A December to Remember!

The month of December flew by and it was a month full of photo opportunities!  Glancing through the pictures from December you’ll find Lauren decorating trees, opening presents, dressing up and dressing down.  You’ll see LP cheering, playing, singing, swinging, jumping, and drumming.  She’s with friends and family, inside and outside, right side up and upside down (well, I might not have captured a picture of her upside down but I guarantee she was at some point during the month).  Another fun month with another fun girl!  With all the pictures being taken, I almost neglected to pause for our monthly photo shoot but managed it get it in with just a few days to spare.  To see those photos, click here.    

And what month would be complete without a brief insight into that funny brain of hers.  Directly from her mouth:

After seeing a huge flick of birds flying overhead, LP started singing over and over “They’re going to an official bird meeting”

Passing a billboard for a local casino, Lauren commented, “I know ALL about casinos.”  Intrigued Ryan asked if she’d like to go in which LP responded, “No Dad.  I’m not going to spend all of my money…or yours.” Guess she does know a thing or two.

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Christmas Perfection

Shrieks of laughter, gasps of surprise, eyes glimmering with delight, the warm glow from the fireplace, the sound of paper tearing, and being filled with a love more profound than words can express all add to the wonderment of just how magical Christmas morning is with a five year old.  After a Christmas Eve filled with a few surprise gifts, decorating cookies, tracking Santa, preparing for his arrival, and snuggling into bed, we greeted the morning with another fun filled day!  Opening presents, dumping out stockings, eating a gooey breakfast, playing with toys, watching movies, eating some more and just spending time together made this holiday perfect. 

“Perfect”, a word I use so frequently when talking to Lauren or describing an event.  We’ve been blessed with a wonderful year full of special memories.  We’ve shared so many moments laughing wholeheartedly, completely carefree, just as we did today.  As I cleaned up the wrapping paper that was strewed everywhere, my thoughts quickly went to Hailey; how in the past she would have been in the middle of all of that paper, sniffing relentlessly until she found her presents.  I found myself missing her a lot.  She was part of our family and her absence is felt.  In that moment I was reminded that life isn’t perfect.  Things don’t always work out.  There are going to be days that we get a glimpse of perfection, just like today, and there will be times of sorrow and disappointment or frustration and sadness.  A perfect life isn’t about living it without flaws or ideally.  As a mother, I want Lauren to understand that we are blessed because we have each other.  We’ve been granted the opportunity to love and laugh and even cry.  It’s ok to mess up.  It’s ok to have days that don’t seem quite right – to be sad when others are happy or even happy when others are sad.  Imperfections make life interesting and unique and that’s far more important than being perfect.  Interesting and unique – there are no two better words to describe Hailey, and she was indeed far from perfect.  With that I’m smiling because that’s how I’d like to be remembered, too!.  Today was an amazing day, filled with laughter and crying.  It was perfect because of the imperfections!

To see some pictures from Christmas Eve, click here.  For photos from Christmas Day, click here.

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One Amazing Moment and a Lifetime of Love ****ADD PHOTO****

15 years ago today I exchanged tearful vows with the love of my life. I was undeniably certain that I would never feel as much love for the man standing in front of me as I did at that moment. Boy was I wrong! As a husband, Ryan has provided more strength, devotion, encouragement, and unconditional love than any one person has the right to receive. As a father, he is an inspiration and I am often jolted by another form of love as I watch in awe of Ryan and Lauren together. 15 blessed years down and a life time to go. I can’t wait!
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Third Time’s the Charm! ***ADD VIDEO***

Today marked Lauren’s third Christmas program at her preschool.  The first year, tears actually streamed down my cheeks.  Last year, my eyes became watery but I was able to blink it away.  This year I made it through without the slightest hint of a tear.  So proud of her and a little bit of me, too!  Check out some pictures (excuse the crazy lighting making everyone appear green), click here. To see the full video, click here.


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