Monday, April 30, 2012

The LOVE of a Parent!

I cannot believe it has been a year since we welcomed this sweet loving little boy into our family.  Having a child is truly an experience that no one can prepare you for....and raising them well just when you think you have them figured out or you think you have them on a schedule they usually throw you a curve ball.  You can accept peoples advice here and there but ultimately its a learning process of what works best for you and your families lifestyle.  Needless to say from the day we brought Karson home from the hospital he has fit right in to our lifestyle.  I always prayed for a little boy who would love to play outside and that is so true.  He has been outside since the day he came home from the hospital and now he cries every time we come back inside!  Prayers answered!!  In fact, the little girl I used to nanny for spend the night with us one night and when she went back home to her house she said "Mama, Baby Karson is such a sweet little boy the only time he cried is when we had to come in from outside!"  Out of the mouth of a babe and she is so right!

But Karson has taught me so much this year!  So many things that I could go on forever about, but the one that sticks out more than any is the unconditional love you immediately develop for your children.  Most people you grow to love or you "fall in love" with, but you never realize how quick you can love someone until you hold your child in your arms for the first time!  I think all moms can agree with this.  I mean the fact that at first even his cry does not bother you, we just think it is so cute and sweet.  We live with sleepless nights because we love them and want to take care of them the best we can.  The way he curls up in your arms and lets you snuggle him.  The smile he gives you.  The first time he leans in to love on you.  The thought that there is no one else like him....oh how perfect he is!  The new milestones he reach and as parents we get so excited about cheering them on every step of the way.  They see us smiling and saying Good Job and although they may not fully understand they can tell we are proud of them so they want to try it again.  And then the first words you hear him say "mama...dada" They really cannot do anything that makes you not love them!  You discipline them out of love and for their safety but the whole time you think "man I sure do love this child!"

But the unconditional love I have for him opened my eyes so much to the unconditional love the Lord has had for us, his children, all these years!  What a love that is!  I will never full comprehend God's love for us, but Karson has opened my eyes so much to the fact that God loves his children that very same way.  He sees us perfect and whole in Him!  He marvels and gets excited over our great accomplishments....he loves to hear us sing praises to His name....He loves to hear us call on his name.  He is always there the moment we need him.  He loves us regardless of what we have done or where we have been.  He always wants us to be his children.  He always wants to protect us.  And even though he may have to "discipline" us sometimes it is usually for our safety or because He has better plans for us.  And we hear about that and have always been taught the "Jesus loves you no matter what!" but I never fully understood it until the tables were turned and I was the parent loving my child.  And now I see the love He has is immeasurable...I cannot even comprehend it fully, but oh grateful I am to know someone loves me that much.  And just like any child they never understand that full love that a parent has for them, but oh how much clearer it has been shown to me this year through Karson's life.  And oh how blessed I am to have this experience!

I love being a Mama!  I love watching him grow and experience new things.  I am so thankful that God chose us to be his parents.  I cannot wait to see what he continues to teach me each year as he grows and changes!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A day in the life of Karson! (In to EVERYTHING)

I am so behind!! We have been a little bit of everywhere lately and I have a little man who is in to everything!!  So here is to updating the blog with pictures of everything that has been going on.  Oh how I love being his Mama and oh how I love capturing moments that make me smile and laugh.  Everytime we go somewhere people always ask he always this good?  Well I have to say yes...I have been very spoiled/blessed to have a great baby who is happy on the go, happy at home, and will go and do whatever we need to.  Now let his mama walk out of the room, then you will see my not so happy baby :)  So here is just a glimpse of what "in to everything" really means!

It didn't take him long to learn how to climb the steps

Yes thats Cash's water bowl!

Dirty dishes anyone

And yes that the water bowl again!

He's a climber!

Oh yeah he climbed out of his seat and onto the table

who doesn't like playing in the dog food!

And if he would wear a hat...he would so have this one, but he won't keep anything on his head!

Yes I did capture all these moments on my iPhone....and I personally think they are adorable and funny all at the same time.  Don't worry he will learn the word "no" soon enough, but its his time to explore and see new things, and play in new things (even the water bowl!)

And did I mention he eats everything to!  Yes indeed he loves food....and I can have his baby food right there and if he sees my food he no longer wants anything to do with his.  I don't blame him!!  They were worried about his weight in the beginning saying he was tiny but I kept telling them he was fine he will chunk up and sure enough bring on the table food and my little man has put on the pounds!  His favorite right now is spaghetti although he loves a good sweet potato to!

Don't worry no corn on the cob just trying to gnaw on it like Daddy was

How much of this biscuit can I get in my mouth?

his first KK donut!  Yes Daddy knows the way to Mama's heart and brought some home for Valentine's Dessert

Chocolate Chip Pancakes anyone!
And when the days end he gives his hugs and kisses good night to Daddy and I go lay him down to bed.  But there is just something special about a sleeping baby that I cannot resist going back in to check on him every night.  Its just become a routine to check on him (really just watch his precious self sleeping) and then go to bed myself.  

All snuggled up with Gus, his lamb, and his blanket

Paci anyone!
Two at one thats talent

Babies change everything! And you hear it all the time, but you never really understand it fully til you experience it for yourself.  I love this little man so much!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

First trip to the Zoo!

People often ask us how we like it here in Greenville and my answer still stays the same.  I love Greenville!!! I love it up here!  I love all the stuff I can go and do with Karson as he gets older, I love our downtown area, and I love the friendships I have created up here.  There are just some people that you can go without seeing them for awhile, but when the day comes y'all finally get back together its just a refreshing spirit that flows throughout the atmosphere. And it was nothing short of that the day Karson went to the zoo for the first time!!  My friend Carolyn asked me if we wanted to go enjoy the weather and take the boys to the zoo and of course I couldn't think of anything I would rather do!  Carolyn's little boy Preston was born about a month before Karson so they don't realize it yet, but I am pretty sure they are gonna be buddies growing up!  We laughed as we walked into the zoo cause we realized maybe this was just an excuse for us to get together :)  The boys may not appreciate the zoo just yet, but we appreciate each others company so why not have some fun!

We had an awesome time!!  Carolyn is one of those Mommy's that everyone dreams of.  The ones who have fun, teach their child all kinds of things, loves like no other and really don't care what other people around her think....she is creating memories!  I loved watching her interact with Preston at the Zoo.  And we even laughed a few times as she tried to interact with the monkeys to get them to talk to us!  She really is an awesome Mama!!!  She is an awesome friend to.  You won't see her without a smile on her face or without something genuinely positive to say!  Man if we could all be more like her!!!  So here was our trip to the zoo.  Oh how much fun it was!! I cannot wait to go back!

Carolyn and Preston on such a beautiful day!

trying to get the monkeys to talk to us!

Love the Giraffe and Karson does to...oh wait he loves Sophie the Giraffe!
(yes that would be the theme of his first birthday party gotta love Sophie!)

trying to get a picture of the boys!  They would rather get down and play in the mulch!

what y'all want us both to look at the same time?

Precious blue-eyed baby!!

Oh look another blue-eyed baby!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Beyond Lucky....Blessed!

Usually I find myself posting about Karson.  Mainly because that's what this blog was created for was a way for our family who is out of town to keep up with us and see how Karson is growing and changing.  Well the title of it is Journey Thru "Our" I am kinda taking a turn today as its all about the other man in my dream come true!

Brandon is one of those guys who is always full of surprises!  I can even remember when we were dating he always found the most unique ways to surprise me.  And not even on the special occasion times that you are supposed to, but just out of the blue surprises that he came up with.  We had a wedding to go to one night and after a day of hanging out with him I come home to a brand new dress laying on my bed with matching earrings!  He had to go to NY for training one year and he flew me up there cause it was my birthday weekend and we spent a couple days walking around NY.  He proposed in a Hot Air Balloon...and on top of that the ring he picked out himself...Ahhhmaazing!!  Then a few weeks before the wedding he called the florist and had an arrangement sent to my office full of the flowers I would be carrying down the aisle.  I mean seriously he's the best at surprises.  But as much as I say the word surprises it goes further than that.....It's his way of showing me out of the ordinary how much he appreciates me.  It's his way of showing me how much he loves me!  And I am so thankful he thinks like that for many reasons.
yes he picked it out and the earrings all by himself!

NY with my best friend!

We're Engaged!
I am one of those, just like many others...who if you were to ask you would say you are "Living your Dream!"  As a little girl...I always dreamed of being a wife, a mom, a nurturer, a caregiver.  I watched my mom cook supper every night and just knew one day I would be doing the same thing.  I've been babysitting for as long as I can remember.  It's just been built in me to do those kinds of things.  So now today I love nothing more than to care for my family.  Now, don't get me wrong cleaning the toilets and washing clothes isn't always fun, but I find joy in it because it means I am taking care of my family.  And it was just me and Brandon for the first 4 years where I loved nothing more than taking care of him, fixing his favorite meals and spending all my time with him.  It came easy to spend time together and do fun stuff together because that was all we had.  Then came Karson....a true blessing to us!!!  It's funny how people say I don't know what life was like before we had children.  Well I can remember crazy things Brandon and I did like movie date night in the living room on the aerobed..."drive in movie style" or playing Big Buck Hunter at Frankie's (yes the redneck side of us)  But it was all in fun and laughter!!  We have truly always loved life together.  And it didn't change when Karson came around but we just may go out to eat earlier now or carrying a baby with us walking through the mall or falls park, but he just fit right in to our life.  But being a mom is a full time job, and those who do not think it is....have never stayed at home with their children.  You can seriously find something to do all day long!!! And Karson did add a little more laundry, a little more cleaning up, a little more cooking, and yet I can still say I am living my dream...taking care of my family.

But that's where I admire Brandon even more!!  Cause here's what he has gotten good at.....realizing that I need a break and being willing to help me take that break.  Any mom that is in my shoes is probably just like me.  I can go and go and go and do and do and do, and at the end of the day maybe be tired but still happy because it's what I was called to do!  I absolutely LOVE caring for my family in the best way I know how.  But what Brandon realized was if I didn't take time for myself I will eventually get burned out.  And some moms may think I am ridiculous and y'all never take a break.  I have to say I was there to!!!  Karson is only 10 months old and I went months giving myself away daily but never giving time to myself in return.  It's how we were fashioned.  We can go on forever and not need recognition and still survive and thrive.  (we are pretty awesome like that, right?!?).....Yet also.....that's wearing on ourselves in ways we do not realize.

So Brandon comes in with his surprising self and schedules me a massage one day (while he keeps the baby), or one day he comes home and says go get your toes done....And the ultimate surprise was my recent trip to NYC!  I am telling you what, he has always been full of surprises but being a mama now I kinda put the fun on the back burner because I have family to tend to and if I do not do it, nobody will do it! And I don't like leaving my family at home ever knowing I am having fun somewhere without them.  Brandon has gotten SO good as realizing I need that time....and MAKING me take that time.  I know sounds crazy he has to "make" me, but its true!  And it's just a challenge to other moms out there and husbands out there.....give them that break.  It does not have to be NYC by no means, but that night out with the girls, date night that he plans for y'all, the trip to starbucks and he watches the babies, let them go get their toes done, go get a massage, spend a day at the spa, let them go take a bath for an hour not even be bothered!! And moms.....Accept the Offer!!!  I promise its gonna be okay while you are gone, I promise everything is gonna still be there when you get back, and I promise you don't realize how much you need it....but when you get home you realize how refreshed and renewed your spirit is.  It's okay to be worn out, tired, fact we go and go for so long we don't even realize its that bad til we break! This hit me big time when I went to NY.  I was so excited that Brandon had surprised me with this trip, and I was even more excited to pay my mom back for all those years she had done and done for me and take her with me.  And I have to say we had an awesome time.

 I missed my boys so much while I was gone...there is nothing I love more than the time I spend with them laughing, playing in the front yard, going on walks....but the renewed mind and spirit I had coming back into the house was worth leaving them for a short time!!!  Be willing to take time for yourself, because its not being selfish at all! It's you refreshing yourself to be able to keep doing what you love to do in the end and thats take care of your family!

My favorite times are being with my boys!! 

Saturday, December 31, 2011

What a difference a year can make!!

I can remember bringing in the New Year 2011 with Brandon at the Bi-Lo Center celebrating with our church Redemption and just thinking about all the year had to hold.  Birthdays, Anniversaries, the normal stuff and then many many first!  Birth of our First son, First Mother's Day, First Father's Day, First holidays with a new family member, and oh just how exciting it all sounded on that night.  We had so much to look forward to!  But no thought that night could have ever prepared me for those moments that I got to experience!

The day Karson was born what a memory!!  What an awesome experience to have with Brandon and to go through together.  But the memories from that day are overwhelming.  That first cry, first time you hold him in your arms, first prayer as a family, first time talking to Karson, first family picture (yeah I'm big on pictures!) first bath, first night together.  Truly just an experience that you can't even explain or put into words!  (And they automatically prepare you to be a close family because they give you this really small room to stay in while at the hospital so you get pretty tight! :)

And then to celebrate your first mothers day and first fathers day.  Things that you have celebrated with your parents for years and now its your turn.  But I can also remember sitting back and this really happening?  Oh how I long to be the best mom to my precious child! And can it be that Mother's Day is one of my favorite times now....yeah I think so! Not a day to pamper mommy....but for me it was a reminder as to why I do all I do.  It helped me to realize I take care of my husband and my sweet baby because I LOVE to.  It's what I was born to do (if you ask me!) And although it takes quite the energy out of me to do all that I want to for them it's also the gift God has given me.  And may I never take a day for granted that I take care of them because it's my calling!! And to see my family honor me was just a small reminder to me that everything I do whether seen or done behind closed doors for them is all absolutely worth it!!  Becoming a mom has showed me more of my worth and why I am here and I am so honored to have this as a new roll!  

And then to honor Brandon on Father's Day!  I know for a fact Karson will grow up wanting to be just like his daddy!  A warrior, a leader, someone our family can count on, disciplined, determined, dedicated!  He's the whole package....what an awesome example Karson has to follow and look up to!

Our first summer together going to the beach spending time with family and friends.  New family traditions. His first time out to the dove field, his first thanksgiving, first time out to the land, his first christmas! 

 So many memories from this year that I will forever cherish.  And pictures are a great reminder that we will all look back on someday, but the memories I have stored up I will always remember!  This year was AMAZING!  Just a true blessing that I am so thankful for!  

But I know I can close and still say....THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!!  So we welcome in 2012 with open arms, open heart, and open direction to what God has in store for us! 

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
 Ephesians 3:20-21