a list for june

A list for June:
burke climbing on our now-blue entertainment center... I'll have to get some pics of it all finished and put back together- it looks great!
  burke's almost-ready new headboard (I still have to add buttons)
1. My husband is a saint.  Y'all would be absolutely floored by the amount of physical labor Adam has done this month- first building the garage, now painting our house, painting furniture for me, building furniture for me... Let's just say he's been sleeping very soundly each night and deserves about 10 massages to undo the soreness that accompanies this amount of work.
2. We love strawberries!  One of the highlights of Burke's evenings right now is a trip to the garden to pick strawberries.  We have a bumper crop this year (thanks to the cover Adam and my dad crafted to keep the squirrels and birds away) and have been loving the fresh-picked goodness... And, since our rhubarb is still producing as well, there has been some seriously delicious strawberry rhubarb pie in our life lately.
Papa reading to Burke in the back of the truck at ECM... this is a good representation of how helpful we were that day
3. Extreme Community Makeover Round 2 is done.  Burke and I were the least helpful helpers in the history of ECM, but my mama did a fantastic job coordinating (again) and the other volunteers from our church got a ton done!
4. I love summer! Even 33 weeks pregnant, I still just love this season, y'all.  Popsicles and sprinklers and backyard goodness and grilling out and late sunsets... glory.
5. It's craft central around here.  Between projects for Babycakes #2, projects for the house and other projects, it's a mess of paper and fabric around here.  I feel a little silly for exactly how excited I am about this, but luvinthemommyhood asked us to be a part of their babyhood bonanza.  They're featuring the crib bumper I made for Kiji's nursery today.... like I said, the level of excitement is probably uncalled for.


belly pics

I didn't do that great of a job taking belly pictures while I was pregnant with Burke, but this round, my efforts have been absolutely pathetic (before this little photo shoot, I have one picture to show for myself, in Mexico, when I was 20 weeks pregnant and you still could possibly mistake my 'bump' for donut flab). 

Anyhow, Jordi took some pregnancy pictures while she was here (you might've seen these at the kojo blog)... Her pictures always make me look cuter than I actually am- love that. :)  And now I can prove that I was, in fact, pregnant twice.  Love that, too. 

8 weeks to go, y'all.  Love that best of all.


how to help

I think that one of the trickiest part about watching someone else lose a loved one is wanting to feel useful and helpful, but not quite knowing how to do that.

Having just lost Adam's dad, and having had the best support and encouragement we could've imagined through it, I thought I'd put together a little list of how people cared for us this last month or so... maybe it'll help you in a similar situation?

1. People just took the reigns and did something, anything! Because we often didn't know what would be helpful or what to ask for, I LOVED it that people just took the initiative themselves.  One couple brought cupcakes over, another friend mowed our yard, a group of girls cleaned our house to get it ready for guests, some people stocked our fridge with basics.  My mind was so all-over-the-place that I never could really answer the, "How can we help?" question... but when people just did things, it came across as such a gesture of support and encouragement.

2. They asked someone else what might be helpful.  It was easy for me to see things that would be helpful for Evette (Adam's mom) the week after Mark died, but not nearly as easy for her to see for herself.  Similarly, my own mom did SUCH a great job of seeing needs and coordinating help for us in the super-crazy aftermath of Mark's death.  Between things that I mentioned to her that might be helpful and things she saw on her own, she had a list of ideas on hand when people asked how to help.  By asking her, people got a tangible answer of a way to help that we maybe couldn't clearly see or communicate ourselves.

3. People sent cards...  Our mailbox (and email inboxes) were flooded with messages of support and encouragement.  What a tremendous blessing those notes were!  We were especially touched when people included something special they remembered about Mark in their notes. We got a card from some of Adam's dad's best friends last week that had a whole list of specific things they will miss about Mark.  It's hanging on our bulletin board.  We love knowing that other people are missing the same things that we are missing- it's comforting somehow.

4. ...and they sent gift cards. I know this sounds silly, but the fast food and gas gift cards that people gave us were a lifesaver that week of the funeral.  It seemed like we were constantly driving back and forth to the airport or dashing through a drive through.  The gift of being able to set the budget aside for a week was such a weight off our shoulders.

Y'all would be amazed at the thoughtfulness of our community of friends and family.  We have been absolutely overwhelmed by people's care and encouragement.  Hopefully this little list will be helpful as you take care of other people who face something similar...



I kind of don't know where to start in the world of catching up... The last few weeks have felt chaotic, to be honest.  And exhausting.  And different than we thought.  For something that we knew was coming (Mark's death, that is), it is still such a shock to have him gone.  Sounds funny, I know.

And in the meantime, there have been cousins and aunts and uncles in town  (which means outings and ice cream and gardening)
and a more-than-I-could've-asked-for baby shower
and a garage raising (when we're all the way done, I'll post before and after pictures... it's amazing)
and a mini-trip to Lake City

and an AWFUL return of pregnancy sickness (did you even know the vomiting could go away and then come back?  Well, I am here to tell you- it can!) and a tremendous outpouring of support and care from the people around us.  I actually am going to write a whole blog post about how to care for people well in the middle of rough stuff because people have done such a great job of supporting and encouraging us.  Sometime soon, I hope.

It feels like so much has happened in the last few weeks and that I should do a better job of capturing it all.  But that is more than a bit overwhelming to my still-so-tired self.  So this will have to do for now. :)


for trish...

...a couple of pics of Burke's summer 'do.


stoops and juice pops...

...and cousins.  Burke is in heaven.