Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Our Summer


summer is one of those crazy, flies by, super busy times of the year. You feel like it barely begins and then before you know it fall is just around the corner. Last summer we spent a month at summer project, vacation, visits to supporters and family.......but this summer has looked a little different.....in many ways.
we enjoyed another vacation---this year with my entire family

We had fun taking swimming lessons

Loved playing with our neighbors/friends....especially in the sprinkler

Riding our bikes

we have spent many days headed to cool off at the pool with friends

Enjoying VBS and summer camp (no picture from Reed going to nature camp....but he loved it! and was so excited to go somewhere everyday for a week 9-12!)

Fun celebrating birthdays.....Mary Etta's birthday at the doughnut shop that morning

Redoing our bathroom! More on that to come later--it still looks like this.

 Looking for some furniture.........we sold the big desk in our front living room (so I'm in major organization mode, as I feel we have stuff everywhere and no system or place to put it!) and need to figure out what we want to do with that front living room. Also, realizing it's time to take the baby out of the crib---since she is 3 years old. So I've been looking at bunk bed options. Not only is it time for Mary Etta to be in a big girl bed, but it looks like we may need to put all 3 children in one room soon so we can make room for..........

Yes our new BABY!!! Due late November/Early December!

Sweet baby we are thankful you are growing and God has blessed us yet again. We are definitely undeserving! Though I won't say this ride hasn't been without lots of emotions and things to process as we move from our family of 5 to soon to be 6!

So one most recent big summer events......all 5 of us going to the doctor to find out if we are going to have a baby brother or sister. As you can imagine we were all really hoping to have that baby brother to even things out in our house, but I believe God had other plans for us because now that I'm 20 weeks we found out last Friday we are going to be adding.........

PINK! Oh yes GIRL #3 will be joining the Willis family! 

Oh my.....quite shocking to us all; I think we really truly believed it would be a boy.
We are all adjusting more to the idea and trying to embrace what will become our new normal in just a few short months. She doesn't have a name really at this point---but I'm so slow in ever making this decision every time. But isn't it funny we were so set and ready with our boy names. Oh well, we have a few we've tossed around so hopefully we'll eventually come up with something. It still kinda all feels surreal in the daily craziness of our life.....but my growing belly is making it truly evident this is real. God has blessed so much more abundantly than we could have imagined; and I often don't feel I'm truly thankful of that. Praying for peace and contentment as we look to this new season/phase/transition for our family!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Birthday fun

So we got to celebrate our sweet girl all weekend before her birthday! It was so fun and so sweet to see her enjoy just the little things about a birthday--now at 3 years old. 

 We had a fun playdate at Chick Fil-A friday morning. For MONTHS Mary Etta had been saying she wanted a "snow white" party---not sure why because she's never seen the movie but just seen pictures or books with snow white in them. So I found some plates, cups, napkins on a party website and used those for our breakfast playtime party---and she was so excited!

Can't believe our baby is 3! She still is baby to me.......but yet growing into such a big girl!

Mary Etta was so excited that Daddy came by for a bit to help celebrate her birthday too!

Sweet friends celebrating with us! The boys would not be in the picture so just the girls made this photo. Eden, Caroline and Mary Etta have become such a threesome in the past year. It's been so sweet watching these girls get excited to see each other and look forward to their time together. And how even more of a blessing both of their mommas have become to me! I am thankful for these dear friends!

Big brother helping her get ready to blow out her candle at our family celebration at home that night

Excited to get her "snow White" doll from Gigi.....such a fun surprise! She's adored this doll and not let it out of her sight since opening it!

So thankful for these 3 blessings.......everyday is full of adventure and both challenging and joyful times--want to truly embrace and cherish them all! Love them so much! 

Thankful that Gigi came to celebrate and spend some time with us over the weekend. We haven't seen her since our beach trip in May so they soaked up every minute of her time here! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

3 years

Today our baby turns 3 years old......every birthday it's hard not to say how fast the year has passed, yet so much has happened during that year! We've officially potty trained in the past month---or really I should say that she potty trained herself! We bought some new panties, MMs, and jumped right in! Several accidents the first couple days and then boom--it was done. She just constantly got it & ran to the potty herself with no prompting or help---it has been fabulous! Definitely the easiest of all 3, since I feel like I really did hardly no work at all. She continues to adore her brother and sister, and wants to do all they are doing. She has become a big fan of ballet (Bella Dancerella videos), her babies (Green Baby is preferably her favorite that she often wants to take everywhere with her), loves the Lion King, has such the imagination and will tell us these elaborate play scenarios and stories, and wants to do so much all by herself! Happy birthday sweet, sweet girl.......you are so fun and full of life. You are a precious blessing from the Lord and we are so thankful He placed you in our family. We love you so much!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The 4th

Since the 4th was almost 2 weeks ago now it seems fitting that I'd post a few pictures from the day. Ha! Well, since it was one of those miserable 100+ degree days we really didn't do too much. That afternoon Casey tried taking the older 2 to the parade downtown (I stayed home with Mary Etta who was napping). It was so awfully hot! He said even in the shade the kids were saying how hot they were (and they don't often tell us they are hot!) I think they were gone maybe 30-45 minutes?! So the rest of the day we ended up not going anywhere---and rather played in the sprinkler, ate some barbeque, and tried to keep cool in our air conditioning!

typical picture with these 3 these days---Reed is always trying to be silly and goof off in pictures

Sweet sisters....these 2 are all the time lately telling me that they love the other one and that they are friends. It truly is so sweet and warms my heart to see them enjoy each other so much! Now they love their brother too....if he is at a friend's house or with Casey and we are just having girl time they constantly ask about him and when they'll see him. Even though there are fights here and there it is a joy to see them all truly grow in becoming the best of friends!

This sweet baby has a big birthday tomorrow.......her momma truly is in denial that she is turning 3 years old! She has been and is such a little joy---and such the baby of our family; I love her being 2 and it's so bittersweet to know tomorrow she officially turns 3. We had a sweet weekend celebrating with a few close friends and my mom; so more to come tomorrow and this week of her celebrations!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Travels

At the end of May we were gone for a little over a week. We spent a wonderful week in Florida with all my family. It was fun having family together time, the kids loved playing together each day and really got along so well! I think they are just finally getting old enough to really enjoy one another and be excited to see each other---it's really sweet! 

I love this picture of Reed and my nephew, Brody, running to the beach with the sand buckets

Cousin ice cream party! We've had 6 kids in less than 6 years in my family.....basically since Reed (who was born in 2006 and is 5 1/2 years) every year a baby has been born!
L-R: Rett (7 months), Isaac (2 years), EC (4 years), Brody (5 years), Reed (5 1/2 years), Mary Etta (3 years)

One of the few pictures like this that I could get of all 3 together

bathing beauty covered in sand

our date night for the week---getting ready to go to our favorite, The Red Bar!

Family Photo time......

She really is a little Casey

On way home we spent couple days in Georgia with my mother-in-law and got to see our nephews. Reed loves playing with his big boy cousins!

Back home and having fun in the sprinkler with our neighbors across the street!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Little Fish

So last month we did a 8 day round of swimming lessons. We did these lessons last year and were very pleased with both Reed and Emery-Claire's experiences. So this year we signed up all 3! Mary Etta is pretty much a little fish---and very eager and excited to get right in. Emery-Claire remains the timid one and shed quite a few tears the first day or two. But eventually she loved it and transitioned so much faster than last year! 

all 3 ready for the first day of lessons---don't you love mary etta's face! 

our excited swimmer! she constantly would smile her big little teethy smile and wave to me saying "hi mommy!"

adjusted and loving the water!

mary etta loved her teacher, Ms. Amanda---she still is talking about her! so sweet!

Reed really has done so well! He is continuing to use his swimming skills on our weekly visits to the pool now that the lessons are over!

Shocked completely when this girl said she wanted to jump off the diving board! And she did it the last 2 days of classes! We were so proud of her and she was so proud of herself!

This little guy not only jumped off the diving board every day, but he jumped off the high dive the last 2 days of classes too! Not a single fear! Such a change from my once very timid and unsure little boy---he sure is growing up!