November 13, 2013

Some BIG, Little Things...

Taking JOY in the small things is something that I have really been trying to focus on the last few months. Life just goes by too fast, and if you aren't paying attention, you are going to miss out on some big, little things. Thankful that during this time of year we are reminded to be thankful...strange that sometimes we need to be reminded of that, but it is true we do.
I am very thankful for the big things like family, friends, our home, health and so many more, but there are so many other things that I am grateful for. Here are some of the recent things I have noticed:
  • The soft feel of cotton sheets at night.
  • When Blake wants to read a book he crawls up in your lap.
  • The sweet sound of cousins playing with each other.
  • A cup of coffee shared with a friend by the fireplace.
  • The smell of a newborn baby.
  • Chubby legs and big bellies. 
  • The wind blowing the last leaves from a giant oak tree.
  • Babies speaking in their own language.
  • The smell of dinner cooking throughout the day.
Those are just a few of the moments I'm trying to remember and reflect on. Things so simple, and yet so important in my day. Take JOY today in the small things in your life...once you start looking for them you will be surprised how many you are able to come up with.

“Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, 
and joy is always given, never grasped. 
God gives gifts and I give thanks and 
I unwrap the gift given: joy.” 
                                                                                                                          ~Ann Voskamp, author of, "One Thousand Gifts"

October 26, 2013

"Mama, Car, Dog, Dada"

Blake Denver Bernard
16 Months Old
Where does the time go? Everyone says that as you get older time goes by faster, but I think watching your kids grow up is what makes it fly by. This last month I really feel like our little baby has started to become a little boy. When I snap a picture of him, or watch him master a new skill I can't help but picture him as a little baby all snuggled in my arms. I am starting to understand why my mom and dad still see me as there 'little' is hard and exciting to watch your little one grow up.
This last month I feel like every time I turned around, Blake was learning something new. Whether it is a fine motor skill, or learning a new word, he is always learning something. It has been so amazing to watch him become excited and proud when he masters something for the first time...makes his mom a little proud too. :)

Some of my favorite things he has accomplished this month are:
  • Using his walking toys, and running all over the place.
  • Asking to read his Bible each night by pointing and signing, "Please."
  • He says, "tickle, tickle," and he will tickle with your fingers.
  • He gives the best hugs and kisses. :)
  • When we pray he puts his hands together.
  • When he reads a book and closes it, he signs, "All done."
  • He says "hot" whenever he sees a fireplace or fire.
  • He can say "cat," but most animals are all still dogs.
  • When he picks up any phone, he puts it up to his ear to answer it.
  • He is a TALKER...all the time. He makes facial expressions and uses his hands while he 'talks.'
  • He is all about cars, books and stuffed animals...while driving he will tell me where each "car" is.
I love my busy little boy, and am so blessed to get to be his mommy. What an amazing honor to get to watch a tiny baby grow up into a little boy. Amazed at how the time has gone so fast, but so thankful for the time that I have with my sweet Blakers. 

October 21, 2013

Mom Fail.

Sometimes as moms we fail. It's not that we want to get it wrong, but we do. Parts of today felt like one of those days. I so want to help my sweet little man to learn and grow, but might have pushed it too far...
*  *  *
You see, Blake doesn't walk yet, and I am pretty sure that it's not that he can't walk, it is that he is just choosing not too. I am totally fine with this, and it really doesn't surprise me all that much considering that's been his personality his entire life. That beings said, I have been providing Blake with ample opportunities to learn and grow his "walking" skills.
Lately I have felt like we were getting closer, and make big strides in moving in a vertical manner. Blake enjoys walking holding onto one finger, and he also enjoys climbing the couch. Brilliantly I thought, "Let's combine the two, and see if he will walk from us to the couch." HE TOOK FOUR STEPS ON HIS OWN TO THE COUCH. My celebration should have stayed there, I should have accepted those amazing four steps and been good, but I wasn't satisfied.
*  *  *
I scooted back another couple feet, and helped Blake's momentum move forward. Blake's sweet toothy smile went forward, but I failed to calculate the fact that his head balance is still not so great...His sweet excited face rammed into the base of the couch. As if his stunned, silent screams weren't enough, his tiny nose started to bleed. My heart broke as he struggled to breathe through his tears.

I know that I didn't do it to him. I know also that I could not have predicted that would happen, but the guilt had already set in. The thing is, Blake didn't hold a grudge. In fact although I was the one that had set him up to ultimately get hurt, I was the one person that he wanted for comfort. He climbed up in my arms, and let me rock him until his tears and cries stopped. 
*  *  *
As his body relaxed, I realized that sometimes Blake is going to fall and get hurt, but that I will be the one that he turns to as long as I am there to help him pick up the pieces. I also learned that when he is hurting, he isn't the only one that does, I do too. This mommy lesson was one that I wish I didn't have to learn. Poor little Blake now has two lumps on his forehead (from previous accidents) and how a cut and swollen nose...learning new things is hard to do. Thankful that tomorrow is a new day, and that I can get a fresh start.

October 17, 2013

Before & After

Considering the fact that my "baby" is now almost 16 months old I thought it might be good to finally get some pictures of his room transformation. I figure that in the next few years it will change into a 'big-boy' room, so I wanted to make sure to document his nursery before anything changes.
 *   *   *
I will admit...looking at the before pictures of his room, both Jason and I questioned why we bought our house in the first needed some work and love that's for sure.

Blake's room was the first room in the house we wanted to make sure we got started on and can tell by my painting pictures that little Blake was going to be coming soon. :)  If you have ever been pregnant and 'nested,' you know that this room might have been enough to send you over the edge.  Eventually though we got it all done...not before he arrived though, since someone decided to come three-weeks early.

We literally ended up re-doing everything in the room. From new outlets, floor and window molding, carpet and paint, we worked hard to transform this dingy room into one that our sweet little boy could grow to love.

Painting the Stripes:
Step 1: Tape out the correct widths for the stripes.
Step 2: Use the original base color (gray) paint, and paint over the tape side you are going to paint the new color (white). (See this step in the picture) This step seals the tape line, so that when you remove the tape after painting you have a crisp line with little touch-ups needed. Amazing time saver!
Step 3: Then paint the white on the other stripes. After it dries, touch up the paint and carefully peal off the tape.
Building the window-seat was one of our goals for the spot in front of the window. Thankfully Jason's dad was able to help make it happen. I love this special touch to his room.

Blake's favorite place in his room...Reading books and snuggling in the rocking chair.

October 08, 2013

While I'm Waiting.

While cleaning the house today a song came on that spoke directly to what I have been thinking about over the past few years.  "While I'm Waiting," by John Waller, are lyrics to what my heart has been feeling. 

"I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But PATIENTLY, I will wait."

The thing is, we all are waiting for something. Whether it is waiting for a job, marriage, children or a cure for pain, we all wait. So many of my friends and family are waiting for the Lord to answer their hearts desire. Prayers that are so selfless, and so in line with what is pure and good. As people, it is hard to see why these prayers are not answered quicker, or even answered at all. I am starting to learn as I wait for His timing, His plan, that amongst the waiting, I don't have to wait to live for Him.

"I will move ahead, BOLD and CONFIDENT
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait." 

The words, bold and confident, are so powerful. When we are wavering, He is strong. When we feel alone, He is there with His arms open. He is waiting for us to come to Him. My confidence does not need to stem from what I feel needs to happen, but rather, spring from what He is and has done in my life. 

While I rest in His timing, and His plan, I should not wait then to serve and worship Him. All that surrounds me; my family, friends, home and health are all held together by Him. 

His telling me to, "Wait," does not mean that He is silent, 
it might just be that He is wanting me to stop and lean on Him.

August 29, 2013

Friends for a Lifetime.

I have recently found myself thinking a lot about the many friendships I have.  Some are just forming, while others have been around for as long as I can remember. True friends, ones that you can count on no matter what, are such an amazing blessing. So many people can come in and out of your life, but it is so important to hold onto the friendships that form.

I can honestly say that I married my best friend; something that would be cliche if it wasn't true. He is someone that knows me, and still chooses to love me each day no matter what. He lives out Christ in front of me and our family, and leads me in the way that I need...even when I don't want the direction. He makes me laugh, and I enjoy spending my time with him, and he with me. {deep}

My mom is a woman that I grew up valuing and seeking her advice and opinion. I knew that she loved me no matter what, and that she supported me in what I did. As I got older the respect that I had for her grew into a friendship. I love getting to spend time talking with her, and watching her interact with my son. She is a wise, beautiful and loving woman...someone I hope to emulate. I also married into a family where I gained another mom that I love. She loves the Lord, her husband and her family. She raised my husband, and is a person I enjoy spending time with...something I am proud to be able to say. {unconditional} 
Listen to advice and accept instruction, 
that you may gain wisdom in the future
Proverbs 19:20
This is such a special relationship, one that I am so thankful that I have in my life. My sister is a light in my life, and a person that I enjoy spending time with. Although we are different, those differences only seem to make the memories we have together all the more special. She is the person that brings the silly side of my out...the one that I find myself laughing for no reason at all. I have watched her grow from a tiny baby into a beautiful woman. I have also been blessed with two other sisters through marriage. I am thankful for the love they have for me, and the many memories we have had as a family. {sisterly}

The amount of friends that I have many not be as many as some, but the ones that I do have are ones that are deep and lasting. I love when I get to see a friend that I haven't had a good talk with in awhile, and it's as if we left off right where we left off the time before. I love that although many of these friends live far away, I know they are there for me all the time. I love that these friends have walked through life with me. They knew me when I was learning who I was and what I wanted my life to be about. They have walked through exciting times in my life, and have helped me through harder trials. These friendships are ones that I treasure. {lasting}

Thankful for the many new friends that I have in my life. I've learned that although it is hard to open up to someone, to let someone in, it is so worth it. These are friends that I love getting to create new memories with. They are ones that are equally excited about hanging out and spending time together. I love how they have come into my life, whether through work, at coffee shops or through church. These are women that desire to have me pour into their life, and I want the same from them. Thankful for these friends, in that I can be honest with how I am doing on a daily basis. {transparency}

"As iron sharpens iron, 
so one person sharpens another."
Proverbs 27:17

August 13, 2013

King's Court

Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the crowd....
This past Sunday our little family of three took a trip up to Seattle to go to a Mariner game; something I think every Bernard boy is destined to love. From the start of the National Anthem to the announcement, "Mariner's win!" Blake was AMAZING.  He was in awe of how many people there were, and how loud they could be when a hit or out was made. By the end of the game though he was a pro, and was clapping along with the crowd.
We have quite the silly little baby boy on our hands...he LOVES people...he will point, wave, smile and 'talk' with anyone until he can get them to give him his full attention. It doesn't matter what they look like, Blake will befriend them, and soon enough have them making silly faces back at him or waving like they were a little kid too. If only we were all still so open to being friendly with others, and letting our lights shine as bright as Blake's does.

It was a quick trip, but so worth it to watch Jason and his little boy get to experience this first together. Who knows if Blake will be a ball-player, but there is no doubt that we have another baseball lover in the Bernard family.

July 13, 2013

"Working Mama"

This last week Jason and I changed roles, to working mom and stay-at-home dad.  I will be honest, my mama heart was breaking Monday morning when I was awakened by an alarm instead of the cries of my son. I knew that my men were going to be fine, and that they were going to have a blast, but it was strange knowing that I wouldn't be a part of it.  Maybe that's what the struggle was...I didn't want to miss out.
I have been away from my baby before, but there is something different knowing that it is going to be for a few weeks and many days in a row. Granted there are thousands of moms that wake up each morning knowing they will be spending time at work, but for the past year my work has been snuggling, changing, feeding and playing with my gift, my son.

" work has been 
snuggling, changing, feeding and playing 
with my gift, my son."

As the week went on, I heard stories over the phone about walks to the park, trips to the library and wrestling at home. I realized that my husband was getting the chance to connect with our son in a way he wouldn't be able to do if I was there too. I realized that Blake was getting to learn new things that I wouldn't necessarily be able to teach him on my own. Wow. 
Thankful for a husband that want's to invest in his son's life, who wants to get down on the floor and 'baby-talk.' Their relationship is so precious, and so special. I can see the love in both their eyes when I catch them playing, or when Jason is reading Blake a bedtime story. Thankful for a short-term job for me, that's allowing me to re-awaken my passion for teaching. This 'working mama,' is surely blessed.

July 07, 2013

Birthday Boy!

This last weekend we got to celebrate Blake's first birthday, and it was so wonderful. To see his smiles, and watch all those family members that love him so much enjoying watching his joy, was perfect. This sweet little boy is:
thoughtful, sweet, smiley, loving, silly, 
and so many more things. He is learning and doing so many new things, and celebrating a birthday can now also be added to that list.
He really enjoyed opening his presents, and would instantly want to play with the toy that he just opened. Made me so happy to see the pure joy, and genuine smiles that would cross his face with each new thing, whether socks or a big blue wagon with wheels.  I also love that he is starting to look and act so much like his daddy (see above picture for just one example). If he is as godly and loving as his dad then I am one lucky mom.
We sang happy birthday, and he was memorized by the candle and the song that everyone was singing. Then came what we were all excited about, Blake eating the cupcake...First off, Blake doesn't really ever like sticky or squishy food on his the frosting was a little strange until he tried it. He liked it, so he took a bigger bite...we all cheered and then the tears came. Whether it was a mixture of embarrassment, too much food, or whatever, Blake was sad and needed his mom. To calm down what do you do? Rub your frosting and cake covered fingers on your mamas face. :) After he calmed down, he was all good eating again.
After he was good and messy, Blake got to take a bubble bath outside! If you know Blake, you know that he love his baths, and he loves being outside, so this was a double treat for him. I'm pretty sure he would have stayed in there all night if we had let him.
Grandma snuggles.
Great-Grandma and Blake snuggled in his pj's.
Happy birthday sweet baby boy. Blake Denver Bernard, know that you have changed our lives, only for the better. You have made my husband a dad, and that change has been wonderful to watch. You are a light in our lives, but it is evident that you light up any room that you go into. So blessed by this last year, getting to watch you learn and grow. Thankful that God blessed me with you, knowing that you would be the perfect addition to our family. On to year TWO! :)