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! 

November 17, 2016

celebrate | Avery is 2











Last weekend we got to celebrate sweet Avery's 2nd birthday with an owl themed party at the park! We had a blast swinging, spinning on the "spin-wheel," eating delicious cupcakes made by Cakes to Dye For & watching Ave open her gifts. 

Thanks for letting us be part of your special celebration! We love you, Avery! 

November 16, 2016



reading: nothing, currently. but, it's nice to have all of our books (out of storage) again 

playing: Christmas music, all day, 'er day (& The Wallflowers station on Pandora when Christmas music fails me) 

watching: Poldark Parenthood 

trying:  to be creative in Christmas gifting 

cooking: lots of eggs on the skillet ... and soup in the microwave #nostoveatthewhitehouse

eating: see above. 

drinking: coffee & coke zero 


calling: no one 

texting: kayla jean 

pinning: Thanksgiving dessert recipes // gift ideas 

planning: to tag along with Mikey on a work trip in December 


crafting:  Rust & Stardust necklaces & earrings 

doing: as much as we can each night at our white house while trying to stay sane 

going: to squeal when our Christmas cards come in (!!) 

loving:  having my photography gig up and running 

hating: the cold weather 

discovering: how to survive feeding our family with just a skillet, crock pot & microwave #welovechickfila

enjoying: editing pictures 

hoping: for a super mild winter (i don't even care if it's rainy, i just don't want it to be cold) 

celebrating: (last weekend) Amos turning FOUR!  


smelling:  coffee 

thanking: Mikey for all of the late nights he's been putting in at our white house & both of our dad's for helping last weekend 

considering: that there are only 39 days until Christmas (and 40 until my 30th birthday) 

finishing: i can't think of a single thing that i'm finishing right now --- so many balls in the air right now 

starting: new journal 


November 9, 2016

martin band of brothers | november 2016


My requirement when picking out a new sink for our white house was that it was big & deep enough to bathe babies in  ... I think this one is just right. 

We're still without hot water, so we fill the electric kettle over and over until the sink is just full enough, then the two big boys scramble over the edge and plop in like it's the best thing in the world.  They love splashing in the sink & I love that they all fit. Win win. 

November 7, 2016

mountain weekend










We spent the last weekend of October in the mountains with some of our best buds, the Davis'. The boys loved tromping around the woods & throwing rocks in the river for hours. They loved having friends to share cars with and I'm pretty sure between the brood of 5 boys we had every lovie animal there is. We loved catching up with Megan & BD over a back porch fire and the Clemson game. We also loved survived hiking with 5 kids under 4 and I remembered why I haven't tried to take all 3 of them by myself. #notenougharms 

It's a really neat blessing to have kids that are the same age as one of your life long best buds. Mike and I are praying that our boys will share the same friendship and brotherhood that Mikey & BD have and that our families will continue to be entertwined as our stories are still being written. Maybe one day we'll be dropping two of those boys off at Clemson together, no doubt reminiscing over our college days and all that's happened in between. Until then though, we'll keep crashing Mrs. Patti's pool in the summer, throwing rocks in rivers together and praying over these little guys. 

Amos (almost) 4 | Isaac (almost) 3 | Solomon 2 | Asher 1 | Ezra 7 mths

November 1, 2016

adventure race no. 4 | tuna 200









The Monkey Tribe came & conquered the Tuna 200 a couple of weekends ago. This year we ran a girl strong team (4 girls / 2 guys) vs a guy strong team & straight up dominated (no offense boys of past races...y'all are awesome). We came in 9 / 96 & held an 8:13 pace for a total of just over 25 hours! We get a little better and more efficient with each one of these that we do. This time, our secret weapon was one of my BFFs, Carolyn .. the team PT. She tortured us stretched and rolled us out between legs (it hurt so good!). Seriously, I'll never run another one of these unless Carolyn comes. I love these races and I love these people!