Thursday, January 20, 2011


1John 4: 7-12

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

God is love.

God extended His love to us, FIRST.

God is the ONLY one who can teach us to love...

We are all born not knowing how to love or what it is really and truly like. Yet, there is something deep within us that craves it. We see glimpses of it, inviting us, saying "YES" to us. Love always hopes, trusts and believes. To believe God is always saying "NO" is to not know God at all. It is to not know love. We must understand that in order to love, we must look to God's example, His arms open, saying "COME", saying "YES". If we really BELIEVE this, we will open our arms to others, saying "yes" to them.

The more we look to God, the more we see those open arms, the more we understand how amazing His love is in comparison to our complete misunderstanding of it, our utter lack of it. But we crave it, none the less. We all look for love, but there is only one place to find it, only One who gives it, and by this, the only way to live it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Annabelle's First Year

I can't believe already more than a week has passed since my little Annabelle turned one! It's amazing how fast time moves away from us, leaving only moments to remember and hopefully, if we use it, technology to remind us of the ones forgotten. Even as I write this, I am thinking back on those first few weeks home with her, exhausted and wondering what a year's time would look like. I wondered how her personality would emerge, who's physical features she would more resemble (yes, yes... she looks like her DAD), if she would be walking or not, talking, eating big girl foods, breastfeeding or weaned, sleeping through the night, and I'm sure so very much more.

Honestly, I just can't believe it's here - ONE year! Those first months of being a Momma were challenging for me. It wasn't exactly as I pictured in my mind- multiple midnight feedings (no matter how cute the nursery looks, it doesn't make up for sleep); having only an hour or so to run errands or make a trip to the mall before taking that same amount of time to feed, change, and settle her for a nap; being the ONLY one she wanted when she cried; and the BREASTFEEDING, hurt, hurt, HURT! Definitely those are moments I will not ever forget. But what surprises me most, is that I really miss them! Most of those times, I will never have again with her. And some day, she will probably pick Dad over Mom, and then friends over both of us. I'm glad she is still breastfeeding, and I LOVE it now (doesn't hurt anymore)! I am thankful to still have those special times, just the two of us, a little longer.

Now that she is one, I have answers to most of those questions I had when she just a newborn. For sure, she has my personality! She loves people and pretty things, very easygoing, sensitive, gentle. As I mentioned before, she has Daddy's looks; although I see myself in her every once in a while. Not walking yet, but she could, I think. Her balance is fine, but she seems a little unsure of herself, always deciding crawling will be the safest and fastest option. This reminds me of myself as well. Hopefully, she won't have my lack of coordination when it comes to sports.

When I get her up in the morning, I am greeted with, "HI" and a wave. It is the cutest thing in the world, and I love that time of day the most. Her first word was "pretty" when she was looking at Christmas decorations at Home Goods. She says it all the time, but for some reason, she always whispers it. She also says Mommy, Daddy and Uh Oh. We are teaching her baby sign language and she can sign milk, all done, eat, more, night night, Momma and Daddy and "brush my teeth". It's amazing! I was kind of a skeptic at first, but wow!

While in Ohio for Christmas, she was introduced to a whole new world of foods! Hahaha... Michael's family sure knows how to eat, and now so does Annabelle. She smashed her face into her Coldstone Ice Cream Birthday Cake like she was in a "pie eating" contest and cried when I took it away from her. I think she would have eaten the entire cake! I guess I should have let her. She's a little low on her weight, about 5th percentile and 50th percentile for height. I think that will change soon; she is loving all those high calorie and high fat foods. She can have them, minus the sugar. :)

Life with a one year old is certainly different than with a newborn. There are always new challenges for children and parents at every life phase, so I have been told, so I am learning. These days, I have to have eyes like a hawk. She is fast and has gotten past the baby gate a few times and up the stairs. Her favorite thing to do is reorganize my kitchen towels under the sink. We have to constantly remember to close the bathroom doors, the pantry door, the laundry room door, and the bedroom doors when we are upstairs. I am always saying, "Annabelle, open your mouth," and doing a finger sweep to find crumbs, threads, leaves, a dead fly (that only happened once), no matter how many times I sweep and vacuum the floor. The days can get long sometimes, BUT... it's so worth it! This year has been so worth it. I am SO in love with my little girl. I never realized how much love a person could have for another. Michael and I both feel so blessed and could not have asked for a better little girl. She is our joy.

Mmmm... Pumpkin Pie!
With Grandma and Maddy
Play time with my cool cousins
"Not so sure about all of this."

"Well... I'll try it."

"Forget the fork!"

Happy First Year, Sweet Annabelle!