Dear James and Jackson:
What a year 2013 was. We welcomed you into the world and our lives (and our sleep patterns) haven’t been the same since.
Since I last wrote to you, we had a Christmas celebration at our home with Granny and Grandpa Wilcox, your Aunt Annie, Jill, Norm and Larry — and of course, Mama and Daddy.
Your first Christmas menu was Granny’s ham and ham sauce. Always excellent.
Mama made KK’s Chicken Green Chili Stew — which was a huge hit. I’ll have to blog the recipe sometime.
I got a cookbook called The Homesick Texan for Christmas, along with a cutting board in the shape of Texas. Even if you are not a HOMESICK Texan like I am, I highly recommend it. One of my 2014 blogging projects it to make every recipe in the book (she says as she laughs).
To kick it off, I made Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese, Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits and Iron Pan Cornbread — which I used in the Biscuit-Cornbread Dressing. But not before Daddy, Annie and I devoured a good portion of each.
I also made some roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Cranberries and your basic green beans.
Your Daddy made brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Your Daddy loves to bake. The chocolate chip cookies were especially great this year.
I took absolutely no pictures of this meal. Despite the fact that we do take a lot of pictures, sometimes I am not as prepared as I would like to be. I really wish I would have taken a picture of the table your Aunt Annie so beautifully helped put together while your Mama was biting off ALMOST more than she could chew in the kitchen.
In any event, I think pictures of food are overrated, and we have to endure them too often on Facebook. I am trying to spare you. However, pictures of table-scapes are not overrated — and in my opinion, a great meal is not complete without a beautiful table. I inherited this from your KK.
Look out, if I ever get enough space to collect table linens …
Another highlight of the past week is the discovery of FaceTime. Jackson, you talked to KK, Grandpa Roy and you “met” your Uncle David, Aunt Bridget and your cousin’s Matthew and David. You were quite a ham. James, you were asleep, but you are also quite a ham. You have since enjoyed FaceTime with KK and Grandpa Roy a few times.
Last night was New Year’s Eve. We were leaving, what your Daddy and I consider to be the most magnificent year of our lives. You were born. September 16, 2013 will be forever etched in our minds as the day our lives changed forever — for the better.
Your Granny and Grandpa Wilcox came over to watch you while your Daddy and I went to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Nicola’s. We have taken you here with us almost every Friday night since you were born. The owners, John and Kate have become great friends — and John also happens to be Jackson’s Godfather.
The most memorable things about this evening … your Mama did not get to shower until minutes before leaving. Her hair was wet and shoved under a hat. She looked like she had not slept. She looked like … well, what one might call a disheveled mess.
And yet, she has never had a more perfect, more joyous, or more wonderful New Year’s Eve.
We stayed at the restaurant until around 10:30 — where we spent a great deal of time looking at pictures of you on our phone. It seems ridiculous, I know, but you are both so stinkin’ cute.
We came home to two very awake little boys. After some cajoling and rocking, you were both fast asleep in your bassinets.
I rang in 2014 in the living room with your Daddy. We watched the ball drop, we kissed and your Mama promptly went to pump before heading to bed.
While I was pumping, I scrolled through pictures of you and came across this picture. These sleepers have long since left your drawer …
And then I came across these, taken just last week …
I cried tears of joy looking a my beautiful baby dumplings. One year ago last night — I wrote this post. The only thing missing this year was Boomer … he was not right there with us. But we have Raylan — and despite the fact that he tries to escape daily — we love him.
Oh, and we did not ring in the new year with a champagne flute filled with Shiner Bock … we rang in the new year with … blood orange soda. We had already had wine at Nicola’s … and as you know, I had to pump.
I really cannot believe how big you are getting. James, you are in six month clothes for many things — and Jackson, you are not far behind.
After I finished pumping, I went to sleep — only to be awakened by James at 2:40am and then Jackson at 3:15am. Both of you ate and went right back to sleep … but as I was burping Jackson he proceeded to spit up all over my hair and down my sweatshirt.
I laughed. My hair was never really brushed all that well before washing it and leaving for dinner. It was more like what my Mawmaw would refer to as a “rat’s nest” — has anyone ever seen a rat’s nest?
I thought to myself as I hugged you — there is no sweeter smell right now than sour milk from my precious baby in the wee small hours of the first day of 2014. What a difference a year makes.
I can’t stop saying that …
At 6:30am your Daddy got up with Jackson while I was feeding James. He turned on the TV and said to me, “I have never been up before the Rose Bowl Parade started … “
Welcome to the world, Daddy! Welcome to the world!