They were supposed to be on a (serious) timeout…

I put both boys on a timeout when they failed to use good listening and obeying skills. What I thought were shouts of crying (from mourning their disobedience), turned out to be an alliance for fun instead:) 

If You’re Happy and You Know It (dinner edition)

A Little Look Into Our Favorite Time of The Day…

Our little Monsters

The boys could wear paper bags and I still think they would be stinkin’ cute. However Aunty Stacey brought these costume gems home one day from work and I knew we just raised the bar to a whole new level of STINKIN’ CAAA-UUUUTE! What human being wouldn’t love smoochy yummy baby cheeks popping out of a dinosaur costume?!

Discovery World had a Halloween night for kiddos; where they had special festive events and trick-or-treating throughout the building. We really didn’t want to drag our boys out in the cold to trick-or-treat, so this seemed like a perfect solution. The boys could rock their costumes and we were warm. And there were fish. Win, win, win. We met our friends, Bjorn and Maureen, who brought their darling Cheetah, Faviola and new baby Hugo.

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Happy Fall Y’All!

California

So I took a little hiatus from this virtual journal. Sometimes, I feel so attached to this blog – an extension of my thoughts and experiences. And sometimes, I crave the anonymity of doing life unchronicled. Simply relishing in the experiences themselves regardless if they are made public or not – savoring moments that will be the secrets kept between those in the immediate experience.

Those moments are temporary though as I also cherish sharing life with you all, near and far. And, I personally think, I have two cute little munchkins whose smiles need to be shared as well as the joys and trials of raising them.

A few weeks ago Ryan and I got to travel to California to FINALLY meet our nephew, Cayden, and visit with Cory and Karissa. My mom and Stacey held down the fort with the boys here in WI. It was a quick trip but filled with so much goodness.

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We loved the time with Cayden. To hold him, hear his coos, watch his arms and legs move, hanging on every facial expression, and smelling his delicious new baby scent – and forgetting how small new babies are! Ryan and I kept commenting on how chill he was, such a good baby, and hysterical watching how much he moved his arms and legs. (He rolled over in the first few weeks of life!)

Cory and Karissa were incredible hosts. Even driving 3 hours in the car so I could find my favorite paper company. As many of you know, I love all things paper. There are many brands that I enjoy, and Sugar Paper is at the top of the list. Their headquarters and only store was in California – so I asked if we could visit. On the map it said the store was 30 minutes away…. However with a faulty map, LA traffic, and getting lost taking the scenic route, we made a day out of it.

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Despite the long car ride  - it was totally worth it (right guys?). While being there we also enjoyed some delicious restaurants, shops, naps, the Packer game at a sports bar and a few Modern Family episodes. On Monday we took a long walk to make up for the latter.

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Cayden sporting his new Packer gear watching the Packer game!!

Cayden sporting his new Packer gear watching the Packer game!!

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We passed the Father of the Bride house on our walk!

We passed the Father of the Bride house on our walk!

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As I mentioned before, it was quick trip that made us crave our Cali family of three could be closer.  It was a treat to step into their lives as parents, so excited and proud as we observed them successfully navigating the nuances of their own child. I could rave left and right about Cory and Karissa as parents, but I will simply say that Cayden Joshua is in the BEST of hands.

So until we can convince them that the Midwest is a way better place to live than California, we look forward to reunion in a few months. I am so proud I call these dear ones family.

 

This Week

This week was busy busy busy. As this couch seems to be absorbing me into these cushions, my body feels graciously fatigued after a long, full week.

We visited our furry friends at the Humane Society. Stacey almost came home with this pit bull puppy - but Lucy said no.

We visited our furry friends at the Humane Society. Stacey almost came home with this pit bull puppy – but Lucy said no.

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The boys had their first carousel ride at the zoo.

The boys had their first carousel ride at the zoo.

Giraffes were showing the boys perfect examples of waiting your turn:)

Giraffes were showing the boys perfect examples of waiting your turn:)

L thought it was a hoot feeding the goats

L thought it was a hoot feeding the goats

We went to Yo Mama, a local frozen yogurt shop for story time, a craft and frozen yogurt. Jeremiah loved walking all over and pushing chairs in.

We went to Yo Mama, a local frozen yogurt shop for story time, a craft and frozen yogurt. Jeremiah loved walking all over and pushing chairs in.

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Jeremiah was embracing all the options that walking and flavors were giving him:)

Jeremiah was embracing all the options that walking and flavors were giving him:)

All the fellas went to Lowe's for some man time so mom could do girly things like shower

All the fellas went to Lowe’s for some man time so mom could do girly things like shower

We went down by Lake Michigan to enjoy some swings and slides.

We went down by Lake Michigan to enjoy some swings and slides.

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He was serious about his thirst.

He was serious about his thirst.

And to end our week with fall festivities – we went to Fondy and visited the Little Farmer!

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This was our first visit with the boys last year:

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And this is our family photo, a year later, Little Farmer 2013:

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And BRAVE Aunty Stacey entertaining two babies while humoring a 60 pound lap dog. Wouldn't be the same (or nearly as fun) without this beauty.

And BRAVE Aunty Stacey entertaining two babies while humoring a 60 pound lap dog in the backseat. Wouldn’t be the same (or nearly as fun) without this beauty.

Phew, there was our week. Football and puppy chow are calling my name. Hope you all had a wonderful week and are taking advantage of this lovely season!

Fall is Here!

I can hardly contain myself now that September is here. I gleefully delight in fall’s generous givings. I am the cliche’ fall lover. I already had my first pumpkin spice latte, bought an arsenal of pumpkin candles, got some pumpkins and mums for the front porch, and took the boys to their first apple orchard. (And while I am currently writing this Ryan and I are gobbling down a slice of caramel apple pie on steroids. With ice cream.)

Even though fall is near the end of the year, I get this rejuvenation in my spirit as if it is the beginning of the year. It still carries the feeling of younger years when school was starting over. The feeling of new opportunities, new adventures, new people, a new season for life. Perhaps this feeling is magnified now that the boys just turned one as we head into fall. A whole new year of opportunities, adventures and people are ahead of them. So here is some of us lately:

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Jeremiah and Lincoln are getting more proficient with toys and play. They love anything that requires taking things off and putting them back on or in, such as the stacking rings. (And anything that involves playing free in diapers.)

_MG_0723 _MG_0887We have walkers!!!! This seems a little anticlimactic as usually walking announcements are declared with videos and banners. However I was waiting for a good video of one of the boys before I posted and he seems to be a stinker when the camera was on. SO – despite the lack of video, we are so proud and delighted that the boys are walking. They LOVE it too! _MG_0983

Running into dad’s arms is the best part of the new skill.

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Jeremiah is newly enthralled with Packer games (obviously).

_MG_0889There is a a lot of horsing around during dinner times.

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The boys outgrew their old bouncy seats and Grandma and Grandpa Lettau got them these swanky new chairs!

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Still enjoying our local farmers market!

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And these were taken at a nearby apple orchard, The Elegant Farmer. We enjoyed caramel apples, cider, the pie I mentioned eating before that is licked clean, beautiful weather, big orchards and animals.

I am feeling good things are ahead this fall. Stay tuned:)

Happy 13 months Lincoln and Jeremiah!!!!

Cayden Joshua Marquez

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Meet this sweet, handsome, bundle of love, Cayden Joshua Marquez. Born August 19, 2013, 2:35 p.m., 8 lbs, 6 oz. First beloved son of my sister, Karissa, and her husband Cory. First nephew to Ryan and I, and first cousin for Lincoln and Jeremiah. This little trailblazer has amazed us all!

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Ok, how insanely beautiful does Karissa look after labor and delivery?! Add the glow of a new mama to her face and she should be in a hospital brochure for the delivery ward. Ahhh so lovely. Cory said she did amazing during labor, keeping her focus and giving everything physically to get her son out safely. They both commented on how much of a team they both felt through the whole process. As a sister who is far away from Karissa – I couldn’t be more grateful for her life teammate.

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Isn’t Cayden’s hair amazing?! And his pouty lips?! My chest is puffed out over here as a very proud aunty. Ryan and I get to fly out there to visit in October, so until then we hold onto and savor pictures that Karissa and Cory send us to watch this little man grow.

Cayden Joshua has a whole life ahead of him, with the promise of adventure, discovery and community. I say this not because I know much of the future, but because I know much of Cayden’s parents. His outgoing, gregarious, brave mother left the midwest for discovery of life and college in California. There she met Cayden’s adventurous, thrill-seeking, confident father. Together they have traveled the world, taken risks, created a home, and established an amazing community of people to love and be loved by. They are a magnetic team. We pray that Cayden has the joy of life’s gifts, big and small, and celebrates it loudly like his mother. We also pray he has the confidence and energy to explore and take chances like his father. May your eyes be wide open and eager to see the great big world around you, and to love and be engaged in it. Welcome to the world, baby Cayden!

I could go on and on about this little man, however a mother’s musings about her child is the best way to hear more. Karissa also started a blog to share pictures and stories of their new life with Cayden Joshua. I have personally been so encouraged to hear some her early reflections on becoming a mother. It is too wonderful not to share! You can read and see more about their family of 3 at: babycapetown.wordpress.com.

We love you Cayden Joshua! Jeremiah and Lincoln look forward to welcoming you to the family someday!

Row Row Row Your Boat First Bday Party!

Bday Invite

Lincoln and Jeremiah turned one so we threw a party! I got the theme from the song that we would sing the boys in the bathtub. And sailing is still on my bucket list:)

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You could party like a sailor or party like a pirate:)

You could party like a sailor or party like a pirate:)

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Beautiful flowers from the very talented Flower & Bee

Beautiful flowers from the very talented Flower & Bee

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Lincoln got scared of the pressure of the cake smash, so Dad dunked him into the cake instead!

Lincoln got scared of the pressure of the cake smash, so Dad dunked him into the cake instead!

Hmmm, this was the extent of the "smash". Ryan's mom graciously got the same lady who made Ryan's cakes growing up to make the boys their cakes!

Hmmm, this was the extent of the “smash”. Ryan’s mom graciously got the same lady who made Ryan’s cakes growing up to make the boys their cakes!

Jeremiah was not sure what to do with it....

Jeremiah was not sure what to do with it….

Playing peek-a-boo with Grandma was more exciting than what was actually in the box.

Playing peek-a-boo with Grandma was more exciting than what was actually in the box.

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Sorry for the photo dump, but there were so many fun memories I could not leave much out! Thanks so much for everyone who came and helped celebrate the boys. Sorry I didn’t get pictures of everyone but we truly savored the presence of friends and family in our home. You helped ring in L & J’s second year of life in a celebratory fashion!

Lincoln and Jeremiah – you have made our family “merrily merrily merrily merrily merrily, life is ’bout a dream!”

One Year Old!

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Back to the Beginning:

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Memories and Milestones of 12 months :

*Their first cousin, Cayden Joshua Marquez was born! *Both love to tackle and wrestle on the floor *They love to chase Lucy around, giggling the whole time *Jeremiah enjoys green juice *Lincoln dislikes new food textures *Both boys can stand by themselves *Lincoln loves to shut his eyes and shake his head *Jeremiah hugs Lincoln from behind *Met Uncle Cody for the first time *Both boys love standing up on their motorcyle *Both enjoy clapping, and can clap hands on cue *Jeremiah enjoys music and dancing along with it *Jeremiah loves green juice and Lincoln loves strawberry milk *Eating a whole host of new foods! *Asserting their independence where ever they can!

Where does the time go!