Grace and Hope

Grace and Hope
Wait for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always! Pslam 131:3

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Favorite Things

Happy Valentine's Day to my sweet and precious daughters Aubrey Hope and Avery Grace. I thank God for you every time I remember you. You are so loved by your mom and dad every day.

This month I wanted to write about some of my favorite things. Here are just a few that come to mind when I think of my family...

-My favorite times with you are sitting on the floor and sharing my cheerios. Avery cracks me up every time--she reaches in with high expectations of grabbing a handful, goes in for the dive and comes up with about 10 cheerios smashed in her hand and she quickly proceeds to cram them in her mouth. Some fall to the ground and some make it into the mouth, but as soon as she sees another opportunity to grab another handful, she goes in for the kill. Aubrey is more gentle and timid, she butters me up with her cute noises and opens her mouth like a bird. She prefers that I feed them to her one by one or two by two. She enjoys each and every cheerio as if were her last as she mumbles "mmmmm" while she eats. Every now and then she will learn from her big sister and try to stick her hand in the bowl, but she usually is just fishing for one or two cheerios at a time. Clementines are another favorite this month. Both girls enjoy eating this fruit at least three to five times a day! Some of them squirt, some are more sour, some require more chewing than the one before. I love watching both of your expressions, with sometimes your mouth watering so much you drool around the goodness. I love being so close with you and trying to teach you manners like "please" and "thank you" while we share our goodies on the floor.

-My favorite times are watching you both interact with each other. Recently, Avery has learned to "share" with Aubrey. I use that term loosely because it typically means that she picks up something for Aubrey and nearly drops it on her head and in her near vicinity. Avery has a big heart and wants to make sure that Aubrey has exactly what she needs. Aubrey is so lucky to have such a caring big sister. My heart just melts when you are sitting side by side in your high chairs and one reaches over to hold their sister's hand. You girls look at each other, communicate with some gibberish in a way that only you girls can understand, smile, squeal, then go back to eating. I always wish I had my camera to capture it, but I want to be present and know that while I might not have it on film, it is etched on my heart. I also love it when you girls share your food to each other. Most frequently you like to share bites of grilled cheese. One of you will hand it to the other and after a reassuring smile, the other will take it with a smile.

-My favorite noises are hearing you girls laugh and squeal. There are so many times when we are jumping and playing on the couch that you both get so silly and laugh untils its contagious. You both have a tickle spot on your thighs. Avery is also ticklish under her armpits and Aubrey is ticklish around her neck. You both also laugh and squeal during meal time when we pop up from behind the counter playing peek-a-boo. You both think it is a riot when mom and dad make a fool of ourselves. I also love, love, love hearing you both chatter and squeal to each other when you are supposed to be napping and you think its time to have a party in your cribs. I just listen to the monitor or watch you on the camera with a smile from ear to ear. Both of you have the voice and laugh that would make anyone smile.

-My favorite things are when we are together as a family. Mom, Dad, Aubrey and Avery. We love having outtings and experiencing new things with you both. Our happiest times are when we are living life together. We also love being surrounded by family and enjoying visits from everyone. I love watching the sparkle in their eyes as they love on you. We have enjoyed so many visits from both sides of the family. We just enjoyed another great visit with Nana and Grandpa celebrating Christmas. What a great celebration it was! You girls are so loved and spoiled and we are so thankful for this joy that we have in our lives right now.

-My favorite thing is that anything about you girls makes me such a proud momma. It reminds me of how blessed we are. It reminds me that you are an answer to prayers. It reminds me that God has in store for us much more than we could ever imagine. It reminds me that love, and love alone can make all the difference in someone's life.

-My favorite times are when you are playing in the bath tub, having the time of your life. Aubrey likes to splash the water and suck/chew on washcloths. Avery likes to pick up the buckets and pour the water and move all around. I love how your eyes glisten as your eyelashes are wet. I love how when I wrap you up in a big hooded towel with just your face showing that it takes me back to the days when you were a little baby.

-My favorite times are when I put you to bed and if you girls are in a super silly  mood, you try to escape and move-it, move-it, move-it down the hall way. I come crawling on all fours chasing you and you squeal and laugh hoping you won't get caught. When I wrap my arms around you, you feel safe and happy. There is no better feeling like having a baby squealing with delight in your arms. I also love the times when dad and I tuck you into bed and we look at each other and say "do they have to go to bed now....we are having so much fun!" Now, that is a testament to how much we love being with you and how hard it is to say goodnight knowing that it will be 13 hours until we can play again.

-My favorite times are the rare times that I have to console you at night because you woke up due to not feeling well, or are hungry, or are cold/hot. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, I treasure the extra time with you and it reminds me that if I wasn't a mom, I wouldn't have this child to hold to comfort. Not to mention, it gives me more snuggle time:)

-My favorite things are whenever you learn a new word, pass another milestone, or just do something new that you haven't done before. I marvel at how smart you are and am reminded  of how far you have come. I always look forward to when dad comes home to tell him of proud daddy moments too.

-My favorite times are when you go one direction around the couch and I crawl on all fours the other direction and I peek around the corner and you girls are filled with surprise, excitement, laughter and everything good. Sometimes you come towards me ready for a big hug, other times you want me to keep up with our game. These are the moments that I dreamed of when I was waiting to meet you girls.

-My favorite thing to do is squeeze Aubrey's thighs. I just can't get enough of her baby thighs and I love that it is warm again and I can see her cuteness all the time. I love Aubrey's full cheeks too, especially when I get to kiss them! I love Avery's petite self with this big ol' belly. I love that she has cute toddler legs that are so long and make me wonder every day..."when did you grow up so fast?!"

-My favorite times are when we are saying goodnight and we pray as a family. We give thanks to God for all his blessings and we ask for health, rest, and many more days filled with play and happiness.

-My favorite things are when the girls give me a love hug with their head on my shoulder and arms wrapped around me. There is nothing in the world that could distract me at those moments...those are the moments I treasure. The moments might be few and far between because you both are always so busy, but when they come, the world stops, my heart beats with love, and I cherish the time with my girls one on one.

Girls, you have stolen my and daddy's heart and will also be our favorite little girls. We love you yesterday, today and tommorrow.


-My favorite pictures from this past month...

My snuggle bunnies.
Here are a few more pictures from the month:
Playing at a Gymboree birthday party.
Look at Avery go!
Grandpa having snack with the girls.
You would not believe how many times a day the girls climb in and out of toy boxes and ottomans. Simple fun!
Snack time eating at our big girl table! 

Aubrey's carrot top.
Food shoping at the Children's Museum.
Christmas with Nana and Grandpa.
Wow, Nana and Grandpa spoiled us with car seats! Looks like they are loving their purses from them as well.
Avery at a gymboree class. What is going on with her hair!?
Let the climbing days begin.
Enjoying our visit with Nana and Grandpa.
Guess who is supposed to be sleeping?!
First carousel ride at Winterfest.
Avery lasted about 45 seconds on the horse before she panicked.
While Aubrey is usually timid on new rides, she was having a blast on the carousel. Pictures were difficult to take while trying to balance the girls on the big horses!
Avery is assuming the pooping position!
Who would have thought that after a play date where a friend used the bumbos that they would want to constantly sit in them again? It is perfect for some structured reading time. Here they are enjoying the catepillar book from momma Carroll.
Aubrey eating a sour clementine!
Who is that silly girl?!
Oh wait, make that two silly girls!

What a darling all bundled up in beautifully crocheted hat and sweater from Nana.
Aubrey enjoying a cold day outside in all her beauitful crocheted outerwear from Nana.
This was the next day--Aubrey is shielding her eyes from the bright sun.
Taking some time to massage her gums!
Mom, I'm not sure this was such a good idea!
Alright mom, I'm ready to steer this ship!
Beachball time in February--yep, we love Texas!
Time to play ball.
This is my fake smile!
All I see is beauty.
My big girl!
Mom, I want that phone!
Aubrey, your expressions are priceless!
Avery enjoying her new rocking horse from Nana and Grandpa.
Aubrey likes the horse too. Thank you Nana and Grandpa.
Daddy enjoying snuggle time with Aubrey while Gnocchi tries to steal Aubrey's crackers!

Happy Valentine's Day.