Sunday, March 12, 2017

this is us.

We met when we were just twelve years old. It was my first day at a new school, and I only remember a few things about that day. The tall blonde who sat at the front of the row to my left in math class was one of them.

In ninth grade, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I'd say that the rest is history, but it's really not. I mean, yes, we ended up getting married. The journey to that point, however, was full of heartache, heartbreak, and forgiveness. Mostly forgiveness. And you know what? That's still the thing that gets us through our tough days.

We got engaged in September of 2010, and became husband and wife ten months later. The sixteenth of July, to be exact. After eight years of boundaries and guarding our hearts as best as we were able, we were finally married. What a precious gift to marry my Teesh!

Our relationship and marriage hasn't been perfect, but it has been good. Really, really good. Even the hardest times we have faced thus far have been used to make us stronger and steadier, we are constantly learning to love more wholeheartedly and step out of our comfort zones in faith.

One of the most, dare I say the most, trying times we have faced in our fourteen years of pursuing each other was the first few months we became parents. After getting pregnant and celebrating each milestone leading up to the birth of our son, we were both so excited when the day we would finally meet him arrived. Many of our family and friends remember the events that followed what seemed to be a regular labor and delivery, and I, personally, have relived it more times than I can count. Our precious Braxton Michael being born without bring effected by what was happening inside of my body was nothing short of a miracle, and we will never forget the faithfulness of God towards us during pregnancy and delivery.

I am the oldest of five kiddos, and I spent a lot of time from childhood to adulthood babysitting. That being the case, children have always tugged on my heart in a special way. I used to joke that I wanted twelve children, and you should have seen the looks I got in response! After Teesh and I began to seriously consider growing our family, we (I) laid out the perfect plan for how many kiddos we wanted and when we would start trying to make those dreams come true. We'd have three of our own, then wait until the youngest was a few years old and begin the adoption process. We committed these plans to the Lord, fully confident that He would grant our requests.

Then January 12th, 2015 came, and all of those carefully crafted plans began to shift.

There is always heartache involved when the dreams we make for ourselves vanish right before our eyes, and we certainly have experienced a whole lot of emotions all over the spectrum as a result of the new reality we found ourselves living in two years ago.

Since those months of healing that followed those first few really frightening days, we have been learning what it really means to cast our cares on the One who cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), trust in the Lord and lean not on our limited understanding of why things are the way things are (Proverbs 3:5), rejoice in the Lord no matter our circumstances (Philippians 4:4), and believe that even the hardest trials are meant for our good (Romans 8:28). In our seeking, we have found more than we could have ever imagined: we have found Jesus walking with us down every road, comforting us and reminding us that we have not been forgotten or abandoned. And we have really begun to learn that He really is better than the gifts He gives.

In seeking Him, we have also been intentionally seeking His way, His timing, and His promptings.

That's what we want to share with you now.

Instead of viewing our circumstances as God having robbed us of something or crushed our dreams, we are taking Him at His Word and believing that His promises are true. And we are stepping out in faith to walk the path that He has revealed to us.

Family and friends, we are overjoyed to announce that we are adopting!
Braxton will soon be a BIG BROTHER, and we can hardly contain our excitement and anticipation for this prayer to come to fruition!
We are still in the very early stages of this process, and we have no idea how long it will be before we become parents to a precious new baby. The only things we do know at this point are: 1) God has revealed to us that it is time to grow our family again, 2) we will have no control over how and when it happens, thus we will have to trust Him for all of it, and 3) we cannot accomplish this without lots of support.

Many of you helped us spend a month in Haiti several years ago, as well as helped us return there last year, and we are boldly, expectantly, and humbly asking for you to help us again. Although we do not know exact numbers quite yet, we do know that this will be the most money that we have ever raised, especially in such a short time. But with God's favor partnered with your support and prayers, we are confident that we will be fully funded very soon! We have several fundraising options that we will be sharing with you soon, and we are praying that every person who read these words would be prompted to lock arms with us as we trek forward.
For now, would you consider praying for us? We are stepping out into waters that we have never been before, and we are quite anxious about this new adventure. A good, God-fearing type of anxious, but still anxious nevertheless. We are wholeheartedly committed to this process, and we are thrilled and honored to keep all of you updated along the way.

We can't wait to add another Bargeron to the family tree!
To God be the glory forever!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

braxton michael | two years old.

I blinked, and my used-to-be baby has grown into a crazy-but-cute big boy.

I'm not sure how this is true, but alas, I am thankful to be celebrating yet another milestone with my precious blondie. And today's milestone is a big one. That's right, folks, Braxton is officially two years old today!

TWO! YEARS! OLD!

This past month has been jam-packed with to-do lists, errands, organizing + reorganizing, family gatherings, etc., and this little one has handled it all like a champ. There were a few days when nap time wasn't on the schedule (much to my demise, of course), and it never affected him until the day after. Now, that next day was a real doozy if we had back-to-back days of no nap, but thankfully that only happened once (Christmas Eve + Christmas Day). Even when he was a little on the grumpy side, his sweetness was still there. He's always extra snuggly when he's sleepy, so this was just an opportunity to for me to scoop him up and let his little head press into my chest.

Those snuggly moments will always be my favorite. 
Two years ago today, you made me a mama. For months and months I looked forward to holding you in my arms and holding you close to me and kissing your cheeks, and I was so happy when that day came. I don't remember much about the day itself, mainly only what was captured in pictures, and even though it's been two years, it still makes me pretty sad to think about all the memories that I was there for but can't recall. Jesus has been so sweet to me since that day, though, gently teaching me that it's okay to bring my brokenness to Him, that I can trust Him to heal my heart. I think it will always hurt in a way when I think about that day, and those months that followed, but He's always reminding me that His love for me is certain even when circumstances are not.

I look forward to the day that you learn that His heart is the same for you.

I have tried to be very intentional about savoring every moment with you, even the seemingly unimportant and insignificant ones like the one we're in as I type this: snuggled up under a blanket on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn at our disposal while Beauty and the Beast entertains us (again). That's right, kiddo. You love what your Mommy does! Be still my heart. I love it when you hug my legs, look up at me, and ask to watch it. We don't watch much TV, but I think you've figured out that I have sweet spot for this movie. And, to make things even cuter, you always ask me to dance during the ballroom scene. Again, be still my heart. The first time you did it, I instantly turned into a puddle! It sure is a gift being loved by you, little one.

Your second Christmas was a big hit this year, and you still haven't broken in all your new things. With your birthday being upon us, you, daddy, and I are going to do some cleaning this weekend and see what we can gift to other kiddos who may not have many toys to play with. Your grandparents + aunts + uncles (and more) loaded you down with some fun things last month, so it's definitely time to do some purging (hopefully you won't be too mad at us, but even if you are - it's happening). I would list your favorite toys from Christmas, but that list would be long soooo I'll spare you. Just know that you LOVE them ALL!

Daddy and I took you hiking on New Years Eve at Paris Mountain to North Lake, and that was the final hike of your second year. I tallied up the grand total of all the hikes you've been on since your first birthday, and it blew me away. Are you ready for this, sir? You went on forty-two hikes in 2016. FORTY-TWO! That's almost one hike per week, and that's incredible. I don't know if we will beat that total this year, but we will surely do our best. Daddy and I only carry you on long trails now, because you love exploring on your own two feet. You're practically a professional at this point, and I am so proud of you! I hope one day you read this and are pretty proud of yourself, too.

You smile like a model, talk like a champ, run around like a wild animal when you get really excited, love to help us clean up and do chores, pout when you don't get your way, smile the biggest, most breath-taking smile (cheeeeeeeeeeese) I've ever seen, eat like a teenager (LAWD!), sleep hard and long, enjoy being the center of attention, hum while brushing your teeth, and love when your daddy gets home after work. You have recently started calling out "Oh, Mommy..." in the mornings and after naps to let me know that you're ready to get out of your crib, and sometimes I let you repeat yourself fifty times because it's so darn cute. I hope I never forget the sound of your voice, little one. The innocence, the tone, just all of it. I especially love hearing you say (and sing!) your prayers, because it's as if heaven meets earth every single time you do.

We've got a full day of activities planned for us today, and then your grandparents + aunts + uncles are coming over for an intimate birthday dinner before your big birthday bash on Saturday. We are so excited to be celebrating this day in our new house - everyone is actually going to fit without being crammed. It'll be a miracle! The menu is all prepared, your cake is baked and iced and ready to be eaten, and I just know you are going to love having everyone in one place so you can show off for the whole gang. I've almost completely finished preparations for your big party this weekend, but we will have to run an errand or two today to help close out this season of last-minute crafting (please forgive me, dude - this whole moving and getting situated thing has not been for the faint of heart). Even with time not being on my side, I have so loved doing this for you! I think I always will.

My prayer for you as you close out one year of your life and launch into a new one is that you would delight to do what it right. People keep telling me about this little thing called the "terrible twos," and I've been coming hard against that little epidemic with prayer. I'm praying for your daddy and me along with that, too, because it is a high responsibility to rightly teach you how to do what is right. We want you to learn by example as we lead by example, especially when "do as I say not as I do" is what we feel like telling you. You're won't be a little boy forever, sweet boy, and we've got big plans to help you become a man who does a whole lot of good. All three of us will have to lean on grace this year as we mess up and try again, but I'm thankful that we'll be doing it together.

I don't know what kind of obstacles we will face and blessings we will receive as a family this year, but we are expectant and confident that this will be our best year yet. We can't wait to watch you continue to grow, and we are thankful for the opportunity to grow alongside of you.

You will never know how much we love you, but we will always spend our days giving you glimpses of all the space you take up in our hearts. Our most precious gift you are, dear son.
Happy, happy birthday to the coolest, funniest, smartest, wittiest, most smiley TWO YEAR-OLD in our world. We love you sooooooooo much!

Friday, December 30, 2016

christmas cheer | our annual traditions.

Two stops during the week leading up to Christmas, three stops on Christmas Eve, four stops on Christmas Day, and three days to recover once all stops were complete. Whew! I love this time of year - the hustle and bustle mixed in with the stillness of those first few moments + last few moments of the day - and I am always so sad to say farewell to the trees and lights and gifts and traditions for another year. Braxton didn't nap for two days during the hustle + bustle part, but aside from being very zombie-like a couple of times, he handled his second Christmas season like a champ. He loved having all eyes on him while we visited with family, and all those brand new toys he got are still getting looooots of attention. It's like Christmas every day when he wakes up and sees that all of them are still here!

We got lots of new stuff for our new house, including a surprise Kitchen Aid mixer that was a total shock and may or may not have made me scream like a little girl, and it has been so fun to tinker and place things throughout the walls and rooms of our new bungalow. I originally thought that I would leave all our Christmas up for a few extra days, but I quickly changed my mind when we brought in all our new d├ęcor. So much so that we have been packed up for three days! I can't believe it either, y'all. But seeing our house as it will be for most of the year is absolutely worth this veer in tradition - we are so smitten with how it all looks (don't worry - I will reveal more soon!).

On Christmas Eve we went to Pop + Gigi's house, Nana + Papa's house, and then we had our annual Phillips Christmas at Linda + Dennis' house. On Christmas day, we opened our gifts to each other before the madness began, joined our Capstone family for a beautiful service that focused on the hope, joy, and peace in Christ that we celebrate this season, went to Granny Pat's house, met Grandma (my mama) and the family at our new house to exchange gifts, and then ended our day at Pops + Mimi's house before coming home to crash. And we certainly crashed hard.

Call me crazy, but I love the fullness that this season brings. I really, really do.

Here's to making that fullness last into and throughout the new year, starting with a heart full of gratefulness.
Merry Christmas to you from us!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

this Christmas season.

'Tis been a season of fullness! Full bellies, full schedules, and, most importantly, full hearts.

We've had plenty of merry scenes over the past month, many of which took place within the walls of our new home. We have so much to be thankful for, especially the precious people that we have been celebrating with throughout December and the past year.

In this season of so much change and chaos, I have never been more grateful for my camera!

Yep, here's your evidence that I've actually been taking photos over the past few weeks even though there has been limited (basically none at all) sharing of all these sweet treasures.
Only one more sleep until CHRISTMAS, people!

Friday, December 23, 2016

bigger bargeron bungalow | chrismas edition.

This year's Christmas decorating got pushed back a couple of weeks due to our big move and a whole lot of rain. It was thrilling to get our new home ready for my favorite season, but I won't lie...it was slightly (read: very) overwhelming to decorate for every day use AND Christmas. Whew! Those first couple of days of moving everything in and putting it all in its own place were filled with moments where I just stepped back and stared at the mess in front of (and all around) me. My brain felt like a cooked pot of spaghetti, y'all!

But I am so happy that we pushed through the chaos and got our home fully ready to celebrate this blessed holiday. Seriously, so happy! I may or may not leave all of the red and green out through January to make up for the delay. Yep, I'm definitely considering it.

It was certainly strange not decorating our first bungalow this year, but the excitement that came with getting our new bungalow ready provided so much joy and giddiness that we really weren't sad. If you had asked me two months ago if that would have been the case, I would have looked at you like you were crazy and then busted out in tears. It was so hard to leave that first home. So, so hard.

But this new home of ours is proof to us that God never asks you to give something good up unless He has plans to give you something even better. We reflected on His faithfulness and generosity towards us as we strung lights and perfectly placed trinkets, and I truly believe that that same reflecting will be a regular tradition for as long as we are blessed to live in this beautifully orchestrated-just-for-us home.

In honor of Christmas only being two (!!) days away, I am proud to show you a glimpse into what the past few weeks of calling this house our home has looked like. We are so thankful to be spending Christmas here this year, and we look forward to every new Christmas season being even more magical than the one before.

Christ is the reason for this season, indeed. But He is, also, the reason for so, so much more.

Without further ado, we welcome you in for a quick tour of our new home: our very own (and very festive) Bigger Bargeron Bungalow!
Merry Christmas from the three Bargerons!
May your days be merry, bright, and full of Christmas cheer.
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