happy fifth birthday!

sweet ava, you bring so much joy to our lives. the lord blessed us beyond what we deserve
when he let us become your parents. you are a constant ray of sunshine and everywhere you go,
you bring a smile to the people you meet. your laughter, silly sense of humor and
genuine love for others is obvious in all that you do. we are so happy to be your mommy and daddy
and look forward to this next year watching you start so many new phases in life.
you will make the best big sister and know you will care for her with the same love you give others.

here are the birthday questions!
with your answers verbatim

what is your favorite color
sparkly pink … with silver … plain pink with silver sparkles!

what is your favorite toy
that rolling duck that I had when i was so teeny tiny

what is your favorite fruit
chocolate strawberries

what is your favorite tv show
pioneer woman and doc mcstuffins

what is your favorite lunch
dino nuggets

what is your favorite outfit
this one that i’m wearing … i like it a lot

what is your favorite game
baby magnets that has the game that you have to do the spinner and get the babies where they live

what is your favorite snack

what is your favorite animal
kitty cats and penguins

what is your favorite song
the one that we sang in our skit at ms peggy’s house

what is your favorite book
all of the books … they’re all my favorite

who is your best friend
i love sylvia at my dance class

what is your favorite cereal
cereals are not even anything you like

what is your favorite thing to do outside

what is your favorite drink

what is your favorite holiday
i like all of them

what do you take with you to bed
penguiy and white blankie

what is your favorite dinner to have on your birthday
the same thing i had … i like pizza

what is your favorite breakfast

what do you want to be when you grow up
a doctor … or maybe when i grow up, i want to be a mommy like you
(be still my heart!)


happy fourth birthday duckie!

it’s amazing that another year has sailed by, seemingly with a blink of an eye. you hit so many milestones this year sweet girl - and every day, you are doing something more clever, more funny while always maintaining the highest ‘cuteness factor’ possible. 

some of your most notable achievements this year were:
potty training
going to bed by yourself in your big girl bed
drawing faces and bodies 
learning to write your name
starting dance class
trying new foods
developing a unique sense of humor
learning to read
reciting bible verses

some of your favorite things:
dressing up like a princess
watching yourself in videos

your ability to remember things is remarkable. you will talk about things that happened as far back as a year ago - but refer to everything in the past as ‘yesterday’ :). your attention to detail is teetering near ocd - you always put the same clothes back on your polly pocket dolls and you can remember where you put things when you hide them from mommy. haha.

one of the greatest things about your birthday this year is that this was the first time we were able to ask you the birthday questions with you being able to answer each one and comprehend what we were asking! it seems so simple - but these things blow my mind. i am in awe of God’s glorious creation when i see your mind at work - developing the ability to draw a face, arms, legs and hair, then pair them together and differentiate yourself from me or daddy. and writing your name, hearing you read and sound out words ... nothing short of miraculous. and proof of God’s handiwork. 

here are our fun birthday questions and your responses this year!
 (responses are verbatim)
what is your favorite color ... pink
what is your favorite toy ... abacus
what is your favorite fruit ... applesauce
what is your favorite tv show ... bubble guppies
what is your favorite thing to eat for lunch ... pasta
what is your favorite outfit ... the pink dress with polka dots and sparkles
what is your favorite game ... princess game
what is your favorite snack ... cookies, cheetos and sticks
what is your favorite animal ... kitties with sparkles
what is your favorite song ... princess song
what is your favorite book ... roly poly
who is your best friend ... you and you, mommy and daddy
what is your favorite cereal ... chocolate
what is your favorite thing to do outside ... play and draw chalks on the porch
what is your favorite drink ... milk
what is your favorite holiday ... halloween and valentine’s day
what is your favorite thing to take to bed at night ... white blankie
what do you want for dinner on your birthday ... sandwiches
what is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast ... pancake
what do you want to be when you grow up ... tall

the last one is the best response i think! haha!!

duckie, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me and daddy. this is not the first or the last time you will hear this. and i hope you always remember. we love you. jesus loves you. and your life is the greatest blessing we have ever known. 

happy birthday precious angel!


three and a half

oh my sweet girl ... i feel surprised that the last time i updated this site was six months ago! ... so much has changed with you!! ... you have officially transitioned (in my mind) to the most precious version of a true "little girl" in every sense! over the past few weeks, i have noticed a difference - and in the very best way, of course!

each day is like a new adventure for us! your imagination is running wild and love the anticipation of what you will say next ... just yesterday, while we were in the car, you dropped something you were playing with and politely asked me, "Mommy, can you please buckle your seat belt off right now and get that for me?" ... WOW! ... how cool is it that you are speaking to me in complete sentences with multiple requests?? i love it!

lately, you have been playing with your toys much more. your rocking horse has shot straight up the favorite list over the past few days and this past saturday you told me how "horsey is sleepy. he needs a nap" then you covered him up with "giant blankie" and precisely spread out each corner around him.

your stuffed animals and babies are getting extra special care from you now. your bitty baby had a "sticky poopie diaper" that was "yucky" and had to be changed quickly! each movement you make is so intentional. you carefully held up your baby's bottom from the bed, while removing the dirty diaper to place the new clean diaper underneath. again, that attention to detail is remarkable.

daddy has been in san antonio since the end of may for navy corpsman school. it's been a tough adjustment not having him around to play with, talk to and spend time with - however, i have treasured this very special time together, just you and me!

since i figured we could use something to fill our time, you started your first official dance class this month! you are taking a pre-ballet/tap combo class and i have to say that watching you practice your first position, jumps, pliƩs and tapping is enough cuteness to last a lifetime! just getting you dressed in your "dance clothes" has me "ooooo-ing and awwwww-ing" all morning!

back in april, over the long good friday weekend, you decided you were ready to be potty trained!! it was such a momentous occasion for us (me and daddy) but to you, it was like you had been doing it all along - or at least that you knew what to do but just realized, then you were ready!! it was quite literally, overnight. you wore a pull up for less than a week before we realized, that you didn't even need one at night. i love how everything you do is on your time. it's almost as if you're taking everything in, detail by detail, analyzing the scenario, thinking it through, and then making a conscious choice to do it. then you just go all out and are done!

that same month, you did something else equally, if not even MORE AMAZING ... you started drawing faces, with bodies! and while at first mention, i'm sure me saying that may seem less than "WOW" but ... as you sat in your chair at the worktable, i watched the coolest progression as you started with a simple head with eyes, nose and mouth and then added, arms ... then legs ... then feet ... then hair ... and then pupils!!! it was like watching an short film of hand drawn animation! to be able to sit and witness each drawing, knowing that your mind was carefully remembering a detail and then to see you actually move your hand to draw that next body part was like seeing you walk for the first time!! but maybe even more exciting because this was truly like watching what was going on inside your tiny little head!! absolutely incredible!

in may, you started writing your name!! you have known how to spell it for quite a while and i know you had seen me, your daddy, your cousins, etc write it before but just in time for mother's day, you started doing it all on your own! ... again, something else that floors me. i always constantly reminded of God's great miracle of life when you do almost anything. but i have to say, watching you write your name correctly with your left hand, and then watching you write it backwards (crossing the a's in reverse too) with your right is beyond cool!!

... more interesting little tidbits about you lately ...
your favorite color : whatever color you are wearing that day - you literally look down at what you have on and then respond with that color (but you always remember that mommy's favorite color is purple)
your favorite thing to watch on tv or the ipad : bubble guppies (you're even starting to sing their songs while we watch)
your favorite thing to eat at breakfast : pancakes
your favorite thing to eat at lunch or dinner : pizza or chicken nuggets & french fries (smart girl)
your favorite book : green eggs & ham, there's a wocket in my pocket, the cat in the hat OR the illustrated bible stories book
your favorite outfit : a dress of any kind, preferably long enough to twirl in!

you have started praying at night before bedtime. hearing your sweet voice talk to God is like an angel's whisper (or at least that's what i imagine it to be). 

thank you for being the light of my life. i am overwhelmingly grateful to have been blessed with you as my daughter.

i love you. and daddy loves you just as much!


happy father's day!

thank you husband, for being the man who you are and for loving God.

thank you for loving our daughter every day and for everything you have done and continue to do for our family.

thank you for the years ahead ... i know the future will be even sweeter than today.

i love you. always.

(and as duckie would say)


what in the word?

so it's twenty twelve and i have no idea who pressed fast forward and made it the end of january already! (not complaining but wow, time is just FLYING BY these days!)

the mister finished his third semester of nursing school (woo hoo!).
we had a third birthday party.
duckie's great granny and ev came to spend christmas eve and morning with her.
we spent time with my family. new year's came and went.
daddy started his last semester of the nursing program (what?! double woo hoo!).
and now it's the end of january.

so sometime within the last few months, duckie officially morphed into a little girl. she is losing her baby-ness.
i'm pretty sure this happened overnight. she speaks in complete sentences, recalls memories, has an awesome sense of humor and is just a joy to be around. of course there are those things, that still remind me of how she is still quite little - even though to us, she is big! for instance, when she says "what in the word?" because she can't say her "rl" words yet. or "mommy, you want to twirrr? (twirl)" or on those special occasions where she stops her constant motion to sit in my lap for 10 minutes. ahh... that is my version of heaven on earth.

a quick snapshot my sister-in-law took of us over the break... this will go down as an all-time fave.

have a great weekend!


“i fwee!”


hard to believe that 1095 days ago, you were taking your first breath, entering the world as our precious little angel. you are a constant blessing in our lives and bring so much joy to our family. just another daily reminder of how great our God is and how miraculous life truly is.

we celebrated your birthday last weekend! it was such a great day filled with family and friends! since you are loving penguins ever since we went to sea world and it has been quite cold outside, the winter wonderland was a perfect way to have fun with your holiday birthday!

you have the greatest personality. you are loving, silly, crafty, adventurous, determined, nurturing and affectionate. still the life of the party, you like to be the center of attention most of the time. you like to joke and call things by the wrong name, only to burst out in a hearty chuckle and squeal the right answer. you like to be swung in the air, spun around in circles and lately, you’ve especially enjoyed jumping jacks! there is never a dull moment when you’re around. 

you can work an iphone better than some adults. i’m in awe at how you quickly and intuitively you picked up the skills to navigate that thing. unlock the home screen, swipe from screen to screen, tap and expand folders, pull up your favorite you tube videos and more... i know you weren’t the only two year old who knew how to do that but it’s just fascinating to watch!

you are really into caring for your babies - you’ve been that way for the past year i would say but now, you have conversations with them, offer them something to eat, help them pretend eat and drink by placing goldfish in their hands and going through the motions to help emmie or bear get it in their mouth. the whole time you encourage them and praise them by saying, “oh-hah-oohhh... that’s a great job, emmie. good job, bear...”

anyway, you are one smart little lady and not to mention ADORABLE! basically, you are cuteness personified. you are sugar. you are spice. and every single thing about your being is one million percent nice.

thank you God for abundantly blessing our family.
ava, mommy and daddy love you to the moon and back.
happy birthday sweet angel girl.