Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Toe biting and boat riding

Silas loves to suck on his big toe because I squeal with humorous disgust now that he's walking all over the place. I caught him smirking at himself during his nap when he popped that foot into his mouth. I caught you big man.
Who needs toys when you can have a stick fight with daddy?
An impromptu work lunch with daddy makes every day better.
Memorial Day lake attire! This hat has three versatile settings. No buttons, one button (seen here), or two "Ausie" style buttons (wish I had a pic it was adorable). I think every kid looks cute in any kind of hat though.
T-Pop and Si man just taking the boat for a ride.
I love watching Silas experience things for the "first" time over and over again. Each year some of the same experiences are completely different. It was a great weekend!

Also, a huge hug of gratitude to anyone and everyone that fights for the amazing freedoms we share in this county. Happy Memorial Day!

~Boat Buster

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Who Am I?

Mother's Day has come and gone, yet the daily responsibilities of a momma never see a day off. Even if you take a "vacation" without your precious babies, they never escape your concern or reach. Before I ever became a mother myself, I knew it was known as a "thankless" job, and I was perfectly okay with that description. In fact I remember desiring to be a less selfish person with regard to my time and energy, and I couldn't wait to give all of who I was to any young life God entrusted to me. I never thought I'd be one of those women that needed others to validate my chosen existence. Yet I'm realizing how easily this world creeps into our personal psyche without us even recognizing when we gave it our permission.Whether you work outside your home full-time, serve as a part-time employee, or wear the badge of full-time mommy, there are significant challenges that always make someone else's role look a little greener.

As a "part-time" worker and full-time mommy, I try to see the world from multiple perspectives. The greener grass and validation I'm referring to do not really have anything to do with purpose. I believe strongly that I am fulfilling a great purpose in my role as a wife and mother. I know that it's not the countless times I am wiping... wiping snotty noses, wiping watery eyes, wiping dirty bottoms, wiping sandy feet, wiping muddy hands. No.... it's not the wiping that I focus on. I know that I'm nurturing, teaching, building, and investing in life itself. And I truly love it. I know this is both a noble and essential responsibility even if I am becoming a minority in this profession. But it's the scary space in between that tears away at your confidence.

It's not a matter of too much free-time or too little demands. In fact I often wonder how much I can achieve in the short two hour afternoon nap I am gifted each day. There aren't enough hours in the day it seems, yet it's how I spend my time that has begun to trouble me. I could easily take on more projects, play dates, or professional development, but is that the best way to give my life purpose? Is it finding validation in adult interaction? Is it confirming my identity in the ability to interact in the corporate world by keeping abreast of all current news? Is it congratulating myself through the admirable service of volunteerism? Not only would it be difficult to achieve all of this with a toddler under my sole supervision, but I would be taking myself away from the calling to serve my family.

Even still, while I maintain to title of CEO of my household, if I'm not careful I begin to find my identity in my son and my husband. Both of which is neither healthy, nor fair to them.

No.... It boils down to a sincere recognition of prayerful consideration of the gift of precious moments. In this season, and it is just that--a short season--I must seek God's perfect face to give me purpose, direction, and identity. There will be days of production, days of frustration, and days of confusion. But when I am near to my Creator, I feel completely made. Opportunities will come, changes will occur, and it is how I approach those turns in my path that will define their outcome.

Whether it is the guilt of working away from your family, the struggles of working only among your family, or somewhere in between, know that whatever you do only has value if you are doing it within the perspective of thanksgiving and grace. And if it is a day where you feel your perspective is one that will affect everyone negatively, CHOOSE to change that perspective. After all, the sunrise is new each day, why can't each day be new with it?

~Purposeful Buster

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Real Life

Silas seems to have some issues with the cold texture of ice cream. What a crazy kid!

He has no issues with the texture of applesauce and cottage cheese (anyone who knows me probably knows that Silas developed this love when he was in the womb!)

We got my family piano last week! It's a little out of tune, but I think he's going to be a natural.

Every time Silas has to wait for me to warm up his dinner this happens. It's like he's saying "WHY? Why do we have to learn patience in life?!"

"Please!  Can I please just have what I want when I want it!?"

" I don't understand this waiting. And why are you taking my picture right now!?"

"I can't believe the 60 seconds isn't up yet! I can't take it anymore!"

Every so often it's fun to eat dinner under a homemade tent and watch a little TV

No matter how big we get, the fetal position still provides comfort.

Silas' first passport pic was "too smilely." The guy said he couldn't squint. So instead Silas looks like a baby terrorist, but I'm pretty pumped that we will be heading to Spain in a month!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Celebration of His Goodness

Matthew and I have not been away together for more than a dinner and movie without Silas since before our little man was born. We don't have much family around, and it always seemed easy to bring our first born with us wherever we ventured this past year. Needless to say, our anniversary was a great excuse to get away for the first time. Thank you to Grandma Marsha for coming in town so that we could spend a couple nights at the lake. It was so nice and relaxing! But it really made me think about what we are celebrating when we have an anniversary. Are we just celebrating us? Here's to you and me. We are awesome! Seems pretty standard a response in our culture. 
But really... after waking up at 7:00 am on Saturday with this gorgeous view (since my body has woken no later in over a year), I had some time to process the past three years of marriage with my amazing husband and the past decade with him in my life. We most definitely would not be married, let alone married with abundant joy if it were not for God. The only reason we are together is because God is in the business of redemption. The only reason we are truly in Love is because God loved us enough in the first place. The only reason we can make it through the day-to-day and still look at each other with utter adoration is because we both look to God first. We are not a perfect couple, and thank goodness we know that now. 
Instead of toasting to our amazing life together, I lift my imaginary glass to my heavenly Father who's power and goodness are indescribable. What an amazing work of art He designed in our family. Bumps, bruises, and scars that look as if they are pure gold, diamond, and rubies on the tapestry of our life. Thank you God for my amazing husband! Here's to You!

I will say that we ate well this past weekend. I love me some morning chocolate crepes along side of lots of dark, black coffee. mmmmm...
Another bonus of not having a baby... I can eat sushi again! Loved every raw bite.
Thanks to my parents for providing such a great ride. Minus the pollen, it was the perfect day.
I love you Matthew Taylor Smith. Thank you for taking this journey with me! 
If I weren't so crazy and my hubby weren't so weird, it just wouldn't be so much fun. Happy 3 years!


Friday, May 2, 2014

The twenty minute bite

It's amazing how quickly children begin to understand the ways of the world. No one teaches them disobedience, distrust, or defiance, yet every single child will assert his or her own will sooner or later. It is the very nature of human beings: given free will out of love, but unable to see the perfect love within that gift.

I recently asked Silas' pediatrician when I could put one meal in front of Silas, and if he refused to eat it, then he was done eating. To my surprise, Dr. Burnham said, "Now. Don't be a short-order cook. He is testing you now to see whether he can get what he wants." For that reason, I recently tried my hand at not making an alternate lunch to replace the classic PBJ. Si loves peanut butter and jelly, but for some reason he decided he only wanted his cheese puffs and other snacks last Tuesday. The terrible tug-of-war that followed seem to last forever. After fake tears, real tears (both on Silas' part), a stare down, the silent treatment, and me questioning whether I was a terrible mother, Silas finally took one bite of the soggy sandwich and with my applause spit it right back out. That was good enough for me at this point. He enjoyed a great turkey melt and fruit and yogurt afterwards.

We both learned a little something that day. Silas learned that his cute tears would not always get a response from me, and I learned that sometimes lunch will take over an hour to get through (so let your plans go out the window). What's most important is that we constantly seek wisdom in raising our children. It's not an easy task, but it's an utter joy.

This boy takes down multiple bowls of cereal in the morn.
Three days later he wanted to try the peanut butter without a fight.
I think he's liking it again.
It was all a ploy!
I love his look after a good, long nap.
Si man doesn't let anyone talk bad about momma. (Really he just smack himself on a plastic toy, but that's not what he's telling people.)
You're suppose to ride it buddy.
It's not a lawn mower, but it is good practice walking!
Our new favorite park: Sweet Apple. The only one with a "merry-go-round."
~Bite Buster