Monday, December 31, 2007

Various Festivities

First of all, I kissed my 20's goodbye this month! And, to celebrate my 30th birthday, Mark took a day of vacation time from work and we spent the day together. He surprised me with a manicure/pedicure and lunch, and we were able to get a bunch of errands done too since Mark's parents were watching Noah...which was also a fun surprise. We certainly do love our almost-2-year-old bundle of energy, but I forget how little time I spend relaxing and chatting during a car ride or a meal until he's not around. Anyhow, a day with just the two of us (and a sleeping newborn) was so welcomed and refreshing - and then I was anxious to see our cute little toddler that night when he, and our families, surprised me by showing up at the Melting Pot! Yum! Is there anything better on the tastebuds than warm, melted chocolate all over a plate of tasty fruit & sweets?! Fondue is definitely one of my very favorite indulgences. My friend Claire made this adorable cake for me...and it was sooo yummy too!
Just for Christmastime fun - we decorated sugar cookies at my parents house with my brother and his family (who are in town from Boston). Noah wasn't sure that he was interested in the craft project until he tasted it, and then he took it quite seriously :)
And, of course it was fun to inroduce Lincoln to my brother, his wife & their little girl.
Now for Christmas Eve! We spent Christmas Eve with Mark's side of the family & had a great time. Here is a picture of the cousins (except Lincoln & Henry, who were sleeping) who dressed up to act out the Christmas story as we read Luke 2 aloud. Now, most of the little kids are a bit too young to fully grasp the scriptural Christmas story, but I thought it was really nice to include it in our celebrations since it is the real reason for the season. I have to admit though, that during this reading of the story, I shamefully got quite a kick out of my own son's naughtiness. Once the baby Jesus was introduced to the story (as a stuffed animal thankfully...) Noah grabbed him and tore off running. And kept running. Matt & Janelle's home has one of those open floor plans (no doors) with the kitchen behind the living room, so Noah just continued to run a circle from the living room to the kitchen, living room to the kitchen - all the while with the 'baby Jesus' tucked under his arm...and the Christmas story continued to be read from the Bible as if nothing out of the ordinary were happening. I decided that I could probably have come up with a rather amusing version of the story that included a rogue shepherd kidnapping the baby Jesus, but that perhaps that wouldn't be entirely appropriate. So, instead, I quietly chuckled at our little bandit and decided that before next year perhaps we'll need to work on explaining the proper version of the Christmas story to Noah well before Christmas Eve rolls around - instead of only preparing him for Santa's lap. (from left to right: Spencer, Zachary, Ava, Jacob & Noah)
Christmas morning! Noah LOVES the rocking horse that he got from his grandparents, as well as his new cowboy hat of course. Here he is yelling "aaawhoo!" (his version of yahoo!)
Little Lincoln, our most precious gift of the season, snoozed peacefully most of the morning.
Our first Christmas as a family of FOUR!
Mark was also able to give Lincoln his blessing at church. It was a lovely blessing, and Mark said that Lincoln was awake and looking around quietly during the whole blessing. He's such a sweet little guy & we feel so blessed to have him in our lives. It's been such a special time of year to enjoy welcoming a new baby into our family.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Prayers Needed...

Our good friends Levi & Amanda Hancock have a 3 year old son, Elijah, who was just diagnosed with leukemia on Christmas Eve. Our hearts have been breaking for them since we got their phone call on Monday, and we can't imagine how difficult this has been for them. However, they have been able to confirm that the type of leukemia he has is treatable (T-cell ALL)...so our thoughts and prayers are with them as they begin that part of this difficult journey. We are hopeful that, along with modern medicine, Elijah's strong-willed personality will be able to fight this cancer and win. I mentioned in an earlier post (on this blog last month) how grateful I am for modern medicine...my feelings on that matter have certainly grown stronger over the last few days, as have our feelings on faith. We wish there were something that our family could do for our friends right now, but we are so glad to know that they have a lot of great family and friends there in Iowa that are giving them all the help and support that they can. So, the only thing we have been able to do is to send prayers their way. If you know the Hancocks (or even if you don't!) please keep little Elijah in your prayers too. Here is a link to their blog if you would like more information or an update on Elijah. http://www.elijahhancock.blogspot.com/This is a picture at the park of Noah (left) and Elijah (right) from when we went back to Iowa this summer for Mark's graduation ceremony.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Some firsts...

Traditions. Mark & I were definitely more excited about the boys sitting on Santa's lap than they were. Lincoln met Santa for the first time & slept throught the whole ordeal...and although Noah was excited to see Santa this year, he was quite unsure about things once we got to the part about sitting on his lap. Noah didn't protest, but he wouldn't look at Santa, and was quite somber about the whole experience. Of course I loved it, and since the moment was photographed our mission was complete :)

Today was Lincoln's first Sunday going to church, so I had to snap a picture of him in his cute church clothes once we got home. Yes, he's sleeping in this picture too. Now if he could just figure out how to sleep that soundly at night...


Thursday, December 13, 2007

One Month Old Today

The last month has been a whirlwind. We sure do adore our new little guy. What a wonderful time of year to receive such a perfect gift. We love you so much, Lincoln!


Friday, December 7, 2007

Mmmmm...

video

...just push play to view Noah's cuteness.

Random Pictures

Just a random picture that I loved of Noah running through the snow in our front yard...

Now, this was creative parenting. Set stage (familiar to many)...dirty house, crying baby, and whiny toddler. So, Mark threw Noah up on his shoulders and started to vacuum. The result: a cleaner house, a happy toddler & a sleeping baby! Who knew?
Ride 'em cowboy! Noah (who acquired his obsession with cowboy hats and horses from whom?!) is convinced that the arm of our couch is a horse. Here he is with his tattered cowboy hat (rescued from my mom's D.I. box) that he wears all of the time. Yeehaw!
Grammy time! (Notice the ever present cowboy hat...) Grandma Mary reading books with Noah. He sure loves books - and his grandma!
Noah "helping" grandma work on a quilt for baby Lincoln - which Noah pronounces as "may-may". We don't know why..it doesn't exactly sound like "Lincoln", but at least he loves his brother!





Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Newborn pictures!

So, we scheduled newborn photos for Lincoln with a photographer that we have loved working with (for November 16th) before we knew that I'd be having a c-section & staying in the hospital a few days longer than expected. So, we ended up going to our photographer's home right after being released from the hospital. The session was relaxed and easy though, and now we have some beautiful newborn photos of Lincoln just 4 days old. We have a link to the photos that will be up for about another week if you'd like to take a look. Just click on the link & enter the username & password. Also, feel free to email us and tell us your favorite(s)...I'm having a tough time choosing which ones to print!

www.joannataylorphotography.com/BabyL

the username & password are case sensitive...

username: Baby
password: Boy
The gallery expires 12/05/07
To navigate through the pics just put your cursor over the right or left edge of the large picture and an arrow will appear to click on (or use the arrows on your keyboard). The arrow under the thumbnails will move you forward (or backward) to the next page - there are 58 pictures all together...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving Day at home today. It was just our little family of four and grandma Jana who is staying with us right now to help us out (a ton). Lincoln enjoyed his first holiday while sporting a cute little Thanksgiving outfit from grandma!


Mark spoiled us by preparing the whole Thanksgiving dinner! Everything from doing the grocery shopping, to roasting the turkey, making the mashed potatoes & gravy, and trying a tasty new carrot ribbon recipe & unique cranberry sauce - everything from scratch. He even agreed to include my favorite...yams - yum! He made everything look easy & it tasted wonderful! We weren't surprised that he pulled it off, but super impressed none the less. Yes - on my list of things I'm thankful for...a husband that enjoys (and is GOOD at) cooking!!!


Us with our boys. Happy Thanksgiving!


Grandma with Noah & Lincoln.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Blessed.

We are feeling so blessed. Not only do we have a sweet new baby boy, but we have such wonderful family and friends too. During this last week Noah got full attention from his grandparents as they took care of him at our home while we were at the hospital (thank you to our parents on both sides of our family!). We had several visits from thoughtful family members and friends to see Lincoln and wish us well. We had wonderful medical care at the hospital - and are so grateful for modern medicine that allowed complications that presented themselves during labor to be resolved in what is now a routine procedure (c-section). Years ago the outcome of our situation could have been much different for either Lincoln or me - or both of us. When talking to my mom about that, I had to giggle as she pointed out that years ago Lincoln wouldn't have existed in the first place...since he was conceived by in-vitro fertilization. So we're twice grateful for modern medicine at this time in our lives!

We are now at home and I am recovering nicely. My mom has taken some time off work to help me during my recovery, especially to help with Noah since he is such a busybody and I am unable to lift anything as heavy as him. We are already so grateful for all her help! As we approach Thanksgiving this week, we just feel like we have sooo much to be thankful for. What a special time of year to be welcoming our sweet little son to the world.

Thanks also to everyone who has taken the time to drop us an email or give us a phonecall - that has meant so much to us. We love hearing from each of you!

Here are a few more random pictures from the hospital & a couple after arriving at home!


Noah (along with Grandma Jana) brought Sunflowers to brighten our hospital room.


Lincoln's chubby little self is just so nice to cuddle.



Dad giving Lincoln a smooch before leaving the hospital.


Our family of four together after arriving home on Saturday.


Noah loves to hug his new baby brother...


...and smooch him too!




Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our baby has arrived!!!

We are excited to introduce the newest member of our family... Lincoln Kimball! He arrived on November 13th at 3:08 AM after 18 hours of labor, and an unexpected c-section. It was quickly apparent to us why the labor failed to progress when Lincoln made his debut not only facing the wrong direction, but also weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces and measuring 21 3/4 inches long. Although things didn't go as we'd pictured (do they ever with having kids?)...we feel very grateful for the wonderful care we've received from the physicians and nurses here at the hospital. Yup - we're still at the hospital, and it looks like we'll be going home on Saturday. Both mom and baby are doing well & we feel so blessed to have sweet little Lincoln in our family. Here are a few pictures from Lincoln's first couple of days, and there will be plenty more to follow!!


Mom's first time holding Lincoln @ 2 hours old.


Dad and Lincoln.


Catching some zzzz's between feedings.


Noah checking out his baby brother!


Peek-a-boo! Noah has lots of fun during his hospital visits.


Aaaah...snuggle bug.


We just love those cheeks!!!


Included this one for Mark :)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween - Time to Monkey Around!

Woefully, the three of us missed out on a few Halloween activities this season - including a couple of parties that we were looking forward to - because Noah was sick. Fortunately we at least made it to a Halloween activity for our play group where we gave Noah's costume a test run. I just love the padded belly & the costume kept him nice and toasty while he ran around at the park too.




On Halloween, Noah was really not in the mood for taking pictures.
Here is a great example of what we call Noah's 'spaghetti legs'. He does that when protesting - usually because we're trying to take him somewhere he doesn't want to go.
Mark handing out candy with our little monkey!
Grandpa Mont & Grandma Mary dropped in (in costume!) to say hello on Halloween too. I was sure that Grandpa's costume was going to scare Noah - since most things do these days, so I was amused when Noah saw him...and laughed! However, he is keeping an eye on him...

Noah was pretty shy about trick or treating at first. When we'd get to a porch he'd say his version of 'trick or treat' (which was something like nnngghn-eat) before they opened the door, then once someone opened the door he would take his bucket and retreat - away from the door and backwards down the stairs. So, Mark or I would carry him back up and say trick or treat...after a few doors of that, and getting candy in his bucket, he started to warm up to the idea. He'd look in his bucket, look at us, and say "kuck!" (which translates in Noah-language to mean 'candy') as he'd sign the word for candy. It was so cute to watch Noah stand on a porch with his friend Michael (who is the knight that's hand in hand with Noah & Mark in this photo) and wistfully wait for his precious "kuck" to be dropped in his bucket.

Autumn

I just love Autumn time. In fact, when we were looking at different homes to move to, one of the reasons that I loved this one was all of the mature trees lining this street. I thought about how pretty that it would look when all the fall leaves change - and it really does look beautiful. Add to that the crisp air (very welcome at this point in my pregnancy), hot cocoa, and all the bright orange pumpkins...I love this time of year!