Last week we celebrated Owen’s 2nd birthday! Happy Birthday to our sweet Owen! You have filled our lives with so much joy and love!!

For Owen’s party this year we got to be back in Texas and celebrated with Seth’s side of the family. Owen’s 4 cousins came over and we did it up with a puppy themed party.
















The kids made collars for their craft and wore felt floppy ears. Aunt Sara painted their noses black! We had a houseful of cute pups! While they crafted they munched on dog food (ie peanut butter Captain crunch)







Seth led the kids in a Simon days game with fog commands. Owen pretty much toddled around watching the bigger kids and enjoying the extra attention.







For dinner we served hot dogs and puppy dog tails (ie curly fries) in big plastic dog bowls. Each kid got their own bowl and thought that was pretty fun!

























Er had his party a day early and headed to the farm on his real birthday. So on the morning of his real birthday he got to go with Seth to pick out his first ever doughnut! He approved!







Happy Birthday O!


ps-We are loving our time in Texas….and I am obviously falling way behind on blogging!! Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!


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6 years!

6 years ago this afternoon Seth and I were married!! It was a rainy December afternoon, the cake was half-cooked, the church looked gorgeous with hanging lanterns and fresh greenery and I was the happiest girl to be getting married that day.  I can honestly remember smiling bigger than I have ever smiled in my life as I walked down the aisle. As I was driving the other day I was thinking about our Anniversary and got teary-eyed. No, I am not pregnant. Just so thankful.

My joy was so huge on the day I married Seth mostly because I was so keenly aware that I loved Seth so much and that he loved me with a love no one else had. This is by no means a slight to my family and friends who have shown me love for years and years. But still Seth’s love is different. Seth’s faithfulness, patience and keep calm and carry on have led us through some dark times and some wonderfully fun times.

Our 6th year has been a great one!! We made no international moves, had no new children and had a lot of normal weeks!! (I don’t mean by any means that having children is a bad thing but it is a HUGE thing and most of our married years have included pregnancy or a newborn!) We have had some date nights and celebratory times but mostly just life. And it has been so needed.

Looking forward to more of this adventure. I know we have many more joys and trials to walk through together. Rain or shine, he’ll still be mine!! Happy Anniversary, Seth!

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As Owen would call them. For those of you that don’t speak Owen that would be “boots” and “balloons”! And for those of you that don’t speak Jackson those other words refer to the Statue of Liberty!  As we approach the busy season of holidays and travel I thought it was a good time to sit down and reflect on what our boys are into and up to these days! Owen is turning 2 this month and Jackson will be 4 1/2.

Owen ,the “baby” is turning the big 2!!!! And he is rockin’ our world. As with most other almost 2 year olds the joys are oh so joyous and the hiccups are oh so tumultuous!  When he loves he loves with all of his might and when he fights..well you get the idea.   Owen loves balls and has developed a pretty good throw! He also enjoys animals, dogs being his all time favorite! He will be having a puppy party this year with his cousins in Texas! Owen has just begun to show more interest in building with legos and the train set. Previously he was content to toss them around while Jackson played but he now wants to really make them work. He sees them as avenues to his brothers heart so he is trying so hard to be good at them too!  And goodness me we pray those magnets match up to make the trains stick together…..because he will let you know if they don’t. Owen has lots of new words and then a whole lot of paragraphs in his own language.  His latest words are “pretty”, “pumpkin”, “boops” /boots, “purple”, “pink”, “bue”/blue, “yellow”, “geen”/green,  “I too”/ me too, “mine”….oh wait, that is not new, it’s just CONSTANT!, “nein”, “ne”/”no” in German, “cool”, “doctor”, “snow”, and “ice”. He is trying to sing along with songs now and imitates counting with Jackson….although mostly in his own translation. He has turned into a better eater over the past few months…depending on his mood!  He gets served what we eat and he can decide if it is to his liking. One of the toughest parts of having a house guest is their observance of us carrying out discipline and routines. Owen loves the extra attention and takes advantage of someone watching, particularly at dinner time. Unfortunately for the rest of the diners mom and dad are sticking to our guns.  Daddy is Owen’s hero these days. Really he has been for a long time but over the past month he has transitioned into the role more of a little boy and needs mommy much less.







And the J man?! Well, he is continuing on his energetic little boy trend. He is eating us out of house and home and burning off those calories between meals. Jackson enjoys music, dressing up, fighting off intruders, building, talking, friends, and going to school. Today he was looking over my shoulder as I checked a blog and he asked who that person was, I told him it was a friend. He said “moooooom, you have so many friends and I only have a few”. He is a lover of people! Jackson and Seth just finished the book “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”  and they are currently reading through “The Children’s Book of Virtues”. Like Owen, Jackson loves his daddy so much and cherishes these reading times.   Jackson’s favorite foods are spaghetti and meatballs and thai food. He  reminds me about how my mom’s thai food is the best but he still seems to enjoy mine too.  A couple of weeks ago when my cousin offered to make thai food Jackson was so thrilled and said, “how did Nathan know that is my second favorite food?” He’s precocious alright! Jackson keeps us on our toes with questions and “why?”s.  My cousin Jenny sent me a quote today that sums but Jackson’s current pastime…”The average four year old asks about four hundred and thirty-seven questions a day”.










This picture makes me think Jackson looks like my brother Ryan! Gotta love a 4 yr old in skinny jeans, construction gear and wrong-foot frog boots!

And these pictures capture their friendship!



















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Well the bags are mostly packed and the house is *mostly*clean. We head out tomorrow for Texas/DC. When we debated last year on when to go home and decided to save extra vacation time to do a longer trip now I was bummed to not go home for Christmas. But now that the time has come, I am so thankful we saved Seth’s vacation time and that we have long enough to recover from jetlag, see both sets of parents, some of our siblings, nieces, nephews and friends!  The trip with the boys is a bit daunting but I must admit that at this point we are both too excited to be thinking about how the boys will do. And may I unashamedly say that after hosting 26 house guests over the past 14 months that I am so excited to be a guest!!!! The thought of our moms cooking and me not cooking enjoying is so exciting!!!

Before we hit the road or rather the runway I wanted to post a few pictures from Jackson’s Christmas programs…one was a quick 5 songer at the preschool Christmas market on Sunday…













jack with his teachers, Jamie, Fatima and Rachel

The second program was the church nativity that the kids acted out. Jackson started out as a shepherd and midway through the service before he went on stage I noticed he had talked the teacher into letting him “upgrade” to a wiseman!  It was a family service and the irony of it is that these family services are the toughest on families. Owen in particular. He just can’t sit for 1 hour and 45 mins plus. I peeled 4 oranges before leaving the house thinking I would sneak him a slice now and again to pacify him if things got desperate….he ate 2 oranges during the first song if this gives you any indication of how our evening went. We ended up slipping out before the sermon even began because Owen was beyond oranges, lights going off and on, and being held down and quiet.










shepherd turned wiseman























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