Happy 7th Birthday, Henry Dale.

Thursday, July 28, 2016
7 is a crazy big number. It is, at least, when you are talking about your first born. It seems so much older than 6. Sitting here thinking about it, at the completion of this coming school year, he will be halfway done with his elementary years (and, seriously, wasn't I just in elementary school?!). It's crazy.

I look back and remember so many details like it was yesterday. The day I found out I was pregnant and rushed to Target to pick up What to Expect When You Are Expecting. How I simultaneously mourned his twin but rejoiced that he continued to be healthy. The anxious feelings of wanting him to come before his due date and how every day that passed after that precious due date meant one less day on the outside with him before I had to return to work (for those who recently got on this ride, I once was an Early Childhood Special Education teacher in Minnesota). But, as is reflected in his sometimes sloth like moves today as a seven year old (mostly when you want him to get something done, or just, you know, get out of the car a wee bit faster when it's 120 degrees out), he was working on his own timetable and was going to be born when he was ready. No amount of walking, eating pineapple, or wishing it wasn't false labor was going to change that.



And then he was here and nothing mattered more than snuggling him and learning how to be the best mommy I could be to him. And to soak up the entirely too short amount of time I had with him on maternity leave. Despite some of those early days of parenting being crystal clear in my mind, it feels like I've been a mom forever (yes, all you parents with teenagers and up, laugh it up). But it's true. It seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago that my first baby was placed on my shoulder for me to see for the very first time.

And here he is in his seven year old glory. Seven. He's strong willed and sensitive. Crazy bright (ask Ryan about the ladder incident) and intelligent (this kid beats me at the game Blokus every time!) He loves, craves and thrives on positive affirmation but is so humble. He has a big heart and once you get past the standard, daily/hourly sibling bickering, he's so often looking for ways to take care of the girls. He helped me wrap Norah's presents while she napped today and after wrapping one says, "Mommy, I think that Norah needs to stay home with daddy and you need to take me to Target so I can pick out something for her." He always wants to make sure no one feels "left out". And he still wants to snuggle. And gives hugs and kisses (just not so much in front of the school bus). He's as independent as ever and barely needs his mama's help for anything these days.

He loves his video games (current obsession is Lego: Star Wars), building with Legos, reading books (recent fav was Diary of a Wimpy Kid), sharks, drawing, swimming and being in the water, and going on adventures (this kid LOVES vacations and going somewhere different and gets all sappy and sad when it's time to leave). His creativity shines with Legos and drawing. His perfectionism is becoming apparent through the piano lessons I'm giving him. He gets very discouraged on the first few rounds of sight reading. But once he gets it, he will play and play and play it. And once he has it down, he enjoys it. (Makes this sort of piano playing mama's heart so happy). I'm winging it here, folks. Despite being asked multiple times about lessons, I'm only teaching my kiddos. Mostly because I'm winging it.

After a few years of soccer, his 6th year brought a switch to baseball. We thought we'd give it a try and see how it liked it and it turns out he LOVES it. And we love it. Little League baseball is a bit more intense than I remember the good ol' Winona Park and Rec program to be back home, but it's so much fun to watch. It's crazy to see the skills of 6-8 year olds.

Henry, buddy, you just got here, yet you've been here forever. Life before you is a bit of a blur, but the life you helped shape for us after your arrival wouldn't be traded for the world. These first 7 years have been a wild ride. As much as I want to bottle up the last remnants of my "little" boy, I'm so excited to watch what life has in store for you as you grow into a "big kid".

Happy birthday sweet boy. Mama loves you.




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Claire's 2nd Dance Recital

Monday, June 20, 2016
I'm sure last year's recital photos never saw the light of day on the blog, so yay for me getting this up just a few days later! If you remember last year (see below), she was a pretty cute Minion since they danced to the "Minion Mambo". However, it wasn't exactly what I had pictured for her first year of dance. I so badly wanted the frilly, stereotypical tutu number, so I may have been a little obsessed with taking photos this year because that's exactly what we got.

That, plus the fact that we weren't in town for her dress rehearsal last year, so we have some crappy cell video and that's it of her actual dancing. I was going to make up for it this year.


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So in love with these gorgeous, genuine smiles. All I had to do was moo like a cow.
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The song was "Only a Breath Away" which is some song from a Barbie movie/cartoon. I cried like every time I heard it. Such a sweet song! And this little lady shined, let me tell you. After not doing much of any moves at last year's recital, she rocked rehearsal and the recital. Every move with a big giant smile on her face. We were so proud.
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After dress rehearsal, I went out with my friend Libby so we could get some outdoor shots. And they are the cutest little friends, ever!
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