Eli is ONE!!

Eli is ONE! Well… he’s 14 months old now, but cut me some slack. Life is nuts as a mom of a highschooler and a toddler, working from home and traveling to Costa Rica & Minnesota, husband with a new job, and all the regular life stuff. But… I have to celebrate my Chunky Love!!!


What a year it’s been since Mr. Eli Stephen entered the world.  I am blessed and humbled to be his momma. A little bit about him:

Size: He is HUGE!!! Seriously… he’s like twice as big as the other kids in his class. Poor kid… he doesn’t even know.  He weighed 28 pounds, 10 ounces at his one year check up and 27 inches (I think). He’s obviously 100% in weight and head circumference… and close to 90% in height.

Favorite Toys: He LOVES LOVES LOVES matchbox cars (pictured here). They are his comfort “blanket.” He loves all kinds of balls, a plane that he constantly rides around the house, books, and WHEELS – any wheels will do!

Like Momma: You are Mr. Independent. Gosh… I me in you and it makes me excited and terrified.  I know that strong-willed, passionate, opinionated heart… I have it myself. I pray that you use to and you allow yourself to be molded to be a leader… a humble and empathetic leader. It’s gonna be tough. His eating choices are all from me – FRUIT, veggies, peanut butter, and not much meat.  Jacob says, “Well… he wasn’t in my stomach… or he would love some meat.” Oh well… he’ll figure it out.

Like Daddy: He looks JUST LIKE Jacob. When I go to Costa Rica, our wonderful friends always say that it looks like I’m holding a little Jacob! Ha! He’s pretty stubborn like his daddy (I’m definitely not stubborn). I believe (AND HOPE) his eyesight is like Jacob’s. He can spot an animal, airplane, or tiny speck from far away… way quicker than his momma! Praying he learns to protect, serve, and speak truth like his daddy!

Favorite Food: He is OBSESSED with strawberries!! He eats 2 cartons a week.  What the what?!?! He loves pizza, quesadillas, raisins, bread (he’s my son), M&M’s, grapes, peaches, eggs, and so much more.  He still HATES green peas and green beans. Just not happening. He actually LOVES black olives… which makes me want to vomit just giving them to him. Milk and water are his drinks of choice… he’ll also take a swig of sweet tea every now and then.

Our days: When we are home, you go to daycare 3 days a week and stay with Grann the rest.  You get lots of time to play with kiddos, go to the zoo, frolic at the park, and hang out at our house with neighborhood friends and pup-pups. He runs and runs and runs. He literally never stops unless you put him in his bed and turn off the lights or he accidentally falls asleep in the car. He loves life. He hates naps.

He loves his brother. He absolutely lights up when he sees him come in from school or walk down the stairs. When his brother picks him up each day… he is a happy kid! He adores his family – grandparents, framily, and anyone else he meets.

Words: The words are coming slowly! So far, the words are pup-pup (dog), ma-ma, da-da, Eric (I don’t know how to spell how he says it… it’s the cutest), bubba, mo (more), ta do (touchdown… sorry… he lives in the South), hey, bye bye, ca-ca (car), air pa (air plane), and he loves to shake his head NO… ha.

My perspective: Being a mom is the hardest thing in the world. It never ends… the responsibilities and involvement change, but your heart and burden never does.  This past year has been the best and the most challenging yet. Everything has changed… from the decorations in our living to my moment by moment thoughts.  Our living room is now lined with little boy toys and everything from 3ft high and down has been removed… no more cute picture frames or nativity scenes out for display. My thoughts are about the schedule for the day, fixing lunch for daycare, checking diapers, trying to remember my name, and making sure everyone has everything they need. Our weekends look different. Our social calendar is slimmer. Our budget looks crazier. Our bathroom time is interrupted by a 2 ft. guy. Traveling looks WAY different. This year has changed us… everything about us.

This year I have felt more inadequate, insecure, anxious, joyful, defeated, victorious, amazed, exhausted, and fulfilled than any other time in my life. It takes me at least twice as much time to do anything. Date nights are 10x more special. A good night’s sleep is the most magical thing in the world. Friendships are so cherished but often not nurtured. Momma advice is easy to come by… sometimes needed… sometimes offensive. I have had to be more needy and depend on my community more than ever before…. that’s been hard for my independent heart. My heart has become softer. My perspective has changed in ways I can’t explain. My heart has expanded to a capacity of love I’ve never experienced before. My goals and priorities are for my family… not for myself.

I am so thankful for this life. I am so thankful for the village that’s raising our boys with us… grandparents especially! You rock! I am so thankful I can travel with my boys, parent with my favorite person in the world, and have so much fun along this crazy journey. Eli… we love you! You have made our family so much MORE! Thank you for how you have changed me… how you have shaped my view of the world and the Lord… and how you live without inhibitions!! You are awesome!

We celebrated him big at his party!!! Here’s some fun pictures!

We had some of our framily over to give him some attention.  It was so much fun!

The cake thing… didn’t really happen how I envisioned it. Parents – you should start the party with this… not end it that way when your kid is exhausted and mad! Bad mom decision there.  So, these cute pictures are a skewed version of the madness that really took place.  Oh well… he’s cute.

He’s loved. And he loves big.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this Chunky Love.  So thankful I get to be a part of it.

Here’s more pictures because… why not! We love you, Eli!


Although we asked people to bring a donation for Sav-a-life, some people couldn’t resist bringing a present to the party.  He had a blast opening presents for the first time. 14205955_10101741772620706_6428720785526418328_o

My family. My fellas. My heart in one picture. 14196046_10101741772865216_8054046339890925097_o14195385_10101741773454036_9011735395374733846_o14207825_10101741766732506_8366680851880035200_o.jpg14195987_10101743115923716_2289172080505468510_o14231984_10101743117216126_2197470144279740506_o14231851_10101743116976606_22922883696843352_o


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