Monday, May 24, 2010


This afternoon I sat outside watching Eli play with his cousin Timothy. They climbed up and down the play cube, went up and down the slide, dug in the sandbox, and tossed sand all over the ground. They splashed and played in the little pool and laughed with abandon. Eric came out to watch the two boys while I cooked dinner, and I got to look out the kitchen window at my dream come true:

My beloved husband playing with my treasured son and my sweet nephew, the dogs running nearby. A green yard, a hot Texas sun, a kiddie pool filled with cool water. Laughter and two-year-old babble, giggles and splashes, dirty feet and wet clothes.


Tears filled my eyes as I looked outside at this simple scene. I am overwhelmed with the blessings of the Lord. This is what I have always wanted. I pray for a heart that fully realizes the abundant gifts the Lord gives to us and for a spirit that is calm and quiet enough to revel in the simple, beautiful blessings of everyday life.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On the Mend?

Eli has been sick for a full week now. Whatever this virus was that spread its way through the church nursery, it kicked Eli's tail! It was a nasty one. But I'm pleased to say that he slept through the night without too much coughing for the first time in a week! He's still asleep, actually!

I'm hoping that he wakes up cheerful and hungry- two qualities that have been missing in him since last Tuesday! The poor guy has lost a whole pound, and he's been so clingy and sad and whiny. I miss the real Eli!

In other news, he's talking so much now. He's putting words together all the time now, which is fun to hear. I kind of thought he'd never talk, but he's making some progress, slowly but surely. :) Here are a few phrases I hear about 4,000 times a day (He's nothing if not incredibly persistent!):

-"Beast out!" (meaning, "Please let our 100-pound ball of energy puppy out of her pen so that she can knock me down and lick my face until I drown in dog slobber.")
-"Bike please!" (meaning, "Take me for my 5th bike ride of the day, because I never, ever, ever tire of riding in the seat on the back of your bike while you huff and puff your way up and down the hills of the surrounding neighborhoods."
-"MomMom's house!" (meaning, "I want to visit MomMom and PopPop because they always give me candy and let me do whatever I want. That's what grandparents are for, right?")
-"Where's Daddy?" (meaning, "Daddy should be home at all times! What's up with this job thing that he goes to every day?")
-"DeeDee please!" (meaning, "I need my blanket so that I can cuddle up in your lap with it and remind you that I'm the absolute sweetest, snuggliest little boy in the whole world.")

Monday, May 10, 2010

Eli's 2nd Birthday

We celebrated Eli's birthday on Saturday, May 8 with a party in our backyard. All of our family- both my side and Eric's- were able to make it, as well as a few close friends. The kids had a blast playing together, and the adults enjoyed talking and eating and being outside in the gorgeous weather.

Eli has been sick for the past few days, and I felt badly that he wasn't "in his prime" for the party, but he did pretty well. He got a bunch of really nice gifts, his favorite of which include a tricyle, a sandbox, and a little table and chairs. He rides his tricycle around everywhere- the kid is obsessed with bikes!

I made a cake that looked like a lion for Eli. He loves all animals, and lions are his favorite. He was excited to see it and roared right on cue. :)

It was a great afternoon celebrating our sweet birthday boy. His birthdays are emotional for me, because I can't ever forget how far he has come. I remember so clearly the first time I held him- he was hooked up to a ventilator and all kinds of tubes and wires. He was the tiniest baby I'd ever seen, so fragile and sick, and we honestly didn't know if he'd make it or not. And yet here he is now- a healthy, vibrant, energetic two-year-old. He is our miracle! We are endlessly grateful to the Lord for the way He has cared for Eli.

On Sunday morning I went in to kiss him at 5:04am, the time he was born. We gave him a little present on Sunday morning, just so he'd have something to open on his real birthday, and we ended our family day with a little cupcake with two candles. (Sorry the picture is so blurry! I dropped our camera the other day and it hasn't been the same since! Time for a new one, I guess!)

I loved that his birthday fell on Mother's Day this year, too. Eli is the greatest Mother's Day present ever! Eric surprised me with having my engagement ring re-set, and it's gorgeous! I also got flowers, a super-sweet note, a massage, and a looooong Sunday afternoon nap. It was a perfect day. :)

And now I have a two-year-old! Let the fun begin! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

2 Years Old

My dear, sweet Eli,

Today you are two years old! I can hardly believe how quickly the time has passed, how you have grown from a baby to a boy right before my eyes. And, while I am so excited to watch you grow and change and learn all about the world around you, I must admit that part of me wants you to stay little forever! Part of me wants to freeze this 2-year-old moment- I love who you are!

You are a joy, Eli Dane! I mean that with all my heart. You are the most compliant, cheerful, eager, interested, fun little kid I've ever known. I just love being with you! At two, you are into climbing, splashing in water, pushing or riding anything with wheels, throwing rocks in water, going to the zoo, playing with your cousins, riding the little cars (which you call "Boppies"), watching Barney (which you call "Daddoo"), playing with Daddy, bike rides, being tickled, and holding your blanket (which you call "Deedee"). You are learning how to talk and are just starting to put words together, though we can't always understand what you're saying. :) You're a ham, too, when you want to be, and you are always making us laugh with the things you do and say.

You are the sunshine of my life, Eli. Your smile and laugh light up everything around you, and feeling your little hand grab ahold of mine is one of the greatest feelings in the world. I love you with all that I am.

You had such a rough start, sweet boy. But you fought and fought and worked so hard to overcome so many obstacles and get where you are today. You went from my tiny, little, 2# 13oz. preemie to my big, healthy, energetic, 20# boy! I am so proud of you!

I wish you the very happiest of birthdays today, my precious boy, with prayers for many, many more. You are our MIRACLE, and your Daddy and I pray every day that you will soon come to love and serve the God who has held you safe in His hands since before you were even born.

I love you with all of my heart, Eli. I am so, so proud of you. Happy 2nd birthday, Pumpkin!


Sunday, May 2, 2010


Whew! This weekend has been a whirlwind of activity, but it has been so much fun!

On Friday the three of us drove to Waco to meet up with my dear college friends Matt and Jenn and their precious kids. Jenn and I were roommates in college, and they still live and work in College Station. We see far too little of each other, so this weekend we both drove to Waco, the halfway point between here and there, and met up at the zoo. The kids all had a blast- the zoo is really nice, and they have an amazing play area that entertained all of them for what seemed like hours!

After the zoo we had a picnic in the park. There was a splash pad right there, so the kids played in the water for the longest time. We had such a good time, and I am so thankful for our dear friends! (And, of course, I failed to get a picture of all 6 kids!)

On Saturday we went to a reunion for the Baylor NICU babies. I was surprised at how emotional I got when we were on our way. Just the thought of where Eli was and how far he has come was enough to bring me to tears. We are so thankful for the doctors and nurses that the Lord used to care for our precious boy, and we couldn't be more grateful to be the parents of this sweet little miracle!!!

Baylor did the whole event up so big- it was perfect for little kids. They did a huge cookout, had tons of bounce houses and games, and we just enjoyed being outside at the Landry Center, which is gorgeous!

After the reunion we went to a birthday party for one of Eli's church buddies, C.J. All the kids had a blast on the slip-n-slide, and all the adults just enjoyed talking!

And as if a napless day in the sun, running around, and playing with his friends wasn't enough, we let Eli stay up way past his bedtime to enjoy a big cookout at my parents' house on Saturday night. My grandparents are in from Maine, and it was so fun to have the whole family together for dinner, a fire, dessert, and plenty of talking and laughing.

Needless to say, we put a very exhausted toddler to bed last night! He almost didn't even wake up in time for church this morning!

We had such a fun weekend with family and friends. I hope that yours was great as well!