Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stella Grace is 1!

I am so thankful, so very thankful for technology.  Tonight Derek was able to recover our pictures of Stella's Birthday party!!!  I had not realized that the pictures that I took on her actual birthday were on the card as well.  Had Derek not been able to recover them, we would have nothing!  I realize it may seem trivial to be so emotional over pictures when there are such bigger things going on around us, but for this seemingly small thing, I am so glad!

Now on to our baby girl's celebration!  We had such an absolutely wonderful time celebrating the first year of Stella Grace's life!!  Stella is such a fun little girl.  She has so much personality and is the happiest little munchkin.  To hear her cry could just rip your heart out because it just doesn't happen very often.  Although, she definitely lets herself be heard!  She rarely cries but has a very loud little voice. 

Stella loves to explore.  She is taking about 5 steps at a time right now and is all over the place, even conquering the stiars...yikes!  She is also really tiny, much smaller than her brother and sister were at that age, still wearing 9-12 month clothing.  But she is very strong....I guess all of our children are like their daddy in that gene department!  I was shocked about 2 weeks ago when she climbed up on Timothy's bed all by herself and she can climb up to the 2nd step on Emily's bunkbed ladder, though I try to discourage that!:) 

Currently she is trying to talk a lot.  Her favorite words right now are "dada" and "ni-night."  She also says a Korean baby word for food "MaMa", "all done", "Bear Bear" (our dog), "puppy", and "baby".  She is also signing the words please, more, all done, eat, diaper, water, and she blows kisses and loves to wave.  Recently everytime she wants her drink she does the cutest thing where she moves her tongue back and forth between her lips...oh my word, it is so cute! 

Most of all, Stella LOVES to laugh!!!  She is so playful and giggles all of the time.  I can just look at her with a silly face and she cracks up!  She is just such a joy and source of light in our family! Her brother and sister adore her and Derek and I are completely smitten.  Stella Grace has brought so much love and laughter and sweetness into our home!  I think about her first name a lot, which came from my great grandma Stella.  The first thing that comes to mind when I think about her is how sweet she was and it makes our Stella's name even more fitting!  Her great great grandma Stella would have just eaten her up! 

Stella's actual birthday was July 12 and I took the kids to the pool that day, which ended up being not very fun due to weather.  But we ended the day with dinner and SG's first ice cream cone...and she ate the WHOLE thing!  Did I mention that to be so petite, she LOVES to eat!?!  Stella's birthday party was the following weekend and we had so much fun.  We have wanted to do Korean BBQ for each of our children's first birthday parties, which always tend to be a bit bigger, and this time we finally did it.  Derek's mom worked so hard that afternoon and they were only here for 2 days.  Everyone loved it and it was a really fun time. 

Although we didn't have an official "Dohl" for Stella, which is the traditional birthday celebration for Korean children on their first birthday, we did the fun little part where we put different items out on a blanket and waited for Stella to crawl to something.  She chose the microphone (which is obviously a modern addition to a traditional ceremony) and it could not have been more fitting!  Emily chose a computer mouse and Timothy chose a ball....all very appropriate:)   And in case you are wondering or new to our blog, my handsome hubby is half Korean. 

We of course ended Stella's party with cake!  She loved that part, of course.  We were so thankful for all of the friend's that joined us to celebrate the first year of Stella Grace's life.  It was truly a fun day filled with lots and lots memories.  One of the funniest was when the balloons on Stella's highchair accidentally floated peacefully away and Timothy totally LOST it!!!  I had told him that he could have one when the party was over and his sleep deprivation mixed with the balloon escape put him over the edge (funny pic below:). 

With the soon addition of another big brother for SG, my heart is very very full!  Life with multiple young children is challenging, no doubt (and I sure hear this a lot..."wow you have your hands full!").  But I will say that this season of life is filled with truly seeing the goodness and grace of God Daily!  I am so flawed and have so much to learn about being a mom that chooses to seek the Lord and His wisdom and patience every day.  One of the reasons that I am so grateful for the gift of my children is that God uses their little lives to constantly put my sin and selfishness before me.  Without them, I would really be a mess.  The Lord uses them to change me and humble me on a daily basis. 

What a blessing to celebrate a whole year of health and blessings with Stella Grace!!!  We are thankful for her life and all she has brought to our family.  We love you Stella...you are one sweet little pumpkin!!

Now for the pictures...probably went overboard, but figured Stella doesn't get enough blogtime anyway so here goes:) 
Waiting on the thunder to stop so we can swim

First ice cream cone...she ate it ALL!
He is such a goofball!
This was so yummy!
SG's cake table (we tried to sneak one in there for her daddy too who had a bday just 4 days after hers)
Stella LOVES LOVES LOVES her daddy!!!
Could eat her up!
Emily sweetly holding our youngest guest, Gabe.
No words for this one....thank you Rebekah!  Her photography is simply amazing and she snapped this one (and others) for us!

Precious little girl!

Choosing the microphone.
Poor distraught little guy.

First cake...yummy!!!

My mom made these beautiful cake pops...so delicious!
What a mess she made!
Opening a few presents.  Her dress was a gift from Uncle Sean last Christmas.  I am still amazed that he picked it out.  She was so cute in it!
Happy Birthday Stella Bella!!!  You are SO loved!!!

Our Baby Girl Had a Fun 1st Birthday!...

too bad I can't show pictures to prove it.

As I loaded the SD card in the computer last night to post on sweet little Stella Grace's first birthday party, my heart sunk!  The computer kept saying that the card needed to be formatted.  What?  So I put it back in the camera to see what would happen....said the same thing.  I had just used the camera with that card the day before so I was baffled.  All to say that we think there is a good chance that the pictures from Stella's very first birthday are lost.  I honestly am trying to keep perspective about that but I really feel like I could throw up.

If anyone has ever had something similar happen and you have an idea of how to save or retrieve the pics, please le me know.  I am just sick about it and want so badly to have those memories of our baby girl's fun day!  Thanks in advance if anyone has any idea of how to help.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Missing This Sweet Face Today...

Looking forward to more of this...
and this...
and definitely this...
I really miss our boy today!  Derek was really missing him last night and watched video after video of him.  Good news is that our secondary dossier for court is hopefully getting sent to his country today!!!  Pray for a quick date to get scheduled and for the 10 days to be waived! 

And to my very thoughtful hubby...thanks for taking these precious pictures that I will always cherish!  They are such a gift!  I love you!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stella Grace...Our Growing Girl!

It is hard to describe just how much love we have for this little girl!  And today our baby girl turned 1!!!

All day long, I kept thinking at different times what I was doing this time last year.  Since Stella's birth was a planned homebirth, it was a really special day.  It was an incredible day for our our family as a whole and it was filled with moments that I will always treasure. 

On July 12 last year, I found out that God made me really strong.  He made my body able to perform some really amazing things.  Things that I honestly never thought I could get through.  I also gained a new level of admiration for my husband as he literally had to be daddy, husband, nurse, everything!  I could not have made it through Stella's labor without him.  He is always my encourager.  I wasn't in a hospital with nurses and we were at home with all of our children and he was told sternly that I was not to get up unassisted for at least 24 hours.  He was wonderful!  He did everything he could have and more to make it an incredible experience. 

God gave us the sweetest gift in Stella Grace that day 1 year ago!  She is just an absolute pure joy.  My cuddly sweet Stella.  Her laugh is the cutest thing ever and she laughs all the time.  She is so smart and amazes us everyday with how she tries to talk and communicate.  She loves Emily and Timothy so much and boy is she ever a Daddy's Girl!  Just today she cried her eyes out when Derek left for work and handed her to me...the cutest thing!  I can't say enough how about what she has brought to our family.  I love thinking about who she will become and what her personality will be like later.  We are seeing little glimpses now and I feel like I just can't get enough of her.  She is a doll!

We have so many hopes for our baby girl!  We pray that her heart would turn to her Heavenly
Father at a very early age!  And that all of the ways that God has gifted her, Stella would turn back to Him for His purposes and glory.  I pray that she would be confident in who God has made her, yet extremely humble!  I pray that she would serve others joyfully and be absolutely reckless in her obedience to the Lord's plans for her.

Happy 1st Birthday to our precious little girl! Stella Grace you are such a sweet sister and daughter!  We love you immensely!

This is what we get to cherish with this munchkin on a daily basis! 
I can't even begin to imagine what the years to come with this little one will bring!:)