come fly with me

Yes, it's true. My little miracle baby turned ONE today! I was able to take a lot of time today to remember what a blessing he was, and is to us. Four years was a long time to wait, but by golly, he made every waited second worth it!

We started the day by going to the doctor. Here we all are in anticipation...wondering if Cole gained enough weight to sit in his front facing big boy carseat...

The verdict is in! 
18 pounds and NOT big enough for the big boy carseat!
(it's okay buddy, you're a big boy to mommy and daddy!)

Cole's doctor arrived and exclaimed that we have a "pipsqueak" on our hands...but we still made it on the charts, by 4 percent! Cole only gained 4 ounces since his 9 month appointment, because he is so BUSY and burns off everything he eats.

Because Cole is still sick, we were able to put off his vaccinations. After the doctor, we went to buy Cole his birthday present. He loved looking at all of the pretty fish!

Then on to birthday preparations. 
Brooke had told me to buy a "smash" cake at Target for Cole's birthday, but I thought that was silly...I could totally make my own! Well, after about 30 seconds of complete failed disaster, I was calling Shane to see if Target could save the day at the last minute. 

And they delivered! $1.80 very well spent. 

Invitations had been sent...and we waited for guests to arrive.

Cole's pictures from the past year

(pardon the awesome glow of the indoor lighting for the next series of pictures)

The sick birthday boy right before his party started. He was so pleasant despite not feeling well.

I had a proud mommy moment during the cake smash: Cole would only touch the cake if he had a spoon to eat it with! The frosting that is covering his body is from his DAD trying to get him to smash into the cake!
That's my boy.

a few cousins helping Cole with his gifts...

and mommy helped too.

 The big part of Cole's birthday was that he was getting a new "big boy" bedroom from mom and dad. Since finding out about baby boy #2, we had to decide what to do about bedrooms, and in the end, we changed our office into a new bedroom for Cole. 

Cole's new birthday fish, Finn.

His bedding is made up of vintage airplanes in blue with accents of orange, which is how we decided on how to do the painting.
We painted a sunset on 3 16x20 inch canvases, and then painted on a silhouette of an airplane in black. It turned out way better than we had expected, and it cost us less than $10 to do!

Now let's see if he'll sleep in here... 


rather not do the things I have to do

Tonight is the big shin-dig Christmas Relief Society Activity and WHOOPIE am I so excited to have it done! I put together a program in which I was going to be singing a duet as a small part of it, and as luck would have it, I woke up with no voice! Try as I might, I can't even squeak out one note. It makes me think, however, that Heavenly Father planned this all out...I probably would have distracted from the spirit more than add to it, so He took care of that problem!
I'll tell you one thing though - I've gained an entire new appreciation for the time and effort that presidencies and committees put forth to execute these activities, and have committed to make it a point to try to attend as many of these activities as I can, whether I'm in a committee or not. It is a LOT of work, it takes a LOT of brainpower, and a LOT of time (and a lot of freezing our buns off as we set up on 0 degree nights). On the other hand, it is incredible to serve the women of my ward. I have spent a LOT of time on my knees praying that I could find a way to touch each and every sister who will be in attendance tonight. I hope that the conclusion of the evening will find everyone more uplifted, and more filled with the spirit surrounding this Christmas season.
Sweet Cole is still very sick and has obviously been practicing his sharing skills. Shane and I have both come down with the plague and can't shake it. We are a big, giant heap of snot-filled tissues, sneezes, coughs, zero sleep, and whiney, contentious behaviors. Sometimes I want to just bury myself in my cool sheets and pretend like I don't have a life for a minute, but then my runny nose forces me to run for another tissue, followed with more consoling for the babes.

But it's high time that we get over ourselves and move on with life, or else it's going to pick up and leave without us! Little bug is turning ONE tomorrow (unbelievable...), and that awesome Daddy of his is GRADUATING with departmental honors the day after that.
Time to pull up my big girl panties and get to work.


the squirmer and the sick

The first time I ever took Cole to Wal Mart, he got sick. The second time I took Cole to Wal Mart (last Saturday), he got sick again.
I should add that I've only shopped at Wal Mart twice since having Cole almost a year ago. I prefer Target. I guess you could say that I bleed red in more than one way.
Anyway, my little man is sick. Very sick. So sick that when he tries to cry, I cry too. So sick that he actually wants me to hold him - some of the time. For the past few nights I have rocked and rocked my little one as he tries to rest in my arms. Two nights ago, as Cole finally slipped into a restful sleep, I noticed the little squirmer in my belly. He was dancing and practicing, flittering and fluttering all over the place. The feeling was so familiar; Cole was such a squirmer too. As I rocked back and forth, enjoying the moment with both of my babies, I looked down to notice Cole's tiny, perfect little hand resting right where baby brother was kicking. His five little fingers stretched out, as if he was trying to hold on to something, trying to tell his best friend that no matter what, he would be there for him...that we were a team, that we stick together, even through the rough nights. 

A smile spread across my tired face as I remembered the first time I felt this baby move. I was feeding Cole before bedtime, and I said quietly, "is Cole going to have a brother?". The fish-like sensation I knew so well with Cole was repeated back to me, as if baby boy was trying to say "Yes! You know me! Here I am!". He did it again and again, over and over that night. 

For the past few days I have been in the company of one very sick, yet very pleasant little boy, and one terrifyingly busy little baby. When I finally get the chance to lie down in my own bed, this little one kicks and wiggles without stopping - constant reminders for me to stay awake and enjoy his presence. 
There is something so magical about these moments. Caring for Cole has been tiring, and the constant wiggling in my stomach makes me feel nauseous indeed, but what if I didn't have these experiences? What if I never knew what it was like to hold a sick child, to comfort, to give all that I had? What if I never had the opportunity to feel these flips and jabs from a growing baby inside of me? 
I am grateful. I am blessed. I never want to take my family for granted...even the squirmy and sick ones!


this man...is not the reason I had a bawl fest in my car today.

I never knew what a LOOONG process it was for a nurse to receive a bachelor's degree, but now I know. I've witnessed this man of mine conquer hundreds of full time credit hours (by this time he has 2 other degrees in other departments), while hurdling obstacles like working full time, being an incredible husband and partner, an outstanding father, a superb scoutmaster, and everything in-between. He helps put his Grandpa to bed 2 nights out of every week and watches Cole on 4 of the other nights while I'm teaching without ANY complaint. Seriously. He has endured many nights of PB&J's when I couldn't get dinner fixed, and more nights holding either Cole or me when we feel "done" with life. You'd never know that he gets an average of 5 hours of sleep every night - some of those nights with no sleep at all because of call shifts. He has the most calm demeanor of anyone I've ever known.

Many people ask me, "How does he hold it all together?"
Here is the answer:
I have no clue.
This is a man from a different planet, in fact - let's make that a planet from a different universe. How did I get lucky enough to marry this blessing of mine and have a clone of his as a baby?

I have no clue.
But what I do know is that I love him, cherish him, adore him, and eat up his every move like it were the most sugary piece of candy I could get my hands on. I trust him with my whole heart and will joyfully follow him wherever the next road takes us.

I'm so proud of my graduate...I'm so proud to call him mine.