Letters to Jacob: Happy New Year! (2013)

January 1, 2013

Dear Jacob,

Happy New Year!

I can't believe another year is finished. As I look back at 2012, it still baffles my mind how much you have changed. I don't really see how much you have grown, until I look back at pictures. Although your cheeks are still adorably chubby (sorry babe, if you take after your mama, they will always be that way), but you have lost a lot of that baby face. You really look like a little boy now.

We started 2012 by moving and starting our new life here in Oklahoma. Our little family of three spent over a month living in a tiny hotel suite while we searched for our new Oklahoma home. Although we went a little stir crazy living on top of each other, I cherish those days. We spent a lot of great, quality time as a family in that hotel room.

Then, in February, we moved into our new home. We worked really hard to make the house our home. You were such a champ through all the renovations, and you blessed me with great naps so I could get endless unpacking and projects done. Ahhh, those were still the days of 2 naps/day... We very quickly felt at home here in Ardmore. And I love that when we travel, you talk about going “home” and ask if we are going to “our house”.

In March, we traveled back to SC for a visit. It was great seeing family, but I think we were all ready to come back and finish getting settled into our house.

In April, Mimi, Papaw, and Uncle Mike came for a visit. Uncle Mike was a surprise for Daddy's 30th birthday. We worked them all to death, but got a lot of house projects done.

Maudy came for a visit in May, and brought Lulah back to live with us. You and Lulah are still figuring each other out. It is a love/hate relationship for her with you most of the time. She doesn't quite understand how you choose to play with her. For example, you throw a toy for her, but then you go running and squealing like a banshee, as you chase the toy. When you go over to her as she is innocently napping, she never quite knows if you are going to be sweet and love on her, or if she is about to get pounced on. There has been quite of bit of growling, and a few warning snaps from her, but she can't wait for you to wake up in the morning, and covers you with kisses when you come home from nursery school.

In June, Mimi and Papaw came back for another, longer visit. Lots more house projects were done, but we also had time for some fun in the pool. You became quite the little fish this summer. I can't wait to see how well you are swimming by the end of this summer!

In July, Aunt Amy and Uncle Trey came to visit. We had lots more fun in the sun while they were here. And lots of play time. Your Aunt Amy could not love you more.

In August you started “school”. This was bitter sweet for me. On the one hand, it was nice to have some freedom to grocery shop without a toddler, make doctor appointments, etc. But, I miss you during the days you are gone. I know how important it is for you to get to socialize with other toddlers and other adults. It is important you learn to share. Your teachers are fantastic, and I love when you come home and talk about your “friends”. For some reason, you seem to know all the girls' names...

first day of school

We also took a quick trip back to SC in August, while your Daddy had to be there for work.

 Columbia Zoo

In September, we made a big family announcement, that you were going to be a big brother! I have really tried to treasure the months we have left just the three of us. I am excited for the next stage for our family, but it is also getting “easy” with you right now. You follow directions, feed yourself, can tell me what you want, play independently...all these things make life so much easier.

October took us back to SC for another, longer visit. You and I flew all by ourselves to Columbia so we could be in Charleston in time to celebrate Maudy's birthday. And then, we went on a cruise with Maudy. The three of us were in a teeny, tiny cruise cabin, and we had a great time! You slept like a champ (something I was a little worried about since my bed was literally 6 inches from you). Eating in restaurants has become not exactly a relaxing experience, so I was worried about eating in a cruise ship restaurant, 3 meals a day, for 5 days. I shouldn't have worried, you did really well (although I was thoroughly prepared with lots of new toys and distractions, just in case). We swam in the Caribbean, and almost lost you and Maudy because of a big wave and the strong current. Not really, but almost. It was kind of scary. (although, I don't think I will ever get the image of your Maudy with her legs up over her head as the wave tumbled her down the beach. It wasn't funny at the time, but I can laugh about it now...I am not sure she can say the same...) You thought it was fun, and cried when we decided that the surf was just too rough, and not worth the risk anymore.

We traveled to Kentucky for a family wedding in November, followed by a very quick trip back to Georgia and SC. Maudy flew home with us and celebrated Thanksgiving and your 2nd Birthday! Two years old!!! I still can't believe it!

Mimi and Papaw and Uncle Mike all came out to be with us for Christmas. It was so nice to have them here. You absolutely loved all the attention, and constantly having someone who would play with you. Christmas was a lot of fun with you this year. We could ask you who Santa Claus was, and your response was “presents”. You were completely and utterly spoiled by family members this year. Way to many presents for one little boy! We tried to spread things out so you would be appreciative of each gift. So much so, that we gave you the little tricycle from Aunt Amy almost a week early! And, we still haven't given you the John Deere tractor from Pop and KK. (we plan to this Saturday when the weather should be warmer). It was really fun to watch you open gifts and get excited over your new toys. I do want you to be grateful, and understand what a lucky little boy you are.

So here we are. A brand new year. 2013 is going to be a big one for our family. Your little sister, Elizabeth, will be here in just under 10 weeks. Your little world is going to be turned upside down. I know it will be tough at times, but I hope you will always feel how much we love you. I know you will be sad at times when it feels like Elizabeth is getting all the attention, but remember, you will have had 2 years and 3 months of undivided attention. I pray you are as sweet to your baby sister as you are to us. One of my absolute favorite things about you right now is the spontaneous kisses and hugs you give us. Melts. My. Heart.

So Happy New Year Jacob! I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us. And I am so excited to watch you grow and learn and change in the next 12 months.