Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Crazy Busy?? It must be Summertime!

I'm feeling a tad short of breath this week!  It has been crazy busy, which is all too common for Summertime.  Lots of fun and exciting things happening though....New carpet being installed, closet cleaning (the kind that requires a followup garage sale - also happening this week), vacation Bible school nightly, pick up and drop off sweet neice and nephew to and from said vacation Bible school, birthday party, monthly hair appointment, Mama Couture orders/projects...Oh, and this other little thing I have - WORK!

I'm totally not complaining.  I actually think I thrive off of this sort of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants craziness.  However, as can be told by the lack of housework and cooking happening this week, my homemaker duties do not thrive off of such craziness. 

That being said, fun new blogs coming up soon.  (Well, maybe not fun to anyone else, but fun for me!)  My sweet littlest critter is officially sitting up like a BiG BoY, so cutie pics of that as well as other happenings in our neck of the woods are on their way!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Brig's First Haircut

My little dark-haired fella was ready for his first haircut....already.  Seems that all babies have a little trouble keeping hair in the back of their heads and that was typical for Brig.  The hair on the sides of his little head was another story.  It was long and wispy and hanging over his ears; definitely not the clean-cut look that Mama likes.  Harrison was due for a haircut too, so on Sunday afternoon, I decided it was time to cut Brig's too.  He was such a champ!  Sat in his Bumbo seat and let me trim up the sides and a little off the back.  There was actually more hair to cut than I had realized.  He has the cutest cowlick in the front, so we left the hair on top as it was for the most perfect little comb-over.  It's funny such a huge difference a small haircut can make!

I guess Harrison was about this same age when he got his first haircut and, of course, I saved a lock of his hair.  I couldn't help but pull it out and compare it's shade to the shade of Brig's first trimmed locks.  Woah!  We all knew Brig was darker complected than Harrison, but there is a big difference in the shade of their "first curls!"  Brig's is MUCH darker than Harrison's.  Neither of my boys look like me AT ALL, but I gleam with pride that Brig has dark hair like me!  Secretly Justin has dark hair too, but his started off blonde (like Harrison's), so I'm ignoring that fact right now. 

Though it's hard to tell from the pictures, that little haircut has made such a difference in Brig's "look."  He looks so much older just from that - Besides the fact that he's learning and growing every day.  Such a big guy!



Secret Spy

The other afternoon when Harrison woke up from his nap, he slipped out the back door to play outside.  I actually didn't mind because he was right outside the window where I was working and I could keep an eye on him.  He thought he was totally inconspicuous though!  When I realized he was only in his underwear (that is his sleepwear of choice), I had to grab my camera.  I snapped these pictures right through the window.  He's just happy as a clam playing in the sandbox in his UNDERWEAR!  If there's a reason to live in the woods, this is it!


On Monday, July 12, Justin and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary.  We took a little "kid-free" trip for the weekend to celebrate.  This was our first time leaving Brig overnight, but he did great.  Both boys did great actually.  We are so very grateful for grandparents that would drop anything (well, most anything) to be with our precious boys.  I know so many don't have the luxury of grandparents nearby. 

Though we missed our boys like crazy, we had the most fun just the two of us.  We talked (with no interruptions) and laughed and felt like kids again.  Who knew a little weekend sans children could make such an impact on our relationship.  We were beyond ready to get home to our babies that Monday, but made a promise to do little getaways like that more often.  I think the last time we got away was when Harrison was 5 months old - We were most definitely due for one!

I can't help but reminisce over the past 7 years and think of how we've changed, both seperately and together.  Justin is my best friend and I'm proud of the man he is and the family we're building.

In honor of us, I had to post a few wedding pictures.  It's funny to look back at these seeing as how it's only been 7 years ago.  We look like kids, but I remember thinking we were grown.  My, oh my! 

(The color's a bit off because I couldn't get the scanner to work and just snapped pictures right out of my album...:) )

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 4th Weekend

We wrapped a crazy-busy June and jumped into a crazy-busy July!  Hey, that's the fun of summer right??!?

I had done some planning ahead since July 4th fell on Sunday and had been busy in front of my sewing maching doing matching shirts for my little guys to wear to the day's festivities.   The Saturday prior, we spent time with friends at a cookout complete with awesome fireworks.  That Sunday morning -- July 4th -- Harrison woke up screaming and couldn't open his eye.  I pryed it open and cleaned out gook and sand...gross.  He was still crying about his eye hurting and couldn't open it.  I ended up calling the pediatrician (so gratefull they take urgent appointment on Saturday and Sunday) and they wanted to see him to make sure there was no abrasion.  Needless to say, they boys spent the morning not at church in coordinating outfits, but at the doctor's office in coordinating outfits!  Afterwards, we grabbed a quick lunch with Justin's dad while we were in Jacksonville and headed on about the events for the day. 

We made the drive to Palatka and had supper with family.  It was so nice to visit with them.  I was excited to see my cousin Elizabeth's new baby boy, Caden, and my other cousin Whitney's baby boy, Lane.  Brigdon, Lane and Caden are only months apart, so it was fun to compare them and watch them interact with each other.  So sweet they are!

Caden with grandpa Billy Wayne, Harrison and Brigdon with "B," Lane with grandpa David

We ended up staying at Mom & Allan's in St Augustine and then spent Monday with my Aunt Wendy and her family at the beach.  So good to see my cousins Jenna and Gavin, who it seems have grown up overnight.  I can remember Aunt Wendy's baby bumps and it wasn't that long ago!  Jenna was the "little Mama" and my babysitter for the day.  Gavin kept Harrison busy in the pool.  No doubt my guys slept very good on the drive home!

Brigdon and cousin Jenna

Harrison, cousin Gavin, and Brigdon

Brigdon and Jenna in the pool


The highlight of our annual vacation at Sanibel is our fishing charter with Captain Dave.  We always have the most fun and have been blessed in the past with perfect weather and awesome fishing.  We've caught redfish, snook, snapper and sheepshead.  As Harrison's birthday gift from Justin and I, we took him along for our trip. 

The weather was great.  Harrison enjoyed riding in the boat.  At the start of our day, it took a little bit for us to find the fish and he started to get a little whiny.  Anyone who knows me knows that I can take very little of the whining.  Give me a blood-curdeling scream over whining any day.  Once we started catching fish, he was totally into it.  He had insisted on bringing his "Spidey pole," and was happy to cast and reel the same half-dead shrimp. 

Between Justin and I, we caught about 10 redfish in the 4 hours of our trip.  First thing I hooked was a sting ray and we both caught a few little catfish here and there.  Wanting to get Harrison in the real fishing, Captain Dave unhooked a redfish that I had just brought it and (unknowing to Harrison) hooked it on the end of his Spiderman pole and let him reel it in.  Harrison thought all along that he had caught the fish and reeled it in.  It was so fun to watch him - He was so serious about it.  I actually got it on the video camera!  All in all, it was a good day and time well spent with just him, which doesn't happen often enough.

For the record, that photo up top is the largest catch of the day, hooked by....Me!

Mama's heart 

Loved riding the boat

Justin with one of our 10-ish redfish of the day (mine was the biggest though!)

Harrison Turns 4!

My sweet-souled baby boy is now 4!  Seems like we were just bringing him home from the hospital and now he's 4.  He's at the age where he knew his birthday was coming up and that birthday's only come once a year, so it was a special day and he made sure everyone around knew it was his birthday.  We celebrated a little differently this year since we were on vacation at Sanibel (see prior post).  We had a fun day at the beach and at the pool and then ended the day with a little birthday party, good BBQ, and birthday cake!

I guess it's the Mama in me, but I can't help but to reflect back on that hot summer day, June 21, 2006, when we became parents.  I never knew I could love someone so much.  During my pregnancy people would comment, "You're life's going to change," and I would unknowingly agree.  I had no idea how much my life would change until that little 6-pounder baby boy arrived.  I immediately learned the reason God put me on this planet; to raise children that love God and love people so that they in turn bring up Godly children and the cycle continues generation through generation.  I was (and still am) overwhelmed by the huge responsibility that entails.  I can't help but think of how God has changed me and "grown me up" through my years (although few) in motherhood.  He speaks to me in the day to day highs and low with my boys...things I probably would have never learned if it weren't for being a Mama. 

I'm so very grateful for this precious son of mine and the pure joy (and pure frustration at times) he brings me.  Happy Birthday Sweet Harrison!

New Boots

A special Spiderman lifevest for a special fishing trip from Mama & Daddy (post to come)

Make a wish!

Livin' on Island Time

We made our annual trek to south Florida for a week of sun and sand and it couldn't have come any sooner!  The whole Chapman brood (all 15 of us) packed up and hit the road.  Our Sanibel vacation is something we look forward to all year long.  That quaint little island holds a special place in our hearts.  We've made many memories over the past years and I look forward to making memories in the years to come with my boys.  I like to think that one day when they're grown and have families of their own that we'll still be going to Sanibel every year and reliving those moments year after year. 

We had a FULL week this year.  Vacation fell in the midst of Father's Day AND Harrison's 4th birthday (post to follow).  A few days before we left, I was talking to Harrison about the beach and said, "It's the beach and Father's Day and your birthday and fishing trip ALL in one week!"  He said (with a huge smile on his face), "I know...I'm so ess-sited!"  ("excited" for those non-4-year-old-language speaking folks!)

With our brood now up to 15 folks (10 adults, 3 kids, 2 babies), we opted to rent a house on Captiva (a little seperate island at the north point of Sanibel) versus the condo on Sanibel that we had rented in the past.  The house was beautiful and roomy right on the gulf with amazing views and a private pool!  Though there are drawbacks to not being actually on Sanibel, there are huge perks to our new place.  All in all, the entire bunch was happy there. 

Being the "Type A, plan-a-holic" that I am, I tend to get a little nervous as vacation nears.  When you have that many people in such close proximity, it's easy for there to be drama or someone get their feelings hurt or someone smarts off to someone else...yikes.  We're all adults, but seriously, I worry about these things.  Our week went quite smoothly with little drama and I think everyone really enjoyed the time together.  For me, this year was different because it was Brig's first trip.  He's at a fun age where he's out of being a newborn, but not yet walking and into everything....very portable, in my opinion.  I can honestly say my favorite part about this week was the time spent with my little family - Justin and our boys.  I know I'm with them day in and day out and at times the mundaneness of Mommyhood gets to me, but I had the most fun just playing with them in the sand, swimming in the pool, catching little moments on the video camera and seeing them be happy.

Until next year Sanibel!

My Better Half

Just a couple of beach bums - Claire at 2 months and Brig at 6 months

So relaxed

Little fish #1

Little fish #2

Pool fun

Tuckered out

Sand fun

Beach stroll at sunset

I read in Southern Living that the sunsets on Captiva are the prettiest in the world. 
Can't say that I argue with that!

Daddy's Day

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on
those who fear him."  -- Psalm 103:13

This year, we spent Father's Day kicking off our week-long vacation at Sanibel.  Though generally Father's Day involves church and then a celebratory dinner, this year was a nice change of pace.  We started the day with breakfast, then lounged the morning away on the beach.  Came in for lunch and naps.  Then more beach time and fishing.  Finished the day with a favorite meal...steaks on the grill. 

Though I don't always take the time to put it into words, I'm incredibly grateful for Justin every day and our boys truly adore him.  He is an amazing Daddy to them.  Where I lack (or just plan wear out) in my Mama duties, he picks up the slack. 

Below are a few older pictures of Justin and the boys.  I could have went back much further, but there are an insane amount of sweet "father & son" pics to post!  Here are a few....

Brig's birth

Brig's first day home

Monster Truck Jam

Spring Garden

Wild Waters Fun

Father's Day 2010 in Sanibel/Captiva

Sweet Summertime

"Perfect song on the radio, sing along cause it's one we know
It's a smile, it's a kiss, it's a sip of wine
It's summertime, sweet summertime"
--  Kenny Chesney 

We're well into summer now and in our dear Florida that means....scorching heat!  What have we been doing to keep our cool?  Three words - "SLIP AND SLIDE!"  I picked one of these up at Wal-Mart just as a fluke for only $8!  It was seriously the BEST $8 ever spent.  Just seeing that thing in the box brought back fond memories of summer fun - AND scrapes and bruises.  I set it up in the backyard for Harrison and immediately remembered the slip & slide of my youth being a lot bigger!

Obviously, size didn't matter for Harrison.  He spent the entire afternoon on this thing!  I think I heard "Watch, Mama!" about a hundred times.  Joy in the simple things.  After the slip & slide had been running for an hour or so, it was more of a mudslide than a water slide.  Did that make a difference to my dirt dauber??  Absolutely fact, the mud made things MORE fun!

Note:  Justin's mom has a similar photo of Justin on a slip & slide and he's about the same age as Harrison.  If I can find it, I'll add it to this post.  They are the SAME kid, just 25+ years apart!

(What can I say?  The boy's got skills)

Happy Birthday to my Better Half

June is quite a busy month for us...  We started the month off with a bang celebrating Justin's birthday on June 2nd.  He is now on the (fast) approach to the big 3-0! 

To celebrate, we had a low-key cookout at our house with friends and family.  Though the weather was blazing hot, the kids had fun outside on the slip & slide (I swear the BEST $8 I ever spent!) while the Daddy's chewed the fat on the porch and the Mama's chummed it up inside in the cool air.  Such a fun time with good BBQ and laughing til my side hurt, as is obvious by the lack of pictures I took!

"My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a little family and hang out with my wife
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here, In my next thirty years."
--  Tim McGraw
Happy 29th to you, J.C.!

Growing Boys

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him...How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!"  --Psalm 127:3, 5

Our boys are growing like weeds!  May/June marked Brigdon's 6-month milestone and Harrison 4th birthday...both within a few weeks of each other.

Brigdon is changing and learning every day.   He's now rolling front to back and back to front.  He's mastered what we're calling the "back scoot."  Rather than use his feet to scoot around on his tummy, he rolls to his back and pushes with his feet until he gets where he wants, at which point he rolls over to his tummy.  He's mostly sitting up unsupported for a few minutes at a time.  Once a toy...or an entertaining big brother...enters his field of vision, he will topple over.  I know it won't be long until he's crawling and into everything!

Harrison is my bright, inquisitive preschooler.  Every day brings new questions (as well as old questions that I answer over and over).  With those new questions, are his funny remarks and such.  He constantly keeps us laughing at things he says.  Such a bright, happy child who loves Jesus...much like the person I should be. 

You boys are my heart - your Mama loves you more than you'll ever know!