Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Treasuring the Present: Pajama Parties

Tracey Ann is not sleeping well these days.  We've been readying a lot about how she is at an age where her brain is developing on overload, and her mind, in all likelihood, cannot turn off when she lays down to go to sleep.  Also, it is possible she is teething, but we're not sure.

That being said, today I am treasuring these late nights where Daddy and Mama and Tracey Ann have pajama parties in Mama and Daddy's bed.

We are getting much sleep, and I will be glad when this season is over... but today I am treasuring it because it is sweet and beautiful.

Some nights, we even have both Lexie and Lloyd in our bed, too.  Our entire family on our little (and getting littler) queen-sized island, safe and warm and happy -- and awake.

Our whole crew...

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Lessons from College

My freshman year of college was amazing. 

So many new friends, new experiences, new traditions -- it was so exciting.  Once I joined a sorority, I remember gushing about how amazing college was, and one of my older sisters commented that freshman year is awesome -- and every year after is different.

I remembered thinking she was crazy.
She was completely correct.

Freshman year of college was amazing -- and it was one of a kind.  All the freshman lived in one location on campus, and we were hungry -- hungry for friendships, for college life, for learning, for everything.
Sophomore year was very different -- all about our respective fraternities and sororities, which was a very special year in its own way.
Junior year was when I (and many of my classmates) studied abroad.  It was a wonderful year of being an upper-classman, really working hard toward one major, and totally knowing the ropes.
Senior year was about savoring the last year.  It was about memories with your friends for the last time -- sort of a time when I grew out of the sorority, lived off campus, and began to make plans for post-college.

Nothing was ever the same as freshman year.

This lesson from college is why I am not naive enough to believe I will always be able to dote on my children the way I can dote on Tracey Ann these days... but, at present, I LOVE to dote on Tracey Ann.

She is just my little side-kick.  She is my favorite hobby, the best book I've ever read, the most rewarding project I've ever worked on.  I love to just spend hours and hours and hours with her.

I know I will love future children in intense and amazing ways... but the seasons of life will be different from when I just had one little eight-month old of whom to take care.

There is no doubt, I will love my children equally -- but this is a very special time when I can devote my full attention to one growing, curious, perfect baby.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014


How have I been so late to the party on discovering The Duggars -- the family behind 19 Kids and Counting?

I had it on this week while I was in the kitchen... and now I am completely addicted!

I have heard of the family, but now I am fully on their bandwagon.

Here's one clip about their family -- but it only features 2 of their 19 children, so make sure you tune into more.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Manna From Heaven

When I headed back to work this fall, I struggled with the fact I didn't have an entire freezer stocked full of breast milk.  I had maybe a dozen bags -- maybe, and I had major anxiety as to whether the breast milk would hold out and whether I would produce enough milk on my work days to restock the supply.

My first week back to work, I was able to pump about 10 ounces/day, and Tracey Ann drank 15-20 ounces/day.  It doesn't take a math genius to understand that this wasn't going to work.

I quickly encouraged the nanny to cap the milk she was giving to Tracey Ann during the day at 15 ounces, and I started downing Mothers Milk Tea like there was no tomorrow.

I started trying to pump at night, and early in the morning, and more often during the day...

I was completely stressing out about the breast feeding situation.  I was actually crying over spilled milk... and frozen milk... and pumped milk.

Then, as time went on, and many prayers were spoken, I realized that with one ounce here, and an ounce-and-a-half there, I was just about breaking even each day.  Did I have a huge stockpile of breast milk?  No.  But, like manna from heaven, did we have enough breast milk for each day I was gone?  Yes.

I struggle with not having a massive milk bank, but what a lesson in building my faith each day -- every day we have what we need for that day.

Great is Thy Faithfulness.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Abbie's Bridal Shower

Tracey Ann and I went to Michigan last weekend for my childhood best friend, Abbie's, bridal shower.  My mom and I hosted the shower, and it was so much fun.  Abbie came in from New York, I came in from Colorado, and everyone else was from Michigan.

There is something so special about your childhood best friend getting married.  I was called "Brookie" more times at the shower than I have been called in the past five years.

What a great time.

The house is ready...

The party can start.

My mom and Abbie, the bride-to-be

Abbie, her Grandma (Grandma Rockwood) and Tracey Ann

The blushing bride-to-be

Tracey Ann loved the party

So many lovely gifts

Is this how Aunt Abbie will wear her veil?

Our little party girl just wanted to be a part of everything.

Tracey Ann's first "Selfie"

Kolbs, Rockwoods, Sandens -- we all grew up together.
From piano, swim team, girl scouts we saw a lot of each other for many years and now we're all over the country (and some girls not pictured here).

There is something so special about your best friend meeting and adoring your baby.

The happy couple 

Many friends

Both Abbie's grandmas

Lovely gifts

Grammy, Mama, Tracey Ann (I LOVE this picture)

Abbie, her mom, and both her grandmas

Such a great group

Tracey Ann was happy as long as she was a part of everything

Many gifts

Aunts and Grandmas

I love this picture --
Brooke and Abbie all grown up

Mr. Rockwood came when the party was over, and gave Tracey Ann her first piano lesson.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Where Ya Goin?

Hi Mama!

Where are ya goin?

C'mere, Mama!

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