What a week!

We had such an eventful week! It was Kitt and Garet’s last week of school until summer camp begins–we will miss Ms. Ashley and Ms. Gigi but we know we are ready for Coralwood in the fall! Kitt and Garet are also excited about having Ms. Janet as their teacher for summer camp. It was also Kitt and Garet’s last gymnastics class. We all went to lunch after the class and will miss our friends from the class. We had lots of fun playing in the backyard most days; Garet also managed to talk Mommy into pulling all three of us in the wagon to the market for ice cream or popsicles–what a workout for her! We got to see Aunt Kristen and Uncle Mark for a little while one evening which is always fun. Mommy took all three of us to the Botanical Gardens on Friday for a really fun exhibit with giant creatures made out of plants! Saturday was a fun day at the Decatur Arts Festival. It started with a parade where everyone dressed up except Mommy. Kitt was a fire chief; Garet was a ballerina; Ryan was a butterfly in a tutu and Daddy wore Hawaiian garb. The parade was fun as were the activities after the parade. We had a fun visit from Aunt Bernadette on Sunday with her jumping on the trampoline with us and playing in the sand. We all went to lunch together before she had to leave. Grammy and Grandaddy came over for a little while in the evening to watch us play, too. There are a few of Kitt and Garet’s school pictures included this week as well. We hope you enjoy them. As usual we had a great week and look forward to sharing next week’s adventures with you!
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Hello Girls, I so look forward to reading your blog every Sunday evening, and this week’s was a treat. How adorable everyone looks in their parade outfits, and it appears the fire chief even had a picnic for her family. Garet, you really like the ballet – I hope you can decide what you like most – gymnastics, ballet, music or swimming because I can not imagine how your mommy could take you to all those lessons. How fun to have Aunt Bernadette and your Mackey grandparents visit. I know Bernadette likes to get down and play all the things you like to play. Have fun this week before you begin school again with Miss Janet. Is your neighborhood pool open yet? I’m counting down the days until you come to my house! Sending you lots of love and prayers. Kisses, too! Granny

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Old things, new things!

We realized that in all the busy-ness of last week, we didn’t take a picture of all three of us with Granny and Poppy so we included one this week. We were sad to see them go, as always, but are looking forward to a long visit this summer. Mommy is always sad to see them go, too, but says it’s harder now that Kitt and Garet are getting older and talk about how they wish they lived in our house! We did a few of our usual activities and Mommy didn’t bring the camera to them–those would be Fernbank, Hippo Hopp and the tricycle park. For Ryan’s actual birthday we all got in the wagon and went to the market for some birthday ice cream. Ryan wasn’t real excited about it but Kitt and Garet were. Ryan had her 1 year check-up and is growing very well. The doctor said “She’s going to be long and lean, just like her sisters!” We did get to do such an exciting thing this weekend, thanks to Aunt Kristen. We got to go to our very first Braves game! It was so much fun as we had a room all to ourselves full of food and drinks. Apparently, that’s not the way most fans experience baseball, but it sure was fun for us! Garet had an especially fun time hanging out with AnnaBette, and Kitt loved clapping at the appropriate times and joining in for the tomahawk chop. THe best part was that the Braves won, thanks to some late inning heroics!  Ryan did great, too, even though it was way past her bed time. Part of being a third child is getting a little bit out of your routine and having to sleep on the go as you can see in one of the pictures. Today was very rainy and our power went out. Garet was a little scared without the lights but we all managed just fine. We ran some errands and went out for lunch and ice cream while we were waiting for the power to come back on. Finally, Daddy took Kitt and Garet to the Stewart Center, where Mommy used to work, for their spring party and also to one of our favorite parks down there. We were so very busy this week, as always, and look forward to another fun week coming up.
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Go Braves! What an exciting evening you girls spent at the Braves’ game. Granny has never been inside a special room to watch the game, complete with all kinds of goodies. Lucky you. Your Aunt Kristen sure does take care of you, and that’s because she loves you so much. Garet, I saw you running through the yard with the new flip flops Aunt Kristen bought you. Do they feel any better when you wear them? So now, Garet, do you think you would like to play the piano in addition to the violin? So many things you want to do whereas Kitt is very content just to stay home with her mommy! Kitt, I do love those purple sunglasses, and it looks like you still have the strawberry popsicles I bought you when I was there for Ryan’s birthday. Granny will definitely have those in the freezer when you come to visit. Knowing your mommy, you will have another fun week so I will be awaiting your blog next week. I will be praying for you and missing you every day. Love and kisses, Granny

Hi Girls! Wow, you sure were busy last week but it sounds and looks like you had lots of fun and did some new things as well. Poppy loved looking at all of the pictures and liked the one of the three of you with Granny and Poppy so much that it is now my new background photo on my computer. Ryan, I’m happy that your one year check-up went well but sorry you had to get so many shots from the doctor–and on your birthday, too! Well, how was your first Atlanta Braves baseball game? It looks like you experienced it like few prople do. What great seats you had and to top it off, you were fed with great food and lots of ice cream in upside down baseball caps. Yum! Garet, I hear you now want to be a baseball player and I’m sure you would be a great one at th at. And Kitt, you got right into the spirit with your tomahawk chop! It looks as though you enjoyed your time at the parks and are one of you learning to play the piano? I can’t tell for sure who is at the piano from the picture. Well, Poppy is off to the store but is wishing you a great week ahead filled with fun, adventure and learning. Love you lots! …Poppy

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Dear Sweet Ryan–

I am writing this letter to you on the eve of your first birthday. It was just one year ago today that I was anticipating my upcoming trip to the hospital. I was anticipating finding out if you were a boy or a girl and seeing your face for the first time. A place that held many different emotions because of the circumstances of your sisters’ birth (you will hear more about that later) would now hold so many happy emotions upon your easy arrival in to the world. I remember hearing them tell me you were a girl and feeling so relieved. Even though I said throughout the pregnancy I just wanted a healthy baby, deep down I really wanted another daughter! The day you were born I remember people telling me what a strong girl you were and what an easy baby you seemed to be in the nursery. They were right! You are such an amazing baby–you are always happy and ready for whatever we are doing at the moment. You rarely cry and always go with the flow. You have taught me that a heart that was already full of love for its children could expand to hold even more love for another child. You have brought indescribable joy and happiness to my life as I watch you discover the world around you. So what is it that I love?

I love the way you twirl my hair around your finger when I feed you or hold you.
I love the way you point to anything you want and say “d” knowing I will get it for you.
I love the way you plant slobbery kisses right on my lips.
I love the way you examine everything you can see–from my face to the animals at the zoo. You realize the power of curiosity even as a baby.
I love that when something falls you always say “uh-oh” whether it fell on purpose or by mistake.
I love the way you cling to me! While there are times when I wish you would let an unfamiliar person hold you, I am secretly pleased that you feel most secure with me.
I love the faces you make as you try new foods–you instantly let me know if you like it or not.
I love that you already get the “swipe” motion of the iPhone. Simply by observing my every move, you already know what to do.
I love to watch you sway your little body as you dance to music you hear with that beautiful smile on your face.
I love that people stop me in public to tell me how beautiful you are.
I love that when I pick you up, I hear you practically whisper the word “Up.”
I love the way you shake your head no and say “n, n, n, n, n” when you don’t like something.
I love that being your mommy makes me a better person and brings me joy I could never imagine.
I love that I have been your source of food and comfort for this year. I would not change our middle of the night feeding times for anything in the world (but don’t get me wrong–I am glad you’re sleeping all night).
I love the way you pat me on the back or shoulders when I pick you up or hug you.
I love the way you idolize your big sisters and watch their every move. Sometimes they are the only ones who can get you to laugh. I hope you will always feel the same way about them.
I love how you scoot all over the place on your bummy–I think you are afraid you will miss something if you put your head down to crawl.

Today you are an infant and tomorrow you will be a toddler–the truth is you will always be my baby! I hope you will know that and you will feel comfortable coming to me for anything at anytime. I thought I would have lots of dreams and wishes for you and your sisters. I thought I would know what I would like you to become but my wish is simple: that you would always feel loved, accept others and experience happiness. What that will look like in your life I have no idea but I am hopeful your life will always bring you great joy.

I am forever honored and grateful that I get to be your mommy. So to you for your birthday I offer you this quote from Frederick Buechner: “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”
May you experience many more beautiful things than terrible things and may you never be afraid because of the strong, courageous and confident person you are and will continue to be. I love you through and through, Pookie Bear!

Mommy

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Happy Birthday, sweet, sweet RyRy,
One year ago today, you joined your sisters in the rare category of “profound things that changed my life in ways I never thought possible.”
As you get older, I hope you will come to know me, not only as an aunt who looooooves to spoil you, but also as a friend and someone who will always be here when you need me. And even when you don’t need me or even want me, rest assured that I will still be here for you.
It is my honor and privilege to have a front-row seat to your evolution into the brilliant, thoughtful, funny, generous, beautiful, creative, caring and unlimited woman you are going to become. I cannot wait.
All my love always,
Aunt Kristen

Happy Birthday, Ry-Ry! I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am for you and your sisters. You have added to the joy that already existed in your family. I can hardly believe you are 1! It seems like yesterday I was holding you after you were born. We are so proud of you already but can hardly wait to see who you continue to become! Thanks for being the first baby Parky held and fed food to— you were preparing him to be a big brother. He loves you so much- we all do! Happy Day! Love, Aunt LeAnn (Uncle Barry and Parky, too!)

Happy Birthday, Ryan! Poppy loves you and your sisters more than you can ever imagine. I really enjoyed reading your Mommy’s heartfelt letter to you and I hope when you get older, you will read it many times as a reminder of just how special you are and how much you are loved. Have a great day today and every day!!! Love you! …Poppy

Happy Birthday to Ryan! A beautiful little girl with a great big smile. Jackie

Happy 1st birthday Ryan. I am so blessed to be your granny, and you are truly blessed to have a mommy who has spent hours documenting your first year for so many to enjoy and relish reading each week. You have an amazing family, and I hope you will always remember that family is more important that any material thing you can ever possess. I love you dearly and want only God’s richest blessings to pour over you each day. You have truly brought such joy to so many people, and I loved all the characteristics that your mom outlined in her letter to you. I’ve never seen a girl “scoot” around as fast as you, but I witnessed it when I was there. One minute you were in front of me, and the next minute I had to look for you and found you under the kitchen table!!! I pray you will always have that gorgeous smile on your beautiful face. With lots of love and continuous prayers. Granny

The zoo, birthday parties, Mother’s Day…..

We had a great week and stayed very busy! We went to the zoo on Monday and had a lot of fun seeing so many animals. On Wednesday Granny and Poppy arrived for Ryan’s birthday party. They went with us to see Kitt and Garet go swimming and we played a whole lot. On Friday we all went to the petting zoo at our school and also to the park to play. Saturday was the big day! Daddy took Garet to music class while everyone else helped to get ready for Ryan’s birthday. We had a wonderful celebration with lunch, cupcakes, family and friends to let Ryan know how very much we love her. Everything was perfect and there are lots of pictures for you to see. Mommy made a quiz to see how much everyone knew about Ryan and Uncle Mark won. See how well you do (the questions are below). Of course, Ryan’s real birthday is Tuesday and Mommy is going to do an extra blog post that day so be sure to check in and read it.

Questions for Ryan’s birthday quiz:
1. What was my due date? _________________________ (May 19)
2. What was the name of the hospital where I was born? _________________________ (Piedmont)
3. What time was I born? ____________ (8:23AM)
4. How much did I weigh when I was born? _________________ (9 pounds, 7 ounces)
What do I weigh now? _________________ (23.6 pounds)
5. How old was I when I consistently slept through the night? ______________ (9 months)
6. What is the theme of my bedroom? ___________________ (Very Hungry Caterpillar)
7. What animal is my favorite sleeping buddy? _____________ (Bear)
8. What is my nickname? _______________________ (Pookie)
9. What song does Mommy sing to me almost every day? _______________________ (You are my Sunshine)
10. What costume did I wear for trick-or-treating? ________________ (Elephant)
11. What was my first food? (not counting rice cereal, if you can call that “food!”) ______________ (avocado)
12. What is my favorite “snack” finger food? ___________ (Animal crackers)
13. How many teeth do I have? _________ (8)
14. What was the first “trick” I started doing? ________________ (clapping hands)

It just so happens that today is Mother’s Day! We love being able to celebrate Mother’s Day with Mommy and Granny. It was a fun day with play time at the park, lunch together and more play time at home. We hope you are enjoying the day celebrating your own mother in addition to the women out there who are like mothers to you, too! Mommy asked if she could write something today, too for Mother’s Day. Here it is:

Dear Kitt, Garet and Ryan,

I hope you will always know how much I love you. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be a mommy–YOU are why I am celebrated on Mother’s Day. On this day, when the world is telling you that you should buy me something or do something nice for me, I want you to know what I really want from you. This is what I want, this year and every year after; it’s pretty simple really.

I want you to be a decent human being.
I want you to work hard at everything you do, because life is too short not to give it everything you’ve got.
I want you to ask for help when you need it.
I want you to help others when they need it.
I want you to travel, because the world is huge and you are one part of it.
I want you to play nicely with others.
I want you to feed your curiosity.
I want you to find a way to do what you love, and realize that that might look different than you originally thought.
I want you to respect every human being’s right to be who they are.
I want you to sometimes be more interested in someone else than in yourself.
I want you to know that you are extraordinary. There is no one else like you.
I want you to know that I would lay down my life for you in Lily Potter fashion any day of the week. (I know you don’t know who Lily Potter is just yet, but you will, oh you will!)
I want you to realize how lucky you are every once in awhile even if only for an instant.
I want you to know love, even if it means getting hurt.
I want you to relax and not feel guilty about it.
I want you to know life can be hard sometimes.
I want you to know that you can choose happiness even when the dark side offers you cookies.
I want you to know I am always here for you no matter what you need or when you need it.
I want you to always know how very much I love you and always will.

Love,
Mommy

 

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My Dearest Kitt, Garet and Ryan,
On Mother’s Day and every day, thank you for making aunt-hood one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
I’ll love you forever and in all ways,
Aunt Kristen

Girls, Granny is home in Florida and missing you terribly. Your mom created a terrific blog this week of all your activities. I was so happy to be a part of most of them. You may not realize it now, but you have the best mommy any girls could have. It is evidenced in the words she writes to you and about you. You are so truly blessed; and I am blessed, also, to have her as my daughter and you as my granddaughters. I am already anticipating your longer visit this summer when we can have more time to do so many things together. I’m already getting your rooms ready. Have a fun week (as you always seem to do), and I will be thinking about you and praying for you every day. I love you with all my heart, Granny

Good Morning Girls! This is kind of a “blue” morning because Poppy is missing seeing your smiling faces. I really enjoyed spending the past 5 days with you and loved doing so many things with you. I heard that after we left yesterday morning, you all went to the Fernbank Museum and that you had lots of fun doing the special things there. Wish I could have gone with you. But before you know it, it will be time for you to come to visit Granny and Poppy in Florida and I am looking forward to that time already. I hope you have a wonderful week. Love you lots! …Poppy

Waiting for spring/summer!

This was a pretty ordinary week around here! We think our pictures can make any type of week look fun though–hopefully, you will agree. As you can see Ryan is really getting big and mobile! While she is not crawling as you would know it, she scoots all over this house while still sitting up. If Mommy or Daddy loses sight of her for even a minute, there is no telling where she will end up. She is also trying to stand up a little more (though she doesn’t love it)! Kitt and Garet are doing just fine, too. We all got to go to their school on Monday to hear two violin players from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. One of them helped Garet play a little violin after the session was over. She is a natural–maybe she will take after Uncle Michael and pick up violin playing!  Everyone enjoyed the park a couple of times and of course, wearing Aunt Kristen’s rain boots.  We were glad to see Uncle Mark several times since he had been gone for a while.  The weather here is really strange as it has been warm, cold, rainy, sunny–different every day.  Mommy will be glad for summer to come and stay for a bit!  You might know someone has a birthday coming up very soon so we are going to be working hard this week to get everything just right for the party–and with the party brings some guests.  We can’t wait to see everyone and know we will have lots of special pictures next week.  Until then……
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Good morning girls, As always, I am happy to see your weekly blog and to see all the things you have done. Your mommy makes every day fun. I especially liked Garet with the violin. As your mommy said, she may take after Uncle Michael and one day play the violin. Yes, Ryan is getting so big. She has discovered all the fun things in the kitchen – especially the pantry – so everyone needs to be watching her every minute. Yes, I know how you girls love not only Aunt Kristen’s big boots but also her “dancing shoes!” She has such neat things (makeup, etc.) for you to explore. Granny has begun packing up items to take to your house so I will need your help on Thursday in unloading our car. Help your mommy get ready for Ryan’s big first bithday so until then I will be praying for you every day. Love and kisses, Granny