Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Big pictures!

Many of our closest friends and relatives joined us to celebrate our little man on Saturday, September 10th.  Our theme was Mickey Mouse Club and it was the perfect party!

The most important guest of all, Great-Grandma Priebe

Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. One-derful!

Dear Hunter,

We made it!!!! You are officially one year old today!!!  This hasn't been the easiest year on record but it has definitely been the BEST!  You have added so much to our lives that we didn't even know was possible.  Your personality continues to come through on a daily basis.  You are definitely a good mix of your father and mother at this point and I'll be interested to see if this continues as you get older.  You are such a fun-loving little man who just really seems to enjoy your time here.  You seem like an old soul that has already seen so much but isn't afraid to take in all the beautiful things around you.  I love to watch you figure things out.  You definitely have an attention to detail but if you don't figure something out in the first couple of tries you are very much like your Momma and you share your frustration with everyone around you.  You love to laugh and your full belly laughs win over everyone in the room!  Hugs are most definitely your specialty! I think the best hugs are always give to your Daddy when he comes home after a long work week on the road.  You make us want to be better people everyday and our hope is that we are doing what is best for you with all of our decisions.  We love you, Hunter! 

Food: Stouffer's Swedish Meatballs and Mandarin Oranges
TV Show: Mickey Mouse Club
Toy: Anything that makes music
Pet:  Toss up between Roxi and Tank
Book: Polar Babies
Song: Chasing Cars (happens to be the song that you go to sleep to for naps and night time)
Time of Day: Morning (specifically right when you get up)
Activity: Running around in your 'car' outside

Friday, September 2, 2011

One week from today....

Joe and I will be the parents of an official one year old little boy!!! I am absolutely blown away by the fact that our little man has already been with us for a year.  It just does not seem possible at all!  He has such a sweet personality and is definitely a mama's boy.  He melts our hearts and has made our life complete!

Our last picture before heading to the hospital to welcome Hunter into our world!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The only thing constant in life is change!

 Well, then hold on because we are in for more change yet again at the Armstrong house.  It is safe to say that Joe and I are not like most in that we really do embrace change.  We live our lives with an open mind and are always looking for ways to improve ourselves, our marriage, our careers, and now our family.  We have both had various jobs since graduating from OSU and each one has only built upon the other and been a positive step towards our future.  Currently, we are both in our most challenging and rewarding careers yet and that is where the change is coming!

I have been with the same company for the last two years.  The first year I was a road warrior, last year I had the pleasure of staying local and my primary focus was being a mom, and now this year I will be somewhere in the middle of that road.  I am beyond excited about my professional opportunity this year but to say I am not a bit nervous about having to travel and spend a significant amount of time away from Hunter each week I would be lying.

The other big change comes in who is going to watch Hunter.  My mom was so gracious and wonderful and was the primary caretaker for Hunter when I had to work and Joe was out of town which definitely allowed me to breath easier.  We have a great potential nanny in mind but she has been out of the country for a while so we haven't had a chance to sit down to find out if it is really going to work out for everyone involved.  I know that if she is able to come on board and help out that Hunter will be in good hands but at the same time I know that I will wish it was me spending that time with him instead.

Even though I welcome change this one feels a bit different and I know it has everything to do with Hunter.  I never thought I would be a mommy, let alone love this new role more than anything in the world, so this is definitely foreign territory for me.  I know that I am not the type of person to stay home full time and in all honesty even though I will be traveling some I get to do most of my work from my home which is fantastic.  I know my nerves stem from my own obsession with being the best I can be at whatever it is I sign up to do and trying to figure out what that is going to look like during this upcoming school year!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

11 Months!

This just absolutely does not seem possible!  How in the heck has it almost been a year since we welcomed Hunter into our lives?!?!?!

Hunter continues to amaze me on a daily basis and my love for him grows stronger each day! Someone recently asked me to describe him and I said he is just a sweet, loving little boy which seems to sum him up perfectly! He loves to give 'cuddles' and 'sugar' and unless he is teething, is tired or hungry the boy is just plain happy!

New this month:
Hunter has started to put his feet down more when he is standing and moving from table to couch and vice versa with more ease. He absolutely LOVES eating and is interested in trying everything we are eating. He definitely has a temper and has started letting us know when we take away something that he feels is rightfully his. He has started wringing his hands together when he is nervous or unsure about someone or something.  I am anxious to see if this is a trait that will stay with him or something he will eventually outgrow on his own.He started on whole milk for most of his bottle feedings so that way we can begin to ween him from nursing.  He has fully recognized that he can make us laugh and he LOVES doing all he can to make it happen.

I think we have said it every month but I'll say it again, we are so blessed to have Hunter in our lives!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Mother's Love

This past week while we were down at the farm I had the pleasure of seeing a mother's love at its finest!  I am not talking about Mary Nelle's love for her son or even my love for Hunter for that matter but the love between a momma cow and her baby "Q-Tip" as we called him.

Now, I know that some people might not believe what I am about to write but I saw it with my own two eyes and can tell you that this momma cow knows love.

Q-Tip had to be born about the week before we arrived for our visit and his momma was a proud cow.  She made sure that she was never far from him and would always keep a watchful eye out for him around the other cows.

The first time I came across Momma she was standing at Mary Nelle's fence contemplating moving into  Elizabeth's pasture with the other cows.  Hunter hadn't yet laid eyes on the cows so I hopped into the ranger with him and we went to see her.  She stood there for a moment but quickly became nervous and ran off back towards the pond which she had just come from. At this point, I hadn't put two-n-two together that this was that cute little cow's momma because honestly I didn't know that a brown and white cow could have a black and white cow!  Stop shaking your head, city girl, I know!

A little while later I saw her coming back up to Elizabeth's pasture and this time she had little Q-Tip in tow.  Again, still not realizing this was momma and baby I thought she was a sweet cow for making sure that someone else's baby was safely back with the rest of the herd before nightfall.  It was cute to watch this clumsy little cow try to figure out how to maneuver between gates and make the momma cow come back and forth several times before he finally figured it out.

The next day as the cows made the usual trek across the farm I made the connection that this in fact was momma and her baby. (Ok, honestly I had asked Joe that night on the phone if brown cows could have black cows and he set me straight!) Q-Tip played for a while with some of the other babies but ended up laying down for a bit while momma happily chewed her way through the pasture with the other cows.  She was finally ready to move into the next pasture and began bellowing for Q-Tip to join her.  He didn't budge!  She kept moving on but would only go so far before turning around and bellowing again for him.  Finally, after back tracking for the third time she walked straight up to Q-Tip and nudged him.  This made him get up and follow her into the next pasture.  You know she was thinking, "You little brat!  It is hot out here and we are on a mission moving to the next pasture and you are making me come back for you. This is the last time Mister!"

The following day, Larry's dad (the man that runs the cattle on the farm), came out with the feed truck.  If you have never seen this happen, it is amazing to watch.  I honestly never knew that cows could run as fast as they do until I saw the feed truck pull into the farm.  Momma and Q-Tip lagged a bit behind the others, I believe because she knew that he would be trampled if he got in the mix of things, but were quickly up eating with the rest of the herd.  One of the other momma cows pushed Q-Tip out of her way at one point which knocked him down.  Momma came over quickly, nudged Q-Tip as if to say "you are okay and need to get up quickly" and then she put herself between him and the herd and moved him out into another pasture under a big shade tree for the rest of the afternoon.  Absolutely priceless to watch!

I could keep going with the things this momma did for her little baby but I think you all get my point...A mother's love is instinctual, unconditional and matter the species!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

San Antonio or Bust!!

Every summer Joe has a big, week long conference in either San Antonio or Austin.  It is a huge family event and people have taken their children and spouses to it for several years.  The first year Joe was with the company, I joined him for the last few days of the conference and we had a wonderful time enjoying the Hyatt Hill Country.  Last year I was about 6 weeks from having Hunter and super busy with work so I didn't join him in Austin.  So, this year we decided to join the rest of the attendees and make it a big family vacation for us.  A big part of Joe's work is the entertaining and with a little one we knew that this wasn't going to be possible unless we enlisted the help of a grandma!  Mama Nelle to the rescue!!!

The weekend before the conference we headed down to spend some time on the farm and to cut the drive in half for Hunter.  Joe went on to the conference on Monday and Mama Nelle, Hunter and I joined him on Thursday.  We had a great time and Joe and I even got in some time for ourselves because Mama Nelle took on the bulk of caring for Hunter! 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Professional Pictures

We have not been the typical parents of our first baby and taking him every three months for professional pictures.  But, if you really know Joe and I we have never been good at pictures so it probably doesn't really come as a surprise.  We went to Studio 121 at Stonebriar Mall for his newborn pictures when he was five and seven days old!  (Hunter was cranky on day five so we had to reschedule for day seven!)

Then in November, we had one of our friends, Rayna Canedy (Canedy Photography), take pictures of us, Hunter and the three grand kids for what we planned to use as Christmas cards but never got around to actually bad! 

So finally in May, I decided it was time for us to get pictures of our little man and some new family portraits done using a local photographer for this shoot, Jilly Bean Photography.  It was just an absolutely perfect day!  Beautiful outside, Hunter was HAPPY, and I had found the perfect outfits for each of us with little to no planning!

This one just makes me laugh!

Look at those beautiful blue eyes!

Happy Family!

Looks like he is thinking, "You people better not leave me!"