Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Annabella!!!

To my Bella,
You, sweet girl, turn 5 today.  
As eyes burn with welling tears, all I can do is PRAISE THE LORD  for giving you to me.  You are truly a gift from heaven and I am grateful to Him who sent you for more reasons than I can explain.  You are the reason I came "home".  Home to Him and home to Hawaii. 
I love you, precious child.

On April 30th, 2006, I arrived, with your Noni, at Memorial Regional Hospital, in Mechanicsville, Virginia to be induced because the doctor thought you would be a big baby.  And at 38 weeks, you were 8lbs, 9 ozs, so maybe, had I waited, you could have given your brother (9 lbs, 12 ozs) a run for his money.  
The next morning, before 7am, my waters were broken and the nurses administered pitocin to bring on labor.  Because the contractions were TOO strong, I also had an epidural.  After a few hours of this nonsense, you decided you were ready to join the world on the outside of the womb.  At about 2 o'clock, with Noni by my side, I began to push.  You were an easy baby to deliver. After just a few short pushes, you were born at 2:22pm, purple and screaming.  You were MAD!!!  And you were perfect.  They laid you on my belly and my heartstrings were tied immediately and forever, to yours.  From that moment I forever would wear my heart outside my body.  You changed my life in so many ways, little one.  

 And you continue to.  You are a beautiful shining light, my Annabella.  You are vivacious and tenacious and a force to be reckoned with.  Frankly, child, you remind me  As much as I like to imagine that I am (one of) your teachers, it is with a happy heart that I fully admit:  you teach me.  

You are a dreamer, a free-spirited tiny dancer, a whisperer of silly secrets. 
My supergirl, my late-sleeper, my explainer of "destructions."
A precious first-baby, and awesome BIG sister, a beautiful daughter, and a precious granddaughter.  I wouldn't - couldn't - trade any of this (you) for anything in the world.  You are loved, my grace-and-beauty baby.  Forever. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fantasy Lake

We are finally nearing the end of the summer update posts (I promise :) )    In early August, Tom, Bella and I, along with our close friends, Tonya and Aaron Adams took a trip to a place called Fantasy Lake, in Hope Mills.  It was only about a 20 minute drive, and at that point in the summer, it was still in the 100s here in North Carolina.   This place is basically a red-neck-dream-come-true lake park.  On the adult side, there are tarzan and trapeze swings, jump towers, drop slides, "master blaster" slides, banana slides, diving boards, pedal boats, and porch swings in the water.  The kid side, called "Fantasy Land for Kids" has 3 big slides, 3 small slides, 8 cable zip lines, 6 tarzan swings, 12 infant swings and a shaded bench area in the water!  Needless to say, with Tonya and I being preggers, we hung out with Bella in the kids area and we let the boys go play on the grown-up stuff.  Here are some pics and a video of some of Bella's adventures that day.

Following in Nono's Footsteps???

This short post is dedicated to Annabella and her photography skills.  Since I have a small, very easy-to-use camera, I often let her take it around the apartment and take photographs of...well...whatever she pleases.  Her are just a few shots that she took.  Keep in mind, that whenever my camera was returned to me, there would be anywhere from 20 to 100 new photos.  Photos of EVERYTHING.  From the air conditioning vent to the back of her hand - she likes to photograph it all.  Enjoy!

The couch

Bella's Room #1

Bella's Room #2

Self-Portrait #1

Self-Portrait #2

Silly Daddy

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Summer Fun 2010...Better Late than Never (right?!)

Here is a photo update of some of the things we did this summer:

In June, as a combination Father's Day and early birthday present for Tom, I rented him a 2010 Chevy Camaro (his dream car) - in yellow, of course, so Bella called it Bumblebee the whole time (after the Transformers movies).  We drove in it down to Charlotte, NC, where we enjoyed dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and then got to go see...


Both my loves looking SO intelligent!

Much Better :)

We took a trip to the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in downtown Fayetteville in July.  It was actually really neat to see the history behind what Tom does in the army, and what an important role the airborne and special operations commands have had in defending our freedom and the lives of so many...

 The view from the outside

The outer walkway was lined with marble plaques.  This one is of Tom's MOS:

This is the lobby

Lobby Again




In the belly of a WWII airplane!!!


Bella and Tom also got to go on an airborne simulator to experience the feeling of jumping out of an airplane, riding in a helicopter, downhill skiing, and riding a motorcycle!  I couldn't go because of little TJ...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!

I have finally loaded all the pictures off of my little camera and can now give you all a visual update as to what our summer looked like.  Actually, the pictures start from the end of spring, so lets start I ever behind or what?!  Sheesh...

First there was her Cubbies ceremony for finishing her Jumper Book!
The Snatch-and-Run

Look Mom!  I did it!!!

Then she had her Pre-K(3) Promotion Program

The children sang for the parents - ADORABLE!!!

Then came the "diplomas"

These next two are blurry -  Bella just moved too fast!


Monday, September 13, 2010

still kickin'...

so it's been roughly three months since I've posted a blog update - and as I've claimed before - I'm just not a journal keeper/writer.  I'll keep making concerted efforts to update the blog as often as possible, and to post new pictures here and there.  My goal for this week is to give a rough update of what this summer has entailed and some of the things we have done.
     In a nutshell, Bella and I made it to Fayetteville, North Carolina safely and have managed to settle in quite nicely.  We found a church to call "home" at Liberty Baptist Church in Spring Lake (about a 20 minute drive).  While it is a larger church than what I am used to, it still maintains that close-knit, family feel and has lots of smaller ministries that we are able to get involved with.  I am enjoying attending their "ABF"'s (Adult Bible Fellowships), which back in Hawaii, was called Sunday School - where adults can meet in the mornings before the regulare service to study more in-depth topics of the bible.  The ABF I attend is for all women and we've just kicked off a 52-week study of the entire bible.  They also have a group called MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers).  While I am a MOPS, I'll be providing child care during their meeting times because its a paid position, and frankly, we can use all the additional income we can get at this point.  Liberty also has the AWANA Club at their church, and I'm so greatful that Bella can continue her second year of cubbies there.  Since its such a far drive, I've also volunteered to help with the cubbies on Wednesday nights (fun!!!).
     I've also gotten into a Moms Co-op group here where we co-op babysitting time instead of paying cash.  I have yet to use any of my time for either babysitting for- or having Bella babysat, but just that the option is there is awesome.  The moms also meet on the first Friday of every month just to get together and hang out.  Its a great group of women that I am happy to be a part of.
    I'm homeschooling Bella this year through the Myron B. Thompson Academy in Hawaii, and that keeps my mornings fairly busy.  She is also enrolled in gymnastics and ballet twice a week in the afternoons and in the downtimes between all those other activities, I fit in the housework, laundry, grocery shopping and cooking.  Domesticity at its best.
     Oh - and I'm entering my 26th week of pregnancy with little Thomas John McKenna.  Its gone by so fast and so slow at the same time.  Part of me can't wait till it's over and he's in my arms, and the other part is silently freaking out that I only have 14 short weeks left and have to face the all-too-scary birthing process again.   
     More tomorrow...

Monday, June 14, 2010

settling in...

As of tomorrow, Bella and I will have been together for an entire week.  It feels really nice to finally be here and not have to worry about getting the house together, the meals together and my husband prepared for my next imminent premature departure.  I am thoroughly enjoying taking my time re-organizing our lovely little apartment, planning our meals for the week, getting reacquainted with my husband and getting more familiar with our life as a family unit.  It is sometimes awkward but always a learning/growing experience.  We are truly blessed to have this time together and I know we will always look back on it with fondness. 
Today I am focusing on getting the master bedroom organized and tidied up.  It will be a challenge to fit me and Tom's things together (especially with all those shoes!) - but with a few smart organizational tools, and my savvy regarding puzzle solving, I know it'll work out.
Well, I'd better get going - Tom will be home in 45 minutes for lunch!