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On this day, one year ago, the sweetest little bundle of baby was born.

Sometimes in life we are given little gems. Little surprises that weren’t necessarily on our radar, or in our plan, but end up being exactly perfect. If I had planned for this baby and dreamed of her I couldn’t have ever imagined how perfectly she would fit in our family. She feels like she has always been here, though it still feels like just yesterday I was holding her in my arms for the very first time.

From day one she has been this calm, happy, inquisitive, snuggly baby.  Watching her grow this past year has been such a joy and a blessing. I am so incredibly grateful to be her mommy.

 

Happy 1st Birthday, Nora!! I can’t wait to see what the next year, and the many years after that, have in store for you.

 

I’ve been on a bit of a blogging vacation the past two weeks. My mom was in town so it seemed like a good time to take a little break. Now, of course, I have a million things to write about!

We were busy, busy, busy while my mom was here. We had a ton of fun adventures including some hiking, a couple of day trips in and around Seattle, and the piece de resistance, a trip to the Oregon Coast.

Our trip to the Oregon Coast was perfect. We spent 3 glorious days in a rental house in Oceanside, OR, a small little beachside town of a couple hundred people. Our beach house was perfect and had some great views of the beach.

As soon as we arrived we quickly unloaded our stuff and headed down to the beach. Oregon beaches are known for their wind and there were lots of people flying kites in the heavy ocean breezes. We walked the beach, put our toes in the very chilly water, checked out the tide pools and flew a kite for a bit. We all had a wonderful time. It was so fun and relaxing.

We were able to catch a little of the sunset that evening from our balcony.

The second day of our trip was spent trying to catch our dinner. Lorne, Maya and Anna, and later my mom, headed out in a little boat with some crab pots to try to catch some yummy crab for dinner. The girls were a bit grossed out but had fun. After a couple of hours Lorne came back with one little crab (they caught a ton but had to throw most of them back because they were female or too small). But, one isn’t bad for a first try :) We picked up a couple more crabs to go with our little crab to complete our dinner. It was delicious!!

After our super yummy dinner we headed down to the beach for a nice evening stroll to end our second day. Some clouds had begun to roll in and it was a little chilly but it was still incredibly beautiful.

We woke the third day to some pretty dense cloud cover and a little rain. We didn’t let that slow us down. We went into Tillamook and did a tour of the cheese factory there. We checked out how the cheese is made and packaged, tried a few samples of their very yummy cheeses and enjoyed an ice cream.

After a quick lunch back at our beach house we headed up to Cape Meares to see an old lighthouse and the famous octopus tree. Though the clouds and fog were pretty heavy the views from the cape were beautiful. The octopus tree was amazing. The fog actually made it look that much cooler!

The fog and dense clouds stuck around for our final evening at the beach. We didn’t let that slow us down. We headed down for one final walk along the beach. It was still cloudy and foggy and pretty chilly but we had fun anyway.

The Oregon coast is stunningly beautiful. We had such an amazing time. We will definitely be heading back again.

Our Anna, our spunky, sweet middle daughter is 3 years old.

Weight: 27 lbs (10th percentile)

Height: 34.5 ins (below the 5th percentile)

Anna came into this world as a tiny little peanut and she is proudly still rocking her peanut status. She may be tiny but she packs a lot of personality into that tiny package. She is strong-willed, determined, adventurous, and sweet. When she sets her mind on something there is no talking her out of it. She is stubborn to the bone this one. We butt heads frequently as she is growing into her 3 year old attitude but she can still be a total sweetheart too. Snuggling under a warm cozy blanket with us is still one of her favorite things to do.

Though she has a weird fear of slides she is pretty much not afraid of anything. She’ll ride her balance bike down the steep slope of our driveway with both legs up, going super fast, and jump off the curb. She loves to be outside playing with her friends, riding her bike, going on hikes or just sitting on the grass blowing bubbles or coloring a picture. Her favorite thing in the world is her blankie (and the 6 or so other cuddly blankets she as accumulated over the years). She loves to play dress up and loves playing with her kitchen and doctor sets. She is a little performer at heart and loves to make people laugh. She is fiercely independent and takes great pride in being able to do things for herself.

Anna is a wonderful sister. I can see that sometimes she is 100% the  middle child and rebels a bit against that status but most of the time she adores her sisters and does a pretty good job of getting along well with both of them.

There is so much love about our little Anna. She is smart, spunky and sweet. There is never a dull moment with her. She makes us laugh daily and gives the best hugs. Love you to pieces Anna Banana!

On Friday we welcomed a new member into our family. We opened our hearts and our home to a new little kitten. Penny, the newest four legged member of our family if making herself right at home. Melting our hearts and mending them all at the same time.

Let me tell you, she is purrfect ;) Her personality so far is super sweet. She loves attention, which is a good thing because she is getting lots of it so far. She is the perfect combination of playful and snuggly. The girls adore her already and she seems pretty taken with them as well. She even seems to like Nora even though we are still working with Nora on “being gentle”. After what we went through with Louis it has been so nice to see my girls able to interact, pet and love on a kitty without fear of bodily harm.

In true kitten fashion she plays hard and sleeps hard. One of my favorite moments so far happened the other day when she crashed hard on the couch after some rambunctious kitten play and Anna tried so hard to wake her up with no success. At one point she said “I think her died.” It was so cute :) The girls and Penny are going to be such good friends. It will be so nice for them to have a kitty to grow up with.

We’ve opened are hearts and our arms to this sweet girl. In just a few short days she has already done wonders to heal our hearts. She has fit right in so perfectly it definitely feels like she was made for our family.

A couple of months ago we were trying to decide if we should go somewhere for Maya’s spring break. After much discussion and research we decided to take the kids to Disneyland. The girls were super excited and I heard “I’m so excited to go to Disneyland!!” every day for weeks :) Anna had no idea what “going to Disneyland” meant but she was excited any way. Maya spent the weeks and days leading up to our trip planning out what rides she wanted to go on.

We arrived late last Monday and headed to the park first thing Tuesday morning. We all had so much fun. Maya and Lorne spent much of their time going from ride to ride. Anna loved the rides she could go on, especially the carousel. The girls got to meet a few characters, including a few princesses. Maya wasn’t as into the meeting characters this time, she preferred the rides. Anna loved it and was such a ham every time she posed with a character. Some friends of ours were also at Disneyland last week and we met up with them several times throughout the trip. Maya and Anna loved getting to explore the park and go on rides with some of their best buds.

After four days of fun at Disneyland we headed home. The girls were sad to say goodbye. They would have loved to stay longer. Anna has asked me at least a dozen times today when we are going to Disneyland again!

It was a great way to spend spring break. I always love going to Disneyland with the girls, it is so fun to see it all through their eyes. Looking forward to our next trip.