Friday, December 30, 2011

Monterey Bay Aquarium...finally

The day after Christmas, the North Carolina Smiths, Nana and Pop-Ro, and the Jacksons all got on the road and headed to Monterey for a few days.  Thanks again to our wonderful friends, we were able to stay in their lovely vacation home.

Ever since our last trip to the aquarium Bubs has been asking to go again.  We kept telling him that as soon as Jonah was here we would go back to the aquarium.

Well...that day finally arrived!
I made sure to bring the sea animals that Noah got for Christmas...they were definitely necessary.  Every time Bubs saw a different animal, whether it be a shark, an octopus, a stingray, a whale, a fish, a turtle, or a starfish, he just had to have the toy animal in his hand.
We were fortunate enough to go two days in a row.  On the second day, we headed over early {one of the perks of being a member} and got to see the tanks being cleaned by scuba divers.  Noah got such a kick out of seeing the divers swim around.  They were so sweet and even came over to say "HI" to Mr. Man.
Noah and Jonah were so cute together.  They just loved staring at all the fish. 
 
The jelly fish were particularly enthralling.

Bubs also got a kick out of the sea horses...especially the video {yes, video} of sea horses swimming around.  Why look at the real thing when you can see them super sized?
And the touch pools...well...how can you not LOVE splashing around in the water and trying to touch a stingray?!?
 
The starfish, however, were much easier to touch.
Once again, the tidal pools were definitely a favorite!  
  video
And this was what my Little Man looked like when we were leaving.  Poor guy...he would just LOVE to live at the aquarium.
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
Jacques Cousteau
 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Family Christmas

Our Christmas Holiday was gloriously busy.  Kc's family came to our house on Christmas Eve.  We had a lovely dinner and then Bubs got to the serious business of unwrapping gifts.  He truly got into it and had so much fun.
He got some great gifts!
 
 Not only did Uncle Scott give Mr. Man a cool noise maker, but also a fun lion hat.
Noise makers are so much fun!
Christmas morning, we got up early and were overjoyed by the gifts that Santa left.
 
Noah ran out of his room and immediately headed towards his stocking. 
 
Santa knew about Mr. Man's love of Finding Nemo and brought the largest Squirt turtle ever
as well as small versions of most of the characters from the movie.
Bubs was in LOVE!  He was so cute and introduced all the animals to each other. 
 
We headed over to my parent's house and finished off our Christmas celebrations there.  Doesn't Noah look simply adorable?!?
Squirt Turtle insisted on going everywhere with Bubs.
After a yummy brunch the fishy gifts kept on coming.
 
Mr. Man had such a great time opening gifts...not only his...but mine as well.
I think the best gift of the day was from Uncle Adam and Auntie Mel.
Bubs got his own Sonicare Toothbrush.
 
 We took the customary family photo in front of the fireplace.
What a blessed few days full of fun and family.
* Photos curtsey of Andrew Smith and Kc Jackson*

Friday, December 23, 2011

Heartbreaking

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately, but, if you follow us on Facebook, you already know a bit of the reason why.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Kc and I were thrilled to find out that we were pregnant...again.  We could not believe that God had blessed us with our third child. 

At our six week ultrasound we were able to see our precious little baby and watch their tiny little heart flutter away.  It was beating at a very strong one hundred fourteen beats per minutes.  What a miracle! 

Because of some very early chromosomal testing, we knew that our Little One was very healthy...and that our Little One did not have Fraser Syndrome...and that our Little One was a girl.  We were beyond ecstatic!

On Monday, we were scheduled four our nine week ultrasound.  We were instantly amazed at how much she had grown in just a few short weeks.  We were quickly devastated, however, when the doctor could not find her heartbeat.  She searched and searched and searched, and yet nothing.  The heart that should have been beating at one hundred fifty beats per minute was mysteriously silent.

The drive home from the doctor's office was agonizing.  All the memories and feelings of our final ultrasound with Ryan came flooding back.  Knowing the exact moment when your heart literally breaks inside your chest is perhaps one of the most painful things we have had to go through...again.

Today, Kc and I are celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary.
Can you believe it?!?
Five years?!?
Wow, five years?!?
Only five years!?!
We seem to have gone through so much in the past five years.
Shortly after we lost Ryan, a friend told me that everything you go through as a couple will either bring you closer together or drive you further apart.  No marriage is ever stagnant, she told me, it is always moving...it is our jobs to decide in which direction it is moving.
Well...I cannot imaging walking this road without my Amazing Husband.  He is my rock, confidant, partner, joy, lover, and best friend.  The joys and sorrows of these past five years have truly drawn us closer to each other, as well as to our God.  And while our hearts are broken, they are broken together.
I love you Babe!
Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Zoo Lights

This Christmas season has been so much fun with our Little Man.  He is starting to enjoy all the decorations and traditions that go along with it.  He loves the lights, Christmas Trees, Santa, Baby Jesus, Nativities, Elves, etc.  

Last weekend we went to Zoo Lights at our zoo.  They went ALL OUT and had so many twinkling lights and decorations that all the overhead lights were turned off at night.  Bubs loved to point out all the animals in lights.
He even got a kick out of The Grinch.
So many of the lights were down low and Noah couldn't resist trying to figure them out.
There were even beautiful snowflakes way up high.  We had to stop and take a closer look.
By far, the highlight of the evening was a visit to Santa.  While in line, we talked all about how Mr. Man was going to sit on Santa's lap and he seemed to be OK with that...perhaps even a bit excited.  Once I sat him on the lap of Father Christmas, however, Noah was not as pleased.
 
He did sit long enough for Kc to snap a few pictures and Santa to give him a candy cane.  The rest of the evening, Bubs kept telling us about the time when he "sit on Santa".  He was so proud of himself!  To this day, every time he sees a Santa picture or figure, he says "sit on Santa" with a GIGANTIC smile.  Too cute!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wrapping Paper - Year Three

It's that time of year again...wrapping paper time!  Every year, I enlist the help of my most willing son to create cheap and easy wrapping paper.  You might remember when Bubs jumped all over the paper two years ago.  Last year he ran the wheels of his trucks through red and green paint {unfortunately no pictures...we were in and out of the hospital at the time}.  This year I took a few sponges from The Dollar Tree {just love that place} and cut them into tall triangles.
 Then Mr. Man had a ball dipping them in white paint and stamping them on red paper.
Peek!  What's under there?
One more tree.
This is SO MUCH FUN!
 Bubs got a little bit zealous in his painting and made some "snow" falling onto the trees.
 BANG!
 Painting sure does make your hands sticky.

The final products...
 BEAUTIFUL!

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