Happy 35th Birthday Mr. Santos!

Happy Birthday Sweetheart! ¬†Jonathan, Jono ūüôā

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I love to celebrate you. ¬†I’ve always known that you are a fabulous guy. ¬†I love the way you love and care for other people. ¬†I love your willingness to serve others at the drop of a hat. ¬†I love that you make strangers feel welcome in your presence.

I’ve got to say that I’m pretty blessed to know you.

But over this past year, I have watched you grow for the better. ¬†First of all, you have made some positive choices for your health. ¬†Something switched inside of you and you decided to put down the Coca~Colas and pick up the water. ¬†You have decided to put down the desire to have meat with every meal and replaced it with the desire to eat your vegetables! ¬†Not to mention, you have also improved your fitness level with biking and time at the gym. ¬†35 has nothing on you Dear. I’m so proud of you!

And most importantly, your desire for God’s direction in your life has grown. ¬†This has bled out into all areas of your life and while I have always respected the great guy you always have been, I have a deep respect for the man you are and desire to be.

I love you Mr. Santos!  Happy Birthday! You are a fantastic husband, father and you are genuinely and deeply loved by those who know you.

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Happy Birthday to a BIG BOY who’s 2!!

Happy Birthday to a big boy who’s 2!! ¬†I can’t believe how quickly you have grown!!

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Apparently big boys push their own strollers…

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And look down into Canyons all by themselves…

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And look very handsome in sunglasses ūüėČ

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And party hard in Mickey Mouse ears…

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And LOVE to explore a whole lot…

We had so much fun today yesterday with you.  Your dad and I spent half of our car ride back from Arizona talking about our favorite memories from your past year, but honestly, we love all the moments we get to spend with you and just like today, our love and wonderful memories grow for you more EVERY DAY!  You are one sweet and VERY cool kiddo!  Happy 2nd Birthday Bubs!! Your Dad and I love you so so much!!  

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My Gift to a Deserving Husband in his 34th Year

Dear sweet husband of mine, I can’t believe you are 34! You know I’m going to give you heck for the next 10 days until I join you in my 34th year, right? ūüėČ I just wanted to say that you are loved. I am so thankful for your presence in my life and the way you help me to see all of the good things I have in front of me when I’m feeling stressed. You are truly my better half in some ways and you compliment me perfectly. I love that you are a big kid at heart and balance out my uptightness. You are the peanut butter to my jelly. You are the bright sky in my cloudy day! You are a gracious friend, a loving husband and a humble provider. I hope this year holds many joys and bright moments for you. I hope you experience growth and happiness like you have never known. I am so proud of you and the man that you are.

Lately, I have felt overwhelmed with joy when I think about how thankful I am for you. I know that I do not always praise and honor you as you deserve. My gift to you today and this year among a few others is to recommit to support you in all ways and lift you up even when I am angry and feel like tearing you down.

I commit to emphasize your strengths, not your weaknesses
I commit to making it a point to trust that you will do the right thing
I commit to love and respect you always
I commit to not delegate tasks to you, but lovingly and respectfully ask you for help when I need it
I commit to honor and trust you in all ways
I commit to serve you

ae8bca84422c347bc8c096b621fe76e9You are well deserving of this gift, this gift of giving my life over to making yours more fulfilling.  I love you. Happy Birthday!

The New Parent Chronicles: Baby Mason is Here! Yes, we’re a little late but hey we’re a little busy…

Hallelujah, ring the bells!¬† I have birth announcements that I haven’t sent out yet, but I’m finally getting some time to blog and say that our precious baby boy is here!

Yes!  It was a boy! Mason Jonathan Vicente Santos was born on February 18th at 4:36 am.  He was born 8lbs, 9oz and 19 inches long.  His Daddy wasted no time after Mason was born to pull out the Sounders scarf and put it on as his first right of passage.

He was healthy and just perfect.  We are so thrilled to have such a beautiful baby boy in our lives and we realize more how much of a gift he is every day.

How has it been so far, you may ask…Although eager to begin our journey as new parents, I don’t think anything anyone could have said before hand would have¬†prepared¬†us for what happened during and after the birth.¬† We passed Mason’s due date and went in to be¬†induced on Thursday, February 16th not realizing just how long we would be there.¬† I was induced¬†Thursday night, was in labor for over¬†24 hours and when I finally fully dilated at 2am on Friday night, we pushed for 4 hours.¬† The hospital bed and recovery time was much less restful than¬†I had ever imaged.¬† There is a lot more to the story, but I’ll spare you the details.¬† Plus I know that everyone has their own and they are all different.¬† In short, we arrived home Sunday night at 8pm¬†after three nights and a day in the hospital fully exhausted.¬† I wasn’t sure I was physically ready or able to begin caring for a newborn and the first night in short, was complete hell as my husband put it.¬† Now, I know this may sound extreme, but to our sleep deprived state, it was.¬† A hell that did not last forever but felt like it would.

I, after the first night at home realized that Mason and I were having some latching¬†problems and a hungry baby made for a frustrating first night and next day.¬† The following week, we spent every day in lactation services.¬† Despite¬†our happy Facebook posts that told of the intermittent joy and affection of our new little one, we, or I was struggling deeply with feelings of inadequacy and fear that I could not give my baby what he needed.¬† On top of not being able to get Mason to latch,¬†my milk still hadn’t come in after 4 days. ¬†After a week long¬†of frustration, a still fussy baby¬†and supplementing¬†with formula via¬†a syringe to get Mason nutrition, my prayers were answered¬†and my milk finally came in on the 5th day.¬† We have come through many other challenges, but we’ve come out of it more bonded to our baby and will forever know the struggle of every new parent…I can truly say that this experienced¬†has changed us and will continue to change us.¬† It also continues to make us appreciate one another more as well as the relationships and people around us.¬† We are so thankful for all the family and friends who brough us or provided meals and I’m so thankful for friends who came out of the woodwork to provide emotional support during the early days.¬† I could have never imagined my friends who had babies would have needed so much and would have never known how to help them in the first place.

With that said, Mason is pretty much now the center of our world.¬† I’m amazed when I look at the pictures now and compare them to when he was first born.

He’s growing so quickly already and we don’t want to miss a thing.¬† I’m definitely finding our time priorities are changing and just getting computer time to blog is a little harder.¬† I know this will pass to a certain extent, but I don’t think I want it to completely.¬† We will have a routine, but unless we are fully present with him, the routine never seems to work well.¬† I’m guessing these blog posts will be a little farther apart than before and it will probably take another month to get all our birth announcements out, but I’m telling myself that this is okay.¬† I also thought I’d start a new series of Chronicles as we learn and grow as Mason’s parents because I think the feelings of inadequacies of parents are little too often spoken.¬† Prior to having our baby, every Mom looked like they came by it naturally to me…Who knew?¬† Not I…

ps:¬† A little housekeeping from our Baby Chronicles, we have declared a winner in our baby poll.¬† Beth Delescavage¬†was the closest guess both the gender and date.¬† We were a week late and the only other person that came closer was my brother on his second¬†guess after he knew we were being induced.¬† Lennie, we’ll give you booby prize soon ūüėȬ† Beth has a $25 gift card coming to her in the mail this week!¬† Sorry we are late on that too but we havent forgotten.¬† ūüėČ