Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Big One-Year-Old

A first birthday already?  Yes, already.

We celebrated Brig's first birthday with a little cowboy-themed get-together in our backyard on the most beautiful fall morning.  It was simple and filled with laughter and memories and good food.  I devoted a few days to Brig's birth and the events of his first year during "Bountiful Blessings" over the month of November, here and here.

I think watching both my boys grow and change from month to month can be easily summed up as bittersweet.  I cherish their "baby days," but look forward to what God holds next for them.  I've had a lot of people ask if I was sad about Brig turning 1 and I honestly wasn't sad at all.  I had enjoyed the prior 12 months so very much, but he's a kid and if there's one thing a kid does best, it's grow up f.a.s.t.  You just have to enjoy each stage as it comes and as it goes.  He's a full-fledged toddler now...busy and curious and such fun!

A "mini gallery" with memories of Brig's first year

Table decor


More presents!


Thank you everyone who celebrated Brig's special day with us!

"We want S'Mores!!"

I can hardly think of a better way to spend a chilly evening than snuggled outside by a fire. 
AND s'mores...well, that's just icing on the cake!

To break in Justin's parent's new fire pit, we did just that. 

As I gazed up into the millions of stars that filled that night sky, I couldn't help but remember this...  "Who with the breadth of His hand marked off the heavens"  (Isaiah 40:12)  You mean those millions of stars in that huge expanse of sky?  God holds them in the span of his hand.  That's a b.i.g. God.

Cousin Kalea = Happy.
Harrison = Really Happy.
Cousin Tyler = Not Happy.

Mmmm...Gooey goodness.

Snuggled and Warm with Mama

Turkey Rod Run

We had the opportunity the Saturday after Thanksgiving to take Harrison to the Turkey Rod Run at the Speedway in Daytona.  Turkey Rod Run is a huge car show featuring any and every kind of vehicle imaginable...old and new.  The last time Justin and I had been was before we were married.  I probably shoudl add that though hot rods aren't really my thing, seeing that many gleaming cars and proud owners is pretty neat. 

Harrison is totally and completely a lover of trucks with all his being, and Justin had the smart idea that we should make he would enjoy it this year and we should take him.  The best part was that it was just the three of us and a special treat for him to spend quality time with his Mama and Daddy (sans little brother). 

We saw lots of big trucks (Daddy's favorite)...

Quite a few Mustangs (Uncle Bubby's favorite)...

Old tractors...

And even this (whatever this is)...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Thought

Not real sure where to start today.  A lof of things on my mind lately.  Things that I truly have no business worrying over. 

Jesus said, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  (Matthew 11:28).  Clinging to this verse today -- as well as a few others -- and the days ahead. 

Life is not perfect, I am not perfect, BUT my God is so very perfect. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flashback Friday

Yes, it's been a while since a "Flashback Friday" post and they are a favorite.  Guess it's obvious our Friday's have been hectic lately.  But's back!

So I thought my little family was prepared for Christmas (which is in ONE week), but I was w.r.o.n.g.  Woah, was I wrong.  Though I strive every year to not be that wait-til-the-last-possible-minute gal, here it is another year and I'm doing it again.  Such is life.

For today's Flashback Friday, I decided to dig out some old Christmas pictures as a kid.  I have always loved Christmas -- actually I love all holidays -- but the Christmas season is so profound in meaning and rich with history.  The nostalgia gets me every time. 

I guess the picture below is probably from my first Christmas.  I'm a November baby (just like my Brig), so that first Christmas was kind of just "pretend."  Brig's first Christmas last year, we just kind of skipped over him.  Sounds sad, but we just took at as one more year to save a little money.  BUT, we're making up for it this year. 

What sticks out to me most about this picture is not the tree or the awful outfit Baby Sue is dressed in, it's the tacky velour sofa and red-brown shag carpet.  Wow.  Thank goodness interior design has come a long way.  Can't help but wonder if my boys will look back on their childhood photos and wonder the same thing about our home?  Undoubtedly so. 

But wait, it gets even better...

This picture I would guess is from my second Christmas; the "real" one.  These creepy Santas crack me up!  What child wouldn't be scared to sit in this guy's lap?

And last by not least, I would assume this picture is my third year.  And, yes, another creepy Santa.  Surely this guy could've opted for contact lens that day and left his "Clark Griswold" glasses home?  But best of all, I love those little stick-out-ish ears...the same ears my little Briggy has.  One of the (few) traits he carries of me.  Sorry Brig, but wear em proudly.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday Truth

As we're well into the Christmas season, naturally I studied a bit in Luke chapter 2 today and so it's on my mind and quite fitting for the "Tuesday Truth." 

Luke is my favorite of the 4 gospels.  History tells us that Luke was a doctor and he was the only one to write a gospel of Jesus who wasn't one of the 12 disciples.  Being a doctor, his writing is very detail-oriented; and being outside of the 12 disciples, his observations on Jesus' life -- and even His death -- are real-life and matter-of-fact. 

I've read this passage many times, but there were a few verses that moved me today.  Just one more way that God works on me through experiences in Mommy-hood.

Luke 2:7 - "She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger..." 

So this is where my Mama-ness comes out.  I can totally identify with Mary.  I can picture her swaddling that sweet-smelling, soft-skinned baby boy just like I've swaddled my own babies countless times, and then placing a soft kiss on the perfect tiny forehead.  And I just can't help but wonder what could've been going through her mind at the time.  After all, she knew what had been prophesied about Jesus. 

Could she imagine that her innocent baby boy was the Messiah -- prophesied for years and years before?  Did it even cross her mind that she would watch him be falsely crucified as ransom for the sins of the world?  I don't know.  But, I would think above all, she simply marveled at the miracle a new baby is and the favor God that had found in her. 

Later on in the chapter, Luke says (in verse 19), "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." 

I can quickly think back to that day 4 years ago in June; my first-born Harrison's "birth day" -- The day I became a Mama.  The details and the moments of that day are vividly burned in my mind as if they happened yesterday.  Just like I treasure those memories, no doubt those same moments are the things Mary treasured in her heart.  Above all, she was still a Mama.

Sadly, in the hustle and bustle of trying me to create the perfect Christmas, I so quickly forget to "unwrap" the most important gift of all -- the gift of Jesus. 
And as emblazoned on my memory are the details of my children's births,
so should God's gift of Jesus be emblazoned on my heart. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Giving Thanks

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

Oh, how I love this holiday!  And after a month of "Bountiful Blessings," I am reminded of just how much I have to give thanks for.  So much more than I ever deserve. 

That being said, Justin and I had made a deal starting this year to do the least amount of traveling as possible over the holidays.  We have our own little family now and by spending the majority of the day in the car, we couldn't help but feel like our boys -- Harrison especially -- were missing out on what holidays are really about.

That being said, we only spent 5 minutes of Thanksgiving Day in the car driving to our brother- and sister-in-law's house.  (The following day, we spent another hour plus in the car going to my mom's, but at least it wasn't all in one day, which has been the norm for years past.)

And, in true Turkey Day style, you gotta have coordinating outfits complete with

...and Brig's first taste of sweet potato pie...

We enjoyed a fun day with pretty weather, good food, family and lots of laughter. 


Family Portraits 2010

Yet again, my dear friend and talented photographer Jennifer never ceases to amaze me!  We had a little mini-session a few weeks back and she did her thing and we ended up with portraits that we love, love, LOVE.  Pretty awesome isn't she??

With this being a mini-session, I had expected to get maybe 10 or 15 good shots and really that was all I needed...something for cute Christmas cards and maybe a few to frame for gifts, etc.  I had no idea I'd end up with 43!  43!!! 

And they are ALL fabulous...though, I'm a tad partial.  So I'll hush up and post some pics, since that's all anyone wants to see anyway!

First United Methodist Preschool Thanksgiving "Feast"

I'm understanding already just how much more fun the holidays are with a kid in school.  It's like the excitement is x10 when they get the chance to celebrate the holidays nearly every day at school! 

First up...the "Thanksgiving Feast." 

Harrison's school had been practicing for a special Thanksgiving program -- complete with pilgrim and indian costumes -- in anticipation for their Thanksgiving Feast.  This was a special program because not just anyone could attend...Harrison had to invite just one special person to join him for the program and a special lunch the children had put together.  I knew immediately that I was out of the running to be the special guest and assumed it would either be Daddy or Meme (Justin's mom).  But I didn't force the issue and let Harrison decide.  The winner was....Meme!  I sent her with my camera that day so she could at least snap a few shots of my little Thanksgiving Indian.

The menu for the day was turkey sandwiches, chips, fruit salad, cookies and a very special pumpkin pie that the kids made themselves.  I had volunteered to help with pumpkin pie day, so the day before the feast, I got to help the students actually make the pies and they did a fabulous job.  Meme said they were quite proud that they had made the pumpkin pie!

Harrison's class is always in the back row -- What's up with that??

Wow - What a feast!

My Little Indian

Though I didn't celebrate this day with him, I'm happy Meme had the opportunity to attend and see all the kids' efforts had payed off!

Halloween 2010

***  This is way behind...The month of November was devoted to "Bountiful Blessings" which in itself was a blessing.  Sadly, I have to remind myself to be thankful.  BUT, we are now back on track.  Be prepared for lots of "Month of November Fun" posts coming your way! 

Our little people had the most fun this Halloween -- AND Brig's first Halloween!  Harrison had decided months back that he wanted to be a cowboy (again - same as last year) and I didn't object since we already had all the goods for another cowboy costume.  I did take a hour or so and stitch him up a jazzy new vest and chaps for this year.  In keeping with tradition, Brig was a pumpkin.  He actually wore a pumpkin costume that I made for Harrison's for Halloween and held onto it in hopes that all my babies would wear it for their first Halloween.  A few friends have borrowed it over years past, and it always makes me smile to see those little chub-a-lubs in that cute costume!

Logan and Harrison - Cowboys at heart

Mama's sweet Punkin-Head

The whole gang - Macie, Meghan, Logan, Harrison

These fellas are ready to roll!

"Howdy Partner!"

Special thanks to the Thomas family for letting us tag along trick-or-treating in their neighborhood.  (There is no trick-or-treating in the woods where we live!)  And another special thanks to the Wilson family for hauling the whole bunch around in their UTV!

Memory Monday

Glad to be back on regular routine.  The holidays are fast-approaching and my bunch is crazy-busy once again!

One year ago, we were adjusting to life with a 1-week-old baby.  On this same day a year ago, my very dear friend and most talented photographer Jennifer spent a few hours of her morning photographing my new bundle of sweetness.  He was a bit of a pickle at times, but Jennifer did what she does best and got the most beautiful simple portraits of little (and he was little) Brigdon David.

Though it seems this year has sped past with rapid speed, I can clearly remember this day a year ago.  I was smack dab in the middle of new-baby exhaustion mode.  And if you have had a new-baby, you know exactly what I mean.  Yikes. 

What'd they say, "This too shall pass..."??  And it did.  Eventually.  And through my exhaustion, I managed to get my little family to Jennifer that day and am so grateful I took the opportunity to have Brig photographed while he was still wrinkly and fresh.  To remember his eyes (when they would open) that deep, deep blue...the color of new.

I have quite a few of these photos framed throughout my house and they never cease to stop me in my tracks and make me thank Jesus for my sweet baby and the joy and laughter he brings to our home. 

We have never been the same.