• What we missed….

    So many moments we will miss this weekend because of a nasty stomach bug that has quickly spread it’s way through our house. Luckily Rad hasn’t gotten it and we are hoping he stays healthy and the boys and I are doing much much better. I figure when you feel good enough to eat cookies, you are probably ok!

    Because of the sickness we have missed…

    Visiting with a dear friend and her family that just recently moved away and are back for the weekend and sharing that time with some very special other families.

    Getting to share in the sweet birth of Andy and Melissa’s baby that was just born this morning and getting to capture his photos within hours of his birth. Welcome to the world little Caleb!

    Going to church together as a family.

    Despite all we have missed, we have loved having lots of cuddle time with the boys and I even had a sleepover in the boys room (if that’s what you call a nurse on call!). I got to spend the morning with just sweet Mcree today. I love seeing him all by himself and who he is without competition and someone directing his conversation. He is sweet, and fun, and all I want to do is snuggle up and kiss him! Here are a few photos from our morning together. Mcree even took some photos of me! 🙂

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  • One

    jHow often do I forget when I look at someone’s life from the outside that there is a lot more there than what I can see just from the outside. Don’t we do that quite a lot…oh if I could just have what she had then I would be happy. What we often forget is that we aren’t equipped for what they were given in their life because with all the great we seem to see, there is also a lot of hard moments they endure that we just can’t handle. We weren’t built for their life. We were only made for our own.

    To me this is how I sometimes see fostering or adopting a baby. I see how sweet adding another precious life to your family can be, not always remembering that often these families walk through a lot to get to that point. They carry with them the knowledge of the hurt caused on this precious life. And that is something that doesn’t easily erase from their minds. Their job is to love these kids as their own even in the middle of the mess. And most times, what they thought they were signing up for, never turns out the way it was explained.

    I have watched my sweet friend foster a little boy for the last year. This is a mama of 2 girls…and someone who is amazingly calm with babies. What was supposed to be a temporary situation has turned into something much longer and now she is learning about raising a boy!  I have gotten to see this sweet family love this boy as if he was their own and to trust God knowing he is in control of the outcome. Today I was lucky enough to photograph him for his one year birthday. What a sweet gift to give to the family that may one day adopt him. A moment captured in his life that they weren’t a part of…but that they can carry on for him.

  • What Matters…

    The beach always does wonders for my soul. I went to the beach last week with a friend and her boys. I wasn’t quite sure I could shake my bad attitude (which doesn’t appear very often). Thankfully my husband didn’t pay it any attention and kindly packed my beach gear and got the kids loaded and still kissed me good-bye. After apologizing for my crabbiness, I got a sweet text from Rad that read, “I love you! Crabs belong on the beach.” Some days my to do list is way longer than can possibly be accomplished and that frustrates me. Some days I have energy, some days I don’t. I am slowly learning that the important things have to come first…like spending sweet time with the boys.

    The beach adventure was an all day affair (9am-4pm). Luckily the girl I went with loves the beach as much as I do and every time I would ask when she wanted to depart, she would just shrug her shoulders and look to the horizon. She didn’t want to leave either. Neither did any of our boys. There was so much exploring that day that it was like an ongoing science class. There were tide pools with living creatures in them I have never seen before, jellyfish to be dissected, sting rays to watch, miles of sand bars to explore, crabs to collect, and experiments to be made. Lucky for us, Gress and Mcree’s friends are just like them…easy going, fun and overly curious. It is so easy to be together . I love that. And it was exactly what I needed that day to forget about all I had yet to accomplish.

    This is the stuff that matters.

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  • Mcree…

    photoI love this little guy. For so many reasons he makes me smile. He is fun, sweet, cuddly, happy, daring, an encourager, and willing to try anything.

    For a few weeks I have been asking Mcree if he wanted to wear big boy underwear. Most days he flat out says no. But today, I just put them on him without even asking.  Just seeing him in them made me giggle. He is such a tank and quite darling running around with his undies on. It took about 5 pairs for him to realize that he was peeing in them.  It took about 5 more pairs for him to realize he had to say something when he had to go. It took about 5 more pairs for him to give a prompt and make it to the potty with dry pants. And then he finally pooped in the potty. (I realize I may have just crossed a boundary with this post..sorry for those of you I just grossed out!). He was quite proud of himself and had to bring us all in to see.

    Honestly I don’t know if Mcree is ready for this boot camp style potty training but with these hot days, and a hot and tired mama…I figure no time like the present to stay inside and have a little fun! Wish Mcree luck. He needs all the help he can get!!

  • Happy Days

    So many reasons to smile lately…

    Celebrating my Dad and the kids grand dads many miles away, and getting to watch my own husband be an awesome dad to these little boys.

    Days of playing in fountains, running around the parks, swimming at friend’s pools and watching Gress and Mcree cannon ball over and over again. And my favorite part…. afternoons with really sleepy boys!

    Car rides with 2 kids and a dog…and pretty sure the dog is the best behaved! 🙂

    Being incredibly surprised and loved with a surprise baby shower that my dear friends (Melissa and Abbie) threw for me…and getting a surprise visit from my mom (who was in on the party too!)

    Getting to spend time with my mom (although the time is never long enough!)

    Having an afternoon of pedicures and lunch with one of my favorite friends Melissa! What a treat!

    So many happy moments to celebrate!!

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  • Down Time…

    I love these little guys. They make my days fun and busy. This pregnant mama can’t quite keep up lately, so much of my free time is spent slowly juggling all the things that have to get done…or just giving up on it all and resting on the couch. It is often the times I slow down that I get to cuddle with these cute boys! I am trying to savor those slow quiet moments with them! They are so very sweet…and so quickly fleeting!
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  • Full Week

    This week has been a fun filled week for so many reasons…

    On Saturday, Rad took the boys on their first fishing adventure. They all loved their boy time. Gress can’t stop telling EVERYONE  he comes across (including the grocery store checkout lady, the bag boy, the hairdresser, and everyone in between) that he now knows how to fish. He also proceeds to show them his cut on his finger and then tell him he got a new pocket knife and cut his finger on it (yep, within the first 2 minutes of learning how to use it, he had his first war wound and apparently he is pretty proud).

    On Sunday, one of Gress’ favorite people came to visit…..WILLA!!!! Willa used to take care of Gress when he was younger than Mcree. Oh the memories they share together. Gress was so excited to have her here for a few hours. They caught up, played, laughed and had fun. Mcree kept calling her Illa and I think he loved her just as much as Gress does. They kept fighting over who got to sit next to her on the couch! THANKS Willa for taking the time to come love on Gress (and Mcree).

    On Monday, we danced in the rain, got haircuts, and made pretty things for the baby room.

    On Tuesday I took the boys to the movies. They have $1 summer movies here at the theatre. Mcree had never been to a movie theatre before and he loved it. With popcorn in hand both boys sat in awe through the whole movie. Mcree keeps asking if we can watch a “movie theatre” at home. We then went with our friends to Chickfila and happened to see more friends there too. And then later the whole family spent most of the evening swimming in our friends pool. Usually Gress swims pretty cautiously with his flippers on. Nope, not this time. He put on his new mask and snorkel he got for his birthday and was under water swimming like a fish. Rad and I just looked at each other and smiled knowing that when Gress is ready to do something, that is when it will happen.

    On Wednesday the boys and I went to the beach. AHH the beach. Honestly though, the thought of shlepping everything out to the shore made me just tired thinking of it but luckily I have a beach boy, aka Radford, that loads my car and makes going easy. He even unloads, cleans everything and washes the kids when I get back. He is cute too! We met some friends at the beach who were also meeting other friends. There were 6 boys and 1 girl total who all played really well together. We were in the water most of the day. At one point, we headed out way beyond our heads to the sand bar in the distance. Little did we know it would soon be surrounded by sting rays and a really strong current. Oh what an adventure we had.

    Who knows what the rest of the week will hold. I think we are due for some down time so we will probably lay low on Thursday. And then on Friday and possible Saturday, I am headed to a homeschool conference to be inspired, buy some books, and learn some new things.

    Hope you had some adventure and fun in your week!

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  • Thankful Moments

    There have been so many moments lately that I have had to stop and give thanks for that exact moment. Here are just a few of those moments…

    While shopping in Michael’s craft store with 2 little boys, Gressett and Mcree patiently helped me pick out way too many flowers for a mobile I made for the baby room. There were no complaints out of either of them. Perhaps they like Michael’s as much as I do…(doubt it). When I finished the mobile and persuaded Rad to hang it above the crib (smack dab in the middle of bedtime for the boys) Rad smiled and got his tools and hung it. I know he thought my immediate need to see it hung was crazy but he just gladly helped. After it was hung, Gressett looked up at it in awe and said, “mom, that is so beautiful.”

    After the Michael’s shopping, I was going to run into the grocery quick to grab some groceries for dinner (and when I say quickly, I really meant it as nap time was passing and I still had to get Mcree down). But then, I saw what I think was an answer to this tired mama’s prayers! I saw a sign in the grocery store parking lot for $4.99 haircuts. Could this really be true. I have been meaning to cut the boys hair for weeks and just didn’t have it in me. How could I pass this deal up. It took Mcree lots of persuading to get up in the chair but once he did, he was happy about being there. At one point I heard Gress having an ongoing conversation with his hair dresser that went something like this, “Do you know what a gardenia smells like? It smells really good. We have a gardenia plant in our front yard and we pick the flowers off. Do you know how I cut my finger? My dad gave me my own pocket knife and I cut it. Do you know that I know how to fish and the first time we went fishing, my brother caught a dog fish?” The conversations went on and on. I love how he isn’t afraid to strike up any conversation with just about anyone.

    We finally made it to the grocery store, well after nap time had started….got our groceries and when we left the grocery it was pouring down rain. Someone luckily walked us to the car with an umbrella but we were all still pretty wet. Normally I tell the boys they can’t run wild in the rain, mostly out of my own selfishness of having to clean them AND their clothes after they are soaked and often muddy. But after having so many moments of thankfulness, and knowing how much fun playing in the rain really is, the boys got out of the car and spend hours running and jumping in the rain. It was great.

    I was so thankful for the many moments throughout this day!!!

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  • Did You Eat a Doughnut Today?

    IMG_0925Today is National Doughnut Day! I was so excited to have an excuse to go eat a doughnut (and a free one for that matter) that the boys and I headed to Krispy Kreme. I told Rad how excited I was and he said, “are you really going to go eat a doughnut?” Did I even have to answer that? I mean I am pregnant, have one kid who LOVES sugar maybe more than I do (that would be Gressett) and another who is along for any adventure you take him on. Yes, there was quite the sugar overload this week with all the birthday sweets we had but national doughnut day only comes around once a year! We enjoyed every bite!

  • Birthday Celebration!

    There were so many great parts of Gressett’s birthday! The celebration lasted all day long. It started with a trip to the bakery to get donuts for breakfast, then a trip to Oatland Island with Mimi (who travelled in for Gressett’s birthday…oh so special!), to cake at lunch AND dinner and opening presents throughout the day, to a dolphin watching boat ride (where we saw more dolphins than we could count on all our fingers combined), to dinner celebration at a mexican restaurant with singing and an embarrassing sombrero! We asked Gress his favorite part of the day and he said it was spending the day with Mimi! THANKS so much Mimi for making Gress feel so special. AND THANK YOU to all of you who were part of his special day with singing, cards, gifts and thoughts!! He felt oh so loved!!!

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