Monday, February 10, 2014

Sweetest. Thing. Ever.

Jude Scott,

You were the cutest thing last night when we were reading your bedtime story.
I could have sat there and looked at the book with you forever because of the way you were acting.
You picked your "Baby's First 100 Words" book so it wasn't really a story, just pictures,
but you were so in to pointing at everything and looking at me to say what the object was.
This made me so happy because you normally don't sit still for more than a few minutes
when I read to you.  You've always been that way.  You'd rather squirm and simply listen to the words
while you wander around.  This has always kind of baffled me since you're such a cuddle bug,
but that's just the way you are.  For that reason, I think last night
 will always be one of my favorite memories of you.

You were just so cute pointing at the brush 
and then running your fingers through your hair.
Pointing at the shoes and then trying to slide your feet inside them.
Catching onto the sign language for "night night" instantly 
then pointing at the sleeping boy and signing "night night."
Not just pointing, but pounding on the different balls
and very excitedly saying "ball" with a huge smile on your face.
Pointing at the lion and making your silly roar sound.
And then to top it all off, when you decided you were done reading
you grabbed your paci that was sitting right next to the book, 
stuck it in your mouth, signed "night night" and crawled in my lap.

Sweetest. Thing. Ever.

I  love you so much Jude Scott.  You are so incredible
and it is such an honor to be your Momma.
It is my privilege to read you a bedtime story every night
and to give you one last cuddle before you drift off to dream land.
Always and forever Little J. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This Guy...

....has the biggest toothy grin that puffs up his cheeks and makes his eyes sparkle.
...has a machine gun laugh that will make you want to start laughing too. still just as big of a cuddle bug as he was when he was a newborn.
...can only say a handful of words, but is always jabbering.
..has recently turned into a very big eater.
...loves to play with blocks and legos. his sisters like a hawk and tries to do everything they do.
...enjoys coloring with markers, but will do nothing with crayons except try to eat them.
...knows when he is doing something he's not supposed to and looks back 
at Momma and Daddy with a "I'm a little stinker" grin on his face.
...tries to climb on any and everything. quite the little dancer. very laid back and mellow.
...laughs at himself when he pretends to talk on the phone. pretty selective about who he gives kisses out to, and saves most of them for Momma.
...goes to sleep every night with his big buck and duck.
...wakes up every morning and points out the mounted big buck on his wall.
...still has a paci, but only gets it at bed time.
...laughs with his whole body when he's being tickled. very loved by all three of his big sisters.
..melts his Momma's heart on a daily basis with his sweetness.
...often reaches out his hand and waits for me to hold it before walking off somewhere.
...flops down on his belly as he pushes his cars forward. extremely patient and tough when playing with the rough and wild Emma Claire. still the biggest momma's boy ever.
...but also loves his Daddy and is always on the hunt for big bucks when he's with him.

Momma loves you with all her heart Jude Scott.  
You are perfect and your every smile and kiss hold a special place in my heart.
Always and Forever Little J.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Have Never Felt More Successful

There are days, times, and instances where I have felt like a successful mother,
but for all of those times there are others when I feel like everything is going wrong,
my children aren't listening, and I have no idea what I'm doing 
on this crazy journey called parenthood.
The successful times are full of joy and laughter.
The not so successful times are full of frustration for both the babies and me,
but both types of situations present a lesson to be learned.
Sometimes the lesson is easily identified, while other times it takes some thought and reflection.

One of my most recent successful moments 
proved to be the type where the lesson was crystal clear from the moment it happened.  
The babies and I were in the car.  
Emma was talking a mile a minute as usual.
Jude was throwing in his two cents every now and then with a "Momma" or a "bababa."
Then it got quiet for a few minutes.
Then in the sweetest, most genuine voice I have ever heard
Emma said, "Momma, you love me."

As soon as I heard those most precious words I knew that although
we may have less than perfect moments together, I am doing something right
in terms of raising these beautiful babies.  My most important job as their mother
is to love them unconditionally and to make sure they know that I do.
Those four simple words proved to me that the strength of my love for our babies
shines through even during the hard times.  The cuddles, laughs, hugs, and kisses
are what stands out to them and that makes me happy.

My goal as their mother is to make sure that the
affection, praise, and encouragement always outweighs the scolding.
I know this might be easier said than done, especially as they get older and
develop thoughts and opinions of their own, but I believe our relationship will
be stronger if I always remember that little squeaky voice coming from the back seat
and strive to reaffirm that childhood belief even during the most trying times.
Although they may not agree, but it will be during those times when they need
my cuddles, laughs, hugs, and kisses the most.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Simplicity Makes her Happy

Emma Claire found so much joy just sitting on the front steps
watching the squirrels and kicking her feet.
Life is so simple when you're two.

What I've been up to the Past Two Months

The past two months have been absolutely crazy for my family and me.
After almost three years, we finally said good-bye to Okinawa and moved back to Kansas City.

The trip home consisted of:
26 hours of traveling
2 babies under the age of 2
3 different airplanes
1 parent

Yes, I had to travel across the world by myself with both babies.
Thank you Marine Corps.  My husband and I still can't believe 
they booked our flights separately.  Thankfully both Emma and Jude were
incredible throughout the entire trip.  They made what could have been an unbearable
experience quite pleasant.  I am so grateful for the blessing of well behaved children.
Bits and pieces of our long journey home

Getting out of the Marine Corps was a huge decision for my husband to make.
It was a decision that he and I both thought long and hard about, prayed about, and
held many conversations about.  We ultimately decided
that we had already spent way too much time away from Lilly and Raley.
Our lives, our home, our family were not complete without them.
It was time to go home and stay home.
Yes, my husband made a huge sacrifice in terms of his military career,
but there is nothing more important in life than family
and it was time to have ours together again.
Being reunited with our oldest girls and knowing that we will never leave them again
was worth any sacrifice we had to make.
There was no greater feeling than being reunited with the girls for the first time.

We ended up leaving Japan at the perfect time because 
we made it home just before Lillian Grace started kindergarten.
I am so glad she was able to have her Daddy there for this big milestone
in her life.  I know it meant a lot to Joshua that he was there for it.
Lilly is such an intelligent and imaginative little girl.
She has the capability to do incredible things with her life and to touch the lives
of many people with her genuine concern for others.  Her Daddy and me
are so excited to be home with her so we can help her reach her greatest potential. 
Lilly's first day of kindergarten.

Unfortunately Jude Scott was sick for almost the entire first month that we were home.
It started with the usual cold like symptoms that the babies always suffer through after flying,
but instead of going away after a week like they normally do they just got worse.
Turns out Little Man had his first ear infection.  The first round of antibiotics didn't clear it up
and he also developed an upper respiratory infection. 
 My baby boy was miserable.  It broke my heart.  I felt so helpless.  
All he wanted to do was cuddle with his Momma so that's exactly what he got.
Sharing sweet cuddles with my sick baby boy.

Shortly after our return home my baby girl turned two years old.
I'm still not sure how it's possible that she's two, but from the moment I first held her
to the moment I watched her blow out her candles she has been bringing me so much joy.
She has amazed me with her beauty, intelligence, and sweetness every single day
for the past two years and I know she will continue to for the rest of my life.
She is truly something special and my love for her is impossible to explain.
Even though she was sick, I think she had a good birthday.

The husband and I celebrated our three year anniversary on September 17.
This year was the first year we actually got to go out on an anniversary date,
and although we didn't do anything fancy it was a wonderful night spent just being "us."
The past three years have been full of big decisions and major life events 
(some joyous, some stressful, some sad), but through it all our love for each other has
continued to grow.  We are more in love today than we were on the day we said "I do"
and to me that is so incredible because we were already so deeply in love.
My husband, my Joshua Scott, my best friend is my everything today and will 
continue to be until the day I die.  I love you Handsome Man.
Marrying this man changed my life and filled it with so much love and happiness.

Yes, this is how we acted on our anniversary date.

We left our ocean view and sandy beach behind when we left Japan,
and it appears as if Jude decided to leave his baby stage behind as well.
He is a pulling up and climbing on everything little monster.
He's a rascal and he knows it.  He looks back at Daddy and me
before doing something he knows he's not supposed to then flashes us
a huge smile, shakes his head, and laughs hysterically.
It's just about the cutest thing in the world.  He's fearless and daring
which worries me a little bit.  He is definitely all boy and there is no doubt that
we are going to have our hands full with him.  Thankfully he's still a huge Momma's boy
so I still get lots of kisses and cuddles, all of which I embrace, cherish, and love.
 This boy melts me heart.

On top of all that we have been house hunting since before we even got back to Kansas City.
We've probably looked at 1,000 houses online and been to 100 in person, at least. 
As usual, the process hasn't exactly gone smoothly.  We have made an offer on a total of four homes,
one of which we went under contract on only for it to fall through at the last minute.  
 Luckily we have found another great house since then and everything seems to be on track 
for us to move in in just over a month.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

We've also had to shop for two new cars since we both sold ours before moving to Japan.
I've always said that I never want to own a mini van, but I must admit that I am
absolutely loving my new "Momma Wheels."  The convenience of a mini van
definitely outweighs the stylish looks of my old Chevy Traverse.

But the most stressful part of this transition phase we are in has been
not having any of our stuff from Japan.  We have been living out of two suitcases
and a couple of boxes we personally shipped for the past two months.
We have not seen any of our household goods, most of our clothes, and the 
majority of the babies' toys since the end of July so day to day life has been a little inconvenient.
Thankfully my mom set us up with the basics 
(dishes, a couple pots and pans, silverware, and some toys)
other wise we'd really be having a rough time. She has been a huge help to us.
All of our stuff finally arrived in Kansas City about a week and a half ago,
but we can't get any of it until we move into a house so I really hope this one works out. 

Trying to get everything situated and organized has meant a lot of running around
and dragging the kids from place to place, appointment after appointment. 
It's a good thing we are able to fill what spare time we do have with moments like these...

Watching our kids play together is such a blessing.

Yes, it's been a crazy two months, but our family is together.
We are happy, healthy, and ready to start this next chapter of our lives
creating incredible memories together.  I welcome any further craziness that comes up along
the journey because the six of us can laugh and smile through anything.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Momma's Little Ball Player

This is how Jude spent the majority of his day today.
Chasing after, rolling, and throwing balls are definitely his favorite things to do.
He may be a Momma's boy right now, but he's going to be one tough
ball player in just a few short years.  I can't wait.

Chasing after the balls.

Watching his great throws.

Such a boy!

Oops, hit himself in the head!

A post summarizing my last month and a half is in the works.