Miss Alice is 10 months old. In fact, she has been 10 months old for awhile now, but we are in the process of moving, so I have not had the chance to write this until now.
At 10 months of age, Alice is quite busy. She has learned to crawl, and she is FAST. (Here is a little video of her crawling skills.) She can pull up on furniture, and she is already trying to let go and balance on her own. She can climb stairs. She eats everything in sight. She reminds me of that Tasmanian devil from the old cartoons, who traveled around in a tornado of energy. She has started waving and clapping her hands when someone says, "Yay!" She says "Mama", and her real first word, "Baby", which sounds like "Buh-buh".
In spite of her energy level, Alice is actually a very calm, easy baby. She is extremely laid-back, and she continues to be a great sleeper, even in the midst of all of the chaos of moving. I am so thankful for her content, easy-going personality.
It's so hard to believe that we will be celebrating Alice's first birthday this summer. Where has the time gone?
There is so much I could say. God's faithfulness has been the theme of our lives, certainly the theme of the past three years. At the commencement ceremony today, we sang a hymn, and the words of that hymn moved me to tears. They capture what I feel so perfectly:
What heights of love,
What depths of peace,
When fears are stilled,
When strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all -
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
One of the most tangible ways in which God has demonstrated his faithfulness is through all of you, our family and friends. Thank you for supporting us, for loving us, for encouraging us. Thank you for walking with us through these past three years. It means more to us than we will ever be able to say.
This morning, M made coffee and cooked breakfast for us, while Lucy presented me with a Mother's Day card. "Happy Mother's Day!" she shouted proudly. Alice waved her arms and kicked her chubby, little legs, which was her own way of saying, "Happy Mother's Day, Mama. Now, will you please put some of those eggs in my face?"
Then, it was off to church and the usual Sunday morning chaos. After church, we walked over to Steuben's for brunch...
During brunch, Lucy had a little accident while going potty. Of course, being the supermom that I am, I forgot to pack an extra change of clothes in the diaper bag. Lucy (who is 3 and has been potty-trained for almost a year) ended up wearing one of Alice's size 2 diapers. Needless to say, she was not happy about it. Meanwhile, Alice decided that it would be the perfect time to have a diaper blow-out. I spent most of brunch in the bathroom, cleaning up poop.
Even at the time, it was funny. I couldn't help thinking how completely un-glamorous motherhood is. It's hard, and it's messy, and some days I cry more than my kids. But here's the thing. Motherhood is beautiful. All I have to do is look into those little eyes, one pair of green and one pair of blue, and I am reminded that there is tremendous beauty in the messiness. Changing diapers, cleaning up spills, wiping away tears. One day, when they are all grown-up, I will long for these days. My heart will ache to hear them say one more time, "Mama, will you hold me?"
Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers, old and young, expecting or longing. You are beautiful.
Three years ago, at 7:33 in the morning, we first met. It was a Sunday. When they placed you in my arms, and you looked up at me, I felt as if my heart would burst. I had never seen anything more beautiful. Those perfect lips, those tiny hands, that head full of wild, dark hair. I fell in love.
It has been such a privilege to be your mama, to watch you grow and learn and explore the world around you. I look at you, and my heart still feels as if it will burst. I love you. Happy birthday, sweet Lucy!
Most of you probably already know at this point, but I felt I should share our news here just in case. M will - finally! - be graduating from seminary on May 14th. He has accepted a job as Assistant Pastor at a church plant in Athens, Georgia. This means that we will be saying goodbye to Colorado, our home for the past six years, and moving back to our Motherland.
When I started this little blog, almost six years ago, we were newlyweds preparing for this exciting, new adventure in Colorado. We had no idea what God had in store for us. In the past six years, we have fallen in love with this wild state, the mountains and plains and wide-open sky. Our girls were born here. We have grown and changed in so many ways during our time in Colorado. It will always be a part of us, no matter where we happen to live.
Obviously, we are sad to say goodbye to our friends and loved ones here, but we are also very excited for what comes next. I have been thinking about what to do with this blog. It very much began as a way for me to keep in touch with family and friends when we moved out to Colorado, but it has come to mean so much more to me over the years. This blog chronicles all of our adventures - from our newlywed days when we were poor as church mice to my pregnancies and the births of our daughters. I have so loved being able to share my heart with you, and I want my children to be able to go back and read this one day, to have a sort of archive of our simple, beautiful life together.
I will do my best to continue to write. Many of you who read this blog are friends we have made while here in Colorado, and I would love to be able to keep in touch with you, even as we move so far away. I'm not sure how often I will be able to post, but this will continue to be the place where I share news and pictures of our family life. If you would like more frequent pictures, you can follow me on Instagram. Thank you for allowing me to share my heart, to be open and honest and vulnerable at times. Thank you for caring enough about us to keep up with our story. It's humbling to be loved so well.
I can't believe my eyes. According to the calendar, our Alice is nine months old. That can't be right.
At nine months of age, Alice is crawling all over the place. She is "cruising", holding on to furniture and standing up. She eats everything in sight, and she is currently cutting her two, front bottom teeth.
Every day, we learn more about Alice's sweet personality, and every day, we fall more in love with her. She is such a content, calm, snuggly baby. She is also a sneaky little daredevil, and her favorite thing to do is dive off of the furniture. We have to keep a very close eye on her.
This week, we will celebrate another big milestone - Lucy's third birthday. We are planning a little party for her, and I promise a lot of pictures!
Poor Alice is teething. She's eight months old, so I knew it was only a matter of time. She has been chewing on everything in sight, and just seems so uncomfortable.
Even though it's sad to see Alice looking so pitiful, she has been extra cuddly lately. She has also started saying, "Mama", which slays me. These milestones are so precious, and they just go flying past.
I am super late in posting this, but we enjoyed a wonderful visit with JuJu last week. Here are some pictures of our time together... I wish I had taken more, but we were having too much fun.
We went to the park and the zoo. We also went to dinner at the aquarium to have a little, early birthday celebration for Lucy. She will be turning three this month... I still have not processed that yet.
Thank you for coming to see us, Juju! We had a wonderful time with you and can't wait to see you again soon!
I'm running a little behind with this post. We are still recovering from our latest illnesses. The girls are mostly better, but M and I have been fighting off bad sinus infections. I feel like it has just been one sickness after another! On a much happier note, our little Alice Pearl is eight months old!
This is Alice's classic stare. The face she makes 99.9% of the time.
But every now and then, we get a big smile!
At eight months old, Alice is very busy. She can sit up on her own. She loves to play with toys, especially her big sister's toys that she is not supposed to play with. At this point, Alice weighs about 15 pounds. She loves food and will eat pretty much anything. Her favorite foods are: blueberries, blackberries, avocado, peas, and applesauce. She also enjoys a nice pizza crust, and she is a big fan of spaghetti.
Alice's personality is super laid-back. Unless she is hungry. She is not crawling yet, but she is very close. I'm guessing she'll get the hang of it in the next month or so.
Alice has many nicknames, so she probably has no idea what her real name is. Mostly, she is called Sissy. Sometimes, Pearl or Pearly, sometimes Al, sometimes Chubs, sometimes Chub-a-dubs. Hopefully, she will not grow up thinking her name is Chub-a-dubs.
This Easter was not a typical Easter Sunday at our house. For one thing, both girls were sick with a respiratory virus. Poor Lucy also had an ear infection. She was so miserable, M ended up taking her to the doctor Easter afternoon.
Thankfully, the doctor was able to give Lucy some antibiotics to treat the ear infection. Her fever is down today, and she seems to be doing much better. Alice still has a little cough, but she is on the mend, too.
Even though we did not get to hunt for Easter eggs or get all dressed up to go to church, we did celebrate the reality of the resurrection and the hope we have because of it. Taking care of poor, sick little ones was not necessarily the way I would have chosen to celebrate Easter, but it served as a reminder for me of why the hope of the resurrection is so powerful. There is sorrow, suffering, and brokenness everywhere we look - in the news, in our homes, in our own hearts. I am thankful to have a hope which extends beyond this world.
For a few days, we got some nice, warm weather, with temperatures in the 70's. Then, last night and all day today, it has been snowing. This is the most snowfall I've seen since we've lived in Denver. We spent most of the day today playing inside, but M and Lucy did venture outside this afternoon, once the wind died down. Our sweet neighbor took some photos of them playing out in the snow...
If you look closely, you can see Alice and me watching from the window!
Sadie and Georgia had a lot of fun frolicking too.
This weekend, we got to experience a good old Colorado springtime... In other words, snow...
Though I personally think it is a major bummer to have snow when we should be enjoying nice, spring weather (I would even settle for rain!), Lucy loved playing outside in the snow. She helped M shovel our front walkway, and then they took turns throwing snowballs for Georgia to "chase"... Georgia is still baffled that all those fun, white balls just seem to disappear when they hit the ground.