Welcome to the blog for baby Engelman – otherwise now known as Oliver. Check back every now and then for more information on Oliver’s story. If you’d like to leave a comment just click on the title for that particular post.
Oliver turned one about five months ago and one of the best parts about his age is he has no idea when his actual birthday is. So … we can celebrate it when it’s convenient for us. Sounds terrible doesn’t it? I have to admit that his lack of understanding in this area made it easier for us to push his party back a few weeks. Annie’s mom wanted to make sure that we gave him some semblance of a celebration near his birthday so Annie’s parents & brother came over for dinner the day after. They brought with them the tiny little cake that you see in the above pictures. Annie’s mom wanted to give Oliver a cake to use as a “trial run” before his birthday party. Looking back on it now it seems like he tore into this “trial run” cake a lot more than his actual birthday cake :) Enjoy the pictures!
One of the best parts about living in Florida is going to the beach and watching the sunsets. Back in March of this year Annie and I along with Oliver of course had a picnic at the beach of Honeymoon Island. My brother in law, Erik came along with his son Jonah and we had a great time. Oliver spent a majority of the time eating the sand & trying to play with Jonah. It was a little bittersweet though because we knew that my sister Abby, Erik & Jonah were going to be moving away soon. Each passing day meant we were that much closer to them leaving and no longer having the chance to hang out like we once did. So this post goes out to Abby, Erik and Jonah. We miss you guys!
I know it’s been a long time since our last post and even longer since I last posted anything on this blog. Right now my wife is in another country and my son is being cared for by Annie’s parents so I have more free time at home and thought it would be a good idea to try and catch up on some posts. It’s amazing how quickly and easily life can get you so busy that you don’t seem to have time for the little things. Lately, I have really been trying to focus more on the moments of each day and just really try to soak in the memories. I’ve been enjoying coming home from work to be greeted by my beautiful wife and son. One of my favorite moments is when Oliver is getting a bath. The above pictures were taken about 4 months ago & amazingly enough I think Oliver has just grown taller not any wider. At this point he was just really starting to enjoy bathtime. Now he loves it so much he constantly does the “sign” for bath. If he even sees Annie or I go near the bathroom door he immediately tries to follow us in there and cries if we don’t give him a bath at that moment. Needless to say he has cried a lot because there are only so many times he can get a bath. Anyways, the whole point of this post is I guess a reminder to myself as well as to anyone else who takes the time to read it that life is all about the moments. It’s important to realize what’s going on and focus on being there. I know I sometimes get in the place where I just zone out by watching tv or something, but I don’t think that’s what God has called us to do in this life. So if you have children yourself or just have someone in your life that you really love and care about please take the time to be with them not just in the same room but physically and emotionally. Hopefully I can learn this principle myself.
Jon and I sat down tonight to talk about our new budget and creative ways to save money as our income will take a dive due to school being out for the summer, and many thoughts were racing through my head. I have spent so much time worrying about the situation that we now find ourselves in – my school job being done, and most likely not a job that I will return to in the fall. As we have been nearing this time, I have spent so much time being frightened about this inevitable difficulty that was coming upon us, which I felt no ability to control. God has been teaching me so much the past couple of years about trusting in His provision – not our paychecks, our schemes or ideas, the money in our account, but Him as our ultimate provider because everything we have is the result of Him allowing it. I have focused on the verse in Matthew where Jesus tells us, commands us not to worry. Do not worry about tomorrow, He says, because each day has enough trouble of its own. It is when I start to think about all the tomorrows in our future that the panic wells up inside of me as I focus on all the many, many details that I feel helpless to control and plan for. I think that worry is one of those things that gets pawned off as a normal human emotion, but I feel that this is an area of my life that I have not realized up until this point is a major contributor to the lack of joy in my life. I feel extremely challenged right now, as we are praying, trying to be wise, and pursuing work opportunities where we can – that ultimately it is not my burden to carry and that right now, God is challenging me to trust – not in my sight, my plans, but in Him and only Him. He has never failed me yet and has done so much more in my life than I could ever, ever deserve, but yet it is still so hard to relinquish this burden to Him and return to the simplicity of a child that knows that her Father will provide, he will take care of her. After all, how can the Lord receive glory unless we allow Him to work in our lives? I am thankful for the opportunity to be stripped down and to have my heart drawn back to the Lord, as I choose to trust in Him.
there are many saturday mornings that my wonderful husband will be the first to get up and take care of oliver so that i can sleep in a little bit longer. i am always very appreciative of any extra sleep in the morning (although jon could really use the extra sleep also!), but many times i find a whole photo session that happened before i even got out of bed. jon has been the dominant photographer since oliver was born, and it is something that i am so thankful for! he has been able to capture so many amazing moments that we will be able to look back on, so i wanted to share a few of them from one saturday morning in february. i love looking through all the moments of playtime that they share together and am thankful that oliver has such a wonderful daddy to play with.
also, oliver has thoroughly enjoyed playing peek-a-boo with us for the past couple months, and loves instigating it with us while he hides behind the curtains. so, jon was able to take pictures of a few of those moments as well.
oliver’s birthday has now come and gone, but we still have his birthday party to look forward to! due to scheduling conflicts with my parents going out of town, easter weekend, and a wedding of a close friend, we had to push his party back to april 17th. i think it actually worked out better for me so i could have more time in planning. however, since it was so far off, we had a small celebration on march 25th with my parents at our place. we all had dinner together and then nana (my mom) brought ollie a special treat in honor of his birthday. i guess it could be the practice run for him before the real deal at his party. so, here are a few photos of him enjoying his birthday treat and the inevitable mess that followed. it was not easy for me to watch food get smeared everywhere, and this is an area of control that will be difficult for me to let go of! we will definitely share pics from his party, but until then here are a few of his first birthday celebration.
Well here it is now just about April and we are trying to get somewhat caught up on blog posts again. I honestly have no idea how people consistently keep adding posts in the midst of all the craziness of life and have gained a new respect for anyone that can keep that up. Anyways, we thought it would be a good idea to post some photos of Oliver’s first Christmas on this earth. He had a great time playing with his presents – that is before they were opened. I think he actually liked the boxes, bows & wrapping paper a little bit more than the gifts but that was fine with us. Oliver also really seemed to enjoy the Christmas tree and showed his excitement for the tree by trying to gnaw on the branches and pull on ornaments.
This past Christmas was a really nice time for Annie and I because we have been blessed to have family in the area so we were able to spend some time with both families on Christmas eve and Christmas day. The only downside is by the end of the holiday we are pretty pooped from going back and forth, but it’s good to see friends and family during the holidays especially.
It was very surreal watching some of the festivities and seeing my son crawling around everywhere – realizing that 9 months had come and gone so quickly. It seemed like it was just yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital. It’s funny as a kid I always remember hearing grown ups – especially the older ones – talk about how quickly time goes. They would come up to me and squeeze my face and say something like – “Wow! You are getting so big! Wasn’t it just a little while ago that you couldn’t even walk?” or something to that effect. I always thought it was strange until now. Since having a child it seems like I’ve entered some type of time warp and everything has sped up. I know it’s only going to feel like time is going by faster but it’s still an odd concept to me.
Ultimately, though I am thankful for the year that has passed and for the years ahead with our family. Merry very late Christmas everyone!