Cowboys and Horses

It has kind of become a tradition once a year with my parents that we do a little photo shoot. It is definitely challenging with the kiddos who don’t sit still, let alone try to get them to look at the camera and smile, AND at the same time.  But we lucked out this year and got some good ones, thanks to daddy entertaining the boys while standing behind the camera.

And yes, food is another bribery technique.  However, it doesn’t always mean that the food won’t show up in the picture.  In this case we give you Grandma, Grandpa, Jane, Jacob, Dylan and a lovely pretzel in Dylan’s hand. But look at those smiles!

More pretzels…

And it wouldn’t be a cowboy photo shoot without a horse

It is going to be fun to put all these pictures side by side as the years go on.  We actually did not do much riding around with the horses this year, so on our last full day we saddled them up and rode around the arena. 

And Dylan grew into the vest and chaps that my parents got in Texas when Jacob was two years old.

Then it was time to go home.  We had a longish layover in Portland, so we made the best of it.

We did a lot of walking around, and riding the moving walkways back and forth.  And there’s a history behind the carpet at the Portland Airport, and I know lots of people who take pictures of their feet/shoes on the carpet to post on social media… Instead, I give you my overtired two year old rolling around on the carpet while waiting to board our plane.

Then, God heard my prayers again and Dylan slept the entire flight from Portland to San Diego!

That is a wrap on our 2017 Oregon vacation. It was such a fun trip and I can’t wait for next year!

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School’s out for the summer!

Jacob absolutely LOVED his class this year.  His teacher was great, he made lots of new friends in his class and he thrived and learned so much.  On the last day of school there was a promotion ceremony and the kids sang some songs, they got a graduation certificate and we all had a picnic lunch outside on the playground.

I was actually feeling sad that the year came to an end since Jake was really enjoying it and I enjoyed getting to know some of the other moms.  And I have been finding myself wondering how I am going to keep him busy this summer!  Aside from a couple trips we have planned we have a few things lined up for summer activities.  One thing that is super easy and fun and we will be doing often is going to the beach!  Jake (and mom) has been wanting to go for a while, so that was our first order of business on our first official day of summer. And when I was downloading Dylan’s 2 year old photos from my camera, I realized that yet again, there is a huge gap in my photo/blogging “routine” and I knew this was going to be a fun day, so I grabbed my camera as we went out the door.

I have a certain beach spot that I discovered a few years ago and I love going to because you can park (for free) very close by, there is a lifeguard tower, bathrooms and showers and it is usually not that crowded.  So we headed out first thing in the morning and set up on the beach.  At first Dylan was a bit cautious with the waves.

Then Jake started showing him where to stand to watch the waves come over his toes.

They had so much fun running towards the water and letting the waves chase them back

It makes me so happy to see them happy and having fun like two little boys should

And when I tried to get a picture of both of them looking at the camera and smiling, I got a whole lot of these

Until finally I got something decent

And then Dylan took a little “accidental” swim in the waves…and the sun starting coming out and they worked up quite a sweat playing in the water, so we took a break and started playing in the sand.

I am excited for many, many more beach days like this all summer long!

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And then he turned TWO

I am excited that I am getting this post done in the same month as the event happened!  A few weeks ago, Dylan turned TWO!  And he was so excited about it!  That morning, after dropping Jake off at school, I took him to Krispy Kreme for a doughnut treat.

That afternoon while he was napping, Jacob and I made his birthday cake and wrapped up his presents.  When daddy came home he had a birthday balloon from Nonnie and Jacob declared that it was time for Dylan to open his presents.

We had some friends in town that were staying with us, so we all enjoyed a nice dinner outside before it was time for cake.

CHEEEEEEEESE!

Then it came time to blow out his candle

Ever since his birthday Dylan has been walking around singing “Happy Dylan…Happy Dylan” which is his own version of the birthday song.

I think they liked the cake

When we moved, it became quite a trek to visit the boys pediatrician, but I liked him, so I kind of lagged on finding a new one.  After talking to a fellow mom who is also one of the doctors I used to work with, she recommend someone whose office is really close to our house.  So we had Dylan’s 2 year old check up with their new pediatrician, who I really like.  He is a healthy boy and checked out great!  When talking about how tall he is, his doctor said that both our boys are projected to be at least 6 feet tall and Dylan is likely to be 6′ 2-3″.  Maybe we will have a basketball player on our hands, he is our athlete after all.  Dylan is currently 3 feet tall and weighs 29lbs 9.6oz.  He did get one shot and the nurse was fantastic and SUPER fast, Dylan didn’t even have a chance to think about it and start crying, another plus for the new doctors office!

Dylan very quickly grew out of the baby phase and is more and more independent every day.  He is my hot and cold kid.  He goes from being happy, silly, playing to throwing a complete fit in just a matter of seconds.  We are experiencing the terrible twos this time around.  But he is also such a love and a snuggler.  He usually doesn’t want to just sit in my lap, he has to have my arms completely wrapped around him like a harness.  He often wants me to hold him or carry him around and it is getting really hard to do that for extended periods of time since he is so heavy!  He is my chowhound and will eat pretty much anything, except for veggies.  Most days I make a double serving of my lunch because he often hijacks whatever I am eating for himself, even though he already had his lunch.  He has 3 of his two year molars in so we are almost done with the teething pains.  He still adores Jacob and when they are not fighting, they really have a great time playing together.  He is a parrot and has been copying everything we say, and picking up new words everyday and stringing a few words together.  Especially with the amount of talking his brother does, I can’t imagine how many words he has absorbed already.  If we ask Jacob a question, after Jacob answers us, Dylan automatically gives his answer too.  He will not be left out of any conversation.  His favorite song is Baa Baa Black Sheep and sings it all day and requests it every single night before bedtime.  This is my kid who is happy to have his picture taken, so I give you his 2 year old picture with Giraffe and Woolly Mammoth.

Happy Birthday to my sweet blue eyed boy!

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This is FOUR

In January, Jacob turned FOUR!  In my opinion, this was his best birthday yet.

We started off the festivities by decorating his door with streamers and balloons the night before his birthday.  However…sometime in the middle of the night one of the balloons popped and woke him up, so he came in our room.  He woke me up saying, “Why are there decorations on my door?” Ooops!  I explained to him that they were for his birthday and got him back to sleep.   Regardless, he was still excited to see the decorations, especially since they were his favorite color, GREEN!

That day Jacob had preschool.  So we went to school with a big bag of Rice Krispy treats, Jacob’s current favorite treat.  They celebrated after their snack time with the Rice Krispy treats and sang Happy Birthday while Jacob got to wear a birthday crown.  Later in the afternoon daddy came home with a special delivery from Nonie, who we also call the “balloon grandma!”

Dylan was still napping at the time, and when he woke up and saw the Giant Batman and Spiderman balloons, he was not too sure about them and would not let me put him down.  So we gave Jacob his presents and he started opening them.

It didn’t take too long for Dylan to decide they were not so scary anymore. Or maybe he was overcoming the shock of seeing his favorite superhero in our living room.

Together they both tackled the rest of the presents.

That evening two of our neighborhood families came over for pizza and cake to celebrate with us.  Jacob loves being with these friends and we love the parents too, so it is win win for all of us!

My four year old!

The reason we didn’t do a big birthday party this year, was because a couple days later we took Jacob to the Happiest Place on Earth…Disneyland!

It truly was a fun, magical day!  It had been many, many years since Justin or I had been there, so we felt like giddy kids ourselves.

We had park hopper passes so we could go back and forth between Disneyland and California Adventures.  In Disneyland, we went to ToonTown where we saw Mickey, Goofy and Pluto, we walked around FantastyLand and rode on the flying Dumbo.  The weather was cloudy and cool, with a few sprinkles here and there.  Which was great because it kept the big crowds away. On our way to Pirates of the Caribbean, it started pouring and we stopped to find shelter for a few minutes and ended up buying some ponchos.

On Pirates of the Caribbean we scored the front row seats on the boat, which Jacob thought was fun when we “went down really fast under the waterfall!” Because of Jacob’s love of StarWars we spent a lot of time in TomorrowLand.  We rode the rocket ships, Buzz Lightyear’s ride and even Star Tours.  Jacob was scared and had a death grip on both of us during Star Tours, but afterwards he wouldn’t stop talking about it, I think this kid likes to be scared!

His reward for being so brave was a lightsaber of his choice (and also the talking Buzz Lightyear because he really wanted it and hey, it was his birthday).

And it wouldn’t be a complete trip to TomorrowLand without a visit with the one and only, Darth Vader!

Then we went to California Adventures where we spent most of our time in the CARS portion of the park.  Which by the way, I thought they did a fantastic job with!  The rides were fun for both the adults and kids, and the re-creation from the movie was perfect!  We walked down the street just when Tow Mater was leaving and Jacob got to wave at him as he drove by.  A minute later, Lightning McQueen showed up. So we took a few minutes to say Hi to him.

Then we checked out the rest of the park and rode more rides, among Jacob’s favorite was the other Buzz Lightyear one “where you use the blasters to shoot the bad guys!”

And to end the long day we walked along the boardwalk and took a ride on the giant Mickey Mouse Ferris Wheel which gave us a birds eye view of both parks lit up at night. It was a pretty magical time for all of us and we can’t wait to go back!

The following week we had his 4 year old check up.  They tested his eyesight, hearing and overall general health.  He passed all his tests and is a healthy boy.  He now weighs 34 lbs and is 3 ft 4.5 in tall.  Jacob is our smart, silly, cautious, inquisitive boy.  He has mastered the fine art of arguing with us, or completely tuning us out altogether and tests my patience every single day.  But behind his strong willed personality, there are hugs and kisses and requests to play hide and go seek and chase with him and he often stops what he is doing and looks at me with a smile and says “HI mommy!” and that makes all the frustrating times melt away.  He still asks a million questions a day, and if I ask him if he needs help with something he says “No, I can use my super Gecko muscles!” (you will only understand what that means if you’ve seen the cartoon PJ Masks) and proceeds to flex his muscles and ask you to feel how strong he is.

I saw this fun little questionnaire online and decided to ask Jacob the questions.  Hoping I can remember to do something like this every year around his birthday.  It is a fun way to engage them in conversation and see how the answers may change as they grow.

  1. What is your favorite color?  Green
  2. What is your favorite number? 100
  3. Who are you best friends? Micah, Cameron, Melia, Mackenna, Ryan and Hudson
  4. What is your favorite song? Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (doesn’t matter what time of year it is, he always wants this song)
  5. What is your favorite food? Pancakes and Nutella
  6. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Firefighter (which is funny since he has this crazy obsession with smoke alarms…)
  7. What is your favorite cartoon? Miles from Tomorrowland and Blaze and the Monster Machines
  8. What is your favorite toy? Mac truck, Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen
  9. What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Working hard with him outside
  10. What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Hugs and kisses

And here is Jake’s 4 year old picture with his giraffe, elephant and a big boy haircut!

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18 Months

I often say I feel like I was robbed of Dylan’s babyhood.  He grew up so fast, physically and developmentally that I forget he is not even 2 years old yet.  In fact, in November he turned 18 months, and he does not look or act like he’s only a year and a half old.

A lot has happened in the past 6 months since he turned one. While he had been taking a few steps here and there, a week after his first birthday he was walking.  And really didn’t stay in the walking phase for too long before he began running, everywhere…

He has been a teething machine, he now has a total of 10 teeth, including 3 molars.  Teething didn’t really seem to bother Jacob too much, but it really affects Dylan.  He suffers from the pain, has a loss of appetite, fevers, crankiness, etc…

Dylan has an appetite!  Of course his food preferences are completely different from his brother’s.  While Jacob loves his yogurt, fruits of all kinds, some veggies, cheeses and sweets, he is not a fan of meat.  Dylan however will eat chicken, tri-tip, salami, bacon, pasta and fruits.  But is not a fan of yogurt, cheeses or sweets.  So our meals are either diverse, or have a little of something to satisfy everyone, or one kid just doesn’t eat as much as the other.

I remember when Jacob was a baby I was thankful that I never had to worry about him hitting, pushing or biting other kids, he never did that.  Dylan on the other hand did go through the hitting and pushing phase, so I had to really watch him when playing with others.  On that topic, which really doesn’t help that issue…his favorite thing to do is wrestle with his brother.  At first I was always concerned about Dylan since he was still a “baby” and didn’t want him to get too banged up.  But then I realized that he can easily hold his own and he is usually the instigator constantly tackling Jacob and taking him down.  I quickly grow tired of playing referee and as long as no one gets too rough and they are in a safe spot, I let them wrestle.  And they love it!

He is really starting to show more interest in sign language now and has been picking up signs as fast as we can show him.  His vocabulary is really starting to pick up a little speed as well.  He loves music and asks me to play some every time we are driving in the car.  His favorite song as a baby was the Wheels on the Bus and it has now become 10 Little Indians.  His favorite word right now is GO!  Jake and I often count 1…2…3… and pause for Dylan to shout GO!  Every time I back out of our garage Dylan yells GO!  He is learning about the traffic signals and when the light turns green he yells GO!!

Justin taught him how to say football.  One day he surprised me when we were walking past the TV display at Costco and they were recapping a game on the news and Dylan shouts FOOTBALL!  I have a feeling he is going to be our athlete.  The boy is always running and anytime he is carrying something he carries it in a proper football hold. he has great hand/eye coordination and at 18 months old he has a pretty solid golf swing complete with a follow through.  We never taught him that, he just picked up a toy golf club and started hitting every ball he could find. Definitely got that gene from his daddy!

From the beginning Dylan has never been easily distracted.  If he is upset about something it takes a lot of distraction techniques and time before he gets over it.  He is my strong willed child!  However, underneath all those mischievous grins, sneaky ways, loud and rambunctious personality, he is my cuddle bug.  He gives serious hugs and will not let go.  My mom says I used to hang on her like a monkey when I was little that sometimes she didn’t even have to hold on to me since I was holding on so tight.  Dylan does the same thing.  And to add to the hugs, he will stare in my eyes and give me kisses and kisses and kisses.  He is a little love! And he’s also a cheeseball… When taking a picture of him, he scrunches up his face and shows all his teeth and says a long and drawn out CHEEEEEEESE.  You’ll see in the picture below.

Everyone says the second baby is easier than the first since you know better about what to expect.  Which is true in a lot of ways…however, there is no way to predict their personalities and mannerisms.  In my experience, so far, both boys have been pretty different in almost everything.  And I kind of love that!  Honestly, I can’t believe this is an 18 month post for Dylan, not because I can’t believe how old he is, but because I can’t believe that he is ONLY 18 months old!

His 18 month birthday was November 8th, Election Day, so he wore his American flag shirt to mark the occasion.

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And I thought the problem with the subscribers not getting email notifications was resolved, but it seems that no one got a notification about my last post about Halloween (click here to see it).  So I contacted them again and am waiting for resolution…Hoping this one comes through.

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Pumpkins and Superheros

Halloween is such a fun holiday with the boys, I love that they get excited about dressing up in costumes, asking every day if it is time to go trick or treating and looking for decorations on houses when we drive around town.  But I personally love Halloween because it is the kickoff to the holiday season with Thanksgiving and Christmas to follow.  So when we started seeing pumpkins at every store and pumpkin patches we went to, Jake wanted to get one.  We ended up with a small collection of a few pumpkins of various sizes that we used for decorations around the house.  Then he kept talking about carving the pumpkins and we told him we had to wait until it was closer to Halloween.  Finally, a few days before Halloween, we went to get some good sized pumpkins for carving.  On Saturday morning that was our first order of business, a pumpkin carving party.

It seems I can never get the boys to smile at the same time for a picture…

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img_7756edThe boys have a variety of costumes that they love to play with and Jake decided that he would be Spiderman for our pumpkin carving party, while Dylan was sporting a Superman shirt.

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And Grandma was in town so she got to join in on the fun!

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Neither one of the boys were too thrilled about the slimy insides (we will see how long that lasts)…so daddy and grandma did most of the hard work with cleaning them out, while they stuck with their spoons as “scoopers”.

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And I guess the key to getting this guy to smile AND look at the camera at the same time is carving pumpkins as Spiderman…

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Then mom joined in to get her hands dirty for a bit. And apparently the boys were really confused to see daddy behind the camera?

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Then these two goofballs started their silly antics…

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When it came time to carve them, we got one of the Halloween books that we had been reading with the boys that has various types of Jack O Lantern carvings so they could choose which ones they wanted.

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Supervising daddy’s work.

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My blue eyed boy!

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We ended up with silly, sleepy and surprised.  I call that a success!!

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And we noticed that we carved 3 pumpkins this year, and Jake is 3 years old.  Last year we carved 2 pumpkins, when he was 2 years old and the year before that it was 1 pumpkin when he was 1 year old.  Total coincidence, not intentional at all.  And I don’t think next year we will have 4, but with two boys, who knows…

With the pumpkins carved, costumes ready, we were officially ready for our Superhero Halloween! Batman and Robin to the rescue!

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We started off the night at a neighbors house for a pre-party before hitting the streets to trick or treat.

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BOO!

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Bates Nut Farm

A few years ago when Jacob was a baby, I went with some girlfriends and their littles to Bates Nut Farm.  In the fall they turn their farm into a pumpkin patch with pony rides, a petting zoo, tractor hay rides, a corn maze and other fun activities.  At the time Jacob was a little too young to really “enjoy” it all and every year I kept saying I wanted to go back.  This year I finally made it.  Our schedule is busy as usual, and there is only one day during the week that we don’t have any kind of scheduled thing like school, swim lessons, etc…So that day usually is filled with a playdate or doctor’s appointments, or errands that need to be taken care of.  About a month ago on that day, we had nothing planned.  And it wasn’t until about 8:00 that morning when I was trying to figure out how we were going to spend the day that I decided we were going to go to Bates Nut Farm.  I got the boys dressed, packed up some food, loaded up the car and grabbed my camera.  It is about a 30 minute drive into the mountains from our house which made for a nice leisurely drive to drink my coffee while singing along with the with kids music playing in the car.  I like to get to these places right when they open to avoid the crowds and the afternoon heat.  And this day was perfect!

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After saying HI to the farmers unloading all the pumpkins, they started searching for the perfect one.

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Dylan thought they needed some re-arranging and started moving them from one side to the other

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Then Jacob wanted to feed the goats, so all 3 of us each got a cup full of food and went to the petting zoo. Both boys loved it and laughed when the goats ate out of their hands.

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Then the lady working there offered to take our picture, and we still had food on us.  So the goats kept trying to climb into my lap along with Dylan to eat it up!

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Then we hopped on the tractor hayride for a spin around the farm.

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And Jacob talked during the entire ride, commenting on everything he saw

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And Dylan thought it was pretty fun

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Then we walked around the stores and bought a few treats.  We went over to where all the animals were and looked at chickens, pigs, llamas, turkeys and more goats before heading home for lunch.  I love those spontaneous adventures with my boys!

3 Year Old Preschool

When we moved, we left Jacob at his old preschool because we didn’t want to change schools on top of a new baby, new neighborhood and a new house.  So when it got close to the end of the last school year, I started researching the preschools in this area and learned that the school he was at had fantastic hours and a more of a year round program, meaning they didn’t close for Spring Break or summer, etc…we decided to keep him at his old preschool through the summer program and then start him at his new preschool closer to home in the fall.  So before I share his first day of school pictures (which are now a few months old), here are the ones he had taken last spring at his old preschool.  And he looked so darn cute in all of them, that I couldn’t just settle on one photo and ended up getting all three…

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When it came time to start his new school, it didn’t really seem to faze him.  The 3 year old class is a little more work than 2 year old preschool, and this is my kid who likes to have a job and something to do, so he jumped right into it.  And the fact that one of his good buddies is in his class helped too I’m sure. I barely get a kiss good bye when I drop him off and he is always excited to run around with his buddy while the moms chat for a few minutes when I pick him up.  So it is safe to say that he is enjoying it!

Here’s our little cheeseball ready for his first day of 3 year old preschool.

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And the tractor backpack in his favorite color green from grandma and grandpa was the icing on the cake.

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Feeding Dylan

I know I’ve been kind of sporadic here lately and I don’t like that.  It boils down to the fact that I have no time during the day to work on this blog and by the time the boys are in bed for the night, I am too tired and just want to sit and talk to my husband or watch a TV show or scroll through my Facebook feed or simply just sit and stare at nothing and enjoy the quiet.  I love this blog though and don’t plan on stopping.  It is my favorite way to capture the story of our lives, especially since I haven’t touched Jacob’s baby book since he turned 2 and I did buy one for Dylan…but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.  I’ve been feeling the urge to start picking up my camera again every once in a while.  So one day after dropping off Jacob at preschool, I didn’t really have any urgent errands to take care of and rather than browsing the aisles of Target and spending $200 on stuff I didn’t know I needed, I decided to do something fun with Dylan.  So we went to feed the ducks.  Before we left the house, at the last minute I ran back in to grab my camera and I am so glad I did.

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According to Dylan though…we were there to feed him and just look at the ducks.

img_7607edHe would come get a slice of bread from me and walk back to the ducks and stand there and eat the bread.

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Then turn around and walk back to get more

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I showed him how to break up the bread and throw it to the ducks, and he looked at me and smiled, and even laughed, he thought it was funny.img_7611ed img_7613ed

And he kept on eating the bread, while I threw some pieces out to the ducks in between pictures.

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When Dylan’s tummy was full, we walked over to the playground where he did about 50+ laps up the stairs and down the slide.

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I love this little goofball

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It was a fun date with my littlest man.

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ONE

The day after the party was a special day for many reasons.  First, it was Dylan’s actual birthday, it was Mother’s Day and his baby dedication!

We spent the morning with our church family for Dylan’s dedication.

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We are so blessed with an amazing village to help guide us on this crazy parenting journey!

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” – Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Afterwards we had a quiet (at least as quiet as you can get with two boys!) afternoon at home, celebrating with just the 4 of us.

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I love his snuggles, giggles and big bear hugs…I love his determination, fierceness and stubbornness.  He is sweet, he is loud, he is growing up way too fast in an attempt to keep up with his brother!  I can’t believe he is ONE! Happy Birthday big boy!

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