Monday, December 31, 2012

Twelve Going On Thirteen

So I suppose the last day of the year gets me thinking about all that's happened over the past 365 days. I'm not much one for living in the past or making resolutions for the future, but I do love laughing at memories, bad pictures, days gone wrong, and sweet moments caught forever in time.
Hard to believe the year started off with my chunky monkey 6 month old and my energizer bunny 2 year old. We hit the ground running at the beginning of 2012 and never stopped.
February bought along new achievements of sitting up and climbing trees. We took a road trip to Virginia for Aunt Lina's wedding shower where Jeff was diagnosed with pneumonia and Harrison basked in the spoiling of all grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
March in Tennessee ushered in summertime so the days were lived outdoors. Harrison celebrated his third birthday and promptly asked when he would be 12. He was a ring bearer in Aunt Lina's wedding and became a bike riding fiend. Jeff started army crawling and my days of chasing 2 officially began.
April bought with it our super hero phase of capes and masks. It came with adventures in creek explorations, falling into fire ant hills, and discovering Jeff will eat anything you put in front of him. It brought with it neckties and shades and our favorite tradition of celebrating Easter in Pensacola, FL.
By May the days were long and hot and we lived by the pool, or at least our 6" inflatable one on the patio. I ran my first official race, Harrison became and archer, and Jeff started breaking out of his shell becoming Mr. Social.
June took us to California where we spent a week exploring sights we'd only ever heard about. We dipped out toes in the icy Pacific, walked along Laguna Beach, followed the Hollywood walk of fame, and soaked up every memory making moment we possible could.
July left us with two big boys as Jeff celebrated his 1 year birthday. The month also included fireworks, snow cones, a Virginia road trip, and staying as cool as possible in triple digit heat. By the end of this month Matt was figuring out a big change was about to occur, though I was still in the dark...
August arrived and with it gold medal dreams of my future Olympian, county fairs with corn dogs and cotton candy, a growing independence in my hands-on little men, and the two little blue lines that gave us the surprise of a lifetime as we all celebrated Baby Clark 3.
September saw morning sickness, night sickness, and car sickness. We traveled to the Outer Banks for a week and I lived off popsicles while the boys lived off sea and sand. There was sword fighting, morning jogs with sisters, suntan lines, and establishing a love of the coast in my boys. This trip also helped us complete a "Sea to shining sea" accomplishment having gone to the Gulf Coast, Pacific, and then to the Atlantic within a 5 month time span.
October saw changing leaves waving goodbye to the summer days and falling in crunchy piles for my boys to wallow in. We went to a local festival celebrating all things "pig", got to ride in a monster truck, attended the boys most anticipated annual touch-a-truck, and threw a huge party when morning sickness went away with the first trimester!
November saw shorter days, a country full of decisions and questions, days focused on thankfulness and gratitude, and the opportunity to be surrounded with family on another trip to Virginia. November also introduced us to our third son, Wilson Tyler and began our anticipation to living life with our three little men.
December was once again a magical month where the days drag too slowly for little boys counting down til Christmas and speed by way too fast for momma's wanting to cherish the days of little ones making memories. We wrapped our tree in lights, our presents in paper, and our arms around each other as the month bought about changes that took us on a roller coaster ride. 
Our 2013 looks to be an adventure in the making and why wouldn't it be? We thank God for the blessings and lessons of 2012. We dedicate the unknown 12 months that lie ahead to His glory and we step forward into the New Year ready to be used by Him! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snowflakes on Eyelashes...and Tongues

It snowed this weekend! Well, let me define "snow" for you...
It lightly flurried off and on and resulted in a pathetic dusting on mulch beds and ditches, but to us, it snowed!
To my boys who either have never seen a real snow fall or don't remember, this was snow.
It was worth running outside coat-less and camera armed to catch their excitement as they worked to catch flakes.
Of course with boys, it quickly developed into a competition of who could catch more.
But their competitive attempts only resulted in successfully hindering the hope of any kind of accumulation to build around our patio.
With only one flake falling every 30 seconds and spaced every five feet or so it was hard to even catch one on your hand.
But don't tell that to these tongue wielding wildmen running around shrieking in the gently falling white stuff.
To them, this was a big snow and to me it was worth every bit of their sheer joy in celebrating the beauty in even a dusting of the wintery mix.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Twas The Night Before Christmas

We've had a blast establishing our own new traditions, but we have also really enjoyed celebrating cherished old traditions we each grew up on.
One of Matt's cherished traditions includes his favorite Italian Christmas Eve Salad. It involves lots of cooking, strong smells, and things with tentacles, but it is beloved and we will carry on the tradition proudly.
One of my favorite traditions is turning off all the lights except the bright ones wrapped around the Christmas tree, everyone getting a special cup of sparkling cider, and curling up while Dad reads the account of Jesus' birth from the Bible.
So our night before Christmas may sound like a Norman Rockwell painting of hand-me-down family recipes and snuggled in pj's quietly listening to Matt read the Bible, but the truth was it was something more of chaos and craze.
We may have ended up with more sparkling cider on the carpet then in the cups, we may have had a debate with Harrison about how having to spend the night in a stable is not as cool as he thinks it would be, and the lights may have actually short circuited (thanks to my hubby for figuring a fix that did not involve us having to go out on Christmas Eve to buy new lights and redecorate the tree).
But the night before Christmas truly is a magical night, especially with two bursting with excitement boys. I have no idea what that poem is talking about with "not a creature stirring" because that is so not reality on the eve of Christmas, but I wouldn't have it any other way:)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

23 Weeks

Pregnancy This Week
How Far Along: 23 weeks
Size of Baby: Between 11-12 inches and just over 1lb, about the size of an eggplant
Gender: Boy! Wilson Tyler!
Weight Gain: Around 5lbs, but I go the doctor tomorrow and with Christmas candy and baking I'm sure that number has grown! :)
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but at the end of the day Wilson protests a ton at the snugness of my jean's waistband. I told Matt I feel like I just gorged myself on a feast by the end of the day with everything so uncomfortable in there, so I'm thinking the idea of stretchy, comfy maternity clothes may start sounding good soon.
Movement: Wilson's kicks are getting stronger and more pronounced. He is very active right after I work out, anytime he hears the boys going wild and hyper, and at night right as I start to drift off to sleep :)
Cravings: This week we have been hit with a stomach bug. So between cleaning puke clothes, blowouts, dirty sheets, and disinfecting, my appetite has hit the hills. Hopefully the germs are gone and we can get some little boys well!
Symptoms: None really, just the over-full stomach feel at the end of the day and Wilson's tumbles and kicks:)
Best Moment of the Week: Two of them actually- First: Harrison was curled up and had his head in my lap. Wilson started kicking at the back of his head. At first Harrison looked up at me funny and I asked him if he felt something and he said, "Something funny in my head!" I told him it was Wilson kicking at him and he sat up straight staring wide eyed at my tummy, smiled, then laid back down to get Wilson to kick him again. :)
The Second: When we ask Jeff where Wilson is he just started last night pointing to my tummy saying, "Wils" and then kisses right on my belly button. But clearly he's a bit confused because we asked him later where Wilson was and he pointed to his own tummy and exclaimed, "Wils!"

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Do You Hear What We Hear?

Things We May Have Heard...or Said...on Christmas Day
The mulitood (multitude) of angels was like 105 of them!
You lost a cannon in the Christmas tree?
I've never quite seen anyone eat a cookie that way.
Mommy and Daddy are going to take a break from playing Transformers so we can open some of our presents.
Can we open more presents after nap?
Thanks for not getting me frankensacks (frankincense) for a present!
This is the bestest Christmas I never ever had before!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Interview with Harrison

What were the gifts the Wisemen bought Jesus? Murse, treasure and simpersense
Where was Jesus born? In a manger
What is one present you want most? The Millenium Falcon, the real one!
What present do you want to get Jeff? A real dog so we can share him!
What is your favorite part of Christmas so far? Football! Oh and putting lights and stuff on our tree.
What is your favorite Christmas song? Awise Naninod (Feliz Navidad)
What is your favorite Christmas treat to eat? The sprinkles and icing we used on our cookies we decorated!
What is your favorite Christmas movie? The Grinch and the Silly Guy Movie (Elf)
What's the real meaning of Christmas? Baby Jesus came out of Mary's tummy and grew up to die for my sins on the cross. But He's not still dead, He's alive!

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Chaos

This Christmas has been filled with way more anticipation and excitement than years past and a lot of that has to do with Harrison being older and with Jefferson picking up on his hyper joy.
So with two giddy boys we've set out to take our fill of tacky Christmas lights, marshmallow overloaded hot chocolate, nightly Christmas movies, and every kids favorite Christmas pastime...cookie decorating.
We pulled out the sprinkles and icing, baked a huge batch of sugar cookie cut outs and let them at it. They painted with colored glazes, sprinkled and dumped, tasted and tasted some more. I'm pretty sure more were eaten than decorated.
We came out on the other side sticky, stained, hyper, and happy. The boys were thrilled with their cookie creations and bouncing off the walls (literally) from sugar overload.
I've noticed this year the baking takes longer, the messes are bigger, and the kitchen stays messier. But the memories are sweeter, the joy is more contagious, and the goodies we create taste so much better than ever before and I'm pretty sure I owe that to my two hyper-on-Christmas boys:)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

22 Weeks

Pregnancy This Week
How Far Along: 22 Weeks
Size of Baby: About 1lb and 11" long, or the length of a package of Oreo's :)
Weight Gain: About 5lbs
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, though the top in the pictures is a maternity top. Harrison saw it at the store and said, "Mommy, this would be so beautiful on you! You would look like the most pretty princess ever!" So what's a girl to do? Of course I had to buy it and wear it for him :)
Gender: Boy! Wilson Tyler!
Movement: Getting more pronounced pushes and punches. He has started the "alien baby" thing where he pushes out really hard in one spot making my tummy look extra weird!
Cravings: Fruit of any kind, all the time. And I'm back into that extra nutritional phase of craving sugary, over processed junk cereal...bring on the honey smacks!
Symptoms: Nothing really, feeling great, the boys are keeping me hopping and making time fly by! The only hard part of being pregnant around Christmas time is not being able to indulge in cookie dough and bowl licking during all this baking!
Best Moment of the Week: Matt and I were watching Harrison and Jefferson wrestle and Matt mentioned looking forward to seeing all three of our boys tackling each other one day. It became fun to think about life with our three little men :)
Big brothers wanted to take "tummy pictures" too :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

8 Wonderful Years Together

It’s hard to believe it has been eight years, at least to me it is. Eight years has brought a lot of change in our lives, but there is no one I would rather have by my side the past eight years or the next eighty years than Megan. 
Our family has grown; we are now outnumbered blessed by our children (though you wouldn’t see these pictures without Harrison’s expert photography). But the foundation of our relationship, our marriage, remains the same.
I love you Megan. 
Happy Eighth Anniversary!

And just for fun, here we are about to go to one of my law school balls shortly after we were married (yes, we found an old disposable camera in our attic last week).

Monday, December 17, 2012

The End of the World

Harrison has finally outgrown the destructive phase and is into building and creating. Jefferson on the other hand still finds great pleasure in destroying block towers and train tracks.
Which is exactly what was happening when Harrison sat wide eyed as his tornado of a brother whittled down the stacks and towers he had just finished building. Jefferson giddily shrieked with each explosion and to finish it off, launched each block across the room with his own sound effects.
A solemn Harrison who had just sat there observing his linebacker brother enjoy every minute of his destructive play looked up at me and very seriously said, "I'm pretty sure Jeff wants to destroy the world, but don't worry, I'll stop him."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lessons With Harrison

On: Pharaoh v. Moses
When the bad guy wouldn't let the good guys' people go, God sent some flax (plagues) on all the bad guys. He turned water to blood, animals died, there were tons of frogs, and bees, and huge crocodiles came out of the water and tried to eat all the bad guys.
On: How Babies are Born
You just go to store when your tummy is huge and take it (the baby) off a shelf and put it in your cart to buy.
On: Jesus' Birthday
You gotta have a party on your birthday, so we should have a party for Jesus, and of course there should be cake...a big one...a chockwhat one! And Jesus needs presents. Since He's so big and the most powerful one ever He needs big a house or a car! And I want to give him my heart, but how do I just open up my tummy and get it out for Him?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

21 Weeks

Pregnancy This Week
How Far Along: 21 weeks
Size of Baby: About 3/4lbs and over 10" long, about the length of a large carrot
Weight Gain: About 5lbs. and I can finally now show off an official baby bump!
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but starting to think about pulling them down from the attic to see what I have.
Gender: Boy! Wilson Tyler!
Movement: More in the evenings once I finally crash into bed. He kicks especially hard when he hears his brothers and Daddy.
Cravings: Fruit of any kind, dried, fresh it doesn't matter; sandwiches; and new weird daily morning must have, sausage egg and cheese sandwich mmmm:)
Symptoms:  Nothing really, feeling great...running and working out every day, chasing Wilson's two big brothers, and enjoying every minute with my manly crew God has blessed me with!
Best Moment of the Week: Harrison isn't one for affection or to pay attention to detail, so for him to pay attention to Wilson and his growth is far from expected. But the other night he crawled up beside me and loving placed his hand on my belly and gently rubbed it and barely whispered, "Hi Wilson." To see my rough tough big boy show this little moment was enough to bring tears to this hormonal momma's eyes :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Not The Real Santa!

One perk of living in small town USA is the small town Christmas traditions, like the annual Christmas parade down Main Street.
Businesses and churches, policemen and paramedics decorate and light up their cars for a parade that is the perfect length for hyperactive boys.
The high school bands pound out drums just loud and long enough to keep these energy balls enthralled and of course the mounds of candy being thrown out of the passing floats doesn't hurt either.
Last year Jeff was a bundled up five month old content to wait it our in the stroller, but this year he wanted in on the action!
Both boys bravely dodged dance teams and marching bands to save any candy bar stragglers left on the parade route from certain crushing death.
The boys took in their fill of sirens, chocolate, taxidermied deer heads pulling sleighs, and one of the night's favorites, the float carrying the peewee football league. I'm sure Harrison had visions of football players dance in his head that night.
Of course the highlight of my night, and maybe for any innocent bystanders or parade marchers was the moment of Santa's sleigh arrival. If you've seen the movie "Elf" then you will understand Harrison's outburst...
As all surrounding children cheered for the jolly man in red, my child was the one pointing and shouting, "That's not the real Santa! You're not the real Santa!" Afterwards, we loaded up our candy loot and sugar coated boys who both agreed we should have parades every day!