Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hanging Back.

Everyday, I spend time with Baby. I am usually very hands on. I get on the floor and play. We read together. We talk all day. But some of my favorite moments are when I step back.
When I get to be a bystander in her life.
 I love to see her from these angles too!

The richness of relationships is so real.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fathers Day 2015.

This is the second Father's Day we celebrate but really the first that Reyna can celebrate.
We celebrated simply. The best gift she gave Papa was a 2.5 hour nap ;)
We made a little momento for him and she was soooo excited to give it to him! It was pretty adorable.
 Everyday I am blown away by fatherhood. He is so intentional with her and makes her feel like a million bucks. Its no wonder she favors him, but then again, so do I ;)

Happy Father's Day! 

6 years.

This summer we celebrated our 6 year anniversary.
We like to get away and we have been to many places. This year, getting away looked different. While we have 'gotten away' to Thailand for an anniversary, this year 'getting away' meant being within 30 minutes from the Baby. We headed to a quaint town called Gruene, Texas just outside of San Antonio. We had plans to go toobing down the Guadalupe river but the levels are too high and fast!

We stayed at this adorable B&B in the "Silo" room. We feel in love with the idea! It is a two story loft with impeccable design. A huge bathroom and a mini kitchen. One day I want this on our property :)

We did a little shopping, ice cream eating, and some fine dining at the Gristmill Restaurant overlooking the river and LOTS of sleeping! I took multiple how times have changed :)

In this season of life I think its more important than it has ever been for us to get away. To regroup and recharge. Here is to another year of adventures with my handsome hubby!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Grandma and Grandpa visit.

 Grandma and Grandpa came down for a visit just as the weather started to turn warm :)
We went on so many adventures - walks, the zoo, the museum (twice), restaurants, Kiddie Park,  a book sale, popcorn shopping ;)!

We got up close and personal at the zoo. This lion came up for a little chat. She was not afraid. I was.
 We went to the museum two days. Its nice to have a membership so we can take our time.

We went to a kiddie park one day to ride a couple of rides. Of course, the carousel ride.
The train.

This captures just how I think she feels about these guys! 
She radiates joy when they talk to her. It makes my heart melt.

We are so thankful for a family that cherishes time together.
Till next time Grandma and Grandpa....xoxo

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Bucket list.

I love lists!
So here we go...
Summer 2015 Bucket List

1. go to Hamilton Pool Park

2. go camping (RVing) with my parents.
3. go to the aquarium.
4. visit a few splash parks in town.
5. have a garage sale.
6. read three fun books.
7. read three work related books.
8. go on an overnight trip without the baby
9. go toobing down the Guadalupe river

I think we can do this and have made plans for some already!

Monday, May 18, 2015

End of school year.

Its been awhile but things are busy around here. Here is what's going on.

1.Neil just finished his first year of Ph.D school!
      This meant 3 papers, each ~20 pages, which meant lots of time needed to work. It also included   driving to Austing 3-4 times a week! We are thankful for the break and all the extra time we get with him.

2. I finished up another semester of teaching 4 classes.

3. I am working on an online class for the first summer sesison. from scratch. its time consuming.

4. Reyna has two more weeks of day care. This means, we have some time to do things around the house.

5. I am cleaning out ALL of our sheds.

6. I am hoping to have a garage sale with all my shed findings.

7. We have hosted 3 dinners for friends who were so nice to have us over A LONG TIME ago.

8. We are planning a trip to Minnesota.

9. It has been raining for a week with no end in sight. It has been keeping it cool around these parts. I like it.

10. We have visited the Mayborn Museum 3 times last week.

With summer around the corner, it feels like we are getting to a pace of life that is exciting. Less responsiblities. More fun. Baby is hilarious and fun to play with. I have big plans for the summer. Maybe too big.....

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You are my Sunshine Birthday Party.

I had some fun with this first birthday party!
The theme was YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE.
It started off with these cute invitations found on ETSY. 

 We had lots of sweets. 

 I made the cake by using two round cakes.
My sister helped so much with the decorations and made this sign. 
We used a lot of what we had. Streamers, flowers, paper, etc. The banner was part of the invitation package. And believe it or not, I made those cloud pillows long before we knew the theme of this party.

 We had a pinata that was so hard to break but she really liked it!

 It was a great time spent with family.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Strength and Motherhood.

We were warned about the lack of sleep. We knew it was real but there is nothing like experiencing it for yourself. For me, its not so much the lack of sleep as it is the lack of strength. Despite being able to hold a baby in my arms for an hour, I still lack physical strength. Is that called energy? Maybe. Often times I can't muster the strength to fold laundry or go for a run or cook a good meal.

Perhaps the scariest part of this is the lack of mental strength. I am a confident person but all of a sudden I am unsure of EVERY decision. Self doubt and worry creep in to my everyday life. I doubt my ability daily.  I don't think these feelings are unique to me. I think all new parents feel this way.

So, all this to say, my first year of mothering has been a lesson in trust.

I have asked my self this question many times: "Can I do this?"
And the answer is NO.
I cannot do this.
Not on my own, anyways.
But I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
THROUGH Christ....
Not in addition to.
Not next to.
Not with.
In one side and out the opposite side of. Among or between; in the midst of. By way of. From beginning to end; completely. 

We were not meant to do this alone. So if I am expecting to find the strength within myself or from my husband, I'm gonna be searching for a long time!

When I pray the prayer "Lord, give me the strength" he answers.
Do I have an abundance of strength?
Do I have extra strength at the end of the day?

Everyday I have to trust that He will give me ENOUGH strength to get through today.
Enough to parent and work and wife (as a verb).
Enough physical strength to rock and nurse and play.
Enough mental strength to be joyful and intentional and make decisions.

Just enough today. Just enough tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April Birthday Celebrations.

We now have 3 Shanks birthdays to celebrate in April. 
Dad, Neil, and Reyna. 
Grandma and Grandpa came down for the weekend to celebrate and boy did we!

 We had some great dinners, lots of desserts, and so much love!

She got the hang of opening presents very quickly!
And reading her card....
 How she adores Papa!
 She loves her new car!

 "I'm ONE"

Happy Birthday to these three who make my world a better place!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

11 months.

11 months!
Wow! I can hardly believe it. 
She spent too many days in month 10 sick. We dealt with pink eye, cough, colds,  and teething. 
I hope this months is much healthier!

I think this is a "real" picture. This is how we see her most days :)
We had some questions about thumbsucking vs. pacifier and chose to use a pacifier. She took it for awhile until she found her thumb then refused the paci. We truly think this is why she started sleeping through the night so early (around 4 months)
So far, she only does it when she is sleepy and it always comes with a tugging of the ear. 
Its cute and endearing to us now.
(we'll deal with breaking the habit later :))

I forgot to add: I can blow kisses (known as besos)

Next month is a big ONE!
I'm holding her a little tighter and a little longer these days.