Bye-Bye, Nana and Grandpa Mike. Thanks for visiting me and helping to celebrate my birthday!

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

What's more fun than going to the zoo with baby, Nana, and Grandpa? Going to the zoo with baby, Nana, and Grandpa, and watching a thunderstorm while you're there! We got a little soggy on Memorial Day, but we had a great time, nonetheless. (And the storm was kind of fun to watch!)

Last time we were at the zoo, Abigail missed a nap, and fell asleep. She was a more animated and interested during our visit to the zoo yesterday.

Apparently, Abigail prefers monkeys to apes. Her close encounter with a gorilla on our last visit to the zoo ended in tears. But this time she was pleased as punch to get up close and personal with three baboons.

Fun in the Sun

Just call our backyard Six Flags for toddlers. We've got a veritable amusement park going on back there. Today we blew up the wading pool and made a water slide. It took a few tries for Abigail to get comfortable with the idea, but soon she was eager to slide...over, and over, and over.

Our neighbor Mikayla gave Abigail a swing for her birthday. We don't have all the hardware that we need to install it, so today we improvised. Who knew that a mobile swing could be so much fun?!

Par-Tay!! The Beautiful Birthday Girl!

Par-Tay!! Celebrating with Friends

Oh, we had great fun today celebrating Abigail's birthday.

Par-Tay!! Cake...yummy!

Of course, baby-eating-cake was one of the highlights of the party.

Par-Tay!! Opening Gifts

Abigail had a fun time opening her gifts. Here are a few.

From Nana & Grandpa Mike, a cool push/ride toy that lights up and plays music

From Auntie Kyrstin and family, a snuggly bear and animal puzzles

From Auntie Kendra, a ton of super-stylin' clothes

From Gramma Grace and Grandpa, some adorable dresses, and a surprise waiting for her when we come to Oregon next week

Thanks everybody!!!

Par-Tay!! Decor, etc.

Pretty flowers and some cards for the birthday girl!

Streamers & Balloons expertly hung by Grandpa Mike. He doesn't decorate for just anybody, you know.

Scrumptious cake and cupcakes baked by yours truly. Cake is an orange layer cake with buttercream and fresh berries. The cupcakes have an orange-chocolate frosting.

Nana & Grandpa Mike

Yay! Nana & Grandpa Mike are here to help celebrate Abigail's birthday. We attempted to take some pictures tonight, but Abigail was not cooporating with the plan of "everyone look at the camera and smile!" The action photo of her going down the slide is more exciting though, anyway!

She's ONE!!

Words cannot describe the joy of Abigail's arrival into our family one year ago. On May 26, one year ago, we welcomed Abigail with tears of joy. It's hard to believe time has gone by so quickly, and she has grown so fast. Here are some pictures from her first hours to remind us from whence we came.

Abigail the Monk


Look at my sandals! Aren't they cute?

Playing with our Neighbor Mikayla

Abigail's First Parade

Abigail and I walked into our front yard yesterday and saw - lo and behold - a parade at the end of the block! We strolled on down to watch the festivities, and Abigail was duly entertained.

In Loving Memory

Abigail's Great-Grandpa (my Grandpa Abe) passed away early Saturday morning. He was 101 years old. He loved the Lord, and was ready and eager to meet Jesus. He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed. I want to tell you all about him, because he was an incredible man. I don't think I have the words to say what I would want, so here's a letter I wrote to him a few days ago that says a little of what I loved about him and what he means to me.

Dear Grandpa,
I have been wanting to write you a letter and send you our love. I have been slow in doing it because I don’t know what to say. I guess I don’t have any eloquent words for you, but I want you to know that we love you very much and are thinking of you.
I am very glad that Abigail and I got to have a nice visit with you when we were in Oregon in March. She is growing so fast, she’s already changed a lot since then. She will turn one year old next week. She is very active – I stay busy chasing her! She loves walking and exploring new things. I won’t be surprised if she walks a lot throughout her life, like you have done. Maybe when she’s 90 years old she’ll be walking up the hill to Mt. Angel Abbey. The weather is getting nicer here, so she likes playing outside, and especially loves visiting the neighbor’s dog. She loves animals and music. She even dances when the phone rings! She brings so much joy to our lives, we are so blessed.
Grandpa, you have brought a lot of joy to my life, too. I will always remember our wonderful visits. My childhood was very uniquely impacted by all the adventures we had at the house in LaGrange. I loved going out in the rowboat with you, feeding the chickens, exploring the Dredge Camp, and playing in the big yard. I love hearing stories about the fun/funny/crazy things that you have done throughout your long and full life. You have inspired me to love God’s beautiful creation, to value my education, and to keep a sense of humor through everything. I am so grateful that God chose to place me in this family – Your family – My family. Thank you for establishing our family as a household of Faith in Jesus. That, above all, is your legacy in us. You desire the praise of God above the praises of men, and you have run the race well. Thank you for setting a faithful example.
I love the way you always give me good, strong, long hugs, and I wish I could be there to give you a big hug and a kiss right now. But since I’m here and you’re there, my heart will just have to hug yours across the miles. I love you very much, Grandpa.
Love Sarah, and Aaron and Abigail

Helping Her Be Helpful

This week's developmental update from says that it's about time we start teaching Abigail to clean up after herself. Well, it doesn't exactly say that, but it suggests that now is a good time to start encouraging her to help us with small, easy tasks. We officially started today by having Abigail pick up the ice cubes that she dumped onto the ground. She was really cute - picking them up one by one and putting them back into the cup. The real test will come tomorrow, when we attempt to have her help us pick up her toys before bedtime.

Drinking From A Straw

I can drink from a straw!

I'm so proud of myself!

And, I can make a big mess when I eat rice!

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