Happy 1st Birthday Aubrey Joy!

One year ago today, they placed you in my arms for the first time.  I was in love with you the day I found out we were expecting, but the day I held you for the first time that love multiplied more than I could have ever imagined.  My heart was going to burst it was so full of joy.

Now you look totally different than the day we brought you home.  You’re 24.2lbs (95th percentile) and 30.5inches (85th percentile).  You have 8 teeth, and your hair is getting so much thicker and lighter.

You eat anything, and watching you eat is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  You truly enjoy food, and it’s adorable.  We successfully made it to our goal to nurse for 1 year, and now that we’ve made it I honestly don’t see you weaning anytime soon.  If you do, I won’t know how to get you to bed at night.

You take 2 great naps a day, and if only bedtime was as simple as nap time.  Every week changes and you go through a new bedtime phase.  It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours to get you to sleep at night and that’s when I put you to sleep.  Sometimes you wake up 1-2 times and sometimes we wake up in the morning surprised that it’s morning and you slept through the night.

You’re on the go constantly.  You took those first steps at 10 months, and for a few weeks that was the most you would do.  Then overnight you got the courage to walk, and you haven’t slowed down since.

You love playing in the kitchen cabinets, with the dog crate and the dogs (much to their dismay), and you love cords and outlets (much to our dismay and now Paul calls you Sparky).   Absolutely EVERYTHING goes in your mouth.  You love biting fuzz off blankets and stuffed animals.  You dance all the time to music.  You look peek a boo and when we chase you.

You say “mom” and “dad”, and we are pretty sure you’ve tried to say “hi”, “ya” and “amen”.  You have learned how to shake your head “yes” and it cracks us up.  You answer our questions with a head nod, and 90% of the time I feel like you really know what we are asking you.

You started signing “all done” at 11 months, and now you tell us when you’re all done with everything. All done in the stroller or all done with bath time.  I’m trying to be more consistent with other signs (like more, eat and milk) so you will learn those too.

Here we are one year later, and that love has continued to multiply. Your smile is infectious, and your laugh is contagious.  Your kisses are sloppy and sweet, and your snuggles are my favorite.  You’re dramatic and determined.  You’re curious and strong.  You’re smart and sweet.  You’re active and stubborn.  You’re the most perfect gift from God.  Happy 1st Birthday Aubrey Joy!

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The Little Things

Paul has never been one for big romantic gestures.  I’m not saying he isn’t romantic in his own way,  but he just isn’t that guy that’s going to plan a big elaborate surprise or shower me with gifts just because… at least not very often.

Lo and Paul (13 of 29)

Lately though, I’m noticing these very little seemingly insignificant things that Paul does on a regular basis to show me he loves me.  If you’re not looking or paying attention, you would miss them.  They are the little acts of love that often fly under the radar and go unappreciated.  I’m not sure if I’m paying more attention, or the longer we are together the better we are getting to know each other.  These are the little things I never want to forget, and when I’m paying attention they have me swooning for my husband all over again.

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Love doesn’t have to be full of big romantic gestures all the time.  Sometimes I think love is more beautiful in those brief little moments, where the love is unspoken.  Those regular days, where actions speak louder than words.  When he knows a hug and pep talk is just what I needed.  When hanging a nursery decoration takes priority to the interview he was waiting to see with Jameis Winston to help ease your wife’s anxiety.  When you send your wife in the house to protect her from seeing the snake in the backyard.  Some of these things may not even sound like your stereotypical descriptions of “love”, and maybe that’s why they often go overlooked and under appreciated.

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I encourage everyone to look for the simple moments of love in their marriage, because those little moments are the ones that fill my heart with joy, remind me how lucky I am to have my husband, and make me feel more loved and cherished.  Value the little things in love.

The Perfect Getaway

At the end of March, Paul and I headed to Destin, FL for a baby moon.  It’s not a necessity while you’re pregnant, but it was so incredibly worth it!  We were a little bummed because the forecast was predicted to be a little bit chilly, but man the weather was BEAUTIFUL during the day!  At night, you needed to be bundled up for sure!!

We got to Destin, and immediately just took in the view from our hotel room.  Destin is one of our favorite places, and it just made me happy looking off our balcony to this!

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Friday night, we got there around 6, so we changed and headed to dinner.  We ate at ACME and it was delicious!  Then we spent the evening walking around Baytown.  The whole time, we just kept talking about how awesome it will be when Aubrey gets older and we take trips to Destin, and she can play at all the fun little places they have for kids.

On Saturday, we headed to breakfast at “The Donut Hole”.  If you’ve never been, you need to go.  Right now!  Take me with you!  Everything is homemade, but the donuts are just melt in your mouth amazing.  I want to go back… it’s just a 7 hour drive for a donut!  Totally realistic!

Then we headed to the outlets, and did some damage in an about an hour.  So we left!  It was fun though!  We got great deals at the Nike Outlet, and then updated Paul’s Sperry’s to a nicer pair.  His were looking pretty pathetic.  Afterwards, we headed to the beach, and it ended up being a gorgeous day!  The weather said it was about 60 degrees, but in the sun it felt like 70.  It was beautiful, and we even got some drinks on the beach… Virgin Strawberry Daquiri for me.  I can pretend 🙂

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I was daring enough to sun the bump this weekend too…

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Saturday night, we headed to play put put golf, and we were pretty competitive.  I was winning, until Paul pulled ahead!  He ended up beating me by 7, but we both came in under par.  Quite the accomplishment for a put put golf course!

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After golf, we found a little local restaurant where we ate, and when we headed back to the hotel, Paul wanted to fish.  So we headed to the beach, and it was FREEZING!  I was shivering so bad, it was making my back hurt! So after about 10 minutes, I decided I was going back to the room.  Well as soon as I told him, he caught a fish!  He started reeling it in, and he could not have been more excited.  One of my favorite parts about Paul is his excitement.  When something makes him happy, you know it! He gets this HUGE smile, and he gets giddy like a little kid at Christmas.  Then he continues to talk about whatever it was that excited him for a day or two with such animation.  It’s adorable.  So imagine his excitement when he caught this sucker…

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Our weekend could not have been better.  It was one of those weekends that just reminds you of all the things that made you fall in love in the first place.   It was a perfect getaway from our busy life lately, and a perfect last weekend away before we are a family of 3!

Happy Valentine’s Day… Help Me Choose!!

I’ve never been big on Valentine’s Day.  I think it can be cute, but to be honest, I feel like it’s an excuse for people to spend an excessive amount of money on food/flowers/candy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love showing Paul that I love and appreciate him on Valentine’s Day, but neither of us feel like we have to have some crazy expensive date night, and if he sends me a $100 bouquet of roses he knows very well that he will have a response along the lines of, “Oh honey that is so sweet… why the heck did you spend $100 on FLOWERS?! They die! Go to Publix!”  (He knows this so well that the last time he bought me flowers, he bought flowers at Home Depot that we could plant in our yard!)

So our Valentine’s Day usually consists of us making a nice dinner together at home, some cards, and of course some chocolate.  I usually spend the day doing sweet things for him like making his favorite breakfast and cake (someone once said the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach… I guess I really believed them!). That being said, we’ve never bought presents for each other.  So this year, I didn’t think anything changed.

This year, we decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day early.  We have friends coming into town this weekend, and we didn’t want to deal with the rush anyways.  So on Thursday, we had plans to go to dinner.   Nothing crazy.  That’s how excited we get about Valentine’s Day!  So as usual, I got Paul a card, and Reeses, and I left him cute little love notes in the shape of a heart on the mirror telling him all the reasons why I loved him (cheesy I know, but so fun to do!), then I made his favorite cake and was ready to call it a day.

Well, to my surprise, we exchanged cards and Paul made me go first.  I opened the card and inside is a note, “Cirque du Soleil or Orlando Ballet Battle of the Sexes – You pick!” I got so excited I cried (dang pregnancy hormones.)

Now let me explain how this came about… I subtly started hinting around Christmas time that I hadn’t seen The Nutcracker in years, and I wanted to see it… my subtle hints were apparently too subtle.  As the dates of The Nutcracker neared, I asked Paul if we had any plans or if he had any surprises for me… he looked at me like I was crazy.  (Such a girl thing to do – hint, and then ask for it!) Then not long ago, we met some friends at Downtown Disney for dinner, and we walked past Cirque du Soleil.  I looked at Paul and said, “Since you missed my Nutcracker hints, let me just tell you.  I WANT to go to Cirque du Soleil, so if you want to take me there, I won’t be mad”.  He just laughed at me and gave me a kiss.

So much to my surprise yesterday he came through, and now I have to choose!! The problem is I have no idea how to choose!

Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – I saw this show about 7 years ago with my mom and sister.  It’s absolutely amazing. If you’ve never seen a Cirque show – GO! Seriously! They are absolutely phenomenal and there is no way you can leave disappointed!  I’ve also seen “The Beatles LOVE” and a traveling show I cannot remember the name of for the life of me.   I honestly think of the 2 options, Paul would enjoy this much more than a ballet.

The Orlando Ballet – Battle of the Sexes – After reading Misty Copeland’s autobiography, I’ve been dying to see a ballet.  I guess reading it reignited how much I love dance in general  After reading it, I asked Paul to take me to a ballet in New York.  He laughed, it’s currently not an option.  So I settled for the Orlando Ballet, but I really want to see a classical ballet like Swan Lake or Firebird.  So even though I’m sure Battle of the Sexes is great, I want to see a classic.

So now you see my problem.  I have no idea how to choose! Help!

My Husband to the Rescue

The last week or so has been pretty rough for me.  I just feel like there have been a lot of things going on, and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.  I don’t know what God wants me to do, or what direction He’s trying to tell me to go.  Yesterday was just one of those days where it all piled on at once.

I was really frustrated with work.  I kept getting kicked off the server, and it was making simple tasks take forever.  I think that, on top of my other frustrations (and pregnancy hormones) were just enough to send me over the edge.  At one point I went into Paul’s office.  I honestly don’t even remember what we were talking about in his office, but I know I was short.  When I get short, my attitude comes out often times without me meaning to have an attitude.  He hates my attitude (so does everyone else in my family). I turned and walked back into my office thinking to myself that I probably just made him mad.

A few minutes later, Paul walks into my office.  He gives me a big hug and kiss, and he says, “Do you know how much I love you?”.  I just started crying, and apologizing while telling him all the things that have been running through my mind lately.  After some reassuring words, he decides instead of having me make dinner he wants to take me out to get my mind off things.  So after work, we headed out to dinner, and we had a great night together.

I think marriage comes with a learning curve.  I think when Paul saw how short I was being he knew I was getting discouraged and frustrated.  Instead of getting mad at me for being short, which typically would lead to a fight, he came and turned my day around.  He knew exactly what I needed, and he came to my rescue.  I cannot thank him enough for being our rock when I can’t.  The longer we’re married, the more I see us learning about each other, and working together.  I loved the beginning of our relationship where everything is new and exciting, but relationships change and evolve.  Now, almost 2 years into our marriage, our relationship isn’t new, but it’s still exciting in completely different ways.  We know more about each other then we’ve ever known, and we’ve grown together.

People always tell you marriage is hard, but what they don’t tell you is that it is so incredibly worth it.

My Wonderwall

This past weekend, Paul and I headed to St. Petersburg for a wedding that Paul was in. One of his first friends from when he moved to Tallahassee was getting married. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was a blast. The bride could not have looked more beautiful if she tried. She looked flawless and her dress was gorgeous. The groom was excited and emotional and you could see their love for each other radiating.

It’s amazing how my appreciation for weddings have grown since getting married last year. Not just because I now know how much planning the couple bride did to prepare for the big day, but because I can’t help but relive my own wedding day.

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During this wedding and reception I couldn’t help but look at Paul and fall in love with him all over again. As our first year of marriage comes to a close this month, I cannot thank God enough for bringing Paul into my life. This first year of marriage has been many things, but it has also been one of the most amazing years of my life.  I mean who wouldn’t love this guy…

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Ignore the 12 year old running through the picture and making this appear inappropriate

  The reception was so much fun, and it was amazing to see how happy everyone was.  It was a great night had by all from the boys traditional “Wonderwall” swaying, to YT’s rap (you an see the actual music video here – yes my husband is the masked Richard Nixon), to the dancing.  One of my favorite parts was to see so many couples who can be surrounded by people, and yet completely in their own world.  So in love, and so happy!  Paul and I have bets on who may be the next ones to walk down the aisle 🙂

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Weddings are exciting. They are by far one of the biggest moments in a couples life, and you are there to witness their commitment to each other and to support them on their journey through life together. Thank you to the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Sands for letting us be part of your special day. We wish you nothing but happiness!!

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28 Never Looked So Good

My handsome husband is 28!  Which according to him means he has already reached his “prime” and is on the downward spiral… at 28!  (It’s okay to think he’s crazy – I may have told him myself.)  So today I would like to tell you why you are so far from your prime My Love.

Lo and Paul (12 of 29)

  1. You work so insanely hard, and I am so incredibly proud of you.  You are just getting settled into a career, and I know you are far from reaching your potential.  This means that you still have not reached your prime.
  2. We have had 1 real vacation together which was our honeymoon.  We have way too many places on our bucket list that need to be crossed off before you can reach your prime.
  3. You have the most amazing heart and one day you will make the perfect father to our children. I can only imagine how in love with you our kids will be. You cannot reach your prime until after we have children!
  4. We just got married (almost) 1 year ago – I think we make each other better and our story just got started! So you obviously have NOT reached your prime!

This list is short, sweet and to the point, but this is by no means the end of it.  Everyday I have more reasons why I love you.  Everyday my appreciation for you grows.  We have so many ideas and so many things we have yet to do.  With each day that passes our dreams grow larger and closer.  We still have to have babies, and grandbabies,  go on vacations, buy new houses that will need loads more yard work, plenty of home renovations,  and so much more!  One day we will sit on our front porch when we are old and grey, reminiscing on our amazing life we built together, but until that time My Love, you have not reached your prime.  We have far too many adventures left ahead of us.

Happy Birthday Handsome!

Lo and Paul (4 of 29)