Thursday, April 30, 2009

Something is missing...

It wouldn't be right for me to post each day this week to show how excited we are for Jackson's birthday to arrive without also sharing that there is something tugging at my heart as well.

I've sat down to write this post many times this week and end up walking away. There aren't words to express how much I am missing my Dad this week.

If my Dad was here, he would have been the first to calm me down when the computer crashed. He would have reassured me I would get the video redone on time. He probably would have been down to help (even though he wouldn't have known how to help...just being here would have made him feel better).

My Dad would have called me by now to discuss the menu for the party. I would have told him what I was planning and he would have added a million items I wouldn't see necessary. And in the end, his items would have been a hit. At the end of our conversation, Dad would have reminded me to bring some "small Cokes" for him. And...I would have.

My Dad probably would have thought of something to "make" ( AKA - have Uncle Tom make - tee hee) for Jackson's birthday. I always loved how he thought these "homemade" gifts meant more. He was right. But, he and Mom would have also already been to Toys R Us to pick out the perfect gift for Jackson. Mom still got the perfect gift, but I know she missed him during her shopping trip.

My Dad would love the stories of my sister, Michelle, and I giving each other a hard time over how many people I have invited to her house for the party (she says she is going to have to finish the basement in order to fit everyone in her house - ha). However, he wouldn't have had it any other way. In my Dad's eyes, celebrating a grandchild's birthday was a reason to gather all friends and family!

Needless to say, I miss my Dad. His absence is noticed each day I move forward. However, this week is especially hard.

Dear Dad,

Can you believe Jackson is one?

It is hard to believe that a year ago I called you to tell you I was in labor. Your response of shock with "Your kidding" was hilarious. We were all expecting Jackson to arrive any day, yet your shocked response displayed your excitement. I will never forget it. I love the story Mom shares about how you insisted she use the restroom at the hospital instead of before you left. You couldn't wait to get to me. I will share that story with Jackson some day.

I felt better when you and Mom arrived at the hospital. You came into the room every 30 minutes and watched the heart monitor as closely as you used to watch Larry Bird play basketball. You even alerted the nurse that Jackson's heart rate was dropping before she had noticed (after all - you had three daughters and had been through this before). In an instant I had nurses and doctors in my room helping with the issue. Even before Jackson arrived, you were watching over him.

I know that is exactly what you are doing now. As I tuck Jackson into bed each night, I look at your picture that hangs above his crib and I ask you to watch over him. I know I don't have to ask, but it makes me feel close to you.

I have missed seeing you with Jackson. If you were here, I'm sure you would be teaching Jackson to stick his tongue out at me or something rotten that I would insist you not do (but secretly loved that were doing). I wish I could see you bounce him on your knee, stick your teeth out at him (Maddie has shown him how you used to do it) or just simply love him.

As we celebrate Jackson's first birthday, you certainly are missed.

You made special occasions even more special.

I miss you,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pickles and Grandparents...

Tonight, Justin and I invited my Mom and his parents to join us at Panera Bread (Jackson's favorite) for an early "birthday dinner".

They were great company and so good to Jackson.

Grandma Charlotte fed him Broccoli Cheddar soup and Grandma Penny shared her pickle with Jackson (Well - he really just took it from her). Grandpa John helped entertain Jackson when Jackson was "over" the high chair.

Thanks to Grandma Charlotte, Grandma Penny, and Grandpa John for joining us as we celebrate Jackson's birthday week! We wanted to thank you for being such great grandparents all year long. Jackson is so lucky to have you...oh yea, us too! :)

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Finished Product...

Last week I posted about my day with pottery. My girlfriends and I spent the day at the pottery place making our very own pieces (OK, maybe we were just painting them). We had lots of laughs (mostly at our own expense) and it was great fun.

I made Jackson a plate that he could use as he eats his first piece of birthday cake. Can't wait.

I wasn't too disappointed about how the plate turned out. It isn't perfect, but it was made with lots of love.

P.S. Girls, I picked up your pieces too...they all look great!
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Monday, April 27, 2009

The Birthday Haircut

Check out the new bruise (right next to one he got on Sunday)

Tonight we took Jackson to get his haircut so he will look "dapper" at his party. He wasn't too sure what to think at first...but as always, he was all smiles in no time.

Check out the new bruise he picked up today. Its a good thing the colors of his party are black and blue....because that is what he will be by Sunday. It seems as he gains confidence with walking, he gains more bruises!

Jackson was in a great mood tonight. He giggled while I gave him "Eskimo kisses" and danced as we watched Dancing with the Stars. He was so much fun!

So far...Jackson's birthday week has been fantastic! Can't wait for tomorrow. :)
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Let the Celebration Begin!

Who is the "kid" in this photo

We are officially kicking off Jackson's (two week) birthday celebration.

Today we lowered Jackson's crib to the lowest level. We decided it was time to do so when I walked into his room this morning and he was removing the frames from the wall above him. Jackson loved checking out the "new crib" and even showed off for the camera. Check out the photos above.

As you know, Jackson turning one has brought on some mixed emotions. We just can't believe our baby is walking and talking (and running the show). It is hard to admit Jackson doesn't want to always be held or need us to help get around. However, he is just so much fun these days. He adds something new to his "bag of tricks" each day. We can't wait to see what each day brings.

So please join us in officially kicking off the birthday celebration. This week, we have a busy schedule getting ready for a party at Uncle Tom and Aunt Shel's house (thanks for hosting Tom and Michelle!). Next week, we will be celebrating with the Creason's (Justin's extended family) at Grandma Marge's house (thanks for hosting Grandma Marge).

Check in this week and next to see how we are celebrating the big "ONE."
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Quick Update

I have returned from the Apple Store.

There was nothing left of the hard drive. Not even a trace of the video that I have worked so hard on since March. Not even a glimpse of footage. Nothing. Notta. You get my point?

What is a Mom to do? Well, this mom is dedicating most of her weekend to re-doing the video.

Bless the "Apple Guy!" I cried on his shoulder for a good 10 minutes before he offered to have the computer fixed in a matter of hours.

I'm off to spend hours in front of a computer screen.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Calling all Techno Geeks...

Most of you know that I have been working on Jackson's first birthday video for a couple of months now.

Tonight, at about 11:30, I was finishing it up. All of the sudden the computer froze...and it hasn't moved since. The video is only saved to the computer.

I am taking the computer to the Apple store tomorrow. I will keep you posted.

Right now, I am going to TRY to sleep. I hate technology!

Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ashley!

Todd, Jackson, Ashley, Justin

Justin and I want to wish his sister, Ashley, a very Happy Birthday!

Ashley is a great Aunt to Jackson. She is always willing to babysit and sends us such great photos when we are away from Jackson. She is always calling me for his latest sizes and always has the cutest gifts for him.

Ashley was also an amazing nanny for Jackson for six months. She stepped in at a very difficult time for me. We were to start sending Jackson to daycare two weeks after my Dad passed away. Justin and I were both so emotional over loosing my Dad that we were not ready to leave our new baby with strangers (one traumatic event at a time). Ashley came to stay with us and help take care of Jackson while I returned to work. We can't thank her enough!


We hope you enjoy your day! We can't wait to celebrate on Sunday.

lots of love,
Justin, Kristen, and Jackson!
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Rub a little dirt on it...

Strike a Pose (what is this pose)! Check out the bruises on both cheeks!

My family often uses the saying "Rub a little dirt on it." It means, "your not really hurt, pick yourself up and move on." Jackson gets it.

He is walking every where. He walks to the kitchen, to the family room, to the bathroom (even when I am in there)...and he even walks into doors, walls, or anything else that gets in his way.

This past weekend, he spent the night with Grandma and Grandpa Bixler. He came home with both bags (this kid doesn't travel light...but neither does his mommy)...and a new bruise. While showing off his walking skills, he fell into a stool and picked up a nice bruise on the right side of his face.

Tonight, Jackson was following Justin around the house and Justin didn't realize he had a "shadow." Justin opened a closet door and BAMB...he helped Jackson land a matching bruise on the left side.

Jackson never cries very long...he just "rubs a little dirt on it" and moves on. I on the other hand hold my breath and pray there isn't any blood.

Tough kid...not-so-tough Mom (Dad isn't so tough either).
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Girls Day Out

Kristin, Amanda, and Jill being creative!

Just starting the plate

"Love, Mom"

Here is the plate before it was "fired"

J-A-C-K-S-O-N to be glued to the plate

Today my girlfriends and I got together for lunch and then tried out a local pottery "paint it yourself" studio. I was committed to making Jackson a "special plate" that he can use each year on his birthday or other special occasions. I know I could have purchased this plate at many stores, but I liked the fact that I "made" it. I hope Jackson will like it too... :)

The day turned out to be so much fun. However, painting pottery can be very stressful. At one point, I was sweating! My girlfriends and I had great laughs (especially at my colorful language when I would mess up - oops!).

We don't have our finished products just yet. We had to leave them to be "fired." We are not sure what "fired" means...but we kept saying it all day long...just to act like we knew what we were doing! :) I promise to post a picture of the finished plate next week. Stay tuned...

Our day ended at the Flying Cupcake where we had the best cupcakes I have ever had! It might have been my favorite part of our day!

Thanks to Amanda, Kristin, and Jill for such a fun day. I had a great day filled with laughs! I love you all!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jackson needs a Tee Time!

Justin let Jackson play with his golf clubs this week.
I'm afraid we have sparked his interest....

He even went to sleep with his golf balls...only after he carried them around ALL NIGHT!
Perhaps, Justin's golfing buddies won't mind if Jackson joins them every weekend!
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sara!

Sara and I before Toby Keith last summer

Justin and I want to wish our good friend, Sara McCord, a very Happy Birthday!

Sara and I have become great friends over the past few years. Our husbands have been close for so long and argue like brothers (mostly about their golf game) and Sara and I love to sit back and laugh.

Sara was such a great friend during my pregnancy with Jackson. She is always just as excited as I am about Jackson growing and learning new things. Now, it is my turn to be excited for she is about to have her first baby in a matter of weeks. Madelyn McCord could arrive any day. We can't wait!

Summertime seems to always bring fun times for the four of us...and this year I'm sure we will find a way to include Jackson and Maddy (though I'm looking forward to some "Adult" nights at concerts and cookouts)!


Happy Birthday!

Thanks for being such a great friend. Thanks for always showing such interest in Jackson and his everyday endeavors. I can't wait to meet Maddy and watch you become an amazing mother!

Also, thank you for the support you have given me after I lost my Dad. I know you know all too well how it feels to lose a parent. Thank you for the long e-mail chats on the tough days and for the laughs on the not-so-tough days.

You are a great friend!

Have a fantastic birthday...get some rest...and have that baby!

Tax Day without my Dad...

Yesterday was April 15….Tax Day.

Most people hate this day and dread it each year.

My family would always celebrate it.

My father was an accountant and April 15 was the day that marked the end of his long hours away from home.

I can remember as a little girl my Mom, sisters, and I would pile into the car and take my Dad dinner to the office during tax season. On the few nights he would come home for dinner, I would cling to his legs (literally) and beg him not to return to the office.

April 15 was almost a holiday in our house…because we got our Daddy back.

This year, I wished it was that simple.

I missed calling my Dad this year to celebrate April 15! Since I became an adult, we would laugh about how he would spend his days after April 15. He would say he was going to sleep…but would always end up finishing a long awaited honey-do list.

I spent yesterday thinking about my Dad.

In fact, a coworker who is recently engaged was telling me all about her wedding plans. She was telling me who would be standing up with her and when she would be asking them.

As I listened to her story I remembered my Dad on the night I got engaged. Justin and I rushed over to my parent’s house to share our good news (though they had already been briefed by Justin). When I arrived, my Dad said with excitement, “I already know who your bridesmaids will be!” Of course, I had the list made out about a year before that night…and there and then my Dad recited my sisters and my girlfriends one by one…he got all 10 right….Even in the right order!

Not all Dads can do that. He was special. I am lucky to have these wonderful memories of him.

April 15 without my Dad wasn’t the same. But it shouldn’t have been. He was missed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Jackson's First Easter

Jackson's first Easter was fantastic!

We had a full day of traveling to spend time with both my family and Justin's.

We celebrated Easter in the morning with our small family of three. Then we traveled to Anderson to see Justin's family. Jackson entertained Justin's family with his bag of tricks and even posed with some bunny ears (see photos below).

Next, it was on to Cadiz to my Grandmother's house. At 85 years old, she still insists she makes the whole dinner herself! It was fantastic. My mom even made the "Bunny Cake" which my sisters and I insist on each year. ...And of course, we had the family Easter egg hunt! Of course, my Dad was missed at Easter this year. We missed his laughter and humor at the dinner table.

After the day was over, Jackson slept great in his new Easter Pj's from Grandma and Grandpa Bixler.

Jackson was showered with such wonderful Easter treats from everyone! We are so very lucky to have wonderful family to shower Jackson with such love!

Check out some of the photos from Jackson's first Easter.

Thanks to all who helped make Jackson's first Easter so wonderful!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Easter Bunny Stopped Here!

Happy Easter to all!

The Easter Bunny has been to our house!

He brought lots of goodies for Jackson.

We are off to celebrate Easter with our families. We will post a video of Jackson on his first Easter later. Stay tuned.

We hope you are all enjoying this day with wonder family and friends.

Once again, Happy Easter!
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eight Teeth!

Finally....A photo that shows all eight of Jackson's teeth.

Now...if he would just use all those teeth to eat solid foods (other than bread)!
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Remind you of anyone?

John, Justin and Penny almost 30 years ago

John, Justin's Dad, sent me this photo. He was amazed at how much Jackson looks like Justin did as a baby. I am amazed at how much Justin looks like his Dad!! Don't you agree?

I can't end this post without pointing out Penny in the background! Check out those glasses! :)
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Melt Down #1

Since I was pregnant, I have been part of a "May 2008 Mommy" chat-room. It was great to talk with other women who were due the same month I was. It was also great for when I had questions about my growing belly. I could always find our chat-room under the "In the Womb" section.

Once we had our babies, our chat room was moved to a different section of the Website, titled "infants." No big deal, after all our babies had arrived and it seemed appropriate.

I still check this chat-room once a week or so. It has been fun to hear about other babies growing and developing. It is also nice to know that I am not the only mom who can't get her son (with 8 teeth) to eat a real green bean!

Last night, I logged onto the Website....and the chat-room has been moved the TODDLER section.

This was a kick in the baby is a TODDLER!?!

This is officially melt-down #1 over Jackson turning one!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Giggles and Peek-a-boo!

Jackson was in a great mood tonight.

Justin was out running a couple errands and Jackson and I stayed home to watch Dancing with The Stars (Melissa is our favorite).

Jackson was so much fun!

We played Peek-a-boo and I danced around the apartment to some I-tunes. Jackson thought my dancing was pretty funny (though he isn't the only one who thinks this). I was able to capture his great mood on camera. Check out some of the photos above!

Below is a video clip of our peek-a-boo game (I spared myself the embarrassment of being on camera)! I love his belly laughs!

Justin returned home just a while ago. Now, he and Jackson are sitting on the couch together watching the NCAA Finals...Jackson is rooting for North Carolina!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jackson!

Jackson is 11 months today!

We are in complete denial.

Jackson will turn one in exactly one month!

It just seems impossible.

It seems just like a week ago Justin and I were driving to Indy from Bloomington for our childbirth classes. But, in reality, childbirth classes were over a year ago. How can that be?

How can it be that our baby boy is talking, walking, shouting, and is just as rotten as ever? What happened to the baby that woke me every 4 hours for a bottle and some snuggle time? Now, Jackson comes in to our bed with a rotten grin - ready to play. He usually wants to sing "Itzy Bitzy Spider" or show me his "flirt face" (his Daddy taught him that one...and it can work on any lady!)

How can it be that instead of mixing formula every 3 to 4 hours - we are feeding him right from our plate? How can it be that my baby wears just as much hair product as his Daddy? How can it be that those once ity-bity fingers are now chubby sticky fingers every time I look?

I know, it will happen. He will grow up. So we are going to celebrate the fun that we have had this past year...and all the fun that is to come!

Justin and I have been busy with planning Jackson's birthday party. In fact, the invitations went out today (Thanks to Aunt Shel for creating the best birthday invite!). Grandma Charlotte and I have already discussed what Jackson's birthday cake should look like...can't wait to see it (Grandma Charlotte will be making it)! And don't worry...Grandma Penny knows to bring the punch. :)

We can't wait to celebrate Jackson's first year!

Stay tuned for my emotional breakdowns in the next few weeks...I'm sure there will be many!

Seriously...How is he almost one?
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Check out Deb...on The Insider!

I know many of you read Deb's Blog too. Her blog is a bit more glamorous than ours. Instead of diapers and dishwasher stories...she chats about the latest gossip in country music.

I just got word that the entertainment site,, picked up a piece from her blog!

Very cool! Check it out:

My big sister..the entertainment reporter!

Congrats, Deb!