Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hot Now

I met my boys for a last minute mid-week date at Krispy Kreme.
Be jealous.
Handsome fellas (one with a cutie patootie pumpkin booty -
I'll let you guess which one),
ooey gooey glazed goodness,
and steaming coffee quietly beckoning me,
made for a glorious afternoon reprieve.
Surveying the scene and selecting the perfect one.
Baker was absolutely mesmerized.

Laying it on thick.
Boy loves his daddy.
Daddy loves his boy.
No doughnuts were consumed in the taking of these pictures.
By the littlest Bell, at least.

But he sure did get close.
His daddy is a troublemaker, for sure!

Ooohh, that face!

And while Hot Now doughnuts were on the menu for Mommy and Daddy,
nothing tastes as good to Baker as that chubby little thumb.
 We all left a little warmer and a little sweeter.
Scrumptious afternoon.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Word that Should be a Word No More

I was not going to publish this post, just write it and let it float in Blogger world without being shared for the world to see. But, isn't this where I promised boldness and honesty? So, here goes...

The R word.
Six months ago, I was guilty of laughing along when people used this obscenity. Ashamedly, I have even been guilty of using it myself along life's way. But now that I have a little boy with special needs, who before his hospital discharge papers had been compiled, had paperwork labeling him "mentally retarded," my vocabulary has changed. Now, I hear the R word and I cringe. Now, I hold my Baker a little bit tighter at the insensitivity and ignorance of others. Not that others always use it out of spite or meanness. No, I think it is a word that has been commonplace for so many years, that people use it because it's a part of their repertoire.

Just this week, I was attending a conference with fellow educators. One of the administrators did not understand a process being presented by the facilitator. Instead of raising her hand and asking for an alternate or additional explanation, she stated, "Apparently I am r- and rode the short bus here today." In her defense, she did not know that five and a half sweet months ago, I gave birth to a little angel with Down Syndrome. But it offended me nonetheless. Before Baker, I may have joined the stifled laughter of her colleagues, but Tuesday, I sat quietly and cringed inwardly, knees weak, stomach churning at her response.

You see, we don't know Baker's mental and physical capabilities. Right now, he is progressing beautifully - far surpassing where anyone predicted he would be. We have high expectations for our Baker Boy, but statistics tell us he will likely be slower mentally and physically than his peers. He will likely have to try a little harder. Participate in a few more therapies. Work more intentionally.

I urge you, remove the R word from your vocabulary.
I urge you, be sensitive to people.
I urge you, love others just as they are.
I urge you, live out the golden rule in your lives.
I urge you, read this.

I also urge you to provide encouragement. To Baker. To me and Brian. To other moms and dads, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers, friends, teachers, and therapists of children with special needs. Lift them up in your prayers. Pray for strength for them. Pray for wisdom as they make decisions that will have a major impact on their child's life. Pray that others who have endured similar situations line their paths to share their stories of hope, love, heartache, and success.

In your journey, wherever that may be, I am praying for you, too.
Praying that God holds you tightly in His palm today. Praying He makes Himself real and known in your life. Praying He comforts hurts, heals wounds, and restores lives.

In Him, our hearts rejoice.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Marvelous Monday

Everyone has his or her own opinions about Mondays.
Yes, is it always difficult returning to work after a wonderful weekend home with my loves.
Yes, the beginning of the week is often one of the most crazed at school.
Yes, it is usually an exhausting day.
Yes, adjectives associated with this day are often synonyms of dreadful.
And yes, Mondays are now one of my favorite days of the week.
Because, although it is difficult going back to work after a coveted weekend, the students and teachers at school are most certainly a little crazy, it is a terribly exhausting day, and more often than not, Mondays are a tad dreadful, but my Mondays now include a little of this action:
Which makes my Monday pretty marvelous.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Fun

Happy Fall, Y'all!
I am loving this gorgeous weather. 
I am loving spending time outside with my boys.
And this weekend, I am loving the pumpkin patch.
Such fun!
How have I lived here for almost five years and never visited this little gem?
What a precious place tucked smackdab in the middle of Smalltown, USA.
Today was a blast!
We had fun picking out orange pumpkins, green pumpkins, pumpkins with warts, striped pumpkins, misshapen pumpkins.
But my favorite, was this little punkin!!
Pumpkins galore, hay rides, ponies, a corn maze, and a cotton jumper.
I can see this being a yearly tradition,
only getting more fun as Baker gets older!


Beautiful day spent making precious memories!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Perfect Day

It was truly the perfect day.
I am struggling to come up with the perfect words to thank our family, friends, and complete strangers who surrounded us today to celebrate Baby Baker.
They came from all over the southeast all to shower us with love.
I am humbled. I am amazed.
I am honored. I am blessed.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words,
so I hope these will provide the words I am struggling to produce.
All for you, sweet boy. We love you to pieces.

Our wonderful Sunday School class brought so many of Baker's buddies they had to bring a bus!


This girl had a pretty great weekend, too. There was some serious bling involved!
Congratulations, Nikki!

Counting our many blessings.
Thank you, Lord. I just want to thank you, Lord.






Our sea of green. So much love. So much support.
So much.

 His bride couldn't be here. So we made sure she was here.
Flat Mal.

Little Man got hot. I love a diapered babe.


Our team, Team Baker. You rock, guys!
 And of course a little grandmother love before we headed home.

Absolutely the perfect day.
I told you yesterday our total was $3109, but today I turned in several hundred more dollars.
I have lost count.
The total matters less than the people who gave.
The ones who passed me in the halls at school apologizing for only being able to give this much, the ones who bought t-shirts and then wore them today showing their support in their absence, the friends I haven't seen since high school, family, parents of friends, friends of friends, blog readers.
You gave, you supported, you loved.
We appreciate.
More than you know.
We love you and are grateful to consider you a part of this most incredible journey.
Be blessed, friends.
Just as you have blessed us.