I have always loved Christmas...every single bit of it! I am one of those people who wants to put my Christmas tree up before the Thanksgiving dishes are cleared away...and who refuses to take down lights until I receive a notice from the neighborhood association! I love how masses of a typically selfish society come out of hiding at this time of year to find gifts for others... and how they tend to smile at each other more, in passing.I love how "Merry Christmas" seems to roll of your tongue for a few short weeks each year... and how those two words create smiles and kinship even among strangers. I love all of the hustle and bustle and glitter and gifts... But most of all, I love that at one time of year, the WORLD remembers the first gift, Jesus Christ. At a time in history that is so fast-paced and diverse and politically correct--- His creation still celebrates one moment in time, where God loved us so much that He sent His Son to save us. After having a baby this year, Christmas feels a little different for me. I understand how much Mary loved her baby boy...and I can imagine the events of that first that Christmas night with more understanding. How amazing that God chose to enter our world in the humble way that He did...with animals and shepherds and angels as His only "visitors".
I pray that during this "season", which is already in full swing, we will slow down and make a point celebrate the real "Reason" for all of this busy-ness. With each gift we give and recieve, may we be thankful for God's gift to us.
So I usually put Shaelyn Jade down around 7:30 pm...then I feed her one more time before I go to bed. This night, when I went back in, I found that my little lady had invited an extra friend into the crib with her...
She is really starting to take an interest in our cats, Clive Staples and Indie, and shrills with excitement when they are near her. By the looks of it, these two had some fun before they sacked out together...
This picture was taken sometime before 7 am on Wednesday morning... as me and these two girlfriends crawled around on a blanket in the floor playing 6 month old games and cackling like old ladies together! Now the only thing that makes this morning exceptional, for me, is the fact that I stayed up 'til 2 am the night before!! My cousins, Brittany and Kelsey (and their friend Heather from Chicago) made my WEEK when they told me they wanted to spend the night with us...and of course Briley couldn't miss out on all the big girl fun (she really is getting so big these days!). One of the crazy things about Briley is, however, is that no matter what time she goes to bed, she ALWAYS wakes up at the crack of dawn! On this morning, for the first time, I was up before her, since my 6 month old alarm clock usually starts her jibber-jabbering about 6:30. We had a whole day's worth of fun before the big girls got up, and I tried so hard to soak it all in. I remember doing the same with Briley when she was 6 months old... and it just seems like yesterday...so I am loving these blanket mornings and slobbering smiles... We all hee-hawed when Briley insisted on pulling all 15 of Shaelyn Jade's hairs back in this headband! :) I am SO THANKFUL for this night with some of my favorite BIG and little girls!
Last night was the first time that we have actually hired a babysitter to come stay with Shaelyn Jade while we went on a "date" together. My mom loves Charles' Dickens "Christmas Carol"... I remember watching all the older versions growing up(something about watching the first Christmas movie makes the season "official")... and this year, she was PUMPED to see it was coming in 3D!!! She "fandango-d" tickets... and with purses packed full of WALGREENS drinks and candy, our big, loud crowd made it's usual big, loud, entrance into a packed matinee! It was so fun to see the excitement in the kiddos' eyes, especially our avid movie-watcher, Brax... and so sweet to see Cy trying to be as big as his cousins- even in the scarier parts! He WAS so big...as along as sitting in your mom's lap and not wearing your 3D glasses can still be big! :) And as you see, it's amazing how the spirit of Christmas makes us ALL act like kids... Oh it's my favorite time of year! We ended our night with a yummy dinner @ Carabba's including the much anticipated drawing of names, which is supposed to be kept secret, but which, as always, was shared before we left the table! :)
What a fabulous "first date"... thanks to Nanny Thelma!... Christmas if "officially" HERE!
Now I have LOTS of catching up to do! I thought my first offical post should be a glance at a few of my favorite moments in time, among thousands, that we have "captured". I have dreamed my whole life of being a mom, and I can only say that God always exceeds my expectations. There are no words for my love for this little sweet face!
Shaelyn Jade Andrews, Born May 16, 2009; 8 lb 9 oz, 21 1/2 inches...
Richard sat staring at her for days... and I sat staring at him with her! How did this "french class boy" end up as the father of my baby? God is SO GOOD!
No one was as excited to hear "It's a GIRL" as my mom! I was so excited to tell her that she would be named after her, Shaelyn Jade... and it was so sweet that she was able to give her her first bath!
Our first photo as a family of 3!!
It was so special to us that Rich's Mom and Dad were able to be there right after she was born... and I must say she definitely favors the Andrews side! :) We miss our Nanma and Grampy!!!
I remember waking up to this face in the wee hours of my first morning as a mom and thinking perhaps I'd given birth to a cartoon character. This is one of my favorite pictures in the world!
Rich told me after she was born that he'd always watched Nathan and Joey's kids come by and see them at work, and he'd longed for the day when he would have kids to come see him at work, too! It's hard to get anything done when she pops in to say hello!
My sweet "Aunt-Sister" Sonya has always been my dearest and best friend in this life, and we have dreamed all of our lives of someday having girls to raise together just like us! Livi loved her "Shae Ja" from the minute she laid eyes on her!
Enough said, right?
Our 3 month old little lady somehow managed to take the prize for youngest swine flu patient at our pediatric clinic...and we think she may have gotten it from kissing this friend in the mouth!
This is truly one of my favorites! My sweet Dad loves my baby girl, and I am so thankful that she, too, will grow up hearing her Poppi read God's Word to her.
But OF COURSE she had a bathing suit and sunglasses at 6 weeks... just like her Non!
First Family Vacation to South Carolina in June...
How could a baby girl look so much like a grown man???
Our first trip to Florida, just the 3 of us! It was a dream...
...And somehow we ended up getting in on another Florida trip just a month later, with the whole family again, which was a blast!
Everyone knows that Briley is my sweet, sweet girl who has always just brightened my life... and I don't think anyone wanted a girl as bad as she did! I will forever be thankful for the memories of the day Shaelyn Jade was born, and how Briley was there for every single bit of it! I always tell her that Shaelyn Jade will always want to be JUST LIKE HER!
This girl LOVES being outside! We walk a lot...and I think she would literally stay happy in her stroller for days!
We are so thankful for our cousins...
Rich has sat and played the guitar for her since the first days we brought her home, and she is just now really starting to react to it. She's already grabbing for the guitar, trying to play... so we hope she'll love music like her Daddy!
And last, but not least... this was just taken last night. This little lady LOVES bathtime, and it is such a fun way for us to end our days together...
Well, I am afraid that for all 3 of the people that might have thought about following this blog---I have probably scared you off with the length of this post. I PROMISE they won't all be like this, but I had 6 months to catch up on! Wanted everyone to see just a little bit of the joy we've experienced since Shaelyn Jade showed up. She makes our days so happy...
Oh this seems to be the fateful motto of my life!!! No matter how early I wake up, how fast I shower or drive down the interstate, or how many things I leave undone... I am ALWAYS LATE! Anyone who knows anything about me certainly knows this to be true...And, alas, it has followed me even into the world of blogging!!!
I remember when I found out I was pregnant I thought, "Well, now that I am 'technically' a mother already, I should journal this pregnacy!"... but as my belly grew, so did my excuses for not blogging... and then Shaelyn Jade was born and I thought, "Well with all of this time at home now (HA!), I will start this blog!" And after the "secrets" of postpartum became my reality, it was, "when things get back to 'normal'"...and then "once I get a good 'schedule' worked out' (another HA!)...and somehow, in a matter of what has seemed like only a few days, 6 months has snuck upon me... and I am once again LATE in journaling the FABULOUS DAYS of my life with my precious baby girl!!! All I can cling to is the "wise" old saying, "Better late than never!"
Where do I start?...Seems like my life "started" one day when I met a boy named Rich in French class. A few years later, he asked me to marry him on a beach in Charleston, SC (one of my favorite spots on this earth)... and a few years after that, we fell in love again- this time with a chubby faced, long legged, brown eyed baby girl that we call Shaelyn Jade. Two years after that we welcomed our blonde hair and blue-eyed boy Jude Warren into our crew! Time is flying by and we are soaking up every minute we can as a family of 4! This is a peek into our lives as we seek to follow Jesus wherever He leads us, and bring glory to His name each day. I am SO BLESSED and I feel, most days, that we are living "somewhere over the rainbow..."