December 31, 2012
It is absolutely overwhelming to see your little son playing this role. I cannot begin to imagine the weight that Mary and Joseph felt knowing that they held the Savior of the World.
Labels: Beckham, Christmas, Faith
December 30, 2012
Christmas Sunday is one of my favorite Sunday’s of the year. There is something so wonderful about being in the Lord’s house in the midst of celebrating the birth of our Savior.
I managed to snapped this photo of Beckham right before church…
… and these photos of the older two during church.
Colton loves his cousin Bryson… he and Claire cannot get enough of him! They love when he visits and comes to church!
Claire has a special love for music and often imitates our choir director which is what she was doing here. It is so funny and cute to watch.
Labels: Beckham, Christmas, Claire, Colton
December 29, 2012
The school Christmas Program is a huge production. All the children have a part in the program, but the most entertaining is always the Kindergarten classes. There is always “that kid” … you know that one that dances or sings louder than all the rest. Yeah… well… that’s my kid! He hears music and he starts dancing! It is the funniest thing ever and he has done it at every Christmas program!
At his Christmas program this year he basically came through the doors dancing… he did not even make it on the stage.
I love my little man…
These are the cutest group of four year olds…
Notice all the kids have their hands folded? This is something they start teaching them in K3. During bible time in K3 they had to sit with their hands folded in their lap. For a three year old and probably a four year old too – this takes great self control. However, studies have shown that there is actually a calming factor to clasping your hands together. Not to mention it helps them keep their hands to themselves.
Labels: Christmas, Colton, School
December 28, 2012
We had our first snow of the season a few days before Christmas. It was not much snow, but nonetheless Colton & Claire were super excited to get out and play!
I did not realize it until we bundled up to go outside that Colton does not have a winter coat! Mom fail!
Claire did not make it long outside… she did not like her gloves getting “dirty”… ha ha. Chris tried to explain to her that the snow was suppose to be on her gloves, but she would not have any of it! Colton however, stayed out and played by himself.
He had so much fun making snowballs…
… and attempting to make a snow angel.
Colton played outside for almost an hour… he had so much fun!
December 27, 2012
These two love painting. I covered our table in a plastic tablecloth to help with the clean up and let them paint Christmas ornaments.
Painting kept them entertained for almost an hour!
This is what I get when I ask for a smile… She cracks me up!
I love watching these two be so creative!
Labels: Claire, Colton
December 24, 2012
December 23, 2012
We are honored that you are taking time to read ANOTHER Christmas letter from our family. We hope and pray that this letter finds you in good spirits.
2012 has been a big year for our family. In March I turned thirty. I am so thankful that the Lord has given me thirty great years, 10 of which I have spent married to my best friend. Yes, Chris and I celebrated ten years of marriage this July! Hard to believe it has been that long. Two days after my thirtieth birthday I was shocked to find out that I was pregnant. Again! I was nearing the end of training for my second half marathon and was completely overwhelmed at the thought of being a mom of three. Four weeks later, seven weeks pregnant and ask sick as could be I finished the Knoxville Half Marathon. Nine months later I am aching to put on my running shoes and hit the pavement!
Colton finished K3 this May and right before Claire’s second birthday we planned a last minute trip to the gulf. This was our first vacation with just us and our children … no additional family. It was different than any other beach trip we had been on, but so enjoyable nonetheless. Claire, our girly little two year old took right to the pool this summer – she loved every minute of being in the water.
Claire is a handful to say the least. She has a very different personality than that of her older brother. Colton is a very loving and very affectionate little kid. As I am typing this letter he is wrapped around my waist telling me how much he loves me – for no apparent reason. I am blessed more than I deserve. Claire is not quite as affectionate as her brother. She likes her personal space. She also has a bossy side that we chalked up to her being a girl even though I realize that is not a good excuse for her attitude (wink wink). Bossiness aside she is a sweet little girl who loves her baby, bags/purses, jewelry, Chap Stick, and snuggling with her momma! She is anxious to go to school like her brother, but I am anxious to keep her little as long as possible. Claire loves to sing and to say The Lord’s Prayer before dinner. Nothing in the world melts your heart like hearing you children talk to God.
In August Colton started K4 at Gateway. The first day of K4 went a lot smoother than the first day of K3. My husband would tell you that I am much more of the clinger than Colton is – letting go is SOOO hard to do! He has had an amazing year so far. He loves his teacher Mrs. Sonya; she is so compassionate and kind and makes learning fun. Colton’s little brain is soaking up everything possible while learning in school and at home. He has an urgent desire to learn how to read and it has amazed Chris and me at how fast he is learning to blend letters and make words. Not only is he learning to read and write in cursive, but he is also learning more and more about the bible and about our Lord. It is the hope and prayer of both Chris and I that our children will be saved at a young age and live a life that is pleasing to God. With our teachings at home, time spent in church, and the supplement of this wonderful Christian school we look forward to the day that Colton and his siblings accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
We found out this summer that we would be welcoming another baby boy. As nervous and anxious as I was to be a mom of three, I was ecstatic to hear that it was going to be another boy. I knew right away what I wanted to name him and with some time Chris was on board. So on November 12th at 11:01pm after the most amazing delivery experience we welcomed Beckham Christopher Brooks into our family. Our home is over flowing with love for this little guy. Colton and Claire are wild about him. Colton is constantly telling his little brother, “its okay baby Beckham Colton is here… I will take good care of you.” Claire is a little mother hen, she wants to hold him, and feed him, and even burp him. The two of them have put my anxieties at bay and have allowed me to enjoy this first month of being a mom of three. I know there are going be many challenges ahead of Chris and I as we navigate life raising three children, but I am thankful to know that God has walked before us and has armed us with every means necessary to be the parents that He would have us be.
Merry Christmas to your and yours!
Love from Tennessee,
Chris, Summer Jo, Colton, Anna Claire, & Baby Beckham
December 22, 2012
I was really delayed getting our Christmas Card and Christmas Letter out this year. Colton was sick for a week and we were not able to get a family picture until after he was better. I threw them in some clothes and put the three of them in front of our tree and Chris and I snapped away. Of all the pictures this one was Chris’ favorite! Claire’s face was priceless! She waited forever to get to hold Beckham (Colton got to hold him first) and once she did she was smitten to say the least!
December 21, 2012
So here it is… I need a day off. Just a day – that’s it. I feel HORRIBLE for admitting that. I feel like it makes me a bad person for even saying that out loud. I feel guilty for saying, “I need a few hours away from my toddlers to recharge” when there are mom’s in Connecticut who would give anything to be with their little ones.
We do not have “babysitters”, we do not have people that we can just take our kids to and drop them off for a few hours. We do not have people that we feel like we can call and say, “come watch our children for a few hours”. It is no ones fault but my own. I have clung to my children and have always taken them everywhere with me. If I need to go somewhere I pack them up and they go along – but I am here to tell you – I need a day off!
This week has been emotionally exhausting. Colton and Claire have not played well together at all which makes the days long.
Asking for “a day off” makes me feel like a bad mom … a bad person.
I love my children… I love being with them… I love being their mom. I am blessed beyond measure, but I need a day off and I feel guilty asking for it.
December 17, 2012
Today Beckham is 5 weeks old… so I’m a little late getting this post up!
Not much has changed in a month. Beckham you are still the cutest thing ever looking more and more like his dad everyday!
At your 1 month check up you were 10 pounds and 1.5 ounces. Up 2 whole pounds from birth.
Beckham you measured 22 inches, up an inch from birth and falling around the 75th percentile for height. All of my babies are long/tall.
You are still wearing a few newborn clothes and some 0-3 months. We just moved up to size 1 diapers.
Feeding & Sleeping:
Beckham you nurse like a champ which is such a blessing! We go every 3 hours during the day. Naps are going decent during the day. We’re just working on falling asleep on our own. Nigh time feedings have extended to about 4 hours with a 5 hours stint once this week! Wahoo for mommy! I feel like a new woman when he is only waking once!
Of course you look a lot like your brother and sister just with dark features. What little bit of hair you do have is dark and your eyes are definitely dark. Like I said, you look like daddy!
You are starting to be more alert noticing things and people around you. Oh yeah, you hate your car seat! I am praying this is just a phase!
Your siblings LOVE you so very much! They can actually be a little over bearing. Colton hates to hear you cry and if he is around he will try to give you your pacifier and he always says, “Its okay Beckham Colton is here”. It is the sweetest thing ever. Claire is a little mother hen and wants to pet and kiss you all the time. She keeps asking me when you are going to have some teeth.
December 12, 2012
I am so far behind on Christmas shopping! Seriously! Until last night the only person who had gifts was Claire! My husband said, “do you not have a list going!?”
Ummm… guess I need a list!
If you would like this printable for yourself click on the image – it will open up in a new window. Then, right click and choose to “save image as…” and save it to your computer.
Labels: Christmas, Printable
December 11, 2012
The three hours that we walked (yep, three hours!) were actually pretty fun. We shared stories, caught up on each others lives, and most importantly we laughed hysterically. There was one point that I was trying to work through a major contraction and could not concentrate for laughing at my husband so hard! I will spare you the details… he may kill me if I were to share them! We walked the entire OB floor worrying the post-partum nurses every time we passed their way. “We’re not equipped to deliver babies down here!” they would say when we would pass by. All in good spirits of course.
Around 9pm my OB checked me and I was 8cm. It was now that she wanted to break my water. To be honest, I did not want my water broken. I knew this would speed the process along, but geeze, this is when you really get down to business and I was not prepared. Are you ever prepared though? It was at this point that my emotions really sat in. In the book, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, the authors do an incredible job of explaining to you the stages of labor and the different signposts of labor. You go through excitement and an incredible amount of self doubt. I think the tears were due to the self doubt. My lovely husband just loved on me trying his best to comfort me every step of the way. It was at this point that I knew the walking was over.
Chris was literally by my side every second. He helped me to the bathroom holding me up during contractions. It was then that I found a comfortable position, but the nurse was insistent on me not laboring on a toilet! ha ha. So we made our way back to the bed. I sat on the edge while Chris sat in a chair in front of me, holding me up and working me through each contraction. Christine did an incredible job at being my nurse. She tended to my every need. She alternated between wet wash cloths trying keeping me cool. I do not know what it is, but I BURN UP during labor! This has happened each time. We had the air down as cool as it would go, a fan blowing, and wet wash cloths going and I was still hot.
Christine shared this with me:
At one point when I was burning up Chris ask me if I wanted some ice chips and I told him yes. He started to get up to get them and I quickly clanged onto him and growled “not you!”. She said that she said to herself, “oh heck, she isn’t going to let him go anywhere!”. Chris and I both have gotten the biggest laugh over this because we both know how bad of a clinger I am – especially during childbirth, but it was funny to hear it from someone else’s perspective.So yeah, I would not let Chris leave my side and honestly he did not try. Laboring was a very quiet time. The Lord really helped me get my mind to another place. I mentally talked myself through each contractions. Reminding myself that it was just going to last a few seconds, that I was going to get a break, and that each contraction was one step closer to holding my little man!
The nurse and OB came in several times to check me… my OB was so sweet. She would pat on my leg and just offer up words of encouragement. Finally the moment was there… when you go completely natural you know immediately when it is time to push. This is when excitement creeps back in! For one, it’s a relief, but most importantly I will be seeing my baby REALLY SOON!
December 10, 2012
Colton was a pacifier baby. Claire did not take well to the pacifier at all and I did not push it because I knew we had to break Colton from the habit and it would be tough to do so if there was a baby in the house with one. She however, has a blanky that is her comfort.
The first time I gave Beckham a pacifier he took right to it. Right now he has a love/hate relationship with it so I am just using it when absolutely necessary. However, a few days ago I went to get him up and found him like this!
Full suction on his left thumb! It was so funny. So my dilemma is this … just let him have at it or keep those hands away!? I like the idea of a pacifier because you can get rid of it, you really cannot throw out the thumb. Ahhh… decisions decisions!
December 9, 2012
December 8, 2012
In an effort to better ensure my odds of my OB delivering the baby (as opposed to one of the other 5 in the office) I made sure to schedule my last few appointments on her on-call days. To help increase my odds of a third natural (and drug free) delivery I had no plans of spending an exceeding amount of time in the hospital and my wonderful OB was totally on board.
My 38 week checkup was on a Wednesday. I had dilated some and the OB gave me the option of going ahead and checking into the hospital and having my water broken – ummm, “NO THANK YOU!”. I was not up for an entire day in the hospital rushing the delivery of a baby that obvious was not ready. My next appointment was the following Monday and she was quite certain I would make it until then.
From Wednesday to Monday I had a ton of contractions. With two toddlers it is impossible not to stay active. I was on my feet constantly and in the afternoon when I had a chance to sit down and relax I really noticed the contractions. There was even one night when we called my Mother In Law to have her on standby just in case we needed her in the middle of the night.
Monday morning rolled around and I just knew that was going to be the day. I had a 9:30am appointment – we took both Colton and Claire with us to the appointment. Sure enough when I arrived I was five centimeters. I think my OB was as happy as I was! She wanted to go ahead and walk me over to the hospital, but I knew it was going to be a while and opted to just wait. Besides we had the kids with us and we needed to get them back to the grandparents house and settled.
It’s over an hour drive to the grandparents so we stopped at Chick Fil-A for a late breakfast and some playtime. Everyone enjoyed themselves including mom ;). Once we got to my father in laws we all settled in – had some lunch and Claire and I took a nap together. I am so glad I was able to rest because I was going to need the energy later and napping with my sweet girl was so nice.
Finally, we headed back to Knoxville making it to the doctors office right before five. I had made a little more progress so we went ahead and walked over to the hospital.
Ok… now for a little back tracking and explaining of what went on next:
With my first pregnancy I initially thought I wanted my mom and Chris’ mom in the delivery room with us – I wanted them to be able to experience the moment with us. As my due date approached and I learned more and more about natural childbirth both Chris and I decided that it would be best that only he be with me. So when I had Claire we went in with the same plan. This pregnancy however had been quite different in that we were totally NOT expecting to be expecting!
The one person (besides my husband) who has been right by my side, praying for me, praying with me, encouraging me, lifting me up – has been my girlfriend Christine. The first few weeks preceding the positive pregnancy test I think she called everyday to check on me. I was in shell-shock! She wanted a natural childbirth with her two girls and ended up needing c-sections with both of them. My heart broke for her both times when she did not get to have the childbirth experience she wanted. Christine is so giving and so compassionate. She is one of the most loving people I know… she makes me want to be a better person. She had given so much to me and now I had the opportunity to give something to her. The experience of being with us during our delivery of baby #3. Once I had settled in with the idea of having a third child I knew that I wanted her to be with Chris and I in labor and delivery. When I mentioned it to her she was thrilled! So all these pictures are courtesy of her!
Christine walked in the door giddy, grinning from ear to ear… she immediately started snapping photos!
This guy… this guy is definitely my superhero! You just have no idea!
All of my nurses were wonderful! We seriously had such great help! The nurse that admitted me was super sweet with a great sense of humor. Thank goodness because my husband can be a complete goof-ball sometimes … him and Christine together – well that is a complete riot!
The night had just begun and I look totally exhausted already! However, I had a smile because I was now admitted and able to get up and walk! And walk we did… I should had worn my Garmin just to measure how far we walked!
You may remember that I am a self proclaimed five stage clinger and need my husband at all times – well… stay tuned and you will understand just what I mean!
I have fallen madly in love…
I really think it has a lot to do with the fact that he looks SOOOO much like his daddy, the superhero ;).
December 7, 2012
Christmas is right around the corner and I know many of you are already thinking about what you will be preparing for Christmas lunch and/or dinner. I am so excited for Christmas, but I am hoping not to over indulge in the scrumptious goodness! I do still have some baby weight that I need to lose!
To help with the preparation I have created a few printables!
If you would like this printable for yourself click on the image – it will open up in a new 0window. Then, right click and choose to “save image as…” and save it to your computer.
Colton and my niece Evelyn enjoying IPads over the Thanksgiving Holiday… I think Colton spent more time in front of this thing than not! Kind of made me nuts.
Did I mention that he has ask for only two things for Christmas!?
You guessed it – an IPad … and… Pixie Dust so he can fly! Yes, Pixie Dust! ha ha.
Of course the kid who never ask for anything is going to ask for a super expensive gift and an impossible gift.
December 6, 2012
I pumped and forgot to freeze some milk… not wanting to trash it we went ahead and let Baby B have his first bottle (this was Nov. 22nd… I’m just now getting to blog about it!)
He drank the bottle like a champ!
December 5, 2012
So what did I do the morning before giving birth!?
Well… if you must know …
Yes! I climbed around inside the jungle gym at Chick Fil-A.
My two are not fans of these indoor play structures. It is probably a good thing because they are a cesspool of germs! eeek! So… I climbed to the top with them to encourage them to slide down…
Our last outing a family of four… crazy!