2014 Year in Review | A Letter to My Son

Ian, sweet boy- As you can see, I am writing this 2014 post in MAY of 2015. Unbelievable. But that is how crazy these past few months have been.

I wrote you your first Year in Review letter last January, and soon after, we found out you were getting a sibling. Such exciting news! But my photography, my blogging (pretty much everything) just kind of got pushed to the back burner. I had no desire to do anything except hang out with family! And read. And sleep! :)

Don't get me wrong. We had some amazing experiences last year as a family of three, and then four. But I just didn't take my camera everywhere like I usually do, so I don't have a ton of pictures. But it was a really incredible year…truly, despite all the crazy transition, I think we made some of my favorite memories as a family during 2014.

As I mentioned, in January we found out you were getting a sibling. You were so excited. But to add to that, we also sold our house, moved into my old rent house, sold that, built a house, and moved in to where we are now. You also started Kindergarten, and I quit my job to work from home. All this while preparing for/caring for a new baby. Talk about wild. It's been constant madness it seems, and I haven't exactly been the level headed person I usually am. Despite all the upheaval however, you have remained such a sweet, kind, loving boy. It hasn't been easy, I know that. I imagine it has to be hard to all of a sudden have your parents attention split between you and someone else. But you have dealt with all this change remarkably. I am so grateful for the loving spirit that God gave you. You love your sister so much, and can make her smile at the drop of a hat. You are becoming so independent, and are such a huge help to us at times. You love school, and have a consistently positive attitude about it.

I have a lot to learn about parenting two little ones, because I know I haven't always been the best mom to you through all this. But I hope you always know how thankful I am for you, and how proud of you we are.

So, to start: we finally celebrated your 5th birthday in January, because it had gotten iced out previously.

You also began to really develop your love of legos!


We did a lot of driving around looking for houses in 2014. Sometimes we would make a day of it and go eat a fun lunch.

We watched the Spurs win their fifth championship! blog5

We went to the track near our house a lot. You have boundless energy.blog4

Fishing with your grandpa:blog3

You played two seasons of baseball. You really worked hard with your dad all year, and became quite the talented baseball player.


Along with Legos, you also developed a love for Star Wars. All of a sudden anything and everything could become a lightsaber. You also saw your first magic show.blog6

Not your first Spurs game, but your first one with your grandpa.

And more Salt Lick. Always Salt Lick when we go to visit.blog9


The pictures above are from our visit to Dripping again for Founders Day. This was your second one. We had been watching Bones since your Uncle Jake was working in Canada, so we brought him down, Jake flew in, Rachel drove in, and we all got to reunite for a couple days. We went a LONG time without seeing Uncle Jake last year. So glad when he came back for good.

You graduated from preschool!blog11

Later in the summer we visited Cabela's…your grandpa had been wanting to take you here forever, so on our way to SA we stopped through and finally got to go. Not really sure why the water is dyed yellow, but you loved the kayak. blog12

We visited Mrs. Stark again. You have such a warm heart, and just love everyone you meet. You are so curious too, which this favorite teacher of mine could tell, it seems.

We finally left for our little last family-of-three trip, and it was so much fun. We got our own golf court to ride around the resort in, and though we did make a short (because your mom was huge and uncomfortable) trip to Sea World, we mainly just hung around the resort's gorgeous pools. I read, you played, we ate a lot, we played bingo. It was relaxing, easy, fun.


I couldn't ride this slide, but your fearless little self did. I think you enjoyed it more than your dad did.blog14

In June, we moved out of our house, and in to my old home near TCU. This was not at all in our plans, but because that house hadn't sold yet, it just made the most sense to live there until it sold. Only problem was that we didn't have any clue yet where we were going to go when it did!

No matter, we took FULL advantage of being so close to everything (after years of being SO far out in the country). We walked (rode your bike) around TCU almost every day. We watched the 4th of July parade from our front step; we had a park and a library right down the block. You went to zoo camp again, and we didn't have to drive 2 hours a day to get you there and back. Your swim lessons at TCU were 2 minutes away instead of 42. It was such an amazing couple of months. We had very little of our belongings because we had put everything in storage, so it was just a very calm, peaceful, time. Perfect for our last few weeks as a family of three. blog15

As the end of summer neared, so did the beginning of Kindergarten! This is your first time meeting your teacher. blog16

It was really, really important to me that you felt special in the midst of all the changes that were about to happen, so before you started school we had an "Ian Day." We let you pick all the meals, and all the activities, for the day.

I loved that you picked a walk/ride around TCU for your first activity. Because it was just a part of our normal routine, and it made me happy that you enjoyed that part of our summer days as much as I did. By this time I was reallllly huge, but those walks with you and your dad were like a calming force for me. blog17

There was one hill that you would just fly down with gleeful abandon. Made me giggle each time. I made your dad wait at the top of the hill while I waddled down to try and catch your expression. (I did take my camera everywhere this day. I made myself!)

For breakfast, you wanted a Panera cinnamon roll. I figured donuts, or Mcdonalds, but no.blog18

Then we went to Flight Deck. I couldn't participate, and your dad kept me company, but you just made the best of it and had a great time.


We went swimming after that, and had Chick Fil A for lunch.

Finally, we went bowling, and then picked up a pizza and went home and watched a movie. All your choice!blog20

You've always like doing "activities" (experiments) together, yet as I mentioned my motivation for anything creative had kind of waned. We managed a couple, even with very few supplies around the house!


Then…you started school! So excited, so brave…you were not nervous at all. Jacob and Bones came with us to take you :)

Your dad and I went and took our normal walk after dropping you off. Was so weird you going back to school two weeks before we went back to work.


These are the last pictures I have before your sister was born!blog24

I guess God wanted us to meet her sooner, because on Saturday the 30th, 3.5 weeks before her due date, she arrived! When we knew it was happening, we woke you up and told you we were going to the hospital. We did not have a bag packed, so your dad started doing that, and told you to pack a small bag too. So you packed your stuffed Shamu from Sea World. Ha. Made me laugh.

I have all the details from that day in another post. It was a wonderful day of course. It was weird giving you that last hug before you left the hospital room. Because I knew the next time I saw you you wouldn't be an only child anymore!

I was (and still am) super emotional when I think about you both, but I definitely had no reason to be so anxious. There have been bumps, but you have been such a sweet, caring, kind big brother. You have dealt with two parents under a lot of stress from having a newborn and living in a tiny house. You have put up with my constant mood swings and me "shushing" you all the time. You have rarely shown any hints of jealousy. I know I'm repeating myself, but you seamlessly stepped into your role as a big brother, and I am so incredibly grateful for the bond you and Adalyn will have (and already do!).


The day these pictures were taken, we found out your sister's jaundice was getting worse (as you can see from her skin color in the pictures!), so the hospital came by and dropped off a little light bed for her to lay in the next few days. I don't remember anything about those three days except that I just lived in the bedroom with your sister. I was so emotional, and so scared, and I know I probably wasn't a great mom to you during that time. I'm sorry.

Finally, things got a little back to normal. As normal as can be with four people in a two bedroom house with hardly any of our belongings! We had only planned to be in this house through the summer, but God had other ideas and we ended up having to stay until December!

It did get hard at times. It was an old house, with thin walls, and loud floors, and it was not the most ideal place to have a newborn, an active kindergartner, and an overly anxious mom.

Your poor dad.

But I tried so hard to just be grateful for the small things. Your health, her health, the roof over our heads, etc. We continued to walk a bit, visit the library, and go to the park. But there were so many other things I was unable to do with you. I wasn't as able to be as involved in your first year of school as I wanted. And I wasn't able to go to many of your baseball games, when in the past I would never have missed one. I hope you never felt that it was because I didn't want to be there. I was so grateful for your dad and your grandparents, all who showed you so much love and attention when I couldn't.



You turned six!!

See your sister watching your every move in the bottom picture? She still does that, to this day.blog27

Your Kinder christmas party, a visit from gma, and your first Gingerbread house.

The tradition of putting the angel on gma and gpa Larry's tree seems to have passed to you and Adalyn this year!blog31

Annnnnd this. This was our New Years. It was INSANE, because we actually moved on New Years Eve. But, we couldn't sleep in our new house yet because of paint fumes. So we all (with the exception of your dad, who stayed at the house to watch the dogs) stayed in a motel for NYE. Everything is an adventure to you, so you of course loved it. You got to stay with your grandpa, while Adalyn and I stayed in another room. We were all exhausted; it was rainy and icy and so COLD. Really just a crazy New Years.blog32

I hate that I don't have better pictures, but I kind of feel like 2014 was one of those years where we just made memories, without me feeling the stress of needing to capture them all.  And that's not such a bad thing.

Thank you Ian, for being who you are. I pray every day that God would teach me more and more how to be a good mom to you. He made you so special, and your dad and I are both so grateful for you.

We love you,