A Life Stirred

My Dear Claire

Dear Baby Claire,

Happy birthday, kiddo!  Today, you are one year old!  I can hardly believe you’ve been in our family for a whole year.  It seems simultaneously shorter and longer than that.  It has been so much fun getting to know you and your special, unique personality.

Wasn't this just yesterday?

Wasn’t this just yesterday?

Claire Bear, you have definitely earned your nickname, “Bear.”  You have a level of intensity about you that is hard to describe.  You and your big sis already wrestle…except you’re the only one wrestling!  When you get excited about something, your whole body tenses up, and it can be hard to hold on.  You also seem to be relatively fearless.  This past week, you’ve started climbing!  Help me!

It's Claire Bear!!

It’s Claire Bear!!

I feel like we are just starting to get to know you, Claire.  But in this past year, you have given us a lot of glimpses into your personality and preferences….

You enjoy entertaining others.  You will do silly things to get a laugh.

You enjoy entertaining others. You will do silly things to get a laugh.

You have a giving spirit.  You will often hand us whatever you’re holding without prompting.  Even if it’s something you really like.   (You're handing me Legos in this picture.)

You have a giving spirit. You will often hand us whatever you’re holding without prompting. Even if it’s something you really like. (You’re handing me Legos in this picture.)

You adore your big sister.    You are best friends!!

You adore your big sister. You are best friends!!

After months of not-sleeping-like-a-normal-person, you are actually a good sleeper now.  You and sis share a room, AND you’re sleeping through the night!!

After months of not-sleeping-like-a-normal-person, you are actually a good sleeper now. You and sis share a room, AND you’re sleeping through the night!!

Claire Annabelle, your name means “clear beautiful grace,” and that truly is a perfect description of your first year.  God has shown our family clear, beautiful grace by giving us a second daughter—healthy, strong, laid-back, easy-going, and full of spunk (which we are seeing more and more of every day).  You are a gift from God, and we are so thankful for you.

Happy birthday, Bear-Bear.

Happy birthday, Bear-Bear.

Love,

Mommy, Daddy, and Joanna

 

 

Leave a comment »

In Search of the Elusive Perfect Picture

Today, I am linking up with Kristi at And Babies Don’t Keep.  I don’t know Kristi, but I’m pretty sure we should be best friends.  I love every single word she writes.  At this point, our relationship is completely one-sided—I read her blog and pretend we’re friends.  Wait.  Is that weird?   

Anyway, she’s hosting a storytelling link-up on her blog…because stories are a way to connect.  And for me, they stir my affections for the Lord, especially if they have meaning and depth and humor.  So I’m really excited to be joining in this month.

Let’s go back in time to early September of last year.  Joanna was 19 months old and Claire was 2 months old.  A friend had sent them super cute, matching Best Friends shirts.  Since writing a thank you seemed like too much work, I had the awesome idea to take an adorable sister-y picture of the girls wearing their shirts and post it on facebook.  A sort of 21st century thank you note.

I got them dressed in their new shirts.  They were adorable.  Then Claire pooed.  I changed her diaper and ignored the fact that she nailed part of her onesie.  I probably should have just stopped there and tried again another day.  But I was not to be deterred.  I would get that oh-so-special sister picture.

Nope.  Not even close.

Nope. Not even close.

In an effort to get at least one of the kids to stop crying, I gave Joanna a toy.

Again, not quite that special moment I was looking for.

Again, not quite that special moment I was looking for.

I changed strategies and gave Joanna her paci.

Apparently, infants can experience acute jealousy.

Apparently, infants can experience acute jealousy.

So I took the paci away.

What was I thinking?

What was I thinking?

I’m a creative, resilient person.  So I decided that maybe individual shots were a better idea.  I could always do a collage.  A collage thank you.  Perfect.

Claire--ever the serious baby.

Claire–ever the serious baby.

The lingering tears aren’t really a good way to say thank you.

The lingering tears aren’t really a good way to say thank you.

Perseverance is key in motherhood, right?  So I tried a few more times, determined to get that picture I had in my head.

Well, at least no one is sobbing.

Well, at least no one is sobbing.

Sharing is caring.

Sharing is caring.

“Yup, sorry, kids.  I’m your mom forever.  You can expect this kind of ridiculousness for the rest of your lives.”

“Yup, sorry, kids.  I’m your mom forever. You can expect this kind of ridiculousness for the rest of your lives.”

I never did get that perfect picture.  But you know what?  Sometimes it’s not about that perfect picture…because the perfect picture doesn’t reflect the true messiness of life.

Sometimes it’s just about capturing those messy moments and finding the humor in the ridiculousness.  And in all honesty, I enjoy these less-than-perfect pictures far more than I would have ever enjoyed the perfect one.  Authenticity is always worth it in the long run.

 

And Babies Don't Keep
6 Comments »

Ten on Ten: Gray Day Edition

After a string of really beautiful days (sunny and mid-70s), we were pretty much due for a gray day.  Honestly, though, I kind of like gray days (especially if it’s raining).  There’s just something sort of freeing about not having to make the most of every single minute of sunlight.  Like it’s ok to wear comfy clothes and move a little slower.  So that’s what we did today.

[Although around 3:00, it suddenly got sunny and beautiful.  All of a sudden, I felt like I needed to go put on nicer clothes and go be productive.  It threw me off.]

Nothing like coming downstairs to pretty flowers....even if they are getting a little droopy.

Nothing like coming downstairs to pretty flowers….even if they are getting a little droopy.

I ran downstairs for a minute and when I came back, I couldn't find Claire.  Talk about a heart-attack!

I ran downstairs for a minute and when I came back, I couldn’t find Claire. Talk about a heart-attack!

Rainbow fish and piggies!

Rainbow fish and piggies!

This has been on repeat all morning.  (Art of Celebration by Rend Collective Experiment...so good.)

This has been on repeat all morning. (Art of Celebration by Rend Collective Experiment…so good.)

Lunch was a little late today…so I tossed crackers at them to buy myself some time.

I spent the first part of naptime scouring Pinterest for Father's Day Craft ideas...and eating a Rice Krispies Treat.

I spent the first part of naptime scouring Pinterest for Father’s Day Craft ideas…and eating a Rice Krispies Treat.

Oh, those thighs!

Oh, those thighs!

Relaxing with the Claire Bear after naptime (and yes, I took a nap too!).

Relaxing with the Claire Bear after naptime (and yes, I took a nap too!).

Dinner tonight: Lentil burgers with bacon.  Ha!

Dinner tonight: Lentil burgers with bacon. Ha!

And a bonus picture (lest you think everything was picture perfect today):

Baby's First Tantrum.  That's going in the baby book.

Baby’s First Tantrum. That’s going in the baby book.

ten on ten button

Leave a comment »