This time last week, we were gearing up for our first overnight stay in the great outdoors with a new babe + precious friends. Isn't it funny how you plan for + anticipate something happening for months and then all of a sudden it's over? Memories like this past weekend are extra sweet with a small dose of bitter because although they're always fun, they always pass so fast. We took advantage of every moment,
even especially the lazy ones, ate too many s'mores, braved the shallow water while our feet stood in the mush below, and dreamed of where our next tent camping adventure would be, and watched our boys play together in disbelief over how big they've gotten. Camping with kids is a lot different than it was without them, but it's the best kind of different. The very, very best.
Friday, September 25, 2015
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Who is the little buddy I referred to in yesterday's post? Well, it was our fellow X-Man, Maddox, of course! Our beloved Haltiwangers joined us on our weekend camping extravaganza, and we had the best time. Seriously...THE. BEST. TIME. Both of these handsome babes had their first camping experience, and there was lots of baby chasing (AKA Maddox chasing), lots of food + snacking, lots of still frames captured, lots of dreaming of what our next adventure together will be, reminiscing on how good God has been to us in giving us our precious sons, lots of applauding Russell for being a professional fire starter, and even some stories of life before marriage (a major source of laughter, might I add). One of the best parts, however, was watching our two little ones play with each other. Oh my, how cute they were! They shared their toys, shared their parents, paraded around with no clothes on, and even gave each other hugs + kisses (so. stinking. cute). I have been praying for both of these kiddos since before they were even conceived, so it pretty much makes fireworks explode inside of my soul to see them growing up together. They are such a beautiful testimony of the Lord's perfect will, and though I still pray fervently for them, I also pray for their parents just as much. We are certainly blessed to have birthed babies, but now it is our responsibility to help them grow into men - a responsibility that ought not be taken either too lightly or too seriously. I pray we never forget that they are not the only ones who are growing, and that they would both learn about Jesus by watching Him at work in their daddies + mommies.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward."
Monday, September 21, 2015
We returned home yesterday after spending a weekend on the outskirts of Clemson at Lake Hartwell. We had anxiously awaited this particular weekend for nearly two months, and we could hardly wait to pitch our tent beside the water. The sun stayed above the trees just long enough for us to get all of our gear set up + organized on that first night, and we managed to not freak out too terribly bad when we realized all the little things we had forgotten at home. B was happy, content, and curious for most of our stay, and he loved spending some uninterrupted time with one of his little buddies (ahh, I get ahead of myself - there will be more to share about that tomorrow). For now, just know that this weekend was wonderful in more ways than can be counted.
This mini-escape, of sorts, came at the perfect time, and aside from all the smiles + laughs we shared together, my favorite thing about our time away was leaning my head back and looking at the millions of stars above me. The sky was perfectly blue during the day + perfectly black at night, and those twinkling lights that made the darkness above us sparkle took my breath away. Looking up reminds me of how small I really am, and my perspective stays in line with Truth. The more I grow in humility, the more I grow in thankfulness. This weekend sang His sweet song over me as we vacationed away from all of our everyday tasks, and I can promise you that there is no sweeter song in the whole world.
When is the last time you looked up?
Friday, September 18, 2015
I know a little boy who is really figuring out this crawling thing! We haven't had to start chasing him just yet, but he definitely knows how to get where he wants to go. Keys, my Tervis, and anything else that isn't his are what motivates him to get up + go more than anything else (imagine that - who needs toys?), and I'm already getting good practice at saying "no." Hardwood floors throughout the bungalow are teaching both of us to toughen up, and I am proud to report that we have had no black eyes yet. Our knees, on the other hand, are good + calloused (yes, I get down and crawl with him - what better way to learn than to do it with someone else?).
Side note: how cute is that little squishy body? I can barely stand to look at it! And I think we all know how I feel about that grin. Proud mama alert.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
I've been playing at Gower Park since I was just a little girl. It has been the place I go to clear my head, get away from the noise, or simply get some energy out on the playground for as long as I can remember, and motherhood has only increased the amount of time I spend there. Whether we're running the track that encircles the park or having a picnic for lunch on a blanket in the grass, B and I constantly find ourselves in this beloved place. This particular afternoon called for long sleeves, a ball cap, a stroll to the park, and an hour of swinging. We made several new friends with people who were playing disc golf or walking the track on their lunch break, and Braxton stole the hearts of them all. This boy loves to swing and to grin at everyone he meets, so he is always extra giddy when these two happen at the same time. I pushed, tickled, and sang to him while he hummed and talked along with me, and I asked the Lord to freeze this moment in my mind (along with all the others) so that I never forget how sweet it was.
B is no stranger to the camera (sorry, I'm not sorry), but even I was chuckling to myself over how photogenic he was being when I whipped out Lucy (yes, our camera has a name - she's a very important member of our family whose name is sentimental to us, too). The only time Braxton stopped smiling was when I puckered my lips up for a kiss and he leaned in oh-so-gently to grant my request. There's nothing in the whole wide world that I would ever wish these days away for. Nope, not a single thing.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Play dates are one of my favorite to-dos now that I am a mama, and this family is especially dear to us as both of us mamas have gone from JV softball to motherhood together. Josh, Dorothy, and Jules invited B + me to join them on their morning adventure, and I was exceptionally excited because this meant Braxton would visit the zoo for the first time! The animals had just eaten right as we were walking in, so they were up + at it, making it extra fun to watch them move around. B's little eyes were roaming all over the place, too, and I loved taking in all his faces as he took in all the new sights + sounds around him.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Greenville's got it all, people. I'm so thankful we live in a place where there is so much to explore, even just minutes away from home. We'll be seeing you again, Greenville Zoo, and daddy will be with us next time, too!
Saturday, September 12, 2015
You're eight months old today, meaning that there are only four more months until you turn one. Mommy needs a long moment to process that...how in the world is our first year with you going by so quickly? Someone once said that "the days go slow, but the years go fast," and that has become a regular reminder that I tell myself each day. We have slow days where it's just me + you hanging out around the house from the time you wake up until bedtime, and then we have days when I put you in + take you out of your car seat a dozen times. This past month has been full of more of the same, day-in + day-out things that we normally do with a little spontaneity thrown in to switch things up, too. We have play dates with friends (both yours + mine) often, and we spend a lot of time at local parks around us - something that we'll be doing a lot less of, unfortunately, now that summer is leaving us behind until next year. You love to swing, and some afternoons I will push you for an hour straight and listen to that giggle while I thank God for these moments. Your first trip to the zoo was just a few days ago, and we both had so much fun! You're already a professional hiker, too, and everyone we pass on the trails comments on two things: 1) how cute you are, and 2) how you've got the best travel system. It would be so easy to just let our days slip away from us as we live, but I'm very thankful for the passion that has been placed in your our souls to inspire us to spend time disconnecting with the world so that we can better connect with each other + with our precious Creator. Your daddy + I pray often that you would grow up with a desire to learn in hands-on, tangible ways, which is something that is decreasing in popularity with each passing second. There is so much to see outside, and we want you to see as much of it as possible!
You're still growing like a weed, and those chubby legs of yours are constantly getting longer. You're more on the "lean" side, but you are a strong, dense, healthy kind of lean (translation: you're less like the Michelin Man, and more like Captain America). Eating is one of your favorite things to do, and we recently started feeding you solid foods three times a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) that are less-pureed every few days. You looooooove eating puffs + fruit/vegetable melts, and it only took you about a week to master the art of feeding yourself using your teeny, tiny fingers. You, also, had your first attempt at feeding yourself sliced fruit (bananas and cantaloupe) for the first time a couple of days ago, and you're already getting the hang of that, too. We're still waiting on your first tooth to pop up, but that doesn't stop you from putting those gums to work! You still nurse four times a day, you're still sleeping about eleven hours at night, and you're still a wiggle worm while you're in your crib. You haven't started pulling up on things just yet, but we know that it won't be long until you do. You can, however, move from laying on your belly to sitting up on your bottom - you showed me this for the first time about a week ago when I walked in your room to get you up from your nap, and you were sitting up grinning at me. I almost had to pick myself up off the floor because of all that cuteness hitting me at once! You're scooting around the whole house, especially when you see something you like/want, and you're finally figuring out how to move your legs + arms together to actually "crawl" places. You've got several toys that are your favorites, but you like a bright orange Clemson coaster that is made out of rubber the best (yep, it runs in your blood, kid). The walker is your most favorite place to be, and you literally run across rooms until you slam into something (usually a door frame or a cabinet), and watching your little legs move so fast makes me die. Seriously, it is SO stinking CUTE! You always look back at me (or whoever else is watching), and then you always give the biggest, proudest grin as if to say, "Did you see that??" You are a ticklish little booger, too, and I am always happy to play the role of tickle monster.
Pretty soon the leaves will start changing, and you will be able to see trees in a whole new way - something I hope will further intrigue your imagination + curiosity. I'm hoping there will be some apple-picking for us in the near future, too, because then you'll have some extra yummy apples for your applesauce. This next month will hold all sorts of adventures for us, both new + old, including your first camping trip with some of our best buds. Yippee! You make life so much sweeter, baby boy, and I will keep on telling you that for the rest of your life. I love you, B!