You really can’t have too many celebrations when it comes to your birthday, right? Gress’ birthday festivities started last Thursday at the beach. The waves were huge and a few of his friends met us for some fun adventures in the surf. The boogie boarding and wave riding were exceptionally exciting because of the tropical storm looming out in the ocean.
For his actual birth “day” he wanted pancakes for breakfast and then to go kayaking so we invited another family and his favorite baby sitter to come along. We kayaked for hours, jumped off the dock, and dined on his favorite meal he requested…sushi while overlooking the marsh. And then came home to celebrate again….we ate ice cream cake, open presents and hung out playing with his new presents. All that to say he felt very loved! Thank you to all of you who helped make that happen!!
We are thankful to have this sweet, generous, thoughtful boy in our lives. He makes our days so much brighter!
Guest Post by Rad:
About 5 years into raising the boys (Gress being 5, Mcree being 2), Emily and I felt pretty good about where we were headed as parents. Not that we had it perfectly figured out but frankly, boys are not that complicated. So we rolled with the challenges with a clear end in sight. Put another way, we thought “we’ve got this parenting thing figured out”.
Then God, from on high, probably laughed as He dropped Mabry on us. Yes, God made girls different…in almost ever way. Never have I been so turned upside down by a human. Mabry has forced us to reset our prideful, parenting skill set.
A good friend, Greg McGinty (with 9 kids), told me that a real man is defined by having a daughter. I could not agree more.
While I won’t, for a second, pretend I’ll ever have a consistent, repeatable response to her when she challenges my authority, that’s ok. Because I get to spend time with this precious, complex pinnacle of God’s creation (remember, women were the last thing God made). Our boys have made parenting them fairly easy. Mabry is God’s way of reminding me I’m not in control, I think. It doesn’t matter overall as the good so far outweighs the challenges. What a gift this little girl is.
She’s starting to get her voice (literally and figuratively)…and one of my favorite times of day is bed time, when I lean down to kiss her good night. She’ll often grab my face (and if there’s stubble), rub it and say “It’s sharpy daddy!”. I melt.
I had these two all to myself for 2 days last week while Gress was doing his standardized testing. They were so sweet to each other and it was so fun to have little adventures with just the three of us. We explored new areas, played and had a picnic in the park, layed on a blanket and listened to a man play a trumpet, collected beautiful things from nature and treated ourselves to yummy smoothies in a downtown coffee shop. Mabry adores Mcree and it is so sweet to watch him get to be the only “BIG” brother for a moment.
One of my favorite people on this earth went to be with Jesus last Friday. My Pop Pop almost made it to his 91st birthday and pretty sure he knew he would never make it to that day. We all thought he would recover from some recent illness but his body could no longer fight the fight. He was tired from selflessly caring for his wife for so many years. He missed my grandma terribly and you could see the struggle between wanting to be with her in heaven and still having work to do on this earth. He was a prayer warrior like no one I have ever known. I have early memories of seeing him on his knees in the bedroom praying for what seemed like hours. His life is something to celebrate I know…but selfishly I still want him here. He made you feel like the most special person, always giving you the biggest most meaningful hugs. Oh how I would love his influence on my boys. No doubt we will keep his stories, memories and sayings alive and tuck them in their hearts.
Philippians 1:21-23 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”
No doubt God is so proud of Pop Pop…Well done faithful servant! Your life here on this earth brought glory to God!
Being the last child and the only girl at that =
your brothers build you forts
and they dress you up to look tough
and they hold you hand and encourage you to hold bugs
and you usually get your way. This last one might cause some counseling down the road!
Just a little field trip to one of our favorite places…Oatland Island. Mcree was in love with the duck that he thought was talking to him (that was until he realized she was guarding her egg). This guy loves ALL animals and is so very sweet when he connects with them always saying he wants to snuggle with them.
We saw another family (grandparents, several of their kids and then their grandkids who visit every year from Ohio) that we randomly met at the beach the other night. They of course asked if we liked the schools in Savannah thinking this would be a great place to live. That question always brings interesting conversation since we homeschool. Come to find out these grandparents had homeschooled all of their kids and their kids were going to homeschool their own kids. It is always encouraging to chat with someone who is well on the other side of this homeschool journey and who gets it.
I love watching all these kids learn together and teach each other too.
And yes, Mabry has a booboo below her nose. She was jumping on the chair (not allowed in our house) but Mcree might have been encouraging her . She flung over the arm and scraped her face against the brick wall and was stuck head down between the chair and books. Said big brother just yelled she was hurt but didn’t bother to help her out of the wedged space (which really I had a challenging job getting her unstuck). Maybe there was a lesson learned…but guessing not.
“When I grow up I want to live in a place just like this.” Couldn’t you just see Gress thriving in a place like this one day. Makes me want to buy a plot of land, and together build a log cabin to have a place to sneak away to! He wants to hunt, fish, drive the mule and wear camo EVERY SINGLE DAY!
It was sunny and gorgeous outside ALL day and for some reason the kids and I didn’t step foot outside once. I have boys and boys NEED TO BE OUTSIDE! And this mama needs them to be outside sometimes too! So what a better way to let them run wild than on the wide open beach. It took us all day to get there and at 6:46pm this night we had our feet in the sand. There is something so renewing about being on the beach as the sun goes down. My kids were frolicking in the tide pools and Gress was hilariously catching fish with his hands (which required throwing his body full steam into the water and sweeping the fish out onto the shore). Mcree was collecting sea animals and making a
prison, I mean habitat for them. Mcree was deep into the ocean, hermit crab in one hand, crashing into the waves and then happily swimming on his back and Mabry was running free while trying to keep up with the boys. So much has changed in a year away from the beach. My boys are strong swimmers, Mcree is more fearless than last year, and Mabry is happy to be right in the middle of them all! Oh sweet ocean…we never tire of you!
Get outside today! It does wonders for your soul!
We are so very thankful for this amazing husband and dad. He makes life adventurous and how lucky we are to have him in our lives! Dreaming of days on the sea with this crew and watching Rad’s spirit come alive on the water!
(We carry on the tradition of birthday cake for breakfast. In fact we had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!) How are you making your special moments even more exciting?