We are already one week into 2014 and I can't help but reflect on the many memories and blessings 2013 brought us!
Most importantly, Emma joined our family on April 25th and has brought so much smiles and happiness with her. She came 4 days early, which mommy LOVED (those last few days of pregnancy are so uncomfortable) and entered this world with so much love to give. I swear we have a picture of her smiling on day one. I'm not exaggerating when I say she is the happiest baby I've ever encountered. At 8 months old, I've heard her cry hysterically twice (6 month shots at the dr and during a football game when her Uncles hollered at the TV and startled her) and I still don't even know if it's her hysterical cry for sure, it's more like an extended wimper. Emma's first 8 months of her life have included: trips to Marine World, Yosemite, Bass Lake, Disneyland, Pacifica Beach and Clovis. At about 3 months Emma began rolling over, but never really did it consistently. I remember telling the pediatrician this and he laid her on her belly, on the exam table, and she popped her head up and did a "superman." The dr said, "oh mom, she's definitely strong enough to be rolling over, she isn't simply because she doesn't want to." He also dubbed her happiest baby of the day, no surprise. She started solids at 4 months, began sitting up at 6 months and just mastered crawling at 8 months. She still wakes up 1-2 times in the night for a bottle, but she doesn't put up any fights at nap time/bedtime so mommy isn't pushing her luck just yet. Lily is of course a little mama and amazing helper, and Kayson has surprised us by how gentle and loving he is to his baby sister. The first year of an infants life is full of so much growing and developing at almost lightening-speed. We look forward to seeing what 2014 brings our sweet, happy Emma.
Kayson has continued to bless our family throughout the year with laughter, entertainment and sensitivity. The perfect combo. He has kind of started an inside joke (that isn't really funny) within our friends that anytime we leave town we end up in the Emergency Room (some because of Lily in 2012). Kayson's 1st ever Disneyland trip also ended up being his first ER visit--when he was just 3 months old. This past year he managed to pull off ER trips for a stick in his eye (within 15 minutes on arriving) at Yosemite, an ER visit in Clovis (which led to an ambulance ride and over night stay at Valley Children's Hospital) for a fractured skull and another ER visit for a smashed (almost fractured) thumb. He is our busy boy who I nick-named Curious Kayson at a young age. He loves life and has more energy than we know what to do with on most days. We feel so very blessed that his ER visits have all ended so well, especially his skull fracture. I know that The Lord was watching him closely that day and through his (the Lord's) will and the power or the Priesthood, Kayson's head was restored to its original, healthy state, with not permanent damage. I don't know if Kayson would have a "highlight" of his year because he lives everday as if it were the best day he's ever had, but Disneyland would be up at the top of his list.
Lily Bug has gone through such a growth spurt! I find myself doing double-takes when I look at her and how much she's growing. She started Pre-K at the elementary school and loves it. She was in dance for a few months and also played soccer for a few months. Her teacher's at school said she is such a great listener and is very aware of self control and can practice it when her classmates around her are not. They also said she is doing great with her letters and numbers, but mentioned that she often tries to sneak in a heart above the letter i in her name, which made me giggle. She is such a girly girl! She loves Friday night movie nights and is usually trying to countdown to it. She loves coloring and does it on a daily basis. She has also enjoyed playing School with whoever will listen (she's always the teacher) which is sometimes Kayson and usually stuffed animals. The highlights of Lily's 2013 are: her first soccer season, our many vacations, Friday night movie nights, ice skating and mini golfing for the first time on her dates with daddy, and Emma joining our family.
Jared had a year of change I'm 2013. He spent the year as Young Men's President in the youth program for our church. He loves the youth and does so well with them. I'm sure his only wish would be that he could have more time in his busy schedule to spend with them. He happily left corporate America to serve the city of Davis as a police officer. I was a little surprised when he began to revisit the idea, but I shouldn't have been. It always pulls him back. I think that's called fate, right? Anyway, he is an amazing police officer. In the 6 months he's been on with Davis, he's had citizens tell him how he's "different" from most cops. One homie gave him some street credit, telling him how cool he though he was and that if he ever saw him on the streets, he'd have his back, lol. He is different than most cops, and I don't think it's because of his newness to it all, it's just who he is. One thing that I LOVE about Jared is how non-judgemental and accepting he is of anyone. He comes home and tells me how he handled a certain situation that day and I fall more deeply in love with him because of his compassion and acceptance he has, even when seeing people at their lowest-low's or not their finest moment. I have full confidence in his abilities and know he will make a name for himself very fast.. Jared spent 2013 being an amazing father and husband. He is so family oriented that it makes me annoyed sometimes, if that makes sense. For example, if I want to go run an errand during family movie night (what mom would want to run errands kid free?) he becomes baffled that I'm leaving family movie night and gives me a hard time about it. Which irritates me at first, but then I stop and really think and know he's right. I have the rest of my life to run errands and go shopping and only a small portion of time to spend with my children. They will be grown up faster than I want them to, they already are. We've had people whose children are grown, with families of their own, tell us to cherish each moment because it goes by in the blink of an eye. I really dont know how Jared would have any regrets about his family-time, he is SO good about cherishing and living in the moment with the kids. I admire how fast he will stop what he is doing to give a horsey-ride, play Princess' or snuggle up with the kids. I dont even have to ask him what the highlights of 2013 were for him, I already know he say the many moments he got to spend with his family.
My year was much better than I imagined it to be. I entered into 2013 a little overwhelmed and hormonal (mostly hormonal, hehe) with the thoughts of having a 3rd child, balancing life, finances, working part time and Jared wanting to get new job. But once I gave my worries to my Heavenly Father, life got a lot easier (go figure!). And now as I sit and reflect on the year I feel guilty for ever having any negative thoughts or doubting the plan The Lord has for me and my family. He is SO involved in our lives and if we let listen and let him-he will guide us to the path he wants us to be on. I havent mastered any of the things I was overwhelmed about, im still trying to petfect the act of juggling it all. But 2013 will be a year I really cherish because of the many blessings that came my way. Of course there were trials and hardships but there are still blessings in those, like the very fact that we are not alone in those moments of disparity is a blessing in itself. There are too many highlights for me to narrow down. Motherhood is amazing. It is SO MUCH MORE than I dreamed it to be, which is saying a lot because I dreamed it to be so divine. I feel like I have found a huge piece of myself through being a Mother. It has taught me so much about myself--both strengths and weaknesses I never knew I had. Every day I have with my family is literally a highlight. They bring out the best in me (on most days) and I love serving them (on most days) :)
I look forward to 2014--not because I've set big resolutions or have high expectations for the year-but because it means more time I have to enhance my relationship with my Savior, date my husband, tickle and snuggle my children, improve myself, travel and cherish my family and friends. Oh and cant't forget, more juggling :)
Happy New Year!
Bring it on 2014