Thursday, May 9, 2013

Annual Birthday Letter to my Oldest Son

My precious oldest son,

Today you become an eight year old.  For more than eight years you have been bringing joy to my life and those around you.  Truly, you are a blessing and an answer to many prayers.  I am thankful for you son, every single day. 

What a year it has been!  Each year we try to give you and your brother new experiences.  Not to spoil you, my sweet son, but because we want you to see how big and full of opportunity the world is.  Opportunities to help others, opportunities to be brave, opportunities to have fun, make a difference, be kind and learn something new.  It is a fact that we are blessed to live in a country where opportunities are endless.  Your own grandfathers, as well as other family members, have sacrificed to ensure that.  It’s important, my dear big boy, to always remember that and be thankful.  I’m proud of you that at such a young age, you understand that and have taken advantage of those opportunities presented to you.  Like the time we volunteered at our local food pantry, you went right to work vacuuming, setting up tables and doing whatever was asked of you with a joyful heart.  And remember your birthday last year?  Instead of presents, you asked everyone to bring supplies for the local animal shelter.  I love your giving heart.

We also visited Gatlinburg, TN for the first time this year.  We went for RezKids and had such a BLAST!   We got to worship in a fun way and even sat right in the front row at your very first concert.  We saw Go Fish and loved them!  We also rode the ski lift for the first time and it reminded us of when we parasailed.  How blessed we were that even though it was January, the weather was wonderful!

This is your last year at “little kid elementary.”  It seems like just yesterday I dropped you off for kindergarten and soon you will be heading off to third grade at the new “big boy elementary.”  You are excited and ready to go.  I am trying to slow down time.

You played soccer again this year for the Griffins and your team had a great season.  We just began baseball season and you are playing for the Angels.  I was so proud of you during the first game, you scored two runs and got one out.  Do you know what impressed me the most though?  Your sportsmanship.  As you played catcher, you congratulated every single player on the opposing team that came across home plate.  May you always keep a humble and kind heart.  Always know, my beautiful boy that I don’t care about winning or losing.  Your character is so much more important.

Again you are excelling at school.  I’m so happy that you LOVE learning, I learn something new on a daily basis from you.  Thank you for keeping me on my toes!

You are still fascinated by weather.  I understand this.  I could sit and watch tornado hunting shows with you all day (we never have, but we could)!  You check the skies daily and inform me what type of clouds there are, you search for clues about coming weather patterns and give me your forecast every single day.  You say you want to be a tornado hunter and work for NASA as a meteorologist when you grow up so you can combine your love of space and weather.  You amaze me.

I could go on and on.  I could write an entire book about how much I love you and how you amaze me, about your wonderful heart, your funny sense of humor, your amazing character and all of the things you, my precious son, have taught me.  I would rather, however, tell you those things in person….daily.

I love you Nicholas Gabriel.  I wish you the happiest of birthdays and that the coming year is your best ever.

Always and forever, to the moon and back,


Your annual birthday video can be found here.

Last year's letter and video can be found here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's been a while...

It's been a couple of months, so I figure it's probably time to update.  I'm sure no one really reads my blog and I can't blame them, I don't update enough.  At this point, my blog really is just to help me remember what goes on in this crazy life of mine and for my children to one day look back on.  Hopefully, one day I will read some of these posts to my grandkids.

My hope with my blog is that it also helps others in some small way. To relate, to know you aren't alone, to laugh, to share, to inspire, to learn.  Sometimes it happens and that's great.  The rest of the time, this really is just for me and my family.

Since I last posted I have once again taken on firefighting.  I suppose 15+ years of it in Northern Virginia just didn't get it out of my system.  I have actually surprised myself, I remember ropes and knots, I remember how to correctly put on all of my gear, including the SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus) and crawl around on the floor in a maze of smoke without being completely out of breath when I'm through.  It's weird, it's just like second nature to me and an environment I've always been very comfortable in.

My husband's business has really grown.  We now have a 4,300+ sq. ft. facility.  Our headquarters houses our workshop and offices.  He works so hard and I'm proud of him.  The business has taken a majority of my time, as I've become very involved and hands on.  I do more for his business than mine anymore, but I love it!  I'm really enjoying working with hubby and the opportunity for us to be creative together.

The boys continue to grow and amaze me daily.  The little guy continues to excel in school and soccer season has now started.  Although the weather has already cancelled two out of our three games so far.  The littlest guy is doing great as well, his personality is one of the best, funniest, sweetest personalities I've ever known.  Each day they both make me smile.  What also amazes me is that each day, they can also both drive me nuts.  It's all part of having children, I know lots of parents can relate.

I wish I could write more, but I just don't have time.  Most of my blog writing time now goes to business blogs, so there just isn't time for personal ones anymore.  Ah well, I'll do the best I can.

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday to My Youngest

Every year, I write each of my boys a birthday letter and create a video recapping their year.  This is for my youngest, who will be three on the 18th.

My littlest man, you are three.  I’m sorry I always start your letters the same, but it’s because it’s true.  Time flies.  It feels like I JUST had you and now look at you, such a big boy!  You are such a blessing my precocious, sweet and funny boy.

What a year it has been.  You started preschool this year and Daddy and I were a little nervous, but you have adjusted wonderfully.  You did not cry a single tear, just waved goodbye and excitedly jumped right in.  You are definitely a “people person.”  You have never met a stranger and are always waving and saying hello to people you’ve never even met.  You remind me to do the same, to take the time to smile and say hello to others. 

You have learned so much in the past year.  I couldn’t believe it when you wrote your name all by yourself.  But, it’s not just the ABC’s and 1, 2, 3’s that surprise me.  My son, your dexterity amazes me.  Is there anything you can’t take apart and put back together?  You have figured out things that stump me!  What really makes my heart happy is how patient you are while learning and trying new things.  If you don’t get it right away, you just keep trying, without getting upset.  You did NOT get that from me.  I am learning from YOU, my precious son, how to be more patient.

You can be so mischievous and so loving all at the same time.  It is impossible to stay upset with you.  Like the time you snuck a piece of chocolate candy into your bed at nap time and fell asleep with it in your hand.  When I got you up from your nap, it looked like the Hershey factory exploded in your bed, on your walls and all over you.  You looked up at me and said, “Oh, Cawub, what did you do?  I’m so sorry Mommy, I’m a mess!”  Then you started singing the Laurie Berkner song, “I’m a mess.”  You approach things with a wonderful sense of humor.  I treasure that.  After we cleaned everything up, you hugged me and said, “Thank you Mommy, I WUV.”  I loved that you appreciated my helping you clean your mess and didn’t just pull out the cute, “I love you” at the beginning, when you thought it would help get you out of trouble.  You said it after everything was over.  I can always feel how much you mean what you say.  Your heart and your honesty amaze me.  I pray you never outgrow that honest heart.

Speaking of your heart, I am so thankful that you are already showing a love of the Lord.  You pray everyday and LOVE going to church.  All throughout the week, you ask if we can go to church and are so disappointed when I tell you during the week that we aren’t going until Sunday.  My prayer for you and your brother is that you take that love of the Lord with you throughout your life and share it with others.  Always trust in Him.  Faith can be so hard to have sometimes; those are the times when it’s most important to keep.  As the song goes, be strong in the Lord and never give up hope. 

My sweet baby (yes I know you are no longer a baby, but to me, you will always be my baby), you make our family complete.  I can not imagine life without you.  Every single day you make my heart feel like it will burst right out of my chest with love for you.  Every single day you challenge me.  Every single day I learn from you.  Daddy, your big brother and yes, even our doggy Maximus, loves you so very much.  We are proud of the little boy you are growing into and can’t wait to see what your future holds.

Always and forever,

To see his year 3 birthday video, click here.  (Disclaimer, have tissues handy)

To see his year 2 video, click here.

And year 1 is here.

Quick Updates

My poor blog.  It has felt the effects of my over scheduling.  I used to at least post 2-3 times a month.  Now, I post every 2-3 months.  Well, sometimes once a month, but still, not nearly enough.

With that being said, here is my lazy post with quick updates glazing over what I should have blogged about, but didn't have time to:

1.  Thanksgiving was wonderful.  We had a house full of family and lots to be thankful for.

2.  Christmas was equally wonderful, but quiet.  We didn't see family until a few days after Christmas, it was actually nice to not have an overbooked, stressed out, travel filled Christmas.  To just have quiet time to focus on the true meaning of the season and enjoy much needed one on one time with my boys.  My oldest played the angel Gabriel in our Christmas play at church.  He was named after the angel Gabriel  and did a wonderful job, so as you can imagine, I cried.  Hubby and I sang in the Christmas cantata where he had a solo and did GREAT!  We also sang a duet of  "O Holy Night."  The youngest had his first recital at preschool that we really enjoyed. Especially the part where he did his best Al Bundy impression and shoved his hand down the front of his pants.  What can I say?  He's comfortable on stage.  Other than that though, he was a hit.  Our season was very full of giving and it felt wonderful.  Hubby built a playhouse that he donated to the oldest school's new outdoor classroom.  The oldest and I volunteered at a local food pantry, among other service projects we took on.  As I stated on my FB page, I share this not to boost or to get a pat on the back, but simply in the hopes of inspiring others to give back.  Take the time to help others and you will find, you are actually helping yourself even more.

3.  New Years Eve was awesome.  We went to a friends house that had a family friendly New Year's Eve.  There were lots of people, food, games, fellowship and the kids all had each other to play with as well.  A lot of fun was had by all.

4.  I joined the fire department.   Those of you who actually know me, know that I was a firefighter for 15+ years when I lived in Northern Virginia.  After 7 years of living in SWVA, I finally decided to go for round 2.  I am now a firefighter at my local fire department, because yes, I just don't have enough to do :-).

Please forgive the numerous typos and grammatical errors that I'm sure are in this post, maybe one day I'll have enough time to share a perfectly written post, but don't hold your breath.

Wishing you all a safe, happy and prosperous 2013!