Monday, August 21, 2017

Letter :: Harry :: 5.5 Years

Dear Harry,                                                                                         

Well, you’re already 5 ½ and I cannot believe that in a few weeks you’ll be starting Kindergarten. This summer has been so much fun spending time with you and your brother. You two are becoming such great friends lately (wrestling, cracking each other up, and playing together more and more as Ellis gets bigger).

We’ve enjoyed our backyard more than ever this summer now that we have our new patio. It’s been fun swimming in our little blow-up pool and having water balloon fights together in the heat. We’ve also built quite a few fires in our new fire pit and had lots of family and friends over to roast marshmallows and enjoy s’mores together.

You grew about two inches since your birthday, and as summer has been winding down we can tell you are more than ready for school to start. You love reading chapter books with Daddy and I...and you’ve got quite a few sight words and decoding strategies under your belt. You’ve also got some great math strategies for adding and subtracting which we talk about throughout the day. You’re so excited to wear your new red sneakers and Power Ranger backpack on the school bus (which you’ll be riding with your friends Mason and Gavin). I’m honestly not sure that I can quite handle seeing you climb on that big yellow school bus yet. It really seems like you were just Ellis’ age, toddling around and learning to talk...and now you’re about to head off into Elementary School. It just doesn’t seem possible, but here we are.

My hope and prayer for you Harry, is that you will be a kind boy to everyone you meet this year. God loves you so much and I am sure that he will use your creativity and enthusiasm for life to show other people how much He loves them too. There will certainly be challenging moments this year when your character is tested, when kids are mean or situations tempt you to be selfish or react out of frustration. I’m sure you’ll make mistakes as you navigate this whole new place, but I promise to lovingly guide you along the way. I know you’ll do great things as you grow in your independence; I am already so proud of who you are Harry. You probably get sick of hearing this phrase, but you truly are my blessing.

Five (and a half) years ago you made me a mom, and I’m still surprised sometimes by how immense my love for you is. The funny thing is, as much as I loved you from the moment I knew you were growing in my belly...I love you more today than ever before. Sending you off to school feels a little bit like sending you off into the world, and I guess in a way it is. Maybe that’s why I’m sitting here at my computer with tears streaming down my face while I write you this letter. I love the boy you are growing into, and part of me just wants to hold onto this stage of life and never let you go. But I know that God created you to live your life to the fullest, and growing up and going to school is just part of that plan.

I’m really going to miss spending so much time with you during the week, but I cannot wait to hear about your adventures at recess, the new friendships you’ll be making, and what kinds of things you will learn about in your classroom. I know it’s going to be great! I’ll try to keep it together on the first day, but I’m sure I’ll shed a few tears after you get onto the bus...and I’ll be counting down the hours until brother and I get to meet you at the bus stop and hear all about your first day!

Love always,

Your Mama

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Letter :: Ellis :: Year ONE!

Dear Ellis,                                                                                                                                           


You are one whole year old and we are loving every minute of this stage of life with you!

We celebrated your birthday with a house filled with family (and a few friends) and the most adorable foxy d├ęcor. Your auntie Catherine made the most delicious cake (apple with salted caramel frosting) - and the woodland theme was perfect! You loved eating it, even if you were a little slow to dig in. Your favorite part of your birthday was when Harry, Daddy and I sang “Happy Birthday” to you on your actual birthday. You lit up with delight when you realized that we were singing to you. It may be our favorite video of you to date.

Lately you are on the move. You not only crawl (still mostly in the army style), but you’re also pulling yourself up on anything you can...and even trying out your climbing skills. The other morning I was cooking in the kitchen and walked around the island to find you standing on your brother’s picnic table bench, reaching for the counter. I’ve said it all along, but I think it’s finally coming to pass: you are a super sweet boy, but you also have a mischievous streak.

Part of me wants to be sad that you’re already one, but in all honesty, I’m just plain thankful. I am so thankful that you have been part of God’s plan for our family all along. We love you and your brother so much and though your first year is a treasure that I will always hold dear in my heart - there is so much joy ahead to look forward to! I am so excited when I think about the relationship that you and Harry are developing. As loud as it can get at times, my favorite sound is the two of you cracking each other up in the back of the van. Harry can really get you squealing screaming with delight...more so than anyone else. I hope and pray that you will be best friends for all of your lives. Your brotherhood is one of my life’s greatest joys to witness!

You are loving the recent sunshine we’ve had and are happiest when we’re outside getting fresh air. You enjoy riding in the stroller, and I think it’s time to take our little police car outside so you can go for rides while Harry rides his bike/scooter/car up and down the street.

You love swinging and going down small slides. I think by the end of the summer you’ll be climbing up to the top of our tree fort out back and going down the big boy slide. You are certainly more adventurous and less cautious than Harry was at this age.

Ellis, we hope you know how much joy your little life has brought to the world - especially to our family of four. We are blessed to call you son and brother...and really can’t remember what life was like before you came along. Here’s to a lifetime of years spent loving each other and learning how to do life together.

Keep adventuring on sweet boy. I’ll be following close behind to try and keep you out of too much trouble ;)

Love always,

Your Mama

Monday, March 27, 2017

Letter :: Ellis :: Month 11

Dear Ellis,                                                                                                                               
Aside from the fact that you’re teething again (which makes us all crazy ;) mainly because we aren’t getting much sleep) this stage you are in has reminded me that the best is truly yet to come. As sad as it is for me to let go of your baby years, watching your personality develop makes me so excited for the future!

Oh sweet boy, we just love you so much. I think my favorite thing lately is to watch you and Harry play. You try to wrestle with him (mostly the two of you rolling around the floor). He legitimately makes you belly laugh, and if we give you a “light saber” (an empty giant bubble wand container) you immediately hold it up, ready to have a Jedi battle with your brother.

When your daddy has to work overtime we often bring him coffee and I think it’s the highlight of both of your days when we roll the window down and you get to see him in his police uniform. I love watching your reaction in the mirror above your car seat. You seem to be a musician like your dad...always dancing when there’s music (which you may have inherited from me, since dancing was my hobby throughout childhood). And you love strumming on Harry’s little guitar. It’s super adorable.

So far, your words are “go”, “mama”, “dada”, and “whoa”. We are still working on “Harry” or “brother” (or even just “bro”). You don’t seem to like the word “no” when you are getting into something you shouldn’t (aka the fireplace grate or the outlet upstairs by your bathroom).

Teething seems to have impacted your interest in food the past week or so, but you really seem to enjoy the food we are eating (preferably fed to you from a grown-up utensil). Peanut butter toast is still one of your favorites, but we recently discovered that you like to chomp on asparagus. You also like scrambled eggs.

You are so close to crawling. You can roll, scoot backwards, spin around on your belly...and almost army crawl to get where you want to go, especially when you are near something you shouldn’t get into (like the fireplace or wall outlets). When it’s time for your bath you are so motivated to get in the tub that you can almost pull yourself up. You love to stand naked on the side of the tub watching the water fill up. And you’re still a splash master once you make it into the water.

Lately you’ve been really enjoying being outside (when it’s not raining). We’ve made it to the park or enjoyed walking around the neighborhood in your stroller. You never fuss when I strap you love sitting back with your blanket and thumb, taking in your surroundings as we walk around outside. Speaking of your blanket, you still love to snuggle up with your blanket and your thumb. It’s the sweetest thing to see you reach for your blanket (you especially love the corners) and stick your left thumb in to soothe yourself. You may end up needing some dental work because of it, but I hope you suck your thumb for a while’s such a sweet reminder that you’re still my little baby.

As I type this, your birthday party invitations are in the mail heading out to our family and a few friends. We cannot wait to throw you a super fun fox party to celebrate the incredible blessing it has been to have you in our family for the past year. We love you Ellis. Can’t wait to enjoy the milestones ahead as you transition from being a baby into your toddler years. This spring and summer will be filled with so much fun as you learn to walk (and run) and enjoy all of the joys of summer alongside your brother (popsicles, bubbles, splash parks, swimming, roasting marshmallows, playing at the park, picnics, library trips, the park, long walks, camping...)!

Happy 11 months sweet boy! You’re such a joy to our family!!! :)

Love always,

Your Mama