Tuesday, October 14, 2014

cowboy boots and faith

As soon as we saw certain little anatomy on the ultrasound confirming all things blue,
 we dreamed of a wild, skinned knee, mud-stomping, boot wearing boy.


Baker delivered all things wild, and skinned knees, and mud-stomping soon enough,
but the boots had to wait.


With Baker's different abilities, he requires some different equipment.


When he isn't padding around on his bare tootsies,
he is clomping here and there in his favorite tennis shoes
(most often New Balance 991s) with orthotics.
I posted more about that here.


Brian and I continued to dream about our boy in boots.
And Baker continued slipping his tiny foot into the big leather trough of his daddy's favorite leathers, pretending, as most little boys do, to be just like daddy.


We prayed, with expectation, for Baker's legs to be strong enough,
his ankles to be sure enough,
his balance to be stable enough to wear boots.


Sounds silly, right?
Praying for Baker to be strong enough to wear boots...but we did it.
Just like we prayed for him to crawl, and walk, and speak words, and drink through a straw, and give a high five, and point, and eat with a fork.
Things that might seem menial, but for us, are full of meaning.


They didn't make their debut when our favorite buckaroo turned two,
or on his fieldtrip to the Barnyard,
but finally, on farmer day, they were pulled out of the packaging, and with care, the tiniest cowboy boots were slipped on Baker's feet, and the receipt was finally crumbled and discarded with the day's trash.


We all rejoiced.


Baker pranced proudly around the house, and Brian and I cheered, like we do.
Silly parents, singing and dancing and hooping and hollering, at something so silly as a boy in boots.


 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

books, barnyards, and a big, big boy

I opened my Jesus Calling this morning to this timely reminder, 
 
"Accept each day just as it comes to you,
remembering that I am sovereign over your life.
Rejoice in this day that I have made,
trusting that I am abundantly present in it.
Instead of regretting or resenting the way things are,
thank me in all circumstance.
Trust me and don't be fearful; thank Me and rest in My sovereignty."
 
This week has been full of full days.
Days filled with rejoicing for who He is and all He has given to us.
 
This past week has been filled with book reading, barnyard tripping,
and a boy that just won't stay a baby...no matter how hard I try.
 
one.
mornings spent reading with nanas are quite possibly the best mornings
 
 
two.
field trips where tractors are ridden and fish are fed are right up this bama boy's alley
  
 
three.
 work trips should only be taken here
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth 
 

 
four.
he is far from the baby I used to spend hours rocking
he's my big boy
and I have never loved him more than I do today
 
 

 
 
 
five.
hello handsome
Alabama jerseys are best paired with cowboy hats, big smiles, and bare feet

 
six.
all boy. all day. everyday.

 
 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

No Bake Date and Nut Energy Bites


I have been boycotting granola bars and packaged foods in favor of making my own snacks.

Pinterest is boasting all the latest and greatest in the health food craze, and energy bites are here, there, and everywhere!

I have tried several of the recipes on Pinterest, and like them all just fine. But couldn’t quite find the taste I was searching. So, I made my own and y’all, they are divine!

These are great as a morning or afternoon snack, coupled with hot coffee for breakfast on the go, or a healthy midnight snack.

 

Here’s What You’ll Need:

1 cup Old Fashioned Oats

1 cup Natural Peanut Butter (I prefer crunchy)

½ cup chopped dates

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

2 Tbsp. honey

Here’s how to make this scrumptious treat:

1.    Scoop peanut butter into bowl. Heat for 45 seconds in the microwave. Add all other ingredients. Stir until all are incorporated.

2.    Spoon by rounded teaspoonful onto plate.

3.    Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Monday, September 22, 2014

a day to remember

It was just a typical Sunday.
 
The calendar didn't indicate any spectacular plans, holidays that mandated a celebration, or trips here and there.
 
If that doesn't warrant a Glory! Hallelujah! Amen! and Praise the Lord!, then I just don't know what does.
 
We started it with a chocolate chip pancake picnic on the freshly cleaned kitchen floor.
Scrubbed tile just begs for smearings of syrup, fingerprints of powdered sugar, and smudges of gooey chocolatey morsels.
 
After breakfast, we headed to church for a morning of worship. We sang "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus," and engaged in a wonderful study about being restored from our sinful nature.
There is nothing like being immersed in the Word and engaging in corporate worship among fellow believers.
 
We came home, and ate a stand-at-the-countertop-and-cram-your-face-before-the-toddler-falls-face-first-into-a-sleepy-Sunday-slumber-lunch.
And we almost made it.
Almost.
 
While Baker napped, I tidied the house - started laundry, dressed the bed in clean sheets, ironed and laid out Baker's clothes for the week, cleaned our bathroom (Baker's gets cleaned almost daily - a toddler in tee tee training - hello Clorox wipes), made a grocery list, did a little meal planning, and sent Brian to Lowe's. Like manna for the soul, my main man was restored simply walking among power tools and dirt (insert Tim Taylor grunt). And I was in my happy place, cleaning, organizing, planning, and sneaking little peeks at my sleeping angel. I've learned a little something in my twenty-eight months as Baker's momma - toddler's play hard and crash harder.
 
Baker woke up rearing to go.
 
It didn't take me long to realize -
what started as just an ordinary day,
was most assuredly a day to remember.
 
He had a sparkle in his eyes, which I now know was a healthy dose of mischief, a little smidgen of puffs leftover from his morning snack, and a whole lotta B-O-Y.
 
 
 
I realized there would never be another day dated September 21, 2014.
 
This was our one chance to make this one count.
 
By golly, we were making it a day to remember.
 
 
Doing life with this one is the best way to do life.


 
Transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary is something we do well.

 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

a present no package could contain (a post about Down Syndrome)

I typed quickly, with a fervor and a fire that couldn't be extinguished.
Then, with the same intensity, I deleted every blackened letter and stared blankly at the white space.
 
The words weren't right.
 
They flowed about as fluidly as liquid through a straw with a lemon seed stuck in its interior.
 
I closed the computer, tucked it safely in my school bag.
It was sandwiched between data meeting agendas and notes for the next day's professional development.
 
I beckoned sleep, but sleep did not beckon me.
 
My head held ideas tossing forward and back, as the sheets enveloped my body, mimicking the motion.
 
The thoughts won the unfairly weighted battle, and I retrieved the sleeping computer.
 
It whirred noisily in my lap and wakened as cantankerously as a teenager on a Saturday morning.
 
I have wrapped Down Syndrome in a package.
 
The edges have been folded and carefully secured with transparent tape.
A big, bright, shiny bow has been looped, swooped, and pulled until a masterpiece tops the beautifully adorned parcel.
This is way I present it, just as this is the way it was presented to me.  
 
Most of the time, Down Syndrome is gifted and received with the joy and excitement of a child on Christmas morning.
It is beautiful.
It is most worthy of pictures and "oohhs" and" ahhs."
It warrants proclamations of exultations and declarations of appreciation to the Most Gracious Giver of Gifts.
 
It has opened doors and paved paths.
It has introduced new friends and greater faith.
It is a part of our life, and one I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.
 
But some days, I recognize the struggles Baker has,
and will continue to endure, and my heart aches for him.
 
As a baby, as a toddler, as a child, as a teenager, as an adult,
in some way, shape, or form, his different ability will hinder his development.
 
He will work longer, try harder, more persistently persevere.
Menial tasks will be more arduous.
 
I am his mother. His protector. His cheerleader. His advocate.
 
As such, I want to shield him from all of the hurts, all of the hard days,
all of the unkind words, all of the sideways stares.
 
And when I admit that, the so carefully crafted carton begins to unravel.
 The tape begins to lose its adhesion.
The bow is unfastened.
 
Down Syndrome breaks free, and when it does,
something more magnificent than even the most marvelously manicured package manifests.
 
It no longer conforms to the confines of a casing.
The wrapping paper has been relinquished.
 
There is beauty in the imperfection.
A beauty no box can contain and no d├ęcor can disguise.
 
The packaging has been cast aside.
 
It has been trampled on by our traipsing through the living room in our nightly routine of catch me if you can, and stop me if you dare.
 
It has been diminished in the laughter emanating from our back porch dance parties illuminated by the moon's glow.
 
It has been squelched in the squeals of tickle fights.
 
This boy of mine, he is a present no package could contain.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

with a thankful heart


Three heads were bowed.
Six eyes were closed.
Hands of varying sizes were clutched tightly around the dinner table.
As the blessing was spoken, and “Amen” was uttered, my husband looked up. First at Baker, who still had his head slightly bowed, and his hands clasped tightly beneath his chin, and then at me. He shook his head, with a shake that said, “I just can’t believe it,” pursed his lips, and finally spoke audible words,
"We are so blessed to have Baker. Baker is so blessed to have us.”
 
That man I married, he’s a good egg.
 
We don’t stop in our tracks much. Our lives keep us going and doing, but when we do pause, we stand in awe at the Lord’s goodness and grace in our lives.
 
He never promised our walk would be easy, but he did promise His faithfulness to walk with us.
His promise has endured.
Our hands He has held, our burdens He has carried, our victories He has rejoiced.
And we give Him all of the glory, honor, and praise.

In all things, but especially in our Baker Boy.
For me, it is impossible to look at Baker, and not see joy perfected.  The Lord made Baker special, and He made Baker for a purpose. He has a heart so tender and a determination so fierce. He smiles with his whole being. He loves big and worries little. He is a fighter, an overcomer, a joy-giver.
 
"We are so blessed to have Baker. Baker is so blessed to have us.”

 


I pray we never lose sight of the blessings in our life. I pray we are daily overwhelmed with thanksgiving and gratitude for the undeserved, but oh so sweet miracles so graciously offered to us.
 
PS - I am also pretty thankful the Miss America comes on tonight! Twitter is especially fun on nights of the Miss America pageants. Join the fun and follow me on Twitter here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

do as i say. do as i do.

Do as I say, not as I do.
I've heard it.
I've said it.

I never knew how true those words would ring until I saw myself, flaws and all,
mirrored in my son.


he picks up my phone
swipes the screen
answers
walks away
talks
laughs
talk some more
then, "bye bye"


he smells flowers
no matter where he is
when a bloom is in sight
he stops
he sniffs
he grins


he towels the refrigerator door
ridding it of the smudged artwork left by friendly fingers


he picks up a book
finds a cozy spot
curls his legs under him just so
opens the book
turns the page
breathes a hearty sigh
smiles
turns the page


kisses his daddy on the lips


brushes his teeth
spits
wipes out the sink
gives the mirror a toothy grin


opens the pantry door
scours the bottom shelf
closes it empty handed
opens the pantry door
shrugs his shoulders
settles for the vanilla wafers
closes the door equal parts content and discontent


points his finger
puts his hand on his hip
fusses at Harley
throws him a bone anyway


picks up a heated curler
presses it to his hair
retrieves a clip
creates a cloud of hairspray


opens drawer
selects my Bible
stretches his feet out straight
opens the cover
basks in His word






Every time I see him do the things I do, I am challenged to be a person who can say,
"Do the things I say.
Do the things I do."