long weekend

backyard pool time // qualifying for the Mini Indy 500 at church // guy time // hiking with friends


backyard birthday bash

We celebrated Jake's birthday out in our backyard last Saturday with some good friends. But before we get to the party pics, I have to share with you how God was incredibly faithful and good to us. I'd planned to have Jake's party in our backyard from the beginning for a few reasons: 1) our house is too small to fit all our guests and 2) I wanted the party to be really low-key, just barbecuing and spending time with friends (with a smash cake at the end to give the birthday boy the spotlight for a few minutes).  A week before the party, I started stalking the weather forecast and praying for blue skies on Saturday, but the forecast was rain all weekend. So for a week straight, every time I thought about the party I prayed hard for good weather. As the weekend got closer, the chance of rain increased and so I prayed harder, specifically that the weather would clear up from 2-6 on Saturday (party was 4-6, plus some time for setting up). It rained on Friday and I kept praying that all the rain would be done by Saturday. But on Saturday morning, it was still really overcast and a bit cool out. And then at noon, it downpoured and I thought we'd have to hold the party next door at church instead. But I kept praying and I'm not kidding, at 2:00 the sun started to appear! By 3:00 it was nice enough to start setting up tables and chairs, and from 4:00 on it was brilliantly sunny, the ground was dry, and the temperature was perfect.

I baked a smash cake for Jake but of course, he was only interested in poking it and throwing pieces of cake. ;) So I grabbed an ice cream cone for him and he couldn't get enough (and bonus, he could hold it himself).

By 5:45, storm clouds were starting to appear so we quickly cleaned up the backyard, said goodbye + thanks to our friends, and five minutes after 6pm it was downpouring outside. Can you even believe it? I couldn't. My prayer was answered exactly and all I can do is say thank you to God. Asking for sunny skies for a birthday party is such a small detail that's really pretty inconsequential, but that's why it blows me away even more that God would answer even the smallest prayers when we ask him and put our hope in Him. Several of our friends remarked about how the weather was perfectly timed and I eagerly told them how God answered my prayers. All in all, Jake's party went just as I'd hoped: good friends, good food and great weather, plus one happy, tired one year old!


one year

Between Mother's Day on Sunday and Jake's birthday today, I've been reflecting a lot on how much has changed in a year. Obviously Jake has grown so much, and so have Deric and I. Both parenthood and marriage are mirrors that show you a too-honest reflection of yourself, and over the past year I've seen quite a few traits that I'd rather have kept hidden. But I'm also proud of myself in a few areas as well. I struggle with giving both Deric and Jake quality time, usually because I feel like I need to get so many things done around the house. But I'm really good at serving my family (mostly) nutritious meals and I enjoy making homemade versions of a lot of our staple foods so that I can filter out unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients. I've struggled with my new role as a homemaker (which was surprising) because while I love it, I get frustrated that I don't get weekends "off": house still has to be cleaned, baby fed, dinner cooked, etc. Deric is a huge help and always willing to give me some time off, but I didn't expect it to even be a bump in the road. Over the past year, my prayer life has expanded and grown deeper as I've seen even the smallest of my concerns answered as I rely on God's promises.

Every night Deric and I pray over Jake before we lay him in his crib. We pray for his health and his safety, we thank God for his development and his personality. We pray for his future, his character, his friends and future wife, and we pray for our ability to parent him well. He brings us so much joy and laughter, especially when he comes scooting across the living room at full speed to knock down a block tower. We love hearing him crawl down the hallway in pursuit of us, palms smacking the floor and booty up in the air. He's discovered books on his own and looks so smart as he thumbs through the (usually upside down) book. He signs "more" and "all done", knows how to "shoot the ball" and "throw the ball" (which will come back to bite us here soon)...and he's getting pretty familiar with the word "no" as well. He played cars with an older boy a few weekends back and now we catch him sliding toys with him as he crawls except that instead of cars, he's usually got the remote or a book or a cup. He prefers to sit almost sideways in his high chair, always with his left leg folded up and his teensy toes resting on the edge of table during meals. We've noticed that he's a bit of a carnivore, preferring meat over other food on his tray. As soon as Jake hears the back door open, he's off in search of "Dada"and is all smiles for the next hour. We just adore his toothy little grin, the way he dances when he hears The Office theme song, and his desire to be with us at all times.