Thursday, June 26, 2014

differently the same

In a world of black and white, there is
good and bad
day and night
light and dark
up and down
left and right
beginning and end
empty and full
stop and go
easy and hard
different and same
In a world of black and white,
things are easy.

But, we live in a world of color.
A world where lines are blurred and boundaries are broken.
A world where different is sometimes the same
and the same is sometimes different.
Baker is different.
Baker is the same.
My boy loves the beach.
This past week, we visited the gulf coast with my family.
As I watched Baker, I couldn't help but fall over and over again in love with my two year old.
watching him interact with the world
seeing things through his eyes
witnessing him adapt to new environments
Those things are the most incredible gift.
Some of Baker's behaviors are typical of most toddlers;
others are unique, special to my special boy.
Baker loves the sand.
He crunched it between his teeth, massaged it in his hair, rubbed it between his hands,
and hid his feet in its protective cover. No spot of flesh was exempt from the grainy goodness.

He gets a kick out of throwing.
balls, kisses, forks, blueberries, picture frames, remotes, tantrums
You name it, he throws it.
He is the boyest boy I know.
He splashes big, jumps high, laughs hard, and screams loud.

He loves who he knows.
And he knows who he loves.
(and his Jessie Girl is one he loves fiercely)

He eats like a teenager.
This boy is a bottomless pit.
But is oh so picky.
He is sensitive to textures and is leery of anything foreign to his main menu.

He is mischievous and oh so silly.
He is serious and sweet.
His kisses are sloppy and delectable.
He is messy and loud.
He is independent and resourceful.
He cuddles and snuggles.
He high fives and fist bumps (and pulls fingers, but that's another post for another day).
He is a peacemaker and a people pleaser.
He is a thrill seeker and a life lover.
He loves big and laughs hard.
He teaches and he learns.
He is the same and he is different.
He lives life in color.
He breaks boundaries. 
He is my Baker Boy and I couldn't be more proud to call him mine.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five on Friday

on involving children random acts of kindness

This past week, Baker and I scheduled a play date with some of our favorite kiddos. We love hanging out with this precious family.

Throughout the school year, we would plan ice cream outings and backyard shenanigans. When we set the date for our first get-together of the summer, I racked my brain trying to decide what we could do that was different than the things we had already done. I thought back to some posts from bloggers I follow about involving kids in random acts of kindness. I had always dismissed these, thinking we would join in when Baker gets older. Here was our chance! There are no children more joy-filled, and I jumped at the opportunity to schedule a day more meaningful than water slides and sunscreen.

It was the best day! I wish I had hidden a camera to video everything.

The sweet conversations among the children, "While we're at Target, we can buy water bottles to pass out at a construction site. We can also smile at a stranger, leave an encouraging note for a mother on a changing table." And from another, "Ohhh yeah, we can also let someone go in front of us in line." And the youngest, "Yeah, and I am going to help someone unload her groceries. Hey, while we wait in line, we can be writing notes to leave on windshields in the parking lot."
Later, driving down the road, I overheard, "Jenn, I know we didn't plan to give anything to that man beside us, but it looks like his car doesn't have air conditioning. And it's really hot out here. Can we give him a water bottle?" And the girls, "I'm thinking about that verse in James to write at the bottom of this note, but I don't remember the address." "I have a good Bible verse for that note, let's use this one..."

I was mush. The Lord was using these children and it was incredible to watch.

They chose the following acts of kindness (and already have an ongoing list for our next playdate)
one. leave coins on a drink machine
two. leave a note of encouragement for a mother on a changing table
three. smile at a stranger
four. compliment a stranger
five. buy dog treats for a local vet's office
six. take flowers to a nursing home resident who doesn't have family in town
seven. pass out popsicles to workers at an oil change garage
eight. take water bottles to construction workers
nine. leave encouraging notes on windshields
ten. help someone load or unload their groceries
eleven. let someone go in front of us in line
twelve. buy a stranger's meal
thirteen. chalk attack! etch words of encouragement and love in chalk
I shared more about this fabulous day on Instagram. Come see!

on my recent addiction to roasted veggies

I can't get enough roasted vegetables. It's true. No vegetable is safe from being tossed in olive oil, sprinkled with garlic salt, and being thrown in the oven to do it's marvelously delicious thing.

For lunch today, it's roasted tomatoes, green beans, and avocado over a half pita for a roasted veggie pizza, of sorts.

on summertime and me time

Baker is in school this summer. I mourned the thought all school year. What would I do without my Baker Boy all day long?

Kidding. Sorta.

I have come to love the few hours I have each day to savor the quiet, clean our home, prepare dinner, read, and check items off my summer bucket list.

This time is allowing our family time together to be more intentional. Here's to being a hand free mama.

on Father's Day

I just love this Father's Day card Baker made for Brian this year. So perfect for his favorite hero. And I am the biggest sucker for personalized cards.

on a mischievous toddler

Baker has learned to open doors. Everything that was safe, is no longer safe. Times, my friends, they are a changing. And I quite love it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

when I think about a father

when I think about a father,
I think about a man

who, with the same hands, works tirelessly to provide for his family and lovingly bandages a skinned knee

who, with the same voice, screams I love yous and whispers gentle corrections

who, with the same feet, twirls his wife around the kitchen floor in a midnight slow dance and pulls his two year old in a red wagon teeming with a dozen of his closest stuffed friends

who, on the same knees, kneels before his Maker and teaches how to loop, swoop, and pull just so to tie itty bitty tennis shoes

who, with the same eyes, memorizes the beauty of a morning sunrise and admires a toddler's artwork as if it holds the value and prestige of the Mona Lisa

who, with the same arms, builds a fort to rival all forts and soothes his baby to sleep

who, with the same tongue, sings praises to his Savior and encourages his family to be dreamers of the biggest and wildest dreams
who, with the same nose, gives tender butterfly kisses and sniffs a steak to grilled perfection
who, with the same heart, loves fiercely and loves tenderly
when I think about a father, I think about this man
 I think about the man who steals my heart everyday
 I think about the man who is my little boy's biggest hero
when I think about a father, I am most grateful God gave our family you


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Summer Reading List

All is right in the world,
for I am once again a card carrying member of the Tuscaloosa Public Library!
I love summer for many reasons, with one of the biggest, I get to catch up on reading.
Here's what I am checking out this summer.
 The One and Only
Emily Giffin

Parenting the Wholehearted Child
Jeannie Cunnion
Seating Arrangements
Maggie Shipstead

The Nesting Place
The Nester

The Invention of Wings
Sue Monk Kidd
Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
Maria Semple
The Antelope in the Living Room
Melanie Shankle
The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy
Nora Roberts
I loved the Bride quartet series, and my best friend Mallory suggested these.
She has impeccable taste in books!
Lauren Oliver
The Husband's Secret
Liane Moriarty
Bread and Wine
Shauna Niequist
Shepherding a Child's Heart
Tedd Tripp
The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Total Money Makeover
Dave Ramsey
 My list is all over the place.
Fiction, nonfiction...I try not to leave any genre, any character, any destination off the list.
I love it all!
What are you reading this summer?