Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Year in Review

January - We celebrated Lucas' first birthday

February - A trip to Memphis to see Nick's brother Josh, his wife Jana, and Lucas' cousin Colt

March - Lucas started walking

April - I started my wonderful friendship with Mika while walking the streets of our neighborhood

May - Another great Memorial Day weekend with ALL our family:)

June - Trip to Dallas for our 4th anniversary

July - Accepted new jobs and a trip to Florida

August - Packed up and moved to Pryor with my mom and started new jobs and a wonderful Bible study at LGFWB

September - Packed up and moved to Broken Arrow with Cassie and Callen

October - Found out Cassie and Callen were pregnant

November - A new church, a birthday and another time to be thankful

December - Work parties, Sunday school parties, new Christmas Eve traditions and a wonderful break

This year has been crazy, to say the least!  So much has changed, but through it all God taught us patience and taught us that His plan is always perfect, even if it's not what we think it should be.  We have learned to rely on Him and trust His hand.

This New Year will bring another home for us, a new season with a new baseball team, a 2-year old who will transition into a big boy bed and potty train, a new addition to the Balmos family, and so much more!  I'm excited for all this:)

I know no matter what that the Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want.  He will provide for me and mine and I'm so grateful for the loved ones in my life and the opportunities I have to show Him throughout it all.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

23 Months

I can't seem to upload any pictures without them messing up, so you won't have any pictures in this letter:(  Sorry and I will upload when I can.

December 13, 2012
Our dear Lucas,

We can't believe you are 23 months old!  You are just turning into a little boy and it's amazing to see.  Your kind spirit is contagious, but you also love testing the limits of your independence.  We love your affection and we love that you accept responsibility for your actions.  You are an amazing little boy.

You are talking so much!  You ask questions all the time and when we answer, you always repeat our answers like you are trying to soak it all in.  Your vocabulary is amazing!  Some things we didn't know you knew and you just blurt them out in a story or in a sentence and it just baffles us!!  Your favorite pastime is reading...reading...reading.  There are several stories you have memorized and it's so cute when you "read" them.  Those favorites are "If You Give a Cat a Cupcake", "The Little Mouse, The Red, Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear", "Goodnight Moon", and "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie".  You love these books and we just read the first couple of words and you do the rest!  I'm so glad you have this love.  I hope it never ends!

We celebrated Mommy's birthday and Thanksgiving this month.  You had a great time at both events.  You helped Mommy blow out her candle and you got to spend time with Cuz-aunt Megan and Cuz-uncle JD.  They just loved when they told you it was time for bed and you walked into your room with your paci, blanket and Geoffrey!  You still go to bed so easy!  We discovered this month that you are not a morning person, though.  You were used to sleeping in over Thanksgiving break and then when school started again, you didn't like us waking you up at 6:30a:(  We hate it too, but it has to be done.  We realized you need to gradually wake up on your own and we need to not try to calm you down.  You are pretty stubborn, little man, and sometimes you want to be left alone to calm down.  We are figuring this out the hard way.

You pooped in the potty twice this month!  We bought a cushy seat for the toilet and you are very interested in it.  Two times you told us "I poop" and you hadn't yet, so we rushed you in there and sat you down and you pooped in the potty!  It was pretty exciting:)

But you had your first real sickness this month, as well.  You were up all night throwing up and it was the most pitiful thing in the world.  About every 10 minutes you would get sick and cry and we knew your throat was hurting so bad, but you didn't want to drink either.  We stayed home with you on Friday from school and on Saturday you felt a little better.  Then Saturday night, Daddy got sick and on Sunday night Mommy got sick, so we all stayed home on Monday again.  I wish it was under different circumstances, but we did enjoy our time with you.  You were very snuggly and so sweet.  Ever since then, you have not pooped in the potty anymore:(

You are doing great in the nursery at our new church.  You are making several friends and so are Mommy and Daddy.  We are preparing for Christmas and doing our daily Advent calendar.  I don't know how much you understand, but we are trying to teach you the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate.  I'm excited to see how excited you get about that and Santa this year!  It will be fun and so different from last year!

We are also preparing to leave Uncle Callen and Aunt Cassie's house to move into an apartment just a few weeks before your birthday.  We are really excited and sad at the same time.  We have loved our time here and you've been such a great nephew:)  They are really excited about your new cousin coming soon and we are happy we are going to be so close.  Some big changes coming up for you!  Your second birthday, a big boy bed, no more paci, and a new home.  I know you're going to do great with all these changes and we are already so proud of you!  You are flexible and go with the flow and we are so thankful for that.  God knew we needed a baby like you during this time of our lives and we are so blessed to be your parents.

We love you so much!!!!

All our love,
Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Why are my pictures uploading like this????

Monday, November 26, 2012

22 Months

My dear sweet Lucas,

It's been two weeks since your "22-month birthday".  It's just been so crazy!  You have grown and changed so much and experienced so many new things!

We are officially in Fall now and we've done a lot of things to commemorate it!

You went to the pumpkin patch

You went to the zoo too!  You loved the penguins, the monkeys and the meerkats!  We thought you'd really like the giraffes because of Geoffrey, but you weren't all that interested:)

And we celebrated Halloween!  Last year during Halloween, you had just learned how to pull up.  This year, you walked from house to house in this neighborhood and said "Trick or Treat".  You are growing up so fast!!  

You are turning into a little boy before our very eyes!  You are taller, skinnier and stronger!  You are hilarious, sensitive, sweet, and learning to test your boundaries!  

When you get upset (like when you fall), sometimes you allow yourself to get mad too.  Then you start screaming and it's very hard to calm you down.  

You have started to eat more grown up, too.  You want to use straws and you rarely spill.  You started to dip things in sauces this month.  For example, you dipped chips in queso at Ted's and in salsa!  I couldn't believe it!  

You absolutely love green beans and you always love chicken and pasta!  Just like mama:)  You have started to like candy now, too.  You say "I want Mickey bucket" (which was your Halloween candy bucket).  We let you pick one thing from there sometimes and you always choose Snickers!  It's so funny:)  You love them.  I didn't even know you knew what they were.  When we were trick-or-treating, you would go up to a house and pick a Snickers from their basket.  You usually wouldn't even wait until they offered.  It was so funny:)

Also this month, you have started to have a fascination with shoes.  Everyone's shoes!  But, we usually just take pictures when you have women's shoes on:)

Once you put these boots on, you didn't like them anymore!

You also want to wear your own shoes all the time!  Even with your jammies:)

You can officially count to 10 now (sometimes forgetting four) and you know all your colors:)  You want to read all the time and I hope you keep that up!  It's so wonderful to see your thirst for knowledge.  I hope that continues because it makes us so proud!  You are so incredibly smart!  You play a matching game on my Kindle and you do so good!  Sometimes we just can't believe it because I have some kindergarteners who don't know some of the things you do:)

You absolutely love staying at Uncle Cal and Aunt Cassie's house and we are looking forward to the holidays!  You love each member of your family and they love you too!  Again, I know this time in our lives is crazy and I'm grateful that you are too young to remember some of the stress.  But, I hope you remember and know that you are loved so much and we are doing everything we can to provide for you and cherish each moment spent with you!

You are our pride and joy!!

All our love,
Mama and Daddy

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall Fun: Event 2

A week after we went to the fair, our dear friends from Miami came to see us!!!

Mika and Brandon brought little Hudson and we spent the day together:)  We oohed and awed over the boys, watched OU, ate yummy food and enjoyed each other's company!  We missed them so bad when we moved.  We absolutely cherish their friendship and are so thankful we can carry that friendship on even though we moved.

That evening, we had planned on dressing the boys in their Halloween costumes and taking them to the Pumpkin Patch.  We knew we might battle some rain, but when we headed out, it wasn't raining yet!  However, as soon as we pulled up to Pumpkin Town, it started:(  It was cold and yucky rain, so we just hung out in the tent and snapped a few pictures.

We milked a cow.

He was amazed by the white pumpkins!

We tried to snap some pictures of Hudson in his skeleton outfit, but he wasn't very happy about being laid in the hay:(

Lucas also loved the weird squash.  Haha:)

We kept trying to get a good picture of him with a fall background, but he just won't look at the camera!!  He'll say cheese, but then will turn away?!

This one was probably the best one.  He looks like a little boy in this one:(  Slow down, baby!!

This one is hilarious!

And this one would be so good if Nick's arm wasn't in it!

We got a couple more of Hudson, too, but this one was the best one of the background.  Poor little guy just wasn't happy.

We ended the day with a yummy dinner and said goodbye to our besties until next time!  We miss them so much!  Hope to see them again soon and have another fun day like this one!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Fun: Event 1

We have done many exciting things so far this fall season!

The first one was the Tulsa State Fair!!  Nick and I hadn't been in a few years and Lucas had never been!  Nick's mom (Gammy) came down, my mom and Tim (Mimi and Poppy) and Nick's dad and step-mom (Papa Rock and Nana) all came too:)  I was so glad he got to see all his grandparents!  That boy is loved:)

Of course, Uncle Callen and Aunt Cassie were there and my Aunt Rhonda and all my cousins:)

I don't think I got any pictures of our food, but I'll just list it off:)  Funnel cake, fried pickles, cheese on a stick, corn dogs, hot dogs (for Lucas), fried chicken and shrimp, lemonade, chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick, and a friend Snickers!  It was all delicious:)  I absolutely loved the lemonade and the fried Snickers.  The batter on the fried pickles was pretty amazing, too!

The first thing we did was head inside to see the animals.  Here's Lucas looking at the piggies!

Then the chicks.  It looks like he's getting kissed by one, but they were actually separated by glass:)

We then headed outside and Lucas and Mommy rode the carousel!  It was his first time and he really loved it:)

Then, he and Gammy rode a train/roller coaster!

He had a hot dog.  The first time to ever eat it like this:)  That is, without me tearing it into pieces!  I was so proud of him:)

Then we went back outside and Lucas and Daddy rode a shark inflatable slide!  It went really fast and they both enjoyed it!  And we took a pretty good family picture:)

The last thing we did was go inside to a kiddie area where they had a wooden horse!  He is obsessed with farm animals right now.

He had a great time, but boy was he tired afterward!  We all were.  It was pretty cold and we walked a lot!  He was such a good boy and he is so fun.  It's amazing to explore these seemingly mundane things through his eyes!  It makes it feel new and exciting!

Can't wait to make this a fall family tradition!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

21 Months

Dear Lucas,

You are now 21 months!  I cannot believe how big you are getting...please stop!  Although, it's just an amazing thing to watch you grow and change and I'm blessed that I get to do that everyday.  You are so smart and so sweet:)

This month we moved to Aunt Cassie's and Uncle Callen's!  We are much closer to school and to your sitter.  It's much easier on you in the mornings and in the afternoons.  It only takes us about 15 minutes to get places, instead of 45!!  You are absolutely loving seeing Aunt Cassie everyday.  We wish to see Uncle Callen everyday too, but he's really busy with football.  It will be over soon, though.  Speaking of football, you went with us to the Union/Jenks football game.  You loved seeing the balls and you liked hearing the bands play.

You love sitting in this chair at Aunt Cassie's and because of Mrs. Kelly's, you love to color!  On your magna doodle or with chalk:)  You have made several more crafts at Mrs. Kelly's and you are really learning your colors.  You know orange, yellow, purple, pink, white, and black really well.  Blue, green and red are hard, though.  I don't know why?!  You'll figure it out, I'm sure!!

This month your biggest change has been speaking in full sentences and being able to tell us what you want!  It's amazing.  It just started in the past few weeks.  You'll tell Mama, "I want juice" or "I want chalk" or "I want more" or "I want to go night-night".  It's amazing!  When you get home from Mrs. Kelly's with your craft, you go through and tell me everything you made.  You'll say, "Mama, I paint leaves" or "Daddy, I make a mouse".  It's precious and I hope you are always this excited to tell us what you did at school:)

You make us laugh everyday.  You get so excited about things you see or things you've played with or things you done and sometimes it's hard for you to get it out!  You're just so excited so you'll say, "I see, I see, I see, I see...BALLS!"  It's funny:)  You love exploring and you've started to love climbing.  You love bath time and you love your toys.

You have gone up to size 18-24 months in clothes and size 5 in diapers.  You are definitely getting taller and when Daddy weighed you, you weighed 25 lbs!!!  You are still sleeping great, and like it says earlier, you sometimes ask to go night-night.  You get your paci, Geoffrey and your blanket and you'll walk toward your room.  It's the sweetest thing in life.  You're just such a good boy.

We've gone to a couple of different churches since moving to BA and you've done great in the nurseries.  When we go to pick you up, they want you to stay!  They talk about what a good boy you are and how cute you are...they don't even know you and they love you.  We hope you always stay sweet and lovable.  You are learning boundaries, though, and we are trying to teach you patience.  Because you can tell us what you want, you want it right then and we are learning that important Fruit of the Spirit.

You are all boy!  You love playing outside, any type of ball, eating ice-cream, getting messy, crawling under things, riding on Daddy's shoulders, wrestling, looking at things upside-down, pumpkins, and playing peek-a-boo!!

You are sweet too, though.  You love holding Mama's hand, you say "yuv you" all the time, you give kisses and hugs without us even asking, and you still love to sit in my lap and listen to Mama sing.  Your favorite right now is "The Wheels on the Bus".  You also love helping with little chores around the house.  You always put up your chalk or another toy when you want to get a new one out, you love using the broom, and you love helping Mama move clothes from the washer to the dryer.  You're such a good helper and we hope you always keep those traits.

We know we say this in every letter, but we are so proud of you!  You are a great toddler and we are lucky to have you.  We know God entrusted your life to ours and we couldn't be more honored.  We love you so much, little man!

All our love,
Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

20 Months

**I'm really behind on all my blog posts!  I haven't done Lucas' 20 month letter and now he's 21 months!!!  I have many posts ready, but I will not try to overwhelm you with pictures all at once:)  I'll try to separate them out a little bit! **

My dear sweet Lucas,

I can't believe you are 20 months!  A lot of changes have taken place in your life this month:)

You moved to a new home...Mimi and Poppy's!!!  They absolutely loved having you and you are having a blast with them too:)

You get to eat yummy snacks

You get to act really silly

And you get to play with their toys

**I don't know why some of these pictures are small?**

You also started a new sitter.  You love her and so do we:)  You color everyday, you play so hard, you learn so much!  You have learned to count to 10 and you know so many of your colors:)  It's amazing!  You are just talking so much!

You are still wearing the same size diapers and clothes, but I have a feeling that will change soon.  You are growing like a weed!  You still don't eat many vegetables, so we have started giving you veggie pouches and you love them.  You call them "applesauce"!  Haha:)

You are still sleeping great.  Ms. Kelly (your sitter) says you don't use your paci and you sleep on a mat.  I cannot imagine this!  I think at home you'd roll all over the place, but I guess since all the other kids sleep like that, so do you!  You're such a sweet angel!

Mommy's new school starts at 7:20a, so I have to get you up at 6a!  We leave the house at 6:15a and get home about 4:30p!  It makes for such a long day:(  You are taking it like a champ, though.  Sometimes dinner time is tricky.  You are hungry when we get home at 4:30p, but if we give you a snack at that time, you don't want to eat much dinner.  We need to figure something out.  Hopefully this won't last too much longer.  Uncle Callen and Aunt Cassie just moved into their house and they want us to move in.  We'll give them some time to get settled, then we'll head that way:)  It will be easier on you and you transition so well, I know it'll be good.

You still love Mickey Mouse, you still love your books, you still love your puzzles, and you still love playing outside.  We water flowers with Mimi every night and you run all over the yard!  You usually end up coming in with your clothes all wet:)  You love taking baths in Mimi and Poppy's special bathtub and you still love Mommy to sing to you at night.

Mommy and Daddy just love going on this journey with you.  I know it's a little crazy right now, but it won't last long!  We will find a home of our very own soon, little man.  This too shall pass.

Until then, we are living each day to it's fullest and eating you up!  You are a special little boy and we are so thankful for your little life.  We love you so much and are so proud of you.

All our love,
Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 Years Ago

11 Years Ago, I was in high school.

11 Years Ago, I was still grieving the loss of my daddy.

11 Years Ago, I was about to be crowned home-coming queen.

11 Years Ago, I was learning to live with just Mom and Cassie.

11 Years Ago, I was in Biology when my teacher got a call.

11 Years Ago, I was in Biology when my teacher turned on the T.V.

11 Years Ago, I thought the pilot of a plane had fallen asleep at the wheel or had a heart attack.

11 Years Ago, I was in Biology when we watched a second plane hit.

11 Years Ago, I walked to Physics in shock.

11 Years Ago, I was in Physics when the towers fell.

11 Years Ago, my mom left school in a hurry to get me gas.

11 Years Ago, I sat in class after class glued to the T.V.

11 Years Ago, I was scared...

11 Years Ago, I didn't know the future.

Now I sit 11 years later, typing this in my mom's house with a husband, a little boy, a house for sale in a different town...I still don't know the future.

I am confident that God delivers time and time again.  He provides and He is my Refuge.  He loves me and He cares for me.

I'll trust in that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

19 Months

****Sorry for the overload of pictures!  I combined his 19 month letter with our trip to Florida;)

Oh sweet Lucas,

How time has flown?!  We can't believe you are over 1 1/2 years old!!!  It just doesn't seem real.  In a huge way, we want time to slow down, but you are just too much fun.  You are growing and learning faster than we can think and you just amaze us:)

We can't even count how many words you know!  We tried one day and we got over a hundred and we forgot so many!  It's just mind-blowing.  You are putting sentences together, you point to what you want and actually say the word instead of just grunting and whining, and you are starting to use some manners, which is amazing.  You say "more, please" and "thank you" and your little voice is just so cute.  We love it:)

You are really tall.  A lot of your 12-18 month shirts are getting too short!  You take after Momma though with your short legs.  Your 12-18 month jeans are just right now:)  You are still a little finicky about your meals though.  If you eat a good lunch, you won't eat a good dinner.  If you don't eat a good lunch, you eat a great dinner!  That isn't always the case, though.  Some days we can't feed you enough!  You still love cookies, teddy grahams, fruit snacks and fig newtons for snacks.  You will always eat chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, turkey, applesauce, yogurt and bananas too.  You have also learned to love mandarin oranges and pineapples.  If you see french fries or chips first, you won't eat anything else!!!  We had a rough time at Applebees because of this very thing.  From then on, we decided to not order fries or to just have our waitress bring them out later on during the meal:)  Oh the things we will do to make you happy!!!

You are still sleeping great.  Going to bed at 7:30p and waking up at 7:30a (sometimes 8a)!!  You don't sleep well in a pack 'n play anymore, but you are just getting bigger so I'm sure it's not near as comfortable.  We're with ya, though, we sleep much better in our own bed too:)

You still love reading books, throwing balls (mostly with your right hand), playing with your farm animals, and doing puzzles and toys.  You absolutely love to play outside!!!!  You want to be out there all day every day.  You love to step in puddles (when it happens to rain), you love to pop bubbles, you love to run, you love to chase Jovie, you love to run through the sprinkler and take drinks out of the hose, you love to "water" flowers.  You're such a boy and it's just great!

Two big events that happened this month for you were a big vacation and a big move!  We drove 16 hours to Florida for a vacation with Daddy's family!  Papa, Nana, Uncle Josh, Aunt Jana, cousin Colt, Aung Megan, Uncle Bo and lots of other aunts, uncles and cousins:)

You absolutely loved the sand!!!!!!!  You would just sit in it and pick some up with your hands and pour it all over you:)  It was awesome.  We were a little worried about it, but you took to it like a champ!

You did great in the car, too.  You watched a lot of "Mickey Mouse" and we practiced words in your 100 book, but we were surprised to see you knew most of them already:)

You had so much fun with cousin Colt while we were there!  You guys would just stare at each other and laugh at each other and follow each other around:)  I couldn't quit taking pictures!!

You even kissed each other:)  Well, Colt kissed you!  But you definitely kissed back!  It's just so sweet your love for each other.  I can't wait to watch it grow:)

Some other highlights of our trip were:

flying a kite!

licking the cinnamon roll spoon with Noah!

reading books with Nana and Owen!

 and just being with family:)

You made our trip so special and wonderful!  We hope to take many with you just like that one!

At the end of our trip, we did something extra fun when we stayed the night with your Great-Uncle Greg, Great-Aunt Debby, cousin Melissa;)  We even got to see cousins Kim and Steve!  You had a great time:)  We don't get to see them very often, so we take any chance we can!

We had such a great time with you, and we always have a great time with you!  We hope you know just how much fun you make our life.  You give us meaning and purpose and we thank you for that!

These past few weeks since Florida have been extra crazy.  Mommy and Daddy got new jobs, so we moved out of the house we brought you home to and moved in with Mimi and Poppy for now.  We were sad to leave our friends and the little friends you have, but we think this is best for now.  We are doing this for you because we are constantly thinking of your future.  We want it to be bright and good and we think this is a step in the right direction.  You are adjusting beautifully.  You love Poppy (because he gives you lots of marshmallows) and you love cuddling with Mimi.  You are also doing great at your new sitter, Mrs. Kelly.  You are drawing, coloring, painting and doing lots of playing outside.  You are also taking great naps (on mats and sometimes without your paci!).  So proud of you:)

You are such a good boy and so easy:)  We pray constantly for your continued obedience and continued easy-going personality.  You are the bright part of our day and we just love you to pieces!!

We thank God everyday for giving us you!!

All our love,
Mommy and Daddy