Saturday, October 13, 2007

The First Five Years

So, several of you have asked, how about the highlights of the last five years? Well, I could only put so many pictures in the last post, so I decided not to focus on the after, just the before, but due to popular demand, I'll hit some highlights here. :) I have to warn you, it might be a mini-novel! I like pictures. :)

In the eight weeks after we got married, my brother and Philip's brother also got married. It was a busy fall! Anyway, after all that settled down, Philip and I took a fun last minute weekend cruise to the Bahamas, and a major perk was that before heading home (since the cruise was from Miami) we got to visit with my grandparents. It has been the only time they met Philip. Then, here we are in March 2003 with my brother Dan and his wife Angela at their condo. They lived here in the DC area as well until the fall of 2004. We still miss them! The happy news about this picture is that we had just found out I was pregnant with Caleb.

After we found out we were expecting, that summer we purchased a townhouse and moved there about six weeks before Caleb was born. Our small group at the time was an amazing help in getting the house painted and helping with the move. In addition to being way pregnant, right after we started the house painting, I wound up in the hospital at 31 weeks with inexplicable side pain. After a few days, they operated on my abdomen in an attempt to find the problem. They never did, but after the operation, the pain went away. Truly bizarre. Our group and our family helped carry us through this scary time of not knowing what was going to happen to me or the baby, and helped us with the physical recovery afterward. Amazingly, Caleb stayed in the womb and wasn't born until he was full term. This is experience is largely was led us to the name Caleb, which means "tenacious". He sure is! The other picture is of us on our first anniversary. I was 8 months pregnant at the time.

Here with are with Caleb when he is about 3 or 4 days old in November 2003.

Some of our best memories from 2004 come from the Hines family trip to Montana with the whole clan. We spent a week at a friend of the family's home and had a wonderful time. We drove out from Seattle, so on the way some of us went to Yellowstone. An added fun thing about this trip was that my sister Deborah (11 at the time) was able to come along with us. Here is Caleb getting an ice cream cone, courtesy of his grandpa!

Christmas 2004 was another special time as the Hines family gathered at Philip's parents' home in Georgia. We had lots of fun that trip, although I missed a lot of it because I caught a horrible cold the day we arrived! I think I singlehandedly kept Kleenix in business. During this visit, we shared with the family that Caleb's new sibling was going to be a brother!

Joshua tried his best to arrive twice before he actually did on May 15, 2005. God blessed us though by working the timing out so that Philip's brother and wife (Paul and Vanessa) could be around to stay at home with Caleb while we went to the hospital. God also blessed me with a fast, easy delivery, and a really easy recovery. Here is Caleb meeting his little brother. The boys are exactly 18 months apart.

Philip loves his boys and since I am the chief photographer around our house, we have lots of great pictures of the three of them. This is one of my favorite. Joshua is about 3.5 months old here at the end of August. In mid-September, we took a trip to Charlotte to celebrate my Dad's 60th birthday (a month early). We had a fun surprise party for him, and he got lots of razzing...hence the chef's hat. He's with my sister Deborah.

We could tell from the get-go that Joshua was cut from different cloth than Caleb. This is one of all time favorite pictures of Joshua. He's only about 8.5 months here, but boy can you see the mischief lurking in his eyes!

Thanksgiving 2005 the Hines family came to our home in VA and we had a great time together. If you have been receiving Christmas letters from us for a while, you recognize this picture!

We actually wound up spending Christmas 2005 by ourselves. It was a little sad to not have family around, but we tried to still make it fun with the boys. They were a little young to really get what was happening. Here we decided to give Joshua a kissing lesson. :) Christmas night we opened our home to other young families from church who were also alone, so we had a nice time of fellowship that evening.

The porch swing that makes the backdrop for this picture was pulled off the curb when one of our neighbors was moving and throwing it out. It's a little rickety, but it's become one of our favorite places to sit, and one of the best places to take pictures. Here's the boys in March 2006.

In June 2006, Philip and I got away for the first time for more than one night since Caleb was born, thanks for Philip's parents. We flew the boys to Atlanta and then continued on to Puerto Rico for 5 days by ourselves! The trip was courtesy of Southern Living at Home and was a wonderful time. We had just found out that I was pregnant with our third child, which I wound up losing several months later at 13 weeks.

One of our favorite memories from the fall of 2006 was our trip to the National Zoo over Labor Day weekend with Philip's parents. Caleb had a blast, but you would never have known it at the time as he never cracked a smile. Joshua, on the hand, was exuberance personified. After the Zoo, we also made a quick trip to the National Cathedral and then to Bucca di Beppos (a Hines family favorite) for dinner. It was a great day.

The boys' first cousin, Will, was born in April 2006 to my brother Dan and Angela. Here are Caleb and Will in September 2006.

In October 2006, we took a family trip to Boone, NC (where I went to college) to visit some old friends. This picture was taken at Linville Falls (the place Philip and I went the day he told me he didn't think our relationship was going beyond friends). As you can see, we had less than cooperative subjects. Caleb hasn't really willingly smiled for many pictures since around the time Joshua was born. On the way to Boone, we stayed overnight with some other friends and attended a wedding. Afterwards, we took a quick trip to Charlotte to see my Grandma Kroboth.

Thanksgiving 2006 was really special. It was the first time the whole Kroboth family (all five kids and the parents) had been together in six years. We celebrated at our place. During this visit, we told the family that I was expecting again and was due in July. We wound up also losing this baby, this time at 18 weeks in February 2007.

Christmas was great fun that year as well, since the boys were able to get into the spirit of the holiday some and really understand what all the fuss was about (Jesus). We have some great memories of times spent together.

In January, God led us to the purchasing of this home. It's located about 3 miles from our townhouse, but offered more room to grow, as well as a yard, a garage and a really quiet cul-du-sac (there are only 3 house on it!). An extra bonus is that the cul-du-sac lots back to woods which go down to the Potomac River. It's about a mile walk, and one that Philip and the boys take frequently. After moving in, we spent most of our Spring doing projects (major and minor) to the house. Maybe that will be it's own blog post!

Easter this year was spent in Charlotte, again with the whole Kroboth family. The day after Easter, my younger brother Tim received his Eagle Scout award. Here he is taking the oath from Eagle Scout brother Dan.

This picture of Caleb and Philip is one of my favorites. Philip really is a wonderful dad and moments like this exemplify that! They are at the little park that is a 5 minute walk from our house. Philip and the boys go there quite often. Then we have Joshua's second birthday. He was so serious that day, I don't know why, so we don't have pictures of him smiling. But, let me tell you, he LOVED this cake! Of course it's Bob and Larry from VeggieTales. He has a picture of just the cake that he still carries around with me. He calls it his "Bob cake".

Our couples' small group is still a big priority in our lives. The couples who are in it have changed over several times, but we have been so blessed by those who have also chosen to prioritize God and their marriage. Here I am at my birthday celebration with several of the ladies who have been in the group over the years.

This August we had been planning for months to go to the beach near Charleston SC with the Hines family. Shortly before we were to leave, we received word that Philip's grandpa, an amazing, Godly man, had passed away suddenly. Plans were modified and the whole family (minus our boys) was able to first gather in Tacoma, WA for beautiful military and church memorial services. It was really a very special trip.

Philip and I had left the boys with my family in Charlotte, so we flew back to Charlotte, picked up the boys and Deborah and drove on down to Charleston for 5 days. We were joined by Paul and Vanessa and their 6 month old son Forest and Philip's mom and dad. We had a blast. The boys had a wonderful time playing at the beach, and it was great to have more time to spend together as a family.

So, there is the not-so-brief recap of the last five years. This takes us to the end of August and the events since then are already described on the blog. :) If you made it to the end of this entry, congratulations!


Lorrie said...

OH man, I got TONS to start reading!! YAHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Lorrie said...

if you read my blog frequently, you'd notice I'm nothing BUT scattered.....LOL