Sunday, December 29, 2019

2019 Year In Review

I end this year so very thankful! 2019 was one for the books!  We went to fun places, experienced lots of new things with the ever growing kids, and added another precious baby to the family! A year ago, I wasn't in the best of places.  I wanted to feel normal, but I just didn't.  For anyone who has tried to get pregnant without success, there is some coming to terms that happens around the 1 year mark and Christmas and New Year's just happened to hit around that one year mark.  Between hitting that milestone and passing November when our chemical pregnancy was due (November 23rd due date to be exact, the same date a year later we would welcome Ayla), I was struggling. January was definitely a come to Jesus time in my life and while I still don't understand why things worked out the  way they did, I would not give up the spiritual growth I experienced this past year. Boy can a lot change in a year and I am so grateful and thankful for where we are at the end of this year and the memories that have been made. So here's a quick recap of the year we are leaving behind. 

In January we took our first family trip to Hawaii!  It was a complete blast and we still find ourselves talking about it often! Can't wait to go back there someday!

Eli turned 8 years old, had pink eye for his birthday so had to reschedule all the festivities for later but we eventually got to celebrate him the way he deserved! 

We did not get much snow at all, we were told we were going to get dumped on with snow but were once again disappointed by the weathermen with a little bit of snow but it was enough to make a snowman and the kids were happy.  

2 days after my 33rd Birthday I thought I saw a hint of a line on a pregnancy test and was confirmed the next day with another faint line.  As this picture depicts it may have taken a little while to help me believe it was happening and that this baby was gonna stick! I could not have been anymore thankful for this little gift on the way! 

In April, Malachi turned 9 and Sabrina turned 7.  They celebrated with a joint batman party! 

We had a fun Easter, made even better when we got to tell the kids that their dream of a new baby was coming true!

To close out a very busy April, we also made a trip to Disneyland. I was very very sick with morning sickness on this trip so I didn't make the best of memories from it but the kids had a blast and that's what matters most! 

Eli played up a year in baseball which had a steep learning curve but he did pretty good and learned a lot and most of all grew in his love of the game! 

LB graduated preschool! 

We celebrated Father's Day and Peter's first as a father of 5! 

For 4th of July we headed down to Coos Bay and had a great time! 

In the summer LB turned 5 years old, wow time has gone fast! 

We also got to catch a glimpse of our special little baby! 

And celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary

In August we got away for a couple days to celebrate our anniversary and the last getaway before baby! It was a good time! 

We also celebrated our family day with a very fun day at the beach with the kids.  The valley had a weird August and we weren't sure about the weather but as soon as we got to the ocean it was beautiful! 

We were growing growing growing in the fall.  The kids have kept us busy with soccer, dance classes, piano, and now basketball.  We also started another very busy, but going great, school year!   

And of course the highlight of our year was the birth of beautiful and precious Ayla! She is such a dream come true! 

And last but not least, we celebrated our very first Christmas as a family of 7 (plus Groot)!  Two weeks before Christmas my dad had a heart attack and needed triple bypass surgery. Between being 2 weeks post partum, caring for a newborn, Peter trying to balance an insanely busy time at work with home life, and my dad having these issues it has been a stressful December to say the least.  But I can't end this year with anything but thanksgiving in the gift of this amazing family God has given to me and that my Dad has made it through surgery and recovery with flying colors!  2019 has not been an easy year but man has it been a good one! 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Ayla is 1 Month

Somehow we have been blessed with beautiful little Ayla for a whole month already.  I still wish there was a way to slow time down and enjoy this phase even more, but I am trying to enjoy every minute, even the middle of the night moments! Miss Ayla already weighs in at a whopping 9 1/2 lbs, wearing size 1 diapers and quickly outgrowing those newborn clothes (tears!)  

We're doing a pretty good job with nursing, not perfect yet but we are getting there.  I have almost 500 ounces put away in the freezer which I am pretty happy with.  I'll hold on to it all for awhile just in case my supply dips in the coming months but I would also love to donate it if she doesn't need it.  

Sleep is still something we are figuring out. She definitely has her nights and days mixed up and will fight sleep pretty bad until 1-3 in the morning which is making for some really long nights but we are doing our best to try and keep her awake longer in the evening and work this out.  Even when she has us up half the night, we are more chill and have learned to role with it as it's just a phase and with all of our adoption education classes we completely understand the importance of bonding and meeting her needs.  BUT, hopefully by next month we've made some good progress getting bedtime started earlier.  Her favorite people are definitely Mom and Dad, as expected.  Mom for the food and snuggles and she's pretty fond of snuggling on Dad's shoulder for naps.  

It is crazy how fast newborns change as she's alert a lot more of the time. Peter swears she's smiled at him a few times and she is definitely trying to make some sounds at all of us as she starts to focus on our faces.  The kids are eagerly waiting for some big smiles.  It has also been really magical to have a teeny tiny baby for the holiday season this year.  We've obviously had babies at different fun phases and stages at Christmas before but a tiny, fresh baby for Thanksgiving and now Christmas has made this time of year feel even more special and blessed! 

And now for the pictures because you know I have a lot of them!  

The kids are still amazingly fond of their baby sister, this has been awesome to watch as I figured the novelty would have worn off by now, but nope.  She's definitely something special in our house still!  I am super proud of each one of the kiddo's and how they've handled and adjusted to a new baby in the house.  There has been no conflict or signs of kids feeling out of place.  It's so cute to see them worry about her and check on her every couple minutes when she's sleeping or see how they run over trying to talk and get smiles when she is awake.  I feel so fortunate and lucky to have these 5 kids and I hope they always have this tight bond that they already share as siblings.  




                                                      And just some general cuteness!



Today was even a big day for our girl as she napped in her crib for the very first time and took her very first bottle like a champ so we can get her used to the idea from time to time.  

Sweet Baby Ayla, wow this month has flown by.  It has been nothing but pure joy being your mama! You've been a long awaited dream come true for me and I am thoroughly appreciating every moment we have together!  I am so thankful for little tiny you and I cannot wait to make more memories with you, even if you're too young to remember them.   I can't wait to celebrate your first Christmas with you!  There's something humbling and extra special about celebrating Jesus' Birth and this time of year while snuggling a fresh new baby of our own.  You are so incredibly loved by everyone in this house!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Newborn Photos

Ayla continues to grow far too fast, I just can't figure out how to make time slow down. One of the important things to me was to capture her as this tiny, beautiful little gift as I could before she started to grow. I am so happy with how these photos turned out and I will treasure them forever.