Saturday, August 28, 2010

365 days....

or 12 months in the life of Aiden.
This past week I have thought back often on the week leading up to Aiden’s birth. It was only a year ago, but in many ways it seems like a lifetime ago. Looking back those days seem simpler. We did not know what was ahead. The week consisted of pool visits, a trip to the science center, consignment sales and dinner swaps. The actual days with Aiden have flown by. It is hard for me to believe we will have a one-year-old. But the days that make up this year have been full. Often you will hear a year will change you, but there are days in this year that have changed us, even moments that have been life altering. It has been a hard year. One I am not sure I would repeat, but one I would not trade for another. It has grown us individually and as a family. It has humbled us. It has had us on our knees. We have shed many tears, but we have experienced true joy and peace that can only come when you’ve really experienced the Savior. When you realize that His hold on your life is true. When you realize He loves you even in the midst of fearing child birth, your son in the NICU, growing relationships, sleepless nights and long days that follow as well as being told that the one you love and have chosen to walk through life with is not well. If I am honest, I have wrestled with His love for me at times this year. I have struggled to surrender my fears to the only One capable of disarming them. But He has shown me time and time again He is faithful even when I am faithless. Even with its trials it has been a year full of blessings. We are changed because of this year. We have a new perspective. Not that we didn’t have a heart for God, but our eyes are more fixed on eternity. Time together is more precious, more sacred. Life is richer. We know our Father as one only does when they’ve been in the trenches together. We understand our need for Him daily. Not to mention we were given one of our greatest blessings this year, whom we will celebrate tomorrow. Because of this year, I know without a doubt, God is good…ALL the time. Thank you Lord for the blessings of this year, especially Aiden Caleb Sasser. May you continue to refine us and draw us near to you. May we not live for ourselves but may our eyes stay fixed on you.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

The Adults!

We are very close to my mom's side of the family and some of our extended family joined us for part of our lake week. We had a blast together and the best part is they loved on our children well.
Of course two of the adults that are almost always at the lake are Grandmommy and Grandaddy. It is such a blessing that they have made this house so welcoming to our children. Anna has also spent each Tuesday with my mom this summer. They began the summer going to storytime at my parent's church where they would listen to stories and make a craft. Anna was also able to pick out books and DVDs (known as DBDs to Anna) to bring home. Storytime has ended but they still venture back to check-out new books and DVDs as well as for Anna to say, "hello" to some of the new friends she made. Of course she doesn't know a stranger. This week they went to a good friend of my mom's house. They spent time out in her backyard. When Anna got home she shared with me that she had seen a "cardinal, chickadee and chipmunk." My mom's friend let Anna pick out an animal visor to bring home as well as offered her some stickers to bring home. Anna was thrilled with the visor but declined the stickers, politely saying, "she already had some at home." I was shocked but later on that day Anna shared with my mom that she wanted to leave the stickers there so she would have them there for when she returned. I guess they will be going back to see Mrs. Pam! Thanks Grandmommy and grandaddy for loving our two well.
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Aunt Bess and Anna have a special bond. Although, many miles separate them, Mary Beth adores Anna and gives Anna her undivided attention much of the time we are together. They had lots of fun in the water during our lake week. They played Red Light, Green Light from the top dock and when Anna got to the end of the dock she jumped without any hesitation. Anna spent a good bit of time riding on various animals, also known as Aunt Bess' back. Mary Beth tried all week to get Anna to tube but after Anna watched the adults being thrown off the first few days she would not bite. However, she did float on it as it was attached to the dock. Shortly after we came home from the lake Kevin randomly taught Anna the song, "Sweet Home Alabama." Several days later Kevin was putting Anna to bed. Below is their conversation:
Kevin: "What song would you like me to sing?"
Anna: "Aunt Bess' song."
Kevin: "I don't know Aunt Bess' song."
Anna: (a little louder) "Aunt Bess' song."
Kevin: "I am sorry but I don't know that song. We can ask mommy tomorrow if she knows that song."
Anna: (even louder and getting a little frustrated) "BAMA"
Yes, she had put two and two together. She realized that the song Kevin had taught her was about Alabama and that is where her Aunt Bess lives. She even says, "Aunt Bess is coming home" instead of "Lord, I'm coming home to you."

It just so happens that yesterday was Aunt Bess' birthday and she has just arrived for a visit. Happy birthday Mary Beth. We all love you. We can't wait to celebrate all week with you and Elliot!
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The two of them...

Our little girl loves her daddy. She often comments during the week when she wakes how she wishes it were Saturday. And come Monday morning the first thing out of her mouth is, "I don't want daddy to go to work." "When it will be Saturday?," is something we are asked starting about Wednesday in our house. We have breakfast each morning during the week after Kevin has already left for work. Almost every morning she will pray for Kevin and then at lunch or dinner she tells him that she prayed for him that morning. Speaking of mornings, Anna is a big helper in the morning. She will set the table (napkins and utensils for all) while I am getting Aiden ready for the day. She is even able to get most of her breakfast on the table with little help from me. Some mornings if I am taking a little too long she will already have started on her yogurt by the time I make it to the kitchen and she even puts her bib on herself! She is really a great helper.

As for the lake, Anna gets lots of quality time with Kevin in the water. This is how they spend much of their time....

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lake Week!

We have spent some sweet time as a family up at the lake this summer. This captures many of the highlights had by just our family during the week we spent up there over July 4th. During this week Anna and Aiden had special time with their cousin, Elliot, extended family from a far and of course Grandmommy and Grandaddy. After all, the lake is known to Anna as Grandaddy's lake. One of my favorite conversations I had with Anna up at the lake was one afternoon as we were sitting on the dock letting our feet dangle in the water as we looked out at the big open water.
Anna: "Grandaddy put all the water in the lake like my sand and water table?"
Me: "No, grandaddy did not fill up the lake
Anna: "Who did?"
Me: (stumbling over my words as I tried to answer as it is a man-made lake) "God put the water in the lake."
Anna: "With a watering can?"

I hope to capture some of the moments with others in my next few posts! But as for our time as a family at the lake this summer it has been relaxing. Our children both have enjoyed it more than we could have imagined. Anna has even made a trip or two solo without us. We spend our days swimming in the lake, jumping off the dock, splashing in the baby pool, taking boat rides, skiing, tubing, even wake boarding this summer, walking to see the cows, relaxing in the sun, swinging, playing with the sand and water table, jumping on the small trampoline and having picnics outside. Anna even graduated to her own room this summer. She sleeps on the bottom of a bunk bed all by herself and sleeps very soundly after a day full of exercise. She is waiting for the day that her Uncle Todd comes to visit and sleeps on the bunk above her or when Elliot is old enough to join her in the basement.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Who he is...

There is nothing special about these pictures but as I was looking back through them today I realized that these capture so much of who this sweet little boy is, at least up to this point in his life. This is how Aiden spent his time at the splash park and how he spends much of his time. Yes, it is in the stroller but it is so much more telling. Aiden usually let's out a big shrill or kicks his legs when he sees me pulling the stroller out of the car. He absolutely loves to go for walks in our neighborhood. He is perfectly content for any amount of time. As for the pictures below...
Here Aiden is intently playing with the stroller straps. This boy can fixate on an item and can play with it for quite some time. He is determined to figure out how something goes together. He works alongside Anna and watches her every move when she plays with a toy. Rarely does Aiden get frustrated but pushes through until he gets something to work or a piece to fit in a particular place. He is determined.
The next two pictures depict just how laid back this one can be. Yes, he does love to be on the move and can pull almost every toy out in our house in under 10 minutes but he is a very relaxed child. He takes life in and doesn't mind being still every now and then. Not to mention he has the relaxing down...feet up and laid back!
A lot of Aiden's life is spent as a spectator. But he is a happy one and smiles as the action takes place often just on the other side of the stroller. He is especially a fan of watching Anna do most anything. As long as there is some sort of action going on for him to view, he can be perfectly entertained for a good long while in the stroller or anywhere for that matter.

Oh, how two children can be so different but what a blessing they both are in our life.
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Water, water, water....

I need to back-up a little bit in our summer fun before we can move forward. Father's Day weekend was spent in the water. Saturday we headed to the pool with BicBic and Aiden took his first dip in the water. He is a HUGE fan of water but it was the day after his 9 month shots and he was in a daze the whole afternoon. The next day we ventured to Greensboro's new splash park! It is a great place to cool off. Kevin and Anna had a blast getting soaked by the water, while Aiden and I enjoyed looking on.

Recently we headed back to the pool with BicBic. A live band happened to be playing poolside. I wish I had a video of our dancing daughter. She was jumping off the diving board as the band was playing. She would make her way to the diving board not by walking but by dancing and the dancing continued as she made her way out on the diving board. It was only after she had danced for a good bit was she able to make the plunge off the board and into the water. She did this over and over. It entertained us all. Oh to be that young and carefree. What freedom there is in not worrying what others think of you. Anna, we pray that you will always be exactly who God created you to be, even if that means being set apart.
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Monday, August 16, 2010

Someone is ONE today...

and no, not the one on the left

but this sweet little one

with the cute hat

and the one who continually pushed his cousin on the lion, even though it was his toy

which means this sweet face will be ONE in 13 days!

We love you Elliot and wish we could celebrate with you at the pool today. But Anna can hardly wait to celebrate with you in two short weeks. She said today that she would show you how to..." drink milk milk, eat popsicles and chicken biscuits"(Chick-fil-A free chicken biscuits were this morning) amongst many other things. I guess she thinks you are now old enough for these special treats. Happy 1st Birthday! Glad we got to see you have your first taste of ice cream this morning! Hope you get some more later today.

As a side note: Anna is constantly sharing with us things Elliot can do with her when he gets older. She will often point out the chair he can sit in, the activity he can do with her, etc. We are pretty sure she thinks Aiden will always be a baby but her cousin Elliot will soon be doing all that she is doing. It is funny how these little minds work.

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