Monday, July 26, 2010

Minnie Mouse, Hot Pink, and Polka Dots!!

I adore everything about birthdays. I'm sure it's because my parents did such a great job of making mine so special. But I love all the details: the cake, the invitations, decorations. I make several lists and must admit I enjoy marking off each item as I complete them. So, I was excited to have Mac's birthday to plan for. She recently has taken an interest in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. This is the first and only cartoon that she will really watch. So, as she started noticing Mickey and Minnie everywhere it was only natural to choose a Minnie Mouse theme.

I was super excited to find a cute Minnie party pack, and was even more excited to find the new colors of Minnie are pink and black =) I love that color combo!! Anyway, here are a series of pictures that show off our celebration of McKinley turning 2.

Here she is excited when her party supplies came in the mail.

Her Nawnie (or as Mac calls her, "YaYa") and Papa bought her a toy to play on outside. It came the day before her birthday. Here she is the first time that she saw it. She was super excited.

Someone else has really enjoyed playing with this toy =)


When Aby's birthday rolled around in January I was perusing Hobby Lobby for party ideas. And I stumbled on this cute cupcake. The idea behind it is to find a small something to put in it and hide it for the birthday child to find. Aby had such a fun time searching for the cupcake, that I couldn't wait for it to be Mac's turn. She had a little help from Aby, but in the end had a great time with the game.

She found her prize of chap stick!!

On Mac's actual birthday we had a small family celebration. Chris grilled some hamburgers, the girls played outside, we opened presents and shared ice cream with wonderful friends. It was a very special day. She really got into opening the presents. She again had some help from Sis, but enjoyed it just the same.

She received a potty and potty book. We are by no means getting ready to start this adventure, but I thought it was time to pull it out and get acquainted!! She thought it was a neat toy!!

Here are my sweet girls on the party day!!

Isn't she gorgeous, my sweet McKinley Rhaye!!!

I decided this year not to make McKinley's cake. I decided having cupcakes made were the way to go. I found a friend to make them, and if you need a cake or cupcakes PLEASE call on Kimberly St. Clair. Look her up on Face book to see her yummy creations. She made this adorable Minnie Mouse cupcake for Miss Mac.

I've decided cupcakes are the way to go!! Nothing to cut =)

Who can have a Minnie party without cool shades, bracelets, and necklaces??

Sweet sleeping baby before her party

The party was kicked off with gifts.

Here she opened her high-heeled shoes. She was very excited. She definitely loves her shoes.

We went right into cake. McKinley was not very sure about the candles. She also wasn't so thrilled about everyone singing to her. I can't wait to show her the video of that someday ;+)

She had a wonderful time eating the cupcake though.

We then hit the pool with our friends and family.

We had a wonderful birthday party!! I can't believe how quickly they rush by. I'd like to thank you all that have loved on our sweet McKinley the last two years. She is certainly one lucky little girl.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Little bitterSweetness

This time 2 years ago was extremely stressful for our family. There was so much uncertainty around us. It all started with Chris' mom going into the hospital for a surgery, and ending up in the ICU. This was not supposed to happen. She was in the hospital for some time in Bryan. Chris and his sisters were traveling back and forth from Temple/Georgetown at least every other day. My Father-in-Law, Don was pretty much living in Bryan. I was pregnant with McKinley and of course was already dilated (still had more than a month left), therefore could not accompany them. I was relying on Chris and everyone else to give me updates on Jackie's condition. It was slow going for awhile. Chris was coming home from work one day and was going to be heading to Bryan, when he called to tell me that we needed to grab some clothes for me and Aby and that we were going to Temple. I was a tad confused, but jumped up to do so. As I was standing in the bathroom getting some things together my water broke. Only I didn't know it did. All I remember doing is freezing, then hearing Aby say, "Mommy!!! Did you pee on yourself?" =) I of course said "NO!!" I know you are wondering how I didn't know my water broke. My water had to be broken by a doctor when I had Aby. So, this was new territory for me. Anyway, I had a doctors appointment then next day, so I decided that I would wait to talk with her about it. Then Chris busted through the door and told me that his Grandfather passed away. I was in shock. He was pretty much hysterical. We both finally calmed down and made a plan. We would go to Temple to see Mamaw Dell, then I would stay with my parents while he went to Bryan to see his mom and to relieve his dad. I can remember standing there in Mamaw's living room giving her a hug, and she told me that now it was time for some good news, so I could have McKinley. I of course laughed and said not yet!!
The next morning I got up and got ready for my Dr. appointment. I remember getting ready to put my shoes on and bending down to pick them up. I knew something wasn't right. I could BEND OVER!!! I was a little alarmed at this point. I couldn't get to the doctor fast enough. Of course my doctor was in a delivery, so I had to wait. I ended up seeing a nurse who did some litmus test to check to see if my water had indeed broken. She told me to stay calm, and then I saw her face. She immediately told me to get on the phone to Chris and tell him that he needed to come home. 5 hours later I was holding our beautiful McKinley Rhaye. I was 36 weeks. I had held on to this pregnancy for two extra weeks. I considered that victory =) McKinley was perfect and was deemed perfectly healthy from the NICU team.
We were in emotional overload. We were grieving and in a state of sheer joy, amazement, and shock at the same time. I had a hard time feeling joyful, because I felt that I was betraying the mourning process. And it was hard because I really wanted Jackie to be there when McKinley was born. While we were in the hospital McKinley had a hard time keeping her temperature high enough on her own. I constantly had her swaddled in 2 blankets and had to use the technique kangaroo care often. We ended up being discharged, only to wind up going back to have her admitted into the NICU. She went in for jaundice and ended up in an incubator. We were devastated. It took Aby forever to get out of the incubator. So, I was nervous we were going to have a long stint in the NICU. Praise God she was only in for three or four days. This time around it was less serious, BUT was more difficult running to the hospital every 3 hours while having a toddler at home that I had to spend time with too. Thank goodness for my sister-in-law Andrea. Aby really buddied up with her and she took Abigayle under her wing for several days. McKinley and Jackie came home on the same day. By that time Jackie had been caught up on what had gone on around her while she was in ICU.
Here we are 2 years later. Still mourning our beloved Papa Don, and still rejoicing for a full recovery of Jackie, and still celebrating a life greatly anticipated. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the past two years.

One proud Daddy

One overjoyed Big Sister

One tired and blessed Momma

One teeny tiny baby

One big yawn

One smiley little girl

One curious 6 month old

One "big" 12 month old

This is our sweet McKinley Rhaye. From the beginning she has been a fighter. Like her big sister, she was way too ready to come into this world and take it on. I find it amazing how anyone can fall in love with just one glance, and know that nothing that person does can EVER take that love away. It's fun to watch how alike she is to her sister, but at the same time so different. She is sweet, but fiery tough. There is almost always a smile on her face. She is our blonde, blue eyed, fair skinned princess. I am looking forward to seeing the gifts that God has bestowed upon her, and how she will use them for His glory. How she will excel, and what will be her weaknesses. I cannot wait to see this little girl grow into the young lady that God will be proud of and happy to call His own. We love you sweet Mac!! Happy 2nd Birthday

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The lilies of the field.

One of my most favorite passages comes out of Matthew 6. They are verses 25-34. These words bring me great comfort when I am feeling particularly bogged down by everyday life, or feeling overwhelmed by big projects. They remind me that I am ultimately not in control, and that I am extremely valuable regardless of what I tell myself. There is one portion I would like to share with you. They are verses 28-30.
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

This particular part excites me because I think flowers or so gorgeous. They have a lovely fragrant and are all so unique. The bad part is eventually they die. What makes this so special to me is that God desires to pay that much attention to my needs plus some. He is in the business of wanting and desiring to meet my needs. I only have to let Him.

As we were traveling through New Mexico and Colorado we stopped quite a bit for Chris to photograph flowers. Now, I know the reasoning behind why he was photographing them, but it got to be a bit comical. And it was fun to harass him about it. Then I sat down and looked at all the pictures he had taken, and my mind immediately recalled the above passage. They are gorgeous. I am constantly amazed through all types of creation. I must say it was quite humbling to sit on top of a mountain, in a grassy field with these beautiful flowers. Here are a few of His beauties.