Thursday, February 9, 2017

Adaline Jo is born!

I have been meaning to write down Addi’s birth story, mainly because I don’t want to forget it. As a little girl, and still now, I love to hear the little details about the day I was born.

I realized the last blog that I wrote  was about Jimmy praying for his baby sister to be born. And it just so happened that the next day she was!

Adaline Jo was born Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 at 5:14pm. She joined us weighing 8lbs 1 oz and 19inches long. And just like it had happened the two times before, I heard those first cries and the world stopped spinning. There is nothing in my life that can top the moments in which each of my babies took their first breath, it has happened now three times and it was just as awe-inspiring and magnificent each time.

I am a planner by nature (something that can annoy my husband with my lack of spontaneity and continuous list making), and with the end of pregnancy nearing I inevitably thought of when labor would start and what the “plan” was for the boys. So I had plans all over the place: If it happened in the middle of the night, if it happened during school, if it happened on the weekend, if it happened at work…etc. As you can see I spent a lot of time thinking about the “plan.” I would jokingly say that “MY plan” was to have labor begin at 6:30am that would give me the ability to get Jake on the bus and drop jimmy off at daycare at the same time I do any other day. Well….

Addi Jo listened to mommy! At 6:28am my husband and I were getting ready for work and my water broke…at least I was pretty sure that’s what it was! This was the first time that my water broke on its own, the other two labors started with contractions. I wasn’t 100% sure I hadn’t just wet my pants so I took a shower and started to get ready for work. I realized that no matter what was happening we should get to the hospital. We got Jake on the bus and off to school. Dropped Jimmy off at daycare and headed to the hospital, praying that this was it! She wasn’t due until November 9th, but I was ready to meet her NOW!

Unlike the first two labors, where the drive to the hospital was painful with contractions every 2-3 minutes. My contractions hadn’t started with Addi so it almost didn’t feel real. It was quite on the maternity floor that day. I was the only one in active labor when we got there, so we received VIP treatment. We got all hooked up to the machines the nurse tested to see if it was my water that broke and her response was music to my ears “You guys are staying! You’re going to have a baby today!” We called the grandparents and aunts and uncles to let them all know.

Addi, my sweet girl your labor started so nicely, but you wanted to make sure your last and final Koester baby spot was solidified. You were in the posterior position (face up, instead of face down), so your little head ran down my spine and caused the most extreme back labor pains I have ever felt, that coupled with the epidural NOT working made for my toughest labor. You also were stuck and would not engage into my pelvis to come out. So what is not my proudest moments, because I had all the grace of a giant walrus I rocked and rolled (with the help of Daddy, Paigie and Nanny) to try and get you to move.

Then all of a sudden, you moved, and with two big pushes you were out. The cord was wrapped so tightly around your neck but the doctor quickly took care of that and you screamed! You were the first and only baby that daddy got to cut the umbilical cord. They laid you I the warmer beside my bed and daddy and nanny were there snapping pictures! You had a full head of dark hair! Daddy looked over to tell me “she has your chin and your big eyes!” Adaline we were and will continue to be in awe of you and everything that you bring to our lives.

Your big brothers came up the following morning to meet you for the first time and if my heart wasn’t already so full and grateful, I think it exploded that day. They love you and prayed for you and wanted you almost as much as daddy and I did. Little girl, you are so loved!

This is my first blog to you, and I am so thankful for you and grateful to have a daughter. I have an amazing mom and I hope to have the relationship with you that I have with my mom. You have the wildest, craziest, funniest brothers Sweetpea but man oh man they love you! You will be a very welcomed accessory this year and for many years as we watch the boys play ball. You watch them constantly and they love to make you smile.  I can’t wait to see what you become and what your interests will be my gorgeous girl. You make our house a little sweeter angel. I hear often that "she better toughen up having two big brothers that will pick on her." I kind of smile knowing that is not the case. You have your daddy and two big brothers wrapped around your tiny finger and I worry about them. I think you have them fooled and  in no time at all will be calling the shots, and they will happily comply as they smother you with hugs and kisses. You are a gift Addi!

 With all my love, support and wonderment,


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Oh baby its about to get wilder!

Oh it has been far too long, and there has been a lot of change in our house!

We are expecting baby #3! If you have read any of my last blogs you know that Jake prayed and prayed and prayed for a baby girl. From the second we told him mommy had a baby in her tummy he was adamant that it was a girl. Almost so sure it was a girl that I was nervous for the let-down if it was a new baby brother and considered not finding out. But alas my curiosity got the best of me and we had to find out!  Sure enough….a little bundle of pink was on the way! And when we told the boys Jake’s reaction surprised us, he was more excited when I told him we were having tacos for dinner.
Mommy: Are you excited buddy?
Jake: Of course!
Mommy: I thought you would be a little happier.
Jake: I am happy, but mom, I KNEW it was a girl. I have always known!

To back up a little we found out we were pregnant in early March after moving my sister to Utah I just didn’t feel right, and those two little pink lines could not have been any more welcomed, we were thrilled! We kept the news to ourselves for the first 12 weeks, Well everyone BUT my Nanny, (my mom’s mom). It was during the time that we were not telling anyone yet that she started her very rapid decline. On the day she was released from the hospital into in-home hospice I was the one to drive her home. It was just me and Nanny and I knew I couldn’t let her leave this earth without telling her our news.

In her exhausted, deteriorating state, on the way home from the hospital to wait for the inevitable to happen I told her that we were once again expecting. Her eyes lit up, and like she always could do, she turned on her happy face. “Oh this is the best day ever! This is the BEST news!” I will never regret letting the little secret slip, and I am so glad I did. It was less than two weeks and she was gone.

I had gotten to say my goodbyes and I knew she was in a much better place, free of pain and able to paint and smile and walk again. I knew that I would see her again, and I prayed for her to watch over us. What I didn’t know is how much the boys would talk/pray to her. At her funeral everyone was sitting quietly, again no one knew we were expecting, of course not the boys or they would have blabbed it to the world. But in the silence before the funeral began, our entire family was sitting down when Jimmy stood on the chair to yell to Nanny “Nanny is holding my baby sister until she brings her to us!” Every stunned turned around and I had to hold back tears as I pretended that nothing was out of the ordinary.

Throughout this entire pregnancy the boys will pray to nanny and laugh at a joke she told them in their dreams and they will retell it to me. If you don’t believe in heaven, you may not get it, but I think she comes through them to talk to me.

Last night as I was about to lose my mind as Jimmy would not go to sleep, he was out of his bed for what felt like the millionth time. I just raised my voice and started to yell when he asked me “mommy can you just pray to your nanny with me?” (Talk about feeling like a butthead) Sure buddy, and then you have to go to bed! Jimmy’s prayers go all over the place from wanting to be a power ranger, to wiener talk to family to Santa and light sabers….so you never really know how it will go. But with the end of this pregnancy very near and my level of readiness to meet this sweet girl I was very pleased with his prayer.

Jimmy: “Dear Nanny, thank you for watching over my sister and keeping her healthy! I love you and I hope that you are feeling good and your back doesn’t hurt anymore. I hope you had fun holding Baby Addi, but it is time for her to come to my house! Please give her a kiss and then please keep her safe and send her to mommy to hold, I promise mommy does a good job! I love you, Amen!”

Jimmy, I had to write this story down because more often than not you are crazy an ornery and so very funny, but last night that was the best prayer I could have ever gotten and I thank you so much for getting up for the millionth time to include me! You will be an amazing big brother. And from before you even knew there was a baby on the way you knew ‘Mommy’s Nanny’ was holding her, and somehow knew it was time for her to come to this world. Little boy you amaze me!

Nanny, I miss you so much and I can’t wait to kiss this baby because I know that she is coved in your kisses. Thank you for watching over us, Love you always!

If you read this an you are not a believer, that is fine, but I believe and my children do and I know if I don’t write this story down I may not remember and it was too sweet not to.

Friday, March 11, 2016

An overdue update

I started this blog as a way for the boys to read stories about themselves when they got older, stories that I would inevitable forget, because life is busy and sometimes the day-to-day stories can get lost. I have not written in a while and I hope to do a little better this year.

March 11, 2016

My boys are ALL boy so much of the time.... that is it utterly exhausting. (If you are not sure what "ALL Boy" translates too, please come over and babysit my children for meJ.) While they love each other fiercely they are also each other’s biggest competition. Everyday someone is faster, stronger, taller, eating breakfast faster, putting on shoes sooner, getting dressed by themselves better, playing star wars better, better batter/catcher/runner, made more baskets/rebounds/points, …. The list goes on! The “friendly competition” at any time during the day can turn from friendly to ‘death-match’ in about .2 seconds. And as crazy as it sounds ends almost as quickly as it starts, each one gets a few jabs and then it’s over….and they are back playing the same thing that started the fight in the first place. It is very bazaar, but as I have written about boys (starting from a very young age) are very bazaar!

The boys are too friendly for their own good, if you have met them, you know this! They ‘know’ everyone and love everyone like it is their lifelong friend. If they meet you they don’t forget you. So when we pass an older women at Target and Jake shouts out “Hi Ellen!” I turn around puzzled, until “Ellen” comes over to talk to us and tells us how she is so-and-so’s grandmas from school. They will shout out “Bye Scott!”, “Hi Trent!” and seem to want to be friends with the kids in their classes’ parents just as much as the little kids.

As you can read it is undeniable that I am proud of my boys, like any mother is proud of her children.  These little kid moments, as I am noticeable more aware, are all to fleeting. I write them down not to boast, but to remember.  I want to remember as much about their lives as I can, because their lives have brought so much happiness and purpose to mine! Along with many wrinkles, as of lately! J

This weekend we laid to rest the boys Great-Grandpa Jim. The boys lovingly referred to him as Papa Jim and we hated to have to say good bye. The wisdom my Jake has of topics that are hard to grasp is odd, yet incredible. While explaining to the boys what happened to Papa Jim on the way to school one day Jake put it simply: “Papa Jim’s body was too tired for this earth anymore, but no one’s body is ever to tired in Heaven, so that is where he will be now. Its actually not sad, is really GREAT, he was so good that he gets to make it to talk to Jesus!”

Jake has always been interested in church and the talk of Heaven. Jimmy, has different interests and not that he doesn’t like church but he would rather be outside playing ball or getting muddy. However at the wake for Papa Jim, Jimmy loudly shouted out to the roof of the church, after talking about Heaven and angels, “Papa Jim, Please fly over me! Papa Jim please watch me in heaven, be MY angel!”

Papa Jim I tried to tell you when we got to say good bye to you a few weeks ago, as you cried hoping that they boys would remember you, that they most certainly will remember you. And that they will always love you! Be our Angel Papa Jim, watch over my boys….all three of them!

My Boys,

Jake is now five and a half years old and will start kindergarten next year. He has grown from a ‘little’ boy to a kid in the past year and seeing photos side-by-side blows my mind that it was ONLY a year ago. He continues to be my old soul, his intellectual ability, attention to detail, drive to complete the task at hand, and how can figure out how to fix just about anything astounds me. He speaks with the clarity of an adult and has the wit of one too. He is stubborn and hard headed (which is usually more frustrating than not to mommy), but has a caring heart far above his years. He is more than ready for kindergarten…..I just hope his kindergarten teacher is ready for him! J

Jimmy is now three and a half years old and will be devastated next year when Jake starts kindergarten and the school bus drives away with his brother on it and leaves him behind. Jimmy is my live wire, he truly has an infectious, and explosive personality.  His vocabulary is impressive mainly because he never stops talking! He is so incredibly ornery, but his smile and little dimples get him out of most trouble! His teachers at school really are saints for not only teaching him on a day-to-day basis, but loving him like they do. I call him my “sour patch kid” he goes from saying or doing one pain-in-the-ass thing to the next but then will turn around and give you that smile of his, or the best compliment you could hear, and you fall in love. At the end of every day he is filthy and has a couple new bruises, he is tougher than nails and a tornado of trouble. But when he curls up to me at night, after his bath and the tired sets in, he phases back into a little boy, for a short time and I love it!  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Potty Training (round two)

From the moment that we brought Jimmy home and I realized I have TWO little dirty diaper machines, I dreamed of the day when diapers, and blowouts would be a thing of the past….This is not to say that I didn’t love their sweet tiny baby years, but I could have dealt without the poop-up-the-back incidents.

Well, I can safely say it….We have TWO potty trained boys! It has now been a week accident free. I held my breath, thinking that this may just be a flute, but it’s the real deal. I have TWO “big” boys. I am so very proud and excited for my little Jimbo that he did it! And he is proud to let everyone that he knows (and doesn’t know) that he is potty trained,” JUST like Jakey!”

My, how fast it goes. While in the middle of dirty diaper duty 24/7 I thought it was never ending….I am sure our garbage man did too. But it is such a short time of their life that they are in diapers.

It is said that once you overcome one obstacle and you are on to the next, I find this especially true with children. Just when I think “man, I have this mommy thing down!” they go through another change or another stage and I am learning and adjusting to their new, likes/dislikes/hatreds of all things cheese…or whatever else they decide at the time.   

I do not want to change this new financial freedom and go back to buying diapers, however I will say that there does come a new stress. How quickly I have forgotten the new potty trained routine. When they say it is “go-time” it is “GO-TIME!” I am pretty sure that I could be in the back candy isle of Target and get to the bathrooms at the front of the store faster than a NFL first string draft pick could run a 40 yard dash……When its potty time, people better watch out. Momma is coming through and if you don’t move, it’s gonna be clean up on isle “YOU.”

The first week of watching Jimmy get potty trained has given me a lifetime of laughs.  After he started to get the hang of the whole potty thing he wanted to do it all the time. There were obviously times that he didn’t need to go but tried anyways. After I asked him, “did you go potty? “He responded back “yeah, I tried but my wiener is broken right now and not working.”…a simple I didn’t have to go would have worked.

Being in big boy underwear has also brought up the fascination with his “boy parts” a few notches…This is NOT new to me.  Jake broke me into this concept a few years back. However, I am not sure if it is all little boys, (I don’t remember Jakers doing it) but Jimmy will talk to his ‘wiener,’ while going potty.

                “Hey wiener, we need to go potty, I need you to start working.” …“You did it wiener! Good Job!”

Because we have really been stationed at home while in potty training mode, his talking to his new ‘friend’ is funny, but I hope when we are in a public restroom his new ‘friend’ no longer needs his helpful encouragement.

I haven’t written to you boys in a while and Jimmy I just wanted to say how much you have grown and changed and how I love the little boy that you are becoming. Your baby-days are becoming fewer and fewer, I cherish the rare days that you still want to rock and snuggle. I know that you so often want to be as big as “Jakey”, but believe me buddy you will get there, and it will happen all too fast! For now I will revel in another major milestone and celebrate the wonderful-ness that is you! You amaze me every day buddy, and bring so much sunshine to my life!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

God created you ‘Special’

Last night our dinner was nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary. It was a typical ‘ghetti’ night.  It was just the little boys and me sitting down to eat, Daddy had a meeting that he was at and was not going to be home for dinner. I used to fear the nights when Jared had to be away and I was left on my own to get dinner prepared, the boys fed, baths done and get them both down for the night.  Last night over our very ordinary dinner, I realized (as I do about 100 times a month) that time has flashed forward once again. I am no longer trying to decipher my young two-year olds request for dinner while I finish nursing a newborn that won’t let me put him down. In those nights I would doubt myself, my mothering abilities and sanity. It was so hard, there were two little people dependent 100% on ME and it could be exhausting.  When daddy was at his meeting my evening seemed to consist of someone always crying, that many times included me.  I would see other mothers that had three or more children and instantly think “they must be so much better at this than me, I can hardly handle two!” “I don’t know what I am doing,” and “I am sure I am disappointing them.”

Moments of my ordinary spaghetti nights make me look back on the chaotic newborn/young-toddler nights and reflect. As I have done many times, I wish I could tell my two-year-younger self “You shouldn’t have been so hard on yourself! It will be okay.” If only I could remind myself to take that advice in the present. However, I wish someone would have told me “it’s okay, to think it is hard, having a newborn and a 23 month-old….IT IS!” “It’s okay to ask for help, it doesn’t diminish your mothering abilities.” But I didn’t…I figured if Jared had a meeting I needed to figure things out on my own. MAN, I could have alleviated a lot of stress if I called in an extra pair of hands when Daddy was away.

I hold myself to an impossible standard, one that I do because my children deserve only the best. While I doubt myself constantly and pray that my decisions are the right ones for my boys I get little signs that keep me on track.  During our ordinary Spaghetti dinner last night I got a ‘sermon’ from my four year old that every parent needs to hear. That gives me hope that I am doing a good job by my boys.

(for those that may or may not know, As a family we speak of God and heaven although we do not actively go to church each Sunday, so passion and insight into how Jake speak of god is sometimes hard to understand. The pureness of a child is astounding.)

Jake: Mommy, I think we should talk about how we are all special
Mommy: (I kind of laugh to myself thinking, “He just wants me to tell him everything I love about him”) Okay buddy!
Mommy: You are so very smart, and caring. Do you know that? Do you know that you are smart, and how much it makes other people happy when you are nice?
Jake: Yes, people love my smile. It makes them happy!
Mommy: It sure makes me happy, who else does it make happy, and who said that?
Jake: My teachers, they tell me “Oh, I love that smile Jakey!” (Thank you. Ms. Stephanie and Ms. Rene for loving my boy like that)
Mommy: They are right
Jimmy: I’m not special! (Being my ornery little Jimbo)

Jake: Yes you are Jimmy! Everyone is special; you are funny and make me laugh. You are strong and brave and you help me not be scared to sleep in my room ‘cause now I’m not by myself!
Jimmy: I BRAVE! Thank you Jakey!

(This conversation might be the sweetest thing ever! When the boy are not acting like “boys” my heart melts like chocolate left in little jean pockets in my dryer.)

Jake: But actually mommy you are the most special!
Mommy: (heart skipped a beat) why is that?
Jake: a long time ago god created you (actually only 30 years…lets not age me to much) Even when you were a little girl he knew that you were going to be me and Jimmy’s mommy. He picked you just for us because he knew how nice and pretty you would be. And God knew that you would love us and kiss us and hug us all the time and make us happy.
Mommy: Thank you for telling me how special I am. That really makes me feel loved.
Jake: You are always loved!
Jake: Mommy, that is why I pray for a sister so she can be like you. Jimmy and me will be daddy’s one day. But if we had a sister she would be a mommy one day….a mommy like you.  

For all the parents of little kids…. or grown kids. While I am sure the self-doubt never ends I hope that you all can see the person that your child sees in you. You are perfect and they have never ending, unwavering, complete faith in you. They trust you effortlessly and believe in your capabilities copiously. You are their mother, and while as they age they may not always say it, They would not trade you for anyone in the world!

Thank you for perfectly making me, to be the mother of two beautiful little boys. I am so completely honored to be their mother!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Finding perfect in moments of Chaos

After having kids I rarely use the words, peaceful, blissful, or perfect to describe my house….before kids I would have.  Before the boys we had a coffee table that actually had items on it.  Soon after kids came all those items were quickly removed to protect their value and my sanity from keeping them out of their little hands. 

My husband and I would come home from work to make whatever WE wanted or “make it easy” and go out to eat for dinner.  After children the 5 out of 7 nights of the week there is at least one of us that is not happy with the dinner option….(yes sometimes that is even me…… I don’t want to have spaghetti again tonight!) It almost makes me laugh out loud as I type this how “easy” it used to be to ‘go out for a quick bite.’ Even if it is just Jared and me, we have to have ‘systems in place’ to even go out. And if we bring the boys, there is nothing ‘easy’ about that dinner. Usually bribery is involved, bribing them to sit still and eat their dinner and if they are good we will get a gumball before we leave.

However chaotic and crazy the house it, there are still those moment of bliss. The moment when I am able to use the restroom and not have one or both of them standing their asking me what I am doing. Or better yet getting the toilet paper and telling me “I will wipe your bottom mommy, just bend over!”

There are moments of peacefulness when they are both in bed and sleeping…at the same time.

More so there are many, many moments of perfect. Maybe not the ‘Pleasantville-perfect’ but MY perfect.  These ”perfect moments” may only last a few seconds or minutes, but I love when I am aware enough to notice them.  After a stressful day that includes many tantrums or tears it can be hard to see those moments but they are still there. Many times it is something so small, as the boys working together on their “best train track set EVER!”, or Jake teaching Jimmy how to potty on the big-boy-potty.

Last night my perfect moment was putting my boys to bed, not because of the usual reasons of ‘yes, now it is quite,” but because as I rocked Jimmy to sleep, in the same chair that I have had since getting pregnant,  I realized how his body no longer fits within my lap. I realize that I no longer wake up countless times a night to feed, burp and diaper him. He is almost potty trained and is an excellent sleeper.

 I came out from putting Jimmy to bed to find Jake snuggled with daddy asleep on the couch, so I picked him up and carried him to bed. Because of the thoughts I just had with Jimmy I felt like it was God’s way of telling me “remember, to enjoy it all, he was Jimmy’s size a blink ago and now look at him”. As I carried my long and lanky 4-year old boy to bed. His legs long enough that I now have to turn sideways to get into doorways so that I do not hit them on the door jam.

My perfect moment was that I have been given the honor for 1,568 days, to rock, carry, cuddle or sooth a baby to sleep.  I have reveled in your growth and outgrowth of the many stages you have been in. I have continuously learned and adapted to your changing wants and needs. God granted me the duty to raise you to the best of my abilities and while I am not perfect his choice of giving the two of you to me was.

Jake and Jimmy,

I am so very far from perfect, but I perfectly made you.  It is my privilege to be your mommy, while my tone at 2:30 in the morning may not always be as chipper as it would at 7:00, know that every sleep deprived minute I love you. Please don’t remember my frustration when I have named off everything in the world to eat for dinner but you still turn it down, my goal is only to make you grow strong and healthy.  At times I can see that you are frustrated that I ask again a topic that you know, it is my way to educate you and to expand your knowledge of a topic a little bit at a time. I never intend to scare you, but you are more capable than you know and there are time that I have to ‘let go’ and let you do it on your own.   It breaks my heart to see you hurt, but life will throw a lot of stuff at you giving you bumps and bruises along the way.  I am always here to console you, but there will be times you need to ‘shrug-it-off’, you are stronger than you give yourself credit.  And while you are perfect to me, you do not always make “perfect” choices.  My hope is to raise you to be man enough to know what to fight for, know when to say I’m sorry and know when it time to walk away, graciously and honorable. Most of all I hope to instill your intense love and compassion for those around you and the people you meet. 

You will change the world one day boys, I just know it. You have forever changed mine.

Your continually amazed mommy! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas is here….where did 2014 go!

Wow, it has been far too long since I have had a minute to sit down and write.  I don’t think I really have that much time now but I am making the time.  Yesterday, I was busy scurrying around trying to get last minute items for the boys and for family along with stopping by the grocery store to get the ingredients to make the dishes I need to prepare for the family parties I am reminded how buys this time of year is.  

I was not with my smiley, happy….sometimes crazy little boys and I was actually able to concentrate on what I needed, I was able to take in what was going on around me and wasn't zeroed in on the two little boys in the cart. However, surprisingly, what I realized is how much I wished the boys were with me. (For moms of little kids I know this sounds crazy) but when they are with me I don’t have time to see or realize the ugliness that this season can bring. When I have the boys with me the ugliness that can come at this time of year becomes so over shadowed by the two beams of light that shine brightly in the cart that I am pushing. While I complain that it takes me longer when I have them with me, they make my shopping experience, this season and my life brighter each day for being a part of it.

To the women who was so distraught by me not getting green beans fast enough so that you could get them….”Chill out, I am not going to buy the entire freezer and not leave you any, there is plenty to go around.” To the women who came up to the wrapping paper bin that I was looking at and yelled “Dammit I needed that one!” only AFTER I chose, I hope you enjoyed the paper and I just wanted to let you know that I found the same paper a mere 3 feet further in another bin….just in case you were thinking of me. To the countless other who forget the rules that we learned in kindergarten, when this season approaches I hope you can look at the people that you are buying the presents for and think “would they be proud to see me act this way?”

I think this all as I am going over in my mind our busy schedule the next could days and where we need to be and at what time. This morning as I got two very tired but very ‘Christmas-excited’ boys ready for school Jake said  to me “I just want to stay at home.” I was surprised, he has his school Christmas party today and I know he will have fun. However I was more surprised when I heard his answer as to why. I told him that after today we have five ‘stay-at-home-days’ and Santa comes tomorrow night!  He responded with “I know but then we are so busy and we go lots and lots of places, so that’s why I thought today we could just stay at home and slow down.” … this child is too smart for his own good, and I am still trying to figure out if he was ‘playing me’ or if this is his honest feelings.  But like with everything I am doing in motherhood I am now second-guessing myself like crazy.

-Do we do too much on the day? –Do I not let them enjoy it enough?  –should we stay home more? –Are they going to look back and hate that we were so busy?

So this year I will take Jake’s advice, we will slow down. We will get to every place that we need to go but we may not always be perfectly on time. We will be there, we will be merry and we will be very blessed to be surrounded by loving family.

Jake’s 2014 in review
You started to play soccer for the first time on a team out at Chatham Community Park. While I think you liked it, you continue to show more interest in your beloved baseball. You went to three cardinal games this year….and one you even got to go right down by the field thanks to mommy’s work, you of course wore your cardinal uniform and attracted almost as much attention as the players on the field!  You were the most handsome little 3 year old ring bearer I've ever seen and I wept as I watched you walk down the isle at Abby and Chris’ Wedding. You asked mommy out on a prom date and because we had the tux you got dressed up and so did mommy for our fancy dinner, you were such a gentleman.  We ended our summer with our first family vacation to the ocean, and like with many other ‘firsts’ I cried as I watch you run towards the ocean for the first time listening to your squeals of excitement. In October you turned 4 years old and had another baseball birthday party, it was freezing but you didn't mind! And in school you were in your first play and mommy couldn't have been prouder of you! 

Jacob Lee, you have grown so much in a year. You never cease to amaze me. You are an old soul with a kind heart and an inquisitive mind. You make me look at the world different.  You make me question things I would have never thought to question before, but I do so because I know the importance it means to you to understand how things work. I never thought I would know so much about baseball, John Deere, geography or history, but I push myself to learn more in the fields that you show interest. Thank you for expanding my mind and continually expanding my heart.

Jimmy’s 2014 in review
You continue your exquisite ability to climb anything. You were a ring bearer with your brother in Abby and Chris' wedding, honesty I didn't know they made tux's that little, your were the most handsome 1 year old ever! This year you went to your very first cardinal game and it was with the whole family, you liked but I think you liked the cotton candy better.  We took you on your first family vacation to the beach and while I was worried about you on the long 16 hour car ride, you were the best passenger out of anyone! You turned 2 in September and we went to the park for your party, it was a beautiful day! You had surgery to fix a hernia and you were a much better patient than mommy! In December you had your first Christmas program, and while you didn't sing much (I know you know the songs) and you looked adorable.  I think your biggest accomplishment this year is the “art of trouble-making” you have an undeniable gift of getting yourself out of trouble with the slight twist of your head and a sweet little grin while looking out of the corner of your eyes that makes it impossible to be mad.

James Donald, you are my “Mr. Trouble” but you are the brightest ray of sunshine.  Your smile lights up a room and you are rarely unhappy.  You are a tough little boy who has taken a lot of spills this year and you get up with a smile and a knot of our head.  Your vocabulary is out of this world and you never stop talking.  You are so very polite and are always the first with a “please”, “Thank-You”, or “God Bless You”. I can forget that you are still ONLY two because you sometimes act so much older. This year you went from a toddler to a little boy, and while I knew that was going to happen I wish it would slow down.  Jimmy, my heart skips a beat every time I see you at the end of my day. Thank you for making me smile and for the sweet kisses and “I Love you’s” every night at bed this year. 

For the Family and friends and teachers who are in my boys life and continue to help them grow and make them better people, thank you. Thank you for your efforts in 2014, I know Jared and I certainly couldn't do this alone and we appreciate all the love that our boys get!
Merry Christmas Happy Holiday!
The Koesters,
Angie, Jared, Jake & Jimmy