Yikes. Guess I really didn't pay attention to how long it's been since I actually updated this. I guess things have just been so absolutely nutty that I haven't had a blessed moment to sit down and update! Insane.
Olivia's birthday party was absolutely perfect. It was exactly what I wanted. Our friends and family gathered together to celebrate a beautiful little princess. It was such a wide variety attending, from all her grandparents, to aunts and uncles, to her first babysitter and family, to old patients of mine! All together to watch the antics of this hilarious little girl. She sat sweetly on the couch and opened presents, smashed cake into her face, and went without a nap without any fussing or crabbiness. She is such a good girl!
September brought Jason and I's second anniversary and my birthday! We combined our celebrating into a wonderful dinner with the boys out at a very fancy restaurant! When Jason and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon, we had the most amazing fish dish called "butterfish". We swore that one day, we'd find it on the mainland and go eat it. Well, we finally did! There's a Hawaiian restaurant in Plano that we have had our eye on, and we decided that the boys were the perfect combination to go! Olivia stayed with her Granny and Papaw and we went OUT! It was so fancy, complete with waiters that place your napkins in laps and everything! We had such a good time and the food was divine. Butterfish was exactly what I remembered it. DELISH. We finished the night at home with homemade cookies and Bluebell. What's not to love about that? :)
In October, we got to break out the fall decorations in our fabulous house. It has been amazing to have so much space to decorate! Half way through the month, we took the kids to a local pumpkin patch for frolicking and photos. It was of course, mayhem, but after all, we were there for the fun and fun was had! It was HOT (because the temperature is ALWAYS retarded in Texas....really? 90 degrees?), but we got some amazing pictures and had a great time! The boys helped us carve our pumpkin, featuring a contest between Andrew, Jacob, and I for the most awesome design. Jacob won! On Halloween, these two amazingly sweet brothers came and WANTED to trick o' treat with their little sister, the precious pumpkin. It proved to be the best night! Apparently, our neighborhood goes NUTS for Halloween! It was seriously like a block party! Everyone was outside, giving away copious amounts of candy and even cupcakes! Craziness! Jason stayed home to give out candy and was out in 30 minutes! We got SO much candy! The boys each had a FULL Target bag to take home! Even Olivia got a massive amount!
The month ended a bit odd. I was told late on a Friday night that my job no longer had the hours for me. I am very thankful for the time I had with that company, but was completely shell shocked. I'm currently searching for a replacement job.
I am constantly reminded that Jesus protects my little family. ALL THE TIME. I may not understand all the reasons behind the things that happen, but I know HE is in control.
Thanskgiving and Christmas are fast approaching. I am so excited to have the holidays with the boys as we haven't had the actual day with them in two years.
Right now, all of us are counting down to the fabulous family vacation we are taking in 24 days. We are taking the boys on their (and Jason's!) first CRUISE!!! Olivia is going to camp Emerson for a week and we will be sailing out of Galveston to two ports in Mexico! The boys are beyond excited!
Until the next post, may Jesus continue to protect your family and mine....
One year ago, I lay awake in a hospital bed. I could not go to sleep for anything. My mind was racing, imagining the small face I was about to meet. Wondering if I would be a good mommy to her. Praying for her safe arrival. Thinking of how her brothers would respond to a sister so much younger than both of them. Being thankful that her daddy was asleep on the sofa chair next to me and not stuck on a train. I could not turn my brain off for anything. It turned out to be one of the longest and most memorable nights/days I have experienced.
She did not want to come in the manner discussed by the doctor and her parents. That was too calm of an entrance. Wrapping her tiny umbilical cord around her neck and causing her heart rate to drop dangerously low, low enough for an emergency c-section, this was the entrance our Olivia was destined for.
She has always been a gift from God. I do not deserve to be the mommy of such a sweet spirit, but I have been truly blessed to be her mommy. From the time I saw that tiny heart beating until I heard that ferocious screeching, I had prayed for her. I continue to pray for her, about 10 times a day.
All of my worries and concerns for her quickly vanished. Because we serve an awesome God, she was delivered safely into this world to share the blessings of God with us. Two boys can't imagine life without her and continually make me smile with their treatment of her. They carry her around non stop, stop their own games to play with her, and have the sweetest conversations with her. Her daddy and I are blessed.
And so today, she turns one year old. She grows smarter every day. She is so close to walking, but will make the decision to do so in her own time, like she has done everything else. Her family and friends will come together today to to honor her and no doubt bestow upon her many singing toys that her brothers, daddy, and I will find ourselves singing at the most bizarre times. (oh, I loathe that darn jungle toy!!!!)
I am thankful that one year later, we have a beautiful little girl to watch smash cake into her sweet face. She is the most wonderful thing I have ever have been blessed to help make. I love you, my amazing Olivia Kaylynne
In a little over 2 weeks, my daughter will turn 1. Yikes.
Where has the time gone? Who has determined that my sweet little 5 lb 10 oz creation is allowed to grow up and be a big girl? This person has NOT consulted me.
Tonight, I looked back at pictures from Jason and I's life together. I watched Andrew and Jacob blossom before my eyes. Same with Olivia. It's scary.
I know that we bring children in this world to teach them about Jesus and then trust HIM that we are making the right decisions for their lives. We raise them and release them into HIS care.
But that doesn't make it easier. It doesn't help to look back and see Jacob as a sweet 12 year old that I have watched grow up before me. Or Andrew grow from a sweet 2nd grader to a very "mature" 5th grader. They make me smile every day.
And now, their sister has also made me smile. Every day. She now says mama and dada to the right people. She says her bubbas names. They love it.
Guess I'd better get back to planning her birthday party. **GULP** Guess it's coming whether I like it or not.
It is quiet, yet it is noisy. Does that make sense to you? I suppose not.
Today is the first day in about five weeks that Olivia has not had her bubbas at her beckon call. And boy is she upset about it.
She's been fussy and feisty. Crabby and cantankerous. Not our Olivia Kaylynne.
She has crawled down to their room numerous times today and been frustrated that they are not there. Upon this realization, she squawks and fusses.
She loves them. She lights up when she sees them. She laughs at everything they do.
It's going to be a rough ride for our little Olivia. She has learned that her bubbas are right in her area and will entertain her at any time. Sadly, this is not the case.
I am so glad that she has had the opportunity to have them close to her this summer. It has been so good for all of them. It was pinnacled by the fact that she learned to say their names while they were here.... AN DEW and JAKE. So sweet.
I know, I know. It's WAY early for a blog. I'm a once a month blogger! When I look back at my past, in 2005, I was a once a DAY blogger. I remember being offended when I didn't get a chance to blog that day! What the HECK was wrong with me? Actually nothing...I just didn't have the life that God intended for me quite yet. Well, I have it now and BOY HAVE THINGS CHANGED!
Tonight, I sit at home with my three precious kiddos while Daddy is at work. The oldest is playing his guitar and thinking up fabulous new songs for all the girls who may or may not want to be his girlfriend. Never mind that we've discussed so many times the vapidness of high school girls. This is one lesson best learned through experience. The middle is coughing quietly in his bed. He has the horrid "summer cold" which he got from a friend who spent the night. I love having a house where his friends can spend the night. The youngest is going back and forth between staring in awe at her guitar playing brother and trying to steal all the remote controls.
Earlier today, the oldest two were caught up in some sort of laughing/giggle fest. I know it started during a game of Tiger Woods golf on the Wii, but I have NO idea how. Olivia started laughing AT them while she was sitting in her high chair, consuming more food than I thought she was capable of. She's already eaten a handful of cheerios, two pieces of turkey, a baby bell cheese, 1/2 an orange, and still grunts for food. We are in TROUBLE.
Having the boys for the entire month has been SO MUCH FUN. They have been such a big help to me. I don't think I've had to empty the dishwasher in quite awhile. They keep their room picked up (mostly!) and will clean their bathroom when asked. Both help Jason with the yard work. They rush to their sister's side when she's hurt and will carry her happily around the store.
**Just had to give the starving girl more food. She's now polished off a banana.**
This week should be a fun one! My grandma and aunt are coming over on Monday night for dinner. On Thursday, we're going to Hawaiian Falls water park! I haven't been to an actual water park since I was 16. That's....a lot of years. Olivia starts at a new babysitter this week, too. We did NOT want to leave her old babysitter, but they had some family issues that made them unable to care for her anymore. Our new one has two little girls. She lives about 15 min from us, so hopefully that will cut down on my travel time on work days.
We are loving our house. Love, love, love. So much room, so little being squished. Of course, there's more cleaning, more upkeep...but these are things we are gladly tackling. MUCH better than the old nasty apartment!
I am so thankful for my family!
I think I've started this particular blog post about four times. It's not that I don't have anything to say, I've actually got LOTS to say. I've chosen however to let things distract me. Good things. My family, our house, our life. It is always a good reminder of what is truly important to me. In 50 years, it won't matter that I didn't blog from May to July...not one little bit. What WILL matter is whether or not I spent time with my kids and husband. That kind of neglect is not okay in any way, shape, or form.
But, lucky for all of you off in blog reading land, I actually do have a few spare minutes in which I am not busy. It's rare, so enjoy!
The Russell family is loving LIFE! We are happily moved in to our house and be thankful for it every single day. We are not sitting on top of each other, yet we are still together. It took about a week for us to get to 97% unpacked. I say 97% because I still have boxes in my side of the closet and garage to dig through. I think this comes from spending so much of my life living in apartments, always having stuff in storage. I am a pack rat by nature, but not because I'm just gross. I'm not a hoarder. I'm a SAVER. I'm very sentimental about pretty much anything that is connected with a memory. I've got cards saved from birthdays long ago. I've got programs from plays. Pictures galore. All of these things just need to be collated and put in one or two boxes, but that takes a day to get done. At this point, I'd rather be spending my time playing with the kids than collating old memories. It will get done, especially because I'm not fond of the box pile in the closet and my husband really REALLY would like his garage space back!
Besides unpacking, we've been doing the fun summer stuff! We've been to the movies twice (which Olivia decided to squawk through!), played at the pool, and hung out with family. My sister and her daughter were in Texas for a week or so at the beginning of June and they came and stayed with us for two days. We had about 10 people in the house for dinner one night and it wasn't even crowded! What a complete change!
We also celebrated Jacob's 16th birthday in June! YAY! Jacob wanted to do a movie for his birthday (quite a change from his brother who wanted to go shoot guns!), so we went and had a fun 3D movie experience. It is always SO funny because they love the 3D movies and think they are just the newest thing EVER! Of course, we thought the same thing when we were little...and the technology is even older than I am! My best 3D memory is watching Captain EO at Disney World when I was about 9. I remember trying to touch all the things that flew out at the screen. I think it's hilarious that that Michael Jackson movie has now come BACK to Disney in Florida and is now, once again, a permanent attraction. I look back at Jacob since I'e known him. He's such a good kid, most of the time. :) He loves his brother and sister FIERCELY. The other day, Olivia took a flying leap into the coffee table and he rushed to her side and picked her up before I even had a chance to move to get her. He is very thoughtful and is such a help to me. He will probably start driving practice with Jason next week. YIKES! He is blessed to have a father who has taught people to drive and driven professionally all of his adult life, so Jacob will be very well prepared.
Olivia is WAY too grown up. She's 10 months old now, and never ceases to amaze me with what she can do. She's coasting on furniture, talking up a storm, and basically just making our lives a joy. She went from rolling to crawling to cruising on furniture in a little less than a week. She cut 4 teeth (all in a row on the top!) in 10 days and eats like a horse. She'll scream at you if her food is not delivered to her in a quick enough fashion. Because of circumstances out of our control, we're having to find another babysitter for her. We have LOVED the one she has now, but life changes and God will ALWAYS protect us. Our current prayer is to find that person that will be the best fit for our family! I'm still in shock that her birthday is next month. Where has my year gone?
My brother and his wife welcomed their first child last month! Joshua was 5 weeks early, but is a fighter! God's timing is always best! He is currently still in the NICU, so we haven't been able to meet him yet (NICU's always have really strict rules about kiddo visitors), but we do have lots of pictures! I'm SO excited to meet him! Right now, he's just continuing to learn how to eat well and get BIG! YAY! We're going to go meet him next week. I would LOVE if he was home by that time, but even if he isn't, we're still ready to meet that sweet boy! Please keep him in your prayers, as well as for Michael and Jen. It's hard to have to leave your child every night and not be able to take him home with you!
The boys are staying with us for this month and it has been SO much fun! Olivia LOVES her bubbas and has started leaving her piles of toys and books in the attempt to find them so she can play next to them. They are both so good with her. Yesterday, Andrew sat by the baby monitor and listened for her to wake up while Jason and Jacob did yard work. He called me at work while he was doing it and said, "I keep waiting to go get her if she needs me!" Precious.
This year, for July 4th, we asked the boys what they wanted to do. We could either go watch fireworks or go shoot them off. I'll give you 2 seconds to determine what the 10 and 16 year old boys chose! :) We bought fireworks and headed over to Jason's dad's house, who has the grill along with the back yard! We made steaks (delish!) and anxiously awaited the darkness! Jacob, Andrew, Jason's dad, and I climbed up 20 feet onto the roof of the shop so we could see the show that Jason was creating! Olivia did surprisingly well during the show and actually clapped and giggled! I think she would have been more freaked out, but she's recently learned to clap her hands when people clap with her, so that was a nice distraction!
Thanks for keeping up with us. I do better on Facebook than I do on here, but sometimes a status update just isn't enough, you know?
We are blessed.