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Archive for June, 2010

Each year when Father’s Day rolls around, I count myself a very lucky girl.  I really think the relationship of dads and daughters is one of the most significant there is, especially in shaping our view of our relationship with God, the Father.  I count myself lucky because I have a dad who I adore.  He is loving and giving and sacrificial in his provision for us.  He is funny and likes adventure and works hard.  He is interested in our lives and (since he has discovered texting) initiates with us often.  He is not perfect, but he is a great picture to me of how God loves me.

Annelise is blessed to have many men in her life who love and adore her unashamedly.

Royce is one of the best dads to a girl I have ever seen.  Every morning, he changes her overnight diaper.  You know the one.  It’s poopy and heavy and filled with “number one”.  Then, after I pick out her outfit for the day, he gets her dressed.  And he doesn’t just do it to lighten my load.  He views it as quality time with his little girl.  He talks to her and makes faces and funny noises while he gets her ready for the day.

When he is hanging out with her, Annelise has his undivided attention.  I’m always torn between playing with her and getting through my to do list for the day.  But when Royce is spending time with her, he focuses his full attention on her.  Of course, she is a captive audience for his hilarious antics.  He makes animal noises, dances around and sings to her.  Really, he will do anything to make her smile.

Grandpa Schaeper is another man in Annelise’s life who loves her wholeheartedly. Actually, that’s an understatement.  He is absolutely smitten with her.  From the first time the family came to meet her in the hospital, he fought to hold her first.  He tries to take her away from anyone who has had more than five minutes with her.  When we went to Hawaii, he was the one to get her up each morning at the slightest sound that she made.  He snuggled with her on the beach to protect her from the sand on a windy day.  In all of our pictures from the Hawaii trip, guess who is holding Annelise…it’s Grandpa! 

Grandpa Baker adores her as well.  He is a quieter man.  You can tell he wants to be affectionate, even though it makes him slightly uncomfortable.  But he just beams when he gets to hold Annelise.  The first time he held her, he got a little teary eyed.  When we visit him, he takes in as much of Annelise as possible.  He plays with her on the floor.  He holds her (until she gets fussy of course).  I know that he will have so much fun with her when she gets older.  He will be able to show her the garden at his house and all the vegetables growing there.

This is not to mention the countless other men who love her…Uncle Jordan and staff and students and guys in our small group.  Andrew and Mikey and Cody and Paul and Kyle and David and Ryan and Dan and Josh. 

Yes, Annelise has many men in her life.  But our hope and prayer for her each night is that these men will point her to know and love the most important man who ever lived…Jesus.  Because He is the only one will love her perfectly.  He may not make silly faces to make her laugh, but He did let children know that He welcomed their presence.  He may not fight with family to hold her physically, but He fought to the point of death for her heart on the cross.  He might not walk with her in a garden, but He sweat blood in the garden 2,000 years ago, praying for strength so that she might have the honor to walk with Him today.

This is why we celebrate on Father’s Day.  This is why men are important.  They have the weighty responsibility of loving children as Christ loved us.  Thank you Dad.  Thank you Royce.  Thank you Norman.  Thank you for being the kind of men I want in my daughter’s life.  I am eternally grateful for you.

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Annelise—

Well baby girl, I can’t believe you’re already 5 months old.  Five months just seems so not baby-ish anymore.  It also seems like the kind of time frame where I can no longer use you as an excuse for why I’m not in shape. 

This past month has been a bit of whirlwind for you.  On your four month birthday, we hopped on a plane and flew to Hawaii for Aunt Laura’s wedding.  You were simply incredible on the whole trip.  You slept through every flight.  You adjusted to the six hour time change.  You napped wherever we went, including on the beach.  Your favorite thing to do on the trip was to lay on your Grandpa and Grandma’s giant bed with the doors to the outside open.  You would lay there all morning while we all got ready for the day’s adventures.

Shortly after we returned from Hawaii, we packed up the car to head to Chicago for six weeks.  You have been so flexible with all of our travel.  You must have gotten some tips from the Jolie-Pitt kids.

Everyone we encounter just loves you.  Everywhere we go people stop us to comment on your beautiful big blue eyes.  And you smile at them all cute.  When you smile, it is with your whole face.  You squint your eyes in the most adorable way.  Hopefully this doesn’t mean you will squint for all pictures in the future like your father does.  I call him Sir Squints-A-Lot.

We’ve also had so many people tell us that you make them want to have kids sooner.  Way to be an ambassador for babies! ( To be honest, you make us want to have more kids sooner too.)

The past couple weeks you have hit some fun milestones.  Including discovering TOYS!  You are so into them now.  You want to put everything in your mouth.  You get better and better at it every day.  You have a soft book that is by far your favorite toy.  You can sit and play with it forever.

You’ve also started rolling over all the time from your back to your belly.  Once on your belly, you sometimes get frustrated and start crying.  And I try to remind you that you know how to flip back over and maybe if it upsets you so much you shouldn’t have rolled over in the first place, but you don’t understand Mommy’s logic.  I have a feeling that my days as a mommy to an immobile baby are numbered.  You’re going to be rolling across the room any day now.

By far, the most fun thing you did this month was laugh for the first time.  The very first time you did it, just you and I were at home.  Sunny was licking your hand and you giggled at him twice.  It was short and sweet, but by the time I got out the camera, you were done.  Then, we were hanging out at a friend’s house here in Chicago, and I was throwing a ball for their dog.  And you just started cracking up.  Your dad and I were both getting teary.  You have thislaugh that is deep and from the gut.  Simply adorable. 

The other day, you finally laughed at Daddy.  Before, dogs were the only funny thing in your life.  Now, add Daddy to the list.  Sometimes, there are moments in life that are just so beautiful that they bring tears to my eyes.  Today I had one of those moments.  You and Daddy and I were just hanging out, and he started playing with you.  And you just smiled and laughed at him.  I could live off the high of moments like that for days.

Every day with you gets a little more fun, Annelise.  Even on days when you’re not napping and escaping from your swaddler, I love you more than I ever could have imagined.  I think your daddy summed up it well the other night.  We were on a date and talking and reflecting on your five month birthday.  He said, “I can’t believe five months ago, we didn’t know Annelise and we thought we were happy.”  It’s true, baby girl.  You bring us so much joy.

We love you,

Mommy

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