"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

home sweet home.

I returned late Friday night from a whirlwind 48 hours in Dallas, Texas. These corporate teambuilding events I organize take up such a huge amount of my thoughts and energy and focus for the one to two months leading up to them, and I always feel like a tremendous weight is lifted off of my shoulders upon the completion of the event. I am happy to say that this most recent event has been called the "best teambuilding event yet" and I am proud to have been a part of that, very happy that everything went off without a hitch and very grateful to work with the team that I do. I know it's a blessing to enjoy one's job, and I am indeed blessed.

And especially blessed to have these two to come home to!

I was greeted with an 81 degree day on Saturday and lots of fun with this family of mine. Cody had originally planned to go into work on Saturday to do some catch-up of his own after having daddy duty by himself for almost three days, but instead changed his plans so that we could all reconnect. It had been an incredibly busy couple of weeks around here.

We of course enjoyed our time outside. I caught up on some reading while watching the boys play baseball together, caught up on grocery shopping and caught up on the mail! We went shopping for flip-flops for the boys, soccer socks for Jaden and took Brandon to swimming lessons.

And we fed our pet ducks. It's pretty fun having a creek right on our property, and we frequently get fun little visitors because of it. These ducks hang out right by our house quite often, and we finally went down and fed them on Saturday. It reminds me of the ducks that used to swim in our backyard pool every summer at my house growing up, affectionately named "Daffy and Daisy" of course.

Jaden got ready for his soccer season by practicing some drills, and Brandon got out the pitching machine. They literally can play outside for hours and it's so fun to just sit back and watch them.

We watched the storms start to roll in.
Brandon is completely fascinated by the weather and storms and keeps a close eye on the skies when he knows we're about to get hit with something. We might be looking at a future meteorologist or storm chaser!
"Mommy... that way is west. And that's where the rain comes from!"

 Not pictured:

*Easter egg coloring

*our awesome Saturday evening meal on the deck. We ate amazing bacon-wrapped steaks, and while the storms at this point were just north of us, the skies overhead were dark and the thunder rolled above us as we sat and ate and listened to it all. It was such a cool ambiance for a meal -- outside eating during a thunderstorm without getting rained on. Our kids were so content that they both asked for extra broccoli four times... and ate all of it!

*the boys' first real bike ride together. With the thunder still rumbling around us and before we went inside for baths and bed, we let the boys ride their bikes through the neighborhood. With new air in Jaden's tires and a seat and handlebar adjustment, he was eager to get back on. This was the longest Brandon had ridden on his new bike, and we walked beside him while coaching him through the difference between pedaling, coasting and braking on those bigger downward hills. He got the hang of it really fast, and they both had a blast. And I had one of those mommy moments that hits you out of the blue... watching my two babies riding bikes down the street side by side... knowing that they really aren't babies at all anymore. Time is going so fast.

*falling asleep to the best thunderstorms. We got to watch some awesome lightning from our windows and there's nothing more soothing than falling asleep to rain on the windows and thunder nearby.

*the most laziest of Sundays. After church we came home and literally did nothing the rest of the day. It poured rain all day long, and though Jaden was really bummed his first soccer practice was cancelled, I think it was just the day of rest we all needed around here. And since by the time soccer was cancelled, Jaden had already put on his practice clothes, he looked pretty cute the rest of the day in his matching shorts, socks and shin guards. He was mostly bummed because he didn't have a reason to wear his new soccer shoes... with cleats! ;) We ended the weekend with the four of us around a game of Sorry! and Bible stories before bed.

Looking forward to the week ahead... a short work week and longer weekend thanks to some PTO. Aunt Sally arriving from Florida and some adult time on Friday with a fun lunch and some shopping. Easter and egg hunts and helping that bunny fill up the boys' baskets with some goodies I know they're going to love.

Monday, April 14, 2014

'52' - Week 15

"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2014"
Baseball themed this week!

Jaden: Put any kind of athletic gear on him or in his hands, and he looks so grown up. He's naturally built to be an athlete of some sort, and only time will tell which sport he chooses to be his favorite. This weekend he eagerly offered to play catcher for Brandon as he practiced his swing, and he's very excited for summer baseball league.
Brandon: He brought out our little pitching machine and baseball tee on Saturday and worked hard on his swing. Just like his older brother, he's becoming pretty good at bat. Though he has shown to not be a fan of soccer... t-ball might just be in his future. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

this little light of mine.

This week, we got to watch Brandon perform in his first ever preschool program. And I am so, so proud of our little man.

Going into the night and the event, I had no idea what to expect. He had been talking about his program for weeks, singing songs to us at home that he had obviously rehearsed earlier in the day and was so incredibly excited the day of when they got to have a real "practice" in the worship center! He even told me that they pretended their mommies and daddies were there looking back at them as they ran through the whole program that morning. However, he can be shy in unknown situations and our experience with Jaden at his preschool programs taught us to go into it with low expectations as to how Brandon would actually respond and perform. (Or not perform at all. I was fully prepared for that).

He told me the day before that he wanted Mommy and Daddy to sit in the very front and so we made sure to have people there early saving front row seats. And a friend of mine shared this with me that night -- just an excerpt here:

"There's something quite beautiful that happens right before a school program begins. There's always one child on stage scanning the crowd with eager, almost frantic, eyes. And then suddenly, her eyes stop. As the child enthusiastically waves at a focal point in the crowd, a visible sigh of relief comes from her small chest. If you follow her gaze to see what brought her such great comfort, you will see love etched across the face of the person who met her gaze. That's when you know the child just found her reference point, her source of comfort, her go-to place in times of uncertainty and doubt."

And as the program began and the preschool classes starting filing in down the center aisle, I spotted Brandon at the very back of the line, holding hands with his buddy as he was told to do. He immediately got up on his tip-toes, scanned the front of the crowd looking for me, and broke out into a smile the moment our eyes locked. He found his reference point. And then he put on quite a show.

Smiling at the rest of the family. :) He was so proud to be standing front and center of all the classes.

This night was such a memorable one for so many reasons. It's sweet enough listening to a bunch of four and five year-olds sing to Jesus for 30 minutes, but even sweeter still when watching your own little one do it in such a proud fashion. He took this program so seriously, and yet had so much fun at the same time. And every time his eyes would meet with mine, he couldn't help but smile. I loved every moment of this and wish I could relive it whenever I want to. Luckily... we have video!

Please excuse the pictures, as they won't mean much to you all without the music and song lyrics to go with them, but they mean a great deal to me. I sat and watched with pride and amazement as my shy boy, who had just two hours prior been too nervous to even step out onto the soccer field at his first practice, let his light shine in the most special of ways. Front and center for everyone to see. With a smile on his face. Singing proudly about God. I love him.

"and even when I'm afraid...

...I'm gonna let it shine..."

So incredibly grateful to be his reference point, his source of comfort, his go-to place.