Friday, December 30, 2011

Chain of Events

Today we feel very lucky because of a chain of events. Some of the chain happened before and some have happened since. This chain started several years ago and we know it will continue forever. And right smack in the middle of this chain is the reason we got to celebrate today. It's the wedding anniversary of our favorite Elder and Sister Pace (aka Dad and Mom when they don’t have on their missionary tags!)

And here is the chain:

All because...

·         She and a boy started a conversation in a library
·         And then He asked if She wanted to meet the LDS missionaries
·         And then She said yes!
·         And then She prayed and read the Book of Mormon
·         And then She chose to be baptized
·         And then She decided to move to Utah (‘cause that’s where the Mormon boys are!)
·         And then She went on a date with a boy
·         And then He asked Her to marry him
·         And then She said yes!
·         And  then She and He were sealed… forever (December 30, 1969)
·         And She and He decided to have just one more child…
o   And they named him Tyler
·         And then He met Her
·         And then He asked Her on a date (sort of)
·         And then She fell in love
·         And then He did too
·         And then He asked Her to marry him
·         And She said yes!
·         And then He and She were sealed…forever…Just like the couple we celebrate and are thankful for today!

 Happy Anniversary - We Love You

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Eight Months?

I feel like I need to check the calendar to make sure this is true. Can it be possible that we have had our Baby Bliss filling our lives with love, laughter and craziness for EIGHT whole months? How lucky are we?!

This dainty little lady now tips the scales at 16 pounds, is getting more hair and has the cutest little dimples in the entire world.

She spends her days with her tongue hanging out and making all kinds of sounds. Her favorite sound to make is "dada dada." We realize that she doesn't yet connect the sound with her actual Dada, but it's still music to Tyler's ears and he loves encouraging her to continue saying it over and over and over... I, on the other hand, try my hardest to teach her to say "mama mama" but that has yet to happen. The race is on. Who will win?

Holland loves her pointer finger and all that it can do; point, push, pick up...pick (nose), place in (mouths, others noses, vents, etc.) The discovery of the pointer finger has brought lots of good times for Holland!

Holland gravitates toward and loves music! She hangs out near the stereo and takes great pleasure in turning up and down the volume. She's pretty darn happy in her Johnny Jump Up, watching videos of herself on our cell phones, playing 'Holland-on-the-Cob' (one of us nibbling along her belly like a cob of corn), watching and listening to Baby Signing Time, and, of course, hanging out in the tub with her duckies.

Hair (aka The Price we Pay for Beauty)

Trying to show off that Holland has enough hair for a little mousse in it ended in tears. She was restless, bent forward and the next thing is her cheekbone colliding with the edge of the sink.


I guess we'll wait a few hours to take her 8-month pictures.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holland's First Christmas - Part 2

A few things I want to remember...

1. The amazing gift from my parents.

My mom and dad put a lot of time, thought, and love into packaging up a “12 Days of Christmas”  box for us and each of my siblings and their families. The focus was on Christ, on family and on serving and living as true disciples of our Savior. It was definitely a special and thoughtful gift that continues to keep on giving. We LOVED opening each gift and following the instructions. It definitely went hand-in-hand with our own attempt at trying to have the true meaning of Christmas be first and foremost this Christmas and those to come.

I'm not sure you can tell from the photo, but there were things like: a cake mix and frosting with instructions to share it with your family. Ingredients to make cookies with instructions to take them to a friend/neighbor. A CD of spiritual music to listen to as a family. Thank you cards with instructions to always be grateful and make sure you express your gratitude. A book about Gospel Principles to read together as a family throughout the year. A calendar.  Etc. Etc.

And each day that the gift was opened and a service was completed you were to put straw in the basket/manager - preparing it for Christ's birth. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Best gift EVER!

2. The way our baby looked on her  first Christmas. (oh those lips!)

 3. Our Christmas Tree.  (just so I can make sure next year's tree is...ahem...better!)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Holland's First Christmas - Part 1

It was pretty anti-climatic…for her. But the rest of us thought it was great!

We spent Friday through Sunday at my parent’s house – spending time with family, relaxing, a little bit of shopping, eating, and celebrating.

It’s always fun to wake up Christmas Morning, see the Christmas tree glowing, and the presents all perfectly placed around the room, and of course, the stockings stuffed so tight they look like they are going to pop. I’m pretty sure the stockings are my favorite part. I just love all the little gifts that end up in there, resting right on top of the orange stuffed in the toe!

I spent a lot of time before Christmas trying to figure out how we were going to “handle” Christmas as a family – your know – me, Tyler and our kids. I mean, here we are with our first child, and I just knew that if we didn’t figure out something now we would never have a real plan of attack – a standard by which this Pace Family would now and forever celebrate Christmas.

Okay – perhaps I was a little dramatic and worried for nothing, bur seriously, it was a bit of an obsession for me. And, yes, I do realize that traditions can change and that what we do this Christmas isn’t what we will always have to do. But, nonetheless, I felt strongly that we needed to come up with our own plan, our own tradition, our own celebration style.

The main things that were in my head as I researched, thought about, and peppered friends and family with questions were these; I want our little family…
·         to understand  that CHRIST is the reason we celebrate Christmas
·         to find joy in the GIVING more than the receiving
·          to SERVE one another and those around us
·         to spend TIME together
·         to focus on the THOUGHT not the amount of money spent
·         to keep things SIMPLE

While talking to a friend about my thoughts and ideas on the subject she explained how she and her husband do Christmas and it seemed to basically match what we wanted to focus on. She also shared with me a blog post about gift giving that I felt was a perfect fit for what we were trying to do.

And so, we adopted the Want-Need-Wear-Read tradition. Each person will receive four gifts, one that applies to each of these categories. Of course, Santa will still drop off a gift for each child and there will always be stockings, but this simple plan will definitely help us remain focused on the goals I listed above.

So, you ask, what did we get for Christmas?

                Want = VTech Move & Crawl Ball
                Need = JJ Cole Bundle Me Car Seat Cover
                Wear = Sweater Dress & Wool Coat (perfect for Christmas on a Sunday)
                Read = Dr. Seuss’ Red Fish Blue Fish

                Want = External/Portable Hard Drive
                Need = Hair Clippers
                Wear = Flannel Shirt and Lined Jacket (to keep warm while working in the garage)
                Read = The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

                Want = Stand Mixer
                Need = Food Processor
                Wear = Scarves
                Read = Harlequin Romance (We laughed – and then returned it! Tyler is so funny!)

That was the receiving part. And for the giving...I just need to share what I did for my mom. I took a planner and marked each family member's birthday inside - in a scrapbook-ish kind of way. It turned out really cute. And then, inside I placed a bunch of coupons in an envelope. The coupons are for different services and things we can do together throughout this year - 2012. The coupons can then be placed in the planner - again, think scrapbook looking, on the day that she schedules with me. I really wish I would have taken a picture. It would really make more sense. Oh well. But, anyway, I think I might be most excited about this 'cause not only do I get to do some service for my mom, I also get to spend time with her each month. It's the gift that keeps on giving...for her and for me!

We loved Christmas this year! It’s definitely a lot of fun to watch a clueless baby try to figure out why she’s being told to rip the paper off of something. Priceless!

After presents, and church, and lunch…we headed back to Salt Lake to spend Christmas evening with Tyler’s parents and siblings. It was definitely a perfect – perfect – perfect Christmas…if I do say so myself.

Christmas Eve = New PJs

Christmas Morning = Sleepy Heads in New PJs
More from Christmas Eve

Change of PJs Christmas morning...'cause, you know, sometimes little girls pee their pants

More from Christmas morning...

Ready for Church...tired, but ready!

Thanks for celebrating with us celebrate with you, Gma Lucy and Gpa Chuck

And now I realize, in the chaos that is getting from one place to another on Christmas with no time to spare, we had an epic fail - no pictures with Gma Maggie and Gpa Craig. Darn the darn!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Slightly Obsessed

Well, little Miss Holland Bliss, I do believe that I am obsessed.  With you. Completely.

A little over seven months have passed since you came and turned our lives upside down. And, I want you to know just what are lives are like at this point in your life...

Lately, our days start at 5:30 a.m. with you crying out for nourishment. I stumble into your room, scoop you up, and you frantically latch on and go to town. Sometimes you eat for 10 minutes and sometimes for 30. But no matter what - you always fall right back to sleep. I then, kiss your warm little cheek, tell you I love you and lay you back in your crib. Before leaving your room I check the temperature to make sure it's just perfect for you, adjust it if necessary, and head back to my own bed where Daddy is sleeping soundly. He's always so warm and that makes me jealous.

You wake again around 7:30 or 8:00 a.m., hungry again, but ready to start your day. This time it's Daddy's turn to answer your call, which is sometimes a cry, but more and more often it's the sound of you talking and trying out new sounds with your cute, little voice. We love the sound of your voice! Daddy goes in and, although I'm not entirely sure of what your routine is in there, I overhear the two of you having a nice little chat about how your night was while Daddy changes your diaper. He then brings you in to our room and as soon as you see me your grin spreads clear from ear to ear and you nearly leap from Daddy's arms out of excitement. And at the same time, my heart leaps with excitement - that you are mine and I am yours.

Daddy then lays you down next to me and you anxiously snuggle up to me as tight as a suction cup. And so your second meal of the day begins. It's this meal that you often end of spitting up a bit. I'm guessing you are still a bit full from the earlier feeding. I better figure this one out. Some mornings Daddy climbs back in bed and waits for you to finish eating so the two of you can wrestle and snuggle while I attempt to get a few more Zzzzz's.

By 8:30 a.m. we're all in the kitchen. Me feeding you cereal and Daddy cooking up some oatmeal or breakfast burritos for me and him. Lately you are pretty content to sit in your high chair for a while with Cheerios on your tray. About half of them actually make it into your mouth. In fact, just today, I told Daddy that Cheerios at this point aren't so much for your consumption as they are for your entertainment and learning.

After playing for a while in the living room with Dad, you are ready for a nap. You've been pretty good at two naps a day lately. The first from 9:30 until about 11 or 11:30 a.m. and the second one from 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. You used to go down for the night about 8 or 8:30 p.m., but this week you've started rubbing your eyes and giving all of your "I'm tired" signs around 6:30 p.m. So, a bath for you (usually with one of us, but sometimes by yourself), story time ("What Do You Love?"), prayers and then I nurse you to sleep. You've been in bed for the night lately by 7:30 p.m. 

For the most part, I work while you sleep and our little routine seems to compliment us just perfectly! Since Daddy works from home too, he can usually be found shopping for bikes, building bikes in the garage or working on his website. You love to hang out in my office with me while I work or crawl around on the floor while Daddy does stuff on his computer. You are content to entertain yourself, but when either of us get down on the floor with you your eyes light up with excitement. Sometimes you hang out on my lap and do a little Pinterest perusing or quickly catch up on local news online...and of course, a quick video on YouTube here and there usually brightens your day.

You are pretty good in the car, but a sure fire way to calm you, on the occasion that you protest your car seat, is to pull out the phone and show you pictures and videos of yourself. We hope this doesn't make you self-absorbed. It's so fun to watch you intently stare at the screen. Man, do we love technology! How did they calm a restless baby in years past?

You've now advanced from rolling to and fro your choice of destinations, to doing the army crawl. You get more and more skilled with your mobility every day. You love to turn up the volume on the stereo and I'm pretty sure you think we put cords in various places for the mere purpose of enticing you. You seem to be drawn to any location that is going to end up trapping you - under the living room table, under the bed, on top of the base of your exersaucer, between the wall and the chair, under my name it...if it's a place that you can barely squeeze yourself into, you'll end up there in seconds. Oh, and we love BabyLegs. They are definitely keeping your knees protected while you scoot yourself from place to place. And, the amazing thing is, with your new-found mobility, you have not (yet) tried to pull any ornaments off the Christmas Tree. Thank you, baby!

Your teeth. We think your teeth are so cute. They made their debut right at your 6-month mark and are just now looking like they are fully in. They aren't seen all that well, as they are the two bottom teeth, but they are definitely felt. Yep. While learning to use them on Cheerios and toys, you have recently tried them out a few times while nursing. Although you do not have upper teeth, do not let this fool you. It still HURTS! And, yes, my natural instinct is to toss you across the room. But don't worry - I refrain. Say ouch. Give you a look and hesitantly offer you my breast again. I'm getting gun shy though. My goal is to nurse you for 12 months, but my Baby Bliss, you and I just might not make it that far if this nibbling continues.

Besides nursing, Cheerios and your morning cereal, you've tried several foods. Your favorite, it seems, is sweet potatoes. But you down, almost as easily, peas, beans, squash, carrots, and apple sauce. Yesterday I fed you rice and tonight I fed you hash browns. I don't want you to eat "food" too much though. I really do still want to be your main source of nutrition. Just remember - keep those teeth in check, will ya?

Since it's gotten so cold outside, your daily walks with Daddy have taken a hiatus. I think sometimes you miss them. We should really move somewhere warmer. Somewhere near a beach - for sure. Without your daily walks, we spend a lot of time inside. You love your Johnny-Jump-Up, your exersaucer, Baby Signing Time (video and CD), reading books (or pounding on them while I or Daddy read them to you), chewing on pacifiers and organizing CDs and Books on any shelf you can reach.

You've recently developed a little crush on me. I don't mind. In fact, I kind of love it. Some people call it separation anxiety. You can be perfectly fine in someone else's arms, but the second you see me and realize those arms are not mine, the lip comes out and you protest until you are enveloped in my arms. The arms that rock you to sleep at night. The arms that can't possibly stretch far enough to show you just how much I love you. The arms that never, ever want to let you go. Thank goodness you also like Daddy's arms...'cause he loves you BIG TIME too!

We love your laugh and we love it even more when we are the reason you are laughing. And that little lip, the one you stick out when you are about to cry, we love that lip just as much as we love your laugh. We find it quite amusing, in fact. And that little lip makes us laugh, and then our laugh makes you laugh. Ah...the circle of life.

You, my baby, are the joy that I never knew I was missing. Even after spending just a minute with you, everyone comments on what a happy and beautiful baby you are. Imagine what my life is like, being in your presence always? Bliss, I tell you, absolute bliss.

Monday, December 12, 2011