Friday, May 31, 2013

Project 365 - May Edition

Maternity shots with Lowell's sister Julie Anne- 36 weeks!
Yes, this is also from Julie Anne's maternity shoot... she's just too dang beautiful!

Sharing the first outdoor snack of the season!

Fight face (and fist).

Dog run giggles!

I have the coolest parents- biking across town to church!

First bottle at 3 weeks = SUCCESS!

The guitar ("DEE-tah") awaits a nightly sing-a-long with Papa.

This is what happens when mama over-optimistically cinches up a pair of 3T shorts for a 19-month old!

Kisses for "Step-uhn" ..."mmmmmmmmmmmWAH!"
Snuggles with Georgia and Paisley!

Giggling nieces!
Mama and her little loves on Mother's Day (which was also Stefan's dedication day)!
Little Brother. (Thanks Uncle G and Auntie Mandy!)

Stefan all nestled in his cocoon courtesy of Nana and Papa.

Just doing some backyard sprints!

Belated Mother's Day flowers from my thoughtful hubster!
Splish splash!

Guess who got a new potty (which remains unused thus far)??! Appropriate purchase given his current favourite phrase "no more diapers!"

Brother love.

Sweet sweet Papa love.

Baby toys are the BEST!

Snacking with the BIG boys!

Papa captured Stefan's first smiles!
Nana is such a blast!

Six weeks old, in a sleep sac, and nearly outgrowing the bassinet!

Fraser just checking up on his little bro with a stethoscope... no big deal.

This cool dude has it made in the shade!

SOMEONE got a new bike!
Total BFFs for life!

Six weeks post-op and THRILLED to be able to lift Fraser again!

Fraser "helping" Nana with the garden.

Taking biking-themed photos to inspire Daddy on his 350km ride to raise money for SABC!
 And that, folks, is MAY!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why Stefan Peter?

Why Stefan Peter you ask? Let’s start with the middle name. Peter is my Dad’s name, and first and foremost we wanted to honour him. Before we even started trying for baby number 2, we knew that if we had another boy, his middle name would be Peter. My Dad is THE most amazing father (seriously... I don't even think that's a biased opinion). Growing up, he ALWAYS made time for us. Even with his extremely busy work schedule, he would always be home for supper (even if it meant going back to the office after we were in bed- which it usually did). He took us on individual dates, he took us travelling, and he was constantly taking pictures and creating albums for each of us (like, big ones... and several of them). He was keen to participate in any activity with us and teach us the basics for every sport under the sun. He valued safety (he still checks our tire pressure etc!), and showed us what it was to work hard but still have fun and love well. Most of all- his love for my Mom has always been obvious. He supports my Mom in her ministries and they serve together. He makes the bed as well as gourmet porridge every morning, and does the dishes every night! They DO things together: daily exercise, weekly date nights, regular random excursions etc etc. My parents hold hands, kiss, break into spontaneous dance in public… all things that used to make me cover my eyes and/or drop my head in humiliation, but now I couldn’t be more thrilled. I have never doubted my Dad’s intense love for God, my Mom, and us kidlets. My Dad is super intelligent, talented, wise, dependable, sensitive, loving, hard-working, caring, musical, helpful, athletic/health conscious (although there's ALWAYS room for dessert), humble, generous, hospitable, FUNNY (once you break past the shy exterior!), and just overall a genuine man of integrity who I am SO PROUD to call my Dad.

And that's just scratching the surface. It doesn't even include how amazing he is with his gandkids!

My Dad was named after his Om (Dutch for Uncle) Peter, and when Om Pete passed away, Dad was given a small inheritance. With that money, he purchased a “P” ring, so we felt it only appropriate that his name sake be photographed with it…

 Both of our kids are lucky beyond lucky to call this man Papa!

And now for the first name: Stefan (pronounced STEF-uhn). As with Fraser, our criteria was that the name had to be uncommon/unique but not crazy. We decided on Stefan because it met that criteria, plus it honoured two very special people in our lives. One being our close friend Nicholas (whose middle name is Stephan). He is one of the most hilarious guys you’ll ever meet. He is hard-working, generous, ambitious, enthusiastic, adventurous/athletic, kind, loyal, helpful, and above all else, he has a heart of gold. PURE GOLD. He loves with his whole heart, and this handsome brute of a man is never afraid to embrace you in a good strong hug. Plus, his wife is one of the bestest friends I’ve ever had (Chelsea), and his son, Nico, is Fraser's BFF- so extra points there!

Lowell’s cousin, Stephen, is the other person we wanted to honour (as Stefan is in fact the German form of Stephen). Lowell and Stephen grew up together and they have always been close- they stood up at each other's weddings. Stephen is a wonderful loving husband and father, and has dedicated his life to the service of God and others. A great, disciplined, wise man of integrity, he is, and genuinely KIND.

We thought his name was pretty straight forward but have been somewhat surprised by the number of people who mispronounce it! Again, it’s STEF-uhn. Not Stef-ON, not Stef-AHN, not Steven... STEF-uhn. We decided to spell it with an ‘f’ rather than ‘ph’ for three reasons:
1.    We didn’t want it to be confused with cousin Stephen (as they have the same last name),
2.    We thought it would make the pronunciation more straightforward (but apparently not haha), and
3.    It looks nice beside the name ‘Fraser’, and they even have the same number of letters in their entire names (Fraser Brian and Stefan Peter). Very aesthetically pleasing (it’s the little things that thrill me).

Basically, Stefan Peter has been named after three WONDERFUL men in our lives, and if he turns out to be even half the man that any of them are, then we’ll count ourselves lucky.

PS- the professional shots were done by none other than Jen of La Di Da Lane Photography, and the adorable owl hat was made by my very own sister, Shareen!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ride for a Reason 2013

For the past couple of years, Lowell has participated in (and been on the committee for) Ride for a Reason (RFAR) which is a 350km bike ride to raise money for Southern Alberta Bible Camp (SABC). It’s impressive enough that these people do this lengthy ride, but that Lowell does it legally blind is even more impressive. Not surprising… but impressive.

Two years ago, I joined Lowell for the last day (90km) while 6 months pregnant with Fraser (and apparently looking ridiculous hunched over on my ancient road bike).

(If you recall, I was comparing Fraser's supposed fetal size to fruits and veggies. That week was clearly a rutabaga!)...

Last year, Lowell went insane-o intense and biked 80km farther than everyone else JUST CUZ.

While he was away, Fraser and I took some little photos to inspire him on his ride.

We were very happy to see him when he finished!

This year, Lowell is participating again. He has been on the committee that makes the ride happen, and he’s super excited about it and committed to the cause. However, it dawned on me that yes. Cycling on the highway carries risk for anyone… but for someone who’s legally blind? Eesh. Upon returning home from the hospital with Stefan, I quickly realized that the idea of my visually impaired husband and the father of my two young children cycling 350kms down the highway in goodness knows WHAT conditions is somewhat concerning. I was also aware of Lowell’s desire/commitment to participate, however, so we came up with an agreement. If I could raise $5,000 on his behalf, he wouldn’t ride.  BUUUUT, if unsuccessful with my fundraising attempts, not only would he ride, but I would join him on the last day (something that’s terribly undesirable to me as I will be 7 weeks post surgery/baby, and haven’t exercised in nearly a year). I was pumped for the arrangement… at first. Then I was all like, ‘I don't have the time, energy, or connections to raise those kinds of funds, and I do NOT want to ride the last day.’

So, we kaiboshed the deal, and agreed that Lowell WOULD ride this year, but if the conditions are AT ALL QUESTIONABLE he would ride in a support vehicle.  Also, this would be his last year doing the ride (unless his eyes improve dramatically and/or I do 100% of it with him). Breaks my heart as he loves it soooo much and it's just one more little piece of independence that's being stolen away from him because of his dang eyes.... but I just value his life too much.

So, how about it? Want to help Lowell go out with a bang AND support a wonderful camp (the one that I, in fact, grew up attending)??!! Any donation over 5 dollars gets you a charitable tax receipt, and every little bit helps! Just click on the link, fill out the form, and select 'Lowell' under 'Rider's Name'. The form is right HERE. We also appreciate your prayerful support for safety for Lowell (and the other riders), as well as peace of mind pour moi! Thank you sooooo much!