{Elijah James - 6 Months}


Elijah James you are 6 months old!

It has been an exciting month for you! You started trying out solid foods, cut two teeth, went on a trip to the Midwest with mama, started riding in your stroller, had your first hair cut, and you just keep on growing! You are back on track with your weight gain and you're quickly approaching 20 pounds!

Developmentally you have been fine tuning your skills. Now you are rolling from your back to stomach and stomach to back. You grab things with so much more precision. You continue to show an interest in getting places, but you're not quite there with crawling. You spend a lot of time working on pulling your legs underneath you, so you are definitely trying to figure out how to crawl. You also enjoy sitting, and can occasionally hold your balance for a small chunk of time. You have not figured out yet how to pull yourself to sitting. You love seeing your reflection in the mirror! If you are feeling cranky, we just take a quick trip to the mirror and can usually get a smile or two out of you. My favorite is when you accidentally stumble across your reflection, you coo sweetly at yourself when that happens.

During your sixth month of life you have been exploring food. So far you have had avocado, sweet potato, banana, carrots and you have sucked on large chunks of apple. Sweet potato and banana were by far your favorites. In fact you ate so much sweet potato one day that you actually had a pure orange diaper. When you like a food, and we are not getting it to you quick enough, you will start grunting in your high chair. It is pretty funny. We have started you mostly on purees to get you used to different flavors, but now that you are getting older we want to try Baby Led Weaning. This to let you get use to exploring and having fun with your food!

 What is this green stuff?

 Mmmm carrots!

Gobble, Gobble! A turkey eating a banana!

Just as we started you on solid foods, you first tooth came in. Mama had taken you in to see the doctor on a Friday and there was no sign of the tooth. That Saturday when Papa was feeding you he said he felt something and on Sunday when mama let you chew on her finger she felt a surprise! It was hard to believe that your first tooth was in. Your second tooth is now cutting through your gums. Teething has been tough. You're a bit more grumpy and you do not sleep as well.
Tooth #1

Speaking of sleep, that has been an interesting development. With naps, we have continued to find a rhythm. You are finally napping in your crib! This development occurred when we were in Minnesota, I had no where to nap you, so the crib just had to work! You currently nap three times a day. Your first two naps are about 2 hours after your last wake up. Your last nap is about 2.5-3 hours after your last wake up. With your overnight sleeping, you have been all over the place. When you and I were in the Midwest you mostly slept through the night, then we came home and you started waking up once at night we think because of teething and now as we approach 6 months you have been sleeping straight through the night again. I think you like to keep us on our toes! 

Elijah, you took your first trip with mama! We flew to Minnesota for a big family reunion and then we drove down to Iowa with Aunt Destiny, Uncle Kevin and your cousin Eleanor. We stayed there for a few days to help celebrate Eleanor's 1st Birthday, though you ended up sleeping almost the entire party. The trip was great! You did so well on the plane ride to and from. You made friends with everyone around us. You were even a trooper on the long car rides. It was a great chance for you to meet your Grandpa Jerry and your Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. As much fun as we had, we sure were excited to get home and see Papa!
 You were ready to fly!
 Family Photo! Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Oh My!
 Here you are with your Aunties!
 Long car ride, but you're still smiling!
 Playing with your cousin's toys!

 I think you were like 'mama, she is getting into all MY toys!"

 Mama learned how to wear you in a sling.

 Auntie's turn!

 You loved Baby Time at the Ames Library
 Goofing around at a rest stop in Iowa

Sweet goodbyes!

During your 6th month of life you had your first hair cut! Boy is this a big change for you. Your hair was long in the front and back and was always in your eyes. That could not be comfortable! So papa had been asking about cutting it for a while and mama finally relented. Part of me wished we had kept it long, but the other part of me knows it is what is best. Well, the new hair really makes your beautiful eyes stand out! It is also funny how much lighter your hair is now that it is short.

New hair cut!

You spent a lot of time with mama during your 6th month of life while. From our trip to see family, lazy days together at home, and being out and about walking the neighborhood. It was quite delightful to have that special time together. We also had the chance to go to the Seahawks Training Camp with our friends Sarah & Dominic. It was a hot day, and you guys were not so interested in watching practice, but it was a fun day for your mama! 

During the weekends we try to have as much family time as possible. We often spend our Saturdays walking around Ballard. You especially love the extra time with papa. Weekends are also when we are able to introduce you to new foods!

During your 7th month of life, we think you are looking forward to having your first sleep away without mama and papa, trying out new foods, your first camping trip, your first trip to the zoo, seeing your Grandpa Jerry, and attending your first two weddings.

Here are a few photos and videos from your sixth month of life:

 Post bath fun
 Teething and silly hair!
 Look who is ready for football season!

 Relaxing at Seahawks training camp

 Riding like a big boy in your stroller!
 You love getting close to Charlie!

When mama wants to do your photos, you like to roll!


{5 Years}


mar-riage:(n) a combination or a mixture of two elements

Today we acknowledge and celebrate five years of marriage. Marriage to you Paul has been more fun, challenging, painful, beautiful, frustrating, hopeful, hilarious, all-consuming, adventurous, joyful, humbling, easier, and harder than I could ever have imagined.

Before August 7th, 2010 we had read the marriage books, taken the classes, answered the questions and had done the counseling. We felt so ready to start this journey. People told us it was hard and we didn't discount that, but we felt like we were prepared. In some ways we have been, and in other ways - you can never be prepared.

Our wedding day was beautiful and perfect. It rained just like you would expect in Seattle. Our friends and family from all across the country and globe joined with us that day. We had our first sighting under a canopy of trees at Lincoln Park, the branches and leaves protected us from the drizzle of that day. Our mothers lit a unity candle and read verses from Song of Solomon in English and in Farsi. We sang Come Thou Fount as a corporate hymn. Our vows included honoring each other over every family relationship, committing ourselves to each other, submitting ourselves to each other, helping and caring for one another in easy and difficult times and living graciously with each other as co-heirs in Christ. After our first kiss as husband and wife, we walked out of the chapel to You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates. At our reception we cut cake and danced. It was the perfect day and perfect celebration to start our marriage.

We have traveled the world together these last five years. We have explored London, Paris, Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rome, Venice, Barcelona, Budapest, and Prague. We've also been to Oahu, San Francisco, DC, Alaska. and New York City.

So much of our marriage these last 5 years has been in the nitty gritty, day-to-day details. We have learned to share space together, budget together, and pay down debt. We have written a mission statement for our marriage and allowed community to speak into our lives. We have written out plans for how we want to prioritize our time and commitments. We have tried new things like cooking classes, painting classes, and urban adventures. We have camped all around Washington State, went hiking, and snowshoeing. We have gone to concerts to see She & Him, Ryan Adams, First Aid Kit, Childish Gambino, Weezer, and Mackelmore. We have seen musicals like Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, and Book of Mormon. We've been to the ballet to see Cinderella and The Nutcracker.

We changed churches and even a few years later are trying to work through where we had been previously. You were my rock as I weaned off of anti-depressants and you  dealt with the side effects I endured during that time and the long-term side effect of my increased anxiety.

You supported and encouraged me as I finished my Master's degree, and when counseling jobs were scarce you encouraged me to keep trying even when I wanted to give up. When I was hesitant to take a part-time counseling position, you told me to go back to the district office and sign that contract. We would figure everything else out. I supported you when you left your job to join a start-up company building mobile apps for churches.

We grieved, mourned, and celebrated our journey to becoming parents together. You fought for my heart when I felt the lowest after the first miscarriage. You stayed optimistic and hopeful for me, even when you did not always feel that way. When you would find me in bed crying you would put your arms around me, hold me close and anchor my heart in truth. When I labored with Elijah you were with me every step of the way. I felt encouraged and supported while I pushed through the hardest physical endeavor of my life.

Now we journey together in our new role as parents. It has been our newest and unexpectedly hardest challenge. We are learning new things about each other, struggling to communicate well, to love well, to be patient and to live graciously with each other. These struggles have been so hard, so painful and so frustrating. We want better for each other and for our marriage. I trust we will figure it out and that time is on our side.

There are so many sweet, simple things I love about being married to you Paul. At night, you often find my hand to hold as we fall asleep. I love how when we're sitting at church you like to have an arm around me. I love the pictures that you draw for me on the envelopes of cards you give me.

Our marriage has truly been a combination of two elements. We are stubborn, opinionated, passionate, creative, selfish, willful, generous, and compassionate. Mixing ourselves together has not always been easy, in fact some times it has been excruciatingly hard. We argue intensely and strive to find a resolution quickly. We have bared our hearts and shed tears with each other and in the presence of others. We try to live authentically, even though it is difficult. I think we would both agree that these past five years have grown and stretched us and made our marriage stronger.

These last five years have flown by and it is hard to remember a time we were not married. I am looking forward to the next five years with you Paul. I know they will not be handed to us on a silver platter, we will have to fight for them and for each other. My hope is that we keep striving to be better, to love more, and to live more graciously with one another. You have my heart and I love you to the moon and back!

Happy Five!