Zoo Day with Grandma

Since Patrick had to work, I invited my mom to come with Madeline and me to the Friends of the Zoo breakfast event.  It was a little rainy at first, but it was still fun.  Of course, we spent the majority of our time in the penguin exhibit, but that’s okay.  They are Maddy’s favorite and mine too.

Madeline got to watch them feed the penguins.DSC03794

There was a hole in the ice where they would swim under and then pop up.


Madeline thought it was pretty fun when they would walk over close to her.

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She loved getting to show Grandma her favorite penguins.


She loves to just chill at the zoo.  Right before I took this photo she had both feet up on the tray.  She is such a goofy girl.  DSC03772

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Guess How Much I Love You


“Guess how much I love you,”DSC03736

“Oh, I don’t think I could guess that.”DSC03737

“I love you as high as I can reach.”DSC03738

“I love you all the way up to my toes!”

“I love you all the way down the lane as far as the river.” DSC03740

“I love you across the river and over the hills.”DSC03741

“I love you right up to the MOON.”DSC03742

“I love you right up to the moon – AND BACK.”


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14 Months

Dear Darling Madeline,

You are 14 months old!  Time just keeps speeding by and you are growing up and changing every day from baby to more toddler despite my futile attempts to hold you and rock you like a little baby.  You look at me and I can just tell what you are thinking, “Mom, I’m too big for this.  Put me down, I’ve got stuff to do.”  I’ve got news for you little one, I will continue to hold you and try and rock you like a little baby until you no longer fit in my arms.


This last month has been busy like usual. We got to celebrate our 2nd Mother’s Day with you.  I am so glad that I get to be your momma.  It’s pretty much my favorite thing ever right next to being your daddy’s wife.  You both are my world and I love you both so much.


We had your follow-up doctor’s appointment this last month and of course everything was great. We met with your regular pediatrician who couldn’t understand why the other doctor was worried in the first place.  Silly doctors.


We actually all 3 got to enjoy a full 3-day weekend over Memorial Day.  That was a nice change of pace.  We really didn’t do anything super exciting, but it was just nice to all be together with no urgent need to be anywhere.


We did however go to the Farmer’s Market.  We went a lot last year, and that’s the plan for this summer too.  It was pretty chilly out that morning, but you enjoyed your sample of bread and loved looking around at all the people.


You have perfected the temper tantrum and pout lately.  I can’t say I’m a huge fan.  If you don’t get something you want or if it’s time to leave when you are still playing you throw a HUGE fit.  You cry and throw yourself backwards and basically become a limp, screaming, noodle.  Not fun.  Now your little pouty face however, that is pretty darn cute.  If you are just mildly upset about something you will scrunch your nose up, pucker out your lips and just whine.  It’s so hard not to giggle every time you do it.


For the most part though you are a pretty chill kid.  You love to sit quietly and play.  You have an amazingly long attention span for a one year old.  I’m always impressed with how long you will play with one toy.  I’m still not sure if you have any favorites, but you do love your Mega Blocks.


We made our annual trip down to downtown Lee’s Summit for their Downtown Days festival.  You absolutely loved watching the animals at the little petting zoo.  You were a bit startled when the pony stuck his head out of the fence and tried to say hi to you, but then you just smiled and laughed.  I love how fascinated you are by life.  It is truly amazing to see everything again through your pretty brownish-blue eyes.  It was pretty hot out that day so you got your very first ice cream cone.  You dove in face first.  It was pretty funny to watch.  After a couple bites we went with a cup and spoon to finish it off.  Much less messy that way, but probably not nearly as fun.


Your fourth little tooth is finally peaking its way through.  Eventually you will get all of your teeth…

You have been a dancing fool lately.  You’ve been “dancing” for a while now, but lately it has become pretty much your favorite thing ever.  Every time you hear music of any kind you get to dancing.  You shake your hips and shimmy your shoulders and move your arms.  You totally feel the music and it is just the cutest thing of all time in the history of ever.


This month we also (finally) installed your big girl car seats in both cars.  No more having to lug that infant seat in and out all the time.  You seem much happier in your new seats with lots more room.  You do pretty well in the car (most the time).  You like to look out the window, wiggle to the radio, and “talk” to me while we drive.


You love to give kisses and hugs and each kiss you give with a big “MUAH.”


You shake your head no when you are done with something or to tell me you don’t want any more food.  You love chicken, pasta, meatballs, mashed potatoes, cheese, applesauce, yogurt, green smoothies/juice, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, green beans, goldfish crackers, graham crackers, water, and of course milk.


You love Sophie and she is slowly starting to warm up to you.


You love books and blocks and your water/sand table and to color.  You love to push your little walker all around the house, but you still don’t want to let go.  You will pick it up and turn it around when you get to the edge of the room, but you still think you need to hold on.  You’ll get there eventually.  I’m trying to stay patient.


You are just full of personality and joy.  Everywhere we go you smile and greet the people you pass and I like to think that your little smile brightens their day just a little bit.  You are a ray of sunshine my sweet little rainbow and I am just so blessed that you are mine.


Love Always and Forever,


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Madeline’s First Trip to the Zoo!

We came prepared.  Sunglasses, fan, and a hair bow.  Baby girl was set.DSC03369

First up, the polar bear exhibit.  Too bad, we didn’t actually get to see the polar bear.




Hey look, mom, what are those things?


She was so interested in everything.  It was so much fun to watch her excitement.


Pretty bird.  Pretty bird.


The penguins were a big hit.

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This guy was pretty cool too.


The elephants are always a favorite.  We had to walk forever to see them though.  The further we walked the further they kept walking away from us.  DSC03429

She took a short little nap while we went to find the elephants.


Madeline’s cousin, Mason singing The Wheels on the Bus to her.  She found this quite funny.  Her cousin, Kelsey is hanging out back there too.



Sleepy lions.


Zebras and giraffes.  DSC03449 DSC03451



Madeline got to ride the tram.DSC03453

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10 Months

Dear Sweet Madeline,

Today you are 10 months old!  You are only two months away from turning 1 whole year old.   That is just so crazy to me.  These last 10 months have flown by.  You have brought such a beautiful little light into our lives and we are just over the moon in love with you.
This last month has been a lot of sickness and cold.  You came down with your first stomach flu and it was miserable.  You couldn’t keep anything down for 3 days and still refused to eat much for a couple more days after that.
It really messed your little tummy up and we had to end up putting Karo syrup in your bottles just to get you to be able to go to the bathroom (embarrassing I know, but it’s true).  With all of that, you dropped some weight and caused the doctor and mommy and daddy to worry a little.  You are already on the small side, so you didn’t have a lot to lose before we started to worry.
Thankfully, your tummy seems much better now and you are back to your happy self and most importantly you are back to eating very well.
You basically will eat anything.  You love your bottles.  You love your purees.  You love applesauce.  You love yogurt.  You love waffles.  You love puffs and yogurt melts.  You love basically anything that is on mommy’s plate.  We are feeding you more and more “regular” food and you love it.
You like it when I give you whatever it is that I’m eating (pasta, meatballs, scrambled eggs, bread of any kind, carrots, green beans, banana, baked potato, avocado, chicken…basically anything and everything).  We let you at least taste most everything these days except we are still staying away from sugar.  That’s probably why, after you had that first bottle that had Karo syrup in it, you acted like you were on a sugar high.  From no sugar to syrup in your milk kind of made you a little excited.
Somewhere in the middle of all of the sickness, you also (finally) got your first tooth.  One day, I was sitting and playing with you and you grabbed my hand and started to chew on my finger, like you often do, but this time it hurt.  I took a look and sure enough, a little tooth had popped up.  You look so cute with your little one toothed grin.
Your personality is really shining these days.  You no longer seem like this tiny little baby but rather a sweet, funny, ornery, sassy, smart little girl.  It is so fun to see the person you are becoming.
You are growing up so fast and you are getting so smart.  You repeat several words back to us now and will usually wave when you see us for the first time.
You are working really hard on this standing and walking thing.  I have this strange feeling this one of these days you are just going to get up and start walking like it’s no big deal.
You have this really intense way of concentrating on things.  It’s like I can actually see your mind working as you try and figure out how things work.
You love to crawl all over the place and unless you are just super tired, it is difficult to hold you these days because you just want to be moving.  You’ve got places to go and toys to find.
You have discovered your toy bin that we keep in the living room.  Now when we put you down, it is usually the first thing that you crawl over to and you proceed to take every toy out until it is empty.
You are wearing 6 month clothes (I told you that you were little) and can occasionally still fit into a 3-6 month outfit.  You weigh 16 pounds.
Your favorite word is still “dad.”  Whenever you see daddy you will look right at him and just say “dad.”  You’ve got him wrapped around your little finger.  I’m pretty sure you could ask him for the moon and he would try to figure out a way to get it for you.
I’m pretty smitten with you too.  You are my mini-me and I just love to make you smile and giggle.
You are our sweet baby girl and we continue to just be amazed by you each and every day.  We love you, princess!
Love Always and Forever,
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Nine Months

Dear Madeline,


Today you are 9 months old!  How on earth did that happen?  3/4 of a year have gone by in the blink of an eye.


The biggest thing this last month was celebrating your first Christmas.  You will learn soon that your momma loves traditions.  We started our Christmas traditions with your visit to see Santa last month and decorating the tree.  This month we drove through the Plaza and looked at the pretty lights, we baked and decorated Christmas cookies (I even let you have a super tiny bite), we read Christmas books, watched Christmas movies, we did a lot of shopping and wrapping, and Christmas Eve we opened up a special Christmas package of new pajamas, Madeline’s Christmas book, and a movie.  We made handprint ornaments and took lots of photos.  Christmas morning momma made French Toast Casserole just like I’ve done every year since mommy and daddy have been married.  You ate it up.  I think you like it just as much as your daddy.  Of course there were lots and lots of presents.  You were super spoiled.



We also welcomed in a whole new year!  I can’t believe that in 3 short months we will celebrating your first birthday!  Momma has got to get planning.

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You started a new daycare this last month.  You love Ms. Melissa and seem to be doing really well (nap time aside – and even that is getting better).


It is so fun to watch your personality develop.  You are sweet and cuddly.  You are funny and love to laugh.  You are so very smart and seem to really focus in on things to try and figure out new toys and the things around you.


You officially know what mama and dada mean and you will often say them to us when you want our attention.  When daddy comes home in the evenings you will look at him, smile, and say dada dada dada.  It is just absolutely precious.


You are really working on walking.  You can crawl, we’ve seen you do it several times, but you would much rather stand up and try to walk.  You have figured out how to pull yourself up to standing.  I’m not sure I’m quite ready for you to be getting so big so fast.  Your favorite thing about your new walker though is the phone.  You love to “call” all of your little baby friends.


Your favorite food is still yogurt and you eat it most mornings for breakfast.  You are wearing 6 month clothes.  You finally like your jumper, but you still hate bath time.  You love to read books and music is your favorite thing.  You will tap your little foot to the beat and you will “dance” (bounce) to the music.  Sometimes you will even sing along (yell and babble).  You are still a very cuddly baby, but you also love to sit and play.  You get very excited when we put you in your highchair, you love to eat.


You still love our dog, Sophie, but she still won’t come close enough for you to pet her.  Instead you will watch her and laugh and laugh.  You find her moodiness hilarious. You are just such a happy baby and it is so fun to watch you explore the world around you.


You are our squish, our little bit, our bitty girl, our baby bear, our love, and you are our world.  We simply adore you, sweet girl.


Love You Always and Forever,


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2014 – In Review

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

Had a beautiful little baby girl.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

This is easy, since I never really make any new year’s resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Umm…yeah.  I did.  My niece, Patty did too.  And a whole lot of friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I don’t think so.  Patrick’s grandma died in July, but I actually had never met her.

5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

More sleep.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April 9, 2014 – Madeline’s birthday.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Madeline – I’m starting to sense a theme with my answers…

9. What was your biggest failure?

I’m not sure.  I’m sure there were lots of little failures along the way, but nothing really stands out.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Can I be lame and say it was something for Madeline?  I’m not really sure we bought much of anything else of any significance.  We bought a lot of cloth diapers, cute clothes, hair bows, and toys.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Patrick’s – I’ve loved him from the very beginning, but seeing the way he is with Madeline just makes me fall even more in love with him.  He is a great friend, a wonderful husband, an amazing dad, and just the very best man I could ever ask for.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Oh so many who I am too kind to name here.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Uhh…Madeline.  See no. 11.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Madeline.  Can I just make that my answer to everything?  No, really, watching Madeline grow and change.  Seeing her smile for the first time.  Hearing her giggle.  Hearing her say mama and dada.  Honestly, just every little thing that she does brings so much joy.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

American Authors – Best Day of My Life – I know this technically came out in 2013, but it was the song that was playing in the car when we were driving to the hospital to have Madeline.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

–happier or sadder?

happier – we had a baby.

–thinner or fatter?

thinner – I was pregnant this time last year so that was an easy one.

–richer or poorer?

poorer – we had a baby.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I would have found more time to just relax and enjoy the moments.  I think I spent too much time stressed about one thing or another when I should have just been relaxing with my husband and our daughter.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. How did you spend Christmas?

We spent Christmas at our house (our 4th Christmas in our house – crazy).  Patrick and I enjoyed watching Madeline open her presents (and some of ours).  I made our traditional Christmas breakfast of French Toast Casserole and bacon and then my mom came over and had breakfast with us.  That afternoon my sister and her family came over for lunch and more presents.  Madeline was spoiled to pieces and we all enjoyed seeing Christmas through her eyes.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?

With my precious daughter, Madeline, and over and over again with Patrick.

22. What was your favorite TV program?


23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don’t think so.  I really don’t “hate” anyone.

24. What was the best book you read?

I think the only books I’ve read have had illustrations.  I need to get back to reading again, but I am not finding a lot of down time these days.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I’m not sure.  I feel like I just listened to a lot of pop music this year.  Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and Ed Sheeran.

26. What did you want and get?

A healthy, happy baby.

27. What did you want and not get?

A time machine.

27a. What did you not want and not get?

Pre-eclampsia. Thank God!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

lol – We really didn’t see that many movies this year.  I liked the Lego Movie.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 10 days way from having Madeline.  We didn’t do too much.  We went out to breakfast at Le Peep, which has become a tradition.  We had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I’m not sure there really is anything.  Overall, it was a good year.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

If it fit, I wore it.  I was either pregnant or nursing most of the year, so there wasn’t a whole lot of “fashion” happening this year.

32. What kept you sane?

Patrick.  Most definitely, Patrick.  He always knows how to talk me down off of the ledge.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?


34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Ugh.  I hate politics.  Pass.

35. Who did you miss?

Joshua.  Always, Joshua.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Madeline.  Duh.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

I learned that there is light even in the darkest of times.  I learned that hope is a beautiful thing.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“You could be my luck
Even if the sky is falling down
I know that we’ll be safe and sound”

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This little girl right here is the very best gift I could have ever asked for.  In her 37 weeks out (plus 38 weeks in) she has filled so many of the empty and broken places in my heart.

Her laugh is the most beautiful sound that I have ever heard and the way she will giggle and smile when I kiss her cheeks completely melts me.

I adore the way she cuddles in close when I pick her up.  I love how she gives kisses and says “mama.”

She is absolutely the best gift.


This guy is pretty great too.  😉

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There Should Be More


All my life I was raised to be grateful for what I had. This was especially true at Christmas. I may not have always gotten every gift that I had on my wish list, but my mom worked hard to ensure that my Christmas was always magical.

I know we live in a society that is always seeking more and I certainly don’t want to raise my daughter thinking that more gifts is what makes Christmas special. I want to teach her what is truly important about this season: Jesus, family, and love.

That being said, this year I can’t help but wish for more.

There should be one more stocking hung with care.

There should be one more pair of Christmas PJs carefully picked to match baby sister’s.

There should be cars and trucks and blocks wrapped in pretty paper with blue bows.

There should be more laughter and noise filling our house.

There should be more little foot steps running down the hall.

There should be more beautiful chaos, more excited voices, more bright eyes all aglow.

There should be more sticky fingers covered in icing and sprinkles as we decorate cookies.

There should be more sweater vests and bow ties.

There should be more.

I am so grateful beyond measure for our Madeline, but there should be more.

There should be Joshua.

So for those with aching hearts, missing your child, your parent, your grandparent, your spouse, your friend, I give you permission to wish for more this year. Be grateful for your blessings, but it is okay to acknowledge that your greatest wish is just one more moment with that missing piece of your heart.

I pray you all have a beautiful and peaceful Christmas and that 2015 is full of many blessings and joy.


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