Bumps & Bruises

Now that Jackson's favorite thing to do is pull up on everything and cruise around, his forehead has become a battle ground for bumps & bruises. In this picture, you can see two yellow bruises on the right side (his left), and one fresh bruise on the left side (his right). At first, I was really scared when he fell...but he has to learn somehow, right? He's tough, so I think sometimes it looks and sounds worse than it feels. At least that's what I tell myself.



Missing Mary!

A week and a half ago, my best girlfriend (since 3rd grade!) moved to Florida. I already miss her dearly, and wish I could just get in my car and drive to meet her for some coffee time. Or Saturday morning breakfast. Or anything, really. Most of you reading this blog know Mary Parsons...but if you don't, let me just tell you a few things about her. She's one-of-a-kind, always smiling, always joyful, always funny, and ALWAYS there. She's such a wonderful friend, and I'm blessed to have her in my life all these years. We've shared some pretty incredible memories together, and I know we have many more yet to come. If you're reading this, Mary Jo, I MISS YOU SOO MUCH!! I can't wait to hear more about your jet-setting ventures to Seattle for training, and all about your awesome new job.

SPEAKING of new job..you guys should really go check out this company. Mary works for Storyville Coffee. I hear they have the best coffee - maaaaybe even better than Starbucks! Take a look at their website, and also International Justice Mission, which the company supports. IJM is a wonderful organization which is working to stop human trafficking. What an amazing job to have, knowing that you are going to work everyday to support such a wonderful mission. Check it out...and if you are a coffee lover, you should try some of their coffee!

Here are a few pictures of our last night out w/ Mary before her move. We had a great time, and I'm looking forward to doing it again soon!

I love you, Mary Jo! And I miss you, sweet friend!

Yes, I'm aware this picture is upside down. Just as she intended it to be.

The 3 Amigas! Me, Mary, and Jacqueline. Love them. A lot!


Selling our house!

Our house officially went on the market Monday afternoon, and has been shown twice. We are saying lots of prayers, and really trying to be patient through this whole process. We've been looking at homes to purchase in Coppell School District, both in Valley Ranch and Coppell. We found one that we absolutely LOVE, but apparently several other prospective buyers also love it, and have put offers down. The owners won't accept an offer from us until we have a contract on our house. It's all in the timing, and of course we know that God's timing is always perfect.

My verse for this year:
"Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

Lord, help me to trust, and to leave my worries at the foot of your cross.


9 months old!!

Jackson is 9 months old today. WOW! I cannot believe that 9 months have already come and gone. My, how our lives have changed...and how much better we are for it!
Happy 9 month birthday, my sweet Jackson! I love you more than words.


What's Jackson doing these days?

I get asked this question a lot, so I'll just make a quick list of things that he's started doing recently:
  • Crawling - Jackson started to crawl forward on Christmas morning, and has since gotten a lot better. Today he has taken several trips around the room, crawling on all fours with belly off the ground.
  • Waving hi and bye - Jackson learned how to wave while we were on our trip in Ruidoso. He now loves to wave, even when nobody is waving to him.
  • Signing 'more' - We've been trying to teach him some basic baby sign language. We've mainly focused on 'more' and 'all done'. He's beginning to sign 'more', although he doesn't do it everytime. We're still working on it.
  • Clapping - Scott taught Jackson how to clap his hands...and it is adorable. I love to watch him sit up and start clapping with that huge smile on his face.
  • Talking - Jackson has gotten a lot more vocal. He jibber jabbers all of the time while playing, and says 'Dada' a lot. I don't know if he's put together the fact that Scott is his Dada, but he sure says it a lot. And nope, he hasn't gotten his M sound down yet, so no Mama.
  • Standing up - Jackson has shown interest in pulling up on things, but requires a little help to get completely up. Once he's up, he loves to hold on and stand by himself. I think he really enjoys it, because he just starts talking up a storm and laughing, and gets really excited.

Jackson's First Vacation

The day after Christmas, we packed up the car and headed for Ruidoso, NM for Jackson and I's first Echols Family Vacation. We drove for 10 hours in the car, stopping about every 3 1/2 to 4 hours to stretch, feed, and change Jackson. I was so proud of him! For the most part, he was great. He fussed a few times, mostly when it was nap time and he couldn't get comfortable in his seat. Other than that, he played with toys, laughed a lot, and napped quite a bit.

We arrived at Aunt Ruth & Uncle Phil's house in the evening, and immediately got our car stuck in the snow. We couldn't get up their driveway, so Scott had to get out and start shoveling snow. Eventually we were able to get the car halfway up the driveway to unload for the night.

The next day, Aunt Kari graciously watched Jackson for us so Scott and I could go skiing. I hadn't been skiing since 3rd grade, so I was eager to try it again. I had a good time, but I don't think I'll ever be a big skier. I think I'll leave that up to Scott. :)
The rest of the vacation, the boys went skiing while the girls stayed back at the house and relaxed. I got through an entire book (which doesn't happen a lot these days). It was wonderful! Aunt Ruth & Uncle Phil's house is awesome! It's located up in the mountains on a golf course. The snow was covering the ground, the view was gorgeous, and we even saw a herd of Elk right outside the back of the house.
Thank you Aunt Ruth & Uncle Phil for letting us stay at your mountain home for the week. We had a great time!

Helping daddy (don't worry...we were stopped at a gas station)

@ Ski Apache

All bundled up w/ Aunt Katherine before going out to dinner

Jackson's first play in the snow. Moments after this picture was taken, he did a face plant into the snow. He didn't like that too much. Aunt Katherine has some great photos of that I'll have to post later.

Family picture in front of Aunt Ruth & Uncle Phil's house

Jackson's First Christmas

We had a lot of fun this Christmas, spending time with both of our families. Christmas Eve, we spent the day over at my sister's house with Nanna, Paw-Paw, Great Grandma Reinhardt, Uncle Rodney, Aunt G, Preston & Parker. Jackson had a lot of fun playing with his cousins, and going to the Children's mass at church. We came home that night, and woke up at our house on Christmas morning to open presents. Jackson loves his new toy that Santa brought him, and had fun playing with all the wrapping paper. After we had our own small family Christmas morning...we packed up and headed to Mimi & Grand-dad's house. We spent Christmas day there, and had a lot of fun opening presents, eating hotcakes (Jackson already loves them!), playing with new toys, and hanging out with Mimi, Grand-dad, Aunt Kari, Uncle Jason, Aunt Katherine, and cousin Luke.

"I don't really know who this Santa guy is yet, but MAN do I love him!"

Mommy's angel!

Preston, helping a cousin out

Preston, Jackson, and Parker - first time opening presents


Nanna w/ Jackson in front of her beautiful tree

Grand-dad, Mimi, Jackson, and Luke on Christmas morning