Baby Girl Announcement 1  6.21.26 PM

We had a pretty big announcement this fall!! It’s been fun conjuring up ideas for the announcement. With a plethora of pumpkins, we went with a simple two step process to make two pumpkins shine.


We found out we were having a baby girl, so I went out and spray painted a little pumpkin pastel pink; then used a Sharpie on the big pumpkin to spread the news.

Baby Girl Announcement PAS

We are all so thrilled to welcome another family member, and a girl in a house household of boys (hubs, jack and two boy dogs) will be awesome! I was beginning to think I was going to be a loner. I’m ready for a little girl!

Baby Girl Announcement

After the announcement I spray painted that big pumpkin with chalkboard paint for the season! Happy Fall, Friends!


one year

DSC_0211It’s been how long? 2 months? Almost 3? Wow. Well, I have had a little quarrel with WordPress. They wanted to charge me for more space on my blog. Apparently, I like to take pictures in full definition and that takes up space. The quarrel was mainly one sided and yes, WordPress won. I gave in, two months later… Sorry for the delay.

Jack turned one back in July. We were able to make a trip all the way to Colorado for the festivities with the hubs’ side of the family, and he had a blast celebrating with his cousins!

1st Birthday

We took full advantage of our environment and the free babysitting! Side Note:I am super jealous of people who live close to family! We hiked…

Hiking Collage

We also took Jack for his first bike ride, and he loved every minute, as did the hubs and I. I just wish I would have gotten some audio of Jack squealing with delight as we road or at least a picture of his cute little body in the Burley. We definitely need one in Dallas! It was so fun getting out every day and just exploring! We biked in Frisco, a town close to Breckinridge and stopped at an adorable coffee shop before we headed back. It was amazing.

Biking Breck Collage

We also went to downtown Breckenridge and made a very needed stop at my favorite eatery! Crepes!!

Downtown Breck

And here’s our man in his final month! Gosh, it just gets better and better doesn’t it?!! He’s a super sweet boy, waves and claps at everyone and is always smiling. Happy 1st Birthday, Jack! I love you.

12 month collageAlso, here’s a link to Jack’s One Year photos. Just put in our last name and you’ll see all the Jack goodness! Enjoy.

10 months

10 months

I love when we travel and go out.

Considering it’s a little more involved with a baby, I appreciate the time we have both as a couple and as a family exploring new sites in our area and around the states.

I absolutely love when we are there, but my extreme love for exploring ends up nearly driving everyone insane from the time we start planning right up to the minute we step foot outside.

Like a worried old man, I become anxious about what we could do with our time or money instead of traveling or going out. Flights are how much? And the closer we get to the travel plans, the more I am plagued by what troubles might ensue, like the clothes I did not think to pack. I end up having trouble actually enjoying the idea of traveling because all I can think about is what I’d forgotten, what I should be wearing, and how everyone else will surely be better prepared.

It’s draining. And my evil powers morphs the mood around the whole house.

The husband hates the days before traveling with me or the hours before we go somewhere because I spend the time erratically scanning the closet or suitcase… Of course, there will be nothing in my closet to wear, or something I had forgotten to purchase for our travels, and then, there is the not-so-profound announcement that I don’t want to go! Then, everyone is depressed that the notion of our travel or going out plans will be ruined.

If mom’s not happy, no one is happy.

BUT everytime the husband manages to talk me off the ledge, and (yep) we have a blast. My anxiety is transformed to complete bliss that we decided to go, to travel, and nothing we “forgot” ever even really affects us; what I’m wearing is usually appropriate, and we manage our finances well enough that we can travel when we want. And I declare next time I won’t do that. Sigh.

This form of pessimism is NOT one of my better traits. And unfortunately, it is not confined to just traveling or going out.

As of late, this misplaced uncertainty has transferred into caring for Jack. Are we prepared enough for his next steps at any given stage?  When he was in the hospital, did we prepare the nursery enough? When Jack was nursing, when do we start pureeing foods for him? Then Jack starting crawling, is the house prepared enough for his newfound mobility? And the list goes on.

With every new milestone, there is anxiety, but as it happens, there’s wonderful serenity in those moments. Until the next one.

A few weeks ago we had to move the floor of Jack’s crib to its lowest level because our nanny walked in to find him standing up with his little chest against the edge of the crib. Laughing hysterically, of course. With the crib lowered, we lost my crib skirt. It seems like decades ago that I sewed that little piece of fabric. (tear.)

Stand in Crib

We also decided to get out the real high chair because the Bumbo freaked me out when we sat it on the table, or anywhere for that matter. Jack would flail about for his feedings, and nothing was safe.




And he has outgrown his infant carrier. His little toes hit the back of the car seat, so we knew it was time. Of course, we read all the reviews and Consumer Reports for every car seat from here to Egypt and finally settled on one.

I also continue to put away his outgrown clothes in the “0-6 bin” with a tearful hug to each and every one of them. Yes, I hug his clothes. Especially his little footed pajamas that seem too small for even Turk to have worn. Labels found here.

0 - 6 mn

Every time I look at him, I keep thinking how vital this time is. That one day he will be asking us to cross the street, sleepover at a friend’s house, then use the car, graduation, and going off to college. After that I will be presented with a girl he will ask to marry. Yes, I think of this often.

This also makes me aware of what a crazy mother-in-law this will make me. That poor, poor girl. Ha.

10 month collage

So, perhaps with these changes, I will resolve to try to be more mindful about staying in the moment. I want to be prepared, but I also want to enjoy all these moments and not let my anxiety take over. I called about Jack’s kindergarten the other day. Yes, I need to stop.

Or maybe I’ll become a hermit and never leave the house with Jack, ever. Options.

Happy 10 months, Jack!*

DSC_0206* no elephants were harmed in the making of this post. 




mother’s day

Mom & Me

This mother’s day has hit me pretty hard. My first mother’s day.

The emotional toll of being a mother myself, compounded with the realization of my own mother’s illness all came to the forefront on this glorious Sunday.

I don’t talk much about my struggles of being a mom without my mom, but it’s a hard one. I often think to myself how I would approach telling God, or whoever implanted an incurable, slowly-wasting-away disease in my mother, that I would take back my youth with her, if only I could implant her in my life today. Because now is when I need her the most. When I would appreciate her the most.

M&J wallet

I would love to talk to her about my missteps as a mom.  I would ask her how she was so loving and patient, ask her how she came up with all of her meal plans and activities, and ask her how she picked her battles with everyone else’s parenting ideas.

I would tell her I’m sorry for taking for granted all those meals she made, lunches she packed, all that laundry she ironed and folded, and all those night she sat with me for just one more story or one more arm tickle.  I would thank her for always staying upstairs because I needed someone on the same floor as me to go to sleep.

I would hug her.

Really hug her, and she would hug back. She would say just what I wanted to hear: what an amazing person, parent, wife, I’ve become. Because that’s what moms do. And I would believe her.


So now, without my mom, I have to go it alone. Without the one pillar in my corner, that most women get to turn to. I will instead, take those visuals and memories I have etched in my mind from my own childhood, and use them to raise Jack. I will try to harness my mom’s ability to make him whole, clean foods, to be patient with him, to read that extra book, sing songs, and hug him. Hug him and kiss him and tell him just how amazing he is. And make sure he too, believes it. Like only a mom can.


Thank you, Mom, for showing me what it takes to become a great mom. I wish you were with us to show Jack what a great grandmother you would be… I miss you, love you, and think of you daily.

Happy Mother’s Day to all those moms out there.


i have a problem

Jack Sleeping

Flipping through my phone I realized I have a problem. I take WAY too many pictures of my kid sleeping. I mentioned here we got the Withings Baby Monitor and we love it. It’s simple to use; all you need is your smart phone or iPad to access your sleeping or rolling-over baby.

Monitor PicsEven when he’s crying, he is cute! I might keep this in his room until he’s eighteen!

JPS - Crib Flip

Happy week, Friends!

7 months

7mn cover

Jack turned 7 months over the weekend. The time between month six and seven went really s l o w. I found myself asking if I had forgotten a month of pictures… and that was awesome. With Jack growing so quickly and changing almost daily, it was wonderful thinking time slowed, if only for a month.

The time with Jack continues to amaze us both. Jack communicates daily with voice and actions, and he’s starting the motions of crawling, more like rolling and shifting with his arms. He looks much like a mermaid out of water. Sorry, merman! Because of his movements, he’s becoming more exploratory and independent. He can play on his mat or in his bouncer for 10 – 20 minutes, which allows us to make dinner or just zone out a bit. But, Jack does take the occasional nose dive which keeps us on our toes. He’ll put anything in his mouth from Otis’s tennis balls (our pug), to pieces of mail, to licking the fireplace. I think he’s just marking his territory in a completely different way. Or he might be watching the dogs too much!?! Food he’s liking lately: carrots, sweet potatoes with cinnamon, oatmeal and rice cereal. He isn’t a fan of zucchini or bananas, thus far. I think the bananas were a fluke because who doesn’t like bananas! Come on, Jack! Next up this week, avocado and pears!  Jack’s also holding his own bottle but only when he feels like it.

Here’s our big boy. 7 months, buddy. We love you.

7 month CollageBelow, I snapped this picture during Jack’s photo shoot. I had left the room to get something and realized this was a great “behinds the scenes” photo. It definitely takes a village (K9’s and humans, alike) to raise a baby and take monthly photos. What a simply beautiful picture of all my boys, beautiful 70 degree weather with the windows fully open in the background! Sometimes the simplest snapshots convey so much. I’m so blessed.

Behind the scenes

Happy Day, Friends!

6 month photo shoot


I love taking pictures, and at times I think I can pull off a professional looking photo. But, it is still nice to step down from the role of photographer/mom and hand over the reins to the real professionals. Jill Thompson of Jilly Bean Photography was up for the challenge. She did a wonderful job capturing Jack’s personality, had a super flexible schedule for two working parents, and was all around wonderful in both consultation, photo session, and photo presentation. She gave us this little photo shoot slideshow to share with our friends and family. I hope you all enjoy!

5 months


Look who is 5 months old! Jack turned the ripe old age of 5 months on Sunday, all while battling his first infection, the flu. The flu hit our household while we were visiting family in Missouri and Wisconsin. We rang in the new year with snot-filled noses, ready for 2014. Actually, we all crashed before the actual ball drop, and I do believe this is the first time I didn’t stay up until midnight. Sadly, the bottle of champagne is still in the refrigerator. But I digress. Our baby boy turned 5 months last Sunday, and with the addition of movement and grasping, these pictures are becoming increasingly difficult to take. Both the hubs and I were laughing at Jack the whole session.

Elephant 5mn

But don’t worry, we got a couple good ones…

5mn CollageThe little man is oh-so-close to sitting on his own but prefers rolling and grasping objects. He also loves his feet! It seems with every diaper change, he rediscovers them. Otherwise, we’re just loving how 2013 changed our world and looking forward to learning 2014’s plan for us.

Happy New Year, Friends.

4 months

4 month elephant

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the newborn waiting room crying over sore nipples and sleep deprivation, when a cute mom (she clearly had showered AND put on make-up) came into our waiting room claiming her baby was now 4 months, and she was sad that it would be the last time he would be allowed in the newborn waiting room.

waiting room

She could tell both the hubs and I were much like deer in headlights after one night with our newborn at home. Jack was all but 4 days old, and I couldn’t even conceive him being 4 months someday. She and her baby looked so put together. I, on the other hand, was lucky I remembered the baby. I checked in late, and was just happy he was still breathing.

Now, with the tables turned, I’m the one holding Jack on my lap, as he laughs and smiles. I have showered, gotten eight continuous hours of sleep and am ready for the day and his appointment. In the waiting room with me is a new mom. She looks longingly at Jack, her own newborn sitting in her car seat and she looks sleep deprived. In my little time I had, I tried to give her confidence and encouragement, much like that mother had helped me. That she wasn’t crazy when she felt like she might actually shake the baby and the obligatory – “it gets better” and you will miss those sleep deprived nights.

Okay, I’ll stop talking and show you that little man! Here’s his 4 month goodness!

4 month Collage
Jack’s definitely developing a personality! He’s such a sweet baby and gives us a lot of smiles! Besides the rolling over which he started last month, he has added grasping toys, lots of cuddles, and lots of smiles. He’s also been talking and giggling more and more! I love it. This is Jack at about 3 1/2 months talking away, Turk Talk. Anyway, we’re just enjoying the holidays.

3 months

JPS Laughing 3 mnToday, Jack turns three months old!

It is so true what everyone says, enjoy every moment with your little one, because they grow up so fast. I don’t think there is an event or outing where the hubs and I don’t hear parents tell us just that; enjoy them, it goes so fast. They look longingly at Jack, thinking of their own children and maybe their grandchildren, emphasizing how precious and fleeting these moments really are… We try to love Jack as much as we can and enjoy all his discoveries! It isn’t hard with his cute face and all those smiles!

That being said, I still cannot believe he’s mine… and three whole months.

3 month collage

Milestones in Jack’s world have been many. I find it hilarious how excited we get over Jack following objects, noticing colors, grasping at toys, or laughing at the dogs. His squeals of delight are some of the happiest sounds I have ever heard. He has definitely started to develop a personality. Plus, he has this shy smile that turns into a toothless grin, which makes his mom and dad both melt. Jack also started rolling over. Two weeks ago he started rolling from his tummy to back, and just last week he rolled from his back to tummy! Both the hubs and I clapped in amazement with his new tricks! He’s a pretty cool little guy.

Happy Week!