This past weekend included something extra-special. Baby Boaz was dedicated on Sunday! It has been a while since I updated y'all on my newest nephew, Mr. Samuel Boaz, so prepare yourself for a whole lotta cuteness!
Boaz has been keeping quite busy lately, let me tell ya. In short, he has been doing the "normal" baby stuff: growing, learning to eat cereal, rolling over, and talking. In his spare time, he hangs with the ladies, sings Mary Poppins songs, and trains to be an Olympic swimmer. And models for the blog.
I'm surprised he had the time or energy to be dedicated this weekend! Luckily, he was able to squeeze it in.
Bo was obviously a pretty popular fellow on dedication day. Nobody in the entire family wanted to miss it! On Sunday we all drove to Bo's church and watched as his mommy and daddy dedicated him to God. The family and church body vowed to do its part in raising and supporting Bo, too. It was a beautiful ceremony.
Boaz is a miracle baby in so many ways. Aunt B and Uncle Sam prayed and prayed for him, and boy, did God bring them the perfect miracle. The ceremony was a glorious reminder of the faithfulness and goodness of God in Brook and Sam's life. In all of our lives, really.
The Little Outdoorsman was there to support his cousin, of course. Going up on a stage can be tough, although Boaz handled it like a pro. But it is what cousins do, right? Reed and Boaz are already BFFs. They have inside jokes and secrets and stuff.
After the dedication, we went to a nearby park where Brook, Sam, and their friends grilled out for everyone. They made THE BEST hotdogs I have ever had in my life. Seriously. They grilled each hot dog, put a slice of pepper jack cheese between the bottom of the hot dog and the bun, and wrapped the whole thing in foil. I plan to never eat a hot dog without pepper jack again.
Bellies full of hotdogs, Cha-Cha's famous pasta salad, and CAKE (woo-hoo!), everybody relaxed in the sunshine while the kids played on the playground.
I was able to steal away the man of honor for a few moments of cuddles. He is the sweetest guy. Never a peep or cry. Whenever he is with me, he falls asleep almost immediately. No joke! I'm either really peaceful or really boring. Let's go with peaceful... AKA comfortable... AKA cushion-y. We all know what that means. All those months of not working out have finally paid off! Yippee!
After a couple of hours at the park, everybody was tuckered out and ready for a nap. Boaz sneaked in a snooze or two before we left. It's hard being the cool kid.
I am so thankful for the chance to share in Boaz's special day. I am excited to watch him grow up into the man God has created him to be. Aunt Becka loves you, Samuel Boaz! I'll let you get back to your Olympic training!
Eleven years ago, give or take a few days, a handsome country boy with a cute smile left his drumset, crossed the floor of our church, and told me about every animal he had ever hunted while the choir practiced without him. Within minutes, hunting animals became my new favorite topic in the world. Ah, love!
Sweet talker, that guy!
Hey, at least I knew what I was getting into. And it must've worked, because two years later, in the same church, we said our vows and committed to forever.
Today, nine years later, I find myself looking across a carryout chicken dinner at the same country boy, now a man in a police uniform. He still sports that same cute smile, and today I have one to match it. I have a toddler on my lap and a weenie dog waiting for me at home along with a pile of laundry and a stack of ungraded papers. Our life is beautiful, messy, and exactly, perfectly right. Right where God wants us. At dinner tonight, I couldn't help but reflect on the story of the past years- how I got to this place with this man.
9 years- just like that. All I did was blink.
Right? That's what people say, anyway. That it all goes by in a flash. But I don't think that's true, really. Because, although 9 years isn't 25, or 40, or 50, it's still 9, and it didn't happen in a blink.
It was 9 years of committed faithfulness- in mind, body, and soul.
It was Survivor reruns until 3 AM. (Can you believe that Russell??)
It was freezing my tail off in a hunting blind winter after winter.
It was him talking me through the same worries again... and again... and again.
It was walking through greater joys and deeper sorrows than we could've ever imagined.
It was learning to make chicken pot pie just almost like his momma does.
It was arriving home each day, taking off my shoes, and trying his on for size.
It was a thousand head rubs and "what do you need today?"
It was holding hands at the hospital through more deaths than births.
It was mountain-top vacations and the ordinary everyday.
It was asking God to write our story and not complaining when He does.
It was hard work that really wasn't that hard at all- because spending life with your best friend makes it a whole lot easier.
It was all of these and more, with mountains of grace. But it most certainly was not a blink.
I started praying for my husband in junior high. God answered my prayer, as He always does, and sent me the most patient, loving, wise, and kind man he had. He sure knows what He is doing. I am so thankful for the past 9 years, the experiences and memories to come, and the greatest gift God has given me.
Love you, buddy!
I know it has been two weeks since I last blogged- I know, I know, I know. I will do better.
The first two weeks back at work have been amazing. My students are fantastic, as always, and my lessons and strategies are much improved after spending my summer at Miami University. What remains the same is that stack of essays. I just can't seem to make it disappear! But I am going to set it aside for a minute to give you an update. You should feel very special.
Jacob's gearing up for hunting season. To translate- I pretty much won't see him until Christmas. He goes crazy this time of year and hunts every chance he gets- land near our house, nearby states, across the country. The good news is he is staying in the country this year. Hooray! I miss him a lot, but I love seeing him so happy! I won't complain about all of the yummy meat he brings home, either.
The Little Outdoorsman-
To be honest, Reed has had a tiring couple of weeks. Transitioning from being home with me full time to his school-year schedule has been tough for the little guy, plus he's fighting through his second cold in two weeks. Everybody around here has been sick, plus I know I bring germs home with me from work. He's a trooper, though. We've invested in a few wooden puzzles, floor puzzles, and a Play-doh start up kit to help keep him occupied while he is sick. But believe it or not, he misses being outside all day. We are looking forward to plenty of farm visits, harvest festivals, and pumpkin-pickin' with the little guy in the fall.
When I'm not at work, I've tried to squeeze in as much quality time as possible with Jacob and Reed. Any "alone time" is an epic battle-showdown between sleep and Iron Chef America. And books. And puzzles.
My sister and I have been trying out some new recipes for the blog. I have my salmon burger recipe just about perfect. I'm also working on a perfect grilled cheese recipe- almost there- and tonight we are going to try out chicken alfredo roll-ups. I am so excited to share these yummy recipes with you soon. But I want them to be PERFECT!
So that's us right now. I know this time of year is a transition time for many people, but I finally feel like things are settling down. I find my peace and strength still, as always, in God and knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am so excited to see what September holds for us!
Now back to that stack of essays...