Friday, December 30, 2011

look what we got!

We had a little credit at a sporting good's store around here, so we picked out this bike trailer for on a whim today.  I've had this purple bike since I was about 13.  Now we'll put it to good use!

Little man had his first bike ride, and I believe he liked it.
Now ... does anyone know where to find an infant helmet!?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

christmas 2011

I remember thinking last year that this year would be so different.
I was right.  Maybe not in the way that I had imagined.  But I was right.

We had an absolutely beautiful Christmas.

(It wasn't necessarily captured in beautiful photographs ... but snapshots that might help me remember little man's very first holiday season!)

And here are the details - just so I remember!  

As tradition would have it, we spent Christmas Eve with Pops and Marley. 
Only this year was fajitas around our kitchen table, not a fancy steakhouse.  :)
But it was delicious and special and wonderful just the same.
Luke opened a few gifts played with some tissue paper and then headed to bed in his Christmas PJs.

On Christmas morning, Adam and I got up early to have a few minutes of quiet before the chaos. 
This, too, is a bit of a tradition.  And one of my favorite moments of the entire year.

When little man got up, he played with some new toys and some wrapping paper.
I don't think he knew it was a special day.  But he was spoiled and loved just the same! 

And in the late morning, Honey and Cramer came to celebrate. 
Adam made a turkey and we had traditional fixins.  Delicious! 
Little man played and played and played!

We spent the 26th with Adam's family this year at the Martin's.
All his sisters and all the kiddos were in town and it was gloriously loud and fun and crazy.
Paw-Paw made a yummy meal.  We all ate around big tables, and the kids told stories of Santa.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
Isaiah 9:6.   

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas!

Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be of child and give birth to a son, and we will call him Immanuel.  Isaiah 7:14

Hallelujah.  And Merry Christmas.
Love, The Martin's
Adam, Jen, Luke & Daisy

Friday, December 23, 2011

meeting santa

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ten months

Ten.  Months.  
Holy cow.

Luker!  You are getting so big! And you are so handsome!
You weigh 18 pounds, you are longer than most of your PJs, and you starting to feel thick!
You have two bottom teeth that came around nine months - one right after the other.
You are serious about your hair!  It's getting longer and thicker every day, and it sticks out over your ears.

You eat everything.  You feed yourself most of the time.
Your favorite food is a grilled cheese sandwich and you are still breastfeeding.

You spend your days crawling around, exploring exploring exploring.
Your toys are boring.  But cabinets, drawers, closets, bags, curtains, Daisy's food dish -- those are fun.

You started crawling around eight-and-a-half months.
You started pulling up around nine months. 
And at ten months, you're beginning to cruise the furniture.
You've got worlds of confidence.  Nothing slows you down.

You are scared of nothing - except loud noises and strangers sometimes.
We just started going to a new physical therapist and we BOTH love her!
Your leg is making slow and steady progress and you handle these challenges with such ease.
You are absolutely amazing.   

You babble, talk, whine, hum, cry, grunt, squeal, or scream.  Constantly.  Constantly. 
You are loud.
I love the sound of your laugh.
You are ticklish. 

You play peek-a-boo all the time.  You wave.  You are busy.  So so busy.

But every now and then, you will slow down just enough to put your head on my shoulder.
This is new.  And we love it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

a little resemblance

I've told you before.  Now I'll show you.

This is my brother.  Around Luke's age.  Crawling on the floor.

This is Luke.  Crawling on the floor.

This is my sweet brother.  Asleep in his high chair. 
For the record, my kid would never fall asleep in his high chair.

This is Luke.  Asleep in his stroller. 
Pretty neat, huh?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

the i-don't-like-that-noise face

Little man is so sensitive to sounds!  And most of the time, he is scared of the loud ones.  

The vacuum.
Daddy's power tools. 
The lawn mower. 

Every time a loud noise begins, he makes the same face, then bursts into tears. 

Well when Molly was here for a visit, the babies were in the bathtub and Molly kept making a loud grunting sound.  Luke didn't like it, and this is the face:

Absolutely hysterical. 
I love this boy. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

a little getaway

For Adam's birthday - a few days early - I surprised him with our very first night away since little man was born.

Saturday night was the Chesmar company holiday party, in Houston.  So I booked us a hotel room there in the city and surprise we got to stay the night!  Hotel Icon was spectacular.  What a beautiful place! 

I wore heels. 
We held hands. 
It was so romantic. 

We got up the next morning and went for a little jog through Memorial Park, then went back to the room to get dressed.  Later, we sat outside and had brunch at a trendy little spot in Midtown before coming back home to our baby.  It was a wonderful weekend. 

Thanks, Honey for spending the night with Luke so that we could celebrate!  :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

week in review

I've finally gotten back in the habit of taking iPhone pics.  And what a great week to remember because we had fun!

These two are always together.  I wouldn't necessarily call them friends, but they follow each other around and it's wonderful.

Remembering to live by this.

Helping mommy with the laundry.  Helping mommy with the craft bucket.

First Dum-Dum.  Keep in mind my kid eats homemade whole wheat banana blueberry pancakes and drinks organic raw spinach smoothies.  So when the nurse said, Would he like a sucker? I almost said no.  But we were at a follow-up appointment for his boy parts and holy moly let's just say the kid deserved a sucker after what he went through.

Luke and I met daddy for lunch one day.  And on another day, a great friend brought me lunch.
I'm convinced lunch dates are the secret to happiness.

We started a little construction project at our house.  And by we, I mean Adam.

And Honey and I did some Christmas shopping at the mall.  Luke thought that was super exciting. 

Also, I got a haircut but didn't take a picture.  I love getting haircuts.  Other than that, it was a pretty regular week, and nice to be back into routine after a week of sickness and surgery, then a week of holiday-ing!   

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

isaiah 40:11

I think the books call it strong-willed.
Here at the Martin house, we prefer spirited.

Our little man is demanding.  Loud.  Easily bored.
He laughs really hard, smiles really big.  And cries with, um, passion.

God has given him a spirit of independence and determination.  Strength.
He will need these things in his life!  There will be challenges for this little one and God equips! 

But holy cow this mama can get frustrated.  (Oh gosh.  Is that where he gets it!?)

Some days, I feel like he spends more time crying than not.
Some days, all I have to do is leave the room and he has a total meltdown.
Some days, I find myself wondering if he will ever be a happy little guy.
Some days, I don't feel like singing the itsy bitsy spider one more time.
Some days, I wonder what I have done wrong. 

And then, I am given this.  Straight from the pages of my devotional this morning.  A message so loud and clear, even this skeptic can't deny it.

He tends to his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.  

It's already found its way to a big fat notecard where I will see it all the time. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Even the blessing of a spirited little man. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

happy thanksgiving

I am sitting on the couch.  Daisy sleeping beside me.  Luke taking a morning nap.
The house is so quiet. 

For the last 7 days, we've had a home full of visitors.
Friends, then family, then more family! There's been someone here every day since last Monday and we had a wonderful holiday week.  Adam was off for five days in a row and we spent so much time together as a family. 

We spent Thanksgiving Day with Adam's family.
A delicious meal and lively conversation.  ;) 

My heart is thankful. 

Today, back to routine.  Back to work and meal planning and running and laundry.

We didn't take many pictures, but I'll leave you with just one. 
Luke's favorite little visitor ... and their favorite part of the day! 

Monday, November 21, 2011


Ah. We are alive.  And well, now.  

Last week was one of those weeks.
The stretching.  Pruning.  Fighting.  Breakdown.  Reflecting kind of week. 

I was sick.
Luke had surgery.
Then Adam got sick.

And Thursday?  Thursday was one of those days that made me glad that His mercies are new every morning.   Glad that I could wake up Friday and forget about Thursday.

I am learning so much through this journey of new motherhood.  I'm not sure yet how much I'll share on this little ol blog but for now, let's just say I'm being stretched and challenged and I have so much more to learn.

Here's a pic of my little man on Tuesday.  He looks like a girl in this peach hospital gown, but, I assure you, he is not.

He had to go under general anesthesia for a little procedure on his, ahem, boy parts.  Things went well, he came home the same day, we had one rough night and a few rough days of recovery.  But today, he's back to his usual self.

His usual self, by the way, is now pulling to a stand!  Go buddy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

a visit from luke's girlfriend

Sunday evening, Luke and Molly had a little slumber party. 
Trip to the park.  Dinner together.  Bath time together, sorta.
A morning run, a picnic lunch, and a bit of shopping.  What a treat! 

It's so neat to watch these two grow up together.  Even if they do live a few hours away now.  Distance makes the heart grow finder, right? 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

mommy instincts

Since Luke was born, I've become obsessed well-versed with parenting theory.
Attachment.  Baby Wise.  On-Demand.  By-the-clock.
Cry it out.  Extinction.  Graduated extinction. 

Luke is a great sleeper.  Has been for quite some time.
He goes to bed around 7:15, wakes up around 6 in the morning, nurses, then goes back to sleep until 7:30 or 8:00.  Amazing.

He's also capable of soothing himself to sleep.  We've worked hard on this, and although he's not totally consistent, he's pretty darn good.

Last night, he woke up at 3:00 am.  Very uncharacteristic.
I let him cry for 15 or 20 minutes, the crying got louder, so I went into his room.

No fever.  No poop.  No vomit.  Room not too cold.  Not too hot.
I put his paci in and rubbed his back.  He was quiet.  I left the room.

We repeated this entire process again just a few minutes later.

And then, on the third round of crying, and I mean, crying, I began to pray.
Lord, bring peace and calming and comfort to this baby.
Protect him, soothe him, love him.
Give him exactly what he needs to go back to sleep.

And then, there it was.
The still small voice, whispering.  I created him to need you.  

Really, God?  Because I've read some books by some pretty big wig M.D.s that say he should cry himself back to sleep.   

Again.  I created him to need you. 
It was unmistakable.

I went into his room, picked up my baby, gave him a paci and wrapped a light blanket around him.
He put his head on my shoulder (which he never does!) and whined just a little bit before he was quiet again.

I held him like that for several minutes.  Told him I loved him, rubbed his back, and laid him back down in the crib.  He was asleep.

Dr. Weissbluth, Baby Wise fanatics, friends with solid opinions:  I did the right thing.  For my kid.  In that moment. 

My friend Kathryn once told me, listen to your mommy instincts.  It's the single best piece of advice I've ever been given. 

I've failed one hundred times and I will fail again.  But when I listen to the One who gives me mommy instincts, I can only get it right. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween!

So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned.  

 Just think of happy things... 

 and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land. 

- Peter Pan

Sunday, October 30, 2011

happy sunday

Hope you had a beautiful weekend. 
We did. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

welcome fall

I feel like today was the first day of fall.

Maybe not, like, according to the weather man.  Or the almanac.  Or the moon.  Or whoever decides when the blazing days of summer give way to a crisp air and orange leaves. 

But for us, today brought high temps in the low 70s.
A dry breeze and sunshine.
Eyes closed arms out wide and a deep sigh.
And a craving for all things pumpkin. 

Ahhh.  It is here.

Luke wore long sleeves and I jogged in tights.
We opened the windows and listened to the breeze.
And ate clementines.  Because we didn't have any pumpkin.

And made comfort food. 
Think pasta with melted cheese.  And cream.  And more cheese.  Yummy.

We stayed up past bedtime practicing our new trick.
Crawling!  For real, like, across the floor.  

There is a strange sense of calm in our house tonight.
I'm not sure if it's the crisp fresh air or the clean floors or the chicken spaghetti. 
Or God saying, here, have a gift.  Have fall. 


Monday, October 17, 2011

hands and knees

When Luke did this the first few times, I was so excited.
Literally, squealing and clapping and smiling and getting goosebumps.

Is that so silly!?  I was just so proud!

I felt like I had to take a picture right away, as if the moment would pass and I might never get a picture again.  I took video and sent it to my family, I called Adam on the phone to tell him, he did it again, he did it again!

And now, he does it all the time.  Of course, that's what babies do.  I know.
I guess there's something about milestones, though. 
When this little man starts to do something he's never done before ....
I am the crazy silly goober mom who gets excited and emotional. 

Love this boy. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

eight months

OH little Luke.  You are eight months old today.  You are the most handsome thing in the world.

You are tiny.  You still wear 3-6 month clothes and size 2 diapers.
In fact, I tried to put on 3-6 month jeans yesterday and they are still too big.
But you eat like a trojan, so I'm thinking you'll grow into them soon.

You are still breastfed, though I just started adding some formula to your food for the extra protein.
You will eat just about anything and although you get lots of baby food, you are starting to eat table food just a little bit.

Speaking of table food, you are getting a pincer grasp.  You can pick up anything.
You are getting up on your hands and knees!  This started last week and we are so proud of you!
You roll all over the place, scoot backwards easily, and will be crawling any day now.
You can sit up on your own, but you still fall backwards quite a bit.

You are so expressive.

You say lots of things in your own language.
Da, la, ya, ooh, ah. 
Several times, I swear you've said daisy.

You love the microwave.  You are fascinated by it.
When you are nervous, you put two fingers in your mouth and stare at what's making you nervous.
Mostly, it's strangers.
You're scared of the vacuum but you love the blow dryer.
You love your dad, your Honey, and your babysitter.

We are in therapy every other week for right now! Yay!
You have a splint that you wear just about all day every day, and you don't seem to mind much.
We still pray healing over your leg.  

You take a paci for just a few minutes to go to sleep, and you love your blanket.
You sleep for 11-12 hours at night, and take 2-3 short naps every day.  
Nothing, and I mean nothing makes you happier than being outside.

Love you little man.  

Saturday, October 8, 2011

ten for texas 2011

We did it again!  This is the fourth year in a row that someone in our household has done the Ten for Texas.  I've only done it three times.  Last year, I stayed on the sidelines because there was a little something in my belly.  ;)  And this year, for the first time ever, Adam and I crossed the finish line together!

My dad ran, too, and finished just moments after we did.  Luke was at the finish (thanks Honey!) and there could not have been a sweeter reward! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Right after Blake died, someone gave me a book on grief.  It said that there would come a time when I would go 24 hours without thinking of him.  I'm convinced that the author had never lost a loved one.  I might have gone 24 minutes a few times, but even that is rare.  

If it's after dark and the home phone rings, I panic and usually make Adam answer it.

A young boy at HEB yesterday looked at Luke, who was hanging out in the Baby Bjorn while I picked out avocados, and told me he was a handsome little guy.  I said thanks and looked at his name tag.  It said BLAKE.  I cried, right there in the produce.

I get so angry when I hear people complain about their siblings.  I work with a girl who complains about her sister all the time.  I want to yell and scream and tell her to be thankful.  Because that's the one person in this world who came from the same stuff you came from.  And if she were gone, you'd feel pretty damn lonely. 

I look at Luke and wonder how a person survives after losing a child.  I'm not sure that I would.  And it gives me a whole new sadness for my parents.  

Adam has always fixed everything.  When I'm in trouble, he comes to my rescue.  If I'm overwhelmed, he takes care of me.  But he cannot even understand this, much less fix it.  And that's been a hard lesson to learn.

Luke looks like my brother did when he was a baby.  I hate to say that out loud because I'm afraid people will think I'm crazy or weird or super nostalgic or something.  I'm not.  I'm just telling the truth.  If Blake were here, no one would think that was weird, but I feel like I have to be hush hush about it because Blake is not here.  And all of that makes me a little cranky.

When I hear the word suicide, I think I need to throw up.  No matter what the context.

Who coined the term good grief?  It's stupid.

I love the Lord.  I declare that God is good.  I know that He is sovereign and holy and mighty and here.  I stand on the promise that in quietness and trust I will find my strength (Isaiah 30:15).  But I really really miss my little brother. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

adam's first triathlon

We spent the weekend in the San Antonio area visiting our friends Matt, Meghann and Miss Molly Bee.  We had a blast.

On Saturday morning, Meg and I loaded up the babies in their Bobs ...

And headed to San Marcos, where we happened to find these two about to jump in the river...

While the guys competed in the Aquarena Springs Tri, we spent the morning in the beautiful Texas Hill Country as spectators.  We cheered on our husbands and let the babies play on a blanket...

Look at those hineys!  Meg made them matching onesies just for this occasion. 

Luke passed the time by trying to pull the bow off of Molly's head and playing in eating the dirt.  Little rascal. 

The guys did great!

And we had a wonderful time hanging out with our friends. 
We miss this family so much and just can't wait for them to move back home!  ;)