Kinsie Kay is FOUR!

My beautiful, crazy, spunky, sweet and sassy girl is four years old today! I’ve become closer with her over the past few months since I’ve spent so much time with her, and every day I discover more about her and how amazing of a little girl she is. She is so smart and loves to learn. She loves to read, and even when one of us can’t read to her at the moment, she’ll either read what she had already memorized from that book, or just make it up. She loves to use her imagination, and is teaching Brax to love it too. She could talk all day…and often does. When she gets home from school, she will tell me every detail and every dialogue of her entire day. Then when Ryan gets home from work, she will go through the whole story with him. I love discovering the way her mind works and seeing her little personality blossom more and more each day. She has become my little sidekick and my helper in our new life in Arkansas. Brax is her best friend and he wants to do everything she does. Even though she can be very rough with her brother, she is very protective of him and would do anything for him. She challenges me every day and makes me a stronger person and a better mom. Her sense of adventure forces me out of my comfort zone. She made me a mom, and I will always be grateful to her for that.

KidsAugust-5

Kinsie has changed and matured so much throughout the last year. Here are some updated stats on my four year old girl…

  • She has always been a bit verbally advanced, and continues to be so. She talks like an adult. I often forget how young she is when we have conversations.
  • She has a special relationship with both Ryan and I. She will have spurts of being a “mommy’s girl” or a “daddy’s girl,” but overall, she doesn’t discriminate.
  • She’s a total outdoors girl. She would probably sleep outside if she could. I have a hard time getting her back inside even when she has sweat dripping down her face and mosquito bites all over her legs.
  • Her favorite animals are hippos and dolphins.
  • Her favorite color is still pink.
  • Her favorite TV show is Paw Patrol.
  • She loves everything Disney. She has always loved Mickey and his crew, but recently we’ve been watching all the Disney classics together. Right now some of her faves include Dumbo, Beauty and the Beast and Toy Story.
  • She loves to learn new things and thrives on positive reinforcement. However, she is very hard on herself (just like her mother). She expects to do things perfectly when trying them for the first time and gets frustrated with herself when she can’t.
  • She can spell various words such as Kinsie, Brax, zoo, dog and cat.
  • She can add small amounts together.
  • She’s getting pretty good at drawing. You can actually tell what she is trying to draw.
  • She wants to be a teacher and a doctor when she grows up.
  • She still loves soccer and gymnastics. She is playing soccer in a program in our town, and we plan to enroll her in a gymnastics class in the winter.
  • She loves meeting new friends, but is horrible at remembering their names.
  • She loves school. She participates, listens very well, and is a great helper. Her teacher said she is always happy and bouncy!
  • She has been my saving grace throughout the move. She has stayed positive and open minded about all the changes. Even though she misses our families, she has handled the transition so well and has loved the opportunity to explore a new place!

IMG_1286 IMG_2651IMG_2566 IMG_0619IMG_2305Robinson Family-16KidsAugust-14KidsAugust-10KidsAugust-6

Happy 4th birthday, my sweet girl. The world is a better, brighter, and more exciting place with you in it!

A Tribute to Cecilia, Carson and Scotty

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later. Romans 8:18

Within the past few weeks, there have been several tragedies in the lives of people that I know. Each of these tragedies have struck me to my core not only because people that I know are suffering tremendously, but also because all 3 tragedies somehow involve a baby. Having a 7 month old daughter myself, I have had extra empathy. I haven’t quite figured out the best way to grieve or show my condolences for these families, but this blog post is a start…

Jennifer (Swihart) Trapuzzano was a classmate of mine at Avon High School. While we were not real close ourselves, we had many mutual friends and every time I came in contact with Jennifer, she was nothing but kind and genuine. As many of you have seen or heard on the news, Jennifer’s husband, Nathan, was out for a walk on the morning of April 1 when he was viciously mugged, shot and killed. It’s a tragic loss of not only a husband, but also a soon-to-be father, as Jennifer is 8 months pregnant with their first child, a daughter to be named Cecilia. Nathan’s death was completely senseless and left a wife without her husband and an unborn baby without her daddy. The news of this tragedy has spread like wildfire, and thousands of friends, family and strangers have sent donations to Jennifer to provide for baby Cecilia, totaling over $170,000. Nathan had a very close relationship with Christ that he shared every chance he got, and his story has caused many people to turn to Christ themselves. Learn more about their story here.

trapuzzano

Jessica (Wager) Broady was also someone who attending high school with me. She was a year older than me, but we had many mutual friends. Jessica was always very upbeat and friendly to anyone she surrounded herself with. On the evening of April 12, Jessica was in a deadly car accident, leaving behind a husband and an 8-month old son named Carson. This sudden tragedy shocked everyone who knew her, and left us all heartbroken. It was very obvious that Jessica absolutely adored her sweet boy, and now the poor baby won’t get to grow up in his mommy’s arms. However, Carson is surrounded with many wonderful family members who are embracing him and loving on him in every possible way.

carson

Jess (Hoffman) Kim is someone I met in college at Indiana University through mutual friends. I only hung out with her a few times, but each time she was extremely pleasant to me. Jess gave birth to twins, Scott and Logan just a few days after I had Kinsie. I always enjoyed seeing pictures and videos of her precious boys on Facebook. At only 6 months old, Scott passed away for unknown reasons. When I heard of this news, I was completely torn apart. I never even met the twins, but the thought of an innocent child losing his life before even a year old is more than I can bare. Jess has set up a website for people to share their thoughts and to honor this sweet boy’s memory.

scott kim family

As a new mother myself, each of these stories has hit close to home. I just can’t even begin to imagine what these families are going through. Not only do I mourn for these families, but I especially pray for each and every one of these children. The main reason I wanted to become a teacher was to make a difference in the lives of children. In my school, there are many students whom were born into broken, unstable homes, or have been placed in unfortunate circumstances through no fault of their own. I just want to take these kids home with me to protect them from their unfair situations. Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing a child suffer, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. If I could save every child in the world from any harm or suffering, I would do it in a heartbeat. Life can be so unfair, and we will never understand any of it until we join Jesus in heaven. When I have gone through a tragedy myself, I really struggled with why God would let something like this happen. After many prayers and countless hours with my Bible, I came to the conclusion that God isn’t responsible for bad things happening in our lives. He is incapable of doing evil. Not only is Satan causing corruption in our every day lives and blaming God for it, but we also have been given free will, which in turn causes many terrible things to happen. When God’s children are weeping, He is weeping right along side of us and carrying us the entire way. We just have to let Him.

 

Cecilia, Carson, and Scotty…

Each of you, being so young, have already suffered a great tragedy. Your lives have not started out, or ended,  very fairly. However, you have many people around you that love you so much and would do anything to protect you from harm. Cecilia, your mother is unbelievably strong and has a wonderful faith in God that I’m sure she will instill in you. Even though you never got to meet your daddy, he loved you with all of his heart, and he will always be watching over you along with your Heavenly Father. Carson, you may not remember your mommy someday, but she absolutely adored you. It was obvious in the way that she talked about you and looked at you. Even though she may no longer be here in a physical sense, she will always be with you wherever you go. Scotty, I never got the chance to meet you myself, but I could see through pictures how cheerful and rambunctious you were. Even though you were only here for a short time, you made an impression on so many lives, and you will never be forgotten. Even in the wake of disaster in all three of your lives, you have been blessed by the outpouring of love that people have shown you and your families. You are all so loved, and not only by those here on Earth, but especially by your Heavenly Father. Take comfort in that forever.

One Month Old!

I can’t believe my baby is already a month old! Although time is going a bit quicker than I would like, I can’t even remember what my life was like before she was born. She has given Ryan and I a new meaning to our lives, and even though it isn’t easy, we wouldn’t change it for the world.

I made a short video that does my best to capture the past month of our lives. I have to admit, I copied this idea from my sister when Briggs was one month old, but I thought it was a much more exciting way of sharing these memories than simply posting photos. Hopefully Kinsie will also enjoy watching this someday!

What we’ve learned about Kinsie so far:

  • She hated her car seat at first, but now falls asleep as soon as she gets in it.
  • She sleeps better when swaddled tightly with a blanket.
  • Music relaxes her.
  • She’s tiny, but very strong.
  • She LOVES to be held.
  • She grunts in her sleep.
  • She can hold her head up for 10-15 seconds at a time.
  • She doesn’t like being naked.
  • She loves her pacifier, but is often too lazy to suck on it to keep it in herself.
  • She moans when she eats.
  • She is very expressive with her face when she sleeps.
  • She has her daddy’s eyes and her mommy’s lips.
  • She doesn’t mind when the dogs lick her.
  • She loves to make and copy faces with her mommy and daddy.
  • She loves snuggling on her daddy’s chest.
  • She is fascinated by lights.
  • She is the most needy when her mommy has a lot to do.
  • She has made her mommy and daddy experience a whole new kind of love.