Friday, May 31, 2013

lucky number 7.

Parks is 7 months old today.
I feel like I am doing these posts way too often...
Where has my baby gone!?

Parker's latest and greatest achievements:

*Since we started sleep training, Parker sleeps 11-12 hour nights and occasionally wakes up once to eat. I now remember what it feels like to sleep through the night and boy does it feel GOOD!  Takes awesome naps, too!
*Eats much better now! He loves veggies, but especially loves his fruit...peaches, pears, mangos, you name it! I always start with his veggie and he gets so excited when it's time for dessert (aka fruit). He opens his mouth super wide when he knows it's coming.
*Says "da-da-da" all day long. Branson likes to think he's calling for him...
i'll let him keep thinking that ;)
*Getting superrr close to crawling.  Sometimes when I go to grab him after naps he is on his hands and knees. He will sway back and forth but isn't quite sure what to do from there.  I think by next weekend we will have a crawler.
*Can hold his own bottle about 50% of the time.  He just has trouble finding it again when he drops it. This is becoming quite handy.
*Has adapted the nick-name "Jack-Jack" because about three different people have told us that he looks like the baby from The Incredibles.  He totally does.
*Has long enough hair to make a mohawk. Cutest thing ever.
*Has some stranger anxiety now and then.
*Wiggles his hands and feet like crazy when excited or learning something new.
*Has a white spot on his lower right gum.  A tooth will be popping out any day I think :) Not to mention he has been a bit fiesty the past couple of days.
*Loves water.  We (aka Lyndsey) dunked him in the pool three times.  His face was frightened and shocked as to what had just happened.
*Cries every time (k not every time, but a lot) when mom or dad coughs...haha. So weird.
*Loves to pull hair. Not. My. Favorite.
*Obsessed with his Jumper.  He will seriously jump for hours if I let him.  Good way to wear him out :)
*LOVES the fisher-price laugh and learn app on my phone that goes through different animals and the sounds they make.  His face lights up every time.
*Tries to roll over on his tummy when eating his bottle.  
He hasn't quite grasped the whole gravity thing...
*Has kinda started weening himself from the pacifier.  He usually takes it out of his mouth soon after we put it in.  I'm pretty happy about this because I don't want to have to ween him off it later.
*Still the happiest, giggly little boy around.

This post made me realize I need to take more high quality pics of our little boy.
Love you Parks!

Friday, May 24, 2013

a story about the greatest man I know.

I've been thinking a lot lately about an experience that Branson had while working the other day. As a door-to-door salesman, Branson talks to a TON of people every day. Many of those people aren't always pleasant, but Branson still enjoys his job. (Not something I could EVER do) The reason he loves...okay endures it is because of the sweet and humble people that he meets. 
The area that Branson has been knocking in is pretty middle class.  He goes up to this one house in particular that looked pretty run-down, even though he was almost positive they wouldn't get the alarm/pass credit/be able to afford it. He somehow just felt prompted to talk to these people. An older woman answers the door and B sees her husband crouched over, walking behind her towards the door. He talks with them for a bit and tells them about the alarm system, yada yada. This woman responds with..."Sir, we don't have any money." Branson tries to play it off by telling her that the equipment is free you just have to pay a small fee for monitoring (or something along those lines...i don't know the details.) She again responds with..." I don't think you understand. We don't have ANY money." She then goes on to tell him about how they got fired from their jobs (they had a paper route) because they couldn't get the papers out fast enough. (As I said before they are an older couple) How. Sad! Feeling down and helpless, Branson leaves and continues on with his day. He gets home that night and tells me about his experience with this couple. I could tell he had been thinking about them and wanted to do something to help. He didn't even have to ask me before I told him to do whatever he felt he needed to do. He goes to work the next day and comes home to tell me about his second experience with this couple. He shows up at their house and gives them some money that they clearly NEEDED. She immediately started crying and said she could only take a small portion of it. Of course, he said no and pleaded with her to just take it. He broke down in tears with this old woman. He just felt so bad and knew how much this would help them. She finally took the money and Branson left. He was in the neighborhood knocking the rest of that day. He said he saw them pull out in their run-down car, not sure where they were headed. Later that evening he saw them pull in. She told Branson that they just went to pay the power company because their power was going to be turned off the next day. They were beyond grateful.

This story is one of the MANY experiences that Branson has had while doing summer sales. He has been doing this job for five years now. This is the third summer I have been out with him and first time with a baby. I definitely have days where I wonder why we are doing this. I think about how nice and easy it would be to be in the comfort of our own home. How living in extended stays with coin laundry and dirty carpet (germaphob over here) really isn't all that great. But then Branson tells me stories like this and it all makes sense. We are here for a reason. I don't think we will ever know how much that little act of service helped that poor old couple. Or the several other families that have been blessed because of my selfless, AMAZING husband. I remember another older woman that Branson befriended. It was out in Chicago our first summer together. He even took me to meet her one day, like he told her he would. I don't think she believed him because when we showed up she couldn't believe it. I remember her asking him this exact thing..."Branson, why are you doing this? Why are you even talking to me? Nobody talks to me..." She was so taken back by Branson and his kindness and for the fact that he would take time out of his day just to come say hi. That's just the kinda guy he is. (I have bragging rights, okay!?) Anyways, besides the fact that I have the best husband ever, Heavenly Father leads Branson to these people. This job isn't just about making money for's about serving others and helping people in any way possible.  Even if it's just becoming their friend.

I'm thankful that I have a husband who receives inspiration and is quick to act on the promptings he receives. I learn so much from him every day. I'm lucky to have him as my eternal husband.

Okay, I'm done. :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

mother's day spent in NOLA.

Branson and I love traveling... who doesn't right?!
We want to take advantage of living in Texas and see as much as we can while we are here.
Who knows when we will be back?
So, for Mother's day we decided to head out to go ol' Louisiana!
[the whole way there we couldn't stop singing the Popeyes chicken theme know the one!]
We have wanted to see New Orleans for a while, so we made plans to go for the weekend!
Weekend meaning pretty much Sunday since B worked till about 8 o'clock that night.

We hit the road as soon as B got home.  It was about a 4 hour drive, so we didn't get in till midnight.
Parks and I stayed in the hotel room/went to bed while B walked down Bourbon street with his friend Andrew.  Branson commented that he was glad we didn't come because he would have felt like a horrible husband/father.  Apparently it is like the Vegas strip on steroids. Haha
Not really our cup of tea...
Anyways, we got an early start the next day... we had a lot of things on our agenda!

We stayed at the Sheraton on the 41st floor. 
This is the view from our room.

We stopped at this cathedral on Canal street on our way to breakfast.

A family from Branson's office was visiting NOLA as well!
We spent the morning with them and it was great. Cute little kiddos...

We had breakfast at the famous Cafe Du Monde!

Melt in your mouth Beignets.
The picture doesn't do these things justice.

As you can tell the powdered sugar was a bit excessive, but oh so good!

After breakfast we did some sight seeing and walked down Bourbon street.

I loved the historic buildings...this town is like nothing i've seen. 
Branson said it reminded him a lot of Europe.
I wouldn't know... :(

For lunch we went to the Parkway Bakery for some Po-boy's.
My friend Gessica whose from New Orleans recommended it.
It did not disappoint.

We got the shrimp and the beef po-boy's. Yum!

After lunch we stopped at Lafayette Cemetary--one of the many mausoleums in town.
All the caskets/tombs are above ground since it rains and floods so much.
I even heard that tombs/bodies were floating around during Katrina. 
Eek. So sad.

Our next stop was the Oak Alley Plantation.
B and I were most excited for this!
We took a tour and learned a ton about the history of the plantation
Branson always says that he wishes he could go back in time and experience what it was like to be a slave.  
It's one thing to learn about it, but we will never really know what it was like back then.

Love my boys!

The grounds were absolutely incredible!

These were the slaves quarters.
Each one had one cot and a fireplace for cooking.

Had to happen...

That pretty much sums up our day.
Even though it was a quick trip, we got to see everything we wanted!
It was a wonderful mother's day spent with my favorite people on this earth.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

texas storms and baby blues.

Yesterday was a great day...
Nothing out of the ordinary happened, but it was a day filled with peace and tranquility.
With an active six month old, those days don't always happen as much as i'd like.

We experienced our first summer storm here in Texas.
It was thundering, lightening and pouring down rain.
I opened up the blinds and Parks and I sat quietly in our little hotel room and listened to the storm.
As Parks was laying on the bed, 
I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with the love I have for this tiny little human....
How blessed I am to have been given the opportunity to be this little boys mom.

I love him so so very much.

Monday, May 6, 2013

1/2 year old.

Parker turned 6 months old a few days ago!
I can't believe he is half way to being ONE!
Sometimes I just want to freeze time.
Then again, I feel like I love each stage more and more.
He is the biggest blessing to happen to B and I.
We feel so lucky to have HIM as our son.

*Parker is quite the active boy. He rolls all over the place and inches like a little worm.
I have a feeling that on my next update I'll be saying he's crawling.
*He started solids. He loved rice cereal the first couple times we gave it to him, but he hasn't seemed very interested in any foods lately.  I can't figure this kid out. He has never been a big eater and I question whether he really came from B and I...we eat constantly!?  So far he has tried rice and oatmeal cereal, squash, green beans, pears and peas.
*He is such a flirt and super smiley, but can be quite coy (as my mom likes to say) at the same time. He will smile and giggle, but then hide his face in your shoulder. It's so darn cute.
*He is still a social baby but is definitely starting to miss mom and dad when we leave.
*He is absolutely infatuated with hands and feet.  When we want him to smile for a picture or something, we hold our hands up and move our fingers. Works EVERY time!  He has started to mimic us and it looks like he is waving.  He will lay there and stare at his hands while he moves them. You can tell his mind is constantly processing!
*Sleeps unswaddled now and on his tummy.
*He has started to nuzzle into our chest and will fall asleep on our shoulder.  Our favorite thing!
*This ones pretty funny...he has started to "motorboat" me while feeding him. When I'm not letting down fast enough, he gets impatient and just starts blowing. HAHA! I die.
*He is slowing weaning himself from the boob. NOO!!!! He has actually been doing this since he was 4 months old but I am NOT giving up.  It is so draining but I want to keep breast feeding. Plus he wont take formula so I don't really have an option.  I pump about half the time now and will continue to do that until he is a year old. I hope my next babies are better eaters!
*Sticks his tongue out when he smiles.
*Sits up like a champ!
*He has a new whine when he wants something. He has replaced his crying with whining. Not sure how I feel about it. haha
*Loves doggies!

We adore our smiley little Parker boy.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Damron Wedding.

My oldest sister Nicole got married this past weekend!
I couldn't be happier for her and my new brother-in-law!

The wedding took place here.....

BEAUTIFUL Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
[The water is literally so blue and pretty]

 B and I had never been there so we were excited to visit and celebrate with family.
I flew out from California with my family and met B there.

Lake Tahoe bound with my pretty mama!

Branson and I had been apart for over two weeks so
we were counting down the days till we got to see each other!

Our little reunion at the Sacramento airport :)
B's flight got in just 15 minutes after ours so it worked out perfect!
My family got a big cabin in Incline Village for the weekend.
It was beautiful and so fun to have everyone stay together!

The night we got in was the wedding rehearsal and dinner...

 Trying out our heels for the ceremony. We got these things called Sole Mates that make it so your stiletto doesn't get stuck in the grass.  They worked wonders!

 Nae Nae and I.


The bride to be!

The next day was the BIG day! 
I can't wait to see how the pictures turn out.
These are the ones I captured from the reception....
[warning: picture overload]

Nae Nae is next!!!

And here are some MORE pictures from the rest of the weekend!

 The "Baked Tahoe." DIVINE! 

Congrats Mr and Mrs Damron!
Love you both MORE!