Annabelle's Baptism

I'm only two months late in blogging about this but better late than never right? Sweet Annabelle was baptized on the feast of Saint Lucy, which is one of her patron saints. It comes with a cool story actually. Way back in the summer when we were solidifying our name choices, I was still on the fence about Lucy for a middle name but Matt was already 100% sold that Lucy would be it. I finally hesitantly gave in -- its not that I don't like Lucy (I love it), its just that I wasn't quite ready to write it on paper and make it official -- so I wrote Annabelle Lucy on her baptismal papers. December 13th was the date we picked based on everyone's schedules and I decided to go look at the Catholic calendar to see if it fell on any cool Saints feast days and, lo and behold, its the feast of Saint Lucy! What a great confirmation right?  Of course Matt took that very clear sign and ran with it so it became set in stone that her name would be Annabelle Lucy from that day on. It looks like I'll get to name our next kid ;)

Sadly that was the best picture I got of her all day because I completely forgot to take my camera out, but I have vowed to take better Baptismal pictures of the rest of our kids because I'm so sad that this is all we have. 

The beauty of the sacrament thankfully still resonates in my memory. Our dear friends Steve and Beth are Annabelle's godparents and she is one lucky lady for having them. We were also privileged to have our family friend, Father Kyle, come and do the baptism. I loved that he had us start the Baptismal ceremony in the back of the church and make our way towards the Baptismal font while touching upon each symbolic element that would ensue. 

One of my favorite parts of the Rite of Baptism is when the priest chants the Litany of Saints and the congregation responds with "Pray for us." Its such a simple yet beautiful display of the power of asking the saints in heaven for their intercession.  Father Kyle included some of our family's favorite Saints in the litany: St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. John Bosco, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, St. Maria Goretti, St. Gianna, St. Joseph, and of course, Saints Anne and Lucy. 

Our parish was lucky enough to have a relic of Our Lady of Guadalupe installed right behind the baptismal font that week. A true blessing indeed.

Also, the lighting in the church is horrible. I cringe just looking at the terrible shadows in these pictures! 

After the Baptism, we did what every Catholic does after a Sacrament, we partied =) 

Our friend and go to cake master, Ms. Julie, made a delicious spice cake for the occasion. We decorated with a simple banner and flowers and kept the party small with just a few family and friends to celebrate. 

Annabelle with her fan club =)

I will never forget the day that our sweet Annabelle Lucy entered the Church. Praise God for the Sacraments!

 

Annabelle {3 Months Old}

This little lady is three months old today!

I don't even remember life without her. It feels like she's always been part of our family. Our lives changed so drastically when Kolbe was born that I often had to remind myself that we weren't giving him back to anyone (ha!), but with Annabelle, it was like she just smoothly assimilated to the lives we were already living. Her presence has been so freeing and good for my soul.

You see, I had a rather hard time when Kolbe was a tiny newborn and still in the fourth trimester. He had reflux, so he never slept....like ever (i.e: woke up every 30-90 minutes through the night), my hormones caused an emotional roller coaster like no other that had me crying all the time, not to mention Kolbe's struggles with learning how to latch, and never taking a pacifier (which made ME his pacifier 24/7). Matt and I were zombies for the first 6 months of Kolbe's life and it seemed like we were doing everything wrong. He was by no means an "easy baby," yet very much still a good baby as all babies are a gift. Like everything does, the hard times passed and we (slowwwwly) made it out of the newborn fog not unscathed but alive. Now I look back on that time (that I mostly blocked out of my memory haha) and thank God for allowing Matt and I to experience those struggles. That time was like the dark night of my soul and I am a much better person because of it.  God stretched me and took me to a level of self sacrifice that I never knew existed. Truly the meaning of "this is my body and I give it up for you." 

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Now I tell you all this because right before sweet Annabelle was born, I was literally dreading the first three months of her life (or as some call it, the fourth trimester) because of how hard Kolbe's first three months were. I had resigned myself to "just getting through it" and then I could enjoy her once we got past the roughness. Just typing that out seems so ridiculous now! God in His infinite goodness was very aware of the desires of my heart because Annabelle's first three months have been blissfully sweet and good to us. All of my fears melted away as the weeks after her birth went by and she remained as sweet as pie. She is what some would consider an "easy baby" and my heart feels so free. I feel like I'm swimming with the tide rather than swimming against it and desperately trying to come up for air. Maybe its the fact that I'm a second time mom and a little more confident, maybe its her easy going ways, or the fact that I now know what things we want to do differently with her vs. what we did with Kolbe (sorry dude), or maybe its a combination of all three. Regardless, thank you Jesus for the gift. 

In honor of her 3 months of life, here are 10 things about Annabelle that bring a smile to my face every day:

1) She wakes up happy every single time. Its so endearing. Wether she's been sleeping for 20 minutes or a few hours, as soon as I go get her she gives the biggest smile. 

2) Speaking of smiles, hers are bashful and ever so cute. She smiles and turns her head as if she's blushing.

3). I've never had so much fun dressing another person in my life!

4) She sleeps. A lot. As in I was more tired and sleep deprived when I was pregnant with her than with her on this side of the womb. I'm 100% aware of how amazing this is and also that it could change any minute. But for now, we roll with it.

5) Cute baby mohawk alert =)

6) I love when Kolbe makes her smile and delights in her.

7) She had been a champ nurser from day 1, which was like a balm to my soul.

8) We love how she stares at us with such curiosity. 

9) She makes a little squeak noise out of protest as soon as she is left alone (and awake) in a room. Maybe she's going to be a little extroverted baby?

10) On the other hand, she is quite laid back and goes with the flow so seamlessly. Matt is rooting for a fellow phlegmatic temperament to emerge from her since Kolbe and I are the exact opposite (K is melancholic, I'm choleric). If you're not familiar with temperaments, read about them here! -- I'm a little obsessed.

Annabelle at 1 week and at 3 months:


I spent the day today reflecting on how happy my two littles make me. My heart is full =)

Christmas & Some New Finds

Hi!

I hope the holidays were good to you and brought you much joy and peace. I can't believe its already mid January and that the Christmas season is over. We took down all of our decorations on the day after King's Day and I was a little sad to see them go. The season was so festive this year, especially having Kolbe and Annabelle to enjoy it with. We continued our tradition of going to Christmas Eve mass, followed by celebrations with my family and then celebrations with Matt's family on Christmas day. Kolbe go some sweet toys that will surely keep him busy for the next few months and its a plus that both Matt and I also enjoy playing with them! Annabelle has given us the gift of sleep and that's all I'm going to say about that =)

The Three Wise Men came on January 6th bearing some surprises after they made the trek from our fireplace mantle to the Nativity scene on the coffee table. Kolbe sure got a kick out of that! And with that, the Christmas seasons came to an end. 

During these past few holiday weeks, I was gifted/discovered a few things that I've really been loving lately. They have made my life a little easier in some ways and put a smile on my face and I wanted to share the love =)

1) FARM GIRL COFFE When I was visiting my friend Chantel in Lafayette last Fall, she brought me to her favorite coffee shop called The Lab. It had an awesome hipster and modern vibe that was so welcoming. The best part is that they feature only two coffees each day for all of their drinks. The day we went, I had a latte made with Farm Girl Coffee and to date, it was the best coffee I've had! I never wanted it to end because it was just that good. So I made it my mission to find this Farm Girl Coffee and I did! Now it is safely tucked away in my coffee cabinet and I can enjoy it every day. Although my mediocre coffee-making skills will never top those of the talented baristas at The Lab, its still so so good and it only serves to fuel my coffee addiction that I have no intention of ever overcoming.

2) BURT'S BEES TINTED LIP BALM My friend Emily actually introduced me to this last Summer, but I wanted to include it anyway because I still use it all the time. I've never ever been a fan of lipstick or lip gloss because I don't like how it makes my lips feel so I always just resorted to Carmex to hydrate and add a little shine simultaneously. I love that this lip balm does the same but it adds a little color too, so the best of both worlds! 

3) MINNETONKA KILTY SUEDE MOCCASSINS I discovered these because my friend Beth (are you noticing a trend here?) always wears them and raves about how comfortable they are so I decided to give them a try and put them on my Christmas wish list. She was right; they are so comfortable AND stylish and I love that they go with almost everything I wear on a daily basis. I've pretty much worn them everyday since I received them from my mom for Christmas. If you do get these, order a half size down because they run big =)

4) NATURE BOX I've seen a ton of bloggers that I follow recommend this product and I'm excited to try it! As a family, we are making an extra effort in the new year to pack as many nutrients into meals and snacks as we can and I think we can make it happen with the help of Nature Box. It is a customized snack box that arrives at your door step and I like this company mainly because all of their snacks are non-GMO, and don't contain artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, high fructose corn syrup, or trans fats. That's definitely high standard in my book since those are the same standards that we try to live by in our pantry and fridge =)

5) AQUA BLUE LADIES TUNIC After my friend Penny had her sweet baby back in August, I noticed her wearing these really comfortable looking shirts all the time. I finally took the plunge and now I have it in four different colors (thanks to Beth and my mom and grandma for gifting these to me!) This shirt really is so comfortable and I want to live in it all the time. Its great for nursing, and perfect for the post-baby clothes transition that we all know and love. I love to wear it with leggings and my new moccs too!

6) LILY JADE DIAPER BAG I would like you to meet the newest addition to our family... Behold Elizabeth:

She's my other baby and I love her to pieces because she's the best thing that has ever happened to this mom of two (and hopefully more in the future!) I've been on the quest to find the perfect diaper bag ever since I was pregnant with Kolbe and I had yet to find it till now. The bag comes with an awesome washable insert that has a ton of pockets so the amount of organization I can achieve with this bag is music to my ears. By far my favorite thing is that it can be worn like a backpack, which comes in SO handy with two littles in tow. I think this may be the best Christmas gift I've given to myself. And for the record, the name of the bag on the website is the Elizabeth in Brandy =)

Have a blessed week!

 

Happy Advent! and other Adventures

Well hello there and happy Advent!

I have been missing from this little space mainly due to Annabelle's arrival, but it has been nothing short of exciting having her along for the ride here in the Rodriguez household. She is proving to be a pretty easygoing baby so far and I'm hoping that doesn't suddenly change now that I have typed it out. All I have to say is that I am yet to feel sleep deprived and at six weeks in, that is pretty big deal! I think God felt bad for us from all of the sleep deprivation that we had with Kolbe so He cut us a little break this time around! I'll be sure to do an Annabelle update soon. 

Beware: This blog post is basically a huge photo dump =)

--FRIENDSGIVING 2014--

We've had some fun and exciting family adventures the past few weeks, starting with our annual Friendsgiving party. I love Friendsgiving mainly because most of my dear friends are gathered under one roof sharing a meal together and what could be better than that? Couple that with delicious homemade food brought by everyone in attendance and its pretty much the best thing ever. Its by far my favorite party that Matt and I host each year. 

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Typically everyone brings a traditional Thanksgiving dish, and its nothing short of a grand feast. This year,  we decided to have Friendsgiving a little earlier than usual on November 1st since Annabelle's due date was the 23rd. We thought we were playing it safe except she was born just two days later!

I feel so blessed to have such beautiful people in my life. 

--FALL LEAVES--

We have spent a lot of time outside in this wonderful weather that the South likes to call Autumn. Southern Falls and Winters are what make the ridiculous hot summers worth it am I right? Nearly every day I'm itching to get out even if its just for a little while for some fresh, crisp air. Kolbe has found a new love jumping and playing in huge piles of leaves and since we live under what seems like 300 pine and oak trees, there is definitely no shortage of that. I kind of wish the yard would rake itself...

I love that kid. He has the wildest imagination and its so fun to play along with his daily musings. 

--FAMILY PICTURES--

We ventured to the Abbey the weekend after Thanksgiving (love that we live so close to one of my favorite places!), to take family pictures and play around a bit. Even though Kolbe was just getting over an ear infection, he was a champ for the most part and we had some fun. Thanks to my awesome friend Kelly for tagging along and snapping some fun pictures of us! Thankfully we managed a couple of good ones for our Christmas card and we lucked out with great weather too.

--CHRISTMAS TREE SHOPPING--

Last year we found a local Christmas tree farm about 15 minutes away from our house -- seriously, I love where we live =) -- and we just had to go again this year. I don't think we will ever get our tree again from a warehouse store considering how close we are to not one, but two amazing tree fams. Its just so fun to go out, pick, and cut down our own and Kolbe loved "hiding" in all the trees and helping Matt measure out the perfect one. The fact that we are supporting a local business is also an added perk! (And so is cutting down your Christmas tree in short sleeves haha)

We've been having a blast as a family of four. Even though I've definitely given myself time to rest, its also been fun to partake in all of the fall and winter fun that this season brings. Annabelle thankfully doesn't seem to mind either =)