Friday, November 29, 2013

A Birthday Bucket List

It's my birthday!!
In fact, it's my golden birthday!!
In honor of my twenty-ninth birthday, my very last year as a twenty-something, before hitting the big 3-0, I am making a birthday bucket list.
A list of things I want to accomplish in what God promises to be a year full of even more than I could ever ask or imagine.
So, why not?

One. Spend an entire weekend free of social media - no blogging, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Twitter, no messaging, not even any Googling. Just me and my boys. We live in a world that says, "If you don't _______ (fill in the blank - tweet about it, take a picture of it, post about it), then it never happened." Well, shucks. I'm proving that way wrong.
Two. Take off a day of work to volunteer at Baker's school. Here's to shucking my teacher badge for a whole day and wearing my mommy hat. Yippee skippy.
Three. Buy a stranger's lunch.
Four. Watch a sunrise. Watch a sunset.
Five. Read a just for fun book. Read a devotional. Read a how-to book.
Six. Share the gospel with twelve people. Ten seems too predictable, thirteen seems way scary.
Seven. Send an I'm thinking about you happy note to at least one person every week.
Eight. Go on a fancy date with my husband once a month. Here's to high heels, and bright lipstick, and big hair, and dazzling, and wooing, and falling all over in love.
Nine. Do at least five spontaneous somethings - plan a vacation and leave in the same hour, eat something new off the menu at my favorite restaurant, make an unplanned purchase.
Ten. Train for and run a race. It's neither here nor there that I failed to acknowledge the length of the race. We'll see.
Eleven. Adopt a child from World Vision. I have wanted to do this since Baker was born. While I think it would be perfectly fine to choose any child, I want a boy or girl who shares Baker's birthday. Each year, as we plan his party, we will also help this new friend celebrate the day of his or her birth. Birthdays are special, and should be celebrated as such.
Twelve. Get something waxed. Never have I ever, ever had any part of my body waxed. And as an almost thirty year old, I think it's a rite of passage.
Thirteen. Learn how to change a flat tire. Learn something new. Or at least how to pop my hood. Being married to a Mr. Fix It, I need to know none of these things. I think, as a woman of age, I should be educated.
Fourteen. Go to an Alabama football game outside of Bryant Denny Stadium. I have been to my fair share of home games, but it's high time I visit some of these non-championship winning SEC stadiums. Roll Tide, y'all.
Fifteen. Plant a garden with Baker. Grow fruits and vegetables. Eat them, cook with them, share them. Enjoy this. The dirt digging, and fingernail cleaning, and seed planting, and soil watering, and plant sprouting amazing process of things growing from the ground.
Sixteen. Go to a movie. Buy a huge drink and a big bucket of popcorn. With lots of butter and zero regrets.
Seventeen. Kiss my husband in four different states.

Eighteen. Go to the beach. Build sandcastles, keep Baker up way past his bedtime to experience the thrill of hunting crabs by flashlight, go on a dolphin cruise, take cheesy beach pictures in coordinating outfits, get airbrushed t-shirts made to commemorate the event.

Nineteen. Go to a concert. Preferably one that involves the outdoors and cowboy boots.

Twenty. Sit down in chair at the salon, sans pictures, sans specific instructions with pointing and measuring, and all the details of how I want my hair cut and styled, and say only, "Go."

Eeeekkk. That one took a lot out of me.

Twenty-one. Buy a fancy bottle of wine. No fancy occasion required.

Twenty-two. Do a service project with Brian and Baker. I'm still praying about how this looks for us.

Twenty-three. Take a photography class.

Twenty-four. Join the Be the Match registry.

Twenty-five. Go on a girl's trip. Only friends. No children. No husbands. Tons of belly-aching laughter, inside joke sharing, memory making fun.

Twenty-six. Teach Baker the simple joy of cooking. Pancake batter head to toe, chocolate chips strewn haphazardly across the counter, syrup sticking to every surface. Yes, I think we will start with chocolate chip pancakes.

Twenty-seven. Test drive an impractical car. I envision something with only two doors, no top, great speakers, faster than law allows, music blaring.

Twenty-eight. Go to an amusement park. Ride roller coasters, eat funnel cakes, buy the expensive souvenir pictures.

Twenty-nine. Live intentionally. Love each day. Cherish those most dear. Be purposeful. Spread joy. Smell flowers. Read books. Hand write notes. Sing loudly. Skip in the street. Smile. Play board games. Walk barefooted in wet grass. Swing. Make homemade bread. Pick pecans.

Here's to a year of life loving, double dare taking, memory making, dreams coming true.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

From my family to yours, a very Happy Thanksgiving.
The three of us are abundantly grateful for each of you.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.
Psalms 118:1

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The best laid plans

For those of you who know me,
and those of you who don't,
let me introduce myself.

Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am a planner.

Not like the cool party planning kind.
A life planner.
A day planner.
A minute by minute, mile by mile planner.

I plan my grocery shopping excursions by aisle with a well detailed list. And usually know the exact total I will spend within about three dollars.

I plan outfits by functionality first and fashion second, obviously.

I plan outings by my child's nap schedule. And then I plan my route with a precision MapQuest would envy.

I plan my days with a carefully crafted "To Do" list in order of importance and time of completion.

I planned for scholarships to college, and perfectly paved the way through school to ensure they would be awarded. I took the right classes, made the right grades, joined and led the right clubs, and played the right sports.

As a child, I planned my career, who I would marry, and the names of my children. I knew the type of neighborhood in which I would walk my dog, the bowl on the counter that would house fresh fruit, and the stash of chocolate chip cookies that would be planted for children to find for after school snacks.

I am a planner.
And this suits me quite well.
I crave predictability and despise the unknown.
I like routine and structure, and spontaneity and surprises make me nervous.
I am a list maker. An agenda follower.

Quite frankly, if it were up to me, I would know the final score before the game begins, the time my son would awaken when I lay him down to dream, and which red lights will stop me as I depart my driveway.

I have learned, and not without heartache or frank stubbornness on my part, life happens when you least expect it. The Lord shows Himself in the unplanned, unpredicted days and minutes of life.

I have learned that I need faith more than I need lists.
I have learned that the Lord brings sunsets and rainbows, children with special needs, heavy traffic when I am hurried to break my plans and show me his glory.

Yesterday, my eighteen month old, Baker, had a nasty stomach virus. Obviously, this was not in my plans.

I had, however, planned to take off work for his Thanksgiving feast at school. I had planned the red shirt I would wear that would coordinate perfectly with the appliqued Turkey leaves on his monogrammed shirt. I had planned for the sweet potato casserole topped with roasted marshmallows for the children in his room. I had planned "I'm Thankful For" happys for his teachers and therapists. I had planned for a trip to Starbucks immediately following school - the coffee to keep me warm and energized and the red cup to add to the cheer and festivity in the air as we would get an early start on our Christmas shopping. I had planned for a long nap, in the living room, me sacrificing the beckoning household chores to hold my sleeping boy.

Much to my dismay, there was no sweet potato casserole, or turkey appliques, or an indulgent cup of coffee. There were Saltines and Pedialyte, there were loads of laundry, there were tears. It was bad. Baker was so sick.

Why did that happen?
Why did Baker get sick on that day, at that time?
Why did a tornado devastate my beautiful hometown that fateful April day?
Why did my sweet friend lose another baby?
Why was Baker born with Down Syndrome?
Why do things happen outside of our plans?
Why are our plans changed?

I think,
to remind me of His power and greatness,
to remind me of His almighty control and my lack thereof,
to remind me of His glory,
to strengthen my faith,
to remind me that I need Jesus.

Thank you, sweet Savior, for breaking my plans - the little ones, the big ones.
For using the unknown, the unplanned, to bring glory to Your Name. For nullifying my petty lists and agendas to allow me to be a part of Your great plan for my life. Thank you, precious Jesus, for loving me enough, for being my strength, my steadfast grip. Your ways are Greater, Your name is Higher. Today, and every day, I choose You.

Thank you for letting me be Baker's mommy. For giving us days of sickness so we praise you even more for his health. In all things, to You alone, I give thanks.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Twenty-nine and holding

My husband turned 29 for the first time today.
And since everyone claims 29 for every year past 29,
nobody actually believed me when I told them Brian was turning 29 today!
I have always loved birthdays,
but now that I have experienced a birth day as a mama,
I truly recognize just how special a birthday is.
From the minute Brian woke up this morning, we celebrated him.
To the one my soul loves,
to the one Baker calls Daddy,
to the one who leads our family in the Lord,
to the one who holds my hand, and who holds my heart,
Happy Birthday.
We love you!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Black Friday Giveaway!

I'm so excited to bring you the Black Friday Shopping Spree Giveaway today!  I'm teaming up with a group of my favorite bloggers to give one lucky reader $350 Paypal cash on Black's that for a shopping spree?
Meet your hosts!
Leslie - Lamberts Lately
I am a wife to Noah and a mommy to Emma Ramey.  I blog at Lamberts Lately about life, family, beautiful things, and anything home.  When I'm not blogging, I love Alabama football, a great dinner, and time with family.
Blog  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Amy - Total Tippins Takeover
I'm Amy and I blog over at Total Tippins Takeover. I write about my faith, our family, and life with three little a little monogramming, reality tv, and crafting thrown in the mix, too! Blog  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Megan - In This Wonderful Life
I am a Lifestyle Blogger over at In This Wonderful Life. I love journaling life, motherhood with twins and the most random thoughts of my day! Blog  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Lindsay - Baby Mama Drama
I'm Lindsay! Wife to Adam and Mama to Presley--both who I have diagnosed as worlds biggest Drama Queens. Surviving the "Terrible Two's" will be lifes biggest accomplishment--I'm sure of it! Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Lindsey - Blessings, Miracles, and Thoughts in Between
Hi, I'm Lindsey! Late 20s wife to Alex and financial advisor turned stay at home mom to miracle babies Kate and Will, both bone marrow transplant survivors. I am a follower of Christ, infertility survivor, book nerd, and advocate for bone marrow transplant donation! Blog  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Shannon - Life After I Dew
Thirty{ish} years young. Wife turned mama {times two}. Exceptional cook, wannabe crafter. Only child and it shows {sometimes}. I believe honesty is the best policy, reality TV is quality programming and wine is better from a box. Blog  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Emily - Louisiana Bride
I am a teacher by day and the food & lifestyle blogger behind Louisiana Bride by night. I love God, my hubby, our crazy dog Ellie; I can't finish a DIY project to save my life, I'm a foodie, and I consider Target to be my second home. Blog  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Lindsey - A Dollop of My Life
I am a wife & boy mom, and have a deep affection for all things Southern. I blog at A Dollop of My Life, where I chronicle the joys and chaos of running a home of all boys. Blog  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Brittany - Not So Newlyweds
I'm a wife, new mom, and teacher. On my blog, Not So Newlyweds, I share my thoughts on cooking, decorating, fashion, and the ups and downs of everyday real life! Blog  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Jennifer - Life in the Green House
I blog at Life In The Green House about motherhood, what I'm cooking up in my kitchen, the many DIY projects I always manage to talk my husband into pulling out his power tools for, and family. I'm a fan of a great vacation, a good cup of coffee, laughter, and carbs. Blog  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
The Chirping Moms
Courtney & Julie from The Chirping Moms are best friends that met at a neighborhood park. They started their friendship as neighbors, but now Courtney lives in New Jersey & Julie in DC. Together they share their adventures in motherhood along with great activities for kids, crafts, recipes and ideas for family travel. Blog  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Lauren - A Page Is Turned
I'm a wife to a fantastic husband and a teacher-turned-stay-at-home mama to two beautiful, busy boys. I'm a lover of books, cool weather, bundling up, cooking, spending time with my friends and family, and I blog about our day-to-day life at A Page Is Turned. Blog  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Jennifer - Our Dream Come True
I am saved by His amazing grace, happily married to a hunk of a husband, and a new mommy to my precious Baker, who was born with Down Syndrome. I am daily blessed to be living my dream come true. Blog  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Instagram _________________________________________________
Enter with the Giveaway Tools Widget below! This giveaway will close at 9pm (CST) on the night before Thanksgiving, November 27th.  Once it closes, we will pick and contact the winner!
Good luck, and a great big thanks to everyone who enters! Disclaimer:  No purchase necessary.  To enter, participants must use the Giveaway Tools widget above.  This giveaway is not affiliated with or endorsed by Paypal, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Google, or Instagram.  Winner must have a Paypal account to receive winnings.  Winner must be at least 18 years old and a US resident to win.  Giveaway closes at 9pm CST on November 27th, 2013.  Winner will be contacted after the close of the giveaway on November 27th.  Once contacted via email, winner has 24 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen.  Winner is responsible for any applicable taxes on winnings.  Any winning entry will be verified for completeness before winner is contacted.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall fell

I have a thing for alliterations.
It's a serious weakness, really.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
Sister Sally sells seashells by the seashore,
I can get lost in those!
If I were to look back at previous blog posts, I'm afraid I would find there are as many with alliterations in their titles as ones without.
I love them so much, I even married a man with the same first and last initial and then up and named my child Baker Bell.
And here I go again.
This past week I was walking down the hallway at work, and I noticed the trees immediately outside the school doors were losing their leaves rapidly.
The leaves that painted a portrait evidencing the artistic handiwork of His hands.
There are reds, and deep reds, and goldens, and rich goldenrod, and browns, and chocolates, and lattes, and oranges, and so many colors in between, even Crayola himself couldn't combine them so perfectly to put them in a box for us to feebly attempt to recreate.
I noticed they were decreasing in number, because I have noticed their abundance each day.
And as I noticed, I uttered a prayer of thanksgiving, or a song of praise thanking the Lord for creating beauty in our midst.
Our world is full of His love, even the leaves on the trees, proclaim the beauty of the Lord.
Sometimes Fall passes so quickly I fail to even take notice.
I busy myself in the details of life and somehow, it slips by.
The vibrant colors, the fallen leaves, the warm coffee, the smells, and the sights, and the sounds.
I simply fail to see them.
But not this year.
This year, I intended to intentionally notice each thing.
Each characteristic that makes this season so unique.
So coveted.
So loved.
Not only did I see Fall, I experienced Fall, I introduced Baker to Fall.
We have danced in the leaves.
We have donned scarves and jackets and padded our pockets with handwarmers for brisk evening walks.
We have made chicken and dumplings from scratch, and I am still finding flour in Baker's nooks and crannies.
We have sipped hot chocolate and nibbled candy corn.
Fall fell here in our sweet home, Alabama,
and we have loved every minute.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Our dream come true - eighteen months later

I am a tired mama tonight.
I spent a wonderful Veteran's Day with my Baker Boy.
My Baker Boy who is a big eighteen month old today!
I am feeling especially euphoric tonight.
Maybe it's the overwhelming feeling of gratitude to those who serve and have served our country who have allowed me the opportunity to live and worship freely.
Maybe it's the feeling that today, I didn't miss a single smile, a single word, a single moment as a mommy.
Maybe it's the high I am still on after a day of worship singing praises to the One who is worthy of all my praise.
Whatever the reason, I am glad for it.
The feeling is only perpetuated as I look back at sweet pictures from the previous week.
On the way to Barnes and Noble for a weeknight date with Brian and Baker, I captured this priceless picture - Brian singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with Baker. I love the way he loves our boy, and unashamedly sings nursery rhymes smack dab in the middle of McFarland Boulevard!
While we were there, I got a little emotional.
The thought struck me, that right there, in the middle of the pages of some of the greatest stories ever written, we were writing our own. A story for the ages. A story of love, a story of hope, a story of us.

On Friday, Rise hosted a "Beat LSU" pep rally.
It was incredible!
Big Al, the pep band, cheerleaders, and the Crimson Cabaret were all there.
We love Rise and we love the way the University of Alabama loves Rise!
This beautiful girl is now a member of the Crimson Cabaret. It's hard to believe I babysat her and then taught her Sunday School class. We love Miss Hannah!

My handsome boys after church on Sunday.
Baker and his Nana are thick as thieves. They have a relationship like none I have ever seen.
We are so blessed she is part of our lives!

Doctor Baker is in the house.
And just so you know, this favorite toy is currently fever free and ready to return to school tomorrow.

Brian built Baker a swing set yesterday afternoon and the smiles have multiplied exponentially.
We were swinging to the sunrise this morning.
Oh, how I love days home with this little boy.

Baker and I made our way to Columbus today to surprise some of my favorite teachers.
We also got to have lunch with BeBe.
What a special treat!

We finished the day with a Fall photo shoot. I cannot wait to share those pictures with you!
We sang this song in church Sunday and I cannot get enough!
"The Great I Am"
Phillips, Craig, and Dean
Wishing you all a very happy Veteran's Day and a fabulous week!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why me?

The one show I watch all week, Scandal, is on, but my brain won't let me commit to watching it until I churn out a few thoughts. So, here goes. A very quick Thursday evening post.

Why me?

Do you ever ask yourself that?

I had a fender bender. In five o'clock traffic. After I had already taken off my bra. Why me?

My husband and I have been trying for six years to get pregnant. We will be the best mother and father a child could hope for. But, alas, we wait. Why me?

Of the 1.5 million people that choose flying as their mode of transportation today, I am the one that got chosen to be strip searched, suitcase ransacked. Like a criminal, my Gap jeans and Victoria's Secret unmentionables were strewn across the airport in search for who knows what? Why me?

No? You don't ask that? Just me?

As long as we're being honest, I have, on occasion asked why me in response to many life events. Although I pinky promise that each of the aforementioned scenarios are completely hypothetical. Used only to make a case. Honest. Hypothetical. Especially the first one. Honest.

I've uttered a few why me's? Although they came more as a whine than an utter. And usually they are petty. Like Mugshots is out of my favorite hamburger. Or there are no front row parking spots. Or I have to work today. Why me?

There's another that's a little less petty, but still not warranted.

So while we are being honest, I would not be truthful if I said that we received Baker's diagnosis and shot fireworks, released balloons and threw a party in celebration.

There were many why me's called out in the hospital. Holding my baby, his precious little body in mine. Why me? Lord Jesus, why me? Why a child with a disability? Why the medical bills? Why the delays? Why me? Why did the Lord choose me?

But tonight, after a parent teacher meeting at school, where our talented fifth graders presented a heartwarming tribute to veterans, it wasn't the performers some rushed to greet, but Baker. Visitors received coveted hugs, day brightening smiles, air blown kisses.

And I thought, why me? Why do I get to receive this blessing? Why did the Lord choose me? Why have I been the recipient of such love? Why do I get to celebrate the gift of his life? Why do I get to witness the blessing of his smile? Why do I get to see seemingly simple milestones accomplished after the work of intense perseverance and dedication? Why me? Why, of all the others, did Jesus choose me to be Baker's mommy?

This side of heaven, I may never know. And that's okay with me.

I'm just glad He chose me. I am so very glad He chose me.

If you are there, at the intersection of Why Me and Dear God Why Me, I am praying for you. I covet the opportunity to pray for you specifically, to call you by name to our Jesus. That He turn your sorrows into dancing your weeping to laughter.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:9

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

'Tis the Season

'Tis the Season

I love that.

It can go either way - positive or negative.

The Ho Hums

The kids have another "I'm Thankful For" project. For the love of posters, markers, scissors, construction paper, paint, tape, feathers, rubber cement, glue sticks, and glitter. 'Tis the Season

The school wants you to sell yet another roll of wrapping paper for a fundraiser. Or can of nuts. Or set of magazines. 'Tis the Season

The entire family needs matching outfits for portraits, the oldest needs a white turtleneck to paint for a school craft, the middle needs a black shirt to wear in her play, and the youngest needs new tennis shoes, because kids grow faster than the pesky weeds overtaking the front flowerbed. 'Tis the Season

We've been invited to our fourteenth Thanksgiving dinner, and they need deviled eggs. Just like the first thirteen. 'Tis the Season

The Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-las'

The department store threw in an unexpected discount. 'Tis the Season

My son came home with a Thanksgiving art project, complete with a turkey painted hand print - with each feather finger labeled - Mommy, Daddy, Harley Dog, Mommy, Daddy. No matter how big it grows, it still fits perfectly in mine. I am two times thankful for you too, my sweet baby boy. - 'Tis the Season

It's time for pumpkin pies, and sweet potato casseroles with lightly toasted, ooey gooey marshmallows, and turkey and dressing. And while we're at it, pants with an elastic waistband. - 'Tis the Season

Leaves crunching, fire crackling, hot chocolate steaming, scarf wearing. 'Tis the Season

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care. Ornaments were gently unpacked, each one telling a story of a vacation, or proclaiming the arrival of a bundle of joy, or celebration of a new home. - 'Tis the Season

'Tis the season to be jolly. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.

Maybe, just maybe, if I hum that tune from now until December 25, I will remember that.

Because, truthfully, 'tis the season to be jolly. But 'tis also the season to be Scrooge, to be grumpy, to be impatient, to be envious, to be stressed.

In true teacher fashion, I looked up the word.

  • in good spirits; gay; gay; merry
  • cheerfully festive or convivial
  • joyous; happy
  • delightful; charming
The Bible also has plenty to say about this.

  • "For the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10
  • "And all their sorrow was turned to joy." Esther 9:22
  • "Shout with joy to God, all the earth!" Psalms 66:1
  • "Gladness and joy will overtake them." Isaiah 51:11
  • "Be joyful always." 1 Thessalonians 5:16
  • "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control." Galatians 5:22
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are faced with trials of many kinds." James 1:2
I couldn't find the escape clause. You know, the one that says if things did not go my way, or if my child was up half the night and Mama loves her sleep, or if the grocery store was ransacked like the Great Blizzard of 2014 had descended upon the very southern city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or this excuse or petty justification for an attitude other than jolly.

There are trials. There are stresses. There are worries. There are days with little patience. There are days of bitterness.

But, more so, there are days of joy. There are days with answered prayers. There are days where faith is made sight. There are days when a stranger sends a smile. There are days when the car in front of you pays for your tab in the drive through. There are days when a friend's shoulder is dry, eager to catch a falling tear. There are days when a child needs a hug - and only a mama's will do. There are days when a devotional encourages. There are days when chocolate abounds. There are days when love notes are left on car seats.

'Tis the season to be jolly. 'Tis the season to spread joy.

While I don't want to go all Tim Allen version of Santa Claus and gain 200 pounds, grow a white beard, and dress in red and white with a bowl full of jelly, I want to be jolly. I want to point people to Jesus. I want Baker to grow up surrounded by joy. I want him to be an imitator of joy. I want this attitude to permeate my home, my street, my neighborhood, my city, my state, my country, my world. It starts with me.

'Tis the season to be jolly.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

October In Pictures

 Sweet October.

Me too, Anne of Green Gables.
Me too.
October has been a wonderful month.
In every sense of the word.
A month full of wonder.
It was so good, I wasn't quite ready to let go of it.
So, tonight, I am recapturing another month spent with my sweet family.
This month, we celebrated seventeen months of Baker.
We read ALL THE BOOKS at Barnes and Noble.

We spread hope, shared Baker's progress, and celebrated Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
Baker experienced the simple joy of swinging.

 We conquered hand foot and mouth, thanks to the yummy goodness of Taco Casa ice.
We celebrated excellent news from Baker's cardiologist over too much ice cream.

 We did some serious cheesing at Chick fil A.
We visited some of our favorite Columbus folks and their adorably dressed babes.
Oh, how I love these friends.
And miss them terribly!
Brian introduced Baker to the goodness of big boy toys.
We celebrated a Bama victory over Tennessee.
A special thanks to my sweet mom for a lovely photo of our day date.
She's available for hire for all of your photography needs.
Kidding, Mom.
Totally kidding.


We had fun with our little froggy.
I even succumbed to the awkwardness of a selfie to show how much fun holidays are from an elementary school.

Baker loved all of the costumes and disguises, and Halloween songs, and candy.

Sweet Anne, you nailed it.
Thank the good Lord we live in a world where there are Octobers.