Friday, June 20, 2014

Landon / 2.5 years old

It’s been since Landon’s two year birthday that I’ve done a post on what he is up to. Its so hard to believe that we have a two and half year old and are on the downhill to his 3 year birthday. I know they call it the terrible twos, but it has really been anything but terrible. I may bite my tongue for saying that once he’s three, but for now I’m going to hold onto the fact that two has been pretty amazing.

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We’ve wrapped up our first preschool year! Landon started in January, so technically it was only six months, but there has been such a change in him in just a short time. Overall, he transitioned well with preschool. He struggled some mornings even at the end, but honestly, I think he’s just not a morning person. He takes a while to get going and unfortunately our mornings are anything but slow. I can tell he learned a lot in just a short amount of time though. I frequently catch him singing his ABC’s, counting or singing other songs that I know he learned in his classroom. I will brag and say that he can count to 20 in English, and 10 in Spanish! I take no credit, it is solely due to his great teachers. The greatest growth that I see in Landon is in his speech. In January, he really wasn’t talking much. He said single words, but wasn’t making sentences. He also didn’t say his own name. Now? The boy never stops talking. Full sentences, and new words every single day! He surprises me with how well he converses now, and absolutely love being able to talk with him.

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Currently, Landon’s favorite toys are a collection of trucks and trailers he has collected. Some were handed down from his dad, and others we’ve bought for him. He spends hours upon hours loading and unloading his “hauls.” I love that he loves those toys so much, and love watching him play with them so sweetly. He also has a strong affection for his tractors, and loves to color and play with play doh. He LOVES swimming, loves playing outside with his truck and bike, and loves bubbles. And he also loves taking walks to the neighborhood playground (“crayground”) in the evenings after supper.

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Landon is strong minded, stubborn and independent. He is also sweet and funny, playful, and curious. He loves to help us with things around the house, and he loves helping his daddy go get the lawn mower from the barn at Nana and Boppa’s house. He is silly, and loves nothing more than to be tickled and rough house in the living room floor before bed each night. He has the BEST belly laugh ever. I am so thankful that our little boy is such a happy spirit. He has a sweet heart and is always concerned for others and quick to give hugs around the neck or kisses on the cheek. I hope that never changes!

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Two and a half is really such a fun, sweet age. I have loved watching Landon over the past couple months. He is so smart and he surprises me every day with the things he remembers or knows. I am just so thankful that I get to be his mom, and get to call him mine.

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

dear john

Dear John,

I’m pretty sure that I don’t take the time to tell you how important you are to me often enough. So today, on your third father’s day, I figured write down some thoughts and let you know just how special you are to this little family of ours. Because you are. I know that in the chaos of the day to day sometimes you may think I don’t see how hard you work for us, or all you do. Sometimes the words “thank you” aren’t said enough, and for that I’m sorry. Its so easy to get wrapped up in the day in and day out of life. We wake up and hurry to get out the door quickly telling each other to have a good day as we’re pulling out of the drive way,  and as soon as we’re both home its full steam ahead until bedtime. Which usually results in me falling asleep all too fast and us hardly having time to have real conversation or catch up.

I want you to know how lucky I feel that you are the man that the Lord chose for me. I knew you’d make an incredible husband, I knew you would love me and care for me and support me forever. But more importantly, I knew you’d be the most amazing father to our kids, and I was right. Watching you and Landon is the best thing in the world- and makes me so incredibly happy. I love hearing the conversations that the two of you have. I love that as soon as you pull in the driveway you pull right back out letting him “drive your truck” in the neighborhood each evening. I love that you take him to get the lawnmower and trailer each week and let him help you so he feels like he’s involved. I love that you make him belly laugh like no one else can. I love that you gave him all of your childhood trucks and tractors, which he plays with constantly. I love that you took him fishing when I went to bible study each Wednesday night, and were so excited when he caught his first fish. And I love that you let that little booger hijack ever shower you’ve taken for the past year and half because he insists on “take a baf too!” I love watching you be his dad, and I love the bond the two of you share. It’s the most beautiful thing to watch.

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Landon is the luckiest little boy to have such a great daddy :)

We love you more than words can say- and are so thankful to have you. Happy Happy Happy Father’s Day!

Love, Us.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

black and white photography

I have been really slack about picking up my DSLR these past few months. I always have it with me for the “big events” but rarely use it during the day to day. I easily get frustrated trying to catch pictures of Landon because it is an act of congress to get a decent shot. Either he’s a big blur because he’s running away from me, or he REFUSES to look at the camera and smile. I’m not above bribing him when need be (like for his last day of preschool picture), but I’d love to catch him playing and not have to feel like I’ve run a marathon to maybe get one shot of him. :) Any other toddler mamas know how I’m feeling?

I decided this week to pick up the camera again and attempt to work on editing. If I can’t photograph right now, at least I can work on my editing skills, starting with black and white conversions. I’ve never been great at black and white conversions. I don’t use presets, just because I don’t want to pay for them and haven’t found any great free ones. So that leaves me to actually learn how to use all those sliders in Lightroom and know what I’m doing! :)

I snagged these shots of Landon playing with his trucks and trailer the other afternoon. He is OBSESSED with toys like this right now. Any truck with a trailer is his favorite, and he spends hours loading and unloading things off the back.  You can see the before and after images.

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They’re nothing spectacular, but I definitely have a better understanding of converting my images to black and white now. Learning Lightroom has taken some time, but it really is so easy to use and produces great results.  One of the best resources I can recommend for black and white images is this tutorial from Courtney @ Click It Up A Notch. I learn so much from her website and her tutorials! Usually when I have a question about editing or photography, I head over to her website and can usually find some kind of tip or trick to help me out. So thank you, Courtney!

This summer I’m really hoping to pick up the DSLR more, and be more intentional about my photography. It is a hobby I love so much and definitely wish I spent more time on! Hopefully there will be more frequent posting here also… we’ll see :)

Friday, June 13, 2014

preschool 2014

Yesterday was Landon’s last day of preschool! I really have a hard time believing its already come and gone. We started preschool in January, mid year because of Landon’s birthday and age. Looking back it was such a great six months for him. He has grown so much, learned so much, and done so well with the transition.  Lets just compare first day and last day pictures can we? I cannot believe the change in him!

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The first couple weeks were a challenge to say the least. Landon cried, and I felt awful for having to just hand him off to the teacher and run out the door to get to work. I know it was what was best, and eventually, he came around. He never got to a point that he was comfortable walking in on his own, but he learned his teachers names and felt comfortable being left with them. Landon struggles in the mornings as it is, I think he’s just not a morning kid and he takes a while to get up and get going. I’m a lot like that, so I can’t really blame him for having a hard time with that morning drop-off. Its a lot for a two year old to take in, especially when you just want to be held and take your time to wake up!

Landon’s teachers were Ms Lynn and Ms Kelly, and lucky for us, he will get to have them again in the fall for his first full year. Due to him being so young, he will repeat the 2-3 year old class. They were both great, and I am so thankful that he had such loving, sweet teachers to watch after him in the mornings.

After six quick months of preschool, I can see such a difference in Landon’s speech. It is light years better than it was in January, when he wasn’t talking very much at all. Now? He is easily using 5-6 word sentences, and picks up new words constantly. He has also learned the ABC’s, how to count 1-10 in English and Spanish, can recognize primary colors (and gets them right most of the time!), and is working on his shapes. I’m so proud of him and how quickly he picked up new things.

Being the only child in our family currently, I thought it was super important for Landon to be around other kids his age. He did really well learning to play with others, and I think the interaction and being in his class was so good for him socially.

Our first preschool experience went so well, and I’m so proud of Landon for how he adjusted to it all. But we are so glad its summer break!

Monday, June 2, 2014

B’s 85th Birthday

Our family has some pretty big milestones to celebrate this year- we have four people that turn 30, my mom turns 60, and both my grandmothers celebrate their 85th and 90th birthdays. A few weeks ago after talking to my grandmother, who we call “B,”  we decided to plan a family get together/birthday celebration for her. My aunt and uncle have just returned to North Carolina after living in Key Largo for a little over a year, and so it was a perfect excuse to get the whole family together. It felt like Thanksgiving in May! Our cousin Bryn even surprised us by flying in from New York for the occasion. It was such a sweet afternoon spent laughing and catching up with each other. The last time we were all together was for my sister’s wedding, and that was two years ago. I’m so thankful for family, for my cousins, and that even though we don’t see each other frequently, we never miss a beat when we get back together. And I’m super thankful for B- she amazes me at how independent and healthy she is at 85. Happy Birthday B! We love you and were so glad to celebrate with you this weekend.

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