Sunday, September 30, 2012

Harper B turns THREE!

Our little Harper Blythe (affectionately known as Harper B) recently celebrated her third birthday.  It is hard to believe that three years have passed since she was born.  She is such a blessing to our lives, and we are so thankful for her.  She adds a lot of joy and laughter to our home.  We wanted to spend the day making her feel special, you know, since it is a celebration of her life.  We've been talking about the subject of traditions lately and have been wanting to implement some for our own family.  We  thought Harper's birthday would be a great way to implement some birthday traditions around here.  Last year, we began the tradition of covering her bedroom floor with balloons while she slept.  This is a fun way for her to wake up.  We enjoyed this last year, therefore, we will continue this tradition until our children outgrow it.  We have also heard of other families bringing the birthday person breakfast in bed.  We like this idea, but we thought Harper was a little too young for that this year, but we may start with Matt in March. :)  We decided to theme the day around princesses, her favorite these days.  It is funny how girls are naturally drawn to princesses.  She has only seen a couple of princess movies but is totally obsessed with them.  She is even drawn to princesses that she's never seen in a movie.  Anyway, I digress.  We had brunch with princess pancakes and lots of other yummy goodness.  For dinner we had princess pizza and for the cake we had a box of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownies.  I dressed up the brownies Rocky Road style and of course we had ice cream too.  Harper loves anything chocolate and anything with ice cream.  A girl after my own heart!  We want to allow the birthday person to pick the menu for the day and pick their favorite treat for the celebration each year.  This is a way to make that person feel special.  Another tradition is going around the table and each person telling why they are thankful for the birthday person and what they love about that person.  We did this with Harper and it was such a great reminder of the blessing that she is to our family and the joy that she adds.

Things we love about Harper and are thankful for:

*Her laugh (my absolute favorite)
*Her imagination
*She travels well
*She adapts well to different places
*She tries to speak the national language and make friends
*She has adjusted so well to having a brother
*She is a great helper
*She is fun to be around
*She is flexible
*She knows that home is with Mom and Dad

And so much more....these are just what I thought of off the top of my head.  Somedays I mourn some of the things that she will "miss out on" (whatever that means) in America, but then I am reminded of what a rich experience she is getting.  She will grow up in a different culture and will see the world with a different perspective.  She will be learning two languages, and most importantly, she will see our Father doing amazing things all around her, and prayerfully, through her.  Right now, as I am sitting here typing this, I hear her playing with her princess dolls speaking mostly in a made up language with a few words from the national language thrown in there.  This is our life friends and I love it! ;)

So what are some of your birthday traditions?  I love the tradition of a birthday week.  The week leading up to a birthday you do something small for the birthday person.  You can write a special note, buy flowers, make up a song, watch a movie, cook something special, go to a coffee shop, make coupons from the family to redeem, etc.  You can get so creative with this.  Matt and Harper did this for my birthday this year.  It was really fun.  What are some other traditions that your family does on holidays that travel well?

Sneaking into Harper's room and filling it with balloons

Harper swimming in her balloons (that is what she called it!)

Princess Pancake Brunch

Blowing out the candles
A visit from a special friend
Tony Boombozz (our favorite pizza place in Louisville, KY) ain't got nothing on this pizza
The crowning of the princess

Rocky Road Brownies 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Life with KIDS

Wow, it is incredible how fast time goes these days.  I feel like Elias was born yesterday, but it has already been 5 weeks.  Sorry for the silence and delay in updating everyone on our lives.  If you really think about it, I just gave birth in a foreign country and in a city that is new to me.  We are still in survival mode.  Things have been just a little busy. ;)  We have been trying to function and figure out life as best as we can with lack of sleep and being away from our home.  Our days have been random, full, fun, overwhelming, exhausting, and such a blessing all at the same time.  Although, I have had my fair share of chocolate and pumpkin spice lattes since having a baby.  I very well DO NOT have it all figured out or have everything together.  We are working on figuring out a routine that works well for our family and that can travel with us.  So thankful for maternity leave to give us time to work on this, and well, God's Grace!  And now, it's time for some pictures.

 Elias at 1 week

 Daddy with the kids

 Elias and Harper's baby hanging out

 The famous football hold (this is how we held Harper for about the first 3 mos. of her life)

 Big Sister and Baby Brother

Elias at ONE MONTH (although, he looks like a 3 mo. old)

Although things are busy, we are loving every bit of it.  These kids are a joy and are for sure keeping us on our knees.  This is sanctification in the flesh!  We of course have our good days and our bad days, things are tough, but we wouldn't trade it for anything.  Our loving Father knows exactly what we need.  May we draw nearer to Him.  

We only have a few days left in our country's capitol before moving again to another city, but still not our home.  Continue to remember us as we travel and stay in transition for a while.  I have plans to get in at least one more pumpkin spice latte before we leave. :)  Also, in an effort to figure out life with two, to make an easier transition, and for language and culture adaption, I am signing off Facebook for a while (Sadly, I spend way too much idle time lurking on there).  Please continue to check our blog, subscribe to it, email and or Skype me!  

We love you and miss you and would love to hear from you.  Leave a comment.

McCartney party of 4 ;)