Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A special day...

Last weekend we celebrated a very special Mother's day... Thanks to this little peanut, it was extra special for Andi, her first Mother's day as a mother...

We are both very blessed to have wonderful mother's that have paved the way and shown us through actions what it is to be a wonderful, loving parent.  We both owe so much to our mom's, we pray we are able to impact little Claire the way our mother's have impacted us.

I've had the good fortune of being able to observe Andi as a mother over the past 3 and a half months. She never ceases to amaze me... She was born to be a mom.  Watching her with Claire on a daily basis is truly a blessing, it never gets old.  But what is most amazing to me is how Andi is with Claire during the difficult times, the times when Claire is screaming and crying and we can't seem to settle her down... the times in the middle of the night when we just can't seem to get her back to sleep.  Those are the times that a lot of parents (myself included) start to break down and allow frustration to seep in.  Not Claire's mom.  I'm always so amazed at how Andi deals with the most difficult situations with such amazing grace and patience.  The fact that I get to take this journey and raise Claire alongside Andi is comforting to say the least... I know it's going to be a fun ride, but the fact that Claire's mom is Andi is what will make it truly special...

Also on Mother's day we celebrated dad's (papa's) birthday!  My dad is a very special man, one who always leads by example and allows his actions to speak.  He has impacted the lives of literally thousands of kids as a school teacher, he has changed lives through his bible study at school and showing kids that there is always hope.  Again, he shows these things by actions, by showing kids he truly cares, by really always being there for them... not just saying he will be.  Our family is so blessed that we don't have dad for just a year in class, or 4 years in high school... We have had him as our teacher in life, for as long as I can remember he's been teaching all of us, again through his actions.  Our textbook? The Bible.  We weren't yelled at as kids, rather sat down and showed in scripture why what we did was wrong, you just can't argue that!  Meg, myself, and his grandkids are his legacy, we sure hope we do him proud!

So for dad's birthday he had a simple wish, his favorite cake and all of his grandkids around him to help him blow out the candles, we were able to deliver!
Happy Birthday, dad... Sorry this is so late! We love you very much!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The first few days....never before seen pics!

My goodness, Claire is getting SO big!  As I was looking through our camera to post some more recent moments, I came across some adorable first few days pics that I just had to share.  Just looking at them makes me so teary eyed, she is growing up WAY too fast.  You can easily see why she has the nickname "little bean" because she is just so tiny and precious!! 

Friday, March 30, 2012

2 Months

Claire will be 2 months old this Sunday!  It's amazing how fast she has changed and grown, obviously she is getting much bigger physically, but it has been so fun to see her little personality develop and watch her observe and discover the things around her.  She is becomming more and more observant and alert, but the best part of her growing up has been seeing her smile so much, it just never gets old.  Sleep wise she is doing quite well, most of the time sleeping around 5-6 hours at a time at night, so mom and dad will surely take that! She is quite happy and all things considered a pretty easy baby.  She does, however, get quite crabby when she's hungry, just like her mommy... :)  She has had an eventful first few months, she has made trips to Lansing, the mall, out to dinner, friends houses, our schools, the grocery store, and many other places. She does AWESOME in public... She either sleeps or just stares and takes it all in, this is so nice for us! We continue to be amazed at the love and support we have received from our family and friends, we have so much help and people that love Claire, it has made our lives much easier.  We have been given so many gifts for Claire that we have been asked several times when people come to our house if we have had another baby shower... And that's after we had put most of the gifts away. Unreal.  So here she is at 2 months, it will be fun to see how much different she looks a month from now!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Daddy's 31!

Yesterday we celebrated Michael's 31st Birthday!!  I have to say, Claire and I are some very lucky ladies to have Michael in our lives.  Not only is he an amazing husband, but an amazing father as well.  Seeing him with Claire over the last few weeks has been truly special and has brought my love for him to a whole new level.  Michael is so kind and gentle with Claire that it melts my heart every time I see him with her.  I'll never forget our first night in the hospital with her as he walked around holding her and starring into her eyes.  She was daddy's little girl right from the start.  Going through the joy of welcoming our first child together has reminded me of how lucky I really am....throughout the pregnancy, Michael was always patient and supportive, never once missing a doctor's appointment and constantly catering to my every need or wish.  Since Claire's brith, he continues to be supportive and is such a hands on dad, changing diapers and feeding Claire with me both day and night.  But it is Michael's laid back and always joking personality that brings a perfect balance into our home....every time I get anxious and think something is wrong with Claire, Michael's response of "Babe, she's just fine" is all I need to bring myself back down to earth.  I know that I can count on him whenever I need him, he is my rock.  One of my new favorite questions that Michael asks every day while he is at work is, "So how are my girls?"…so simple, yet makes me smile from ear to ear every time he says it.  My response is always, "We're wonderful!" and it is in large part because of you, Michael.  You make Claire and I so incredibly happy each and every day and we are so thankful to have you in our lives!  Happy Birthday, Baby!!  We love you!

Love, Your Girls

Daddy's Girl

Birthday Celebration!

Happy Birthday Collin!!

Today is Collin's 5th birthday!!! I can't believe he is already 5 and on a collision course with Kindergarten in the fall... If you were to see him walking down the street, you would think he is at least in second grade. He is a big boy, not wide, but tall and lean! He was proudly showing me his big biceps yesterday at my birthday party, I must say, pretty impressive for a 5 year old.  After seeing his guns I was quite sheepish about pulling up my sleeve and flexing. Collin is such a wonderful kid, he is full of energy and is very fun to be around... He is becomming more and more inquisitive, which has made for some interesting questions, especially since Claire has been born!!! :) Collin has a shadow, her name is Madelyn.  She loves him and looks up to him and he is so good to her, he tests her at times and may push the limits a bit (what big brother doesn't?), but when push comes to shove, he is always in her corner.  He has great concern for her well being, just like a big brother should. They are the same age spread as me and Meg, I pray they have a bro/sis relationship just as special as ours is as they grow older.  So happy birthday buddy, we love you very much and can't wait to celebrate many more!!!                                                   
       The March Birthday Gang

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Mads!!

Today is our niece Madelyn's 3rd birthday, she is getting so big!! Mads has a personality that is infectious and a smile that could light up even the darkest of rooms... She is about as outgoing of a kid that you will ever meet, the type of kid that as soon as she sees you will run up to you and give you a big hug.  Mads has enough spunk and energy to go around, from time to time she will show a bit of attitude and sas, just to keep us all on our toes.  She is no pushover, she is a tough cookie and is very quick to defend what she thinks is right!! Which usually means battling with her brother for things and defending what she thinks is rightfully hers.  Most recently we have been able to see a side of Mads that we really haven't seen too much of, her soft side.  Since Claire has been born Madelyn has proven to be a very tender and loving cousin.  It never gets old hearing the stories of Madelyn "playing dolls" and pretending the doll she is caring for is Claire.  Watching her hold Claire and seeing the joy in her eyes is enough to melt anyone, hearing her soft pleas of "don't cry baby, don't cry" when Claire is upset is as precious as it gets. I'm sure these two are going to be partners in crime in NO time... Mads will surely be showing her the ropes! As if all of our energy wasn't already sapped enough... ;)

We love you so much, Mads!!! Happy 3rd Birthday!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Too Cute Not to Share

Well, if you couldn't tell by now, Claire is most definitely our pride and joy and we think she's awfully cute too! :)  Michael and I are constantly grabbing at our camera and snapping away with every new face, pose, and experience that she has!  I can only imagine how many pictures of her we have already taken in her first few weeks of life.  But, in our defense, we just can't help but try to capture and hold on to every second of every day with her!  Here are a few more recent pictures of Claire around the house that I thought were too cute not to share with you all....

Just chillin' in Daddy's arms- one of Claire's favorite places to be!

Look at those long Neumann legs- oh yeah! :)

Having fun cheering on Spartan Basketball!  Go Green!

Just a typical lazy morning in the sun room...

Our happy angel

Just discovering her mobile on top of her swing!

Visiting with Great Oma and Opa!