Thursday, May 29, 2014

6 months

happy HALF birthday!!!

Milo, you are 6 months old!

And if you aren't just the sweetest little bundle of love. You smile at everyone and everything. Sometimes even just at the wall. You are so easy going and just happy! You are still a snuggler and you're big on comfort and closeness. You take the best naps when you have your sleep sack, blanky, gator bippy and owl lovie in the swing or when you are right beside mommy and daddy in bed. You love our bed. You hate your crib. I think it's so sweet when you wake up in the middle of the night and roll on your side to nurse yourself back to sleep because you know I'm right there. Last month I was really trying to get you to sleep longer and in the crib but I've just decided to be patient and embrace this. Yes, mommy is a little sleepy, but these times are precious and I'm in NO hurry! 
We've started you on some solids! You...
Love: carrots and banana oatmeal
Like: squash
Tolerate: pears
Hate: peas and green beans

Right now your best "skillz" are screaming and blowing bubbles :) I think because you are held so much that you may be a bit behind on the whole rolling over and sitting up thing. But that's ok. We will redefine milestones!

Blowing bubbles all day long...

You are a big belly laugher! You laugh the most with your brother and sister. You just watch and giggle :) It's pretty darn cute and your daddy and I get many visions of the days ahead in our house with a big sister and TWO boys!

You have this adorable little swirl of hair on the top of your head that is longer than the rest. It's the only spot of newborn baby hair that never fell out so it's a patch of long hair that does this adorable little swirly thing. The other day, a friend pointed out that you look like a cupie doll! I couldn't agree more!

You are looking so much like your sister these days. You look even more like the baby version of her. She loves that you have her blue eyes. I love that I get to see my baby Ella again through you! It's so special.
Tiny hog fans...

Third child probs...
You can and will sleep anywhere and through anything.
(as long as you're being held of course)
But naps on Mommy are the best!
You are quite the pampered prince when it comes to your sleeping arrangements! This is where you sleep every nap and night...right in between Mommy and Daddy. Gator bippy. Feet usually crossed. And touchdown pose :)
We had your 6 month pictures taken at the University of Washington since you are our Washington babe! I can't wait to show them off! It is such a beautiful place. And it closely resembles Hogwarts haha.

Mighty Milo, we adore you. I don't know how I ever lived without you! You have changed everything and  completed our little family. You are all baby. We wondered after you were born if we would have one more but I have to say, you just seem like you were meant to be the baby. These 6 months have been the sweetest! We love you precious boy. You are one ginormous bundle of adorableness! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pre-School Graduation!

Luca graduated Pre-School TODAY!!! 
(Miss E was at school)
What a difference a year makes! Here is our Super Luca on the first day of preschool...
And here he is on his last day! He has grown up so much this year!
For graduation, they all entered with their adorable hats to the graduation song. A few tiny years may have welled up because he was so darn cute. He looked all over for us and couldn't find us even though we were right there!
"Where are my parents?"
 Then we called his name loudly so he could here and he turned and waved trying his hardest not to smile! This is what he does when he's really excited but knows he's being watched. It reminds us of his Uncle David haha.
They marched in and then sang some songs. Luca sang and danced and everything! At the beginning of the year he wouldn't perform :)
The received their diplomas. Luca was VERY proud of his...

 We sat next to the mother of one of his classmates. She volunteered in the room often and said how sweet and hilarious Luca was. She said he's always cracking jokes, acting goofy and making people laugh. She said he's so sweet and caring to all of the kids. She also said he is a rule follower. Yes, you heard right. He is ADAMANT that things are done the right way and in order. Whoda-thunkit. Not I!
Here is his end of the year book...Hilarious. I will treasure it forever. 
This is my favorite page...the all about me page. It is all Luca! Just in case you can't read it...
Favorite color: blue and pink
Favorite toy: spiderman
Thing to do: racing bikes (and he goes FAST)
Favorite animal: Moose (he has a stuffed one that he's recently taken to)
Place to visit: Johnny and William's house (his preschool partners in crime)
Book: Pirate book
When I grow up: I'm going to work with the ipad and drink coffee and stuff (so basically he wants to be like his daddy) haha. That part was my favorite!
 His teachers letter...
 And this is his self portrait at the beginning of the year...
 And one from the end of the year!
Watch out Pre-K! Here comes Luca! I signed him up for all 4 days b/c
1. He is young for his grade
2. We have a lot of work to do before kindergarten!
3. He's social and gets bored quickly at home
4. He has so much energy and is highly combustible at home!
One of his pre-k teachers is a lovely friend from church! I can't wait to here insider stories ;)

Wrapping it up...

So while Ella has been chugging away finishing up the school year, I've been enjoying the last of my quiet moments at home before the summer time party gets started! We've had some beautiful spring days so we've been getting out and enjoying fresh air. 

this little one might end up with red hair...

 I think this boy has the cutest little pout. I've always called him my pouty prince. His looks could kill! I found this picture of baby Luca the other day and just died. Those eyes. Those lips! Even though he's pouting or sad, I still love to look at that face and see his baby face :) When he's made we get more of the eyebrow action like baby luca on the left haha.

 I also said goodbye to these moms on Wednesday for our summer break! I've come to love all of these ladies and it's such a needed mommy break in the middle of the week to come together, study God's word and lean on each other! Oh...and eat good food too :)
This little guy had a birthday celebration at school the other day! They celebrated summer birthdays all at once. The sweet little boy came home from school SO excited it was his birthday and he was 4! There was no explanation that could help him understand or convince him that it wasn't his birthday THAT DAY haha. As cute as it was it made me a little sad because that means he thought he didn't have a party and that I didn't know it was his birthday!
(the pearl necklace wasn't a part of the celebration. just a new favorite accessory ;) )

I'm still getting out and exploring our neighborhood bit by bit. What I love is how artistic and unique everything is. No cookie cutter buildings. Just character, art and unique design. I still watch the bachelor and bachelorette. MANY of them are from Seattle or chose someone from Seattle. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I follow their blogs or instagram accounts to see what their favorite hot spots are. Most of them are in my hood so I've been checking them out and have found many fun spots that I've walked by many times! Like Percy's for cocktails and Hot Cakes for dessert. Yum. 
On Monday, Luca graduated from his Mom's Group class! Next year he won't come with me because he'll be in Pre-K! I post 3 of these pictures to show you his orneriness with his partner in crime. He just might be the class clown. 

And my latest obsession...Jamberry Nails!!! 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Let It Be

Let it be. The good, the bad, the ugly…let it be. The big things and the small things…let it be. Mike and I have found that the best times in our journey together and the most beautiful things in our lives have happened not been because of anything we planned or did. The best things in our life, we never saw coming. And as it turns out, the bad things have happened in spite of our best efforts to plan and protect ourselves. The bad things happened when we were trying to do good. Oh and the ugly, let us not forget the ugly! We call this 2011! Because of 2011, we no longer live a life of fear and control, but of peace and surrender. Not peace as absence of conflict but peace as in flourishing, wholeness, harmony and delight in spite of circumstances. Freedom.
{All ya'll southerners are gonna blame our tattoo idea on Seattle ;) But actually we've been sitting on this for a few years now. Mike's is John Lennon's handwriting. How cool is that? Mine is just pinterest pretty handwriting. Either way, it's a beautiful part of our journey and can't go out of style.}

Mike and I have been forever changed by a really difficult year. Comfort, security, health, friends, jobs, homes, future plans, finances, family, sickness, our baby. It didn’t take long for us to realize how difficult it is to have faith in God in the midst of extreme challenge (And yes, we heard and already knew the "right" answers to have as well-informed Christians during these times; but God was moving us beyond a relationship with our theological tradition and into a direct encounter with him). It was so bad, it was almost easier to believe we could do a better job than God. And that’s why it’s easy to get stuck in the cycle of fear and control. We were afraid God wasn't going to come through or that we could do a better job than him, so that led to strife and exhaustion trying to control the world around us. But this cycle leads to more fear, anxiety, striving and exhaustion. But, amidst the chaos of 2011, we encountered God in a way we never had before. It was there we experienced this peace “unlike the world” gives. Somehow, while the reality of 2011 was very clearly still surrounding us, we experienced the deep pleasure of abiding in Jesus, a stronger sense of intimacy with one another and profound hope in God’s future for us. We realized how easy it is to cling to Him when he’s all you really have. And once we started clinging to him, we didn’t want to let go and go back to clinging any of the lesser things we once held tightly to. We didn’t know what would happen in the future, but for the first time we knew that anything could. For the first time we “let go and let God”. Not because we're super spiritual like that but because we had no other option. In that season, we began to function out of a new cycle—peace and surrender. We became convinced that the “current” of life you feel tugging at you, the one that feels like its pulling you under to drown you, is in fact the pull of Jesus reconciling all things to himself.

Our faith that had only been minimally tested provided a comfy and safe life. But we were blind to so many things. We were living on the surface. Our faith now having been challenged as it has gives us a deeper joy in life, a profound love for others and each other, an unimaginable peace seeing first hand how God made beauty from ashes and a freedom to live life to the fullest because of this. It has changed us. We no longer see things, live or make decisions the same way. We parent differently. Our marriage is a rock. We are strong. What if God never allowed 2011 to come our way? How much of life would we be missing out on? 

When you have nothing, He is everything.  “Let it be done to me according to His will.” That’s what Mary said when she heard the news that she would be carrying Jesus, the Son of God. A Jewish teenage girl amidst Roman captivity who had everything to lose with this “virgin birth”(which I’m sure everyone was whispering under their breath as she told them), including her soon-to-be husband, Joseph, felt the same pull on her life that we felt in 2011. It was her reply that inspired us. “Let it be done to me according to your will”—there is life and goodness and beauty and love in the activity of God, therefore I can’t help but to surrender to you. There, in surrender to perfect Love, we have found a life bigger than we dreamed for ourselves with more meaning and true joy. We live without fear of the future, but great anticipation at what God has in store. Nothing is too big for Him. He has given us a beautiful life with more than we ever imagined. God’s goodness and faithfulness in the worst of times has led to the best forever.

“Let it be” will forever be our story. Our song. Our verse. Our anthem.

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be and answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be

And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

- Mike and Amber

Friday, May 23, 2014

Miss Ella

Ella has been rocking a rolling lately. During bike week at Whittier, she just decided she would ride her bike without training wheels. She came home on Monday afternoon and had mastered it! Nothing like a  little healthy competition with your peers you give you the little extra nerve to go for it ;) So proud of her!
Ella has really taken a motherly role with Milo lately. She was the most hesitant to add a baby to the family and although she has always loved him dearly, I can really tell she's fallen in love with him these past couple of months and melts for him. This trio is so sweet. I can't wait to see what these 3 do as they grow up and how they help, support and love each other along the way. I'm so happy they have each other.
Speaking of growing girl. Ella. I just can't believe how much she's grown up this year in Kindergarten. I know from teaching first grade that next year will blow my mind even more. I'm having a hard time letting go of that baby girl. I know I don't really have to "let go". She will always be my tiny bald baby girl dolled up to the max in my mind. But days are going by and she has more fashion opinions. She's more reluctant to wear bows. She prefers skinny jeans and cool tops instead of frilly outfits. I have to say, she took to these things longer than I've seen most girls but not matter what, it's been hard for me to let her get older. I bought her 2 summer shirts the other day. She told me she felt so grown up. They were just fun neon tank tops with elephants and fun stuff on them. They were very girly but not foo foo. I may or may not have teared up. I know she still has plenty of "little" left in her so I'm cherishing the past, embracing the present and working on getting excited about the future ;) Girls are fun and girls just wanna have fun...especially my bright, animated, spirited party girl. My Ella Bella! 

Goofy girl. Life of the party. 
And speaking of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun...Mike's favorite movie thanks to his big sis Dee Dee :-) He was so excited to introduce it to Ella last Friday for family movie night :) As you can see she was glued. She's been "80s dancing" every since and told me the other day she wanted to be on DTV (dance TV) haha. A girl can dream!
Finally, I leave you with my daily shower buddiesI have to say, with my realization that Ella is growing up fast and won't always be itty bitty, I am no longer annoyed to shower with 18,000 mermaids or the fact that she used all of my good body wash to make magic potions for her fairies. I'm going to let her be little. I'm going to let her grow up (at the right pace of course!) and I'm going to love current moments because someday I'll miss these mermaids in my shower, all of the "nature" (i.e. rocks, trash and dead flowers) she's collected to make fairy homes in her rooms and I'll wish that jeans vs. tutus were my biggest wardrobe issues with her :)
Sugar, spice and all things nice...that's what little girls are made of!