Friday, September 14, 2012

just breathe...

I am compelled to begin blogging again. Our lives are completely different than they were a year ago when I stopped and I am sad that I have not recorded the things that have happened. We are one year deeper into our marriage, our firstborn baby boy is now a roaring 2 year old, we added a new baby girl, left one job to begin another, and we live in Houston, Texas. All that and so much more. And it all has happened so fast. I haven't had much space or time to breathe, much less to actually write and record. But I want to begin again. I want this to be a place to breathe. I want to be able to sit down here and share the things that are on my heart and in my mind. I want this blog to be more than just a family record keeper, though I know it will serve as such because I am passionate about this bunch. My hope is that this becomes a place where I am refreshed as I get to breathe out what God is breathing into me through His Word and His grace extended to me in Christ, through my husband and my children, and to share how I am being transformed by the journey that Christ has called us on. So I say to myself as I begin again, "Just breathe."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

10 & 11 months

Little Buddy,

The days seem to fly by so fast, and with each one that comes and goes you seem to be growing and changing. I love these two pictures of you because they capture your happy heart so well. You continue to show us how much you love people. You are so friendly and you love to walk up to new people, throw up your hand and say "Hey!" You love life and you make the most of every moment you are awake. You meet the day head on and you don't stop until it is time to go to bed at night. You are a busy little bee!

During month 10 we got to spend some special time with Su-Su and Aunt Kathryn. They came and stayed a whole week with us before we did all of our summer traveling. They both loved getting to spend time with you in your environment, doing the things that you love to do, and watching you do all the amazing things that you have learned to do.

We spent the rest of your 10th and 11th month traveling. We were back and forth between Orlando, Carrborro, NC and home. It was a crazy and eventful time, and you mastered the art of sleeping in a pack-n-play (for 7 weeks!), eating on the run, and making a playground out of whatever new place you were. You handled all this instability like a champ. I think we could say that adaptability is a trait you may possess!

You are physically developing so much fast! During month 10 you progressed from standing to walking so quickly. It was a little overwhelming if I'm honest. At the beginning of the month you were standing and holding onto things. Then you would let go, learn your balance, and begin taking a step or two. You spent a ton of energy and time teaching yourself to walk. By month's end you were completely walking by yourself. It was so fun watching you go from one side of the room to the other. You were truly proud of your accomplishment and you kept practicing until you made it perfect. You haven't looked back at crawling since!

You are verbal development has been fun to see too. You really like to talk. Your mouth opens with your eyes each morning! You don't have many words yet, but you have a lot of sounds. Month 11 has brought a lot of new sounds, and some we think actually have associations with them. You say ma-ma, da-da, na-na, bah (ball), and ba-ba (bye bye). You make noises and look for a response from us, which is so fun. Sometimes you will copy-cat what we say too. We are really looking forward to you beginning to talk more.

You continue to be independent and strong-willed. You don't like to be held, at least not for long, but you really enjoy when someone sits with you on the floor to play. You love to wrestle, especially with Daddy. You don't like to be helped, especially when it comes to your walking. You refuse to hold hands and you have had some tough tumbles because of that. You are completely over baby food. You prefer to eat whatever we are eating and you want to pick it up and feed yourself. It is hard in some ways that you don't want my help, but I am incredibly grateful for your will to try and your desire to learn and master new things. You have learned the concept of no, and we are working on learning safety boundaries for you. You test these boundaries frequently, which can be trying, but I am thankful we are walking this road now instead of years down the road.

You also have begun doing a few very sweet things that I don't want to forget. To soothe yourself when you are going to sleep you twirl a little lock of your hair. It's amazing to watch how this calms you. I can always tell that you're ready for sleep when you reach for your head. You also have started to give "kisses." Mind you, these are no traditional puckers. They are open-mouthed, tounge-out, big ahhh-noise kisses, but nonetheless, you are communicating affection through them. You run towards us with your arms way up high when you want us to pick you up, even though you only want to be held for just a second. These are the precious little moments that we are cherishing with you while you are still a baby.

Your daddy and I talk every so often about how we never knew we could love you so much sweet Bear. You are an incredible gift to us from our Father and we are so thankful for you.

Love, Daddy & Momma

Friday, June 3, 2011

an unexpected Easter

In April, over Easter Weekend, we had to make an unexpected trip to Myrtle Beach. My grandmother passed away the Thursday before Easter. She had been very sick for a long time and was on in-home Hospice care. She was a very big part of shaping the woman that I am, and I am sad that she will not have the opportunity to watch Tripp grow up. However, I am grateful that her life is no longer one of suffering. I am confidant that she knew Christ and so I have great peace knowing that she is with Him now.

It was very interesting that the context of this funeral was in the midst of Easter. My grandmother's burial site is in a small cemetery way out in a very rural part of Horry County, SC. It sits on the side of a beautiful field with trees lining it. It was a truly gorgeous spring day, with clear skies and a comforting breeze. As I was sitting at the graveside service I was grateful for the reminder from Scripture in 1 Corinthians 15:55, "O death, where is your victory! Oh death, where is your sting?" I was reminded of the words to a song we have been singing at our church lately. The chorus was running through my mind like an anthem. I experienced a moment of genuine worship as I sat on the side of that hill in the beauty of God's creation, but with the humility of death so close by. The words of that chorus are below.

Christ has risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

O, death, where is your sting
O, hell, where is your victory
O, church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead, He's alive, HE'S ALIVE!!!

So, we celebrated Easter and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, not at our church, the way we had envisioned. Instead, we celebrated together in our small condo at Myrtle Beach. In a strange way, though, I feel like I understand the power of the resurrection and it's impact on the life of His children in a much deeper way this year. I am thankful more deeply for the redeemed life He has given me in Christ and the power of transforming change that is making me more like Jesus with each passing day. I am thankful to Christ for the seeds of redemption and hope that He is sowing in our family, for the gift of my husband and the family that he allowed me to become a part of, and for our sweet boy. We celebrate you Jesus and thank you for your resurrecting power that truly gives us life and hope!

Tripp's first time at the beach!

I'm not sure what I think about this sand stuff...

Well, maybe it's ok...

Yeah I think it's ok. I'll even have a taste!

Tripp & Daddy

This photo is so happy to me. 

Still a little too cold to enjoy the water.

Thank you so much Su-Su & Aunt Martha for loving me so well!

Building with Daddy.
Silly hat!

sunny days chase the clouds away...

There is nothing sweeter than a 8-month old baby boy in overalls and cute hat! This was one of the first days of spring warm enough for us to spend some quality time outside. Tripp loved being outside, but he did not love the feel of the grass on his hands and knees. He preferred the quilt! I'm sure that will pass soon enough and I won't be able to keep him out of the grass. We love our little neighborhood and we're so thankful to have such a great place to play outside!

Monday, May 30, 2011

9 months

Sweet Tripp -

I decided to use this picture because it truly captured exactly how you felt about getting your picture taken this day. Ha! Your personality shines more each month. And what a tough month you have had! Your ears have continued to give you problems and we have been fighting one ear infection after another. Our usually happy and busy little man has not been quite himself.

 Showing off some of your new skills!

It is very obvious when you don't feel well. The main sign you give us is not eating. You literally refuse to eat. You clench your mouth shut, push the bottle or spoon away, roll away or turn your head, and you SCREAM! As I've told you many times, you are not a quiet baby, so this screaming this has definitely built some character in your Momma and Daddy. I think this is just another facet of your determination showing itself...we might even call you plain stubborn!

We got to spend some time with Oopsie Daisy & Bill this month.
 Pitiful, sick boy...but still so cute!

I have enjoyed the extra love and cuddles you are willing to give. We have spent some long nights on the couch together when you won't sleep anywhere but in my arms. I cherish those sleepless nights, as hard as they are, because I know they are so few.

We visited with Brian, Jessica & sweet girl Adelle!

You are finally now getting well and you are right back to your normal self. You decided that you were ready to crawl on all fours, and since the day you started you haven't looked back to the army crawl. You are getting brave enough to let go of things when you are standing and can stand on your own for a few seconds before falling. You have a really funny (albeit efficient) way of falling to your bottom when you let go. Your head thanks you as it has gotten many bumps along your busy way!

 We also rode in a hot air balloon! (tethered to the ground, mind you!)

We have also loved hearing you begin talking! You are saying a variety of sounds and we are trying to observe and see if any of your sounds are attached to a meaning. You are saying ba-ba, da-da, la-la, ga-ga, buh-buh, and my personal favorite ma-ma! It makes us so excited to begin being able to communicate with you better.

And you played with our sweet friend Savannah at Stephanie & Walter's wedding!

And the grand finale for month 9 is....TEETH! We wondered if they would ever come! Your two bottom teeth came right in the middle of a bad ear infection (which really threw us for a loop in trying to figure out what was wrong). You have weathered them fairly well and it seems there are several more coming quickly behind them.

We love you buddy! You make our life so fun!

Daddy & Momma

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

months 7 & 8

Tripp Bear,

Isn't that such a silly name? We've been calling you a handful of variations of "Bear" since you were born. Buddy Bear, Baby Bear, Little Bear, Bear Bear, and the list goes on. When we went in for your two-month check-up the pediatrician asked us if you recognized your name yet and we realized then that we had barely been using your real name and had mainly been calling you Buddy Bear! Ha! We took the hint and have since been using Tripp more often. I am interested to see if the nickname sticks.

What a whirlwind these last two months have been. You decided at the beginning of month 7 that you were ready to move and you haven't stopped since! It's been truly amazing to watch your little body develop and change. You are an expert "army-crawler." So far, that is your preferred mode of transportation. I've been waiting to see if you would pick up those knees and do a traditional crawl, but for the most part you are content to use your strong arms to get around. You sit up very well and have become really proficient at going back and forth between sitting and crawling.

Your determination continues to amaze us. Once you set your mind to something you do not take no for an answer. You decided one day, during month 8, that you were ready to stand. In less than 2 days you taught yourself to pull up on things and get yourself in standing position. Every waking moment in those two days was spent teaching yourself this new skill. It is truly amazing to see both your physical development and what we hope will be an ingrained part of your character. I pray your determination will grow into a conviction of perseverance as you grow up.

So needless to say, with all these new physical skills, you have turned into quite the busy little man. It's hard to keep up with you most days! We can already tell you are going to be a man on the go! You continue to be independent and you fear nothing. You are not afraid of falling or getting hurt yet at all, and because of this you will try anything. Your spirit is far from timid! I have a feeling Momma and Daddy will be spending some time with you at the emergency room over the course of your childhood!

You had a long bout with sickness between month 7 and 8. A cold, two ear infections and a stomach bug later you are finally fully healthy again! Your appetite tapered off some while you were sick, but has begun to come back with a vengeance.

You love to be outside, it doesn't matter what we're doing. You can be a cranky bear inside but as soon as we walk out you completely relax. The wonderful spring weather could not have been more timely. You love to stroll, play in the grass, and hang out with Daddy while he does yard work. This has been a sweet relief for all of us after a cold winter.

We are so grateful for your happy heart. You enjoy life to the fullest and you are helping us remember to do the same every day. You love to laugh and you give smiles generously. We are enjoying that you recognize us as your Momma and Daddy and that you love to be with us so much. We love you so much little man and we enjoy you more each and every day!

Love, Momma & Daddy