Eighteen Months

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A year and a half ago, Jonathan Michael was born. The moment I laid eyes on him for the first time, it was instant love. Labor was already forgotten and all I could think about was the unbelievability that the baby I had been carrying for 39 weeks was finally in my arms. And that we had a son. The living, breathing result of the love between Stephen and I. A little person who is half me and half the man I love.

Yet here we are, a fast and furious year and a half later, and Jonathan is such a joy. I still can’t believe how quickly my sweet newborn has transformed into a walking, talking, running, belly-laughing little man. A boy who loves his daddy so fiercely that he asks about him literally all day that Stephen is working. A boy who amazes me daily with his increased vocabulary. A boy who definitely has a mischievous streak in him. My little explorer. My little engineer. My little sweetheart.

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Though he is definitely starting to test boundaries, he is still such a sweet boy with a compassionate heart. When he reads his Curious George book and George loses the baby bunny and is sad, he ALWAYS kisses George on that page. He isn’t much of a cuddler, but when he decides he wants to sit on me or give kisses, it’s the sweetest thing ever. Sophie, my in-laws’ yorkiepoo, may not agree. She is less than enthusiastic about the hugs and kisses he wants to give her, but he loves big. And that is definitely something I adore about my boy.

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Jonathan can say a lot of words, and he definitely has an opinion about everything. I probably couldn’t list all of the words he says but here are some: daddy, mama, eye, ear, nose, belly, koala (“wala”), caribou (“car-boo”), roo (kangaroo), hippo, lizard, fish, George, monkey, ribbit, okay (one of the cutest!), what, water, bottle, birdie, horsey, cow (always referred to as moo-cow), car, no (my least favorite), milk, sky, cracker, book, banana (“nana”), apple, hoop, walk and of course, several family names: Nani, Grandpa, Grandma, Matt, D (for Dan), Bekah, JoJo, CD, Ash, Slade, Nana, Mack, “Opie” (Sophie). When he doesn’t have the words yet, he’ll just yell out some random gibberish very vociferously to make sure his point gets across. He can string words together, such as “bunny, are you?” (bunny, where are you). He’s asked where bunny, birdie, Daddy, Nani and George all are. He will also say “I get you.”

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He walks, he runs, he tries to jump and dribble. He throws extremely well (though not always the things I would like him to throw). He mows the carpet and hardwood with his toy lawnmower. He plays his toy piano and loves listening to Baby Mozart, Beethoven and Bach. He can “count” to 3 (he knows how to repeat one, two, three, at times while moving objects). He has mastered the stairs by crawling, walking and sliding down. He likes to hand me pots and pans when I’m cooking. He figured out how to unwrap a Hershey’s Kiss on the first try. “The Wheels on the Bus” mesmerizes him. When we put him to bed at night, he says “bye” and blows us kisses (talk about melting your heart).

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He does burpees. He does sumo deadlift high pulls with my 5 lb. dumbbells. His squat form is on point. Anything his dad or uncles can do, he thinks he can do, too. All of his own volition. He’s definitely a Rabon.

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He has the best baby bed head. He has 12 teeth and his incisors are starting to make their appearances. He has a newfound appreciation for pb&j. He is quite interested in his belly button and will probably show it to you. He is a notorious water bottle thief. He charms people at the grocery store, restaurants, and Target. He high-fives all willing participants. He blows kisses to cars as they drive by.

He is truly a little man. But he’s still my baby. Not a toddler. Baby. (Someone is clearly in denial, a fact for which my husband continually mocks me.)

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He’s spent the majority of the last two months surrounded by family at my grandparents surprise 80th birthday party, followed by my grandparents visiting, followed by my parents visiting, followed by Stephen’s parents visiting. He’s loved every moment. Family is so important, so I am truly thankful that he has been spoiled both by the attention but also by the quality time. These are the moments he may not remember but will be indelibly etched into the fiber of his being and into the memories of those who love him. IMG_5181

Eighteen months in and so much life has already been lived, with so much yet to come. I feel remarkably blessed to get to be Jonathan’s mom and help guide him into the man he will become, starting with these earliest days of his life. So much of who he is and who he will become is being formed each and every day. What a mind-blowing realization that no day, not one, is insignificant. Not one day is ordinary. Not one day doesn’t hold a deeper purpose in the course of his life. What an honor and a blessing it is to spend these days with him.

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Five Years

Photo by Charlotte Geary Photography

Photo by Charlotte Geary Photography

“Heavenly Father, just as your Son blessed the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee with His presence, so now bless your children here who seek your favor. Look down upon them as their lives are about to be joined. We pray that you will weld these two hearts together and seal them with the bow of promise so that no storm of life, no temptation of the flesh shall be able to shake their faith in each other or in You. Be with them in sunshine and in shadow, in joy or sorrow, in prosperity or adversity, and may they live, so that they may be able to enjoy life everlasting. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

Five years ago, on the most beautiful day we could have chosen, the above prayer was spoken during our wedding ceremony. God has been so faithful to us, answering this prayer with a resounding yes.

I’m feeling overwhelmingly blessed with the husband God has given me. Stephen is my best friend, an incredible provider, an amazing father and a true inspiration to me of ways I can become a better person. He makes me laugh harder, love deeper and be braver than I could ever be on my own. His constant encouragement and faith in me has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and helped me achieve goals that I didn’t even know I had. From the earliest days of our long-distance relationship, I knew his values and priorities were in line with mine and that he would be an incredible husband and father.

Before we were married, our officiant (and long-time family friend) asked us for 15 reasons that we wanted to marry each other. I’m reading my responses right now, and every one of them is still true. Every single statement I made about the kind of man I believed Stephen to be was spot on. And I even did 16 reasons.

Photo by Charlotte Geary Photography

Photo by Charlotte Geary Photography

In the last five years, we have been on a big adventure. From the day we returned from our Hawaiian honeymoon, life changed in huge ways. I moved out of my mother’s home for the first time as a new bride. Four months later, we moved half way across the country to his home state of Colorado. A little over a year later, we tried to start our family. After two miscarriages, some lifestyle changes, and a lot of prayer, we finally experienced a healthy, successful pregnancy. After being married for three years and nine months, we welcomed our first child, a perfect son. The following fifteen months have been a journey as we navigated parenthood and the adjustment of being parents on our marriage.

Through the sunshine and the shadow, Stephen has been my rock.  He’s served me and prayed for us. He’s protected me and provided for me. I couldn’t be more blessed.

And now, as we look ahead to the next five (ten, twenty, forever) years of marriage, there is so much excitement about the possibilities before us.

“Now you’re my whole life
Now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe
The way I feel about you girl
We’ll look back someday
At this moment that we’re in
And I’ll look at you and say
And I thought I loved you then”

Love After All, Matters the Most

Photo by Charlotte Geary Photography

-Brad Paisley, Then: Our first dance song

 

A Day in the Life

When Jonathan was almost 8 months old, I posted the first A Day in the Life. These posts chronicle Jonathan’s day, every hour on the hour, while he’s awake. I think it will be fun to be able to look back on these posts and see how his days change as he grows older.

7:00am

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8:00am

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9:00am

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10:00am

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11:00am

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12:00pm

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1:00pm

This photo was not actually taken at 1 as I was getting a pedicure with Meghan at that time- he spent that time with Brandon

This photo was not actually taken at 1 as I was getting a pedicure with Meghan at that time- he spent that time with Brandon

 

2:00pm

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3:00pm

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4:00pm

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5:00pm

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6:00pm

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7:00pm

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8:00pm

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8:45pm

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Thankful Thursday

There is a lot of pain and sadness in this world.

Kind of a downer way to start a post about thankfulness, right? But it’s true. People that I know have been dealing with some really hard things in their lives lately; I almost feel insensitive to be acknowledging all of the ways my life has been blessed while knowing that truly wonderful people are hurting. However, I believe that God can and will heal and redeem these stages of their lives. I will continue to pray.

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy” – Psalm 30:11 NLT

Without further ado, here are things I have been thankful for recently:

1. An awesome week long visit with the Rabon side of our family. Rebekah had her Spring Break from Baylor and so we had the whole family together. These times are few and far between, so we are truly thankful to get to have them.

2. Rebekah designing me an awesome logo for my photography business! She’s going to put some final touches on it after showing me her initial design, so I can’t wait to put it to good use!

3. A great family birthday party for Matt while everyone was in town. It included an obscene amount of tacos, my birthday food of choice. They take a while to cook but I could literally eat tacos every single day.

4. Safe travels to and from Colorado for Mike, Marcie and Rebekah.

5.  Jonathan’s love of music. He and I rather enjoy our time spent singing and dancing. He’s got pretty good rhythm (he does not get this from his mother)!

6. Some pretty gorgeous Spring-like days. Jonathan and I spent some time outside last weekend and it was glorious. I’m looking forward to parks and picnics with my little man.

Start ’em young.

7. My hilarious husband. He makes me smile and laugh so much.

8. Trying new food with great friends. My first time having Daal Bhat was definitely a success. Jonathan also loved naan dipped in yogurt sauce. All the way up his forearm.

9. The new pregnancies that have been announced for our friends. I am so excited for these friends to welcome a new little person into their lives. There’s nothing like being a parent, so I can’t contain my joy at the thought of people I love getting to experience it for themselves.

10. Jonathan giving me kisses before bed each night. It seriously makes me never want to put him down (and I’m pretty sure he knows this so he uses it to his advantage).

11. Jonathan’s face. I’m sorry but I just can’t get enough of his little expressions and sweet smiles. He even sleeps cutely. Drooling included. Bed-hogging included.

12. Jonathan’s awesome teachers and class. Since I am working right now, it’s so nice to know Jonathan loves his teachers and classmates. There’s a group of 3 boys around his age that he seems to enjoy interacting with.

Jonathan having breakfast with Miles

Jonathan having breakfast with Miles

13. Technology. This week I was able to chat with my dad for about an hour on the phone without crazy long distance charges and video call my mom so she could hang out with Jonathan a little bit. I’m so thankful to be a parent in this time where Jonathan can see his family on a regular basis via technology.

14. Photography clients who plan to have me take photos again. Repeat customers and appreciation for my work are pretty awesome.

15. Amazing friends who will watch our boy with little notice. It’s hard as a parent to leave your little one with just anybody, which is why I feel especially blessed to have a few people who we know will love and care for Jonathan as if he were their own.

16. My amazing Moore family for offering us lodging for our Florida trip and undoubtedly loving on us a ridiculous amount while we are there. We can’t wait to see you!

17. Homemade cookie ice cream sandwiches. I literally dreamt about these prior to trying two store-bought kinds and ultimately deciding to make my own to get satisfaction. (No, I’m not pregnant.)

Yes.

18. Having enough people in the house when I make sweets to eat some so that I don’t eat them all. I love baking but should not eat all of the goods produced.

19. The smell of rain.

20. Cousins. It’s so fun to go through the different seasons of life with people you’ve known and loved for your entire life. Tori and I have been bonding like crazy through her pregnancy and I’m loving every second of it.

Thankful Thursday

So I missed a week… but I’m actually posting this on a Thursday, so that cancels each other out, right? Good, I’m glad you agree.

There’s a saying:

In this case it’s more like the days are long but the weeks/months/years are short. Time seems to be flying by, though the days seem to be long. I’m still working part-time, so by the time we get home from work and do a few things around the house, do my Bible study, work out and make dinner, it’s hard to remember to write much.

So basically what I’m saying is doing this weekly is hard. I’m going to try, but if I miss a week, I’m not going to worry about it. I’m not any less thankful, I just probably want to cuddle up with my boys, watch some Parks & Recreation and then get a good night’s sleep.

Rant aside, these last two weeks I’ve been thankful for:

 

1. The birthdays of three people who I love very dearly: my nephew, Jack (2/22), my sister, Nikki (2/23) and my nephew, Slade (3/4). I wish they didn’t live so far so that we could celebrate them in person but such is this whole living in Colorado thing.

2. The sweetest baby in the whole world stood up and took his first steps! I was so proud and happy and couldn’t contain myself. He’s growing entirely too fast but I just love watching him learn and grow.

3. Starting another Kelly Minter Bible study on 1, 2 & 3 John. Her study on Ruth was amazing after we lost our first baby, so I’m really looking forward to the rest of this one!

4. Some super fun family game nights with Stephen, Matt, Dan and Joanna. Game nights are great because we don’t do them that often but then when we do I always wonder why we don’t do them more.

5. Booking flights and making travel arrangements to go to Florida and Tennessee in April. Stephen’s cousin Jeff’s wedding + our 5 year wedding anniversary + seeing my Moore family + Rabon family time + beach time. YES.

6. The Scholastic Book Fair at work – one of my favorite times of the year. And Jonathan loved getting to meet Clifford (and totally photobombed all the other kids’ pictures with Clifford because he didn’t want to leave Clifford’s side)

7. A safe and successful Crossfit Open workout 15.1 & 15.1a for all the Rabon boys. Everyone set a new clean & jerk PR.

8. Winning $30 in our impromptu Oscars party pool. We got a lot of snow that night and were unable to make it up to Kevin & Brittany’s party so we rallied the family to do or own little party with appetizers, betting and lots of having no idea what most of the movies were about.

9. A new workout program: Jamie Eason’s Post-Pregnancy Trainer. I’m on Day 11 today and it’s been challenging, but good. I still don’t have a natural inclination to work out, but hopefully one day – ha!

10. My dad’s safe travel to and from Colombia to see Marcela. And a favorable report in Patty’s cancer treatment.

11. Jonathan and Slade have both been sick and both seem to be on the upswing. Hopefully Jonathan will finally beat this ear infection so that he can be back to normal!

12. Eight tiny, perfect baby teeth.

 

 

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:

1. Working at a school. If one must have a job, a school is a pretty nice place to work for getting extra days off. I definitely enjoyed an extra day off with my sweet baby due to conferences and Presidents’ Day, too.

2. Having a baby with such personality. He is SO funny. I’ve thought he was funny since I was pregnant with him!

Must get every last macaroni…

3. Getting to spend Valentine’s Day with the man of my dreams and the baby love of my life. Even though Stephen had to work that morning, I’ll take all the time I can get with my boys.

4. That was our 8th Valentine’s Day together. I knew he was a keeper from the very first one when, having been together just over a month, he sent me a legit Joe Sakic jersey. Clearly it was love.

5. The absolute joy Jonathan experienced making the biggest mess ever out of one tiny Dove chocolate heart. I was laughing so hard watching this unfold in my rearview mirror that I had to pull over and document it.

6. Brunch and cards with our great friends, Brandon & Meghan.

7. Speaking of Brandon and Meghan, now that it’s “Facebook official,” I can finally say I’m thankful for their sweet baby on the way!

8. Jonathan has been blowing kisses like crazy this week and it gets cuter every single time.

9. Jonathan being right on track with his development at his conference at school. They even said he holds his crayon the right way, so he’s advanced on that. Do we have a little writer or artist on our hands?!

10. Receiving my business cards in the mail- they’re so cute! And updating my website to match them.

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:

1. Actually remembering to write this on Thursday this week!

2. Getting some gorgeous shots of my handsome boy in his 12 month photos IMG_0832IMG_0846             IMG_0835 3. And one with his incredibly handsome daddy IMG_0861 4. Jonathan’s new dancing skills. I absolutely love watching him dance to the Friends theme song, the Grammys, me singing…

5. Getting to have a BBQ with our friends. In February. It was a beautiful day outside and Jonathan loved exploring Jameson and Rachel’s backyard :) IMG_2978 6. Having so many friends who are so good with our son. He got to hang out with Kevin & Brittany at Kevin’s surprise party and Jameson, Rachel, Brandon, Meghan, Kellen, Molly & Benny at the BBQ. It’s so fun having a baby who likes people.

7. Getting to take Jonathan for a long walk to the park and playing there for a little while.

8. Jonathan’s new blowing kisses trick. He blows me kisses when I drop him off at his class every morning.

9. Ordering the prettiest business cards for Amanda Rabon Photography – I can’t wait for them to arrive.

10. A short work week this week and next week. Extra time with my boy!