Tuesday, July 29, 2008

thinking cool thoughts

I took this picture while we were at my in-laws this past weekend. They threw some pumpkins out in their ditch last year and recently discovered they had a little pumpkin patch! Looking at this picture makes me ready for fall...it's my favorite. I LOVE the holidays and now I have even more reason to be excited...our little boy turns one October 1st! I can't believe it's so close. Time for lots of planning for the big day!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Driving around the world

Ok - so we didnt really drive around the world but it sure felt like it sometimes this weekend! We drove back to our old homestead this past Friday for Jackson's checkup. We can add another perfect report to the list...praise the Lord. I now know why Jackson is wearing 18month clothes - he's in the upper 95th percentile for height. I have so many cute outfits that won't snap anymore! Oh well - we're just glad he's healthy. Ben keeps joking that he only has to grow 6 more inches by the time he's two to insure that he'll be 6 feet tall (they say you can double a child's height at two and that's how tall they'll be - who knows)...we'll see. We were also able to eat at one of our favorite places while in town, pretty much making the whole drive back worth it. Then we were off to see Ben's Grandmother and Aunt.Jackson spent the whole time loving on them and trying to get into everything he wasn't supposed to. Ben's Aunt Pam bought Jackson the cutest outfits, books and a toy that he would not let go of. He liked it so much he fell asleep with it in his hand. Next stop was Ben's dad's house where we celebrated Ben's birthday again. They got him his favorites, an ice cream cake from Baskin Robin, and ribs from the hickory house...we ate so much we could have just rolled ourselves back home.Needless to say, we had a really fun time - we always do. Jackson got in on the fun too...he rode a tricycle, played with the girls, ate lots of watermelon and became newly interested in play food. The girls are off to church camp Monday and then their whole gang is off to North Carolina the next week where Catherine will compete in a singing competition so we're really glad we got to see them before they are off to travel the country. Catherine did a practice run for us while we were there and it was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. God has blessed her with such an amazing voice -we're rooting for you!

Here are the rest of the pictures from our weekend:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

operation skinny

Before I got pregnant with Jackson I was all about the gym. I mean, seriously, I taught 2 aerobics classes a day, worked out in addition to that and was really weird about what I ate. I've always 'struggled' with my weight. If I'm being honest, I had issues with food. For some reason, I just used it as my comfort. Being pregnant with Jackson was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I was finally able to view my body as one of the reasons God created it. I wasn't just some shell that was constantly compared to magazine covers and hollywood starlets...my body was a house for life - everything I ate impacted someone else. THAT was truly remarkable to me. Since being pregnant with Jackson I have not struggled with food - at all. God blessed me with a little boy and the freedom I needed over my addiction, my struggle. It has been life changing.

Before I found out I was pregnant, I was on a target weight journey. I was 18 lbs away from it when we got our fabulous news... I didnt really care. I wanted to be pregnant much more than I wanted to be skinny. Regardless of what I weighed, I was really healthy when I got pregnant with Jackson. I was able to run 5 miles, take any aerobics class I wanted, my heart rate and blood pressure were in the perfect range and I could climb 3 flights of stairs without ever losing my breath. I continued to work out while I was pregnant (partly because I found out I was pregnant in January and had already signed up to teach 2 aerobics classes through May). I even ran a 5K when I was 4 months along. It was amazing. I love that Jackson and I did that together. I exercised up until the day before I had Jackson and my pregnancy was a breeze. I never felt 'huge' and I never was uncomfortable. What a blessing that was.

All that being said - since I've had Jackson, I have hardly exercised at all. I went from full throttle to couch potato. What the heck happened to me? I lost all but 5 pounds of my pregnancy weight by the time Jackson was 6 weeks old. Now that he is almost 10 month's old I have lost all of it plus an additional 8 pounds (thank you nursing and chasing after a wild man)...which puts me 10 pounds from where I originally was aiming for in January 2007. Mostly, I just want to be back into the shape I was before we have another child... I want my next pregnancy to be just as healthy as the one with Jackson.

I started working out again last week and let me tell you...I am so out of shape. I try to do things I used to do and it just isn't happening, lol. Yesterday I did tae bo and today I am so sore...so, so sore. So, I've given myself 6 weeks to really get moving. I'm working out every day and my goal is to be 10 pounds lighter by September 1st. Maybe now that I've written this blog I'll hold myself accountable...we'll see.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ben's Big-time Birthday Bash

It's never easy coming down from a Birthday High. Yesterday, we celebrated my 29th birthday and it was wonderful. In case you've never had the privilege of having a 'Bethany Birthday', let me tell you how it works. Bethany absolutely loves birthdays. She makes them so much fun that the next morning feels like the day after Christmas. The first year we were together I was blown away at the lengths she went to to make my special day fun for me. Since then, I've had four more and each one has been special and memorable in its own way.

Yesterday, there was a really fun card waiting on me when I woke up and a note on the bathroom mirror reminding, in case i forgot, that it was my B-day. Then, for lunch, Bethany and Jackson surprised me by driving into the city and eating lunch with me at Steak and Shake (my choice).

And this is pretty much what I ordered.

Unfortunately, I had to go back to work after that, but when I got home there were more surprises waiting on me tucked in various covert locations around the house. There were two military books that I had asked for and Carnival Games for Wii that I've been wanting forever that included a complimentary super-tight t-shirt (OKAY i know it's for kids).

Just when it seemed that the day couldn't get any better, we went to Abner's for our usual Tuesday evening chicken dinner that was UNusually good. YUM!

After we got Jackson put to bed, Bethany and I were getting ready to play Wii when she asked me to get her a piece of cornbread out of the microwave. I know, that's what I thought - "When did you start eating cornbread for a snack?" But, I was excited about my game so I hurriedly went into the kitchen without thinking much about it. When I opened the door, there was my favorite cake - funfetti - decked out with confetti icing and candles. How great is that?

Oh, and in case you are not my age yet - 29 candles make a lot of smoke. Blow them out with caution (and perhaps with a fire extinguisher handy).

In closing, I just want to say thanks to the woman who made this all possible. The same woman who makes everything possible in our house. Ya'll may not know this, but Bethany is flat out amazing. Okay, I know that if you're reading this, you already know that. Seriously, though, she works so hard every day to keep our house running smoothly. Her job has no quitting time, no overtime, no pay and no vacation. Everything that Jackson has accomplished has been because Bethany worked with him until he figured it out. She has always been the brains behind this operation. She doesn't complain, doesn't slack off, and never quits. She's just perfect to us. Excuse me if I'm off track, I just just think it's high time she got a little recognition.
~ Ben

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Evolution of Mmm

Lately Jackson is obsessed with 'solid' food and is getting pretty tired of baby food. In an attempt to get him to eat the baby food left in the cabinet I would say "mmm" after each bite. From that he started saying "mmm" every time he would take a bite and now I can say "Jackson do you want to get something to eat?" and he will respond with "mmmm" It's so cute. The only problem is now when he puts something in his mouth that he isn't supposed to or that I tell him to spit out, he looks at me and says "mmm". Crazy kid.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nine Months

Here is the picture we're sending out for Jackson 'nine months':

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Farmer's Market

I was searching online this week to find some local produce and I found out that there is a Farmer's Market every Saturday. Ben's Dad and Company came down and met us there (ok, they beat us there even though we live 20 minutes away).I do my best to feed my family as many fresh fruit and vegetables as I can and I love that I can support local farmers and keep my family healthy at the same time! Glennis and the girls got some organic blueberries for cheaper than you can get at the grocery store and I bought some cucumbers, green beans, squash, purple hull peas and some lime basil. It smells just like a fresh cut lime - I can't wait to put it in a mexican dish, or as Glennis mentioned, some salsa. Mmmm. AND I bought a purple bell pepper...it was so cool - I've never seen one before.They had everything from produce to hand carved wood kitchen accessories to pots of moss. There was one pot of that moss that was $100...umm, serioulsy? For moss? I didn't get it. They also had some of the most beautiful fresh flowers you have ever seen. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the bouquets people were leaving with. Thank goodness the market was under a pavillion because it was HOT. Jackson kept cool by stealing his Pawpaw's ice. He eventually got one of the ice cubes stuck around his thumb and just sucked on it until it melted off... My mom and brother stopped back by on their way home last week and I hated that they had to leave on Friday because I really wanted them to go to the Market with us...maybe next time.
We had a really good visit with them and we're glad they were able to stay a little longer than when they passed through a few weeks ago. Jackson has really enjoyed having them around so much lately.
I'm glad - there's nothing better than getting to grow up with your family constantly loving on you. I'm so glad my children will have such a great family to surround them - there just isn't much better that that.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The littlest love of my life

Jackson is such a ham these days. We can't go anywhere without him flirting with every girl that passes his way. He loves going out and being around other people. We became members of our new church this past Sunday and had to stand in front of the congregation. I was a little concerned that it might freak him out, not sure why, he just smiled and waved and was trying to talk to the preacher. It was too funny.

He's starting to talk - I can't believe it. If you say "Kisses Jackson" he will say "tisses" and when he sees his pacifier he'll say "pappy". Of course, he still says dada every time he sees ben but will only say mama if he's really upset. Isn't that just the way it goes?

Last week I started transitioning Jackson into going to sleep by himself. I know what some of you are thinking...good grief, he's 9 1/2 months old! But to be honest, I have really enjoyed our quiet time together before his naps and bedtime. It's such a special, peaceful time that we had together and I treasured every minute of it. Our pediatrician told us over 2 months ago to start encouraging him to sleep on his own and since Ben decided to make the bed a play ramp (and now all Jackson wants to do is roll off the bed) I felt it was time to start the process. One week later, we went through our bedtime routine (still jam-packed with kisses and snuggling), I laid him down, gave him kisses and left the room...and he's asleep...all by himself. I'll admit it - it makes me a little sad. He's growing up way too fast...can somebody put a heavy book on his head or something?

I love being his mom - what a blessing God gives us in children.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

We had the pleasure of spending the evening with Catherine and Olivia while Mike and Glennis went to dinner to celebrate their anniversary. They both looked so nice for their 'date' and we were so glad that they were able to have some time alone together.

Jackson LOVES the girls and had the best time playing with them.

Catherine: Olivia:He also enjoyed the peaches PawPaw brought - mostly throwing them around the house. He did however get to take his first bite of a real peach and he liked it much better than the ones in the jar...can't imagine why ;) The box of peaches kept Jackson busy for a while... (This is NOT the peach he ate... ben had to grab this from him before he tried to eat it)

We ate pizza, played wii and just had a big time. Family fun - you just can't beat it :)

Happy Anniversary PawPaw and Gegi!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

40 weeks

I got an email yesterday titled "Your baby is 40 weeks old!"... I'll be honest - I had to reread it a few times...it seemed unreal.

40 weeks is a very 'pregnancy' term. Everywhere you read about the 40 week term and how your pregnancy will take you on a 40 week journey, etc. To those of you who dont know, according to my orignial due date, I never even made it to 40 weeks with Jackson. I had him when I was 39 weeks and two days along. What's 5 days you're thinking...well, 5 days is a lot to this first time mom. Jackson being 40 weeks old means he's been here in my arms longer than he was in my belly. It's just one more sign of how fast time has flown since he's been born.

I remember when I thought the 14 week mark would NEVER get here because I was so sick. Then I couldn't wait until I was 20 weeks along for the gender ultrasound - time stood still! Nothing could be more different when you finally have that baby.

I hated hearing everyone say "take everything in because before you know it they'll be grown", it's still not my favorite thing to hear but it's so true - ugh. My sweet boy. He's so big already.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

the fourth of july that wasn't...

In a previous post I talked about how we had company coming in and then we were heading for Regina's in Arkansas for the 4th...well, evidently, Jackson had different plans. My mom and brother got in last Tuesday and we had a fun visit - Jackson LOVES visitors and especially loves his Nonni and Funcle. He's such a show off when other people are around. We went to our favorite restaurant around here. After all - it was free tea tuesday!
Then we surprised Nonni with Jackson's new onesie. It says: "No! Means ask Nonni" She loved it :)
They headed out the next day and my best friend Mary got in around 10:30 that night. We were so excited to have her here - we haven't seen her since December of 2007! We had planned on leaving the next day to visit Ben's grandmother and then head to Gina's but Wednesday night Jackson was up most of the night with his teeth...poor guy. We recently had tooth number 5 come in with little to no problems...tooth 6 on the other hand not so much.

The next day wasn't much better so we decided it would be better for Jackson (and everyone involved) if we just stayed home. While everyone was enjoying their delicious grilled feast, Ben and I had a turkey sandwich...Mary had some cheezits (her favorite, don't be concerned for her). Jackson got to feeling better Saturday and we had a very relaxing (read: no makeup, pajamas all weekend), very fun time with Mary until she left on Sunday. Dad came by on Monday on his way and Jackson loved visiting with him too - yay for not freaking out around new people (or people he hasnt seen in a while). Instead, he's just a big show off giving kisses, hugs and showing everyone how he can pull up on everything, walk down the couch in 1.2 seconds and throw his toys across the room.

We loved having everyone come over and see us and I'm pretty sure we never got this many visitors at our old house... maybe now more people will come visit - we love company!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

secret club

I love how much ben loves jackson...how much jackson loves ben...they have a connection that is so evident that a stranger could see the depth of their bond.

Ben is an amazing dad. I've said it before and I'll say it plenty more before it's all said and done. You know those people who don't care who is watching them or who might be keeping score - that's ben. He plays with jackson, hugs on his neck and creates lasting memories with his son because it's the desire in his heart to do so. I love that about him. I love that my son has such an amazing father - such an amazing man to look up to as he grows up in the ever changing, unsteady world around him. I can rest easy knowing that my children have a rock in their dad. He's never too busy for jackson...never has 'better' things to do. Ben has always been this way with me and it is no different for his little boy.

To say that Jackson loves spending time with ben is an understatement...it probably has something to do with the fact that ben celebrates the 'wild man' in jackson...the wildness that God puts in all little boys.

The two of them have their own daddy and bear club and I'm pretty sure there are no girls allowed. They are always doing crazy things, coming up with new games, new adventures and their latest definitely takes the cake.

Ben made a ramp of pillows at the edge of our bed that he showed jackson how to roll down...of course he was hooked from the first roll. As a mom, I'll have to admit, the first time I saw him doing it I wanted to put an end to it right there...but then I saw the excitement and the joy in his eyes so I just walked away and let the boys be boys.

I love having my boys - it just doesn't get much better.