Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sweet memory

Today the boys and I were out running errands.  The weather has been terrible so we were at the children's museum this morning but while out I forgot to get a change of address form at the post office.  So- post nap- we ventured out again.  I'm not sure if it was the sucker from the lady at the post office, but Hudson was quite chatty as we drove back across town.  He is so funny; very curious, a questioner, observant, and usually has a comment or question about everything.

So as we were driving he was pointing out everything he saw out his window.  I much as I hate to say it, I am not always tuned in during our car rides.  Hudson's voice is so small that I don't always hear what he is saying and because everything he says is important (which it is) if I don't hear him correctly he gets a little upset, repeating it until I do.  You can see how this can be a *tad* distracting.  

But today was different. I was tuned in to his cheerful commentary of our drive.  To the birds he was pointing out. To the "BIG FISH!" he saw as we drove past the old tackle shop, now turned bar (I think?).  

We then past St. Mary's, a hospital in our town, and Hudson commented on their big flag.  I told him I saw it and then reminded him that that was where baby Beau was born.  I asked if he remember when he met Beau with Mommy at the hospital. 

"Oh yeah, I went there," he replied.

A few moments passed and then I heard him again from the backseat, "Mickey was born at the hospital."

"Mickey was born at that hospital?" I replied, a mix of confusion at his statement and humored that Mickey could come into a conversation about things being born because I was quite sure Hudson didn't really understand the birth concept.

"No, no, no." (His standard reply when I speak on a topic incorrectly.) "My Mickey was born at that hospital."

It dawned on me.  Andrew and I had bought a present to give Hudson at the hospital when he came to meet Beau.  He chose a Mickey that said several catch phrases from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Hudson remembered. I love that my sweet boy remembers that day, even if it is just the Mickey.  That day was one of my favorite memories, and today, I got to relive it again. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Walking by faith

So much as happened over the last week.  It has been a busy summer of packing and house hunting, making offers, and praying God's will so we can all be together in Pittsfield.  Our family has been so blessed to have the help of our family and friends as we are transitioning.

As you know, Andrew and I had made an offer an home that had been accepted.  This home held a lot of my dreams for our family- a forever home, a home to expand in, a home to make our own.  The downfall of this 100+ year old gem was that it needed a new roof.  Upon inspection we learned that the roof had 0 life in it.  Andrew and I talked, crunched numbers (several times) and made a plan of what we could do to fix the roof situation.  We presented that to the seller.  Never in my mind did I think that the seller wouldn't split the cost of the repair.  Yet that was what happened.  On Monday she countered and it Andrew and I realized, that without her meeting us halfway, our yellow house, would never be ours.

That was a tough blow.  I really had envisioned changing that house into our new family home.  It was where I saw us in Pittsfield.  And, at that time, there were NO other prospects on our list.  I was feeling very low.  Honestly, I wasn't sure what God's plan was.  I went out with a group of friends that night and told them about it.  I can not say enough how blessed I am by these women.  Their words of encouragement give me so much strength.

Poor Andrew.  I know I haven't been easy on him through all of this.  Although our boys are so sweet, they are at ages that they both need lots of attention.  Doing that all day/all night (see our previous post about Beau's "sleeping" habits) without your partner can be exhausting.  Add to that the unknown and there have been many times that I just have not been as gracious as I am called to be.

Adding to our stress, we were closing on our home that Thursday.  We had to have all our things out- and we didn't have a place to take them!! Talk about a stressful situation.  We loaded everything Thursday morning into two, yes, two U-hauls. The LOOOONNGG ones! Our closing was scheduled for that morning but got pushed back to late afternoon, throwing off our whole day.  Andrew and I have moved before but  across town and across state are VERY different games.  There couldn't be any trips back and forth when you are driving two hours one way.

Given our situation, and me being a terrible, crazy, emotional the less than understanding wife, Andrew and secured storage units to take our things. He also had set up a home for us to walk through that he thought would be it.  To be frank, when he sent me the link, I looked at it for about a millisecond before deciding I hated it.  I just wasn't in a place that was to other places.  Ahem

Theme so far of this post- Bekah= difficult human being

After successfully closing (PTL) on our home, we began our drive over, with Andrew and my dad following behind in the two U-hauls. Two hours, by yourself, in a car, is a long time when you are used to getting about two minutes to yourself.  It gave me a lot of time to think, and a lot of time for God to start working on my heart.

When we got there, the first thing we did was go to the walk through Andrew had set up.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! I am just as shocked to type it- but- I LOVED IT! It was anything grandiose or overly different.  But it was homey and it was a house that Andrew and I could make our own. A ranch with room to grow after we finish the basement.  A place that I can raise our family, walk our boys to school.  A backyard big enough to add a swing set and make an area suitable for fall nights around a fire pit with family and friends.

So where are we now? We are still separated.  Most of our belongings are in a storage unit two hours away.  The boys and I are with my parents.  And we still don't have a house..yet.  An offer has been made; we are playing the waiting game.

And where am I now? At peace.  The yellow house wasn't meant to be.  But this  move, it is *still* God's plan.  I don't know how or why, but even in the midst of all the crazy, unknown, and hard parts of this entire situation, I don't doubt the decision Andrew and I made months ago to take this job.  It's weird, and my friends remind me and agree, that even the road getting there has not been one that has been easy, and I have often times wondered what God was doing, I know that this  move is the right step.  That blessings are waiting for our family in following what we know God has called us to do.  I have had to learn to lean on my faith in a very personal way.  God is not showing us the game play, he is leading us, one play at a time.  I can only believe that His plan is the best, trusting in Him, not the seen.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

*Laughed Until We Cried*

This weekend Andrew and I went to Chicago with our friends, Jenny and Tony, for the Jason Aldean concert.  This trip has been a LOOONNG time coming.  Jenny and I bought the tickets back at the beginning of November (before Beau was even born).  Tony turned the big 3-0 this year and Jenny wanted to do something special for his birthday.  We thought a couples weekend would be the perfect way to celebrate. So Jenny and I bought the tickets and then she had to keep it a secret until just a few weeks ago! She is definitely a stronger woman than I am because I am terrible at keeping secrets.  Especially when the secret will make that person so happy and excited..I can not wait! But she did and PTL that Andrew and I didn't slip up and tell on accident!

Saturday morningAndrew and I dropped the boys off with our sweet friends and then picked up Jenny and Tony.  We were seriously like college kids on spring break.  No stress, no kids, and a whole weekend to ourselves! I am pretty sure that Jenny and I talked a mile-a-minute on the drive up.  We never run out of topics to discuss and the boys joined in.  I literally laughed so hard on that car ride.  We ran into some traffic due to road construction which would not have been a big deal except we all had to use the bathroom.  That last leg of the journey seemed a *little* long but we made it. Ahem.

Feeling much better and happy to have arrived!

I was in charge of booking our hotel (read: Andrew was too busy so I had to suck it up and do it myself). I was a little nervous because Chicago is big and there are like a million hotels so trying to figure out a fun place to stay that wasn't too far from Wrigley but not too expensive.  I mean, there are a lot of variables to consider.  So, I did a little research, set a dollar amount, and pricelined it hoping we would get something good.  AND WE DID! 

We stayed downtown at this little gem.
The Palmer House

It was such a pretty hotel that had so much character.  We got checked in and changed knowing that we would want to get something to eat and some drinks before heading to Wrigley.  We met back in the lobby and went outside trying to figure out where to go.  Now the Douglass' have the same mentality as the Bruces': no chains and eat somewhere different than home.  Some of the best places we have ever eaten are hole in the wall, off the beaten path places.  A gentleman working at the hotel gave us some recommendations so we set off to see what we could find.  

We stopped at a place called Rudy's Bar and Grill.  It was such a good pick.  We sat and talked there for about an hour before hailing a cab and heading towards Wrigley.  

We got inside, got some drinks, and found our seats.  The stadium was already buzzing.  I have never been to a stadium concert so didn't really know what to expect.  I can honestly say that I think stadium concerts are now  my favorite.  I love that they are outdoors.  I love all the buzz and excitement.  It just felt, I don't know, bigger somehow.  Our seats were ah-may-zing if I do say so myself.  We were a few rows off of the dugout (visitor's side, I think)  We had such a great view of the stage.  

The concert was set to start at 6:30 which seemed a little early to me but it was such a great line-up of people.  Thomas Rhett was the first opener.  He played all of his well known hits and we played picture time!

Next was Jake Owen.  I like Jake Owen.  I like his songs.  But- he was so fun to watch in concert.  You could really see his personality come out.  We sang along and danced a little and...took more pictures!

There was a little break before the next performer.  I have to say this was one of the highlights of the concert for me.  Being an avid American Idol fan (pre this last season..couldn't do another round of new judges. I was out) I am a huge Kelly Clarkson fan.  I bought her Breakaway CD in high school and my friend, Mindy, and I literally knew all the songs. So when I found out she was going to perform I was STOKED! And let me tell you- she did not disappoint! Girl, can S.I.N.G!! We were up out of seats dancing and singing (Jenny and I) like we were on stage with her! She seems so genuine and down to earth! She was awesome in concert! 

As they set up for Jason, we- you guessed it- took a *few* more pictures. :) 

 We noticed people checking their phones and then started seeing some crew covering the speakers with plastic wrap? What the world? So we checked our phones and sure enough rain was coming.  And rain it did, but did that stop Jason? No. And it sure didn't stop us! Last year the four of us saw Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan perform in concert literally feet from us.  I seriously thought that concert could never be topped.  I was WRONG! Jason was amazing!!! We decided today on our drive home that he played the perfect play list of old and new songs! And the rain made it even more fun somehow! We sang and danced the night away!!

The concert ended at about 11:30 and seeing that we had dinner at, um, 4...we were STARVING! We headed back to the hotel and right next door was a little pub called Millers.  Oh.mi.word, people! It is a stop I would make again.  The boys got burgers and Jenny and I got spinach and artichoke dip (our own, we were not about to share).  It was out of this world delicious! We rehashed all our favorite parts of the concert and how it will be hard to top.

The next morning we checked out and left our bags to see what we could find for brunch.  Another, uber helpful doorman gave us a restaurant recommendation. This man should be tipped for recommendation alone. If you are near Chicago, RUN don't walk to Meli's Cafe and Juice Bar. It was a 30 minute wait and after eating there, I would gladly wait that and more.  The boys got these amazing egg skillets, Jenny had this wonderful scrambler and I had a delicious egg sandwich.  It was so much food but I did not leave a bite.  It was too good!

After breakfast, we loaded the car and headed home to our babies.  I know that this weekend will be one that we remember forever.  Andrew and I are so blessed to call these two friends.  I can not wait for our next trip together, kids or no kids, it will be fun!!  

8 Months (and a couple of weeks ;) )

I can not believe my sweet Beau Bear is already eight months old. I feel like this whole time with him has gone so fast.  That being said, I can't think back to how it was before Beau was a part of our brood.  It seems like we have been a family of four always.

I want to remember always all the things our family does, the wonderfully funny tidbits my kids say and the crazy things they do.  I hope that one day when your grown, Beau, you and your siblings will look back on this *scrapbook* fondly. And to our family and friends, I hope you enjoy sharing in it now!!

Sleep:  You, sweet boy, are STILL not sleeping through the night.  You go down for the night about 6:45 or 7.  You must have your deer lovie, taggie, and waffle-knit blankie for bedtime and naps.  You usually wake about 12 and 4 to eat again. I think it is purely for comfort and extra snuggles, not out of necessity.  I know I should work harder to sleep train you but I simply can not. You are still a baby to me. You nap once in the morning and once in the afternoon; usually about an hour and half to two hours.  (Although sometimes you bless me with long naps and I can get a little rest too!)

Food: I still am nursing you although you are so interested and curious that it can be a challenge.  You LOVE mealtimes and eat three meals a day.  You are not a picky eater at all and for that I am grateful. You love fruit and veggie mixes but aren't really a fan of eating your green vegetables as a stand alone. You have also been working on your hand-eye coordination eating puffs and rice wafers.  It is so fun to watch you put them into your mouth with about a 50/50 success rate.

Social:  Ever since you were born we have been on the move.  With an older brother you were certainly have been toted to many play dates and outings. You enjoy being outside in your exersaucer and stroller.  You love to be on the ground in the grass. You LOVE LOVE LOVE the water! We went to the pool with friends and I have never seen such a happy baby in the water.

Milestones: You say ma-ma and da-da just not really at us with recognition yet.  You started pulling yourself up and standing which is so wonderful to watch your face light up as you do it! You try to move and take steps on your own but no luck.  I think you will be an early walker for sure.

You sure do bless our lives, Beau! We love you so much!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Rocky Top Tennessee

So sorry for the hiatus but this girl has been on vacation!!! Our little family of four joined my parents, and both of my brothers and their respective families for a little getaway in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  

The plan was to leave in the middle of the night so our boys could sleep on the way down.  Driving 10+ hours with two little ones is an adventure that you never know how it will go.  So if we could ease ourselves into it with them sleeping a good portion of the trip that was fine by me!

Andrew rushed home from work on Friday to pack (as he is living in Pittsfield currently) add his bags and be on our way.  I volunteered to start the drive knowing Andrew needed to get a *few* hours of sleep before driving our precious cargo.  Beau and Hudson both transitioned to the car so easily.  But sweet Hudson, since we had been talking lots about our "trip" was really excited and didn't fall back asleep right away.  It was so cute to hear his little voice from the back seat commenting on how dark it was or "we going on a trip, mama."

We were following my parents down and stopped in Lexington the next morning for breakfast.  We changed the boys out of their pjs and into their clothes to continue our journey.  Can I just ask what people did before portable DVD players?  Hudson watched a movie and half and by then we were pulling into Pigeon Forge and that was enough to keep that little one entertained with everything to see! And I swear, Beau is the easiest baby on the planet! Have Beau. Will Travel

We met up with Zach, Rachel and their boys at the pool.  I love, love, love little boys.  They are curious, and mischievous and just all kinds of fun!

After swimming we headed back to our cabin.  Our cabin was beautiful, people! It was on top of a mountain, literally.  It had three levels and was just so perfect for a getaway.  I would love to see it decorated at Christmas time but not sure I'd want to risk driving up the mountain if ice or snow came.  Jay and Tori had arrived and we all got settled.  Mom, Dad, and Tori made dinner for everyone that night.  It was so good for the kiddos to be able to move around and play after being in the car for so long and Aunt Rachel was on the ball (even with a 6 week old) and packed some toys to keep the "big boys" entertained. 

The next day our family ventured out to an indoor water park. It was so nice and had plenty for all the kids to do. (Sweet baby Emmett slept most of the time except to eat and get in some tummy time.  He is such a good baby!!) If there is one thing my boys love, IT'S THE WATER! We put Hudson in a life jacket because he wanted to do everything "by hisself!" He was swimming the lazy river! And I'm pretty sure in another life Beau was a fish.  He is a happy kid but in the water he just grins and grins.  He didn't care if he was getting splashed or dunked. He LOVED it!

Later that night we went out to dinner at this wonderful little Mexican restaurant down an the strip in Gatlinburg.  They had awesome food and AMAZING drinks.  It was such a good meal after all day water fun! We followed up our dinner with a walk on around the shops and a little ice cream treat! :) 

 When we got back to the cabin the boys changed into their pjs for some more play time. For some reason, Hudson has been on a superman kick- kid has never seen the show.  So we tied his blanket to make a cape.  Well, Graham had to have one too.  Then they added hats.  A John Deere and fedora superman? T-R-E-N-D-Y!

 The next morning, our little family had planned to go Ripley's aquarium.  Hudson loves animals and we knew he would enjoy seeing all the different creatures they had! We were headed out to our car and had to take pause.  Outside our cabin were 4 baby black bears which meant, mama was close too. It was such a highlight to our trip! We actually stood on the porch of our cabin to snap some pictures and also our balcony!
They broke through our trash container in the back and apparently wanted some corn on the cob!

Once we were sure we could escape make a safe exit, we headed to the aquarium.  Note Hudson's hands behind his back.  He literally stood like that at every exhibit.  It was so much fun.  We got to see them feed the penguins and stingrays.  Definitely a great part of our trip!

We went back to the cabin to have lunch and pack up.  We headed back a day early because Andrew had to be back at work for payroll (BOO!)  We soaked up the last bits of family time! So grateful to have that time together to build memories! I can not wait for our next adventure! :)

Hudson 2 Beau 8 months