Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Every Love Story is Beautiful... But Ours is My Favorite

Dearest Kreg:
 I didn't find a Valentine's Day card this year.  Not for lack of trying :) you know me.  It's hard to find the right words to sum up how much I love you and how thankful I am that you are MY Valentine FOREVER.  Our story never ever gets old or boring!  I thought it might be fun to reminisce a little about the past 6 years and tell you a few of my favorite memories of us.   

I'll never forget the first time I met you! I still can't believe I was brave enough to introduce myself.  After a semester of running into you and watching you from a distance, I finally found it in me to say, "hi, I'm supposed to meet you.  I know your sister."  :) Kim, I will always be in your debt! 

Our first official picture together :) You came out to visit me August of 2006 after a summer full of texting each other :) I was SO excited to introduce my Lenny's boy to everyone!  The time we spent together that week was PRICELESS.

This one cracks me up every time I look at it.  I'm sure you probably know why :) I'm SO glad you came out that week!
The following 3 months were I'm convinced, the best way to begin our relationship.  You were in Italy & I was in Colorado.  We spent lots of time writing facebook notes to each other, spent lots of money on international phone calls, a lot of time thinking & planning & deciding & a little bit of time finding ourselves.  

When you got back, you flew in to Colorado to spend time with me & drive me back to Harding for the spring semester.  I picked you up from the airport & we listened to "our" song together for the first time & you asked me to officially be your girlfriend! I can never listen to that song without remembering those feelings :)

Harding was such a special place for us!  It was the perfect setting for us to start our lives together & it will always have a special place in my heart.

I LOVED getting to know your romantic side! This was one of the first times I remember thinking, "I LOVE this boy.  So much."

Remember when that girl sent me the nasty message telling me my face was ugly & I wasn't nearly pretty enough to be your girlfriend?  I learned so much about "us" that day.  I will ALWAYS be thankful for the way you see me.  I know you think I'm beautiful (and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks) but that isn't why you love me.  You love me for the right reasons.  That day I decided I would happily spend the rest of my life with you!

One of my very favorite dates was the scavenger hunt you sent me on! I learned random tidbits about you as I drove around Searcy following your clues and collecting my coke bottles!
The coke bottles led me to you at one of our favorite places {the farm} for lunch with two of our favorite people {Mamaw & Papaw}

Later that day we went to "our spot" & just lounged.  Remember those kinds of Saturdays?  Those are few & far between these days, huh?
It was the infamous day that the bird pooped on you while we lounged... haha! I still can't believe he did that.  He had it out for you :)
That was such a fun semester! We made so many memories that I will cherish for many, many years.  
"3 swings & a ring" :) this was a big deal!

I spent that summer in Searcy! I was working & taking classes but I really couldn't imagine being away from you all summer.  I remember you taking me to the lake at Heber and I was too afraid to get in the water... because I couldn't see what was in it! HA! You worked on me & I finally gave in.
We went to Disney World & Cocoa Beach that summer with my family! One of my top 10 vacations ever :)
Your 21st birthday weekend was another of my favorite memories from that year :) My first trip to Dallas! We saw the Lion King and ate at Texas de Brazil!  I'd be up for that again ANY TIME. :)
Ready for our fancy evening!

Razorbacks game :) I had to be able to call the Hogs to REALLY be your girlfriend :) Passed the test. Flying colors.
OH, and I had to be able to handle a .22 rifle.  Little did you know how good I was :) Passed that test. :)

Okay, the bell tower... now it's getting serious :) little did I know, you'd already asked my dad's permission to marry me!
That Christmas Eve, you flew in & surprised me.  As I was opening my present from you, you snuck around the corner. You asked me to marry you :)
I think that day began the official whirlwind known as "us." :) We haven't really slowed down much since then, have we? :) That semester was full of school, work, wedding planning, & wedding showers! It went by SO fast!

I know I've told you many times, but the day I married you was like a dream.  It didn't feel real!  Everything went so smoothly and everyone was so happy & excited! We couldn't have asked for anything more!
If our wedding day was like a dream, our honeymoon was equally dreamy!  We MUST do this again some day :) I would just LOVE to have another chance to lay on the beach, eat, drink, sleep & get to know you all over again! Worry free.  Just us!
I am SO glad we took that trip to Italy that summer!  Seeing all the places you were in when I fell for you was so special!  This place will always be connected with you & me in my mind!
I loved putting our first place together!  Our little apartment on campus was just perfect for us!  Everything we owned was so new and fresh and crisp! 

That fall our life was turned UPSIDE DOWN with a positive pregnancy test :) Was there any way we could have possibly known how much our little Westin would enrich our lives?  Yes, we learned the very definition of "fear" and it will always be in our vocabulary!  But I know neither of us would have it any other way.  I'm so thankful that you are my boys' Daddy.  I'll NEVER forget the first diaper you changed! Oh, my.  I'm so glad its on video :)
Westin is ALWAYS ready for you to come home! You are his best bud.
Milk & Cookies buddies!

This past year has been a crazy one for sure! Our lives are full of sleepless nights & long days.  But I always feel SO blessed that I'm the one you come home to at night.  I love the little moments that make every day SO blessed. I love your work ethic & the drive you have to provide such a good life for our sweet family.  I am BEYOND thankful to be your wife & your valentine! THIS KIND of love is what I dreamed about.  


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Around Here 2012

When I'm old & my babies are grown up & gone & I want to sit down & read my blog & reminisce about these precious days... I might be disappointed that I don't post more often.  Or I might not.  I hope & pray that when this phase of my life is over, I will remember that I spent my days (& nights) cuddling & playing & laughing & tickling & singing & rocking & learning.  Yes, I did a lot of diapering & laundry-ing & vacuuming & bill-paying & photo taking & we seem to always be doing a lot of running around.  My blogging & scrapbooking don't get done as often as I would like... and sometimes that worries me because I just don't want to forget any little detail.  But I will.  There is no way I will remember every sweet sentence that comes out of Westin's mouth (or every ornery one for that matter) and I will not remember exactly how old Tucker was when he first crawled, talked, smiled, laughed... but I think as long as I can look back and remember the feeling of the kisses and the cuddles and the playtime that I will be satisfied with the way I chose to spend my time during my "mommy days." 

That being said, it's been a great start to the year! We had a fantastic Christmas that we extended for about two weeks :) That's definitely my way of doing Christmas!  It was so good to spend time with Kreg's mom & family.  We had so much fun celebrating Christmas, eating, laughing, playing games & catching up.
The Boys by Nana & Pops' Tree

Christmas Sunday

Buddies- Wes & Brodie

Tucker & Aunt Kim

"Christmas Eve" at Our House

This year we've decided to give juicing a shot again.  We've owned a juicer since shortly after we were married & attempted to make our breakfast meal a juice meal while we were in college but slacked off because it can get expensive if you let it & I didn't like having to clean the juicer every morning before class after taking the time to prepare my fruits & veggies.  Now that I'm staying home, I decided I didn't have those "good" excuses anymore.  I buy fruit & veggies on sale & I get up earlier in the morning to make juice.  We feel SO good! It takes a couple weeks to really get into the routine of it & let your body try to de-tox but we're really enjoying it & I'm loving finding all the yummy things I can put in the juicer!  I'll keep you updated on the favorites.  Did you know you can even use the juice & pulp when baking?  I'm trying that out tonight with some muffins... I'll let you know how it goes!

My birthday is January 9... this year I decided to be sick for a week or so, including my birthday.  That worked out alright though because we spread out the celebrating of my birthday :) I was so blessed to be able to eat at my favorite restaurant with my whole family (the Edelweiss), and to have a dinner & a movie date with my hubby all in the same week :) As has become our tradition, Kreg's gift to me was in the form of checking off a few of my home improvement wishes!  I have a new kitchen floor & entryway floor & a new kitchen faucet & new paint & bedding in my bedroom! I'm still working on the decor in my room but am just IN LOVE with the updates.  

Tucker has the funniest crawl I've ever seen.  I keep thinking he'll work the kinks out and crawl normally any day now but we're going on (I believe) well over a month of dragging at least one if not both legs behind him after getting up on his toes & pulling himself with his arms.  The last couple of days I have seen him go a little ways with the proper motions so I really better get the cute funky crawl on video before its gone! He's such a joy... still a very smiley, happy, friendly baby.  His favorite toy right now is one Westin got last year from Todd, Tiffany & River... it really amazes me that he can make it work! I just love watching my babies' minds try to figure things out & watching the joy in their faces when they accomplish something! He's been teething this month (the bottom two are almost through, I can see them just teasing us, poor guy!) which has him a little fussy.  Nothing a little baby wearing and lots of nursing hasn't helped, though.  Oh, and some homeopathic teething tablets when necessary :) He loves his big brother SO much and is, I can tell, looking forward to the day when they can REALLY play together. Westin was holding his hand in the car the other day & I heard him say to Tucker, "Tucker-- we are BEST friends." :) Sweetest music to my ears EVER.  I quickly said a prayer that this would be true all of their lives and that their friendship would be a blessing to each other and to the people around them. 
Baby Wearing-- love my moby!

Westin is just constantly learning!  He just amazes me.  He can say his ABCs & recognize almost all of the letters, he can count to 20 (although sometimes he skips 13... maybe he's superstitious), he knows all of his colors & shapes & we've been working on memory verses the past few months.  He can say Genesis 1:1, Psalm 119:11 & is working on John 3:16.  He's also learning the books of the New Testament (he sings the song!) and is doing really, really well.  He gets hung up on Thessalonians but with a little help can get mostly through it by himself! 

Kreg has been very busy this year-- I'm really, really proud of him, though! He's so good at what he does & is always trying to be even better. His clients, bosses, and co-workers just love him and he has a lot of exciting opportunities & possibilities coming up! He's also been "working" in his "free time" at the Air Force Academy athletic games, which he really enjoys. It's hard having him working so many hours (averages about 65 a week right now) but we do what we can to spend time together.  We make an effort to have lunch together every day whether he comes home or I drive in to the office or we meet somewhere.  It makes for a lot of driving but it's worth it :) He was able to take Westin pheasant hunting this past weekend & Westin had the time of his life!  This was his second trip with Kreg but his first one this season & he was so excited about going! He took his little play pistol & carried it around all day!  Kreg's favorite story from the day: Westin had been getting tired & was on Kreg's back in the Kelty backpack & he (Wes) asked Kreg to carry his gun for him because he was getting tired. 3 birds got up in front of them & Kreg shot 3 times & heard Westin saying in a panicky voice, "Daddy, I need my gun, I need my gun! Where's my gun?" He said it made his day :)
6 AM and READY to go!

I'm so pleased with how well our photography business has done this past year.  Our business has grown by leaps & bounds thanks to great clients & referrals :) We've averaged 1-2 photoshoots a week which is just about as much as I want right now... if we can keep that steady pace through this slow part of the year I will be so pleased! Check out our website if you haven't... we're getting better & better & so is our equipment :) www.itsallgoodphoto.net 

My sister Kortney is in Italy right now with Harding's HUF program! I'm so proud of her & she is having such a great time already.  She's a fantastic little writer and has been blogging about her adventures so if you have time & don't already, it would be worth your time to follow her :)