Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Ethan!!

Oh Ethan!  Happy Fourth Birthday my big boy!  You are such a bright sunshine to my day!  You have always had such a fun personality and a zest for life!  

When you were born, you came out with your bottom lip sticking out.  Since then you have made a multitude of faces.  Here is a picture that was taken just a few short hours after birth.  I loved your long black hair!

This was taken just a few weeks later.  What a fun smile!

I have always loved this picture.  This was taken at 11 months old.  My how you have grown!

And your first birthday party.  You really dug into your cake.  If only I had known this was the beginning of your love for food. 

This was taken at your second birthday party.  You still wear that hat around, even though it's really too small.

You are so goofy and boistrous.  You make everyone around you laugh.  And you really know how to warm my heart!

This is from last spring.  I love you, sweet boy.

And your fourth birthday party.  You looked forward to this for weeks!  This excitement here is when you heard we were going to light the candles.  I can still hear you cheering, "Fire! Fire!"  Oh if only I had an idea of what our future holds. 
You have this light that fills every room you enter.  You still call my mommy and momma, which squeezes my heart each and every time.  I love the way you say Cochan instead of Colton.  I have really enjoyed watching you grow these past four years!  I can't wait to see what comes next.

I love you,
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Entering our 2nd Christmas Season

This time last year I was completely lost.  I didn't know how I was going to survive the holidays intact.  Six months was around the corner (as 18 is now), and I didn't know how Christmas was going to arrive and pass. 
Christmas has always been a magical time for me.  The lights, the shopping, the family and friends, I just love it all!!!!  As a parent, it has always been that much more amazing!  Last year I was having to learn how to celebrate with my children with two in Heaven.  Everyone does it differently.  There really is no right way to do it, but there is also no handbook for how it should be done.  I followed my heart closely, as did many of our friends and family.  It was difficult and touchy at times, but we survived through it well. 

I feel two crazy extremes this year.  This past week has been full of Christmas magic.  We took the boys to Silver Dollar City last week, and WOW!  Watching their eyes light up at every tree, parade float, and decorated building just warmed me through and through.  I love how much they also love this time of year.  I want it to have the magic for them it always has for me. 

Then there are the pangs of pain I feel when I think about how we should have two little toddlers running around, trying to eat froot loops off the tree, pull down ornaments, and playing with the Christmas train.  I try to avoid these thoughts, mainly.  I am getting better about avoiding self torture.  I miss them so much.  And I know there are some things that are going to make it harder this year than last.  Especially since they really would have been into all the Christmas stuff this year.

We have bought their ornament this year.  Colton talked about them quite a bit last night as we put ornaments on the tree. Every time he saw two ornaments that were the same, he asked if we could hang them for Lucas and Caleb.  Love that boy!! 

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

This Thanksgiving was much better than last.  I am sure alot of that has to do with the difference 12 months can make, but also with the fact that I cooked the feast this year.  There were many moments when I thought about Lucas and Caleb.  Especially after dinner when everyone was playing with Lincoln around the table.  Lincoln is such a cutie and sweetie.  His momma was pregnant with him when I was pregnant with my boys.  He will always create that tie with them.  But I am able to smile when I think of him, and Lucas and Caleb, much more often now.  Just as I was on Thanksgiving. 

Now for some pictures...

This is the first year I've made the Thanksgiving feast!  I am still so excited that I was handed the "apron" this year.  I had so much fun planning and cooking!  I love being surrounded by family and friends in my home.  And to add the fun of cooking for all of them, well it's kind of like Christmas a little early.

Here is my beautiful turkey. 

We had a kids' table with placemats I printed off Pinterest for them to color while we made their plates.

There were 6 boys ages 5 under.  And all was quiet once food was in front of them.  

A picture of some of the food.  There was TONS of deliciousness going on. 

Friends and family enjoying food, fun, and company.  I still feel giddy just thinking about it all.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

2011 Hunting

This year, Colton wanted to go hunting with Daddy and Grandpa.  With some hesitation, I was up for it.  I know how much he loves to be with his Daddy, and thought this would be a good chance for them to have some father-son time.

So they woke up at 4:15am opening morning and headed out to the woods with Grandpa.  I really, really love this picture!

Colton enjoyed being out in the dark, and became kind of antsy once the sun came up.  Daddy and Colton didn't spot any deer, but Colton enjoyed playing with the bugs.  This was taken on their way back to the truck.

Grandpa shot his deer though.  And Colton was super excited about it!

 On Thursday, Willy took off and headed out hunting.  This time he shot a doe.  This is the first deer in the five years he's been hunting.  I loaded up the boys, and we headed out to Grandma's house to see it.  Colton was so proud of his daddy!

I'm mostly okay with the hunting stuff.  I know Colton isn't handling a gun, so that helps.  I did have a hard part when Willy began talking about the whole social aspect of hunting from a deer's point of view.  That made me kind of sad.  There is a reason I can't watch Bambi.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Moving Quickly

Wow, time is really moving quickly!  I just realized I am writing post #242!  I don't remember hitting 200, at all.  17 months without my sweet baby boys just passed, and earlier today I referred to losing them as 18 months ago.  Really?? 

Speaking of them, I had the most amazing reaction today from a lady who I talked about them with.  We talk often, everyday I pick Ethan up from school.  She's worked there since Colton started attending there.  But we've never talked about Lucas and Caleb.  She asked about if I was happy with two boys today as we were waiting for Ethan and Willy to go to the restroom.  This is always an awkard question for me.  I told her we were actually blessed with four boys, but that we lost twins 18  months ago.  Her reaction was perfect.  No crazy amount of pity and the pat "I'm sorry."  She looked genuinely saddened by the news, but continued the conversation also.  Hard to explain, I guess.  We talked about how as bad as I would love, love to have a little girl running around, what I truly desire is a healthy baby coming home in my arms (not a white box.)  It was overall a nice conversation, considering.

I feel like I am back on track all around.  I am cooking again, the boys are getting their work done, and my laundry is caught up.  I missed my planner last week, and actually enjoyed catching it back up yesterday.  Christmas is just around the corner.  I find myself fighting to not rush into the season versus last year when I just wanted to run away.  It's a nice change, that's for sure.  It's going to be a fun Christmas and I feel comfortable with where Lucas and Caleb fit into it all.  They are always with us and often those around us. 

I found myself wondering over the weekend if 18 months is going to be more painful than some of the more recent anniversaries.  I kind of feel that it will, for whatever reason.  Although Drew's Mom, Allison, put it well yesterday when she said it's closer to 2 years, on the flip side of it.  So, I refuse to let it blindside me, but am trying not to anticipate it, either.  I guess I'm really trying to avoid the thought of 18 months in general and what it means.   There are enough distracting thoughts going around inside this head of mind, that's for sure.

Wow, so there's some random ramble on a rainy day. 

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Catching Up Some

It has been a busy, busy fall!  I thought I would share some pictures and fun we had in one BIG post.  Hopefully with all the fall stuff behind us, I will be on here more.  I read posts daily (almost), but never have the time to really sit down and share much myself.

Here we go....

Colton's first football practice.  I was excited to get a picture of the ball he threw in the air.  Proof that my son doesn't 100% take after me. hehe

Willy playing at a park in Columbia, MO!  Love this park and LOVE this man!!

Colton's football team trying to mad-dog it for the team picture.
I just realized this morning I took only videos of Colton playing football after his first game.  Darn, guess I'll have to hit up grandma for scrapbooking photos.

 The boys in the pumpkin decoration at Silver Dollar City.

 Willy and Colton making their way throuh the smallest section of the cave.  The boys loved it!!

 Willy trying to scare Ethan. 

 Colton practicing his martial arts.  This kid is really enjoying it!

 Colton in his Captain America costume.  The Shield throws discs which were "accidentally" left at home.

 Ethan surrounded by his friends at school.  He is gonna be a social kid like his momma.

 Okay, I really love this house every year.  And this year they painted their children kind of morbidly.  And those kids really acted their parts well.  It was kind of creepy, really.  But very well done.

 The leaves this year have been AMAZING!!

And lets not forget the fall festival.  This event took tons of time and work, but was very much worth all of it!  

 Here's a pic I took real quick to prove I did spend some time with my family amist all the running around.

Not a day has gone by this fall without me thinking of my sweet baby boys.  I miss them and love them so much.  But I see them everywhere. Every bright leaf, every sunset, and every fogged breath in the cold mornings.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

17 Months

Dear Lucas and Caleb,

Mommy is quite ill this week.  I want to write so much about this past month, but it will have to wait until I am feeling better.  Wanted to stop by and say thank you for visiting a few weeks ago, and send you your monthly letter.  Although it is rather short.  I will write more later.

Love you, babies!

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