December 2015 – Christmas in SC

After a fun-filled Thanksgiving in Arizona, Michael and I parted ways. I took Colt & Finn to South Carolina and he returned to Brazil. Although we all flew together through Washington DC, my flight from DC to SC was the first time I ever flew solo with the boys. The flight is just an hour though and since Michael helped us until we boarded and my parents were waiting for us upon arrival, it was hardly a thing.

So, while Michael was looking at this:


Cheers, Trentchy.


Final mass at our favorite Catholic church in SP.

I was looking at these sweet faces:


Finn, happy to be at Gigi & Pasha’s.


“Nerd Bear” Colt.


Colt helping Gigi make chicken.


She’s braver than I am!


December 3: Papa Fincher with Baby Fincher.


Nanny & Papa Fincher.


Gigi & Pasha got Colt a new bike!



December 4: Uncle Brad meeting Finn!



Brad also did us a huge favor bringing some of their old baby stuff for Finn to use while we were in SC. 


Finn loved the mirror and all of the animal faces.


What baby doesn’t love a swing? So thankful to have some places to put Finn!


December 5: Grocery shopping with Gigi gets you a balloon!


Loves Pasha, loves bikes, loves balloons. #winning.

So again, at this point Michael was back in Brazil getting us fully moved out of our apartment and working. We had planned on meeting in DC on Wednesday, December 16 to look at houses together for the first time, with hopes that we would find something we loved. Every night my mom and I would look on Zillow and one night, a house that I had been eyeing got a price-reduction. I loved the house and became convinced that it was “the one” so on Saturday, December 5, we decided to throw the boys in the car, drive the 10 hours and go to the open house the next day.

The boys actually did great on the drive. We arrived late at night, brought their sleeping bodies into the hotel room and were off the next morning. Open houses were starting at 1pm so we decided to spend the morning eating and playing at McDonalds.


Play Place!

I already posted about our house-buying process but to re-cap, the house I had fallen in love with online was actually already under contract by the time the open house started. I was heartbroken but we kept on with our search. When we came to our house (the one that we bought), I ran in and did an initial pass while my mom entertained the kids in the car (read: gave Colt crackers). I really liked it so I asked my mom to walk through to get her opinion. She came back to the car and agreed that it was awesome. I went back in and eventually she brought both of the kids in as well so we could really all get a feel for it together. I was pretty sure that this was the house for us but obviously wanted Michael to be able to see it too. He was set to arrive in 10 days but unfortunately the realtor told us that we would need to have our offer in within TWO days in order to be considered. My mom called our family friend and local realtor, Pam Campbell, and she met us at the house. We looked around some more and ultimately decided to go for it!

That evening as my mom and I drove the 10 hours home with the boys, we talked through the process. Pam sent us all of the paperwork the next day and thankfully we had already gone through the mortgage approval process with our bank and they were very responsive in providing any & all documents (we love you First Republic!). So, we worked our tails off to get our offer in by Tuesday only to have their agent come back and tell us that there were 10 offers on the table. We had included a letter & photo and he said that although the sellers liked us, our offer would need to be stronger in order to be considered. Over the next 36 hours we ended up having to adjust and readjust a bunch of times and I was so stressed out and frustrated by the process that I almost wanted to walk away, but our love for the house kept us in and ultimately we got it! It turns out that we didn’t even have the very best offer on the table but the sellers did like us and felt confident that we would take it to close (thanks to some phone calls from our bankers to the sellers’ agent) so they chose us!

I think that any time you’re buying a house, especially in a competitive situation, it’s very stressful but this was particularly stressful to me since Michael hadn’t been able to see the house or drive through the neighborhood or walk around the area. And truthfully he hardly had time to talk through each revised offer since he was so busy packing up our apartment in Brazil, not to mention working! But then, just like that, we were under contract!

Meanwhile, back in South Carolina…


Happy Finn.


Colt & Pasha bringing in the Christmas tree!!


Yard picnic.


These two…


And this guy!


At May’s baptism in Charleston!

Nanny & Papa are members of the Columbia zoo and we always love going with them when we’re in town.


Feeding the llamas.



Colt & Papa are always getting up to something!



Pony rides! (Thankful Colt does NOT seem to be allergic like his daddy…)


Gorilla watching.


The eyes on this guy!


And the chin & cheeks! 


Just like Jake!


Colt has always been so good with Finn.


Love watching their friendship develop.




Now Colt’s turn!



When Michael finally flew to DC mid December, he was actually able to go to our home inspection! He totally trusted me but upon seeing the house in person he was even more excited about it and the whole neighborhood so that was a huge relief. I left Colt with my parents for a couple days and flew up with Finn to meet Michael there.


Coffee break with Finn!


While Michael and I were in DC, my parents took Colt back to Charleston to celebrate May’s first birthday.


Augusta Clare, Brad & Colt!

Then Michael and I returned to SC where we stayed through Christmas.


Christmas Coltchie.


Live Nativity at my parents’ church.


Colt & donkey. 


Our little Christmas elf.


Heart eyes emoji.




My dad & cousin took Michael to the shooting club for an afternoon of “fun”

December 22: Augusta Clare came to stay one night early so that she and Colt could get a little extra time together. They adore each other and are so freakin cute together. IMG_0904IMG_0906IMG_0909IMG_0924IMG_0928

Then, Gigi decided to let them make Christmas cookies…! IMG_0933IMG_0934IMG_0935IMG_0937IMG_0941

December 23: My brother’s family came to my parents’ house to stay the night and my grandparents visited for dinner & gifts!IMG_0942IMG_0944IMG_0947IMG_0952IMG_0954IMG_0959IMG_0038


The 4 grandkids! Ages: 2.5, 1, 4, and 4 months

The next morning – Christmas Eve – we all went to the Governor’s Mansion for pictures. My mom got the cute outfits for the grandkids and I think the pictures are adorable.

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Christmas Eve Church service.


Pasha teaching Colt the art of the shoe-shine.


Colt decked out in sweet winter gear from his godparents! Thanks Mike & Mo!


Finn rocking his sweet “necker-chew”

Then on December 27, we flew west to Arizona to get ready for our New Years celebrations and for Finn’s baptism. IMG_1102IMG_1103

**Up Next: New Years in Arizona!


Thanksgiving 2015 – Arizona

Upon our departure from Brazil, we flew directly to Arizona for Thanksgiving and to celebrate Vinay & Thu’s wedding, but our first stop was to Hidden Valley for a few days of bliss.


Colt & Papa feeding the ducks.


Colt getting into Michael’s old train set at their new barn.


Morning colors.



Finn learning about the ducks.


Front yard aka the orchard.


Colt & Dad swinging.

Colt learning all about the joys of the leaf pile.


After a few days at Hidden Valley, we headed back to Phoenix for Vinay’s wedding celebrations. Vinay is one of Michael’s dearest friends from growing up – I think they met in 1st grade. Vinay is 1st generation Indian American and Thu is 1st generation Vietnamese American. Both families obviously have strong cultural traditions surrounding wedding practices and instead of pick & choose, the couple honored both families and just did EVERYTHING. The celebrations were pretty extensive so we didn’t attend everything, but here is a look at all of the weddings and events that we did go to!

1) Traditional Vietnamese ceremony at Thu’s parents’ house.


Some of the cute greeters.



Beautiful bride & groom.


Awesome Vietnamese food after!

2) Sangeet which included tons of amazing, choreographed dances by all of Vinay’s cousins and the wedding party (the groomsmen did great!) and even a solo sung by Thu to Vinay. This is right about the time when I was wishing I was Indian…so much fun!IMG_1502IMG_0660


Wedding party.


My GORGEOUS clothes were borrowed from my very generous friend, Amy Kapoor.


Colt’s clothes were borrowed from Amy too (minus his embarrassing white-boy sneaks).



Toast time!

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Groomsmen dance!

Watch their dance HERE!!


Henna + dance moves.


Colt & Chambo!

3) Baraat followed by main Indian ceremony.


Again, amazing sari was borrowed from Amy. THANK YOU AMY!!!


Vinay’s parents had beautiful outfits made in India for Michael & the groom’s party.


Brophy Boys.





Wedding party!


4) “American” white dress, tux ceremony & reception


Perfect couple, perfect night!

It was such a blast and an honor to participate in all of Vinay & Thu’s beautiful wedding celebrations. They are an awesome couple with such warm, welcoming and FUN families. Congratulations again to Thu & Vinay!

The wedding caused us to delay Thanksgiving until Saturday but after a jam-packed few days, it was great to just relax with family.

IMG_0663IMG_4222IMG_4224From Arizona, Michael and I flew together to Washington DC at which point I continued on with the kids to SC and Michael went down to Brazil! More on that next!

November 2015: Brazil Closeout

Back to playing catch-up. November was our family’s last month living in Brazil. When we flew to the states last November for Thanksgiving, Colt, Finn & I were leaving Brazil for good (Michael returned for work and was back and forth through the end of January). So, we spent our final weeks soaking up the city that had become our home over the previous 4 years. We hung out with friends, ate at all of our favorite restaurants, enjoyed our then, 2 year old and 3 month old, sold all of our furniture, tried to pack so that we could live out of suitcases for 3 months and generally lived in denial that the end of this chapter was truly at hand. Here are some random photos from our final weeks.


Colt was a little confused about how the whole nursing thing worked…


This is Colt “feeding Numnum”


Michael’s article published in Folha de São Paulo – the largest, most widely circulated paper in Brazil! Page 3, above the fold. So awesome!


Play date with Hudson girls!


Uncle Joe for a visit.


Just a few Harper boys.


Little Fincher.


Happy chubster.


Colt went through a cork phase where these were his favorite toys.


Mega blocks!


Finn testing out crib-life. (At this point Colt was still in a crib & Finn was stuck in a bassinet.)


Tummy time!


Better together.


That face!


Big brother of the year award!


Not even 3 months but looking strong!


And adorable.








Heading out with my boys!


Colt and Rosy checking out the Christmas displays at the mall.


Fincher’s 3 month pictures!


Happy little angel.


Final girls lunch with Paige & Michelle.


Steak frites!



See Colt’s identical blowout in his 3 month photo dump too!



Paige & Mailey playing with Colt while I tried to pack…


Final dinner – Espirito Santo with Hudson girls (Trent traveling).


These two… 



November 22 – Colt, Finn & I say our final goodbyes to Brazil. Excited but also heartbroken.


Praying in thankfulness for God’s kindness to us during our time in Brazil.


Airport Coltchie.


With the boys & the bags.


Stretching before a long flight.


Arizona, here we come!




There’s no way to really post about what our 4 years in Brazil meant to us or what it felt like to say goodbye, but here’s an abridged version.

When I first posted about us moving to Brazil, we really didn’t know what to expect or how long we would be there. The primary impetus for moving there was professional but at the same time it was also a big professional gamble. When Michael first asked about making the transfer, Jones Day hadn’t even opened their São Paulo office so there were a lot of unknowns. But professionally, our time there yielded so much more than he could have even hoped. He adored his coworkers, did such interesting work, and it brought us to where we are today.

Michael’s Portuguese language fluency is now perfect and I can actually get a thing or two done in Portuguese too!

And living down the street from Joe…we never could have appreciated how precious that would be, especially when we were all otherwise a continent away from family. Joe was Michael’s SECOND best friend. 😉 Every week they were running in the park, meeting up for suco or beer, and generally getting up to no good. Joe is who made phone calls to both Brazilian and American women for me when we first moved there, making sure I made friends and had something to do. When Michael would travel for work, Joe would always call to check up on me and after Colt was born, he would be sure to visit to play with Colt and make sure we were doing fine. When we went into labor with Finn, Joe got the 4am call to come stay with Colt. He was there to reassure Colt when he woke up and Mom & Dad were gone and Joe brought Colt to the hospital to meet his brother for the first time. Joe actually “moved” back to the states a couple months before we did (it’s in “” because he continued to return for work pretty regularly) and Michael and I literally sat and cried at the closing of that chapter.

And the friends. The friends! The FRIENDS!! Going into it, we never really considered friends as part of our Brazil experience and looking back, they are really what defines it. We certainly made great Brazilian friends, but our closest friends were fellow expats. The expat community was so tight knit – we truly became family to each other. We all moved there and met when we were married with no kids and now we’ve ALL had kids and most of us did it together, 3 of us did it together twice. And maybe because we all met without kids, in a city that is uber-social, maybe because even after we had kids we also had help, but we got together constantly. There was always something. Dinner out at a restaurant, wine-tasting or cook-off or costume party or game night at a friends’ place, traveling to some new beach for a long weekend… We just lived in community together. We took care of each other.

And for Michael and me, the Brazil experience was incredible. I really can’t put it into words. We cried together a little, laughed together a ton and made amazing memory after amazing memory together, including bringing two beautiful boys into this world. São Paulo is the city where I have lived the longest and it’s where Michael & I have spent the majority of our married life. What a treasure to have been able to do those 4 magical years with my best friend. Thank you, Lord.


That time I was blonde & in commercials

Back at the end of 2012, an expat friend of ours who worked in marketing got wind that there was a casting happening with a role for an American English speaker. A few of my girlfriends and I went to audition for the part and they called me back to do it! Unfortunately, I had just started my job with WINGS and I wasn’t going to be able to work it out with my work schedule so they found someone else and it never happened. Fast forward to August 2013 and they called me back to see if I would audition for another commercial. I had just had Colt in September so I was home and was able to go audition and this time it worked out!

The company shooting the commercial, Open English, offers online English classes so my role in their advertisements was to be “the English teacher” at the very end who would just give the tag line for Open English. Back in 2013 I was shooting for commercials that would play throughout Spanish speaking Latin America and Spain so I actually had to deliver the message in Spanish. However, it was funny because they really wanted me to keep the accent of an American, English speaker so as to emphasize that their teachers are native English speakers. So I had to sound super-gringa.

Furthermore, to make me even more ultra-American, they wanted me to dye my hair blonde. I really didn’t want to dye it but they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, so…


Final look at the brown hair.


In the chair.




Dinner that night.

The next day I went in for the commercial shoot. Colt was just about 6 weeks old at the time so I was obviously still nursing every few hours but thankfully the shoot also coincided with the Harpers’ visit to come meet Colt! So, Sharon came with me to the shoot and babysat Colt while I was working which still allowed me to feed him when necessary. It was fun to have Sharon there for it and she did a great job keeping Colt entertained (and quiet!) while we were working.

For the commercial in 2013 they wanted me to dress “in character” with the different commercial spots so, although I was basically delivering the same message each time, I had to do different outfits and different phrasing depending on the commercials. (Commercials linked below.)


For example, here is the “Western” look.

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Clip from the commercial


Colt checking out the set.

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Clip from another commercial.

They also took some stills to use for their website.


Wearing my headset, being an “English teacher.”

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Here is an example of how they used the still-shots on their website.

It was (kind of) fun to be blonde for a couple days but after the shooting I immediately dyed my hair back to brown. However over time, the brown dye faded a bit and just all of the chemicals were so bad for my hair and eventually I just cut it shorter and tried to grow it out.

Fast forward to November 2015. I had just had Finn, had just grown out all of the chemicals and…I got a call to shoot with Open English again, and again, they wanted me to dye my hair. I tried to push back but they bought me out and at least we compromised on just highlights this time.


Back in the chair.

This time was a little bit more of a whirlwind and all happened in one day. After getting my hair done I rushed off to the shoot. We were able to leave Colt with our maid/nanny, Rosy, and Michael brought Finn with me so that I could feed him when needed since I was going to be away from the house for an indefinite amount of time. It was a rainy evening but we got it all done before the night was over. IMG_2931IMG_2937IMG_2940

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Screen shot from commercial this time!

This time, since the hair color wasn’t as drastic I opted not to do another dye job and instead to just try to grow the highlights out. Still working on that…

Anyway, just another random Brazilian adventure! 🙂

Some samples — 2013 Commercial Spots:






2015 Commercial 

Finn’s 1st Birthday Party!

To celebrate Finn turning 1, Michael and I invited some friends over for a little cornhole and cupcakes in our backyard. His birthday coincided with the Arlington County Fair which happens to be right across the street, just steps from our front yard, so we had people over from 2-5 so that friends could check out the Fair before / after the party. We were also super fortunate to have my parents in town to celebrate with us too!



“Feliz Aniversario” for our Brazilian!



“Booze & Kazoos” gift bags.


Back porch.


Arizona / South Carolina Cornhole!


Some of the entertainment for the kids.


My cousin’s family came and brought an old family heirloom rocking horse & Finn loves it!


Party scene.


Loads of kiddos. Just how we like it. 🙂 


More little ones!


Our youngest attendee, Reed.


Finn with his favorite person!


Double fisting. Finn & Graham.


Colt, wearing his birthday hat, drawing a happy family.


Beautiful Schuh family!


BC (& honorary BC) + kiddos.


+ Spouses.


SO thoughtful of our friends & neighbors to bring this Spiderman balloon for Colt!


Setting up for cupcakes with cousins Gavin & Delaney.



The Brazilian way – a sparkler in lieu of a candle!



Finn thought it was a good idea to grab the whole cupcake.



Happy birthday boy!



Harper bros.


Cupcake bros.


Colt back for round 2 (or 3?). #cupcaketummy



Thanks to all who celebrated with us. What a fun blessing!

Happy Birthday Finn! 1 Year.

Happy Birthday Fincher Oliver! Today you turned 1! image1

Finn developments: Sweet angel Finn, you are such a blessing and a dream.

You aren’t walking on your own yet but you are are “cruising” around furniture at record speed and generally prefer to be on your feet whenever possible. You can stand in place on your own for up to 20 or 30 seconds before grabbing back onto something for support of going back to the ground again. You will walk around the house with me if I hold your hands up and support you but even after a few minutes of that you squirm out and opt to crawl or cruise. You did take your first step the a few days ago though – Daddy set you down on the floor in a standing position just out of reach of our bed and you took a step then immediately grabbed onto the bed. We repeated this a few times and you did it again but if we set you too far away (2 steps length) then you’d just drop to a crawl. It was almost like you would only take the step if you didn’t realize you were doing it and thought you could basically just reach out and grab the bed. Anyway, no rush to walk but I don’t think you’re too far from it now. IMG_5152


We haven’t baby-proofed our stairs and you love to charge up whenever you get bored. Since someone always chases you up the stairs (not old enough to do them unattended) you have learned to associate going up stairs with playing with someone / being chased so now, as soon as you decide to start heading towards the stairs you start giggling a big, loud giggle. This has helped us to always know when you’re on your way up and, as you hope, we always chase after you and only reinforce the fun. To go down you slide on your tummy but after you get down 1 step you stand up on your feet and climb back up again. I think you just get confused so we still have work to do to learn how to go down safely. IMG_3137

You’re not a huge talker but you do babble a bit. Most of your “words” fall into the “ba” and “da” category, including: Dada, baa (what does the sheep say?), buhbuh (bubbles), du (duck), ba (bath)… you get the idea. That being said you are getting better at imitating other sounds and we’re starting to hear more “ha”s and “la”s from you. Still waiting on that “Mama” sound, Mr. Fincher! IMG_1409

You can give a good, hard blink on command (so funny), put your hands on your head, clap, wave and you give the wettest open mouth kisses. You can sometimes point to your ears or your nose but definitely not batting 1000 for those. You love to take things off the shelves or out of containers but also like putting things back into them as well. You can stack 1 block on top of another but can knock down a whole tower. 😉 You’re good at following simple instructions, especially ones that we can demonstrate. You like bath time but always make me nervous since you are constantly trying to climb. It’s actually easiest when you take a bath with Colt since he helps keep you entertained without you slipping all over the place. You do NOT like getting your diaper changed and fuss the second I lay you on your back, however when I lay you on your back in your crib for bed you smile and start giggling almost every time. IMG_3785

You absolutely love music, singing and dancing. You will rock out and bounce around like crazy if there is good music going and you just love to watch other people dance. You giggle and sometimes spin in circles on your tush to try to participate in the fun. IMG_1240

You love playing with your brother Colt and, bless his heart, you ALWAYS want EXACTLY the toy that he’s playing with. We can get out 100 toys for you and surround you with them, make noises, etc. but whatever Colt picks up, that’s what you want to investigate. And even more-so if he builds something like a block tower or a train track or a lego creation. And man you just love to destroy them all. Colt is not so keen on this so while you guys actually do play really well together, we are still at an age spread that requires a good amount of parental management. I can leave you two to play together on your own for decent chunks of time though, especially in the basement or somewhere with lots of toy options and space. And when we’re playing together, Colt is really good about choosing to do things like play chase with you or set things out for you get (“treasure hunting”) or dancing and singing to you. Speaking of you & Colt – you two crack me up every day. He loves to “go check Finn” when you’re waking up from a nap which always involves him tossing random stuffed animals into your crib and running around your room. At any rate, Colt is a great friend and playmate for you – you really got lucky with that big brother of yours! P1040787



And no offense to Colt or to me but your absolute favorite person on planet Earth is Dada. You are obsessed with him. When he comes home from work you go bananas – you get a huge smile and then almost go into an all-out panic until he picks you up and you’ll cry if he puts you down too soon. Sometimes this is tricky since he often bikes to/from work so he’ll be pouring sweat and you just INSIST that he holds you! The other day Dad came home while you and Colt were eating. He sat down at the table and you just freaked out every time that he started talking to and looking at Colt and me. You wanted his full attention. It’s so funny!! You also give Dad the best “snuggles” where you put your head on his chest and hug him so tightly with both hands. But you have such a stud dad so I don’t blame you one bit. IMG_4144IMG_1418

Health: Praise God for your continued health and well being – you continue to grow so beautifully. We are due for your 1 year checkup but I think you’re around:

Weight: 22 lbs
Height: 30.5″ tall
Diapers: We’re finishing up our final pack of size 3 then moving up to 4s.
Clothes: 12 months
Teeth: 6! You have the front 4 + one more up & down on the left side.

You have the milkiest, creamiest skin on earth. I just want to pour you in my coffee and drink you up! Your eyes are such a clear, bright beautiful blue, and they are so freakin happy. You are SLOWLY growing some blonde hair but still have a long way to go on that front. Occasionally you’ll get tylenol if you’re teething and you’ve had a cold or two but otherwise nothing to report. IMG_4730IMG_3402

At birth you were diagnosed with an abdominal hemangioma. Based on a few factors, the doctors told us that it was unlikely that it would resolve itself and instead you would probably need surgery. We recently went in for a final follow up where it was established that God healed you and it’s now a total non-issue! Also, in one of the ultrasounds to investigate your hemangioma it was found that you had some dilation in one of your kidneys and we are thankful to report that this has also resolved on it’s own. Thank you, Lord. IMG_4869

Feeding: Finn, you are an awesome but kind of funny, slightly aggressive eater. What do I mean by that? Well, for starters, you’re just a great eater. You are not picky and are really good about eating whatever we’re eating whether that’s chicken, pasta, broccoli, mushrooms, chili, pancakes, eggs, turkey, sandwiches, spinach, cereal, etc. You like almost everything but have shown a few preferences / dislikes (no grapes or blueberries for you!). This is a HUGE breath of fresh air / relief since Colt is so picky, however I look back at Colt’s 1 year post and see that I was still “pretty much pureeing” most of his real meals at this point — what?!?! So, who knows the extent to which this influenced things but I do feel like the way we fed Colt made him generally more hesitant to try new flavors, textures, etc. and has generally made him picky. (I think my logic at the time was that since he was already picky, the easiest way to give him good nutrients was to puree it all together but looking back I think it was a little nuts!) Anyway, you have no problem trying new foods and in fact insist on trying whatever we are eating – and 95% of the time you like it! You don’t have a full set of teeth so of course I can’t give you many raw veggies and generally have to cut things into small pieces but otherwise you like being part of the action.
OK, now for the funny and aggressive parts. Funny: also very unlike your brother, you really like to feed yourself and when you’re able to (as in, when I judge that it won’t be too big of a mess and I let you do it) you get SO excited and giggle the entire time with your funny machine-gun laugh. At the same time, this desire to feed yourself often makes you a little aggressive. You will want to hold the bowl or fork or food so badly and you kind of turn into a screamer in the high chair. It’s so strange. You literally never behave this way but as soon as I stick you in your high chair, if you’re not immediately eating or if you’re trying to take control and grab things you just start screaming. And waving your hands around like a mad man, often knocking things out of my hands. And sometimes you get so worked up that you start flinging yourself around. It’s really weird. I do NOT like this but don’t really know what to do about it… It even gets on Colt’s nerves and he’ll be sitting in his seat trying to shush you throughout the meal. Anyway, here’s to hoping we outgrow this little nuance sooner than later… IMG_4835

You are still nursing and we just dropped from 4x/day to 3x. I am planning on weaning this month and I think you’ll be pretty ambivalent about it. You’re a good nurser but get distracted if there are other things going on. We’ve tested cows milk with you a few times and you like it just fine so I don’t think we’ll have the struggle that we had from your bro when we make the switch.

Sleeping: This is your superpower, Finn! Not because you sleep an abnormal amount but just because you are so easy and SO consistent. I think that since you were about 7 weeks old you have slept through the night (like, 10+ hours) and since then I bet I could count on 1 hand the number of times that I’ve had to get up to comfort you during the nights. You fall asleep for naps and nighttime without any problem and wake up slowly, giving me plenty of notice before you start fussing. Sometimes you’ll roll around and “wake-up” for 30 minutes before really asking to get up. (I appreciate this because I always knew the exact MOMENT that your brother woke up!) Occasionally when we travel you will take some time to adjust either to a time-change or a new environment but you always seem to work it out pretty quickly and adapt. IMG_5655

Your only sleep issue is that it’s getting harder for you to sleep in public. If I try to drag you in your carseat / stroller for a morning activity out with Colt, then it’s almost guaranteed that you won’t fall asleep until the car ride home. This would be fine if you could go with only 1 nap but you can’t. You still need a second one. So then you’re napping through dinner. So far it’s not a real problem since even if you wake up from your second nap at 6:30 you are still happy to go to bed at 8 and I’m hoping you can move to 1 nap soon (although it’s not looking like it’ll be too soon!).

The only other situation where this is a problem is when we’re traveling. On car trips you do fine – great actually – and if there is an open seat on a plane and we can bring your carseat on then we can block you off enough for you to fall asleep. However, on our last flight (your 22nd!!), there were no extra seats. When we boarded the plane you were already overdue for your nap and then we proceeded to get 4 hours of crying or either your dad or me walking you up and down the aisles. You were SO tired and I was sure that you wouldn’t be able to last through the whole flight but Fincher, you went the distance, crying all the way through the landing. Upon arrival we picked up your car seat and stroller at the gate-check and literally within seconds you were passed out.

You prefer to sleep in your crib in a sleep sack with a couple of blankies, blankets and pacis with your sound machine in the background.

Schedule: With an older brother who likes to be out & about it’s hard to keep to this too religiously, but your “ideal” schedule looks something like this:

7:50 am Wake up, first morning feed with Mom.
8:30 am Breakfast (usually a full banana then some yogurt)
9:45-12:00 pm Nap #1. It still shocks me every day that just 2 hours after waking up from sleeping for 12 hours you’re ready for this big nap!
12:00 pm Wake up and nurse #2 with Mom.
12:30 pm Lunch
3:00-4:45pm Nap #2
5:00 pm Nurse with #3 with Mom.
6:15 pm Dinner
7:50 pm Bedtime! IMG_3455

Mama’s thoughts: What a tremendous blessing of joy you are to our family. So much has happened in our lives in the past year and you’ve just been such a shining light through all of it.

On the day that you were born, the word God gave me for you was “wisdom” and the verse He gave me was Proverbs 1:7 (The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.). I know it might sound silly to say that I see and pray for wisdom in your life, you, a little baby just now 1 year old. But as God lets me cast a vision for your life, that is the cornerstone. Wisdom, as God defines it. Wisdom as fear of the Lord. Fear as worship, for the Almighty God, the only one who has the power to save us not just in this life but for eternity – the one who, upon seeing our sin, could have cast us out forever but instead ran towards us in compassionate mercy and does so every day again and again through the person of Jesus Christ. I pray that these things be the defining markers of your life, my precious Finn. God is giving me faith and a vision that they will.IMG_5288

Nov 2015 – Beco do Batman Photo Shoot!

In an attempt to get a Christmas card photo and take advantage of one of São Paulo’s coolest backdrops, we went to famous Beco do Batman (Batman Alley) with the Hudson family for a little photo shoot. While I think that both families walked away with some great family pictures, some of the sweetest moments were between Colt & Mailey. True best friends.


Stopping for a quick feed!DSC_0328DSC_0333DSC_0345DSC_0358

The beautiful Hudson family!!DSC_0366DSC_0402

omg these 2… breaks my heart a little that we have separated them… DSC_0411DSC_0412DSC_0416DSC_0422DSC_0424DSC_0428DSC_0431DSC_0432DSC_0433DSC_0429DSC_0434

Back at it. But the kids are clearly done.DSC_0451DSC_0454DSC_0467DSC_0485DSC_0545DSC_0553DSC_0563

The end!