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it is very hard for me to believe that it was one year ago today that oliver came into our lives and has been over and beyond what we ever could have asked for in a son!  i had no idea how much i would fall in love with him and how easily my heart would ache each time he is unhappy or hurts himself (which continues to be more frequent lately).  he is such a ray of sunshine in our lives, and i feel such a peace being his mom.  each day, i love watching him learn new things, figure out new games or even find something completely random to laugh over and over about.  jon is great at finding the most random things to make oliver laugh like crazy.  it has definitely been a year full of its own challenges as we learn about being parents for the first time and all the unknowns and stresses that go along with it……but it has been a really amazing year for us.  i love seeing oliver grow and develop into his own little person, and we are excited to enter each new phase with him as he continues to grow (some phases more than others, though:)).  we are also very thankful for all the love, support, and encouragement that we have from our friends and families.  we are better parents because of it, and at times, ‘sane’ parents because of it.  so, here’s to many more years with our oliver, but we are grateful for the time that the Lord has given us so far!

annie

So I’ve learned that as a parent of a small child most people feel like they can come up to you and say just about anything about your child without really thinking. It seems to be a slight continuation of the pattern Annie experienced when she was pregnant. Total strangers sometimes would come up to her to try to rub her belly and ask her questions about the pregnancy. Some people would say things that could have been taken as offensive but Annie was pretty gracious during that time. Anyways with Oliver now like I said we’ve seen a similar thing happen and after a while certain phrases can become kind of old to hear time after time like – Wow he’s tiny! Is he a midget? Do you ever feed him? etc. Well Oliver has always been a little guy ever since he was born. We actually had to wake him up to eat sometimes and now that he’s on formula he hasn’t really gained a lot of weight. He looks especially tiny next to his cousin who is on the larger and taller side for kids of his age but Annie and I are just enjoying how small he is. One of the best things about him being so small is that he can fit into just about anything. In fact I was considering having a series of pictures where we just took him and had him sit inside of all sorts of objects for fun.  The above pictures should give you a small sample of how little he was at the time the pictures were taken. Which was a few days after thanksgiving last year when he was 8 months old if you were wondering.  The funny part about the above pictures was Oliver had been crawling around and getting into all sorts of things so I thought I would empty out his train toy bin and see how he would like sitting inside. He sat there for a long time just content to play with the few pieces left inside and we actually had to take him out to get him to bed before he actually started crying & then at that point he didn’t want to leave so that caused him to cry. He’s been such an easy child to deal with and take care of – so we have definitely been blessed. Hopefully that continues :)

Jonathan

Hey everybody! I know it’s about 3 months late but I hope you enjoy some of the pictures from our family get together on Thanksgiving day this past year. Annie and I are truly blessed because both of our extended families live in the area so we get to hang out with a lot of our close relatives and eat a lot of great food. In fact we get thanksgiving meals with my family for lunch & then with Annie’s for dinner and I must say thanksgiving twice is nice! Annie and I are very thankful for all of the incredible friends and family we have in our lives and would like to say thank you to everyone who has thought about or prayed for us as we adjust to our new life as a family of three. Oliver just seems to be getting more and more of a personality each day and he makes us laugh all of time. We are extremely thankful for him and the new perspective he gives us each day and I can say honestly that I couldn’t have a better wife and friend than Annie. She never ceases to amaze me in the way that she cares for me and Oliver. Thank you God for these blessings :)  I pray I can grow to be a man who appreciates them always.

Jonathan

i am also very thankful for my family of three and all the extended support that we have around us!  we actually celebrated thanksgiving day with jon’s family and then celebrated with my family on friday.  my sister heidi – along with her hubby william and my nephew trey – joined us for the weekend to follow.  heidi had to work on thanksgiving, so they headed down from georgia after that.  for some reason, we didn’t take the time to take any official photos from my family thanksgiving dinner, but we had a marvelous time just the same and enjoyed having the hauns home for a few days!

annie

Auntie Merle!!

back in the beginning of december, we had a special visit from my friend christine (who i like to call merle – her middle name), and with her she brought four of her friends.  she is in a masters program in philadelphia and was driving down to southern florida for a conference.  she asked if they could crash here on the way down or back up so that she could see us and finally meet oliver.  i was so excited to have the chance to see her, even if it was only a quick trip and offered the floor of our small condo for their sleeping accommodations.  i even offered under the dining room table if they needed more room!  while she was here, one of her friends, peter and i discovered that we had a commonality in the relationship to my sister and brother n law.  my sister and her family spent 3 months in ghana a couple years back working in a medical missions hospital during heidi’s fourth year of medical school.  peter’s father was the main doctor that heidi worked with and was the one to start the hospital many years ago.  i am pretty sure that discovery would have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for william’s photographs of ghana that we have on display in our living room (william is heidi’s hubby).  peter saw them and asked if i knew william haun.  i was a little confused by the question, because of course i know my own brother n law!  so, it was from there that we made the connection.  what a small world it really is and so random at times!  it was great to meet christine’s friends and of course to see my dear friend merle:).  it was a quick trip, but so wonderful to have that time with her and share the new adventures we both have in our lives.  it is such a blessing to have those friends that you can connect with on a deeper level, no matter how different your lives may be at the time.  so, here are a few photos of oliver meeting his auntie merle, his new friend peter and her other friends as well.

annie

Auntie Rachie’s Wedding!

my dear sister rachel got married to a wonderful man (named erin:)) on october 31st, 2009 at the picturesque don cesar of lovely st pete beach.  little did we know when she came home last spring to begin planning that it had actually been a childhood dream of hers to have her wedding on the beautiful beaches of the ‘pink palace’ of st pete.  it started as a seemingly far-fetched idea, but because of the vast availability due to the planned wedding date, they were able to get some amazing deals and her dream wedding (to her dream partner) took shape and grew into a breathtakingly beautiful wedding.  from the romantic ceremony set to the backdrop of a famous florida sunset to the magical ballroom where the reception took place.  they actually had a platform built for them to sit together during the ceremony, while many loved ones were able to pay tribute in their own unique way to the couple and the journey they were beginning.  my mom actually sewed pillows for them to sit on along with the flowing curtains that hung from the platform.  instead of bouquets, we carried lanterns down the aisle and placed them on hooks to adorn and encircle the platform.  i was so pulled into the ceremony that i didn’t even take pictures of the finished product!  every detail came together so wonderfully, and it was beautiful………but as breathtaking as the ceremony and location was, the bride out shined it all, hands down.

one of my favorite parts of the reception was their first dance as husband and wife.  they practiced for months to do a saucy tango dance, and i loved every minute of it!  they were nearly flawless as they moved together, and with the live latin band, it set the mood perfectly.  i could go on and on because there are so many details to share, but i will let you just look through the pictures and see for yourself.  i was really disappointed with the amount of pictures i was able to get.  with the combo of some chaos prior to the wedding (running a little late), and then taking care of oliver, pictures were somewhat of an afterthought.  so, i wanted to try to describe the best i could because my pictures don’t do rachel or the wedding justice!  if i can track down some more, then i will add them later.  i do regret not being able to toast rachel and erin at the wedding or rehearsal, because honestly i was afraid i wouldn’t make it through more than two words without crying, but let me take this opportunity to say how incredibly happy i am for my sister to have found the love of a great man…….not just that she got married, but married to the right person.  someone who loves her and truly appreciates all the quirks that make her uniquely who she is.  it is wonderful to see her with someone who truly gets how remarkable she is.  so, once again…..congrats to rachel and erin!!

annie

it has taken me a while to get my act together too add the posts about my sister rachel’s wedding, but finally here they are!!  rachel and her now husband, erin, were married on october 31st at the don cesar on st pete beach.  they live in san diego, but flew in, along with many friends and family members, the week of the wedding to put together the last of the many details.  we had the rehearsal dinner at my parents house.  it was very nice, but also low-key and a good time to hang out with everyone before the craziness of the wedding day began!  we also all headed out to a great little jazz bar in downtown st pete called the garden afterwards.  it was great to spend time with my sisters along with many of rachel’s friends that i am rarely able to spend time with.  we also wanted to put oliver in his costume for a few minutes to show everyone, but it was SO humid that it didn’t last too long!

annie

Halloween Costume

Oliver’s first halloween was quite an eventful one with his Aunt Rachel getting married and all of the preparation that goes into such a ceremony. Annie was away for most of the day getting ready for the wedding but a day prior my mom called me and asked me to come over to her house to pick up a couple things she had just bought for Oliver. It turns out that she was going to Old Navy to pick up some things when she saw a long line and was told they were having a huge sale. Everything that was on clearance was 50% off of the clearance price or more – so she ended up getting Oliver a tiger costume along with a few other things each for about a dollar or so. So just for fun I put him in it and brought him over to Abby and Erik’s to take some pictures with Jonah. It turns out that I forgot my camera over at my in laws house the previous night so Abby took all of the above pictures and did a great job capturing their expressions. I just couldn’t bring myself to decide which pictures to put in the post, so you get to see almost all of them. Oliver seemed to like the costume but it made him hot so he became one sweaty tiger for halloween.

Jonathan