Monday, September 29, 2014

a September update

this post is brought to you by Bella

who texted me the other night, saying "POST A BLOG...please (smiley face emoticon)" you go Bella.

our family is all over the place these days
with one of our finest out in California for a rather well-known dance competition, people are flying cross-country on the regular.
it's hard to know who's coming and who's going.
i still haven't decided if i'm going to make the trek or not...leaving the boys here doesn't sound good.
but, neither does flying with them across two time zones. 
we shall see.
i'm rather content to watch the show from my living room, but i sure do miss my people and would love to hug their neck!

on the homefront, we have had some pretty great weeks here lately.
GT has started up the hunting season with a few trips and will hopefully have something to show (and in our fridge) for his efforts soon. 

we celebrated our bdays and GT came through, once again, with an exemplary cookie cake design!

we have been with Jake, Jamie, Beau and Luke quite a bit and that makes for a great month!
Judson gets intensely excited when he knows that we are going to see them!
his cousin-brothers
they are quite entertaining when all together.
that middle picture cracks me up. JR and Luke are only allowed to use their pacifiers when they go to bed, but somehow they managed to sneak some and were huddled together trying to defend themselves...ha!

the train museum in Tyler

GT's parents came for a visit last weekend! 
the boys are so well loved by them
JR can't get enough of Grammy and PaPa

they came in for Townes baby blessing at church
i'd like to say that i wasn't a bit perturbed by GT in the top right photo
...i'd like to say that

the tractor was returned after some time in the shop
a certain little tike was happy upon it's return

Townes took his first bath in the big tub
i mean....

we started our Monday night girls group back up after a summer break
i sure did miss these gals

the new barn is going up!

and Tdubs is still the cutest little thing i ever did see

along with his brother, of course
who, apparently, has been watching his mama very closely
nothing like a toddler for some self-reflection.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

where we live and what we wear

When people come in to our home, I want them to feel comfortable and not necessarily impressed by the things that we have, or unimpressed by the things that we don't have.
I want them to sit on the couch and feel loved, not overwhelmed by a great design or unimpressed with the lack of style.
I want them to join us at our dinner table and feel welcome and safe, not intimidated by a kitchen backsplash or high-end appliances or underwhelmed by the absence of brand-name decor.
good, bad or lack of design and things should have no influence on the comfort level of our home.

(p.s. GT built this barn door and i LOVE it so much)

I do love me some HGTV and love the idea of building our dream house one day with nice things, i really do. 
So, don't get me wrong.
 I appreciate a well designed home.
but, i don't want all of my energy, efforts and conversations to be focused on the appearance of my house.
rather, focus my energy on the people in my home.
i want our kids to grow up in a home full of joy and openness (I'm sure there's a more fitting word)! 

have you seen the link to Glennon Doyle Melton's blog Momastery on Facebook yet?
I just read it recently and she hit the nail on the head in regards to having a beautiful home, with a heart of gratitude. 

"In terms of parenting, marriage, home, clothes – I will not be a slave to the Tyranny of Trend any longer. I am almost 40 years old and no catalog is the Boss of Me anymore. I am free. I am not bound to spend my precious days on Earth trying to keep up with the Joneses- because the Joneses are really just a bunch of folks in conference rooms changing “trends” rapidly to create fake monthly emergencies for us. OH NO! NOW IT’S A SUBWAY TILE BACKSPLASH WE NEED!  No, thank you. Life offers plenty of REAL emergencies to handle, thank you very much."

Amen, sister!

the same goes for how I dress myself and my kids.
i'm all about function and comfort. 
in our home and for our wardrobe.
(A standard) 

when people see us, i don't want them to be impressed by our outfits or intimidated by great fashion.
i want people to feel comfortable to approach us and feel loved in our presence.
Now, i do understand the importance of putting your best foot forward and looking put together.
i've learned that from the women i my family. they always looks beautiful, poised, put together, but incredibly approachable
and we have been incredibly blessed to have nice things!

i really do want my boys to be boys and not inhibited by their new, nice or brand-name clothes.
of course i like wearing beautiful and in-style clothes...i'm a girl, hello!
so i have to remind myself often that it does not matter.
no one cares, except me, if my shirt has been in my closet for 10 years (and i wear it weekly) or if i recently bought it at a cute boutique and it was seen in People style watch and is made by a certain designer. 
no one cares.
and if they do, they need to get over it.
it's all about relationships and loving one another and i hope that i never let my clothing, fancy or plain, get in the way of that happening.

i can't remember the last time that i went shopping or bought new clothes for myself.
this probably has less to do with my self-control, but more because i've been pregnant, post-partum and/or nursing for 2.5 years solid.

also, i'm ok with what i have to work with long as i don't go to any stores.
if i step foot in a store, i immediately see things that i just have to have.
so i avoid them.
 really, i just don't go. and if we go to Target or the mall, i avoid the clothes.
 true story.
if i don't see it, i don't know what i'm missing out on.

we also understand the importance of good stewardship in our home.
we work for what we have or it was given to us and someone else worked for it.
we want our children to be comfortable with what they have and not to hold anyTHING to precious, but also understand that we need to take care of what we have.

if you see me twice in one week, you're likely to see the same get-up.
if you come into our home, it probably looks "well lived-in".
Above all, we want our children to have a heart that is more appealing than the appearance of their clothes and of our home.
i know that they will learn this by what we do more than what we say...
so, i better get busy with practicing what i preach 
(just because this smile makes me happy)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

2 months Townsey

2 months with our little bitty!
i think i'd like for you to stay this age and size for a while longer.
you sure a sweet snuggler and are quite generous with your smiles.
we are so thankful that you are in our family
you add the perfect amount of sweetness and cuddles!

you checked out to be 100% healthy and strong at your 2 month doctors appointment
and weigh 12 pounds!

you love to watch your brother and he is thrilled every time you wake up and join our party
i delight in watching your relationship blossom and am so thankful that your brother will be your buddy

we have loved to watch you grow this past month!
you are watching the world around you so much more
you coo and smile, which just makes me giddy
i am constantly telling you just how cute you are
you love to cuddle and be in the Moby wrap
you will stay entertained on your play mat for about 15 minutes (which is a enough time to clean up the kitchen, fold some clothes, take a quick shower, snuggle your brother, check on my school work or start dinner!)
you actually rolled over in your cradle...i caught in on camera. i don't think we're ready for that.
we're still trying to work out the kinks from 6-9 at night...that's the only time you can be a tad unhappy
otherwise, you are really content 
you are a good little eater and still nurse roughly every 3 hours during the day
and can go 8-9 hours at night (hooray!.. now, please don't rebel against that statement)

this past month, we traveled to Little Rock for the night and you stayed in your first hotel 
and met your cousin, Gracie.
you are 5 days apart and are going to be besties...i just know it
she's the cutest little thing

we have also traveled to Tyler to see your other cousins twice
Beau is smitten with you!
and you seem to really enjoy being at Jake and J-J's house, as Judson calls her

you get lots of attention from the family at home, too

you are holding up your head so well
perhaps i was a bit premature in this, but you're not far away from sitting in a little seat

little Townes, you have stolen our hearts completely
we are grateful to have the job of being your parents
and are honored to lead and nurture you as you grow

i just can not get enough of you and your sweetness
your coos, your smiles, your snuggles, your big navy blue eyes, your little body...all of it. 
i can't stop loving it, every single minute.
here's to a beautiful 2 months with you, my sweet darling Townsey

Monday, September 8, 2014

this gig, called parenting

Judson is a happy kid
for the large majority of the time he is well behaved, joyful, funny, excited and compliant
even though he does have a "strong sense of purpose" as my Mamaw Jo says
we are extremely blessed by this
but, lately.
he is pushing it.
not all of the time and not every day.
just some times
and in a big way

the other morning it was because i needed to take off his pajamas because his diaper leaked during the night.
you would have thought that i was leaving him in the dark with a pack of wolves.
perhaps it was because he wanted to wake up slow, stay in his pj's and snuggle for a bit?
perhaps it was because he loves those pants?
perhaps it was because it was not what he had planned in his little toddler mind?
who knows.
 but, home boy was not happy.

today, it was because i wouldn't let him play with my phone.
tomorrow it might be because he doesn't get to wear his boots.

luckily, he gets over things pretty quickly after being reprimanded and is right back to being a sweet, delightful and happy little guy.
but in those ridiculous moments of teeth-gnashing and limb-flailing...i am tempted to just let Woodrow do the parenting.
here, JR is telling him about his bible class

i called GT today and said, "what am i doing wrong"
to which he replied, "it's called parenting, keep grinding away. you're doing a great job".
if it weren't for that man of mine, i would have terrible parenting tactics and our kids would probably grow up to be misbehaved hooligans.
he's my rock and our captain.
praise God for that!
he steers our parenting and keeps me on the path of consistency.
which kids need. 
and when it comes to discipline and boundaries, consistency is hard and tiring and the pay-off if not always evident. 
GT reminds me that it will be when our kids are 4, 14 and adults.

i always joke with him that his favorite word is adversity
he loves to remind me how good it is for our kids and for us to face it.
blah, blah, blah. our kids should have it easy, all of the time! (see why he's good for me?)

Judson has always done well going to the nursery at church
and now, he loves his bible class and is eager to go to church every week!
he's confident, obedient (i think) and social.
this is because GT was consistent in pushing me to take him and also his personality.

and i quote. 
"i'm not saying cut off their leg and throw them in the ditch. I'm talking about the nursery- Mrs. Canales, animal crackers, Veggietales. Come on! It's a pretty solid environment. If you can't adjust to that, then what're they going to adjust to? home, mom and dad?!"
buddy got some headphones and we can't get enough of him wearing them, ha!

since we are new to the disciplining part of parenting, i started reading John Rosemonds Parenting by the Book 
and it is full of good stuff.
i've only just begun, but i am very excited!
and will probably discuss it as i read further

I also remind myself daily, that my children are given to us so that we can prepare them to be God-fearing, responsible, independent, law-abiding citizens.
and to embody of the fruits of the spirit, loving others.
(not much, huh?)
it is our job to honor God with our parenting.

Judson will be two next month, so i suppose his behavior should come as no surprise, but it does.
every single time.
i don't think it's crazy for me to have certain expectations of my children and enforce discipline even if their behavior is consistent with a phase such as "the terrible 2's". it begins.

hit me with your best parenting advice or hilarious toddler tantrum stories.
i'm open to hearing both

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

so long sweet, sweaty summer

the end of summer, but not the end of the heat and humidity
the beginning of hunting season; the end of having GT home for weeks on end
the beginning of football season; the end of HGTV 

it's a great time of year
love me some fall
birthdays start rolling in like whoa!
starting with my awesome sis-in-law Jamie's... which is today!
an oldie, but goodie (the picture, not Jamie..she's not old)
Happy birthday to the bestest, smartest, craziest, funnest, fittest momma, sister, friend out there!
Happy 21st you James!

this summer has been beautiful
bringing with it a new Taylor, which has made the Summer of 2014 my favorite summer yet
except for the Summer of 2010, in which i married my love
so, i have two favorite summers

i failed to document the summer holidays, so let's do that now
we enjoyed each holiday, with a lot of fun events in between
they were all very low key, since we stayed at home
that's a first for us
typically we are out of town for at least one summer holiday, but we were homebound for the first two awaiting Townes arrival

Memorial Day
Jake, jamie and crew came in town 
we spent most of it outside, watching the boys play
you will see Judson's outfit again....
boy loves him some "John"

4th of July
i was trying to have a baby
so Jake, jamie and crew came in town again! 
hooray for them!
we had a big family shin-dig at my Aunt Chrys's for lunch then headed out to friends for a huge gathering/campaign kick-off for our good friend Zach Dashers campaign for Congress!
go team Dasher!

GT and I worked on some projects
him-a workstation
me-a dresser
i also ran sprints up and down our driveway trying to induce labor, which didn't happen until 4 days later

Labor Day was ultra low-key
we hung around the house, which is the first time for us EVER
usually, GT dove hunts on Labor day, but he will be going this coming weekend instead
my parents were in Alaska (seriously)
so we had lunch at my mamaw Jo's, which was delicious
GT mowed
i made a breakfast casserole for dinner
and we kicked it with our boys
kinda perfect 

cheers to an excellent summer!
and hello to a, sure to be, lovely fall!

i sure am thankful God gave us seasons