Wednesday, August 24, 2016

poinsett park | hike it baby.

We went to our first "toddler waddle" at Poinsett Park with our Hike it Baby friends last week, and Braxton got to stretch out his legs and walk the track like a big boy. He loved practicing for big boy hikes with some of his buddies, and he loved it even more that there was a playground to play on after our lap around the track was complete. He, also, may or may not have hijacked his friend, Hayden's, push toy... Yep, we are thankful for buddies who like to share!

I have such a love/hate relationship with my baby growing up. I constantly catch myself celebrating every new milestone he reaches and then immediately wiping away tears once I really process what has happened. In only nineteen short months, I've already perfected the art of smiling through an ugly cry, y'all.

Before I know it, my sweet baby boy will be hiking the trails with me and his carrier will be a thing of the past.

...But let's not get ahead of ourselves...I will stretch it out as long as I can!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

lakeside trail | just the two of us.

We didn't intend for it to be so, but it just happened to work out that way on this particular day.

We may have gotten lost twice while en route to a new destination before ending up at our faithful Table Rock State Park, but that grin I'm looking at and the big rock behind it quickly made my blues a part of the past.

I hope he always wears a smile on his face when he adventures with his mama.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

fan club.

More than twenty-five of us drove from Greenville to Charleston on Saturday to support our girl and her lifting partner, Jake, as they competed in the 2016 USA Powerlifting Palmetto Classic at Crossfit Wappoo.

Nope, no one else's fan club came close to being as loud and proud as we were. 

I told her that the next time she says anything about feeling unloved I would remind her of this weekend, and I'm seriously going to. Heck, I've even got pictures to prove it!

Monday, August 15, 2016

little miss powerlifter.

"Well, sisterfriend, I think I found my sport," she said as we walked outside to get some fresh air after her final lift.

I smiled and nodded in agreement, because I was so proud of her.

Proud of the passion and determination that shined brightly in her eyes. Proud of her ability to remain so humble while standing in front of a crowd of people shouting and cheering for her. Proud of the courage she showed in pushing her limits and achieving her goals. 

Just so proud.

At her first weightlifting competition, she won her weight division, broke two state records, got a new personal record, was asked to take a drug test because her strength was so astounding, had the biggest fan club in the room, and was runner-up to the best female lifter in the tournament.

She squatted 319 pounds:

She bench-pressed 187 pounds:

And she deadlifted 424 pounds, a personal record that made everyone's jaws hit to floor:

Nine-hundred and thirty pounds later, she got the medal that will begin her new collection.

Y'all read that, right? NINE-HUNDRED AND THIRTY POUNDS! If you're like me, even the thought of lifting that much weight makes your body hurt. Whew!

Y'all say it with me...
WAY TO GO, MELANIE!

She gave the phrase "Beauty and the Beast" a whole new meaning this day.

Friday, August 12, 2016

braxton michael | nineteen months.

I know a little boy who is nineteen months old today!

It's been a busy month, but Braxton has kept up with all of our shenanigans like a champ. We went to the beach for the second time of the summer (this time with our best buds), we celebrated several birthdays (including his cousin, Trent), we proudly supported our Mimi in Relay for Life last Friday night (and praised God the whole time we walked), we've only been on one hike since the middle of July (but we will be back in our normal rhythm again soon), and we even took our second trip to Jellybeans for his second haircut.

Braxton, also, spent his second weekend without us this past month when Teesh and I went away for a couple of days to celebrate our fifth anniversary. Mimi and Pops were on baby duty, along with the whole Bargeron crew for backup, and I think this time away was good for all three of us. I love spending my days with my little blonde-headed boy, but there was something quite magical about being lost in the woods with my first blonde-headed boy with nothing to do and nowhere to be. If I had to guess, I'd bet Braxton thoroughly enjoyed all the center-of-attention treatment he got that weekend, too!

Daddy went back to school this week, so it's just been Mama B + Baby B all day. The first few days were wet and rainy, but we finally changed out of our pajamas yesterday and spent our morning at the park. We've popped in to see daddy several times, too, but the thing at the top of our to-do list has been one of my personal favorites: snuggles.

Nineteen months old, and he still loves to snuggle with his mama. Oh, how I hope this continues for years and years and years!

He changes a little bit every day, and I'm still following him around at a distance, trying my best to give him space to grow and learn on his own while still being close enough to help if he hollers out my name. He is loud (louder than most others, I dare to say), he already loves to sing karaoke (future worship leader like his mama?!), he has finally figured out how to run (still pretty uncoordinated, but he has picked up lots of speed this past month), he still gives the sweetest hugs and kisses, he loves to say "Mama" all day every day (much to his daddy's demise), he enjoys pushing his limits already (Lord, help us), he already eats more than I do (seriously), and he has the most precious cheesy grin in the history of most precious cheesy grins.

Oh, that grin!

Nineteen months of joy, frustration, belly laughs, love like I've never known, and so much more. I will always be proud to call this boy (and his daddy) mine, and I wouldn't trade our life together for anything else in the world. What we don't have much of, we make up for in love...and that's good enough for me.

Happy nineteen months to our sweet Braxton Michael, the one who has taught us more than any school book ever has!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

relay for life | team angie.

Cancer.

Everyone knows it could strike you or someone you love at any moment, but the weight of its reality leaves you breathless when you learn that it has. That's what happened in our family when we received news that our Mimi had heard the dreaded phase that caught us all by surprise: "You have cancer."


After a complex and strenuous surgery, six weeks of radiation, and countless prayers lifted on her behalf, Angie (Mimi) is cancer free! She still feels the grueling effects of it all as she rests and recovers today, but with a lot of faith, a lot of determination, a lot of Jesus, and a lot of people in her army, this difficult battle has been laced with enormous amounts of hope. She is not alone in this fight, and that has made her stronger. Cancer may have stolen some things from her, but it hasn't taken everything. And what it has taken doesn't come close to comparing with what has replaced those holes.

On Friday, we partnered with Relay for Life and fought back against cancer, and many others locked arms with us in our efforts to raise awareness and fundraise for a cure. It was an honor to walk with those who have survived cancer, as well as to walk in memory of those who no longer suffer from the effects of this disease.

Cancer does not have the final say, and we made that truth known by walking alongside of Angie as she sang her fight song. Her song gets louder as more of us join in and sing it with her, and we sang it for her and everyone else who has been affected by that dreaded six-letter word.

Thanks to the generosity of many family members and friends, our team was able to raise $1,260 for cancer research! WOW! We are grateful for every dollar that was given, and our prayer is that lives will be saved, bodies will be healed, and progress will be made because of our small efforts.

Team Angie is full of fighters, and our team captain is the toughest out of all of us!
Relay for Life
Fountain Inn, South Carolina
Friday, August 5th, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

sister hike | raven cliff falls.

Bright green above me, dirt beneath my feet, and my baby sister beside me. Eight miles of bonding never looked so good.

Out of all the teams in the whole world, I'd pick ours without even batting an eye.
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