Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31 - Fun in the Sun

I figure I'll just continue the trend of posting multiple pictures for every day of this vacation, but who can blame me when there are so, so many to choose from?!  Today, two things blossomed:  Griffin's interest in/love of the waves in the ocean and Griffin and Henry's relationship!  Before now, they've only interacted here and there for a few fleeting moments, but today...Well, they definitely "clicked" and began interacting frequently.  Adorable.  As for Griffin's love of the waves...He had absolutely no fear, and just would walk right on into the ocean up to his chest by himself if we let him!  He had a blast jumping around in the surf and "murfing" (air mattress surfing-a sport Oliver and I invented when we lived in Jacksonville, FL) for the first time. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30 - Family Pictures

Today was another glorious, fun-filled day with the family at the beach and pool, and this evening we snapped some family pictures!  It is an understatement to say that it was tough to get a good shot with two one year olds in the mix, but I think we walked away with several good ones to choose from.  Tonight is a tripel dinner date with Oliver and I, Hank and Anna, and William and Cat!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

May 28 - Fellas

What a great day...Beach in the morning, pool in the afternoon, dinner all together, and beautiful weather.  Ahhh.  I can feel myself relaxing!  How adorable are these cousins together?

Friday, May 27, 2011

May 27 - Together at Last

Today, we drove down to Amelia Island for the first day of family vacation with the Thompsons!  Griffin and Henry get to spend almost an entire week together, and we're all thrilled to be together as well!  We're staying in a house belonging to friends of the family, and the beach and neighborhood pool are just a short walk away.  It really is the perfect set-up for a family vacation with little ones that need to eat and take naps at different times.  For dinner tonight, Henry has spaghetti, and Griffin has lasagna.  We glance away, and Henry is eating lasagna and Griffin is eating spaghetti!  Looks like they're already pros at sharing!  :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 26 - Showers of Babies

More babies are joining the crew soon!  My good friends, Shari and Kristin, will both bring their second child into the world within the next two months, and the ladies got together at The Melting Pot, a wonderful fondue restaurant, to celebrate.  No words can describe the deliciousness of the three different chocolate fondues, so I'm just not going to try.  It was a blast, we all got a much-needed night out, and we got to spend some time with our friend, Julie, who has been serving with her family overseas.  Good night.  Good night.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24 - Chalkboard

I found this old-time chalkboard at a thrift store a while back.  Every once in a while, Griffin spends about 2 minutes drawing and erasing on it.  And that's about all I have to say about that.

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23 - A Day in the Life

Until the chickens grow up and can stay out in the coop, they live in a brooder we set up.  We're borrowing a 40 gallon aquarium that we covered with chicken wire and a heat lamp to keep them at the right temperature (right now, 90 degrees) from Howard and Reilynn, who just raised a flock of chickens themselves.  So, our little flock basically eats non-stop, drinks, and sleeps.  That's about it.  I guess that's pretty predictable, seeing as how that's what most newborn living things do the first weeks of life.  I'm pretty sure that's life at every age for a chicken.  We've found that if one of them gets a hold of a bug, they run around the cage to keep away from the other 5 that are all trying to get the bug from them.  It's pretty entertaining.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 21 - Chicks

Bo Peep




Attila the Hen

Yeah, yeah...I know there is only supposed to be one photo for each day, but I simply could not resist.  When you get 6 babies in one day, it's only fair to post 6 pictures!  Oliver, Griffin and I went down to George's Feed and Seed and picked up 6 adorable little ladies that will eventually save us some money on eggs.  6 chickens should produce over two dozen eggs per week, which is perfect for our family.  Oliver plans to build a portable chicken coop (chicken tractor) to put them in 5 weeks or so down the road.  Getting our own flock of chickens is just one small step in the direction of the farm life we desire for our family, and it feels great to move forward, if even in a teeny-tiny way.  We love our girls, and we're so excited to watch them grow.

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 20 - Celebrating

This afternoon and evening, Oliver and I celebrated our graduation with our dear friends.  The moms got together a bit early to let the kids play together, hence the kiddos in the pool.  After we got them all fed and put to bed, everyone got together for a cookout and time just to hang out, breathe a sigh of relief, and relax.  It was great to see everyone and a big thanks to our friends, Kenny and Shari, for hosting the party at their house!! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 19 - One More

Okay, this is the last graduation picture I'm going to use; I swear.  I didn't take a picture today, but I have a veritable arsenal of graduation pictures to use :)  I love this one because it sort of says, "Reach for the sky" to me.  It's late.  Don't judge.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 18 - The Boys

Play date in the park today!  Love these 3 boys together.  Cutie pies.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17 - Graduation Smooch

Transition is a funny thing (and not in the humorous sense of the word).  Now that Oliver and I have graduated, we find ourselves left in a vacuum of sorts, wondering what the future holds.  For now, we have absolutely no clue what is next, where to look to figure it out, or what to do in the meantime.  Just a few of the questions that plague us incessantly:  Where should we live?  Should we sell our trailer now?  Should we buy a house or rent?  What job will Oliver find?  Will he find a job anytime soon, or should we prepare ourselves for a long process?  Will Oliver have to go back to school to be able to get a job that will provide for our family long-term?  If so, where/when will that be?  What will Oliver's career be?  I think we have been pushing ourselves for so long to finish college, all the while looking forward and keeping the end-goal in mind all the time...being able to move on with our lives, Oliver being able to start his career, and us to be able to finally plant somewhere long-term and grow/raise our family.  Now that we have pushed and sacrificed and anticipated the end of this long journey, it's tough to get to the other side and sort of be in a stalemate...not moving backwards, but not moving forwards either.  We feel.......stuck. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16 - Sour Face Take 2

This face suffices to say all of the below:
-"I don't like this."
-"I don't want that."
-"Don't do that."
-"I am displeased."
-"I don't want to obey you."
-"I won't do that."
-"I am frustrated."
-"Leave me alone."
-"Don't tell me what to do."
-"I'm a little sad/upset."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 15 - Kisses

This was Cindy's last day with us, so Griffin had to give her a bye-bye kiss for sure!  How cute is that little guy giving kisses?  Seriously.  And we're all so grateful that most of them are closed-mouth now (They used to be wide-open mouth, sloppy, drool kisses from him).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 14 - Graduation Day

The day has finally arrived!  Oliver and I graduated from Columbia International University at 11:30am, both with a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Humanities, summa cum laude.  We were able to have Oliver's parents, his brother, and Cindy in town for the big event.  Oliver's dad tried picking Griffin up from the nursery and bringing him into the ceremony to see us graduate, but the applause and screams of congratulations for the graduates just prior to us scared Griffin.  So, Granddaddy played outside with him until the end of the ceremony.  It was so special for Oliver and I to sit together at our graduation and walk, one right after the other, across that stage.  It has been a long, tough road, and there has been a lot of sacrifice made for us to go back to college 5 years after graduating high school.  College was a lot different for us than for most people.  There were no late night chats with the roommate, sororities, fraternities, sports, parties on the weekends, road trips with friends, hall meetings, or anything like that for us.  We came into it all married, and three semesters before I finished, I found out I was pregnant.  I cannot say it's been easy, and I cannot say it's been all fun times.  But I can say that it was worth it, and I can say that we are proud to have overcome all the obstacles by the grace of God. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

May 13 - Sour Face

This is Griffin's sour face.  He makes it whenever he doesn't want to do something, he doesn't like what's happening around him, he's frustrated, etc.  It's basically his way of expressing displeasure, short of crying and whining.  I'm glad he has such a cute sour face.  Yes, we were out at the pool for a little while again today.  Earlier, Oliver and I had graduation practice over at the school.  We're both a bit surprised that we aren't more excited for tomorrow.  I think we're both dealing with a lot of residual stress from the past years in college and stress about the future.  But regardless of how we feel, God is good, and he has a plan for our lives that will bring him glory.  And that is all we need.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 11 - Thrilled

This was from a couple of days ago, but it would work just fine for most days this week (and probably for most days the entire summer) since we're seeing a LOT of the pool in the heat that is South Carolina.  I just love this shot...It really captures how thrilled Griffin is with our little inflatable pool.  He is in rare form when he's playing around in the water, and it makes my heart glad.  Cindy and I definitely caught some rays and absolutely drove our neighbors crazy making a ruckus with Griffin in the pool.  I have found that the pool is also a fantastic containment device, corralling him into a limited area that he enjoys being in, so I can sit back and relax watching him play.  This is a far cry from normal life inside the house, where the kid never stays in one place for more than two seconds and continues to find new and potentially dangerous things to place with/in/on/under.  There is no sitting down and relaxing watching him play anywhere else in the world besides in this pool.  And THAT is one of the many reasons why it is the best purchase a mom can make in the summer.  Just do it, moms.  Just buy a little pool.  It is money well, well spent.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10 - Nani's Here!

There is nothing that makes Griffin (or me, for that matter!) happier than to have family in town!  Cindy arrived today to stay in town until the day after our graduation, and we're all pleased as punch.  In other news, today was my final exam in Romans, the final exam of my college career!  As I walked outside those doors for the last time as a student, I couldn't help but throw my head and arms back and breathe in the relief and joy of completing my college degree.  I am done!  Done, done, done!  Hallelujah!  What a day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9 - The Chair

It has happened...Griffin has finally figured out how to climb up on the furniture.  We're working on staying "on your bottom" a lot these days.  Griffin likes to get his juice cup, some toys, and a few books up on this chair all at the same time.  He regularly signs "help" to get all these items on the chair with him and again to get down once he's thrown them all onto the floor.  I fully expect and am anticipated the dreaded first fall from such heights, but I'm glad to say that day has not yet come.  What a big boy we have.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

May 8 - Sweetness Itself

Sweetness itself.  I am so blessed to be a mother.  I know that not everyone gets to experience the highs, the lows, the blessings, and the trials, and I am so thankful that God has allowed me this precious gift.  As I celebrate my second Mother's Day (or my third, if you count pregnancy), I praise the Lord for using Griffin to sanctify me, for providing for all our needs, for protecting us daily, and for sustaining me through the difficult times.  Although the requirements that fill a mother's day (pun intended) can be exhausting and completely draining in every way, it's moments like the ones in this picture that bring clarity to how rewarding and fulfilling motherhood truly is.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 7 - Win-Win

Seriously, there is no better purchase for South Carolina summers with a 1 year old than a pool.  I promise.  Give the boy a hose, take his clothes off, and stick him in a pool...and BAM!  He is happy and totally entertained for a seemingly endless amount of time, whereas he was whining and throwing fits 5 minutes ago inside.  Also, said one year old is contained in one, confined space, which allows me to sit down and enjoy the sun, the outdoors, and watching him have a blast.  It's a win-win.

Friday, May 6, 2011

May 6 - Vocab

This is what Griffin has been doing lately when I pull out the camera.  Hah.  For the past few months, Griffin has been going through a physical growth spurt.  In the past week or so, it seems that he has started into another cognitive growth, growing more communicative and enlarging his vocabulary daily.  Lately, he's started regularly saying, "uh-oh," "book," "boat," and "mama."  Up until this point, he's basically just been babbling (he babbles alllllll the time), but he's never consistently spoken words until now.  He's been a little slow to actually speak, but he's signing like crazy, with a really amazing signing vocabulary, and is even stringing signs together to create makeshift sentences.  He's signed the phrases "hug Papa," "more orange please," and "Papa help."  Currently, his favorite signs are "help," "juice," "please," and "truck."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 5 - Swinging with Sully

We asked Sullivan and Griffin to hold hands, and this is as close as they got.  Still cute.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May 3 - Hose

This all started as a quick trip outside to fill up the pool for later, but Griffin found a new love:  the hose.  He had all his clothes on, but I put him in the pool with the hose to play around.  After becoming completely soaked, I let him run around in there naked.  He just loved it.  I was surprised that he wanted to play in water that cold, but he could have cared less about the temperature of the water.  He was just happy as a clam to have that hose.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2 - Sillies

We took these silly shots while looking into the mirror in our kitchen.  You know, today was a pretty terrible day, complete with non-stop crying, tempers pushed to their limits, hitting, throwing, and a lovely near 2 hour long battle of wills; but it's nice to sit back at the end of this aforementioned long, hard day and think about how blessed we really are and how it's all worth it.  As we approach the end of a tough semester, an even tougher year, and an extra-quadruple tough season of college, we are faced with a blank canvas of sorts.  We're not even close to sure what our next step is, where we go or do from here, and the options are vast and varied.  But we have each other, and we have the Lord.  We have wonderful friends, wonderful family, and those things won't change when and where we move forward.  It's been difficult to be so....unsure, but I suppose we all need to learn how to live in the moment rather than agonizing over what is to come...even though "what is to come" is mere days away for us.  May the Lord give us the strength to keep our eyes fixed on Him and those He has given us to love and serve today, then tomorrow, then the next day, etc. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1 - Sneak Peek

We took a few pictures today for our graduation announcements.  Here is a little sneak peek!