Saturday, December 19, 2009

We are so thankful!

November was a rather relaxing month for us, but the absolute highlight was having Grandma and Grandpa Middleton here for a week over Thanksgiving. Matthew loved spending time with his grandparents and I have to say he was spoiled rotten! Ryan and I were able to have a much needed break and Matthew made some wonderful new memories with his grandparents. We had a yummy Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixins and Matthew was surprised with an early birthday present -- a new red wagon! He absolutely loves riding in it as we walk around the neighborhood with Waddles. Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, for the sweet and thoughtful gift!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween and a Surprise from God

The last week of October proved to be a very eventful week for our family. Ryan and I celebrated 5 wonderful years of marriage on October 23, Ryan received his first Air Force assignment as a Navigator, Matthew turned 10 months old on October 24, and we celebrated Matthew's first Halloween!

Ryan was so thoughtful (as always) and sent me flowers on our anniversary. They were one of the most beautiful arrangements I've ever received. God has truly blessed us these past 5 years!

On Wednesday, Matthew attended his first Halloween party with our playgroup. We had a great time playing with friends and seeing all the kids in costume. They had an area sectioned off for the younger children to play and Matthew had a blast. He even crawled under one of the toys and got stuck! Now that he's crawling he's very adventurous and loves to explore new areas. It makes things very interesting for us at home!

Halloween night was equally fun as we dressed Matthew up in his pumpkin outfit again and took him Trick-or-Treating (well, we actually only went to our neighbor's house). Our little pumpkin looked so adorable and his outfit made him that much more cuddly!

Obviously, the most shocking event of all was on our 5 year anniversary when Ryan received his assignment to, what an anniversary gift. We will be moving to Japan sometime in 2010 and will spend about 3 years living on Yokota Air Base just outside of Tokyo. At first, it was hard to digest that we would be moving halfway around the world from our families, but once the initial shock wore off we realized this was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we trust that God has an amazing journey planned for us. Will it be hard? Yes, absolutely. But, we have so much to be thankful for...a healthy baby boy, a family who supports us and loves us, and the chance to experience another part of this great world. God always provides what we need and we know He will provide ways for us to see our families and for us to teach Matthew about the Japanese culture firsthand. Our little redheaded angel will be a Japanese superstar!
Here is the video of Ryan receiving his Japan assignment (it was an Oktoberfest theme and the assignment was taped to the bottom of the mug so it was a surprise to everyone)...We were definitely not expecting it, but thankfully God is good...all the time!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh my!!

Matthew had his first experience at the zoo on Tuesday (10/20/09). Ryan and I thought that he would be mesmerized by all the animals, but it turns out he was much more interested in the other kids than he was the animals. The only time he showed interest in the actual zoo was when we were looking at the fish!

He did take the time to look at the huge tortoise, but it still didn't capture his attention like we had expected. (If you notice, we had to strip Matthew out of his overalls because it warmed up so much. Oh, I just love those chunky legs!)

They have an area for smaller children with a waterfall and stream that the kids can play in. Matthew and Ryan had a great time splashing in the water. He giggled every time Ryan splashed his feet in the water. It was really cute! I could sit and listen to Matthew giggle all day's music to my ears!

A Family Day at the Park

We took Matthew to the park on Monday (October 19) and discovered that he LOVES the swings! He giggled and laughed - especially when Ryan was swinging on the swing next to him. We took some great photos and videos. Hope you enjoy!

Matthew also rode down the slide and played in the dirt. It was a great family day at the park!

Our Little Pumpkin

We took Matthew to the pumpkin patch on October 12th to pick out his first pumpkin. While we were there, he crawled into the pumpkin patch and tried to blend in with the other pumpkins (actually, Ryan strategically placed him in the pumpkin patch and he looked super cute with his red/orange hair). Luckily, we captured it all on camera! Matthew sure is one precious pumpkin!

Fun with Family (a little recap)

Living in Texas has made it hard for us to have quality time with family. Thankfully, we've been blessed to have family visit us on several occasions. Matthew and I were also fortunate enough to make the trip to SC in September and he was able to meet his Great Grandma and Great Grandpa. My Dad and my Grandmother (my Dad's Mom) both celebrate their birthday on September 13, so it was special to be there to celebrate with them. Matthew also loved having some time with his Aunts and Uncles. Here are a few photos of Matthew with his Nana, Poppy, GGma, and GGpa during our visit. God truly blessed our time together (but we sure did miss Ryan)!

After spending a wonderful week in SC, I was pleasantly surprised when my cousin, Christy, made plans to come visit. Christy and I have always been very close, so it meant so much to me that she made the trip all the way from New Jersey! She flew in the first weekend of October and we had such a great time! Matthew bonded with her instantly and it was definitely a treat to have more time with family. We are so blessed!

The gift of family time will continue in November - hooray! Ryan's parents are coming to stay with us for a week during Thanksgiving so we're sure to have lots to be thankful for while they are here. We feel so fortunate to have family who are willing to make the long trip here to Texas. It means so much to us and it's so important that Matthew have quality time with his family. God is so good and we are so thankful!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Matthew crawling for the 1st time

Matthew was 9 Months & 1 Day old on Friday, September 25 and it turned out to be a very special day...he crawled for the first time!

Ryan and I were getting ready to feed him supper and Matthew decided he would surprise us and delay eating a little longer so he could play and show us his new trick of crawling! We were so thankful that we were both home to witness this milestone and we actually caught it on video. What a brilliant child we have! :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Matthew's first airplane ride to SC

Here is a preview of our trip to Rock Hill, SC. Matthew did great on the airplane ride - although the people sitting around us might have thought otherwise since Matthew "talked" the entire 3 hour ride to SC. He did manage about a 45 minute nap and was otherwise very happy and interested in his surroundings. The video below is worth a thousand words...hope you enjoy and I'll have more photos and videos to share soon. It has truly been a blessing to spend some quality time with family! God is so good!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Where has the time gone?

I can't believe it's already September...where has the time gone?!? My sweet little prince is already 8 months old and is growing right before my eyes!

Matthew loves bath time and we recently got some tub toys for him to play with while he splashes around in the tub. One of his favorites are the letters that stick to the side of the tub. One night Ryan was spelling out words for him and Matthew thought the sound of them hitting the side of the tub was so funny. I posted the video below. I never get tired of hearing him giggle!! It's music to my ears!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A day trip to Austin, TX

We took Matthew to the Children's Museum in Austin, TX today and he had a blast! We met up with my cousin, Shele', her husband, Bobby, and their sweet son, Blaze (he's a year old). Matthew loved spending time with his cousin and experiencing all the neat gadgets at the museum. Afterwards, we went to Matt's Famous El Rancho for a yummy lunch! It was great to spend the day with family and Matthew and Blaze had a chance to prove just how smart they are at such a young age!