A Rowdy Celebration

So it’s obvious I don’t get the blog updated all that often, but every now and then, it hits me over the head that there is a NEED. Right now, that need is to tell the world just how amazing this little baby boy is over here- the one we affectionately refer to as Rowdy.

Ol’ Rowdy is 10 months old now, and his personality is really shining through. “Rowdy” is quite the ironic nickname, really, because he’s a calm and cautious kind of guy who loves snuggling with strangers at church when Mommy needs a hand with the older ones. He’s usually quite accommodating like that, and he never stops smiling. He’s got a knack for copying his brother and sister (already!), and he loves to swing on the swingset more than anything. He says Dada constantly, Momma on occasion (when Daddy convinces him to), and he’s just generally false-advertising for how delightful a baby can be. We love this baby boy with all our hearts, and just like his brother and sister, I could never imagine my life without him. He knows how to remind me when I need it most that I really do have the best job in the world.

Here are some pictures showcasing Ronan’s infectious smile, his favorite things, and the moments I don’t want to forget:

IMG_0266 IMG_0277 IMG_0455 IMG_0738 IMG_0755 IMG_0764 IMG_0768 IMG_0789 IMG_0890 IMG_0894 IMG_0910 IMG_1598 IMG_1720 IMG_1738 IMG_1797 IMG_1802 IMG_1820 IMG_1866 IMG_1896

DSC_1059

DSC_1054

And here are a few videos that capture some of us his loveable Rowdy essence.

 

We love you so much baby boy! Just do us a favor, and don’t grow up too fast.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Augusta GA, Rowdy

To My Other Mother- A Tribute

DSC_0086

Each one of us has our own special set of obstacles to overcome in this vocation of parenthood. Some of us have to face difficult decisions about our finances, careers, and daycare. Some of us live away from family and have to parent without built-in support. And for many of us, our spouse’s family is just another one, and maybe even the biggest, obstacle of all. But for me, while I struggle each day to parent with love and patience, I know that I have all the support and love I could ever imagine from my in-laws. Each child that grows our family is another welcomed with open arms and pure, unconditional love. I know not everyone receives such a beautiful blessing, and I hope that I never take such a thing for granted. So in the spirit of my gratitude, I want to wish my mother-in-law the happiest of birthdays today. Thank you for being a wonderful mother to my husband, grandmother to our children, and for being a second mother to me! Thank you most of all for being you, just as you are!!

 

IMG_2007

394889_4550627598571_2089102918_n

IMG_0068

IMG_0072

We love you the most, Grammom!!!

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

An Advent to Remember

 

I am a parent, so consequently, my head is often fuzzy and my heart is often full. Sometimes, my fuzzy head leads to questioning my heart’s longing for children and the chaos they bring. Sometimes, my fuzzy head can only think of what hasn’t been done or how hard it is to maintain a train of thought when the much bigger constant-chatter-locomotive is blazing through. Sometimes, my fuzzy head is only focused on the mess, the tiredness, the discipline, or even the guilt or fear that love to sneak in at night when I’m not sleeping. But sometimes, like tonight, I see myself and my children through the lens of a camera and think, “when I look back on this moment, will I remember how dirty the house was tonight? Will I remember how tired I was? Or on this night, will I remember that Ronan exploded all over the floor instead of in his diaper, Cormac threw markers into the toilet, and I spilled milk all over the freshly bathed and dressed baby while trying to give him a bedtime bottle?” Well, maybe… But what I do know, is that I will remember how precious their faces are when they tell me they love me. I will remember how sweet each of their little baby heads smelled as I carried them in my arms. I will remember how full of faith and hope and love a child is. I will remember how life IS hard, and these times ARE tough, but God did not entrust me with these precious lives only to abandon me when times got tough. No, He is faithful, and He has blessed us with the greatest of His gifts.

IMG_3923

IMG_3933

IMG_3910

So let us rejoice as we await the coming of Our Lord!

Happy Advent!!

5 Comments

Filed under Augusta GA, Whole Family

Life’s Celebrations

The last couple of weeks have been fraught with much emotion and difficulty. We have been completely depleted from the great loss of a beloved family member. Being forced to say our final goodbyes has amplified greatly each temporary goodbye as so many of our family members have come in and out of our lives over the last couple of weeks. Despite all of the heartache, stress, and general upheaval, I find myself marveling at the beauty of having children. Because even in the midst of weathering great storms such as these, they make the bright spots of God’s grace shine through so clearly. Each moment of tender love from my babies, and each milestone we reach is another moment of thanksgiving as we remember just how loving our God truly is.

Samantha is over halfway through her sixth year of life, and watching her grow in character and spirit is nothing but pure joy. She makes me incredibly proud, and after a whirlwind trip to Florida, she put in a tremendous amount of effort to finish up our kindergarten year with a flourish. For Samantha’s big graduation, we decided to create a little compilation of her newly acquired skills in the form of a “lapbook.” What makes me so proud is not only those academic skills that we can measure, but the tremendous amount of growth I’ve seen this year in her perseverance, determination, and sense of responsibility. School isn’t always enjoyable and enthusiasm naturally wanes, so there is nothing that makes me more proud than those times when Sam is not looking forward to her work at all or is daunted by the difficulty of it, but she pushes through to completion and does a great job as well. Her confidence has grown every day as she realizes just how much her hard work can pay off, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be able to be a part of this process.

I’m so very proud of you, Samantha Lynn, what a light you are in our lives!!

Look how much you’ve grown in one school year!!

IMG_0648 DSC_0628

 

DSC_0635

And here is our end of year creation! Click on any picture to make it bigger!

 

DSC_0646DSC_0647

DSC_0649

DSC_0650DSC_0651DSC_0653

Not only am I enjoying Samantha’s growth, but I’m also savoring the love that I get from my sweet boy. I treasure up each moment of affection from my baby, and there is nothing sweeter than his little voice. Every “Love you, Mommy,” eskimo kiss, and sweet little prayer is balm to my soul, and I am grateful beyond measure for this grace from God. What a gift my precious babies are.

DSC_0497

(Photo credit goes to Samantha for this one!)

One of the more intimate moments with my children that I treasure most especially is our bedtime singing. I hope I never forget the sound of their precious little voices full of such life! I tried to capture the essence of it with this voice memo (which is kind of long and unedited), in case there are others who might enjoy this little window into our lives:

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s a baby!!

Yesterday was “a very nervous day,” as Samantha so accurately put it. At 21 weeks, I had my very first ultrasound. We were nervously anticipating learning whether this was just one baby or more, whether I was right about my due date, if everything looked nice and healthy, and, if possible, whether we were having a boy or a girl. Our doctor’s office is dedicated to taking the prenatal excitement to a whole new level. More specifically, they ensure your excitement by providing the maximum amount of anticipation possible. In other words, after hours of great anticipation, we were finally able to see that little image on the screen that says it’s really real! My greatest fears were quelled; as it turns out, this is not just an incredibly convincing hysterical pregnancy– there actually IS a baby in there! Not only that, but an adorable baby! I can already tell!

For the past four (five?) months, our Samantha has been telling anyone who will listen that she wants a baby sister. And who wouldn’t want that for her?! She’s the perfect big sister and longs for that special relationship only sisters can have. Especially after enduring all the tough love a little brother can dish out. So our hearts swelled with that special kind of parental pride when we got to see our precious little baby’s tiny baby parts and hear our daughter exclaim “Awwwww Daddy! It’s a BOY!!! I’m going to have another brother!!!”

So as we prepare to welcome you, our newest addition, we can say with the utmost assurance that you are exactly what our family needs and wants, and you have the greatest big sister and brother waiting not-so-patiently to welcome you. What joy you will bring to our lives, sweet baby boy! I can’t wait to meet you!

 

IMG_1873

 

P.S. For those of you who might need more details: He looks perfectly healthy, my due date is accurate (Sept. 3rd), and he is just one baby🙂. He is weighing in at a healthy 1 lb 1 oz!

5 Comments

Filed under Augusta GA, Pregnancy, Tuffy, Whole Family

The Potty Horror – A Success Story

So we’re officially having a third baby. So far, I’ve noticed a startling difference in this pregnancy versus the other two, and that is the tremendous lack of thought and concern I seem to put into “preparing” for another child in our home. With Samantha, that nesting instinct seem to kick in from Day 1, and it was pure panic until she was here, and even then, I’m not sure the panic really ceased. With Cormac, there was a lot of thought that I put into the differences between having only one and more than one. What would it be like? How could I help ease the transition? What would the sibling relationship be like? Should I do more to prepare Samantha for this dramatic turn of events?? Now that we find ourselves back in this familiar territory, I’ve been surprised at just how lackadaisical my attitude has truly become. Because, after all, WAS there any point in all that “preparation”?? DID we help control the chaos even one iota? Of course, that may be more thought than I’ve really put into it anyway, because let’s be honest, I’m too tired to actually think coherent thoughts. But when I could, for a very brief moment, conceptualize what might be problematic if not addressed before the baby’s arrival, potty training quickly came to mind. Cormac is 2 as of January 3rd, and, let’s face it, I needed a challenge. Why settle for the monotony of everyday parenting, when we could grab the bull by the horns, and sink ourselves so deep into the chaos, we’re not sure we’ll ever return. Well, let me tell you, that is exactly what we did. Almost four weeks ago, I put him in underwear and let the horror begin. Of course, the horror didn’t really exist except in the unknowing. For one full week, it was an all-encompassing volley of fears. Each day we worried, was he “getting it”? Was it too soon? Is he too young? Is this as traumatic for him as it is for me? Will he ever pee in the potty? Will I ever leave my house again? Can I clean up anymore pee without being locked up forever? All those fears loomed larger than life, with the biggest one by far being “Will we have to do this whole thing over again in a few months??” But I am here to say, I have never been prouder of my little boy, because it only took one full week for him to go from diapers to dry underwear. He only has accidents on the rare occasion, he stays dry at night, and we can even take him places with no fear! Not only that, but who could sport the baby underwear look any better than this guy??

So here’s to you, my little man; you took us to the edge and back, but you did it!!

IMG_1389

 

IMG_1404

FullSizeRender

5 Comments

Filed under Augusta GA, Bubs

An Announcement

An Announcement From Samantha (Click Here!)

As many of you may know, Matthew’s birthday came with a special surprise this year. We found out that we are expecting our third little addition. We are ecstatic and can’t wait to meet our new bundle. Of course, it didn’t take long for me to realize that the whole concept of “mommy amnesia” must be real (have I had this realization before? I can’t remember.). I had somehow forgotten what havoc such a tiny little being could wreak on my body and our sense of normalcy, but fortunately, that means that soon I will forget again, because really it’s such a minor part of the whole remarkable adventure. There’s is nothing more beautiful than growing a family, and I couldn’t be more grateful that God is allowing us to continue to grow ours.

 

Plus who wouldn’t want more of these?!?

10507135_10101885509531138_6142614672286165623_o

 

IMG_1248

DSC_0309

IMG_1303    IMG_1275

IMG_1291

 

P.S. Today is the birthday of a man we all love and adore- Pawpaw! Happy birthday, Pawpaw!!

7 Comments

Filed under Augusta GA, Pregnancy, Whole Family