A sweet lesson in “carpe diem” with Brent.

What is one’s spirited little to do, trapped for hours inside the four walls of a doctor’s office, all while his mommy walks through endless loops attempting to get her physical approved by the state (life with an auto immune, y’all)?!?!?…

Why, simply initiate a serious discussion regarding this month’s “Car and Driver” with the three other Grandpas present in the room- now all “enjoying” their tiring wait alongside him. I just couldn’t get enough of all of their smiles- smitten by this little’s contagious spirit, captured (hook, line, and sinker) attentively by his precious heart and talk on fast cars. It was a serious matter, y’all, cars and all. I sat there, silent, watching them all debate makes and models, proudly boast stories with Brent about their “golden years”, and slowly release from their days and ailments back to the innocence of three again- if even just for a quick, needed glimpse.

Lord, I pray his adorable heart fights against becoming guarded or distracted by this “fast paced” world. I am continually in awe of how his spirit relentlessly floods out sweet joy 24/7, effortlessly, regardless of the circumstances, no matter the crowd. To think we, his parents, are blessed to get a front row seat each and every time. Now, I am off to sharpen my knowledge on all things cars, because wowzers was I the odd man out. Here’s to three: glorious, vivacious, passionate, and missional. Unworthy, y’all, so unworthy of his joy, but so so grateful! ❤

car and driver

#herehegrowsmeagain #littleboylife #caranddriver #daddysproud

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A lesson in BIG bows with Brent.

Our dinner conversation:

“Mommy, I tink der is a girl dat I give my loves to…”

(GASP!!!- a new, foreign twinkle flashes across his eyes and I see it mirrored in his daddy’s acknowledging smile.)

“Her name starts with an M. Ma, Ma, Ma….”

(Relieved, I shout “Mommy!”)

“Welp, okay, I’ll do two gurls… Mommy and Mia!”

(MIA?!?!?!?)

“Yeah… (uncomfortable eye twinkle again), she has da BIGGEST bow strap in class.”

(Joshua and I died, and I immediately started looking at the enrollment costs of other local “all boy” schools, jk!)

#getreadygirls #youdontwantthismama #jkkkk #noimnot #helikesbigbowsandhecannotlie

big bows

A lesson in celebrating- no matter the season or holiday.

Things I (am learning to) love: 

Weeks that grow me- even if through tired tears.

Limbo- you know those seasons stocked full of intention and faith (yes, LOTS of faith, y’all).

Saturday mornings- often spent watching my giggling boys chase one another while they insist I rest, regather, and just observe it all- filling my heart and body back to full.

My husband- a man of few words, true, but gifted nonetheless with endless listening, immense compassion, and a content way of walking to his own beat in this life. He’s both insanely observant and thoughtful. Someone who listens well enough to hear me say that I want to freeze my little’s current tiny hands as they are, one who knows that I do so cherish B’s current signature (albeit a love/hate relationship when signed multiple times over), and the person who tucks away little tokens that his love picks up and nonchalantly remarks about seeing her Father’s heart written upon them. This man, who says so little verbally (which truly is a perfect balance for his two other endless gabbers) always says so much through his heartfelt actions. I use to get so frustrated that he didn’t communicate like me, true (selfish) story, but now… four years into marriage, I am SO grateful he doesn’t, so grateful. His “listening” approach to life, (one where his heart does the talking and not his mouth or pride, like me) well… it has grown me in ways I never even saw coming. He’s rare and he’s mine- totally undeserving but totally grateful that his whole heart took on this “hot mess of redemption” and has never.looked.back. Together, we literally made walking, talking, illuminating “ADORABLE” and we named it Brent, Michael Brent.

#happyTODAYyall

valentin

A lesson in the importance of short names.

Brents name

“…but Mommy, I want to write my ‘real favorite name’.”-B

I tried to sell him on just signing “B”, but a las, it appears he is rather smitten with the dreadfully long name my pregnant self insisted we bestow upon him- totally disregarding a future three-year old Brent (a perfectionist at heart, just like his mama) writing it EIGHTEEN times over. So, here’s to more coffee, staring at this sweet name (my favorite too, honestly), and thanking the Lord for raining down patience and caffeine on this mama today. Y’all, if we ever find ourselves naming a sweet little again, I am thinking “Bo (no middle) Cox”, the end. :))))) Take that preschool valentines, you wont get me again!!!! Totally kidding, we both only cried once, every minute, per card! I kid, I kid (no I don’t).

A lesson in love.

“I know how to make gurls stop talking wots (one to talk, little)…”-B

(Intrigued, we obviously questioned how that was…)

“You just kiss dem until dey stop”- B proclaimed proudly as he laid a big ole smacker on me, mid beginning to talk. Welp, it worked, that’s for sure!!!

Joshua, is this the advice you lay down during your “male bonding”?!?!?!

hearts

A lesson in throwing out encouragement…

As I sat, just now, with a sweet little wrapped in my arms, enjoying his bottle, my own little popped down the stairs and randomly said, “You’re SO good at dat, mommy!”

“What? Feeding Graham his bottle?”-me

“Nope. Not dat. At being mommy. You da best at lovin!”-B

Brent bounded right off at the same speed he arrived, not awaiting any type of reply. Yet he left his mommy speechless, with grateful tears instantly streaming down my cheeks. I felt overwhelmed last night, okay, all of yesterday, yes with the virus, but also… just with life, with me. Ever had one of those days? I was grateful, I am grateful, BUT I am also full of expectations, selfish desires, and a long-standing love/hate relationship with perfectionism. Long story short, I am still a sinner. SURPRISE!!!! (Not at all, I hope.) I have been redeemed in SO many ways, praise HIM, but wooftie do I still have so much to release, so much of me… Yet, just like my son (AND my husband, the true front-runner, really), my Father sees my frustrating days, the days I fall short and come off as snippy and lacking patience… and STILL He meets me in my tears of defeat and says, “You, there crying tears, you are SO great to me, still.” He floods this truth back into my heart through the sweet, intentional words of my three-year old. The same little who saw a twitch of “cray cray” in his mommy’s eyes yesterday as we battled a stomach virus on no sleep, solo.

I don’t always feel deserving of Brent’s (my Father’s) sweet compliments, like today, or of his endless love, I don’t. I make wrong choices minute to minute, but one choice I refuse to give up on, a choice that I didn’t really make, for myself, until my mid twenties, one I sometimes need a nudge “back” towards… is to LOVE THROUGH those days. JUST like how my Father, my life love, and my son CHOOSE to love me, undeserving, THROUGH both the hills and valleys of this life. Love… y’all, when spilled, it FILLS a tired mama back up to full. Love leaves a child feeling taken care of, even on the rough days where frustrations and germs reign over snuggles and grace. Love, even currently states apart, encourages and restores. LOVE!!!, it meets us where we are and it covers us, continually pursues us, and it changes us!

So, for now, I will thank the Lord for that needed bout of encouragement, I will take another CHERISHED sip of my coffee, cold, but there, and I will smile my way through today knowing that I don’t do it all right, I don’t, but I do just fine by love, just fine, and that counts SO much more in my book. Here’s to silencing those other silly standards (through comparison, perfectionism, etc) that I (we) set and allow to pierce me (us) with “false” failure and lies, because when it comes to love, Truth always rings louder, and I (we) have the BEST examples before me, I (we) do. Just another dose of real, y’all. Off we go, CHOOSING to LOVE (all, ourselves included) THROUGH… ‪#‎herewegrowagainandagain‬

Brent sleeping. coffee cup

A lesson in loyal love and Shelby girl.

Dearest Brent,
One day, when you’re older, I’ll remind you of that precious time when sweet tears rolled down your devastated face at the mere thought that one of “your girls”, Shelby, didn’t see you as her “bestest friend” too. I’ll show you these captured moments and affirm that she did in fact cherish you, VERY much so, like a second mama- from the moment you graced my womb, no less. She just, well, she more so prefers now that her love be spilled from a safe distance (we can discuss your short-lived probing and riding phases another time) or at least until you’re motionless and asleep- then she’s always there, always, your faithful “bestest friend”, our Shelby girl.

The same girl who sat in my very full, very pregnant lap while I heaved and worried profusely for 9 months straight. The sweet pup who laid up all those sleepless nights with me (huffing, no less) as I battled and conquered so many fears attempting to seed and grow in my heart, while we, as a family, embarked on our new journey with you and Epilepsy. A compassionate girl who, three times over, has always sought out and loyally found her mama, tucked away, alone, where she then stayed, curled up into my own ball for sometimes days- allowing my sobbing tears of loss to drench her coat as they steadily fell, slowly making a way for peace and healing.

This girl of ours, B, she isn’t much of a talker, so don’t take her lack of a reply as any indication of her heart for you. For you see, our Shelby, well she’s mastered a silent kind of love, a listening love, a loyal love. She’s changed us, mended us, and protected ALL of us time and time again without one single word… and that, well, it just speaks volumes, my love, volumes.

Sometimes, B, love screams out of the smallest gesture of just being there, silently, while we, her family, venture through the hills and the valleys of this life. A faithful sailor when the sea is calm, fierce, or three… That’s our girl: always there, always loving, no matter the season. Loyally present.

Love,
your Mama- her other bestest friend

puppies

paw holding snuggles

A lesson in forgiveness, from Brent.

Some days, this kid… he just, well, he gets it, more so than his parents, truly.

(Over breakfast today)

“Daddy, I needs you to repeat after me!”-B

“Okay, buddy, shoot…”-J

“I forgives you!”-B

(We both instinctly shoot a “what the…” <I only curse in my mind to Josh, in the groggy, early morning> glance at one another as he replies back…)

“Brent, I didn’t say sorry, bud. Are you upset?”-J

“No, daddy. Say it too: I forgives you!” -B

(So, still looking at me with a “your the mom, clue me in” look, he repeated after B.)

“Okay, GREAT! Now, mommy, says ‘I forgives you!'”-B

(Okay, now I’m thinking maybe I totally forgot that Joshua and I are fighting, but B hasn’t… jk, but still I sat there totally oblivious to why we are apologizing over coffee and morning eye rubs, so naturally I stare back at Josh, urging him with my eyes to do his normal “I’m a more perceptive listener” trick- we must figure out this little, we must stay ahead… We. Are. Behind!!!!)

“I forgive you!”-Me

“Okay! Perfect, now one more… And his name starts with ba, ba, B!!! Asks me!!!”-B

“Okay, B, do you have something to say?”-J

“Yes! I forgives you too!!! There… Now we can all have a faberlously great day with no fusterbates (frustrations).” <cue the biggest, most satisfied grin his sweet little cheeks could muster>

For you see, Brent, at three, apparently already grasps that if you start your day with forgiveness and grace… It’s BOUND to be FANTABERLOUS!!!! Some days, okay, most days, this little is WAY AHEAD, but we two parents, well we are just forever grateful that he’s a great sharer!!!

Sleeping

A lesson in friendship and denial.

Brent just came to me BAWLING, so I asked what was wrong, obviously.

“Shelby doesn’t like me!”-B

Brent, yes she does.

“No!!! NOOOO!!! She told me she didn’t.”

Brent, how in the world did Shelby tell you that?!?

“I told her she was my bestest friend and den when I asked her if I was hers, she just stareded at me and den walked away, back downstairs!!!!”

B concluded by dramatically bawling louder at the release of such traumatic news. Y’all, how do you bottle such adorable. That Shelby, soooo desired and so choosy.

shelby girl