Category Archives: Birthday

E is 3

 

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since the day Elanor was first placed in my arms. Oh how the time has flown. There were days that flew, and some that felt like an eternity. I think that sums up part of parenthood, in a way. It flies, even though some days/weeks or months feel like they will never end. Three entire years though? This truly has flown by.

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Elanor was such an easy baby. Her labor and birth were peaceful. She nursed like a champ and did so until the day she decided to quit at 15 months. She still loves to cuddle and does the sweetest thing where she tucks her arms in underneath herself and against our chest, which is when we know she’s there to stay for a while.

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Physical touch is probably her biggest love language. Lately she has been asking me to lay with her when she falls asleep for her nap and at the occasional bedtime. When she sneaks in our room at night, maybe once  a week, she cuddles up next to me and pulls my arm out to lay her head on it, she calls it her mommy-pillow.

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She is fierce, strong, tough, hard headed, independent while also tender, soft spoken, shy and gentle.

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When I wear dangle earrings she always notices and she loves to slowly take them out of my ears and then put them back in. I don’t fear it a bit because she is so focused and soft with her movements.

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She went through a stint between about 18 months and 2 1/2 where she didn’t take a nap during the day. Something amazing happened and she is back to taking a nap in the early afternoon. She gets up around 6:30 and is usually ready to nap around 11. Sarah stopped napping around the same time, but never started back like Ella has. I think she needs that extra sleep to keep up with her sister.

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She loves peanut butter sandwiches, pancakes, bananas (and pretty much all fruit), yogurt, smoothies, hotdogs, food off of our plates even if it’s the same thing that is on her plate, grilled cheese, any cheese (sliced or shredded), bacon, eggs, rotisserie chicken, and dipping everything in ketchup.

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And cereal. Lots of cereal.

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She loves to play princesses with Sarah. She also enjoys pretending to be a cat or frog, or being a baby while Sarah is a mommy. Pretty much any game if it’s with Sarah.

She is a firecracker while simultaneously a quiet independent child. She is such a beautiful girl and we could not be more grateful for her and the joy she brings to our family and one day to the expanses that Christ gives her.

 

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Happy 3rd Birthday, Elanor S0-Silly Ringl. We love you more than we can explain or comprehend.

 

 

4 Years Old

On Saturday we had a get together at our house to celebrate Sarah’s 4th birthday with our family.

The weather was absolutely perfect and like last year we spent the time relaxing and playing outside. Sarah is similar to me in that quality time is one of her biggest love languages. Having all her family together to talk and play with is a gift in and of itself.

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4 Years and a Girly Celebration

Today we celebrated Sarah’s 4th Birthday. To commemorate the event we had a small get together at our house with a few of her sweet friends. We had 4 of her closest little girl friends over for a craft and playtime. What was going to be an outside painting activity turned into homemade cloud dough inside because the weather flip flopped on us and turned really cold yesterday.

It was sweet and simple. We had goldfish, apple slices and oranges and one of her friends brought some cupcakes and a birthday banner that they made for her. We did snacks, craft and had a short stint outside while we pushed them on the swings. The girls did so wonderfully together. The idea was pretty last minute and I was thrilled to hear both families were available when I asked them earlier this week. 6 little girls, 3 moms and an almost 3-month old boy who smiled and napped almost the entire visit :)   It was such a nice way to celebrate our little girl turning one year older.

Here are some photos I took during the morning. I even got a group shot at the end which I’m so glad for because it is real and a beautiful memory for me as Sarah’s mom. Trying to get 6 toddlers and a baby to cooperate for a photo is always an ambitious goal and I love how it shows how crazy that can be :)

 

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A Houston Wedding [day 1]

A few weeks ago Stephen and I had the amazing chance to travel to Houston. Our friends JD and Kate were getting married and we made the trip over with our awesome friends Nicole and Brandon.

We left out on Thursday after dropping the girls off at my parents. We made it about an hour out of town and stopped for lunch at a bbq place in Daphne called Moes. It was delicious.

 

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Back seat hangs with Nicole. We spent the drive chatting, watching movies on a laptop and playing a boat load of 20 questions. The drive went decently fast. The boys swapped driving and navigating. I’m definitely a fan of hanging out during a drive and having zero responsibility.

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The hotel had a cookie and drinks bar from 8-10, so of course we hit that up our first night there. To celebrate turning 30 I had myself a white chocolate macadamia, and it was so good. I never buy packaged cookies and these reminded me why – nothing tastes as good as desserts straight out of the toasty oven.

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We got to the hotel around 8:30 and decided to head out on foot in search of some dinner. We landed at a pizza place that was exactly what I wanted. Pizza is by far my favorite food. I have no idea why, but it never gets old. Ask Stephen, he can attest. I’m pretty sure if there was one food he’d have me limit for dinner it’d be the amazing, delicious, cheese covered delicacy of pizza.

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-A photo to always remember my 30th BDay-

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Nicole and I were really excited to check out the hotel, so after dinner and the cookie bar we headed to the rooftop. It was a bit chilly so the pool was out of the question but it was fun seeing all the city lights.

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Sharing a room with these two was a lot of fun. Nicole and I passed out while the guys watched an episode of Star Trek.

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The room was really nice and the beds were so insanely comfortable. I didn’t wake up one time the entire night. I don’t remember the last time I slept that good and that hard.

We had an amazing drive over and that awesome night of rest was the perfect start to an amazing trip.

First Sight

A few weekends ago we celebrated Sarah’s 3rd birthday. We had a fun get together at our house with family over. It was on a Sunday, so after church we picked up some pizza’s and made a few pitchers of lemonade. I made peanut butter cookies the evening before, Sarah’s favorite, and to entertain the kiddos I busted out the bubble machine. It was the perfect way to celebrate.

While we were all outside watching the kids my mom had an idea. One of our neighbors recently offered us a swingset they no longer used, but it was wood and it was heavy. There was no way Stephen and I were moving that thing. Given we had all our local family over, which included 6 adult men, mom thought to see if we could get the swing set moved. They all walked over and next thing we knew they were coming back across the street carrying a large wooden frame with swings and a slide.

When Sarah turned around and saw her daddy, grandpas, and uncles carrying a SLIDE she flipped. What’s funny is that it happened the day we were celebrating her birthday, so I think she thought it was the ultimate present, when really it wasn’t a gift from any of us, just a friendly donation from some sweet neighbors.

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“It’s a SLIIIIIDE!”

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As you can imagine, if the sun is out the girls are wanting outside on their new swingset. Elanor now loves to slide, and I’m pretty sure Sarah asks me to push her on the swing 875 thousand times a day.

It was a great birthday party followed by a wonderful night. An evening spent enjoying our two daughters in the backyard listening to them laugh and squeal over the joy of a swing and a slide. It’s always the simple things. The experiences that are everlasting in our minds. Moments that, as parents, are quick, temporary, and forever our own to cherish.

Green Thumb

When my parents asked me what I thought Sarah would like for her birthday I immediately knew the answer. Our girls love all things outdoors. While outside Sarah LOVES to water and take care of plants. She helped me change out our front walkway when I switched out it’s contents, has always asked to help water my parents tomato’s and flower pots. Like most kids, water brings her immediate happiness. Recently my sister and I have been talking about how nice it is when some gifts are not necessarily an item, but a memory made. With this thought in mind I knew I had been wanting to teach Sarah more about gardening, and figured my mom, the green thumb queen, could be an even better teacher. Mom always asks and encourages Sarah to help her with her outdoor planting adventures. Whether it be watering pots, picking tomatoes or plucking figs off a tree and eating them there in the yard, I knew there was no better gift than bringing those memories into our own home.

I had found some gardening tools that I wanted to get Sarah so I told my mom about it and let them go from there. They not only got her the garden tools, but a watering can, bag of fertilizer and a box of flowers.

I love gifts that are used to make and create memories. Gifts that get your hands dirty and teach kids about new things.

Here are the goods, before relocation

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Scoopin’

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-The beginning of growth

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Memory in the Making

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Getting her hands, and everything else, dirty

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Their finished products

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Getting use of her very own watering can

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Elanor watching from the coupe

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Goofy Love

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Later that day, after a much needed bath, Sarah insisted on continually checking on her flowers. She went out and reported back that the yellow one was growing. Looks like she has her Nana’s green thumb!

 

March[ing] Forward

One of the easiest ways to motivate Sarah to do things she isn’t fond of (ex: going inside, leaving the park, switching activities, etc.) is by singing a song. One that works 98% of the time is “Follow Me”.

My mom discovered this successful technique with some sweet and simple lyrics;
‘Follow me, Follow me, Wherever you may go, Follow me”.
Incorporating foot marching raises the success rate from 98 to 100%.

It’s funny how magical songs can be. I suppose they motivate me to clean when I don’t care to, so it shouldn’t be too surprising.

All that to say, the month of March tends to be a busy one for our family. Lots of activities, lots of movement, and if we are lucky, a lot of get togethers.

It usually starts with Sarah’s birthday. Then mine a week later, and my brother in law Jeff a few days after that.

Aging is an exciting thing. Getting to experience another year of making memories and watching relationships grow. Four years ago we didn’t have any children. We now have a 3 and 1 year old. It’s amazing how much can change in such a short time.

Oh how the months fly by…

 

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They have grown so much since last March:

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Alright, now where’s the pause button?!

The Big 3 Adventure

For Sarah’s birthday this year we decided to surprise her and take the girls to The Gulfarium. It turns out it’s only an hour drive and it was a great success! Sarah kept saying we were going to a “sueprise” and kept asking if there were going to be animals. Clever girl was on to us.

The moment we walked through the aquarium doors both girls were speechless. They went straight to the portholes where they saw dolphins swimming.

I think Sarah’s face says it all…

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They both really loved the giant aquarium

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Waving to the fishies

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We spent the afternoon looking at all the different habitats while also going to see the dolphin show and then a sea lion show.

Checking out the shark moat

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Lookout point where Sarah and Stephen went to view the beach, alligators and giant turtles.

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Checking out the sting rays. Some of them were huge. They shared the tank with baby sharks, which I think were hammerheads.

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Stephen got Sarah an ice cream sandwich as a birthday treat.

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Then, at the Dolphin Show, a complete stranger, a teenage girl, gave Sarah a sea lion stuffed animal. She held on to it like it was the best present in the world.

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At the end of our visit we let the girls play at The Sea Lion Beach. It’s a great little area with sand and beach toys for kids to play with. A great little area to sit down and relax, until you tell kids it’s time to go, haha. Kids never wanna leave a giant sand mound, especially when there are lots of other little kiddos around. We saw many “noooo, I don’t wanna leave” tantrums take place. It works out though because it makes all the parents feel good that there kid isn’t the only one ;)

 

 

A giant chair picture, because why not…

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While leaving the house that morning Sarah got to open up a card she got in the mail. She carefully peeled the envelope and was very excited when she saw a picture of flowers and I told her it was a Birthday Card from GG. She kept stating “A Birthday card for ME?” in question form. Silly kid.

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A well deserved nap on the car ride home.

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Happy 3rd Birthday, sweet girl!

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Party Time

We had a great time celebrating Elanors 1st birthday this past weekend. Her actual bday was the day after Thanksgiving, which we enjoyed by getting our Christmas tree and decorating the house. We had a simple party at our house that Sunday with family. A few people ended up not getting to make it, so we had lots of leftover food and dessert. We all had a fun afternoon celebrating our sweet girl turning 1. She and Sarah both loved having their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a cousin come over for a visit.

We 4 Ringls with our birthday girl

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I love this sweet girl!

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Showing off her skills

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Food was simple. We grilled and had chips, apple slices and cheerios. For dessert I decided to try something new.

I love the taste and texture of cupcakes, but the liners drive me crazy bc I feel like they’re so messy & crumbly. Thank you pinterest for solving my ridiculous avoidance of delicious cupcake goodness. Enter the cake-filled cone. Conecake?! Cupconecake?! I don’t know, all that is certain is they were delicious! Although Stephen mentioned they would have been even better with chocolate in the bottom.

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Elanors Cupcake

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I made a special plate for all our birthdays

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Love them!

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I also made a gallery/kids art wall in the kitchen. I look forward to Elanor having her pieces hanging on the wall with Sarah’s :)

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(thank you for the encouragement card Aunt Vicci, it meant SO much)

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Sarah & Aunt Kelley

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Little Addison had fun too!

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Uncle Stephen loves holding cute babies

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pre-cupcake snaking on cheerios

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Sisters: We think so alike we both braided our hair.

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That, or we are both too tired and busy with kiddos to blow dry our hair most mornings

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Stephen cried and it made Addison upset, so she joined in too ;)

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Sarah made this face after she discovered that I ate her lunch (which I thought she was done with).
(In case you didn’t know mom lunches are usually their kids leftovers)

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Sarah was more than willing to teach/help Elanor open her birthday gifts

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Cupcake Time!

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One of Sarah’s MANY desserts. I found 3 or 4 cones with just the icing licked off. Silly kid.

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Sisters

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The chocolate icing was a HUGE hit!

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She was the ideal 1st birthday cake eater. Made a delicious mess in her hair, ears, nose and all through her fingers.

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Gooey sprinkled fingers

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the remains

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Uncle Jason

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Ri & Jeff

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with Papaw & Nana

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Ringl Fam

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Aunt Ri

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Why play with the toy when you can play IN it?!

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Sarah telling Grandma an important story

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Grandma & Grandpa came later that day after mom got back in town

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the girls have not stopped playing in the ball pit they brought

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We had a wonderful day with our sweet girls. In another 3 months we will be celebrating Sarah turning 3 and then I know I’ll blink and Ella will be 2!

We live a crazy beautiful life.

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Elanor: A Year

How it happened so fast I will never know, but our littlest Ringl is officially a year old.

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This girl just cracks me up. She has the sweetest blossoming personality. She is more shy and docile than her sister, but will also give smiles to almost anyone that gives her one (and even more so to people that don’t!) She loves to wave and actually does it correctly (meaning she doesn’t wave her fingers towards herself, she waves outwards). She says Dadda, Dadda, Dadda, and Dadda. While she is becoming a lot more vocal that is the one thing she says clearly and knowingly. I have a feeling she is going to be a daddy’s girl.
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Instead of crawling on all fours she does more of a scoot. She uses 1 knee and the other leg she pulls underneath her like she’s scooting. I call her tripod sometimes bc she has a bit of a hop in her move because of it. She hasn’t changed her ‘crawl’ since she started. I think she does it because she can hold something in 1 hand and still move quickly and effectively.

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She has only worn shoes 1 time, and that was to go outside and play when it was a little chillier than usual. I need to restock on socks, so these little boots were the next best option. She didn’t seem to mind them much, but after crawling all around while we were doing chalk they took a bit of a beating.
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She knows how to just sit back and relax. She learned to use a sippy cup really fast (I’m assuming from watching Sarah). She learned how to climb real quickly. I guess she knew if she wanted to sit on the couch with her sister she had to learn to get up there herself. Thankfully she has mastered how to get DOWN as well. We had a cautionary pillow moat for a while there. -

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She is curious about everything, especially whatever Sarah is doing. She loves to play peek-a-boo while hiding around wall corners and pulling blankets over her head.

At 11 months I took her to the doctor because something just felt a little off. It turned out she had conjunctivitis and an ear infection. She was in great spirits through the entire sickness, just wanted extra cuddles from Stephen and I.
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She giggles the biggest grins with her 4 front teeth stealing the show. She got all 4 of those teeth within 2 days of each other. While I never even knew when Sarah was teething as a baby, Elanor made it well known that her mouth hurt and she was not okay with it. It made for a long 2 weeks of sleepless nights and extra nursing. Tiring nights that I will always treasure.

Sarah quickly learned NOT to put her fingers in Ella’s mouth anymore. She will chomp down like nobodies business.

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She was “crawling” and not showing any interest in walking and then in less than 2 weeks has turned pro. It just took a week or two of practicing with a few toys for her to catch on. I think Sarah’s excitement and clapping motivated her more than anything else ever could.

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I’m pretty sure she would eat bananas every meal of the day if I let her. She likes to bite piece by piece off and I once caught her eating one like a gogurt and had biten it just enough to make a hole and was sucking banana out. Grossily hilarious. I am very excited at how great an eater she has become. She showed zero interest in anything but nursing until she was 10 months old. Now she will eat anything you put in front of her. She even downed a bunch of mushrooms, peas and roast last week!
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She has truly added more joy to our lives than we knew possible. Each child has a special power to melt your heart with inconceivable love. It makes me understand Christs love in a whole new manner. To be able to love someone so unconditionally, it makes sense that we call him Father. I can’t imagine how greatly he loves us, when I know my love for my family is minuscule in comparison.
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She still nurses 3-5 times a day. At this age Sarah was completely done. Actually, it was the same week she turned 1 that she quit nursing all together. This is another way Elanor is totally different. It is crazy how opposite two children can be.
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The past year of being a mom of two has gone by so quickly. Or, as my mother in law so perfectly stated to me once:

The days are long, but the weeks, months, and years fly by.

I love seeing the little girl Elanor is becoming. She is blossoming into a little chatter box that loves to smile and laugh. She is a snuggle bug and little lap nuzzler. She loves her sister more than anyone in the world, while Stephen and I come in close second. It’s hard to believe that our little girl is no longer a baby. This time last year we had a newborn and were fresh home from the hospital. Now she’s walking around the house while eating peanut butter sandwiches and trying to run right along with her big sister.

I am a very thankful wife and mom for the life I am able to live. To spend this precious time with my girls. Time I will never get back. I thank the Lord for this beautiful, exhausting, trying and life-lessons filled opportunity. Being a stay at home mom is something I always wanted to do, and I know few get to do it, so I will not take my roll for granted.

Happy Birthday to our littlest Ringl, who won’t be this little much longer.