Thursday, December 18, 2014

On the eve of your FIRST birthday...

Dear Oliver,

We made it!! This year has flown by and I'm afraid time will just speed up.

As I write this, on the eve of your first birthday, I am flooded with memories and emotions.  The love I feel for you is an intense and fierce love. One that only grows stronger every day. I am so very proud of the little boy you are becoming and excited to see the man you'll be. (But not too soon, ok?) 

This mama thing is hard, I'm not going to lie. I've had moments I'm not proud of. Moments where I've let satan whisper to me how I'm getting it all wrong. That I'll never figure it out and you'll end up in therapy because I screwed up so badly.

I've shed tears over silly things, sometimes while you're crying, too (your poor daddy). But Jesus is ALWAYS there to remind me I don't have to be perfect. (It's ok if you eat nuggets, crackers, and even sugar. It's ok if you're having cupcakes on your birthday from a grocery store.) He tells me to love and that, sweet one, I can do. 

I want to thank you for making me a mommy. For pushing me, strengthening me, loving me. You have brought us more joy than we could've ever imagined. You have touched many lives in your first year and we are in awe. 

The three of us are leaving the baby season and entering the toddler years. I know there will be challenges, more tears, and tantrums. But OH, the joy. The overwhelming, heart bursting, make you sing and shout, kind of joy. 

I want you to know that you are one of a kind. You are special. You are meant for greatness and you will do BIG things if you follow the Lord with all your heart all your days. Believe it.

We love you so very much, Oliver! For always. 

"You are my angel, my darling, my star...and my love will find you wherever you are." - Nancy Tillman

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sugar Land // Waco // Gatesville

The Sunday following Thanksgiving, we went to Sugar Land, TX to play music at Christ UMC.  This was our 2nd time to visit there and we look forward to making it a regular stop!

The Road Grammie came with us we stayed in the Town Square. It is the cutest little area!  Even cuter now, with all the Christmas decorations up.  

We got into town Saturday and ate dinner at Ruggles Green.  Very cool place with healthy options.  Oliver ate quinoa mac & cheese!

We were on the 7th floor, overlooking the square, and my boy is a dare devil and my heart dropped every time he did this…which was all the time. 

No high chair, so hotel picnic it is!  (With quinoa mac & cheese for breakfast.)

Their service didn't start until 11:00, so that made for a much more relaxed Sunday morning.  He even napped before church (and after)!  

The set was amazing and Trent will build these for me one day.  

We enjoyed leading and sharing songs for these guys!  

The hotel had beautiful trees up.  (Excuse the leg photo bomb.)

After resting, we went back to the church for the concert.  Trent likes to be serious in all his pictures.  Clearly.  Also?  More quinoa mac & cheese for dinner.  Ruggles has huge portions.

Christ UMC had us as part of their Advent Kickoff.  It was a very special night and a great start to our Merry Little Christmas Tour.

More pretty trees!  Since Grammie was with us, we got to go have adult time both nights!  Thanks, Grammie!

And a…nutcracker soldier?  Is that right?  

We got back to Salado and had the week off.  Then we went to Waco, TX (my hometown) to play a short set at the Waco Wonderland.

It is such a neat thing, this Wonderland.  Ice skating, food, a ferris wheel, music, Santa, carriage rides.  Fabulous.  Seriously…Waco got cool after we left.  With this and food trucks and Baylor and Fixer Upper, we may just move back.  Juuuuuust kidding, Nashville is home.  But it does make me proud.

Some friends and family came to see us, which is always fun and appreciated.

Oliver's first time with Mr. Claus…es no bueño.  We knew it would happen, so we were prepared.  Bless.

After the Wonderland, we went to Poppa Rollos for the first time in forever.  It's our favorite pizza and we have missed it.  Also, it wasn't crowded because everyone was at the Baylor/Kansas State game.  Score!

We got back to my parents' house and got Oliver down before the game even started.  We watched the game on the TV and got to bed early.

Sunday, we rested up, went to Elliot's piano recital (that'll be in another post) and then headed to Gatesville, TX for our next Christmas show.

This was our first ever biker church and we are a fan.  Highway to Heaven Biker Church and everyone there were so sweet.  They fed us, loved us, blessed us, and passed around our boy while we played.  Truly an unforgettable night.

At one point, Trent said, "Sorry.  I don't have these Christmas songs memorized, so I have to arrange my papers."  Then an older biker, in head to toe leather, yelled out, "as long as they're not rolling papers, we're ok."

We cracked up and it's one of our favorite road stories.  Ever.

Pastor Van Horn got his Oliver fix =)

The sweet crowd!!!  Spirited and spirit filled would be an understatement.

We're in Arkansas now, so stay tuned!  Hope the season is treating you well!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Thanksgiving and other stuff…ing

See what I did there?  My apologies.

We left Nashville to make the trip to TX for Thanksgiving and stopped for a night to see my sister and her family.  Oliver LOVES all of Blake's toys.

Since we weren't going to see them for Christmas (which has changed now!!!), we exchanged gifts and this one was so excited!

Oliver's first time to open a gift.  He needed some help and was more interested in eating paper (babies are weird.) but it was still so cute and fun.

Bath toys!  Thank you, Blake!

Early morning play time...

We then headed to Salado.  This whole cousin thing is precious.

 Small *golfing* towns means you can drive the golf cart to the grocery store...

And to the cousin's house...

We fed Oliver his first Thanksgiving meal and he LOVED it.  Not much green, but hey!  'Tis the season =)

We put him down after he ate so we could eat with the adults.

It was a beautiful day and this boy LOVES the outside, especially when people are playing sports.  Or if any kind of ball is being used.

Grammie and the kids...

The other ladies.  We are vastly outnumbered.

Griffin photo bomb.

She liked my ear warmer...


Paads came outside for a quick pic.

First family Thanksgiving!  

The boys playing football.

Oliver was down so we got to love on these 4!

And now the other stuff…

Cousins in the leaves.  Why are leaves so fun?  I don't know.  But I remember playing in the leaves at my Nana's house and loving it.  

They could be brothers.

We went to Caleb's basketball game and is was so fun!  Caleb scored the first 5 points, which included a 3 pointer.  Which, I guess didn't need to be clarified.  Although there could've been some free throws to get the 5 point total.  I digress.

Sweet Griffin.

I've mentioned before how Oliver doesn't sit still.  Well, we figured out he will sit still at junior high basketball games.  He even clapped!  We may have a baller on our hands.

The 13-year-old.  Gasp.  Still can't get over it.

Salado has The Stroll in December and a parade to kick it off.  The kids were on a float so we went to watch.  

This was Trent just being funny.  He really wanted to be there =)

Nate and Paads.

Now you know where I get it:

My sister always looks so cute and my mother was clearly into a conversation =)

The kids are in there somewhere.

Yes.  He was trying to escape.  He's a wild man.  The ultrasound tech called it at 26 weeks.

So, anyway, that's what we've been up to.  Chasing a boy and eating food and seeing family.  We've played some music, too, but that's for another post!