Thursday, January 22, 2009

2 and BIG news!

Ava enjoys chocolate chip pancakes for her birthday breakfast. She blew out the candles 4 times before Josh finally got this shot.

sweet girl

so silly

Riding the new Radio Flier Tricycle from Daddy and Mommy.

Zooming a little too close to Mommy

A balloon bouquet!

Jumping for birthday joy!

Posing like a big girl. I bought Ava this dress during the summer and thought it would never fit. Well, now it does! It was the perfect birthday dress.

Yummy, a birthday treat from chocolate!

Happy birthday from Mommy and Daddy (Do you notice anything different about Daddy? Make sure to see the end of this post for fun news.)

Happy birthday from BaBa and Pops!

With all the birthday festivities, Ava James did not have a nap today. She was sleepy and snuggling with BaBa.

On the way home Ava was wilting. She kept saying, "I love my Tigger." Soon she was completely zonked.

Here she was at 9:13 (her birth time)...asleep in her bed, still in her birthday dress. I'm sure she's dreaming sweet two-year-old dreams.

We also received fantastic news tonight...Josh was accepted to Baylor's Law School! All of the acceptance schedules showed that he wouldn't find out until April 1. We were shocked to find out so soon. Unless something really crazy happens, it looks like we're here for another three years. Ava and I could not be more proud of Josh. Please pray for us as we all prepare for major transition. Law school would start on Monday, May 11, and Josh would graduate from Truett Seminary on Friday, May 15. Did I mention that my summer break doesn't start until June 3? Does anyone want a beautiful toddler for a few weeks at the beginning of the summer? Just kidding about that last part, but seriously...pray for us.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dear Ava,

Ava, age 15 minutes

Ava, age 1 hour

Ava, age 1.5 hours

Dear Ava,
I suspected you were there and turned down wine with lunch…but I was afraid to find out for sure, fearful to hope. Daddy bought a test, covertly at Brookshire’s. (Buying a pregnancy test in a small hometown can be tricky, even if you’re married.)The two blue lines said yes, you were there, starting to grow inside of me. I was scared to love you, but I couldn’t help myself. The first doctor’s appointment was nerve-wracking until we saw you. A gray blurry flicker, your little heart was fluttering on the screen. I knew you were strong. We read to you, sang to you – Mommy’s choir practice was your favorite part of the week. Your somersaults helped me hit notes I never thought possible. Soon you began to respond when I read novels to my class at school. Your stillness after the chapter was over let me know that you were asleep, dreaming of adventures from the story. Daddy knew you were a girl from the beginning, but you were very tricky. Your modest leg-crossed position kept us guessing, and led to your nursery paint being light green…just to be safe. But there was no hiding that precious profile; you had Daddy’s cute Who-nose. Your favorite game was Stretch the Seatbelt, which made morning drives to work exhilarating. Could Mommy “hold it” while you played the seatbelt game? Most of the time, yes.
On January 19, 2007 I waddled past the office and told the secretary to contact my long-term substitute, I knew it was time. A long weekend of “not quite yet” led to the best of Mondays. You arrived on January 22 at 9:13 pm, 8 pounds and 1 ounce, 21.5 inches long. Beautiful. Wrapped Daddy around your pinkie on the way to your first bath, and made Mommy feel so happy when you nursed so expertly. The family and friends waiting to meet you loved you all at once, just like we did. And still do.
During your first year you grew so fast and smart. You were a happy baby at home with Daddy, Mommy, and Mamaw throughout the week. Your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends doted on you during weekends. We took you skiing, to a Nickelcreek concert, to church, to visit friends, to the lake. You fit perfectly into our little family. Reading books, signing, singing, playing outside, stroller rides, baby dolls, playing catch, popping bubbles, swimming, and baths were some of your favorite things. Though Daddy and I missed our Sunday afternoon naps, having you in our lives felt so right.
In our second year with you, we’ve watched your interests develop and mature. You still love baby dolls, and are currently playing mommy to eight sweet babies. You love trains, and even got to ride the real Thomas! Coloring and sculpting with Play Doh are your favorite activities while Mommy and Daddy cook. You like to cook too. You could feed a whole plastic army with your play kitchen set. Recently you’ve discovered Pooh, who looks a little different than when Mommy and Daddy were your age. When the new mystery-solving Pooh says his slogan “The Super Sleuths are on the case!” you recite along with him. You are brave and self-confident. The phrase most uttered in our house is “I have to do it.” The other morning at church as I was kissing you goodbye in the nursery you said “Go Mommy, and close the door.” We are really raising a self-sufficient young lady. Though your independence can be trying at times, we still can’t help but love you Ava James. Happy second birthday!

Ava, age 1 year

I will post pictures of Ava, age 2, after 9:13 tonight!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2nd Birthday Party

It's a wonderful life

Loving on Daddy

Dancing with Daddy in the kitchen while Mommy cuts veggies and fruit for the birthday party.

After a night in her crib, Ava snuggles in the morning next to Daddy. As you can see there was no room for Mommy.

Riding on the horsey before the big fun begins at the Jumping Party!

Bouncing with the balls

Uncle Nate helps Ava on the slide...happy birthday to Uncle Nate too!

Daddy helps Ava on the slide too.

All smiles...except the birthday girl. She didn't want to take pictures, she wanted to play!

The crazy boys

Emma and Ava climb the ladder to the slide.

Fun on the slide

Leah and sweet baby Jack

Ryan and Kristyn help Ava climb the wall to the top of the slide.

Look who I found in the obstacle course!

A Thomas cake by Lori!

Many sweet friends and family members helped us celebrate Ava's second birthday! Aunt Jaryn, Coach, Mimi, Lea, Emma, Aiden, Holly, Rhonda, Braiden, Aunt Sarah, Papa, Uncle Brandon, Baba, Pops, Cam, Ryan, Kristyn, Seth, Lisa, Jonah, Mommy, Daddy, Sarah, Ray, Hannah, Uncle Nate, Todd, Eli, Beth, Isaac, Nanny, Theresa (Tammy, Zach, Leah, and Jack who weren't in the group picture).

Since they don't make Thomas stuff for girls, Beene Beene made Ava a Thomas dress! Ava is a girl who loves trains, so we're glad she was able to celebrate with all of her favorite characters from the Island of Sodor.

"Peep peep! Happy birthday Ava," said Thomas.

Ava enjoyed a very Thomas birthday party.

Josh gave me a green icing kiss.

Ava enjoys some refreshments after jumping.

Ava gives Emma a bearhug.

Thanks to everyone who made this a great second birthday for Ava! If you have cute pictures from the party please send them my way, I'd love to include them.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas 2008 with Ms. Ava James Part 2

Yummy frosting!

Ava is surprised by her new pink kitchen set!

A four generation Christmas picture. Ava, Jaryn, Mimi, and Beene Beene enjoy opening presents.

Hugs with Mimi.

Coach tickles Ava via "The Little Man".

Aunt Jaryn helps Ava learn how to do a headstand.

Ava plays with Dolce, Aunt Jaryn's kitten.

Ava and Mommy play while Mimi finishes wrapping Christmas presents.

Posing in front of Mimi and Coach's fireplace.

The scene below is not a gory crime scene. Ava insisted that all dollhouse residents and visitors be adequately covered for the night.

Coach and Ava played with her dollhouse.

We rang in 2009 with the Millers!

The day after our 4th anniversary Josh and I went to the Cotton Bowl to cheer for my Red Raiders.

Even my handsome Aggie husband got his "guns up"!

So fun!

This is the way I choose to remember the score.

We enjoyed a relaxing Christmas Break. Wonderful food, quality time with family and friends, spectacular test scores, thoughtful gifts, and some mornings to sleep in. Thanks to everyone who was a part of it!