Been a LONG time since we updated the blog. One day I will go into detail on the events of our lives the past two months....but the short version is: We finally got in our house. STILL have things that need to be finished with it. Didn't have internet for a month. Not sure I will ever get settled! But.....we are in! We are blessed! And I thought nothing was more appropriate than monkey costumes for my boys bc that is what they are. I type this after I just cleaned up the shattered vase on the floor that Baker broke. MONKIES!!!!! Not sure I will survive these toddler years. All I have to say is thank goodness they are cute.
It has been a while since we last posted. However, there is not much more going on other than the craziness of building our house. We should be moving in next weekend, so we are anxiously looking forward to that...and if it will in fact happen! =) We will post pics of the house soon. Baker and Caleb had their 3 year and 1 year pictures taken. I can admit that I am totally in love with my boys! While 90% of the time they are wrestling, fighting, crying, etc....the moments of calm and sweetness between them are truly priceless. They are definitely my joys in life!!!!
This picture is about what life has looked like for the Watsons the past few months. We are continuously on the move, and my sweet children have had no choice but to go with the flow. These smiling faces make it look as though it has been easy! I'd say that building a house has not put me on any mother of the year charts (as you can see Baker holding his M&M treat in his hand). My car is never clean, we eat out all the time, the diaper bag is constantly full of snacks, Baker can sing you most any song on the radio ("impossib...l...e, impossib...l...e", "wish right now, wish right now...", etc. Again...mother of the year!!!), that last lovely post about my guitar...has not been picked up in weeks, my husband and I rarely have a conversation that doesn't involve the house, my children probably don't remember what it is like to simply play b/c we are always in the car running errands, there is no consistency in our bedtime routine anymore, I rarely have time to call friends or family...unless I am in the car......
Life, to say the least, has been exhausting!
I was sitting in church yesterday, weary, exhausted, and a little numb when we began to sing an old hymn. "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand..." As I sang those words I began to...well....pretty much sob. Yes, I was fighting back flowing tears so that, what can only be referred to as the ugly cry, did not make its appearance. "All other ground is sinking sand." Those words, written so long ago, words I've sang my whole life, found a new meaning in my heart. I realized how much truth lies within them. I have put so much of me into so many other things besides God....and I am drowning among all of them. I am so tired of being let down by the things that God promises me are "going to let me down." As I am sure He is so tired of watching me "sink" because I am choosing to not reach for His hand.
A house....is just a house....just walls, and paint colors, and lights, and doors, and everything else that can be taken away in the blink of an eye. And I have spent way too many hours worrying about all of those little things. Tonight I decided to put what matters the most into our home....what should have been put there all along. Most of our floors have already been put down, but in every room where someone will lay their head, I wrote God's word on that floor. Our rooms will be built upon God's word...and I hope that penetrates into our hearts and we never forget it.
I can say with an open and honest heart that I, Laura Watson, am without a doubt, the worst decision maker of all time! I'm serious....I can't do it....I cannot make quick decisions. I "think" and "think" and "think" until it is pretty much ridiculous that I am even "thinking" anymore. I will keep myself up at night, mind racing, on something as silly as, "Am I sure I liked that dress in red? Or should I have gotten it in silver instead?" Yes, unfortunately that is me! So there is my confession!!!!
FINALLY.....after MONTHS of guitar searching....I can finally say it has come to an end....and isn't it just lovely???? (And yes, I have told it how pretty it is a lot today!)
It did make me stop and think why I am such a bad decision maker. I don't do that with everything, just the big things...things we spend a pretty penny for....things that we want to keep for a long time. There is a song that I love that has a verse I sing to Josh all the time. "We never get ahead, but we have enough." That's us! Plain and simple! And while sometimes that is tough, living within those constraints, it definitely teaches me daily about humility. I don't take for granted my new guitar, the car in the driveway that may not be new, but is paid off, my cell phone that for sure is behind on the times with technology....but WORKS =), or any of the other luxuries this life gives us. God continues to bless me beyond what I need or even deserve! And today.....he blessed me with a beautiful Alvarez guitar!
It is amazing the amount of pressure I feel at the moment....no turning back....no excuses....time to learn to play it well!!!!
So today we decided to tackle potty training....and when I say "tackle"...that is literally what it felt like!!! It did not begin very smoothly, bringing me back to my days of teaching. At the beginning of the year you have your room perfect, you know in your mind how you are going to teach that first day, and then....nothing goes as planned. Baker DID NOT want his diaper off and was very emotional about it. Then he did not want to sit on the potty. He continued to get up and down, playing with things all over the bathroom. He had three accidents before any signs of success! Not to mention an active one year old that was all over both of us. I think we both were feeling a little discouraged. Luckily....those years of teaching taught me to improvise quickly. Caleb ended up playing...alot...in the pack-n-play today, and we got a basket out and put some books, markers, stickers, etc. next to the potty to keep us occupied while we sat. And sat we did!!! But then it happened.....BAKER WENT TO THE POTTY!!!! We were both so excited. He got to put a star on his "tee-tee" chart and got 2 M&Ms. Let me just say that Baker is a child after my own heart. He tells me all the time, "I like chocolate, Mommy." So once he figured out he got candy after each successful attempt.....we did not have another accident all day! What started out as a tough morning, turned into a smooth afternoon! I hope tomorrow is even better! My little man is growing up so quickly!
Change is scary, unfamiliar, uncertain....even to a two year old. This morning you could see Baker's fear in simply taking off his diaper, and by the end of the day....he didn't want it back on! It was a great reminder to me (in this world of change our family is going through right now) that change usually comes into our lives to make it better. Dive in, embrace it, have faith....and hold on tight!!!!
There are certain times in life where knowing God is there for us is simply not enough. We don't deserve them but yet we seek those tangible reminders that He is present in our lives, that He is in fact in control even when life feels exactly the opposite.
"Is it possible to be lonely when you are surrounded by people at all times? Are you able to feel broken when you are being showered with blessing? Can you still be empty when your plate is completely full?" I feel I have been living amongst these questions for months and months.
This past weekend I was given the opportunity to go home and be in the wedding of my oldest, dearest friend. I don't get the chance to travel back to Chattanooga often, so when I do I want to embrace every moment I am there. Having a few hours to myself, I headed up Signal Mountain to the Brow. I needed time away from the world...to sit on my mountain top, allow my heart to be at peace, and simply talk to God. I talk a lot. I talk so much that I probably miss a lot of the times God decides to talk back. But that day, He didn't talk....He painted his message across the sky.
As I glanced across the skyline, I watched dark clouds, thunder, and lightening begin to come in from the left. When I looked right, however, what did I see.....calm, sunny, blue skies. I sat amazed at how distinct the line was that set the two scenes a part. That's when I saw the message God was sending me. God really does love me. He takes not only moments to listen to my heart, but places me in the right spot, at the right time, to tangibly remind me of something I so often forget.....He IS always there!!! As I continued to sit in awe of that sight I thought to myself how ever present storms are in life, no matter what shape or form they take on. Yet how often when amidst a storm do we see past its edges to what lies ahead? God showed me that He is right there, on His mountain top, whether rain or shine. He sees my storms, but He also sees my sunshine. And all He asks of me is to trust Him....that it's there waiting for me....when the storm passes by.
Anyone that knows us knows that The Office is our favorite show!!!! Josh and I are always throwing out quotes when something funny applies to our own lives. Caleb....our sweet Caleb....makes us laugh almost daily, reminding us of one of our favorite episodes. This is what both Michael Scott and Caleb look like in their normal every day lives!
In the episode Michael "thinks" he is Jim's new best friend, so he begins wearing his hair down and messy like his (which to a true fan....is pretty hilarious). Caleb....daily at his high chair...is always rubbing his hands on his face/eyes/head and ends up with a very similar hair style! It cracks us up!
Josh and I were given the opportunity to go to Mexico Beach, FL for my best friend Heather's wedding. We spent an amazing three days hanging out with not only each other, but sweet friends. Unfortunately Baker became very sick, so it was no easy week for my Mom, but I am very thankful he was in good hands while I was away.
CONGRATS HEATHER & MATT....love you both!!
Before heading to the beach we had a bridal shower for my childhood best friend Meaghan at Judy's home on Signal Mountain. Her home is absolutely gorgeous. Every time I drive up the mountain my heart becomes so heavy. Oh how I miss my home.....the view, the trees, the friends, the memories, the air up there.....everything. I was very blessed to grow up in such a wonderful place......and with such wonderful people (pictured below). Mom, Judy, Faye, and Mary Lynn have been best friends for many years....bringing us all up together. They are my family!
I love the moments in life where you can't deny God's intervention in your life. This was definitely one of those moments. My very best friend/soul mate, Jessie, called me and asked if she could fly me and the boys to Maryland to visit her for a week. But the catch.....it was the very next week, actually less than. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I truly believe God sees our hearts, wants, needs....and knows when life is beginning to become too much. The past few months have not been easy, especially the past few weeks. What greater gift could the Lord possibly bless me with than sending me....FOR FREE....to see my best friend who I had not seen in two years? It was an incredible week. We spent most of it in pure insanity with 5 children.....but the night times were our moments....to laugh, talk, reminisce, and catch up. I miss you, Jess.....more than you will ever know!
Our attempted shopping trip. Don't our kids look like they want to take a picture?
This is what bed time looked like each night!
This is what day time looked like each day!
This is what bath time looked like!
It was all so much fun! I hate that Jess and I live so far away....but I know that no distance will ever touch our friendship!
"Thank you, Father, for the gift of such wonderful friends...who have all helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. I would not be the same without them! They are my beautiful blessings!"
As you can tell from my lack of posting, life for us has been a little crazy. I find myself using the word "fine" often and have taken on the new motto that life....is a bunch of hard days filled with good moments. Here is a taste of some of the good moments in a typical day!
Caleb cracks me up! He hears music and starts moving! In this video he was a tad bit distracted by his books....his other love....but it doesn't take much to get him going.
Mommy's hands are STILL full....and both boys STILL enjoying dancing with Mommy at the same time! I wouldn't have it any other way. It is one of the few times within our household where we all love each other at the same time! =)
I captured this precious moment while putting Baker down for a nap....hence the bad camera angles and dark picture. We were rocking and he asked me to sing "Raindrops on Roses" with him. I loved the Sound of Music growing up....so my children hear me sing those songs often! I think Baker likes them too!
I am hurting! Hurting as in a big SUV ran over me going full speed ahead, then put it in reverse just to finish the job. Moving is serious business. We are officially in our temporary home at the Schmeltzers, and so far it is going wonderfully. The kids slept great last night and are enjoying their new play room. Josh and I are learning that we can live without so many things. We managed to both get all of our clothes, shoes, bags, etc in one small closet and one dresser. We are snug in a full bed with Caleb sleeping beside us.....And it is perfect! It is really giving me a new appreciation for what in actuality you really need in life. Andy and Katie are such loving friends and we are so excited to be sharing in their lives for the next couple of months. More to update as we continue this journey! Stay tuned!
Our home is a constant party house.....we're either dancing, laughing, running naked, or occasionally, screaming. Baker and Caleb definitely have a love/hate relationship. Most of the time, thank goodness, it is love. Baker loves to have Caleb jump in bed with him, read to him, and definitely boss him around. I caught him trying to spank his hand for throwing his cup on the floor. Then we had to talk about who is really the boss of this house!!!! MOMMY! =) Caleb is growing more and more. He is my love! He puts his head on my shoulder constantly, gives me kisses all the time, laughs from the pit of his stomach....and only cries when he wants more food (yes, he's a chunk)! Mommy loves his curly hair and thinks he is the most beautiful boy ever created! Baker is also Mommy's love....he is constantly making me laugh, and we love to sing together. Our latest songs are from the Sound of Music....which Josh just loves!!! =) But you can see from the video that he loves Alvin and the Chipmunks, too. He has such a Stewart personality...and I love that about him! As we will from here on out be posting about our life in a different home....we leave this one with lots of great memories and look forward to what the future brings for the Watsons!
I feel like this blog is slowly becoming a composition of all my ramblings and less filled with updated pictures of the boys, but life is definitely changing for the Watsons. I feel like it is moving so quickly that it is simply carrying me along and I have no say in where I am going or what I am doing. So to all our faithful followers, get your reading glasses on....for over the next couple of months, I will have lots to update you on.
I took a year off of work last year to stay at home with my boys. I have found....that staying at home....is by far the most difficult job you can ever have. It is a 24/7 "on" job.....and you are being observed closely every minute. When you make mistakes....you affect the lives of others. I have had to learn to fully lay down selfishness. Not only has my life become "not my own", but my body was "not my own". Every part of me has been given to everyone else. Needless to say, it has been the toughest year of my life....but also the greatest. I have learned to find patience when that task seems impossible. I have learned to find joy in my accomplishments...even if it is only a load of laundry done for the day. I have learned to laugh, dance, sing, and play as if the world did not exist past my front door. And I have learned to love deeper than I had ever dared to go. I have been given the gift of wisdom....seeing how the Father loves us through the eyes of my own children.
Today I made the easiest and hardest decision I think I have ever made. Going back to work would mean that I now would take on two full time jobs. I know me...and knowing me means that both jobs would suffer because they would each only be taking half of me. So today, I walked away from my teaching position. As I walked through the halls, talking to everyone I met, my heart was heavy. I have worked there for 5 years and given my heart, passion, friendships to not only my coworkers, but the kids I have taught. I glanced at my room and thought, "Give me some kids and I could walk right in here and start teaching." Teaching is a gift that I know the Lord blessed me with the natural ability to do. It pains me a little to walk away from a job I have worked so hard to build, yet I am excited (and nervous) to see where the Lord takes me. When I close my eyes and see my professional future, it now looks blank. I am daring to dream my life could be different......so by faith and faith alone....I set out on that adventure.
I can close my eyes and remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my Papa's church, somewhat listening to the sermon, with a heavy heart. I had been praying for a while that I would find a bible study to be a part of. Feeling the ache of needing that closeness and consistency in my life, I began praying, yet again, that prayer in church that day. There are very few times that I have literally heard the Lord speak to me. And you can bet that those very few times are crystal clear pictures in my memory. As I sat there in church, those words flooding my heart, I heard the Lord say......"So start one, Laura." I remember being completely taken back, reacting first by saying...."No Lord, I'm not a leader, I can't do that." Over the next several days, I continued to hear those words. The fear began to melt and excitement moved in.
Four years ago the Lord spoke those words to me! Four years ago a bible study formed in my home! Last night, we had our last bible study in this house! When the girls left, a little bit of sadness filled my heart. The Lord has blessed us so richly as a study over the years. We have grown, changed, struggled, conquered, lived life.....together as a group of devoted women within these walls. So in a few weeks, we will say goodbye to this house....but we will cherish its memories and the blessings it has brought to us. We move forward! I can't wait to see where the Lord takes us....both my family and bible study....over the next four years!
I know I am overdue on posting some pictures of my kiddos, but this entry I want to write about my other blessing.....my friends. Over ten years ago these beautiful ladies entered my world....and since then I have not been the same. We actually began a friendship before we entered AOII, however, it did grow and develop our friendship over those 4 years of college. Last Saturday we spent the whole day together and went to the AOII 25 Year Celebration that evening. I wish I could post all the pictures of us over the years, but I have albums full. Brandy and I walked through everything together, including a bachelors degree in Education. Boy did our teachers see us coming from a mile away. And yes, we did get in trouble for writing notes and talking....even in college. We usually spent all day every day together, walking across that campus like it was our world and everyone else was just walking in it. If you ever needed advice, Brandy had it. And if you needed a good prank call...she could do those too! You had to watch out for Brandy though....if she spent the night, you may end up with a leg draped across you in the morning! She was a cuddler...and by the end of our first year as friends....we all were too! Heather was my sanity in more ways than one. Whether it was jumping on me in the mornings, dance parties, dressing up, practical jokes, basically anything....she made me laugh. I can honestly say that us three (minus Jess) were quite a group! There was never a dull moment.....ever. I hope in ten, twenty, even thirty years, I am posting pictures and still writing of my love for my friends. I know they will be my friends for a lifetime. God truly blessed me with such a never ending gift of friendship!
The past few days have really brought to mind a story I read in a Beth Moore bible study I did back in college. I wish that I could type it out in entirety and share it, however, it is in a box in a storage unit.....you know, because we were supposed to sell our house quickly so I decluttered.....R...I...G...H...T!!! That is another story. Anyway, I will retell it the best I can from memory.
The story is about a family who had a pregnant dog. One day the dog was run over by a car, completely shattering its two back legs. When the family took the dog to the vet, the doctor told them that the dog would probably not survive, much less the puppies, so it was probably best to put her down. The family decided to just amputate the back legs and have hope for the best. The dog did survive, and she learned to walk. She did this by walking with her two front legs and flopping her backside around. The dog had her puppies, and they were all healthy and perfect. When the dogs began learning how to walk....guess how they did it.....just like their Mommy!
I see every day that it doesn't matter what I say to Baker because he is ALWAYS watching.....even the smallest, most random things. As my sweet Caleb never likes to leave his Mommy, my hands are always full. Baker and Caleb always pull down the flap to the carbon monoxide alarm. Usually when I walk by and see it is down, I just kick it back up and keep walking. The other day Baker intentionally pulled it down (which he is not supposed to do) and I raised my voice and told him to put it back up right now. He gave me one quick look, turned his head, and picked up his leg to kick it shut! It was too funny! Then later, we were at the library. I was looking for a book, quietly tapping the ones around it as I read the call numbers. I find it and tell Baker it is time to go, and what does he do???? He starts tapping the books as we walk down the isle. Then moments ago, as I was putting him down for a nap, he wanted his night light on. He went to it and I giggled as I watched him try to turn the button with his foot (like I always do b/c I am too lazy to bend down)!
Wow....talk about holding you accountable!!! Even though it is so sweet right now, I see that he will always be looking at everything I do and I need to make sure I am setting the right example.
The details of our lives are found in our actions!
We love bath time around our house. Baker and Caleb have learned that when they work together...they can really splash water EVERYWHERE!!! Sometimes I put a towel down and let them go to town...they are just too cute! It is also a moment in my home where they truly, completely love one another.
Yes, I am bragging! I think Caleb has the absolute cutest hair ever. After a bath, his hair curls so well. I just had to share some pics!