Baths are hit or miss with you. Sometimes it is a fight, nails digging into the floor the whole way, and sometimes you love it and laugh in there like it is the most magical place in the world.
I love it when it is the latter.
There was a day recently when you were even jovial enough in the bath to let me take pictures of you. I love these pictures. I.love.them.
I love that these pictures capture your joy and your real smile and everything that I love about you. This is you…the real you…the you that is hard to still in a photograph. The you that I really love to be around.
Back in September we had some unseasonably warm days. There were several of those days that I packed a picnic lunch, picked up Dayla from school, and headed to the beach for a couple hours. It was not like “me” at all to want to go to the beach or to be spontaneous like that, but once I realized how much the kids LOVED it, I had to keep going. Joy feeds joy.
Now it is January and the chill seems to be constantly on my bones so I am loving looking at the pictures and video I snapped of those warm September outings.
One of the things I have personally been working on in my life is trying to be more thankful. Dayla and I talk about being thankful a lot; I think defaulting to thankful is hard for both of us.
Right before Thanksgiving we had our neighbor Mya over for the day and the girls were excited to do a craft. The perfect time to reflect on being thankful! So we made turkeys with thankful feathers. Dayla’s things she was most thankful for that day: arts and crafts, turkeys, My Littlest Pet Shop, my new fish, birds that fly, and Nana & Grandpa & Grandma & Papa & Mama. (I am glad I made the cut!)
Photography takes all my time, attention, focus, and energy in the late summer and fall. It is no doubt become my busiest time of year, with more than half of my clients for the entire year in a 3 month time span (September-November). That being said, I think it is of no surprise that I have no time to blog on this family blog. However, fall had some firsts and some very fun times as a family, so I cannot let these pictures go unnoticed. I will do some of the bigger events in a post of their own (and post date them), but just for now I thought I would do a little recap of events that had less pictures.
Sebastian had his first sink bath:
Our friends Brooke and Marc tied the knot!
In September Daniel did his first Triathlon:
I celebrated my sisters on my annual sister trip:
We had some rain:
Dayla went on her first field trip…and I got to chaperon (another first!)…and it was both of our first time on a real school bus (another blog post to follow with all the pictures from that):
Sebastian learned to climb, and shortly after that learned to walk (in October, at 11 months old):
Dayla and Sebastian really start playing with each other:
And Sebastian’s first stitches (three above his right eye for taking a dive into the wooden rocking chair at 5am):
And of course, that is not even getting to all the joy and fun we had over the holidays! What a blessed life we lead. More fun to follow soon…
Sebastian, you love dirt and books. LOVE THEM. You are all boy. If you are outside then you are all smiles and the minute we pick you up to bring you inside you are throwing your head back, arching your back, stiffening your body into full tantrum status.
What better for a first birthday theme then one that involves books, a caterpillar, and being outside in the garden. It just seemed so perfectly “you”.
I had so much fun pulling together all the details for your “The Very Hungry Sebastian” party, knowing very well that you didn’t know the difference, but hoping that one day you could look back here and appreciate it. But I have to say, the real joy was having all the family and friends that drove many miles to be here to celebrate you. WE LOVE YOU SEBASTIAN!
The Very Hungry Sebastian (or The Very Hungry Caterpillar) First Birthday Party:
And what every first birthday is really about…the first cake:
I have to say that I wasn’t surprised that you didn’t really like eating the cake. I love (I mean LOVE) sweets, but when I was pregnant with you, I didn’t like them at all. Your first birthday cake brought you smiles mostly because you liked the way it felt squishing in your hands. You funny boy.
A year ago you came into the world, all 10 pounds 11oz of you. What a day; a day I will never forget.
Two years ago this month, I had finally given up hoping for another baby to enter my life. After two years of hoping for a brother or sister for Dayla, after two years of hearing Dayla pray almost every night for a baby brother, after two years of dreaming of your face and your little hands, after two LONG years….I decided to pray to God, “If it is not in your desire for me to have another child, I am okay with that, but please just take the desire and longing from my heart.”
I never did stop longing for you, and now here you are, in our arms, as precious as can be.
Just one year ago I got to look at your face for the first time; oh how I dreamed of that perfect, heavenly moment. I got to hold you on my bare chest and feel your heart beat against mine. I got to see your foggy little newborn eyes look into mine. There is no moment sweeter than that.
I never did write your birth story; how I was supported by 4 wonderful women and your dad in bringing you into this world. And how I, with the help of God and some wonderful nurses and a midwife, pushed you into the world, all 10 pounds 11 oz of you. One day I will have to write it. I love the story. I love it mostly because your life started with you surrounded by support, faith, and a whole lot of love. I love it because from the beginning you have been changing people’s lives.
Sebastian. Today you are one. You are walking, full of laughter and life. You love dirt, sticks, balls, outside, climbing, wrestling, and drumming everything in sight. You follow your sister everywhere and she can make you laugh like no one else can. But it is not one sided, you have her heart too. She can be in full tantrum, melt down, then sees out of the corner of her eye, you doing something funny…and laughter breaks out all around. You are a joy and a light to our lives my little one. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for you.
When Dayla wanted to go as Ariel from the Little Mermaid I tired to contain my excitement…cause you know what that meant Sebastian had to be? We got a lobster costume from a friend (Sebastian in the Little Mermaid is actually a crab) and called it close enough.
I had no idea what to expect when being a part of Dayla’s first field trip with her class. I had heard about this pumpkin patch years ago and I had always really wanted to go. It is really a dairy farm where they teach kids all about the farm and let them climb a cotton seed mountain and climb on farm equipment..and they throw a few pumpkins in the mix too. I am usually hesitant to accompany Dayla on things such as this because she behaves so much better without me there, but I threw caution to the wind, tossed out my pride, and decided to go. I am so glad I did! This pumpkin patch/dairy farm was a TON of fun!
The class picture when we first got there is below. Everyone smiling and ready for the day…and Dayla? Not in a picture taking mood quite yet.
They start the tour off by teaching you how pumpkins grow:
Then everyone gets a hay ride to tour the farm and meet the cows:
After the hay ride, there is non-stop games and fun to partake in. Learning to milk a cow, to sliding down cotton seed mountain, a hay maze, a petting zoo, farm equipment to climb on, a play ground to play on, darts, water games, shuffle board, duck pond, and so much more!
Right before it is time to leave, all the kids got to take home a pumpkin…any pumpkin they wanted! Of course all the pumpkins were pretty much the exact same, but the kids delighted in being able to pick their favorite; “the best” one.
And we ended the day with another class picture. Note how exhausted all the kids look. Yeah, it was a that much fun there! (Also I can’t help but notice that Dayla is the tallest girl in her class and how well you can see that here in this picture)
The smell of BBQ’s, freshly cut lawns, marigolds, basil, and yes even the smell of hot vinyl when you open the car door. [All my favorite smells.] That rush of heat that you feel when you walk out of an air conditioned building; not a trace of any chill I have ever had in my body. The warm nights. The sound of laughter and splashing coming from the neighbors pool. Seeing my girl wearing her bathing suit 5 out of 7 days. Her tousled, stringy, summer blond hair against the deep bronze of her skin. Watching an entire watermelon disappear from our house in one afternoon. Picking fresh tomatoes and eggplants and basil from the garden. The sweet smile on her face after she has just acquired an ice cream from the ice cream truck: like life will never get better than it is right there, in that moment. Watching Bash crawl around in nothing but a diaper 5 out of 7 days…watching his “baby” face vanish before my eyes and his “boy” face start to appear.
All of my favorite things are starting to slowly fade away as the sun sets a little earlier and the kids head to school.
Oh summer. How you have my heart. You will be missed.