Friday, May 30, 2014

Handsome Boy

Today, we took our handsome little guy to get his first hair cut!  Nothing to drastic...just a little trim to shape up the baby hair :)

Here's his before pic...

He was such a good little guy...



Sissy was there for moral support :)


A little blow dry...


And he's ready for summer!!!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day

We enjoyed a relaxing morning together as a family and then met up with friends after lunch!

We all contributed to a delicious low-country boil!!


Yummy!! For those of you who may not know what exactly that's Shrimp, Potatoes, Corn & Sausage with delicious spices!!

Sweet girlfriends...


And what pool day is complete without a few daddy tosses in the air!!??...


A fun day was had by all!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Jackson is 2!

How can it be that my little man is TWO!?! can it be???  This little guy has brought a new outlook on my life that I never knew I needed.  From the moment he graced us with his presence, he has been the most tender hearted, layer back, sweet spirited little guy.  Now along with that comes an adventurous, daring, risk-taking, coordinated, full of laughter and joy personality also!
He's always been the type to just go along with the flow of our day...never causing too much racket or adding too much stress to anyones day.  He loves life and loves people...he's a more quiet disposition...but his little eyes are so full of expression that you can read his little heart just by peering into those deep brown eyes.  He's a snuggler and loves to cuddle and rock.  Let's be honest...he nursed until he was 20 months...basically until mommy got pregnant and just couldn't keep it up.  Haha!  I never had a all these boy things are so new to me!  How in the world does he come out and just be naturally gravitated towards balls, trucks, "go-go's" cars, "choo-choo's", dirt, sticks, mud and swinging from anything that looks swingable!?!  I love it so much!!  I love how different he is from Bella and how unique his little interests are!  I love how he loves to be a monkey...he's a quiet monkey though.  So, if it gets too quiet around the house, we know we better start looking!  We'll usually find him scaling the pantry for a quick snack...or the refrigerator.  Or he may be hanging on to the stair well banister practicing his acrobatic moves. =)  Now unlike Bella, his dance moves are more that of hmmm....a country dancer/rapper?!?  There aren't any twirls or soft motions!  HA!  He has such a unique inquisitive mind.  Like Bella, he definitely is a blend of Jeremy and me.  I see so much of Jeremy's disposition in him and easy going-everybody's best friend personality.  But, he also has an interesting streak of my notice for detail!  It's so funny the littlest things that will bother hime...doesn't like for rugs to be out of place or cabinets to be open...or big spots of dirt on the floor.  Maybe he will end up being my little cleaning buddy!  Whenever he's in childcare at church or the gym or with a babysitter, they always tend to say the same thing about him..."He's just such a sweet kid, so funny and so easy going!"

It's been so cool to see how he and Bella have different strengths!  Bella was always so verbally advanced...singing and talking up a storm by age 2.  However, Jackson really just started making sense with his words!  But, he on the other hand, is so physically advanced!  Mastering stairs, scaling cabinets, teaching himself to ride his tricycle, mastering the playground, getting on and off the trampoline alone...AH!, flipping and jumping and running and climbing everything!  A man of few words but with a lot of speed and coordination! =)  And I love it!!  He also has a really good sense of tone/pitch!  Even from a young age, Jeremy will sing or play a note and he can nearly match most anything!  It's so funny!!  It will continue to be so fun to see his personality and gifts begging to shine!  

Just in the past few months, he's really shown an interest in sitting and listening to us read to him...which is so fun!!  Of course, he prefers books on Trucks, Elmo and Balls! =)  That makes for a nice change from princesses and ballerinas!  I'm super excited about working with him as he continues to show more and more  interest in coloring, reading books and learning!  I plan on working with him this fall and implementing the 2 year old curriculum from
I know I've mentioned in previous blog entries...but I love that curriculum!!  It's so great and ideal for teaching even the youngest learners...focusing on Jesus and integrating all the basic concepts into our day!  It really has helped given me tools to be intentional with our time together!  So, I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for just that!  

Now is the age when I will begin keeping record of all the cute and funny words/sayings that Jackson starts saying!  I just love this age...they really begin to transform from a baby to a toddler and their personalities begin to shine!  We love our little guy and he continues to be a sweet blessing to our family.  I know the Lord has such great plans for his life and I feel so honored to get to share in it.  I pray the Lord will give me just the right amount of structure to show him and boundaries to set...but yet give me the courage and peace I need to let him explore and be the adventurous little guy that I know his heart desires to be each day.  

His Routine:

7:30            Wake/Breakfast
8:00            Gym with mommy and sisters
9:30            Rest time/Play time in room
11:00ish     Play/Errands/Playdates
12:30          Lunch
1:30           Nap Time
4:00           Play
5:30           Dinner
8:00           Bath/Books/Bed
                 (He loves when we sit together and read a few books, sing a few songs (Jesus Loves Me, 
                 B-I-B-L-E) and then pray together...he always wants me to rock him like a baby...and he       
                 just closes his eyes and enjoys every moment!)

His Stats:

Height:  35 inches  75%
Weight:  30 lbs.  65%

Bella is 4!

I can't believe the sweet baby girl that I held in my arms 4 years ago is now no longer a baby...nor a toddler...but a precious little girl.  She continues to bless us each day with her love for life, eagerness to learn, sensitivity towards others, twirling-princess-loving personality...witty sense of humor, love for Jesus and constant sensitivity to spiritual things...passion for living in each moment and always making those around her feel special.  It's so neat to see so much of myself in her little 4 year old body...but also equally so much of her daddy.  She has a love for learning...she begs to do "school" every day...which of course I love!!  She is so smart...and loves to be challenged!  Many, many days I am truly surprised by how quickly she absorbs things and how bright she truly is.  Not sure who she got that from??? Hahaha....I do love working with her...teaching her the basics of her letters, numbers, colors, shapes...Bible stories, verses and so on...but you know most of all, I feel so privileged that the Lord has entrusted her to me to invest my life in her each day.  Yes, it's so exciting to know that she loves knowledge and learning...but most of all it is is so rewarding when I see her initiate forgiveness to her brother...or reach out to a little girl on the playground who is playing alone and ask her to join her...or show sympathy towards her cousin who is sick and not feeling well.  It's the molding and shaping of her little heart that brings me so much fulfillment.  

A few of the things I love most about this special little 4 year old girl...and I wish I could keep them vividly in my mind forever:
-the way she wakes up in the morning and immediately changes into a princess outfit
-the way she freely dances around the house and sings at the top of her lungs totally uninhibited
-the tight hugs she gives me at just the right times to make me feel so loved and cherished
-the twinkly in her eye when she sees daddy's car pull in the driveway after a long days work
-the compassion she shows her brother and the patience she has when helping him learn new things
-the excitement she expresses when she gets to see her She-She, Papa or Mimi after several weeks of being separated
-the smiles on her giddy face when we paint our nails together or put on make-up
-the simple twirls and twists across the house in her ballet outfits
-the carefree jumping on the trampoline
-the eagerness to hear stories of when mommy and daddy were little
-the interested little eyes and hands that help me prepare meals
-the adventurous body who explores playgrounds and would swing all day
-the courage in her eyes when she tried her bycicle for the first time in months since a bad fall
-the proud face showing me her beautiful art piece
-the determination to learn new things and master even the most challenging concepts
-the love for music and singing with her daddy on bed at night as he plays the guitar
-the sweet voice asking a friend to play at the playground...and always introducing herself :)
-the tender heart that defends her brother when others might pick on him
-then sensitive spirit who helps her little cousins try new things
-the sweet voice singing out in church to worship songs...even making up the words if she's unsure

As a mom these days, there is so much pressure to have your child in the best, most "advanced" preschool....or involved in all the sports and activities possible...wearing the most trendy outfits...mastering reading by the age of 4 and so on.  And yes, it is fun when you see your child succeed and develop...  But, you know I am constantly reminded of...and this sweet girl helps teach me every is not about all that stuff.  Life is about loving Jesus with your whole heart and loving others.  After only being a mom for 4 years, I can truly tell you that the most rewarding times are when I see fruit in her life from the little bits Jeremy and I pour into her each day.  There will be plenty of the "world" thrown at her and plenty of pressures come her way...I just feel so called to be very intentional and deliberate in the time I have with her.  I pray each day for grace...Grace to cover up my constant parenting mistakes, grace to forgive when I speak too harshly or respond too quickly...Grace to lavish on my kids when they are imperfect and mess up.  I pray also for wisdom...oh, how I need wisdom!  Wisdom as I teach, wisdom as I discipline, wisdom as I guide, direct and show love.    

Well,  I suppose I will end this blog entry as I did the many entries before of my sweet Bella.  I will share her typical daily routine...and her growth stats!  I know it may not be the most interesting part to those reading...but it sure helps a mamma when I'm looking back and planning for my next children. =)

A typical day in the life of Bella:

7:30           Wakes/Breakfast
8:00           Gym with mommy & brother
9:30           School Time with mommy while brother has quiet room time
11:00ish     Play time with brother or errands or a playdate!
12;30         Lunch 
1:30           Naps for brother & Rest time for Bella
4:00           Play time/Prepare Dinner
5:30           Dinner with Daddy & Family Time
8:00           Baths, Reading Time and Bed

*Tuesdays are a little different because we have Bible study from 9:30-11:30 and Ballet from 12:30-1:15!

Bella's Growth Stats:

Height 42 inches  85%
Weight 42 lbs       85%


She loves people and loves spending time with her friends!  She typically will have 1-2 playdates a week and has recently started going over to her friends houses for longer periods of time which has been fun for her!

Academically, she is soaring!  I can hardly keep up with her enough to keep her challenged!  She mastered all of her letters this year as well as sounds.  She recognizes her numbers 1-10 and most of 1-20.  She knows all her shapes and colors.  She can write most all of the alphabet as well as numbers 0-9.  She just recently started showing in interest in blending her sounds together...which means reading!  We started using the Bob books and are on book #5!  She loves the challenge and really is catching on quickly.  In the past few months, she has really improved in her fine motor skills and coloring skills.  She tries so hard to color in the lines. =)  We have just a couple more weeks and then we will have finished the 4 year old curriculum ( and handwriting without tears).
We plan on spending the summer reviewing and then once things settle down after the new baby we will pick up where we have left off in the fall!  She's a joy to teach and a delight to see her soaking everything in and blossoming!

Jackson's 2nd birthday!

Jackson was a little under the weather on his we got to enjoy a quick trip to the doctor...then ventured out for a stroll through the Zoo with cousins!  

It was a gorgeous spring we figured some fresh air and pretty scenery would do us all well. =)

He loves milking the cow...

Maybe he's a born farmer???

We enjoyed a fun picnic lunch in the shade...then celebrated with cupcakes!

A little train ride was sure to bring a smile to the birthday boys face...

Even if your not feeling to good...spending time with those you love always makes your day extra special!!

We love you sweet Jackson!!  Happy 2nd birthday!

Bella's 4th Birthday!

This year instead of having a big birthday friend party, we chose one friend to spend the day with doing extra special things together!  Charleigh's birthday falls just one week before Bella's so it made for a perfect choice for the two of them!

They decided that they wanted to start their day getting pedicures and manicures together...

Sweet girls loving life...

Then, they chose to go shopping at the "Build a Bear" store and create their own personal bear!  Bella chose a white fluffy bear...along with some princess anyone surprised about the chosen attire?

She stuffed her bear...and then gave it a nice first bath...


All ready to go home!!!

The girls loved making their special bears together...

Then, they decided it was time to go shop a little for each we headed over to Claire's...and they each got to pick out a special gift for each other...

We finished the afternoon by meeting up with the dads and brothers at a delicious Mexican restaurant!  Yummy yummy...and of course a fun birthday singing time by our waters...

On her actual birthday, she was greeted with a special princess balloon...

Then, we met two of her sweet friends at the Zoo!

She loved spending the morning with Zoe and Brooklyn...

Birthday pony ride!

And a train ride...

Some lettuce for the giraffes... 

She sure loves these sweet girlfriends and was so excited to spend her birthday with them...

We made it home just in time for daddy to take her on a special date to Firehouse Subs...where she loves getting a "colored drink"...

Then, her birthday dinner choice was cheese quesadillas with rice!

Happy Birthday sweet Bella!!  We love you so much!!!


Bella has been working hard to master her bicycle!!  She had a pretty ugly tumble last fall so it's taken a lot of courage to get back on and try again!  She is doing excellent and we are so proud of her!!  Didn't take but a couple times before she was cutting corners and speeding down the sidewalks of our neighborhood!

Just a sweet reminder for me that sometimes in life we will have bumps, challenges and falls...but no matter how hard they may be we can always choose to pick ourself up, pray for courage and get back on!  The Lord is always with us...never leaves us...and will never fail us when we lean on him for strength!  I'm so proud of my Bella boo for working hard even though fear tries to creep back in!


At the end of April, we headed over to Nashville to meet baby Micah, celebrate birthdays and enjoyed some sweet time with family!

Bella was in heaven holding little Micah (6 weeks)...

She just loved every moment...

Friday morning, us girls escaped to a lovely breakfast at the Frothy Monkey...

Friday afternoon we celebrated birthdays!  Bella's was April 2, Sadie's April 26 and Jackson's May it made for a great time of birthday fun together!

The girls wanted a "Princess" party...

And Jackson loves we did both!  

Aunt Brit created these lovely princess cupcakes...

We enjoyed singing happy birthday three times...first to Bella...

Then to Sadie...

Then to Jackson!

Of course every princess needs a little lip color =)

We enjoyed playing at the park...and soaking up good quality family time...

The girls in their matching princess birthday shirts...

Swinging always brings smiles to everyone's faces...

Papa with his three boys!!!  Dirty knees and big balls...everyone was happy =)

Mimi and Papa with all their kiddos!

We played a fun game of "Pin the nose on Elmo!"

Everyone had their turn...

I love this sweet baby...and I'm pretty sure he loves me too...

No party is complete with a little cousin "Ring around the Rosy"...right!?

Evening strolls with the family...everyone is learning to ride their bikes!

Skooters and bikes...with a little assistance...

Saturday morning, we all ventured to downtown Franklin for the annual Franklin Festival...

Lots of really cool crafts and tons of special tents of food and activities lined the streets...

I enjoyed sitting with these girls and watching all the local dancers perform...

Then, they asked for volunteers to go on the stage and dance...and you better believe that Bella and Sadie were the first to take up that offer!

Pretty violinists...

Papa and his little man...enjoying all the fun festivities together...

Do you recognize these cowgirls???

We even found Cinderella walking the streets...

The Gorin family headed back home...and daddy had to get back to work...but the kids and I were able to stay an extra week to get quality time with Mimi and Papa...and the Moore family bunch too!  We loved all the extra attention and special time with each of them. =)

Bella was a sweet big cousin and helped make cousin Houston's first Chick-fil-a playground experience a delightful success!

We even got to visit Mimi's big library for Story Time...that was super fun!  Stories, songs and even a pretty craft!

We loved all the time we had in Nashville...although it always seems to go by way too fast no matter how long we get to stay!  We will look forward to the next time all the cousins get to be together...we hope real soon! :)