Baby Brooke Turns One Year Old!

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Our spirited little girl turned one in February! We had fun celebrating with family. On the Sunday before her birthday, we had a joint birthday party for Brooke and my sister Melissa. Their birthdays are three days apart (and a *few* years haha). My mom and aunt Diana were in town. The Wagners (my aunt, uncle, and cousins) and Keri also joined in for the celebration.

On Brooke’s actual birthday, our little family headed WalMart to pick out some toys for Miss Brooke and then to Cracker Barrel for a celebratory dinner. They have great food options for toddlers and pre-toddlers. However, our food took forever to be brought out to our table and both our kids got tired of waiting (plus it was close to bedtime). So, truth be told, it was not the most fun experience. We didn’t even end up eating as a family. Brooke was screaming. So, John and I took turns eating while the other took Brooke outside.

Fun facts about Brooke at one-year-old:

  • She mimics lots of words we say and sounds we make.
  • She loves to say “hi, hi, hi” and “uh-oh” and “no, no, no.”
  • She very much enjoys bath time.
  • She’s quite social. She’ll wave and smile at anyone.
  • Her hair is beginning to get a little curl in the back.
  • She is a super speedy crawler.
  • When we start to sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” she claps her hands.
  • She still wakes up once a night. (We’re working hard to stop this!)
  • She loves to eat rolls and chew on sliced red apples.
  • She immediately pulls out any bow or headband I put on her head (almost always).
  • She refuses to hold her bottle so we switched her to a straw sippy cup with handles. I saw these sippy cups at Target and figured we’d give them a try. 

Faith Friday: Prepared Spiritually

In late 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that Sunday church services would shift from three hours each Sunday to just two. As a member of the church, I was surprised and very grateful (three-hour church with small kids can definitely be a trying experience). The impetus behind this change was to give us more time to study the gospel as families at home. Over and over, we heard our church leaders say that effective gospel learning and conversion to Christ is home-centered, church-supported (not the other way around).

As church members, we were given a curriculum to guide our study at home called “Come, Follow Me” (referring to Christ’s admonition in the New Testament to follow Him). We spent all of 2019 studying the New Testament as individuals and families using “Come, Follow Me” as a guide. This year, we’re studying the Book of Mormon.

I believe God is all-knowing, and I believe Russell M. Nelson is God’s prophet on the earth today, just like there were prophets in ancient times. (Sidenote: You can watch a beautiful message of hope he shares during COVID-19 through this link.) When I recently heard that church would be canceled for the foreseeable future because of COVID-19, I was again surprised. My surprise shifted to gratitude as I realized that God had prepared us for this change. I believe the “Come, Follow Me” program is inspired. God knew there would be a time when we would not be able to attend church. He prepared us as individuals and families to study the gospel at home. He prepared our spirits, hearts, and faith to be able to weather this time when we wouldn’t be able to meet together to worship Him. Just as He provided manna for the children of Israel when they weren’t able to access food, He’s provided us with metaphorical spiritual manna while we’re not able to access that through our worship services. God is good.

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Recently while on a walk outside my home, I was listening to the song “Peace in Christ” by McKenna Hixson. Each year, our church makes an album of encouraging songs to go along with the theme for the church’s youth program. This song, “Peace in Christ,” was the theme song for 2018. As I was listening, these words struck me, “When there’s no peace on earth, there is peace in Christ.” I thought, “Wow, again God was preparing our hearts for this crazy COVID-19 experience.” Through music, He was teaching us that all peace can be found in Christ, regardless of what is happening around us. All the words from this song bring so much comfort and peace to my heart as I listen.

My prayers are with those deeply affected by COVID-19. Our family is currently healthy, and thankfully we have plenty of food, diapers, etc. I believe God is the Father of us all. Even if you don’t believe in Him, I believe He is aware of you. He is near you. He will see you (and all of us) through this challenge. I’m grateful to know that death is not the end and that we can live as families forever.

Baby Brooke: Eleven Months

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Last month, Brooke hit her year mark! I never wrote a post about her at 11 months, so I’m playing catch-up. I’m hoping to have her one-year-old blog post up soon! Side note: Life has been a whirlwind for me the last few months between keeping our house in Charles Town in pristine condition while it was on the market (while living there with two kids under two), packing up our house, moving, unpacking at our new house, hosting company, two sick babies, a one-year-old who doesn’t sleep through the night, negotiating home sale contracts (the first one fell through…womp), and having it be my “busy season” for the part-time work I do at home. I’m hoping to do lots of blog catch-up here shortly.

Fun facts about Brooke at 11 months:

  • She crawls SO fast.
  • She has the cutest laugh.
  • She loves to play peek-a-boo. She especially loves to play it when we take her out of the bath and are putting on her pajamas. She loves to cover her eyes with the towel and pull it away quickly.
  • Her smile is adorable.
  • She loves to stand in the bath (which we discourage, but she doesn’t seem to care haha).
  • She knows how to hold her bottle, but refuses to do so.
  • She loves to wave and say “hi.” She often mimics the words we say.
  • She knows how to clap.
  • She still wakes up once a night for a few ounces.
  • She is still a picky eater and always takes her bib off when we feed her.
  • She loves to pull bows out of her hair.

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Love those long eyelashes and this cute mid-blink picture 🙂