating like a champ. She goes through stages, but she is usually a very hungry girl. She is eating about 6 oz every 3 hours during the day. We haven't started solids yet, but will probably start in the next few weeks.

Sleeping: She takes 2 naps during the day and these naps range from 1 hour to 3 hours. Some days it feels like she doesn't nap at all- she's not like Hadley was at all!! Bedtime starts at 6:30. Both girls take a bath and Harper gets swaddled and eats while Hadley plays in the bath or hangs out with daddy. Harper usually falls asleep while eating. She's been in her crib for a few weeks and its going great. I do the dream feed at 10:30 and she'll sleep until 5 or 6. She will go back to sleep and both girls get up around 8 for the day.

Harper is the sweetest, most chill baby. She will happily sit in her carseat while we are out and is happy most of the day. She loves her swing, play mat and most of all her big sister. She rolls over, coos and plays with her toes.

She is tall and lean and growing perfectly:
24 inches- 97%
14 pounds- 37%

We love you Harpie Lou. You make all of us so happy!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas 2013 (Part 2)

We woke up the next morning and got ready for my parents annual Christmas Eve Brunch. Our Christmas Eve is jammed packed and one of my favorite days.

Harper slept on Nanny and Poppy's bed and Hadley got into the dress up clothes!!

We went to the 5:00 children's service at our Church. This year the service was packed and we were in the very last 2 pews! The kids get to put an ornament on the tree and Hadley thought that was great. Em and Hads were ok during church but were definitely restless towards the end. The spend the last 10 minutes climbing all over Uncle Mark!

Church selfies and Uncle Mark the jungle gym! 

After church we went to the Gilmore's for tamales and Christmas caroling! Hadley and Emily had such a fun time and Hadley thought it was pretty cool that Poppy and I were the musicians!

When we got back to my parent's house we wrote a letter to Santa, put out our cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. 

And the grown-ups had a Clark Griswold beverage while Mark and I put together Emily and Hadley's presents. 

We all went to sleep and when we woke up Santa had come! Emily got a bike and Hadley got a dress-up wardrobe. 

The girls were so excited to come downstairs to see their presents and to see if Santa ate his cookies! Emily was a little perturbed that Santa left a bite left of his cookie. We had to explain that Santa eats lots of cookies that night! They were thrilled to see that Santa wrote them a letter back!

We opened stockings and presents...

After we opened presents, we played and rested all day and then ended our week long Christmas with dinner with the Gilmore's at my parent's house.

It was such a great Christmas and I will always remember Harpie's first Christmas! 

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Christmas 2013 (Part 1)

Christmas this year was so fun. It was Harper's first Christmas and Hadley really understood the whole Christmas and Santa part. We also really tried to teach her the real meaning of Christmas, but it's hard for a three year old to grasp that. We had so much fun the whole season decorating our house, shopping for others and looking at "sparkly trees" AKA Christmas lights.

Our Christmas started on the Friday before when the Rosses and Grams got into town. We went full speed until they both had to leave! During the day on Friday Hadley was with Jessica and Grams all day. She had such a blast shopping with them and being a helper wrapping gifts. She also got to eat lunch at Cobb Middle School with Zoey and go to Abbey's school party!

 Friday night we hung out at the Eutings. It had only been three weeks since we've seen the Rosses but Hadley was SO excited to see them! Grams came all the way from Wisconsin and is one of Hadley's favorites. Derek and I were so proud to have Grams meet Harper- her 15th great-grandchild! 

Saturday, we spent the whole day at the Euting's. We decorated cookies and the kids played all day. I love seeing Hadley with all her cousins. It seems like it was just yesterday that they were all her age! When I first met all of the kids Tanner wasn't even 5 and now he is 16!! Abbey wasn't even born yet and now she and Zoey babysit MY babies!  All of the kids are so sweet to Hadley and make her feel so special.

Saturday night we went to Main Event to bowl and play games. Hadley LOVED the bowling. She used a toddler ramp and she and Abbey were on a team. Hadley couldn't get enough!

Sunday we went to Church and brunch at the Club, and then hung out at the Johnson's. 

That night all of the grown-ups went to dinner at Artin's in the Shops at Legacy. The kids all came to our house. 

Monday was our Johnson Christmas Day. We spent the whole day at the Johnsons and opened presents and ate great food!

We were all exhausted after all of the fun and came home and went to sleep! It was such a great Johnson Christmas- one I will always remember!