So, here’s the thing–
My parents and their friends just returned from a fabulous cruise where they basked in the warm Mexico sun daily. My sister also just returned from one of my all-time favorite vaca spots in Tybee Island.
Everyone is flying home with tans, and I’m sitting here on my couch with two pairs of socks on eating stellar homemade chocolate chip cookies my husband keeps making because that’s what we do in the winter. We make and eat cookies. We’re really adventurous and goal-oriented like that– don’t be intimidated.
Everyone being somewhere warm has me craving the days of summer where I eat less cookies and spend my days in less socks and more swimwear.
I’ve barely been able to talk to The Parents to hear about their trip yet, but in the brief phone call from the airport, my mom mentioned how incredible the weather was and how she adored being in the sun every minute of it (just like I would) but my dad wasn’t quite as enthused about non-stop sun exposure.
Which very much reminded me of my Shippmate.
And thus, I had to just rub salt in the winter wound of my non-traveling frigid self by revisiting a Facebook album of a trip Ryan and I took a couple of years ago.
In this album, I truly captured the epitome of our differing levels of love and adoration for the beach/sun.
Let me share this contrast captured with you.
This is how I feel about the beach. I truly always have to literally jump for joy that I’m there:
I need to frame this picture just to give myself a good laugh every time I see it.
Long sleeves. The towel so wonderfully wrapped around him to further avoid any exposed skin. And his face! Those squinty eyes that scream: I WANT TO GO ON A SKI TRIP.
I could lay for hours upon hours upon more hours in the sun.
The possibilities are truly endless.
And my Shippmate?
I can’t wait to drag him on another beach trip soon.
I know you haven’t got back to me about my suggestion for moving Mother’s Day to a weekend that isn’t full of graduation parties and baccalaureate services and everything else that distracts from celebrating the moms of the world, but yet- I have to bring to you another plea.
This time we’re talking about Valentine’s Day.
February 14th is just not practical.
Let me explain the thought process that came about while I was shaving my legs and planning my Valentine’s night outfit.
(Yes, I plan outfits 24 hours in advance. I can’t imagine a committee that is completely focused on the calendar could see anything odd about this.)
So I was thinking about to wear, and I found myself in the same predicament I find myself in every February 13th.
It’s just hard to dress sexy in February.
The temperatures don’t make it practical or attractive even.
Let me be most organized with my plea in a good list of why Valentine’s Day really doesn’t belong in February:
1. Dressing up in February is so tricky. Dresses need tights or leggings and most of these combos are cute but not the Valentine’s Day WOW we’re really going for.
2. There is generally snow or ice out which unless you want to literally be falling in love, prohibits any kind of heel or dressy boots.
3. By the 14th of February, we’ve all had a good one, two, or twenty two snow days in which we probably ate an entire (family size) bag of chips in one sitting. No one is looking their best in February. And nor would we want to- it’s a grand time to carry a little extra warmth around. THOSE SWEET POTATO CHIPS ARE WORTH IT.
4. Speaking of not looking our best, seriously– is anyone’s skin feeling sexy and flawless after the heaters and cold have sucked the life right out of it– highlighting eczema and psoriasis and all?! No way.
5. I was going to make a point about everyone is pale, but I actually have recently found myself truly loving my pale skin and finally realizing my Nanny was right when she tried to convince me pale was the new tan. So I won’t make that my final point, but for other people that haven’t came to my pale appreciation, you could argue that Valentine’s Day might be better suited in a month when our skin is more bronze than fluorescent.
This is why I’m thinking a good move to June would solve all of our issues:
1. Layers of dresses and tights and scarves would be replaced with flowy, sweet sundresses.
2. WITH STRAPPY SEXY SANDALS. Or heels! Or you could go barefoot if you’re the freespirit on The Bachelor and you so desire.
3. Everyone is more fit and slimmer in the summer. Instead of being snowed in with your sweet potato chips, you’re poolside with friends.
4. AH MY SUMMER SKIN. It’s neither dry nor flaky but just glowing and all that you’d want your Valentine skin to be.
5. Being tan on Valentine’s day could be cool. But I’m still remaining true to my pale appreciation in the winter months and my quest for my skin tones to be seasonally appropriate. Snow white in February and golden brown in June.
OH OH OH- let me not leave out that the planning of fun dates would be endlessly more epic in the summer than the frigid of February.
I can’t even imagine how you’d have any reason to do anything at this point but thank me for this obvious switch and make it happen for 2015.
I’ve even found a nice and tidy switch for you– and it’s already on the 14th, too, so it’s just perfect. Flag Day!
Flags would LOVE to be honored in February.
Coming to 2015 calendars near you:
FLAG DAY- FEBRUARY 14th and VALENTINE’S DAY- JUNE 14th
Thank you and you’re welcome.
My dearest June,
You’re five months old. I don’t even know how this has already happened, because just yesterday your daddy and I were en route to Uncle Atticus and Aunt Bailey’s for me to labor awhile before making our way to the hospital.
And then I blinked and it’s January 24th.
I’ve really got to stop blinking already.
But here we are– another month older.
And so sadly, Mama’s MacBook Pro crashed to a very sad death of a hard drive. There was a minute in the whole month long catastrophe that your daddy was very fearful every picture I’d taken in the last year was gone (as in pictures of the your birth and every picture that has been taken of you) and I kind of wanted to cry but held it together long enough to find out YOUR DAD IS A ROCKSTAR AND RECOVERED IT ALL.
It’s one of the many, many things about your daddy that I adore– the man can fix anything. It’s the best.
However, the whole process left Mama without a computer and all of my pictures for a month, so I had to get creative with this month’s letter.
Enter the idea to give you your own personal tour of your nursery!
It’s my favorite room in all of our home, and preparing it for you while I was pregnant was such a special time and with each picture hung and personal and sentimental piece placed, my heart became more and more ready for your arrival.
I want to remember always the special of each tiny little touch of the room, so come on in, and let’s look around!
When opening your door (which is always shut due to a Mr. Gatsby and a Mr. Gaiser), this is what you’ll see first…
Your awesome crib is from Grammy and Grandpa, and the beautiful handsewn quilt hanging on the sweet crib was made just for you by your Great-Grandma Wanda. I had such a precious time picking out the quilt pieces, fabric, and design with GGW and your Grammy, and it could not have turned out more perfect. I daily think of how special it is and how much it means to me and one day will mean to you, too!
And these guys– these sweeter than sweet REAL photos of baby animals are just my favorite, June. Oh, I adore them so.
I found them online very early on in the pregnancy and your daddy and I just both knew they were just for June’s own little jungle!
Your great-grandpa Bobby was so kind to buy those for you, and we just won’t even go into how much they may or may not have cost lol. Let’s just say– we all love you VERY much, annnnnd those baby animals will grow up with you! Hahahaha.
OH! And they obviously didn’t just get up on that wall perfectly straight and wonderful all by themselves. Your Grammy and Grandpa were the utmost careful in helping me frame and hang them with such precision and care. It was a hot summer day when the three of us worked on it– lots of laughs, lots of fun, and a whole lot of anticipation for you to be here to see them.
(And your Grandpa was nearly sure you’d be scared of the baby monkey, because he found that little guy quite a fright! I, on the other hand, love him!)
I made the Dream Big Little One sign for you, because dreaming big is something very important to your mama, so I’ve got to teach you this from the start!
The cute very nautical boat was a shower gift from your Great Aunt Debbie and cousins Shelly, Kevin, Keagan, Logan, Donielle, Bryan, and Adi Morgan! It was perfect for a shelf in your nursery.
Your shelf holds several special items:
top shelf: that anchor compass was a special gift your Grandpa brought you back from his Gettysburg/Civil War trip with Uncle Atticus
middle shelf: that sweet frame with our favorite ultrasound pic of you was a precious gift from Suzie Moore and the little Lenox elephant was your 1st ornament from Bobby this year who has so sweetly continued Nanny’s tradition
bottom shelf: the piggy bank (with actual money in it) was such a clever gift from Adi Morgan who had a lemonade stand just to make some money to give you and the cat was from your good friend Harrison Meyer (he understands and shares our appreciation and love for furry feline friends)
That pretty in pink shelf just makes me giddy when I see it, because your Grammy and Grandpa found that little gem at the Brass Armadillo and it truly completed your nursery! It added just the right touch of feminine and pretty– I love it.
Your Great-Aunt Lori made the Baby Girl Shippmate sign for you in the bottom of the shelf, our dear friend Erin Montgomery made you the crazy adorable Junebug sign, and the little keepsake box behind it is all kinds of darling and from my all-time profesora favorita, Senora Ogle.
And a complete random little fact, but I like keeping your blue nose suction thing and your pink clippers in the little box next to your wipes, because it keeps in color coordination with our pink and blue throughout the room. You’ll learn to know I’m a bit crazy, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be just as wonderfully weird as me one day.
Those fun curtains were also made just for you by your Great-Grandma Wanda. She’s so crafty and talented and truly just everything you’d want your grandma to be.
Grammy and Grandpa gave you the changing table from dear Tar-Jay, and I couldn’t love it more. Well, I picked it out, but they gave us the money for it.
If you’re wondering if your dad or I purchased anything for this room, the answer is not really lol. No, we did do a few of the things, but we’re so blessed with family and friends that really helped make this room what it is– special JUST FOR JUNE!
Even the walls are special, as we really weren’t supposed to get to paint in our duplex, but your Papa Shippy and great-aunts were so kind to let us do so, and your Papa even painted the room for you!
The Diaper Genie was a very generous hand-me-down from Adi Morgan, and that very vintage and cool mirror was your Halloween treat from Grammy. She said since she couldn’t do candy this year, she’d give you a treat for your room and I had already had my eye on this beauty at Hobby Lobby. It goes wonderfully with your room.
This wall is very special to me, as it holds the legacy of your name, June.
Pictured on the far left is your Great-Great Grandma Me-Me who was born on June 12, 1913, then next is your Great-Grandma Nanny who was born on June 28, 1936, and then finally you can see picture of your daddy and I on our wedding day which was June 25, 2010.
I can’t tell you how precious it is to have my Me-Me and Nanny (both grandmas that were the nearest and dearest to my heart) not just in your room with me always, but also so perfectly forever tied to the legacy and beautiful of your name.
Your closet! With a whole lot of hand-me-downs from Lila and Adi Morgan, some spoiling from Grammy, some shower gifts, and maybe one shirt that I bought you for Christmas lol.
And see that Granddaughter sign above your closet? That’s a very Zeke Braverman gift from your grandpa. While I was pregnant with you, every month Grammy and Grandpa would give us a gift on the 20th to celebrate each month of the pregnancy, as you were due on August 20th. Grandpa was in charge of the gift this particular month and had that sign made for you, because our favorite television grandpa (Zeke) calls his granddaughter “Granddaughter,” and my dad plans to pass on that cuteness to you. I love it.
This pink basket that Amy gave me at your shower she had for you has become our laundry basket for you.
I had to take a closer shot of it, because that little yellow tag I keep on it is the badge your Aunt Bailey wore to be back in the delivery room where you were born. I think of the joy of your birth day every time I see it.
Cara Riekhof gave you this Baby Einstein playmat, and it’s become our morning ritual for you to have some quiet time by yourself on this little mat after your first feeding. You LOVE the light up part on it, and now enjoy rolling over on it, too!
I found this bookshelf on Craigslist and somewhat underestimated the real estate we’d need for your very growing library! Your Great-Aunt Janet gave you that cute owl bookend from Pottery Barn, and there is actually another one that got the boot as we received more and more books for you! The reader in your mama is more than happy with the fact we have more books than shelf space.
On that top shelf is a letter I wrote to you while we were pregnant and put it between 6 month pictures of me and your daddy. When people come over, they always love to look at little Ryan and little Erica and see the different attributes found in little YOU!
That cool giraffe was a gift from Aunt Bailey, when she saw your animal themed nursery. Unlike your big tall giraffe from Grammy and Grandpa, this one is not from a toy store, but actually from Africa. Aunt Bailey is pretty legit like that.
And the J is a piece I just fell in love with and got when all of the world only knew you as Baby J, because your daddy wanted to keep your name a secret until he met you!
Whew, that was quite the tour.
As you can see, your room came together with a lot of help and generosity from friends and family, but most of all with a whole lot of love from all of us who knew a baby as special as our Junie needed a room full of wonderful.
This last picture shows your glider (remind me to tell you the funny Craigslist story about that adventure with your Uncle Atticus and someone who tried to see me a glider that didn’t glide lol) and your favorite bouncy seat from Vicky with your really cool little singing bird from Great-Aunt Susan and Great-Uncle Hal on your crib.
This tour took so long that it’s now bedtime, and one last little fact for you about your room is that every night after you’re long asleep– and dreaming big, little one– I go in your room and tidy it all up just perfect so we can start our next day right.
And as I walk out of that room, I always stop for a second and just admire the beauty of it.
Only the best for you, Junebug.
Happy 5 months, and I couldn’t love you more.
In some sort of weird turn of events, we’ve been eating at home more lately and hadn’t been to a sit down kind of restaurant in awhile.
So strange, I know.
But anyway, due to this normalcy that has become eating at home, I guess I kind of forgot the manners of fine dining.
I’m honestly not sure at which point I embarrassed The Shippmate more tonight:
(A) When I tried to use my shirt as a nursing cover and well… fell short of my projected goal.
(B) When I was still hungry after my meal and decided to order almost the entire thing again.
(C) Then when the teenage boy waiter looked so confused by this that I proceeded to give him a mini lesson on the breastfeeding mother and her diet and appetite.
(D) Or last, but absolutely not least, when Ry was going to the bathroom and I asked (a little too loud maybe) across the restaurant: “HOW LONG DO YOU THINK YOU MIGHT BE IN THERE?”
Bahahahahahaha. It might be our last night out for awhile.
But it was worth every laugh.
And every bite that I got to experience with both of my meals.
I’ve heard of this thing called Writer’s Block.
I have no experience with such a thing and literally wish I knew what that kind of feeling might be like. The idea of sitting in front of my computer just wishing for something to write about or not sure how to start or what to expand on… it’s as foreign to me as the idea of telling someone- “just order me what you’re getting- I don’t have a preference.”
I always have a preference.
But seriously- Writer’s Block. Is that even a real thing? I don’t know. I wish I did actually.
At any given time, I have at least five blogs drafted in my head and a slight anxiety knowing 3 of the 5 will never make it here.
I just had to pause and calm myself down for admitting that out loud (or whatever the form of “out loud” is in the written blog kind of form) because I despise the fact there are so many things I want to have written that haven’t made it here.
So imagine my fury when life hands me the best and most blogworthy moments, ie: having a baby, but the Catch 22 of it all is this– the best of times, the ones you just hate not to write about or process on your trusty lap top, those dear times often happen to be the busiest. The most challenging to pull away from your smiling and coo-ing baby to get to the computer to write.
I remember so vividly being on our NYC honeymoon and just having a bit of a breakdown. As in ugly tears in our sweet Doubletree Hotel Room after our first Broadway show kind of breakdown.
The cause for such tears?
TOO MANY AWESOME THINGS WERE HAPPENING/HAD JUST HAPPENED (ie: our fairy tale of a wedding alone) AND I HAD NO TIME TO WRITE ABOUT THEM AND STORE THEM IN THE WRITTEN FORM FOREVER
This is stressful business for a sentimental dear like myself.
I remember Ryan looking at me with such sincere (and probably secretly freaked out wondering what he just married into) eyes and telling me if I wanted, I could just take a break and get on my lap top and type some stuff out.
God bless that Shippmate. I love him so.
Anyway, I’m rambling and the point of this blog is to say I have so much more to say, and I had big plans to get some very important blogs done and documented and was actually right in the middle of one of them last Tuesday (not yesterday but like a week ago yesterday) when my darn computer decided to crash. Which didn’t even stress me out, because my husband can fix anything.
I’m not even exaggerating. I had NO CLUE when I said “I do” to that Shippmate of a looker that I was also marrying Tim The Tool Man Taylor, except a version of him that can ACTUALLY fix things. So I guess Al Borland. But with Tim’s rugged good looks. (Okay, so yes- I’ve always had a crush on Tim Allen. It’s out there.)
As I was saying, Ryan– he’s amazing at fixing everything that is broken, and it’s this incredible bonus of a deal I got in marrying him because naive little ol’ me had no idea this was one of his awesome characteristics prior to the first thing breaking when we were married.
So when the computer crashed, I knew he would be able to fix it.
And he is, but it’s taking longer because of the complexity of the crash my dear lap top was in, so I’m looking at 3 weeks with no computer and/or pictures when I’ve been dying to work on my blog.
Fun how that worked out, huh?
But in the meantime, I’m going to list out blogs I hope make the cut from their drafted form in my mind to this Dyer-E here on the world wide web:
June’s Birth Story
Naming June Harbor Shippy
Pictures of June’s nursery
Things I wish I knew before having a newborn
Forgiveness in its 4 year old brother kind of form
Okay, that can all happen. I can do it.
Sometimes you just have to give yourself a little pep talk.
And excuse the intense ramble of this post— I’m trying to write from my phone, and it’s seriously the artist’s version of trying to create from their Etch-a-Sketch, but with one knob broken, because oh yes- my phone is also about one nod away from crashing to its own forever death.
It’s been a rough week in the life of our Apple appliances around here.
Who knows– I might just dig out the old fashioned pen and paper and bypass Writer’s Block for its dear and painful cousin, Writer’s Cramp.
Hopefully I’ll be seeing you all here sooner rather than later.
It was a good year for June Harbor Shippy.
She made not one, not two, but three Christmas cards.
I figured this was worthy of documenting, so here are her three Christmas 2013 card debuts.
In the event you’re wondering, she might be available for your 2014 card, but for a small fee. Because we were working with grandparents for our 2013 contracts, we cut them a pretty sweet deal, but I can’t just guarantee that kind of discount for everyone.
Inquire within for more information.
Okay, moving on now.
Card #1 is June’s MeMaw and PaPa’s card. She actually appears on this card alone three times, including an en utero shot at her aunt’s graduation.
Junie’s MeMaw text me to make sure I would be okay with a picture just hours after I had been in labor all day being the Christmas card, and so I suggested a collage to make that pic a little smaller. ;) Hahahaha. But no, that actually worked out wonderful, because then June’s MeMaw and I had a really sweet time working on this card together, and I love the way it turned out!
And that Junebug’s BFF Raquel made the Christmas card.
They love reading to their grandbabies, and Grammy had looked forward to reading them this very story long before they were born, so I love that the moment made their card!
Card #3 would be The Shippmate Family card!
This year we sent the letter with Away in the Manger as our ever-so-pertinent hymn.
Here’s our letter– straight from my keyboard to you, but first– a couple of outtakes from our Christmas card shoot at Grandma Wanda’s.
It seems like anything that I could say about our last year would be an understatement.
An understatement of the magnitude of blessing we’ve felt from The Lord.
Literally one year ago to the day (as I’m typing this) I saw a positive sign on a pregnancy test and could not believe my eyes. I cried with joy, thanked Jesus, ordered my Shippmate a pizza that had DAD spelled out in pepperonis, and thus began our year.
A year that would very much be overcome with the birth of a baby.
Thus it only seemed fitting that our card this year would reflect the heart of our year in a very Christmas appropriate kind of way.
And who am I kidding? I’ve longed to be Mary in a live nativity since about forever. I even married a man that can grow a Joseph-like beard in a day. I’ve been perplexed all 4 years we’ve been married how people weren’t begging at our door to recruit us for their live nativity, but clearly– this year’s card will have people sending bids for next year.
But seriously– this birth of a baby. It’s an event like none other. We spent January until August in conversation about our baby, in preparation for a room, in education with our fellow Bradley classmates, in celebration with friends and family… it was 9 months of anticipation and excitement.
And then, she came. Fashionably late and on the only day in a month’s time that our doctor, doula, and birth photographer were all three unavailable.
My June already had a very clear mind of her very own, and I told Ryan en route to the hospital I couldn’t wait to tell her this sweet fact on her many birthdays to come.
Labor, oh sweet natural Bradley method kind of labor. It was the single most difficult thing I’ve ever done.
And when I say I’VE ever done, I mean WE have ever done, because Ryan was so very involved in the entire process. I’ve never in my life felt as loved by anyone as I did looking into his eyes as he loved me through labor.
With June’s arrival into our arms and lives at 2:21 that Saturday afternoon, we were suddenly introduced to a love we never knew possible.
A love that has my heart seeing Christmas a little different this year.
I’ve always adored this season and the focus surrounding the birth of Christ, but any mom can tell you– after you’ve given birth, you realize how birthdays are questionably more special to the mama than the kiddo.
And with that realization, my heart has been very fixed on our Heavenly Father this Christmas season. A Father that allowed His one and only Son to be born—in a lowly manger—knowing He would then die on a cross.
It’s incomprehensible for me to fathom God’s sacrificial love for us through His Son. I will drive two blocks out of my way to avoid the sun being in my June’s eyes, because the thought of her being in pain kills me inside.
And yet, here is a story of my God that allows His Son to die the most painful and shameful death—for my sins—so that I might have eternal life.
I’ve had many a conversation with God since June’s arrival in August, and each of them begin with such a humble and sincere whisper of a thank you. Often through grateful tears.
You’ll be reminded this Christmas season to “remember the reason for the season,” and I hope you do. I hope you celebrate the birth of a King in such a big way.
But as a mama of a newborn babe, I encourage you to remember the wonder and love of our God that He would send His one and only Son to die for our sins.
“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
Happy 4 months, my love! For this 4 month kind of celebration, you get to be surrounded by lots of family tonight, as it is also Christmas Eve!
Lots of merry and exciting happening this 24th of December.
This fourth month of your life has been so special, Baby Girl.
Your mama has always adored the anticipation and festive of the days and weeks leading up to Christmas Day, and this year was absolutely no exception!
Month #4 brought Thanksgiving dinners, your Aunt Reagan’s birthday, your MeMaw and Papa’s 30th wedding anniversary party, Uncle Atticus graduating with his masters, Christmas at Grammy and Grandpa’s, and so many other holiday activities that allowed for so much sweet family time.
As I was talking to your daddy about what to include in this month’s letter, I was also sorting through some pictures from the past month to include in this post. A couple of months ago I had realized how there were significantly more candid shots of you and your daddy and you and your grandparents and you and Raquel than there were of me and you. The reason being I’m usually the one taking those sweet shots, so I encouraged The Shippmate to be a bit more intentional about snapping some candid “everyday” moments of me and you.
As I looked through our phones and camera, much to my disappointment, I found just about zero of this happening again.
Which might have caused me to be slightly annoyed at your daddy for a brief bit tonight lol.
Funny enough, any time I get annoyed at him or when I’m trying to talk “serious” to him about things like putting towels in the hamper–not on your Pack’N'Play– you find the whole thing so comical. No kidding– he’ll be holding you in his chair, and I’m trying to address the given situation, and you will just sit there and smile SO big– as if us bickering is rather enjoyable to you. The whole thing results in all of us laughing, which your dad is overly thankful for.
Anyway, so this evening as I was annoyed to see there had been no improvement in the “take some candid shots of Mom and June” department, I picked you up to feed you and realized something.
First of all, no matter the situation, there is something so perfectly relaxing and de-stressing and wonderful about having you in my arms feeding you.
It’s the absolute best.
I’m so very and exponentially thankful for sticking with breastfeeding even when it was hard and painful and full of mastitis lol. It was truly and sincerely worth every bit of it.
Second of all, I realized that while your dad hasn’t quite remembered to try to take some candid shots of us… really– the best moments I want to remember always… those aren’t exactly “capturable.”
The precious looks you give me while you’re eating? No one can photograph those.
The look you make when something startles you a bit and you’re searching for my eyes to comfort you? No photographer can be ready for that millisecond of a moment.
The way you’ve started to pull off the breast while eating just to smile at me and then kind of “dive” back into your dinner? There will be no photographic evidence of that moment.
The look you give me when I’m in tears and annoyed or stressed or frustrated and you just kind of survey my face like, “What’s wrong, Mommy? I’m here and I love ya…” There just isn’t a way to capture that look.
The look you give me when you first wake up in the morning? I can’t have a camera ready to capture that little alert and EXCITED FOR YOUR DAY smile. How I love waking up to that look, my June.
The concentration and persistence I see (SO MUCH LATELY) in your eyes when I talk to you and you’re trying so very hard to study and memorize and learn what my mouth and lips are doing and how yours can do the same? Just can’t quite photograph it.
These moments– these precious, precious moments, June– they’re just between me and you.
And I’m in tears typing this, because something about the sacred and exclusive of them being just between us makes me so crazy honored to be your mommy.
I don’t know how many times a day I say to your dad, “Hurry! Come look at how she’s looking at me!!”
Often while you’re eating or we’re just talking up close while I’m changing your diaper, and by the time he gets over to us– even when he’s super quick– the moment or look isn’t quite there anymore.
These exclusive little moments and looks we share, June? It’s the beginning of something great. Something wonderful and special and beautiful– it’s our bond and relationship as mother and daughter, and it’s growing and developing daily.
In between candid snaps of a picture on my iPhone.
In between time you spend with Daddy, your grandparents, or anyone else.
It’s just for me and you.
And while part of me loves the thought of having every little moment with you captured, I also love that some of the most special and sacred moments of all… they’re just for me.
Forever and always etched in my heart. They’ll never be uploaded to Facebook. They won’t make your monthly letter, but oh my June– they’re such a part of me that I’ll always be able to tell you of them.
I won’t forget the way you smile at me while you’re eating. Or the way you smirk at me when I’m annoyed at your daddy.
As you grow older you’ll understand more and more that your mom is the lifeline to your memories. She knows them all. She remembers the precious and the big ones alike.
Because June– you’re my girl. You’re so much a part of me that sometimes I can’t believe I’ve only known you 4 months today.
Happy 4 months, my baby.
No pictures in this month’s letter, June. When you’re grown and reading this letter and want to “see” a glimpse of 4 month old June Harbor Shippy– call me. Or text me.
I’ll tell you all about the memories and moments and little looks of your 4 month old self that will forever decorate the very walls of my heart.
I love you. Always and forever, Junebug.
Upon a conversation this evening about memorable Christmas gifts from Santa, I had many a special gift to remember. Some of the remnants from Christmas past were sentimental and some were just plain awesome.
Topping the list at “just plain awesome” was definitely and absolutely my very own PUPPY SURPRISE!
If you were a little girl in the 90s, you just have to know what I’m talking about… I mean the commercial had to have everyone wanting one- am I right?
SURPRISE SURPRISE PUPPY SURPRISE!
It still fascinates me that you bought the puppy NOT KNOWING how many were inside. The sweet jingle went: ”How many puppies are there inside? There could be three or four or five!”
I can’t leave you with my own attempt at recreating the classic commercial– I just need you to see it for yourself:
Okay, I’m not going to lie, watching that blast from a Christmas past in my Christmas tree lit room with Shippmate and sleeping baby girl just made me feel some kind of warm and fuzzy inside.
Ah, Christmas. I love you. 2013 and 1991 alike.
So anyway, when I asked for my very own Puppy Surprise, naturally I just hoped and hoped and hoped and dreamed and dreamed and dreamed that MY puppy would have not three puppies, not four puppies, but the kind of FIVE I CAN’T BELIEVE MY EYES the commercial sang of.
And oh how I wish my 29 year old self could go back in time and watch my 7 year old self open my very own Puppy Surprise to find FIVE puppies!!!
FIVE! THE FULL LITTER OF FIVE! DREAM COME TRUE!
I am not kidding, but every once in awhile in life I will think back to that awesome surprise and STILL BE SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED THAT MY PUPPY SURPRISE HAD FIVE PUPPIES!
It was just the best. I mean, if anyone wanted her Puppy Surprise to have five puppies, it was me.
So that just really started my life off right. Clearly.
And now I really need my mom and dad to find my Puppy Surprise in all of her 5 puppy glory. Please tell me we still have that champ, Mom and Dad.
This would be the perfect year for me to find her, as I spent most of my year harboring a baby– just one, but such a big one that left many a person trying to convince me I had my own kind of puppy surprise of multiples inside.
No, but truly– what a great gift.
Tell me someone else remembers this treasure from the 90s.
And please, leave in the comments how many puppies your Puppy Surprise had!
“There could be three or four or five!”
Hold the mistletoe– I’m going to just shoot straight with y’all for a second.
Somewhere in the Christmas card process, I always have a moment of wishing I wasn’t doing them.
Gasp. Boo. Baaaaah-humbug.
Okay, I just needed to get that off my chest.
I already feel better.
I mean I adore Christmas cards- I sprint to the mailbox this time of the year and I’m seriously so happy we do them, but yet– somewhere amidst the Office Depot battles, postage prices, and envelope licking, there comes a moment when I lose my Christmas spirit and have to curse at the process.
You know like when you call your local Office Depot to check the status of your order only to find out their printer is still broken.
Little bit of Christmas cheer diminishing, but no big deal– I’ll be in The Big City the next day, so I just call on to another Office Depot to give them my order.
Christmas cheer regained when they confirm they will “absolutely have it done by tomorrow at 3pm.”
Just because I’m no newbie to the pranks Office Depot likes to play on me, I even called this morning to CONFIRM we were all a go.
And we were.
Until I get there and stand right behind the sign that says: “ONLINE ORDER PICK UP HERE” for a good four minutes before a worker finally approaches me and says, “Do you need something?”
I explain that I’m here to pick up my online order while pointing to the sign above me.
She then laughs and explains she has no idea why that sign is there and I need to go somewhere else in the store.
Christmas cheer slightly dampened, but holding a smiling baby and thus keeping positive as I move to location number two.
I see a long line of people looking annoyed and feel a bit concerned, but then remember I called to confirm! NOTHING CAN GO WRONG! THIS IS GOING TO BE A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE!
And lo and behold, ONE HOUR LATER, I leave with my copies.
Ahhhh. Let me just give you the highlight reel of that hour.
The less than friendly girl behind the counter tells me they can’t print my labels and it will be at least Thursday before they’re done.
I tell her of my confirmation call and travels from the Faraway Land of Warrensburg and that I’m actually not leaving without my copies. (Merry Christmas)
She looks slightly scared of me and my firm tone (Merry Merry Christmas) and goes to ask her even less friendly co-worker what to do with this Warrensburg traveler.
Meanwhile, this little old lady approaches me and looks at me in awe and says, “Wow- I didn’t even know you could tell them you’re not leaving without your copies right now. Are you really from Warrensburg?”
Hahahahaha. She and I then bonded over Office Depot woes and the adorable of June.
As did everyone else in the line, which June was adoring and hamming up with giggles and smiles for all of the disgruntled customers just wanting their orders in time to spread the Christmas cheer you slowly lose while trying to send.
Because I didn’t plan on spending the entire 3 o’clock hour in Office Depot, I didn’t bring anything in with me for June, so yes- at one joyous point in our time there, she did spit up everywhere and because I had nothing, I decided to just catch that in my hand and put in my pocket.
I wish I was kidding and let that be a moment when Christmas cheer was QUICKLY fading.
There was another highlight when an older man winked at me in the cutest way after watching me explain to the worker when you have “print current page,” it actually won’t print your entire order, but rather just the “current page,” and laughing he says, “You’re really entertaining– you and your daughter both.”
I guess at that point I was spreading Christmas cheer even in my misery.
Meaning some of the labels are cut off, and while I like things to be done with excellence, there is just a point when you just tell the Office Depot girl, “Thank you for trying and we’re done now.”
The best part was when she started to add up my total, and I had to laugh and say, “I’m clearly not paying for those labels, right?”
(Which, for the record, after all we’d been through, I thought was considerably more polite than asking her to pay me for the hour long wait for 6 pages of labels.)
She said, “Yeah- I figured they should be free. I hate this place, too.”
MERRRRRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL!
The whole thing was actually so ridiculous that it became incredibly hilarious to me, and I found myself laughing all the way home (HO HO HO) and thus regaining Christmas cheer and actually looking forward to putting those cut off labels on my cards tomorrow.
(Some of you reading will be receiving one of those, and just know– I wish it wasn’t so!)
And for the record, things I do enjoy about the process include: taking the pic with my family (especially this year), designing the card online (I LOVE this part), getting other people’s cards in the mail all season long, and writing the letter.
So, all in all, I’m glad we do it– I’m just not awesome enough to accomplish it all without somewhere in the process wishing I wasn’t doing it and cursing the blessed activity that is supposed to be all about sending cheer to people.
And yes, if you’re wondering, on more than one occasion this afternoon, I desperately wanted to go all Clark Griswold on the situation.
Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. (you know what goes here) (and then here) Happy Hannukah.
PS: Also, don’t waste your time looking for coupons for postage stamps– they apparently don’t make those.
PPS: I can’t even pretend I lick the envelopes. That is The Shippmate’s lone role in this event, and I couldn’t be more thankful for his single part in the fun.
Bailey is 5-ish months pregnant.
I am 5-ish days pregnant.
Roman is 7-ish months new.
June is 3-ish months new.
(Note the new additions.)
I love our Christmas with my growing family.
PS: Also note how Frosty is peeking around Ryan in both 2012 and 2013. He’s part of the fam.