celebrating abel!

on sunday abel turned TWO!
i can hardly believe it! 
the night before his birthday, chris and i decorated the hall outside of his room so he would wake to the magic pictured. i heard him get down from his bed and waited in the hall, he opened the door, looked at all of the balloons + then at me and said, "help, help!" he then walked side to side trying to map out a pathway to freedom... i about cried laughing inside. i told him they were balloons and that they were his and he could play with them + then he started throwing them in the air + telling us all the colors. THIS was the reaction i had hoped for out of the gate :) we will try again next year! i want to have birthday traditions for all of our kiddos + maybe this will be his! we had a great morning with homemade donuts + i took a million pictures because this just looked like the happiest little scene.

so this is what two looks like... heart eyes for days.
& our sweet baby angel lucy too!

later that day, we had a small party with family to celebrate our guy. we had sandwiches + soup, snacks and homemade lemonade. it was gorgeous and sunny, abel rode on a dirt bike for the first time and loved it (yeesh), and i got away with wearing my hair up for an entire party without him noticing + asking for me to take it down. we made him a cookie cake inspired by this one HERE, re-lit his candles a dozen times so he could blow them out over + over again, and all around had a happy little day together.

arrow aged three years with that cute pony tail, i can't stand it.

two years of abel.

while compiling pictures for this post, i eventually had to just cut myself off. every picture i have of abel was my very favorite picture at one time or another + so pulling together my "favorites" well... you know. abel is two. how in the world is abel two?! i'll tell you, nothing can slow time when you have children. no matter how tight you may clutch it, it slips away and all of a sudden you have a 2 year old, or a 5 month old, and you just feel almost desperate for a bottle big enough to store + save all the moments, and smells, and hugs, and giggles in. i haven't found one yet. each day with my children is full of laughter + love. not to say they aren't also accompanied by plenty of time outs + tears from one party or another too, but i choose to focus on the wins... call me glass half full. we don't have perfect days, but we have each other + we have love. chris and i have been parents for two years, and i'd venture to say we've grown more as individuals + as a couple in those two years than any of the 9 years before it. our hearts have grown in ways i can't find the words to describe, and our prayers have never been more sincere. i'm thankful for the gift of parenthood. it's fun, scary, challenging, heart breaking, life giving... the list goes on. call me crazy, but it's truly incredible. 

i write this on the eve of abel's big day. the hallway outside of his room is full of balloons + confetti + streamers, and i feel like a kid on christmas just waiting for morning so that i can see his face when he wakes to this scene. he's gonna love it :)

abel, today you are two. i love you. 
 before you were born, i prayed you'd be so many things... mostly happy + healthy, but also that you'd be the perfect mix of sweet + spicy. you are just that. you're a force, a wild animal, a ham... adventurous, and always testing boundaries, and in the same breath you are sweet + gentle, and even at two, want to be held as much as you always have... i love this. i cry just thinking of the day that you don't want to be held anymore. 
you are so smart! lately, you tell us stories over and over again, say new words every day, dance dance dance, are concerned when others are distraught, and are pretty compliant when it comes to bed time. you are a method man. you like things a certain way + recognize patterns, and you're not afraid to speak up if things aren't quite right... spoon first, then oatmeal in the bowl. you're papaw was like this too :) you're our little sticker picker. if there's a sticker, you're gonna pick it... your workbench learned this the hard way. 
i hope i never forget the moment you were born, and every moment after. the mundane, the milestones, your smell + the way you laugh. these things are embedded in the deepest parts of me. hearing you exclaim,"'gain!" after any and everything is the soundtrack to my soul. you enjoy the simplest things that life offers + it fills my happy to the brim + over to see life the way you do. if something's good, "again!" and why not? that's how it should be. 
i feel like i could eat you up. you're eyes are so beautifully blue, framed by a fan of thick dark lashes, and when you sleep, i struggle to not curl up right beside you + stare until i drift off too. you've lost most of your baby chunk + are rockin' the cutest little toddler bod if i've ever seen one. the only thing that's left are your sweet, round cheeks. butter + syrup worthy. 
you make me laugh more times than i can count in a day + you have me panicked that you are going to break a limb just as many times too. you are absolutely fearless, and as a mom, i love this about you, and also it terrifies me. you never think the ledge is too high, or the climb is too hard. it scares me because i fear we will spend a lot of time in the emergency room... you are your father's son after all, but i also love this about you. you're wide open all the time.
i don't know what i did to deserve a kid like you. you're all the best parts of life. you teach me, push me and wear me out, you delight me and make me smile until my cheeks hurt. i'm thankful every day for you abel. you're all i could have prayed for + more. i love you.