Monday, January 19, 2009

Sweet baby needs prayer

So as I sit here thanking the Lord for my healthy beautiful girl, I was quickly humbled by this family whose little girl is in need of all our thoughts and prayers. I dont know Kelly and her family personally but seems like we have lots of mutual friends and feel compelled to share their story. I keep seeing friends asking for prayers for Harper and my heart told me to find out why. Please read their blog and raise them up. I know I will be. I'll never understand God's plan for sick babies but have to think sometimes it may just be to get us to stop and appreciate the healthy ones.

12 Weeks Fly By

Its hard to believe that 12 weeks ago today I was bringing home my sweet baby girl from the hospital weighing 5 lbs 6 oz. She stole our hearts the moment she came into the world and our love for her has only grown since. So as I sit here after dropping her off at daycare for the first time the day before I return work I am reminded of how wonderful the last 12 weeks with her has been. We have watched her grow, eat, sleep, play. She now laughs and smiles at us (and the TV). She's sitting up with help from us or her Boppy and has recently discovered her tongue and her hands. She now weighs 11 lbs 9 oz and is just the most beautiful little girl. I am finally able to put her in all the cute clothes we got her and really play with her in her bouncy or on her mat. She sleeps 9-10 hours a night but still hates getting out of the bath :-) It's just amazing what all has happened and I get excited every day to wake up and see what joy she's going to bring us that day.

So needless to day, today is very surreal for me. For anyone who knows me well, the fact that I havent cried yet is unbelievable. I guess I am just so thankful to have had this time with her and feel at such peace with where she will be while I am working. Now dont get me wrong, my heart breaks a little thinking of someone else getting to see all the cute things she does but at the same time I know she's in good hands with someone who will appreciate and enjoy all the cute things she does. I spent some time with Mrs. Summer this morning and I know Eva will have a blast with her and her new friends. I am looking forward to the new challenges work will bring and kind of excited to now be in the working mom's club :-)  

So for now, I am good. I know my baby is happy and healthy and loved. I have a great job to go back to that I really enjoy. In these tough times, I have plenty to be thankful for. I reflected a little yesterday as I watched the opening ceremonies for our 44th and first African-American President, Barack Obama. While he may not be who I would typically vote for, it hit me that it didnt matter anymore. I was just humbled and proud to have brought Eva into a world that, for the most part, embraces change and looks positively into the future. It weighed heavy on me that the decisions that are now made will effect Eva's world more than ever. Its a big change but one that I am happy to be a part of. For me, Life is good.

Eva's Homecoming October 27th, 2008

12 Weeks Later
Eva's First Day of Daycare, January 19, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Found Fun

Being a Mom brings you so much joy that its unreal sometimes. Eva is at the point where's doing something new everyday it seems like. She's growing and changing and has just the sweetest little spirit. Its fun starting to see her personality coming out.

We are still very enamored with the Play Mat but we have now discovered the Noggin channel. I knew it was a hit with my niece and nephews but of course really never sat down to watch it until yesterday. We're in love and probably more than I'd like but she was bound to discover the TV sooner or later. And from what I have seen so far the shows are super cute but what I love is the reaction I got when I turned it on. This morning was got up at 8:30 - yes she slept 9 hours again (hallelujah) - and watched Jack's Big Music Show that I had DVR'd. What a cute program and she loves it to say the least. So much that she laughed for the first time this morning. YAY!!! It was the cutest, most wonderful and loud laugh! I wish I had video on my phone but here are a couple pictures of what I saw from my side of the couch! Thanks Jack for such a great memory!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Our Best Gift Ever

I got the best surprise tonight in my inbox. When Eva was 4 weeks old Brooke and the kids came over to visit and she was able to get some pictures of baby Eva. Oh my gosh, did she ever!? Here is what I have to treasure forever. Love you Brooke!! Thank you!!!

First Visit to Church

This morning Jon and I decided we'd take Eva to church. I figured I could time it so that I'd feed her, let her play while we got ready, get her ready then she'd sleep in the car and through the service. By the time the service was over, it would be time to eat again. All went as planned until about half way through the service. I think Eva likes the music as much as we do because as soon as they stopped  and Tony started preaching, she decided to wake up and get fussy. We walked the hall to calm down, tried to go back in twice and realized it wasn't happening. But we tried and she looked beautiful. It was so nice to be back even if for a little while. We'll just have to try again another Sunday!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Eva's First Christmas

Jon and I feel so blessed to have enjoyed our first Christmas with Eva. We did our usual marathon Christmas visits but for some reason they seemed less stressful. Who would have thought that a 2 month old would actually make the holidays less stressful. I guess we are just so grateful she was with us this year that we wanted everyone to see her! But it also could have been that we stayed in one place for the bulk of the time. Ron and Gerritt were sweet enough to let us stay with them all week while we went from place to place. Really it made Christmas so special! This way we got lots of time with them, was able to really relax in between family visits and most of all the girls got to spend Christmas Eve and morning together.

Christmas Eve lunch was spent at my Aunt Melinda's house with the McClellan side of the family. That is always a blast catching up with everyone, laughing at Uncle John's antics, and this year, Missing Dad. Grandpa goes up to CT every other year to see Laura's girls so this year was his year there. But we had dinner the night before to get to spend some time with him and cant wait for next Christmas when he's here with us.

That night, the Christmas Eve "Tacky Christmas Wear" party was a blast and too bad I dont have the pictures. But lets just say it was TACKY!!! And made for some great laughs and memories. I am thinking this may end up being a tradition.

Christmas morning we woke up to all of Santa's gifts and watched Abby open one present at a time, each one being so much fun. The highlights were the clippo table, choo choo from JJ and Pa and the plasma car. We all opened our stockings next. Eva got a Turtle toy, a new rattle, cute burp cloth and frame from Uncle Ron & Aunt G, a paci clip and a play ball. We had such a nice morning relaxing and playing! Jackey & Ed (Gerritt's parents) came by as did JJ and Pa so they could see the girls! That night (after everyone's nap time) we went to Ammie & Ampa's for more fun with grandparents, Uncle JC, Aunt Jill and cousins Blake and Davis. Dinner was incredible and opened more fun presents including a great new giraffe blanket!

Friday was dinner at JJ and Pa's where we had a wonderful dinner (seems to be the theme of our Christmas) and the traditional white elephant game. I cant wait for Eva to be old enough to play. The adults and kids always enjoy it. The joke this year was with a big can of pork n' beans! Some of us knew (or we thought we knew) what it was so we avoided it all night. Then Jill was last to go so she ended up with it. Little did we know a $20 bill was attached to it. Joke was then on us!!

The weekend was spent just enjoying our new stuff, our family and friends. Jon and I were even able to enjoy our anniversary Sunday night thanks to Uncle Ron, Aunt G and Abby babysitting. Leaving on Monday was very hard! We just love having so much family around that to come back was bittersweet.

As I think back on the awesome week we had starting in Ft Smith with the Orrs, to Lunch with my Mom, Kim and Grandmother before we left to the fun times with friends building gingerbread "creations", the week in LR with everyone and then topping it off by a date spent reminiscing about our wedding day, I cant help but count myself blessed. Times may be tough, we may not know what 2009 will hold, returning work is inevitable but there is no doubt that we have a great life. I have the most wonderful family & friends, we're all healthy and we know that no matter what is around the corner- God is in control of it all. Below are just some of the special shots of this Christmas season. 

My sweet angel with the Christmas bear Abby put in her swing

Daddy & Eva first thing Christmas morning

Merry Christmas, Eva

She cant wait to put a cute picture in this frame next Christmas

Thanks Aunt G! We're ready for tailgating next season. Go Hogs!

Getting sleepy after all the morning's fun

And now.. peacefully sleeping 

Christmas morning with JJ and Pa

Aunt Jackey had Eva all snuggled up that she slept for 3 hours!

The cousins Abby, Blake and Eva, at Ammies (Poor Davis was at home sick)

Loving on their new baby cousin

Hangin' with Uncle Ron

Loves her new Turtle toy. There is a mirror on one side that she loves looking at!!

Abby and Eva

Abby was telling Eva secrets. What fun they'll having growing up together. 

Pooped from all the Christmas fun

Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and cant wait to watch Eva grow in this upcoming year!

Jon, Amanda & Eva

Gingerbread House Extravaganza!

One of our most favorite times of the year is when the Elleman's Gingerbread House party comes around! This year was no exception. While the Whittakers didnt make anywhere near the showing "we" (I say "we" because it was just me) had last year. I mean, you can repeat a win! And especially not this year. Everyone went all out. Below is the proof!

Catherine & Jim's House of Mouse

Aaron & Allyn made a Santa stuck in the chimney

Mike & Mel's Loveboat
(the sails were made out of a very "special" material)

John & Allison's Snoopy House 
(they are the ONLY reason we were dead last- it unfortunately collapsed before the judging)

Keri & Bart's treehouse/deerstand :-)

Brooke & Finley created a ski slope (with a lift!)

Reagan & Rowland's ski slope (with a lodge)

Jon & Eva hung out while I constructed our doghouse. No I didnt post a picture because it was just an embarrassing showing! Was it a doghouse? Was it an aztec pueblo? Did it place? No, so it's stays a mystery!

Eva and I hanging out during the presentations/judging

Sweet baby was so good all night! So glad she was finally here for the festivities!

Our awesome hostess, Allyn! Thanks for the great party!

Mike & Mel Thompson cute as ever!

And the winner is.... Cory & Amanda's awesome log cabin! Check out the detail... gum shingles and all. Guess its a little unfair...afterall, he is the home builder in the group!

All the girls before the big group picture 
(which I unfortunately dont have yet- will post once Brooke sends it since its always our favorite)

For some reason the guys said act like crazy cats... not sure but this is apparently what you get when you ask for something so silly! I love these girls though and feel so blessed they're all in my life!

So its my pledge that next year we'll be back on our game for a house that I feel confident will place! I think I need to start brainstorming now. The best ideas come when I am not distracted by an 8 week old so here's to 2009!! Thanks Ellemans for inviting us and keeping such an awesome tradition going!