Monday, September 1, 2014

All About Abbey

Today's post will be all about our sweet Abigail Mae. I want to always remember how much fun she was at four and a half years old...




Abbey was a difficult infant. She cried a lot. Like, A LOT, a lot. I sometimes worried if she'd ever be happy! Looking back I realize it was really ignorant to worry much about personality in the first three months of ones life. But it was my first time having babies and I didn't know any better. And I was utterly exhausted, so everything seemed like a really big deal.
I have a picture I took of her at about seven weeks old, where she is just chilling in her bouncy seat, calmly.  It was note worthy, because it was the first time it had happened for more than three minutes.
Three minutes. In seven weeks.
She was a fussy baby, I tell ya.

Anyways, now she is just such a little delight! And she really has been for years. She is so goofy, and full of spunk. She is one of the most nurturing people I know as well.


Abbey loves animals. LOVES them. All kinds. If she sees a dog, she immediately looks up to Dave or I and asks "can I go ask if I can pet their puppy?"
And she always wants to know their name before petting them.
She's respectful like that =).

She wants to pet any cat she can...



And she's Dory's best friend (and ardent defender) in our family...


 
.

 
She's adorably silly. She cracks us up all the time around here!




She is incredibly detailed and thoughtful when she is doing anything creative...
 
 





She's super fun to play games with, and while very self-assured and competitive, she's also a pretty gracious loser.

 
She can be as stubborn as a freaking mule.
Seriously. When Abigail Mae digs her feet in, prepare to battle.
But can I tell you secret?
I kind of dig that about her.
It's true.
Whenever she's arguing with me about something, or freaking out about something that she wants and is not getting, there is a tiny part of me that's like YES. Yes baby girl. You be a FIGHTER. You don't give up on your hopes, dreams or even thoughts without a fight. If it's important to you, you go down swinging.  
 
But it's a tiny part of me that digs it. A large part of me is exhausted by it =).

But then she's just as quick to drop all defenses and go into nurturing mode if anyone she loves is sick or hurting. She instantly wants to take care of them. She is so sweet the way she loves to just sort of stand guard next to the injured party...stroking hair or just sitting near to be available in any way.

She loves being helpful and is often asking "is there any chores around here I can do?"
(And we're taking full advantage of this stage while it lasts!!)

 
Oh look, a cat stopped by to say hello...




She loves to play, and loves to get dirty...


I love how confident she is in new situations. I never EVER would have guessed she'd be this way at four years old during her first year of life. She didn't really like people or new places and was so clingy to me. And now she just walks into new situations and joins right in. It's amazing.
She and Luke both played soccer this summer, and then Luke took baseball classes while Abbey took basketball. She was the only girl with about seven other boys her age.
And she never even noticed.
I totally dig that about her =).
I'm sure part of it comes from growing up side by side with a twin brother, but part of it also comes from being comfortable in her own skin. I pray she always feels that way.


When you see our Abbeygirl, you almost always see a lovey animal with her. Her favorite lovey of all time is Wiley (a white stuffed little lamb, whom she deemed a kitty very early on, and whom we also thought was given the moniker "Whitey", until like last month when Dave and I learned she had in fact been saying "Wiley" for years. Dave and I were seriously stunned. Luke knew all along. Must be a twin thing.)
 
Snuggling with Ellie while watching a show on the laptop...
 


Bringing Scratchy to Church with us one morning...
 


So there you have it. Our sweet Abigail Mae at 4.5 years old. Such a joyful gift from God. We are so proud to be her parents.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer 2014 - the first half ;)

 
I can't believe July is nearly over already!! We've had a crazy busy summer so far, filled with all kinds of fun that I want to be able to look back on in the years to come, so tonight is set aside to catching up the old blog =)

In early June, the kids and I went strawberry picking with a few friends from my work...
 

Luke wandered over to cool off in the path of the sprinkler...

 (never fear...we were at an organic, no-spray field, so it was truly just water)
 
Then Sis went over to join him...
 
 
...ever the protective brother...
 
 
 
And of course we stopped to feed the goats on our way out...


 
 
Also in June, we also took a day trip to Enchanted Forest with some friends. I grew up a few miles from this little amusement park and went there often. At the time, I didn't really realize that it's actually quite a strange place...bordering on creepy...anyways... I took my four year olds there...


 
 
 
This was Abbey and Luke's first run-in with a mascot...
 

...it went GREAT! They were so excited to run up and hug this chipmunk. I think it's safe to say we'll do fine when we do Disney someday ;).
 






Luke LOVED this FrogHop ride. He laughed a wild little laugh each time the ride jolted.
 


 
 
 
We've had plenty of fun at home as well. One lazy afternoon, finger painting turned into body painting...




In the end of June, we got to meet Eleanor's baby sister!

 
 
Abbey was so sweet to her...
 


Luke didn't want to hold her at first, but at one point while I was holding her and he was near me, she wrapped her teeny little hand around one of his fingers and he was positively smitten...
 
He held her the rest of our visit at the hospital that evening. And he kept leaning over and giving her the most tender kisses on her precious little forehead. And I nearly wept at the sweetness of it all.


 
 
In both June and July, we've had shenanigans with friends at our house...
 



And been creative...

(Abbey is incredibly detailed with her art. It amazes us how long she'll spend on one picture. And she is so thoughtful about where she puts each and every
mark. She'll color for a bit...then stand back and look for a minute...then continue. It's so fun to watch her become just totally lost in her projects.)
 
 
 
Earlier this month, we attended our Church's Annual Picnic...


 
 
 
We visited our friend's movie theater in their new house...so fun. (Luke and Abbey's comment when we first walked in: "this is the biggest TV we've ever seen!!")
 
 
 
 
 
 
In mid-July, we met some friends over in Seaside and stayed with them for a night. The kids had so much fun running around and staying up late together. Four is a fun age to vacation with =).

(and yes, that is our Abbey laying on the kitchen floor in the background. She was making "floor angels")  (I told you we had fun ;) )
 

We were all happy a few days at the Beach meant lots of snuggles with this little angel... ;)

 
 
We all had a blast, and I think Dory had the most fun out of all of us. She was so happy to frolic on the beach and play with the other dogs that were along for the trip.

David the Dog Whisperer...
 

It was cold and windy at the beach, but it made for nice kite flying weather!
 

And?  No one threw up. That's right people, the Hoffman's went to the beach, and no one puked. Can I get a Hallelujah?!?!
The curse is over!
 
 
 
So far this summer we've logged many, many hours at various Splash Pads around town...

 





And had fun playdates with friends as well...
 





 
 
And yesterday we drove down to Salem and met up with Amanda's family at the Gilbert House to have some more cousin fun...
 




 
 




 As you can see, it's been an awesome summer so far! I've heard other parents refer to this age as "the Charming Fours" and I totally agree. I'm really enjoying this age and all the adventures we're able to go on together and the fun we're having!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Then & Now

 
 
Watching Daddy play Softball...
 
 
 
July 2011
 
 
 
 
 
July 2014
 

 
 
Hands down, his cutest fans.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cousin fun!

My older sister Amanda and her sweet family are in town!!


This was Luke and Abbey's first time meeting their little cousin, Baby Awesome (foster baby, name and pics are protected ;) ). We met up in the Zoo parking lot, and everybody became fast buddies ;). I love that our kids have so many fun cousins on both sides of the family. I grew up in a big family (four siblings) but I only have two cousins. And although they're awesome ( ;) ), they lived in another state and so we didn't get to be around each other all that often.
Although Amanda's family lives in another state as well, we get to see them yearly!
 
 
 

All the kiddos in awe of the sea lion...
 


Keegs did his best to keep up with the Big Kids...;)
 


 
 
Our Zoo is building a new and improved area for the elephants, and it cracked me up how long our kids stood up there and watched the construction. A Zoo full of animals, and we're all watching a backhoe.


 
 
All of us!!! (we were so blessed Auntie Natalie took the day off work to join us!)


 
 
 







After a long, hot morning at the Zoo, everyone went to their respective homes/hotels for naps. Ahhhh....naps. So delightful when the twins actually sleep during quiet time, and I do too ;)
 
 

Later that evening Amanda and Noah dropped their kids at our house for a Cousin Pajama Dance Party so they could go out on a dinner date. This little cutie quickly made himself at home...



We had some dinner...


...and a dance party...
 




 
 
 
The next day the twins and I went to their hotel for some cousin swimming fun!
 




We've had so much fun with them already, and can't wait to see what kinds of adventure next week holds!!