November is the real start of the holiday season, and I LOVE IT!!!! Between the family visits, delicious food, and gracious attitude, November sparks something is people. It seems that we are all much more aware of our blessings and we are willing to be a little more patient and kind to those around us.
Andrew, Grace, Cali, and I drove down to California to spend 2 glorious weeks with my family and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. My parent's house was filled to the brim, bursting with 3 babies, 3 dogs, a toddler, and lots of Thanksgiving energy.
It was so wonderful to have the whole gang home together in California, and we definitely packed in the fun. The boys went to a Duck's hockey game; the girls went out for breakfast and reflexology massages. We watched movies, blasted music, cooked the most amazing turkey we have ever tasted, and caught up with extended family.
We were also able to get some family pictures taken. It is amazing to think about how much has changed in just one year. These new babies have brought so much joy into our family
Our last big event of November occurred at the end of our California trip. We were able to spend a day at Disneyland and introduce Gracie to all the Disney magic. She is still a little young to appreciate it, but it still was so much fun. There is something especially magical about Disney during the holidays (although I do have to admit that the holiday fireworks show was a complete dud). We took our fair share of pictures (as you can see below). It was the perfect ending to a great trip.
"Thank you for loving me."
I think sometimes we forget that love is a choice.
It isn't something that we just fall into. Falling denotes a lack of agency, a lack of decision making. And yet that is what many movies and media portray for the ideal romance.
But I think it is far more romantic to CHOOSE love. And I know that is what Andrew means when he says, "Thank you for loving me." He is saying:
I think our marriages and relationships would be so much stronger if we contentiously and purposefully CHOSE to love every day. This is something that I have learned from my husband.
"You're my best friend."
Andrew will often say this to me in the most random moments, and it makes my heart swell with so much love. I think this phrase goes hand in hand with the last one: we have chosen to be best friends.
Not just friends. BEST FRIENDS. We go to each other instead of other family members or past best friends to talk about our deepest hopes, plans, fears, successes, and failures.
I am really close to my mom; in fact, I talk to her every day and tell her practically everything. But I remember a piece of advice she gave me when I first got married. She said, "Don't tell me everything. Don't tell me the fights and frustrations. You and Andrew will have disagreements and you will be tempted to tell me or another close friend to find support. I would hear the negative accounts and I'd probably be on your side, but then I wouldn't be able to see the reconciliation. You and Andrew would make up, but I would be left with a negative feeling towards Andrew. He doesn't deserve that. Let your conflicts be between you two. Work through them as a couple rather than as individuals trying to find support from other friends or family."
That advice has been so valuable. To be honest, Andrew and I hardly fight. But of course there are the moments of impatience or miscommunication. While I have sometimes wanted to tell my mom or another girlfriend about my frustrations, I have remembered this counsel and have chosen to work through these moments with Andrew by my side. These deep and personal conversations have strengthened our relationship. He really is my best friend.
"What can I do for you?"
Our marriage is formed on a foundation of loving service. (We were actually counseled about this in our marriage ceremony.) Andrew always looks for ways he can help make my life a little more enjoyable. Whether it's putting a blanket over me in the middle of the night so that I don't get cold, helping me wash the seemingly endless piles of dirty dishes, or rubbing my back after a frustrating day, Andrew excels at showing me his love by serving me.
We just took the love languages quiz a week ago, and it comes as no surprise that one of my top love languages is Acts of Service. Especially after having a baby, these helpful acts really make me feel appreciated. Andrew helps me with Grace all the time, and it makes parenthood even that much more enjoyable. I am so lucky to be married to a man who speaks so clearly to be about his love through his actions.
I love going through this crazy life with my best friend and love of my life.
Thank you for 3 beautiful years, Andrew. I am so happy I get to go through this life and forever hand in hand with you. I love you.
I have been thinking lately about the little things. The ones that seem so insignificant, and yet they hold so many memories or emotions attached to them. These little things are often the first things we forget, so I wanted to record a few of them here on my blog.
Every parent will tell you that bed time routines are important. It doesn't really matter what is part of your routine, as long as you have one and it helps signal to your little one that it is time to sleep for the night.
Our bedtime routine for Grace includes dimming the lights, changing her diaper, rubbing good-smelling lotion on her, putting her in her pjs, and one last bottle before bed.
But then, I always sing to her 3 songs:
These three songs are significant to me. I have fond memories of each.
The first one my dad would sing to me and my siblings when we were young. He would draw out the "ara....ña" (spider) part, and we'd giggle in anticipation until he would finish suddenly and poke us jokingly in the stomach. I love my dad and his Cuban heritage. It is fun for me now to add a little spanish to Grace's vocabulary as I sing her this song each night. Plus, the catchy tempo makes it a great song to tap out the rhythm on Grace's back as I try to get her to burp after eating.
The second song reminds me of my mom. I remember laying in bed and asking her to sing "You are my Sunshine" to me before tucking me in for the night. Even though the second verse is surprisingly sad (I had to teach it to Andrew, and he thought it was thoroughly depressing), I grew up listening to my mom sing it with such love. Now I get to sing it to my own daughter, and I hope she feel how much I truly love her. Grace really is my sunshine.
Right before singing the last song, we say a little family prayer. Then I sing "I am a Child of God". This song warms my heart, as I think of teaching my little baby about her heavenly heritage. I always want Grace to know how much I love her, but even more importantly, I want her to know that her Heavenly Father knows her and loves her. This song helps me teach this to her from a young age.
Well, hello there. It's been a little while since I last gave an update on our lives. So here is an overview on October in the Macey household.
On October 14, my little brother and his wife had a baby boy: Taj. Of course, that meant that my entire family either flew or drove into Utah from California. At one point, we had 7 extra people sleeping in our house: my parents, my little sister, my brother, his wife, and their 2 kids.
Family is the most important thing to me, and it kills me sometimes to know that I live so far from most of them. It is definitely a comfort to have family on Andrew's side close by, but sometimes you just need a mom hug...and that is difficult to do when you live hundreds of miles apart.
So having my family in town and celebrating a new baby was definitely a highlight of October.
But then poor Gracie got the worst case of diaper rash I've ever seen on her. Low moment. Poor thing would cry out every time we changed her diaper, and both Andrew and I were at a loss of what to do. But once again, family came through. Andrew's sister is a freaking miracle worker! She called us with a step-by-step plan of how to combat the diaper rash. I am sooo grateful that she shared her wealth of knowledge with us. In just a few days, the diaper rash was gone and my happy baby was her smiley self again.
In other news, we are still trying to get used to being a family of 3 +dog. Our puppy, Cali, is really sweet and well behaved. She is so smart (sometimes too smart), and it's fun trying to train her. She is scared of everything (but, seriously!) and wants to explore on her terms. In just the few weeks we've had her, she has already grown so much!
Cali and Grace are also starting to become better friends. I am watchful of their interactions since Cali still loves to nip at hands and feet, but I can tell that they are fond of one another. It's especially comical when Cali sits on Grace. Luckily, she doesn't weigh much. Cali hates to hear Gracie cry during tummy-time, so she usually tries to give Gracie puppy kisses to distract her.
And then who can talk about October without mentioning Halloween?! The week before Halloween, we had 3 parties 3 days in a row.
The first party was hosted by Andrew's work, Fidelity. We weren't expecting much, but it ended up being so much fun! There were games, music, face painters and balloon artists, magicians, pumpkin painting, a Scales-and-Tales show, and a ton of food trucks to choose from. We had an awesome time!
The next day we went to our church Fall Festival party, and the day after that we attended a family Halloween party. But my favorite part of all of it was dressing up with my family. We thought long and hard about what we wanted to be. In the end, we chose: Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf, and Grandma. Everyone agreed: our costumes were a hit.
On Halloween, we spent the evening with our friends, Rachel and Shawn. We had dinner, made caramel apples, played games, and judged trick-or-treaters on their respect levels :) Haha. (PSA: Teach your children to say "Thank you!")
So that wraps up our October. It's pretty crazy how fast time flies; I can hardly believe it is the end of the year and we have Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner!
Andrew and Maichael
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