Tuesday, March 25, 2014

an ode to daddy

From the day I first laid eyes on Mr. Bell on a sunny September day, I've had a spring in my step and a flutter in my heart. For almost ten years, I had him all to myself. He was my Friday night date and the one I could always count on for a Sunday afternoon nap. He rivals Emeril on the grill and makes a mean cup of coffee. He rarely wears anything other than a baseball hat and blue jeans, and my friends, he wears them well. He is the voice I love to hear, the blush on my cheek, the hand I love to hold. He's my person. And I am his.

The time I first had to share him was on the day we welcomed our baby boy into the world. On a late May evening, Brian gave a piece of his heart away.

He has always wanted a son. Someone to do boy things with.
Because, apparently, I don't hunt right.
How was I to know that perfume and pearls don't go with camouflage?

From that late night in May, my heart has fallen all over in love with the man I call husband, and who our little person affectionately calls, "Da Da."

Our date nights are a little less frequent. And his blue jeans often have traces of Nilla Wafer crumbs. And our Sunday afternoon naps are now three deep.

And I think that's just the way I like it.

Moments like these,
with Baker fishing from Brian's knee,

and early morning pancake picnics,

and too fast rides on a too big toy

these are the moments I will forever remember.


Friday, March 21, 2014

World Down Syndrome Day - Unending blessings

I am known to think all the thinks.

I think too long.
I think too high.
I think too deep.
I think too early.
I think too late.

On this World Down Syndrome Day, my mind is doing what it does so well, thinking all the thinks.

I woke up this morning at a time no sane person should be doing anything but log sawing. Since sleep had forsaken me, I trudged from the bedroom, grabbed my favorite white down throw, and made my way to our new back porch. This spot is slowly becoming one of my favorites in our home. Harley, our four year, four legged child greeted me with a slobbery, sleepy kiss and nudged me until I gave in and scratched him just so under his worn leather collar. With my feet propped on the table, my body warm inside the throw, my sweet pup purring beside me, squirrels awakening in the trees overhead, I prayed.

When my prayers quieted, I opened Jesus Calling.

March 21.
World Down Syndrome Day.

The two words tucked in the middle hold so much weight and so little at the same time.
Words, that before Baker was born, caused trembling and angst deep down to my core.
Words, that today, I will proudly wear emblazoned on my Team Baker shirt.
Words, that today, are just words.
They are not defining words.
They are not confining words.
They are words of hope.
They are words that have fostered friendships.
They are words that have opened doors.
They are words that have beckoned celebrations.

Today, March 21.
"Trust Me and don't be afraid, for I am your Strength and your Song. Think what it means to have Me as your Strength. I spoke the universe into existence; My Power is absolutely unlimited! Humans weakness, consecrated to Me, is like a magnet drawing My Power into your neediness. However, fear can block the flow of My Strength into you. Instead of trying to fight your fears, concentrate on trusting Me. When you relate to Me in confident trust, there is no limit on how much I can strengthen you."

And the verse to accompany today's devotion, it's perfectly perfect. "Surely you have granted him unending blessings..." Psalms 21:6

Unending blessings.
That's what I think when I think about Baker.
Unending blessings.

With the sun now creeping over the horizon in the distance, the birds beginning to sing their morning song, and the blissful drone of the coffee maker dripping caffeinated goodness into the pot below, I am awed by the Lord's unending blessings.

Many of which come in the form of a little boy who has stolen my heart and carries it so tenderly in his.

My Baker.
With his brown eyes that sparkle and his toofie smile that shines.
His hands that tangle and twist in my hair.
His feet that beckon to be bare.
His hair that lays every which way but down.
His eyelashes that are going to be the death of my loving firmness.
His kiss that is open mouthed and planted out of the blue, just because.
His love for books that will trick me in to breaking bedtime just for the sheer joy of reading to my little boy.
His mark on my body.
His mark on my heart.
His fondness for his daddy and wrestling and getting dirt in all his cracks and crevices and bouncing too high and sliding too fast.
His early morning song.
His need to look under, and check in, and discover all things new.
His afternoon routine of feeding Harley too many dog bones. And threatening to taste more than just one.
His smile. His laugh. His breath. His smell. His love.
Unending blessings.

I also wrote about celebrating World Down Syndrome Day last year. I invite you to read that post here.

Monday, March 17, 2014


I have always loved March 17.

It's a day we celebrate my beautiful friend, Ashley. She is a wonderful friend and the best mommy to a most precious little boy.

I get to eat Lucky Charms for breakfast.
Hello yummy goodness that is a bowl of milk filled with sugar, coated in sugar, and sprinkled with more sugar.
All the things are covered with leprechauns, glitter, pots of gold, clovers, and rainbows.
And it's a good excuse to wear my favorite green scarf and ink my boy with a glittery green tattoo.

Today, the good Lord gave me another reason to love March 17.

It is a day I will always remember as the day Baker walked.
Click on the video icon or access the YouTube video here.
I promise, you will want to watch all 28 seconds. Promise, promise!

From the day he was born, Brian and I have prayed over every inch of Baker's little body. We have prayed strength, and increased muscle tone, and for his little body to work in perfect harmony to walk in its time. We have gone to therapies, and ordered special orthotics, shoes, and hip helpers to teach and train his muscles. We have bandaged skinned knees, and kissed bitty baby bruises, and cheered big cheers. We have laughed and celebrated and encouraged and challenged.
Today, Baker walked.
Today, prayers were answered.
Today, we have grinned giddy grins.
Today, we have boasted in the goodness of our Lord and His perfect timing.
Today, I ordered a new pair of tennis shoes. I am quite certain my days of sitting are long gone. My boy is on the move and he is unstoppable.
Watch out world. Baker Boy is unstoppable!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

This past week, our school, along with schools across the nation, participated in Read Across America.

I read so many Dr. Seuss books to our students, I daily checked my pockets for wockets, answered all questions with, "I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I am!" (regardless of whether the inquiry was food related) and spoke in silly rhymes all the time.

To the older students, I read Oh, the Places You'll Go!

I am someone who would rather nestle into a favorite spot on the patio, bare feet begging to be even lightly smooched by the peeking sun, a glass of ice cold lemonade sweating into a cold pool on the warm concrete beside me, a book petitioning me to breathe in its words and bask in the comfort of its covers than almost anything else.

It's no surprise then that this week ties Spring Break as one of my favorites to be a teacher.

As I read the pages of Oh, the Places You'll Go, imploring boys and girls to tuck the words of inspiration and encouragement deep down in their hearts, my mind wandered to thoughts of another little boy.

My little boy.

Later that night, after Baker was fast asleep, I tiptoed into his room.

The words I whispered were muffled by the rhythmic hum of the humidifier and sound machine.

I read, page by page, by the muted glow of the nightlight plugged into the wall upon which I propped.

I breathed the words of one of Dr. Seuss's most famous books over Baker.

Words of affirmation, of hope, of encouragement, of strength, and of perseverance danced over his sleeping body.

By the time I finished, I was ready to wake him up. Right then and there. No matter is was 2 hours and 18 minutes past his bedtime. He was armed. Ready.
Albeit, snoozing.

These words were no longer rhymes written in black and white and nailed to the pages of a book. They were prayers, petitions, my heart's cry for Baker.

I believe in him.
No diagnosis. No disability. No delays. No nothing will stand in his way.

I reversed out of his room, backtracking the steps I had taken a few minutes before.

I paused at the door, and uttered to my still soundly sleeping toddler,

"With your head full of brains, and your feet full of shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose...Kid, you will move mountains."

And he will.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

i carry your heart

"i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)"
e.e. cummings


all day.
i carry your heart in mine.