5 Years Later

So this is a bit late, but better late than never. I think this baby has stolen all of my motivation to write. Hopefully it will come back once the baby comes, because I enjoy it so much and have so much I would like to write and capture for our family.

Anyways, this post goes out to the one and only AUSTIN BAUM aka my hubby aka Tootsie! It is hard to believe that it has been five years since we were married. I could have never imagined the journey that the Lord would have taken us on for these five years, and I am so grateful that we get to enjoy this journey of life together.

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Serious faces on our night out during our most recent anniversary trip to Flagstaff.

Highlights from the past 5 years:

1. Lots of traveling opportunities. We stole an idea from our friends to celebrate our anniversaries. Each year we switch who plans the anniversary. We always go out of town and kids are not allowed. This makes for fun surprises each year and lots of adventure. So far we have made it to Hawaii for our honeymoon, the Spice capital Zanzibar, the beautiful Sedona, the beaches of San Carlos, and the land of the beautiful pines Flagstaff. Each one has been so special and fun. We also grab a Christmas tree decoration at each one so over the years we have a momento from each adventure. Most importantly quality time to reflect on the year and spend intentional time with each other.

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Honeymooning in Hawaii. November 2008.

2. Living in Africa. We had no idea when we got married that the Lord would call us to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Our year there was such a formative year in our marriage. I recommend moving to a foreign country or at least out of your home town to many young married now as I really think this is what has given us such a solid foundation as a married couple. *This is not for everyone but there are many I think it is very appropriate for.* Anyways, besides the privilege of being able to experience the beauty of a small part of Africa, being apart of an AWESOME school for missionary kids, getting to be apart of Young Life Africa in person, and being able to learn and appreciate Tanzanian culture, we both grew in the Lord so much. One day maybe we will be called back to Dar, or to another place. We wouldn’t be opposed to it. :  )

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Christmas in Dar es Salaam. December 2009.

3. Moving into our dream neighborhood. Since before we were married we talked about moving into Winterhaven, the neighborhood in Tucson where everyone goes to see Christmas lights. After patience and waiting on His timing, this dream became a reality. We have LOVED being apart of this awesome neighborhood. I have never known so many neighbors in my life, or been a part of a neighborhood that is so alive and active.

4. Having Baby James and Baby Baum #2 on the way. We always knew we wanted kids and we are so thankful for Baby James and this soon to be baby Baum. Being a parent has been an amazing, challenging, exhausting and full of joy all at once. We wouldn’t change it for the world. Parenting brings out the best and the worst in everyone. It takes a lot of love, patience and prayer to make it through but the joy far out weighs the challenges.

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Family Pumpkin Patch Picking. October 2013.

5. Ups and Downs. There is no doubt that in marriage there are ups and downs. Truthfully, this year has been difficult for us. This pregnancy I have been SO EMOTIONAL. Yes, admittedly I am the crazy pregnant lady. This is not easy on either of us. However, despite all of the difficulties we have made it through and we choose to love each other even on the hard days. Our faith in Christ reminds of the kind of sacrificial love that is needed for the good days and the bad days. I am thankful that we have this to cling to and to get us through.

And now for some  of the many reasons I love my hubby:

1. He is able to fix pretty much anything. His ability to read about a problem and then actually fix it is unlike anyone I have ever known. It is quite impressive and I am so thankful for all of the many things he has fixed over the years.

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Working hard in the garage.

2. He is a wonderful daddy. He loves James so well and James adores him too. Austin is so good at showing him how to do things already, and James LOVES to help him with every project. Some of my favorite things to watch are James and Austin working in the yard with the rakes, reading books together, fixing things on the jeep, working in the garage and whatever other projects they are cooking up.

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Precious moments.

3. He is so great at using his gifts for others. The truth is my husband is a really talented nerdy techie. He is super good at what he does for a living, including web design and development. Being THAT GUY there are a lot of people who can use help with this sort of thing. Being the giving man he is, he graciously chooses to use the gifts he has been given to give back to others. It is so humbling to watch.

4. He knows how to have fun. From random funny texts, to silly late night conversations, and his dry sense of humor, life is never dull or too serious.

5. He loves me well. He knows that my love language is words of affirmation and regularly puts it to practice. He challenges me to be a better person in so many ways. He encourages me. He leads me to closer to Christ.

I cannot wait to see where the next 5 years leads us. Love you my sweet Tootsie!! You are such a blessing in every way!

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Reasons Why I Love My Husband

There are countless reasons I love my husband but some of them stand above the rest. One is his love for technology.

Austin is a technology nerd, and from what I can tell has been since he was a kid.

See exhibit A.
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Today he received a package in the mail. He claims it will be James’ first technology toy. It is called a Makey Makey. ( No joke. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted too!). If you want you want an real explanation of it check it out here. It claims to be, “An invention kit for everyone.” It looks like a computer chip in the shape of an old school nintendo remote and comes with lots of wires. Apparently there are all kinds of things you can do with it like turn bananas into piano keys, make a beach ball a remote control and well, really I guess do just about anything you can imagine.

Austin was like a kid on Christmas morning this evening as he began to play with his new toy, I mean ‘invention tool’ (his term once I called it a toy). He quickly hooked it up and did what any other middle school aged boy would do with such an ‘invention tool’. He found a farting sound online and hooked it up to a piece of watermelon, so that every time the watermelon piece was touched it farted. Oh brother!
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One thing is for sure, life with Austin is never boring.

Told You So

Before we had James I was one of the many pregnant ladies out there in the desperate search to find the best baby carrier out there. There are so many options, all of which are ridiculously overpriced, and quite possibly your baby will dislike however you won’t know until baby comes but you just HAVE TO HAVE ONE! Not to mention the fact that women all over the world use nothing but a piece of fabric to tie up their babies which makes me feel materialistic and a bit crazy at the same time. None the less I felt as if I needed one.

During the search I would send Austin pictures like this:

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Showing him just how normal it is for a man to wear his baby. He rejected this idea thoroughly and I think in some ways thought it an attack on his manliness. Time and time again he would state, ‘I will never wear one.’ He would add that he was going to start a new line of ‘Dad’s Products’ which included a 5 gallon orange bucket from Home Depot with two leg holes cut out of the bottom to carry the baby in, and a steel trailer that hooks to the back of your truck and acts as a stroller/car seat/ and tailgating grill all in one. I still have yet to see any movement on this idea.
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But my ‘I told you so,’ moment has come as Austin has joined the ranks of ‘sissy’ dads who use a baby carrier. Don’t they both look so happy ? : )

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Raptor Liner

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Austin has been up to his usual man projects and this one was no exception. I think anytime you use a product entitled, ‘Raptor Liner,’ with a logo like this there is no question in the manly nature of the task.

I’m sure most of you know what Raptor Liner is but for the sake of those who may not I will explain. It is a liquid liner that you can spray on to a truck/jeep bed to help protect it and make it look super fly. Did I mention that when it is applied it makes this crackly look that appears much like a raptor’s skin? Well at least that is what I gather from the sweet logo. I have not personally seen a raptor so I am just going to have to trust the makers of Raptor Liner.

Anyways, it was an all day project for Austin. He spent the day taking apart the jeep, sanding, taping, spraying the Raptor Liner, and putting the jeep back together. He even got some help from a little baby raptor.

I must say it looks pretty darn sweet! Great work tootsie! RAPTOR LINER FOR LIFE!
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‘Tis the Season

Well the Christmas season is in full blast around our house and here are just a few reasons why….

1. Decorating for Christmas with the neighbors using tall bucket trucks to deck out the super tall pine trees in our neighborhood.

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Our house all lit up. Didn’t get to the display this year but we will have a lot more time to prepare for next year!

2. Birthday celebrations for me with my family.

3. Walking through Winterhaven with a large group of our friends and having them all over for hot cocoa and treats afterwards. BTW if you are walking through just text us and we will supply you with some delicious goodies and hot beverages.

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Auntie Ani and James showing off their props.

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A full house= A happy house : )

4. Being invited over to our neighbors for a big family dinner. This is the first time as a married couple (besides our time in Tanzania) where we have met and hung out with multiple neighbors. WE LOVE IT!!!

5. Hot tubbing in the middle of December. I LOVE ARIZONA WINTERS!!! Since I will be missing my fourth season of snow boarding, (I don’t want to talk about it! Mark my words I will be out there next year!), we decided to pretend as if we had finished a long day of boarding, instead we watched the Art of Flight a sweet video capturing some of the world’s best snowboarders pushing the limits of boarding, and ended the day chillin in the hot tub. Not quite the same but it was fun either way.

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6. Random conversations with my husband including this one. Austin: “One day when we have time to be come Country stars (Never mind wanting to become Country stars), I’m going to write a song. It will go like this… (Austin in his most ridiculous singing voice), ‘Our love is SUPER DUTY. Da Na Na Na’ (His rendition of strong guitar chords that follow the catchy chorus line.)” His inspiration was a large F250 SUPER DUTY Ford pickup. He said he figures if there can be a song about a Red Solo Cup that can go big, this song is a sure bet. Life is seriously more fun when conversations such as this fill your day. I LOVE MY HUSBAND.

7. Grandma coming to visit to spoil baby James. Eating a delicious ham dinner and celebrating an early Christmas.

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Unwrapping his very first Christmas present.

8. James celebrating his very first Chanukah as we do every year with our friends.

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9. The coming of Austin’s 30th birthday on the Apocalypse. Poor Austin it’s bad enough that his birthday is on the shortest day of the year each year.

10. Remembering Jesus and soaking up the season of Advent as we celebrate the arrival of the Savior of the world.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6-7

Happy 4th Nanaversary!!!!

Today marks 4 years of marriage for me and Austin!!! What a beautiful ride it has been so far. The past four years have been filled with so much joy and happiness even when things aren’t easy.

Usually we go out of town for our anniversary, but between having a new house and my knee we are kept it low key and celebrated a few days early. We went out to a nice dinner and enjoyed a beautiful Arizona sunset. We are becoming the “old married couple,” quite quickly as we had no energy after dinner, picked up James and went straight to bed. On top of that we bought each other the exact same present. Great minds think a like.

I could not be more thankful for such a wonderful husband!! Thank you for challenging me daily and loving me so well. I love you with all my heart Austin James Baum!!! May the Lord continue to be the rock our marriage stands upon.

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