Monday, October 26, 2015

My parents

The older I get, the more I recognize how blessed I am to have these wonderful parents of mine.  They're funny, energetic, loving, and an amazing example to all of us.  I'm so thankful for them.

My mom has the heart of a servant.  She is always helping.  This year she struggled because she had knee surgery over the summer and did not recover as quickly as we thought she would, and as any of you who have had surgery know, it takes longer to get your oomph back than you would think.  In past years, she has been the one to take the littles {Elijah and Nate} in from the beach for naps or snacks or general fussiness.  She is a very early riser, so she would already be up to snuggle with any kids who got up every.single.morning. to see the sunrise {ahem, Jack}.  

This year, by day three my sister and I and our beloveds were trying to figure out why we were so tired.  No one wanted to stay up late.  Everyone wanted a nap in the afternoon.  Suddenly it dawned on us:  Mom was sleeping in!  She wasn't getting up with the kids!  In fact, her pain meds were knocking her out so that she was sleeping late and we were trying to keep the kids quiet so that they didn't wake her up!

She was still really helpful, because it's just her nature, and even though she couldn't go out into the water where she would be unstable, she still logged some silly beach time {you'll see below}, and Elijah and Nate both took advantage of her when she was out there.

My dad is just plain awesome.  He's always thinking of a joke, always has a song in his head {usually Frankie Valli} and loves spending time with his family.  He works very hard and needs vacations like these.  I sometimes think that God gave men like Handsome Hero and my dad their families so that they don't work themselves into the ground.

The nice thing is, he has learned how to relax.  He loves to boogie board and he's really good at it!

One night during the week, he was reminiscing of when Rebecca and I used to fix his hair with all of our hair bows and barrettes, and I thought, "Used to?"

There isn't much left to fix, but I think I did okay.

He loved it.

You can tell.

The next series of photos are potentially my favorite in the history of ever.  They are so open to captions I just can't limit myself.  I lay them before you.

Can you see why I love these guys?  They make each other laugh so much.

I would try to convince you that we are a serious crew, but you already saw evidence to the contrary.

These guys are so loved.

Blessed, indeed.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


This is my gorgeous sister, Rebecca, her handsome husband, Steve, my cutie-patooty nephew, Elijah, and that bump that you don't see?  That's my niece.  I've never had one of them before.  I'm very excited!  

Steve is practicing for his role as protective daddy.

Seriously.  Look at her.  She's more than halfway through her second pregnancy.  When I was two months into my second pregnancy, people were giving up their seats on the subway for me.

Her only redeeming quality is that she's genuinely awesome.

My nephew, Elijah, is hilarious.  His expressions.  Gah!  Just scroll through these pictures and see if you aren't smiling.

Did that make your day, or what?

Elijah loved the sand, but he was really scared of the water.  He struggled to see his mom or dad even going near it.  They got their time in, though.  I think each year will get better - by the end of the week, he was willing to touch the water, so progress was definitely made.

This is Rebecca and my dad catching the same wave.

Does this picture remind anyone else of the beavers in the old BBC version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?  Just me?  Oh.

These guys.  I love them.  I'm blessed to have them in my life, and I'm thankful they have each other.  They compliment each other so well.  As for their new addition, well, let's just say she's highly anticipated!

I can't wait to meet you, little girl Forster!  I love you already!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Nate the Growing

Taking a newly potty trained three-year-old to the beach isn't easy.  In fact, by the time we made it out of Knoxville, we'd made three potty stops, already had an accident, and all my best-laid plans of not putting Nate in a pull up became a thing of the past.  Ironically, he kept the pull up dry the whole rest of the trip.

Nate did really well at the beach.

He liked the waves and sand.

He liked getting to use the sand dunes for a toilet.

He REALLY liked getting to sleep in a big boy bed for the first time!

He moved from a crib later than the other two because he sings himself to sleep and is a loud roommate and moving to a big bed meant moving to his brother's room.

So far, so good.  Jack sleeps through his singing and likes having the company.

Our biggest problem right now is that when he wakes up, he thinks that Ella should wake up, too, so he runs into her room, turns on the light and pulls off her covers.  "EWWA, IT'S BWIGHT OUTSIDE!!!!"

He's very fortunate that she loves him so much.

Nate is the only one with a cousin his age at the beach - my nephew, Elijah.  He's in the yellow shirt below.  This is how they play together.

I look forward to the fun of having them play as a team later, but for now, they just play in the same space.

Nate's favorite person on earth is my mom.  She belongs to him.

The picture below was supposed to be one of just my parents, but Nate knew that his rightful place was in that picture, holding G.G.'s hand.

On his wedding day there he'll be with his bride, and on the other side he'll be holding G.G.'s hand.

Nate turned three in June, and right around then, he began to speak.

And when I say speak, I mean, clearly.  This kid loves his consonants.

Handsome Hero says he speaks in a British accent.  It is so fun to be able to understand him!

All that majestic water behind him, and he's only interested in a watering can.

There's a lesson in this. I showed him this picture and he said, "Mama, I was pwanting in the sand."

Nate is crazy, temperamental, friendly, loud, interesting, curious.  He notices things.  He is into everything, more than the other kids were.  I am amazed that a three-year-old would think to get into the things that Nate gets into.  Things you don't train for, like covering the toilet seat with stamps of pink tigers.  I just wouldn't have thought to prepare for that.

Or puffing out an entire bottle of baby powder that I didn't even know I had.  All over the room.  Y'all, it was so cloudy in there I couldn't even see him.  Every time I vacuum now, you smell the powder.

Don't even get me started on the the entire bottle of baby sunscreen on the carpet.  I just can't go there.

 He's definitely his own person.  I am enjoying his hilarious personality a lot, and I can't wait to see the young man he becomes!  He was our easiest baby, but probably our hardest toddler.  Even on the tough days, though, he's a joy.    I have a unique opportunity this year to spend time with him.  The older kids do P.E. through the local YMCA once a week and Nate's too young to go, so for two hours, I have him all to myself.  Initially, I was sad about this because I wanted some time alone, but as the weeks go by, I'm enjoying it because I find that I see him in a very different way when we're alone.  He is such a character, and when he's not being overshadowed by older, louder, faster kids, his personality shines!