July 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy!

Happy 3rd Birthday to our angel son, Jonathan Paul!

This year is the first time where I haven't been incredibly sad about losing Jonathan while we celebrated his birthday. I will never truly understand why we lost our boy, and weren't able to have him live here on Earth with us, but I truly feel like God is healing my heart. Having his little brothers here in our arms and celebrating with us has really helped in the healing of our hearts this past year.  We will never forget our boy, but now have complete happiness instead of pain in our hearts remembering his precious life!

We can hardly believe it has already been three years since we held you in our arms and kissed your for the last time here on Earth.  It feels like it was just yesterday! There isn't a day that goes by that you are not on our mind!

We miss you so very much, but we know without a doubt in our hearts, that you are in Heaven, resting in the arms of Jesus!  We love you so very much, Jonathan, and will always remember each and every moment we had you here with us on Earth.  Your brothers are celebrating you with us today, and they will always know about their big brother up in Heaven! We love you!

Proud little brothers

Happy 3rd Birthday, Sweet Boy!!!
Love, Mommy & Daddy

July 30, 2011

Will loves Betsy

I just can't get over how much Will loves Betsy!  He is always tuned in to her, and every time he can get close to her, he just smiles and giggles!  
Isn't this the cutest giggle?!

July 27, 2011

Exciting news!

I mentioned a few months ago that something exciting was coming for our family, but it has taken awhile to work out all the details so I could finally share it!

(Now the first thing I always think of when anyone says they have exciting news is they are having a baby ... sorry to disappoint you if that too was your first thought when you saw my subject line!  We are not pregnant, adopting, or anything like that at this time! We are super busy and perfectly happy for now with our two miracle boys! =)

We are moving!  Not to a far off place, but actually, back to our old house!  For those of you who have known us for awhile (pre-blog) will remember our red house.

We lived in this house from 2005-2007, and loved it.  It is in an AMAZING kid-friendly neighborhood, and many of our friends joked that we lived in Mayberry!  It kind of felt like that!
The house sits right across the street from a big baseball park/grass area, with a playground on the opposite side.  There is a pool just about a 5 minute walk away, and a great new elementary school within walking distance!
It's a corner lot and is in a very handy location.  Plus, it has great porches and the neighborhood just has so many family-friendly amenities and activities!

Why are we moving back there, you ask?  There are so many reasons!  We moved into McKinney 4 1/2 years ago, because of the commute.  I was teaching in McKinney at the time, and Justin was working about 25 minutes south of McKinney, so we just didn't want to make the long commute anymore.  We were able to get our awesome house in McKinney, and rent out our red house, and it all worked out perfectly to move. We have absolutely loved our McKinney house and our fabulous neighbors, but now, 4 1/2 years later, Justin is now managing bank branches back on this side of the metroplex, and I'm not commuting anywhere! Plus, our (amazing and fabulous) renters decided that, after 4 1/2 years of taking great care of the house, it was time for them to move on.  So in late spring, we knew we were going to need to make some prayerful decisions about the next step for the house and for our family.  Honestly, as much as I loved the neighborhood, I never really thought we would move back there.  But, in the spring, my parents moved from McKinney out to the same neighborhood, and we started thinking that maybe we could move back there as well!

Like I said, this neighborhood is the most amazing neighborhood for kids ... there are seriously kids and families everywhere!  There are at least 10 parks, including many playgrounds, big and small, grassy fields, baseball parks, 2 pool complexes (with baby pools, kiddie pools, and even water slides!), and so much more!  It is the ultimate place, in my opinion, for families with children to live.

But back when we lived here, I can honestly say that all those amenities made it kind of tough for me.  As much as we loved living there, we were in the midst of our fertility struggles, had had 2 miscarriages by then, and seeing kids EVERYWHERE was, at times, very hard for me.  I wanted nothing more than to have a family and be able to be part of all the fun, but I felt we were somewhat isolated because of the fact we had no children.  The last Halloween we lived in the red house, we were handing out candy on the porch, and a lady came up and, no joke, said to me, "Do you all have kids?" I said, "No, just our dog!" (My standard answer)  To which she replied, "Oh, I would have thought with a big house like this one you would have a houseful of kids!" Dagger to my heart.  Needless to say, she walked away, and we went inside and turned off the lights.  I know she didn't mean to cause the pain she did, but some people don't really think about what they say.  And if you've never gone through the infertility struggle, you wouldn't even know those innocent words hurt so much!

Anyway .... all that to say that we are now SO excited to be moving back to this fabulous neighborhood!!! The house is laid out just perfectly for our family, with an extra bedroom compared to our McKinney house, and a very open kitchen/family room where I can see the boys much better when they are playing and I'm cooking. (Very important to me now that they are so very mobile!) I'm so looking forward to getting to know more families with kids close to the same age as ours.  I can't wait to get involved in all the activities here, and enjoy all the parks with the boys as they get bigger! Plus, there is so much more retail nearby than when we lived there.  We are farther out from things than we are in McKinney, but just a 12 minute drive away there are TONS of places that didn't exist 4 years ago! The best thing of all is that my parent's house is literally 3 minutes away.  I'm so excited to be near them, and I honestly think they are more excited than all of us to have the boys so close!  We are looking forward to all the fun we will all have out here together, and have already planned riding our bikes over to Gigi and Grandpa's house with the boys in their trailer!

Right now we are planning for a mid-September move-in, and we are hoping to rent out our house in McKinney by that same time frame.  We have been doing a lot of fix-up projects there the last few weeks. We've actually been staying at my parent's house out here this week while rooms in our house are being repainted!  So if any of my local friends are looking to rent a house, or know a family that is, send them our way!  We are praying that it will all work out just perfectly!

The next picture you see of this house will be with it all filled up with kids! =)
Steiners in 2005
We are so excited!

July 25, 2011

The boys in July...

Okay, so I feel like that I have a ton of pictures that haven't made it onto the blog from the last month.  I'm continually taking pictures of my boys (just because they are always being so cute!), so I've decided just to do a huge Steiner Boys picture post! It has been so stinking hot here (we are on Day 24 of 100+ weather--I'm so ready for Fall!) and we have mostly been staying inside.  But we've had some fun play dates, a few deliciously cool dips in some pools, and just a lot of playing in the house!  

(There are a ridiculously large numbers of pictures and a few videos to come ... be warned!)



Swimming with Gigi and Grandpa ...

Gigi ... I don't think I like this!

A wonderful handful!

At Mammaw and Pappaw's house ...

The van packed to the gills ...
Notice the boys were already alseep!

Betsy was happy to ride along too!

Mammaw and Ryley corralling the boys!
Mammaw got the boys their very first Nebraska footballs and they love them!
(Sorry the video is upside down!)

Will loves Ryley!

Such a relaxing place in the midst of all this hot weather!

Will getting ready to crawl through the tunnel to Ryley

Pappaw got the boys a firetruck to play with at their house
They love it! (Watch video below)

Play Dates ...
The  boys hanging with their girlfriend Lucy!  

All three busy playing!

Jack sure had a crush on her ... he was all smiles!
Do we have a little flirt?

Isn't Lucy a cutie?

Play date #2 ... not too many pictures.
Kayden is on the couch and she was
singing the boys songs!  Too cute! Her brother Jack was taking a nap,
so he didn't get a picture taken!

Playtime at home ...
See ... they do cry!

Jack was loving playing with the gate ... and making some silly noises!

Will, trying to decide what to do next!

Don't leave Daddy!

The boys grab onto Justin's arms before he leaves in the morning ... so sweet!

It's just you and me, basketball hoop!

Yes ... the living room looks like this about 1 minute after the boys get up!

Jack giving Daddy kisses!

Betsy, do you want to play?

We are great sitters now!!!!!

Standing up in the crib is their new thing.

They spend a lot of time standing and "talking" to each other instead of napping!

Look at how much my boys have grown ...
Preemie (which used to be huge on them) vs 12 months!

Super Will and Super Daddy

Super Daddy and Super Jack

I love them so much!

Pick me up, Mommy!

Jack doesn't need clothes to play!

Neither does Will!

Waiting for Daddy to come home from work

Betsy isn't too thrilled about the crawling and pulling up on furniture...

But Will is sure loving getting up close to her!


First time in a cart! They did so well!

Welcome home Daddy!  They both crawled over to him and up!

Mommy got a hug too!

My favorites!

They are so happy to be able to pull up on things!
They sure keep me on my toes!

New high chairs at Gigi's ...
notice that the covers are not on them ...
they make big messes now with their finger foods!
Phew!  Did you make it all the way through? These boys are just so much fun!

Hope you have a great week!