A letter to Jackson on the eve of becoming a big brother:
January 27, 2013
Tonight your Dad and I dropped you off at your Aunt Shel's house because tomorrow we are off to the hospital so your baby brother, Lincoln can be born. Tonight we hugged you with mixed emotions...and even you could feel a change coming.
We've played all of your favorite games today - Dad and I wanted to soak up one more day of showering you and only you with all of our love and attention. Tomorrow we will be come a family of four - something that we have all been very excited about.
I think about the day you were born often...though I feel like I have "war stories" to tell from that day - it truly was the best day of my life. Getting to hold you with your Dad beaming by my side is a feeling I will never take for granted. The first few days of being parents were met with such joy and excitement. Dad and I had no idea what we were doing. We knew nothing about bathing, feeding, or changing a baby. But - soon you would teach us all we needed to know. We took your lead and before we knew it - we were all pros!
As the months went on you became more than our first born...you became our rock. Our world was shaken as we could never have expected on August 7 - 3 months after you were born...I lost my own Dad. You were the one thing that got us through those dark days. Your smile lit up the room when I didn't want to turn on the light. You were changing every day and I knew I couldn't miss a thing. I will never be able to thank you for getting me through those dark days. Your Dad and I had waited five years before having a child...and I have to believe God had a hand in leading us to become parents when we did. He knew we would need you.
The first few years of your life was such an exciting time. We have loved watching you develop the stubborn and competitive personality you have inherited from you father. :) From such a young age it was obvious you would love sports. Touting your own golf clubs since you could walk, hitting a baseball since you were two, and choosing ESPN over cartoons made it pretty obvious that this girly-girl Mom needed to brush up on sports. Yet again - you were leading me!
Your Dad and I have also loved watching you develop your sensitive side - though you seem to crumble when someone tells you no - as if you take it very personally (I have no idea where you get this - tee hee), you also care deeply for family, friends, neighbors, and even your baby brother that will be here tomorrow. We couldn't be more proud of this trait. I will miss you hugging and kissing my belly each time you walk by me - I'm sure that will be traded with hugs and kisses for Lincoln. I can't wait to watch you share your love with him.
You continue to grow and teach me each day. I know that will not change tomorrow when we welcome Lincoln into this world. I cannot wait to see what else you have to share with us as the years go by. But on the eve of you becoming a big brother I wanted to take some time to write this and place it in your baby-book. I will forever be grateful to you for teaching me how to be a good mother.
Tonight, before we piled into the car to drive to Aunt Shel's house - I hugged you and tears filled me eyes. I tried to hide them from you - but when my eyes met yours - you were crying too. I asked you why? You said you didn't know. But I knew. As excited as you are about being a big brother, you knew there is a shift about to happen. You are scared. I am too. But one thing I know is that once again, you will meet this new role head on - you will teach me - you will teach your Dad - you will certainly teach Lincoln with your dimples, smile, and full of heart personality.
Thank you, son, for teaching me, and for being exactly who you are. I couldn't love you more!
I told myself I would document this pregnancy the same way I did when I was pregnant with Jackson. Thanks to a quick "mirror shot" with and and iPhone I was able to do just that. While I stressed about the growing "bump" looking back at me in the mirror as each week it grew bigger...I love looking back at these photos...plus, I know the bump goes away...for the most part!
Yes. I know it is April. But I've been a little busy! :)
Each year, I create a movie capturing our Christmas memories. I download it to a DVD and we usually watch it the following year. It is always great to look back at how little Jackson was or how excited he was over a certain present. Such Fun!
This year certainly was special. It was our last Christmas morning with just having one child to watch open presents. We took in every moment all season long. It was such a special time!
As with Jackson's nursery, I wanted Lincoln's nursery to be perfect. After all, he was the perfect addition to our family and I wanted to welcome him into our home with the perfect room.
The planning of a nursery is a small project for some. But not for us. For us, it is a family affair. Justin had his mind set on some wood work he wanted to do for the nursery...and like most of Justin's home-improvement projects...he enlisted his Dad to help. Justin's Mom and Dad also helped with the painting...they even had an extra helper... Jackson!
When it came to picking out bedding and paint...my Mom was there to help. I even questioned my choice at the last minute and she drove out to calm me down (I often needed "calmed down" during my pregnancy -eek!).
A special thanks to all who helped make Lincoln's room so special.
Slowly, but surely Jackson's old play-room was transformed to a beautiful nursery for our baby boy. As Lincoln's arrival grew closer, we found ourselves visiting the empty nursery wondering what Lincoln would be like. Jackson would sit in the glider and talk about his baby brother. Justin would look at the tiny diapers waiting to be used and couldn't believe that we would soon be on diaper duty again.
Looking back at these photos makes me cherish those days leading up to Lincoln's arrival even more. Somehow, the big belly, back pain, and bloating is out of my mind...and all I remember are the precious kicks, fresh laundered onsies, and hopes of a new little one.
Though I have my sisters to remind of how grumpy I was for nine months.... :)
Since I couldn't be around the paint...Jackson and I spent some special time together doing puzzles and other fun stuff just outside of Lincoln's room while everyone else worked.
Each year Justin and I attend a "Thanksgiving Feast" at Jackson's Pre-school. This year was no different...except once I realized that my picky eater wanted no part of turkey and mashed potatoes (even though the kids helped cook and grocery shop for the feast)...Justin, Jackson, and I headed for Mcdonald's. :)
Jackson and his friend Kennedy
Jackson made our hats! :)
This year for Thanksgiving I really wanted Jackson to understand the concept of the holiday. This was our first year with the Bixler Family Tree of Thanks. Each day, each of us added a leaf stating something that we are thankful for. Jackson's leafs started out with things like "My Toys" and "My Air Jordan's"...but by the end of the month Jackson's leafs changed to "My family", "My teachers", and "My friends". I loved seeing Jackson actually grasp the holiday. Of course, I saved the leaf that said, "My Baby Brother".
Current Stats: Weight: 42 lbs. Height: 42 inches Clothes: Size 5t or 4 in the BIG BOY section LOVES: His cousins, friends, Gary Harris and Michigan State, Mickey Mouse and anything Disney related, and SPORTS!
DOESN'T LOVE: Villains, playing by himself, going to bed, napping, and reading (I'm trying to change that!)