Sunday, December 15, 2013


So about 2 weeks ago now...our sweet little babe officially turned 1 year old! How has it been a year?!
We had so much fun celebrating her with was truly a sweet and savory kind of day! Simple, yet great to be together and celebrate our baby girl!
 She loved that smash cake!

So since's now kinda felt like a whirlwind! All the decorating, getting ready for Christmas, wrapping up the school year, etc. Some days I feel like we just had Maggie and she just joined our family....other days I feel like she's always been with us and I can't really remember what it was like before her?! Which seems so strange because for over 3 years we just had the other 3  (or the "triplets" as I like to call them--since they were all 3 born within less than 3 years)....I hardly remember all the transitions....just one day we had one child and the next 3 children!
I am very thankful for this sweet family of ours.....some days are is exhausting always being needed, feeling like I can never accomplish tasks, staying up late to get things done/getting up early to be ready for the day......but I know that I'm so greatly blessed and that there truly is nothing I'd rather be doing or anywhere else I'd rather be! Some days I know I easily complain and need to grab hold of how gracious the Lord is to me......time with these sweet babies is fleeting and we only have so much time to savor these little years.

 though these face expressions pretty much sum up most of our days together.....

 but of course there are plenty of these moments as well.....

some fall memorable moments to savor......

 cute cow (the 3rd willis baby to wear this costume!)

so we are richly blessed indeed......and as quick as the first year flies, I'm still savoring and soaking in every moment with all 4 of these babes.....I know I fail so often at being selfless and loving them all well, but thankful for a gracious and merciful God who not only forgives me yet sees His perfect & righteous Son covering all my sin! So grateful He loves me because of Him and not what I can or can't do! What a privilege to be in this advent season to reflect on these great truths and celebrate the coming of the baby Jesus---our King and Lord and Savior!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

1 year

so it happened baby officially turned 1 year's always so bittersweet.....the first year, officially behind us now. but yet she's so fun, full of life, sweet, engages with us all, laughs, babbles, imitates, has her little "tricks" she performs, etc. so we are having so much fun and enjoying every second with our girl....but yet we know it's so fleeting too....this babyhood stage. the kids are constantly asking/saying "i wish we could keep maggie a baby".....oh sometimes mama does too! of course i'm excited to continue to watch her grow and learn...and see all that God has in store for her sweet little life.....but even as much as i try and soak in and savor babyhood it still goes by way too fast!

9:29am 1 year ago today.....we met our little Maggie Starks for the first time!

couldn't be more smitten with this sweet baby girl......what a blessing she was and is to us all!

first family of 6 pictures.....

man have you grown and changed so much over the past year......but we love you more and more everyday! Happy 1st birthday sweet baby girl!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Savoring 11 months

So I'm a little behind in writing Maggie's 11 month post....since in a little over a week she is officially 1 year old??!!! How is it possible that we are approaching that first birthday.....I knew it was coming, getting closer and closer....but still hard to believe it''s already that time! She's crawling, busy, into everything, loves to eat everything, wants to be and do whatever the big kids are doing; totally entertained by them! She has all sorts of fun little tricks....raspberries, tongue clicks and other noises, shaking her head (especially to music--so cute), giving open mouth kisses (the sweetest), and lots of babbling to keep up with the loudness in our house! My personal favorite is "mamama" of course!

Now for some pictures.......
 I know I'm bias....but I seriously can't stand all this cuteness!

 This girl is all full of joy and sweetness!

So yes we are in the stages of putting together a small family celebration (I never do tons for the first.....and like it to be family) after Thanksgiving. Poor baby end of November/December are just smack in the middle of the holiday season! But more to celebrate!

the cutest little cow in her first halloween costume.......almost all 4 of them have been able to wear!

Love love this snuggly, happy, smiley, laughing, joyful baby girl! So thankful she was brought into our family a year ago! We love you more and more everyday Maggie!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thankful 2013

so each november (i think this is year 3) we started doing a thankful tree...after being inspired by some friends i had seen. so here is this year's.....

i can tell at our ages....7, 5, 4.....they are getting the concept much more than even last year and really thinking beyond their usual "thankful for food!" reed wants to say he's thankful for Jesus almost daily....which is great, but I try to prompt him to think of other things Jesus has done for him that he can be thankful for.....Mary Etta often wants to copy what Emery-Claire says.....but she's had a few original pie (after we had some apple crisp after dinner one night), gum from Gigi, and daddy taking her to chick-fil-a.

so i can't find our previous thankful trees....maybe i forgot to take pictures of......

but i do have post from 2012  (though I'm pretty sure we did in 2011 and 2010??)

this year i've very thankful for these 4 little people and a godly husband who is so passionate for the things of the Lord.......

Sunday, October 13, 2013

10 months

So now we've entered into the double girl turned 10 months (2 weeks ago tomorrow).....that first birthday is approaching closer and closer everyday! I look at a picture of her at 4 months or even 6-7 months and seriously feel like that was yesterday?!! It seems summer was over, and with back to school and all, it's October! She sure is one busy girl these days....who has time to be sentimental over her getting bigger??!! I can hardly find the time to fold a basket of laundry or put some dishes away! Because this girl is everywhere!!

 When she is happy she will giggle and ham it up!

Loving the leap frog table.....she is at this thing constantly if we are in her room! Loves the coffee table in the living room too.....tries to take a few side to side steps (a.k.a. cruising) some too!

And yes.....her hair is definitely growing and we are getting more noticeable curls I believe we will have 3 little curly headed girls around here before long!

She is very much on the move.....we can't take our eyes off her for a second! The upstairs is kinda nervewracking with our very steep staircase. I've caught her too close to it and now been putting up gates or shutting doors to keep her contained! And with wood and tile floors everywhere, poor thing has bumped that head many a times.

Sweet Maggie girl.....oh how sweet and full of joy you are! We sure do adore you as you seem to adore and get so excited to see any and all of us too! We are truly having so much fun watching you grow and learn each and everyday!

We have a popped up bottom tooth finally in the past couple weeks. No wonder we had some really fussy and hard days over the past couple of weeks (though I believe that is in addition to some tummy troubles the poor girl has been having too). I still can't see the tooth but I do feel that sharp little edge popping up on her bottom gum!

LOVE you Maggie! What a blessing you are to us! 

Monday, September 23, 2013


so today this big boy turns 7 years old......

my first born
only son
big blue eyed
sports loving
Georgia Bulldog fan
remembers every detail and forgets nothing
sweet and precious gift
how thankful we are for the blessing you are in our lives; 
we love you Reed Phillip Willis....
more than you'll ever know!

9 Months

A little late doing this post.....since in about a week our girl is another month older! But for now, she is still 9 months! Maggie has probably changed the most this past month from 8-9 months! After waiting longer than ever before (with the other 3 children) she finally had her first taste of some real solid food at around 8 1/2 months. She seemed really ready and eager to taste and eat, so I figured it was time to let her try.

 Mmmmmm sweet potatoes

Some of our homemade applesauce we canned last fall.....she loved every bite of it!

 Harder to get a 9 month posed picture these days.....this girl doesn't want to sit still!

 She's learned to sit up right before turning 9 months......

 and she's done having her picture made......
she's utilizing those sitting skills. seemed once she mastered one skill within 1-2 weeks another one kicked in. sitting was first; then crawling......
so proud of her moving skills;

then came pulling to stand (right after she turned 9 months).....

Maggie got to experience her first time in the pool over Labor Day weekend.....took us all summer to actually get her in the water....but sitting up on your own makes it a little easier to splash and have fun!

our baby girl is growing faster by the minute! she is so full of life and happy most the time! we still haven't gotten that first tooth I'm sure it won't be long now. she is still loving her siblings, as long as they aren't too in her face; she is definitely starting some shyness, preference to mama often more than any other familiar adults....though she does light up and love her daddy! so thankful for our maggie starks......loving each new phase she enters into....just wishing we could slow the progression down just a little. but enjoying every moment and love watching her explore the world around her!