when Hudson and Hayes met James Walker

A few weeks before James Walker was born, I was on Facebook and noticed that one of Hudson’s former preschool teachers was going to start a new business taking every day photos of children. One of the specific events she said she wanted to photograph was siblings meeting for the first time. I immediately messaged her to see if she would be willing to come to the hospital the day of the c-section to take photos of Hudson and Hayes meeting James Walker.

I knew that I’d be stuck in the bed for a few hours and wouldn’t be able to take pictures, and I wanted Todd to be able to enjoy the moment. And Logan agreed to come take pictures! I am so glad we did this because the emotion on the boys’ faces is just the best! I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

If you are local to Columbia, definitely reach out to Logan Fowles for children’s photography. These pictures are just priceless to me! (Email Logan at LoganFowles@yahoo.com)













Happy 5th Birthday, Hudson!

Dearest Hudson,

Five years ago, at 4:38 a.m., you made your grand entrance in this world. We really thought you were going to be born on June 4 because that was the day of my induction, but you had other plans. You arrived sunny side up with the biggest cheeks any of us had ever seen. All 9 lbs 6 oz of you were sweet baby boy perfection.


Now, you are fifty pounds, fifty inches tall, and a vocal, smart, energetic little boy. You’re heading off to kindergarten in August and, yet, there are times when I look at you that I can still see that sweet baby that was first placed in my arms five years ago.

You are such a fun-loving boy. You always want to dance and sing and you want everyone to do it with you. We’ve always had music playing throughout the house during the day, and I love that you love music as much as I do.


You have the most tender heart of anyone I know. You feel things deeply and are such a joy to be around. I’m still trying to figure out your love language, but I think you show love with words of affirmation. You’re constantly telling everyone that you love them and how you feel about them. It’s such an encouragement, and you will meet many people in your life who love this about you.

You have grown and matured so much in this last year. You are reading everything and you love to write. You love your friends so much. We sometimes have to take a little break from too much time with friends because we’ve already entered the season of “friend spats” but you do love your friends.

Your favorite color is blue. You love Frozen. You love “Life is a Highway” and the song “Carry On” by Fun. ¬†You love being outside to play with sidewalk chalk and ride your bike. Your best friends are John, Dolan, Heyward, Brennan, and Witt. You really love Mommy and Daddy’s friends, too. You love being around babies and trying to make babies smile. It’s pretty sweet.

You want to read and color all the time and you are obsessed with The Octonauts an Ninja Turtles, even though you’ve never seen an episode of Ninja Turtles.


Hudson, this day is my favorite day, too, because it’s the day I became a mommy. It’s the day that I first looked in your big brown eyes and realized for the first time how special our relationship would be. It’s the day that we looked at each other and I knew that you were going to teach me so much about love and grace. It’s because of you that I know what grace looks like and feels like. Thank you, sweet boy.

My life completely changed the day that you were born, and I can’t imagine my life without you in it. Everything is exciting because you’re a part of it. Everything is new to me when it’s new to you.

I’m so excited for you to turn five. You’ve looked forward to this day for a long time. You’re going to kindergarten and you’ll be away from us more. We’re just so excited for you and this next year.

We love you so much, buddy. Happy birthday, Hudson!



Hudson's tonsillectomy

Hudson had a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy yesterday. Yesterday morning, we woke Hudson up at 7:00 and put his shoes on, gave him his lovie, and got in the car. We told him we had to go to see the doctor so she could look at his nose and throat. We told him it would hurt a little, but that we would be there to help him with the pain.

We hadn’t told him in advance because I didn’t want him to be too anxious about it and constantly thinking about it. Todd and Hayes stayed behind so Todd could take Hayes to school. (We didn’t want Hayes running around the surgery center.) So Hudson and I talked on the way to the surgery center about what would happen and I told him that I had gone through it when I was 18 years old. (Not recommended to wait that long!)

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 9.27.05 AM

He was so sweet in pre-op. I helped him put on his little gown. When he had his tubes at 21 months, he wore this same Looney Tunes gown and it practically covered his whole body. This time he had to keep his pajama pants on to cover his bottom half. I can’t believe how big he is!

We read books and colored while we waited for the ENT and the anesthesiologist. He told me that when he’s scared, he knows that God is always with him and Jesus is in his heart so he can be brave. And then I cried.

The nurses were so sweet to him, and when it was time for him to go back, he willingly took their hands and walked back. And, goodness gracious. There is nothing at gut wrenching as watching your child walk away toward an unknown situation holding a stranger’s hand.

I teared up a little, texted Todd and our families and a few friends, and then waited. About 30 minutes later, the doctor came to talk to me. She said that Hudson had done great. His tonsils were really big and causing some sleep issues. Hudson sleeps 12 hours every night and never gets up, but he snored like a freight train and I would often hear him holding his breath. Then the doctor told me that his adenoids were even bigger than his tonsils. It’s remarkable that he’s such a content kid, because he’s been living with this for so long. I’m glad we went forward with the surgery.

She said that he had been really brave and asked for his mommy when he woke up.

They kept him in recovery for about 20 minutes before I could see him, and just before I went back, Todd got there to be with us after dropping off Hayes at preschool. When we got back to see Hudson, he had just gotten sick (something he gets from his mommy) but he was so happy to see us. He never cried and just stayed so strong. He ate a popsicle and drank some Gatorade.

I got him home and set him up with a little bed on the couch. He dozed on and off all day and was content to watch movies, eat applesauce and sleep. He hasn’t complained about the pain and we’re trying to stay ahead of it with his meds.

I’m praying that as the days go on that he stays comfortable. My mom is coming today to visit for spring break and Easter and Hudson and Hayes are so excited to see their KK.

Thank you for all of your kind words on Instagram. He’s been such a sweet little patient.

Happy 4th birthday, Hudson!

My Dearest Hudson,

At 4:39 a.m. on June 5, 2009, the most wonderful thing in the world happened. You, my precious boy, were born. You came into this world after a 25-hour labor and made your presence known with your loud voice. And then you just looked at me. When I looked at you on that first day of your life, and everyone left the room so I could be alone with you, I looked into your eyes and said to you then, “We’re going to learn so much together. It’s you and me.”


Yesterday morning when you woke up, you ran in to jump in bed with your Daddy and me. While I was snuggling with you, I looked at you and whispered, “You’re not allowed to be 4. You have to stay 3 forever.”


You didn’t really like that idea because you’ve been looking forward to turning 4 since a month after you turned 3. I can remember what it was like to always be wishing to be a little bit older. But my precious, precious boy, I am going to do everything I can for you to help slow that time down.

Every single day with you is the greatest gift. I could write a book about the ways that you have changed my heart and forced me to see every little thing with a little more detail and with more appreciation.


Hudson, you are the sweetest little soul. Your compassion for others always amazes me. You always want to know what’s wrong and how you can help.

You’re also so very observant. If anyone changes their hair or their shirt , you’re the first one to tell them that they look nice or ask why they changed. Your compliments mean the world to me. I love being your mommy! Especially when you tell me first thing in the morning that my bed head looks pretty.


Hudson, you just amaze us. You see things differently than we do. You look at ordinary things and you see shapes. You say, “That roof looks like a trapezoid. That window looks like a square.” You notice words that you can recognize and are often sounding out words and how to spell them. The things you associate together just blow us away. Nothing gets past you, and your Daddy and I know that you are watching every little thing we do.

You love to spell, love to write, and love to learn. You still know all your letters, states, and numbers. And you’ve been learning the Presidents this year. And this isn’t because we’ve forced it on you. You just like it. You love playing new games and you soak everything up like a little sponge. I’m so excited to see how much you blossom in this next year.


You are absolutely hilarious. You make the funniest jokes, and you’re like me in that you love making word and vocabulary jokes. You make up funny songs to be serious and to be funny.

You adore your grandparents and this just thrills us to no end. Your Daddy and I absolutely love to be around RC, PC, KK, and Poppie because it makes us happy, but even more so because it makes you so happy, Hudson. You adore them and they adore you, and we realize what a precious gift that is.


Hayes looks at you with such admiration. He is constantly watching you. For better or for worse, I know he’ll learn so much from you, and I pray that you always look out for him, too. Giving you each other is one of the greatest things your Daddy and I have done, but watching that relationship grow this year has been so much fun.

The two of you love to chase each other, and every once in a while you’ll say, “Hayes! Come get me! You’re my best friend.” And I have to tell you, anytime I hear you say those words, I could cry. Such a happy sound.


You take everything very literally. You’re not the most imaginative player, and things are very black and white to you. You see things exactly for what they are and can figure out a puzzle in twenty seconds. But it’s also so funny when we try to make some kind of joke or use some kind of cliche, and you always take it literally and act so confused. It cracks us up.

Another highlight of this year has been watching your friendships develop. You are always talking about your best friends and get so excited at the possibility of seeing them. You can still be very shy, but you love your friends and you are such a loyal friend. We’ve also seen the effects of too much “togetherness” with your best friends as there is the occasional preschool spat. And that’s okay. I love that even after a little spat, you can pick up where you left off being a good friend.


You get a little more mature every single day. You still have your very strong-willed moments, absolutely. And when those moments get mixed with the preschool-age moments, it’s a recipe for a meltdown. But your meltdowns are rare and are much less frequent as you have gotten closer to 4 years old.

These next couple of years are going to big for you. People are going to expect you to grow up a lot as you prepare to go to school. But, my sweet sweet boy, I’m holding on tight to every single day. Not in a mournful way, but because I know it does get better each day. I love you more each day. And we both learn something new each day.


When I look into your bright, deep brown eyes, I can see my journey through motherhood. And you, my precious Hudson, have been there every step of the way.


I adore you. I pray that God blesses you abundantly this year as you learn more about who He is and the kind of boy He would have you to be. And your Daddy and I pray that we can be that example for you.


I hope you always know that my arms and my heart are always open to you. Whenever you need me, I’ll come running to pick you up.

I love you,





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