Monday, January 21, 2013

Luke: 18 Months!


Luke! You are a year and a half! I can't believe I am sitting here typing about your life as a toddler, when it seems like just yesterday I saw your sweet face for the very first time.  You have blessed our lives more than we could ever have imagined, and 18 months is proving to be quite the fun age! You are quick but cuddly, outgoing but still shy, wild but sweet, and so many more things. We love you to the moon and back, sweet Luke! 
 

No doctors appointments again this month!  Judging by our scale, you weigh a few ounces over 30 pounds. Judging by your pants, you are growing taller everyday. After you eat, your little belly gets so round and your pajamas don't fit all that well! You wear mostly 2T and 24 month clothes and you wear a 7.5 extra wide shoe. Your hair grows like a weed, and you get it cut at least once a month.


We have been reading lots of books at bedtime lately. Your favorites still include Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb, Goodnight Moon, Go, Dogs, Go and we've added a few new ones - Llama Llama Nighty Night, Oh David! and Goodnight Gorilla. You love to watch Clifford DVDs and football with Daddy, play with the talking zoo you got from Santa, play with balls, golf and you still love to cuddle with your puppy and your new friend, JoJo the Giraffe. 


Your favorite foods right now are pretty much the same as they have been - popcorn, macaroni and cheese, ritz crackers, texas toast and your green veggies - peas and green beans. Lately, you've been obsessed with pears and will eat as many as we will allow. You still devour GoGo applesauce packets and cheerios. You can now open the refrigerator by yourself, which is both good and bad! You've also given up your high-chair and now sit in a regular chair at the dinner table. You are so very proud of yourself!


You have been talking so much this month. You can meow like a kitty, woof like a dog, and you say milk, toes, please, thank you, amen, Jesus (cheese-us), cheese, Papa, ball, and lots of other short words. You say nigh-night, more, and hot-hot the most, along with Mama, Dada and Nana. 


Right now, you love school, coloring, church, playing on the playground and "cooking" with Mommy's pots and pans. You are trying to jump, you love singing and dancing, and you love being outside. You play with chalk every chance you get. You are one busy, busy boy! You are a bundle of energy from the time you wake up until your head hits the pillow each night. 


This past month, as always, we've been crazy busy and have traveled more than usual. You have been quite the trooper, but we are hoping for a quieter month ahead. 




On the 21st of December, we drove to Houston to celebrate Christmas with the Nash/Knake side of the family. We looked at Christmas lights, made cookies and reindeer food, went to church, opened lots and lots of presents, waited patiently for Ho-Ho (Santa), and had LOTS of playtime with cousins. We took you to the Christmas Eve service at church, which ended up being quite a comedy of errors, but it was a moment I'll never forget. It was a great trip to Sugar Land, and you slept the entire way back to Dallas. We had a white Christmas here, which was a nice surprise and a great excuse to stay inside and play with all of your new toys.


The week after Christmas, we hung out at home, played, rested and ran errands. On Friday, it was super cold and we decided to brave the new Perot museum. You loved the sports exhibit and watching the kids race the dinosaur and cheetah, and you cried when we walked away to go to the children's area. You loved each part so much, you would cry when we moved onto the next activity, but loved the new activity even more than the last. It was a fun, crazy afternoon, but it was fun to see you in your element.


On New Years, we went to dinner with the Jacks' and you and Thad were so good! You usually are wild and crazy and not willing to sit still when we eat out, so it was nice of you to behave with our friends! We came home, played a little and went to bed long before midnight rolled around.


The week after New Years, we sadly had to go to Houston for Great PawPaw's funeral. We were busy with that and Mommy didn't take many pictures. We took you to the visitation before anyone got there so that we could privately say our goodbyes, and you went up to his casket and so sweetly said, "Nigh-Nigh, PawPaw". You won't understand this until you're much older, but I lost it (and so did your Nana). Before you left, you went up again to say bye-bye. He loved you so much, baby, and I'm glad I have that sweet memory.  After the funeral, we stopped by his nursing home. You and Kyle went wild in the parking lot on PawPaw's walker. You could have ridden the walker all day! It was a sweet end to a sad day. 

 
On the way home to Dallas, we got to eat lunch with Macy, Carrie and Honey (Maddie's grandma Nancy). You loved Macy and gave her lots of love.

Luke, it's been a whirlwind of a month and I know in the blink of an eye, we will be celebrating your second birthday. It's ok to slow down that growing stuff- it's overrated and we won't mind! Every day, you make us prouder and prouder as your teachers brag on you or when you do something we had no idea you could do. You amaze me daily. I am so thankful to God for you and it's my honor to be your mommy. I love you, buddy! Happy Half-Birthday!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Your Great PawPaw Ray

My Dear Luke,

Although you are still far too young to know about death and all that it entails, I'm writing you this letter because you recently experienced the loss of your Great PawPaw Ray. Although you only saw Great PawPaw a few times, he was a great man who took so much pride in you. He loved seeing pictures of you, hearing sweet stories about your life and just generally bragging about you, as he did all of his grandchildren.


Your Great PawPaw was a man of much integrity. In his long life, he accomplished so much yet was so humble about all that he did and all that he had. He did a fantastic job fathering his 3 daughters, your sweet Nana and Aunt Mimi and Aunt Marla. He was married to the most fantastic woman on this planet, whom I so wish could have met you. I can still hear PawPaw telling me "Wouldn't MawMaw be proud?" when he held you for the first time.


PawPaw was an excellent example to me of what a parent and a grandparent should be. I remember visiting MawMaw and PawPaw as a young child at their house down the street from PawPaw's barber shop in Old Ocean, Texas. Though I was too young to remember much in that house, I remember Easter egg hunts on the front lawn, splashing in the plastic pool out back, the old shag carpeting in the den where I would dance and make up songs and perform. I remember trips to the barber shop and PawPaw giving us spare change for candy at the store next door. I remember picnics down by the Brazos River, where he and MawMaw would pack up chicken and buy us sugary drinks sold in little milk cartons with foil tops. And when they moved to West Columbia, I remember laying on the bed in the front room, the bed that Great PawPaw was born on, an old iron, massive thing, looking at photo albums of times long ago. I remember long, lazy afternoons rocking on the swing on the back porch, watching PawPaw's wooden farmer boy spraying the water hose onto MawMaw's flower beds. I remember HEB ice cream in the "ice box", hard cheese and pickles in the fridge and honeybuns in the pantry. I remember breakfasts of wheat toast and mashed eggs, made especially for us when we came to visit. I remember walks around the street and rides in the middle seat in the Ford. I remember everything you're supposed to remember about time with your grandparents. It's not the grand things he did, but the small, wonderful gestures that stick with me after many years and many miles.


Although you won't remember your Great PawPaw, he left a meaningful legacy that I want you to carry on. He was a man that exuded what love really is: He was patient and kind. I cannot remember a single time that your PawPaw raised his voice or was ugly to someone. He wasn't envious, and he wasn't boastful or proud. He worked hard for all that he had and yet he led a seemingly simple life. It didn't take much to make your Great PawPaw happy and he didn't get tangled up in the things of this world.  He was never self-seeking. He lived JOY- he did things for Jesus, then for others, always putting himself last. He was not easily angered and he kept no record of wrong. Your Great PawPaw lived a little more than 9 decades on this earth, and I don't think he ever had an enemy. He was a forgiving man with a sweet, sweet spirit. He was a friend to everyone until the day that he died. He did not delight in evil, and he rejoiced in the truth. Great PawPaw loved the Lord with all of his heart, his soul and his mind. He sat on the same pew in the same seat every Sunday at Old Ocean Baptist Church since before I was born. He deeply cared about sharing the message of Jesus, as he knew that was the only way to really live. Finally, he always protected, always trusted, always hoped,  and always, always persevered. He did all of these things, every day.


Great PawPaw knew that being absent from the body was to be present with the Lord, and he lived everyday as if it were his last. He honored his wife, served his children and his church, was a friend to so many, and entertained strangers so as to please the Lord. He truly knew the meaning of life.


Your great PawPaw was one of the greatest men your Mama has ever met. He lived his life longing to hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant". I am quite certain that on January 6th, after he breathed his last breath here on earth, he stood before his Maker and heard those wonderful words.  

So, Luke, even though you won't have memories of your Great PawPaw, please know that he truly loved you. He lived his faith, as I pray you will do every single day of your life. And as you grow, if you ever want to hear wonderful stories of a great man who did great things,  I have plenty to tell.

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Hi! I'm Molly. I've been living, working and playing in Dallas since 2005. I love my Jesus, my husband Jon, and my precious sons Luke and Hunter. I have a deep love for Park Cities Baptist Church, Texas Country music, floating the river, backyard barbecues, crawfish boils, decorating, gift wrapping, gift giving, shopping, Etsy, all things monogrammed, cooking, traveling with my friends to great places, being Southern through and through, wine, football season, and the Texas Longhorns. I hope you'll enjoy reading my Letters to Luke.

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