Friday, June 27, 2014

A Letter To My Boy on His First Birthday

Goodness, I've been a happy, sad mess all week. It took me nearly an entire box of Kleenex to get through this post. This year has gone by so quickly and words escape me as I sit back and think about just how much life has changed these last 365 days since we welcomed Bennett Bernard into this world. 

My Sweet Baby Bennett,

I remember it like it was yesterday...the day you came into our lives and changed it forever. It was a perfect summer evening, Thursday June 27th and your daddy and I headed to the hospital to get settled in for a long anticipated induction. The following morning our extended families joined us, anxiously awaiting your debut.  FINALLY, nearly 30 hours later we were taken back to the O.R. so we could find a way to bring you to the world and meet your sweet face - June 28th, 2013.
You can read more about all of those details here

Looking back, it seemed to take FOREVER, but in all honesty it happened so quickly and to me it seems like it was over in an instant, though I remember there was lots of prayer, lots of laying in question, lots of tiredness, lots of joy, to be completely honest -- there was also lots of pain, and endless amounts of tears. I can close my eyes and remember hearing your Daddy telling me he could see were here.

Although I didn't conventionally get to hear your baby cries (because I was down for the count for a few moments…) once I heard your Daddy tell me you were here and you were okay, my heart skipped a beat, I was a MOM. That was the day you took my heart and wrapped it around your tiny little finger. That was the single best day of my life. I don't think you were sat down for one second those five days we stayed at the hospital (yes we were there for an enternity) was a constant flow of love and support that flooded through those doors to wish us well and bless this new life God had created.

In the weeks that followed, life was crazy...tough...scary...emotional...but mostly, it was happy. It was learning how to feed and bath you, it was learning what each of your cries meant, it was learning how to overcome the newborn obstacles you threw at us, it was learning to adjust our lives because you were the top priority, and it was your daddy and I learning how to become parents.
Undoubtedly, this year has been the hardest, but BEST and most rewarding year of my life. But I wouldn't have it ANY other way. Daddy and I made the decision for me to be a semi-stay-at-home mama while I work from home, and though sometimes I think being at home is harder, I wouldn't change that decision for one single second. It brings me so much happiness that I get to be the one to wake you up each morning and feed you, put you down for your naps, take afternoon strolls to the park to go swinging, and spend those lazy days where we lounge in our jammies all day and we don't have a care in the world. I treasure each of these moments with you Bennett because it's given me so much joy and pride. We are truly blessed. 

You have made me realize what really matters in life, and that's faith and family. You have taught me so much about myself that I never thought I would know. You have the love and support of so many incredible people in your life and I am thankful for the guidance, help, and assistance from those closest to us...they have shaped me as a person and now they are doing the same for you. It's amazing to watch and witness first-hand.

We have experienced so much together during this first year...your first beach trip, your first plane ride, your first Christmas, your first bouts with sickness and colds, your first teeth, you were baptized, you went to your first baseball game, your first basketball game, your first picnic, your first international trip, your first professional pictures, your first foods-the list goes on and on. And my oh my, what amazing firsts they have been.

Month 1

As much as I am saddened at the thought that today marks the day we officially embark on toddlerhood and we leave behind your days of infancy, you will ALWAYS be my baby...remember that my sweet baby angel. Thank you for showing us a type of love we never knew could exist. Thank you for being our very best boy in the whole wide world Bennett! God gave you so many talents and gifts and I can't wait to see what He has in store for you and your vivacious personality, bundle of energy, infectious smile, and sweet disposition.

I love you Bennett…Happy Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Everyone, Meet Clifton

No, No, No … we are not having another baby, yet! But, Bennett does have a new friend. In the form of a fluffy, furry, fuzzy, stuffed Monkey!  We had dinner at our local strip mall recently and when we got finished early, we decided to take little man to Build a Bear and spend wayyy too much money on a stuffed animal for an early bday present. Money well spent for the shear fact that we got picture #4 in this series!

First, we picked out our Monkey friend and the sound we wanted him to make (oooo oooo ahhh ahhh)
Then, we headed to give him some good ole' stuffing!
 We watched in awe as he came to life!

We picked out the besets heart to make him super sweet.

And put that sweet heart right inside our new friend to help him come to life!
Then we gave our new friend a big, big hug!

 And a big slobbery kiss to get acquainted.

 Then we kept asking, is he really mine? Oh I love him!

 And then finished off the evening by dancing around the store with him!
Welcome to the family little Clifton. We love you already!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Recipe Monday: Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Are you ready for the most creative, genius, delicious, simple sweet breakfast idea that will change your life? Okay, that may be a bit dramatic … But it's really good. Say hello to cinnamon rolls … that become waffles, in about 3 minutes.

Yep, it's that easy.  I'm not really sure I can claim this a "recipe" … but a good idea none-the-less.  Here goes …

Step 1: Warm up the waffle iron and pick out your favorite cinnamon rolls. If you're feeling incredibly feisty and have a ton of time you can even make your own, but for this recipe and what it's worth … save yourself the headache and just buy a package.

Spray your pan with trusty Pam, place one roll in the center of the pan and close. (tip: you can really do two at a time for space and ease, but they won't look as pretty) …  Let the cinnamon roll cook for about a minute or so (it seriously takes no time at all) you just want to check that it's crisp and isn't sticking to the waffle maker.

Lift your lid and VOILA! A perfectly fancy cinnamon roll waffle!

Now of course the best part -- slather on that icing and add some pretty fruit (to make it feel a little more healthy).  And eat your heart out kids.

Cinnamon roll waffles complete. Happy happy day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Life Lately {Photo Dump}

I've been a little absent in blogland lately, and I blame that on my son who has gone from a sweet little cruiser to a full throttle, non stop, bundle of dirty boy energy that I am so busy chasing around I forget there is anything else actually happening in this world. But, don't be fooled. There has been ALOT happening in our world, I've just failed to share.

So let me enlighten you … and reminisce a bit on this spring/beginning of summer because it's rushing by so fast and I fear if I don't share snippets I will forget all together.

We celebrated my daddy-o receiving a huge honor from his alma mater.
We watched my beloved wildcats play in the National Championship! (the money was a bet …we lost … booooooo)

We took a stroll on the FINALLY complete Big Four Bridge.

 We welcomed home my baby brother after his semester abroad.

We celebrated Derby festivities in the Bluegrass. Winefestin' baby.

We made appearances at all of the happening Oaks and Derby parties.  And BUBs beginner's luck paid off - California Chrome baby!

 Bennett got his first piece of mail, and it was the greatest day ever.

 We made funny faces and had snuggle sessions with cousins.

We kicked off wedding season with a bang.

We celebrated my first Momma's day!

And of course, celebrated the Big Guys birthday no not baby Bennett…that's coming way too soon though ;)

Baby Bennett and I took a weekend trip with Grandma to Northern Tennessee

And then the following weekend I took your daddy back to Nashville for a night on the town!
Then we high tailed it out of Music City and headed straight to the lake for a weekend of sunshine and Memorial Day fun with some of our favorite people!

We took a fabulous sunny vacay to Destin, FL with Hub's side of the family.

We toured a pretty sweet place with PaPaw and were amazed by garden entrances and fancy toilets

 We took neighborhood walks and cheered on the swim team.

And oh my sweet heavens, we bought your daddy's college house as a rental. Lord help me to think you may live there one day. Whew!
Now, I need to try and catch my breath … regain my strength … and get ready to take on summer. Sweet summer time, we're ready for you!