I've been going through my archives, and I know I say this every year....but I can't believe another year has come and gone. I love being able to look back through pictures and see the changes that have taken place.
It's incredible how much can change in a year. What has been the biggest change for you this year?
There are so many things I want to teach my sons, but I think one of the things at the very top of that list is that life is so much bigger than just 'me'. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the idea that each and every one of us has our own story, filled with different characters, different experiences, and different goals . I used to look out of the backseat of my Dad's van after school and wonder who all these people were, where they were going, if they were happy, if they were loved.
I used to wonder, and I still do, if they know how very loved they are. If those strangers have ever heard that they have a Creator who is utterly fascinated by the beauty of their being. It's so easy to walk around, caught up in the daily dirt of my own life, my own silly issues, and forget this beautiful truth.
Christmas brings this to light more than most other times of the year - we get out the tree, make our shopping lists, and we hum Christmas Carols as we shoulder through the hordes at the Mall, but how do we honor our Savior? I want my boys to see this season as the time of giving, and not in the 'presents' way. There is more, there should be more.
It can be hard though, you know? We aren't wealthy, I have no particular skill set that will benefit others, and besides that, I'm shy! I can hardly even TALK to strangers, how can I possibly help people I don't know? With our mail yesterday I was reminded of how easy it can be. We sponsor a little boy through Compassion International, and up until yesterday we had only ever received drawings from him because he was too young to write. Yesterday we received the first letter penned by his little hand.
"Thank you for letting me go to school. I love you Mr. and Mrs. Mattehew"
I can't even tell you how much that last sentence means to me. We are trying to strike a balance here, between what we can do and
what we can give, not just to show our sons that Christmas is about real
giving, but to remind ourselves as well, and two sentences from a little boy a world away made this season more real to me than the trees, carols, and cookies ever could.
We have been so busy this month, and I have so many pictures and memories that I want to make sure I document here, but I just don't have time to make a separate post for each! And so...a little catch up in what we have done this Holiday season. Brace yourselves for a slew of pictures and random ramblings as I try to be a memory keeper for my family ('cause we all know I'm no scrapbooker!).
We kicked off the month of December with our annual trip to Alexandria, VA, for the Scottish Christmas walk - the guys were all excited to get their kilts out once again. My brother couldn't make it this year, but the rest of us had a great time!
Every year there is one group that walks in the parade and, while I can't be sure, I'm willing to go out on a limb and say they are always pretty sloshed. They yell 'yo, yo, yo' which I am sure has some significance to them, but to me...it's just cracks me up every year. This year Em and I got our pic snapped in front of them. Can you even handle Gemma's hat? Oh she is so cute!
I just think these horses are pretty.
The boys and I made a trip over to my sisters house for some ornament painting.
The little guys had a great time decorating their salt dough ornaments, and Jack has proudly hung his on the tree where he points to them almost every day and tells me about how he painted them with his 'best friend, Emerson'.
Jack tends to get a little wild with paint, so he went shirtless for this particular activity. Nothing says Christmas like a half naked toddler!
My nephew Emerson is such a little thinker and very meticulous with his artwork. He was totally stressed that Jack is more of a free-form painter (to put it nicely).
Last Friday we rang bells for Salvation Army at the mall, which was a really cool thing to do as a family, one I would like to make a yearly tradition. I was worried that Luke might get too cold, so I wore him under one of Matt's jackets, all snuggled up next to me. He was warm...but it was definitely not the most flattering outfit I have ever put together.
Can we all take note of Jack in the above picture? Yeah...are you surprised to see that he is cavorting about? Me either.
Last weekend we had a Christmas party, where we also managed to snap a cute family picture!
Little boys in sweater vests! Good stuff! What wasn't good was when we caught Jack reaching onto the buffet to snag carrots, taking a bite and returning it to the platter for another. I guess I should just be glad he was eating veggies?
While all of the above activities make us sound really busy, we have been able to have a lot of time for just the four of us to enjoy this season as well, which has been really wonderful. I hope you are all having a wonderful Holiday season as well!
By a sheer miracle I have a loaf of bread in the oven, my laundry is (mostly) finished, and both (BOTH!) of my children are napping right now. I hardly even know what to do with my arms at the moment...they might start flapping around involuntarily for lack of something to do. It's very odd indeed.
So...let's all weigh in on the one question that has been asked over and over since I had Luke...
Does he look like Jack?
Here they are at 2 months to the day, in the same outfit, in the same pose (with the same amount of sass I might add).
Jack is on the left, Luke on the right...I gotta say...I don't really think they look all that much alike! I mean, they look like brothers, but not like each other. They clearly both have Matt's nose (and can you even handle the eyebrows?!), but other than that, they each have a distinctive 'look', you know?
And just for fun, because I love these pictures that Trinity took of both of my boys and I...
Sigh. I already miss the newborn stage.
But anyway...what do YOU think, do they look alike?
On Facebook, I recently asked if all two year old boys believe that they are crash test dummies, and from the replies...yep. Yes they do. At least the majority.
Jack does not know the meaning of the word cautious (well...literally he doesn't, but you know what I mean here, right?). He is nothing short of terrifying when he gets going. Just last week we were sitting together on the couch while I nursed Luke, and he was fidgeting around.
Next thing I knew he had used his legs like a spring to push himself off of the back of the couch. Catapulted onto his own head as his legs flipped over his body, landing flat on his back. I was FREAKING OUT. I put Luke down and rushed to get Jack, who popped right up, laughed maniacally, and yelled "I GOT A BOO-BOO", then ran straight into the Christmas Tree.
And as scary as that was, it's really not an unusual occurrence. I just...I just...boys are SO weird.
Two nights ago he had another scare, we woke to a loud thump and the sound of Jack screaming. Matt and I flew out of bed, completely disoriented from sleep and totally terrified. We ran down the hall to his room to find him laying on the floor. He must have either tried to climb over the rail of his bed, or somehow managed to roll over it...but my money is on the climbing.
Sadly that one earned an injury...
...and to top that look off? Yesterday he gave himself a fat lip when he ran into the windowsill.
From the looks of things you would assume he is being raised by a pack of wolves.
I'd ask those of you with older boys if they grew out of it, but I think I already know the answer...
This happy little guy celebrated two months of life yesterday. I truly cannot believe how fast it has gone. In many ways, the adjustment from having one child to having two children has been much easier than I expected.
What I did not expect was how fast time would go. The days seem to blur together, which could be a result of sleep deprivation, but still...it's going quickly!
Photo from my sister's phone
We will find out his official length and weight on Friday, but we weighed him here at home last night and came up with around 14 and a half pounds.
He is doing great, smiling and cooing and doing all the things that two month olds do. Jack is SUCH a good big brother, he loves to help me with diapers and pacifiers (we have had to talk about not trying to put the pacifier in Luke's mouth when Luke is already asleep though...)
It is starting to look like Luke may have inherited my blue eyes and curly hair, although that could always change. It's kind of funny, for as much as Jack look like a miniature version on his Daddy, Luke seems to have more of my features. The one thing that is all his though? The sweetest little dimple in his cheek. I haven't managed to get a picture of it just yet...but trust me...it's there!
He is such a laid back little dude, which is great because this place can get pretty rowdy when his big brother gets into character (more on that later).
Cell phone picture from yesterday
We are so blessed to have this little guy in our lives, and cliche as it may be, I can't imagine life without him.
Thanks for bearing with me and my lack of posting as we continue to get more comfortable with daily life. If I manage to get the dishes washed I call it a good day in the house-keeping department...so it is easy to see how updating this space can fall to the back of my task list.
You understand, don't you? I knew you would.
Now, if you will excuse me...I hear a certain somebody on the monitor...
This years Christmas tree expedition went MUCH more smoothly than last year (remember this?). We plotted our course the night before, and found the tree farm without any hassle. The weather was absolutely beautiful...not very Christmas-y, but I'll take as many 70 degree days as I can get before the bitter cold days get here!
Jack just about flipped out when he realized that we were going to be pulled in a wagon by a tractor(!), but promptly started to cry when he realized he did not have an apple (random, huh?). That's the magic of a two-year old, who would have guessed that he would need an apple to find a Christmas tree? He quickly forgot the apple, because in no time at all we were dropped off into a field of trees and told that the wagon would return for us in the little while, and to just go out there and find our tree!
We traipsed about for a little while so Matt could decide on the perfect tree, but it wasn't too long before he settled on THE ONE. Matt and I re-enacted the 'that wouldn't fit in out yard' scene from Christmas Vacation. I played the part of Russ, my tree-lovin' husband was, of course, Clark.
Jack really wanted to man the saw, so once the tree was down Matt helped him 'cut' through the last bit of bark. I honestly don't think there was anything to cut but he was very proud of himself anyway.
We trudged back through the field, rode the wagon back, and strapped that bad boy onto our car to take it home to decorate. We did have to stop once so that we could re-adjust the tree. I had looked out of my side mirror to see it perched sideways on the roof of the car...not a good thing!
Nevertheless, we did manage to get the tree home, and the decorating commenced! (Note:Matt was wearing mittens to string the lights, apparently our tree is very 'pokey'.)
We love our short fat tree, but MAN those needles really are very sharp! Note to self: next year, opt for something other than a blue spruce.
Jack rearranges the bottom level of ornaments daily, focusing mainly on my husbands Star Wars character ornaments. Oh yes, you read that correctly. STAR WARS ORNAMENTS. Needless to say, we do not have a showcase style tree, but gosh darnit, I love the thing!
1. This weekend I had a nice surprise - I woke up at 6:45 and came downstairs with Luke to find Matt and Jack cuddled on the sofa. Matt took Luke, told me Happy Birthday, then told me to go back to bed. Guys - take note. The best gift you can give to a mother of a newborn? Two extra hours of sleep! It was amazing. And THEN. Then when I actually DID wake up, he had made me coffee and pancakes! Sleep AND breakfast? Unheard of!
2. On a related note, I was thinking last night about finals week in college, and how I remembered thinking I was soooo exhausted. Bahaha! Take that feeling, stretch it out over a few months, and throw in a baby that has the audacity to want to eat every few hours and a toddler that needs to have his hiney wiped, and voila! Parenthood.
4. It's the first weekend of December, which can mean only one thing! Tomorrow is the Annual Scottish Christmas Walk! Matt's kilt is ready to go, the boys winter garb is waiting patiently for little bodies to warm, and I can't wait to hear those beautiful pipes!