Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chunky Monkey

I wanted to post Jake's one-month picture on the 15th (his actual one-month birthday) but since his check-up wasn't until today, I thought I'd wait. The delay has absolutely nothing to do with me being such a blogging slacker. Honest! :)

So as of now, our little beefcake is weighing in at a whopping 12 pounds, 2 ounces and is in the 91st percentile! He's also 22 1/2 inches long, which is the 73rd percentile. When I was pregnant with him, I often referred to him as our monster baby since he was always measuring big, and I guess that's a trend that is continuing. We love our healthy big boy more everyday!

I also had my check-up today, but will refrain from sharing my weight! Josh and I just started doing P90X together though, so maybe I'll change my mind in 90 days... let's hope so anyway!

But enough about me... here are a couple of photos we took of our chunky monkey on his actual one-month birthday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

My how time flies when you have a baby! It's been weeks and I have not made a single peep on my beloved blog now that my time is consumed by the little one. So hopefully (and I truly do mean hopefully) over the next couple of days I will get all caught up.

So first up... is our trip to New York. Neither one of us had planned to take our three-week old son on an airplane so early on, but everything went wonderfully. We drove to Chicago the night before our early-morning flight and stayed in a hotel nearby. We flew from O'Hare to JFK the next morning without a hitch and Jake slept every time we needed him to sleep! He was awesome and did not fuss one time! To anyone traveling with an infant, our advice would be so forgo the coffee at the airport unless you're there early. The two of us got all checked in and through security and hit up Starbucks. When it was time to board, I had two coffees in my hands and he had Jake, so neither one of us could help the gate agent fold up the stroller or unlatch the car seat! I guess our priorities are going to have to change... although, we don't have a Starbucks in our town so I still think it was worth it.

Once in New York things went much more smoothly and we were so thankful that we had opted to bring the stroller! We had quite a hike and a train ride to get to the rental car office and could not have survived without it. And I'm sad to admit that after cruising around in our Toyota Sienna all weekend, we are totally sold on the idea of getting a minivan over another SUV. Sigh.

The few days there were very low-key and we enjoyed them immensely. The service for my Aunt B was awesome and it was so very nice to sit around and share stories about the woman we all love so much. Aside from that our days were filled with enjoying the spring weather and putting some mileage on the stroller,
Snuggling with our nephew, Adam (who we didn't know when we would meet... it was such a blessing to get to spend some time with the little guy and he is oh so cute!!),

And letting everyone hang out with the Jakester. There were plenty of relatives that hadn't met him yet, so it was awesome to have the opportunity to introduce him to everyone.

Although it was a sad occassion to gather (and our family has done it far too often lately), these trips always end up being such a special time to spend together. With nothing on the agenda, everyone just ends up spending time together and really enjoying one another, which is so rare these days in our busy lives. Sometimes the blessing in these times is in the quiet moments that they create- a chance to just be still and love on eachother. Aunt B loved her family dearly and always let us know it, so I'm sure that was her final gift to all of us. Well, that and a Yankees hat for all of us!

Jake and his Auntie Angie and Auntie Mindy. Thank you Aunt B for showing us all what it means to be a great one... they're already vying for the favorite aunt award already!

Almost the whole Elder clan... we missed Josh Van and the boys so much! It definitely was not the same without them and we look forward to hopefully being ALL together this Christmas.

All that traveling tuckered the little guy out. Actually, it probably tuckered mom and dad out more, but who can resist a sleeping baby?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pure Joy

Easter 2010...

102 SPONTANEOUS Baptisms in Small Town, Illinois

When God moves, He moves BIG

It was an honor to even have the privilege of witnessing the public declarations of so many people that we know and love. The joyful energy in the room was electric and palpable- a feeling I cannot describe nor will I ever forget. There was no better way to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. What an amazing day... God is oh so good!

For a full post on baptism (dunking vs. infant sprinkling), you can check out the post about my own baptism here.

The Loss of a Hero

I have been trying to write this post for three days now, but seem to draw a blank every time I start. On Saturday morning, we lost our Aunt Barbara after her long battle with breast and brain cancer. She had beaten the breast cancer and was diagnosed with the brain cancer back in October, at which time we thought we had lost her. But this woman is a fighter and she gave it everything she had, which is the way she lived her life. If it hadn't been for the cancer, I'm pretty sure she would've outlived us all.

As kids, trips to see Aunt B were always a fun occasion. They meant driving up to the mountains in her big van and camping. They meant listening to the "Muscle Song" and going to the Pie Man for pizza. We played Frogger on the Atari for hours and rode her dog Missy around the living room. One year I forgot my beloved stuffed dog that went with me everywhere, and she gave me the one that sat on her dashboard without hesitating to get me through the week. Another year she wanted to take my picture with my hair in my face and sunglasses on a la Cousin It, and when I was too embarrassed to do it, she promised me an award. Sure enough, we had a ceremony and everything and I took home a plaque for taking the silly picture. The list goes on and on and on- one fun story after another that marked my childhood in such wonderful ways.

Aunt B embodied everything that an aunt should be. She was always so much fun to be around and I doubt there is a person in this world that didn't like her. As a teacher, many of her students say that she was the best they ever had and as a coach she was "Coach of the Year" many times over, so we were the lucky ones that had the privilege of being her nieces. And as her nieces, we always felt special.

Aunt B has left an imprint on our hearts and souls that will never fade away. She will continue to inspire us to always fight, always try harder, and always work to succeed in everything we do. And every time I cross a finish line, I will think of her as I know she would've like to do more races. She may be gone from the earth, but the impact that she has left here will be carried with us always. I know this post doesn't even come close to doing her life and legacy justice, but at least it's a small glimpse into how much she means to all of us. Aunt B, you are missed already. We love you dearly and will live bolder, more adventurous lives thanks to the one you led. Thank you for all you are and always will be to our family. We love you.