Wednesday, October 27, 2010

what makes me smile

Ok, there is nothing like the joy of watching your child in complete and utter delight. So really this is about what makes Hannah smile. Lately she has really gotten us in stitches with her antics. It scares us to think what she's going to be like when she's a teenager...or five...or two. Here's a summary of the last couple of weeks in pictures.

Granddaddy came down to visit. Hannah thinks he is silly.
Opening up a package from Grandma. She seems to get one at least once a week.

playing with her beads. LOVES THEM.
Look at this face. I mean really.
How sweet it is...
Grandma sent her this jacket - so cute. She's thrilled, can't you tell?
Can't contain her excitement. I couldn't get a shot that wasn't blurry!
excited to be riding in her big girl seat!
My caterpillar girl. This is one of my favorite dresses. (from Auntie Jen)
Most of my pictures look like this.

On the move...but found her bow! DANG IT.

This made us laugh so hard. She grabbed her beads, the shakers, and just went to town.
wish this picture wasn't so dark. hilarious.
Other things that make me smile are:

october 14th: celebrating four years of marriage, by putting on our wedding clothes and dancing our annual "moon river" waltz in the living room. we were exhausted. it was late. but we had to! (and if you're wondering: no, my dress is not zipped all the way!)
expecting our second baby. this picture was taken at 12 weeks.

Monday, October 25, 2010

three more weekends, three more trips

After our trip to Alabama at the end of September, we spent the next three weekends out of town also. This was a little much. One thing I know for sure: traveling with a small child is exhausting. (Not to mention that I feel tired a lot right now anyway.) Hannah, like many kids, does not do well when she gets out of her usual routine - hey, some adults are this way. She gives us 11-12 uninterrupted hours pretty much every night in her crib at home. On the road, sleeping in her pack-n-play, we get 7 hours broken up at best. She wakes up crying/screaming and at times inconsolable. We're not sure if it's the pack-n-play, the changes in routine, not being in her room, or what. But it's not fun, I can tell you that.

All that being said, we did have a nice time the last two weekends. We went to Vero Beach for Grace Dare's baptism. We stayed at a super nice house right on the beach (repeat: right on the beach). We could hear the waves crashing from our bedroom and see the water from the living room. The baptism was nice and Joe said a special prayer/blessing on the beach during the luncheon following. One of the highlights for us was Hannah's first time on a swing set. Oh. My. Gosh. She LOVED it.

The Buck's with Joan, Tim, and Grace Dare.

The next weekend we went to Atlanta for Hannah's first Georgia Tech football game. We got to see friends and show Hannah all the excitement. The GT band came right by our tailgate and played the fight song. Then we got in the stadium and saw the team come onto the field with the band and cheerleaders and all. Hannah was so cute. She loved every minute of it. Our seats were right on the 50 yard line. So much fun!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

happy birthday chloe!

My baby since 2001.

9 years old today!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

like dandelion dust

"What if the only child you ever loved was taken from you forever?"

Last night I stayed up late finishing the inspirational novel, Like Dandelion Dust, by Karen Kingsbury. Read this book if you get the chance. It was an emotional read. The story is about birth parents that try to regain custody of their 4yr old son who has been living with adoptive parents since birth. Understanding the lengths that someone will go through to keep their child or get them back is powerful. Let me just say I cannot imagine being in either mother's position.

Having a child now of my own made everything that much more relatable. It truly hurts me to my core to think about this kind of thing happening. While Hannah belongs to Joe and me, the whole time reading this book I couldn't help but think about the what if's. What if Hannah was taken away from us? What if someone or something out of our control made us give her up? These are questions that no one wants to think about, including me. But occasionally you read a book or article, or see a movie that makes you think about things that you would otherwise refuse to.  

Like Dandelion Dust is also a movie. (To see the movie trailer click here.) It is playing in theaters, but not very many, and I don't think I'll have the chance to see it. Karen Kingsbury is a Christian author who writes "life-changing fiction." She writes about real circumstances and real people. My mom will buy and read her books and then send them to me. (I have a big stack of books I need to read.) Joe calls her books "dramatic fiction" and insists that they all make me cry at some point. I think he's exaggerating. Regardless, I am always glad I read them. I strive to be a better Christian and books like these help me remember my priorities and where my focus should always be: on God.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

big sister in training?

Yep, Hannah is going to be a big sister! I am 12 weeks along and due April 28th. We are very excited! It has been really hard - even harder than last time - to hide the belly these last few weeks. And I'm not so sure no one noticed...or figured it out.

I tried to get a picture of Hannah wearing her t-shirt, but she would not smile at me. All she wanted to do was talk, play with leaves, and explore the patio. Below are 6 of the 30 tries.

four years...

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life. Thank you for four amazing years. You are everything I ever hoped for and more. I love you forever.

Monday, October 11, 2010

grandmothers, stages and phases

Grandmothers have a level of energy that is...something. As our little one rarely lets us eat a meal in peace, it's difficult to remain patient. As she gets tired of being in the car for long drives, it's tough to muster up the constant energy to entertain her.

Long after our energy runs out, Grandma and Gran Gran's keep on going. Like the Energizer Bunny. Case in point, on our recent trip, Marilyn (Joe's mom, aka Gran Gran) sat in the backseat and entertained Hannah all the way to Alabama and back. What would we have done without her? Obviously, one of us would have sat back there. But I can tell you for sure, we wouldn't have had the energy to sing, read, and make animal sounds for hours straight. It was truly wonderful to have her with us.

Peace for all.
At this moment, my child is tearfully clinging to my lap, desperate for attention...

2 hours later.

And that's a-whole-nother subject: being a stay-at-home-mom. Most of the time, I love being at home with Hannah. However, sometimes I find myself wanting to run down the street screaming. There are times when I feel I cannot think straight. The more mobile Hannah is, the busier my life gets. No need for the warnings - I realize it will get much busier...

I get so excited when Hannah is doing something new. But just as I start to tell people cute or funny stories, she's on to something else.

Example:  I didn't think Joe or I say "oh wow!" a lot, but apparently Hannah has gotten it from somewhere. A couple weeks ago for several days straight she said it constantly. (As I was having her 1-year pictures taken, all she said the whole time was "Oh wow! Oh wow!" Sometimes it's oh wee or oh way...) Very cute. And very random. Now, for the last week, we can't get her to say it. What the heck? Joe thinks she does these things on purpose. She doesn't want them to get overused, so now she's just saving 'em up...

I am becoming more and more aware, the stages and phases kids go through. They'll be really into something, and then just like that they won't anymore. It makes you realize how fast it all goes by. Not that it's always bad that phases pass by quickly. Right now, Hannah is into shredding paper/tissue/toilet paper and emptying the contents of cabinets and drawers. Let me tell you how old this one gets...

The faces say it all.

We will be putting locks on all of the kitchen cabinets (the cleaners under the sink are already locked - which really confuses her) asap. As soon as we do, you know it'll be something else.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

a piece from joe

Most of the time I like Joe's Sunday bulletin pieces. But occasionally he writes one that really speaks to me. Here is one such example. Hope you enjoy...

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." C.S. Lewis

I have always loved this quote from C.S. Lewis: it really puts a great perspective on Christianity. Lewis knew a life without that sun, and he appreciated the beauty of the world that Christianity opened up to him, as we hopefully all do as well.

This week I was driving down Hwy. 84 and the sun was rising straight ahead, breaking through the clouds. It was beautiful! I thought at that moment about the beauty of the earth. There is so much beauty that we can scarcely take it all in sometimes. Yet, there are times in our daily lives that we can't see a single shred of that beauty. That is so unfortunate, because perspective makes our existence significantly different.

Lewis' use of the sun is relatable to us as we all see the world in the light of day because of the sun's rays. Christianity, our faith in Jesus, enables us to see all that God has for us and makes every day livable. When we struggle to feel God's presence and aren't sure why we are here, God's presence is right there. We just have to open our eyes, feel the warmth of the sun, and know that God is surrounding us and loves us.

Daddy likes his time with Hannah before church every Sunday.
Two weeks ago, Mama Buck came to church with us too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

usa triathlon national championships

Last weekend was very exciting for the Buck family. Joe has been training for the triathlon national championships since he qualified for the race earlier this summer. This means that he has done at least one training session a day - swim, bike, or run (excluding Sundays of course). This also means that he has been very busy and preoccupied with getting ready for this race. Any free time has been spent preparing. For that reason, I am glad that it is over and Hannah and I can have more of his time again. In the weeks leading up to the race, he also made the decision to build the bike he was going to ride. He has been riding the same bike for 12 years, and anybody that knows anything about racing knows that the better the bike, the better the athlete's time. So with the help of our friend Tim, they found a used, but awesome, frame and new components. It was ready to race the weekend before nationals.

So back to this past weekend. Mama Buck met us in Jesup and we headed to the great state of Alabama. We had a short visit with cousins (Joe's first cousin Joe and his wife Jenny and their two girls, Claire and Anna-Laura) outside of Birmingham (Hoover) and Friday, went on to Tuscaloosa (T-Town as my brother - a Bama alum - affectionately calls it) for the race.

Hannah with Claire and Anna-Laura
with Joe and Jenny

The videos below will take you through the race. That's me behind the camera, and I tend to get excited. You'll feel like you were there - oh boy!

Getting excited! Pre-race.

Yay for Daddy!

Daddy's Little Triathlete

Love Daddy.
SWIM - 1.5K

Start of the race. Joe's wave has the red caps. In this clip, Joe is in the front half not wearing a shirt. You can see him clearest at 15-20 seconds (passes behind the flag). I was really zoomed in, so it's hard to keep the camera steady.

Joe is in the middle of the picture with his arm up.

Swim in. This shows where the athletes come in and head to transition.

Joe coming in from the swim. Sorry about the bumpy ride, I was on the move!

Looking for his fans...

BIKE - 40K

A quick video of him headed off on the bike. I ran to get anything!

Another fast clip of Joe passing by on the bike. The second clip gives you a better idea of what's going on. The third and fourth is him passing by us. (I am an enthusiastic cheerleader.) This long straightaway was the easy part of the course. It got very hilly and tough. Joe saw a bad crash.

Love Clementine.

Waving to his fans.

Trying to keep her entertained during the bike.

Transition. Waiting for him to come in from the bike. I actually took off after this so I could film him starting the run.

RUN - 10K

Taking off on the run.

Excited for Daddy to come across the finish line!

Not Joe, but look at this dude. He's a machine.

Joe coming into the finish!

Post-race interview.

Joe finished the race in 02:17:40. He placed 30 out of 79 in his age group (35-39 is the toughest triathlon age group.) It was completely different watching a race with the fastest people in the country. To qualify for world championships he had to place in the top 25. Not that we would go to China next year anyway... But, it was a great race. He accomplished his goals and I am so proud of him.