Sunday, September 27, 2009

Today is the day I turned 30. I remember being 7 and counting on the calendar to the year that I would be 30, and realized it was 2009. To me, at 7, that seemed countless years and thousands of memories away. And while, in some senses, it was, in others it arrived all too quickly. What I was struck with the most as the days ramped up (or down, depending on your point of view) to today, is how much we (the collective "we") look forward to our 20's - college, drinking, mindless fun, figuring out life, enjoying every minute of it, marriage, kids, and so on - and how much we dread at least the thought of our 30's - age, wrinkles, sagging, getting fat, not having any fun anymore, kids, bills, and so on. And while it is true that we will face some of those things in our 30's, what I realize more and more is that so much of life is perspective and more of how you feel and not so much what number coincides with your current position. So while I won't say I was eager to reach today and the milestone that it is, I definitely was not hopeless, but rather hopeful as I look forward to what this year and the 10 that follow have to bring with it. A baby, for one, which creates more hope than I could even care to recount. And the fact that I don't feel very 30, and hopefully don't look very 30, counts for something, at least in my mind!

(a sweet picture of two of my favorite things and most precious gifts)
So enough of that stuff. Today was just a typical day...and brought with it a morning full of rain that had been hanging around us for the past 20 days or so without fail. Luckily, I think today was the day the rain broke and it appears all things are sunny for the next week at least, if not longer. To me, this was Gift #1. I made my boys pancakes for breakfast, blueberry, to be precise, mostly because I like to hear Aiden say his rendition of the word blueberry. It's too cute. The morning with my boys was Gift #2. We'd planned to go out for lunch, but the rain was terrential at this point and Nathan still had brithday errands to run, so Aiden and I napped and had some good times playing and reading. Getting to love on my boy and rock him extra long to sleep was Gift #3. We spent a majority of the day seeking out a babysitter because ours had to go out of town at the last minute, so there was about an hour or two when we thought the night might not happen the way Big Daddy Nate had planned, but finally, at the last minute, a neighbor sitter pulled through and we were breathing a sigh of relief. Babysitters in general, but most especially on birthday days is Gift #4. After naptime Aiden and Nate "presented" me with their add them up Gifts #5 -10...but the best part was getting the HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE. You can make this Gifts #10-20 since it's been on my "list of things to do before I turn 30" list for several years and I actually get to do it. October 10, I'll be flying high with my hubs over Nashville sipping on a Mimosa and enjoying the beautiful landscape where we live. I am beyond thrilled at this point. Nathan got us a driver for the evening, so after my delivered dinner (Gift #21) the driver arrived as Gift #22 to wisk us off for Dairy Queen, my childhood favorite place for ice cream. He surprised me with not only Dairy Queen (Gift #23) but with four of my favorite people (Gift #22) and a cake, not just ice cream. Woo Hoo! So we dove in and devoured the cake. Yumm-y! And the driver was off to wisk us away to Gift #23, a visit to The Patterson House for drinks and more gifts! I was gifted a night of free babysitting (Gift #24), earrings and a ring (#25 & 26), a cookbook (Gift #27) because I LOVE cookbooks!, and an amazing book (Gift #28) of memories and sweet words of love and devotion from friends and family, which could easily suffice for hundreds of gifts, as it meant the world to me. Off to the car and back home. What a ride and what a special day. Gift #29 was spending the wonderful ride home with my hubby, who took a lot of time and effort to make me feel special and remembered on my big 30th birthday. Gift #30 is the actual act of turning 30. How in the world it happened, I'm not sure I'll ever know, but the fact that it is here is a true and special gift. From what I'm told, my 30's will be so much more amazing than my 20's so I look forward to the gift they will be and bring in the next decade.
And last but not least, THANK YOU Nathan, for making me feel special, loved, precious, honored, beautiful, and is a gift to share this life with you by my side. You are the best friend in the world.
Me preparing to DEVOUR some ice cream cake
Me and my favorite Dude on the planet
The fun table of peeps at The Patterson House
The girls toasting our next 30 years!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Even though this week is the week before I turn the big (and inevitable) 3-0, my parents decided to come to Franklin this weekend because there was a race in our neighborhood and thought it would be fun for the family to do it on my unbirthday birthday. They arrived Friday night after Aiden was asleep and we stayed up talking and catching up on the past few weeks Since they had just kept Aiden while Nate took me to the beach for my really early birthday, we were close to caught up! And of course, Mom made me a phenomenal cake, so since it was there and in living color calling out my name, we had to partake! :) It was, of course, wonderful! And with a few scoops of Blue Bell (the all natural version without HFCS) it was divine!
See? Cake. Awesome.

The next morning we were off to the race, in the rain...which has been here nonstop for nearly two weeks. And despite my aversion to the rain, especially after such a time, I was grateful to run in it because 1) it's so much fun and 2) it definitely helped to squelch some of the unbearable humidity. So at 7:30 a.m., we were off and running. Pops pushed Aiden so Nathan could run with me (sweet hubby) and Mom pushed herself! :) I wish I would have taken my camera because the images I captured in my memory bank are priceless. He was just hanging out in the jogger with his legs covered by a shirt Dad had been smart enough to bring along and he was drenched from head to toe by the end of the race...drenched, but happy as a clam! We all finished in good time and amazingly enough me, Dad (and Aiden), and Mom all won our age group award! So fun!! Now I was really regretting not having my camera!! Poor Nathan is in such a stacked category for the 30 - 35 males, but is determined to get his time down (with the help of Coach K! Ha!).
My lovely age group award...a nice stainless steel water bottle.

The rest of the day was relaxed but fun...went to Costco, had snacks there, then grabbed an awesome lunch at Bread and Co (my favorite) and then headed back for a nice afternoon nap in the rain! The four of us adults all went out to dinner at Bricktops and had the most amazing meals followed by homemade donuts...I cannot describe how perfect these were! A-mazing!

What a great unbirthday birthday!

Sunday we did our usual Panera stop before Mimi and Pops headed on their way back home. Sad to see them go, but what a fun and special weekend all around. I am so very blessed to have family who loves and cares for me so deeply and have cherished every moment God has allowed me to spend with them as He's loaned me to them (and now to Nathan) for this short time we have on Earth. I am overwhelmed by their love, joy, and compassion over me and only know that our Father's is that much greater still. It is truly a great day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Well, not officially, but kind of his first day. The "first" day was actually just a Mommy and Me day that lasted all of an hour and within that hour, someone (read, girl that is too old and too big to be in the class) had shoved Aiden with two hands full force and I watched my little dude tumble backwards as his bottom and his head both nearly bounced twice on the ground. On the verge of losing it (I didn't), I watched as Nathan console him, and watched as the mom of this child did nothing...not apologize to us, not have her child apologize, and not even remotely look remorseful. It was then I caught myself holding back tears and the sudden urge to punch the mom in the face.

You will all be happy to know I did not.

Anyway, that was just a preview day and after a long chat with the director of the program, I was assured the "too big child" had been moved to the class for the older nursery kiddos. Whew! I felt relieved, though still had my doubts. However, we agreed to give this a try in order to help Aiden adjust to being around other children in advance of his new sibling in the spring. We figured it wouldn't be so tragic to his little world if he was already used to sharing, playing, being smaller, being bigger, etc...just learning the interactions of others. Otherwise, I feared in having him at home all the time that having another little person enter his world would just be terribly traumatic. It may not be, and we're willing to risk it if the school thing doesn't work out. So, for us, it's just trial and error.

So, back to his first day. He looked so cute in his little Polo short-alls and we were very sad to drop him off, but he has some very loving teachers who adore him and recognize his little "isms" and unique and joyful nature. His teachers are sensitive to the fact that he was bullied and as difficult as it is to drop him off, I trust he is being loved on and learning as well as enjoying the company of others who will one day be friends of his. Luckily, many of the kids in his small class live in our neighborhood, so it makes for easy play dates and will make the pool so much fun next year! As you can imagine, as we parted ways, I thought there would be tears and there were, but from me, not him....this made me grateful he felt comfortable enough to jump right in and play despite how heart-wrenching it was for me to leave him. He had a great day...apparently, but was ready to come home. When he saw me he just cried and was so ready for me to get him. I assume this was due to being thrust into a new environment with new people, playing his heart out, skipping his morning nap, and being utterly worn out. Poor little dude came home and slept for three hours without a peep!

We'll see how the next few weeks go, but we did opt to not let him take naps there, but instead to come home and have a great solid afternoon nap. I think this will be the best of both worlds...but again, all trial and error for us as we tread into these unknown waters. My little man is growing up so fast, and yet he is still so small. The saddest part of all is that he will not remember these precious times I have with they are the most dear to my heart before he is exposed to and recognizes the sin and danger in this human world.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day came and went like a whirlwind this year...a good one, that is. My mom and dad had penciled in Aiden for a visit that weekend since they would have a long weekend with the school holiday. Nathan and I were happy to oblige the help and decided to use the "freedom" for a quick trip down to the beach. We dropped of Aiden on Thursday night, and enjoyed a solid traditional Cracker Barrel meal, told our parents of the impending arrival to our family in March, and exchanged instructions on how to care for our sweet 14-month old while we were apart. The exchange went well and off he went for a weekend of spoiling at Mimi and Pop-Pops...oh the stories he would have if he could talk!

Nathan and I headed back and got ourselves packed up and ready for Rosemary, our favorite little spot of ocean along the Florida panhandle and hit the road at daylight Friday morning, Starbucks in hand. We made a few stops along the way, but mostly hauled tail to make it to the beach so we could partake in a nice long walk before sunset, one of the best parts about the panhandle this time of the year. We made it successfully with no tickets despite all the "po-po" on the road for the Labor Day speeders.

Ahhh....three relaxing days of reading on the beach, listening to the sound of the ocean waves breaking at our feet, eating excellent food day and night, and enjoying the company of one another...and a few nice mornings of sleeping in! It always goes by too quickly, time at the beach. No matter if I stay for a weekend or a month, I think it would always pass by too quickly and I would find myself making reasons to stay just "one more day." I doubt this will ever change for me as I have, and always hope to be, a beach bunny at my core.

We packed it up Monday - the only rainy day and THANK GOODNESS - or I would have never left! - and headed out, apparently along with three million other people en route to Atlanta and then to Knoxville to pick up our little dude. It's amazing how three days away can give you a new lease on life, a new appreciation for all the little things, a new perspective on problems and issues, and a resilience that you can't find in the day-to-day (at least most of the time). I appreciate this about a few nights away, and hope to always be able to have a few nights to just dream, wish, hope, pray, think, give, and love...

Tuesday morning we were home sweet home and despite how good it feels to go away, it always feels great to come back home. Even after two years (wow!) our house still has that "new home" scent when we come back to it. I love that scent. I wish it never went away, though the things that replace it are memories, I suppose, of living, loving, enjoying, what happened next, and everything that happens in between. Thank you to Mimi and Pop-pop for the gift you gave us in being away. We are grateful Aiden has a place to play and be loved while we have the chance to play and be loved.
There is nothing finer than these two things joining me in my chair...with this to my side!

Rosemary by day...and night.
Sad to go. But happy to have made the trip.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Little Aiden is always bound to have something up his sleeve and since he's always around us, he pretty much has knowledge of lots of little (and some big) secrets that get tossed around our household by us and those who pass through. I always wonder what he would do if he really did understand all that was being said and really did have all the knowledge he could have by just being around the right people at the right time...oh my, wouldn't that be the day!

But Aiden has a secret that he wanted me to share since he can't email quite yet. I mean, we're working on it, but right now, accomplishing "hello" and "goodbye" in one scenario seems challenging enough. So, as I am his "voice," I shant tarry too long on his message.

Yes, yes, it's true. No, your eyes are not fooling you. Surprise of all surprises, Aiden is going to be a BIG BROTHER! Baby Tabler Number Two is on his or her way into our world and is planning to make a debut is March 2010. We wanted to wait until we spilled the beans to our families (hence his t-shirt) before we made the announcement to the "world." After hearing for nearly two years we would not even be able to have children (at least through natural methods), it is more than a miracle to be blessed with another child on top of the one incredibly healthy, beautiful, and amazingly amazing baby boy we already have in our lives.

I'll post the picture of our little "gummy bear" after we have more pictures - our next visit to the doctor is September 14. I am squeaking through my first trimester and so far feel pretty great. It's hard to believe I'm pregnant most of the time...I kind of just pinch myself to remember. We are shocked, but are excited to share the news of our next bundle of joy who'll join us in the spring...shortly before Aiden turns two. We will have TWO under TWO...this just sounds scary to me, but hopefully we're in the "game" enough to remember what we did with round one to do okay with round two!

I don't think any of us, including Aiden, are quite sure what to expect as this new addition joins our little family. Thank you in advance for your prayers as we journey through the next 28 weeks to a healthy delivery.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

As I sit here, I realize the last time I wrote was at the beginning of August...apparently not much was going on, but here I sit, three weeks later, and August is gone. Though we didn't travel a lot in August, we had our fair share of things going on, just not in the most "expected" ways.

We dealt with the loss of our summer Nanny, Emily, who was so great and who really loved Aiden so so much. They had a great summer together and lots of great memories at the pool and in the neighborhood. Lucky for us, she's teaching right around the corner and living in the neighborhood, so she's already been able to babysit...which is great to have.

We faced the project of finding a new Nanny, which we thought we did in mid-July, but due to a series of complications, things changed with her ability to help us. We were devastated more so because we knew how perfect of a find she was and how super she would be with Aiden, but also because she was sick...and we don't like for anyone to be sick. While we went on the search for a new Nanny, she found out her treatments were going to be less invasive than the previous time, therefore allowing her to help us on a part-time basis! Hooray!! So, Liz started with us the week of August 24, and Aiden took right to her. HE LOVES HER! They have a great time together and she loves on him all day...which as a Mom that has to work, makes you feel GREAT that someone is loving on your sweet boy all day. Liz is amazing.

We dealt with the loss of a dear and precious friend, Doctor Don Hines. This man was essentially like a second dad to Nathan, in fact, he and his wife both refer to he and I as their "adpoted son and daughter" when introducing us to anyone. Without hesitation, we are their adopted kids. We went to Birmingham in the middle of the month to visit with him at the hospital he was being treated at. He was sent home with Hospice care the following weekend and passed away just two weeks after. To be able to visit with Doc and Candace two weeks before he passed in Birmingham was absolutely priceless. Though not the most ideal of circumstances, it was a great day for us to spend telling stories, hearing about life, and getting what we thought to be our last hugs before he headed to be with our Father. Nathan and I went to the funeral last weekend in Troy while Aiden stayed here with Emily. The funeral was that of a true cowboy. He had this phrase, "the cowboy way" that defined his life and his work ethic. He was an amazing man who was loved by many and who impacted more than I can count. To see the love shown and the joy displayed by those who came to say goodbye was something I will never be able to put into words, but am so grateful to have been able to see in person. I will not soon forget it.

You can read a bit about him here:

Mix all that in with a flair of family drama and you all of a sudden have one full month. So, as August closes, and September begins, and as we move from the heat of summer to the cool of fall, I begin the countdown to 3-0. Yes, 30. In a mere 23 days, I will no longer be "living free in my 20's." I have no doubt this year will carry with it some great things and exciting changes...and I look forward with anxious anticipation to what those are.