December 6, 2016

month eight | ezra

month eight


Eight whole months!!! Holy cow, batman! I keep thinking to myself (and saying out loud to daddy) that I'll be planning your first birthday party pretty soon! I don't even know where these last 8 months have gone. 

This past month was a big one for you! You've started waving bye bye & sometimes give what looks like a little salute. You've also said "addy," "hot," and "car," but you have to be in the mood for sure. I try all kinds of things to get you to talk to us, but you do it on your own timing. Let me clarify. You talk all day -- you jibber and jabber and holler and scream, but you have to be in the mood to say words. You've just in the past few days gotten interested in moving around by yourself. I think until now you've not been interested because I just scoop you up and move you to wherever the brothers are. You've tried to pull up (from the inside of card board box) and can scoot backwards. You still hate tummy time, but you'll stay on your tummy long enough to get your legs going now. I bet you'll be crawling by the end of the year! 

Your such a good eater. You love table food (and will still eat baby food too)...some favorites include: graham crackers, green beans, Larabars, pizza, french fries, and bananas. You're still partial to mama's milk and have mastered the sippy cup! 

Ez, you seriously are the happiest baby. I tell daddy all the time that if all babies were as happy as you, I'd have 10. You give the best face-eating-nose-scruntching smile every time you look at me. It doesn't matter what time of day (or night) or what's going on -- you're always smiling. Daddy & I have been praying since you were born that the joy of the Lord would be your strength (Neh. 8:10) and I really believe even as a baby you have that joy. It's simply contagious and I pray that it always will be. 

Ezra McCraw I love being your mama. You are such a joy and treasure. I'm excited about the Christmas season with you (and the brothers). We're soaking in the season as much as we can while trying to finish our white house. Little one, keep growing big and strong. I sure do love you! 

December 4, 2016

Celebrate | a Charleston wedding









A few weekends ago Mikey & I traveled to Charleston to celebrate one of my best friends wedding and marriage to her sweet beau, Chris. I was so honored to be included in their wedding. Everything about the weekend was purely magical. Mike and I even got to sleep in and had the best massages of our lives. (Seriously!!) 

Chris & Alexa, my heart bursts with joy and excitement for you two. I love getting snippets into your lives and am so excited to continue walking through life with y'all. Maybe one day we'll be back yard neighbors (I can dream, right?!) - passing kids and meals back and forth...until then we'll meet up when we can, travel together, send pictures and texts and snail mail (always snail mail). Know that when things get hard and life throws you curve balls Mike and I are here. We'll have listening ears and always be in your corner. 

Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe--I have tried it--my own feet have tried it well--
be not detain'd.

Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book
on the shelf unopen'd!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain
Le the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in
the court, and he judge expound the law.

Camerado, I give you my hand! 
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me? 
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

|Song of the Open Road // Whitman| 

December 1, 2016

oh Christmas tree













Y'all! Christmas tree huntin' with little guys is so much fun! We ended up at Mystic Tree Farm (thanks to Dusti) and brought home a gorgeous Leland Cypress and a Blue Ice Cypress for the boy's room. We strung lights and decorated with ornaments while Christmas music jammed in the background. The boys loved picking out ornaments to hang and I smiled remembering where a lot of them came from (J & Collins' wedding, Mere over the years, ornament swaps from college..). 

I love making these memories with the boys. I think that they love Christmas as much as I do. I hope that they'll remember this season as being marked by the smell of fresh cut Christmas trees (even if they're allergic...c'mon kids, get it together!), Christmas music filling every room of the house, apple cider in "special cups," dates with Gram (one of their great-grandmothers) to bake sugar cookies iced with homemade peppermint icing, picking out gifts for each other, and waiting eagerly to open the brown paper gifts under the tree. 

November 29, 2016

thanksgiving 2016









Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...
it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, 
and creates a vision for tomorrow.

|Melody Beattie| 

Thanksgiving day is one of my very favorites of the entire year. Typically we wake up slowly & have a lazy morning until we gather at Mimi & Papa's for lunch. However, this year, Mike got up and ran his very first "Thanksgiving 30" ... he ran from TR to Simpsonville with just enough time to shower before sitting down at the table for turkey and all the fixin's. The boys played all afternoon in the yard and even took a dip in the hot tub (apparently we do this on Thanksgiving). (: We meandered to Fountain Inn for dinner with the McCraw clan like we always do. We had a spread of desserts fit for a king (who needs turkey when you can have apple strudel, pumpkin bars, strawberry cheesecake, or peanut butter pie? NOT me!) 

We've much to be thankful for over this past year, as always, it seems. At the top of the list: 3 healthy little boys, being in our white house, and simply being together to enjoy it all. 

Just like that we're on to Christmas! Let the festivities begin! 

November 23, 2016

Amos is FOUR!







Amos Michael Martin, I'm afraid that I've blinked and now you're FOUR!! Seriously, I don't know where these last four years have gone but I sure do enjoy being your mama! You are such a fun, intelligent, interesting little person. You're also sassy and very stubborn… I'm not sure who you got that from.  Thank you for bearing with me as I learn how to be a mama to a four-year-old…it's a lot different than being a mama to a two-year-old! You definitely have your own opinions about things and have certain ways that you like things done (i.e.: chocolate milk & a show in the morning ... in that order) … and sometimes a lot of the time your way doesn't line up with mama and daddy's way, but we're learning together. I've loved watching you grow into your own little person and it is mine and daddy's greatest privilege to shepherd and mold you (and your brothers) into caring, kind, gentle but fierce little Jesus lovers. 

I am so, so, so proud of the little boy that you are growing into. You are so stinkin' smart that sometimes I can't wrap my brain around it. You can count to 100+, you can count by 2s and 100s (to 7,000 one time - with a little help), you can speak some Spanish (mostly vocab words), you can write your name and most of the alphabet, you know mama's phone number and our address, you are creative and love to paint (especially when mama's painting), and you love daddy and to be doing anything that he's doing. You're still obsessed with American Ninja Warrior (hence the cake that I worked super hard on) and nerf guns (you, daddy & Solly have a nerf battle almost every day when he gets home from work). 

You're a great big brother. But, you're still learning every stinkin' day how to share (we're selfish people, bud...all of us), how to speak kindly to Solomon & Ez (and mama too) - we're working on taming that tongue of yours (and mine, always) [James 3: 5-6] & remembering that God gave you Solomon and Ezra to be your best buds forever. You may look just like you're daddy, but you're mama when it comes to attitude and temperament. You know what you want (you recently told daddy that you didn't like a sword he'd made you out of scrap wood & when he asked you why not, you said, "...well, I just don't like it.") and you're sassy. Sheesh. Parents of mine, please accept my apology for my sassiness as a kid. I'm getting it fed to me by the spoonful these days. 

Moose, I think you're wonderful. I truly love being your mama, even in when you're sassy and stubborn and a total daddy's boy. You make me be a better mama. Thank you for loving me just as I am & always sneaking in a, "you're beautiful mama," just when I need it. You're a special boy, Amos. Happiest 4th birthday to YOU, my biggest boy!