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Happy Birthday to My Guitar Playing Real Estate Man!

09/16/2015

Dear Husband,

I don’t write a tribute to you every birthday but this year has been an incredible test of your character through many big changes, and I want to thank you for your steadfastness through it all. On your last birthday I was pregnant and entering into a season of tiredness that I haven’t fully come out of yet…which translates to a season of you picking up my slack. Sorry about that and thank you. I could count this past year of your life with the number of concerts you’ve played, miles you’ve trekked, TV shows you’ve been on, guitars you’ve acquired, things you’ve built around the house, times you’ve mowed the lawn, plants you’ve planted, hours you’ve worked. But none of that is as important as the number of hugs and kisses for your family, the baby kicks, the soccer games, the contractions you held my hand through, the lost sleep, the happy tears, the diapers, the pounds of coffee, the bedtime stories, the date nights, the stacks of Nutter Butters and cups of milk for dunking, the dishes you’ve washed. So many dishes. I know that the latter list matters more to you than first because you proved it over and over again this year. Your faithfulness and determination to provide well for your family led you to a new gig with a busier tour schedule. During your time away you worked hard taking classes and tests to get your real estate license while your bandmates enjoyed the perks of rock stardom. When the gig started taking it’s toll, you made the decision to come home. A lot of people wondered why you left when it seemed like you were at the top—and you had indeed reached one of your biggest life goals—I know why. I will never forget the sacrifice you made for your family. It was a challenging year but now you are here: you have two beautiful kids and an adoring wife, you’re back to your less strenuous touring gig and you’re killing it in your first quarter as a realtor. I am so proud of you; for your hard work and diligence, your drive to reach goals and passion to provide well for us, your wisdom and daily presence in parenting (even on the days when you’re away), your integrity and devotion. You lead our family well and it’s a pleasure to submit to your thoughtful guidance. Thank you for choosing to love us and serve us everyday. We think the world of you. Happy birthday, Jason!

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Alianna at 4 years old

08/18/2015

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Our Alianna is four years old and looking more grown up everyday. (She picked that “Mommy’s ‘lil Girl” shirt to wear on her birthday, as well as the rest of her outfit.) She’s smart, passionate, creative and sassy. She’s brave, athletic and out-going. She’s full of faith and quick to pray for healing for anyone with a hurt. She adores her baby brother and is eager to show him off to new people while we’re out. She has an excellent memory for music, names, places and promises. If she had her way she’s eat ice cream and candy for every meal. She loves her friends, soccer, beading, crafts, books and swimming. Swimming! She’s swimming like a little fish this summer: underwater, retrieving toys off the bottom of the deep end of the pool, floating on her back and diving/flipping in head-first off the side. We’re unofficially doing preschool homeschool this year, which basically just means a little more intentionality with reading, writing/drawing, following instructions, attitude/respect, exploring and learning about the world. Ali is an amazing, thoughtful loving girl. She also keeps us on our toes and continually puts our parenting skills (human skills? grace, patience, wisdom, consistency, etc.) to the test.

Happy birthday, sweet girl! We are so glad you were born and that you’re ours!

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When I asked to take her picture for her birthday she insisted that I take some of her with her baby brother.

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The big gift she really wanted was a rolling suitcase of her own. She can’t wait to go on a trip with Daddy!

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A mermaid-themed pool party for our little fish!

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Related Posts:

Alianna at 3.5 Years Old

Alianna Mae at Three Years Old

Alianna at 2.5 Years Old

Alianna Mae at Two Years Old

Alianna at 18 Months

Precious: Monthly Portrait 12

Precious: Monthly Portrait 6

 


“Happy Birthday, Da-Dee”

09/16/2013

We’ve celebrated a lot of birthdays this past week so Ali has been randomly singing the happy birthday song. My favorite is when she sings “Happy Birthday, Daddy. Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to Daddy, Happy Birthday Daddy.” Today is Jason’s birthday. He’s in Nova Scotia and we’re in Nashville so we’ll have to hold off celebrating together for a few more days.

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We love you SO MUCH! You are an awesome daddy to Ali and a wonderful husband and best friend to me. We are blessed to have you. I hope you have a great day. We can’t wait to smother you with hugs and kisses when you get home!

Update: If you want to give Jason a virtual birthday present, you can pledge a preorder for his upcoming Christmas Classics acoustic guitar album! 😉


Ali’s 2nd Birthday Party

07/23/2013

Every time we ask Ali what her favorite color is she says, “yeyow.” Since it’s consistently been a favorite, I decided to make her second birthday party yellow themed: yellow balloons, yellow frosting on funfetti cupcakes in yellow wrappers, yellow streamers, yellow cups, yellow napkins, yellow foods (pineapple, chips, bananas, pretzels, lemon cookies, lemonade…another some other colors of food, like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, salsa, veggies and dip.) I dressed her, Buzz and myself in yellow but never mentioned to anyone else to wear yellow. I was pleased to see how many people decided to come dressed in yellow. Her party was very sweet and special. She got pretty overwhelmed by gift opening time. Overwhelmed for Ali means quiet. After the second gift was opened she dropped it on the floor and went over to sit on Grandma’s lap for a minute. When she finished opening the second to last gift (the book Everyone Poops) from Grandma, she wanted to sit on the couch and look at it; disregarding the room full of friends waiting to find out what the last package contained. I ended up opening it and was then swarmed with kids anxious to open it up and play with it—the Little People Happy Sounds house. The night before her birthday, we met Buzz’s mom at Chik-Fil-A for a visit. She brought Ali a very thoughtful gift: a gray and yellow outfit, the yellow headband she wore to her party, a Curious George DVD and a new baby doll which she has insisted on sleeping with every night since then. Her crib is getting quite crowded!

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Just in the past couple of weeks she’s been obsessed with animal crackers. I saw this idea on the side of the box.

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Jason went along with all of my ideas and planning for the party and graciously did whatever I asked him to do…take out the trash, blow up 15 balloons, make spearmint sugar paste for the pineapple, etc.

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He’s also really good at tossing Ali into the air.

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She’s a Daddy’s girl for sure.

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Ali showed Grandma the new baby from Buzz’s mom.

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Aunt Ginger and cousin Eliza.

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Uncle Dan, Nana (Jason and Dan’s mom) and the birthday girl

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I tried to get pictures of everyone there but I missed 4 of the kids. 😦 Sorry Jaron, Eli, Everly and Ezekiel. I’m blaming it mostly on the little boys being too busy. Did you notice all of the little girls sitting calmly at the table?

Ali starting to get tired and overwhelmed:

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Some of her birthday loot. Jason and I got her the owl puppet (IKEA), two dresses from H&M and the baby doll clothes. She got a bunch of bubble toys. After naps, we went swimming at Grandma and Grandpa’s and had pizza. Once we got home we broke out the new bubble wands, bubble mower, bubble gun, and banana scented bubbles. I think Ali and Buzz could have played with the bubbles for hours!

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All of her old favorites plus the newish Ms. Broccoli and new baby doll from Buzz’s mom, Elmo from Grandpa, and yellow bird from Jaron. I think we need to get her a big girl bed just to fit all of her lovies.

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After her nap she had two more gifts to open from my siblings’ families.  A frog bracelet and butterfly shirt from Uncle Jeff, Aunt Jess and Iris’ latest trip to Costa Rica.

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And a new Jellycat cordy roy Alligator for our Ali-gator from Uncle Aaron, Aunt Laura and Eli.

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It was really a perfectly wonderful second birthday for our perfectly wonderful little girl. We love you so much, Ali, and were thrilled to celebrate you!


Eliza is 2!

03/12/2013

My niece Eliza turned two a couple weeks ago and I haven’t yet shared the photos from her party. I was looking forward to doing a lot of testing with my new camera with all the cute little subjects but neglected to make sure my battery was charged. Oops.

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Ali and Eliza are good buddies. They talk about each other ALLTHETIME. Eliza is always asking for “Please See Ali” and Ali is always asking for “Ey-za.” These two cousins who are 5 months apart could not be more different in appearance and personality. They balance each other out wonderfully and I hope their friendship gets deeper and deeper as they grow up.

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Happy 2nd Birthday, Eliza! You make me smile. 🙂

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The party is over. Everybody get out of my room so I can chill out!

 


Happy 1st Birthday, Iris!

10/09/2012

Today is my niece Iris’ first birthday. I’m bummed that we were not able to celebrate with our Pennsylvania family. Sounds like the party on Sunday was fun and the pictures and videos through text message will have to suffice for this aunt. I’m thinking I should whip up some cupcakes in her honor!

Happy Birthday, Iris! You got through your first year of babyhood; now onto toddlerhood! Aunt Martina loves you and can’t wait to see you at Thanksgiving!!

(Picture above is my brother Aaron with his son Eli and my sister Jessica with Iris…snagged from a text message. I don’t even know who to credit for this photo!)


Happy 30 to My Best Buddy

09/17/2012

Jason hit a big birthday milestone yesterday – THIRTY! (Sorry, honey, did you want me to keep that quiet?) I can’t help it; I love to celebrate him! I’m so thankful to have Jason in my life. He is truly my best friend and we have a ton of fun together. He’s always there to support me through hard times, hold my hand when I’m scared, or give me a pep talk (or kick in the pants) when I’m slacking. He loves and values his girls. Jason’s creativity, wisdom, passion, hard work and sensitivity to people inspire me everyday. Rather than just blab and blab about how awesome my husband is, I found 30 pictures from the past year to reflect on some great memories…mostly centered around Ali since she joined our family just after his birthday last year.

We celebrated Jason’s birthday last year at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams with some friends and family.

One of the first pictures I have of Jason with his little baby girl:

Remember those days when she would sleep ANYWHERE? That was convenient. I think we were enjoying our Saturday morning coffee and bagels at Ugly Mugs here.

In October, we started negotiating to buy this piece of property.

At the beginning of November we got to meet our little buddy Jaron, home from the hospital. We were like totally baby experts by then. (Ha!)

We went up to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving.

In December, we closed on the property we’re now building our new house on. This picture was taken a couple days later on, just after we’d returned from the juvenile courthouse accepting a parental rights surrender from Ali’s bio mom. It was a bittersweet time.

Ali giving her Daddy a big wet kiss on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day, helping my dad carve the turkey.

Not the best quality picture, but I love the look of love and pride on Jason’s face, watching Ali learn to sit up on her own. This was taken on New Years Eve.

Lazy morning cuddles.

In January, Ali and flew down to Florida to meet up with Jason on tour. It was a mini-vacation for Ali and I.

Jason introducing Ali to the Gulf of Mexico.

Then in February, we moved out of the house we absolutely loved…but was going to be too small for our vision for our family.

Back at Jeni’s. This picture reminds me of how much Ali’s birth mom expressed that she was hoping Ali would be a daddy’s girl and get whatever she wants from Jason. I think her wish for her daughter came true…

The unplanned everyday outings are often the best. I took this picture because I was loving my life so much at that moment, having a delicious lunch outdoors on a Sunday afternoon with my best friend, and I wanted to capture it to save forever.

Jason, the self-proclaimed NOT a car guy, fell in love with this 1988 Mercedes Benz. How could I say no?

Easter squeezes and navy blue stripes.

My arms and back are so thankful that Ali has a strong daddy. My heart is glad, too.

In April we visited our friends in Cincinnati. This was taken at the aquarium.

At church on Jason’s first Father’s Day.

We celebrated with Wendy’s frosties afterwards.

At the end of June, we dedicated Ali to the Lord at our church. We committed to raise her to know the same faith that we have come to know and cherish.

(Look a picture without Ali!) While we were on vacation in the Outer Banks, Jason was just sitting here in the hallway playing his guitar looking as handsome as ever and I had to snap a picture quickly, before he saw me.

While on vacation, our little baby turned 1! Do you think she knows she’s precious?

I’ve always thought of myself as Jason’s biggest fan but Ali has been putting me to shame. She LOVES to watch him play guitar, always wants to touch the strings and claps after every song he plays. He’s giving her a lesson here:

Earlier this month we took a road trip and stopped at our family favorite, Cracker Barrel for dinner.

At our friend’s house in Cincinnati.

And slightly out of order, this photo is from August 7, Ali’s adoption finalization day. What a happy day for our family!

We love you so much, Jason! More than all the Jeni’s ice cream in the world! You’re still a young man. The best is yet to come!