Paisley Grace: 1 YEAR!

We have a one-year old. That’s just crazy.
This is my favorite age yet. Oh wait, I think I might have I said that before?

At one year, Paisley Grace:
– Talks constantly. Her favorite words are still “Da-da” and “Ba-ba” and recently she’s added quite a few more words into her vocabulary. Some of the recent additions include: Uh-oh, duck, two, dog, hello (pronounced “elll-uh” while she puts any object up to her ear like a phone), SSSSS (that means Aunt Kassidy, duh), and guess what? SHE STILL DOESN’T SAY “MA-MA.” I am just waiting for the day…
– Is down to taking only one nap from about 12-2. She knows when it’s nap time and she usually doesn’t fight it! (She’s like her daddy in regards to her love for napping).
– Still eats very well. She isn’t picky at all and loves her fruits and veggies!
– Loves to dance. Even when there isn’t any music playing. Gus always says she’s dancing to the music in her head! It is so cute to watch!
– Weighs 20 pounds, 12 ounces and is 29 inches long. (Yes, she is pretty short for her age).
– Hasn’t stood or taken any steps yet on her own but she’s always standing with help and scooting her way along the furniture!
– Gives the cutest kisses.
– Waves “bye-bye” and “hi” all the time. Even to all of the strangers in the grocery store.
– Is the biggest morning person. She wakes up in the happiest mood with a beautiful smile on her face!
– Isn’t much of a cuddler anymore. She basically will only cuddle when she first wakes up from her nap and when she takes a bottle.
– Had two really fun birthday parties in Florida with family & friends! She had a blast and especially loved the cake!
– Loves going on walks, petting animals, hanging out with other kids at the library, gymnastics, and anything that involves music & singing!
– Is wearing 9-12 month clothes. 12 month pants are super long on her but we make it work!
– Knows some sign language! She knows the signs for all-done, please, sleep and more. She’s working on learning more signs. She’s such a smart little girl and it is fun to watch her communicate with us in that way!
– Had a really rough week of being sick right after her birthday. With sickness came a grumpy, grumpy girl who threw tantrums and was a big challenge for mommy. Thankfully, after a few miserable days, she is back to her happy, healthy, easygoing self!
– Starts going to her new daycare next week. She’s excited. Mommy is nervous. I’m sure she will do great, though! She’s a very adaptable little girl.
– Loves, loves, loves her daddy. It is really sweet to watch those two interact together! Melts. my. heart.
– Is SUCH a blessing to us (yes, even on the difficult days). She brings so much laughter and joy into our home and we cannot imagine our lives without her.

IMG_3241 IMG_3341 happybdaybaby PicMonkey Collage

Happy 12 months of life, little one.

We love you to the moon & back!

I won’t forget you, 22

Twenty-two is definitely going down in the books as my favorite age (well..so far, anyway).

On my birthday last year (which, by the way, was spent in the hospital on our vacation in Florida due to a bad stomach bug + pregnancy) I had no idea what the year would bring. Looking back at everything that has happened this past year, I am completely overwhelmed by the goodness of God and His grace in my life and the lives of others.

At the age of 22 I became a mother, a college graduate and a nurse. It was the year so many of the dreams I had for my life came true. I grew a lot as a wife as my husband and I started adjusting to our new roles as parents together. I had the privilege of watching my loving husband become a daddy (I still find myself watching him in awe sometimes as he fits the “daddy” role so unbelievably well). I developed a faith in God like I’ve never had before. I realized how fortunate we are to be surrounded by so many amazing friends and family members.

It definitely wasn’t a perfect year. It was filled with plenty of ups and downs, its own set of trials, lots of tears and some heartache. There were times I was discouraged, completely sleep deprived, running away from God, and even miserable at some points in the year. But… It was a year I will never forget and God used those hard times to teach me lessons I never would have learned otherwise. The ups were great and the downs were bad, but God saw us through it all. Even when I lacked trust for my faithful God, He took care of us. He taught me so much about Himself this year. He showed me that even when we lack faith, He is still in control and He is still God. He gave me grace for every day – even when I wasn’t necessarily looking to Him for it. I learned that His plan is far better than my own, even when I think I know it all (which, let me tell you, I definitely don’t). He is good regardless of our circumstances and He will continue to be good despite our failures and human imperfections.

22 was a year full of a lot of milestones & life lessons.
I am so excited to see what God has planned for 23!

IMG_8169 IMG_8224

Paisley Grace: 10 months

We fall more in love with this sweet girl every single day.
I cannot believe 10 months has already gone by!! 
IMG_2153
At 10 months old she:
– Crawls EVERYWHERE. And she’s a quick little girl, too!! We are constantly chasing her around.
– Loves to clap her hands, dance, whistle, and laugh.
– Stands up all the time! She has even gotten brave enough to walk along the furniture and take steps with her walker but no steps on her own quite yet!
– Makes the funniest faces! She especially loves to copy the faces/noises of other people!
– Dropped her late afternoon nap and is now takes 2 naps a day.
– Has NINE teeth. That’s right, nine. (4 on top, 5 on the bottom) She is always smiling and showing them off. Oh & she’s in the process of cutting at least 3 more right now!
– Loves the songs “PaddyCake” “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”
– Got to spend a special week with her Grandma Sparkles when she came to visit us!
– Is such a little ham. She’s always trying to make people laugh and show off all of her little tricks.
– Waves “bye-bye” and “hello.” Even to strangers at the grocery store.
– Is such a curious little girl. She is always getting into everything. She definitely keeps us on our toes.
– Has a mommy who is now officially a Registered Nurse! (Paisley went back to her daycare for a couple of weeks so she could have fun while I studied – it paid off because we found out on June 17th that I passed my state boards).
– Is NOT a big fan of cuddling. Unless you’re giving her a bottle, she’s extremely tired, or she’s not feeling well, good luck getting cuddles from Paisley Grace.
– Thinks it’s so funny to try to climb up the stairs. (Don’t worry – we have a baby gate now!)
– Weighs 23 pounds! She’s in the 60th percentile for weight and the 20th for height.
– Still won’t let us keep bows or clips in her hair. (Hence the crazy hair in most of her 10 month pictures)
– Loves to say “Dada.” That’s all I hear all day long. “Dada. Dada. Dada.” She will say “Baba” sometimes and has pretty much  stopped saying “Mama” altogether. So, she’s just all about her daddy right now!
– Is wearing size FOUR diapers and is in 6-9 month & 12 month clothes.
– Really, really likes to eat. We have yet to find a food she doesn’t like!
– Got to go to the zoo on Memorial Day!
– Is currently in 12-hour wear with her brace. She only has to wear her boots and bar through the night until she’s 4! She’s such a trooper & her feet are still looking great!
– Loves anything that involves being outside. The swings, the park, the pool – you name it. She’s our nature girl.
– Is such a huge blessing to us and we absolutely love being her parents
IMG_2044 IMG_2068 IMG_2073 IMG_2057IMG_2033 IMG_2006 IMG_2038 IMG_2096 IMG_2034 IMG_2014 IMG_2011 IMG_1976 IMG_1946 IMG_1939 IMG_1944 IMG_1928
IMG_2141 IMG_2145 IMG_2153-2 IMG_2163 IMG_2166 IMG_2170 IMG_2188 IMG_2189 IMG_2231 IMG_2236 IMG_2257IMG_2178

Paisley Grace – we love you to the moon and back!
Happy 10 months of life, little one!

Paisley Grace: 9 months

Paisley Grace is 9 months old. Unbelievable.
IMG_1757

At 9 months old she:
– Loves to eat Cheerios. Well really, she loves food in general…but especially Cheerios!
– Learned how to shake her head “No.” It’s pretty adorable and she knows it makes people laugh so she does it all the time!
– Can stand up! She started pulling herself up on furniture this past week! (May 12th!) Now she tries to stand up all the time — exciting, but dangerous!
– IS A CRAWLER! She actually started crawling on April 18th at 8 months old! (Only about a week after she figured out how to roll around all over the house) Now she’s a pro and she crawls everywhere. She’s a quick little thing, too! She keeps me busy for sure!
– Is wearing a few 6-9 month clothes but is mainly in 9-12 month stuff now. She’s also in size FOUR diapers. WHAT?!?!
– Had her LAST DAY at daycare on May 8th. We were so blessed to have an amazing teacher at a daycare we loved who helped care for Paisley Grace so I could finish school.
– Loves to to make people laugh!
– Says “Mama” “Baba” and “Dada” – I think she’s starting to use those 3 “words” with meaning behind them. She will say “Dada” when I show her a picture of him and when he comes home from work she says it a lot!
– Has a mommy who has officially been pinned as a nurse and is college graduate with a bachelor’s of science in Nursing! The most exciting part about that? We get to spend more time together!!
– Won’t let us put headbands on her head any more…She always pulls them off. Only hair clips for now!
– Got to spend a lot of time with special family members who traveled to SC for graduation! She got to see her Grandma & Grandpa Jennings, Aunt Kassidy, Great Grandma Gill, Uncle Todd & Aunt Christine (all the way from NJ) and Jacqui! She even recognized her Grandma and Aunt Kassidy from Facetime. It was precious.
– Makes a hilarious “smile” face that looks more like she’s going to scream but she’s just happy as can be. I can’t get over her funny faces she makes!
– Isn’t the biggest fan of men she doesn’t know. She gives them a mean look and if they say hi to her or get too close she’ll freak out.
– Had a wonderful first Mother’s day Holiday with mommy. We went out to breakfast with all our family before they headed back home. Then we had a relaxing day at home and went out for Sushi with mommy & daddy at their favorite sushi restaurant in town.
– Is such a HAPPY baby. She is always smiling with her 4 big teeth (2 top, 2 bottom).
– Brings so much happiness and laughter to our home. She is such a joy to be around.

IMG_1708 IMG_1718 IMG_1714 IMG_1709 IMG_1704 IMG_1705 IMG_1688 IMG_1697 IMG_1701 IMG_1684 IMG_1728IMG_1736 IMG_1737 IMG_1735 IMG_1739 IMG_1747 IMG_1757-2 IMG_1777 IMG_1802 IMG_1775

Now I Get It

You know those moms who always refer to their children’s ages in months? I’m not talking about that mom who tells you she has a 3 month-old baby. I’m referring to the moms who say they have a “34 month-old” or a “28 month-old.” I used to get so annoyed when I heard moms say comments like that. I would always think to myself “Oh, so you mean they’re 2 and a half years old? Or…almost 3 years old?!” No, those kids’ ages are still in MONTHS. Now that I’m a mom, I totally get it.

When Paisley was born I kept track of how many hours old she was. Call me crazy, but I did. Naturally, those “hours old” then became “days old” and then before we knew it, “weeks old.” Oh man, when I had to make the transition from “weeks old” to “months old” I almost lost it. I remember talking to my husband about how I was never going to stop telling everyone Paisley’s age in weeks. I would start a new trend if I had to, but I wasn’t going to say the word “month” after her age. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. All of a sudden those moms who tell you their toddlers ages in months don’t seem so bad, right!? (Don’t worry – that trend didn’t last too long!)

This month, on February 9th, our “little” baby will be 6 months old. 26 weeks old. 184 days old. 4,416 hours old. Even if I didn’t realize it at the time, I truly am thankful to God for every single one of those hours.
Every hour spent soothing a crying baby who was wide awake in the middle of the night.
Every hour spent trying to work on homework or study only to be distracted by a cute little baby staring back at me.
Every hour spent at various doctors’ appointments and casting appointments.
Every hour spent crying because I was an overwhelmed new mom who felt like I didn’t know what I was doing.
Every hour spent cuddling with this precious miracle God gave to me.
Every hour spent watching my husband be the best dad he can possibly be to our little girl.
Every hour spent ignoring everyone’s advice to “sleep when she sleeps” so we could just stare at her in admiration and love on her.
Every hour spent praying for Paisley and about the responsibility of being a mommy to this precious girl.
Every hour spent wondering how my baby was doing at daycare when I should have been paying attention in class.
Every hour spent with sweet family and friends who helped us immensely when Paisley was first born.
Every hour spent on the phone with my mom asking 1,000 questions about newborns and milestones and everything else you can think of.
Every hour spent just trying to figure out how to function during the day when we were only getting 2 hours of sleep each night.
Every hour spent ultimately loving being a mommy to this amazing gift from God.

Forgive me if I refer to her age in months for the rest of her life. Yup, I’m going to be THAT mom. (Okay, okay… I won’t do that. Well, at least not out loud)

In all seriousness, I can’t believe she is going to be six months old soon. Wow.

Time really does fly by.
Now I get it.

10403799_819613291412611_8341961380141864893_o

Paisley Grace: 5 months

We are so blessed to be the parents of this beautiful baby girl.

IMG_0207Paisley Grace is 5 months old!!
At 5 months old she…
– Has a TOOTH. What?! It came in on December 29th when we were on vacation in Florida! And…it’s pretty adorable.
– Started rolling over from back to belly with her boots and bar on. This also happened while we were in Florida!
– Has started eating some fruits and veggies! The first vegetable she tried was carrots. She loved them right away
– Loves the Johnny Jumper her Aunt Holley let us borrow. Right now, it’s probably her favorite thing to do!
– Has started to use her hands purposefully (reaching for things, picking up her paci and toys, etc)
– She watches EVERYTHING and is very in-tune with her environment
– Is almost always smiling and laughing. Except for when she’s extremely hungry or tired…then she sure can throw a fit!
– Enjoys going to any kind of store where we can put her carseat in the shopping cart and she can look around. She just laughs and laughs!
– Weighs 13 pounds, 10 ounces and is 24 inches long
– Doesn’t quite sleep through the night…yet. But we’re hopeful!! We have a good bedtime routine and some nights she gets a full night of sleep, but most of the time she decides to wake up to eat around 3:00-4:00 AM.
– Is such a goofball. She’s constantly making funny faces and hilarious noises.
– Tries to put everything in her mouth
– Is wearing 0-3 month clothes and is starting to fit into some 3-6 month clothes (but we have to roll up the sleeves and pants cause they are still quite a bit long on her)
– Definitely knows who mommy & daddy are. We love it.
– Makes every day an adventure.

Our monthly photoshoots have become quite the task now that Paisley Grace constantly wants to be moving around and making silly faces. Enjoy!

IMG_0206 IMG_0223 IMG_0226 IMG_0224IMG_0234 IMG_0230IMG_0266-2 IMG_0270 IMG_0298IMG_0315 IMG_0306 IMG_0317 IMG_0328 IMG_0333 IMG_0336 IMG_0355
Mommy & Daddy love you so much, Paisley Grace

Happy 5 months of life, little one!

Paisley Grace: 4 months

We absolutely LOVE this age. For real. It’s so much fun!

IMG_9500

At 4 months old she:
– Started eating oatmeal cereal on December 10th. Right now we are just giving it to her before bedtime so that she will (hopefully) sleep through the night.
– Has slept completely through the night for 4 nights in a row. That’s her longest record so far. Here’s to hoping it will be a routine soon!
– Can roll onto her side. She doesn’t quite know how to roll over yet but she’s working on it.
– Interacts with all of her little toys and loves to play in her activity jumper.
– Giggles a lot! She will laugh for a little while and then abruptly decide that whatever was making her laugh is no longer funny at all. At that point…good luck trying to get a giggle out of her!
– Can put weight on her feet when she stands with help (this is a HUGE deal)!
– Weighs 12 pounds, 7 ounces! She’s getting so big!
– Chews on her hands and fingers constantly.
– Kicks out of her boots and bar on a daily basis…sometimes multiple times a day.
– Wears 0-3 month clothes
– Loves listening to the Baby Einstein Pandora station and singing along with mommy in the car.
– Is intrigued by the lights and ornaments on the Christmas tree
– Cannot sleep unless she is tightly swaddled. if she breaks out of her swaddle at night she cries until we re-swaddle her!
– Still really, really loves that paci. You won’t see Paisley without a pacifier clipped to her.
– Proved herself to be an incredibly well-behaved baby in the car for a long trip to Missouri and back. She handled it even better than I did.
– Still loves bathtime
– Has started to scream-laugh all the time. It’s adorable and slightly confusing. She will scream as loud as she can while smiling. We think she just likes to make noises!
– Interacts with her environment so much.
– Has really started developing her own little personality.
– Seems to recognize voices and people. As soon as I walk into her classroom to pick her up from daycare, she just lights up and starts smiling when she sees me. I love it.
– Has some of the funniest facial expressions I’ve ever seen. This baby girl is very animated.

IMG_9511IMG_9491IMG_9484 IMG_9492 IMG_9503IMG_9500IMG_9550 IMG_9552 IMG_9555IMG_9554