Monday, May 23, 2011

Moments Like These

 ...bring tears to my eyes. My students surprised me with this special video today and I am still just so thankful. I may miss Collins during the day, but I have my sweet students to help me get through the day! My students bring such sunshine to my life. xo

I am so grateful that I am able to share Collins' little life with them too. They ask about him everyday and they seem to really love him. I will never forget this class! Boy did they ever love on him before he was even born!

Oh, and we will be working on 'your' and 'you're' tomorrow. :) hehe

video

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

God's Strength

 I know we all wonder how we're ever going to finish a task, get to tomorrow, get to the end of this day, or get through a tough time. Life is tough and definitely not easy! But, don't we always get through these difficulties in one way or another? Have you ever said to yourself, "I don't know how I did that! Where did I get that strength?"

It's from God.

I was asked to sing a couple songs at a funeral today for a sweet man from my church.  If you know me, you know I'm an emotional mess when it comes to weddings, funerals, births!, and sometimes the littlest things. I was blessed with tears and I have a hard time holding them back sometimes. Now, imagine how anxious I was about singing today!! So, I'm sitting in the church tearing up wondering how I'm going to get through the solos (without crying) so that the family is able to hear the words of the song. And, find comfort in the songs! I got up there, grabbed the mic, signaled that I was ready to the piano player, and off the song went. "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord...." As these first words came out I felt an incredible strength in my voice...no shaking...no tears! This calm came from one only place. Wow! He made me stronger than I ever thought I could be!

One of my student's parents has sent me an email each day since I've been back at work. She gives me a word of the day and then prays for me with that word. I opened up my email this morning before heading to the church and the word was strength. She didn't know that I wasn't going to be at school today or that I needed the strength for the funeral, so she was praying for me to have the strength to get through the day without Collins. I emailed her back right away letting her know that I had prayed for a different kind of strength the night before, but that I needed this email none the less! God truly does know what we need! This is no coincidence. It's God!

Believe me, you can do more than you think. God will be there for you and you'll feel that 'so needed' strength. xo

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Day Back!

The day was just perfect thanks to my wonderful co-workers, friends, and family!

 I came into my classroom, anxious as ever, to find flowers from Collins!! What an immediate calm. Trent (even though he is still adament about saying it was all Collins) had taped a little note to the flowers. It was the sweetest little note that started with "Mommy...." It melted my heart! Thank you Trent. :)


My sweet friend and co-worker Sara had a cookie cake, large diet coke from Chick-Fil-A, and a class rap prepared and ready! She is such a dear friend and I couldn't do it all without her! Ladies that I work with had flowers, cards, more presents for the baby, and such sweet hugs. I appreciated every ounce of love!


We had a little pizza party for my sub that took over for me while I was on maternity leave! Our little gift to her!


                                    
My wonderful mom watched Collins the entire day and I felt so at ease just knowing how much love he was getting throughout the day. Mom sent me pics to help me get through the day! Seeing Collins motivated me to keep pushing on!

That night we celebrated Collins' three month birthday! Since he talks SO much now, we had a "GOO" party! Month one was the milk party and month two was the smile party!

Found these at Cracker Barrell! I was looking for Goo-bers, but found this little gem! Too perfect!

Aunt Sis, Matthew, and Matthew's nephew Will

Rocking the night away...

On Sunday, my sister and I held a relief efforts party at my home. We packed up hygiene kits to be sent to Japan and Alabama. We had tons of items donated and were able to pack 46 kits! We had lots of little kiddos at the event and it was so neat to see them so eager to help. The moms even said that they had shown their little ones pictures of the flooding, tornado damage, etc. to help them understand who they were helping. Powerful. If these little hands continue to give our world will be a beautiful place! Thank you to everyone that donated money, items, and time!





Packing bags!!


Luke!

Will!

Caron and Collins! They finally meet!

One loved baby!

I was craving lettuce wraps last night so who did I turn to? Rachael Ray! I altered the recipe a little (I added cheese too) and they turned out great! They are called Barbecue Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps. They were scrumptious!
Added noodles with the wraps!
                                                 
Here are some pictures from my last day home with gummy bear! We slept in and I literally held him the entire day. I cried most of the day too. It was a hard day! xoxo





Sweet! Look at the wrist roll!

He loves links! He holds onto them and sucks on them

PS: Prayers for the Prothe family as they mourn the loss of Loren. They go to our church and are such wonderful people. Loren's daughter is getting married on Saturday and this just breaks my heart. Please pray for his sweet daughter...for her to be able to focus on one of the most beautiful days of her life...for her to have peace....strength to get through the day and to know her daddy is still watching. xo So hard!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Can I do it again?

 Life for the past 12 weeks has been...

Simple
Beautiful
Perfect
Too Fast
Wholesome
Calm
Incredibly fun
Exciting
Full of love
Stress Free
Drama Free
and last but not least....completely and utterly blessed.

My prayer for tomorrow as I enter back into the workforce. :)

Lord, grant me the wisdom to know what to do and say tomorrow.  Keep me from negativity and help me focus on my students. Give me comfort when I feel alone without my baby and strength when I don't think I can make it to the end of the day. Help me feel peace in knowing that Collins is in great hands and that he's not growing too much while I'm gone. Thank you for this incredible little life that I've been able to shape, teach, and love these past 12 weeks. You are amazing and I truly don't deserve all you've given me. Use me to help others find the little blessings that you've given us each day. I love you dear Father.

Peace and Blessings to you and thank you for following me on my journey of mommyhood!
Collins, can I put you back in my stomach and do this all over again? I 'll miss you little one! xoxo

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Toenail Msytery



All you mothers out there...do your baby's toenails grow? I've been constantly cutting Collins' fingernails, but his toenails have yet to be cut! Interesting I know, but these are the things I love more than anything...being a mommy! On another note, these are my favorite nail clippers. They have a light on them (so you don't clip their skin) and it also has a nail file on the other side. The file came in handy in the beginning, because I was too terrified to cut his nails! But, now I'm a pro!
...the light!
                                             
The file that hooks into the back!
                                     

Pics from the last few days!

It says, "My aunt loves to hug me!!" And that she does!

GranPaul and Collins chatting

My mom's Derby feast!!Chicken and steak fajitas! Yum!

This picture cracks me up. The photo shoot started out happy and turned bad real quick! haha
There we go....happy baby again!

Trying on hats in Old Navy. Mom and I were dying!

Asleep at BeeBee and GranPaul's. He loves the leather couch!

There's something special about a baby when they sleep!
Hilarious I know. Trent loves the boppy!

Orange Leaf treat! Yummy ice cream and sweet Sara!
I just love being a baby!
                                           

Well, I did it! During maternity leave I wanted to make a sunflower wreath for my front door! I did it the last week, but hey...it's done!
                                           

Have a blessed day!! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Mother's Love

I guess I should apologize for the long post you are about to read. Just lots to share...

First, I want to thank all of my sweet friends for the support and motivation as I head back to school this week. I keep counting down the days in my head, but that only makes me anxious. I'm going to stop counting, cuddle with my baby, not clean, and just snap 500 pictures...well I do that anyways. :) This is the precious time that all mothers want to hold onto forever.

As I say this, tears well up. This past Wednesday my dear friend's mommy passed away from a long tough battle with cancer. She was a loved woman of 65 years and as I listened to the homily it was comforting to know that she was a true woman of Christ. She lived her life helping others and leading them to the light. When I imagine the love that she had for her three children, it overwhelms me. I lose my breath thinking of how much I love Collins and he's only three months old. I hope my sweet friend is comforted in knowing that her mom loved her so very much. I pray for peace, strength, and hearts full of memories that will never forget. A Mother's love is forever and sweet friend, I promise you there is enough to last you your entire life. xo

In our trek to St. Louis, Trent and I had some of the best conversations. He just gets me. He knows my heart, he knows what I want in life, and he knows what makes me cry, laugh, or turn red. He's my best friend and I cherish our relationship so much. Thank you Trenty for always listening to me as I talk in circles. And, thank you for driving me to St. Louis so I could be there for my friend. You made it possible!

While in St. Louis I got to see one of my best friends from college. It was on sad terms, but her hugs always make things better. We brought Collins along with us, because we started the drive on Mother's Day and feedings are much needed! I wanted to be able to be with my baby on Mother's Day and all day Monday. Did I sit in the back? Of course! :)



My backseat friend!

Meeting Aunt Gina! xo


Uncle Brian!!!

Sweet Lilly!

Oh, how I miss you!

After the funeral, Gina and I went to meet Trent. He had taken Collins to the mall and somehow, his clothes were undone! :) It was hot! Collins loves time with his daddy!

Gina's great decorating. :) PS: Glad the sign made the wall!!! xo

Worn out! Look at those cheeks!

Mother's Day was beautiful and hard. My dear friend was in my thoughts the entire day as she spent the day without her mommy. It just made me realize even more how precious time is while your loved ones are here. :) Trent and I woke up and spent time in bed with our sweet little baby. Trent surprised me with Starbucks and oatmeal (my faves!). We then went to church, had a nice buffet at the Marriott (again! hehe), and then came home to open gifts and hang out together. MB motivated me to run with her and boy, was I nervous! She's run a mini marathon and me, I'm struggling with a mile! Well, we did it and when I wanted to stop, she pushed me harder.We ran 1.5 miles in 13 minutes. For all you long distance runners this may seem like snail speed, but I was so happy to have finished without stopping! Today is 2 miles and I'm a little intimidated.

What a great day!

Mommy, Daddy, and Collins xo


Collins' gift to BeeBee!

Thank you Trent! He knows how much I need coffee these days! :) Collins got me a new phone so I can take clearer and better pictures of him on the go! Sometimes it's just easier to whip out my phone instead of my enormous camera! :)
 
So very special to me. Thanks Mom and Dad!



I will treasure these First Mother's Day cards forever! :)




 
Thank you for a wonderful first Mother's Day! xo


And, last but not least, Collins turned 3 months yesterday! He is so full of life and his smiles give me reason to be the best mommy I can possibly be! Just in the last month he's learned to drool all over the place, find his hands indefinitely for soothing, follow movements with his eyes, stare at pictures, giggle, smile even more, lift his head 45-90 degrees, and have long converstations with people (well, you know "goos")! His daddy and I just love him to pieces!


So proud of him!!

Loves those hands!


Collins Paul...you make my life SO awesome!

He knew what to do!


There's that smile that I love!

Trying to sit up on his own!



Yummy!

So blessed! Have a fantastic Tuesday!