and thank you too

As Zane's first birthday approaches I'm realizing how lucky we have been to be surrounded by others that just want to love Zane. Of course the grandparents love him and show this in a way I never thought possible. Seeing our parents with Zane has brought a new understanding to them as individuals and to see their joy in the simple with him. Our siblings have taken on playing with Zane in a way that fits with each of their personalities. Whether it's holding Zane while watching golf, letting him play with their expensive watches or making him laugh by just looking at him. He's got three loving uncles and one loving aunt.

But there's others we need to thank for helping us get Zane to where he is today. For helping us make it through those stressful times and for being willing to care for Zane while we work. Thank you Jimmy & Chrissy for opening your home to yet another child and for him being part of your family. We love seeing him interact with your kids and his face lights up every time he sees them. Thank you for your inspiration in parenting!

Thank you Marcus for also caring for Zane and for begging to watch him. For letting him jump into your home and explore. And for being the one that one day he'll say he likes your cooking better than mine!

Thank you Beth, Jenni and Colleen for always offering to watch Zane. To offer up some space for Pat and I to be together. I hope to take you up on that more often and to return the favor to Beth and Jenni and one day to Colleen when she has children! Thank you to our Grace Group (Jimmy, Chrissy, Dean and Tracy) who have prayed for us throughout the whole thing and have helped challenge us to go beyond our comfort zones.

Thank you to all of our friends who came to the hospital to meet Zane for the first time, to those who brought food to our family and enabled us to not cook for months after he was born! To those from afar who sent words of encouragement and gifts that made us smile. Thank you to those who grab Zane from us the second they see him and love on him. Who haven't complained when he's spit up on their wedding dress (Courtney!) or right down their shirts (sorry Tara and Darcy)!

Thank you to all our high school students who let Zane chew on their necklaces, who are trying to teach him how to high five and who I promise will eventually babysit! Clear your schedules girls (just kidding)! Thank you for challenging Pat and I in our own faith, for asking the difficult questions we know Zane will ask one day. For helping us understand what it means for a teenager to OWN their faith and to make that decision.

Thank you to those who read this blog, comment and encourage. Thank you to those close to us who have stopped the busy of life to revel in the joy of our baby. Thank you for making us stop, hang out, just be and keeping us in check. Thank you for those of you who have faiths, beliefs and thoughts different than ours. Continue to point those out to us, discuss and help us teach our son too.

Thank you all for making this past year a joy. Though stresses have been there all of you have helped us get through them with smiles at the end. We can't tell you THANK YOU enough.