Friday, February 13, 2015

Max McAlister | 5 years

I have a five year old.   FIVE...that sounds so weird.  Five is officially a "kid".   I have watched Max grow from an infant to a toddler to a preschooler, and now when he snuggles up next to me on the couch, I can barely believe he was ever the tiny babe I see in photographs.  
 When he was a baby I used to study his small features and try to imagine how they would transform over the years. I remember wondering...will his eyes stay blue?  Will he inherit the gap-toothed grin that I adore about his daddy?  
 Now I look at those same features today and try to remember what they looked like as baby. 
All of a sudden he's so tall.  His face has no trace of baby-ness left. And, as you can see, his eyes did stay blue and that little gap in his two front teeth....well, it melts my heart over and over again. 
These first five years of his life have been, as they say, "the longest, shortest time".

Dear Max,

You're the one who made me a momma.  That's a special and brave role to own.  You get to be the first, but that also means you're the guinea pig for my mothering skills :)  From deciphering your newborn cries and introducing first foods, to potty training and patience...I clumsily learned to become a confident momma as you grew.  You're still the "pioneer" child on our parenting journey.  Your father and I are doing our best and trying to be purposeful in the way that we raise you.  

I hope that we can teach you to listen to your heart and that it leads you to see the world.  And that you take on experiences that challenge you beyond the limits of comfort, because that's the place where you will stretch and grow and become you.  Things will get more complicated and confusing as you navigate your place in the world, but your father and I will be both a solid foundation and a soft place for you to land.  Forever and ever.  No matter what.

Happy 5th Birthday, my love.

My whole heart,
Momma (and Dad too :)

Newborn photos -  credit: RPeters Photography

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Half-Written/Never posted | Top 20 of 2014

As the new year approaches I'm reflecting on 2014.  
Trying to narrow down the highlights was tougher than I thought.  We had a pretty good year.
Here are the 20 moments that top my list...

1) The time we kicked off the beginning of the year in the best way possible.  Ringing in 2014 at home with my babies and dearest friends.

 2)  The time we got snowed in and we played outside and made snow ice cream.

3)  The time when Max and Sully both asked me to be their Valentine forever and ever.

4) The time all three of my boys were being irresistibly cute and I couldn't stop taking photos.

5)  The moment when the oldest cousin and youngest cousin met for the first time.

6)  The time when I realized I'm officially a soccer mom.

7) The sweetness of baby's first Easter.

8) The time we got to be in a local dentist commercial :)
ready to start shooting!
 9)  The moment when our baby boy was baptized.

10)  The time we got to go to Ireland with our best friends in the whole world.

11)  The time when we got to spend 4th of July with family in Tennessee,

12)  The time when my man's party got rained out, but turned out better than expected.

13) That glorious day when the kids went back to school.








#half-written, #abandoned blog post

Monday, February 2, 2015

Half-written/Never posted: This blog is for you (and me)

My dear boys,

This blog is my gift to you.  A true labor of love.  You'll be able to get a glimpse into your young lives when you're all grown up one day far too soon.  And in the future when your significant other asks "What were you like as a little boy?"  You can direct them to these pages where your mother spent hours pouring her heart out over you ;)

I have written and posted photos as often as time allows since the week Max was born.  And although this blog is for you, it's also for me.  Documenting your lives and writing words brings me comfort.  Organizing my thoughts and photos all within the confines of one space keeps me feeling (somewhat) sane.  This blog is my therapy and gives me peace.  My only anxiety surrounding the blog is that I'll run out of words.  So far, though, you provide endless inspiration :)

You both like to "hear stories" from the printed version of the blog.  I sometimes read a few posts to you before naps or bedtime. We started from the very first "Murray Party" blog post ever.  I love to see you guys light up when you see the tiny you experiencing things for the first time.  +

Once when we were reading,

#half-written / abandoned blog post