Monday, September 17, 2012

2012: Summer in Review

Thought I'd take a break from the heavy stuff I've been posting on here the past few months and point out what a blessed summer I had, despite the huge turn in the road in the beginning.  I had a difficult time going back to work this year.  Ok. Difficult is an understatement.  I loved my summer.  It was hard, although, I really can't stand it when people attribute this to "getting used to two."  They are not my problem.  They are amazing.  They are not perfect, but they are why going back is so, so hard.   I am blessed that I love what I do (95% of the time) and that I'm only away from home in the morning (minus concerts and extra meetings) but I always think that even a day with my screaming, colicky baby with my baby at home is better than worrying about the girls while I'm away. . .  The beginning of the summer was tough.  Getting used to our new reality post-Ashlyn's birth trauma (processing this isn't over, of course), Ashlyn's reflux and trying to figure out how best to help her and the pain she was having just to eat, as well as my getting over major, emergency surgery took it's toll at the end of May and June.  However, by mid July, I started feeling better, Ashlyn's reflux was starting to get under control and I really started enjoying my girls and my summer.  I can't tell you how many times I yearned for time to stop.  Claire this sweet, funny, little two year old forever and Ashlyn- my sweet, smiley squishy baby and me, home with them to watch them play and grow. . . it was such an amazing time. 

Claire's 2nd Birthday Party- June 9th, 2012
We had Claire's party a couple of weeks after her actual birthday due to the fact that baby sister was born 10 days before her birthday and we were all still recovering from everything.  Claire loved Hello Kitty (she still does but not with quite the same intensity :-) ) so a Hello Kitty party it was.  We, mostly, invited her little friends and borrowed a bounce house from our church.  Fun, simple little party at our park across the street.  Claire had a blast and talked about all her little friends who came for days afterward.  

Independence Day- July 4th, 2012
For the last several years we have always done the same thing for the 4th.  Generally, the day begins at home and then in the afternoon we head over to our friends, The Samson's for a BBQ and then everyone walks over to the City of Yorba Linda's Fireworks Show.  After we had Claire we wondered if we could keep this tradition up since it begins way past her bedtime, nor did we know if she could handle the loud noises.  But Claire handled it like a champ and this year, taking Ashlyn was so much fun.  When we brought Claire the first time, first time mom panicked because of the firework noise.  This time, I came prepared.  Ashlyn wore earphones set in hopes some of the noise would be drowned out.  Whether they worked or not is up for debate but the pictures of my tiny baby with those earphones on are hilarious.  Momma's got to do what momma's got to do. 

Bekah and Claire

Justin and Claire

Claire's first babysitter, Bekah and her husband Grant.  She loves them. A LOT. :-)

Claire ready to walk to the park

Claire and her buddy, Logan

Ashlyn's headphones
Jane's Birthday Party- July, 2012
Our friends, the Schulert's, have two girls and their, now, 5-year-old Jane's birthday party was this last July.  They had just moved into a new house and it was the first time we got to see it.  So much fun.  Here are the girls.  Poor Jane was stuck smiling and posing for the picture while the two-year-olds on either side of her managed to wiggle and squirm and take forever to take the picture.  She was a good sport about it though ;-)

Claire goes to Build-a-Bear with Grammy Herman
Claire (and my) first trip to Build-a-Bear was this summer!  She picked out a brown bear who wears a turquoise shirt and white skirt and white sandals.  Grammy helped her pick it out.  Very special gift and very fun day!
Grammy and Claire

Fixing up the Bear!

Ashlyn and I tagged along too!

The finished product! I think I'll call her, "Bear." :-)

Cousins in Town!- August, 2012
My aunt and uncle and cousins as well as my cousin's kids came out in August for a family get together for my uncle's family.  Claire LOVES her cousins.   Wish we all lived closer. . .

Knott's Trip-August 18, 2012
Christian's company outing this year was at Knott's Berry Farm.  It was hot. . .really hot that day.  But we had fun and wore both girls out, completely.  Claire came home with her very own Snoopy t-shirt and she slept all the way home.  I think that means it was a good day :-)

Summer included a few other things.  Trips to the park and the pool, Mommy and Me preschool with Gramma Christie and swimming with Papa Christie, swim lessons and trips to the Splash Pad at The Shoppes in Chino Hills.  I wish I took more pictures.  I'll always wish I took more pictures. . . All the while we watched this sweet little one. . .
Grow . . .

and grow. . .

and grow!    

 But September loomed above my head the whole time. Now I'm back to the crazy schedule I started last year when I agreed to take on the Vocal Music program at the middle school. We are thankful that Christian is on a normal schedule this year.  None of this "coming home at 9 every night" and that he's completely done with school. . . Big blessings.  Things are crazy!  Loved my summer.   Grateful I get to continue to be a part of this family and watch it continue to grow.    So. much. to love around here :-)