five months

Drooly, screech-y, and so proud of his bubble-blowing abilities. As much as I hate how quickly time is going by, I love seeing Jake's personality developing. He's got a mischievous glint in his eye that I'm pretty sure is gonna be used against us here soon...



newbie at the zoo(bie)

Jake and I ventured to the Knoxville Zoo this week with friends of ours. It was the coldest day we've had so far (hello December??) but it was fun to get out and enjoy the chilly weather. Of course Jake didn't really notice or care about the animals, but he'll get there. I'm looking into family passes for next year so we can go as often as we'd like. Knoxville doesn't have a children's museum, but the zoo has pretty decent indoor exhibits and play spaces to make up for it. And a bonus-- they recently built a platform out over the giraffe exhibit so you can feed and pet the giraffes! Unfortunately the giraffes were clear on the opposite side of the exhibit when we were there, but I'm sure one day we'll end up in the same place at the same time.



Deric turned 30 on Monday and I've been ragging him nonstop about it, since I've got five years until I hit the same milestone (booyah!). But jokes about bad knees and fading memory aside, I love celebrating Deric and making sure he knows how much he means to me. The celebrations are continuing this weekend, he just doesn't know it!


downtown day date

We've been sitting on a Tupelo Honey giftcard since last Christmas, waiting for the perfect Saturday to head downtown, eat brunch and walk through the Market Square Farmer's Market. I thought we'd use it before Jake was born but spring this year was the coldest and wettest spring I've experienced in Knoxville. Then summer came (and so did Jake) and there was no way I was gonna brave the heat, so we waited until fall. And today was really the perfect Saturday for wandering around. Overcast, chilly enough for sweaters (and a puffy vest for Jake!), plus we waited until the UT/SC game had already started so downtown was relatively empty. Deric ordered pork with a side of fried parmesan corn on the cob, which was exceptional, and I had a fried chicken BLT. We'll be back for more, especially their biscuits and blueberry jam!


I'd call it a success

First time using the exersaucer yesterday. A blanket shoved in the seat behind Jake kept him upright and a little less wobbly as he went all King Kong on the toys, drooling and smashing and wreaking havoc. (I really should have taken video rather than pictures.) Its a good thing he liked it-- we've got two!

I love the expression on Jake's face as he looks at Deric. He just lights up when his dad's around.


a Monday at 4 months old

I've already pretty much forgotten what those early days were like when Jake was first born. I do remember how mornings seemed to last forever because our nursing attempts were still pretty uncoordinated and both of us would need a bath, but Jake would get the bath first and inevitably spit up afterwards, so it was never before 11am that I'd be able to shower and feel clean...until the next feeding. And then around two months in, nursing was getting easier but we were still up early so my days would start off productively but I'd end up falling asleep on the couch with Jake until Deric came home for lunch. I wish I'd documented a typical day at the newborn stage but I had my hands a bit full, so I'm planning to document every couple months from here on out.

10:00// Jake wakes up. (Best kid ever.) He always wakes up happy and I love coming in in the morning. As I open curtains and talk to him, Jake starts kicking and moving. He's usually got his blanket balled up on his chest from trying to grab his toes. In the living room,I turn on the Today Show and eat a granola bar while Jake nurses. I change and dress Jake, get into my running clothes, grab a water and put Jake in his car seat. He spits up as soon as the straps are in place.

11:15// I run two laps around the park. Jake didn't fall asleep on the four mile drive, but he's out less than a few minutes into the run.

12:30// The staff at church eat out for lunch on the first Monday each month, and Jake and I tag along. Today its Double Dog's, a sports bar-esque restaurant that we've never been to.

1:30// Backhome. After Jake nurses, I sit him in his bathtub on the floor outside the shower while I take a shower, then on the counter next to me as I dry my hair. I get dressed and realize I'm matching Jake. Ah well.

2:30// The fabric I ordered to make into a crib skirt is finally here, so I set up shop in our spare bedroom. While I iron and measure and pin, Jake entertains himself on his play mat.

3:00// He doesn't last long on his own though, so I rock him in his room and he falls asleep. When I move him to his crib, he wakes up. I leave him anyways in the hopes that he'll settle back down. I sew one side of the crib skirt and get annoyed because something's up with the tension on my sewing machine and it just doesn't look right. Since Jake's awake anyways, I decide to go get heat-n-bond from Hobby Lobby so I don't lose my mind over a simple crib skirt.

^Those blurs are a good indicator that he's awake and happy about it.

4:00// On the way to HL, we stop at the chiropractor since my neck's been bothering me. Chiropractor, Hobby Lobby and a stop to get gas and we're back home right in time to head to Deric's softball game.

5:30// When I pull up at the house, Deric's ready and waiting. I run in to grab snacks and blankets since its supposed to get cold this evening.

6:00// Game starts and I plop down a chair in the long line of wives + kids. If the guys win their game, they play again at 8:00. But they don't, unfortunately, so we head home.

7:30// Deric offers to cook dinner (salmon + rice) so I can finish up the crib skirt.

8:30// After dinner, we bathe Jake and get him ready for bed. Jake can about flood the entire bathroom as he kicks and splashes, but its totally worth it to watch him go crazy.

9:00// Since I almost always forget to do tummy time with Jake during the day, we read and practice rolling for a few minutes before Jake starts to get sleepy.

9:30// Deric puts Jake to bed and we watch West Wing while I finish the crib skirt. Around midnight we finally go to bed ourselves.


get outta town

We had our (almost) annual staff retreat last week at Whitestone Inn in nearby Kingston. Whitestone is basically the best place to be in the fall (except that we were too early for changing leaves) and is about what I picture in my head when I read books like Anne of Green Gables. I am absolutely kicking myself for not bringing my good camera with us because my phone cannot capture how gorgeous the land is. As much as I hate trekking up hills, they sure make for some beautiful scenery.

The retreat lasted one full day + one night and we brought Jake, so I was a bit nervous that he'd interrupt every planning session and I'd never actually be in on anything, but he was great. That night, we put him in the big jacuzzi tub for a bath and he just went to town. Kicking and splashing like it was the greatest time of his life, and I was happy to see that water on his face doesn't upset him in the least. Swim lessons here we come! ;)

        ^Jake helped us pray over church members ;)

As for the real reason we were there, the retreat went really well. We brainstormed direction for 2014 and settled on a theme to coordinate sermon series. I'm very thankful for the leadership we've got at church and excited to see some growth over these next years, both in numbers and in relationships with Jesus and with one another.


football for days

Today felt like July. Forget October, it was a scorching, no-breeze, 100% humidity (at least it felt like it) kind of day. Despite my disappointment that I couldn't open windows to let cool air into the house, today was still a solidly good day. We haven't both been home all weekend in too long-- every weekend in September was crazy busy-- so it felt great to be home together. Friday night, we went over to the high school to watch some football and on Saturday, we started the day watching six-year-olds play flag football (their looks of determination to grab those flags are so, so cute) and followed the game up with a lunch date at Jet's. I spent the remainder of the afternoon refinishing furniture in the garage while Deric read and Jake snoozed for three hours. Then tonight, we ate dinner and played cards with friends. As I type, Jake is sound asleep on my chest and Deric's catching up on the fourth quarter of the Tennessee-Georgia game. Tomorrow begins a new week and new to-do's, so I'm thankful for a weekend full of just the things we wanted to do!

 ...Jake has quite a fan base of little girls and he's so good with their multiple attempts to put his pacifier back in his mouth, head rubs and incessant baby talk. :)