Friday, January 25, 2013

2 Confessions.

So, I have two things to confess and get off my chest publicly:

1. Today when I went to put on jeans to go out to dinner with Nick and Bek, I realized I hadn't put real pants on all week. Literally, I was in sweat pants or yoga pants Monday-Friday. I couldn't believe it. I guess my recent purchase this past week on Amazon for more yoga pants was a good idea after all.

2. I read an article yesterday called How to Miss a Childhood. READ IT. Stop reading my blog right now and read it if you haven't already. I don't even care if you come back to my blog at all if you totally forget what got you to that article. This confession is two-fold
     a. I am so thankful that I can benefit from other people's mistakes BEFORE its too late for me and
         my family. I am selfishly GLAD these people share their mistakes so that I don't regret these
         same things years down the road.
     b. I am so guilty already of what she talks about. I have made the decision to go cell phone free
         unless Bekham is napping. Extreme, I know. She talks about maybe taking 10 minutes or an
         hour, but I need to break the addiction. Today was my first day and it went shockingly smooth
         and I had such an inner sense of accomplishment. I was connecting with Bekham at every
        opportunity of the day. I never missed a time when he looked at me today. I never missed an
        opportunity to engage in what he was doing and talk about it with him. His hugs meant so much
        more to me today than ever before. I know he's only 14 months, but I also know he knew when
        I was paying more attention to my phone than to him. So therefore, I also think he knew today
        was different. I'm so glad I'm putting in the effort now and not when I've already missed so
        many precious moments of his young life.

The biggest challenge facing me is honestly photo opportunities. I am big on pictures and not having my phone with me- I am constantly missing those opportunities. My hope is that I can break the habit in a month or so. Maybe after the addiction is gone, I can solely use the phone as a camera and not as a way to check facebook, mail, work, the weather, a blog, etc. I hope that everyone in my life and everyone reading this will hold me accountable. I'm not willing to let any of my children's lives fly by because I am so connected to everyone else. 

Okay, that's all! Back hopefully sooner than later to update on my progress!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Looks like we've made it!

This blog is going to be short, but it's going to be sweet, so very sweet. And it needs to be mile-stoned before I forget.

January 9th- Bekham slept through the night
January 10th- Bekham slept through the night
January 11th- Bekham slept through the night
January 12th- Bekham slept through the night
January 13th- Bekham slept through the night
January 14th- Bekham slept through the night
January 15th- Bekham slept through the night

And by through the night, I mean 8pm until anytime between 6 and 7am.

Thank you Jesus for hearing my prayers and answering in Your perfect time.
Thank you faithful friends and family for constantly lifting our little family up in your prayers.
Thank you Bekham for figuring this out after 13 months of life.

Should this streak abruptly come to an end, I don't think I'll EVER forget what a week of sleep feels like again!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

He Fails Us Not

So, recently, I had a health scare that turned out to be the epitome of a hypochondriac experience. To save us all time: it was a blood blister, NOT a mole. There have been few times in my life that I felt as stupid as I did in my dermatologist's office. However, in the days leading up to the appointment, when uncertainty and fear were creeping in on me, it was one of those times where you get a reality check on exactly where you are spiritually. Some weaknesses in my faith were exposed which was unsettling, but I'm thankful for that. I now know where I need to grow the most. One of my closest friends encouraged me to download a song called "You fail us not." If you haven't heard it, or don't know it, I strongly encourage you to download it as well. It may just be my new life anthem. Here are the words for those of you that don't want to spend the $0.99. Bold, underlining, and italicizing are my doing. I LOVE these lyrics.

Failure doesn't phase you.
Worry doesn't win.
Lost doesn't leave you afraid to start again.
Our sin doesn't shock you.
Our shame doesn't shame you at all.
Mistakes do not move you.
Terror doesn't tame.
Death doesn't doom you to life in the grave.
Our suffering doesn't scare you.
Our secrets won't surprise you at all.

At all.

There is nothing above you.
There is nothing beyond you.
There is nothing that you can't do.
There is no one beside you.
There is no one that's like you.
There is nothing that you can't do.
Whatever will come, we'll rise above.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
No matter the war, our hope is secure.
You fail us not, You fail us not.
You fail us not.

Hatred doesn't hide you.
Evil doesn't ail.
Despair can't disguise you and tell you that you fail.
Our doubt doesn't daunt you.
Our darkness won't defeat you at all.
At all.

You’re bigger than the battle,
You are bigger than the battle
You are bigger than the battle has ever been

A couple days ago, these words applied to my fear of a cancerous mole. Today they apply to the task of parenthood. Today, the lyrics that hit home most are failure doesn't fail you, and, mistakes do not move you. I can't count how many times in the past year I have felt like a failure as a mom or felt that I've already made so many mistakes in raising Bekham. I am so thankful that God truly does NOT fail us. He is truly bigger than the battle. Bigger than the mundane tasks of "no no" or "don't touch." There is a definite battle we all fight against sin nature. But there's a double battle when you, having sin nature inside of you, are battling the sin nature of your child. WOW. THANK YOU LORD that you are bigger than the battle. As I say "no no" literally one hundred times a day, I find my patience wearing thin and my tone of voice getting more stern and the volume a little more elevated. And there it is. My sin nature. My impatience surfacing. My frustration surfacing. And I watch myself parent in ways that disappoint me. Why can't I keep my cool? Why do I get so tired of moving Bekham away from the DVD player, the trash can, the road, etc.? Why can't I find joy in these moments?

Don't get me wrong- I do find joy in watching him explore and learn boundaries at the same time. BUT- I do not find joy in saying "no" and relocating him time and time again. I feel like I'm getting nowhere! But God doesn't fail us. I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. I know this role of motherhood is exactly where He wants me and has me for a reason. This song is what I needed. I can make mistakes. I can fail. Because I have a Savior who won't make mistakes and won't fail. He is the only one that can help me fight the battle. As small or as big as it may seem to me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Dear my November baby,

You are one year old as of 4:22am this morning. ONE. YEAR. OLD! It is just completely unbelievable how much you've grown and changed right before our eyes. I can still remember thinking you would never learn to crawl because you HATED tummy time. Not only did you crawl, but you've been walking a good month and a half before your birthday. That's nuts little boy! Your daddy and I love you more than you could ever possibly know and it seems like somehow we fall more in love with you each day. And I don't honestly know how that could be possible. Each tooth you grow makes your smile and laugh cuter. Each word you utter makes me melt. I love when you hold my hand going up or down stairs, or just when encountering rough terrain. I love when I ask for a hug and you run right into my arms. I love when you walk around doing the indian thing with your mouth and hand. I love when you lay your head on my shoulder when I rock you for naps. I love watching you explore and climb. Climb on EVERYTHING. I love when you throw your ball to me or place a toy in my hand, or share your food with me. Its the sweetest thing I've ever experienced. You bring me so much joy. You break me out of my shell and NO ONE has been able to do that. We play outside ALL the time (I'm a home body). We get messy and dirty (I'm a neat freak). We play in the sand when we go to the beach (I'm a pool person). I do a 20 minute DVD workout (I used to be at the gym for at least an hour). There are so many things you are changing about me and I love it. You are helping me let go of otherwise silly hang ups that I had for too long.

Bekham, you can't possibly remember your first year. If you do now, you won't by the time you are reading this. So let me ensure you that you know some things. You are DEARLY loved by many. MANY. So many people ask about you, visit you, enjoy you, enjoy seeing pictures of you. You love just being outside. You can be in the middle of an all out fit, crying tantrum, you name it. But the minute we step foot outside... its like you are a different kid. Its quite entertaining. You love to BANG on everything WITH everything. In fact, we often have to say, "Bekham, no bang bang!"

Of all the things I will remember about your first year (the lack of sleep being engrained in my memory)- I think I will remember most your roaring habit. It is by far and away the most unique thing you do. It's how you get people's attention and I love it. LOVE IT.

I'm so ready to see how much you accomplish in your second year of life. I hope you learn to like reading stories soon because we have lots to read together! I hope that you learn to say "mama." I'm still anxiously awaiting that moment in time! I hope you learn to like Waumba Land (or any similar setting).

We just finished celebrating your birthday tonight. Grammie and Grampie came bearing balloons and gifts to have dinner and watch YOU eat cake. Funny thing is, of all the presents you got, you only wanted the broom that I picked out for you. A little light weight broom. You didn't let go of it unless Grampie stole it! You made is laugh baby. You stole the show tonight! I love you more than words red head! Can't wait to celebrate some more this weekend!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Coming up on a Year.

As Nick and I played with Bekham in his room tonight, we were discussing the ridiculousness that is our child's sleep habits. Or lack of sleep habits. We are one week away from celebrating his birthday, and this child STILL doesn't sleep through the night! I remember thinking, okay, we are at 6 weeks, maybe we are close to the big milestone! Then came 3 months ... maybe this is it! Okay, maybe when he sits up on his own he'll figure this sleep thing out. Okay, maybe once he's crawling and walking. Okay, maybe when he's one? Okay, maybe never. Yes, we have been dealing with croup over here, but this child is waking up sometimes 4 or 5 times a night. Yeah, we have good nights here and there, but a good night is 1 or 2 times in the middle of the night. For 52 weeks my friends. For 365 days. We have not slept through the night. All of you who are reading this before having children. ENJOY. THE. SLEEP.

I actually just read my post from this time last year. I was desperately pleading for Bekham to be born. I was miserable and sick of the waiting. Dear self 1 year ago, stop blogging and go enjoy uninterrupted naps and night time sleeps. Ah well... everyone warned me! I didn't want to hear it! As frustrating as it is, there is still sometime precious about cuddling and snuggling with this baby/toddler in the middle of the night. I selfishly have moments of not wanting him to grow out of it. Then he wakes up 30 minutes later and I take it all back :)

Enough babble. Bekham is almost ONE YEAR OLD! I'm not going to sit here and say, "WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?" or ... "IT FEELS LIKE YESTERDAY WHEN..." No friends. It doesn't feel like that to me. The past year has been incredibly trying. It has had many many highs, but it has had many MANY lows. Bekham turning one is a celebration indeed because I honestly wondered if i would make it. Would he still be breastfeeding? Praise the Lord, I was able to exclusively nurse for an entire year. Anyone who knew me during the first 3 weeks of Bekham's life knows how huge this is. Would he be napping? Praise the Lord again, Bekham does reliably take a good 1 and a half hour nap in the mornings. Afternoons are iffy, BUT, the morning is generally a guarantee! Would he be eating/keeping food down? Thankfully, yes! This child eats just like his mama and his daddy. A LOT. He loves food! Would he be walking? Yes. Talking? Yes (in his own language, but yes.) Would I still be working with my sanity in tact? YES.

God has blessed us beyond belief with this little boy. He brings so much laughter and joy into this home. Not that it was lacking, but you know what I mean. Right now he does this indian thing where he covers and uncovers his mouth while making a monotone noise. He recently was hitting his mouth so hard he knocked himself over. He's also learning how to climb and slide and within about 2 weeks he has MASTERED IT. Climbing up and down the ladder. Climbing up the slide. Sliding face first, feet first, backwards feet first. It's funny every time I watch him. He is testing every boundary these days and he KNOWS what is and isn't allowed. He likes to make a dart for what ISN'T allowed whenever I am cooking and not paying full attention. Smart kid.

On a final note- you can keep us in your thoughts. I am bringing home a puppy tomorrow. I know. We are crazy. Embrace it folks. Lilly Sharp joins this family in less than 24 hours! She's a lab hound mix and we are all in love with her. I'll keep you posted on how that goes!

Thats all for now! More next week on the big first birthday! Can't wait!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

1 Month away from a ONE YEAR OLD!

I'm not honestly sure when the last time I blogged was, but I know its been awhile. Life in general has felt exhausting and busy. There have been many, MANY good days. But there have been just as many hard and frustrating days. We had ONE glimmer of hope when Bekham slept through the night (8pm-6am). Then it never happened again. Just last night he was literally up every 2 hours. No exaggeration. 11:30, 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 7. It was insane. The night before that I only slept a total of 2 hours so I really didn't have the stamina to keep up with the kid last night. Thankfully God knew that and let it happen on a weekend when I could have Nick's help. We alternated every waking during the night.

But that's not the stuff you want to read about now is it? Unless you have a baby who isn't sleeping. And in that case- rest assured- I have an 11 MONTH old that isn't sleeping (cough cough AMANDA!) Misery loves company. So know that you have company if you are awake in the middle of the night. Join me in Words With Friends or Dice with Buddies :)

Lots, and I mean LOTS has happened in month 10-11. We are walking. We have been to the beach. We have been to the pumpkin patch. We have given our Halloween Costume a test drive. Okay okay.. a couple pictures just to prove it!

At Lifetime Fitness Halloween Party!

Nothing like the beaches in Destin!

Just hunting for pumpkins!

Bekham is at a wonderful phase in his little life. He is so fun right now. Into everything, YES. Throwing tantrums, YES. Clingy, YES. Chronically sleep deprived, YES. Injury prone, YES.


Laughs with abandon, YES. Rough houses with me, YES. Walks to me with arms outstretched, YES. Lays his head on my shoulder when he needs a little rest, YES. Bangs any two items he can find together and make noise, YES. Laugh at himself, YES. Eat, and enjoy, new foods, YES.

We have so much fun together. His absolute favorite things right now are to

1. Be outside
2. "Woof" when he hears dogs
3. "Roar" when he sees his Grammie or Grampie to get their attention

If Bekham had a crib outside, I'm pretty sure he'd sleep through the night. I'm not exaggerating. I should have tried it while we were at the beach with an enclosed balcony! It's absolutely insane to me that in about a month, I really can't call my sweet boy a baby anymore. He is growing up, but entirely too fast. He's toddling... so I guess that qualifies him as a toddler. It's a transition that is great in so many ways, but that my heart grieves in other ways. The days of just holding him while he sleeps are few and far between. The days of me being his primary source of life (nutrition) are coming to a close. All good things, but all things that pull at my heart. How do parents send their kids off to college?? I was talking to a friend of mine who said she loves her little boy so much it hurts. And thats so true. Sometimes it physically does hurt to not be able to fully express my love towards Bekham. He would be irritated if I kissed him and hugged him and held him every moment I wanted him to know how much I love him. But my heart just overflows for this kid. Thank you Lord for this blessing.

Something I learned at my Bible Study yesterday was that, "I am not a perfect mom. But I'm the perfect mom for Bekham (or perfectly suited for Bekham.)" God ordained all of my days before I was born. And Bekham was written into those days long before he came to be. It was so great to truly rest in the promise that no one could be a better mom to Bekham than I could. Yes I will make mistakes and no I'll never be the perfect mom, but God planned the relationships between us and no one was better suited that me. I so needed this encouragement. Its easy to look left and right and think that someone else is doing a better job. Instead I need to shift my focus UP and know that God has fully equipped me to do this job as long as I am daily seeking Him and asking for His wisdom in each and every situation.

The countdown is on. 31 days until I am the mother of a 1 year old. Time, please slow down!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bekham's Baby Dedication

Today was a great day. We got to spend an afternoon with family and friends at Bekham's Baby Dedication. It was a very laid back event, however, the significance and memories made, as my mom would say, made it special for us.

 Before dedicating your baby at North Point, there are some messages they ask you to listen to and some homework they request that you complete prior to the event. One of the homework assignments was to write a letter to your child- I've included it below. Pretty short and sweet, but Bekham can always refer to this blog if he wants to :)

Another one of our homework assignments was based on the idea of intentional parenting. Our kids are going to learn by our actions, not our words. I can tell Bekham all day that God wants us to be generous with our money, but if he doesn't see me modeling that, my words are meaningless. So, the task at hand was to chose 5 values that you want to prioritize in your home. We chose generosity, ambition, love, responsibility, and respect. The second part of the assignment was to chose 2 habits that you would implement in your daily routines that would put these values in action. Our first habit was to always ask each member of the family, "What can I do to help?" Parents ask kids. Kids ask parents. Kids ask kids. Our family is a team. Our hope is that they would learn to be generous with their time and resources by asking this question and following through. We also hope this will teach love. Love moves- its a verb. This was something I don't think I always fully understood. We also plan to assign household chores/responsibilities that are age appropriate to also teach responsibility as well as respect for our leadership in their lives.

I'm sure more ideas will come up, but the point is- be intentional. Choose ways to model our values to our children.

The really neat thing about sharing these with our family was that they in turn shared some scripture with us! My sister-in-law Shannon shared the verse she and her husband chose as parents (which is actually the entire chapter of Psalm 78). She talked about how we are called to pass on the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord to the next generation, just as they were passed on to us. She also gave us the idea to create a habit of doing a family devotional each morning. (Our children will learn to open their Bible if they see us in the Word every day as well). Simple, and yet so true.

My other sister-in-law, Rachel, shared Isaiah 44:3 which says, "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring." What she has been learning from this verse is that she wants everything that comes out of her to be Christ. So that when she speaks- her children see Christ. That the wellspring within her would just overflow to her seed (her children) and that it would bless them. 

My mom shared Ephesians 1:17-19 with us which was neat. Part of the verse was for us as parents, and part of the verse was for Bekham. "[Nick and Aly]I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. [Bekham] I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe."

Aren't we blessed with such wise family? I'm so thankful for them!!

Kelsie, Grampie, Grammie, Mom, Dad, Aunt Rach, Aunt Shay Shay, Uncle Bry

The verse Nick and I chose to guide us on the journey of parenthood is Proverbs 22:6, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." 

Bekham was given a storybook Bible from North Point. My Mom gave him a sweet book as well as 2 parenting books for me to get started on (Bringing Up Boys and Parenting with Grace and Truth). My best friend Kelsie gave him a Bedtime Prayer Book which is absolutely precious. His Mimi gave him a sweet green and brown cross that has already been hanging in his room for about a week. 

Bekham's first Bible

And this is the letter I wrote to Bekham. It's already crazy looking back on it only a month later! Oh how things have changed (mainly his sleep). Are you on the edge of your seat? Wait for the 10 month post that is coming this week!

My sweet Bekham,

As I write this, you are sound asleep upstairs. This rarely happens. You just don't like to sleep sweet boy. Maybe you just don't want to miss out on anything going on in your little world! You are already 9 months old- how can this be? You have been such a blessing to your daddy and me. We prayed for you long before you began growing in my belly! And now you are here, you are a miracle. As you can imagine, we still pray for you daily. For your health, for your safety, and for your growth. But we are also praying that you will come to know Jesus and have a relationship with him from a very young age. It is the most important decision your father and I have made and it will be the most important decision you could ever make as well.

There is so much I could say to you. What I hope and dream for you. What I want your childhood to be like. Who I want you to marry someday. All of that is fun, and even important, but no matter what your future holds, please always know and claim these truths:

1. God loves you. He loves you fully and completely. Nothing that you do or don't do could change that.
2. We love you unconditionally and delight in who you are. Nothing that you do or don't do could change that.

As long as we live- your daddy and I will always be here for you. We will laugh with you. We will cheer for you. We will cry with you. We will support you in whatever you choose to do. You should know however, daddy hopes you will play golf or baseball. I bet you and your dad will golf together quite often. Just always promise me you will come home to Mom for a good home-cooked dinner when you guys finish up!

Bekham, we are going to make mistakes (which you will probably agree with by the time you read this!) We are going to disappoint you. We are going to frustrate you.  BUT! Anything, and everything we do is with your best interest at heart and because we love you! We trust that God will use us to model a good marriage to you, to model what it looks like to serve and honor Him, and use us to raise you and train you up in Him.

Dream big son. Never give up on your dreams. Have confidence in yourself because God created you and He makes no mistakes. I pray you have big and great faith. I know God has huge plans for your life. Be open to where he calls you and where he leads you!

I love you now and I'll love you forever!


You are loved sweet boy!