Wednesday, April 30, 2014

fifteen months

Today, you are 15 months old. Your dad and I are in awe of you, truly. We often find ourselves just staring at you with a goofy smile plastered on our faces, tears in our eyes... "We made that", "He's ours", "Look how cute he is!", "I seriously love him, so much!" We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into the day you were born. You have brought so much life, happiness, humor and love into this house, Uriah. I never want to forget you at 15 months. You are constantly learning - some times I think I can actually see the gears turning in your head - you understand so much! You are so curious and brave and intrigued by every new sound, sight and person. But with that, you still know us, need us, and snuggle us until our hearts burst. You are busy - so busy! Getting into one thing, turning around and getting into another. You are a little tornado running through our house most days, but the sight of toys strewn over our living room floor always makes me smile a little - I can't believe you're ours.

You take your dance parties pretty seriously. There doesn't always have to be music for you to break it down, but your right hand does always have to be in the air.

Currently, you are obsessed with cows. All animals, really, but this month is cows. You "mooo" at everything! We pointed out the cows in the fields on our most recent trip to Nana and Papa's and since, you spend all your time in the car pointing out the window "mooing" with a little question mark at the end, wondering where all the cows went. You know each book in your mini collection that has a cow in it and you flip the pages until you find it - again and again and again.

You are also saying "baaa" now, for sheep, "neigh" for horse and "blub blub blub" for fish, and you have signs (that we've either taught you ourselves or taught you from your favorite book "From Head to Toe" by Eric Carle) for penguin, giraffe, buffalo, monkey, seal, gorilla (another favorite animal of yours), donkey, elephant, lion and crocodile.

You became a picky eater. After we got back from Christmas in Fairbanks, you started becoming more selective about what you'd eat. We assumed it was teething, but it didn't go away once those teeth came in. So it's sorta a game we play three or four times a day now, "Will you eat this? No? Ok. Will you eat this?..." Your favorites are bread, cheese, blueberries and yogurt. I can sneak vegetables into your morning scrambled eggs and evening quesadillas and I can sneak any kind of fruit into your yogurt, so your diet isn't completely unbalanced. The rule in our house is, we get to decide what you eat and you get to decide how much. So if all you want to eat is bread, you're getting 100% whole wheat bread with honey as a sweetener instead of corn syrup. To you, though, it's just bread and you couldn't get enough!

You aren't a talkative one, per say. You can say "momma", "dada", "nana" and "papa", always directed at the right people, but those are your only actual words, still. Your dad and I can still have lengthy conversations with you, though, because we understand what every "gah!", "point" and sign means. "Ball" is always "guh!", "cat" is "goo", "globe" is "glo", "helicopter" is "ca ca", and so on and so forth. You are signing "more", "eat", "drink", "all done", "nurse", "help", "please" (which you're now saying on your own, without me having to ask!) and "thank you" consistently and accurately. You can tell us how old you are, blow kisses, show us your muscles and wave. You love giving high fives and "knuckles" and give hugs, kisses and "loves" like its your job!

You would spend all day outside if I let you! We live one block away from a small park and you know the exact route there - the second we open the door you are pointing and running in that direction. Though your most recent favorite park time activity is collecting pinecones, you could spend hours in the swings, running around the fields and watching the big kids play. You love climbing on the play equipment and can do almost all the steps and tunnels yourself. I try to get you outside at least once a day, both for your sanity and mine!, but most days we go for one long walk and end at the small park by our house before nap time and a quick walk to the bigger park six blocks away in the afternoon where we spend an hour and have a picnic. The things I get to do with you now that you're getting older... You are very much my baby, still, but also now my friend.

You are taking two naps, both one and a half to two hours long, and consistently sleeping through the night (finally!) from eight to seven. You are 100% binky free, too! We weaned you somewhat off the binky when we got back from Fairbanks in December, before you turned one. We kept it around for naps, nighttime and long car trips. After all our travels in March, we finally decided to get rid of the thing once and for all! It took about three days for you to get used to going down for a nap without it, but you've been such a champ!

You have eight teeth, including one premolar that looks very out of place in your small mouth with just your front teeth in. You have been such a sport this round of teething - we didn't even know you were getting new teeth until they were in!

You are such a book nerd worm - you will sit reading to yourself for twenty plus minutes, flipping pages and babbling to yourself. You love "Wink", your penguin stuffed animal that goes with us everywhere. You love drumming, playing hide and seek, snuggling stuffed animals, playing chase around the staircase in your room, any and all balls, your daddy and his helicopter, FaceTiming Nana and calling her on your phone (the rectangular magnet on the fridge), brushing your teeth, bath time, helping me vacuum and sweep, jumping on the bed and watching the very rare Sesame Street Youtube video.

You don't really care for getting dressed, getting your diaper changed or getting your picture taken - basically, anything that requires you to sit still. You love playing in the trash can, with outlets, the living room lamps and the wifi box - all of which you shouldn't play with and hate being told "no" to.

Mr. Uriah Wall, you have been so much fun to get to know. We love getting to spend our days with you, watching you learn and discover. We are so blessed God chose us to be your parents. We pray our thanks to Him everyday for our healthy, energetic, sweet baby boy. We love you so much, son!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

we're NOT moving!

For the first time since we got married, we're not moving! We are staying in the same town and in the same house for more than ten months! We were married in Oregon and moved to Anchorage exactly a month later. After eight months there, we went from Fairbanks, to California, to Fairbanks, to Delta Junction, to Fairbanks, to Alabama and Florida, to Pocatello, to Roseburg, to Corvallis, to Portland and finally to Seattle. After ten months there, we moved here! And after twelve weeks here, we left for fourteen, so when our one year lease is up, we won't even have been here for a year... Our lives have always been on the go. Our lives have always had known change looming over us. Not bad change, but inevitable change, as most change is. Before we found places in Anchorage and Seattle, we already knew when we'd be leaving, which can make it hard to feel like home. We've always done our best to really settle in and "be all here", but regardless, knowing we're going to be leaving sits in the back of my head like a constant reminder. And now we're not leaving. And honestly, I was a little worried the lack of change will be just as hard to handle as the inevitable change. Am I so used to change, to moving, that I actually enjoy it and look forward to it? Am I going to get bored in the same town and in the same house? I started to get a little disappointed when I realized we were going to stay, even though moving causing so much stress and worry and labor, it's exciting and new and fun. But then I started to look around this house... The living room floor Uriah first walked across. The screen door that slams so loud, but means that Stephen is home for the day, shortly followed by Uriah's squeals of excitement. The kitchen doorway where Uriah sits in his high chair as I cook dinner and dance and sing like a crazy person making him throw his head back in giggles. The little kitchen nook where Stephen and I sit side by side, barely fitting on the bench, eating lunch while watching our newest tv addiction. The attic that Stephen can't stand up in where we sit with Uriah for hours playing catch and reading books. The park that is an exact block away from our house where Uriah went down his first slide. And you know what, I'm not sad at all that we're staying put. I'm not sad at all that this house gets to be our home for one more year. That we get to have more snuggles on the couch in our living room, more family dinners in our dining room, more wrestling matches on the bed in our bedroom. This will be the house Stephen becomes a doctor while living in. This will be the house Uriah turns two in. This may be the first house Uriah has memories of. This may be the house we bring our next baby home to. And I'm not one bit sad about that.

Also, ^^ pictures from our Saturday date night to a WWAMI dinner that turned into a private triple date with our friends ^^ We were the last to leave and I got to hold my hubbies hand the whole walk home laughing until I peed. Literally. It was a great night.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five Friday Favorites

Another round of favorite blogger/Insta mommies just for you on this Friday! I could have easily made this an "Eight Friday Favorites" post, so be expecting another one soon! I love "getting to know" these women through social media and have been so inspired by all of them! I love reading their posts knowing that I'm not alone in this mom world of dirty diapers and wife life. I hope you enjoy reading them, too!

1. Anne Hill
Originally from Alaska (which is maybe why I like her so much...?!) this graphic designing momma now calls Canada home - and you should see the scenery pictures she posts...! Can I come visit?! And her little man, Eli, is just that, a little man! His dark, handsome, serious eyes will have you drooling! I love reading her monthly updates on their almost one year old (!!!) that she oh so cutely designs herself (momma's got talent!) It seems that her little family is always off on some adventure, and I love that spirit! This is a great post to start with if you're new to her blog (number ten is another reason why I like her so much!) and this one, because, well, you'll see.
Blog: The Hills are Alive
Instagram: @annehilldesign

2. Natalie Jensen
This blonde beauty is that girl in high school that you sorta wanted to hate because she was so pretty and skinny with flawless skin and great style, but you couldn't if you tried because she had a heart of gold and was sweet as a southern belle. Really, though! This inspirational momma hosts "Fit Food Fridays" on her blog where you can find healthy, yummy recipes and a good dose of fitness inspiration! You'll also find loads of pictures of her little man, Copeland, which, do you not agree is the sweetest name?! She does such a good job of writing out her heart, too. Her posts on "Finding My Femininity" and "Mama Overload" were truly spot on - just what every momma is thinking!
Blog: Copeland & co.
Instagram: @nataliedarling21

3. Stephanie Wall
This momma is an extra special one to me because she's my sister-in-law! Momma to two of the most handsome boys (Triston and Skylar - both full of smiles and personality!) and a new puppy parent (I know, she has her hands full!) this beauty is a DIY queen! Sewing, decorating, cooking, crafting of all kinds - she is full of new ideas and creativity! This yogi momma is training for a marathon this fall, and oh, she's also competing in this years Mrs. Alaska America pageant...! No big deal, right?! This is what my in-laws are comparing me to, guys! Don't you feel bad for me?! ;) Her and her husband have a huge heart for the youth of Alaska and are starting up a recovery program for those who have gotten involved in drugs and alcohol, or those just needing some guidance and love from Jesus. It's pretty remarkable! (She's also a must follow on Pinterest!)
Blog: If These Four Walls Could Talk
Instagram: @jonathan_and_stephanie

4. Ali Walker
I have been a follower of Ali's blog for a loooong time. I discovered her blog back when she was hosting more of a fashion blog and posting outfit posts. It has since transitioned into a lifestyle, family blog, but I still love it just as much! I love the way she writes to and about her boys - Jax and Jonah. You can tell she has her hands full, but that her heart is equally so. She's a great photographer, too, and I swoon over the pictures she takes of her little guys! Her pictures and posts always leave me hoping our next one is another boy! Their little family just joined the house owners club and I'm looking forward to seeing sneak peaks! Congratulations to them!
Blog: Life & Us
Instagram: @aliwalker_

5. Meghan Perry
Truthfully, I haven't gotten to know Meghan all too well, yet, but I fell in love with her Instagram feed once I saw her series of Deacon's nap time pictures - so precious! Also, that milk maid braid...?! Jealous! Her blog hasn't been updated in awhile (tisk, tisk, Meghan! Though us mommas know how easy it is to find time to blog...) but it's still worth checking out! She was so great about documenting her pregnancy with her little man and you'll find a slew of amazing DIY posts! She also has her own Etsy shop of hand knitted baby booties, Pleasantly Plump Knits, which you can find here. Seriously, this is one talented momma!
Blog: Pocketful of Pretty
Instagram: @meghanp

Thursday, April 24, 2014

a case of the Mondays

Monday was an actual Monday for me, you know what I mean? As a momma, I don't get weekends off or summers off... but as a plus, I am typically immune to getting "a case of the Mondays" in return. But this week I caught it. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, simple as that. My patience meter was at zero. I just wasn't having it. Not so fortunately for me, neither was Uriah. Maybe it was something in the water...? Mid day, when I was hoping it was 6:00 and I discovered it was only 2:00, I started to feel like I needed to write "go to the bathroom" on my to-do list just so I could cross something off. I felt like I was constantly doing something, but not getting anything done. I gulped my coffee and prayed to Jesus to get me through it! Which He did. I mustered up all of my patience and every last drop of sweetness I had to smile over my fussy child as my husband walked through the door. It is so easy to see him standing there and just loose it - throw a screaming Uriah in his arms and start on the complain train. I often forget that he's had a hard day, too, probably a harder one and a busier one. I forget that he'd probably trade any day at the office to stay home and take Uriah to the park. I tried so hard to remember that as Uriah continued to fuss over his dinner (where did this picky eater come from?!) and Stephen unpacked his bag and got changed. I used Jesus's strength, not my own, to greet him with a smile and a kiss and ask about his day, genuinely, even though I sorta just wanted to cry and throw in the towel (literally and figuratively - I was doing the dishes, which I loathe). But you know what? Monday is over. And in retrospect, it really wasn't that bad. Because when it came down to it, I had a beautiful baby boy with food on his plate (regardless of the fact that he was refusing to eat it) and a hard working husband walking through the door bursting with happiness to see us both. And what could I possibly complain about when those are my circumstances?! Maybe I needed to come down with a case of the Mondays to see that it is easily surmountable ...with a little help from Jesus and the thought that knowing Ice Cream Thursday is just around the corner. (Which is TODAY, people!) Here's to hoping you don't lose it today, and are able to greet your saving grace at the door with a smile! We've all been there, and we've all survived. You will, too, fellow momma!

^^ Disclaimer: These photos were not taken on the Monday discussed above. I don't think I even showered on Monday. They were just sitting in iPhoto waiting to be shared, possible unedited...? I can't even remember. I get ice cream today, guys, that's all I can think about. ^^

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Weekend

^^ Easter egg hunt at Nana & Papa's! He refused to carry his own basket, but understood the process of finding eggs and collecting them! Gosh, it was so dang cute! ^^
^^ This gorgeous family had an extra special Easter - my sweet nieces were dedicated to The Lord on Sunday and we were so happy to be there to share in the prayer! ^^
^^ Ashley, I know you're not really smiling in this one, but I only had two to choose from and that dang Pocatello wind was getting us all good in the other one! You still somehow look amazing though, which is totally unfair. ^^

Our Easter weekend was far too short. We made a somewhat last minute decision to drive down to Pocatello to spend it with my family. We obviously wanted to see them, but that drive is just so dang awful! After all our traveling in March, Stephen and I were hesitant to hop back in the car for seven hours over three days. But, we did, and we are both so happy we decided to! (Though the drive down there with a screaming babe the first three hours was really making us question our choice... He slept great both nights we were there and was an angel of a baby on our way home, though, so he made up for it)

Saturday afternoon we were all able to go to the Pocatello zoo, which is the furthest thing from impressive, but the kids loved it. Uriah is newly into cows and "mooed" at everything, including that Bald Eagle. He and Harper walked all around the trails together collecting sticks and pointing out the animals - watching them play and interact truly just warms my heart. They are too cute! That evening we had a bbq at my parents and played a couple rounds of "the noun game" before heading to bed on Easter Eve.

On Sunday morning, Stephen and I prepared a big, yummy breakfast for the five of us and were able to spend some time with my parents before meeting up with the Hunt family for Harper and Remi's blessing. My sister and her husband chose to have their daughters blessed and dedicated to The Lord on Easter Sunday - how beautiful and special, right?! They were adorable in their white dresses and their "Paka" Hunt did an amazing job praying over them. It was so great to be apart of that, there supporting them and loving them in this decision to follow Jesus. The food and dessert that followed weren't too bad, either ;)

I haven't spent an Easter Sunday with my family since I was living at home in high school, so it was nice to be able to share that with them again, especially now that I've chosen to follow Jesus. It was three years ago on Easter, sitting in church, that I was overcome with the truth that Jesus died for our sins on that cross and that he rose again so that we could live an eternal life with Him. I decided right there in the service to get baptized. I will never forget the feeling... The love and excitement and weight and freedom... So many emotions rolled into one. The song "Death in His Grave" by John Marck McMillan was being played by the band when all of this was tumbling around in my head, forever making it my favorite worship song. So, though I may be a little late on my Easter post, I'll leave you with my favorite lyrics... I hope your Easter weekends were as family, love and Christ filled as mine!

"So three days in darkness slept, the morning sun of righteousness, but rose to shame the throws of death and overturn his rule. Now daughters and the sons of men would pay not their dues again. The debt of blood they owed was rent when the day rolled anew.

On Friday a thief, on Sunday a king. Laid down in grief, but woke with the keys of hell on that day. The first born of the slain, the man Jesus Christ laid death in his grave.

He has cheated hell and seated us above the fall In desperate places he paid our wages one time once and for all."