Monday, July 30, 2007

Jacob Gary

Let's pretend it's August 3 for a few minutes. Why, you ask? Because we're bad parents and we're leaving for Hawaii without the kids on August 3, which happens to be Jake's birthday. Hey, we saved $100 per ticket to leave on Friday instead of Saturday, so we'll feel guilty the whole way, but I'm thinking we'll get over it as soon as we step off the airplane.

So it's August 3, and I am looking at my three-year-old and thinking, "wow, even though that epidural didn't work for 3 hours, he really was worth it." Not that I ever doubted he would be, but I am still amazed at the intensity of my love for that little boy. How can I love him more today than yesterday, because yesterday I couldn't possibly have loved him more.

Some days he's easy to love. Most days, let's be realistic...he's three. But even on those days that I consider actually letting him drive his hotwheels down the freeway as requested, I still find myself thanking God that He gave me such a precious and unique gift.

I'm so proud of the little man he is becoming. He is funny, and thoughtful. He is tough, but he still gives out hugs and kisses freely (maybe too freely, but we'll work on that later.) He loves his baby brother with a passion. He's insanely smart for his age...well, maybe it's selective intelligence. He can't remember where he put his socks, but he remembers the make and model of every person's car he's ever seen in his life.

Jacob Gary Stump, you are my treasure, my delight, and you will forever be my baby boy, no matter how many inches taller and pounds heavier than me you'll get. (Please, God let him weigh more than me someday.) I love you with all of my heart and I am so excited to see what God has in store for you! Happy birthday, Jooj-a-roni.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ella Kate Huson

There's something about holding a tiny newborn baby that makes you feel as if the world has stopped for a moment, and God and all of heaven is smiling down upon you and this precious miracle. My friend Heather had her baby girl, Ella Kate, on July 16th and she is beautiful. I was holding her last night and there was a quiet voice inside my head saying "look at this amazing example of God's goodness to her mommy and daddy," and then there was the not so quiet voice saying "I am so glad I'm not the one waking up with her at 2am."

I've got to say, though, Heather and Steve are really doing well. Baby girl's been easy on them so far, sleeping 4 hours in a row at night. Heck, Ty didn't sleep 4 hours in a row until he was 9 months old, and because I got up every hour while I was pregnant with him to relieve my smooshed bladder, I'm estimating there were about 18 months of nights that I would have KILLED for 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Not that I'm bitter. Not at all.

Actually, as much as sleep deprivation can be a hazard to anyone's emotional stability, I tried to make the best of it by praying for my boys during those midnight feedings. There were many nights that I forgot, or just plain refused to, but I hope my prayers weren't in vain. Jake might not amount to anything because he slept through the night at 2 months and never looked back, but I'm pretty sure Ty will be the next Pope with the amount I've prayed for that child.

Heather and Steve, welcome to the greatest adventure you'll ever experience. You will laugh, you will cry, you will pray like you've never prayed before. Parenthood is the most exhausting and exhilarating task you will ever be called to. I know you're up for it!

And little Ella, welcome to the world. You've got a lot of people who love you and are praying for your new little family. You are truly a miracle, in more ways than one.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Til death do us part

It was six years ago today that Angela Alcorn became Angela Stump and Dan Stump became...the luckiest guy on the planet. Just kidding. If I were to iron his shirts like any good wife should do, THEN he would be the luckiest guy on the planet. But I have to remind him every once in a while that I'm not super-wife. So ironing is out.

Back to my love story. We've never had the gushy, whispering-sweet-nothings-into-each-others-ear type of relationship, as many of you can attest. Our nickname for each other is not honey or darling or schnookums, it's dude. Seriously. But I can guarantee you that our love goes just as deep, probably deeper, than the couples we make fun of for sitting on the same side of the booth at a restaurant while the other side remains empty.

I was looking through some old notes I'd saved from when we were dating, (because even though I fell asleep during Sense and Sensibility, I am, after all, still a girl) and I found this one, which made me smile. This was written on a piece of paper torn out of a spiral notebook, on Valentines Day of 1999, shortly after we had started dating (we were seniors in high-school). This will give you, my dear reader, a better idea of the way our relationship has always been:

"Ang--Even though I think Valentine's day is a pitiful holiday, I guess we get a chance to spend some time alone together so that makes it decent. The other night all the guys were talking about their girlfriends or the chicks that had enough talent to go out with them, and I realized that no one is even close to you. Don't get a big head or anything, but as far as I'm concerned you're head and shoulders above the rest. Deepening our friendship has truly been awesome, especially spiritually. I pray often that we will continue to strive for purity and that our relationship will be pleasing to God. I hope our relationship is as fun for you as it is for me. The last 3 months have been a blast and I know there are many more good times on the way. Later, dude."

That's my man. I don't think I got a big head, but I am confident he still thinks I'm head and shoulders above the rest. And we HAVE had more good times, more than we ever could have hoped for. And there are still many more on the way.

Daniel John Stump, you are my knight in shining armor, my prince charming, and I'm your princess with the glass slipper, and we'll live happily ever after, yada yada yada. God sure knew what he was doing putting the two of us together. But all joking aside...

I love that you constantly make me laugh. I love that you do the dishes when I'm just about to pull my hair out. I love that we have fun just being with each other. I love that you are a great father and a true example of a godly man to our boys.

I love you, dude. Happy anniversary.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sorry, boys!

I knew I needed to do the ugly baby post while my kids are still young and can't read the things I wrote about them. (If you didn't read my last post, "An ugly contest" read that one first, you'll appreciate this one more!) Of course now I'm realizing that theoretically they are going to have access to this blog for years to come. So I'd like to take this moment to clarify that I am convinced those ugly pictures had to have been doctored. No way were my children ever as ugly as those pictures make them out to be. And now I'm going to celebrate my kids' astonishing beauty by posting the "best of" collection. This one was much easier, of course, because of how many gorgeous pictures I had to choose from. Not nearly as funny, but shockingly magnificent, I'm sure you'll agree. Cute, no...breathtaking, don't you think?

The Best of Jake collage.

The best of Ty collage.

My favorite Jake picture. It had only been one year, but I couldn't imagine (and still can't) a better thing than the love between a momma and her boy.

Jake and Ty, now you won't have to go to therapy. Even if you weren't cute, you know I'd still love you. But I'm sure glad I don't have to put paper bags over your heads when I take you to WalMart.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

An ugly contest...

You know how Regis and Kelly do a beautiful baby competition? You send in the cutest picture you have of your baby and think for sure you'll win because the other 399 million babies that will enter the competition could not possibly be as beautiful as yours. I've been looking through some old pictures and thinking I should start a Ugliest Baby Picture competition. Holy moley. Or, as Jake used to say, "hohwee mohmee" some of these pictures are bad. I mean really bad. I'm posting these so that all you other parents out there with kids not nearly as cute as mine (usually) are, will be encouraged that even those adorable Stump kids are sometimes...hideous.

Jake's ugly collage. Wow. I've got this competition in the bag. Top to bottom, left to right (like reading, hmm)#1 Looking into the sun, and evidently trying to hide his lips. #2 17 days old and looking like an old man. An old, very bored man. #3 Attempting to smile, but just being ugly. #4 Never again will I let Dan near Jake's hair. #5 Slimy newborn, need I say more. #6 Futilely practicing the "hey baby" look. #7 Seriously. #8 Vomit on the face of a child, priceless. #9 Green snot is not really photogenic.

Ty's ugly collage. Are you sick to your stomach yet? #1 Afraid of the camera...or maybe just a case of rice-cereal-phobia. #2 Again, newborns are not cute. Ever. #3 Snapped right after the best picture ever taken, deciding one cute pic is quite enough for today, thank you. #4 Usually it's nice to see even one small piece of your child's face in a photo. #5 Yep, that's my baby. Sorry. #6 I tried to get a picture of the rash he had on his face, and you can't see how ugly the rash is because of how ugly the child is. #7 Coughing, and guaranteeing himself a top prize finish in my contest. #8 Why I started blogging AFTER Ty's early months. #9 Praying he would grow into his enormous head.

My favorite Ty ugly picture. The face only a mother could love.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Grown-up time!

We went to the beach this last weekend. The kids stayed home.

I'll rephrase that--the kids stayed "home" at both grandparents' houses (one night at each). I suddenly got a vision in my mind of the day we can actually leave our kids HOME, meaning our home, without supervision for a whole weekend. I'm picturing 16-year-old Jake washing and waxing his new Dodge Ram truck he's been saving for his whole life. I'm picturing 15-year-old Ty trying to help big bro, but ending up tripping over the hose and gashing his head on the driveway. Jake rolls his eyes because Ty still has stitches on his forehead from an incident last week. Jake grabs the keys and they head to the ER. They pull into the parking lot and Jake is now furious with Ty for bleeding all over his new truck, and while Ty is staggering in to the ER, Jake grabs a bottle of Windex and a rag from the glove compartment and goes to town.

We may be taking a lot more family vacations than I anticipated.

So back to the beach. We had such a great time. We went with three other couples, and it was so wonderful to have some full uninterrupted conversations that never started with "look at my eyes" or ended with "because I said so." We went to the Tilamook Cheese Factory and had 210 samples of cheese (we went through the line a few dozen times) and ate insanely delicious ice cream. We roasted s'mores on the beach and Vergil impressed us with his marshmallow roasting skills, and Kelsey impressed us with her idea of using Reeses peanut butter cups instead of plain chocolate. Yum is an understatement.
The guys built a pretty impressive sandcastle and we took a pretty impressive amount of pictures of it. We ate fish and chips and clam chowder at Mo's (I'm not a seafood gal, but their chicken strips are to die for.) We slept on air mattresses in the living room and laughed until we cried and until we wanted to shoot ourselves because of how late it was. So much for a restful vacation, but boy was it worth it.

Eric and Megan, Natalie and Paul, Vergil and Kelsey...
thanks for
an incredible weekend!