Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Parading

One of our favorite past traditions in Tennessee was lining Main Street with friends to cheer on passing high school bands and homemade floats on pickup trucks.
Meanwhile, DC's idea of a parade involves camping out 4 hours ahead of time to secure a glimpse of a passing cirque du soleil acrobat troupe and sitting in a traffic jam the rest of the day to leave the city.
So when grandparents, aunts, and uncles were headed to a small town, Christmas parade tradition of their own, we were eager to tag along.
Boys ran and played, picnicked, and pushed it as close as they could to jumping over a stream without getting wet.
The highlight was playing in the closed two lane road before the parade began.
When else is Mom gonna give you permission to go crazy on the asphalt since she's usually hollering to get back from the road.
So after jumping, running, and holding a mock parade of their own we bundled up and huddled up together to cheer on the parade.
And the hometown parade was perfect, in every small town Christmas way.
Local fire department trucks, police cars, BBQ catering companies, boy scouts, Civil War re-enactors, and county fair beauty queens all rolled by throwing hoards of candy for eager cheering boys.
Harrison got invited to join a baseball team, Jefferson ate his weight in candy canes, and Wilson scored fans with his loud "Merry Christmas!" greeting.
Muscle cars, nativity floats, karate students, and marching bands with even more candy throwing all wrapped up with a Santa appearance in a bucket and ladder truck.
And leave it to my boys to completely overlook the jolly man in red for the excitement of seeing the giant ladder firetruck, completely convinced it was a Transformer...boys :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Visions of Sugar Stuck All Over Their Hands

Christmastime is a time for giving, celebrating, and turning a blind eye to the sugar content devoured over the 25 preceding days, give or take a few.
I try to be pretty healthy in our eating choices as much as budget and picky pallets allow, but how can I say "no" to wide eyed boys staring at tubs of green icing on the grocery shelf?
The sugar, the food dyes, nutrition, are all pushed aside for the magic, the mess, and the memories.
The calendar flips faster every year and the Christmases are coming and going more quickly as these boys grow.
While I have a house full of sticky fingered, Christmas pumped, all-hands-on-deck little men I'm going to make the most of every single sugar covered, icing blobbed, sprinkle coated moment.
Decembers are going to come when the excitement over ice cream cone Christmas trees is gone but I'll have memories of these sugar coated little hands.
And I look forward to the future memories ahead of magical Decembers with my men and their families, but in this moment, this December, and this year, I say dance on sugarplums.

Monday, December 8, 2014

17 Weeks

How Far Along: 17 Weeks (again, a week late. Seeing a trend?)
Size of Baby: 5 inches, about the size of a large onion
Gender: We find out Christmas Eve!
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but I've been gathering and washing them to be ready for use soon. I'm so glad leggins and tunic tops are trendy right now since this seems to be my pregnancy uniform these days :)
Movement: A ton more! Kicks are getting stronger, flips are getting more obvious, and ice cream makes this kid flip out!
Cravings: Still love a good turkey sandwich, cream of fruit oatmeal, and bad-for-you cereals (fruit loops, lucky charms, pops etc.)
Symptoms: This week with a combination of late nights and intense workouts I felt a new kind of tired that left me wiped out and crashing earlier than usual, but I guess growing a baby is a workout on its own too! 
Best Moment of the Week: Matt was able to feel the baby for the first time this week. I ate some Blue Bell Moo-llenium crunch, if you haven't had some, get some. Baby clearly approved with an hour long celebration of back hand springs and round house kicks which Matt got to feel as well :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

LEGO Theology

I never knew five year old's could stress about the future, but then again, since becoming a parent, I've learned more than all my years of formal education ever taught me.
Harrison and I were riding in the car when he confided his inner turmoil, "Mom, I really don't know what I'm going to do. I want to be so many things when I grown up, and I know for most of the things I want to be I need to make plans for the kind of school or training I need. But I can't do it all and I'm afraid I'll pick the wrong one and not be able to get back to the right one."
"I want to do what God wants me to do, but He hasn't told me what He wants me to do yet." I caught my heart and prayed for wisdom. In my mind he has years ahead to play, grow, and be a kid, but in his five year old world this was catastrophic. He didn't need me to point out the timeline, he needed a compatriot to fight fear head on.
In that quiet car I recited Psalm 119:105 to my furrowed brow boy. "A lamp doesn't give off a light to see the entire route, just enough for the next step. With God's guidance and His Spirit in you, you'll have just what you need for each step." Excitement spread across his little face, "Like LEGO's! If I flipped to the end of the instructions and tried to build from the finished picture I'd mess it all up and miss out on how I even got there!"...
"But when I go page by page I know which blocks I need and how they fit together! That's just like God! He will give me the blocks I need for each day to build my life! I won't be overwhelmed by the finished project just taking one page of instructions at a time!" 
And just like that the worry and fear melted from his face replaced with peace and contentment. He was done and moved on but I was left pondering deep in my heart the words of wisdom my little boy spoke into me without knowing. 
I was full of wonder at the lesson I just learned from my five year old and with awe at our God who spoke to a boy through LEGO's.

Monday, December 1, 2014

16 Weeks

(A week late, but better late than never?)
How Far Along: 16 Weeks
Size of Baby: 4 1/2 inches, about the size of a large avocado
Gender: We find out Christmas Eve!
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but starting to see a definite baby bump and will be pulling out the more comfy wardrobe very soon!
Movement: Baby is definitely growing because I'm feeling more tiny kicks and rolls, one of the best parts of pregnancy.
Cravings: With Thanksgiving this week I got my fill of turkey cravings :)
Symptoms: Besides the precious little kicks and frequent bathroom stops, I've been feeling great! I still work out and the boys keep me moving non-stop, so baby and I get plenty of exercise!
Best Moment of the Week: Getting to hear baby's heartbeat at my 16 week appointment and scheduling our big 20 week ultrasound for Christmas Eve! I can't wait to go buy our baby's first Christmas present after we find out!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Full of Thanks 2014 Interview

Once again, time for an entertaining interview with the brothers... 
(And for previous entertainment here are the Full of Thanks Interviews 2012 and 2013 :)
What is one thing/item you are thankful for? 
Harrison: That I have a Buzz Lightyear toy 
Jefferson: For my Blades Rescuebot Transformer
Who is a person you are thankful for?
Harrison: Bean
Jefferson: My Daddy! (yelled loudly)
What is something spiritual you are thankful for?
Harrison: That God has given us a nice house to live in and we are safe there!
Jefferson: God loves me! (more yelling)
What is a weakness you have that you are thankful for?
Harrison: Well, I'm not as good at being an American Ninja Warrior yet, but I'll practice so I can jump across all that stuff and climb and I'm thankful for that!
Jefferson: Um, pico and chips!
What is a health related thing you are thankful for?
Harrison: Motrin
Jefferson: I can see in the dark!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving Day food?
Harrison: The turkey leg!
Jefferson: Yeah, turkey!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Talents, Teams, and Candy

Nothing like taking boys to a ripe hunting ground of competitive opportunities to watch personalities, talents, and sugar addictions come out.
Of course the opportunity for fun, games, and candy fell on one of the coldest nights of the year we had so far.
So we bundled up enough to make people in Minnesota laugh at our cold weather sissiness and hit the festival fun.
And we learned a lot about these little men, who are growing way too fast, but that's besides the point.
We learned their competitive nature is alive and strong even beyond the imaginary contests around the house.
We saw cold weather, rogue wind gusts, gloves, and bulky coats get blamed for missed throws and unhit targets.
We saw victory dances enough to rival NFL wide receivers in the end zone and cheers and chants enough to start a pep club.
Wils didn't care too much about the saga of carnival frivolity as long as he had something sweet and sticky near his lips. 
But even with the silent "one-upping" and "outdoing" I was proud to see it all in good nature.
Because along with the competition came encouragement and pride in their brother's attempts at nailing his shot.
And while Harrison's passion may not be kicking a football through the posts, he sure has a deadly accuracy with his football aim.
He threaded that pigskin through an old tire out throwing the loud show-off bunch of teenagers ahead of him.
And while Jefferson may not be quite the arm his big brother is, at least yet, his kick sure surpassed the same group of cocky teens leaving stares as he picked his sugary reward.
And I saw competing brothers clap each other on backs and offer praises of "well done" in genuine congratulations.
So a little competition around here is no big deal, it's healthy, it's good for them as they sharpen each other in bettering themselves.
But what's even better to me was watching the "team" mentality grow as well, identifying the other brothers as being on "their side."
Those comradery moments seem few and far between at times, but we can build on this, this knowledge that no matter how many dragged out, kicked down fights and squabbles they get into, they know their brothers are there for them.
They have each others backs and each others best interests. In the end, they're a team, even with their inner competitiveness. And of course consuming their candy bar loot together helps those bonds too.