Saturday, September 20, 2014

My little surprise is 1.

You guys! Of course I was going to make a mad comeback (to the blog) to talk about the sweet emotions of my baby turning 1.

The first thing we say about Keating is, "he is the happiest baby...until he isn't". Thanks be to God for a smiley baby! I chose these pics and there were so many of smiles and from so early on.

It is hard to believe that a year ago right now, I was waiting for him to arrive and I didn't know that I was having a boy. It's no lie that his little life was a surprise and oh my goodness what a sweet surprise! He has brought so much much joy and laughter to our home. Foster LOVES him and is clearly happy to have a brother.  This year has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. Having two kids is hard...having two this close together may be harder and then adding jobs and volunteering...It is a lot and it is fulfilling and it is also exhausting...and the sleep...I kind of miss  sleep. BUT! This post is about this special little person that God chose to join our family. There is not a day that goes by that I don't look at Keating and laugh with him. He is trying so hard to keep up with Fos and I think it is awesome, but I also want to squeeze his little body (which isn't actually all that little) and keep his head in the crook of my neck for ever so I can breathe in his sweet baby smell! He is a light and a miracle and perfect surprise.


Now it's time for my "momservations":

This kids can smile for days and just seems content. I seriously think that he arrived with a smile on his face...And then he gets tired or hungry...and watch out! He fights sleep like a maniac - but when he gives in he, sleeps pretty well. 
His laugh is one for the movies. You know, that time when they dub in a baby laugh...that is Keatings laugh. It really is perfect.
His little curls hide this wicked cowlick! (is it really spelled like that?)
He eats EVERYTHING you put in front of him!
He has 8 teeth and constantly puts everything - including your fingers - in his mouth to chomp on! He drools like mad.
He sleeps pretty well.
He is walking. He started walking about 2 weeks ago and I am absolutely positive that it is so he can keep up with Foster.
He is using words. He says, "Hot, bottle, dad, and ball!"
Ask him how old he is and he will show you on his finger!
 Y'all, thanks for loving my kid. That is truly a blessing in my life that blows me away all the time.

And to you dear sweet Keating,

You were born as a complete surprise to your momma and daddy. This is not to say that you were unwanted at all. To say that you are more than we could have hoped of would be a massive understatement. Your dad and I find so much joy in watching you exist; in watching you watch the world and offer it your kindness and laughter. We joke that you will be the kid in school that everyone always wants around because you make everyone feel like they are the funniest and best person ever. I pray so hard that your lighthearted spirit is something that is ingrained into your soul. I love that you look at people in the eye and offer a smile so quickly. You teach me. Your little life has changed us for sure.
Your face is just an insane little ball of perfect and your eyes, gosh, we melt in the blueness of your eyes.  Your laugh and your smile are unstoppable. You could totally change the world for someone with that smile...and you have this silly, sweet noise you make like Donald Duck and I know multiple people in your life who do it in their own homes just to be silly - because it makes them laugh. You leave a mark on the people you meet and you, my sweet, sweet boy, have surely left a mark on your dad and me. We could not love you more and there is NOTHING that you could err do to change that.
We pray that growing up around church and college students only adds to your experience. The Lord has placed us in such a unique and wonderful position and I am so happy that our lives are all about teaching people about the Love of God...Here is the cool thing about this; You and your bro are a part of this. Even today we were at a football boulevard and I left you on a picnic blanket. I walked away for 5 seconds and turned around and there were two girls holding you and taking pics with invite them in and I truly believe that it is because of the Spirit in you. You are such a cool kid and I cannot wait to watch you grow up and be a silent and fun leader. As I have written to your brother, I pray that you want to Love Jesus so much and truly seek him. I pray that we lead you well.
I am so glad I am your momma, baby. Im just so glad.
Happy first year of life!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thanks, Andrew.

July 16, 2005 - behind the scenes.

July 16, 2014

Thank you, Andrew. Thanks for 9 years of wedding vow fulfillment. Thank you for loving me when it is hard to love me. Thank you for partnering so deeply with me in everything from ministry, to cooking, to laughing, to decorating our space, and these last two years-raising two little boys. Thank you for trusting me, confiding in me and doing that really cute thing you do when you justify what you are going to say before you say it just in case I may misinterpret what you are saying. Thank you for choosing to love me every day. Thanks for your passion for life, love, music, movies, HGTV, and the Food Network (even though we don't have those channels). Thank you for not being petty. Thank you for not expecting me to be perfect, but understanding that I am doing the best that I can. Thank you for making our marriage a priority by continuing to date me. Thank you for laughing at my jokes and making me feel beautiful (these are two different things, but when you laugh at me, It makes me feel awesome). Thank you for never saying a negative thing about me to me. Thank you for speaking truth into the things that need to change in my life. Thank you for your honesty and your gentleness. Thank you for pursuing the Lord hard and making Him the center of our home. Thank you for changing so many diapers and doing so many dishes. Thank you for cleaning up our kids puke, and for rocking our babies to sleep. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you, guide you, and develop gifts in you. You are truly my favorite person, you make me better and you make me want to be better. I love you. Thank you for loving me too. 
This is my current favorite pic of us, because what you can't see is foster playing drums on our stomachs. Those are faces of pain and anticipation.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Book Rec. Carry On, Warrior.

Glennon Doyle Melton is the author of a blog called Momastery. It is great. So great, in fact, that I had linked an article here a few months ago and didn't realize it was written by this woman until a few weeks ago.

The good ole Rev. Matt Tuggle used a story from her book Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing your Messy, Beautiful Life in a sermon and it peaked my interest. When I asked him and his wife Amy about it, they just handed it to me and said, "Read it!".
So, I saved it for our trip to the beach and then I devoured it. 2 flights and one afternoon at the was finished.

This book is a must read for any mom who is in the thick of it and needs someone to agree that it just isn't that easy. I was crying by page 4 and cracking up not much later. Loved should def. check it out. One of my favorite reads this year, for sure.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


I have been overly nostalgic today. 
I don't know what it is. 
Twice today I have thought of friends and cried. Not sad tears, but like, "I miss them doing life next to me" tears. 

I am lucky enough to have women in different parts of the US who are kindred spirits...I say that, but what I really mean (and this is the only way that I can explain it) is that the Holy Spirit in them draws out the Holy Spirit in me. These friends are refreshing, life giving, and make me want to be the better.

Today I received a gift from one of them and I got to chat for a sec via text with one of them...Blessings. These women...(insert sigh and another tear here). 

When I see them, I cry - either because of joy or the depth of the things we talk about. 
These are friends with whom there is no "catching up", not because we talk all the time...we don't...not even close...but because we love each other, so we just pick up where we left off. 

These friendships are a treasure. I just wish we didn't live so dang far apart. 

Love you ladies. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Real Talk

Just a look into real life! This was actually yesterday. and "I work at my church" means, I work in the college ministry at Highland Park United Methodist Church. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Isn't Missouri Beautiful? part 2.

This where I grew up. 
If you look across the lake, you will see a blue paddle boat standing up. Right above that paddle boat is a "dock", as we call it. This place is special. Very special. It is special to me because I have had many, many important conversations about life in this spot. But it is SUPER special because this is the spot where Andrew and I had our first kiss...and also where he asked me to be his wife, proclaiming his undying love for me. We went for a walk on this particular day last week and as we stopped to tell our kids the story of our love (which they were enthralled by), Andrew says, "Wait, wasn't it 10 years ago today that we had our first kiss? July 3rd, right?"
10 years. And so of course we took a pic. Keating was really just imagining what that special day must have been like.

You may not be convinced, just yet, that Missouri is beautiful, but I have a few more post intended to persuade you. 

See you tomorrow (or the next day)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Isn't Missouri Beautiful? part 1.

This is a saying you will regularly hear from the mouth of my Father. It's sort of a joke, but Missouri really is beautiful, sometimes.

This last week was one of those weeks. It was absolutely beautiful. There was only one thing missing, my sister in law, Michelle (she started a new masters program, which is awesome, it was just sad to not have her with us).
The Welker family reunited at my parents house over the 4th. This is a super fun time because the family that was 4 is now 11 and we have a June 27th b-day and July 1st and 2nd birthdays, so obviously, we have a party - That was super fun and lasted all day (which is sort of how we do things at the Welker house).
The real highlight for me is that there are basically 2 guaranteed times that I will get to see my nephews; Christmas and summer.
And this summer meet up was just...sigh...sublime.
The first night we were there we were trying to get the boys to sleep and Fos wanted to go outside, so finally, I just said, "yes...lets go outside".
I want to pass out from the beautiful moments and memories we made. Keating crawling in the green grass, Foster running barefoot, temps in the 60's, the sunsets gorgeous glow, catching lighting bugs (this is the non romantic name for fireflies) the conversations about lightening bugs and how they are a natural source of light that isn't hot (which is so fascinating) and the laughter and screaming of 5 little boys. PERFECTION.
This is last years pic of the Welker/Beard Boys...for reference
I will be writing more in the next few days about MO, but tonight I reflect on the faces of 5 little boys on not one, but four beautiful summer days.  Just a note here...Photographing these boys together is no easy task. Here is why... they are boys. Keating is 9 months. Eden will be 2 in September. Foster turned 2 last week. Charlie turned 4 on July 2nd. Fred will be 7 in September. I don't need any other reasons, right?  Here are the results of my efforts (While Josh and Andrew WRANGLED).
Sweet Eden. He and this light are/were stunning.  I took at least 10 pics before he stopped looking directly into the camera.
This is my favorite.
One of the only shots I got of my kids together without a toy. It pretty much sums up the two of them. I love this image. 
Fred(6). Foster(2). Keating(9months). Charlie(4). Eden(1).
No joke, this is the first pic I took. There is actually a hand there on the far right. I didn't edit it out because I want to remember the efforts that wend into this image.
I was screaming "JUMP", the older two got it. I don't know, I thought it would make them at least look at me.
Eden clearly loved this idea.
I can only laugh at this picture! 

And this one is pretty much perfect. NAILED IT!
Thanks for checking out my family.
More on Missouri this week...See you soon.