4 months - really?

I cannot believe that our boy is 4 months old! Yesterday was the big day, and Riley wanted me to show you what 4-month-old's do on their birthday...

They begin the day by relaxing in their pajamas in Daddy's chair

"Yeah, I'm a big boy!"

Then, they go to the doctor to find out just how big they are!
Riley's 4-month stats:
16 lbs. 12 oz. (95%)
27 inches (off the charts for his age!)

Daniel and I made a friendly wager regarding his weight and height. Whoever was closest (without going over, of course) got to pick out the flavor of ice cream we were going to purchase at the store post-doctor's visit. Who do you think won?!

Mommy won!!! I guessed 27 inches and 16.8 lbs. I was only off by 4 oz! I didn't exactly get to collect my winnings, though, because after we finished at the dr.'s it was time for the little one to eat, so he and I came home while daddy ran to the store. Daddy was good, though, because we now have CHOCOLATE ice cream in the freezer (low fat, of course!).

Minus the two shots he had to get soon after this picture, our sweet one had a great 4-month birthday! Can't believe how quickly he is growing! We love him so much and thank God for such a healthy baby!

O Christmas Tree!

Yes, I realize it's not even Thanksgiving and the title of this post refers to Christmas! We are in a season of our lives in which Christmas day (and many of the days around it) are spent in family member's homes. This year we will be traveling to AR and TN to visit Daniel's side. So, we decided to go ahead and put up our Christmas tree before leaving for Thanksgiving (traveling to Maryland to be with my side) so that we could enjoy it and all of our other Christmas decorations for about 4 weeks rather than just 2! We were super excited to put up the tree because we got it on clearance last year (and I mean clearance, as in it was the floor model with no box) at Sears. It's pre-lit with white lights (love it!) and has a wonderful shape. Well, I'll just let you see for yourself!

It's 2:30 pm and the lights are on...in fact, I've had them on all day today :)

We put ornaments on every inch of the tree we could this year because we know that next year...well, let's just say we're going to have an 18-month-old in the house.

Riley started helping us with the tree, but he had to head to bed before we finished. Boy was he surprised when I brought him out into the living room the next morning!

Last year for Christmas one of my bosses gave me this beautiful nativity (to appease Daniel, who was concerned I hadn't shown all of the figures in the picture, there are animals, a shepherd, and an angel included in the set). We didn't get to display it last year because we lived in a shoebox, so we were very excited to pull it out this year!

We've had some people comment on us decorating so early, especially before Thanksgiving. I say, why can't we be thankful WHILE we're enjoying celebrating our Savior's birth?! Really, the two holidays coincide in my mind. I am thankful for all that I have, and the only reason I have it is because Jesus was born, lived on earth, and then died on the cross and rose again. I will say, "Thank you, Jesus!" this week, next month, and all year round!


This month has been a bit hectic, and I apologize for my lack of blogging. My boss hired my replacement, so I've spent the past week training her a couple hours a day and then coming home to full-time mommyhood. :) I'm definitely looking forward to only having one job...soon and very soon! Don't get me wrong, I will miss working in the Professional Doctoral Office (especially chatting with my sweet co-worker, Anna), but it's been a bit challenging to juggle everything. I've always heard people say that being a stay-at-home-mom is a full time job, but I'm realizing just how true that statement is! When you go to an office and work, you can forget about what needs to be done at home and just be there. When your office IS your home, there's ALWAYS something that needs to be done...washing bottles, laundry, cleaning, dishes, dirty diapers, cooking, etc. etc. etc.

That was a bit of a tangent, so on to the subject of this post...

First of all, Riley has found his fingers and absolutely loves sucking them...especially the two middle ones. The other day I laid him on my bed while I was getting dressed and it was almost time for his bottle. He started to get very upset (and when he gets upset, he gets UPSET!). The usual screaming ensued. What has happened in the past is he will scream bloody murder until the bottle is in his mouth. However, we had a breakthrough this day!! He screamed for less than a minute and then the house fell silent. I could not believe my ears! When I went back to get him, he was happy as a lark laying there sucking his two middle fingers. The Lord definitely knew what He was doing when He included fingers in the creation plan. :)

Often when I am feeding my favorite little boy, he will hold my fingers. It is the sweetest thing, and I absolutely love looking at his little hands. To think that those tiny objects will one day be as big (if not bigger!) than mine! Looking back at this picture reminds me of the promises our Lord gives us in Isaiah 49:10 and John 10:27-28.

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands...
Is. 49:10

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. Jn. 10:27-28

I am so thankful that I am engraved on the palm of HIS hands and no one will ever be able to snatch me out of them! I pray with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength that one day Riley will too be able to claim these promises. As I wait for that day, I will continue to pray for him and take every opportunity possible to tell him about his Heavenly Father who loves him more than Mommy or Daddy ever possibly could!


On the Road

Riley attended his first missions event this past Sunday! We traveled to Denham Springs, LA where Daniel and I manned a table at a WorldCrafts event and then I spoke about my time as a Journeyman. The trip began, though, with us visiting some of Daniel's 2nd cousins who live in Denham Springs. They came to the wedding, but that was the last time we saw them. We were excited about getting to catch up with them and introduce them to the newest Bramlett! Speaking of the newest Bramlett - here he is at the beginning of the trip...

We were so hopeful that he would sleep the whole way (1 1/2 hours)

He decided 30 minutes was enough! :)

My attempt at documenting a South Louisiana "fall"

Riley and Daniel's cousin, Patsy

Daniel's cousin, Carmen Jean (whose house we visited), has over the years done a ton of research regarding their family tree. Here is a picture she had of Daniel's father (Carl Riley) on her computer. No doubt that Riley is related to him! In fact, the minute Patsy and Carmen Jean saw Riley, they said, "That is Carl Riley Bramlett!"

The whole gang
(L to R) Ted, Patsy, Me, Daniel, Riley, Carmen Jean and Gary

And then it was off to the WorldCrafts event. Riley got hungry while we were manning our table...

Hey cutie!

We were assigned the China table. They didn't have an african table. People kept coming up and asking if we were currently serving in China or if we'd just recently come home. I had to keep saying, "I've never been to China" :) We sold a lot of items, though, so that was exciting!

There were two other journeygirls there and a lady who is currently serving at the Baptist Friendship House here in New Orleans

(L to R) Me, Stefanie (served in Pakistan), Kim (Baptist Friendship House), and Lindsey (served in India)

What a fun time! Even though it's been 5 years since I returned to the U.S. (so hard to believe it's been that long!), I still love telling people about my experiences in South Africa. I'm very thankful we had the opportunity to attend this event as a family. I pray that one day Riley will be passionate about making the Lord's name known among the nations!


Amazing Diana

As I mentioned in this post, Diana Bondurant took a ton of pictures of Riley by himself and then some of our family back in the middle of October. As promised, here are some of my favorites (for the complete album, go here)...

Left hand = best friend

Love that smile!

Fell asleep as soon as we went outside to take family pictures


Mom, who is that woman and why is she pointing that black thing at me???

Okay...I'll just look at you and smile :)

And my ALL TIME favorite....

THANK YOU SO MUCH, DIANA!!! We love the pictures, and we love you!

Halloween '09

So I mentioned in the last post that we went to an event at our church on Halloween. Instead of having a Fall Festival this year (like we have had the past few years), we decided to do a different type of outreach to our neighborhood. We began the evening with a cookout at the church (where we ate the pumpkin roll and other yummy goodies!). We then split into teams and went out into the neighborhood to go trick-or-treating. However, it was trick-or-treating with a twist. When the owner of the home gave the children candy, one of the adults would then give the owner a pre-wrapped (didn't want them to worry about the safety of it) muffin with information about our church and the Gospel. It was a neat way for the children to get to trick-or-treat and for the adults to make some connections with those living in the neighborhood around our church. Daniel and I didn't dress up this year, but our son was most definitely the cutest dressed baby this world has ever seen! :) Take a look for yourself...

"I'm not so sure about this..."

I mean, is that not the most adorable giraffe you've ever seen?!

Oh how he's going to love these pictures when he's 15!

"And this is supposed to be fun?"

Beautiful Cinderella (sweet Austyn) meets UPSET giraffe!

Calmed down and ready to go...okay, so maybe he's just calmed down :)

"Are all of these pictures necessary?"

What happens when a 3-month-old gets hungry while trick-or-treating. Good thing Daddy's strong!

Love these two so much!

Typical New Orleans road...I'm not sure if the picture does it justice, but this was a deep hole!

Our group walking around the neighborhood

The Bramlett Family on 10/31/09