Thursday, December 20, 2012

Digital Christmas Card

Hello friends,

In leiu of being organized enough to actually send this out via the postal service, I'm using my blog to update everyone about the blessings we have experienced this year. 2012 has certainly been a year to remember.

We had a rough start to the year as Joanna went on an all formula diet; it was a blessing in disguise. I was frantically trying to be a perfect mother and provide for her every need, but it was damaging to her health and my own. As soon as I allowed my pride to subside, we both lived much more happily. The remaining Winter months were mild and blurry. Infants tend to suck the brains of their parents.

In February, March, and May, we had 3 major blessings added to our families! Joanna gained three cousins: Nathan, Micah, and Daphne. All were born healthy and happy. Nathan and Micah are in Lynchburg so Joanna was able to see them when we lived there. Daphne is in Pennsylvania and we try to see her as often as possible. We attended three weddings this year: Rob and Megan, Derek and Michelle, and Connie and Sam. Unfortunately, we also attended two funerals: our friend Steve and my former co-worker Mike.

Jonathan coached an Indoor Winter Drumline for Liberty University. I helped with a vocal portion of their performance while Joanna acted as the unofficial mascot. It was the first year for the school to have their own indoor line and they placed 2nd - with only a tenth of a point separating them from the #1 spot. It was a huge accomplishment and we are so proud of them!

As winter melted into Spring, we learned we were pregnant with our second child. We were shocked and excited at the news. On June 29th, our unborn baby was taken directly into Heaven. As my grandma-in-law put it, his body wasn't healthy enough to thrive on Earth so God took him straight into His arms to blossom. We miss him terribly but we have hope that we'll meet him one day. You can read the full story here: Powerless. A week after losing our baby, we moved out of our downtown home into a quiet neighborhood. It was a nice change for our grieving family and newly-crawling almost-toddler.

In September, I ran the Color Run 5k in Washington D.C. and I can't wait to do it again! I was also able to get lasik eye surgery to repair my amazingly horrible eyesight. The surgery was a success and I am now lens-free! I have no regrets about the procedure and it was worth every penny.

In October we celebrated a year with our sweet baby girl. Our friends and family came from near and far to show their love of our Joanna Rose. It was such a special day! The following week, Jonathan interviewed for a job in Washington D.C. 2 hours later he received a job offer. We had 10 days to move our Lynchburg life into a storage unit in Warrenton and my parent's home in Manassas. And we did.

November came and went as we adapted to our new commuter lifestyle. We downsized to one car and I drive Jonathan to the train every morning so he can ride into work without dealing with traffic. Joanna and I spend each day with grandma and she couldn't be happier. Her stumbling steps have now evolved into wobbly running and leaping. Our cat quickly learned her place in the hierarchy of Grandma's house. When Joanna is asleep, Adelaide is the new grandbaby. When Joanna is awake, hide.

Here we are at December and we can't help but be thankful for everything. Even though parts of our year have sucked, God was always there. There are 3 more great people in our family and there are 3 more great people in Heaven.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year that doesn't suck.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holy 1980s Batman

I don't know what it is about putting my baby in my own baby clothing, but it is so much fun.

The latest installment of "Look what Joanna is wearing now!" features my very first ballet recital costume. I was 2 1/2 when I wore it.

And now some oldies but goodies:

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 14, 2012

I was really annoyed when the lady at Auntie Anne's pretzel didn't get my order right. I was stewing in my own frustrations the entire ride home while Joanna snoozed peacefully in her car seat. I gently removed her from her car seat, changed her diaper, and quietly laid her in her crib before grabbing my computer to check Facebook. Then I learned about the shooting at an Elementary School. 

I have a choice when it comes to my reaction to anger. I can choose to channel my anger into destruction or I can channel it into creation. 

Rather than get pissed off about gun control or public school safety or even locks on classroom doors, I'm choosing to be thankful for my family and thankful for those that serve our community through teaching and law enforcement.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

13 Months

Joanna is walking full speed and showing signs of climbing - hence the lack of posts.

She's also going through a growth spurt. I don't understand how a giant baby could need another growth spurt. It's insane. I think she was exposed to some kind of radioactive ooze that is turning her into a giant mutant baby, but maybe she's just German? She still sleeps 12 hours a night. She even slept 14 hours for a few days right before her growth spurt. Her feet also grew half a size to a 4.5.

Joanna's favorite foods are grapes, clementines, spaghetti, tortillas, beans, peas, cut up hot dogs, and squeezy packs of food that she can use to feed herself. She no longer adores apples and pears. Bananas are still a strong staple in her diet.

This is a typical daily intake for Joanna:

6oz of whole milk
whole banana

whatever Mommy is eating

full container of greek yogurt
cup of beans or peas (or both)
A squeeze pack and/or jar of baby food
cup of whole milk or water

whatever Grandma is eating

a kid plate full of spaghetti
slice of bread

6oz of whole milk

Now that Joanna is eating us out of house and home, we are even more thankful for cloth diapers! We calculated that we saved almost $900 in one year. I didn't stutter: Nine hundred dollars. Isn't that amazing? Most of Joanna's diapers are gender neutral so we're going to re-use all/many of the diapers on our next kid. That means we will likely save over $1,000 with cloth next time - awesome! Here is the running tally that you love so much:

Personal investment: $363
Savings: $1247
Return on investment: $884