Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Has it Really Been 9 Years

9 years!  Has it really been that long?  Sometimes it seems like just last week I was excitedly preparing to vow to love this man for the rest of my life in front of our family and friends.  Most days, it simply feels so right to be together that I can't remember what life was like before.  We've had our ups and downs (as all marriages do) and faced challenges I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy (infertility and infant loss are not for the weak of heart or mind), but our relationship is stronger because of it.  Through all of our challenges, I was and still am so thankful to have my rock to help me through (when asked how we do it, I often tell people we turn to God, each other, and our family, otherwise we would be just another statistic of couples torn apart by these circumstances). 

I think part of what makes Sam an amazing husband is how deeply he loves his family.  His concern for the safety of me and the kids is evident (and a little annoying sometimes ;), and truly comes from the bottom of his heart.  His desire to have kids is enduring (not every man is as on board with fertility treatments and adoption {both extremely long, tiring processes} as Sam was/is).  Seeing the tears in his eyes when we visit Aubrey's grave or when he saw Sarah for the first time in her ultrasound turns my heart to mush and seeing him play with Joseph and the love they share is the highlight of my day. 

A few weeks ago, our sermon at church was over being Godly wives (don't worry, being Godly husbands was the next week :).  As I sat there overcome with how much room for improvement I have, Sam leaned over and whispered, "Thank you for being such a great wife.  You are a crown that I wear proudly."  Talk about turning on the waterworks.  Sam, the truth is, I'm only the wife I am because of the husband you are.  Thank you for everything you do for me and our family!  Thank you for working hard every day to provide for us.  Thank you for being supportive of me staying home with the kids and understanding that comforting and playing come above housework (although I probably need to work on that a little).  Above all, thank you for loving me more than I'll ever deserve.  I look forward to enjoying many more years of wedded bliss with you!

July 30, 2004
July 6, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

His First Easter

I know, I know, you're probable thinking "Doesn't she realize Easter was three months ago!"  Yes, I do.  But you see, it was my baby's first Easter and I need to document in on the ol blog so I can print it out in his book and remember it forever. 

Our church held their children's service and Easter egg hunt the Saturday before Easter and we thought it was a perfect opportunity for Joseph to enjoy the festivities.  This was the first time he had sat in the sanctuary with us since he was three or four months old (when he decided that the people around us would rather hear him talk than the preacher).  Luckily it was kid directed (lively and quick), so he did a pretty good job.  No, I didn't take pictures during the service, this is while we were waiting for it to start.

After the service, we went outside.  The little guys and gals hunt wasn't much of a hunt, but more of a run around and grab as many eggs off of the ground as you can free for all.  Joseph crawled to the nearest egg, shook it, realized it made noise, and was finished.  I grabbed another egg that happened to be close and he was more than happy with his two pink Easter eggs. 

The next morning, his Easter basket was waiting for him when he woke up.  I might have gone a little over board, but I've dreamed of making Easter baskets for my kids for a long time.

Of course, his favorite items were a truck and ball.  Go figure, this kid is all boy!

Somehow I managed to not get any pictures other than his Easter basket ones on the actual Easter Sunday, but just picture our little guy looking all dapper hanging out in the church nursery then coming home to a meal of ham and all the fixings prepared by yours truly.  Overall, I think he had a great first Easter.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

I see a birthday boy looking at me.  For Joseph's first birthday party, I decided to pick one of his favorite books and use it for our theme.  Since I had been taking his monthly pictures on an Eric Carle fabric, Brown Bear, Brown Bear was a logical choice.  I tried not to go too over the top since it was, after all, just a birthday party for a baby, but I still had fun with the theme.  Since his birthday is in mid-May and it normally isn't too terribly hot by then, we decided to have a cookout at the house and invite family and friends over.  It ended up being hotter than anticipated, but that's ok, we still enjoyed everyone's company even if we were all in the house instead of spread out in the back yard.

My friend, Jen, did an awesome job on a cake that included some of the animals from the book. 

The rest of the desert/kid refreshment table.  We had to incorporate balloons somewhere since Joseph loves them so much.  Did you know you can buy balloons like this at Dollar Tree for $1 each (and they will replace them for free if they happen to come untied from the weight and float away in the parking lot)?

For snacks, I found little kid friendly treats to go along with a few characters from the book then labeled containers using vinyl I cut with my silhouette.  It's hard to see, but the light brown objects are smiley faces. 
The main course table.  We served brisket, seasoned mashed potatoes, baked beans, rolls, chips and queso, and a fruit platter.  Man, was it tasty!  My mother-in-law makes a mean brisket!

Joseph's monthly photos were proudly displayed on the mantle.  I love how they turned out!

A canvas I painted, multi-colored pom-pom balls, and other Brown Bear type books also adorned the mantle.

Since our little guy always chooses ice cream over cake, we thought it was fitting to get an ice cream cake for his smash cake. Too bad I didn't think to let it set out a little bit so it would be soft for him.  He wasn't too sure about it at first,

so we helped him out a little.

He quickly decided he liked what we were offering and tried to tear into it.

We didn't mind him getting his 1st birthday shirt that I made him all dirty because we knew he would be changing after his cake smash.  Since so many family and close friends were present at his party, we decided it was the perfect time to make a little announcement.  So, we took him to his room, cleaned him up, and he appeared with a second shirt that I made him.  This picture makes me laugh, but I assure you he isn't upset about getting a little sister (because he still doesn't realize what's going on), he was just wanting me to put him down and people to stop taking his picture. 

We then opened way too many gifts (that boy is spoiled loved!) with the help of friends.  You can tell it was May in Oklahoma because the weather is on in the background and Mike Morgan has a severe weather tie on :).

Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated Joseph's special day with us!  It means more than you will ever know!

Joseph's 12 Month Update (a Couple Months Late)

I realize that Joseph is already 14 months old, but I want to write a quick 12 month post for him so I can have his entire first year printed into a book since I'm not doing a good job keeping up with a baby book.  Since the hubs got me a new computer for our anniversary, I should be able to do a better job keeping everyone updated on the Parks family happenings now :). 

On Saturday, May 18, our little Joseph turned one year old.  At the time, he would only walk about three steps between two people.  He had six teeth (four on top, two on bottom).  He was still getting a night time bottle, but drank out of a sippy cup the rest of the day.  He had completely weaned himself off of baby food and ate anything and everything we were eating. 

Joseph - 12 Months

(Since his birthday was on a Saturday, I decided to use this picture instead of trying to get another picture in a solid white onesie.)
 We met up with Cousin Bryar at Papa Joe's house one afternoon.  This is how they felt about taking pictures.

We also visited their Great-Grandparents McMahan while we were there.