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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Preschool Graduation

It is so hard to believe in about a month Victoria will graduate preschool.  It's hard to believe she's almost a kindergartener.

When I look at this picture it's like seeing a flash of how gorgeous she will be in 13 years holding her real diploma.  She's growing up so fast.

Victoria's Birthday

The Birthday Bird must have snuck in the night before to decorate the house.

And left a treat.
This cookie is so perfect she thought it was made out of wood.

The traditional Birthday Big Breakfast with hotcakes.

Victoria picked out her cake.
She loved the idea of cupcakes and a cake.
12 people, in all, met at Olive Garden to celebrate with the Birthday Girl.

(Victoria was wearing her brand new Birthday Girl shirt all day.
She came home covered in blue paint.
I had to have her take it off, bring it home for Mark to hand wash then go pick up grandma.
I was shocked that in nearly an hour in the dryer the shirt was still quite damp.
Poor Birthday Girl was forced to wear it anyway.
Daddy thought Mommy was crazy. 
But when Mommy has a vision of how the child will look.  Mommy has a vision.
Luckily it air dried on her body quite quickly.)

Trying out Mama Deb's glasses.

 Birthday Girl and Birthday Pizza.
Somebody else liked the cupcakes too.


Victoria with Great Grandma.

Christian loves his 'aunt' Molly.

So does this five year old!
She would cuddle with Brian all day if I'd let her;)

Great Auntie Sandy bought Victoria her very first corsage.
She liked the idea of looking at and smelling the flowers more than wearing them though.

Victoria and Mama Jeanne

It was such a fun night!
She's officially 5!

My Friends

Three years ago.
Christian's first trip to the park.

I used to consider these women my 'new friends.' 
Now that nearly a decade has passed I consider them my best friends. 
I am so lucky to have so many strong and successful women with children my children's ages.
I love these girls!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Beautiful Daughter

Five years ago I dreamt of a daughter. 
I dreamt of a day when I would place my baby in her crib.
I dreamt of a day when my daughter would walk.
I dreamt of a day when my daughter would call me Mommy.
I dreamt of a day when I would go to my daughter's conference and hear all about the wonderful things she's doing and accomplishing in preschool.

I dreamt of a day when I would bring my daughter to the salon to get her nails painted.
I dreamt of a day when my daughter would read real words!

I dreamt of the day when I would enroll my daughter into kindergarten.

I dreamt of you and all the things we would do together long before April 14, 2006.

On that day my real dream came true.  I was a real mommy.  I was your mommy.  After all the planning and preparing our daughter finally arrived.  Gorgeous and healthy. 

I wanted to be the best mommy I could be to you.

I have marveled at how you grow and learn.  Even though you're quite small for your age, your confidence makes up for it.  You introduce kids to other kids with ease.  You speak to adults without being coaxed.

When you were a flower girl you were 4 going on 14.
You were so mature.
A perfect angel.

You are an amazing big sister.  Teaching Christian until he won't listen any longer.  Guiding him with your sweet teacher/mommy voice.  "Buddy, you better sit down or you're going to fall," you say ever so gently.

You are sweeter and more kind and cuter and smarter and more cuddly than in my wildest dreams.

Five years ago, with you in my belly, daddy and I went to a store to choose your room's decor.  We chose a princess theme.  I remember that day so vividly.  It was very important to me your room was just right  perfect for you to come home to.  We chose periwinkle walls with pink accents.  That very day I found your baby book.  It had a baby dressed as a princess on the cover.  Filling in a baby book, documenting all the wonderful things my very own baby did was a dream of mine.

I bought that baby book and looked through it over and over at the kitchen table.  I looked at the empty pages dreaming about what would fill it in.  That baby book started at the day you were born and would go all the way to your fifth birthday.  I remember thinking how far away that was.

Now, here it is today.  Exactly five years later. 

When you have a baby everyone says, "Enjoy it!  They grow up so fast!" 

Well, they aren't kidding.  Where have the last five years gone?

I'm am so so so thankful I've been so diligent in taking pictures and video of you growing up.

I can look back at pictures and they bring back so many memories.

I don't do as much dreaming as I used to.  Now, I'm more content enjoying where you're at right now. 

I don't know how much longer I'll be able to carry you on my hip.  How much longer I'll be the one brushing your teeth at night.  How much longer you'll still ask me to rock you before you lay down.  How much longer you'll request the Boo Boo Bunny when you get hurt.  How much longer you'll eat mouthful after mouthful of beans just because I ooh and ahh and tell you you're growing.  How much longer you'll not complain about getting your pictures taken and just stand there and pose while holding your little brother's hands.  How much longer you'll climb in my bed in the morning and snuggle right up to me.  How much longer you'll kiss me on the lips.  How much longer you'll hold my hand every chance you'll get.

I don't know how much longer, but I'm going to enjoy every second of it. 

I love you.

Happy birthday to my angel.  My darling daughter.  My first born.

I hope and pray we continue having this wonderful connection we have.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Great Book

For nearly two years I've gotten very interested in reading others people's blogs.  Mostly Liv sends me ones she thinks (I almost always do) I'll like.  She sent me this one a long time ago.  I was captivated.  I love to read blogs written by moms.  This blog is written by a father.  His wife died 27 hours after she gave birth.  Never holding her little baby.  About a year ago I learned, on his blog, he left his job to be a published author.  To tell his story to his sweet little girl.  The release date was set: April 14, 2011.  Victoria's 5th birthday.  I preordered  this book months ago.  I was so happy when I got an email from Amazon telling me it was being shipped early.  I have never ever been so excited to read a book.  I almost finished it in one night, but I forced myself to stop, unlike Liv..  It was so good I didn't want it to end.  I packed it to go with on my girls' weekend and only read two pages.  I still wasn't ready for it to end.  But I told all five of my girlfriends that they need to read this book.  But,"Oh no, sorry.  You can't borrow mine.  I'm going to have it signed byt he author in a couple weeks."

I wanted to read every word slowly and let it sink in. This could have been us.  What would Mark's world be if I died after giving birth.  The thought of all the things I would be missing bring tears to my eyes every time I think that dreadful thought. 

It makes me stop and prioritize the important things in life.  So what if the laundry gets wrinkled in the basket.  I'll fold it tomorrow.  . .or the next day.  Because I'm going to go for a walk with my family.  So what if there's sand on the kitchen floor.  Our kids are healthy and having a great time playing in the backyard and I'm having a great time watching them and capturing the moment with my favorite camera.

I did finish it this morning.  I'm going to post a comment to Matt about how much I loved his book.  Then I'm going to read it again this summer while I listen to my kids play.

A Blast from the Past Victoria Style

As we approach Victoria's fifth birthday I've been so nostalgic.  Her first milestone birthday.  I've been looking at old pictures.  If I posted all my favorites or just the ones that make me smile you'd be sitting there all day.  So here are just a few.  It's amazing how she's grown and changed. 

She still loves her stuffies!

Lovin' her little brother!

Her BFF Jenna

Looking pretty at Christian's baptism

She still loves doing art projects.

Having fun in the bath

I love the precious look on her face as she looks at this caterpillar at Minnehaha Falls.

So proud she filled a drawer with diapers.

That banana is as big as her head!

I love this picture.
Both kids are in full turtle gear.

She loves to dress up and be silly!

She just wore that shirt the other day and it fit her well!

I'll never forget her love for Elmo.
She would have worn only Elmo clothes at age 2 if she had her way.
Kind of like the Scooby Doo obsession at age three and four.

Walking in Mommy's shoes.

She loves olives.
Maybe because I used to eat them straight out of the jar when she was in my belly.

All those hours of reading together is paying off now that she's really reading!

So big in her Elmo jammies.
But really so little!

Now that she's almost five she walks right by that turtle.
But she used to love to ride it.

Her obsession with turtles began with her friend
Clarence the Tortoise.

Reading to Bubba

Hangin' with Mama Jeanne.