Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jackson's 9-month photos



Last week we had Jackson's 9-month photos taken.

Jackson was decked out in a shirt that looked like it came straight from Justin's closet, some old fashion PJs, and we even had some photos taken with his bank from Papa Mike/Uncle Tom.

I think the photos turned out fantastic...I just can't resist his smile!

We just got word that the photographers have posted a few of the photos on their blog. We can't wait to see the rest!

Click here to check out some of Jackson's 9-month photos: http://brandphotodesign.blogspot.com/2009/02/jackson-is-9-months-old.html

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar and Sophie are stressed!

Oscar

Sophie

Ever wish you had the life of a dog?


Well...our dogs are very stressed...at least that is what the vet is saying.

Oscar (our little one) won't ever relax. He is always very tense and on edge.

Sophie (our hefty one) has chewed a raw place on her leg due to stress.

It seems even the dogs are feeling the stressful year we have had.

Oh...and it could also be the 22.5 lb baby boy that is a crawling, walking, screaming, grabbing, loving, slobbering, bone stealing, creature that has over taken their world.

I'm thinking of calling the Dog Whisperer...Justin is thinking of calling the pound (Just kidding...I think).
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Justin!

Today is Justin's 29th birthday. Here are some fun photos from our day with Justin's family!


Happy 29th Birthday!

First birthday gift from Jackson!

Jackson got Justin a Putter return so Justin can brush up on some golf!
Check out the matching shorts for Jackson!

Justin,

Happy Birthday!

This past year has been full of so many emotions for us.

This time last year we were preparing for Jackson's arrival. I will cherish the memories, talks, and moments we shared as we prepared for parenthood. I couldn't imagine going through this phase of my life with anyone but you.

When Jackson arrived, I watched you instantly become and amazing father. I love to watch you with Jackson. He loves you so much and I can already tell he looks up to his Daddy. Jackson and I are better for having you in our lives.

When I lost my Dad, you knew exactly what it meant for me. You, more than anyone, knew that I lost my best friend. You have stood by my side everyday since. When I want to cry, you give me your shoulder. When I want laugh at a funny memory of my Dad, you remind me of an even funnier memory. When I am sad that my Dad isn't here to watch me become a mother, you remind me that he got to see me be a mother...even if it was for such a short time. When I look at you out of no where and say, "I miss my Dad," your response touches my heart. You simply say, "I do too."

I will never be able to thank you enough for the support you have given me...but please know I am grateful. I can only hope to be the same support for you, as I know life is challenging you in different ways. You have my constant support and faith in your dreams.

As we hope that year 29 brings us more joy and less pain, I know one thing is for certain...we will have each other, our family of three, and a love that is strong.

I love you!
Kristen

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Look who's walking!

Justin and I are in denial...but are baby boy is getting so big!

With his one year birthday right around the corner, we have noticed what a "big boy" he truly is.

We love to watch him sift through his toy box to find that one toy to keep him entertained. The winning toy is usually at the bottom. :)

We love to watch Jackson get into something he knows he shouldn't (usually the pantry)...only to look back at us to see if we are watching...(must get that from his Dad).

And...we love to watch him as he learns to walk. I will say this, he picked it up a little faster than I was ready for. I feel like he will be ready to run in the Indianapolis 500 Mini-Marathon with Tommy Boyd to mark his first birthday!

Each night we practice with Jackson as he gets closer and closer to mastering this latest trick. Here is some footage from our latest "practice session."

video

Monday, February 16, 2009

Three Red Roses


Grief is a funny thing. By funny - I mean odd.

I always thought when I lost a parent I would be devastated at Christmas, Birthday celebrations, or other events that all parents are a huge part of.

Since loosing my Dad, I have realized that my parents were so much more than just a Christmas tradition or birthday celebration. I know this, because the hardest days have come when I least expect it.

For example, Valentine's Day.

I spent the week leading up to Valentine's Day worried about my Mom...you see, this was her first Valentine's Day without my Dad since she was 16. I thought I would get through the day just fine.

I was wrong.

You see, each year I always received three red roses from my Dad. My co-workers would assume the flowers were from Justin. Without even opening the card, I would say "no, these are from my Dad."

Why three red roses? One for each of his daughters.

Michelle, Deb, and I would always call each other that day. We would say, "Boy, Dad shouldn't have sent me a dozen roses this year..." Knowing full well, he sent each of us three. Michelle would be quick to respond, "You only got a dozen...I got two dozen..."

This year, my mom said she didn't want to send us flowers and try to replace our father's tradition. I told her that was okay. I don't want to replace him. I will just treasure all those years I received his roses.

Tucked away in my night stand are all the cards from those Valentine's Day roses. They each read the same, "Happy Valentine's Day! Love, Dad" This year, I pulled a couple out and read them to myself...and missed my Dad.

Remember that Valentine's Day isn't just for your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend...it is for all those that fill our hearts with love. Thanks for teaching that to me, Dad.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A weekend full of love

This weekend marked Jackson's very first Valentine's Day. Justin always plays basketball on Saturday mornings and Jackson and I usually spend the morning at home lounging. This Saturday wasn't much different...except for a couple treats for each of us.

When Jackson finally awakened at 7:30 a.m., I walked in to his room only to be greeted by him and a Valentine's card labeled "Ma-Ma." He stood smiling while I grabbed the camera...and was even patient with me while I snapped a few photos. Thank you, Jackson (a.k.a. Justin) for my sweet card.

I wanted to make Jackson a treat for Valentine's day. Heart shaped pancake bites seemed to be what he needed! He devoured them...and then had his usual bowl of cereal. :)


Later that day I received flowers...and they were my favorite flowers. I pulled out the card and read the sweetest message I have ever received!


Jackson also sent roses to Grandma Charlotte and Grandma Penny...and they called to say what a sweet Valentine he was to them!

Justin, Jackson, and I joined Grandma Charlotte for dinner that night. Jackson was Grandma Charlotte's Valentine for the night! They made the perfect pair!

The next day was our 6th wedding anniversary. I had planned on spending the day helping my mom pack up for her upcoming move. However, she called and decided to take a break...so Justin, Jackson, and I had a very lazy day...we even took a family nap!

Thanks to everyone who sent cards, e-mails or text messages to wish us a Happy Anniversary. We appreciate all the well wishes! My sister, Michelle, and her husband, Tom, had the funniest Anniversary Wish...and we thought we would share with all you of you! If only they moved like that on the real dance floor....Enjoy!

(click the link below)
http://sendables.jibjab.com/view/01hSzGzDrOU4PFrEi6jQ


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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ear Infections are no fun!




Jackson has an ear infection.

As you can tell from the picture he also has a runny nose, watery eyes, and a very bad attitude.

Jackson is his normal smiley-self until about 7 p.m. and then he turns into one cranky baby.

He won't sleep in his crib all night...which means we don't sleep either.

We had to reschedule his 9-month photos because he wasn't in the mood to smile!

He is on an anti-biotic and we believe he is on the mend.

Please send lots of hugs Jackson's way!
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Could he be more high maintenance than me?


Check out this photo!

The small red suitcase was mine when I was a little girl. It would hold everything I needed for an overnight stay at my Grandma's.

The larger suitcase on the right is what Jackson traveled with to spend the weekend with Grandma Penny and Grandma Charlotte.

My dogs, Oscar and Sophie, now use the red suitcase when they stay with Justin's folks.

Are my dogs high maintenance...or is my son?
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Monday, February 9, 2009

Our Anniversary Trip 2009

Justin and I have been in Tennessee for the past four days celebrating our up-coming sixth wedding anniversary. We rented a cabin near Gatlinburg. Our cabin had an amazing view of the mountains that we managed to appreciate every day. The weather was fantastic and we even got to play at little "putt-putt" one day. (Note to Justin's golfing buddies...he only beat me by one stroke!)

Justin knows my favorite board game is monopoly. We never have enough time to play in our busy day-to-day lives. So when we were packing for our trip...he was sure to pack our monopoly game. I am sad to report...he beat me three times! We are also big fans of the card game "rummy." My grandparents taught me the game when I was young and it is literally how Justin and I passed the time the last few months of my pregnancy with Jackson. We couldn't let this trip go without a few card games of "rummy." Again, sadly I have to report that I only won one game out of four. Justin surprised me by scheduling a couples massage at the cabin. It was fantastic. He scheduled it right at sunset and we got to watch the sun set during the massage (though I think Justin fell asleep).

This was the longest we have been away from Jackson. It was a little harder than we thought. At first, we found ourselves talking only about Jackson...and we laughed at how much of our lives this little guy had taken over.....and we love it.


It was great to get away and celebrate our anniversary as we always have...but this year, coming home was just as exciting. We couldn't wait to see Jackson.




Note: A special thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Bixler, Grandma Charlotte and Grandma Evy for splitting baby-sitting duty. Thank you for putting up with how often we called to check on Jackson. It was great to get away knowing he was with people who love him.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jackson's New Boogie Shoes

video
Note: Turn on your speakers

Last weekend, Justin and I (along with Grandma and Grandpa Bixler) took Jackson to get his first pair of "Walkers."

Justin and I both can remember going to "Buster Brown's" in Muncie for new shoes when we were young. Walking up the steps to make sure I had the right fit and getting a balloon is one of my favorite childhood memories. So it was only fitting that we take Jackson to "Buster Brown's" for his first pair of walkers.

The children's shoe store is in a new location...but is pretty much the same. We picked out some shoes, Jackson walked (more like crawled) up the steps and he was thrilled with his balloon. Jackson was very patient as we tried on a lot of shoes...even a pair of John Deer cowboy boots made the cut...but they didn't make them in his size! :)

Enjoy the photos from the shoe store. It was great fun...and a great way to bring back some memories.

Let the walking begin!


P.S. My mom was snowed in and couldn't make the trip (I'm starting to think Cadiz is the new Alaska...tee hee)...We missed you, Mom.

P.S.S. "Thank You" to Grandma and Grandpa Bixler for Jackson's new tennis shoes!

Special Note: After shopping, we went to Olive Garden for lunch. I went to sit my purse under the table and I found a penny. I quietly picked it up and tucked it in my purse. You all know my theory on finding a Penny...and I knew then, my Dad was celebrating with us too. He wouldn't have missed it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jackson!



Justin and I can't believe that Jackson is 9-months old today.

Each day we love to watch as he learns something new.

He loves to show us how he can clap, wave, crawl, use the walker, and say "Da-Da."

However, Jackson still doesn't want to try solid foods or say "Ma-Ma."

I am certain he is only holding out on "Ma-Ma" because he wants it to be perfect! :)

Happy Birthday, Jackson. We love you more each day!
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Splish Splash ....


Last week Jackson took his first bubble bath.

He loved it!

Enjoy a short slide show of some photos we snapped during the main event!
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Way to Go, Deb!


We couldn’t be prouder of my sister, Deb.

This weekend was Deb’s dancing debut at the “Dancing Like the Stars” event at the Paramount Theater in our hometown of Anderson.

Deb and our Uncle Dick. Uncle Dick is the President of the Paramount Theatre and Ballroom and
the reason Deb wanted to do the competition!

Deb had practiced for a couple of months.

She was super nervous.

We were super proud!

My whole family gathered to support her - just as we would if one of my nieces or nephews were in a recital or a t-ball game. Even Deb’s close friends and co-workers came out to support her.
How did she do?

She did great!!!

Deb and her dance partner danced the West Coast Swing. They danced to “Sexy Back,” which made for a very fun performance! Deb looked like she was having so much fun!

Deb even brought me to tears (and Mom and Michelle too) because I knew that my Dad would have been so proud of Deb. I mentioned to my Mom that I wish Dad could have seen her dance. Mom said she was sure Dad was with us…I’m sure she was right!

At the end of the evening, the MC announced someone else as the winner (whatever). And…being the competitive family that we are - We pulled aside someone who added the scores to find out who got second (we couldn’t help ourselves). As it turns out, Deb got second! I am demanding a recount (tee hee)!

The night was so much fun! It was great to be together as a family and celebrate something so fun. We sure missed my Dad…but we cheered loud enough for him too!

Deb even got Michelle and I on the Dance floor!

Way to go Deb! Looks like all those years of being a majorette paid off!

We couldn't use flash photography during the dancing. However, Deb's friend, Nikki, snapped a few. You can see the photos here: http://theeiselefamilyblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/she-brought-sexy-back.html. Thanks for posting them, Nikki!

P.S. Deb introduced Justin to Julia Moffit from WTHR. Other than Deb's dancing...it was the highlight of his night! :)