May 22, 2013

and happy birthday to rachel, too

Because her birthday is today. And by golly, look at that girl - she's beautiful. Why wouldn't you want to wish her a happy birthday?!

photos by Matt Shumate

Happy Birthday Joshua!

Yesterday was my little brother's birthday. I know I've been bad about wishing family members happy birthday, especially on the blog, but I just happened to stumble upon a couple pictures of Joshua and I so I thought I'd share. 

Joshua is a smart, funny, ball of energy of a boy. He can easily get our whole family laughing. He spends almost the entire week after Christmas in the basement building his lego creations. I'm so grateful for this awesome little brother, quirks and all. Happy 8th Birthday Joshua! Now would you stop growing up so fast?

May 20, 2013

this is my husband

{photo by Matt Shumate}
This is Jeremy. He is my husband. My kind and loving, oh so smart, talented, patient, hard-working, self-less, best friend. He has always been amazing, but lately I've been falling more madly in love with him. He's so good at pushing me further without bringing me down. He sees potential in me. He helps me reach for my dreams. He calls me beautiful and makes me believe it.

I never mentioned this, but my birthday came at the ultimate worst time for his school schedule. He had two incredibly hard tests on and right after my birthday and even though he was up at 4:30 on the morning of my birthday to study, he ran to the store to buy me flowers and a card and woke me up by singing happy birthday.  

This man, you really can't do better than him.

I love that we think alike, we want the same things out of life and for our family. I love that we share a sense of humor. I love that he's not perfect, because being married to a perfect person wouldn't be very fun, but I love the way he works at being closer to perfection each and every day. I was talking to a friend today about marriage, and particularly how grateful we each were that our first years of marriage weren't harder. We both attributed it to our patient husbands. Then she said, "Marriage is hard. But it's a heck of a lot easier when you marry the right person."  I'm so grateful for my Mr. Right. For the strength he is to me, and for all he brings to our family. He has helped me to where I am today and I'm so glad to be spending forever with him. 

May 13, 2013

mother's day

One of the things I've loved most about this stage of life I'm living is the deepening love and admiration I've come to have, in a new and greater way, for my mom. There are a lot of parallels between my life now and her's when I was young. I was her first born, her Madeline. She was supporting a husband in Medical School early in her marriage, I'm doing the same, but Dental School. I've really come to love not only my mom and who she is now, but who she was then. I think about my young mother often. What would she have done in the situations I find myself in? How did she get through another day of tantrums? Or I think about how she did it. She made it through having a baby, and having two, and three, and four... (I'm not thinking about the possibility of nine). Thinking about that gives me hope that maybe, just maybe (with a lot of phone calls to my mom) I can do this.

She has truly been a wonderful light and example in my life. Sometimes I wish I could go back to high school, slap myself in the face and say, "YOU HAVE AN AWESOME MOM! STOP YELLING AT HER ALL THE TIME!" I think back to a road trip, just the two of us, driving to Provo, Utah where she'd drop me off for college. How for the first time I realized how great I'd had it. I realized how much I was going to miss her. How blessed I've been to have such a wonderful mother. Now I want to slap my siblings in the face and tell them to start listening, because being a mom is hard and I can only imagine how much harder it is when there are teenagers involved. 

So here's to my mother. My kind and gentle, selfless mother. Here's to my amazing mother-in-law and the life she's living as well. Here's to my sisters-in-law, friends, aunts and grandmothers. Here's to Madeline for making me a mom, for teaching me and stretching me to growth I couldn't previously imagine. Here's to the future women and mother's I hope to be paving a righteous path for. Here's to the generations of women that have gone before me who I know are helping me on. If anything mother's day makes me want to be better. I'm so grateful for a day to relax but now I'm feeling ready to come back better.

How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father for ordaining families as the central unit of society. For calling women to be mothers. For giving us a purpose and so many unique characteristics that make us women. I love being a woman, a wife, a mother, a sister, a niece, a granddaughter, a friend. I am a daughter of God. There are few things in life that ring more true to my soul. Happy Mother's Day.

May 9, 2013

missing them

Today I'm missing my siblings. All [soon to be] ten of them. 
Can July not get here any faster?!

May 7, 2013

magic mommy kisses

Last week Madeline bumped her finger and immediately came running to me. She was quite obviously in distress and held the previously mentioned sore finger up in the air. I had no idea what she wanted me to do with her little finger until she pressed it to my lips for a kiss and cheerfully went on her way. My heart melted. And it wasn't just a one time thing. It's happened multiple times since then and every  time she asks for one of my magic mommy kisses, my heart melts again. How grateful I am to be her mother.

And if you can't tell, Madeline is all girl. She'll bring me my heels and necklaces to walk around the house. When I'm fixing my hair she grabs a brush and a curling iron (don't worry it's not plugged in) to 'fix her hair' too. She loves when I tickle her cheeks with a make-up brush and she can try on hats all day. She is my little girl and I love her.

May 6, 2013

chocolate cake

In my personal opinion, birthdays are always better with chocolate cake. 
Especially when your husband makes a pretty scrumptious one :)

May 2, 2013

a little piece of heaven

 ^^smelling the flowers :)

About a week ago we loaded up our picnic basket Trader Joe's bag and headed out to meet some friends at a garden we had recently been told about (Sherwood Gardens if you want to know more. Thanks Ann for the sweet tip!) It was more than I ever could have imagined. Thousands of tulips bloom each year creating an almost sanctuary. There were lots of families sharing dinner and children running around, but it maintained a wonderful peace at the same time. I couldn't believe how many tulips we saw. Madeline loved sniffing the flowers and touching them too.... luckily the couple she destroyed had already been picked by another child.  The sun was setting leaving us in that not-quite-chilly spring evening air. Absolutely beautiful. A little piece of heaven right here in Baltimore. I've decided that whenever we get some family members to come visit us we'll have to ensure that it's in the spring because so far Baltimore can't be topped this time of year.

p.s. Sorry for so many flower pictures lately. They are just so beautiful! If you missed the others and care to see them you can look here and here.