December 19, 2012

In Which I Forget to Tell You a First -

Remember that one time I took Owen to the zoo for the first time?  No?  Oh.  Right, that's cause I totally forgot to post about it.  Oops.  Better late than never :)

So my college roommate messaged me and asked if we wanted to come meet them (and their three kiddos) at the NC Zoo.  They live up in MI and we haven't seen them in about three years, so I was super excited to connect with her again - plus it would be O's first trip to the zoo, so double bonus!

We had a lot of fun - he loved hanging out with those little girls and playing on the playground!

He had no idea what he was sitting on, but he thought it was cool nonetheless :)

Watching to see how she does it... 

Then (unsuccessfully) giving it a try himself...
That didn't stop him from having fun though... he headed for the vine off the giant gourd next

Next we wandered around taking our time looking at all the animals, we came across the Gorilla nice and close - leaning right up against the glass! (that's O's head in the foreground - that's as close as he wanted to get, that thing was huge and I think it was a little intimidating for him)

 We even had the pleasure of seeing the gorilla have a little lunch!
See that green stuff in his hand?  Yea.  That's not lettuce.  Or avocado.  It's poop.
We witnessed him stand up, flip over like he was about to do a somersault, then sat back down with a handful of yummy, warm and fresh poo.  
Lovely.  Just Lovely.
We saw lots of animals, and I didn't take a ton of pics because we were just chatting and having a good ol' time.  I managed to snap a pic on my phone of the kids all getting ready to enjoy a lunch break - tail-gating style :)

After lunch we headed to the Africa section of the zoo - we got to see lots of giraffes up close, and the ostrich was pretty close too.  I couldn't resist pics - i just <3 :=":" giraffes="giraffes" p="p">

All in all, it was a super fun day at the zoo!  Owen had a blast making new friends, I had a ton of fun catching up with an old friend, and it was a gorgeous day to boot!  Not bad for a first trip to the zoo :)
Even if I didn't get around to posting it until a month later...   

December 04, 2012

Just in case...

In case you didn't know...

We're going back to Africa.


Like before-the-end-of-April-soon.

Waiting (for God to reveal the details)
Wait.  I think I used that one already.

Here's what we (are pretty sure we) know:
It will just be the three of us.
It will be a short trip - 2 weeks, max.
A lot will be revealed on this trip.

Here's what we know for sure - 100%:
God's given us a heart for missions, and one day we'll live in Africa.
God has told us this is when we are to go - before O turns two.
God doesn't give us dreams, or make us promises and then flee the scene.
He's got this.
We've given it to him.
And (as of yesterday, I know, slackers in that area, but we did it!) we trust him completely - 100% with his plan for this next trip.

Just in case you didn't know...

now you do.


November 29, 2012


I know I've been silent for a little while around here... lots of stuff going on and I'm just trying to process it all!  Not bad, it's good - just a lot.  This song came on my Pandora station today and it's perfect - 
I'm headed down this narrow road
Chosen by the fewAnd all that I know isYou told me to follow You
I'm taking a risk and leaving it allNot knowing what I'll go throughBut I'm not aloneAs long as I follow You
So when my life's a leap of faithI can hear You say
Well done, well doneI'm gonna chase You, LordI'm gonna show the world Your loveI'll run, I'll runI'm gonna run this raceTo hear You say well done
If people walk with me, talk with me, looking for truthThey're gonna find out soonIf they're following me thenThey're gonna follow You
So let my life speak loud and clearLord, I wanna hear
Well done, well doneI'm gonna chase You, LordI'm gonna show the world Your loveI'll run, I'll runI'm gonna run this raceTo hear You say well done
I'm so glad that I get to serve You, LordYou're the only One I am living forI'm gonna run straight into Your open armsI'm gonna follow You with my all heart

- Moriah Peters "Well Done" 

November 12, 2012


I'm not very good at remembering, every little thing.  I think of it often and hold it close to my heart, but then something new happens and the memory of that other thing drifts apart... so I've been keeping track of all the little things-  the ism's, the noises, the actions you do - so I won't forget when you do something new.

I don't want to forget:

The way you said, "MmmHmmm," to mean yes.  And how now you say "Yeah!" instead.

The way you get so excited about new things - you flap your arms straight up and down while you run and it is the make-me-fall-over-smiling-from-ear-to-ear kind of cute.

The concentration face you make when you're trying really hard
Your appreciation for putting things 'back' where they go...
Even if that means us opening the door and letting you outside because you insisted on putting a special rock that the Fairy (at the Renaissance festival) gave you 'back' outside in the mulch where (duh, momma) rocks belong.
The way you stomp your feet and turn around in little circles grunting when you get mad.

The way you purse your lips together and blow like a motorboat when you get hurt and are trying not to cry.

You sincere affection for music and the pure joy that overcomes you when you get to watch or take part in it.

The way everything (and anything) you touch can turn into a guitar if you just hold it sideways and bounce up and down making the 'neeneenee nee nee nee nee' guitar sounds - including pans, your popcorn popper, spoons, and the broom.

The way you ask me to hold you in my arms while we snuggle in the mornings, rather than just laying next to me.  And the way you cuddle in close and nuzzle my neck when I hold you.

The way you love being outside, and how great you are at throwing a ball.

The way you ask to watch "Freppy" (Fresh Beat Band) almost every morning, and how you always without fail, want me to dance with you during the song at the end of the show.

The way you let me hold you in the cradle position like a little baby, and let me sing to you each night - and the way you 'request' certain bedtime songs by saying "no" until I start singing the one you want.

The way you love to dance, bouncing up and down, stomping your feet and clapping your hands while you turn in circles.

dancing to the beat from Bill & Amanda on Vimeo.

The way you love your friends and give them hugs when you see them.

The way you always want to run into church when worship starts so you can sing and dance along.

There are so many things, little bear.  So many -ism's and sounds and actions you do that make you YOU.  And with every one I see and all that I remember it makes me love you that much more.  More than I ever imagined.  I don't want to forget.  I always want to remember, that even though you're growing (much too fast) I will have these memories, these pictures, to help me hold you in my heart as my little baby boy - because that, you will always be, and I will never forget that.

November 01, 2012

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown !

Little O had his first experience with a pumpkin the night before halloween.  We don't really celebrate Halloween, but we have decided to do pumpkins as a tradition, and let him dress up too.  As he gets older we'll explain it to him, but for now it's just a fun family day. :)
Anyway, it had gotten all-of-a-sudden freezing here so we decided to do it inside on the kitchen floor.  He was very intrigued at me cutting into the top, and a little worried at first.  He'd grown very fond of his pumpkins - even blowing them kisses as we would leave the house sometimes. :)
He was very eager to get in the action and help!


 He did NOT love the slimyness of the guts... he was just fine as long as he had his spoon and/or scooper though! :)

 In the above shot, he's got the scooper.  Below, we were trying to get him to reach in there with his bare hand... that's as far as he got.  :)

 At a couple different times he got goo on his foot, and he would just hold it up like that until we did something about it.  It was SO stinkin' cute.  If we waited long enough to take the goo off, he would just continue on about whatever he was doing, leaving his foot suspended in mid-air like that.  HIL.AIR.IOUS.


 I think he got tired of me taking pictures of his foot rather than cleaning it off - and decided to try himself :)
 Checking out the cleaned-out pumpkin... and banging it like a drum with the spoon.
 He was getting tired and restless by the time I finished carving the face with a steak knife.. cause the carving one broke.  (PSA: It is NOT easy or safe to carve a pumpkin with a steak knife)
But I asked him to show me his teeth and got this oh-so-adorable grin!
Then we took it outside and put a candle in it..
He thought it was very cool, and kept saying "hot, hot hot hot" and trying to blow on it.  Not because he knows to blow out a candle, but because we tell him his food might be hot and to blow on it.  So anything that is "hot" he blows on. (aside: This includes a hot summer day when we would walk outside and it was hot.  He would start blowing.  When the oven is on (or just the oven light) he blows on it.  When he sees coffee in the coffee pot.  It's cute :) )
Anyway, I tried really hard to get him to sit down next to the pumpkin and cheese again, so I could get a pic with the real camera, but couldn't get the smile, he wanted me to come sit next to him (hence the pointing finger).

The next night we were invited to a Halloween party that Bill's co-worker was throwing, so we headed over there and O got to play with some other kids, pet a guinea pig and trick-or-treat to the 5-6 houses that are the cul-de-sac the couple lived in.  He really enjoyed going from house to house, and even started saying "tik-teet" once he started hearing the other kids saying it!  It was SO cute to hear his little voice say "tik-teet" in his cute little lion costume.  And the joy on his face every time he got to get something in his little bucket.  (Not that he knew what was going in there, he was just happy to have it).  Love the simple joys of toddler-hood.

I just love all these 'firsts' that we're getting to experience with our little bear.  This age is just so perfect to explore new things and see how he reacts to them.  I love, love, love it!

October 20, 2012

"Ano'er One?"

Most kids say, "Trick or treat!" when going from person to person, waiting anxiously to collect their goods.  Some older, clever ones even said "trunk or treat" as they walked from trunk to trunk at the Lake Norman Mommies annual Trunk or Treat event tonight.  But Owen just kept saying "ano'er one?" (another one?) over and over again!  But let me start at the beginning...

We arrive and Owen was immediately enamored with all the kids walking around in costumes.  It's like he couldn't move his head fast enough in all directions around the parking lot to see all of them! He was very excited to see his buds Colin and Caroline though!

 He particularly liked a little girl dressed as a dinosaur!
While we were waiting in line for our family picture at the photo station I snapped this - love the little tail :) (and he's not sad, he's just tired, and also eye-balling a little kid dressed like Sully from Monster's Inc.)

After a little while lion needed to recharge with a snack.  Who knew lions like spinach and kale rice puffs?  I always thought they were carnivores.  Guess that goes to show what I know.  :)

After snack we did the costume contest, he didn't win, or even get in the top six, but honestly, I'm not sure what the judging criteria was because a couple of the ones that were chosen weren't all that cute in my (completely unbiased) opinion. :)
After that the trick or treating started.  Everyone was parked in the parking lot and a lot of the trunks were decorated with bowls of candy sitting in them.  Everyone just walked around grabbing a piece of candy.  Once Owen figured out that he could take one out of the trunk bowl and put it in his bucket he was so excited!  He kept saying, "more, more?"  "Ano'er one? Ano'er one?" and clapping his hands excitedly every time he got a new one to put in his bucket.  I don't have any idea what he was getting, and he didn't either, but he just loved it!  He would jump up and down and clap his hands and just keep going from trunk to trunk.
Afterward we got all the kids together for a picture in Becky's trunk.  Her and her kids dressed up as Cinderella, Prince Charming and she was the fairy god mother - hence the castle in the trunk.  And it was quite entertaining trying to get the kids to all look in the same general direction - let alone actually at the camera.  Oh well, the cuteness is still enough to make you wanna reach through your screen and squeeze em - is it not? :)


I'm so glad we went to this - we aren't doing trick or treating and this was such a great alternative for him.  He loved every minute of it.  The people watching, dancing to the music the DJ was pumpin' out, eating pizza for dinner outside, hanging out with his friends and of course the trunk or treating part.
Huge thanks to our friend April for letting us borrow her lion costume, and to the Huffs for letting us crash their trunk!  :)