It’s hard to believe that almost 7 years ago (tomorrow) you entered this world. I honestly didn’t know what to expect and you have managed to fill my heart with so much love. As I look back through the photos, I am again reminded of all the precious moments I got to spend with you. Oh how sweet my life has been because of you.
I have loved watching you grow, and learn, and be silly. You are special in so many ways. You are fun, adventurous and creative. You are tough and sensitive and tender. You have a huge imagination and are a great storyteller. You have a huge heart for animals and people and are never afraid to make someone’s day by talking to people. You are generous and helpful and encouraging. You are strong, and brave, and always love a good story that you can make come to life. You are smart and you like to lead. You are a good friend, a great brother, and an incredible son.
Happy 7th Birthday Gress. I can’t wait to see how God grows you this next year!
This sweet girl is now 8 months old (ok so once again I am a little behind with this post as she is almost 9 months).
She has found her voice and will often screech out for attention, food, or just to let you know she knows how to talk.
She can clap, and wave, and loves to smile at anyone (especially the boys).
She is on the verge of crawling and can somehow find her way closer to the dog water bowl every time.
She has 4 teeth on the bottom and has 2 more on the top making their way through.
Her hair is slowly growing and yes is still red!
She is sweet and fun and happy to be along for the ride.
I have taken on some creative projects (making roman shades, sewing baby gifts, using my silhouette machine I got for Christmas to make all kinds of things) so blogging has taken a back seat. I really need a craft room and hours of uninterrupted time (haha..that just made me laugh out loud at the reality of that). And as I write this Mcree has interrupted my train of thought at least 15 times and I am only 2 run on sentences in.
The weather has been gorgeous here so we are taking full advantage of our days outside. Yesterday we went to the beach for the afternoon until dinner time. It was glorious and sandy and not relaxing one bit but it was renewing and fun to watch the kids relish in God’s creation. As we were walking back to the car I heard Gress say to his buddy, “Isn’t it amazing that God made the beach and the sand? Do you know how sand is made?” Oh how I love having the beach just a short drive away. I am sure this year will be much different with a brave 3 year old who is not afraid to go neck deep (thankfully with a life jacket) and a baby who loves to feel and eat sand.
The power tools still come out on occasion as more renovation/house work is always waiting to be started or finished. Too bad we can’t teach Gress how to renovate a bathroom with just that sawzall. And Mcree has become quite independent with getting dressed and brushing his teeth. Most days he does a great job at both, although today his getting dressed consisted of just taking off his pjs and hanging out in his undies.
My heart is thankful this week for so many things.
Time on a blanket in the sun with my friend and her newborn son catching up on life and the heartfelt letter I received from her after our visit as if I had given her a great gift when really I was the one blessed by her presence.
A farm raised dinner (quail, rabbit, roasted potatoes, sautéed collards and shelled peas and carrots), the boys accompanying the farmer for his evening chores (feeding pigs, milking the cow, wrangling chickens and the list goes on), watching all the boys frolicking in the mud, and great life giving conversation around the dinner table with sweet friends.
A 3 year old who did great at the dentist and the most accommodating dental hygienist who was not only sweet to my boys but also flossed my teeth with a baby in my lap.
A torrential downpour that turned into evening entertainment as Rad and I chuckled watching the boys in their underwear and boots running around the backyard through puddles and mud.
Watching our garden grow…worms and all!
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I love that one day a year you get a day that is your day. I grew up with a mom that always made us feel so special on our birthdays. I love doing the same for my family. And oh how my heart swelled this year watching Gress’s love for making his dad feel extra special. I came into the dining room and Gress had decorated the table, put a place card on the birthday boy’s chair and drew a photo of his dad for the table. He was so excited to get to celebrate his favorite person! And what was Mcree doing, he was busy teasing the dog and Mabry with his party blower. Lucky for us we got to celebrate Rad all day long with lots of time together which ended with an awesome stroll on the beach. Oh how blessed we all feel to have Rad in our lives!
Some random moments:
Who knew Mcree could blow up a balloon. The kid has some lungs on him. Not only can he blow it up but someone taught him how to hold the valve just right so that when the air releases it makes a screeching noise. Thanks to whoever did that!
Mabry went to her first baseball game last week. It was past her bedtime before the game even started but lucky for us she is happy just to be wherever we are.
I love Gress’ love for his sister. He always makes sure to include her in whatever the boys are doing. He decided to take her out to sit on the porch one morning and then brought her in to play legos with them making sure she had her own big legos. Mcree is a great helper too. He is surely getting the hang of how to entertain and care for Mabry.
I’ve been really convicted lately about what is going “into” my families bodies. If our body is truly a temple, then what we consume (food, media, words, experiences) really affect us for the good or bad. “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.” 1 Corinthians 10:23.
Rad and I have eaten mostly a primal diet, but pregnancy and laziness have allowed us to stray to lots of sweets and grains. If I am honest with my body, I feel yucky physically when I eat that way. How do we honor God with our bodies when we aren’t in our best “shape?” I realized I could no longer be trusted with this responsibility as clearly I was weak. I needed God to stand in the gap and I needed to trust him with this next step we were going to take.
A week ago today I started a 30 day challenge eating only whole foods (called whole30… a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system. It is no grains, no dairy, no legumes, no sugar..only whole foods). My kids and Rad have started a modified version (called Primal which includes dairy). I had started this before but could never make it to the end. Something would get in the way. This time I realized I could not just rely on me to complete it. When I made a list of what success looked like for me in the end, it was overwhelmingly to trust God with what I put in my body and to be a good example for my children.
I am excited to lean into God this time around. “One day of victory tastes better than any of that food I’d given up!” (And giving up bacon and boston creme pie were good tests!)
Our dogs are benefiting too! 🙂 Luna is a horrible walker on a leash. What was I thinking…of course she is. She is a cattle dog meant to be given commands. Who knew that this puppy could heal off a leash. She’s a great companion to our walks!
I hardly remember those days of just one little baby who is happy to just go and do whatever the day has laid out. My days now have 2 other little people with opinions, feelings that get hurt, arms that like to throw things across rooms, and chatter that fills up every quiet moment. So to say this weekend was peaceful was an understatement.
Rad took the boys camping this weekend. While he was in the middle of a 700 agree property with several dads and their boys, Mabry and I got to fill our days with whatever we wanted to do (we meaning me). We hung out, she took long naps, I got to dive into a great book I am reading, I journaled for the first time in a long time, we went for walks, shopped a little, organized all her clothes, got creative with sewing and making gifts, and just loved being at home. It was renewing. And just what I needed in this season of life. So I owe Rad a big thank you for the gift of time!
Mabry really missed the boys. When they got home she stared at them and laughed and chatted for over an hour.
(More to come on the boys camping adventure…might even have a guest blogger…hint hint Rad!)
This handsome guy turns 45 tomorrow. I have loved being a part of his last 17 years. I have witnessed his huge heart to love, his caring arms to encourage, and his wise words to help in any situation. I have watched his amazing talent be able to fix anything, been amazed at his willingness to try anything, and been in awe at his photographic memory. I have loved being apart of his crazy adventures…for they always stretch you beyond what you think you can do. I have seen him fall, and stand back up again. I have seen him hurt, and be changed by the situation. I have known his dreams and loved having a front row seat to watch him live them out. I have seen big smiles, big tears, and his courage to get though tough times. He is a gentleman and can always find a way to make you smile. I have seen him push others to reach their goals while still waiting to reach his. I have seen his patience, his perseverance, and his humbleness in many situations. Happy happy birthday to my best friend! So glad I get to do this life with you!