Thursday, December 8, 2011

{13 Weeks}

As of this week, I'm actually 14 weeks. But I thought I should post the photo from last week as I had been harassed lovingly asked to show what I look like at this point in my second pregnancy.
Yep. That's it. Nothin.

I didn't show with Jackson until 22 weeks. So it will be interesting to see when this baby wants to make a visible appearance.

My first trimester was identical to my first trimester with Jackson... 
with one exception.

Y'all this kid wore me slam out.

This was a bit of a shock to me since the first 13 weeks of his pregnancy I drove an hour each way to work and taught crazy perfect middle-schoolers all day. Luckily, he is an awesome napper {Thank you, Jesus} and this Mama just curled up each afternoon and slept.

Other than the tiredness, I have felt great. I praise God that I'm not one of those women who get sick. Sure, certain foods totally gross me out, but I don't feel puny crossing off the days until Week 14.

Our 13 week ultrasound was very special for us as a family. Up until that point we had not said anything to Jackson about my pregnancy. We had been counseled by the doctor to be judicious in who we told until at least the 12th week, especially Jackson. So, the ultrasound was the perfect time to let him know since he would be able to see the baby and understand slightly better with a visual.

I'll close with two conversations that have resulted since 
Jackson learning of his new role as big brother:

Jackson: Mommy, where is the baby?
Me: In my belly.
Jackson: You swallowed him?
Me: No, sweet boy, I did not swallow him.

{Later that same day at Publix:}
Jackson to Cashier: I'm going to be a big brother!
Cashier: Oh wow, Jackson. How exciting!
Jackson: My Mommy ate him, he's in her belly.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Wear


 Don't you wear your pj pants with a White House
Chief of Staff t-shirt and a train conductor's bandana? 

You don't? 


Well, you should. 

It's fun!

Happy Saturday, y'all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A New Shirt

Jackson has a new shirt he likes to wear proudly.

 He thinks it's pretty special.

We do too.

Baby Radtke ~June 5, 2012

Most of you know the story of our journey to meet Jackson. While that journey was hard at times, God's answer to our prayer was more than we could have ever have imagined. 

God did not ask us to walk that same path to meet this sweet baby. But He has continued to ask us to TRUST Him. How I praise Him for being a God who is in control.
~ Zephaniah 3.17 ~
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day 11.11.11

As the granddaughter, daughter and sister of men who have served in the armed forces, I am particularly proud today. Pride in my country and those who defend us has been instilled in me since I was a little girl. I have never taken for granted the price that the soldiers and their families have paid for my freedom.

Last weekend, we had the chance to meet up with dear friends at the Atlanta airport. While we were there we saw dozens of soldiers. It is so hard for me to not burst into tears when I encounter these precious people. But regardless of the tears in my eyes and the knot in my throat, I make it a point to say, "Thank You." Trip had the chance to lead Jackson to a group of soldiers and say, "Thank you." The first of many opportunities to teach our son gratitude to his heroes.

Today, I would like to extend a special thank you to my father and brother. They have both fought in wars and returned safely. I thank God that I am honoring them today, not remembering them.

c. 1982
My pride in my brother has been longstanding. 
I mean, who wouldn't love a kid with a bucket for his first "cap".

~Arlington 2010~
Saying farewell to his friend and mentor, SgtMaj Luttrell

December 2010
My brother is commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps.
An incredible day for my Father.

I love you both and I am truly thankful to you 
and your comrades 
for your service.

Semper Fi!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Tale of Two Saturdays

The last few weekends have been full of activity as the weather has changed to...well, perfect. But last weekend was one that had been planned for a long time, regardless of the weather. Jackson loves Thomas. The trains and the stories have captured his imagination.

Trip discovered that the famous "Day Out With Thomas" was coming to Georgia and got us tickets months ago. I think we were just as excited to take Jackson as he was to see his favorite engine.

The experience was priceless.

This weekend was pure relaxation. Today was a beautiful, crisp, fall day. The leaves fell and the wind blew and we just enjoyed time, at home, as a family. As we were playing, Trip had the brilliant idea to rake the leaves into a pile just at the foot of the slide. Then we sent Jackson down into the pile listening to his giggles and squeals.
"Can I do it again?!"

We hope y'all are having a great weekend too! 
{Even those of you with...SNOW!}

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekend Fun

With the weather being cooler, 
we find ourselves outside most of the day. 

It is especially fun for Jackson on the weekend 
when Dad joins in on the fun. 

"Daddy, what big feet you have!"
Just a little dribblin' and throw in practice. Never too early to practice my skills.
When Jackson is not playing with a soccer ball, baseball, golf ball, or climbing on his fort, he is on the hunt for acorns and leaves.

"Mama, you are just too funny!
Our house is in a flight pattern for a small airport down the street. On any given afternoon he will see 5-6 planes. It is a little boy's dream come true.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Honorary Team Captain

~ August 17, 2011~
Jackson is the Braves Honorary Team Captain

That night will be forever etched in the mind of my husband.
And was probably a dream of his since April 13, 2009
when we learned that the baby I was carrying was...
a boy.

The night was captured by our beloved friend, Jeremy Harwell.
And his pictures are more precious than any words.

The opportunity was made possible by our participation 
in a silent auction to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mama Recommends ~ Books Worth Reading

I love to read. The summer provides a break from my BSF and small group commitments. This break allows me the extra time to read "fun" books. And this summer, I definitely found my "fun" books. But, I also found a few books that yanked at my heart in unexpected ways.

So, here are the books I read this summer along with a few thoughts to encourage you to check them out. If you read any of them, I would love to hear your reviews.

Francine Rivers could rewrite the phone book and I would read it. I'm serious. She is a brilliant storyteller. She captured my attention years ago with Redeeming Love. So, when I learned that she had written a two-part series I had to get it. The first book is, Her Mother's Hope and the second book is, Her Daughter's Dream. The stories begin in Europe and follow a woman named Marta as she leaves a broken home and builds a life of her own. This new life eventually lands her in California's Central Valley. {For those of you who know my love of California, you'll understand why reading about the setting of her new life was so intriguing to me.} Rivers chronicles the generations of women who follow Marta and tells a "gripping saga about family and faith, dreams and disappointments, and the depths of grace and forgiveness."

Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo. This little book {a mere 192 pages} is a treasure.

I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids by Trish Ashworth. I like a book that makes you laugh at yourself. I think we as women can take ourselves way too seriously and forget to just LAUGH. This book would be a good outlet for many of you. And while I'm sure that the authors did not intend for me to look at my faith in a whole new way, I did. There was one particular quote that hit me upside the head. "A better sense of control, oddly, comes from letting go." Ugh. God asks us to let go of insane expectations on a regular basis and just be the woman HE has called us to be. Trying to control our lives, or the lives of others, leaves us miserable and devoid of His incredible plan. And I am quite sure that His plan calls for LAUGHTER.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I absolutely loved this book. I could go on and on and tell you why. But I think my deepest thoughts on that book are nothing like you would expect. So I will quickly say this: the mentality that shocked so many of us in that book is, in some ways, still alive and well today. Yes, today. Maybe the mentality isn't directed to our black friends and neighbors, because, well, that would frowned upon. But I'm pretty sure the Hispanic community would find that mentality similar. Last week one of the blogs I follow posted this: http://undocumented.tv/2011/blog/the-help-of-our-day/ If you read The Help, read the post.

A Praying Life by Paul Miller. "We can't pray effectively until we get in touch with our inner brat." Ouch. But isn't that so true?! How many times do you come to the Father with a list of "I wants!" And how many of you don't come at all because you're afraid you're a mess? But the truth is, "God wants us to come to Him empty-handed, weary, and heavy laden." He wants us to be helpless. Why? Because "God looks at the adequacy of His Son and delights in our sloppy, meandering prayers." Miller walks you through the understanding of true communication with a God who passionately loves His people. This book taught me so much about praying for OTHER people...and then myself. What I learned most of all was to "abide" in my prayers.

Veneer by Jason Locy & Tim Willard. For full disclosure, I am almost finished with this book. I am currently using it alongside my quiet time. But I could not possibly leave this book out of the lineup. The language of Veneer is beautiful. When Christian authors write books, sometimes you have to "make it through" the awkward wording of the message to actually "hear" the message. Not so with this book. What I found so refreshing was the honesty about "the church". "It's possible and appropriate for the church not to coalesce with the popular norms of society and still thrive. Just because the rest of society does something popular...doesn't make it right. We forget that worldly success seldom mirrors godly success. Often they are opposed." {emphasis mine}

And finally,

Radical by David Platt. "Real success is found in radical sacrifice." We need to become a people who are unconcerned with worldy success. We need to be a people who love Jesus passionately and then seek to love other people with a love that stems from that passion. And we need to be willing to do it...whatever the cost. I could spend this entire review giving quotes that sucker-punched me left and right as I read this book. There were moments that I was on my face weeping to the Lord for my refusal to be obedient to Him. If you allow the Lord to speak to you through Platt's writing, you cannot possible end the book the same person. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" ~ Jim Elliot.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This weekend was a big weekend for Jackson. He had not one, but TWO Aunts come into town for a visit. My sister, Kylene, is getting married in a few weeks and I hosted her shower. There was a bustle of activity throughout the weekend. One of the highlights of Jackson's weekend was when it was just the 3 of us again....and a tub full of packing peanuts leftover from the gift boxes.
Oh a toddler's delight!

Hey Mom. Uh, I can't seem to shake this stuff off. Is it supposed to stick to me?
Oh I see how we're playing...
Right back at ya Mom!

Monday, August 29, 2011


When a tractor is left all  a l o n e  on the side of the road, you have to take a picture while riding it. I mean, in the world of little boys, to just drive by a tractor would simply be criminal. And after the Kroger mishap {ahem} we are trying to be crime-free people around here.

And hello! We're wearing our John Deere t-shirt! Talk about picture perfect!
{Let's be honest, Jackson seems to be wearing that t-shirt a lot these days.}

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Harwell Perspective

If I haven't mentioned the following information before, forgive me.
{I blame it on Mama Brain. I can still use that excuse, right?}

Jeremy Harwell is one of the BEST photographers I have ever encountered. EVER. And I'm not just saying that because he and his family are some of our most treasured friends. He simply has a gift. If you haven't checked his site on the right ----> you're nuts. Do it. {Seriously.}

When we are together as families we never ask Jeremy to "work". We want him to exist in the moment. But every now and again he sneaks out his iphone and captures Jackson at an angle his parents missed. And we always love his "sneaky photos".

The following three photos capture Jackson's love...LOOOOOVE...of ice cream perfectly. Hence the reason it was his request over any type of cake.

And finally, a great picture of the Harwell kids with the birthday boy. Jeremy, thank you for once again capturing such sweet moments!