Thankful Thursday

This week was wonderful – a time full of celebration of our sweet little man. For more on his first birthday, read more here. In all of the excitement and fun, this week I am thankful for:

1. Mom and Dad arriving in Colorado safely

2. Great friends who came to celebrate Jonathan’s birthday with us- he just loves his Uncle Brandon and Auntie Meghan!

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Jonathan loves Auntie & Uncle time!

 

3. The incredible generosity of our family and friends. Jonathan received so many wonderful gifts, and still has enough gift cards from Christmas and his birthday for a serious Target shopping spree!

4. The never-enough-but-always-appreciated time spent with Mom & Dad. These visits are never long enough, but are so special to us!

5. Technology! Thanks to phones and Skype, Jonathan was able to talk to and see his grandparents, uncle and cousins for his birthday.

A video message from his cousins Jack and Milo

A video message from his cousins Jack and Milo

6. Jonathan’s sweet teachers at school – they had signs up around the classroom to wish him a happy birthday.

7. Parents at the school being very complimentary and really appreciative of the work that I do there.

8. Co-workers who are so sweet to my boy! It takes us a good 10 minutes to get from his classroom to the car because everyone wants to see him and talk to him.

9. A happy, healthy boy! His 12 month well-baby checkup went very well and we’re so blessed to have such a healthy child. I recognize the hardships that so many parents face in regard to their children’s health, even at such an early age. These moms and dads are a true inspiration in how they are advocating for their children and ensuring the best care is available to them. If you’re looking for an incredible story of faith and trust in God’s goodness, check out Hil’s Kitchen Blog. I’ve never met them, but I do know the author’s mother-in-law from my previous job in California. Their little one is just a few days older than Jonathan. Join me in praying for this sweet baby girl and her parents.

10. Good weather rolling in! This weekend is supposed to get close to 60 degrees! Be still my heart! And, with this good weather, I should be able to do a photo shoot for the sweetest little girl‘s 9 month photos :)

Jonathan’s First Birthday

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. – Psalm 139:19

On Saturday, we celebrated Jonathan’s First Birthday. It’s amazing to me that it has already been a year since our precious boy was born and brought so much joy to our lives. His birth and the following days still feel so fresh in my mind, as does the feeling of overwhelming love that flooded the room when he was placed on my chest. We did not know until 8:54am on Friday, January 17, 2014 that the baby we had been waiting for, that I had been carrying and whose body was knit together in my womb for the last 39 weeks was a boy. But being “mama” to our sweet boy is more wonderful than I could have hoped for. They say there’s a special bond between mother and son and I believe that must be true. I am just so crazy about him. His personality is much like I always thought it was while I was pregnant with him- hilarious, inquisitive and ever so active.

Sometimes the best gifts come wrapped in blankets with tiny feet on them.

Sometimes the best gifts come wrapped in blankets with tiny feet on them.

To celebrate this amazing child, we decided to do an intimate family gathering. My parents were able to fly out from California and Nevada to spend the weekend with us. I’m so thankful for these special times Jonathan gets to spend with his grandparents. I’ve always had such a great relationship with my own grandparents that I feel blessed that Jonathan will get to experience that as well. We missed having his Grandma and Grandpa Rabon out this year, but know that we look forward to seeing them in the coming months.

We started his morning with Rabon Pancakes. He’s been salivating over pancakes for months, tortured by his inability to consume honey until the age of one. Rabon Pancakes are a recipe that Stephen’s mom has been using for years that are healthier than normal pancakes and primarily sweetened by honey instead of sugar. Uncle Matt was sweet enough to make him some pancake batter the night before, knowing that he himself couldn’t consume any while on the Whole30 diet. Jonathan is pretty lucky to have such a sweet uncle.

He LOVED his pancakes!

He LOVED his pancakes!

I spent the morning cooking his birthday lunch and baking his cake, so he spent time playing with his dad and sous-chefing for me. My favorite birthday meal has always been tacos, rice and beans, so I thought there could be no better choice for his birthday lunch. He’s eating more real food now, and is able to use his superb pincer grasp to feed himself. Rice and beans are naturally perfectly sized for him and by “deconstructing” the taco, he was able to enjoy some shredded roast beef, tomatoes, corn tortilla, cheese and lettuce.

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Mom and Dad were both at the house in time for lunch and Uncle Brandon & Auntie Meghan also came and joined us. It was nice to have a small gathering of people who love him and are close to him. We sat with him and chatted while he ate pieces of his meal. Then, it was cake time. If he were true to his mother’s example, there would have been cake in his hair, ears, and nose. Jonathan, however, is more gentle than I was at his age. When presented with his birthday smash cake, he proceeded to pick off and eat sprinkles one by one (pincer grasp strikes again).

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After some examples from his dad on how to dig in, he did eventually go for it.

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After he had his cake, Uncle Brandon and Auntie Meghan had some other engagements to attend to and he opened his gifts with his dad, Grandpa, Nani and I. He was, of course, very well-loved by our family and friends. He went from almost no toys before Christmas to having many to choose from now that Christmas and his birthday have come and gone. He is enjoying exploring all of his new options and learning new sounds, shapes and colors. He is even learning some Spanish along the way.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening playing and enjoying each other’s company. He received phone calls, texts and videos from those who love him and even got to Skype for a little while with his Uncle CD and big cousin Slade. In all, we couldn’t have been blessed with a more perfect celebration for our laid-back, fun-loving little guy.

We have his 12 month well-baby check up on Thursday, so be looking forward to a post with his new stats and a new chalkboard!

Mommy and Daddy love you, Jonathan Michael. We couldn’t be more blessed, thankful and proud to be your parents. You continue to amaze us each and every day with how sweet, loving, smart, funny and charming you are. Watching you learn and explore the world is exhilarating and we look forward to encouraging you to use your innate curiosity to discover new things every day. God has truly blessed us with you and the story of redemption in our lives that you represent is beautifully unfolding as you grow. God always keeps His promises and has given us the desire of our hearts. 

Thankful Thursday

So remember that time 10 days ago that I said I was going to restart Thankful Thursdays two days later? No? Good.

While we’re selectively remembering things, please forget that today is Friday. Pretend today is Thursday.

Now that we’re in our own little happy blog fantasy land…

Since I last wrote, I have been thankful for:

1. Getting some fun new camera equipment from my dad for my birthday & Christmas

2. Having handsome photo subjects to test my new lens on

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3. Getting to celebrate our friends’ engagement with them

4. The Broncos losing to the Colts- I know, not a popular opinion amongst the people here but it will definitely take some pressure off of the Super Bowl party we attend this year.

5. Getting to spend Sundays with both of my boys

6.  A few good runs

7. A few good meals

8. Getting my incredible, beautiful, wonderful, gigantic canvas prints in the mail that Stephen ordered me for Christmas. I love them so much it’s probably unhealthy.

9. Spending the last couple days reminiscing on the birth of our son. With his first birthday coming up tomorrow, I am getting all emotional and nostalgic about being pregnant and his birth and how perfect he was that day and how perfect he is now. Being a mom is the best.

10. The fact that Jonathan and I are going to be leaving in like an hour to pick up my dad from the airport!

First birthday pictures to come!

2015

Happy New Year!

There’s something kind of refreshing about new years. Though I’ve never been big into the resolution thing, I like the idea that there’s a new year to try to make changes in your life, celebrate your accomplishments and embark on new adventures. Calendar years give a natural time stamp to the chapters of our lives and help remind us that we are constantly given a chance to better ourselves.

2014 was a year of immense change in our lives. We welcomed our first child into the world last January, giving us almost the entirety of 2014 to learn how to be parents. It’s been the biggest joy of my life to raise Jonathan and to co-parent him with Stephen. We have had to explore new sides of ourselves and our marriage during this time, and I have no doubt that we will continue to grow as Jonathan grows. He’s been an incredibly fun and easy-going child thus far and I know his little personality will continue to develop over the next year, raising new and exciting challenges for us, but also giving us new adventures and joys.

2014 also saw the beginning of a new phase in my life: small business owner. I never thought that I would actually start my own business and put myself out into the world like that, but Amanda Rabon Photography was born in September 2014. I started out with my brother and Ashleigh’s wedding and then came to end the year having done eleven family portrait sessions, one newborn session and two wedding sessions (one just of the getting ready portion). I feel proud of the work that I have done and also feel that I have learned a lot in the process. I hope to spend 2015 building my business, enjoying more photo shoots and learning more about my camera and chosen craft.

I have a few other goals for 2015 that are fairly standard: pay off debt, eat healthier, and lose weight. I’ve got plans in place to accomplish these goals, so hopefully they will be met with success. They feel a little blasé, I know, but they are still things that need to be done. I also hope to spend more time reading my Bible and being present.

On the blog front, I hope to be a more active blogger in the coming year. Later this month will bring Jonathan’s first birthday and there will no doubt be a post about it. I hope to be able to share his new statistics in this post, as well as his amazing new feats. I’m not sure that I will continue to do a monthly post once he’s past one. Maybe I’ll hit the milestones- 12 months, 18 months, etc. Or maybe I’ll just update periodically as I see fit.

I’m planning to bring back Thankful Thursdays in 2015. I believe there is a great deal of importance in being thankful for God’s blessings and sharing them via my blog helps me to be mindful of the everyday things that I so often take for granted. Keep an eye out for the first edition of Thankful Thursdays 2015 in just two days!

2015 has already had a milestone- our 8 year dating anniversary was January 1st (another great reason to love new years)! We will be celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary this April and that just fills my heart with so much joy and love for my husband. There’s something romantic about milestones. Or maybe I’m just a little crazy. Probably both.

2015 also has a lot of excitement building as plans are being formed with our friends and families. This will be a year with at least one wedding, at least two babies and hopefully many visits with those closest to us. Stephen might be running a half marathon this year. Jonathan will start walking and talking this year. And I’ll just be trying to keep up with these boys of mine!

Ten Months

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This post is super late- he’s now 6 days shy of 11 months!

Ten months. And every month he gets more fun.

Jonathan has brought so much laughter to our lives. He’s got such an adventurous spirit and is always ready to play with us. He’s started attending the Montessori school that I am currently long-term subbing at (where I used to work) and the teachers say what a joy he is. He loves to explore, he’s incredibly busy and he’s quick to smile and laugh.

He now has five teeth, which he’s loving using to explore new foods. He wants to try anything and everything he can get his hands on, but also still finds himself addicted to puffs. On Thanksgiving he was in heaven eating turkey, mashed potatoes and ambrosia. Bananas, cottage cheese and yogurt are becoming regulars in his meal rotation. He also really loved Uncle Brandon’s chicken enchilada casserole! He looks like such a big boy holding his banana and chomping away.

He’s getting ever closer to walking, cruising along furniture, the hearth, his parents. He still loves going up the stairs, but has just figured out that he can go down if he does it feet first. A very exciting development! He got to use a walking toy at Thanksgiving with the Athertons and he loved the independence of walking “on his own.” He likes to do it with the push wagon at school, too!

I can’t believe how close we are to his first birthday! I am both incredibly emotional that my baby is so grown up but also so incredibly proud to be his mom. His desire to learn is amazing to watch and the way that he continues to interact with the world around him and gain knowledge from it definitely brings on those proud mom moments. We’re so blessed to have such a happy, easy-going baby! He loves his teachers and all of his aunties and uncles. He is happy to cruise around the coffee table while we’re all gathered to watch football and stop in to play with everyone there. And to turn off the tv during Broncos games… that blue light on the cable box is just too good to resist!

Jonathan Michael, Mommy and Daddy couldn’t love you more!

Nine Months

Jonathan's pose for GQ 9 Months Old

Jonathan’s pose for GQ
9 Months Old

Nine months ago, this amazing child entered the world. From day one, he’s brought joy to his dad and I, along with the rest of our families. He’s been such a happy baby and continues to enrich our lives in every possible way. At nine months, he’s a very busy boy. Crawling from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed, with only very short naps in between, he’s a man on a mission. Jonathan is also a big fan of pulling himself up on everything – the couch, the hearth, people’s pant legs, the refrigerator, the side of the bath tub. He’s begun walking along things and at times pulls his hands off and stands alone for a few seconds. It’ll only be a short matter of time before he’s walking and, no doubt, running, the halls.

Jonathan is a great eater. He wants to eat everything in sight. He still nurses a few times a day, drinks some formula, eats puréed foods and also some finger foods. He has yet to dislike a food we’ve offered him. Cottage cheese and scrambled eggs are new additions to the lineup, but we are consistently letting him try pieces from our meals. He’s got a top tooth breaking through, so we anticipate having two top teeth in the near future to help chew his new culinary conquests.

He’s had a very busy few months of visits with family and new adventures. His Grandpa, Great Papa and Great Nana came to visit at the end of August and he went up his first “fourteener,” Mt. Evans.

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He also traveled to California for his Uncle CD and Auntie Ash’s wedding in San Francisco. He had lots of fun playing with his big cousin Slade and then going to Nevada to meet his new baby cousin, Milo.

Cousins pushing each other on the swing

Cousins pushing each other on the swing

J with his big cousin, Jackson and baby cousin, Milo

J with his big cousin, Jackson and baby cousin, Milo

We also made our annual Kenosha Pass trip to see the fall colors. Colorado in the fall is truly beautiful.

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He was also my little assistant on my first family photo session for my new venture, Amanda Rabon Photography. A cuter assistant you’ll never find.

Jonathan’s next adventures include his current visit from his Grandma Marcie, his first Halloween, and a trip to Florida for my cousin Jessica’s wedding (and flying with Mommy alone – pray for us!).  We go for his 9 month well-baby appointment on Monday, so be on the lookout on my Instagram or Facebook for his new stats!

A Day in the Life

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This post was inspired by a local blogger I follow over at Yes, I Want Cake. She makes delicious foods AND her baby boy was born about a week after Jonathan. I hope to do one of these every so often as Jonathan grows and his days become full of different activities.