Friday, October 13, 2017

To My Brand New 6-Year-Old...

Oh, Braxton Cade,

Do you know just how much I love and adore you, son? How much I love your mile-a-minute talking, your over-the-top personality, your quick wit, your blue eyes, your smile? 

Do you know just how much I love that you desire to know God more? That you're starting to understand what it means to live for Him and not just have the right answers to the Sunday School questions and stories? That you want to pray and be a light to those around you? 

Do you know just how much I love your curiosity? How you love school and want to read more and more "big kid" books? That your never-ending questions (though sometimes tiring and wearing on someone) is what causes you to grow and learn? 

Do you know just how much I love hearing you sing? And hum? And play your ukelele? And play catch with daddy? And shoot baskets with mama? And cry when Moose took the field one more time this season for the Royals?

I can't believe that this sweet newborn baby boy....

And this frosting-face, broken-legged one year old who would not talk....

And this chapped-cheeked, giggly two-year-old...

And this train-loving three-year-old...

And this cowboy ninja drummer boy who only wanted to bike on a tricycle at four years old...

And this suave and stylish five-year-old...

Is now a dapper, lovable, charming, fun, energetic, loud, eager SIX-year-old! 

Happy Birthday, Braxton Cade! We pray that this coming year you learn more and love more, all while giving God the glory. 

Love you, love you, love you, buddy! 

Mama and Daddy

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

King for the Night

In late September, Braxton Cade had the honor of being the crown bearer for the fall homecoming festivities during the Buhler High School football game. Big sis did this a few years ago during winter homecoming, and now it was Brax's turn.

Little man rose to the occasion and enjoyed his five minutes of fame. He dabbed....he smiled....he drum rolled before they announced the king and queen candidate. He was so excited to go out on the big football field and hold the king's crown! 

Our little man looked like quite the gentleman and oh-so dapper in his suspenders and maroon bowtie. Thanks, BHS, for letting Brax be a part of the special evening! 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

New School Year & New Adventures!

 I know it's past Labor Day. And I realize that we've been in school for a good three weeks now. But we're still in back-to-school mode in the Conkling house.

Mackie and daddy kicked off the school year with their first day of school on Aug. 17. Mackie is a 2nd grader in Mrs. Burkhart's class and wants to be a lifeguard and doctor when she grows up.

Jack, meanwhile, starts his 13th year teaching social studies at Prairie Hills Middle School.

Perhaps the biggest back-to-school news, though, is this young handsome dude started kindergarten a week later, on Aug. 22. Mama didn't know how to wrap her heart and head around the fact that the babe of the family was finally off to school with big sis. He was SO excited (as his smile shows!). 

Brax is a kindergartner in Ms. Richardson's class. He wants to be a cowboy and ninja when he grows up. 

After blubbering like a hot mess the first week of Mackie's kindergarten year, I went in praying and knowing that while it would be hard to see little dude go off, it was exciting and fun for him. I held it together our entire walk there and as soon as we hit the gym for drop-off, the lump in my throat grew bigger and bigger. My lips trembled. And then, when the little dude looked back at me one more time and told me "you can go now, mama - I'm ok," tears rolled down the cheeks. 

It really hit me on the lonely, quiet walk home. (as seen here)

I gave myself the day to cry and be weepy (my co-workers didn't know what hit me!), and then we celebrated with Bogey's after school. :)

Here's to a great school year! Praying our kidlets are lights for Jesus and they honor, obey, and respect their teachers and educators this year. God Bless our educators for loving on our precious kiddos!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sunflower Fields Forever

Okay, so it's not quite how the song goes.

But nothing screams Kansans than taking family pics in a nearby sunflower field! The oh-so talented and wonderful Katie Thacker with KT Photography wowed us again with our recent family pictures. She had the genius idea of taking mini sessions in a sunflower field. LOVE!

I'm one who loves capturing my little family as often as possible. Too often we're quick to snap pics with our phones, but nothing - I mean, nothing! - beats professional photography and getting prints made. 

Thanks, Katie, for another wonderful session. Always a treat being your clients! 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

From 7 to 8

My sweet Mackenzie Claire,

Tomorrow you turn eight. EIGHT! How is it that 365 days go by oh-so quickly?! Your seventh year of life was splendid, spectacular, and oh-so sweet. 

You thrived in first grade and took on a love of reading and chapter books. 

You enjoyed your first year of league basketball and learned what it took to compete and play hard. You did the same on your coach pitch softball team, swim team, and your running/triathlon events that you enjoyed participating in all year. 

You lost more teeth and gained a few permanent ones. 

You started playing piano. 

You had the courage to sing a small solo and hold a speaking part at various performances. 

There were so many experiences - new and old - that you enjoyed this past year. 

We now celebrate and look ahead to you, our beautiful baby girl turning 8. I pray that this year you grow more in love with Jesus - that your curiosity flows as you dig into His Word. I pray that you continue to grow in kindness, in grace, in love as your light shines so brightly.

Mackie Claire, I'm honored to be your mama. What a cherished gift God gave me 8 years ago when you entered this world on your due date - Aug. 13 at 10:02 a.m. - all 7 pounds, 13 ounces, and 20 1/2" of you. And now I look at this gorgeous, gap-toothed, gangly girl who loves hard, plays hard, sleeps hard, and lives hard. You are a JOY, my precious daughter.

Love you, love you, love you. Happy Birthday, sweet pea!