Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sometimes it takes a baby . . .

So, this year my Christmas letter is by blog only. I lost my address list and have been running a week behind all month . . . so this is the best I can do. I managed to send out some cards, but am at least 25 short of what I usually send out (by what my poor brain can recall) . . . some years you hit a homerun and some years you are just happy to be on the team. This year it's the latter for me.

2012 has been full. Sometimes that's good and sometimes that fullness has felt heavy. One commitment that I made as our family grew was that I would be intentional about making sure each child felt as important as if they were the only one we had--programs, activities, birthdays, etc. Somedays I do better than others, but the older they get, the more complex this commitment gets. But even when it's hard, it's always a privilege to fall into bed exhausted each day trying to accomplish it.

Without further ado, here is a quick summary of why we are so blessed and so tired:

Caroline - 10 (still going on 20) - Caroline is still dancing, dancing, dancing. She is up to 5 days a week now and loving it. We are about to launch into our 3rd competitive season and she is really excited because this year she has added a duet and a solo to her list. Caroline started middle school this year at Pulaski Academy (my alma mater). One would think that middle school plus a new school might cause stress and be traumatic, but Caroline has jumped in with such excitement and loved every single second of it! She has made some amazing friends, cheered for the 5th grade football team and mastered changing classes and having a locker. It's crazy to think that I have middle schooler. As parents, we could NOT be more thrilled with her teachers and the administration and school. It's one thing to love a school as a student, but to be back as a parent and realized it IS as wonderful as I remembered is really special.

Tru - 8 - I guess about this time last year, we were really just starting the eye saga. Our sweet Tru Bud has been diagnosed with a couple of eye conditions/diseases that I never spell or pronounce correctly, but basically mean he has to wear hard contacts everyday. Oh the pain and tears shed trying to get the contacts in and out and train his eyes to tolerate them. But, trooper that he is, Tru has persevered and now prefers them most days because he can see better! In more fun news, Tru is taking Karate and has moved up to a Green Belt. He loves for us to drop him off and tell him to kick bootie. (Because he literally gets to and what kid doesn't giggle at that word?!) My favorite thing that Tru has done this year is discover his love for movie making. Using his iPod touch, he plans out a "story line" and then uses his Legos and an app to make short movies. They are surprisingly entertaining and usually come with a belly laugh from him.

Bo - 6 - Bo started kindergarten this year. It still makes my heart ache to type that. I miss his hugs every day. He has done well--better than we imagined he would given some of his sensory issues. He has an amazing teacher who has fallen in love with him and (thankfully) is a hugger (or at least doesn't mind that he needs a lot of them). One day I will do a post that explains more about the way Bo was fearfully and wonderfully made, but he is doing so well. Bo played soccer in the spring and was way more interested in chasing shadows and grasshoppers than the ball, but he had a great time doing it and loved his soccer uniform! This fall, his activities are school and occupational and speech therapies. He loves his therapists so much that he sees going as a treat for him, not hard work (although he does work hard). We are so proud of his perseverance and so proud of his love for and success at reading. I get such a thrill hearing him read not just books, but also sound out street signs and billboards as we drive.

Sascha - 4 - Well. Where to start with Sassy. She is . . . unique, fun, challenging, sweet, spirited. She is 100% her and I would not recommend crossing her :) Sascha is also dancing and this year we are letting her compete in a mini-company that will do a couple of local competitions. She LOVES dance and begs to go everyday. I canNOT wait to see those little bits on stage--she will do one lyrical (sweet and angelic dance) and one hip hop wearing sunglasses, a bomber jacket and combat boots. Tell me you are not also DYING to see that! We are working on channeling her, um, stubbornness towards good. We know that God created her just the way she is and we know that He has big plans for her. Somedays I wish I was more like her, to be honest. :)

Josh - Josh is still selling drugs (that's how Tru describes his job). He is really, really good at it too. This year, he has received several accolades from his VP, placed top 5 in a national contest over the summer, and became a field trainer. Josh's boss is very into physical fitness and that has launched Josh's love of running and exercising to a new level. Last month, his precious grandfather, Babe, died and we had the privilege of celebrating his life and legacy with Josh's family and their hometown.

Rachel - I am trying to set a record for how many miles I can put on the Suburban each week. (Total, our hunk of junk has 170,000). I have started working again, doing a few contract things from home, but in January I fo real go back to work doing marketing for Chick Fil A. Have cow, will travel is my new motto. I am excited and nervous at the same time . . . I am happy to use my brain and talk to adults and I think that I will be pretty good at this, but adding something else to my very full plate is a bit overwhelming. I know that God dropped this opportunity in my lap though, so I know that He will give me everything I need to accomplish it all.

And really, isn't that true for everything? He gives us all we need for this life. And He knows what we need . . . not just because He's God (although that is definitely enough), but also because He was man. He lived here for 33 (or so) years and KNOWS what we go through. He was tempted and hurt just like us. God could have delivered us however He wanted to. He could have sent Jesus as a man and allowed Him to have a brief ministry and then save us. He could have chosen NOT to save us. But in His infinite wisdom, He chose to send a baby. Because there is something about a baby that softens even the hardest of hearts and most cynical of cynics. There is something about a baby that heals wounds and starts the mending of relationships. The newness of life. The promise of a future. The innocence and wash of love. There is just something about a baby. Glory to the newborn king. Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.

Merry Christmas to all of you! We hope that you have a wonderful 2013!

Lots of love,
The Bass Family

Sascha, Bo, Tru, (cousin) Davis, and Caroline

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

sometimes words fail

have you ever just stared and stared at something, willing it to be different?

i have found myself staring at the computer or my phone many times today hoping and praying that what i see will change.

there is a girl . . . i guess we are women, but whatever . . . there is a precious woman named sarah who is in an icu bed in austin, texas fighting for her life. her 3 children (the youngest turned 2 this week) are at home with grandparents missing their mommy. her friends and parents are holding prayerful, vigilant watch by her bed. and many of us who know her through so and so or from this or that are staring at our phones and computers waiting for updates. we are all begging God to let this be a Christmas miracle. we are baffled that this could be for good. we are aching for her family and close friends.

please join all of us and pray for sarah henry. pray for God to intervene. pray for a miraculous healing. pray for Him to be the Prince of Peace in this situation. fall on your knees and beg that her 3 children will be spared the pain of losing their mother. nothing is too big for God.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I was 21 the first time I met Babe. My Pop had been gone for a little over 3 years and I hugged Babe's neck a little tighter than I might have for a first time hug because he smelled just like Pop. I, along with everyone else who ever met Babe, was instantly smitten with him. He had an ease about him, a familiarity even if you had just met; he abounded in kindness and had a laugh that was so contagious I snicker now just thinking about it. And oh could he tell a story.

Tom White was a legend in his own time. The kind of man they write about. The kind of man a small town named 2 things after because he was that special and that influential. To us kids, he was known as Babe, the grandfather that handed out money and Sprite and wisdom. To much of Moultrie, Georgia, he was known as Coach. A lover of football and education, Babe invested in so many and no one was a bigger Colquitt County Packer fan. The Packers are pretty big fans of him too, naming their beloved football field after their beloved Coach. And up until about 8 years ago, if Babe wasn't talking football, he was talking running. Josh says much of his childhood was spent with Nonnie and Babe at road races that Babe couldn't get enough of. The man ran the Peachtree 10K on the 4th of July every summer until his legs literally couldn't carry him. You could be sure to find several pairs of running shoes by the back door . . . and even more sure that they would be full of baby powder. About 13 years ago, the town of Moultrie put in a running trail, and to Babe's great surprise and delight, named it for him. The man is an institution in South Georgia.

Nonnie will tell you that she fell in love with Babe in the 2nd grade. And she has loved him ever since. She caught his eye after the war and they have remained quite the pair. They honestly had the kind of love you usually only read about. I never heard them really use a cross word with each other. And all over the house are notes from him to her tucked away or taped to a mirror. Nonnie has cared faithfully for Babe over the last several years that he has been sick. And Saturday night, her grandsons moved a recliner next to his bed so she could keep vigil comfortably. In sickness and in health, 'til she was was generous enough to release him so only death could part them.

No child ever went without shoes or a coat if Babe caught wind of it. No person was ever treated as less than. No one ever walked in his door without being greeted and attended to. Babe was a generous soul. A lover of God and faithful servant. He and Nonnie raised 4 wonderful children who have given back to him in this time without a second thought. Beth and John live in town and have been there lovingly caring for him in every way imaginable. Mike visits faithfully from close by, and Ann (who lives in Valdosta) even bought a house across the street so she could be more available to help. They would all tell you it's been their greatest privilige.

Early this morning, Babe took his last labored breath. I honestly believe he entered into glory wearing a new pair of Nikes (pronounced as if it rhymes with yikes, by the way). I can imagine him running through the streets of gold, free from the body that had failed him. I am quite sure he has held an audience with the saints and told them some great stories, maybe a few of them knew enough to call "George" on him every now and then. Most of all, I am convinced that he heard our God greet him, "Well done, good and faithful servant" because there have been few better or more faithful than he.

Babe, thanks for loving me as one of your own all these years. I am a better person for having known you and been taught by you. I always think of you when I run and I look forward to a day when we can run together. Your legacy and your love will go on and we can never thank you enough for being who you were. I love you, Babe, and I count it a true honor to have called you grandfather for the last 15 years.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bo Bo

2 weeks ago we celebrated our sweet, sweet Bo Bo. This post has been in my head and heart for the last 14 days, I am just not in a daily blog place . . . wish I were.

Anywho, we had a blast celebrating him! He is 150% into superheroes . . . Batman and Spiderman in particular. So we took a chance on a nice Arkansas, fall day and booked a pavilion at a local park. Thank the Lord the day was BEAUTIFUL and the kids ran around on the playground and fought off bad guys. I had this really cute idea to have Josh or Caroline steal the cake and let the kids fight them with silly string for it, but I got a mild case of stage fright and it wasn't pulled off quite the way I imagined it. Oh well. The kids loved the park and the cake and that's all that matters!!

Then, on Thursday, we woke Bo up singing Happy Birthday and gave him his presents from us along with the traditional Bass family donut breakfast. His presents were ALL Spiderman themed and he was pretty darn happy about it!

I checked that angel out for lunch (at 10:15, because that is his lunch, so really, I checked him out for brunch!) and we met my parents at Cracker Barrel . . . he had planned his birthday lunch 6 weeks earlier!! Can you even stand how cute he is?

Finally, some therapy and Razorback Pizza and one more Spiderman cupcake and this birthday boy was worn out and ready for bed!

Oh. My. Heart.

Sweet Bo, you are such a light in our family. You have passion and joy that are hard to contain. I am so thankful I get to me your mommy. You have taught me so much about perseverance and functioning even under less than ideal circumstances. I am so proud of how hard you work in therapy to learn how to express yourself and to overcome your sensory issues. Mrs Lauren and Mrs Natalie are always bragging on you.

I can't believe that you are 6 years old and in kindergarten! I am blown away with how well you are adjusting and doing. You are so smart and a great reader and Mrs. Shelton says that you work hard to please and do the right thing. I love the way you bound out of bed every morning, ready to tackle the day with that great smile on your face. It melts my heart.

I know that God has great things for you. You win hearts over left and right and dive head first into what is asked of you. I cannot wait to see the man he has created you to be . . . and each step along the way thrills me too!

Looking at the picture of us in your bed cuddling reminds me of another thing I am grateful for . . . as I learn more and more about the way God made you, I am SO incredibly thankful that He allowed you to need hugs and snuggles to ease your sensory issues. What a gift to know that my touch actually benefits you . . . your touch is also soothing and comforting to me. A hug from you can turn my day around.

Bo, we are so so glad you are our Bo Bass and are so incredibly proud of you. Happy 6th Birthday!!!
I love you to pieces!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


we have been under the weather for weeeeeeks now and i'm not gonna lie--i'm so sick of it, i have lost the ability to use proper grammar and capitalization.

we've gone from the great cough of 2012 to two rounds of strep to the WORST sinus infection/cold I have ever heard josh have (there are animals from near and really, really far who have heard his nose blowing and thought they were being wooed to mate). now caroline has some stomach bug-like thing that i think i may have had over the weekend . . . no. fun.

so--in order to NOT bum yall out with my sob story and pity party, here is a link to a blog i wrote for our church's women's blog. i meant it back in the spring when i wrote it . . . and yesterday, i chuckled when i read it because i needed the reminder right. then. too.

Enough blog link

Thursday, October 4, 2012

So . . . .

So . . . remember that post where I told you I was done with facebook and asked you all to subscribe to my blog?

Yeah . . . apparently that's not so easy to do and I can't figure it out either.

And I realized that there are some other reasons that staying on facebook makes sense.

So . . . let's just pretend that I never wrote it and claim a woman's prerogative to change her mind.

On an unrelated note, I am a big fan of The Big Mama blog--see side bar for link--and I met one of her best friends last night which (of course) means that she and I are now friends. Or friends of friends. Or still total strangers. (Or maybe I just seem creepy now since I readily admitted to him that I preordered her book.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Favor

So . . . I started reading this book called Happier At Home. It's by the lady who wrote the Happiness Project and it's not so much about reaching a happiness goal as it is finding ways to be happier where ever you find yourself in life. I'm not finished with the book (or that goal), but so far, I would totally recommend it. And I am finding out some stuff about myself--good and bad . . . I am discovering that as much as I feel accomplished by the multitasking (and I am proud of my binder and laminated daily lists and all), I actually like things simpler. I have declared Tuesdays to be no activity days and instead we play at our house, outside, with neighbors, have a friend over, and (most importantly) eat together as a complete family at a reasonable hour and have time for games or conversation. It's my new favorite day of the week. And I have started my fall cleaning and baffled Josh by my giddiness over empty drawers in the kitchen. (It means we don't have junk we don't need crowding the drawers. Happy sigh.)

By now, you are either bored. Or done. Or wondering why I am telling you all of this. (Again) And I DO have a point. I took a 3 day Facebook fast and guess what I discovered? Facebook stresses me out. Not all of the time . . . just when I read that 16 people on my feed have barfing kids and 23 have kids with other illnesses. Or when I see a post that thanks everyone for their birthday wishes and I know that I never got back on to say Happy Birthday. Or when I sit in carpool line and read post after post when I could be working on something productive and I wish I had that 25 minutes back. Facebook is a great thing, but when I reflected over the last few days, my blog was the only real reason that I had for not taking (yet another, I know) official break from it.

Hence, this post title--A Favor. I know (because google gives me blog stats) that MOST of you lovely readers click on my blog from my Facebook link. And I am grateful. But, I want to keep blogging without still FBing, so . . . would it be a huge imposition if we let technology work for us both? If you will subscribe to this blog (to the right of the post), instead of seeing it on FB, a link will show up by email. I want to continue giving you useless information, sharing shameless updates about my brood and pushing my agendas on you (hahahaha), but I also want to shut down my facebook for now.

Why not just ignore fb, you ask (or maybe you don't, but I'm going to answer as if you did)? Because I am personality defunct. I am unable to because what if someone might have asked me something by message or post and I am letting them down by not answering. I have some perfectionist in me and just have to be all or nothing about some things, so I guess I am choosing nothing for now.

So just to humor myself, I will leave this on my wall for a few days before bidding adieu to the great book of faces. And, until I return, happy birthday and congratulations and I'm so happy or sad or excited or bummed for whatever you share there!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Project Zero

Today was one of those days . . . it started with a root canal, there were some bright spots (lunch with my mom), but mainly, it was one of those days that felt like a root canal--fighting kids, frustration trying to get some stuff finished up around the house, and I'm trying not to give into a cold, but by late afternoon, it always seems to be winning. So at 5:45 this evening, I was not excited to be loading my kids back into the car to head to (of all places to go with a headache) Larry's Pizza.

Then we got there and my attitude was quickly readjusted. We weren't at Larry's to meet my parents or some friends or just to enjoy an evening as a family. We were there to meet the foster child we've been paired with in a mentorship program. The program matches kids who are in the foster care system and are waiting to be adopted. These kids' parents' rights have been permanently terminated and they are very aware that they are available for a forever family but are still waiting.

Right. Finding throw pillows for my bed suddenly seems trivial, very, very trivial.

Our sweet girl (I will call her A here to protect her) has been in the system for 6 years. I'm still fuzzy on all I'm allowed to say, but she hasn't been living with Daddy Warbucks waiting for him to locate her real parents. And when we met her, she looked at her case worker and said, "Where is my adoptive family? I'm ready to meet them. I really want to be adopted."

Broke my heart.

Later, her case worker told me that she was in the final stages of being adopted when something happened and the family wouldn't commit to her anymore. Can you even imagine? The one thing you want more than anything is handed to you and then yanked away. And you're in middle school. And you have been abused and abandoned. And it seems like everyone at school has at least one parent that will be there past their 18th birthday. And the house you live in today might not be the one you live in tomorrow.

A root canal sounds like a spa day compared to the life A calls normal.

Project Zero used to be called Pulaski County Adoption Coalition (i think). They are working to raise awareness about adoption and their biggest goal is to have NO adoptable child waiting in foster care for his/her family. Go to their website: and learn more about them. It's an AMAZING organization created and driven by foster moms who decided fostering and adopting wasn't all they could do (though they are still doing those as well).

About a year ago, I read a book called Kisses from Katie . . . I ignored my family for a couple of days because I couldn't put it down. Basically, Katie is around 24 now and is living in Africa running a nonprofit organization and caring for the very poor and the very sick and raising the 13 girls she has taken in. It got to me. Then I read a few more books that also got to me. I started wondering what we could do to make a difference. I'm not going to bore you with all the details, but I wanted to foster or adopt or something. And after a lot of discussion and prayer and wondering and talking, Josh and I still weren't sure what we were supposed to do. I mean, the Bible calls ALL of us to care for the orphans. Then, "randomly", I got a call from a girl (lady, woman, whatever, she's my age and I still say girl) who was starting a program through Project Zero. It was a step down from foster care and rather than try to explain it, I'll let you read what their website says about it:

Mission Statement
The mission of Project Zero's Mentor Program is to bring caring individuals from our community and unite them with adoptable children growing up in foster care.  We want to provide each child with a mentor to support and encourage them through various transitions in their life.
The Need
Arkansas currently has 500 children available for adoption through DCFS; 160 reside in Pulaski County.  Our children need stability and permanency.  Many foster children spend time in shelters or group homes, and often transition from placement to placement.  They struggle with the lack of stability and consistency.  We feel mentors can provide this stability that our children so desperately need.
Program Information
Project Zero has created a one on one mentoring program to unite adoptable children with caring individuals.  The program will provide the child with a long-term, stable support system.  The process consists of completing an application, performing background checks, and In Home Consultation, and a staffing with DCFS.  Project Zero will walk you through every step and be there to answer all of your questions.
For additional information or to get involved in this exciting opportunity, please contact Project Zero's Mentoring program director Amy Smith at
Amy had barely finished telling me about the program before I was saying, "YES! YES! This is exactly where we are right now. Yes! Send me the info, please!!!" I was on cloud 9 because it felt like a perfect fit. It has taken several months to go through the paper work and the red tape, but tonight, we finally met A, the sweet little girl that we get to love on. We do not (as of now) feel like we are called to adopt her and the amazing people at Project Zero and DHS are not pressuring us to. Our job, our privilege is to love her and provide some stability and affection and prayer and support while she waits for her forever family.  And it's not always going to be easy--I know--the heartache and the logistics of adding someone to our family and schedule are going to be challenging. But, oh man, she is worth it. We get to tell her that God loves her and then we get to SHOW her His love with fun things like skating and shopping and going to the Museum of Discovery. We will get to celebrate birthdays and accomplishments and hold her hand when she moves foster homes again. We get to pray for her and beg God to bring a forever family to her (even though those in the program say it is highly unlikely she will be adopted because of her age).

So here's my challenge to you--do you have a couple of hours every week or once a month to give to a child who needs some stability in his/her life? Can you be a cheerleader for someone who is on a team they didn't choose to be on? Can you walk through life with a precious child who has been broken by her own parents and is floating around in a broken system hoping against hope to feel whole and wanted and loved? Maybe you don't feel like fostering or adoption is right for you, but you want to give more than money towards the orphans around you. Think about mentoring.

When we left tonight, A said she wanted to come home with us. Her case worker and I explained (again) that's not the way this relationship works and she seemed to accept that and was smiles and hugs as we waved goodbye. I felt like I was going to throw up. She barely knew us, but she wants to be wanted so badly. Later, as I laid in bed with Sascha, I felt all these emotions swirling around me--sadness for A, gratefulness for our life, a strong urge to protect my kids yet a compulsion to carefully expose them to the real world around them. And I wondered, "Why us?" Why did God choose for my kids to be born to 2 parents who love them immensely and want the best for them? Why did A's family mistreat her so badly and consistently that she would be taken from them and sent to live with strangers because that was the better situation?

I don't know all the answers. I know that I am grateful and convicted and that somewhere in my Bible it says something along the lines of, to whom much is given, much is expected. And it also tells us to care for the least of these. I'm not going to change the world by taking A rollerskating. Heck, I'm not even guaranteed to change her life. But I will go down trying and pray that one day when she is a vet or a teacher or a lawyer like she dreams of now, she will know that the Bass family loves her.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sassy is 4 . . . sniff, sniff, sniff

I really am so, so thankful to have a happy, healthy, thriving little girl. I have enough kids, enough friends, and read enough blogs to know that it is a gift and a miracle and a blessing.

That being said (imagine the most pitiful voice ever), "WHY DOES MY BABY HAVE TO GROW UP?!" I guess because Sascha is the last, every milestone is a little more bittersweet. (Of course some milestones are also a little more exciting . . . NO MORE POTTY TRAINING EEEEVVVVEEERRRR, etc.) This week, however, I've been sentimental and a little teary. Four. That's a big one to me. Three is still toddlery . . . still talking disjointedly, and my 1st 3 kids were still in diapers to some degree on their 3rd birthdays. 3 was still kind of babyish. But 4 . . . nope, 4 is preschool. 4 is a big kid. When Caroline turned 4, I was pregnant with Bo and when Tru turned 4, I was pregnant with Sascha, and when Bo turned 4, I had a 2 year old. But poor Sascha has to live with the curse of reminding me that my baby years are behind me, that life is moving forward to a new and exciting and fun phase, and that we are leaving behind years of sweet and memorable and amazing moments with littles.

Yesterday, we blew it out! We opened presents, ate at Cracker Barrel, shopped, went to the movies, got cupcakes, went to Razorback Pizza where we ate pizza, cake, played games and opened more presents. And we showered her with kisses all day. She was SOOOOO excited and told everyone she saw, "I four today, it's my birthday." Adorable and exhausting and fun!

I can't remember what time Tru has karate each day, I forget why I walk into a room, and sometimes, I look up in my car, and don't recall one moment of the drive. BUT, I can remember smells and emotions and vivid details from each of my kids' births. Sascha's day was no exception. The night before, uncertain of gender or names, Josh and I sat around and talked about who the little peanut in my belly was going to be. Josh was CONVINCED she was another boy, so he "generously" agreed to let me choose the name if it was a girl. (Side note, he had picked the other 3 kids' names!) We woke up early the next morning and were out the door by 5:30 a.m.

By lunch time, this precious little bundle was in my arms. The overwhelming joy I felt hearing her cries is indescribable. Second to that joy, was the bliss in hearing Bryan say, "It's a GIRL!!" I cried and told Josh, "I didn't realize how much I wanted her to be a girl!!" Then Bryan asked, "So, who is this?" and I knew that I was looking at my sweet Sascha Jane. I didn't care that no one else had ever caught my passion for that name or that no one knew how to spell it--she was Sascha Jane. And I laugh at least once a week at how PERFECT that name fits her! (Moment of truth, I googled her name a couple of times to make sure Sascha was the way I wanted to spell it!)

 I was also pretty stinkin' sure that our little family was finally complete. 

Sascha, you not only completed our family, you have filled it with laughter and adventure and sass and love. You embrace life in a way I wish I could emulate, and then bottle and sell. We all need a little Sassy in us. You aren't afraid to tackle scary things or hard things (as long as it's not an automatic flushing toilet). You can make friends with anyone and could talk to a wall. You have passion and determination that are next to impossible to move, and while there are times (like at Target or a restaurant or pretty much anywhere else in public) that your stubborn nature is humbling, I pray that we can harness it and use it for good and for God. I see big things in your future--you are loved and adored by so many and could charm the socks off of anyone. I love to watch you dance and listen to you sing in your bed. I love how you will try to eat anything we put in front of you. Your imagination is amazing--you entertain me as much as you are entertaining yourself. I am so jealous and inspired by your resolve to be yourself and I think it's great that no one can influence your fashion or your opinions. Successful people stand out in a crowd without trying and that's you. You can read people really well (especially me) and seem to know how to work the room, and despite being babied around here, you have learned to care for those smaller than you and are a baby favorite with Collins and Davis. Caroline and Tru and Bo all fight over you, and I take some small solace and victory in knowing that for a little bit longer, I am still your favorite. Being your mommy is one of the biggest gifts and blessings in my life. And those chubby little arms can choke me with hugs for forever as far as I am concerned. I am super thankful for this year just me and you. I promise that while I will always mourn these lasts, I will never hold you back from launching forward, because, girl, you are going places and I don't want to miss it! I love you, sweet Sascha Jane. You are exactly who God created you to be and I love that you are sweet and spicy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I once heard someone say that motherhood is not for the faint of heart.

Can I get an amen?

It is SO not for the faint of heart, instead . . .

It's smiling through clenched teeth at the old lady in grocery store who tells you (over the screams of your child) to "enjoy every minute because it goes so fast" and praying she's right, only to peek in at that same sleeping child hours later and beg God to make it slow down.

It's trading in your cute, clean car for a big, messy, smelly suburban.

It's knowing hurt and happiness and fear on levels you couldn't have imagined existed.

It's realizing you are completely capable of going nuts on a kid who hurts your baby (or toddler or elementary schooler or middle schooler).

It's the fulfillment of every "will never" that you have made since childhood . . . I will never say that to my kids, my kids will never act like that in Target, I will never annoy people with kid pictures and stories, I will never admit my parents were right.

It's willing away tears and forcing a smile to convince them that everything is ok even though you aren't convinced yourself.

It's doing just about anything for a smile.

It's trusting God with the most precious thing you have ever been given.

It's dying to get a break from them and feeling homesick as soon as you are alone.

It's realizing you will never sleep as deeply, watch the news the same, pray as intently, love as purely.

It's being thankful for all the hurts and mistakes you had and made if they might help your child avoid similar ones, or, at the very least, know that you really do understand.

It's feeling pain for strangers because, no matter what the differences, there is a unifying bond shared by moms.

It's knowing the difference between the I'm mad and I'm sad and I'm hurt cries.

It's being willing to be the crazy mom at the doctor to hear them say there is nothing wrong.

It's simultaneously hating that your child has challenges that not everyone else has and knowing at your core you wouldn't change a thing about him.

It's understanding God and His love and His grace and His mercy in a new and overwhelming way.

It's the best, worst, easiest, hardest, most unnatural, yet intuitive job I have ever had.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Beach part deux

Pretty sure I have a decent case of adult onset ADD these days . . . I start unloading the dishwasher and think about the laundry and pull clothes out of the dryer only to remember I need to send an email and somehow, usually end up tripping over the open dishwasher and thinking bad words as I rub my shin and try to remember what I came in the kitchen for in the first place.

The beach part 2 blog is no exception. I fully intended on writing this the very next day, but . . . SQUIRREL! (Only people who have seen Up can truly appreciate that.)

So . . . we loaded the burb back up (this time with a pack-n-play and minus dance costumes) and headed to Moultrie, GA to see Josh's side of the family. We were all well (yay) and excited to spend a few days in Mo-town before heading back to the beach (ah, what a hard life we were living).

But, alas, the curse of the sick followed us and poor John Tyler was running 102 fever by dinner. Such a bummer. Sweetest kid ever, though, because until you picked him up and burned your hands (it got up to 104 I think), you would never have known he was sick. And, this is the gospel truth, I was so wanting him to figure out that Aunt Rachel is the bomb (or wants to be the bomb aunt) that I even shared a Frostie with his sick self. I figure at 11 months, ice cream is a great bribery tool.

We had fun seeing friends and family in Georgia and after a couple of days there, we repacked and reloaded and made our way to Amelia Island. The weather was great, the beach was quiet and fun, and the company was (of course) awesome. We played games and body surfed and boogie boarded with waves that were taller than all of us. Josh, Will, Megan and I spent a morning stuffing grapes into our faces and crying laughing at how we kind of looked like Whos from Whoville. We bonded over some unwelcome house guests and the maintenance men the resort sent to help escort our furry friends out. We ate too much and Megan and I got a great massage. We enjoyed the people so much both weeks, that I only busted out one of the three books I brought one time and I didn't get more than 2 pages in before deciding it was more fun to hang out.

John Tyler's fever went away the day before we left, but he was a blast and a doll the whole time anyway. It was a great week and we were very sad to leave!!

 Frostie time

 best buds with big muscles

 Josh and the kids don't like when I put them in matching outfits for the beach or Christmas--so I trick them and pack blended outfits . . . hahahaha

 aren't we purty?

 The Southwells

 Mimi and Grandpa

 sweet kiddos and fun times

Johnny T with his Uncle Josh

Friday, September 7, 2012


I. Love. Routine. I will go ahead and fess up to the fact that I like a plan and some realistic expectations. I have been known to make a trip folder with directions, confirmation numbers, packing lists, etc. So, as much as I love summer and I am learning to relax (and yes, I realize how pitiful that sounds), I get a little giddy for some routine.

I also kind of love the smells of fall and the feel of a cool, crisp autumn morning. I yearn for that first Saturday of the season that it actually feels like football weather.

Well, lucky me, because post-Labor Day around here means routine. (And hopefully, before too long, it will also mean cooler weather. I am almost insulted to see 100 degree temperatures in the month of September!) We are starting with regular dance classes, new karate schedule, school is feeling normal and not jolting . . . we are moving towards my fashion happy place--sweatshirts, scarfs, sweaters, jeans and boots. Hooray for Fall!!

And, yay, Caroline was able to be at school all week! That cough was awful. Honestly, it was one of the sickest times I have seen her and she told me she had moments where she thought she would never feel better again. There were times during her week off that (minus the fact that she was sick), I enjoyed her being home . . . I love my Care Bear and it was nice to cuddle with her sometimes and watch a Baby Story on TLC. But, it has been great to get her back in school and (for the first week of the new year) start to figure out our new normal. Like today, I went on a walk with my sister after all the peeps were dropped off (stroller in tow, of course) and then Sassy and I hit up Target and the car wash and then came home to do some house work and cuddle in the big chair in Mommy's room to watch Max and Ruby. The bunnies used to drive me crazy, but I have to say, as my family has grown, I believe that Ruby is actually quite a gem. We have also done some dancing, some house playing and now she is playing Doodle Fit while I blog. This life is one I can definitely enjoy.

I have a few things on my blogging mind to do over the next few days, weeks, and months. I have some posts brewing inside of me and I am trying to figure out if they are for public consumption. I am doing some soul searching, some personal reflecting and planning and a little 9 month challenge out of a book I am reading. Basically, if I can carve out some time each day, the blog material above and beyond what my rugrats provide, will be flowing.

Until then, though, I leave you with these 2 flashbacks for me. Caroline is cheering for my alma mater. It is ca-razy to see her in a PA uniform. Fun and weird and (honestly) not something I really imagined as a kid because I hadn't thought about living in Little Rock as a grown up. But, I am thrilled watching her make her own happy memories somewhere that I loved so much.

And, Josh has introduced Caroline (and by default Sascha) to Saved by the Bell. Netflix is so fun. Caroline has traded Ant Farm and other recent Disney tween shows for the kids at Bayside and sometimes I "force" myself to sit through an episode with her--nostalgia is awesome!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hurricanes and Turtles and Coughs--oh my!

Today needs to be a productive day for me, so in the spirit of list making and task accomplishing, here is a brief rundown of things we have going on today . . . 

#1-Hurricane/Tropical Depression Isaac is heading our way and we are expecting up a LOT of rain. Which, according to one report I saw, sounds good considering the drought conditions we've been under, but may be bad because the land is so dry it may have trouble accepting the water so we could have flash flooding. That makes me think of how I feel somedays when I finally lay down at night and am exhausted but can't fall asleep.

#2-Sascha and Josh found a turtle. I am a turtle's biggest cheerleader against the hare and when I see one trying to cross the street, but I was a little less than thrilled when Sascha brought him in in a box full of leaves. I am currently listening to him crunch said leaves and planting ideas in Sascha's head that his mommy is looking for him and this is just a play date. I have nothing against our little friend, but I know who will end up worrying about and caring for little T and that person's name doesn't start with a J or an S. It's kind of like when Josh grounds one of our kids from their IPod or TV right before he goes out of town and leaves me with no electronic babysitter (yes, I said it) for when the afternoons get looooong. Great in principle, but I am not happy with having to execute it.

#3-Caroline's cough is better. The doctor cleared her to go back to school tomorrow after missing an entire week. Bless. Her. Heart. Her teachers have been super sweet working with us and encouraging her. They haven't been able to definitively say what it is making her sick and ended up giving her a steroid and an antibiotic to wipe whatever it is out. Did you know steroids make people moody? Her head may have spun around last night over a discussion about what she could snack on. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Barky the Seal

If you came to my house today, you would think we went to Sea World and made off with a seal. Poor Caroline has croup--or something croupy. On Wednesday, I thought she was being dramatic . . . on Thursday, it was kind of funny (she thought so too) . . . on Friday, she started feeling lousy . . . on Monday, we took her to the doctor . . . now it's Wednesday, and she seems worse than ever, so we are trudging back to the doctor. I hate it when she's sick--when any of my munchkins are, really. I wish I sounded like the seal and she was at school having fun.

Which reminds me of our beach trip . . . the urgent care clinic beach trip . . . which reminds me, I never did a beach post, so . . .

Josh and I loaded up our car on a Friday night (and I mean LOADED UP because we were going to be gone for 2 WEEKS and Caroline had a dance competition in the middle of it all). I cleaned the house and got everyone's travel bag ready for the car and made sure our hotel bag was easy to grab. About the time we were ready to buckle up, Sascha said her head hurt, so I did what every good mom does in a moment like that and ignored her. 'Til we got to Dumas and she said her tummy hurt. And she had that look on her face. You know the look--the one that says this isn't going to turn out well. We pulled over somewhere for gas and to let her get out and get some air and I thought, "Hmmm, she's pretty warm." Yep. 103. I'll save you all the details, but PRAISE THE LORD, she managed to make it to the hotel before she started throwing up. Now, I'm not gonna lie, and if you know me, it's not news, but I HATE VOMIT. DETEST IT. Mine, my kids, someone on tv, reading about someone 3 states over vomiting. Whatever. I hate it, so I was a little bummed that our wonderful beach vaca was beginning to look like a crash diet for the family. Little bit drifted off to sleep and then woke up SCREAMING around 3 that her head hurt and she was going to "FROW UP ADEN!!!!" The head hurting part was excruciating though, and  we realized it might be driving the barfing. Once again, I'm not gonna lie, I did the WORST thing any mom can do at 3 in the morning while sleep deprived with a sick child--I googled her symptoms.

Don't google symptoms. Never. Google. Symptoms. Because brain tumor is ALWAYS on the list of possibilities. And in Sascha's case, so was strep, which is what the on call nurse at our pediatric clinic thought it was, so . . . Josh can now recommend an excellent urgent care clinic in Mobile. Strep was confirmed (although he cautioned that mono was on the rise and we should have her reseen if the antibiotics didn't work). Ibuprofen, zofran and amoxicillin kicked in and she was functioning and not puking, so on we went.

Did I mention we were meeting my sister, her husband and her 6 month old baby at the beach? Don't you know they were SOOOOOOOOO happy to see us with streppy-strepperson?

Sascha eventually rallied and we really ended up having an amazing trip (minus Tru's NASTY ear infection and the fact that baby Davis ended up at another urgent care clinic with a fever and ear infection--yay, it wasn't strep). The 4th of July fireworks were sooo fun. Bo LOOOOVED the ocean and boogie boarding. Sascha was not as much of a fan . . . except for Caroline, we have discovered that our kids don't love the beach til age 4. Not sure why. We had such a great house that was bayside on a pond so the kids could fish--it was catch and release and I swear that they all caught the same fish. I wanted to mark it with a Sharpy marker, but Josh wouldn't let me--something about ruining the magic of it. There were 2 golf carts that took us everywhere we needed to go (including the grocery store--I love grocery shopping by golf cart). Life just slowed down and it was great. And for reasons I am not ready to express on the web and some I can't even verbalize, just the very fact that we were all there together was special beyond words.

The week was over all to fast, but the Basses were not done living the beach life . . . beach part 2 to come. (Can you even stand it?!) But til then, here are some highlight photos

 Poor baby didn't feel like sitting around food, but hated being left out too.

 One of my favorites--just trust me

 The fish

 The fish (again)--I imagine him thinking, "SERIOUSLY?! AGAIN?!"


 The ocean was crystal clear ALL WEEK. It looked like a swimming pool. And isn't that little rafter cute?

 Tru and Papa

 Heading to Baytown for fireworks

 My real kids

 Oh how I love this mess

 (she chose a balloon animal--she did NOT want her face painted)

 Once Aunt Kristin suggested a little kiddie pool for Sassy to sit in at the beach, she was much happier!

 the boy loves his flippers

 tired babies

 the end of a great week, despite a rocky start!!


 Could you not EAT HIM UP?!

 The Presleys

Funny thing about this picture . . . we put our names on the list at a restaurant and had less than an hour to take pictures on the beach (it's called multi-tasking with kids). As we were taking the BIG family picture, they paged us. I'm not sure if you have ever tried to get 6 adults and 5 kids to smile at once, but it ain't easy. Especially when you keep hearing your name being called over the beach. The picture I really wish we had was the one of Josh running like an Olympian to confirm our seat!!