July 24, 2015

Nash: 9 Months!

Height: TBD  next week!
Weight: TBD
Teeth: 8


Did you notice I forgot to write an 8 month post? Well if you would ever stop moving, I might just have the energy to blog in the evenings!  I'm just kidding...but really, stop moving so much.  Here's what's been going on these days in your crazy little, ever-changing world...

Your mobility is insane. You crawl (fast), climb stairs, cruise, push walkers...and I'll be pretty surprised if you're not taking some steps in the next month or so.  You just seem entirely too young for all this toddler business!

You've got a thing for women's jewelry. Poor Gigi can hardly get your attention because you're always so focused on how you're going to steal her bracelet or necklace!

I'm proud to say that you said your first word last month and it was "Momma"!  I know people say that babies your age don't really know what they mean when they say the word, but I would beg to differ in your case.  If I leave the room you will use your most desperate voice to yell "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-MAAAAA!"  Then I walk back in and you just smirk :)  I think second children probably reach this milestone faster because they hear their older siblings saying "Mommy" approximately 1,568 times a day.  Either way, it's music to my ears!

Your two favorite toys: a tube of mascara and a sunscreen stick.  I have no idea what the appeal is, but you are truly attached.  And should someone try to take your beloved toys away, you let out a screechy scream of disapproval! It's really pretty cute.

One of your new nicknames this month is "garbage disposal".  You'll eat anything (literally--there's not been one thing you've tried that you didn't scarf down) and your seem to never be full.  I have to say though that it's pretty cool to put green beans in front of a child and watch them actually EAT them!  I'm just scared to know what my grocery bill is going to be like in 10 years!!

Sleep is still pretty good.  With the exception of a few nights while traveling, you've been going to be around 7:00 am and waking up at 6:00 am. I wouldn't be mad if you tacked on a extra hour in the morning, but I guess I can't complain ;)

You get shy around new people and burrow your head into my shoulder.  It's probably my favorite thing...ever.

You started waving "bye bye" and will occasionally say it too.  

You have a knack for finding tiny things to put in your mouth.  We need to pick a new place for Arden's cash register, considering you've mastered the art of opening the drawer and stuffing 5 coins in your mouth in 3 seconds flat.  Such a little stinker!

You love to bang on any and every flat surface...and you're proud of your loud noises too.

We've spent the whole summer at the pool and you have a nice little farmer's tan to show for it.  Arden and me? We're one solid color--white.   Consider yourself lucky that you got the Italian genes and not the Danish ones!

Arden is still your favorite.  When she wakes up (you know, a good TWO hours after you do) and we head to her room, you start kicking your feet and squealing...you just can't wait for me to open that door so you can see your best bud.

Not that I haven't loved every month leading up to this, but nine months is really such a magical age.  You're learning so much every day and letting your sweet personality shine through. You really are just the best baby...and something tells me this is just beginning!

Love you little dude,

July 11, 2015

The Lake 2015

I pretty much have the worst memory ever.  I had a great childhood, I know that much...but I wish I could remember all of it, rather than just snapshots. There is, however, one annual event that I remember pretty darn well--that's our family reunion, or as we Gowers refer to it: "The Lake".  Up until I was in high school we stayed in some cabins at a little 50's motel called The Temple.  I remember its swimming pool and the red slide that we went down 100 times a day.  I remember the arcade that we cousins overtook--and the music on the jukebox that the older kids never let me pick.  I remember the smell of the "food cabin" and eating a half a bag of potato chips while waiting for someone to come out of the one bathroom that we all shared.  I also remember our evenings at the strip--wasting my Grandpa's money on ski-ball, bumper cars and Silver Falls...and rounding off the night with a double scoop cone--on Grandpa Gower, of course.  

Just look how awesome we all looked in 1992!  Also, please note my poor cousin Stacy, whose head my Grandma glued into the picture since she couldn't be there that day. I guess you could say grandma was ahead of the Photoshop game...

So all of this is to say...even with my lousy memory, the lake is something I remember well. And now that I have kids of my own, I want them to grow up with the same sweet memories of this event.

After looking through all of the pictures from that weekend, I'd say we're on the right track...


Love these people so very much.  

My sister organized some fun kids games this year, which were a huge hit.  First up--seed spitting contest!


Then on to the limbo...

...and a crazy dance party.  They all needed to burn off some sugar, that's for sure.

Sometimes the big kids joined in on the games too...

Then we made up a game that could've been called "go soak your grandpa".  It was everyone's favorite...except for maybe the grandpas.  Also, how much do my dad and his brother Charlie look alike??  They didn't used to, but now that they both have white hair they're pretty much twins :)

I promise I didn't purposely plan for Chris and I to have coordinating swimsuits.  Or did I?! Mwuahaha.

The cutest cousins that there ever were.  

And then it was time for the kids fishing tournament. Thanks to my cousin Gavin and his sweet wife Christy for bringing this tradition back!

Maren wasn't too pleased with her first stick bass...

You might be thinking that these pictures show a happy family having a great time. What you can't see is that behind those smiles is a family that's still hurting badly.  I've heard that every "first" is hard, but nothing could've prepared me for just how hard it would be to spend one of my brother's favorite weekends without him.  I just could not wrap my head around the idea that he wouldn't be there. On the drive there I even let myself pretend that he was meeting us there with his family, ready to fish, boat, and have a good time. It's just hard not to let my mind go there sometimes.  So I guess you could say the weekend started off pretty rough.  But then...pennies started showing up in the most random places, just when we were talking about Josh or at a moment where we were really missing him.  And then the most amazing thing happened at the fishing tournament.  Kids were catching little bluegills left and right--with the biggest being about 8 inches.  That was until Luke's pole bent into the water and he and Papa reeled in an 18 inch bass.  We all knew immediately that that record catch was no accident...Luke's dad most definitely had a hand in it.

I left the lake this year with peace that I didn't have when I got there.  Peace knowing that Josh was there after all.  I'd say this picture proves it...

In the words of my sister-in-law: "#heavenisforreal"
Truly a weekend that none of us will ever forget.

July 1, 2015

Red, White & Cute.

Last week I professed my love for little ones clad in red, white and blue...and today I'm ready to prove it.  Happy 1st day of July from these little firecrackers!

dress: H&M | suspender shorts: Babies R Us
 I must've been a sight when Chris got home from work yesterday...jumping up and down, making frog noises (Nash's fave), and sweating like a large man. All in the name of a cute 4th of July picture, y'all ;)

Totally worth it if you ask me...

LizSaraErinKristyNatalie and myself would love for you to link up with us and share your pics on Instagram too (#starspangledkids)!  The linkup will be live all the way through the weekend so you can share pictures from the actual 4th of July holiday if you want. 

I can't wait to hop around and see all the festive cuteness! Thanks for joining us!!!