Tuesday, November 18, 2014

24th Birthday

My Birthday came at a great time right after a seriously crazy and stressful month of tests for Brad. The day started with the fire alarm going off at 5:30am and me jumping out of bed in a panic because I smelled something burning. Brad was in the living room getting ready to leave for school and ran in  to tell me it was ok. He was turning on the heater for the first time because he was worried about Jaxon and I getting cold. Apparently it is normal for dust to get burned up and smoke the first time you use the heater. It's been working fine ever since, but gave me a little bit of a scare.
The night before we made cake and Jaxon loved helping with the frosting ;)
Since we were all awake at this point Brad decided to stay a little longer and hang out instead of going in early to study. It was the first time we've ever been cold in our apartment so we cuddled with blankets on the couch, drank hot chocolate, and watched Sportscenter. I usually never see Brad in the morning so getting to spend time with him before he left was a perfect start to the day.
Jaxon went down for an early nap and when he woke up we decided to adventure out to the dollar store and SAMs club. We shared some pizza after we finished shopping (I love SAMS club pizza ;). Brad surprised me during the day with 24 things he loves about me and again by coming home a little early to hang out with us before we put Jaxon to bed.
After Jaxon was asleep our good friend came over to sit while we went out. We went to La Cantera, a fun shopping center, and walked around for a bit and then ate dinner at Kona Grill. It was the first time Brad and I have been out alone on a date since we moved here and was seriously so nice to just hold hands and walk around together. Plus I didn't feel guilty at all because Jax was asleep in his crib at home without knowing the difference.
We bought the pants at H+M while we were out and sent
Brad this picture the next day.. too cute!
This weekend we were able to have Scott and Teresa come and visit agin for Jake's baptism. They flew in Friday night and we went out to Red Lobster for dinner. After dinner, we went and walked around the Dental School so Brad could show is parents where he spends all his time.

Saturday we drove out to Luling for BBQ for the second week in a row! It was amazing as always and then we went bak to the Burns to hang out and played Master Chef for dinner. There were three teams and we each had to create a meal with the smae crazy ingredients. Kind of like Chopped (I've never seen Master Chef). We didnt know what to think when they were telling us about it, but it was seriously so fun and everything tasted pretty good. We look forward to the next time we will play.
In Seguin they always have baptisms after church on Sunday so we drove out after our ward and made it to the meal and baptism for Jake. It was a fun day with Family and we are very excited for Jake as the newest member of the church in our family. I made a CTR cake for him that we ate later at the Burns house after they sang happy Birthday to the November birthday kids! Jaxon will turn 1 this saturday!

Michelle Trip

My Aunt Michelle (pretty much older sister) came to visit us over Veterans day weekend. We had the best time showing her around and just hanging out and talking late. Her favorite was the introduction to Texas Bluebell ice cream and of course little Jax man. He warmed up to her right away and they were buddies the whole trip. We have definitely both been missing her this week.
Throw back with aunt Michelle on my first Birthday
While she was here we fit a lot in. Saturday we picked her up in Austin and drove to the little town of Luling for some real Texas BBQ. It did not disappoint! As we drove into San Antonio we stopped and walked around a revitalized downtown area of the city called The Pearl. That night Michelle and I made a late night run to the HEB for frozen pizza and bluebell ice cream to enjoy the rest of the weekend. They have some new seasonal flavors that are amazing!;) Sunday was the primary program and we enjoyed homemade Cafe Rio salads for dinner and walking to a park nearby our house.

Monday morning Brad had school and Michelle and I went to the Zoo in the morning with Jaxon. He loved it at first but was tired after a while of being strapped in his stroller for too long. After that Michelle took me out for my official birthday lunch (as if coming to visit wasn't enough) to a fancy pizza place called Dough. It was highly reviewed and has even been featured on the Food Network. The Pizza and house made mozzarella was amazing! That night we picked up Brad and did the whole downtown tour of the Riverwalk and the Alamo. It was probably the last night of good weather so it was fun to be out walking around. We finished eating dinner at a Tex Mex restaurant on the river with a great view. Tuesday we stopped halfway and did some shopping at the outlets in San Marcos and of course a stop at Buccee's. It was so much fun having her here and I may or may  not have cried as I dropped her off. It was so much fun having someone from my family visit and I cant wait to go back at Christmas and see everyone!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Our Little Man

My baby boy is going to be a one year old in less than a month. This morning he got tired playing and crawled up into my lap and fell asleep all cuddled with me on the couch. It was so sweet! I held and stared at this boy with an overwhelming heart full of love and started to cry. He is the child we've dreamed and prayed for. He has brought a joy and love into our home unlike any other. I've had lots of thoughts and memories running through my head the last few weeks and I wanted to write a few down to remember.
After going through a miscarriage before Jaxon I was nervous to be happy about his pregnancy. We had been so heartbroken that I didn't think a short three months later I could really be pregnant again. I had a feeling I was but didn't want to get my hopes up so Brad and I both agreed not to test or find out until I was more sure. When I was what would have been 8 weeks along we finally decided to go together to the student center and get a blood test just to be extra sure (I didn't want to trust the home tests). The nurse told us together in her office that I was pregnant. Brad and I were happy and nervous all at once, but both felt this time was different. I didn't love morning sickness, but anytime I would feel lousy or throw up I would say a little thank you prayer in my heart that my baby was growing and healthy.

When I was pregnant I would constantly be pushing Jaxon's feet out of my ribs or side. Jaxon loved the sound of his dads voice and would always start to kick when Brad got home and talked to me. Some of my favorite memories were when I would be woken up late at night from Brad talking to my stomach and getting baby "Rocket" (nickname through pregnancy) to kick and wake me up.
Jaxon was a very aware baby. Right after he was born he hardly even cried and he just stared at Brad and I as we talked to him. He has always been this way and notices a lot of what is going on around him. Each day he is figuring new things out. Right now it is throwing anything he can find into the trash can, and moving things from shelf to shelf in the pantry. He also goes and grabs his shoes and brings them to me to put on his feet each day. He has a lot of determination (like his dad) and won't stop until he can figure something out. As a baby Jaxon hated his back and loved tummy time. He has always been moving. As a newborn he would rock in my lap and not sit still. I can remember looking at Brad and being like.."um...I don't think this is normal." His motor development has come easy and we always joke that we hope this means he will be paying for his parents retirement in the NFL.
Another funny thing about Jaxon is his obsession with food and eating. He loves to eat! I fed him around the clock every two hours for 3 months straight. Until he was 6 months old he would cry every time he was done nursing. When we finally started feeding him solids he would make angry grunting noises in between each bite because it just wasn't fast enough. When I was in Virginia I got sick one day and so Derek and Becca fed Jaxon breakfast while I was sleeping. They were like .."Is he done..should we keep feeding him?" Brad and I laughed when we heard the story becuase that is seriously the question we have asked ourselves since he's been born.
This sweatsuit was the only outfit Brad picked out and
insisted on buying before he was born. :)
AH the sleep...Jaxon has never been a good sleeper. Granted he is not the worst out there, but he is far from the best. He loves to be cuddled and held and to this day will take a better nap if I hold him or let him lay by me on the couch. I'm sure new parents can all relate, but Brad and I were like walking Zombies those first few months...it really is amazing how little sleep a human being can function on. It still shocks me when I see new babies sleeping away in a swing or just by themselves in a crib because Jaxon was just never that way. At the same time I love rocking my baby boy to sleep. Sometimes those quiet hours in the early morning were some of the most special. Here are some funny old screen shots I saved on my phone from the first few months of parenthood.
My friend Joss sent this to me while she was in class with Brad.

This was from Brad... He would take random pictures of me sleeping and
 send them to me when he was gone at work or studying.
For a while there I couldn't even get through a show without falling asleep. 
Jaxon is such a loving little guy. He gives tight hugs and open mouth kisses. He knows the sound of the key unlocking the door and gets a big smile and runs over because he knows his daddy is home. I love going to get him from naps or out of his crib in the morning, because he is just so happy he squeals with joy when I open the door. I love how much he loves me and his dad. Being parents has been hard but in a great way. There are so many nights that Brad and I go to bed talking about how funny Jaxon is and how much of a blessing he is to our lives. We should always try to be the best version of ourselves, but Brad and I have both commented on how we feel a responsibility even more now to be the parents we want our kids to remember. We want to lead by example and have a Christ centered home full of love. Jaxon has helped us both to be better partners in our marriage and friends to those around us. He has made our family and home a better place.

There are a million things that are surprising about being a parent, but to me the most surprising is the overwhelming amount of love I feel for Jaxon each day. He can be doing the silliest or simplest thing and my heart just overflows with love and happiness that Heavenly Father sent him to our family and has given me the opportunity to be his mother. I can remember tearing my ACL for the second time in a match at UVU. I was sitting in the training room crying my eyes out because after all my rehab and hard work, I was injured again and there was nothing I could do to get better and play again by the end of the season. One of my old teammates was at the match with her new baby. As everyone came to see how I was doing, Ill never forget the conversation we had. She gave me a hug and told me she was sorry, but she went on to say how life is more important than playing volleyball. She smiled and said.."Nicole, being a mom is way better than any of this anyway." I was still sad, but it seriously changed my perspective. My trials are so small compared to the blessings I have. I have a husband and little boy that mean the world to me. Nothing compares to the joy and knowledge I have that we are an eternal family, that Jaxon is a healthy and happy boy, and that I get to spend each day with him, watching him learn and grow. This year has changed our lives forever and we wouldn't have it any other way.