Friday, August 29, 2014


August is always a month of milestones for our family.
This year Max turned 4.5 years, Sully turned 3, Fletch turned 9 months + Billy and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary.   

{August 6th} Sullivan Michael | 3 years 
Sullivan, you are so sweet and so mischievous.  
You've also developed quite the "attitude". Not sure what I'm going to do about that.  Especially since your angry face is still completely adorable. 
Last year I was worried about your speech, but you're speaking in clear and full sentences now.  Even if they're not grammatically correct.  The other day you said (yelled) "ME sit in MINE chair!"  The cuteness of that sentence.  I didn't even correct you.  I know you'll figure it out someday and I'll miss the "toddler talk".

 {August 12th} Fletcher William | 9 months
Fletch, you usually get your own post for monthly milestones, but this month we have a lot to celebrate so this little snipet will have to do. This month you became a pro bear-crawler.  You're so fast on all fours.  You can also stand independently, but can't seem to get your legs to work yet :)  Fine with me...walking can wait!  You also say "momma"!  Your Daddy tries to get you to say "Dada", but you just give him your dimply smile, then look at me and say "Momma" in the sweetest voice. It melts my heart into a puddle on the floor.  Your favorite things to do these days are putting anything/everything in your mouth and you especially love to play in the toilet bowl water when *some people* leave the lid up.  

{August 13th} Max McAlister | 4.5 years

Your half-birthday!  The tradition continues.  I love to see our family grow in these photos...

{August 20th} Wedding Anniversary | 9 years
We continued our tradition of spending a portion of our anniversary with the boys.  Max said "I love when it's anniversary day.  I'm really glad you got married."  It made me smile because on some small, 4-year-old level he's already seeing the value of marriage and how important it is to me and Billy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nine Ordinary Years.

Dear Billy, 

It's been nine years since the day we made our vows.  No longer newlyweds, it seems easier and easier to get sucked into the schedules and demands of everyday life.   Some days we're merely in survival mode.   You do your part, I do mine.  There are times that we're too "needed" to talk about our own needs. It’s the sort of thing that could quietly hollow our hearts until they echo empty if we let it.

Despite all of this. The realities of life. The responsibilities of children and work and every other commitment we've signed up for… my heart will never hollow for you.
Nine years ago, when everything was fresh and new and effortless, I made a promise that I would keep my love bright and my heart beating for you.  And that will never change.
That wild boy I fell in love with is still alive in you, even when you're folding laundry or giving our babes a bath.  I see him in the sparkle in your eyes and in that smile that still stops my heart when you catch me off-guard with it.

Our days may have become more ordinary, but I will never forget that our love began from something truly extraordinary.  When I fell for you over 13 years ago it was completely disorienting in the best way.  Now there is trust and easiness where there once was newness and spontaneity.
The lines around those irish-smiling eyes are getting deeper after nine additional years of being one of the most lighthearted, generally happy people I've ever met.  I have never loved you more.
I notice how time and three children have reshaped me as well.  But you've never made me feel more loved.
There are times we fondly remember a freedom and slowness to life that we no longer have.  But I could not imagine a better life. 
It's a wonderful thing to be loved so completely and to be so completely in love.  To be surrounded by our children who make our lives feel full.  Our everyday reality is everything I ever hoped for.
My heart is still bright and beating for you.  And will continue to be every single day of our beautiful, ordinary life.

Happy Anniversary.

My whole heart,

I found a CD of pictures a few weeks ago that I thought was lost.  Here's what was on it:
Billy had our friend, Tom Intfen, come by the house to take pictures before I got home from work on Friday, 6/11/09.  I love that I have these pictures right before he proposed.  I opened our front door to find a very nervous Billy, candles and rose petals.  I wish either of us could remember what he said :)  
Dancing an Irish jig to our wedding band, The Elders.

Monday, August 4, 2014

You win some/You lose some: Sully's Soggy 3rd Birthday

Invitation for Sullivan's "Hide-and-Seek Birthday Brunch"
We had Sullivan's 3rd birthday party yesterday.  Otherwise known as the day it was supposed to be 90 degrees and sunny with no chance of rain.  When we woke up to a dreary morning I couldn't believe it.  I checked the weather again...the trusty weather-people said the rain should clear by 10am.  Ok, fine, the party starts at 11.

So we stuck to the plan and set up the party at the pool.  As 11am neared it became clear that the rain was not going to stop.  My heart sank for Sully.  I thought he was going to be so bummed.  But as soon as Billy showed up to the park with the boys my initial disappointment with the rain was combated by the bright smile on Sullivan's face.  He lit up when he saw the decorations and his donut cake.  He didn't care at all that it was raining.  The boys danced around in the puddles singing "happy birthday" while waiting for guests to arrive.  Suddenly the weather made no difference to me either.

All was fine until we saw a flash of lightening.  That's when I decided the fun rain-party was not safe.  So we took the party back to my messy, non-party-ready house. Not that I do too much when people are coming over anyway, but I usually at least try to vacuum!  Oh well.  That's life.  I mean...the 0% chance of rain all week made me comfortable enough to not even THINK of a back-up plan for the party.

Either way, the whole family pitched in moving the food/drink/decorations from the park back to our house.  

Within 10 minutes the Mimosa/Bloody Mary/Iced Coffee Bar was set up in my dining room and we barely missed a beat.

And we were able to collect many books for The Family Conservancy!

Little guests got to take home "Hide-and-Seek" bottles...
Sully had a great time playing with cousins, opening gifts and playing hide-and-seek at home.  

Later in the afternoon, post-nap, they woke up to sunny skies.  So we decided to head back to the park for another try.  We packed up leftovers from brunch and ate and splashed around and played games.

Hide-and-seek treasure hunt in the pool. Fletch was the ref.
That night as I was getting Sully ready for bed he said "Saanks (thanks) Mom - best party I had"  
Some days things don't go as planned, but turn out better than you expected.