Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New BABY!!!

We are having a baby!!!! We have kept it a secret for a LONG time (it was SO HARD!!!) in order to make it a Christmas surprise for our families! But they all finally know now so I can spill the beans here too!
We are so excited! I am about 23 weeks along. Now, I'm not quite so big as I look in the picture above...we had a family photo shoot since all my family is here for Christmas and we wanted a maternity picture so I stuck out my belly with all my might to make it look like I was further along. :)
We are most likely having a boy - at least it was looking pretty clear at our 13 week ultrasound - but that was pretty early to be telling so we'll get another confirmation ultrasound the end of next week when we get back to VA.
It was a bit of a surprise to Justin and I, but we are so excited!
To be completely honest we are quite nervous too, because this little baby is due not only in the middle of finals week, but also a month before Justin takes his Board exams (huge test on everything he has learned thus far to determine whether he can move on to the next year and also what residencies he can get into). After that there is a little break, but then the beginning of July Justin starts his 3rd year which means he's pretty much gone all the time. I keep looking at all that and going..."How?" - but I'll just have to trust the Lord. He thinks we can do this, so for now that will have to be enough for me. It's not going to be easy, but I know I will learn a lot and grow a lot. :)
The thought of having a little newborn in my arms just melts my heart and I'm so excited that our little family is growing!

Braden's not exactly sure what this all means though but he loves to listen to the baby's heartbeat in the doctor's office and see the ultrasounds. He's going to be a fun big brother!
This little baby is healthy and active that's for sure! Always bouncing around and doing flips. It feels very similar to how active Braden was, so I think we are in for another little ball of energy!
I have no doubt that they will have a great time running around and getting into mischief together! haha!

Not all the pictures from our photo shoot (done by the amazing Melissa Kilner) are edited yet, but she gave us a little sample of some of them. I can't wait to see the rest!

It's been a great Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Growing Boy...

I felt the need to write a novel about what Braden is like and what he's up to these days. I haven't done that for quite a while, so here it is. Feel free to skip down past this post and just jump to the birthday fun (It really is a long post but I promise if you keep scrolling you'll get there! Haha!)! So for myself or anyone else interested, here is what my little growing boy is like these days. :)
One thing hasn't changed - he is a little ball of energy!!! He gets it from Justin and I don't think it will ever change. I hope it doesn't. He has so much excitement and energy for life - it is a little bit contagious (and at certain times a little bit tiring, haha!) and you can't help but get caught up in that positive energy!

Braden just gets more and more fun! He is starting to get more and more independent (which has it's ups and downs) and likes to prove that he is a big boy! His excitement for balls, trucks, throwing things into water, trains, climbing and almost anything else boyish is so fun to watch! Oh, and chocolate...I can't leave chocolate out of the mix of his favorites! He was just meant to go to a chocoholic family! :)

He loves sports more than almost anything else and runs up and down the halls or rooms with balls exclaiming (in a breathless excitement), "I playing volleyball!" or "I playing soccer!" or "I playing football!" or "I playing golf ball!" or "I playing basketball!"

He has his sports vocabulary down - which is quite hilarious sometimes! Often when he trips and falls he looks up and says, "I got tackled!" I laugh every time! Justin has recently taught him about fumbling the football, which is equally hilarious when it gets thrown into his commentary on what is happening with the balls in the room.

Braden recently discovered Robin Hood (the cartoon version from years ago) and I think Robin Hood is one of his new heroes! Along with Tigger (because he bounces - Braden even imitates the "woo-hoo-hoo-hoo" sound he makes and will bounce around the house or the couch or the bed saying "bounce like Tigger!" It is so funny!), Bert and Ernie (Sesame Street), and Dory (Finding Nemo).

But my favorite of his heroes is Joseph Smith!

We have the Restoration dvd and Braden LOVES to watch it! It is the sweetest thing to hear him get excited about all the animals on the farm, Joseph and his brothers playing, Joseph going into the grove to pray and Joseph's father getting baptized. He points all of those things out to us every time! The first time pointed out "baptized" on his own was one of the sweetest moments of my life! And any time he is not wanting to be quiet or fold his arms for the prayer all we have to do is remind him that Joseph Smith prayed and almost instantly he is ready to pray because he wants to be like Joseph Smith! It is so sweet.

He is getting more and more social (to our great delight), but still is a shy little boy just like his dad was. And he is a little talker, just like his dad was when he was a boy.

When I was pregnant I prayed and prayed that if we had a little boy he would be just like his dad. I didn't realize how exactly my prayers would be answered! He is JUST like his dad in so, so many ways it is uncanny. Justin's mom even just looks at Braden and is amazed that it is really a little replica of her Justin as a toddler - from his looks to his personality and energy.

Sometimes I think I didn't quite know what I was getting myself into when I prayed so earnestly for this little boy to be just like his dad (haha!), but really I am so happy to have my own little mini-man! :) I wouldn't have it any other way.

One of my personal favorite things about Brado is that he is a touchy-feely kind of boy. He loves to be up on ours laps, loves to wrestle, loves to hug, loves to climb on us, loves to tickle and be tickled, etc. He loves even to be hugged or snuggled or have his back rubbedwhen he goes to sleep. He will still fall asleep in my arms when he's tired and I'm so grateful he hasn't grown out of all these things! I am a very touchy person, so it just fills my heart up when I get to spend moments being close with him - whether in play or in peace.

It's such a blessing! I hope with all my heart he never grows out of that, but part of me knows there is a good chance that he will - so I try to cherish all these hugs and tackles and fun, sweet times while I can!

Life in general is such a blessing, and having this little child in my life just makes it 10 times greater! At times it seems 10 times harder, but so worth the 10 times of greater life, love and happiness!

Heavenly Father sure knows us and knows what we need. And I am so grateful for it! At times I wonder that He entrusted us with this precious little boy, but I can't thank Him enough for giving us the chance!

Our little boy is 2!

Two years have already come and gone with our little Brado boy!!! He is getting so big and looking (and acting!) more and more like a little boy all the time! I really can't believe it. On his bday he and I watched some videos of his 1st bday and I just was flabbergasted (how in the world do you spell that word?!) at how much he's changed in the last year!!!
We had tons of fun celebrating with the Petersons and the Monsons:

And, of course, as soon as the ball was open he was off to kick it and play!
And he had to show it to "Codo" (Cody is one of Braden's favorites! He absolutely loves him!)

Braden and Grandpa had a great time playing with his new toys and making faces and laughing together. Grandpa's are just goofy and a lot of fun!

Uncle Zach assembled Braden's new Lego Firetruck and the playing got even more fun!
Then there were more presents the next day at the Monsons.
He got a golf ball/club set and he was SO excited!!!

You might wonder why Braden has gloves on? Well, he has this little golf instruction book at home and it always has pictures of the players wearing gloves. He has long wanted to have clubs to hit the random golf balls we have around the house. He was so excited to finally have some clubs, but he immediately asked me for gloves!! I laughed so hard! Luckily, I had some winter gloves in his suitcase upstairs and they were enough to satisfy him and make him feel like a REAL golf player! :)

He and Grandpa had some fun sessions learning how to hold the golf club and hit the ball!

And then this week Justin was able to come and join us here in WA and we celebrated his birthday too! Braden, of course, had to help his daddy open the presents!
Yay for fun December birthdays!!! It just makes for a celebration all month! :)

Home for the Holidays!

We are home for the holidays and we couldn't be happier!
Braden is constantly spoiled by his Grandparents (which he loves!)
And Justin and I are both just so happy to be home and with family again. We miss our families so much being on the other side of the country and we are so grateful that they make a way for us to get home!

Fun times throwing rocks into the little stream in front of my parent's house.

This is my mom all ready in a Christmas hat to go get a tree! I just love her! :)

You'll notice in a lot of pictures lately that Braden is never smiling - this is not because he rarely smiles, but actually because he, again, is just like his dad and has learned to hate the camera. He seems quite young to be so decided against it but every time I bring it up to take a picture he looks at me and grimaces or gives me his little "stink-eye" and gets upset at me. It makes picture time a lot less fun... but, just like his dad, he'll just have to learn to get used to it because I LOVE pictures! :)

Braden and Grandpa checking out the Christmas trees!

This was one of Braden's favorites thus far! I put the wading boots on him and let him go walk in the stream and rocks!
He thought it was pretty darn cool and was very disappointed when I told him it was time to go back inside because I was getting too cold!


We had a fun Thanksgiving with the Goldades (a family in our last ward - they have taken us in and given us a family away from family!)! We love them so much and had a great time with their family. Justin and the boys all played football in the morning, and this year Justin didn't get hurt! Woohoo! (Last year he got a concussion, year before injured his knee, etc.) Justin looks forward to this tradition all year long! He loves to play football, but this is the only time during the year he gets to do it. I love it too because I know how excited he is about it and it can't help but make me happy, too!

Braden was so much more open and social this year, so he had tons of fun playing with the Goldades! They have three teenagers who all have a lot of fun with him and he LOVED all the attention. Plus they have stairs, so that automatically made their house cool in his mind. :)

All in all, it was a great break from school, great company, great food and an amazing day! We have so, so many blessings and I'm so grateful that there is a holiday to celebrate it!

Juston (Goldade) - so tired after the turkey dinner that he laid on the hardwood floor and used balls for his pillows!
The missionaries joined us for pie and we all had a great time!

Thanks for a great Thanksgiving Goldades!!!!