Saturday, August 28, 2010

Linnea’s First Birthday

My baby girl is one. What a wonderful, sweet day of celebration we have had! Like all moms I’m sure, I feel like this day is surreal—surely it wasn’t that long ago that she was nestled up on my chest, sleeping most of the day away? (Actually, that part DOES feel like a long time ago :)).

The Bible says that children are a heritage from the Lord, and a reward. Life is so sweet with Linnea, and I really do thank Jesus for her little life multiple times each day. I am so thankful for the grace he has given me as I’ve grown as a mama, and it is a true joy for me to watch this little person grow up and come into her own personality. She loves birds. She loves dogs. She is friendly to strangers but wants to be held by her mama. She loves pushing things across the floor, especially boxes of her toys and her orange pail, as well as the high chair. She says “oh” in the cutest voice when something new catches her eye and interests her. And she can always spot a bird on the lamppost at the other side of our block from her own perch on her high chair way before I’ve noticed it.

I love her sweet giggles with that mouth full of teeth; the serene expression on her face when she’s curled up next to me, sleeping soundly in bed; the high-pitched squeal of her tearing down the hallway, knowing she’s being chased; and when she pulls on my pant leg, saying MaMaMaMaMa, wanting me to pick her up.

I love playing with her, laughing with her, nursing, singing, chasing, dancing, eating, snuggling, walking, bike riding. I cannot imagine my life without her. I have nice memories of my past but they really are just that—right now this IS my life and I would  not have it any other way. I am just delighted to be Linnea’s mama and thank God every day that I am the one with that title and responsibility. We have come a long way from her endless cries at night and waltzing through the darkened apartment to get her to fall asleep. We have changed a lot, learned a lot, grown a lot, and had to depend a lot on God’s grace; and we have known far more joy than we could ever have imagined.

Just now I was nursing her to sleep. I do this every night. It is what has worked the best for Linnea and for me and I have done it for her since her birth. I am glad we made it to the 1-year mark, and though I do often wonder how much longer it will be (cause bites do hurt, ya’ll), I wouldn’t have it any other way. In the dark I thanked God for her and her wonderful first year. I snuggled her up to me and we rocked and I just basked in the love of my family. I felt like Mary treasuring things up in her heart after Jesus was born. When it was time to lay Linnea down in her crib, I kissed her softly and then held my hand over her, and prayed over her sleep, her future, her salvation, her husband-to-be, and for the patience, wisdom, grace, knowledge, and perseverance I will need to be her mama into her second year. Then I blew her a kiss and went out. It often isn’t that easy, but tonight it was (even after chocolate cake!), and I’m thankful for that. But more than the ease of tonight’s bedtime routine, I’m thankful that, whether easy or hard, I’m the one getting to be there through it all. And to snuggle again in a few hours.

Linnea girl, I love you with all my heart. Happy birthday baby girl.

(Pictures and party stories soon to come!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Free time, free plants, free furniture

Tim’s been working less crazy hours lately so we’ve had some good time as a family, plus a couple of really fun, relaxed (and yet so productive!) weekends. Ah. It feels so good to connect and have T-I-M-E together!

We’ve gone for a couple of rides with the bike trailer, and two words stick out in my mind: Fun and Hills. Biking is such a fun way to spend time together but man is it hard work pulling that trailer. Up to 100 lbs? Yeah, we’ll see about that. At least Linnea seems to like the trailer pretty well, as you can see below.

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And here are some photos of just hanging out

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Crawling around at home

 

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Spaghetti dinner…and searching for dropped pieces in her high chair. (And yes, she is naked for nearly every meal…baths are a frequent occurrence around here!)

 

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Evening walk down to the Marina before bedtime. So blessed to live by the water!

 

And here are some of the latest home improvement projects

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A shot of the hydrangeas in the front…can’t wait till they grow tall! Love that pink color. Tim is faithful about watering them in the mornings before work.

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We saw these plants a few blocks away with a “FREE” sign in someone’s driveway, debated about them until the afternoon, and then Tim decided to go for it and carry them home on our way back from somewhere. He planted them by the fence in the side yard and then decided to look up the name the friendly gardeners he met had told him. They are ilex, a kind of holly. That’s right. The giant weed, er, tree we have growing in the front now has some siblings. Fortunately they don’t seem to be the type to get all prickly and out of control…or else Mary might have to come back and tame them!

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And voila! Finally, some furniture for the back room! We hit up the Aboda showroom, which is run by the company that does the Microsoft temp housing. They cycle furniture through their temp units and then put it on sale at deeply discounted prices. We got a sofa and loveseat which have some tears in the leather, but with a kiddo prowling around that’s just fine with us! We also picked out a dresser, which we have never had, and two nightstands for the guest room. Tim rented a U-Haul and got a friend to help bring the stuff home. Nothing better than instant gratification for cheap!

(The actual free furniture I mentioned in the title is a bookcase from our Turkish neighbor Angie—very nice lady—as well as a big old German radio, and a carpet shampooer. Not furniture, but still free. We also snagged free tile outside our friends Sarah and Joel’s house when we visited them and their new baby girl, Quincy! A tile project is TBD but may include the entryway to replace carpet, or a bathroom floor.)

 

And lastly, some shots of two of baby girl’s favorite things lately: the pool and watching birds.

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The silly finches finally found the birdfeeder we hung under the eave. Linnea loves to point, clap her hands and wave whenever they visit!

 

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More updates to come next week when my baby goose turns 1! Can’t believe it’s almost here!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

26

Yesterday was my 26th birthday. Wahoo! Felt a little less grand than 25, but hey, I’m not complaining. I got to spend a fun morning with my lovely bible study ladies learning and sharing, and then Linbug and I had a long afternoon snuggle together. The day rounded out with an ever-evolving schedule of events—that’s what you do with a baby, right?—that included half a fun dinner at an Italian restaurant in Redmond, where a nice family gave up their kid’s high chair for us since it was the only one left in the restaurant. The other half of the dinner featured to-go boxes of our entrees by the fountain outside the Redmond Town Center Macy’s—cause Linnea wasn’t exactly practicing her inside voice in the restaurant.

She loved the fountain…

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…and then I got to open my present:

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Yes, a baby bike helmet. This little teaser gift was followed by a walk over to REI and the unveiling of my real present…

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A baby bike trailer! A DOUBLE baby bike trailer!

Tim wrote me the sweetest card about how there was something I didn’t get to do as much as I would like (exercise), and hopefully this gift would help with that. And I was JUST THINKING two days ago how much I’d like to get back on my bike…which I haven’t ridden since, oh, DECEMBER 2008. Yep. Two wheels and shiny aluminum sitting in storage ever since I popped a baby belly. BUT. Let the biking resume!

Hope I remember how to pedal!

I’m a bit freaked out about actually pulling Linnea in the trailer, so we’re going to take a while doing family rides together with Tim pulling her just so I can get comfortable on the road again.

And just in case we ever get the hankering to go for a hike…or cross-country skiing…or I can start running again…the trailer has attachments for all those activities! (Think little skiis and a harness, or a front wheel, or even two little wheels so it can work as a stroller!)

Isn’t it nice we have a baby so we can get all this fun gear?

Thanks, honey, for such a fun birthday surprise! And make way in the bike lane!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Luke turns 1

Our friends Jonathan and Jenni Clark celebrated little Luke’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. Here are a couple pics from the little gathering with our dear friends!

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The birthday boy is the one standing up in the baby pool. Linnea stuck her toes in and then cried (but she likes the bath and the lake…silly girl!). And then in the group shots it’s Jenni, Rachel and Emily—my moms group! The husbands are Brian (left of Tim, belongs with Emily and Beckett); Tom (with baby Tommy, husband to Rachel); and Jonathan with Luke.

I can’t believe Linnea’s first birthday is in just a few weeks!

Breaking news and other stuff

Linnea took her first step yesterday!

She was holding onto the lawnmower, let go, and then balanced and took one step. :)

That’s been the only one so far but she is THIS close to walking I think, and so I bought her a pair of shoes so she can actually get down and practice when we’re outside.

Yay! But a little bittersweet—my baby is growing up!

Also, here are some pics from our recent gardening adventures. My parents bought us some hydrangeas for our 3rd wedding anniversary (July 21…must have forgotten to mention it here but it was super fun! Mary and Rebekah babysat and we had a fun dinner out, notwithstanding the ensuing sickness from raw oysters, but I digress).

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I guess I don’t have a picture of the finished flower bed but there are five plants, three between the rhododendron and other bush at the corner of the porch, and two on the stairway side. They are pink right now and I’m excited to see what color the soil turns them! Linnea was observing with help from Mary. It was funny to get the shovel out and start digging holes because I overturned a few buried tree trunks that must have been from stuff that was planted there before. Who knows what other secrets this house is hiding, but I guess I’d prefer not to know…decomposing wood is not so bad!