2016 was an exciting year for us as we welcomed our 1st baby girl, sent our 1st baby off to Kindergarten, sent our middle off to preschool & I transitioned out of wedding planning & into full time photography. We traveled, had fun adventures, & just enjoyed making memories together as a family. I hope you’ll enjoy reminiscing with me as we look back over 2016….
At the end of 2015 we found out we were expecting a baby. Caden had been wanting & praying for a baby with us for about a year as we struggled to get pregnant. So he was so excited when he found out there was a baby on the way. He had been praying for a girl so we decided to surprise the boys with a little gender reveal celebration just for them. We wrapped up balloons in a box & told them if it was a girl the balloon would be pink & if a boy they would be blue. Well here’s how it played out…Click Here For Video
Caden could hardly contain his excitement when he found out that God had answered his prayers & was giving him a baby sister!On the other hand Joshua cried — he really wanted those blue balloons & didn’t quite know what it all meant
14 Weeks Pregnant with baby girl
Our big family vacation this year was to Ruidoso, NM & Santa Fe, NM. Our sweet friends let us use their cabin in Ruidoso & we thought it was our best vacation ever! We had been there once before in 2014 but there wasn’t much snow & Joshua was only 11 months old & too young to do much. This time it snowed a lot & both boys loved playing outside until they turned blue! They couldn’t get enough time sledding, throwing rocks in the water, making snow angels, & building their very 1st snowman. Every night we made a fire & the boys loved roasting marshmallows for s’mores. We taught them how to play Uno (or “nemo” as Joshua called it) & we quickly regretted that as they begged us to play it 24/7!
Joshua was too little to go tubing last time but this time he couldn’t get enough- that boy is fearless!Caden caught some serious air & he too was fearless! Then we headed to Santa Fe, it was a beautiful driveView from our hotel roomFebruary 19th was my birthday so James took me to Vince Young Steakhouse to celebrate & we stayed overnight at the Hyatt Regency downtown, it was a relaxing little staycation. James also got to feel the baby move for the 1st time on February 25th. Caden wants to name her either Rosie or Carolina (yes like the state). I think it’s because he heard their name from the super bowl, I actually liked it but James said no way. Caden went with me to register at Babies R Us, it ended up taking a couple hours & poor thing got bored but loved helping with the scan gun.
Joshua turned 3 & had a “snake party”. He was so excited about his friends coming over, opening presents, & he loved the stuffed snake we gave him which he named “little snakey”. Caden went to his 1st movie in a theatre to see Zootopia, he loved it. They loved hiding, finding, & re-hiding easter eggs over & over again! The boys also started sharing a room this month & we got them matching blue beds. We had been trying to get Joshua to give up his paci, which he called a bite. The 1st time we bribed with candy & “left” it at the candy store, 2nd time with popsicles from target & we “left” it in the freezer, but each time he would cry & we would give it back (we’re suckers). But this time Caden convinced him to throw it in the garbage truck when they came & he did & there was no getting it back after that! I started a ladies bible study in my home studying Pricilla Shirer’s Armor of God. I enjoyed having ladies (mostly my neighbors) of every age, lifestage, & denomination. We also hosted an Easter cookout at our home for our neighbors.
Easter Sunday – The boys love to “matcher”Celebrating Easter with friends & neighborsGetting ready to throw away his bite
Joshua’s tooth started to hurt so we took him to the dentist, turns out he had fractured it straight down the tooth & it would need to be pulled. We decided to wait & leave it in as long as possible. How did he fracture it? Well Caden was pulling him in a toy wagon that wasn’t big enough to ride in, it flipped over on the driveway, & we thought he had just busted his lip. It didn’t start hurting until a few weeks later. We celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary by going to Wimberley & staying in our friends guest house. Not exactly relaxing with the kids but they had a blast! The house had bunk beds, a hot tub to swim in, & it’s right on the Blanco river so they got to fish & canoe. Our present to ourselves was having our kitchen cabinets painted while we were gone. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile & finally convinced James that it would look awesome… And I was right! We also went to Deanville to celebrate James’s grandmother’s 85th birthday party – the boys loved dancing, especially Caden! We also took boys to the Snake Farm & Train Museum in New Braunfels, they loved all the snakes & feeding the animals at the farm. The ladies at my bible study surprised me with a little celebration on our last night, Erin was the planner & everything was so cute!
Annual Bluebonnet pictures- the wildflowers this year were amazing
Fun in Wimberley
I celebrated Mother’s day with a special tea at Caden’s school, he was so proud of all the gifts he made me including my lovely hat. Awana ended & Caden was excited to get his badge, Joshua slept through the whole ceremony- ha! Caden also graduated from preschool & said he was sad about not seeing Ms. Michelle, Ms. Teresa, & his friends anymore. It rained so much this month & the boys loved playing in it. They also love digging in the mud, “making compost”, & looking for their bug friends “Evie” the gecko, “Freddy” the lizard, “hattie” the moth & “Jo-Jo” the spider. Our garden was in full bloom & the boys love helping to water it. They spend most of their time outside, which I’m grateful for. My friends Melissa & Stephanie hosted a sweet baby shower for me & my closest friends, I loved all the pink! At 35 Weeks I had James take some pictures of me in the wildflowers, I love my little growing belly!
Caden’s 2 best buds from school, Judah & Phillip
Our summer fun began, the boys would be in the pool everyday if they could. They are little fish & Caden learned how to swim without his float. They started summer camp this month but didn’t like it very much. The boys love to dress themselves & “matcher” (match) all the way down to socks & underwear! We took our family maternity pictures this month & great anticipation of baby girls arrival. The boys keep asking when she is going to “pop” out. They also love talking about my “big belly” & “fat belly” thanks to James.
My “Matcher” Boys
I asked her to take this shot because I never wanted to forget this sweet viewMy 1st baby He is completely in love with his sister already
36 week selfieWhen I’m pregnant I seem to crave chocolate. I especially loved crunch bars & asked James to go get me 1 one night- this is what he came back with! That man loves me… but I really think he didn’t want to have to keep running up to CVS for cravings!
Finally the moment we’ve been waiting for, baby Bella Rose made her grand entrance on July 2nd! Caden had been praying every night for her to come & I was so ready. She was 1 week early coming at 39 weeks. The boys couldn’t wait to meet her, Caden kept giggling & Joshua couldn’t keep his hands off her. I always knew I wanted her middle name to be Rose & since Caden liked Rosie I thought that was perfect. We had a hard time picking her name & had several we kind of liked but narrowed it down to 2, Lilah & Bella…. and well Bella seemed to fit her the best. Bella means beautiful in Italian & she truly was a “beautiful rose”. And well Bella pretty much took over July so that’s really all that happened- ha!
The boys thought her poopy diapers were hilarious! Going home- Marek family of 5!James surprised me at the hospital with these beautiful pearl earrings to celebrate the birth of our baby girl
I took 1600 pictures in July alone, mostly playing around with Bella’s newborn pictures, so narrowing it down to just these few deserves a round of applause.
The boys went on their 1st overnight trip to their Grandmothers, staying at both Vicki’s & my moms. They were gone 3 nights & after 2 were ready to go home, they don’t like being away from us. Caden started Kindergarten which was a really hard adjustment for him. He loves his teacher & his favorite thing is riding the bus everyday. Joshua started Preschool 2 days a week which he loved but hates having to take a nap. We celebrated James’s birthday this month with a steak dinner at Murphy’s in Smithville.
It was hard for the boys to say goodbye to each other, they are truly best friends.
Caden always wants to lay “biggest to smallest” & take a picture. They can’t get enough of their baby sister.
The boys started T-Ball this month & love it, plus they are the best ones on their team! We’ve played with them at home for years, they love to hit the ball & throw. This was their 1st time on a team & learning how the game worked. Joshua’s 3 year old team was hilarious to watch because the whole team would run after the ball when it was hit. Caden complained about going to school everyday because it’s so long & says he misses me. It’s been hard on both of us. But he got a respect award at school & is making friends quickly. I finally finished Bella’s room & my favorite feature are the flowers I made for over her crib. Caden decorated our whole house for fall by himself & put little pumpkins in each of our rooms, it was so cute 🙂 James took both boys dove hunting, it was Joshua’s 1st time & he was so excited. I planned my last wedding & officially closed Style & Grace Events after 8 years, it felt good to say goodbye & move onto something new.
Bella came to watch boys at T-Ball practice
Little Miss turned 12 weeks old & started sleeping through the night pretty regularly. She refuses to take a bottle & made Daddy drive up to Mama’s wedding twice to nurse her— thank goodness it was my last wedding ever as a planner! She is always smiling, I love that all our babies have been HAPPY!Before & After 🙂
It’s Halloween- It’s our favorite holiday in this family! We went to Barton Hills Farm in Bastrop & went to 2 pumpkin patches in Round Rock – we’re kind of crazy about fall & pumpkins around here! Caden dressed up as a ghost, Joshua was a policeman, & Bella was a flower who came with a honeybee & farmer as her entourage. The boys love helping with her & fight over holding her. Bella started to roll over & can now roll across the whole living room! She found her 2 middle fingers & loves to suck on them; we’re not too sure about her “hook em horns!” We bought a chiminea & the boys beg for a fire every night so they can roast marshmallows for s’mores & throw sticks in! Daddy likes to call Bella “pumpkin” so we thought this was fitting 🙂
He can’t get enough of her!
She loves those fingers!
This was a busy month for us. We celebrated Thanksgiving at both Joshua & Caden’s schools. Then hosted my family for dinner the weekend before Thanksgiving. Finally over our actual Thanksgiving break we went to Magnolia Market in Waco & stayed overnight at my mom’s house where the boys had fun making a bonfire. Bella started laughing this month & her little chuckle is so cute. She’s especially giggles at the boys (Joshua can make her roar) & when we tickle her belly!
Bye Bye sweet baby toothJames said it fit him to be missing a tooth because he’s such a rough & tough little boy, so different from Caden.Joshua was so brave & didn’t care at all about his tooth being pulled because he was too excited about the tooth fairy coming!
I took our Christmas card picture on the coldest day of the year, the boys were not having it & complained constantly. We got this shot in about 5 minutes with a combination of bribes & threats- ha! Would love to have seen their “real” smiles but this was the best we could manage.
Such a sweet happy baby…..as long as someone is holding her :0
Caden turned 6… how did that happen?! On his actual birthday he had a school field trip to the Thinkery- he wore his birthday crown the whole day! He wanted a garbage truck party so we really tried to stink up the place…. he loved it! 🙂 Joshua had a Christmas program at school, he knew all the words & hand motions until he got on stage…lol. Complete stage fright! But once back to his classroom he walked it & exclaimed “Nailed it!” – our little extrovert. We went to Fiesta Texas for a work party for James’s company & the boys rode their 1st rollercoaster. Joshua asked if we “could come back tomorrow” as we were leaving. The boys, especially Caden, loved having off from school & just being home. We bought a real tree as usual & had picking out our new ornaments which is a tradition. Joshua chose a firetruck & Caden a train again… 4th year in a row! Caden asked Santa for a Polar Express Train & Joshua asked for a metal detector to find money..lol! Bella slept in & enjoyed eating the paper from the presents the boys opened. She got for 1st 2 teeth this month & started “inching” not a full out crawl but she can get where she wants. She also ate solid food for the 1st time- she loved the bananas but not carrots. I said goodbye to my 1st mommy mobile almost 6 years later to the day & we bought a new GMC Yukon XL — it’s huge & I officially feel like a soccer mom but we desperately needed the space with 3 kiddos! The boys love being able to sit next to each other again & especially love that it has a tv that they can watch movies on when we travel to E-Mama’s house (my moms).
Caden’s Field Trip
Caden’s Birthday Party
The boys loved decorating their room with lights, their own tree, & Mr. Grinch sheetsFiesta Texas
This is what it looks like when you’re the 3rd baby eating food for the 1st time. She’s the center of attention & the boys fought over who got to feed herOur little Santa Baby at the company Christmas partyMy little elves ready to deliver our neighbors their annual goodies- 9 year traditionAnnual Christmas Eve Service at our church- one of my favorite traditionsIt “snows” at our church every Christmas Eve
Caden was only a few weeks old when we bought my car & now look at him! Our new car is such an amazing blessing, we love it
Our Christmas Card sums it up, 2016 was a wonderful year full of amazing blessings from God.
“Praise the LORD! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 106:1