Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Monday, March 29, 2010

Birthday party....

What an awesome weekend! Kim and I are very tired (Kim was brilliant this weekend) but it was all worth it. Thank you so much to everyone that came and your generosity to Reese and our family in general is so very humbling. We are truly blessed to be living with this little girl in our lives and hope that she will have at least 100 more birthdays.

Kim and I are very, very blessed. Thank you so much God. Thank you for the best year of our lives.

 (We completely thugged that cake design so if it looks familiar in blog land...that's matched our colors. What can we say? And mucho thanks to Charity for making it. Delish!)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Birthday letter from Daddy...


I simply never knew that I could love someone so quickly and so completely as I love you. You have changed our lives forever and I'm so very proud to be your Daddy. I love your beautiful smile, your mischievous grin, the way you wake up in such a great mood, the way you go down for bedtime so spent from a day of learning about this new world of yours.

You make everything ok sweetie. You are simply the light of my life.

I hope that one of these days when you understand what these words mean, you'll look back on your life and share nothing but amazing memories of growing up in a home where happiness was abundant. I have so many hopes and dreams for you and I pray every night that you would simply live a charmed life. No stress, no harm, no fear, no pain. Only good things....only the best. That's what I want for you sweetie.

In one've changed so much and you've changed me so much. I smile more, I love more, I laugh more, I pray more. One year ago tonight, I fed you for the very first time and while your Mommy was recovering from delivering you I had everything that I could have ever dreamed for in that room. My family, my wife, and my baby girl.

Happy Birthday sweetie. You'll never comprehend how much I love you and what lengths I'll go through for you. You and your Mommy are my everything and I love my girls so much.


Birthday letter from Mommy....

The day we found out I was pregnant with you was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I was absolutely over the moon knowing that I was going to be a “Mommy” for the first time. From the very first moment I saw you, I fell in love.
You have brought so much joy and happiness to our lives. I catch myself staring at you at times while you’re playing or asleep and just thinking of how lucky we are to have you as our daughter. You are such a good natured baby with the best little personality that continues to develop every day.
It is the small things in life that mean the most:
  • Your smile first thing in the morning when we walk in your room
  • Seeing you sit in your own little chair reading/looking at books.
  • The way you blow kisses Mmmmmmaaaahhh! J
  • Your cute little way of soothing yourself (smelling the sleeve of your shirt).
Where has the time gone??? I cannot believe it has been one year from the day you were born. This year has absolutely flown by. It seems like yesterday that we were bringing you home from the hospital and wondering if we knew what we were doing. Now today, we seem to have adapted to a schedule which seems to work but we all know that it is subject to change at any time. Just when Mommy and Daddy think they have you all figured out…you throw us curve ball to keep us on our toes.
Happy Birthday my precious angel! I love you more than you will ever know, and I thank God every day for blessing us with such a sweet, healthy, beautiful baby girl.
I love you!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Time for reflection....

If you're like me and scan the sides of others blogs to see what they find interesting or who they tend to follow you'll notice that I've added a website called Caring Bridge / Shane Richardson. I went to school with Shane Richardson and while he may never recall me or remember me....he was several years older than I in school...I still know his name and recognize his face. Growing up in Calhoun, GA almost guarantees that you'll have some connection with a person if you know that much about them.

Shane's father taught Driver's Ed at our school. He had been around for many years and as best I recall his father taught at Calhoun High School while my Mom and Dad were there - I could be a little off there but suffice it to say in a town as small as know folks. I happened upon a post from another childhood friend of mine on Facebook tonight and she noted that Shane has cancer and had been sent home for hospice care. I looked at his website and fell numb to the voracity with which an initial cough turned into one thing and then another. October of 2009 to now....and Shane is being sent home for pain management and quality time with his family.

Marinate on that for a minute. Shane is 38 years old. Three years older than me.

We follow another blog here called Lots of Scotts and the lady that writes about her triplets and doctor husband finds that her heart is overwhelmed recently with so much cancer......I too share that feeling. One of my co-workers found last week that his little six year old boy has Leukemia. It is treatable but his son has cancer at six. I read Lots of Scotts and read about her friend Sweeny that is similar in age as Shane and has Stage IV Cancer....Melanoma I believe. Another friend at work...his mother was treated recently and given a good bill of health and now...cancer...its back.

I'm reflecting on this briefly because my little girl turns one on Saturday and this has been the best year of my life. It really has. I don't know if its Reese or if its age but I'm slowly learning that I am not bullet proof. My earthly body is fragile....flawed...weak and unable to sustain itself for long periods on this earth. We're designed to wear out...and move on to greater things. But that calls to question, how worthy am I to move on at this point in my life? I told Kim tonight that if God called me tonight and said, C'mon son...let's go. Who am I to say No God...I want to stay here with my family? But I do. Who am I to say no to Glory and stay on this earth? But I love my wife and little girl and I want to see them grow God....I want to love them up close and not from far away....albeit in Heaven. Is that wrong? Is that backwards? Could I even earn a chance to experience God's grace in heaven or am I just fooling myself?

I want to live many happy years on this earth with my family. I want to see Reese grow and a little brother or sister fall into her footsteps as well. I want to be a proud father and grandfather. I want to protect my wife and show her love all the days that stand beside her. I just want my family to be ok.....

I asked Kim tonight if she ever worries about things being too good sometimes. I mean sure..I could go for some more job security and a little more money. Some flat abs and Honey do list that is small. I'd like to take some good vacations and see a little more of this world that I live on. But what matters most is my family and their health. I love my little family. I want nothing but the best for them. I would sacrifice everything I own to make life easier for Kim and Reese. But reading the words on the journal that Shane's wife writes is like pressing searing metal into my heart....In all honesty Shane is an acquaintance but reading his journal this evening, he became more. I'll be praying for Shane and his family tonight and many nights to come. Please do so if you feel led. Pray for my family and pray for your own. God is listening....And it just feels as if he is working in my life so diligently right now. I have so much to be thankful for and all I do is gripe.

I think I'll change some things in honor of Reese's first year and in honor of the blessings He has given to me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Popping a squat....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The pillows have had it!!!

This time in Reese's life is by far the most interactive and resulting in the most laughs that we have enjoyed in her short year with us. It's pretty amazing to think that this little girl came into the world not being able to do anything on her own and now she is feeding herself finger foods, trying to manage a spoon with Mommy's help, holding her own bottle, walking, crawling, playing, dancing, and just enjoying life.

So....what did you do with your year? Did you learn a new language? Reese did....she can mimic us and finish basic words. Did you learn to eat using your feet? Well, Reese might as well have done this because her hands were about as foreign to her as our feet are to us in the beginning. Did you literally learn to contort your body in new ways so you could move around? Reese did. She rolled over, got on her knees, crawled and now walks. I can't even do a stinking back flip on dry land (I can in a pool) but Reese literally learned to use her body this year. Did your stomach adapt to an entirely new type of food? Reese's did...she is getting ready to ween off of the swill they call Formula and is eating solids in the span of 12 months. I didn't even try a new TYPE of food much less something totally new to my body.

I think sometimes Kim and I don't even realize that she is doing all of these wonderful things so quickly and that Reese must feel as though she's conquering the world! No wonder two year old fits start setting in because the learning curve slows down and then they realize that they are NOT, in fact, invincible. It is, however, pretty amazing that our complex bodies adapt so quickly to the surroundings we're placed in.

One of the newest and probably funniest treats that we get now is Reese and her affinity for pillows. Never mind the fact that our sofas are many years old and in we are in dire need of replacement pillows and sofas...Reese simply yanks pillows to the ground and then inflicts her will upon them. Its sort of sad in a way because those pillows don't stand a chance. Reese is the master of them and she will strike down on thee with FUUUUURIOUS vengeance (apologies to Pulp Fiction). But it sure is funny right now.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

DST Sucks....

I've lived for 30 something mind is leaving me because I can't even remember how old I am...and I've never really contemplated the uselessness of Daylight Savings Time. For a brand new parent....DST is simply something to screw with your schedule.

We've had a great thing going since November but all of the sudden something changed this weekend....the time.

In true form, Reese has been a champ with the changes but now her body clock is a little off. She sleeps until about 8am versus 7am and what's even stranger is that she'll go to bed basically a full hour earlier. So I'm sure the natural progression is to ask what's wrong with that. Well, nothing really. But I just don't see this lasting. Some how all good things come to an end and the new normal is what I'm afraid of. This is a case of the devil that you know is better than the devil that you don't.

7am wake ups were predictable. You could count on them. I don't think that I can count on this 8am business so I've decided to protest DST because while it has initially brought a decent run of "extra" sleep, I'm worried about that early wake up that will be coming....when we least expect it.

While I protest the time change and picket in my driveway...enjoy some Reese pics from this weekend...

Someone doesn't like her hair clippy.
 Tickle time....

How sweet is this?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

All together again!

Thank you Lord....this week is over.

Kim and I haven't had a week like this in a while. I hate not being able to see my family for days on end and I couldn't be happier about being home this weekend. Kim left on Monday and returned on Wednesday...I left on Wednesday and returned on Friday so we simply passed each other on Wednesday while Nana took care of Reese.

Saturday for us was pretty laid back. We were both very tired but I got out and spread pine straw and Kim picked up around the house. We got out this afternoon and went to Trader Joe's and ate at Outback. Sunday has me spreading more pine straw, hitting Target, Lowe's, Kohl's and maybe an outdoor shop that I've been kicking around. We might even get crazy and go up to Dawsonville to the Outlet Mall....Love that Pottery Barn Outlet up there.

I'll probably spend a little time working on our newest book and then after that...back up some photos. I mean this is what life is now...and I love it so long as my girls are around.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Super Dad?

I'm no Super Dad by any means but tonight was a reminder of what my wonderful wife does while I'm traveling...she is a Super Mom and an amazing wife and deserves to be appreciated out loud.

Kim rarely travels...but this is one of those weeks where her schedule and my schedule intertwined. I was supposed to travel last week but a surprise phone call to my new dermatologist and an impromptu appointment change for last week led me to cancel my trip. Now, I travel this week....but Kim has a deal that popped up like last second and now...she travels this week as well. We'll literally pass each other like strangers in the night on Wednesday as she comes in and I head out...and Nana fills the gap.

So back to Super Dad status...I don't know if this is what other Dad's do but I've sort of settled into this role of prep guy. Almost like a stage manager. I make sure bottles are ready, chow is lined up, hold the bag for the poopy diapers, take out the trash, wash clothes, wash bottles, play with Pooks, and anything else that needs random attention. PLEASE NOTE....Kim does all of these things as well but these are my specialties. Kim has been blessed with the patience of Job so she can actually feed Reese whereas I would have a coronary if I had to feed her regularly. All of the inadvertent swatting and arm swinging would mean the Hall's would own stock in Shout!. She cooks...I wash. I'll load laundry....neither one of us fold that well. Something about the folding....Anyway

Kim is the tip of the sword where I take a support role....all of the behind the scene stuff, but tonight...I'm stage manager, lead actor, and the guy in the front row. I'm everywhere all at once and Grand Pooba in charge of food, poop, and cleanliness. It's not rocket science...but it is a challenge sometimes.

The Daddy Daycare Olympics include picking up Reese from Daycare which was really uneventful but the car seat is not a friend of mine. I don't stand a chance to medal in that event so I sort of latch everything nice and tight and Reese protests...Chillax honey. Home is just around the corner. So we arrive home and get inside ready to feed baby girl....Again, a non-medal event for Adam but I put focus and determination into the event and end up getting a bronze. She ate well, we didn't wear anything that we ate, and she finished everything. A surprise to be sure and the judges scored me favorably for the food combo.

Next, go get Daddy something to eat. Uh...Chick-fil-a? Wendy's? No....Moe's. I'll go there with a little one and eat messy food. Long story short, Reese gets the medal here. Gold! She was awesome. A perfect little lady and didn't freak not even once when I went to get a drink refill....strategically located only steps away from our table. Dad, however, puts down a World record time for eating a Billy Barou and consuming a drink.

Come home...BATH TIME. I'll be brief. The child is clean....her hair is dry....and she has on clean clothes. Outside of that, Dad was a DNF. Oh, she got her bath but I don't think cleaning Daddy was the ultimate goal.

Last bottle of the night and bedtime....another Gold. She killed her bottle and went down like a dream. She is truly a joy and while washing bottles sucks and being a bachelor doesn't mean what it used to in terms of coming and going how I please....I wouldn't change it for the world. I love being Reese's daddy and we miss Mommy dearly but we've got this thing.....KIND OF.....covered.

Yeah...Mommy is amazing and Daddy is soooo not worthy. Love ya sweets....

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Inspiration from a blog?

Blogging is different from Facebook or Myspace or any of that other stuff. Blogging is opening up your life through pictures and paragraphs in an almost unedited and oddly "safe" format. I don't have to shove my thoughts down your throat because you came here to check us out...Facebook...not so much ---- although I will admit a new found appreciation for the site that I once despised. My point is that I can open up my mind in the written format and sort of offer tidbits of wisdom, humor, sarcasm, or even inspiration.

Well, we've found a bit of inspiration in two blogs that we follow....I'll share thoughts on the other blog later but I'd like to suggest you stop in to read about a couple named Katie and Jason. Their blog, Katie's Keepers, highlights what seems to be a phenomenon in Arkansas....talented women with inspirational souls seemingly connected via blogs and colleges. It's an interesting trend that they have going there in Arkansas but what makes Katie's blog inspirational for the way she writes about the birth and loss of her daughter last August. The little girl died the day before my birthday and her name is Reese. I say her name IS versus WAS because Katie keeps this little girl's memory alive in her heart and on her blog. Her faith in God is stirring because she praises versus lashing out in a way that is simply moving and her words make us eternally grateful for our little Reese.

When we picked the name Reese, we enjoyed the fact that her name wasn't overly popular so when we hear the sort of links you some how....does that make sense? Katie was able to have pictures made in the hospital before her daughter passed and these pictures conjure up our own experiences in the hospital almost one year ago with our little Reese. Her words are powerful and inspirational....she is truly touching lives by living and posting about it on her blog. We love Reese so much, but when we see and read the story that Katie makes us appreciate our blessings with more intensity.

This family is now expecting another child in July. A little boy to be born shortly before the one year anniversary of their Reese's birth and passing. We all know that time heals all wounds but we know from her words that this mother will never heal completely from the loss of a little girl gone too soon.

Inspiration from a blog....I only hope that someone can find inspiration from my life. I probably need to change some things and I believe following the example laid out by this young woman is a good place to start.

Tons of updated pics on the Year in the Life blog...

Check out updated pics

We got a little behind.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I love the smell of snow....

Well, I guess its really the fireplaces burning wood that I really like but I always associate that smell with brisk winter nights with the world covered in snow. I'm sort of done with winter but one last snow rolled through today....or so it would seem this is it....and it's just neat to sit and stare at your normal world covered in white.

The contours of the ground are visible at night with nothing more than moonlight shining in the sky. Rough edges are smoothed over, kids are out playing in the cold air, and that smell.....smoke rolling from a fireplace and filling the air with a smell that is undoubtedly winter. I'm looking so forward to some warmer weather but today was nice. It was nice to watch snow fall all morning and not really worry about the roads....Although wet and drizzly, the precipitation was frozen and perfect enough for a snow loving southerner.

With winter outside the window...I got the 11 month collage completed and grabbed a couple of other pics to show off of little Reese....enjoy. And stay warm.
The collage isn't even in terms of months so it sort of made sense to pair the most recent with one of the very first at the bottom.

I just got lucky that you can read the paper and she was sort of looking in the right direction...

Reese and Mommy being cute...

I love the hands bundled up next to her face....She was sort of being cute versus just having them up there. She turned to look my way but the pic blurred out or I would have had a keeper pic.

Good night all!