Today our delightful little Peter turns two. Which for us means, that for two years now we’ve had equal parts sweet and spicy bubbling over in our home. Peter is the perfect balance of the two. He has brought us more joy than we thought possible, he’s also left us laughing and scratching our heads more times than we can count. We are often surprised by the amount of personality and energy and sense of adventure packed into this little guy. He keeps us on our toes, for sure.
To celebrate your special day, we are giving you a few special gifts that we think you will love, but let there be no mistaking- you are the real gift, Peter, and we are the grateful ones.
For all the times that we find you digging in our drinks for ice, walking hilariously around the house in your Daddy’s shoes, playing independently by yourself, chasing your big brother through the house, eating everyone’s food from their plates, building towers with blocks, reading books quietly in your bed, announcing “Ta-Da” just because you walked into the room, counting to 10 without numbers 3,7,& 8, trying to keep up with all the older kids, bouncing around the house to the beat of your own drum, and laughing hysterically at something silly you and Sam have come up with. All this and for so much more, we love you.
Peter William, there is something about you that makes our hearts melt just so.
Happy 2nd Birthday, dear one. Our cup runneth over for you.
For a glance back at the past year with Peter:
This year, like last year, we are in Texas during both of our boys’ birthdays. Living so far from family limits the holidays we get to spend together, so it’s been very special to celebrate the boy’s summer birthdays with our extended families.
We decided to go with a baseball theme this year for Sam and Peter’s parties since both boys really do love baseball (they come by it honestly), plus two of our favorite minor league teams were scheduled to play while we were in town visiting.
Later this month, we’ll be celebrating Peter’s birthday in Rockport and head to Corpus Christi for a Hooks game. For Sam’s fourth birthday, we were in Midland for Joe’s brother’s wedding, so we had his party at the Midland Rockhounds game.
It was a group effort, really. Greta (Sam’s grandmother) generously provided all of the baseball tickets for the game and the suite to have a little party; it was wonderful. Alison, (Sam’s aunt) went to work the second I told her our plans; she made all the little details so special. She handmade a baseball birthday banner, picked out all of the party supplies, and decorated the cutest little baseball cupcakes. My job was easy: I made cupcake toppers, goodie bags, wrapped presents, and then called it a day!
The most anticipated moment of the day was when Sam was given the opportunity to throw the first pitch of the game (a rite of passage for all birthday kids at the Rockhounds game)! He practiced for days to make sure his left-handed pitch would be perfect. And it was. He walked confidently to the “mound” with Daddy and threw with all his might. It was a proud moment for all of us and Uncle Robby was sure to get it all on video.
A great time was had by all. We watched the game, sang “Happy Birthday” with Rocky the mascot, opened presents, ate cupcakes, and finished out the day watching Sam run the bases at the end of the game.
If you were to ask me who won the game, I couldn’t tell you. I think that’s the sign of a good party!
Yesterday, I posted some pictures I took of Becky and Stella while I was in Texas a few weeks back. Today I have a few more pictures to share from the rest of my time with the Crowell family!
The wonderful thing about taking pictures for such a good friend is that she will go along with whatever ideas I have for pictures. We snapped a few at a nearby park and then headed back to their home for some more relaxed shots.
Becky has a beautiful family; it fills my heart with joy every time I get to watch her mother her little ones. The cherry on top when we’re together, is that we now have children who can play together; it gives Becky and I a little window into what our moms must’ve felt like watching the two of us play when we were little.
On Monday, two of Sam and Peter’s dearest little buddies turn three! Carson and Coleman will be in Minnesota celebrating their birthday while we are in Texas on summer vacation, but we will be celebrating their special day from afar! I’m so thankful to God for these friends. It’s not rare to wake up in the mornings and hear our Sam ask- no expect- to see these friends at some point in the day. Living life alongside these twins and their parents has been such a gift to our family.
Last week, I had the fun of snapping these little guys’ three-year pictures. These two are filled with so much spirit and personality. If I could post the couple hundred pictures I took of them, I would, just so you could enjoy all the different faces these boys can come up with. They are too much fun!
Happy 3rd Birthday, Carson and Coleman. We love you both so much. Have an extra piece of cake for us on Monday!
How about a little love for the Momma who gracefully survived getting twin boys to their 3rd birthday?!
A few weeks back, I had the fun joy of snapping some pictures for one of my oldest and dearest friends, Becky, and her new baby girl, Stella Rae. This trip home was the first time for me to meet and become smitten with this beautiful and spirited little blue-eyed girl who reminds me so much of her momma. My prayer for Stella is that one day God will give her a sweet, lifelong friendship like the one that me and her mom share.
I took more pictures of Becky’s family which I will share soon, but until then, here is my dear friend and her newest little one…
Something very magical is taking place this summer while on family vacation. It wouldn’t be overstating it to say that it’s something we’ve been anxiously awaiting for some years now.
When Sam turned four, along with it came the rite of passage to begin reading The Chronicles of Narnia with Daddy for the first time. We have wondered how Sam would like it and if he would be able to follow along. We knew this would be the first of many readings through Lewis’ Chronicles for him, so we intentionally held off until now so that he would be able to follow and enjoy the basic story. Joe read aloud the first three chapters last night.
According to his retelling of the story to me, Sam is especially interested in the Faun and could do without the White Witch completely. We don’t blame him.
The first thing out of his mouth when he awoke this morning was, “Can we read some more of that book now, please?!” As of tonight, they finished Chapter 10.
We think we might have a Narnian in the making.
Today our Sam turns four years old.
I remember holding him as a tiny, jaundiced newborn and thinking to myself that we had at least four years until our first baby wouldn’t be such a baby anymore. During that season, it felt as though time stood still. I just knew he could never be as old as Four, he was only eight pounds after all! For whatever reason, to me, turning four feels like a “goodbye” to babyhood and a “hello” to becoming a kid.
I’m finding this to be true for our Sam. There are very few, if any, traces of “baby” left in this little child of ours. He is becoming all Boy; and a tree-climbing, dirt-digging, fort-building, completely delightful one at that.
From the first day he arrived on the scene and made us a family of three, our son has brought more joy and laughter into our lives that our hearts could just burst thinking about the past four years with him. What a gift from God! What a longed for blessing it was to have a child. And the lives we lived before becoming parents feel like a distant memory now; he has been close by our side for four years and in our hearts nine months longer than that.
Our days with this four year-old are filled with adventure. Adventure into imaginary worlds slaying imaginary dragons (with not-so-imaginary wooden swords). They are filled with pots and pans and metal colanders encircling him as he plays his heart out on his very own make-shift drum set.
They are filled with countless baseball uniform changes with base-running and bat-swinging. They are filled with climbing trees and scraping knees and empty band-aid wrappers strewn throughout the house.
They are filled with book-reading, number-counting, letter-writing, and mess-making. They are filled with moon-gazing, story-telling, dish-washing, and cookie-making. They are filled with Lego-building, block-building, and friendship-building with one funny little shadow named Peter.
They are filled with big doses of encouragement and correction and laughter and mistakes. They are filled with lots of “Try again, Sam” and “Look me in the eyes, Sam” and “Go make things right with your brother, Sam.”
They are filled with music. So much music and noise that my ears actually ring during nap-time. They are filled with questions. And some days it feels like the questions never stop, but I love that about him. And I love that I get to be the one he comes to for answers.
They are filled with struggles and sin and deep mercy to cover it all. They are filled with gratitude. So much gratitude for this child’s life; for his love for people, for his creative mind, for his sense of humor, and for all the ways- both big and small- where we see God graciously at work in his life.
Happy 4th Birthday, sweet Sam. Our lives are richer because of you.
An Interview with Sam on his Fourth Birthday:
What day is today, Sam?: “June 24th”
How old are you? “4″
Who made you? “God”
Where do you live? “In Minnesota”
What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? “Go places like baseball games and the Children’s Museum!”
What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy? “Washing the dishes”
What is your favorite thing to do with Peter? “Play with animals”
Who is your best friend? “Colin and Rylee and Peter and Carson and Coleman and Lily and J.J.”
What is your favorite book? “Cat in the Hat”
What character in a book do you like best? “Cat in the Hat”
What is your favorite Bible Story? “David and Goliath”
What is your favorite thing to build? “A castle with blocks”
What is your favorite food to eat? “Mac and Cheese”
What is your favorite thing to play? “Wrestling with Daddy and Peter”
Where do you love to visit? “Texas”
What song do you like to sing the most? “Drummer Boy”
If you could buy anything at the store, what would it be? “A baseball helmet”
What is your favorite animal? “I love all the farm animals”
If you could buy someone a gift, what would you buy and who would it be for? “I’d buy Colin a baseball helmet and a skateboard and a motorcycle”
What would you like to be when you grow up? “A Policeman and a Fireman”
What do you enjoy doing outside? “Riding my Scooter”
What holiday do you love celebrating? “Easter”
What is your favorite restaurant? “Chipotle”
What is your favorite special treat? “Lollipops”
If you could be like anybody when you grow up, who would it be? “I want to be like me!”
What do you love most about being a big brother? “Getting to play with him”
What do you want to do today on your birthday? “Have cupcakes!”