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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