Londyn is becoming quite the little lady these days. She is like a sponge, absorbing everything that we teach her! It is fun to watch her learn and become more independent. Although, with the recent desire for independence comes more fits. Her fits are really just hilarious now and I have to turn my head to keep her from seeing me crack up. She lets you know when she wants to do things on her own... which is usually everything now. She also has a way of rambling on and on when she's peeved... which sounds a lot like she's swearing at us.
We've been working on sign language and other actions that can help her communicate with us. So far, she has learned:
"yay!" or "clap"
Watching the wheels turn in my 12 month olds mind is so fun! I love my job.
I forgot to mention that before we went out to dinner on Friday night, I came home from work and Andrew surprised with me with anniversary goodies! We had decided not to do gifts for our anniversary but to just do something fun together... but someone didn't follow the rules. He got my favorite, yellow roses, some yummy gum, a sweet card, a necklace and even a dress to wear out that evening. The man scored some major points with this one.
This weekend was our 2nd anniversary and we celebrated in a big way! Friday night, we went to The Melting Pot and had the most amazing dining experience. The ambiance was perfect and the service was impeccable (aside from the fact that I'm pretty sure our server had a man crush on Andrew... and after we told him we were married, he eased up on the googly eyes).
We ordered the 4-course meal which was absolutely delish. Every portion of this meal was delectable and such a wonderful experience. We cannot rave enough about how in love we are with The Melting Pot. It was definitely out of norm to spend so much on a meal, but we splurged for the occasion. We started out with the Feng Shui Cheese Fondue, followed by Lettuce Wraps with an orange-ginger dressing. For the main course, we chose The French Quarter which included an assortment of filet minon, chicken breast and shrimp, seasoned with cajun spices and served with Andouille sausage. We especially loved the style of cooking our own meat and veggies in the homemade broth on our table. It was a slow process that allowed us to relax and enjoy the cuisine at our own pace. To top off the meal, we finished with the Yin and Yang fondue which was a combination of white and dark chocolate. To accompany the rich chocolate was an assortment of fresh strawberries, marshmellows, cheesecake, brownies and angel food cake. This place charmed us with their savoir-faire in every way. Thank you Melting Pot for giving us a romantic night out!
After our bellies were royally filled, we walked the streets of Portland and enjoyed each others company.
On Saturday, we furthered our celebrating by attending a wedding of a childhood friend of mine. She too was adopted from Seoul, Korea through the same agency and even the same exact social worker. We grew up living just a few houses away from each other and even danced together on our high school dance team. Erin looked gorgeous in her wedding gown and the entire event was beautiful. She was married in a Lutheran church very close by. Snuggling up with my husband and watching two people enter into the wonderful world of marital bliss was a reflection for me on just how far Andrew and I have come. It also reminded me of the blessing we have been given through the covenants we have made. I am truly grateful to be sealed to this man of mine for eternity and through good times and bad, it is always worth it.
Happy Anniversary Andrew Thomas! I love you to the moon and back!
Londie Lou and I went up to the Milne farm for a visit this afternoon. It's always fun to hang out with the Milne's, especially because Kyler adores Londyn and get's so excited when she arrives! He is so cute and protective of her. Kyler and Londyn are 2 years apart and it's a relief to know that she will have her big strong cousin to watch out for her throughout the years to come!
Also, my niece Mikayla was babysitting lil' guy Andrew so Londyn did her best to keep up with the boys outside and in the pool.
Here is Mary teaching Londyn her excellent piano playing skills. This ones for you Nana Brendi! I hope Londyn will have some of her Nana's passion and talent for the piano.
Aunt Rebecca was playing outside with the kiddos while I was cutting some of my nieces' hair. The boys were riding on trikes, so Londyn took it upon herself to take the car out for a spin. That's my girl!
After all of the work that Andrew and his Dad put into our yard improvements, the grass seed is filling in and we're beginning to see our finished yard! We have already used the fire pit several times and enjoy how everything has turned out. Having done all of the work himself, Andrew saved us a ton of money and I'm really proud of how beautiful he made everything look and feel.
Getting Londyn dressed and ready is like playing baby dolls every day. I get to dress her up in cute little outfits with matching accessories.
I especially love getting her ready for church on Sundays because it is a special day. Growing up, I was always taught to dress in my Sunday best... out of respect for my Heavenly Father. In my mind, I always wanted to make sure I looked clean and modest, as I would if the Savior was attending our service.
I hope to instill those thoughts in my children as I want them to be prepared for their Sunday worship, not just in their appearance but in their mind and heart. All too often, Sunday mornings are hectic... packing the church bag full of snacks, bottles, diapers and toys... Andrew and I getting ready and then making sure Londyn is fed, rested & dressed. It is not always an easy feat. But in all of the chaos, I hope I can make it more of a tradition to uphold reverence in our home throughout our sabbath days.
Today we attended Sherwood's Annual Robin Hood Festival! The parade was longer than ever before and Londyn loved every moment of the floats, animals and passersby. She clapped and waved to everyone, throughout the entire parade! We then quickly got in line for the Firemen's Chicken, which is a Robin Hood Festival must! It is the real reason we attend the festival! It is more than finger-lickin'-good... it's an unexplainable experience. To walk off some of the calories, we roamed around the different booths and entertainment... and then bought some fresh Oregon strawberries and peaches. They were delish!
We've been enjoying our made-over yard, grill and firepit this Summer!
It's fun to sit out by the fire and soak up the outdoors as a family.
Every year my mom, sister and sis-in-law plan a week of events and activities for the grandkids, known as Cuzins Camp. Cuzins Camp is an entire week of fun with a theme and sleepovers, crafts, spiritual thoughts, learning new skills, performing acts of service and best of all... time spent together! The grandkids look forward to Cuzins Camp every Summer! Usually the activities take place in their homes, but this year Grandma decided to do it big by renting a beach house in Lincoln City. Although Londyn is just a wee-bit-of-a-nothing, we were invited to join in the fun! All together, we had 4 adults and all 10 of the Milne grandkiddos. We are fortunate to have all of the cousins so close... and even in the same city of Sherwood!
Londyn and I hit the road on Tuesday and came back this morning. Although I knew that Londyn would be out of her comfort zone in a new place... somehow I thought I would be able to handle it all by myself easier than I did. Of course, my family knows I don't handle stress and anxiety well... so it was a learning experience. I learned that Londyn loves her schedule and pretty much demands it... or all will pay. When I tried to skip one of her naps... she wouldn't let me get away with it. Since she is still holding on to an AM nap AND a PM nap... it was hard to do everything with the gang but everyone was really understanding and could relate to a 1 year old and a first-time mama.
Londie Lou is still little and couldn't participate in all of the awesome activities planned, like the fashion show, spa day, tide pools and crafts. But we were able to spend time in the sand on the beach, go shopping at the outlet mall, eat at Mo's and just hang out! Thank you Grandma Milne for a fabulously fun Cuzins Camp!
Andrew had drill this weekend so Londie Lou and I spent some quality bonding time with my sis and her kiddos in their pool! Londyn has been such a weenie lately with her kiddie pool and even getting near my sisters pool, that I figured the only way she might get in is if I joined her! So we spent most of our Saturday in the sun and splashing around in the pool! It was a love-hate experience for Londyn as sometimes she was having a blast and at other times, she was acting as if the water was torture! All in all, we had lots of fun!
These pictures really do say a thousand words! Even though Andrew doesn't get to spend as much time with our daughter as I do, he still manages to have a special bond with her. As much as I try, I am not nearly as fun as the daddy-man!
There isn't a sweeter moment than when watching your husband and baby girl laughing and having the time of their lives. Londyn absolutely loves when Andrew tosses her up in the air and cracks up when he tickles her under the arm pits!
Its such a blessing to have married such a good man who cares about his family. We are all making sacrifices right now to care for each other, but when it comes right down to it... the most important thing is to love one another and have joy in our home.
From about 4pm until bedtime, Londyn is grumpy. There's no ifs, ands or buts about it... she is done with her toys, done with my oodles and oodles of kisses and is definitely on to my bribes with books, songs, games and even her favorite Jonah and the Whale movie. By the afternoon... I'm old news. She figures, it's time to move on to bigger and better things.
I have analyzed the situation many a time and determined that Londyn simply craves the attention of anyone and everyone. She puts on her cutest routine of smiles and babble talk in any public setting. My 1 year old is quite the performer. I'm considering taking her show on the road... to put this star energy to good use.
Of course, her favorite audience is her fan club of cousins. They just eat her up and she knows she's got them whipped! It's quite a display to watch her work her magic.
On a more critical note... I am open to new and creative ideas on how to hold my child's attention (without spending $$$) and keep her from going into a royal funk every afternoon until bedtime. Considering it's just her and I, most every evening... I am getting desperate! Any suggestions?
We bid ado to Nana, Pop Pop & their cute chihuahua Ralphie yesterday. It's always tough to say goodbye, but this time it has been especially sad because Londyn know's that they are gone. She was saying "Nanananana" and "Bop Bop" all day after they left.
We were spoiled with 5 days straight of pure family time with Andrew and now he is back to the grind. It takes about a week to get into the back into groove and on top of this schedule. The poor guy eats, sleeps & works.
It's tough having Andrew home for that long because I was just getting used to being alone more often than not. Don't mind me. I'm just throwing a pity party. Here I am boo-hooing and Andrew hasn't complained once. He's such a good example and stays strong for all of us. We are just lucky that both of us have jobs that pay the bills.
I am so excited to share that Londyn's future husband, and my best friends' son was born on Saturday, July 3rd! He was born just 2 hours shy of sharing the same birthday as Londie Lou. Erin had a fabulous labor and delivery experience (I'm super jealous) and I couldn't be more proud of her! I was able to go visit Erin on Saturday morning and of course, she looked amazing and her husband Todd was glowing with a proud daddy aura. Their son is the luckiest guy in the world to have these two for parents. I look forward to being a proud auntie!
On Saturday, July 3rd we held Londyn's 1st birthday party! The party was filled with family, friends and lots of yummy food. Londyn thoroughly enjoyed all of the attention, the generous gifts from everyone and especially the cake!
Londyn has mastered the art of shaking her head "no" when she know's she is doing something she's not supposed to or when you tell her "no-no." On a more positive note, we have been teaching her to nod her head yes. Of course, Londie Lou added a little flare to the motion and doesn't quite nod... but opens and closes her jaw.
Hate to break it to ya kid... but you're as cute as a button anyway!
About 8 1/2 hours and one year ago today, I held you in my arms with your daddy over my shoulder, peering down at a miracle. A miracle that was and still is you.
On that day, you made me a mother. The occupation of "mother" is more than just a position, it is an honor. I am so proud to comfort you when sad and make you laugh until your eyes water. You hold up to your middle name, "Joy" in every way. Your smile is contagious and you bring happiness and joy to everyone around you.
At this stage in your life, you are very active and constantly go-go-going! You have taken two steps here and there but are completely content with crawling to get yourself where you want to go. You love to get into every drawer and pull its contents out with a big grin on your face. Your appetite is hearty and you will eat anything and everything placed in front of you. You always love an audience to entertain and constantly ham it up with your star quality. You smile and charm strangers in every store and restaurant. And you have all of your family members wrapped around your tiny finger, eating out of the palm of your hand.
My love for you grows deeper and stronger every day that I get to be your mom. I may not always know the answers or know exactly how to care for you, but on those occasions I can pray to our Heavenly Father to guide me. You are a daughter of a King, who loves you and is always here for you. I am humbled by the miracle that you are in my life and my testimony and faith in our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ has strengthened in this last year, watching you thrive.
Happy Birthday my sweet baby Londyn. I will always adore you.
Andrew's parents, Tom & Brenda made the 12 hour drive from Utah to come visit and celebrate Londyn's 1st birthday with us! They arrived yesterday and we have been having a blast!
Last night we had a cookout and then went to the park to soak up some evening sun!
Andrew and his dad worked hard on the yard this morning, prepping it for seed. In just a couple short weeks, we're hoping to see some grass pop up!
Aside from the clouds and sprinkles of rain, we had a fun day trip to the Oregon coast. It was nice to breathe in the salty air and enjoy some chowda' at Mo's. As you can tell, Londyn has her Nana & Papa wrapped around her finger!