Monday, July 29, 2013

{ of weddings }

Mike's sister Amaryah married her Lawrence on July 20, two days after our fourth wedding anniversary.

In true pregnancy-brain fashion {or is this just a sign that we're slowly exiting the "honeymoon/take-a-photo-of-every-milestone" phase?}, I didn't take a single picture on our anniversary outing. My mom was in town, so she watched Lainie while Mike and I went to my first midwife appointment. We got to hear Jellybean's heartbeat for the first time, which was sweet, and then we had dinner at a restaurant on the marina. We came home and ate ice cream while watching Downton Abbey with mom. I joke that we've transitioned from traveling to islands to celebrate our marriage {Honeymoon: Oahu. First anniversary: Lopez Island. Second anniversary: Kauai.} going to medical appointments for our children {Third anniversary: Lainie's last surgical follow-up appointment at Children's Hospital. Fourth anniversary: Jellybean's first midwife appointment.}.

There are, however, some decent photos of us from Amaryah's wedding two days later. That'll do, right?

Amaryah + Lawrence had a beautiful wedding, one of the loveliest I've seen. The ceremony and reception were outdoors, and the weather was gorgeous. So was the bride!

:: the reception area ::
:: the ceremony area ::

:: the whole family ::

:: exquisite centerpieces! ::

:: lace mounted on embroidery hoops, hung above the dance floor ::
:: Mike and I did this...a lot...all evening. Baby girl wants to walk everywhere. ::
{Side note: I can't decide how I feel about the fact that I comfortably wore a maternity dress at 12 weeks pregnant.}

:: three generations ::

:: all the food was miniature and SO delicious--but between feeding Lainie and myself, I only got a photo of the tiny burger. ::
:: lots of fun lawn games, which Lainie thoroughly enjoyed ::

:: ignore my freaky blurry hand...I love this photo of Lainie. ::
:: first dance ::

:: I kid you not--beneath that crazy red wig lies my husband. ::

:: Mike and Amaryah dancing with Estella, their cousin's daughter ::
It was such a lovely wedding celebration. Retrospectively I am totally a first-time mom, taking far more photos of my cute little baby than of the bride and groom and wedding festivities! All the more reason to look forward to the professional photos, right? And I'm sad not to have any pictures of the ceremony, but since we were sitting in the front row, I was completely occupied keeping Lainie quiet and happy. {Consumed by Lainie--just during the short ceremony: Two pouches of baby food, cheerios, part of a lollipop, and various sips from one water bottle and one sippy cup.} She was a little angel...a very hungry little angel, apparently...until the very end, when the pastor was doing the "by the power vested in me..." formalities just before pronouncing them husband and wife. At that precise moment, Lainie set down her lollipop and yelled, "BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!" You have to admit, her timing was impeccable!
We are so thankful that my mom came over for the weekend specifically to help with Lainie during the wedding and reception. Partway through the reception, she took Lainie home and put her to bed. Mike and I were able to dance and par-tay and enjoy the rest of the reception without trying to entertain a very tired little girl, which was a huge blessing. Thanks, mom!!
What a difference four years make. When I think back on our wedding, I want to blurt out, "You were such a kid!!" We both were--not that we're terribly mature and grown-up now, but it's just crazy how much has changed since then. How much we have changed. In good ways. Marriage does grow you up. Having a child does grow you up. And while I was all misty-eyed over the wonder of Lawrence and Amaryah starting their journey as husband and wife, I am speechlessly amazed at what God has done/is doing in my own marriage. How He continues to grow us together. Continues to grow and deepen, mature and solidify and strengthen a love that I thought was pretty amazing when we said "I do" in 2009.
I used to be afraid of losing the butterflies-in-the-stomach, crazy-in-love inloveness of newlyweds. Everybody is, don't you think? Afraid that if it goes away, you'll be left with nothing...certain that the only other option is a lifetime of boring staleness, looking back with longing on that mythical "honeymoon phase." That is such a lie. SUCH a lie. Being newlyweds is great, and I loved that season, and every newlywed should soak it up! But the love that grows from that...after a beautiful, sacred, breathtaking thing too. Love isn't static. It isn't something you achieve and then struggle to protect and maintain as-is. With Jesus at the center of a marriage, love constantly grows and changes and becomes deeper and more beautiful. It's not all sunshine and roses {or rainbows and unicorns, as Mike would say}. It's not all easy. But it is so rich. And I am so thankful for the four years I've had the great privilege of being Mrs. Mike.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

{ Snippets from our Washington coast vacation ~ June }

:: the view from the deck of our rental house ::

:: another view from the deck ::

:: Seabrook, two miles from where we stayed ::

:: "family portrait" ::

:: Mr. and I spent hours reading on the deck...amazing ::

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

{ Katie + Morgan's Visit }

Katie and I became friends through blogging. Katie was a "bloggy friend" of my real-life friend Chelle, which is how I came across her blog. We met in real life three years ago at Seabrook {you can read about it here and here}, and I think she may have been the first Aussie I ever met! Since Seabrook, Katie has married her sweetheart Morgan, and this summer they are making their way across the USA on a delicious, once-in-a-lifetime trip visiting friends and family. They spent two nights with us in between a week in Spokane, Washington and a week in Charleston, South Carolina, and we had such a delightful time! Katie and Morgan were so gracious with our cramped accommodations, sleeping on an air mattress that pretty much took up our entire living room floor! I'd never met Morgan, and Mike hadn't met either of them, but we really enjoyed the time we got to spend together. Maybe someday we will be able to visit them in Australia...wouldn't that be sweet!

Their visit was brief, and peppered with the early mornings and long naps of a little girl who loves her sleep. Nevertheless, we got to show them around our neck of the woods, as well as a bit of downtown Seattle.

:: at the beach near our house ::

:: Katie + Morgan ::
We did have one very unfortunate incident when we went to a local brew pub/restaurant for dinner: They refused to let K + M order drinks without their passports as additional identification. Apparently Australian drivers' licenses are not enough proof that they are of legal age {which happens to be 18 in Australia, anyway!}.
On Sunday the grandparents watched Lainie and we went to downtown Seattle. I took almost no photos {which I could say about nearly everything we've done over the last year. If it's not Lainie being cute, apparently I am unable to muster the strength to get out the camera.}. We had lunch in an open-air Bolivian cafĂ© in Pike's Place Market, meandered through the market, and visited Anthropologie. Katie and I really love that store...Mike and Morgan hid and amused themselves while we browsed.
We rode the Great Wheel on the Seattle waterfront--first time for all of us. The views are breathtaking!

:: Looking toward West Seattle ::

On Monday, the Aussies toured the Boeing factory while I took Lainie for her one-year checkup and shots. Then we all went to the Flying Heritage Collection, which has some amazing, fully restored WWI and WWII aircraft and tanks. Two different airplanes are the only surviving ones of their specific make known to exist.

At this point, my camera battery died. Just imagine lots of laughter; both real and impersonated Aussie accents; and a bittersweet farewell at the airport.
Our house still seems so quiet--we had a great time with you two!

Friday, July 5, 2013

{ My 4th of July, by Lainie Rae }

Happy Independence Day, everyone!!
Y'all may think yesterday was Independence Day, but today is my Independence Day. One year ago today I was discharged from Children's Hospital!
Don't worry, Mama and Dada and I celebrated the 4th of July too. Mama and I took looooong naps in the morning, and then we all went to a nearby street fair. Mama kept apologizing to Daddy about it being "lame," but I don't know what she was talking about. I was keepin' it cool.
Then we went to our friends' Joe and Angela's house. They had a huge container of ice! Have you ever seen ice before?! It's so much fun to play with! Slippery and really, really cold. I could have played with ice for hours.

I also helped Joe and Daddy grill burgers.

And I took Daddy on walks. He loves the exercise. I try to keep him guessing as far as what direction we're going and how fast or slow to go. Think I did pretty good.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Independence Day {or Days} too!
Lainie Rae