40 Weeks

Some women don't even make it to 40 weeks before their little one enters the world. Ours did. Forty weeks and two days to be exact. So in just two days Anna will have been out of the womb longer than she was inside! I don't know why this excites me so much. It's not like her one year birthday or anything, but I feel like it marks something special. We've come a long way from when I was 40 weeks pregnant! We have a precious baby who is becoming more like a little girl rather than an infant. She's getting into anything and everything. We've found pieces of carpet, bugs, and little pine needles in her mouth when we turn our backs for just a second! Is this normal or am I just a horrible parent?! She's starting to pull up and cruise around the living room. She's absolutely hilarious making the funniest faces and loudest noises. I realized the other day we can't go to the library. We received too many looks after Anna made it known she was there. Where Anna's at right now is just too much fun! I've loved every stage she's been through and every stage is my favorite--does that even make sense? Well I guess I'm ready to move out of the "put everything in mouth" stage, I could do without that. I'll tell ya what, it's a bear trying to get a foreign object out of a baby's mouth! Those jaws won't budge for nothing! She loves animals and definitely makes it known any time she sees one, which makes me nervous because we're not exactly pet people. Hopefully she gets her fix whenever we're with friends who have pets because it'll take a lot for me to budge on that one! 

I sound so repetitive and I even annoy myself sometimes but we really just can't get enough of our little girl. I mean, just look at that face! 


Handmade Gifts

Aren't they the best? I've been a sucker for handmade gifts from the beginning--way before our little one made her appearance. I guess it's the teacher in me. Nothing says "I love you" more than a hand drawn picture of stick figures, hearts, and flowers. Anna can't even draw yet but our refrigerator is full of pictures our little neighbor friends have given us. We even have a pile on top of the fridge waiting for their turn to be displayed. But here's the thing, okay? ... Travis isn't so much a sucker for handmade gifts. Don't get me wrong, he does love them, he just doesn't know what to do with them. He's a very minimalist guy, he hates clutter, and therefore, has no where to display such marvelous work except in a box he only looks through whenever we move. So what does a wife do when Father's Day rolls around and the only acceptable gift is a handmade one? I thought of the perfect gift a few days before as I was biting my nails, petrified I wasn't going to come up with a thing. Travis loves to read, and what better gift than a bookmark that reminds him of Anna every time he opens his book?


On one side I added pictures of Anna and Daddy and on the other side I typed the word "father" in a few different languages plus the saying "To a child's ear, 'father" is magic in any language!". Oh, and of course added Anna's footprint--which took me 30 minutes and 5 pages to get it right. I then had it laminated at Office Depot and Voila! The perfect bookmark for Daddy! He absolutely loved it which makes me feel like I won't find it in some random box when we go to move again. It'll be right where it's supposed to be: in the book he is currently reading!

Amazing book by the way! Every parent should read this like NOW!

Any suggestions for sentimental yet practical handmade Father's Day gifts? I should start thinking about next year already!


A Daddy and his Daughter: A Father's Day Post

Speaking for Travis (even though he has no idea), this first Father's Day was very special. Not only did we celebrate Travis for the amazing father he already is to Anna, we were able to dedicate Anna to our Heavenly Father, plus Grandma Terri visited for the weekend.

Can I just say that I am the most blessed mother to have such a father for my daughter? I may just be a little biased. Travis loves this little girl of ours so much and I know that he just can't get enough of her. She has captured his heart and has got him around her little baby pinky finger. Besides the fact that he loves her to pieces, I just know what a wonderful, wise, and loving father he is and will be as she grows older. Working with youth, the topic of discipline, training, teaching, you name it, comes up a lot. I am amazed with the wisdom he already has and every discussion we have I think to myself, wow, what a lucky woman I am to have this guy as the father of my daughter! I tell him that and he says yeah, but I'm scared! I'm afraid to have a daughter. Aren't we all?! That's why God's grace is so amazing. Plus he gives us the wisdom we need to get through these next 18 years. And I believe Travis has already received a lot of that wisdom. I am so thankful to have him as my companion as we raise our daughter and train her up to also be a daughter of our Heavenly Father. 

As we were getting ready for church I realized if Travis didn't help get Anna ready we were going to be late (this seems to happen a lot). In between drying and straightening my hair I looked into her room and found this precious moment:

Oop, she caught me!
Anna loves her Daddy so much. Her face lights up whenever she sees him and it just makes my heart implode every time! Seriously. I don't know how much more my heart can take.

What a blessing it was to be able to dedicate Anna on Travis' first Father's Day! While Anna was a little sleepy and the worship music scared her (she hates loud noises) it was a beautiful dedication and the words Pastor Jonathan spoke and prayed over Anna were perfect.

We've got a friendly girl on our hands. Anna's always making friends.

Not so sure about this big guy, Mama.

Anna tried with all her might to come back to us. Pastor Jonathan didn't resist, he was quick to hand her off before any tears were shed.
Prayer and dedication. Such a special moment.

Taking a few shots after the dedication was a must!

Anna loves Grandma Terri!
Can you see her top teeth coming in?! Ahhh, I love them!
(Speaking for Travis again) I couldn't think of a better first father's day, although he might add fishing and going to see a movie in there somewhere. I know this was only the beginning of many more father's days where Travis knows and feels just how much his daughter loves him. Even though she can't say it yet, her face, her smiles, and her babbles definitely express the great love she has for her daddy.


Hope Amidst the Chaos

I would bet most of us have been affected by cancer directly or have known someone who has/had cancer. What a terrible, horrible disease and one that just baffles me to no end why God would let it go on. Do you remember me posting a few months back about Heather Von St. James? A beautiful woman and mother who wants to get the word out about Mesothelioma and spread hope to those who need it. She found out she had cancer when her baby girl was just three months old! I can't even imagine. But she has survived and now wants to share that there is hope even amidst the chaos. Please take four minutes to watch this video of her journey. Thank you!

Heather Von St. James

To learn more about Heather or Mesothelioma click here.