Thursday, October 27, 2011

Elle's big celebration!!

I'm sure by now anyone who has read our blog has realized we celebrate birthdays by the week instead of the day!  If family is coming down...there is definetely going to be a celebration.  And we were so excited that Grandma and Grandpa Jackson came to be a part of Elle's first birthday celebration!!

And of course she had super fun pajamas for the girls as well!!

After celebrating with Grandma and Grandpa, there was a big party planned with Elle's many friends!

I saw this sweet idea on Pinterest and LOVED it!!

Our whole family was ready for FUN!!!

And Elle looked cute as a button in her little shirt made by our friend Teresa!!

There were 4 babies under 1 and 3 children under 3.  It was crazy!!  And so much fun!

It was so fun tearing through presents!

And Elle loved her cake!!

I mean REALLY loved her cake!!

And then decided to give her cake a hug :)

Dear Sweet Elle - It has been such a joy to be your mommy during this last year.  We started your life off a little rough with all sorts of medical glitches and sicknesses...but you pulled through like a trooper.  I loved seeing your first smile, your first laugh, your first kisses and your first steps.  You are a little firecracker as a friend mentioned the other day and that is a perfect word for you.  You have no fear and are CONSTANTLY on the go.  You love to give your sister a run for her money already and are so determined to keep up with her.  You have an infectious smile and love getting attention from everyone we come in contact with from the grocery store to a restaurant.  You LOVE playing with other children and are Miss Independent, not often needing your mommy or daddy around.  I am so excited to watch yours and Clare's relationship continue to grow...though I have no doubt we will have our battles in the future with the two of you.  I cannot wait to teach you how much Jesus loves you and see the plan he has for your little life unfold. Thank you for being such a sweet little girl and adding pure JOY and laughter to our home.  I love you sweet girl!!  Happy First Birthday!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Myrtle Beach in the fall!

We were offered an incredible blessing last week!  Our church staff was invited to Myrtle Beach for some R&R and even our families were invited to attend!  We have never been to the beach in the fall and I had a hard time packing or knowing what to expect....but it was perfect!!!

This was our beautiful view from our room.  The girls loved standing on the balcony and watching the ocean!!

Elle found lots to play with and "help out" in our hotel room!

A big highlight for Clare was sleeping in this huge bed!

The mornings and evenings were so beautiful!  I am just in awe of the beauty God allows me to experience!

The best part was that it was 80 degrees while we were there and we actually got to swim in the pools...they were a little warmer than the ocean.  I couldn't believe mid October we were in our bathing suits on the beach!! 

You can't tell from this picture (which I totally love!) but Elle really loved the ocean.  Clare was incredibly apprehensive.  Clare really liked finding seashells, but she wanted nothing to do with the waves.  Elle on the other hand crawled straight for them!

It was so fun playing on the beach with very few people around.

And I could get so used to doing this every afternoon!  It was such a great time to spend with family.  But I have to admit....there is no such thing as VACATION with kids!!  We were all sleepy by time we got home!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pink tutu's everywhere!!

Two weeks ago Clare had her very first ballet recital.  I have to admit I was not expecting much.  I tried to prepare her for all the people that would be watching her as she showed us everything she learned.  I also kept encouraging her not to cry or daddy may not let us do this again..haha.  No pressure right??  I didn't care if she danced, I just didn't want a melt down ;)  The fun part was that some family was in town for a women's conference that my sister, Vanessa was doing....

Grammie was here for the big performance...

And so were Aunt Cissy and Kristen!!

Here is Clare's little class with her teacher Miss Nicolette before they started.

Truth be told I am incredibly proud of this picture.  I promise you Clare is doing exactly what the teacher is doing....and no one else is..haha.  Clare definetely had her days in class that she was not into it, but when it counted she was ready to perform!!

And she danced her little heart out!

Even Elle enjoyed the show.

This is Clare and her sweet friend Sophie that she met in class.  They were best buds on Fridays!

And then sweet Ayden walked in looking so handsome and brought flowers for Clare! 

It was seriously one of THE cutest things I have ever seen!!!

I mean seriously, how can you not melt when you see this????

They are one cute pair that is for sure :)  Sweet sweet friends!!!

5K for Isabella Santos

This blog post is extremely overdue, but we had a broken computer last month so I was unable to download these pictures. 
LD recently ran in a 5K for a sweet little girl who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (a type of cancer that affects mostly toddlers and babies). In the last 4 years we have learned more about neuroblastoma than we would have ever liked to know as it hit close to home when dear friends of ours, the Aquaro's little boy Joey was diagnosed at the age of 2. I have blogged in the past about Joey Aquaro and his battle with this awful disease and as we have walked with our sweet friends Matt and Maggie. Isabella is a friend of Joey's and LD was happy to be able to run in this 5K for her.

LD has not ran in a timed race since college so after 3 weeks of prep he felt pretty good about. I was extremely proud of hm as he crossed the finish line in 25 min and 8 sec! Great job babe!

Here is daddy and Clare before the race

And they were off....

Clare and Joey patiently waiting!!

Clare sporting a special tshirt for daddy!

They were such great cheerleaders!

And then LD came!

During the run since Matt, Maggie and their girls Annie and Olivia were running, Joey, Clare and I hung out together.  Joey is incredibly sweet to Clare and she just adores him.  They were cute climbing trees and playing silly games while we waited.  It was a sweet time together!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

We LOVE fall!!

Oh how I love the fall!!! In Michigan summer was always my favorite, but in the south it is definetely fall! 80 degrees and still having leaves change color is perfect! LD and I took the girls to the mountains today to Sky Top Orchards to pick some apples! We were when Clare was 14 months, but we had not been back since!

We had to start the day with some famous cider donuts as requested by Clare!

Followed by some serious play time!

Then it was time to get serious about the apple pickin'

And of course we had to measure to see how much we've grown before leaving!

I wish so badly there were more pictures to share.....or to say that was the perfect ending to our day...but we had a little drama before heading home!  As we prepared to eat lunch and head home I realized I had lost my small purse.  It must have fallen out the stroller and it was gone.  At this point we had been there for an hour and 45 minutes and had covered a good mile radius between playing and apple picking.  The next 2 hours were spent retracing all our steps on the side of the mountain, while carrying 2 very sleepy girls.  As we were both about ready to give up hope I found it!!! 

The funniest and sweetest part of the day was when I was a little...ok, a lot teary eyed about the whole ordeal and Clare asked me if I was crying.  I told her I was very sad and she was extremely persistent about my emotions and asked if I had "raindrops running down my cheeks."  (Which I did not as I was not crying quite that hard!)  When we found my purse she told me it was a great surprise because she prayed I would find it.  She is the sweetest!

It was a great day, but extremely exhausting and the girls were in bed by 7:15...sleeping sweetly with dreams of apple pickin!