December 26, 2014

Year Five in Review

Somehow my sweet little baby will turn six on Monday! I seriously love the little person she is becoming- less of a baby and more of a little girl each day. 

Here is a look back at a favorite picture from each month of our 5th year....

January- I marveled that you still let me dress you. And, that still holds true 12 months later. Your lack of interest in what you are wearing has saved us many fights and I still love picking out your clothes each night. Dressing you is great fun!

February- you make the best faces! I'm sure you get that from your Daddy. I love your squinchy nose face the best.

March- I am so lucky that we spend so much time together. I'll never regret quitting my full time job. It changed our family dynamic for the best forever!

April- I can send you to Nana's house and miss you within minutes of drop off. I swear after a few days I pick you up and you've grown so much. You always seem so mature after a few days away.

May- you graduated from preschool this month. Woah. I knew our summer would fly by and it sure did. It was a fun night to celebrate your end of preschool with all of your grandparents.

June- we swam all summer long! This mermaid was your favorite swim suit which says a lot since you have a drawer full. This was the summer you really conquered your fear of jumping in the water and became a braver swimmer.

July- We take lots of family selfies on the way to church!

August- first day of kindergarten! You have never once complained about school and are doing so well. I love seeing you grow academically and socially in school. 

September- we took a boat ride around Austin to dinner on a school night. You were so excited and well behaved and did well the next day at school. I'm amazed at how versatile you can be!

October- you played tee ball this month and did so well. It is the first sport where you've excelled and it was fun cheering on you and your team. You practiced during the week in the backyard and were a strong hitter and thrower. Catching the ball was tough for you... and most of your team.

November- you lost your second tooth in November while Momma was away on business. It just came out one afternoon in the car after school. Luckily, Nana was quick and took a picture for me. You have lost 3 teeth so far this year!

December- we have had lots of fun celebrating Christmas this year with you. I know lots of things won't be cool in just a few years, so we are celebrating all we can while you have an interest.

November 13, 2014

Funny Outakes

We had our Christmas pictures made a few weekends ago on South Congress with our friends The Sanders. After taking pictures, the girls changed clothes and we did lunch and the candy store before we had to scamper off for Abby's tee ball game. 

These two littles are sweet friends and I know they will be friends for a long time. 

You'll have to wait to see our cards on Christmas day! 

November 09, 2014

Halloween 2014

Abby had an exciting Halloween with her first field trip and first ride on a school bus! Here she is getting on the bus with her classmates for the hour ride to Sweet Berry Farms pumpkin patch.

I was a parent chaperone and assigned to Abby and her friend Brook. These girls ran all over the place- sometimes together and sometimes in opposite directions. How a teacher keeps up with 20 kids is beyond me. How a Mom keeps up with 2 kids is also beyond me!

We have been to the pumpkin patch many times, but as a school group we had special activities and an isolated area. The kids used a wagon to race under this tunnel and pick out their special small pumpkins for painting!

It was a beautiful sunny 80 degrees to be painting pumpkins! Abby used lots of colors and painted a smiley face on each side.

The kids also went on a hay ride and then we went through the maze as a big group. We were led by a Dad chaperone and he got us lost! It was comical!

I had so much fun with them! It was great seeing how Abby interacts with all the other kids. In some ways she is better and in others, not so much. Overall, I know she is normal in her drama!

She came home from school at 3 and I made her take a nap. We had big plans that night to trick or treat with friends from church.She took a great nap, we ate soup and cornbread for dinner, and were ready to go at 7.

Abby was Wyldstyle from the Lego Movie and Marcus was Emmett! She looks mad, but was trying to look mean and official :)

I had to make Abby's costume because we could not find one she liked- all the others were with tutus, etc. In Abby's mind, if Wyldstyle didn't wear a tutu, then she wasn't going to either. So, a wig, some hair extensions, a black hoodie and two rolls of duct tape later and we had a costume! 

We had fun trick or treating with our friends and then the adults passed out candy in the driveway while the girls played inside. Fun day and fun night!

October 13, 2014

Our First 6 Weeks in Kindergarten

I could not have prayed for a more positive first month of Kindergarten. This sweet girl has impressed me in ways I never saw coming. So, know this is a shameless proud Mom post!

Abby has gotten ready for school every morning with joy and a smile! She still lets me pick out her clothes and fix her hair. As long as her clothes are comfortable, she is happy to wear them. We have done lots of dresses and on cooler days put leggings under them. She takes a cardigan most days.

She comes home hungry and in need of alone time in her playroom! She has transitioned to a shower (crazy to think!) and goes to bed with a good attitude at 8 PM. She doesn't even come out of her room at all after we say goodnight. She is up around 6:30 and enjoys playing until we get her ready just after 7. 

In her school they do rotations for "specials" with PE every other day. The non-PE days alternate between performing arts (drama, music), visual arts (arts and crafts) and library. She loves library days the most. She has been praised and awarded prizes in her specials for sitting still or sharing or listening. 

More than once she has told me about situations on the playground that occurred and her response has blown me away. She has cared for hurt friends, stood up for friends against someone being mean, and even braved learning the monkey bars. 

Numerous times at home she has responded to a disappointment with maturity. Her emotional maturity over the last 6 weeks blows me away. I don't have to repeat myself as much, she doesn't cry as much, and her awareness of her surroundings has really increased. It is just amazing!

I try to have lunch with her every other week. It is a fun time to meet her friends and make her feels special at the lonely little peanut free table. I've been told she is very responsible and a good self advocate. All the things a Mom with an allergy kid needs to hear! Her teacher even told me the other day that if she (her teacher) changes up the order of the day Abby will correct her. Here is the best part... she said she doesn't it kindly. She isn't mean spirited in her correction, but wants the teacher to know it isn't right. ha!

She gets to pick who sits with her each day (from the kids with a nut free lunch) and the friend she has picked the most is also the one that appears to have the most trouble adjusting to Kindergarten. He is learning the rules slowly and had some pretty severe consequences and she has been kind to him through it all. I'm so proud of her for showing kindness to other kids, especially those that most will shy away from.

I saw another Mom at her school on Friday and she told me on the first day after we had left Abby in the classroom that she saw Abby meet a crying child at the front door after his parents left and she told him not to worry that it would be okay and she walked him back to his seat. To know that she was so giving to another child in a moment when she could have been scared as well impresses me!

They have behavior clips at school and everyone starts on green. You can go up and down throughout the day. Abby has only gone up! She has been purple about 25% of the time which shows good self management skills above normal and then was pink (the top) once. She moves up for things like following directions, helping others, cleaning up without being told, etc. 

I love seeing her succeed at school and at life skills! I told everyone who asked before she started that I thought she would do well because she is smart and social. She has done so much better that I could have imagined! We have our first parent teacher conference in 2 weeks and I look forward to hearing from her teacher!

August 26, 2014

The First Day of Kindergarten

We had a great first day which I kind of expected. All summer I've said my only nerves about kinder came from Abby's peanut allergy. She is so smart and makes friends easily that I knew she would be great. She was up before Marcus and I and excited to go. 

Her sweet dress was made by my sister and Mom earlier this summer. I had bought the handwriting fabric over a year ago in anticipation of this day. It did come quicker than I thought!

Her backpack was filled with a change of clothes, emergency snacks for parties that may have peanuts in their snacks, and a favorite toy for show and tell. She packed her Palace Pet Bippidy. We bought her the large backpack and matching lunchbox from Pottery Barn. I'm thinking she will grow into it. Ha!

We drove to school and parked at a friends home that faces the school (such a blessing!) and walked on in. Abby led the way. She has been there 4 times now and knew exactly where she was going. 

Abby and her teacher, Mrs. Churchill. I took the advice of my sister who works with kids and wrote down the traits of the teacher we felt like Abby needed and am pleased thus far. She is experienced which I really wanted since the added component of monitoring food and hand washing is present and I know Abby does best in a structured environment. She likes routine and I wanted a teacher who had her routine all figured out. I love that she just came from 2nd grade. Abby can read and loves to do math I'm hoping if boredom sets in her teacher can challenge her knowing the next grade levels. 

Look how confident she looks. All good to go! After dropping her off Marcus and I grabbed Starbucks and then he dropped me off where emails, laundry and quiet time awaited me. I got a lot done including watching my favorite DVR at lunch and rushed to get her just after 2:15. 

I picked her up this afternoon with a big smile and a wave. She was proud that she had made a friend, her clip stayed on green for good behavior, and that she had focused and eaten all of her lunch. She had a great attitude all evening and was awake until 8 pm for bedtime. 

July 06, 2014

Yes, No or Wait

When Abby and I say our prayers at night, I say a set prayer over her and she says a less formal prayer to God each night. I will prompt her by asking about someone she knows that is sick or missed school that day or a friend she saw that she wants to thank God for. One night, out of the blue, she prayed for God to put a baby in my belly. We giggled about it and while she brought it up a few times after that, it always appeared to be a fun little poke to make me laugh. I even joked about it on Facebook saying, "uh-oh!". 

Today after church Abby's Sunday school teacher stopped me to let me know that while discussing prayer, Abby told her she keeps asking for God to put a baby in Momma's belly and he hasn't answered her, essentially saying no. Her teacher handled it well and I'm so proud of Abby for speaking something so sincere and serious with her teacher. But I also was surprised as I had no idea how much this was really on her heart.

This afternoon I laid down with her and asked her if she was sad she didn't have a brother or sister and she told me she was and prays everyday for God to put a baby in Momma's belly. Gulp. This is real to her. God isn't answering her. He didn't answer me one day long ago. I was an adult and it was confusing and sucked. 

Luckily, I know more know about God today and in talking to her teacher this morning was able to enforce to Abby exactly what she was told- God still hears you. God loves you. And sometimes, his answer is no. Abby put a big smile on her face telling me that is what Ms. Kristi said. It was suddenly true to her because she heard it from two different people she knows and trusts.

I explained to Abby that I had prayed for a baby for a long time and was so happy when God answered my prayer with her, but now my body is older and God would probably say no because I am so much older and it wouldn't be good for my body. 

Abby knows how special she is, that we wanted her for a long time and that we prayed for her and it took big miracles from God through special doctors to make her ours. She can tell you more about infertility than most kids. She knows she had a twin that was never born. I have never hidden my infertility from friends, family or Abby. So, we've told her a lot.

Marcus was the first to be content with only one child. It took me much longer and honestly I was okay with it until I started imagining my fall without Abby at home. I am ready for her to go to Kindergarten and I know she will be great at making friends and learning. I am sadder for me. Who will I eat lunch with? I don't really qualify for play dates anymore and most of my friends will still have kids at home. My job gives me flexibility to work from home, so entering an office environment isn't necessary. 

Having only one child makes kindergarten hard- you leave the only parenting world you have known to enter a world you don't know at all. At least with more than one child you can have the comfort of the world you know while learning a new world. It ALMOST makes me want another child. Almost.

 I am hopeful what Abby learned today isn't about having a baby brother or sister, but is more about God hearing her, loving her, and answering prayers with a yes, no, or wait. I have no doubt that He will tell her yes, no or wait many times in her life and that is the bigger lesson for us all. 

I have multiple friends struggling to get pregnant right now. My heart breaks for them as I can remember that pain of God saying wait and deep down wondering if wait meant no. If this is you, I'm praying for you and praying that whatever God's answer is, He will deliver it with the comfort and peace that only He can. 

May 13, 2014

A New Season

I can't believe that I am writing this post... I think the season of running two blogs and trying to keep up with everything is coming to an end. I have loved blogging and I've loved following lots of blogs, but I just don't have time.

I don't get excited to blog anymore. It is becoming another task and frankly, I don't need another task. I don't want to blog when I should be working or doing laundry or spending time with Abby. Summer is coming and we have less school and more playdates. I also have more work, both professionally and as a volunteer.

I hope to blog every now and then- when I have a new picture to share or a fun day to capture. But, I won't be blogging twice a week for sure. I will leave this blog live for archived pictures and milestones.

If you want to stay in touch, you can find me on Instagram daily and on Pinterest often. You don't have to have an account, just click on the links and look around. I will keep posting lots of personal pictures on Instagram and sharing my daily #annaisgrateful. Of course, my Pinterest page will be full of recipes and crafts! Feel free to follow me if you are on those platforms.

Have a great day!

April 22, 2014

annaisgrateful- week sixteen

Easter Sunday was a wonderful service reminding us that Jesus did indeed rise and he now wears the crown of glory at the right hand of God. I am so grateful for His sacrifice and perfect love that He would die for me and my sins.

Good Friday was lots of fun as we hosted our annual egg hunt in the backyard. I am grateful for a little extra family time that morning before our 60 little friends arrived.

Saturday afternoon we had no plans and went to nearby Round Rock for snow cones. We have not been in at least a year. They were still yummy (and still messy)!

I tried this at Target while walking around and it is really good! It is a nice alternative to tea for me in the morning. It is a mix of water, sugar, orange juice and blood orange juice. Nothing fake in it- even the coloring comes from vegetables and natural spices. 

My child LOVES rolly pollies and we are grateful Spring is here and these little guys are back in our neighborhood.

Last Wednesday we registered Abby for kindergarten and on the same day had her end of year preschool assessment. She is great academically and still needs to mature a little socially. You know things like sharing, listening, doing what the teacher says when you don't want to. Real life stuff! I am grateful for a good report and her ability to learn. 

I love clean sheets! I once read that Oprah sleeps on clean sheets every every day. If I were super wealthy, I would totally have clean sheets that often. Last night I was grateful to get into bed with fresh clean sheets!

Have a grateful week!

April 17, 2014

Easters Past

In honor of Good Friday and our annual Easter Egg Hunt this morning, here are a few Easter shots from years past. Oh how I love watching this girl grow!


I look sleepy :)


2011- my all time favorite dress Abby has ever worn.


2013- a little bit sad (and dramatic) that her Easter party had ended and her friends were gone. 

We are looking forward to another wonderful Easter with an egg hunt, pastel smocked dress, and the chance to better understand Jesus' love for us and his sacrifice on the cross.

Happy Easter!

April 16, 2014

Grateful- Week Fifteen

Monday was a winter day in the middle of April. It was cold and rainy so I was so glad my only agenda item was the grocery store. I love being home on a rainy day!

Friday was just the opposite- sunny and filled full of errands in my 5 hours Abby was at school. She is an awesome little shopper and quick and enjoyable, but that day, I was grateful for school so I could pack it all in!

We spent Saturday morning at our friend Michael's tee ball game! It was so much fun to watch him and to see Abby cheer for him. We work really hard with her on how to be a friend and she did a great job. Michael and Abby have been friends since birth and I'm grateful they still see each other!

Sunday's message at church focused on the crown of thorns Jesus elected to wear and die for the sins of me and you. It was a wonderful reminder of the sacrifices he made. I am so grateful He died for me.

Thursday was Abby's program at our bible study. I can't say enough wonderful things about CBS and all she has learned. These little preschoolers got on stage and sang songs, called our Bible verses and sang the books of the Bible in order. It was impressive!

The other night while dinner was cooking, Marcus and Abby played with princesses on the back patio and I snapped a picture. I hope Abby knows how lucky she is to have a Daddy that knows her toys by name and plays along with her so well.

Finally, we had a big day on Tuesday. Abby mastered a gymnastics move called "skin the cat". It has been her little nemesis! She finally did it and came running out to tell me all about it. Big progress for my little scaredy cat!


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