Us Over the Years

Simeon and I have been married for seven years today. SEVEN. But we have been together for almost 12 and friends for much, much longer. To celebrate the love we have for each other and the adventures we have taken together over the years, I wanted to put together a little collection of pictures of us over the years. Enjoy!

At my high school prom, May 1998.

Early in the relationship, August 1998.

Our engagement picture, April 2000.

When we got our first dog, Ellie, May 2001.

Our wedding, September 2002.

On our honeymoon cruise in Mexico, September 2002.

At a work party, 2004.

Atop the Empire State Building in New York City, June 2004.

At the Lakeview Farms pumpkin patch, October 2004.

At the top of the Space Needle in Seattle, March 2005.

Our three year anniversary, at The Lion King, September 2005.

Wine tasting tour with friends, October 2005.

At Megan and Jason’s wedding, November 2005.

Woodburn Tulip Festival, April 2006.

At the Lakeview Farms pumpkin patch, October 2006.

Ana’s birth day, December 2006.

4th of July 2007.

Ana’s first time on the beach, September 2007.

At the Lakeview Farms pumpkin patch, October 2007.

Woodburn Tulip Festival, April 2008.

At the Lakeview Farms pumpkin patch, October 2008.

Darcie and Jake’s wedding, October 2008.

At the Colosseum in Rome, November 2008.

Cross country skiing at Mt. Hood, February 2009

Family pictures, June 2009.

Nicole and Jesse’s wedding, September 2009.

It has been one heck of a journey and I have loved every minute of it. Thank you for being my best friend, the love of my life, and the most amazing husband any girl could ever hope for. I love you, Simeon!!

A Letter: Thirty-three Months

Dear Ana,
Today you turn thirty-three months old, or as your Dad told you over breakfast this morning, you are “two and three-quarters.” You thought this was a pretty cool fact, way more impressive than simply being “two and a half.” So at the playground today when a little boy walked up to you and asked you how old you were, you proudly stated, “I’m two and three-quarters!” His mother promptly turned to me and asked, “Does she mean three and three-quarters?” Then it was my turn to be proud as I shook my head and said, “Nope. She’s two and three-quarters…just like she said.”

You get closer and closer to being three years old every day, which I have to admit sort of scares me. Everyone that has younger children has confided in me that three is actually more “terrible” than two. Something to do with developing a sense of self (“No! I don’t want to!) and further able to express their emotions (“I don’t like you ONE BIT!”). And I have to say that there have been days lately where we have seen a glimpse of that independence. Last night, for example, you and your Daddy had quite a rough bedtime. He finally got you calmed down and ready for bed, which is when I come in to read you a bedtime story. I read you a Dora princess book, gave you a drink of water, kissed you on the forehead and turned off the light. About a half hour later I happen to walk past your room, imagining you sound asleep, I was utterly shocked to see you had turned on your bedside lamp and were sitting up “reading” a book in bed. I was initially outraged by your obvious disobedience. But just as quickly my outrage vanished as I remembered all the countless nights I spent hunched under my covers reading a book by flashlight. Maybe not at two years old (or 33 months, as the case may be), but as far back as I can remember. I just love catching little glimpses of myself in you. And you become more and more like me every day. I had to put my flattery aside and slip on my “Mom hat.” I walked into your room, explained that you needed to go to sleep and since I understood that you were very excited about this particular book, we could quickly flip through the pages together…just this once.

Needless to say, it worked. Ten minutes later you were out cold.

When you aren’t busy testing your boundaries, you are totally consumed with being a princess. It’s princesses, princes, kings and queens all the time around here. You are constantly playing dress-up, acting out your favorite scenes in the Disney movies with your Barbies, or role playing with some of your friends. I have to say, this has done amazing things to your manners. Suddenly you are all about “yes, sir” and “no, ma’am” and all sorts of other expressions befitting of only a princess. I keep trying to explain to you that you use “sir” with men and “ma’am” with women, but for now, I will take whatever manners you want to throw as me.

Over the course of the last month, we wrapped up all of our summer classes through parks and rec. The last of these was gymnastics. While at the time, I didn’t think you really got a lot out of the class, you have certainly proved me wrong. When we were in the midst of class, I was constantly trying to keep you on task, pointing out your correct form (“Lower your head. No. Your head. Not your bottom, your HEAD.”), or asking you to stop hugging your friends, to the point that I was at my wits end. But now that class is over suddenly you know how to do all sorts of things: somersault, log roll, and walk on the high(er) balance beams. It’s amazing the things you learn from these classes when I’m too busy focusing on following the instructions.

You aren’t the only one who has been taking classes. Two weeks ago I signed up for Stroller Strides in an attempt to get back in shape, if for no other reason that to be able to keep up with you, my dear! I decided I needed to work on getting healthy and the first step was to start working out again. We went to our first class, and I have to admit I was fully prepared to hate it and I was certain there was no way you would stay in the stroller for an entire hour, but sure enough, I was surprised by both of us! While the workout was far from easy, I actually enjoyed myself. And you had a great time too. Each morning you ask, “Mom, are we are going to Stroller Rides today?”

You are my constant driving force during the class. Just when I stopping pushing myself to the limit, you chime in with, “Go, Mama, Go!” or “Faster, Mama, faster!” and give me that motivation I need to keep going. I have to keep reminding myself that I am not only doing this for me. I am doing it for you. During one class you even asked me, “Mom, why are all those mommies faster than you?” To which I whipped our BOB stroller around and said, “See? I’m faster than all of those mommies!” We’ve only been doing Stroller Strides for a short while, in fact today was our 10th class, but already I’ve got more energy and strength. Don’t get me wrong…I’m still walking. I’m not a runner. Yet. But with you cheering me on with, “Run, Mommy, run!” or “Let’s catch up to that mommy!” it’s only a matter of time before we can do it. Oh and we will. And I will do it all for you, baby!

But it’s not always hard work around here. We know how to get silly and creative too! In fact, my friend Megan gave me this awesome beehive cake mold for my birthday and you and I set out one afternoon to make the most amazing Lemon Beehive Cake. We made the cake from scratch and I let you help me every step of the way. I have to say that your favorite part was adhering the tiny sugar bees to the “honey” frosting. And who could blame you? The decorating is always the best part!

It has been a long crazy summer and I am all set to ease right into fall with you. During the summer the days are too long and there is so much pressure to fill every minute. I can’t wait until we are back into the more relaxed swing of things where there is more time to cuddle up on the couch and read together. Where we can have girly dates at Starbucks, sipping Caramel Apple Cider or Pumpkin Spice Chai and nibbling on pastries. I am looking forward to all of our fall traditions: the Lakeview Farms pumpkin patch, playing in the leaves, our pumpkin carving party, dressing up for Halloween. I love all of it and the only thing that makes this time of year more amazing is getting to see my excitement mirrored in you. You make everything better and for that I will always be grateful.

All my love,