Thursday, August 29, 2013

Christian's First Birthday

One year ago I found myself here. Contracting, laboring, and waiting out those last few hours before I was to meet my second child. My son. 
Nothing can prepare you for the moment that you see your baby for the first time. You don't know what he is like, you don't know how he will impact your family, your schedule, your sanity. But you don't really care about those things. In that moment time is still, every one of your senses takes in what is happening. As your eyes study that face and happy tears start to fall. Everything is raw and real and you are truly living in the moment, because nothing is better than this.
We named him Christian Clark. A name, when we uttered out loud for the first time, fit so perfectly that I refused to acknowledge that any other name existed.  We got acquainted that day, with each other, as a family. Each one of us expanding our hearts and growing as we fell in love with this tiny little bundle.
Those memories are so strong. I remember kissing those tiny soft lips for the very first time. "Hello baby." But on that day I had no idea where we would be a year from then. I didn't know the struggles, the frustrations, the peace, the love, and ultimately the growth that would occur in our family the year after Christian was born.

There is something special about this boy. I don't really know how to describe it. But the three of us fell hard for him. Aside from a few eating struggles Christian has always been peaceful and mellow. 

It was a rough year. Aside from the standard discomforts of growing and learning how to be a family of four, we waded through some crazy schedules, and struggles. We were definitely thrown into the refiners fire this year, although sometimes it just felt like we were on fire running around like crazy people trying to put it out. But through all of the chaos there was a calm, snuggly, and loving little boy. His personality seemed to balance out the hectic. I honestly think he was meant to come at this time in our lives. If he was just as crazy as the rest I'm sure we would have imploded somehow. 
He is no perfect angel child, but he is perfect for our family. We thank Heavenly Father for this sweet boy everyday.
The night before his first birthday I snuck in to capture one last baby shot of him and soak in his less-than-one-year-old molecules.
Grace and I snuck into his room in the morning and sang him Happy Birthday. Our bashful boy smiled and hid his face as we serenaded him with our groggy morning voices.

Unfortunately, due to us going out of town, we had to take Christian to his one year doctors appointment on his birthday. Nothing says happy birthday quite like getting stabbed with needles....
We grabbed lunch at Wing Stop in honor of the main food I craved when I was pregnant with him.
While the kids napped I got to making Christian's cake. I wasn't sure if he would be a vanilla fan or a chocolate fan, but I found this nifty little cake mix that let me have both. (Side note: this was the best cake from a box that I have ever had)
After presents we got set up in the backyard for Christian to smash some cake.
He just stared at it, every once in awhile picking at the frosting.
He got more into it as he ate more frosting.
We put the cake closer to him. And he didn't attack it. So, we just threw the cake in his lap.
After a couple of bites he was done. Although not a huge cake destruction but still a job well done.
Our city does a Freedom Festival every year on the 3rd of July, complete with fireworks that night. We got dressed in our patriotic best and headed to a friends house to watch the show.

Christian's first fireworks show

Grace was a fan

It was a pretty fabulous way to end his very first birthday
To our Christian Clark

Happy Birthday
We love you!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

June in All Its Glory

There are so many pictures in this post that the words will just be lost. I'll keep things brief. But here you go.

While the flu was raging in our little family we kept things low key. Christian's favorite pastime was getting into the toilet. Such a stinker.

I love these mountains.

Did I mention that Christian also loves pulling books off of the shelf?
Family members started flying in and we gathered together to eat, and inevitably share the flu.
I came across a few gems as we sifted through family pictures. Aaron was a man of many hair styles.
Baby Aaron looks so much like Christian to me
Finally came the night before the wedding. We were set and ready to go.
But wait! My pictures are out of order so you'll have to hang in suspense while some other activities are discussed. My kids love going with Papa to feed the ducks and the horses.

My beautiful mother-in-law

Oh, we're now back to the wedding festivities. Before the wedding a few of us grabbed breakfast together.
Joe's final meal as a bachelor.
Magelby's french toast never disappoints.
The Wedding

Introducing Mr and Mrs. Joe Barnard!

My sister in law and her adorable baby bump

My lovely sister in laws

The Barnard side of the family
At the reception with the Bride.
Uncle Quang is known as the Baby Whisperer. He got Christian to sleep for 2 and 1/2 hours at church. Miraculous.
Later Sunday evening I surprised Jillian by showing up on her doorstep unannounced. I love this girl.
Jane sneaking snacks.

Visiting Grandee while she works as a service missionary
Cecial hit 11 months
Dinner with Jillian

It was delicious
I don't think Jane could be any cuter. That smile just melts me.
This is what happen when you ask two toddlers to smile
Playing with his Daddy's old matchbox car collection
Na na na na na na na na BAT GRACE!

I was able to go visit a friend of mine who lives close by here.
Grace and Grace
Grace was days away from having her baby, so I asked if I could snap a few maternity pictures before he was born.

Dinner at Hires Big H--- A must.

Visiting with Aunt Rachel and Uncle Jake

Go Utes!

I think its safe to say my kids were a little tired by the end of the day. Rhyming unintended.
With all of the other mischief that Christian was getting himself into, he also learned how to climb upstairs
Cafe Rio with the Coons. Perhaps this is a foreshadowing of the future? Eh, Jillian?
After Cafe Rio we hit up the pool

Nap time

Its crazy to think about how much has changed since we were roommates Freshmen year.
Dinner in the park

Hello kiddos!

Grace brought this to me. "Look Mommy, its a crown!" Maybe she hasn't quite harnessed all of her Bat Grace powers
Gracie looooooooves her Uncle Jake.

The weather was gorgeous the whole time we were there. So we tried to spend lots of time outside.

Homeboy love him some beans

Party hard... sleep hard
This boy.....

I love catching up with Diana every time we're in Utah. She and I are friend soul mates.

Grace and Ella friends since 2009
I got to meet Davis for the very first time. And I couldn't get enough of him.
Christian and Davis, future best friends.
6 kids, 2 adults, 1 van. And of course, lunch at chick fil a.
Later I drove back up to SLC to meet Graham and Lauren's baby the Gipper, also known as baby Arthur. Such a snuggly little bug.

Trey happened to be in town as well so we had a mini reunion of sorts.
Christian loves his Uncle Trey
Grace was into taking novels with her everywhere we went. Trey read a few pages to her. She was in heaven.
My sister Ashby and her family made a last minute trip to Utah. She told me when she arrived, so on my way home from SLC I stopped by to surprise them.
The next day we visited with my aunt, uncle and Grandpa, Papa J
Uncle Alan and Christian

I spent the rest of the day with my sister and her family

That night as a farewell my in-laws and I headed out to get some frozen yogurt.

Sporting their BYU gear. Go Cougars!
The morning before we left for Dallas we got one last breakfast in with the Hatches and the Coons
Awkward photo, but the best part is the Jane photo bomb!
Grace, Lily, and Lucas
Our flight back home. MUCH better than the flight there.

My one flight casualty
Getting all our new BYU gear out

Grace caught another stomach flu that the Hatches got in Arizona. She had a pretty nasty day and I was not quite ready for round two of the stomach flu so I pounded airbornes. Amazingly I just had crazy nausea but no throwing up.
Settling back in to life at home.

Grace's bus
The best combination ever.
Craft time. I went a little overboard. I swear the craft supplies are for Grace.
Aaron was in New York City for three weeks the first part of his internship. It overlapped with our trip to Utah which is why we went for so long. He updated us with pictures

I cried over how far apart we were
But we talked and skyped often

Sadly we spent father's day apart, but we tried our best to make our favorite man feel special
Grace wrote him a note.
And finally, after 4 long weeks apart, Aaron was home!!

And we kicked our summer festivities into high gear

And then came the Texas heat. I was definitely summer now.