Dayla’s love and affection for Sebastian melts my heart on a daily basis. And it is not just one sided! Sebastian tracked Dayla’s voice before he tracked ours. He stops crying for her just as fast as he does for me (if not faster). I keep waiting for the ball to drop, for her to hit him or tell me how much she doesn’t like him, but I tell you as of right now this girl has had nothing but affection for her baby brother. I know there will probably be days to come with kicking and screaming and slamming of doors… I am not naiive, I have 6 siblings…but I think in a way that is what makes this time all the more special. I think it is so beautiful that the beginning of their relationship is affection, joy, and love. And on the day when he breaks her most beloved toy or she knocks down his lego tower, I hope that somehow, some way, their hearts will remember these days. I hope they always remember that their first days together were filled with laughter and hugs.
It was a bit of a whim really, but all the pieces just seemed to line up so perfectly. I am on maternity leave from work (so I have the time), the dates worked for them, the tickets were cheap (since it is COLD there), Sebastian is the perfect traveling age, and it has been entirely too long since we have seen each other. And so that is how this story began.
On February 8th, Sebastian took his first plane trip and he and I flew to Minnesota to visit our good friends, Beth and Justin (and their kids Haley and Matt).
I don’t know much about Minnesota besides that it is cold there, and that the Mall of America is there. So of course I was ecstatic to experience both!
Day one was the Mall of America. It is definitely huge and impressive with it’s theme park in the middle.
5.7 degrees and with the wind chill it was said to “feel like -3 degrees” Brrrr. It was fun to experience for a bit; stings the toes and bites the nose is a VERY appropriate description of that kind of cold. I also really liked learning how they have different things to make life easier with the cold (for example the mall has lockers where you put in all your coats and winter gear while you shop) and liked seeing that girls there still do wear dresses (I was wondering what Dayla would do if we lived there) just with tights and jackets and Ugg boots to make dresses a real option.
Here is Sebastian all bundled up for the cold:
On day two we went to “The conservatory” which had a tropical plant area, zoo animals (inside) and a beautiful building with a glass roof (that made it a perfect place to take pictures!) It was so fun and so beautiful.
Beth loves to take pictures, so this is the view I saw a lot. I was happy to see that my Dayla is not the only kid who gives her picture taking mama a hard time. 😉
I couldn’t help but jump in and want to capture the beautiful model in this beautiful place with the perfect light too.
And every photographer mama wishes that she had more pictures with her own kids, so I didn’t hesitate to ask Beth and Haley to jump into the yummy light so I could capture these:
Day three we hung around the house and then took a trip to the store “Archivers”. Beth and I used to scrapbook with our friend Kristy (a scrapping trio if you will) and every time we scrapped together we would hear Beth sing praises of the store Archivers: a store in her home town and the “best scrapbook store ever”. Of course I had to go check it out. $37 dollars and two hours later, I admitted to Beth it indeed is an AWESOME store. 🙂 I don’t have any pictures of Archivers, but I did capture some of our jammy time in the house.
One of the sweetest things was the way that Matt took care of Sebastian while we were there. Matt is just two, but he was SO interested in Sebastian and loved to “take care” of him by bringing him toys and rocking his chair and watching my every move. It just melted my heart so of course I had to capture a pic of Sebastian and his buddy together:
An awesome trip! The only bad part about it was having to leave. Beth and I were pregnant together with our firsts (Dayla and Haley were born just two days apart) and when Haley was just 6 months old Beth and Justin decided to do missions work in Austria. There have been so many times since they left that both Daniel and I have missed them, but being with them helped me to remember how amazing they truly are, and just how dear they are to my heart. And of course Haley reminds me so much of the girls here so I wish they could all be friends. Dayla has told me more than once (when she sees pictures of Haley), “I am sure we would be the best of friends”…and I know in my heart that would be true. And now Sebastian and his buddy Matt. Oh how we wish you were here Higgins family! For now, we will just enjoy our pen pals…and plan our next trip!
Thank you Beth and Justin for your hospitality and for a wonderful time! I loved meeting your littles and loved spending precious time with you! Until next time…
Although I had heard it was possible, I definitely doubted I could love another as much as I love Dayla, but it is true. My heart has grown twice the size and it overflows with love for our little guy.
The joy I had as a first time parent was overwhelming. So much of that joy came from “look what we created!” I studied each hand, each foot, each breath, and each hair on her head, amazed that somehow that little being came out of me. Each “first” and exciting moment brings a sense of joy and pride…”Look at my girl!”
With Sebastian the joy feels different. It feels less about me. I have so much more clarity that he is in fact not mine at all, that I did not create him, God did and He is just letting me hold him for a little while. As I study his hands, feet, breath, and each hair on his head, the reality of what a miracle he is encases each thought I have. I don’t know if it is because we waited and longed for him for what felt like an eternity, or if it is just the nature of the second child. However the way, I know in the depths of my heart that this little baby is my answered prayer (time and time again) and with each day I feel so blessed and lucky to be holding him in my arms.
I love having a second. I love the clarity that comes with it, the perspective, the lack of fear, the joy in each moment. I love that I know that the hard moments are going to be gone before I know it and that the sweet ones will too.
I love the way he lays right now on me when he sleeps: so limp, so trusting. He somehow knows that he doesn’t have to hold on, that there is no way his mama will drop him; I just love that. (Captured by Daniel)
I love you little Bash.
Daniel decided it would be fun for the kids to have a clubhouse and I loved the idea! Turns out that he and I saw the term “clubhouse” very differently though. What I thought would be a small little platform turned into a small HOUSE. As Daniel slowly built it over the month of January, my jaw began to drop open. It is finished now, it is absolutely beautiful, Daniel did an amazing job, and I know the kids will love it and use it for years to come!
Here are some of the pictures of it going up…