Thursday, June 30, 2016

ocean views.

The sky says so much without using words, don't you agree?
"The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make hi known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world."
Psalm 19:1-4

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

slow motion.

That's exactly what I prayed for in this moment, for time to move in slow motion.

Five months ago, we didn't know what this week at the beach would look like. It wasn't what we thought it would be when we first booked the condo last summer in anticipation of our family vacation, but in many ways it was better. It was more.

We were together.

And that's as good as it gets.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

sharing a room.

We've been roommates with the littlest Bargeron before, but this time was different than all the others. Each morning when we rolled over and opened our eyes, we were greeted by a tall, blonde toddler wearing a big, cheesy smile (behind his paci, of course) from across the room. It made us giggle every time, because it was almost as if he was studying us while we slept, hoping that we would lock eyes with him right that second.

It was seriously the cutest.

We hid out in our room for a little while each morning to be courteous of the other house guests, and it usually didn't take long before our crazy kiddo was squealing and laughing loud enough for the whole world to hear him, much less our condo. One morning, in particular, I grabbed my camera to capture his sweetness, and I am quite sure that these photos will go down in history as my very favorites. I love watching my two boys love each other, and the love was thick, thick, thick as I sneakily snapped away this day.

Braxton is a wiggle worm (seriously, the wiggliest), a giver of plenty of hugs and smooches, and daddy's biggest fan. These mornings, when it was just the three of us, were full of all of those things I love so much.

These days pass so fast, but these photos (and the millions of others you, I, and whoever else take) allow me to press pause and soak it all in for a bit longer.

This morning may be gone forever, but its sweet taste still lingers. I think it always will.

Monday, June 27, 2016

the whole gang.

Sun and sand, family and fun, laughter and love.

Lots and lots and lots of love.

That's what last week looked like for us.

...with a smidge of exhaustion mixed in, as well.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

bargeron beach bums | year two.

And just like that, Braxton is officially a water baby!

His first trip to the ocean was last July, but this time was much more fun for him...and us. A year ago he wasn't even sitting up on his own yet, but he ran and splashed and hooted and hollered and wore us all out for much different reasons this year. We ventured to the beach with most of TJ's immediate and extended family, which was quite the treat, and we certainly made the most of our time together between beach days, afternoons at the pool, family dinners every night, golf for the fellas, shopping for the ladies, football and Frisbee barefoot in the sand, a constant consumption of Krispy Kreme doughnuts (with a few extra pounds to prove it), game nights, a round of putt-putt (a very difficult challenge with a curious, strong-willed toddler present), and more.

TJ, Braxton, and myself were at the beach each morning around nine o'clock, and usually stayed out until early afternoon, breaking once to eat lunch + lay B down for a nap. We ate early dinners to beat the crowd + be back in time to keep Braxton on his schedule, and snacked all day long until it was time to leave (insert monkey covering its eyes emoji here). That's what vacations are for, right?

I took close to six hundred pictures over the course of the week, and I make no apologies about that. The sound of the shutter is my drug, an addiction that I'm not ashamed of in the least bit, and the two boys who usually end up in the frame are the biggest blessings I've got. Mix those two things together, and what do you get? Yep, six hundred pictures!

There wasn't a cloud in the sky all week long, the wind nearly blew us away on several occasions, and the water was refreshingly chilly. I spotted a baby shark (a little over a foot long) which made me think twice before getting in past my knees from then on, but I still braved the deep blue sea when the heat gave me no other option. Crazy! That was a first for me, and I would totally be okay if it was the last time, too.

I wonder what Braxton will think when we go back to having the sand between our toes again next month? I know one thing...his mama can hardly wait!

Friday, June 17, 2016

table rock | year five.

Our tradition lived on for another year yesterday when we hiked to the summit of my most favorite place in South Carolina: Table Rock. We added a new hiker to our adventures last year, and he was so much more aware of his surroundings and excited to be outside this year. He grabbed leaves and played with our hair, screamed at the top of his lungs both in joy and frustration, and made friends with everyone we passed who had the same idea as we did. We started early, but it was still hot despite our attempts to beat the heat; the good news is that the sky was clear and blue, something that hasn't happened since our very first time climbing up the mountain together.

Our hiking boots have seen many, many miles over the past four years, no doubt about it. None of them are as tough and rough on our bodies as the seven+ miles we do here each year. I attempted to carry Braxton up the trail, and my goal was to make it to the first overlook we came to, just shy of two miles in. I made it a little over a mile before I had to pass him off to his bigger, buffer daddy, and although I didn't reach my goal, I was proud of that one mile! There's always next year, right?

Our legs and knees were like cooked spaghetti noodles as we climbed back down, as usual, and Braxton even took a little cat nap on TJ's back (a rarity these days). We met people from all over the world (literally) and gave the same "I feel your pain, man" look and tone to every new person we met or passed. It always makes me chuckle to see the reactions of people who see us toting a little one with us; everyone is so encouraging and amazed. One man that we talked to as he climbed up and we climbed down said, "Keep showing him the world," and I am certain that his words will forever remain in my mind as I seek to do just that.

Four years of intentional hiking and exploring have come and gone, and it's amazing to reflect on all the changes that have arrived with each new year. It's fun and exhilarating to go to new places or visit your favorite places again and again, but the part I love the most is the people I'm with. These boys of mine are the best company, and we make a great team. Doing things you love with people you love; nothing is better than that!

One of these days that little boy on our backs will probably be big enough to carry his mama up to this summit on his back. But for now, I will cherish those little hands on my shoulders, those long legs poking out of the pack, that cackling laugh in my ear, his daddy pushing on towards the goal with no complaining (well, not enough to matter), and all the other little things that are the big things.

Here's to another year of making memories, remaining thankful, and seeking to glorify God with every breath that we breathe. Our Lord has been so good to give us a passion for His creation, and we are excited to walk through the earth as it's seasons change for another trip around the sun.
I wonder where we will adventure this next year?

Where will you?
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