Baptizing the Byrds

When we were in Michigan, we had the opportunity to get all three of our babies baptized at a place that is very special to our family – Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp

If you know me even a little bit, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about this camp. It’s been in our family’s lives for a long time (ask, and my Grandpa will proudly tell you of the year he was given the “best boy camper” award – with a pencil to prove it).

It’s truly my happy place and, even though I’m too old to be a camper, I make sure to visit every summer and I look forward to sending our kids there too! 

We had a sweet little ceremony down at the lake. The pastor had asked the summer staff to join us as well and they sang a couple of songs (which just so happened to be my two favorite camp songs – woo hoo!)

It was such a beautiful day that I will cherish forever. 


To my three sweet babies, 

In a small ceremony at Fortune Lake, we welcomed you into a community of faith that, we feel, is so needed in this broken world.

Daddy and I pray that you all learn to know Christ and follow Him. While we wish we could just make that decision for you, all we can do is promise to love and teach you to the best of our ability. 

Your individual faith journeys will look different. You will all experience love and loss. You will question and explore. You will be frustrated and you will be exhilarated. Just always know that you are special, unique and created by God and that before you were our children, you were His. 

You wont remember this special day, but that’s OK. Just always remember you are loved. Loved by your family. Loved by the church community. Loved by each other. Loved by God. 

May Jesus bless you and keep you always. May he make his face shine upon you and give you peace. You are the lights of the world. 

Love, 

Mom

 

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Happy Birthday, Simon

One year ago, after a quick Thanksgiving lunch at auntie’s, we checked into the hospital. Later that night, we welcomed our sweet Simon Earl into our world. 

Just like when Lyla turned one, I am blown away by how fast a year can pass. How quickly they transform from this…

Simon Earl Byrd

…to this…

Simon-turns-one

Our little “bubs” has rounded out our family in the most perfect way. His sweet disposition almost immediately put to rest all of the fears and anxiety that I had about adding another baby to the mix. 

From the get-go he showed us that the old saying “boys are wired different than girls” is SO true. I am constantly amazed at how different the two of them are from the way that they play with their toys to their physical and mental development. 

Mister Simon is an explorer. He is so curious about his world and spends lots of time everyday examining his surroundings. 

simon-smash-cake

He loves us all but Daddy is a clear favorite. 

Simon can give kisses and high fives. He also says “hot”

He scoots around and gets where he needs to be. Just before we put him to bed last night decided to stand up and play with a toy unassisted. 

He has the cheesiest, most contagious smile. 

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Simon loves to play with his sister. Until she takes a toy from him (which is almost always, we’re working on it). He fights back by pulling her hair. 

He is a champion sleeper at night. Naps are a different story. 

Our boy scoots toy trains and cars around the house making the cutest little motor noise you’ll ever hear. And he loves groovin’ to music. Doesn’t matter which kind. 

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He is a nature boy. Has loved looking at trees since our trip to Michigan this summer and still points them out on walks and hikes. 

He is also a sports guy. Give him a ball, throw the King’s game on TV and he is good to go. 

Simon is so easy going and is a great sport about being tagged along on Lyla’s playdates and such. 

simon-smash-cake

My sweet boy, 

I am so thankful that God put you in our lives. You have already brought so much happiness to the world in this short year. Being at your side while you learn and grow is an amazing gift. I love you “bubs”. Happy first birthday!

 

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Strawberry Fields Forever

On our recent trip to Michigan, we spent one morning at a local farm picking strawberries with my grandma. Lyla wore a pair of my old overalls and picked berries like a pro. The sun stayed behind the clouds, leaving us nice and comfortable. We joked, we worked, we tasted sweet berries (shhhh, don’t tell). It really was a special morning and I found myself holding back tears numerous times. My grandma must have felt it too because she kept telling me to make sure I grabbed some photos, so I did. I’ll let them do the rest of the talking…

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Transitioning from 1 child to 2

In the weeks leading up to Simon’s birth I spent a lot of time (ah, time – I still had some back then) thinking about how life would be with two little children. Looking back, I wish I would have spent less time worrying and more time singing to my belly…or catching up on laundry…or doing absolutely nothing…so I wrote a little letter to one-child Natasha to ease her worries 😉

Lyla and Simon

Hey past-self! 

I know you are afraid that you can’t love another little body as much as you love Lyla, but I promise, you can. I know, I know every mom says it…but that’s because it’s true. The second that Simon Earl is born, you are going to feel your heart double in size. 

Speaking of him being born, I know that you are not looking forward to doing the whole labor and delivery thing again. Sure, your first experience was a little crazy, but this time will be much less eventful. Yes, it’s going to hurt – bad – but the pain is temporary and the reward so worth it. I know that you are debating whether or not you are going to get an epidural this time. Spoilers: you don’t. And it’s fine. So stop fretting about it and just trust the process. You have an awesome doctor and an incredibly encouraging husband.  The first words out of your mouth will be “He’s perfect. I’ll do it again” and when it’s all said and done you will weirdly look forward to doing just that.

Newborns sleep a lot. So much so that for the first two months you almost think that the whole “two under two” thing is overrated. Enjoy this time. Don’t get cocky. Spend Simon’s sleepy time snuggling your first born and when she’s sleeping too? Catch up on Hart Of Dixie while you still can. 

Once Simon is out of the “sleep all the time” phase, things get a little harder but it’s nothing that you can’t manage. I know you are wondering how you will ever manage taking two kids anywhere by yourself but you do it. Everyday. It’s really a non-issue. Simon is kind of just forced to go with the flow and you are all happier because of it.  

Sleep deprivation isn’t nearly as devastating the second time around. Thank goodness, right? Simon is going to spoil you with sleeping six hour stretches at night for the first couple of months but don’t get too comfortable. He will start waking every 2-3 hours wanting to nurse, and still will be at six months with no end in sight, but you will manage.

In the beginning, you are late to everything. No matter how prepared you think you are, you will always forget something. It’s going to make you feel crazy and scatterbrained. It’s going to irritate you more than you would like to admit. Eventually, you get it together – you even make it to Simon’s six month well-visit 20 minutes early! 

Right now, you can’t imagine how sweet it is watching your babies interact with each other, and I can’t try to explain it to you either. It’s simply the best. 

Speaking of being the best – that newborn smell? MAN you didn’t realize just how good it was when you had Lyla. As soon as you have your baby boy in your hands you won’t be able to get enough. For the first couple of weeks (ok, months) you will stay up at night after nursing him and just hold smell him. For hours. No shame. I’m actually pretty envious of you right now. Take a sniff for me, k?

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but breastfeeding hurts just as bad the second time around. Bummer, yea? But you will stick with it and Simon will thrive. He’s a big, healthy boy. 

The hardest part about transitioning from 1 child to 2? Missing your husband. Alex is an amazing dad (duh, you already know that) and is so great about sharing the parenting load. Having just Lyla, you still have a lot of time to spend together. Meals, diaper changes, bath, bed time – it’s always two against one, you have so much time to spend together as a family. Once Simon enters the picture, a lot of “divide and conquer” happens. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard. You miss him. A lot. But it gets better, I promise. 

There are so many unknowns right around the corner. So many emotions to feel. In the next few months you will experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. You are going to fall more in love with your husband. You are going to grow in your faith. You are going to gain a deeper respect for your own parents. You are going to be encouraged and you are going to be let down. You are going to have days when you feel like Mary Poppins and days where you feel totally unprepared to be a mother. 

I know that you are scared now, but try really hard not to be, k? Becoming a mother of two is going to be the best thing that has happened to you since becoming a mom for the first time! You are going to learn and grow SO much. Your life is going to be richer than you can imagine. 

Rub that belly for me (I miss it already), soak up your Alex and Lyla time and make sure you pack your hospital bag when you go to Auntie’s for Thanksgiving – you have an 8lb 2oz turkey on the way! 

Love, 

Older, wiser you

 

 

 

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