Friday, October 31, 2008

Just nature

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Hand holding...

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Quite possibly the best Halloween weather EVER.

Last minute decision to take a hike with the little ones today.
It could not have been ANY nicer.
Now this is my kind of weather!

And in the following photo we told the children to get really close together by the railing for a group photo.
We said, "No, REEEEEEAAAAALLLLY close."
This is what we got...

And this was fun, too. It's pretty good considering the effort that went into getting everyone together and smiling, fully clothed, for 10 seconds.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Preschool party

Today was Lani's preschool fall party.
She is going to be a black cat for Halloween this year.
And she is CUTE!

They sang fall songs for all the parents.
I'm trying so hard to hold on to these moments in my mind.
She's 5 now. This is her last year at home with me.
And it's all going way too fast...
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Lunchtime Yoga with Ayla

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some of the cutest guests ever...

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One last birthday bash for Nalani

My mom wanted to do something "girly" for Lani's birthday.
She decided on a butterfly themed luncheon for her.
Butterflies everywhere!

It was like a fairly wonderland...

And a cute activity for the little ones...

Lani concentrating very very hard.
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Ayla's new face

She seriously makes this face
I love it...
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Monday, October 27, 2008

Birthday wishes all around

Lani received birthday cards in the mail...

Birthday gifts...

Birthday phone calls...lots of them.
(in this photo Macy is singing to her)

And more birthday hugs...

I'm pretty sure she is feeling like one special girl today.
Mission accomplished.
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This morning

I love to have something special waiting for the kids as soon as they wake up on their birthday morning.
I think this is the most exciting part of the day for them.

This morning was no different.
Because we did a big cake apple picking weekend, we just stuck with a donut cake today.
And Brigg acknowledges just how special he thinks Lani is...

And an added bonus to Paul working IN TOWN.
He popped in just in time to sing happy birthday to Lani.
The kids were so excited for him to be a part of this!
(although early this morning, before leaving for the Y and work, Paul woke Lani up to give her a sweet gift just from him. the kids love this, too. It is something they always talk about when discussing their birthdays.)

And the birthday girl.
Bed head and all.
Isn't she beautiful!!

It was a good day.
So thankful for this little girl.
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Today Nalani turns 5. I almost get teary just typing those words. There is no possible way it has been 5 years since the life-changing day she joined this family...changed this family.

Lani wears her heart on her sleeve. I have a feeling this will forever be part of who she is. Compassion oozes from her. She jumps up and rushes over to Ayla if she gives even the slightest indication of discomfort. If I'm searching for something she is the first to hop up and help me find it. Even if I'm not looking for something, she has been known to walk in the room carrying my cell phone, saying, "Mom, were you looking for this?"
She knows in her mind how things are "supposed" to be and if they aren't appearing that way, she'll let you know...and expect you to fix it.
Her smile can literally drop you to your knees.

She has her daddy wrapped every so tightly around her little finger...and she knows it.

She's content just hanging out with "us". Not a lot of friends right now, but when asked who her best friend is, she quickly replies, "Macy!"

She loves the weekends when everyone is home and together. She and Paul spend time every weekend taking in the recycling, filling the bird feeders and working in the yard.

She LOVES LOVES LOVES nature. Dirt, bugs, worms, flowers, birds, etc. She is very serious about keeping the birdfeeders full and keeping the squirrels away from them.

She also enjoys baking, playing Barbies , mexican food and ART. Anything artistic can keep her entertained for hours.

Every morning after we drop Brigg off at school and come home, she says, "Mommy, can we snuggle?" And after a round of snuggling, she will most definitely be up for a fierce game of Memory or Candyland.

The room lights up when Nalani walks in. Her smile. Her dimple. Her fly away blonde hair.

I could go on forever.

She is Nalani. Our firstborn daughter. Our little Lou Bug. And today she is 5.

Happy birthday sweet girl. Words cannot express our love for you. For your soft heart, your gentle soul, your kindred spirit. May you feel our love deeply on this special day and always....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

a trip down memory lane

I know I've taken you all on this trip before,
but I'm going to venture there again.
On this eve on Nalani's fifth birthday and on Macy's actual 5th birthday, I always find myself heading down this road.
It started with Lisa making the big announcement that she was expecting at the dinner where Paul and I were going to announce that WE were expecting.
She could tell by the look on my face.
She said, "You're pregnant, too, arent' you!"
Um, yeah.
She was due October 21 and I was due October 31.
A mere 10 days apart!
I think Donna's heart almost exploded on the spot.
It was so special.
We are not only sister-in-laws, but very special friends.
Friends even before there was a "Paul and Cassie" (but just by a couple months!)
We emailed virtually everyday during our pregnancies.
Shared stories and feelings and aches and pains.
We had a baby shower for Lisa at Paul and Lisa's parent's house.
In this photo we are laughing because our babies were kicking eachother.

Neither of us found out the sex of our babies.
I was sure I was having a boy.
She was sure she was having a girl.
Well October 21 came and went.
I informed Lisa that I had been having LOTS of contractions and many other signs of labor.
After Brigg had been born Lisa said, "Let me have the first grandDAUGHTER."
I had agreed.
But this was going to be close.
I called Donna and told her it was going to be soon.
She decided to come to our house and stay with us a few days until I went into labor.
We lived about 2 hours from Lisa.
Donna arrived early afternoon on October 26.
I asked if she had talked to Lisa and she said she hadn't.
Lisa was 5 days overdue and she didn't want to keep bothering her with that age-old question.
She was at our house for approximately 30 minutes (after driving nearly 5 hours to get there!) and Lisa called.
She was in the hospital, in labor!
I was sobbing. I SO BADLY wanted to go!
Paul said no way.
I had been having pretty regular contractions and he did not want me to deliver this baby on the side of the road.
I begged. Literally BEGGED. He wouldn't budge.
So Donna headed out.
I remember watching her drive away with tears streaming down my face like it was yesterday.
I sat by the phone all afternoon.
The night we got the call that she had delivered a little girl!
Macy Grace.
The next day I found myself in labor and delivery.
And Tom and Donna found themselves back in the car, driving the same roads they had driven the day before.
Just 25 hours after Macy made her way into this world, we brought OUR first daughter into this world.
Nalani Alma.
Four days later, on Halloween 2003, we introduced these precious cousins and our lives have never been the same.

We should have known from that first photo that they would be the best of friends.
They have this amazing bond. Truly like sisters.
On our apple picking trip we celebrated their birthdays TOGETHER for the 5th time.

Even though I wasn't there on the day Macy made her grand entrance into the world,
I've been there every year since.
And we are so blessed by this relationship.
By the opportunity to experience pregnancy and childbirth and these first five years with daughters together.
We all share something very special.
And we are eternally grateful for that.

Happy birthday Macy Grace!
And happy five years as her mommy, Lisa.
So thankful for both of you.
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More piano and peek-a-boo

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