Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mathatas Family Christmas Letter 2013

First of all, is it possible to write a Christmas letter without saying something cheesy, generic or sounding obnoxiously self-centered?  Yes, I guess it is, because I don't think that when I read other people's letters, I just want the news.  I think I'm just being hypercritical of myself.  Here goes!

Miles was fussy after surgery and Cooper came and laid next to him.

January:  We received a visit from Grandma Marta and Grandpa DeLoe (James' mom and stepdad) from Ohio.  Miles was two months old in January and had his first surgery (a double tenotomy where they cut both his Achilles tendons).  He was fitted in his "skateboard" brace 3 weeks later. 

February:  James and I's Valentine's Day date with friends from Church.  So fun!

March:  Read "Financial Peace University" by Dave Ramsey.  Life-changing!  The quest began to get out of debt!  Also, Miles' right foot didn't look too good after 1 month in his brace, so he went back into serial casting (a different set of casts each week). 
"Her eyes just disappears when she smiles, don't they?"

April:  I started to get into the groove and learning lots about being a stay-at-home mom.  James was learning stuff, too, but he's not the one writing the Christmas letter.  :)

May:  We had a visit from James' dad, Jim, from Ohio.  We had prayerfully decided a few weeks before to put our condo on the market and move to Ohio.  Jim got there just in time to help us get it in good shape for selling. 
3 generations of James at Home Depot.

June:  Miles gets out of casts and back in his brace, which allowed us to go swimming, yea!  We also had a visit from Grandma Ruth (James' maternal grandma) and Grandma Marta. 

July:  Things started to get busy for James with his calling as Young Men's President.  This month the scouts did the Pancake Breakfast for Independence Day.  He also had Scout Camp in July.  We also moved in with my parents in Parker in July and sold our condo.  It was really nice to have been able to spend extra time with them before we moved to Ohio.
August:  Miles started feeding himself in August.  Yea!  Because he has arthogryposis which affects his hands, we weren't sure how that was going to work out.  Also in August, Jen and Braxton moved back from Chicago to Colorado. 
Miles' first Rockies game, Labor Day

Miles' first haircut.


September:  James and the dogs drove out to Ohio at the beginning of September.  Miles and I flew out a week later.  We started house-hunting and found one in Ashland, about 5 minutes from James' dad and stepmom.  Christy and Miles flew back to Colorado to meet Baby Ethan. 
We'll love you forever, Ethan!
October:  We closed and moved into our house in Ashland.  Miles was a snowboarder for his first Halloween. 

November:  Miles turned 1 years old!  My how time flies!  We celebrated our first Thanksgiving in our new home and also travelled to Michigan for John (James' older brother) and Danielle's wedding. 
December:  Miles' second surgery, just on his right foot this time.  It went well and he is back in his brace.  We are getting ready for our first Christmas in Ohio!
Getting ready for surgery at Akron Children's Hospital.

It has been a busy year.  We are very blessed to be healthy and happy.  It is nice to look back at where you've been.  Sometimes I think that life will always be as it is now.  But looking back all I can see is that life is always changing.  We are learning things, overcoming difficulties, finding joy in little things, and realizing that Heavenly Father has been there all along.  We are grateful for a Savior who allows us to overcome faults and mistakes, and also helps us through the things we find difficult.  We are learning to rely on His help and are grateful for His grace and goodness as we celebrate His birth.  Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Motherhood: Feeling Inadequate

Alma 26:12 "Yea, I know that I am anothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will bnot boast of myself, but I will cboast of my God, for in his dstrength I can do all ethings; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

As a mom, and I still consider myself a new mom, I feel inadequate just about every day.  I have a hard time being patient with myself as I learn the skills I am learning to be a good mom.  For some reason, I think I should just come hardwired with all these things, but you learn them as you go.  I was thinking about it in the shower this morning and realized I have only been doing this job for a year.  It takes time to learn new things. 

I read this verse this morning and I realized for the millionth time where my strength comes from and where I can look for help in my difficulties.  I love this message Elder Holland gives to mothers.

That message comes from this talk.  A young mother, writing to Elder Holland and quoted in this talk said this,

"Maybe it is precisely our inability and anxiousness that urge us to reach out to Him and enhance His ability to reach back to us. Maybe He secretly hopes we will be anxious,” she said, “and will plead for His help. Then, I believe, He can teach these children directly, through us, but with no resistance offered. I like that idea,” she concludes. “It gives me hope. If I can be right before my Father in Heaven, perhaps His guidance to our children can be unimpeded. Maybe then it can be His work and His glory in a very literal sense.” 

I tend to think of it as a weakness to rely on others for help, but he says, "Rely on Him, rely on Him heavily."  I will try to do just that. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Miles!

Last bath before surgery:  Livin' it up with all my lake buddies!
This past Wednesday was Miles first birthday!  Yea!  He had surgery the day before (which went very well) and his 1-year check-up the next day with shots.  But at least he got pancakes on his birthday and we celebrated with family and cupcakes last night.  He weighs 9.47 kilos, and is 28.5 inches long. 

Pre-Op at Akron Children's

"I'm not shy!"
 Some pictures of Miles with some of his new toys. 

This month's vegetable oddity:  heart-shaped potato!  My life is complete!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpkin Carving and Other News

Miles first pumpkin carving experience.  He liked it!  He kept sticking his hand in the pumpkin, then pulling it out and touching the outside of the pumpkin.  

 I put some of the goop from inside the pumpkin on his tray of his highchair so he could feel it, and go figure, he ate it.

 I tried to get it out of his mouth, but he ended up swallowing some.  Whoops!  At least we gave him some water to wash it down.


Miles had his first appointment today with the orthopedic doctor at Children's Hospital in Akron.  He thought his right foot didn't look too good, which is true, it has never been too good.  Because Miles has arthogryposis in connection with club feet, his feet are more complex than a kid with just club feet.  We thought he would need surgery eventually, we were just waiting until it seemed like the right time.  We decided to go ahead and do the surgery soon since we'll be hitting our deductible this year.  So he will be getting surgery on his right foot next Tuesday, November 12th, 1 day shy of his first birthday.  Of course we're not excited about him having surgery again, but hopefully they can correct his foot completely this time and it will keep the correction.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Since writing last my sister Laura and her husband had a little boy, Ethan, who was born and passed away on September 30th.  If you don't know about them, you can read about him and see more pictures on their blog.  I would like to write about a million things about this experience, but what I will say is that it was such a privilege to be there for his birth, and to be able to be there for his funeral.  It has reminded me how precious life is, how lucky we are to understand the Plan of Salvation, how sustaining the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be, and just to be grateful.  There's so much around us to be grateful for, and so often I look at what I don't have, instead of what I do.  Ethan, we love you!  You will forever be in our hearts and your cousins will know who you are and what your parent's did to give you the best possible chance at life, and they will know about your life, even though it was short. 

I LOVE pictures of Mom seeing baby for the first time.  I think it is the most amazing moment to be able to capture, and Laura has a picture like that.  I love it.  It makes me cry every time I see a picture like this.  There is no way to describe in words how beautiful it is, the expression on Mom's face.  I want to create some kind of book full of pictures of Mom seeing baby for the first time. 

After I got back from Colorado, we closed on our house and moved in the very same day.  We are slowly getting unpacked, still have some to do.  I would like to take pictures of it now that we live here, probably after this week.  I have unrealistic expectations about how all our stuff and ourselves and our habits have all magically become perfect since we moved into this perfect house, but somehow that didn't happen.  But it is still a beautiful house and actually I kind of like all our imperfect, unmatching furniture, and who can live without putting things on their refrigerator?  I can't, and I won't.  Pictures to follow. 
James and I have callings, we are Primary workers, working with the Sunbeams together. 
One of Miles' first haircuts, Colorado, August 2013
Visiting Grandma Ruth at the train station in Denver, August 2013
Miles' First Rockies' Game, September 2013
At the Park in Ashland, September 2013, I'm not sure why I have a carharrts (warm) sweatshirt on and Miles has short sleeves...oh, well. 
Ready for Church, er, um, Applebees?  Miles favorite toy is looking inside my purse.  September 2013
Picking out a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch, October 2013, with his Brutus hat
Ashland County Fair, September 2013

Pumpkin Picture October 2013

As a snowboarder for Halloween, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our First Few Days in Ohio

If only I had some pictures to go with all these experiences, dang it!  Miles and I got here last Saturday, September 7th.  James and I promptly began looking at houses and we found a cute little house near downtown Ashland, very well kept and in our price range.  So we put in an offer and it was accepted outright.  Awesome!  We thought we were going to have to do some negotiating.  We've had our inspection and have our loan, so I think we just need an appraisal still.  We are probably going to be closing somewhere around October 10th.  There are a few electrical issues (which I think is a ghost, :)) that need further inspection, but otherwise the inspection went well.  I love this house and I can't believe I'm gonna get to live in it.  The kitchen is beautiful and it has an office with a door for James to work from home.  It also has a buckeye tree out front, which James says is a good omen.  :)

The Ashland County Fair is in town and guess who's already been twice?  Last night we went to the Easton Corbin concert, which was very good.  We also had some deep-fried oreos.  DELICIOUS!  Today I took Miles to see the animals.  I'm not sure what I expected him to do, but he didn't show a lot of expression at seeing them.  Just kind of watched.  Oh, well.  It was fun.  My favorite display was "vegetable oddities."  I have pictures, but my camera cord is in storage. 

Our ward has been very nice and very welcoming.  We've had dinner with some members and there's a softball game tonight and a Relief Society activity tomorrow night. 

There are two farmer's markets here, one on Wednesday and the other on Saturday.  Most of the fruits and vegetables sold are from Amish farms.  We've had some green beans, rhubarb, corn-on-the-cob, potatoes and peppers from the farmer's markets, all have been really good! 

The library here is great, they have lots of programs for moms and kids.  We signed up for the baby laptime group, which starts next week.  Now that I think about it, Miles is not really a "laptime" kind of baby, but we'll see how it goes.  I met a friend at the library with a little 4 month old boy and we've had a playdate and a weekly playdate set up for the future.

We've had lots of other fun experiences, including trying to find things in our storage unit, helping James' dad put a roof on their new garage, and driving up near Cleveland to go to Costco. 

Am I homesick?  Of course.  I almost teared up today in the livestock pavilion when I told the guy we had moved from Colorado and he said, "Oh, you're FAR from home!"  BUT, I know that here is starting to feel like home and it will get easier as time goes by and we make more friends here.  Having our own place will help a lot.  And I'm starting to think where precisely you live matters less than what you do in your family and how you live.  I sure can't wait to see all my stuff again, though :). 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Family Pictures and what's going on with us

We sold our condo in Aurora, are living with my parents and are planning to move to Ohio in about a month, to be closer to James' family.


Blue Steel

My favorite

Miles did GREAT!  Such a ham!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Makin' Friends

Anyone sick of baby pictures yet?  I will try and post about something other than Miles soon.  I just send pictures to family once a month so it's easy just to do the blog while I'm at it. 

With Paige.  Aren't her curlers adorable?  I think Miles thinks so, too.  It's hard to say what Paige thinks of Miles...

Chatting it up with Gwen.  "Oh, me?  Yeah, I come here a lot."

Between the white one and Cooper, Cooper is his favorite.

Hanging out with Lucas.

His best friend (besides me, of course) is his dad.