Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jackson is 1!

And just like that he's 1!

Dan and I are in shock and awe mode of where God has taken our family over the past 365 days. It seems like just yesterday we were holding a fragile 6 lb. 14 oz. baby boy and now we have a toddler literally running around our apartment! God continues to teach us so much through our journey into parenthood and we know we have so much yet to learn. We can't thank God enough for the joy, laughter, and antics that have been introduced to our lives through this precious little person who truly lives up to his name's meaning, "God is gracious."

Having celebrated monthly Jackson's growth, the ONE YEAR mark had to be an amped up celebration. What better way to celebrate than with family and we were blessed to have Grandma Jean AND our resident cupcake expert Aunt Julie fly in from Florida for the big day. (Grandpa Jim of course really wanted to be here too and we were totally bummed he couldn't make the trip.)

I tried to think of things that Jackson would appreciate at his age and I think we succeeded. Julie helped me by making some tissue paper pom-poms, Mom & I picked up some balloons, and we hung the birthday banner that Dad had made for Jackson. While Jackson napped, we decorated and the big reveal came when he woke up.

Here's the reaction:

After a birthday lunch of "num-nums," Grandma Jean, Aunt Julie, and I took Jackson out to the country for a birthday photo shoot. It took some cajoling in the bright sunlight to get Jackson to look towards the camera for the grand finale of the Watch Me Grow first year series. I like how it turned out.That evening once Dan was home from work Jackson opened a few gifts, including the Leap Frog LeapTop we gave him (since he is always desperately trying to snatch a few keystrokes on our own laptop). Grandma made her famous "Melting Chocolate Cake" which was probably more for my pleasure than the birthday boy's. Dan wanted to wait for the upcoming birthday party on Saturday so as not to cheat our guests of viewing Jackson's first cake eating experience. Poor Jackson was bummed to get just another teaser taste of frosting and no cake. Psyche! (Don't worry...he would make up for it on Saturday.)
Fast-forward to Saturday morning. The weatherman had promised rain all day but we had invited 50 people to come celebrate with us at the local park and with no back-up accommodations there was a lot of praying for sunshine going on! God blesses us in abundance! The sun came up bright on early on Saturday as did I, rushing at 7 AM to stake my claim on the last available park shelter. While Dan was at work and Jackson napped, we took carloads of decor, food, and supplies to the park and readied for what turned out to be one amazing party!

It was such a beautiful way to cap off Jackson's first year of life, surrounded by 50 family members and friends who have had such a big hand in his life so far. We are truly blessed by God to have such amazing people in our son's life. Jackson enjoyed his celebration from start to finish, especially the finish. When it came to first birthday messes, he "took the cake"....literally!

Here are some of my favorite photo highlights from the day:
To view more photos, click here to view our Picasa album.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

a bright, bright sunshiny day

This week the weather man is telling us that we'll be seeing temperatures rise above 70 degrees for the first time in over 6 months. That's Seattle-speak for GO OUTSIDE NOW!

We've been enjoying this gorgeous Spring weather to its fullest and it's gearing us up for the incredible summer weather we know is coming our way. I'm drinking my Starbucks iced tea, Dan is again working on his golf swing, and Jackson is finally getting to wear all of the cute shorts I thought he'd outgrow before the sun finally made its debut .

Here are some photo highlights from our sunshine excursions so far.
Now we're just praying for the sun to stick around for Jackson's 1st birthday party at the local park a week from Saturday.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

three little words

I finally got it on video!

Jackson often surprises us when he comes up with a new word or sound effect that we had no intention of teaching him. For example, he calls water or any other drink "aaaaaah" because we have joked with him by taking a big sip and following it with a big, dramatic sigh of "aaaaaah." Anytime he wants his water bottle or a sip from our cup, he comes to us and says, "aaaaah" and it works like a charm. Then he follows each sip with an "aaaaah" and a smile. Being cute will get you anywhere.

Another sound effect we never expected was Jackson's "word" for his binky. Dan and I have repeatedly played a little game where we pull Jackson's binky out of his mouth and make a loud click with our tongues. It wasn't long before Jackson started pulling his binky out of his own mouth and making the same sound. We thought it was hilarious. A few weeks ago I asked Jackson where his binky was and he answered me with a loud click.

And then there is the random word that Jackson decides to add to his vocabulary through absolutely no effort on our part. Like duck. He's a big fan of the "k" sound so maybe that's why he likes playing with his rubber duckies in the bathtub so much in between splashes. we have it, ladies and gentlemen! All three of the aforementioned Jackson "words"
caught on video...

(Be ready for the "aaaaah" because that's in the very first second of the video.)

And here's what happened the FIRST time I tried to get him to say something for the camera...

Our little guys really does love to dance!

Friday, May 13, 2011

beautiful day

Today is a BEAUTIFUL DAY. The forecast is sunny with a high of 66, making it the warmest day of the year so far. Yea, we call that warm in this part of the country. Sunny days are always good days and we don't need much more of an excuse to start dancing...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day

Technically, last year was my first Mother's Day but Jackson was still cozy in my belly so this year was extra special as his mommy because this time around I could hold him in my arms and then put him down if he kicked me in the ribs.

My day started with breakfast in bed. Not just for me, but for Jackson too. Dan brought in my Starbucks, breakfast, & card from Jackson on a tray along with a beautiful vase of flowers he had picked up from Pike Place market. Then he disappeared and came back a minute later with Jackson's bowl of oatmeal, his Bumbo seat, and his bib. Breakfast in bed for the whole family. It was great.When I finally got out of bed and came out to the kitchen, I was greeted by a banner that my dad had made special for the occasion. Dan accidentally put some of the letters on wrong (like the p's in Happy and the h in Mother's) so I fixed it for him later.
I'll admit that I picked out Jackson's outfit for the day. It was the same outfit I put him in on my birthday because let's face it - these are the only 2 days that are supposed to be about me so I figured I'd take advantage of that fact.After church, we drove down to Tacoma to honor Dan's mom since we were too tired to make the drive to Orlando to honor my mom in person. I helped Jackson make something special for both Grandmas and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
Uncle Gene & Aunt Linda are visiting from Wisconsin so they helped us honor Mom Blankenship by cooking up a delicious meal for the whole family. We finished up the day with some vanilla ice cream & slow cooker chocolate mess I had put in the crockpot before church. The recipe came from our friend Jessie's awesome food blog and anything from that blog is a sure hit. The whole family enjoyed chocolate coma.

It was a surreal day, realizing that this lively little boy is my son and that God has entrusted Dan and me with his little life...feeling unbelievably blessed by these two guys in my life who I absolutely adore and couldn't love more...finding it hard to comprehend that I actually live 3,300 miles away from my own mom and missing her on this special day...holding Jackson in my arms during church and watching him sleep during the many moments stand out from the day. From start to finish, it was a really great day and I can't thank Jesus enough for making my dream come true of being a wife and a mommy.On a side note: Mother's Day was also the 2 1/2 year mark of our marriage. What an incredible 30 months it has been. We are forever praising God for the way He blesses our journey together as husband and wife.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

boys and their sound effects

Dan fed Jackson his dinner tonight and after he finished I delivered the towel to wipe his face. He doesn't like getting his face wiped so I delivered the towel with a sound effect and it sent Jackson into a deep belly laugh. And so I did the noise again and got the same response. And so I did it again. And again. And again. Here we are on the 134th sound effect I think...

This kid really cracks us up.

(Oh, and in case you're wondering why he keeps saying "oooooo" in between each's because I was cooking and he sees steam rising from the pan on the stove.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

caught on tape

This morning I put Jackson down for his first nap of the day and heard him chattering away a few minutes later. It's not uncommon for him to get a second wind once he's in his crib and start playing with his blanket, his binky, his Sleep Sheep, or even the curtains that hang over the window that's just behind his crib.

I grabbed the video camera in hopes of getting a little of his chatter on tape but instead just got his look of "What, me? Not me, Mom!" which is just as good.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tulip Time

Ah, it's that time of year again when the buds are blooming and bits of color are dotting the landscape with reminders of Spring! It's been the coldest Spring in recorded history here in the Seattle area. Brrrr! Couple that with the fact that we've all been sick with a nasty cold for over a week and you'll understand why we were more than excited to get out of the house and drive up to the Skagit Valley with our sweet friend Bethany to see the tulips in full bloom.I don't know if it was the joy of finally getting out of the house after 10 days of being down with a cold, the fresh air and colorful blossoms, or the acreage of dirt to play in that made Jackson the happiest I think we've ever seen him. He had this ecstatic expression on his face from the time we arrived to the time we cleaned him up and put him back in the car to snooze on the ride home.There were smiles, coos, oooooo's, poses for the camera, and squeals of delight pouring out of Jackson. He actually stopped tulip traffic. Mini crowds started to form around him to watch him having the time of his life in the rows of colorful flowers. A few people even asked if they could take their own pictures of him. It was hilarious to watch as he smiled for any and every camera aimed his way. Yea, that's our shy kid!
This was by far the dirtiest we'd ever seen Jackson get and it's very clear that he's 100% boy to the core who loves to get down and dirty in the mud. I foresee lots of laundry in my future. Of course he wanted to eat it too. And he wasn't all too pleased when we put a stop to that.
Here are some more photos from the day.These two photos pretty much steal my heart.It was such a gorgeous day under a blue sky amid so many beautiful and vibrant colors and with such wonderful company. Dan and I were reminded again and again of the way that God has blessed our family.