To Rhett: This photo makes your momma smile. Little do you know, this piano belonged to your great grandmother, Lillian Breed, aka Nana to me. Nana purchased this piano to teach piano lessons when your Lolli was growing up. This was a way for her to make money for the family in addition to her oil painting. Lolli played on this piano and so did your mommy when I was little. Every visit up to Nana and Papa’s house, I would have mini lessons on that very same piano. Those became some of my most treasured memories as Nana and I played away on duets and eventually on the flute accompanying her. As Nana and Papa grew older, we had to move them into a smaller home. The piano went to Lolli’s house for a bit, then eventually was all mine to enjoy at Mommy and Daddy’s new house as newlyweds. We had the 70 year old piano complete renovated so that it would last years to come. We hope you enjoy playing it as much as Nana, Lolli and Mommy have. You’ll be the 4th generation to tap away at the keys and make beautiful music. No pressure at all – just kidding. You enjoy it as much as your little heart is content. Every single day, I wish Nana was around to meet you – I know she sees you everyday from heaven above.
Here we are. Just cruising in the car, stopped at a light and doing the ‘mom rock’ of the car seat. Boy how life has changed for me and my fellow mommies. We often joke about how much life has changed. And for very good reason. It’s not a hard new life, it’s just DIFFERENT. I can remember us driving to Charleston for a girls trip just a couple of years ago, rocking out to music, dressed in our most fashionable duds, anxious to get our first toddy in our hands and without a care in the world. That sure was fun. Well….THIS IS BETTER. Hard to believe, huh? I would just say that it’s more rewarding -every single day. Nothing warms my heart more than laying on the floor with Rhett and just getting all the smiles and laughter I want – he just seems so genuinely glad I’m there. He depends on me too and I love that. I”m trying my best to be a joyful mom. In the daily grind, frustrating moments, poopy diapers…I still catch myself trying to remember to stay joyful. I’m the lucky one here. Lucky to have this beautiful and most perfect child. The least I can do is be full of happiness, joy and gratitude for this truly amazing life I have been blessed with. So when I have to stop the car, rock the car seat and count the seconds until the red light turns green, joy it will be.
While I had my fair share of pool and water time growing up at our yearly beach trips to Daytona, Patrick experienced a weekly water experience living here in Savannah. There is so much to learn about living near the marsh – I personally still have a lot to learn. We live very close to the marsh so the daily distinct smell of the marsh breezes often trickles into our yard – it’s just wonderful and refreshing! All of the little critters, shells, beautiful marsh grass – it all makes up the rivers surrounding Savannah. I’m constantly intrigued by all of the activities possible on the water here: ‘crabbing’, catching shrimp, shark fishing, bird watching, kayaking, surfing – just to list a few. We are so incredibly lucky to live here and I cannot wait to watch Rhett as he grows up around all of these beautiful surroundings. I will leave a lot of the teaching to Patrick, although, I have a quite a few fishing trips under my belt. We are slowly but surely exposing Rhett to this life as we take occasional trips to the pool, rides in the beach, eating dinner at the local waterside dive and so far, he loves it! I think all of my nightly baths in the ‘big bathtub’ is helping – he just loves kicking his feet and fetching toys in the water. I do have to say that he’s getting a bit more courageous for my comfort zone – guess I’ll have to get used to that! We went to the pool just today and pool little thing just tuckered out and nestled right on mommy – his most favorite spot. I couldn’t help but snap this memory for the books.
How do I even begin to explain how much joy you have brought in to my life and how you have given me a whole new perspective about what is really important. I know you’re still too young to read this but I am going to try to put in to words some of the things you get to look forward to in your life ahead. First of all take one day at a time and be thankful for everything you have, your grandfather always told me that the “Man Upstairs” is always in control so do not take a single day for granted.
There are going to be tough times ahead as well and people can be very cruel. At times they will tease you and make fun of you and you will come to your mother and I asking why this is happening. There is no good answer to this other than the fact that they are jealous of you so do not pay any attention to them and focus on making yourself better each day. Choose your friends wisely and only let those people in to your life that pick you up and encourage you now bring you down and make you do things that you know are wrong. That is something I learned a long time ago and still to this day have a few close friends that I can call on at any time and I know they would be there for me. Life is not always going to turn out the way you want to but be patient because something positive will come out of every situation and it will make you a much stronger man. Never give up on your dreams and goals and always strive for the best. You will receive a book in a few years that have quotes from trips I have taken with Uncle Maz,Jake and Mitch, I want you to remember one thing that you read from there and this was straight from your father “ anything worth doing is worth doing right the first time”. Keep that in mind in every task you undertake and it will give you pride in a job well done.
Your life is going to be a daily journey of changing events but keep three things in mind as you take. Make your life a journey of happiness, daily learning, self improvement and love. Now that I have mentioned love, let me go in to that a little deeper. Your mother and I both grew up in households that were very loving and supportive. Believe it or not it took you coming in to this world to turn your grandfather in to an old softy and it has brought our family even closer together. Love your friends, your spouse, your children and your parents with all of your heart.
Finally the number one thing you need to learn from me is to put God first in your life. There have been some things happen to me throughout my life so far that I cannot explain but I know He was there working in the background. I know there is going to be times when you want to sleep in on a Sunday morning and not go to church because your too tired or because you’re not feeling well but what would happen if you were on your knees one night praying to God to help you but he was just too tired to listen to you. Always put your trust in your faith and that will carry you through anything.
I know there is going to be times when you and I do not see eye to eye and yes you will feel like I am the worst person in the world but please know that I would never do anything to hurt you or to make you feel like I do not care. I tell you every night while I am rocking you to sleep that I love you and will never let anything happen to you. You have brought such an amazing change to my life it’s hard to even think about what I would do without you in my life. We are going to have so much fun as you grow up and I cannot wait to teach you everything about this big world that my dad taught me. You’re going to do amazing things with your life and I cannot wait to be there for you each step of the way. I love you son and I always will.
Life is truly amazing now. Magical really. Never did I think that I could possibly love this much and this big. This unconditionally. It might be 3 in the morning… I’m cranky and tired – but the smile that comes across the face of this beloved 4 month old changes me. He is a true game changer, life changer and spirit changer. In our eyes, this baby boy is the true definition of the man upstairs. One of the first things Patrick asked after Rhett was born was “How to people not believe?” This is truly a miracle that could only come from one person – God. I was reminded of humility last night, as much as I try to be the perfect mom, wife, daughter and business owner every single day – sometimes I just crash and burn. And that’s okay – it’s all a part of learning how to be this new person I have to be now – for Rhett. Rhett decided to wake up and party in his crib of 2 hours starting at 3:45. After 2 hours of rocking, shhhhhing, singing, playing – I became very frustrated and grew tired of this nighttime shenanigans as we call them. It was 5:15 and I threw in the white flag. I woke up Patrick with tears of desperation. I was so upset with myself… for being annoyed at Rhett for not sleeping, allowing my impatience to get the best of me and for not just absorbing every minute of the snuggling Rhett really wanted in the middle of the night. I was at a loss, but sure enough my amazing husband jumped up to the rescue and ended up having the special touch of putting him back to sleep. He climbed back into bed and told me it was all going to be okay and that things will get better and easier. I DO love every single moment of life with Rhett and looking back, I will treasure these little moments in the middle of the night, when it’s just me and him. No friends playing around, fishing being caught, outside time with Daddy – just his momma. I am truly humbled and woke up feeling rejuvenated in being the best mom I can be. It’s a daily journey but one I can honestly say is worth every single second. I promise. I hope everyone I know feels this feeling of being a parent. It is just pure magical.
This mother thing is really starting to grow on me. I used to think getting up in the middle of the night would just simply be impossible and that I would get restless staying home all day with a little one. Well, so far I’ve been proven wrong. Don’t get me wrong, the minute I go strolling about town I soon realize how much I miss the interaction, change of scenery and just plan old sunshine! I think it’s important to find a great mix of both worlds to stay balanced. I’m really enjoying a little break from the working world, but my creative itch is starting to come to surface again. My most talented friend, Sarah Buck, stopped by to snap a few shots of Rhett last week and I’m oh so grateful! She showed up with camera in hand, photography equipment galore and tricks to the trade of photographing infants. Our intentions were to take a few family photos, but due to the sleepless night we experienced, I welcomed her in pjs, leftover makeup from the day before, unbrushed hair and hot coffee. Today was just going to be about Mr. Rhett. DEFINITELY not mommy. Sneaky Sarah suggested that I hold Rhett for a few photos so that he could lay on my chest for a good angle. Little did I know, she snuck a few of me and I’m so thankful she did. Everything else side, this is one of my most prized photos. Unposed. In the moment. Pure adoration of my little baby boy. I seriously would do anything for this child and continue to be amazed by his creation. I just look at him and wonder how we could have made such a beautiful thing. That’s what love does. It’s what we were put on this earth to do. I see that now as my life is complete. This song shared by Sarah says it all.
Your baby blues
So full of wonder
Your curly cues
Your contagious smile
And as i watch
You start to grow up
All I can do is hold you tight
Knowing clouds will rage in
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
’cause sometimes that mountain you’ve been climbing
is just a grain of sand
and what you’ve been up there searching for forever
is in your hands
when you figure out love is all that matters after all
it sure makes everything else seem so small.
It was Sunday morning – Patrick was headed to church solo while Rhett and I had a quiet morning to ourselves. It was only the second time I was alone with this new bundle of love so I was soaking up every second of it. We are lucky that our wonderful baby sleeps a lot – and by a lot, I mean all of the time except while he’s eating or we’re changing his tiny little diaper. During his morning slumber, I decided to hold him and just admire his little face – ever-changing of expressions and faces. I wish I knew what he was dreaming about – his dreams seem sad sometimes and happy others. I wish I could take away all of his bad dreams. I grabbed the remote and sifted through our week’s worth of recorded shows. On the top of the list was a Carrie Underwood concert so I quickly hit play. I just adore her and the great example she sets for young women. Not only is she inspiring as an artist, but as a spiritual person as well. She began to sing one of my favorites, “So Small”. Although I have heard this song multiple times before, it took on a new meaning that was unexpected. As I held this blessing of a child, I began to see how much it has changed me. As she sang the chorus, I couldn’t stop the tears from trickling down my face as I looked at Rhett. It is amazing how different the world looks and how many things don’t seem to matter anymore. I welcome this change and hope to live my new life understanding the true meaning of love. Unconditional Love. Amazed at how much I already love this child, the song summed up everything rushing through my head at that moment. Although my life has been successful and fulfilling, it is now complete. Patrick and I have a wonderful marriage and it wasn’t until the past year that we finally starting realizing something was missing. Something bigger than us. It was at that moment that we realized we wanted children. We are truly blessed to have this precious baby boy and “it sure makes everything else seem so small”.