Friday, August 29, 2008

who needs a whoopy cushion?

So my son has already decided that he's funny. Don't get me wrong, he is funny...but he knows it...and wants you to know it too.

As much as I hate to admit it, my child has learned how to make tooting noises on your skin. You know how your dad would make noises on your stomach and tickle you? Well, that's what Jackson does and he thinks it's hilarious.

My clever child has learned to fake you out with it too. He will come up to you and give you a kiss and hug you and then lean in like he's going to kiss you again and make toot noises right on your cheek! He just laughs and runs off.

I used to think that society had something to do with the male sense of humor. Nope. They're born with it. Go apologize to your husband right now. Evidently he can't help it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


rainbow brite. check. pound puppy. check. gigantic rubbermaid full of play food. check. gigantic rubbermaid full of 392 beanie babies. check. gigantic rubbermaid full of Lord only knows what. check.

Two weeks ago my Mom and Dad were cleaning out their attic and came across alllll of the toys my brother and I had from when we were little. Seriously. All of them. Birthday's and Christmas at my house resemble things you see in movies (It might be why I love these holiday's so much to this day. My mom has always had an amazing ability of rocking out a holiday). So, my mom brought some of the toys from her attic to me for Jackson. She left everything with a pitiful "whatever you don't want you can donate to a church or the goodwill." Thanks mom.

At first all I could think of was "where am I going to put all of this stuff in my tiny apartment" then, "how am I going to choose what to get rid of." Why am I sitting her tonight strangely grateful to my parents in a completely new way.

In a previous post I commented on how having a baby changes everything...and that really applies to everything. What are now old toys in rubbermaids were once things I just had to have. HAD to have. Like, my world would cease to exist if I didn't get it. Sure it's just 'stuff' but to a child who doesn't understand the meaning of life and all that goes on in the world (nor did I care for that matter) it was more than just stuff.

My mom knew this...she knew how much I wanted these things. She also knew how limited her budget was. So, she and my dad did what they have always done. They went without so that I could have whatever it is I was wanting at the time. Now, don't get me wrong. I got told no... it wasn't a pitch a fit so I can get whatever I want kind of thing and there were plenty of things I just had to have that I did not get...but the list of "no" doesn't stand out. The stuff doesn't really stand's the sacrifice. I know how difficult it is to live on a budget and my parents had half the budget I have. I remember going into stores and my mom taking me to the toy section or my clothing section and never even looking at anything for herself. My parents didn't go on date nights or vacations alone. They did everything with us...for us. I'm ever grateful.

I know that it wouldnt have mattered in the long run had I never gotten any of this 'stuff.' My parents love me and always will - I've never doubted that a day in my life. But as a parent myself now I finally get what it is that they were doing. They didn't have to buy me anything...they wanted to. They wanted to do without so that I could do with. They enjoyed giving to us...seeing the joy it brought to our lives. They wanted to take me and my brother on every vacation with them. They wanted to spend their free time with us...because they love us. How amazing is that?

So even though I still have to find room for all of my old stuff - I'm grateful to have to find a place for it. What a blessing to have so many reminders of my many reminders of the sacrifices that were made for me. Each of these old toys were once new surprises, birthday and christmas gifts that my parents couldn't wait to give me...I feel the same way now with Jackson. I appreciate everything my parents have done for me. I've always been such a lucky girl.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Seven, Eight...Lay em straight

I 'knew' Jackson was teething again! Two days ago my suspicions were confirmed. He has two more top teeth that just broke through the gums. This brings the grand teeth total to eight pearly whites... here's hoping we get a little break from teething for a while!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Circa 1976


Tell me I wouldn't have rocked this look out! You have to go try much fun.1966 Bethany

1994 Bethany

The worst part was when I put my picture in the "1998" and "2000" ones...I actually have those pictures... same hair and everything. Hilarious.
Here's Ben circa 1950 (Pop)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Big Little Brother

Today my little brother turns 14...FOURTEEN people! For some reason 14 seems so much older than 13. I still remember him running around in his diaper, doing crazy ninja kicks and breaking it down to whatever music I had playing in my room in high school. Thank goodness we have video of it. He has always been hilarious and continues to be to this day. I always know when he's about to tell a joke because he can't stop laughing long enough to tell it. I can not believe it has already been 14 years - where has time gone? He's is my 'little' brother only by age - he is already towering over me and mom. He and I are 12 years apart (well almost anyway) and you would think that we would not have a very close relationship but nothing could be further from the truth. I hate that we can't live in the same town anymore and that I can't see him grow up everyday but sometimes life is just that way. We still see eachother every chance we get and talk on the phone almost every day.I love that boy more than words can say and I'm so proud of the amazing young man that he is growing up to be. That boy has got it all! God has blessed each of us by putting him into our lives. He is the reason that I wanted a little boy of my own so badly - I knew the amazing, fun filled journey it would be!
We love you SO much! And even though I can't take place in the birthday extravaganza today, I'm hoping that this will be your best year yet!

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Texas Stampede

I got the craziest myspace message Wednesday. My cousin Ashley (who has the amazing ability of dropping off the face of the earth for months at a time) asked what we were up to this weekend and if we cared if she and her husband came to visit. We haven't gotten to see them since February so we OF COURSE told them to hop in the car right away...offers like this are more rare than finding a needle in a haystack! Ok, maybe not that rare but both Ashley and Sam work full time and it's a blessing that they not only were able to get some time off together, but that they chose to drive allll the way from Texas just to visit with us! Ashley and I have been as close as sister's growing up and we don't get to see eachother nearly as much as I would like. We still dream of living next door to eachother one day and they try and convince us to move to Dallas every chance they get. Texax people are a different breed but that is neither here nor there. They got here on Thursday afternoon and Jackson was loving Ashley from the very beginning. He would just walk over and hug her arm (he probably knew she loved cheerios just as much as he does). Oh and speaking of Ashley - she has lost THIRTY lbs since May...dang girl! She looked amazing! I think we convinced them that they need a wii by the end of their first night here...although I don't think it would be good for their marriage. I haven't heard that many "IN YOUR FACE" since I was around my little brother and his friends...did I mention that it was Ashley saying it? Those two are so competetive it's ridiculous. I remember when they were dating, we would be getting out of the car to go to the store and Sam would tag Ashley and say "Race You!" and off they would go to the front of the store. Seriously. Too fun.

Friday we drove down to Oxford to get some fab-o sushi and see Ashley's dad for a little bit. We drove around the square, got a few t-shirts and took some pretty fun pictures (of course!).
Friday night Ashley made all of us dinner (that's right - drive 7 hours to visit us and we make YOU cook us dinner) She and Sam were telling us about their newest lettuce wrap dinner creation and we just had to try it. Let me tell you - it was soooo good. We may just be making this for dinner once a week now. Unfortunately they had to head back to Texas today but not without eating some BBQ raved about on Food network (Sam ordered the biggest plate of BBQ I've ever seen in my life)
and stealing eachother's honeyWe had the BEST time...we always have a great time with them. They are two of the funniest people we know and just in case you were wondering...I have the best family in the world...hands down. Oh and the most fun. Whew - It feels good to get that out there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When it counts

Just like the commercial says - "having a baby changes everything."

You see the world differently, you see your life, your future, EVERYTHING differently. Relationships are scrutinized and it becomes your responsibility as a parent to protect your child from harm as much as possible. Suddenly things that used to matter don't matter and things you never gave a second thought are the center of your day. It's not about you anymore

I, of course, tend to be a worry wart. I come by it honest - a long line of worriers are in my lineage. I have gotten much better about it and I'm definitely better than I thought I would be concerning Jackson. I worry about silly things, serious things and things that are out of my control. I wish that I could prevent Jackson from ever being hurt whether physically or emotionally. We live in an imperfect world but we do have a perfect heavenly Father. I trust that although life and people will disappoint us, He never will. Luckily, we also have an amazing group of family and friends that God has blessed us with to lean on and guide us along our journey. The amazing love and guidance that each of you provide is priceless...truly priceless.

Nothing can be perfect in life and I hate that. Luckily for me, the disappointment in some is outweighed by those who have been there...continue to be there. And that's what counts.

We are surrounded by negative media, television shows, movies, etc that glorify drama in relationships. I know that we're here, we're stuck in this world for the time being and we have to do our best to be the light among the darkness BUT I want Jackson to be surrounded by light and that means being surrounded by people who exude see others as Christ sees them and to treat others as Christ would treat them. Loving, kind, without bitterness and judgement toward others, not harboring resentment and forgiving above all else.

This is my prayer for each of you as well.


Monday, August 18, 2008


To say that I love taking pictures of Jackson is the understatement of the year... We have so many on our computer right now that I'm having to go through and delete some to make room for future ones - it's so hard to pick ones I "don't want" anymore. Alas, it has to be done.

Here are a few of my new favorites:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Walking Tall

As I posted previously Jackson has been taking a few steps between furniture and a couple of steps to anyone but me. Well, tonight he walked all the way across the living room to me! After he did it the first time he did it a hundred more. He spent the rest of the night walking wherever he wanted to go. I can't believe it - our son is walking!

My New Chairs

My mother in law found some old chairs in great condition at a yard sale. She called and asked if I wanted them...of course I said yes! We went to visit them shortly after she got them and I loved them immediately. We went to the fabric store in town and I picked out this amazing fabric - it was EXACTLY what I was looking for. We then put the chairs on the waiting list to get recovered (this was back in the beginning of July) and yesterday they brought them down. They are so beautiful. I have such great in-laws. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for my beautiful chairs. We love them!
Thanks to these chairs, the mirrors she gave me, all of the furniture and beautiful decorations my Mom and Dad have given us and the few things Ben and I have purchased in the past few years that we have been married, we have a beautiful home. We are so blessed to have such amazing family...ya'll are the best :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Meine Liebe

Last night, Bethany asked me, “Where’s my love box?”

“Your what?” I asked

“My love box. You know, the box of all of our love notes and stuff-“

“Oh yeah..”

So, I went to the closet and pulled down the old American Eagle shoebox that we’ve been stashing our memorabilia in since we first started dating in early 2004.

Looking at all those small bits of our history, I couldn’t help being a little emotional.

A CD wrapper from a Harry Connick Jr. album I bought Bethany for our first Valentines Day together. I remember snow, and holding white lilies that were so green it was embarrassing, butterflies in my stomach from going to her house for the first time, her slightly nervous,-slightly excited smile, jerked chicken pasta and French wine.

A coaster from On The Border from our first road trip together. I was nervous that we wouldn’t have anything to talk about on the way to Wichita Falls, but we were talking about marriage by the time we came home.

A button from Riverfest 2004. I had a sore throat and intense fever that were making life miserable. Bethany pumped me full of enough motrin and Gatorade to get me feeling okay again so that I could fulfill one of my lifelong dreams: seeing Hootie live in concert. That was one of those moments in my life when I just wished I could save the feeling in a Ziploc bag and take it out again someday to re-live.

We’ve had an amazing time getting to know one another, falling in love, committing our lives to each other and now raising a child together. It’s hard to explain the love we have for each other without sounding trite or cliché – in fact, it seems as though the word “love” itself has become cheapened. The only way I can explain it is by explaining how it happened.

I was a lonely, aimless man with no real plans or ambitions who had completely given up on the idea that I would find love in my life when I met Bethany. I decided on our first date that no matter what happened, no matter how bad I could possibly get hurt, no matter how long it took, and no matter how hard I had to try I would get her to love me. *key cheesy music here* I vividly remember falling in love with Bethany. Sitting across from her on that first date, trying to look cool, my heart was rapidly loosing ground to this amazing, beautiful woman. Somehow I just knew that God had something to do with her being there.

Like I said, I had given up, and I know that there are many of us who have been at that point or may be at that point right now, but I’m here to tell you that God has blessed me from that first date. When I submitted to Him, trusted him completely with my relationship decisions, he opened my eyes. I said, “Yes, Lord”, and to quote Robert Frost, “…That has made all the difference.”

Monday, August 11, 2008

these boots are made for walkin'

My parents came through this weekend on one of their final quests in saying goodbye to the house they moved out of over a year ago...yaying for finally selling! Anyway, in cleaning out her attic, my mom brought Jackson a RIDICULOUS amount of toys, some clothes and one awesome pair of (13 year old) cowboy boots that he most likely won't even be able to wear for at least another year. While they were here Jackson walked over TEN steps to my mom from one of the rubbermaids! Crazy talk. Since then, he walks in between all of our furniture without holding onto anything...he still has yet to walk out in the 'open' (which I'm kinda glad he isn't...stop growing up so fast already) but he is definitely preferring to walk places these days.

I'm still getting everything ironed out for his 'royal' birthday...I can't wait for it - it's gonna be so much fun. More for us than for him probably but I guess that's just the way it goes. I'm still not very keen on him eating cake on his birthday...he hasn't had so much as a real cookie - how could his little system possibly handle cake and icing? There has to be some sort of 'healthy' recipe I can find...maybe I'll just put a candle in a's his favorite anyway.

Friday, August 8, 2008

First Steps!

Well - we are definitely not walking but Jackson took his first unassissted steps yesterday. The first time he did it I sat in shock until I realized I needed to grab the camera and try to get him to do it again! He is standing alone and stutter stepping between furniture without having to hold on to something - won't be long before he's outrunning me down the hallway! I was just telling Ben yesterday morning how I thought Jackson would be two before he walked because he likes crawling so much...guess he overheard me and wanted to prove me wrong! If you play the video be sure to mute it...I get a little too giddy about it - big surprise :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

into everything

Evidently it's not just my little boy that is into I read Katherine and Amber's blogs I realize it's just a boy thing...Why do I have lamps? Why do I have plants? Why isn't my living room a giant inflatable jumparoo? It might as well man already thinks it is!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Anatomy 101

We're in the process of teaching Jackson his body far he knows his nose...and everyone else's nose...including Mr. Bear Chair's nose. Since Ben has returned to work, Jackson wants to call him on the phone...constantly. He will get my cell phone and throw it in my lap and say "daddy" and then just look at me and pause. If I don't call Ben he picks it up and throws it back in my lap trying again...he's the boss of me. Because of his newly found love of talking on the phone he has started "talking" on several different toys. I know he's mimicking me because he'll hold the "phone" up to his ear and start talking in this really high pitched babble. Glad to know this is what he's learning from his mother.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Well, it's official...just thought ya'll should know...

Everyone I know is pregnant...seriously...everyone.

Mary's sister is pregnant with her third child, my sister in law is pregnant with her third child, Katie, my best friend from high school is pregnant with her FIRST and her two best friends from child hood are pregnant with their second child. Also, two girls that I went to grad school are pregnant...there must be something in the water.

Katie and I became best friends in high school...although not upon immediate meeting. She moved to Germany when we were in the 10th grade and by the end of the year we had become pretty good friends. We both played soccer ( I know..seriously) and I will never forget being at a fundraiser with her when she grabbed half of my McDonalds sandwich and said "sharing is the best diet you know" since then I can't remember us not being best friends. Our Senior year was monumental...we just didnt fit in with everyone else...we pretty much did our own thing. We each had 1st period free so we would go to a kickboxing class first thing in the morning and get back just in time for our AP English's to you Mr. Todd... and Ash Wednesday. I love that girl. I have such fond memories of tuna sandwiches and reduced fat mac and cheese...fights over butter on my birthday...tears in the hallway in front of Frau Pope's room...and crazy late nights at the NCO club...what were we thinking? All I know is I will never hear country music without thinking of Katie. Being states away totally stinks but it has done nothing to our friendship. All that being said...she's going to be a Mom and I'm so happy for happy for her and Russ and so proud of the amazing woman that she continues to be every day. I love you Katie and I can't wait to see that beautiful blueberry!
Me and Katie back in they day in the Media Center...don't call it a library
Graduation 2000...eight years ago...I feel old.

Friday, August 1, 2008

double digits

Jackson is 10 months old today and he's steady growing like a weed. Some of his new favorite things to do are give high fives, play patty cake (mostly hit your hands), clap and throw anything in sight. He and Ben play a carnival style game while he is in the tub where he throws the ball into the cup on the floor. He loves it and would play it all night long if we let him:He also loves Ben's guitar and tries to play it every chance he can: He loves books and tries to prolong the reading sessions we have before bed each night as long as possible:His hair is really coming in and I can't decide what to do with it... I think I'm just gonna start styling it so be ready for that...GQ hair at 10 months...why not :)Today he grabbed my apple and tried to eat itAnd the other day I thought I'd see how he'd handle feeding himself a can imagine how that went...wait - I'll just show you:He's such a rat but I love him. He's getting so big so fast. He's definitely not a baby anymore...He's starting to try to take his first steps. He'll take one step to get to something but nothing out in the open. I'll definitely be posting when that officially happens. Yay for 10's to 10 thousand more :)