Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear Baby Daddy.

First, Happy Father's Day to both our dads! We hope you both have are able to relax today and feel the love from all your family. We wouldn't be who we are today without you.

Papa and Eli

Pop-pop holding Eli

Papa and Eli

I think you're thinking, "Hi buddy. You look absolutely nothing like me."
Happy Father's Day to the best daddy an Eli could ask for. :) You are such a good father, and you've only had one little year of practice. I know you will get better and better as the years go on, if that's even possible.

Lifetime sportsman's license
You two are going to be such good friends. You will get to teach Eli everything you know about hunting, fishing, exploring, and respecting and enjoying this big wide earth.
first father's day.
You love being with Eli, and will argue with me who gets to go get him first from the church nursery or after a nap. You sing him songs, and dance with him in the living room. You are the ultimate bath taker while I get a little alone time each night.
first swim.
You love being with us, and doing new fun things, just to see how Eli will enjoy it, whether it be his first food, first swim, first aquarium, or first tooth-brushing.

last summer in knoxville.
You are the most affectionate one out of the two of us, and Eli and I are both covered in kisses daily. We are a lucky mama and baby.
 You bring the F-U-N to our family. You rough house, play chase, tickle, and toss. You play games, sing songs, and dance. You eat food from his teeny tiny fingers, and drink from his sippy cup to make him happy.
You give piggy back rides, and belly rides on our hardwood floors. You are so FUN!

winter in front of first house. knoxville.
You hold Eli while you mow the lawn one handed, take him for wheelbarrow rides, and almost nightly wagon rides around the neighborhood. You are excited to take us camping, hiking, boating, and even to broadway plays. As long as we're together, you are a happy man, and I'm a happy girl, which makes Eli a happy baby.
feeding a sick baby a bottle.
You HELP me around the house. You clean, cook dinner, feed Eli, change diapers and clothes, getting dirty handprints on your nice clothes, and you brush little blonde hairs, brush eight little teeth, and diaper-cream little cute bottoms. You work hard all day and then work hard at home. I couldn't think of anything BETTER. You make small selfless acts with a happy heart. Talk about sexy. :)
Keeping feverish heads cool with a sick baby.
You wear a teddy bear on your head to entertain a sick munchkin so he will keep his cold rag on his head. You pray with us and for us, and do the dishes. You go to church with us and love the Lord more than us, or even yourself.
Christmas 2010.
You are dark-skinned, dark-eyed, handsome and hairy and I love it. Our baby is fair, blue-eyed, beautiful and smooth skinned and I love it too. You look like you adopted him until he smiles, and then he's all yours with your huge mouths and almond shaped Indian eyes.
first slide.

kisses after church.

birthday ride in the new ride.

first ocean.
THANK YOU for all you do for us. It is a BIG job to try and raise our little boy into a young man and into a grown man and even more so into a grown Christian man. Your grandfather did a great job with your dad, and your dad did a great job with you, and you will do a great job with our little boy. You are already teaching him how to love others, how to have patience, have fun, and love Jesus. How to be a servant, be kind, and respect his mama. You are teaching him about marriage and how to treat his future wife. How to be a good loving son to his own parents and a protective, giving brother to his future siblings. You are doing a great job, honey. I love you! Eli loves you! Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Clean food, romantic gifts, and farmer's market

Lately, Matthew and I have been doing a little research, and have decided to change our eating habits. We certainly don't eat a lot of junk, but I am cheap, and buy my food accordingly. Once Eli came along, it became more important to us to feed him wholesome hormone-free, pesticide-free food. Do we do that every day? Of course not. He would like to eat pizza and macaroni and cheese for the rest of his life. However, we usually offer him meal options that we feel will benefit his growing body. After researching clean foods for Eli, we, of course, began doing so for ourselves too. We watched the documentary Food, Inc. Have y'all seen it? Man, oh man. It really stressed the importance to us of eating locally grown, organic foods...not so much for the treatment to animals, but more so that we know where our food is coming from and what's happening to it before we put it in our bodies.

 I am not sure how directly related diseases like cancer are with diet, but we do believe that God created us as humans to eat off the land, using the bounty he's provided us with. With all our advancements, we have strayed far away from this concept. Plants and farms produce food faster, and bigger, which allows them to lower prices, but takes us far from the idea of eating what we originally designed to eat. It seems inevitable to me that our bodies will rebel and suffer some from all these chemicals and hormones we are ingesting on a daily basis.
 My own body lately has had some issues with the food I am eating, so we are making a conscious effort to change our habits and hope it will fix some of the problems I am experiencing. still with me? All that to say, we have started our backyard garden again this year, and  are eagerly awaiting it's crop, although this lack of rain hasn't been too good for it. Our wedding anniversary is today, and we literally bought each other some pretty non-romantic gifts, but they are right up my alley. Matthew walked in the door yesterday and saw I had used an egg for dinner. He asked if I still had the egg shell. I was a little confused as to why he cared what I did with our scraps, but turns out, he listened to me months ago when I told him I wanted a real compost pail for our kitchen, and not an open-air stinky tin tray that I had been using. The pail is awesome...I'll show you later. I got him/us the two cookbooks above. Both promote the kind of eating I just talked about, and we are excited to cook through EVERY recipes together and tweak them to our liking- gluten free, etc. I added in Sheryl Crow's b/c Clean Food hardly uses any meat, and I married a hunter. Her cookbook includes lots of recipes for grass-fed, free-range meat. Plus, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she changed her diet to include mostly antioxidant, cancer-fighting foods. We are both so excited about our lovey dovey gifts to eachother.

Last, on Saturday my mom and I went to our local farmer's market downtown. There is one closer to my house, but I missed the day it was held, so we trekked downtown at noon in the 97 degree heat on Saturday. We thought we might die of heat until I gave a survey for a poor soul and he gave us free water in return. I ended up getting red onions, tomatoes, goat cheese, spring onions, and red leaf lettuce. Don't those ingredients alone make you want a big ole' salad with homemade dressing?  Hopefully, this new way of eating will help me find some answers to the pains I've had--it's awfully frustrating to eat what I thought was a "safe" meal and experience crippling pain the next day because of it. If our new recipes our any good, I'll pass them along!

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Ocean.

Dear Eli, Last week we showed you one of my favorite places here on earth.
 We pulled you up and over the sand in your new red wagon, and your blue eyes grew big when you first spied the ocean. My eyes still do the same thing, little boy, even now.
 We took turns holding you and capturing this memory, even though you won't remember, you'll have these pictures to show you you were there.
We dipped your toes in the water, and you were a bit unsure of this big blue cold ocean. We went back to our friends and gave you some time to adjust.

 Soon after, your daddy tried again. He swooped you up and carried you out to those crashing waves again. As long as he held you, you were fine.
 Eventually, he sat down with you and you didn't cry this time. He built a mountain of sand to block you from the waves, and the two of you sat and played, and laughed, and dug and built.
When I took this picture, you were squealing in joy at the water and waves, and your daddy told me to let you to play.

You two eventually joined the rest of us on the beach and you sat on my lap and were asleep within minutes. I carefully moved you to your bed in your new red wagon and for an hour, you slept to the sound of waves crashing on the beach. My heart was so full.

Some of my very favorite mama moments come in watching my baby experience something new for the first time. I get such joy in showing him a place where I see God's handiwork all around.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Brazil. 2005

Dear Matth:
I'm going to date you forever.
Love, Me.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Just a little something.

Hi friends. Sorry for the absence. Summer has already taken over. Until I return with a post that has some substance, here's a little something to ponder. Chai tea latte. I bought mine at Eathfare.
I bought some yesterday and made myself two steaming hot mugs full this morning. I mixed it half and half with Eli's organic whole milk. It was delicious. My sweet baby has some mean ole' molars coming slowly slowly slowly and we are up through the night again and awake at 6 in the a.m. Not a fan of that, however, this made my morning a little bit brighter. Go get some. Stat.