a big pot of gumbo jumbo ramblings on everything around here.

 like the title? I'm craving gumbo. Nope, never had it. Just sounds realllll good. Hot soup, carbs, bread on the side. I'm just a tad ready for fall. duh.

I have approximately 55 minutes before the Social Security office calls me back (yeah, that's how long the wait time is), so I thought it appropriate to kill that time eating basil, cream cheese and tomato toast (so so yumm) and writing a ridiculously long post on life around here lately. With Willow being born 8 weeks before our NZ trip, we are just a tad bit stressed about getting her passport in time. Looks like a two hour drive to the closest office will happen in order to get it, that is if Social Security isn't a gem and expedites her number. Crossing fingers.

Oh goodness. So much happening around here lately. We've (really me) been booked with photography sessions. I'm taking a big leave Oct-Dec, so I'm trying to get as many session done before then. Thankful to have all that time adjusting to life with two tots, but it's causing my days and nap times to be filled with editing currently. Which isn't a complaint, it's just meant no blogging. I've also been pumping out projects for her nursery like a crazy woman. Oh, and nesting has hit full swing and I have the longest list on the planet of all the things I want to do around the house before she comes. Things like chores and organizing clothes and all the real boring stuff, but somehow it seems totally exciting to me. Hoorah for folding endless amounts of clothes! Hurray for scrubbing baseboards!

Our nights have been filled with church functions, having couples over, and opening our home to others. Every Sunday night is community group and every wednesday night all the men from our CG come over to discuss a book they are reading together on biblical manhood and discipleship in the home. During their chat, the wives sit around and watch babies or if I'm being real honest just watch tv and take a load off! Once they finish their book, it will be the wives turn to go through something together. So thankful for our home. That the Lord has given us a desire to have it filled with others and be a place of learning and growing in Him, not just for us, but for the people we do life with too. Sunday and Wednesday nights are my favorite nights of the week. Most other nights we have another couple over or we just spend it just the three of us. That usually means play time, dinner, a walk, and cuddling. C's personality and vocabulary is drastically growing and it's been down right hilarious sometimes.

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 like last week the kid woke up and put on his winter hat, grabbed a flash light, and giggled his way into daddy's arms. We stayed in his room with the lights off playing and reading by flash light for a good hour or so. it was seriously heavenly.

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and then there's super fox. He thinks his bath towel is the bee's knees and can you blame him? it clearly has super powers. Like the ability to learn and nail the perfect surprise face!  It's hard to believe that life with just us three is dwindling down and a little girl is coming to crash the party. And I mean that in a good way. Crash away willa girl, crash away! I find myself trying to be so much more intentional with my time with him and prepping him for a new sibling. He's learned to completely clean up his toys after himself, tell me when he's dirty (potty training will happen after NZ, but we are talking about it now), bring me diaper and wipes, and alllllmoossstt get his shorts on by himself. He's already a very independent player, and he's never been really needy, so this is good. I'm honestly convinced that if I just buy him 10 new trains when Willow arrives, the boy will never come out of his room or need me ever again. Because trains are his sole purpose for living at the moment. Lives and breathes for them. It's adorable and ridiculous how much he loves them.

(cue drastic change in topic)

This pregnancy has been going so darn well thus far! Praise Him! I feel great most of the time and I'm sleeping through the night waaayyy better than I did with C. Probably due to working out 4 times a week and chasing an almost 2 year old around. Nonetheless, I'm super thankful. She moves around with a vengeance most days. Sister has drama already. Of course, Satan has already start his assault with the whole schpill that I'm not ready to be a mom of two, that I'll fail,  and that I'm too selfish to give of myself everyday to these two little humans. And I just respond right back with (some days slower than others), you right Satan! I'm horribly not ready, and I'm totally selfish, but Jesus is full of grace. And He will equip me to be a mom of two like he did to be a mom of one. He'll provide just enough grace for each day and just enough conviction to have me on my knees in repentance. It's mostly at night time right before I slumber, that he feeds me these lies of inadequacy. Some nights I've let it get the best of me, and some nights I'm quick to dismiss.... it all just depends on how emotional this preggo momma is that day. THIS ARTICLE has been saved on my phone and something I've read over and over again. Probably some of the best parenting advice I've read. Such good reminders on how to love and lead our children.

now if you'll excuse me, I have a hungry husband on his way home who needs a snack and a few minutes of relaxation before my dino, train, car loving little boy wakes up from his nap.... oh and that dreaded phone call. excuse all the grammar mistakes you just read. I got zero time for that spell check mess. peace:)


Family Date 7/12

We technically took July's family date on August 1st due to how the days fell, but we are still counting it for July. C can't get enough of Choo-Choo's right now. Like he lives and breathes them. First thing he says in the morning and last thing he says at night. He carries his one train book around alllllllllll day, and he begs to watch Thomas the Train during breakfast.

So OBVIOUSLY a visit to a train was a must. Like major. The Collierville Square has three really cool old train carts that you can walk around and even tour. When we pulled up he pointed and went crazy. Then, once we approached them, he became very reserved and shy. After some warming up, he ran up and down the halls of one of the carts. It was actually really fascinating to see inside and get a taste of traveling in one from back in the day. We didn't account for WWIII breaking out when we left. I've never seen that kid produce more tears in my life. In fact, he cried so hard he put himself to sleep. Bless him.

We had a picnic at Shelby Farms with a sweet blogger friend whose family was in town. It was so lovely to finally meet her, her boys, and husband in person. The kids ate and played and played and we got a chance to talk about raising boys, homeschooling, adoption, etc.

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Beach Trip 2014

In July, husband and I left C behind with my sister and headed to the beach with three other couples. To say I was an emotional wreck leaving him would be a big understatement. I had a good cry and held back tears the entire drive down. I knew I was leaving him in great GREAT hands, but fears and anxiety would creep in. Thankfully, throughout the week the Lord gave me a peace. It was such a needed time for husband and I. Little girl comes in October, and this will be the last time the two of us get away alone for a long time. I can not say how thankful I am for a sister who treats my son like her own. She loves him and disciplines him exactly how I would. So comforting to know he was so well loved (and spoiled) that week. Plus, her Judah is C's very best friend, so it was like a vacation for him the whole week too. She sent a million videos and pics and we face timed, so I don't feel like I missed anything that happened in his little world. Praise Jesus for technology.

We spent the entire week laying out and eating, pretty much. Our two condos were right next door to each other. The boys played xbox or wii while the girls tanned. We spent hours reading (I started and finished three books in that one week), getting in the ocean, and playing Frisbee (the boys) every afternoon. One morning we all ate a scrumptious breakfast the guys made. A few nights we went out to dinner and the other nights we cooked in and all ate together on the balcony over looking the ocean. We played games at night, watched New Girl, or shopped. It really was so laid back and chill, exactly what we all needed. We are so thankful our friends invited us along. We got an insanely good deal on the condos since they belonged to relatives of one of the couples. I wish the week could have lasted longer. I mean, I missed C like crazy and was soooooo ready to get home to him, but it was also so so so nice to be able to just chill with husband and focus on each other for a week. It's so crucial for us to keep each other as our second priority (Christ being first) and weeks like this are such a huge help in refocusing our attention.

And now a million crappy iphone photos because I was on vacation and didn't want to play photographer all week long. Well, I did make an exception and do a mini session for each couple our last night. Our maternity pictures are in the last post, but you can see the other three couples here, here, and here
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this trip counted as our "different date for July"

Other dates from this year:

Date Night 5/12: not blogged


My Maternity Session : Round Two

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Hard to believe it's been two years since our last maternity session. I wasn't really going to even do a maternity session this time around, but once we got to the beach, I knew I would have to snap a few. I mean who can resist pictures on the beach with a pretty pink dress? I got the settings adjusted, gave my friend a quick crash course and gave her a rough idea of what I was wanting. She did a great job capturing what I had in my head. When I was editing these, I could see even more how differently this pregnancy is on body than the last time. So thankful to have these sweet photos. Now to just pic a favorite for little girls room...