Friday, August 30, 2013

Apple picking

We got to go apple picking with a few friends on Tuesday.  We had such a good time chatting and spending time together.  The weather was perfect and the location was mostly just occupied by our little group.  There weren't many apples ready yet, but the children each got to pick at least one.  Ours were happy to have free reign on the orchard to run in the sunshine and snack on juicy fruit.  Carter kept calling the orchard the "apple woods," and Samuel has an obsession now with eating whole apples.  Their favorite part, however, was definitely the homemade apple doughnuts!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Samuel: 15 months

Weight: 22 pounds, 33rd percentile
Height: 31.5 inches, 62nd percentile

If something hurts, he points to it for me to kiss it.  I'm always happy to comply.

If he wants to say something, he tries.  Even when it comes out garbled and strange, Samuel is never scared to try.  He says so many things that only I can understand.  He LOVES to mimic the sounds in songs.  

If he's hungry, he wants grapes and cheerios.  He also loves craisins, black beans, and rice.  He eats other things, but those are his favorite.  Since giving up mid-night nursing this past week, he has really launched into food for the first time with gusto.

If Carter is crying, so is Samuel.  If Carter is laughing, so is Samuel.  

If there is dirt, Samuel is in it.

If I am around, I am the person Samuel wants.  However, once Daddy comes home, that's his favorite name to say and his favorite person ever.  As soon as Samuel hears Steven's voice, you can hear a mad pattering of feet running toward Daddy!

If you are sitting or swinging, Samuel wants to be snuggled.  He loves to lay his head on our shoulders and will sit for such a long time.  He loves to climb in my lap at the park and swing together on the big swing with his head on my shoulder.  I'm a huge fan.

If there is music, Samuel wants to dance.  He's got pretty good moves :)

If Carter is doing it, Samuel wants to as well.  He loves to look over Carter's shoulder and try to get involved.  Carter is pretty patient, and Samuel is fairly unobtrusive, so they work well together most of the time.

If there is a train track, Samuel will wreck it.  Carter is not patient with this, and Samuel is very obtrusive on this note.  Little bit of a bone of contention around here.

If there is a toothbrush, Samuel is happy.  He loves to say "ahhhh" and have us scrub his little teeth.

If there is an open door, Samuel will take advantage for some grape thieving or just puttering around nosily inside.  He loves the refrigerator.  

If there is joy, Samuel is probably around.
If there is laughter, Samuel probably caused it.
If there is reason to be grateful, it is in the sweet personality of our son.

If there is any mom who has been given great grace in a child, it is me.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

He is obsessed with my holding him.  And sometimes it drives me crazy.  Sometimes my two arms need to be unloading the dishwasher, eating, carrying the laundry, putting away toys, or a myriad of other things.  Sometimes I pick him up for the millionth time, and the muscles in my back groan.

But mostly I love it.  Mostly I love having a little sidekick saying my name a million times a day, wanting to be right in my shadow.  Wanting to sit in my lap and lay his head on my shoulder.  Mostly of the time, I remember that this, for better or worse, is a season.  And most of the time, I carry this guy everywhere I go.

He blows kisses, but it is really just kissing his hands as he never releases them.  I can't blame him.  Those fat, little hands are pretty good for kissing :)

Samuel's hair is so straight that it doesn't get wild and curly after his sweaty naps, but it does stand in strange angles.  It makes me laugh and I won't be cutting it anytime soon.  Little trims to keep in out of his eyes and ears, but no big boy cuts on the horizon.  Nope.  Nada.

Wordless Wednesday just wouldn't be the same without the words :)  One day, I'll catch up and write more than just on Wednesdays.  It's just...a season :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Snapshot: July 2013

Snapshot: June
Snapshot: May
Snapshot: April
Snapshot: March
Snapshot: February
Snapshot: January
Snapshot: December
Snapshot: November
Snapshot: October
Snapshot: September
Snapshot: August

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Best update EVER

So many of you prayed that as soon as I got the news this morning, I had to update you.

I told you Mrs. Karen had stage 4, advanced lung cancer.  She had a PET scan on Tuesday.  This morning the doctor said after 3 chemotherapy treatments she is in 90% remission!

What!?!?  90% remission  

She will have 3 more chemotherapy treatments, but will not need the expected radiation treatments because the tumor is so small, it can't even be pinpointed!!  In fact, they couldn't find ANY cancer anywhere else on her body!!  She will continue to be treated to ensure the cancer is completely destroyed, but the prognosis is so much better than we ever dreamed.

We prayed that the glory of God would shine so much brighter than the darkness of cancer.  In the hard days, on the long runs, on the dark days of treatments, on the sad days of brokenness, God has shown Himself faithful.  His glory has pierced the darkest situation, and He has been good in the hardest of times.

And today?

Today the glory is so bright, part of me wants to shield my eyes and the other part wants to look straight into it, blinding me so I'll never see the same again.

I have a feeling that Saturday's long run will be the fastest and happiest of all :)

There is still treatments that will be difficult and a lot of rebuilding of strength, but today is about rejoicing in the light and the joy of the sweetest news and answered prayers.  Thank you so much for rallying behind Mrs. Karen, and for your continued prayers as she battles cancer so bravely.  You can pray specifically for the last three chemotherapy treatments, as she had an allergic reaction to the medicine last time.

And?  You can look into this glory that's piercing into this darkness of cancer.  You can look into it and be blinded to the darkness forever.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Grandma's house

We came to Grandma's house this week to see one of our favorite people and to sew a quilt for Samuel. 

We have done lots of playing on the floor, eating our favorite foods, and even sewing. :)

The boys love being in Alabama, and it warns my heart to see them making memories in the same place that holds some of my dearest, sweetest moments. 

Grandma still has my very first six-piece quilt framed in her bedroom. I've gotten a little better since then, but I sure don't ever want to see without her. I just follow instructions....she's the one who knows what she's doing. Some things never do change. 

Carter asks Grandma to play "Jesus Loves Me" on the "pea-no" every ten minutes. She stops whatever she is doing to oblige. That's the thing about being a great grandson. 

The boys are helping and are mesmerized by the serger. Something about it makes them just stop and stare. 

We got to drive down to the pond yesterday.  So much of my childhood was spent running on this particular piece of dirt alongside Travis, Allie and Brady. It made me smile to see my boys exploring and riding around on the same land, swatting bugs and sweating. 

Samuel liked the lawn mower...and Brady Wayne. He's got good taste. 

The boys both got to ride with Uncle Billy Wayne on the mule. The love was swift and strong. Total affection for this part of the trip.  When Carter prayed later that evening, he thanked Jesus for the food, his family, and for "widing with Uncle Biwwy Wayne on the "twactor". It was a hit. 

We finished the quilt today, after only hitting a few snags :)

I'll write more about the pieces later, since this post is wordless.  Ahem.

Samuel does love his new blanket...and a week at Great Grandma's. Who wouldn't!?

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Children's Museum

It is getting more and more difficult to keep up with the blog.  It feels like there are less and less minutes in the day.  It's ironic.  I remember there being long moments of sitting at the blog, thinking of what to write when I was pregnant with Carter.  Now, I have enough to write at least a full blog every day.  Millions of blogs are written in my head with no moment to type them in.

Maybe some things will just be tucked away in my memory, unshared.  Some of them, I guess, will even be forgotten.  

But! I can get some of them wrangled on here :)  We went last week to the museum with Mama, Susanna, Henry, and Mrs. Nethery (Susanna's mother).  We had such a good time.  We arrived just after they opened and left just after lunch, and I think the boys could have played even longer had we not needed to get home from naps.  We went last summer and the boys were a bit overwhelmed.  This year, they could do so much more and enjoyed themselves so much.  The water table and the farm is always the biggest hit for my guys, but this time they really loved the construction zone and the music room. They loved interacting with each other and no one had a potty accident...a total success :)

I'm such a sucker for family.  It is so important to me.  Seeing cousins playing with their grandmas and mamas, enjoying's my favorite.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Letters to Carter

Dear Carter,

You are in such a fun, sweet phase right now.  Oh my, I love this age so much.  

You are still learning to obey and you still challenge us...but things have shifted.  EVERYTHING isn't a fight anymore.  You are willing to obey more often than not, and you say the funniest, silliest things that keep us rolling.

You love to help, and you make bigger messes than I ever think possible.  You are so determined to do everything by yourself, except pulling up your own pants.  That is apparently far too difficult.

You love playing chase more than anything else.  You spend most of your playground time running through the mulch, looking for someone who will run so you can chase them.  Luckily, it is Henry's favorite game too.  The two of you get to be quite a sweaty mess together.

Playdough is kind of a big deal to you right now.  As with everything else, you do playdough on your own terms.  No rolling balls or making creatures for you.  Nope, you prefer to rip it all in microscopic pieces and scatter them on the table.  Fun times.  Playdough is a little less my favorite than yours.

Your nursery got a train table, so you are also in love with nursery these days.  I don't know how well you are sharing, but you sure do love going in Mrs. Jenn's yellow nursery to play.  It still takes me by surprise to hear you say, "Mama, you go to your purple nursery and I will go to my yellow nursery, please!"  After such a long separation anxiety phase, it makes me so happy that you can hardly wait to get there now!  As soon as we turn right on Haywood Rd, you always exclaim, "Yay!  Time for my yellow nursery!"  What a gift patient and kind nursery workers have been to our family.

You still love trains and having everything in a line like cars ready to pull out of the station.  You are also always listening to everything around you.  Your constant question these days is, "Mama!  What was that sound?" Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  

You still take 2-3 hour naps like clockwork every single day.  Dude.  Thank you.  After such a crazy first couple of years, those long naps are a sweet repayment.  Thank you.  Please continue for....ever.

You're also doing a great job at night.  After I bathe you and brush your teeth, your Daddy always takes you back to your room for books and "one" video on his phone.  You always talk him into more, but you are usually asleep just after 8, so I don't complain.  Before he leaves, he sings to you.  Then you always ask for me to come in for one more rendition of "Hush Little Baby" and another kiss.  Then you sleep until just after seven every morning.  Even if we don't come in right away, you are content to lie quietly in bed until we come open your door.  This is still so unbelievable to me.  So grateful.

You are an awesome running buddy.  You are so patient with your brother in the stroller on our runs during the week, always counting down the laps until the playground.  You are my sidekick for most of  my long weekend runs as I prepare for the half marathon in October.  You are so patient, eating snacks, looking for trains and taking in the scenery.  You're heavy, but I am grateful for your company.

You are obsessed with working on your cars with small screwdrivers.  It's really heartbreakingly cute.  You always say you need to work on the battery.  If that doesn't work, you always say it's the brakes.  I love your focus when you work.

You have a posse of lovies these days that cracks me up.  When you were tiny and wouldn't sleep alone, I tried to attach you to things and you had none of it.  Now?  You have a crazy group of plush friends that have to be around all the time, lined up in a row.  Buddy, Elmo, Teddy, Elmo, Blankie, Blue Baby, and Monster (not pictured) are with you every night, and they get invited to many adventures during our day.  It's hilarious.

I cut your hair last week and it made you look older, as it always does.  You've gotten longer and lankier lately and I can't believe how much you look like a boy instead of a toddler.  My dear son, you are so fun to be around.  I love the way you hold Samuel's hand to help him walk.  I love you the way you say "Good morning" to everyone we pass in any store, regardless of the time of day.  I love the way you hide under your covers when you hear me opening your door in the morning and always giggle under the covers while I ask where you are.  I love the way you call peanut butter/honey toast "cinnamon toast" and the way you eat cucumbers like they are cookies.

I love that I am still your safety net and favorite hug.

I love that you are growing and getting more independent every day.

I love that you still want me to rock you after bath time.

I love that you ask for kisses.

I love that you are mine.

And I am yours.