Alright, settle in and get ready for a fast look at the second half of our 2008. If, by chance, you missed Part 1, click here and catch up before you start. Otherwise, here we go!
We started July with a trip to Lynchburg, Virginia to see my brother get married to an amazing girl, Rachel. Although this wasn't Jayce's first plane trip, it was definitely the first one that he got his own seat (not pictured here!) and that he chose not to sleep the entire trip! Yes, we got up in Grand Rapids at 2 am and he didn't sleep until we got to Baltimore about 6 hours later. Doesn't he look sleepy??
Kevin and Rachel had a picnic at a local park for their rehearsal dinner on July 4th. We truly discovered Jayce's love for watermelon this summer. This shirt was, sadly, never the same...
This is Kevin and Rachel's first kiss as husband and wife. What a great moment to be able to share with family.
We were able to watch the fireworks from the local ballpark from our hotel. We also "borrowed" some sparklers from the wedding reception to play with while we were watching the fireworks.
Unfortunately, Jayce experienced his first major injury while we were in Virginia. One hour before leaving for the airport, Jayce slipped on some water on the bathroom floor in the hotel and hit his face on the bathtub. He chipped his front tooth, had a major gash on his lip, and tore that connective tissue between the top lip and gums. It was a very traumatic event for all of us. Thankfully, the dentist was able to file down the sharp point on his front tooth, and you'd never know that anything had happened.
We also got to spend some time visiting with Jeremy's parents at a cabin they stayed at for a week this summer. They took us out on a boat to tour the chain of lakes the cabin was on. Jayce was all geared up because of his over-protective mother. What can I say? I was nervous with him being able to walk around the boat.
The end of July also marked my favorite thing about this summer. Seeing as I was eight months pregnant, I was overjoyed to find out that our amazing neighbors, the Vermilyes (also, my sister-in-law's in-laws... figure that one out!) were putting in a pool!! I absolutely lived in it until Grayson was born!
We started out August with a visit to the Grand Rapids zoo. Jayce loves animals, so he really enjoyed checking out all of the fun exhibits with some friends that came with us also!
Even though I wasn't comfortable camping at 8 1/2 months pregnant, we were still able to visit with Jeremy's parents while they were at Muskegon State Park this summer. We had a great day on the beach and cooking on the campfire.
August was also when Jeremy's dad started 15 radiation treatments for his pancreatic cancer. He suffered many side effects from the treatments, but the doctor's were hopeful that they might make a difference in his fight against the cancer.
Even though I was due in just a few days, we managed to sneak over and visit my cousin, Jenney, and her new baby when she was in town at the end of August. Jayce had tons of fun hanging out with his cousins.
But of course, the biggest news of August 2008 for us was the birth of our son, Grayson Nathaniel! Born at 9 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 inches long, he was a slightly larger version of Jayce at birth. He's quickly trying to outgrow Jayce now, weighing in a 25lbs. 10 1/2 oz. at only four months!
Although Jayce did have a slightly difficult time getting used to his new brother, it was obvious to us that he loved Grayson.
For Labor Day, both Jeremy's and my family got together for a picnic at our neighbor's house. We had a great time celebrating with everyone, including our two sons.
At the end of September, we were able to travel to my parent's house to introduce Grayson to many of my family members and friends on the east side of the state. This was Grandma D's first time meeting Grayson.
The first weekend in October we also ventured back to my parent's house because Kevin and Rachel were going to be in town for their Michigan reception. This was Uncle Kevin and Aunti Rachel's first time meeting Grayson.
October also brought us Jeremy's 31st birthday, Grayson's first documented smiles, and many, many leaves to rake! In October, Jeremy's dad started a new kind of chemo treatment in their efforts to fight his pancreatic cancer. Thankfully, this treatment has been making a difference, although the side effects are much worse. Grandpa has been seeming a little more like himself, and seems to have more energy and is able to eat some too. We've noticed more and more good (or not bad) days. We are so thankful to God for his watchful eye over Dad, and we praise Him for Dad being able to be here with us this year.
Ahh, November. (Hang in there! We're almost done!) November was another busy month. We enjoyed the circus with my parents. Come to find out, it was the last time Bello the Clown performed with the circus. What a performance!
Grayson was finally classified as "huge". We had to move him into his new, "big boy" carseat because he'd outweighed the infant carrier at only 3 months! The weight limit on the infant carrier was 22 lbs. It's official, he's big!
November also marked the month that I took my favorite picture of the boys together to date!
And, of course, November was when we celebrated Jayce's 2nd birthday! We had a birthday party for him at Chuck E. Cheese.
Of course, there were lots of presents to open (this being the first year that it Jayce would be able to actively participate in presents and such).
We were excited to be able to celebrate with most of Jayce's family for his birthday this past year.
Grayson also got his first real taste of playing cards, Mahan-style. I think he'll be quite the card shark when he gets older!
December finally brought us snow, and a lot of it! Jayce was able to finally able to recognize his true calling - snow shoveling! He loves to yell out, "Scoop! Dump it!" every time he helps with the shoveling.
We also took a ride on the Santa Train in Coopersville.
This was our only visit with Santa this year. And he was a very strange Santa. I don't blame Jayce a bit for not wanting to sit next to him alone!
Christmas this year has been a blur. Jayce has thoroughly enjoyed all of the Christmas decorations that have appeared at the houses he frequents. By far, his favorite decoration is the singing snowmen at Grandma and Grandpa's and Nana and Papa's house. I am looking forward to when they are put away, awaiting their first button push of next year!
We went as a family to see Frederick Meijer Gardens. The Christmas trees were beautiful, and we managed to get a great shot of all four of us for Christmas this year!
At last, Christmas was finally here! We had many celebrations to attend this year, with my extended family's parties, Christmas with my parents, brother, and sister-in-law, Christmas with Jeremy's family, and our own Christmas morning. Here's a few shots that are my favorite from Christmas this year.
Jayce and I cuddling at Dad's family Christmas.
Grayson somehow managed to sleep through Mom's family Christmas - it gets very loud!
This is a favorite shot of the boys from this Christmas.
We loved getting to hang out with Uncle Kevin and Aunti Rachel, who got Jayce these awesome "Soupie-man jammies," over Christmas and we are very sad that it will probably be a very long time until we get to see them again...
Christmas morning was a big hit...
This is still Grayson's favorite toy!
We were fortunate enough to spend some time with Jeremy's family on Christmas Day.
Here's the boys with Grandpa, in their Cornerstone sweatshirts (Christmas presents!)
Thus ends our Year In Review. Thanks for hanging in there and getting to the end. It was exciting to see how much our family and grown and changed throughout 2008. We are so very thankful for God's protection and provision for us this past year. We hope you all had a Happy New Year. We'll see you in 2009!