happy 5th birthday, BK!

Sweet BK,

Five years ago, you came into our lives and we have never been the same. Five years ago today, you filled our hearts with more love than we ever imagined. It was instant and perfect, your big blue eyes held our gaze, and we were forever changed by 6 pounds and 12 ounces of pure baby love.


In five years, you have taught us so much. Sometimes I long to go back and rock you just one more time, I would linger a bit longer after you fall asleep in my arms and kiss your head a million times. Just one more time, but I wouldn’t trade this sweet time for all of the baby snuggles in the world. No doubt, you fill our lives with so much joy, it’s hard to be sad as you leave a stage behind. I always find myself taking your lead and living carelessly in the moment when I’m with you. Time spent with you is always well spent.

At five, you are so full of love. You have a kind and tender heart, you think of others, and never meet a stranger. One of my favorite things about you is your courage. You stand up in front of everyone at church and sing songs and tell Bible stories with confidence most adults couldn’t muster. You always introduce yourself to new people, and make new friends faster than anyone I’ve ever seen. I hope you never lose that spark, it will take you so far in life.


You love to sing and dance. You are always making up a new song about whatever it is you’re doing. I’ve never met anyone as full of life as you are, BK.

You are full of wonder. You have the biggest imagination and I love to sit back and watch you play and create. You love to paint and draw, you love to play board games, and you love for us to read to you. You love to hurry upstairs as soon as we get home and put on your favorite princess dress or raid my closet for a necklace or high heels.

You are the best shopping buddy, and you love to have your nails painted. You love to pick out fancy things to wear and dress yourself. Your favorite color is purple, you love to play hide and seek and Memory Match.

But, don’t let your love of all things sparkly fool anyone. You love to go fishing with your daddy, and dig for worms. Just last week you filled your pocket full of dirt and put two earthworms in with the dirt, to keep them comfy. You only love worms and lizards and frogs, all other bugs (and crawly things) are met with a scream that can be heard a few houses down.


We watched you become a big sister this year and my goodness, how you’ve thrived in the role. Judson adores you, he lights up when he sees you across the room, and you are sweetest big sister. You have been a tremendous help to me over the past year, and I’ve had to be careful and remind myself how little you still are.

You are so smart. I’m not just saying that because you are mine, you are really, really smart. You are blending words, and love for us to give you math problems. It’s not just reading and math, your memory is impeccable. You can remember things down to the tiniest detail. Sometimes you say things like, remember that time when I was three and went to the park? And I’ll say, Sure, we love the park. And then you’ll keep on until you can remind me of the specific time you’re referring to. Usually something like, and remember there was a girl named Emily who played with me on the swings, and you pushed me high and I was wearing that Elsa shirt and your hair was down and beautiful, and then we ate ice cream. It was a fun day, right mom? Seriously. You amaze me!

Five. You have been talking about turing five for months now. You might be a little heartbroken when I tell you (again) that you don’t get to go to kindergarten just because you turned five and you’ll have to wait until August.


I promise to love you forever, more and more each day, to always encourage you to be yourself. I promise to keep these days close to my heart, and I promise to let you be little for as long as you’ll let me.

With all my love,




dear braylen, kindergarten awaits

Last week I checked your folder to find a note inside, kindergarten enrollment, and I felt my breath catch a little and my heart change speeds.


It didn’t take me by surprise, we’ve been talking about kindergarten for months now. I’ve answered all of your questions with enthusiasm and excitement. And for each time I’ve sat with you, eyes bright and eager, I’ve fought a million feelings.

We’ve talked about this grand adventure, and I’ve smiled a million smiles. Sharing your happiness, I don’t know that I’ve ever met a girl more happy about starting kindergarten. Sweet, adventurous, Braylen, I know you are going to thrive.

I followed the instructions for orientation, I found your birth certificate and the other necassary paperwork tucked in an envelope with a tiny set of footprints and a picture of us smiling in the hospital room, the day you were born.

Before I knew it I was back in that day. The day we met you. Did you know it seems like yesterday when I first looked into your bright blue eyes?

And here we are.

I cried when I talked about kindergarten with your daddy the other day. Not because I’m sad, I couldn’t be sad if I tried, I have no doubt you will love long days of playing with friends and learning new things. You’re eager and adventurous, brave and confident, kind and sensitive to others, the perfect mix of everything that is good.

There was a time when I thought I knew just how fast time was moving forward. I was rocking you to sleep, changing tiny diapers, then you were walking. One, two, three small steps and off to the next milestone. That’s when I felt it first, fleeting time. I’ll be sure to keep a close eye on it, so it doesn’t slip up on me, I thought. And just in case it does, I’ll read you one more book, and rock you a little while longer. I was sure to savor, careful not to blink.

Yet some how here we are, I promise to always live in this moment with you, to never look ahead with fear or back with regret. But goodness, those first sweet months feel so far away sometimes that I ache with a deep desire to go back just once, I’d kiss your tiny head a million more times.

Last night, when I tucked you into bed and you laid beside me, twirling my hair and telling me about your day, I stayed with you long after you drifted off to sleep. Holding your tiny hand, and brushing your curls away from your face. In the dim light of your bedroom, you looked so much like that tiny baby I used to rock in the nursery.

Just a glimpse of sweet nostalgia was what I needed. You’re still that precious baby, and you always will be. There will be plenty of big adventures in your life, as you grow up there will be many more times we stand together at a crossroads, on one side what is and on the other what is to be.

For now, I promise to remember that kindergarten still means you’re little. I promise I won’t cry in August, at least not until I get back in the car, because this is your adventure. It’s new and exciting and everything you love, and because you love it, I will too.

 I promise not to rush these days with you, not to hurry you along, there will be plenty of time for those things. I promise that I’ll never forget these days. Not ever. No matter how fast they go, no matter how tired I am, I will hold  them in my heart forever and ever. IMG_2730







time for your check-up

Last Friday, I scheduled an appointment for Braylen and Judson. They were both due for well visits, and I thought it would be easiest to take care of them both on the same day. Allen went with us and it honestly wasn’t too terrible.

They checked her height and weight and hearing and vision, and the doctor did a quick assessment as well. She has stayed consistent in height and weight since birth. She’s in the 25th percentile for weight at 33 pounds and the 75th percentile for height at 41 inches.



Judson weighed in at 13.8 pounds and 24.5 inches, putting him around the 60th percentile in both. BK wasn’t too happy when we told her she had to get shots, but she was a little more at ease once they promised her a popsicle afterwards.


She decided it might be a good idea to hide with the baby until the blanket. Too bad it didn’t work for either of them.


In the end, there were eight shots given between the two of them. Judson started his first round of vaccinations and BK finished up her vaccinations. She won’t need anymore for several years.

She asked for a pancake and sweet tea after it was over, and we treated her to the breakfast of her choice.


As for Judson? He slept most of the day, he was pretty sleepy on Saturday as well, but by Sunday he was back to his happy self.