Sock Monkey Birthday

We were blessed to celebrate our little monkey's 1st birthday on saturday and we had so much fun!  A friend of mine took pictures and i'm hoping she got better ones than me because mine are not great! ha!  But there was friends, food, & lots of fun!  Here are a few of the pics i got.....

cupcakes & balloons!



pinata buckets

food table

cute high chair banner & birthday hat

tissue poms & gifts

waiting to start pinata

birthday boy goes 1st! he couldn't have cared less about the pinata! he took his turn & then went and played until there was candy involved and then came back to load up on candy! :)

look what i got mommy!

opening presents! he didn't even open all of them! ha! he totally lost interest!

the best pic i got of me & my little birthday monkey, which clearly isn't saying much! ha!

that hat lasted all of 5 seconds and we had to work hard to distract him for that long so we could get a picture!

My girlfriend took all of the pictures of him eating his cupcake but he was SO tired after not taking a morning nap and he looked like he was going to fall asleep the whole time!  I had so much fun planning and preparing for this!!  And i have to say that i really have the BEST friends. There was a knock on my door at 11pm friday night and there stood Ashley & Veronica who just showed up to help me finish getting things ready for the party!  Any friend who can embrace my ocd procrastinating ways is the best in my book!  What a blessing this little monkey boy is and we had a blast celebrating him!

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
~Psalm 19:14~


Happy Birthday!

Our baby boy turned 1 today! This little boy is pure joy. His smile lights up a room and his giggles warm my heart. His brothers are completely enamored with him. His daddy and I are head over heels in love with him. He gets away with more than he should because really? With a grin like that its so hard to be upset with him! He is ALL boy ~ he loves to play ball and rough house with his big brothers. He is our little answer to so very many prayers and i cannot imagine our family without him! I've spent so much time looking through pictures of the last year and its soooo hard but here are a few of my favorites......

2 months

oh.my.word. i miss this!

really starting to smile big and interact more!

such a happy boy!

ready to hit the pool!

happy birthday boy after his morning nap!

at 12month well baby appt ~ 23lbs 11oz & 31.25 inches

Dr.Maano says i'm doing great! =)
We are very excited to celebrate our little monkey with friends on saturday at his party!  Hard to believe how fast he's growing up but such a blessing to watch him learn and grow each day! 

Children are a gift from the Lord;  they are a reward from him.
~Psalm 127:3~


laughter is the best medicine....

it's been quite a morning with the littlest person here in the miculka home!  i laugh at him when i probably really shouldn't but sometimes?  its the better option.  i could get frustrated and upset or i can laugh.  so i choose laughter because you know how the saying goes and i find it to be so true ~ laughter really is the best medicine!

first dylan found a can of olives.  still haven't figured out where because the pantry was closed when i checked. (my assumption was that he had gotten into the pantry but nope!) so random.  in our home we call him baby hulk ~ he's crazy strong. he threw the can of olives (trying to be playful) and hit colby in the face. i laughed.  not my proudest mommy moment but seriously??  there was something so hilarious about seeing this little dude chunk a can of olives that far!  i quickly apologized to colby for laughing but then he started laughing too.  (remember?  its the best medicine)

a few minutes later i was on the phone with veronica laughing about dylan and his not so 11 month old tendencies when he walks into the living room with 1/2 a roll of paper towels. ummmm....he can't reach the open roll of paper towels so time to investigate. i walk around the corner and find this....

awesome. cue the laughter!  hang up with veronica and walk around into the kitchen and realize it isn't just one roll that he has had fun with......

its two. i really don't even think the pictures do it justice.  there was ALOT of paper towels everywhere. {sigh} dylan quickly realizes he's done something he wasn't supposed to so he begins cleaning up.....

this dude cracks me up!  of course the attention span of an 11 month old is approximately 11 seconds so he quickly forgot all about cleaning up and left me to it! i was almost finished when i looked up and saw this.....

look at that little smirk!  he KNOWS he isn't supposed to be in the pantry but i guess the door didn't get closed all the way and mommy was busy so why not!  how could you not laugh with that sweet little face looking back at you??!  at this point i figured it best to just head into the play room with him and get him busy playing instead of getting into trouble.  accept that no more than one minute later he brought me a nerf dart looking like this....

the top of it gone.  looking suspiciously like it was bitten off.  fantastic.  dig in his mouth but if he bit it off then he had already swallowed it. {sigh}  ask the big boys to watch him for a few minutes while i call the nurses hotline and make sure its not something i need to take him in for! (i know this is my 3rd child but i seriously feel like a 1st time mom with him sometimes!)  get the all clear...just watch him closely for the rest of the day and watch his stools for the next couple of days. right as i'm hanging up the phone the big boys call for me from dylan's room and i walk in to find this......

this was all before 8am. oh dylan.  never a dull moment!  he was so proud of himself and he's just so darn cute about being mischievous!!  i  must say that as a mommy that its so true ~ laughter really is the best medicine and i'm so thankful that God blesses me with the ability to laugh my way thru these tiring mornings with my sweet little handful!  i'm also very grateful for nap time! ;)

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
~Isaiah 40:29~



....we just have to do what we have to do.  i'm learning this in totally new ways with dylan.  he's active ~ like crazy active, climbing, practically running and he isn't even one yet!  he doesn't even stop moving in his sleep!  we sometimes have to go in there and lay him back down because he sits up/stands up in his sleep and then starts crying like he is confused.  at his 9 month well baby appt, our doctor just looked at me about half way thru and said (and i quote because i will never forget her face!) "i'm impressed that he's even gaining weight as active as he is. i don't know how you do this all day everyday!"  well....it takes alot of groceries to keep him gaining weight ~ the boy can EAT!  And?  here is photographic evidence of one way that i am able to atleast get something accomplished sometimes......

why yes....that would be dylan in his stroller in the playroom today.  I really really wanted to dust and vacuum and he wasn't having any of it.  and?  when he was over the blocks i gave him food to occupy him.  (the highchair is another good one....that's where he is when i am loading/unloading the dishwasher!) don't judge me please! ;)  sometimes a mommy's just gotta do what a mommy's gotta do!  and to answer the pediatrician's question ~ how do i do it all day everyday?  how could i not?!  i wouldn't trade it for the world!  i see times like this......

and my heart smiles.  it is such a sweet blessing to be mommy to these 3!  there is an insane amount of energy/activity and noise in our home and i wouldn't trade it for anything!  thru the exhaustion, the bickering, the pre teen hormones (whew!), thru it all i remind myself that i will miss this.  my mother in law always tells john and i...."these are the best days of your lives"....and most days i believe her! ;)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
~Galatians 6:9~



This evening we got together with some friends to surprise our good friend Veronica for her 30th birthday!!  She sure didn't make it very easy on her hubby and he ended up having to tell her about 20 minutes before hand but we'll forgive her since its her birthday week!! ;)  As always, it was crazy & loud with 10 kiddos running around but we always have a great time!

 {The girls ~ ashley, me, veronica(the bday girl!) & jill ~ girlfriends are such a blessing!}

 {the boys ~ john, grant, darren & josh ~ they just love to have their picture taken! ;)}

 {we were all laughing b/c the boys were causing trouble!}

 {brayden & a few of the little boys playing}

 {our little dylan has a ball in his hands more often than not! football, soccer, basketball....he doesn't care!}

{me & Gavin ~ i was at the hospital an hour after he was born and he's been my little buddy ever since!  he's trying to give me bunny ears! =) }

I meant to get more pictures of all the kiddos but it just didn't happen this time!  We're so grateful to have such wonderful friends to do life with! 

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
~Hebrews 3:13~


Happy Birthday America!

4th of July has always been a special holiday to me!  Growing up with both parents in the military meant that there was always a special respect for this amazing country and all that goes into protecting her freedom.  The food, fireworks, & fun have just always been a deep rooted celebration of all that being an American really means. 

{i pray they grow to understand how blessed we are to celebrate July 4th & what it really means!}

And then i grew up and married a man in uniform. (which i always swore i would never do....haha!)  And now?  This holiday means even more.  Close to 2 years of our almost 8 years of marriage has been spent apart while he was away protecting every freedom we all enjoy.  Its an honor and privelege in my book that God has called me to the role of a military wife.  That i get to support my husband as he works so very hard every single day, home or deployed, he works so hard!  As do the majority of those he's blessed to serve alongside! 

{colby snapped a quick pic of us! gotta love the end of the day tired, no more make up look....;)}

Part of the military life is that most of the time you don't have family nearby to spend holidays with which can be a bummer at times.  But God has been faithful to bless us with great friends at each duty station and we got to celebrate with some of those friends yesterday!  We bbq'ed, ate, laughed, & let the kiddos run wild!!  Everyone headed home before dark because the babies were getting tired, so we got Dylan to bed and then headed outside to do some small fireworks w/ the big boys!

  {the babies ~ Dylan (11months), Kara (12months) & Bryce (16months)}

 {silly boys watching the fireworks}

{sparkler wars!}

It was a fun filled day of reflection on why we celebrate and what it is that we're celebrating!  God bless this great country and each & every soldier, sailor and airman that sacrifice so very much to defend and protect our freedom!!

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
~Galatians 5:13~


Summer Fun

We've been having lots of fun in the sun and out of the sun too ~ it's HOT here.  and so so so humid.  i grew up in texas and i thought i knew what humidity was.  nope!  pensacola has taught me a thing or two about humidity like a) its miserable.  b) its acutally possible for your skin to almost never be dry!  c) layering a tank under ANYTHING you wear is a must because you aren't going to walk from the house to the car without sweating. gross.  d) did i mention its miserable?  always learning i tell ya! ;)

I haven't been great about taking pictures....boo!  One more thing about getting back to blogging is i'm hoping to get back to taking more everyday pictures.  as much as i love pictures of major events/milestones, i so love to look back at pictures of our everyday life!  We've been at the beach, swimming, bowling, playing in the sprinkler & with water guns in the front yard.......just having fun!

 {water fun & popsicles w/ friends!}

 {getting ready to go swim at a friends house!}

 {getting a picture of all 3 where you can actually see their faces? not so easy! ;)}

 {fun @ the beach!}

{i can't get enough of this little guy! he's so much fun!}

One of the many downsides of living on the gulf coast in summer is hurricane season.  we have been so blessed the last 3 summers to not really have seen any tropical "action" come this way!  this year has started off a little crazy already!!  tropical storm debbie threatened to mess with us but thankfully ended up not hitting us at all.  but she did stir up some fun waves!  the water here is really tame ~ little to no waves. (as you can see in the pic above!)  we headed out to the beach to check out the "storm water" when debbie was brewing and here's what we found......

 {a little rough out there.....}

 {i could have stood there and watched forever......there was something calming about the roar of the water!}

{and a pic of littlest just because!}

I'm not a big fan of the heat, humidity, bugs....what's that?  you couldn't have guessed??....i know, i know!  but i am so grateful for 3 bouncing boys that help me to see summer on the gulf coast in a more positive light and they inspire me to find ways to enjoy it.  this is after all exactly where God has us for now!

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.      ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18~