Thursday, January 22, 2015

Santa Pics! (that week in December before I had a baby)

I know we are into the new year full swing, but there were some precious moments to remember from the last few months of 2014.  At 39 weeks pregnant I was beyond ready to get our little guy here, so the five and a half of us (aka big belly) paid a visit to Santa Claus at the Windermere Real Estate office and walked through the mall for no other reason than to encourage baby to come!  (That might have been my only reason, but of course the kids were delighted to see Santa and we had some Christmas shopping to do, too.)  I think these pictures turned out so cute!  I wish I would’ve had them dressed up in fancier attire for heaven’s sake (hello Hello Kitty!), but I was kind of in a pregnancy fog for the most part, and my thought process consisted of one foot in front of the other! Really though, the photographer took her time with our family and then e-mailed these pictures to me at no extra charge.  It was definitely a nice surprise in my inbox the week before Christmas.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Letter to My Dad

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(The last photo taken of my Dad, June 2014)

My Dad, My Hero, My Friend
 
I miss you.  Not just today, but every day.  I wish I could call you on the phone just one more time.  I can ask you if it’s bad timing or not to which you would then reply, “It’s never bad timing to talk to my beautiful daughter."  I’m so glad I always told you how much I loved you.  I know you love me, too - unconditionally.  Your strength gave me a sense of stability & safety.  I’m trying to be strong Dad, but the tears come like waves.  Someday we will understand why your life was shortened.  I continue to yearn for answers, but the Lord rebukes me and reminds me to, “ Leave it to Him.”  I know that you will continue to watch over me & my family.  Thank you for always making me feel like the most talented, capable young woman in all the world.  Thank you for genuinely being in awe of everything I was trying to become.  Thank you for being the most forgiving, compassionate, good-humored individual I have ever known.  Thank you for being MY Dad.  Someday we will meet again, and my joy will be full, but until then, I will strive to be a daughter that will make you and my Heavenly Father simply rejoice.

I will always love you until we meet again.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Four Weeks

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Last Sunday marked exactly four weeks old for little Luke.  With the birth of each child, my heart grows bigger.  I feel so much love for my children - not just collectively, but individually.  Luke has a special demeanor about him.  He occasionally takes a pacifier, but he’s perfectly content to be held really close, swaddled tightly.  

Each day has been a little different up to this point; he’s growing too fast for me to count on much of a routine, but the feedings have been spreading out more & more.  (Last night he slept from 6:15 pm - 9:45 pm, and after a cluster of feedings & wake time, he slept again from 1:30 am - 6:15 am, his longest stretch yet.)

Gabe always wants to “pet him.”  I love being home in the mornings with my two boys while the girls are away at school.  It’s kind of surreal after going through a chapter with two little girls always at my feet.  Gabe has been throwing a few outrageous tantrums here & there, but he’s trying his hardest to be a big boy, and I’m proud of him.  

It’s hard to explain, but I miss my other kiddos at times!  We’re all learning how to adapt to life with a whole new person in our family as I figure out how to meet everyone’s needs.  The girls are learning to be more independent, and we’ve had a few frustrating moments as a result (preparing backpacks, frantically looking for library books on library day, cutting up own pancakes, etc.), but I love watching their minds work for themselves, learning to really apply the value of self-reliance.

Man oh man, I’d like to share more, but I have a sweet newborn who needs to be fed. :)

Love, Sharee


Monday, January 5, 2015

A Book Shower

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A few sweet friends of mine (two sisters) threw a book shower for baby Luke and me on Saturday afternoon, November 15th.  If you knew Jenni and Hayley, you would know that everything was above and beyond.  I’m so bummed that I didn’t get a picture of those two girls, but then again, they were busy bustling around - making everything amazing the entire time. :)

Since Jared & I felt like we had enough baby stuff already, a book shower was the perfect way to welcome our new little guy.  When our family left Argentina 18 months ago, we donated many of our children’s books to an English Learning Center in El Quebracho.  Needless to say, our library is replenished now and all of my kiddos have benefited from it!

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^^^ Such amazing women and friends.  I feel so blessed. ^^^

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I really enjoyed an afternoon of woman talk. :)  I honestly can’t remember the last time I did that!!  It was definitely a boost, and I still feel so honored that I was pampered with such love and effort.

(And I’m pretty sure I’m enjoying all these books just as much as my little ones are.) 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Early November

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A small part of me would like to forget about that month before I had a baby.  I dare say it wasn’t an easy time for me.  The 8 months pregnant/pneumonia combination proved to be a daily test of patience.  At the time I knew my life was about to change forever as it does with the entrance of a new family member, and although I wanted to enjoy my last few weeks as a family of 5, each day was a struggle.  

Little Luke is 3 weeks old now, and it is such a relief to have him here.  I can breathe easier (literally).  

Grieving the loss of my dad while pregnant was harder on my body than I realized.  It was near impossible to escape the roller coaster of emotions in the midst of my “year of firsts” as it’s called.  Whenever I found myself getting too sad, I’d do everything I could to "look up" and face hope head on, but as my physical body struggled, it was tough to get where I needed to be in order to cope.

I count my blessings that I made it through my pregnancy.  Even though my baby steps felt like they weren’t getting me anywhere, I can now look back and see that I’ve made progress since then.

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I know these pictures don’t really have anything to do with what I’m talking about, but I’m so grateful to see smiles on my kids’ faces during this time.  I guess I wasn’t a complete failure.

AnnMarie was getting a little nervous that the baby would never come.

But he did...

and oh, how we love him.

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