Sunday, June 29, 2014

Playdate with Little Rock

It's out.

My book.

It's out.

I got an e-mail from my publisher late, late a few nights ago that my book was officially on Amazon. And I sat bolt upright. My heart started pounding. Oh my gosh, I'm officially an author! I hope people love my book! Aaaaand, Oh my gosh, I'm officially an author! What if people hate my book?

My stomach churned. Any bit of sleepiness that I had was long gone. It was 11:30 at night, and I did the only thing I could do: I texted my best friend. And do you know what she did? She went and bought my book. At 11:30 at night. That is friendship.

In the days following, I've decided to stop worrying. I've decided to be terrifically excited. I've decided that no matter what an Amazon review might say, or what a particularly mean Twitter-active local might post, I've accomplished something that my seven-year-old self dreamed about: writing a book. And you know what else? I'm really, really proud of my book. I worked extremely hard writing it. I made unforgettable memories writing it. I grew as a person; I grew as a mom.

If you want to know a ton of fun things to do around Little Rock, go buy my book. If you love me a lot, go buy my book. Because you'll like it, I promise.

Now, I'm off to go catch fireflies with my four year old. Good night, world.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer Afternoon

"Summer afternoon--summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." - Henry James

Well, summer is here. And while it is considerably less hot here than my summers in Arkansas, the sunshine and warmth are welcome guests. These days are passing lazily--swim lessons, Bible study, play dates, front-yard sprinkler adventures, endless trips to Chick-fil-A and the park and the library.

These boys are eating it up. Cheeks red. Hair matted with sweat. Freckles bursting and blooming across pinch-able, kissable cheeks. Desperate for naps in the quiet afternoons.

What a difference a year can make.

Last summer, I was stressed. I was scared. I was insecure. I knew God knew what He was doing; I just didn't know what I was doing.

And this summer, peace.

In the form of static in hair, goofy faces, and worms at dinner.

Do you know what that cutie pie told me when I asked him why he was bringing a worm to the dinner table? "Mom, I have to save him from being eaten by a snake!"

Where do they come up with these things!?

I will be posting soon--because I genuinely believe it deserves a post to itself--about the fact that the boys and I have been here for nearly a year. But my thoughts right now are that I know this is where God wants us. We've been so blessed here. We've already made so many memories here. We're blooming in a new way. I'm finding parenting to be more challenging and more rewarding than I ever could have imagined {it's both, mind you--both}. I'm finding residency to be not at all what I'd heard it would be--but a time of growth, a time of excitement, a time and space for God to show me what I can do and what I cannot do.

We're here, at the beginning of summer. "Summer afternoon"--beautiful words with these boys.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

18 Months

I can't believe that Jack turned 18 months old two days ago! {Side note: Could that face be any cuter? No, it could not.}

My risk taker. My snuggle bug. My belly laugher. Jack, you have brought me more joy than you could ever know!

Food: The question isn't what does Jack eat? The question is what doesn't Jack eat? This is one fantastic eater! If we go out to eat, he usually wants whatever I'm eating--and I can count on him eating at least a third of it.

Sleep: He goes to sleep at 6:45 PM and wakes up at 7:00 AM. You can't beat that, folks!

Clothes: 2T all around, with a size 6 shoe.

Words: I wasn't expecting Jack to be the chatter box that Nathan was, but boy was I wrong! He's been putting two words together for months now, and he uses big words like, "mountain" and "breakfast." He even says, "yes, ma'am," "no, ma'am," and "please." {I knew with #2 to start earlier on those manners!} It's super nice that he's a talker, because just like with Nathan, I don't have to play the what-do-you-want/what-is-wrong guessing game.

Interests: The funniest thing in the universe to me is that Jack is obsessed with the National Geographic Volcano movie. Like, he could watch it over and over and over. He loves to talk about volcanoes, lava, and the explosive noises that volcanoes are capable of making. I'm not kidding. Sometimes, we'll rock on the front porch and talk about volcanoes for ten minutes.

Bears. He loves them. His favorite books are "Blueberries for Sal," "We're Going on a Bear Hunt," and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" He loves to growl like a bear. He loves the movie "Brave." This boy is all about bears.

Big brother is the coolest individual on planet Earth, in case you didn't know. If Jack wakes up before Nathan, he instantly starts in on, "Bubba? Bubba?" {While he can say, "Nay-an," he likes to call him "Bubba," which is the cutest thing in the universe, if you ask me.} They wrestle all the time--no lie! They laugh. They catch bugs. They play in the sprinkler. They splash each other in the tub {despite the five ga-zillion, "Boys, stop!"}. They are really, truly best friends. I can't even believe how much they love each other. It makes my heart happy in a way that almost nothing else does. The instant I found out I was pregnant with a boy {once I got over the shock, because I was convinced I was having a girl}, I was overjoyed that Nathan would have a brother. No greater gift could I ever give them than each other. Thank You, Jesus, for those brothers!

Can I say that I love having an 18 month old!? I mean, of course I don't love that the tantrums and the I-want-it-my-way attitude have started, but I love that my boys are getting older. We can do more things, I don't have to take a million things with me every time I leave the house, and they're learning to entertain each other!

I never in a million years would have ever thought that I would have fully owned the title, "Boy Mom." But, oh yes, this boy mom loves, loves, loves being a boy mom!! Jack, I love you to the moon and back! I can't believe how you're growing and developing. I love watching every little milestone along the way. Love you, sugar bear!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Many Mini Adventures

Whew! In the midst of end-of-the-year school activities, an anniversary trip, and 2 1/2 weeks of family in town, I'm just sitting down, catching my breath, and realizing that summer is upon us! Life is made up of many mini adventures, and here are some of the ones we've embarked on lately!

Nathan's spring musical at school! He was a zebra! And the cutest zebra I've ever seen, I might add!

A trip to Lynchburg! We went to the children's museum (fabulous!) and out to eat. So fun!

Swimming at the Athletic Club! Yay for the pool finally being open!

The return of swim lessons! He's such a little fish.

Trips to the park!

Mother's Day!

Playing by the river!

And some naps in between. :)

Trips to the grocery store are always an adventure {sometimes a good adventure, sometimes a not-so-good adventure}. Please look at Nathan's face. No caption needed.

We went to go see Virginia's Natural Bridge. It's only about 45 minutes away. I'd been there before as a teenager; it was cool to see it again! We saw two snakes, and Nathan learned the importance of staying on the path. {Cue psycho momma scanning the path non-stop for snakes.}

Scott's birthday! The most uneventful birthday ever! He left for work before the crack of dawn, came home for cake, and then went back up to the hospital until 2:00 AM. Oh, well! He has the best attitude, and he acted like it was the best birthday dinner ever. :)

And, of course, most of our adventures take place at home--where we live, love, laugh, disagree, make messes, learn, interact, and unpack life together. I'm so blessed by these boys!