Saturday, April 30, 2016

proud duo | hike it baby 30.

We went on our first hike with the Greenville branch of a group called Hike it Baby nearly eight months ago, and adventuring with these upstate families quickly became a favorite pastime for  Braxton and me. I'm thankful to have found an outlet for us for our days together, and it's been so much fun to watch him grow up out on the trails since his first hike. Sure, I'm a stay-at-home mom for this season of my life, but that doesn't mean that the only thing we do is stay at home. We have days where neither of us get out of our pajamas all day long, and we've reached the point in this whole parenting gig that we know when we've pushed the limits just enough to make those pajama days a necessity.

The other days, however, are full of all kinds of adventures. And as long as the weather is nice, you can pretty much count on us being outside (yes, even in our pajamas).

Today is the final day of the Hike it Baby 30 challenge, and this mama is proud + happy to report that we met our goal. Not only that, but we surpassed it.

Hip hip hooray!

Between the trails and the pavement, we hiked/walked a total of 40.1 miles during the month of April (including our March of Dimes participation today). The next challenge is in September, and I am already itching to complete another one!

Adding up intentional miles. Challenging myself. Exploring new places. Walking the same path I've walked a million times. Meeting new friends. Learning lessons. Always carrying my beloved camera. Letting Braxton find out about (certain) things on his own with me a safe distance away. Pausing for a moment just to take it all in. Daydreaming about our next adventure. Being thankful for the memories we're making in the moment. Looking forward to lots of hikes this summer with Teesh in tow.

That's what this past month was full of.

And, boy, was it full.

Not quite as full as my heart, but nothing can compete with that.
Trails Hikes: 7
Trail Miles: 18
Total Miles: 40.1
Total minutes outside: 1,930

The Bargeron Trailblazers still have lots + lots + lots of exploring left to do!

Now, who wants to join us?

Friday, April 29, 2016

bearwallow mountain | hike it baby.

We hiked to the top of Bearwallow Mountain in Hendersonville, NC earlier this week, and the views that my eyes beheld were magical. All I saw was rolling hills for miles and miles, and it instantly took me back to our trip to Sam Knob for my birthday last month. The landscape had more touches of green than our previous trip to the top of a beautiful outlook, and the white clouds floating in the blue sky above us made me hum praises the whole time. There was a big open area that allowed the kiddos to play at the top, too, and Braxton ruled every inch of it. He cried when it was time to stop wandering and head back down to the trailhead, and I silently thanked Jesus for his love of visiting new places and desire to always be in the sunshine.

Braxton became buddies with one of the older boys who came on this hike, and it was so cute to watch B follow him around, mimicking his every move. There were several familiar faces on this hike, one of which knew me through my blog. Both crazy and exciting! Her son was the boy that Braxton became buddies with, and she and I had some good conversation, too.

This trail was a little over an hour away from us, which gave B an opportunity to take a short nap to and from our destination. This hike, also, gave me an opportunity to drive on my favorite roads: I-25. Not only does it remind me of being a freshman in college, but the views are also some of the most stunning views that the Upstate has to offer. I love crossing over into North Carolina simply because I get to watch the scenery change from rows of buildings to rows of trees, and there are no words to adequately describe the feeling I get when the car makes it to the top of an incline and my eyes see the landscape laid out before me. Swoon!

The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy is responsible for the up-keeping of such a wonderful trail to explore, and I m oh-so-thankful for their efforts because I am a sucker for views like this.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

lake conestee nature park | hike it baby.

For three Mondays in a row, we joined Hike it Baby for mid-morning adventures through Lake Conestee Nature Park. I love that we live so close to this particular park, because we can almost finish our normal morning routine without having to rush through breakfast (and mama miss out on those precious morning snuggles) in order to have early explorations. The weather and views were gorgeous, as usual, and we saw the cute little family of geese swimming nearby again. We were hoping that the water lilies would be blooming by this day, but they were still tucked away in their bright yellow buds, which ensured that we'd be back to check on them again soon. We had a great group full of tiny explorers who curiously eye-balled everything that they saw, and the mamas had some really good conversation, too.

Braxton adventured and played his little heart out so much so that he didn't even make it home before falling asleep. It's less than a ten-minute drive from our bungalow to the park, and I was even talking to him trying to keep him awake, but his sleepy eyelids refused to stay open. I may or may not have just stared at him for five minutes before getting him out of the car seat and putting him in his crib, because babies certainly don't keep.

A good adventure followed by a good nap? Now THAT'S a good Monday!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Our Earth Day hike may have gotten rained out, but we weren't going to let a little water keep us inside all day. Braxton got his first pair of rain boots for Easter this year, and we put them to good use at the end of our driveway as soon as the rain stopped. TJ got home just in time for the splashing to begin, and we were cracking up at how enthralled he was. We splished and splooshed in the road for over an hour, and then we splished and splooshed some more in the bath tub because he had dirt from top to bottom (just as he should have).

Teesh and I talked later, once B had gone to sleep, about how we should all be as mesmerized by the little things as much as he is. We want to be just as amazed as he is, especially when he learns or discovers something new and is excited to tell us or show us. This particular evening was a great reminder that each day is made up of millions of small moments, and that all of them add up to our life.

Wouldn't it be a shame if we never paused to simply splash in a puddle?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

first solo trip.

The forecast for Earth Day was wet and rainy, so we opted to celebrate a day early by adventuring through Paris Mountain State Park. This was the first time I've taken B hiking by myself, and I intentionally chose a trail that I've done so many times that I could do it with a blindfold on to appease those who are prone to worry (ahem, Teesh). Solo hiking isn't a habit I'm trying to make, but I can't promise you that I won't do it every once in a while. The only sounds I heard other than the dozen people we passed on the trail were his breath in my ear and the crunch beneath my Chacos, and I loved it. Like really, really loved it. I assure you that I won't be attempting any strenuous hikes alone, but we will be back on the trails, just the two of us, again soon.

Although it rained on Earth Day, the afternoon before was beautiful.

The rain tried to ruin our plans, but instead it simply inspired us to mix things up and try something new. I've always believed that being proactive always trumps procrastinating, and this little exploration only further solidified that belief.

So many life lessons to learn, trails to hike, memories to make, and pictures to take, yet so little time.

I'm glad I didn't wait until the storm had passed.

Monday, April 25, 2016

future golfer.

If anyone was proud to see Braxton walking around with a golf ball in one hand and a putter in the other at 18 Holes for Haiti, it was his G-Nana and G-Papa. It's so fun to watch these three together, because I get glimpses into how they loved me before I was old enough to remember.

Every moment is a gift from God, and I'm convinced that every moment spent seeing your little ones receive love from the ones you love the most counts as two. They watched him figure things out on his own, teaching him as he went along. They also snuggled him as often as they could, and he always reached out to them begging for more.

Nope, I have no doubt that there is anything sweeter than memories like these.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

obligatory flashback.

We've been cruising around Carolina Springs together for more than a decade now.

Somethings never change.

And I'm so thankful for that truth, because there are some things that I never want to.
(April 2007)
(April 2016)
From having a baby face to having an actual baby, life gets more fun every day riding shot gun with this strikingly handsome, overwhelmingly compassionate man!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

18 Holes for Haiti | 3rd annual.

The sun was high + bright, the clouds were thin, the trees were green, and the atmosphere was electric at Carolina Springs Golf Course on Tuesday, April 19th. Many of the people who joined us last year and the year before came back again for another round of golf, but it was very exciting to have some new faces in the mix, too. Volunteers came early, served throughout, and stayed to the very end, and it was so thrilling to see all of the long-distance love being poured out on our friends in Haiti. Hope Vision Ministry is something that TJ and I are very passionate about, and we love locking arms with others who are committed to providing for them, too. We may not look like much, but God continually blows us away with His faithfulness, attention to detail, and love for His creation.

This day was full of great weather, great fellowship, and great success, but the greatest part was getting to do work for the Kingdom ruled by our Great God. It really is amazing how far a smidge of obedience goes when the Author of grace is fueling it. He blew us away by the way He brought a group of men and women together, and reminded us (especially TJ) that all the blood, sweat, and tears is always worth seeing the finished product come together so beautifully.

One of our mottos at Capstone Church is He>me, and this day was proof of the truth in that simple phrase. Another motto that we don't necessarily claim but most certainly live out is we>me, and it's an honor to sacrifice the "me" with a Gospel community that makes up such a beautiful "we."
See this man pictured above, cheesing beside me? He is the most organized, mission-minded, diligent, determined (okay, you get the point) man I've ever known, and he worked so hard to make sure this day went off without a hitch. He got up early + stayed up late for months crunching numbers, writing emails, making phone calls, working on spreadsheets, etc., and we all knew that we were in good hands with him being our fearless leader.

Next time you see him, make sure you give him a big hug or high five.

Just leave the smooching to me.
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