Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 31st

May 31st holds such significance to me because I get to celebrate not only my anniversary but also Stella’s birthday.

Four years ago when Blake and I said “I do” it was the culmination of everything I had hoped and dreamed of. I don’t want to get all mushy – but let me just say I’m so blessed to have Blake. Most of us girls  think about and wonder who we’re going to marry when we grow up. I just never would have guessed in elementary, junior, or high school that it would be my best friend’s REALLY good looking, outspoken, full of life, older brother…but I’m sure glad God put us together! Life is not perfect and neither is marriage, but I love having a partner that sticks with me through the good and the bad {i.e. hormonal mood swings and an incredibly stressful job}! I can’t really name or count all the reasons that I just down-right love him.

And then our family of two became three! All day I’ve kept looking at the clock and remembering back to what stage of labor I was in one year ago. By this time, Stella was about 5 hours old and I was on cloud 9. When the doctor handed her to me at 4:52pm I truly thought she was probably the best looking baby that had ever been born {truly only a mom thinks this}. The hospital stay FLEW by and then we went home. And the first two weeks at home DRUG by!

I was in NO way prepared for the lack of sleep that came with a newborn. Ya, people tell you – but it does not even register until you are feeling that worn down, delirious, walking-zombie feel. During these two weeks, I really thought about being mad at every mom I knew for not trying to get through to me how hard this was. Not to mention being incredibly sore in places that no one should be sore. And trying to learn how to feed a baby and trying to teach your baby how to feed from you – I know God knew what He was doing, but don’t you think we should be taking some class during our pregnancy about what to expect the first year after our sweet bundle of love is born {and I'm not just talking about the "nursing" class at the hospital - I have something much more in depth in mind}? No? Maybe it’s just me, but I'm still full of questions!

{Stella as a newborn}
However, now, looking back, those first two weeks are barely a blip on the radar {and I will gladly do it over and over again}. I can’t BELIEVE how fast the year went. It really seemed like every three months she was a different baby. There were so many developmental and physical changes that she went through that I can’t imagine how they were all compacted into this last year. I made sure to tell Ryan {Blake’s sis} and my sister, Rachel, to pay special attention to what I was telling them WHILE it was happening, because when I look back at situations they all seem peachy and rosy {which was not the case when they were happening!}.

{3 months}

{6 months}

{9 months}

I feel like a broken record because I know I’ve said it so many times how much I love being a mom and love my sweet, Stella girl. She is so happy and so fun to be with. She is absolutely non-stop, does not slow down, into everything, and already has such a strong-willed personality. I picked her up out of her crib last night while she was asleep just to hold and rock her. It really hit me that she’s no longer a baby and that she’s going to just continue to get more independent from here. I love that she needs me and the sweetness of her laying her little head down on my shoulder and blowing me kisses and leaning toward me for kisses with her little mouth wide open and her tongue hanging out – I want to sear those images in my head forever. I love that she lights up when she sees me and cries when I leave the room. I love that she loves new people and doesn’t meet a stranger. I love that anyone who spends time with her tells me how sweet she is. I love being her momma! She is my little love bug!

{First thing on birthday morning!}
{Birthday donuts!}

{Birthday dinner!}

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Harvest Time

This is the time of year where we harvest the wheat Blake has planted this last season. Last year, they started harvesting the day before Stella was born {not great timing!}. So, the day after we brought Stella home from the hospital Blake had to be back out in the fields.

{Driving out to the farm}

This year it seemed harvest time came a little earlier. I’m sure Blake feels the same way, but I’m always kind of holding my breath during this time of year hoping that the wheat makes enough bushels and that there’s a good profit.

Blake has fields that he plants all over the Dallas area, mostly in Richardson and Plano. He has a few other fields in Frisco, Garland, and Grapevine, but then he planted the family farm in wheat this year, also.

So, this morning we went out and watched them harvesting some of the wheat at the farm. You just gotta love those amber waves of grain!

{Apparently, this was old hat for Blake so he was kind enough to let me get out and snap some pics!}

Here’s the big combine!

While we were out there we went and checked on the steers and horses. The steers are just about big enough to rope! And I’m ready! The steers come right up to us now {but just close enough for their comfort} and all the horses follow right behind.

Stella loves being outside and seems to really be fascinated with animals. 

Amos has also finally started to warm up to us. He was so friendly the first couple days out here, but the last couple months he’s not been too friendly. So, I’ve been pretty excited that he’s showing some interest in me again!

And, of course, I can’t forget about this guy – my first love! It's amazing how different he looks in the summer versus the winter. He looks like a different horse {well, kind of}!

{January 2012 - he's my little raccoon}

Mamaw and Papaw {Blake's grandparents} were out there and Stella got some good lovin' from them!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Bean Bag Chair

Stella got a bean bag chair for her birthday from Blake’s dad, Greg and Lori. And she LOVES it! I’ve never seen her sit still longer than when she’s in this chair {miracle!}.

The first day she got it, she was playing on it and toppled off onto a puzzle and busted her mouth. It was one of the first times I’ve seen her bleed, so I only freaked out a little {not!}. She cried for a second {I’m telling you, she is one tough little cookie} and I quickly gave her one of the teething toys we keep in the freezer, which seemed to work well.

Stella is all over this thing – she’s gotten so good at climbing and pulling herself onto the chair. It’s so cute.

And then, of course, we have Blake pretending that he’s being eaten by the bean bag chair. {I tried this and Stella was not amused – she started hysterically crying! Poor baby – we’re going through an “attached to momma” phase and I’m not minding one bit!}.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Byron Nelson

This past Thursday, Blake and I went to the HP Byron Nelson Classic golf tournament. The tickets we had could be used for any day, Monday-Sunday, but we decided that Thursday would be best for us since it wouldn’t be too crowded and we could get up close to watch the players.

Golf has always been the one sport that was consistently followed in our house growing up. I learned that watching golf was real nice for lulling me into a nap. Once I married Blake, he’s been working on and off on his golf game and getting better and better. The man has talent! I like to play golf, but I’m not particularly good. Blake's convinced he can make me better - I might have to take him up on it!

We left the house early Thursday morning and took Stella to “school” so that Blake and I could spend the day together.

{My golf attire}

Once we got to the course, one of the first teams we watched was Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, and Ernie Els – this was the one team that I really was interested in seeing so it was nice that they were coming up to the 18th hole right when we got there. We followed them on the 18th hole and then went to sit near the 17th green to watch a few more teams.

{He brings out the goofy in me}

By 10:45am, this momma was HUNGRY! So, we ate an early lunch and then walked to the driving range.

There was a strict no camera rule, so I was lucky to sneak these two pictures while we watched the players warm up on the driving range. I saw so many people getting “in trouble” for trying to take pictures of the players, etc, so being the boring rule follower that I am, I didn’t take any pics on the course. L

{Watching the players warm up}

{Jason Day}

Now, let me get on my soap box for just a second. I can’t understand why I saw so many girls in stilettos and wedges – um, hello, you’re on a golf course not a runway. Granted, I wanted to look cute, but not at the sacrifice of my comfort. Plus, Blake told me I better wear comfortable shoes because we would be walking a lot and he didn’t want to hear it if my feet hurt, ha. My little Charlotte Russe flip flops weren’t much for support, but they did match my t-shirt AND they were much better than HEELS!

The homes on the course were gorgeous {I wish I would have thought to snap some pictures of them, but I was seriously too afraid to even pull my phone out in fear of it getting confiscated}. We walked to the back of the course and by 2pm, I was ready to leave J. I had seen and had all the golf fun I wanted for the day.

Blake, on the other hand, was ready to leave because he wanted to go to the driving range and hit balls himself. All this watching other golfers had made him itch to do his own golfing.

We had such a great day and I was so excited to get to spend some “alone” time with Blake! We definitely try and have “date nights” and make spending time together a priority, but it really is tough with schedules and other plans that get in the way.

Thursday night we had a Ladies Bunco Night at our church. It was my first time to play and I am HOOKED! It was such a thoughtless and zero-strategy game, which made it all the more appealing to me. I like it so much that I’m thinking of hosting one this summer as just a fun girls’ night! Here’s a pic of me and my mom that night!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stella's First Birthday Party

I know I keep saying it – but I cannot believe it was already time to celebrate Stella’s first birthday! It really does seem like such a short time ago that I was pregnant and delivering her, bringing her home for the first time, stressing over nursing, dealing with reflux issues {still dealing with those}, watching her take her first baby food bites, getting excited when she crawled with her belly off the floor and now watching her take her first steps…it really does put perspective on how fast they grow and change. I love her so much more than I ever could have imagined and she’s changed my life so greatly.
I have to admit though, the next few birthday parties will probably be a lot more low-key until she can start remembering them and wanting to have her friends join in!

I pretty much had most everything (cake table, food table, present table, favor table) all set up on Friday night and had moved our dining room chairs to the living room for more seating and put some fold out chairs on our back porch.

Also, for the older kiddos at the party, I ordered a bounce house that arrived about an hour before the party started. That was such a hassle-free thing. The guy showed up, set up the bounce house, and came back and took it down when we were done. Easy peasy! Stella screamed with absolute terror when she first got in it. It took her a little bit to get warmed up to it, but I think she ended up liking it!

 Everyone mingled around and snacked for a while, then I decided it was time to sing “Happy Birthday” and let Stella dig in to her cake.

My little sweetie definitely has a sweet tooth! She LOVED her cake and would have eaten the entire thing, but a several minutes into her shoveling cake in her mouth she was looking really full, so I decided she probably had had enough. Please excuse the massive amount of cake-eating pictures – but she was so funny. She first put her hands lightly on the cake and then you could see her starting to squeeze and try and lift the whole thing up to her mouth, and then it just crumbled in her hands. After Daddy gave a taste of some icing she quickly realized this was going to be a yummy experience!

Present opening was a TASK! Stella was definitely more interested in the tissue and wrapping paper than in the actual gifts. Stella made out REALLY well with all her new toys and clothes!

She’s going to be set for a while with all the new outfits she got!

I’m so appreciative of everyone for coming and celebrating with us! I feel very blessed to have a healthy almost-one-year-old and wonderful friends and family to share these joys!

Here are a few more pics from the day!

{Passing out the cake!}

{Stella got this rocking chair from Blake's grandparents and she loves it!}

{G-Mommy and Stella}

{Her first little cowgirl hat}

{Playing with her new toys}

{She loves that she can stand on her own and take a couple steps!}

{Yummy cupcakes!}

{Food table}

{Sweet Cutter}

{Not real sure what she's doing here!}
{Loving her rocking chair}