(tristan took this picture a few days ago)
ava's first open-mouthed, delighted smiles accompanied by her little voice cooing and squealing as she basks in the glow of our attention.
the way tristan absolutely adores his little sister. while pretending to listen to daddy's heartbeat the other day with his toy stethoscope, he said, "daddy, your heart says beep....beep....beep". daddy was holding ava, so tristan decided to listen to her heart next. "and ava's heart is saying, cute.....cute....cute"
samuel's insistence on wearing hand-me-down cowboy boots that are too big even for tristan, and staggering around the backyard with his cowboy hat on saying "haw! haw!" (his version of yee haw, which sounds more like a baby crow.)
the evening walks that i've started taking ava on while wearing her, in my sometimes futile attempt to keep her evening fussiness at bay. last night i walked with her for over an hour around the neighborhood as the sun set and just enjoyed the way a hush seemed to fall over the town as the dusk deepened....seeing families gather around the table through windows still left open, hearing snatches of conversations through screen doors and noticing the wide variety of television shows watched on flickering screens.
my husband's hand encompassing mine on our way to church; a bit of comfort while trying to keep my over-emotional and exhausted tears at bay.
tristan's thoughts on heaven: "mommy, i don't want to go to heaven." "why not?" "because i don't want to see all of those people up there. i'll be shy of them.....but i won't be shy of God and Jesus because i already know those guys."
smelling the top of my last baby's head, wondering vaguely how long that baby smell lasts before its gone forever?
how samuel repeats every.single.thing his older brother says and mimicking every.single.thing his older brother does to the point where tristan explodes, "STOP copying me samuel!!!!" and i gently try to explain once more how samuel thinks tristan is so cool and how he wants to be just like him, which doesn't seem to lessen tristan's annoyance.
the way josh holds his daughter in his arms.
for these things i am thankful; these are my blessings.