Monday, December 26, 2011

A Year of Firsts: The Holiday Season...First Up, Thanksgiving

Yes...Thanksgiving was over a month ago. Yes...Christmas is over and the remnants of wrapping paper, opened toy boxes, and new gifts are slowly making their way to their new spots in our home.

However, it is now time for all of the hustle and bustle to slow down for a bit and for me to do a little catching up.

First update: Thanksgiving season.

Thanksgiving ushers in the holiday season with wonderful smells, traditions, and memories to be made. Growing up, my momma and I used to call Thanksgiving our very own "forgotten holiday". Because, it seems, as soon as the jack o'lanterns get put away-the Christmas trees come out (and sometimes not even in that order!).

It is a day with no expectations of giving or receiving. Just pure gratitude. And boy! Did we have plenty of that to soak in this year...

Plenty of food and family around the table...

Newly made uncles...(unfortunately Uncle Gareth was still soaking up the sun in Florida)

New games with Oupa...(but, plenty of attention was given by all grandparents in attendance, what a spoiled girl we have!)

Great grandmas who think baby is the most beautiful thing on this planet! (and baby thinks she is pretty neat too)

To sum it up, we are...

2011 has truly been a year of gratitude and provision. Putting trust in Him to give us what we need in His timing. We are thankful for our sweet and healthy baby girl, the grandmas and grandpas she has, the uncles (both related and those of the friend-kind), and the aunts (the wonderful ladies in our life that love her like she is theirs). There were several moments we could've captured from this day of gratitude- but we hope this glimpse does enough for now.

Make everyday a day of thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fall Firsts...

Fall is a special time of year: Football. Food. Fireplaces. Friends. Family. All of the good things that start with the letter F.

This fall has been particularly wonderful as it has been the little bug's first with us.

Here are a few "highlights" from our fabulous fall.

First football game festivities...including a trip to Hideaway pizza and pre game with the Pride. Mommy and Daddy got to enjoy the game courtesy of Ouma...but we also came home to another first. Baby's first fever. MC was a champ through it all though. She was her usual happy-go-lucky self. She has such a sweet sunshine about her, that even as I have seen her struggle through other little sicknesses this fall- she still has a joy that is not shaken.

"The Patch"
We got to take the little one to the pumpkin patch for the first time this year. She ate it all up. Almost literally.

I loved watching her touch all of the pumpkins that were around her. She smiled in the sunlight and at us - almost as if to say..."Is this for real? Because it seems too good to be true."

With first pumpkins comes the holiday of Halloween.Over the past several years we have insisted on carving pumpkins together. It was a HUGE deal in my home as I was growing up and one tradition that I will not soon part with. However, one thing would lead to the next over the years and Halloween would be over. And then there would be uncarved pumpkins-left to rot. But this year I persisted and insisted...and finally won out.

Baby watched as Mommy and Daddy carved pumpkins.

Offering a helping hand where she could....

And...It was also a first for daddy.

He wasn't so sure of the guts...but, once we got into the details, he became an old pro.

I think they turned out pretty good.

I look forward to this becoming a tradition with each year and for the day when MC can join in on the fun.

After the pumpkins have been carved, the next best thing is the costume. Or, maybe the costume comes first and then the pumpkin. Either way works.

I have always loved ladybugs so this year's costume for her first Halloween was a pretty easy decision. It is also befitting of the nickname I have for her, Bug. I crafted her costume from dollar store and Hobby Lobby finds. It was fun and I saved a few bucks (or a lot of bucks) and she looked pretty cute, if I do say so myself...

I also got to borrow a "Very Hungry Caterpillar" hat from my good friend, Catherine. I loved coordinating with MC's costume,"The (not-so) Grouchy Ladybug"- who knows, maybe matching (and crafting costumes) will turn into a tradition too. (Well, for as long as she will let me anyways...)

We even ventured out for a little "Trick or Treating" - which really consisted of showing off our little ladybug to our next door and across-the-street neighbors.

A little unsure at first....

but no tears were shed. In fact a few smiles were thrown towards our surrounding friends.

This week brings Thanksgiving and I am looking forward to adding on to and ending the fall with some wonderful memories. Our hearts are expectant for all of the bits we get to gobble up!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Mamas wear many different hats.

Sometimes we put on our nurse's cap and kiss away the sickies and cuddle up babies as we wipe snotty noses and try to make it all disappear.

Sometimes we are the coach with our baseball hat on- cheering on their successes, knowing when to let sit on the sidelines and let them spread their wings of independence and when to rush in with support.

Daddy helps with the sippy.

Sometimes we are the cook and maid with our aprons on - hair pulled back. Cleaning and making messes simultaneously.

Caught in the act!

The finished meal that followed the little bug's cereal adventure.

Sometimes we are the soldier with our helmet on ready to take on any battle that comes our way. Always fighting for their future. (and her's sure is bright!)

Sometimes we are the woman with bobby pins passing off the babe to someone to go on an errand, date, etc...constantly thinking about them as we try to step away from our mothering for just a moment.
Sometimes we are just mama. No hat, just tousled hair or a pony- makeup or not, here we are. Ready and willing to do whatever they want and need (sometimes making it up as we go).

And sometimes we are something completely different, as I have come to find over these past few months. Sometimes we are working mama. Career mama. This mama is one that I have come to know well over the past few months. One that I have tried to wrestle with and conquer. The mama that feels more spread than she ever imagined. Not knowing if she is succeeding at anything - but trying so very hard to make it seem effortless and not halfway complete. Wondering about whether she is doing her family right - her colleagues right - her students right. Trying to make all of the pieces fit, only to let some of them fall into the wrong places.

This is one reason why I've neglected our sweet little blog- because of the attempt at finding a balance. As a working mama your priorities change. You go from juggling everything in the air, to letting it fall, and then to picking it all back up and trying again.

Now, I can't say that I'm perfect at it - far from it in fact- but, I will say that I am slowly but surely getting better at wearing all of my hats. I put them on daily, finding the joy in all of the fibers that they are.

This has been the driving scripture that I have been reading almost daily since August to help with this daily preparation:
"Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation." - Romans 5:2-4

Bring on those hats!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Tomorrow... begins a new chapter in our lives of being Bassets. I go back to work.

Tomorrow... I will once again prepare to welcome 20 or so smiling and energetic faces, along with some that might not be as smiley or energetic to be there. ;)

Tomorrow...ends 5 wonderful months as a stay-at-home mom, but brings with it the determination to make that a reality again in the near future.

Tomorrow...brings with it many emotions- some good, some bad. I feel the excitement of a new school year. That familiar itch to get back in the swing of "all things school" starts creeping up inside of me, but with it also comes a twinge of guilt and longing for my sweet girl that I will leave to be apart of it.

Tomorrow...I get the best of many worlds. A world with a job that I love and people I love to work with- blended with the sweet world of being a mommy and wife.

Tomorrow...brings the unknown. What will our schedule look like? How will we adjust? As an ultimate planner, this frightens me. However, I know it will all work out in the end and I will look back at this time and wonder why I was so afraid in the first place.


But...for today, I will savor each and every last drop like I do my morning coffee. Slowly, tenderly, making it stretch for as long as I can with gentle sips.

Today, I dressed my sweet daughter up and got her ready for storytime at the library. Making faces at her while I got the best reaction in the world. A giggle and a smile.

Today, I lunched with friends and their precious babes. They humbled me with bouquets of sharpened pencils ("You've Got Mail" reference intended), a calendar for our bustling new schedule, and a heartfelt dvd of sweet moments and music of my family to take with me on my daily trip into the working world.

Thank you Kerri and Stacie!

Today, I cuddled my baby girl as she brushed my cheeks with her hand and fell to sleep for her afternoon nap. I know this isn't the last one of these, but it is still a little bittersweet. (just wait for the weekends and breaks my dear!)

Today, I marinated steaks that eagerly await my husband to grill. We will soak up the evening with playtime, stories, and preparations. We will end the evening with sweet pillow talk and reassurances, and I will know once again that I am the luckiest wife in the world to have a man like him in my life.

Today isn't just another day, it is the day before tomorrow. And we will be ready, despite a few tears and anxieties....because we know that another sweet mommy will be watching and caring for our little one, just as if she were her own. We are ever grateful for her and the tomorrow she will help us build up in our little bug.

"The sun'll come out-
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may"
- from the Broadway Musical, "Anne"

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I love how the things that are familiar to me are constantly new discoveries for my little one. She looks at them with her baby blues and with such focus. I want to be inside her precious brain: seeing the wheels turning, processing, learning, loving, maybe even hating. What does she think? What does she absorb as she takes everything in?

Everything is new and fresh to her, not cast aside as the everyday. the ordinary. the mundane.

Take for instance, a plastic, sour cream container. When was the last time you looked at it with new eyes? Discovered that it rolls, the colors that it has, the sounds it makes when you hit it. victorious you feel when you can lift it with both of your hands?

When was the last time you were able to reach your toes? Your feet even? When was the last time you tried to put them in your mouth just because you could and because you didn't know the difference or care who was watching? --- She thinks they're just as yummy and entertaining as ever.

Or....noticed a new friend for the first time that doesn't look at all like the other faces you've seen. However, he kind of acts like you (by putting almost everything into his mouth too) so you think you'll get along just fine.

Do you remember the touch and feel of a book for the first time? Being able to look at the pictures and touch it, trying to do what you've seen your mommy do and turn the page. Then, get so excited when you actually do it!

A hat. The feel of pick-a-boo. Realizing that you can take it off someone's head. Then..when it is on your head...what it smells like, what it feels like, wondering what is this thing for? I just know it makes me smile.

Tasting something but not knowing what it is or what you're even supposed to do with it. But, smiling after the fact because of the silly faces those big people make at you. Then, reaching for the spoon because you think that you've got it all handled and can take it over from there.

New. Each day is filled with it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Ease...

Summer breeze...summer ease.

Summer is such a special time. Filled with scrumptious foods, plenty of time in the sun, and lazy days to catch up on whatever your heart desires.
You know, the easy stuff.

This summer has been an absolute treasure. I have been able to spend it with the loves of my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world.

It has been filled with plenty of mid-morning and afternoon naps...

Plenty of smiles, playtime, and laughter...

laughing at daddy

playing with grandpa Porter's old toy phone

Who knew blankets could be so funny?

growing green things in the garden...

cucumber in our garden

time to craft and make homemade gifts...
hand-sewn napkins and crafted napkin rings for the future Mr. and Mrs. Winters

Mommy/daughter headbands for the Grigor girls

and just overall one of a kind, first, and happy memories.

standing and smiling for daddy

I don't want it to end.

Soon, the ease of summer will be replaced with the hubbub of the beginning of school and all it entails. But, just for now--I will continue to soak up every minute of it and cherish these long, hot summer days and everything they bring with them.

The days are long for a reason this time of year. And, I now know why more than ever.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Year of Firsts: This Week's Episode: Happy Birthday, America!

The 4th of July. Independence Day. America's Birthday.
Whatever you like to call it--it makes no difference, as long as you can absorb how special the day truly is.

It is not just a day for fireworks, BBQ, parades and is a day to celebrate so many freedoms and liberties that we have the privilege to enjoy.
How lucky are we that we can be outspoken, quiet, unique, conforming, critical, complacent, happy, sad, religious, nonreligious, and every other synonym/antonym combo in the book? We all have our different views-- and whether or not you agree or disagree with the means, we got these freedoms because of the sacrifice of so many individuals.

Growing up, I have so many good memories of the 4th of July. Trips to St. Louis with fireworks under the arch, popping hundreds (literally hundreds) of dollars of our own fireworks at the Perkins farm just because my dad refused to stop being a kid at heart, fireworks in Bricktown, swimming, etc., etc...It has always been one of my favorite holidays because of the overall feel of unity in our nation for at least a day, and plus...who doesn't like to light stuff on fire and watch it blow up? (Without hurting someone that is!)

And although this year looked a little bit different, it still had much of the same and I wouldn't have traded it for the world. We had a little bit of it all...

A parade where we got to see Adam do one of his first official gigs with his new job.

Swimming and BBQ.

Fireworks on the roof after our sweet bug went to sleep for the night. And, even though I freaked out from being on such a steep slant-- I loved every minute of seeing all of the fireworks around the metro with my sweetie. (I literally scooted on my booty up the roof and down it--complete with me breaking down in tears at the end...neat.)

I can't wait to share more of these holidays with our sweet Mackenzie - I just know she will love all of the fireworks and pizzazz that this holiday has to offer!