Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sophie: Two Months





Two months old and getting so big! Sophie's schedule is about the same as last month--nursing about seven times a day, sleeping a long stretch from 10pm-5isham, cat napping in the morning while we are on the go, and taking a long nap in the afternoon. Sophie loves nursing, the Moby wrap, her swaddle, and bath time. She is smiling and cooing and interacting so much more than a month ago. I love her little baby grin! Sophie weighs 10 lbs, 14 oz and is 22 3/4 inches long. She is in size 1 diapers and 0-3 month clothes, though a few of her 3-6 month things are getting close to fitting.

Monday, July 29, 2013


This weekend we attended a surprise birthday party for our Papa Gene. Annie and JJ know all about birthdays now and they were very excited! They practiced singing "Happy Birthday" and blowing out candles all week. To them, birthdays=cake+presents. :)














Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy birthday to the Gent!

Congratulations, now you're as old as I am. :)

I haven't taken any photos yet today, but here's an oldie I found from the very first birthday we celebrated together...nine years ago.

Seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago all at the same time. Before college graduation, our wedding, law school, the newlywed years, dogs, babies, our first house and accepting the inevitable and buying a minivan. I thought I knew what love was then, but as we've grown and changed and learned together, I love you more each day.

Happiest of birthdays to you, my love.

Aaron's 19th birthday

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sophie's first trip to Bebe and Papa Rick's house

We played hard, loved on babies, and started the Gent's birthday celebration!

outside is their favorite place to be

Bebe introducing Sophie to her Aunt Sandra

fun with Papa Rick

velcro baseball

Mama made it into a picture

Daddy and his littlest girl


meeting Granny

Bebe and Sophie

happy girl

good night hugs

meeting Uncle Andrew

Papa Rick and Sophie

and finally...Annie's smirk

Friday, July 19, 2013

Prison bars or pillars?

I recently read these two short articles on marriage that really got me thinking:

Prison Bars or Pillars, by Janie B. Cheaney

Stretch Marks, by Andree Seu Peterson

Much of the time, I think our society sees marriage (and parenthood) as prison bars holding us back, instead of the pillars on which society rests. But as in most situations, its all about perspective and expectations.

If you expect your marriage and children to make you happy, you'll fail. If you see your family as the place where God is forming you after His own heart, stretching you and getting rid of your selfishness, pride, anger, and other sins and perfecting you into a person of holiness, grace, love, and self-control, you'll find joy.

So grateful for my imperfect family today.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Baby Shower

Well, I tried all weekend to post an adorable video of Annie "reading"--and blogger won't let me. :(

Last week Mom and I hosted a baby shower for our local pregnancy resource center. We had lots of volunteers from our community groups at church, and working together we were able to throw a great party and shower nine new mamas with gifts and prayers! The food was scrumptious and the decorations were so cute--we did a nursery rhyme theme that worked for boys and girls. Dad did a devotional on praying for your children that was a timely reminder to me, as well. If you're looking for a place to volunteer, your local PRC can be a great place to get plugged in.








Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Think, Pray, Act

I hope this brutally honest post shakes up your happy little world a bit. :)

When people find out the Gent and I are foster parents, the responses we get are most always variations on the same theme.

I could never do what you do.
That must be so hard.
You're a really great person to do that.

Here are some of my thoughts on these common responses.

I'll be the first to admit that not everyone is called to be a foster parent. But there are a whole lot more people who are called than who are answering the call. I think there are a lot of people God is calling who are too scared and/or selfish to step up and help a child and their birth family who are in desperate need.

Because it is messy. And hard. And it is going to disrupt your life.

But that doesn't mean it isn't worth it. In our county, there are 10 foster children for every 1 foster family. And that means the vast majority of kids here--kids coming from horrible situations, when they need a stable, loving family more than ever--are living in group homes. That's just a politically correct word for orphanages. And no matter how well-run and nice it is, it's not the same as a family.

Think past the excuses and examine what it is that the Lord really wants you to do. He's calling you to do something...whatever it is (and there are many worthy causes, fostering is just one place to serve)...DO IT. Step out in faith and obedience and trust the Lord to guide you.

Trust me, you could do what I do. It really isn't that hard. It's just day in, day out loving a child--and their family--who needs you. I'm really not a great person. Some days my kids drive me crazy and I feel like the best I can do is just not enough. But God promises us His grace is always sufficient. And it is. If you believe that, then it's time to act.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Independence Day 2013






We had a low-key but fun celebration at home, with Honey, Poppa, and some dear friends we met last year on the 4th of July. We grilled out shish kabobs and the kids enjoyed homemade popsicles (I have some adorable pictures of JJ with his--wish I could show them to you). Happy birthday, America!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sophie: One Month

one month old already

cuddles with bear

this photo shoot is over!

I know I have this phrase on repeat, but I can't believe Sophie is one month old already. She has already changed so much! Sophie is an alert little baby, very interested in all that is going on around her. And with Annie and JJ running around, something is going on most of the time. :) Sophie is a champ at nursing and sleeping, two very important things around here! She started rolling from tummy to back at two weeks, even earlier than Annie. But she doesn't have the head control Annie did at this age--every baby is unique!

We had her one month check-up today and she continues to be perfect, of course. She weighs 10 pounds, 3 ounces and is 22 1/2 inches long.

Sophie's typical day looks like this: Wake up around 9am, nurse and get dressed. Play on a blanket for a little while (this is about the only time of day she is not being held, in her car seat or the Moby wrap, or sleeping--she is not a fan of being put down much but tolerates it in the morning). Head out somewhere with Mama, Annie, and JJ. Catch cat naps here and there. Get home around noon. Nurse again. Finish up tummy time while Mama puts the big kids down for a nap. Sophie's not usually happy with this, but I tell her she's the third child and she has to wait her turn sometimes. Cuddle with Mama and nurse a little more, nap from 1-4 like the big kids. Wake up and eat again. Watch Annie and JJ play. Sophie sits in her high chair (it reclines back) while we have family dinner, which sometimes goes very smoothly and the Gent and I enjoy conversation while Annie and JJ happily eat whatever I have served and Sophie observes us all from her perch. And most of the time is a bit crazier affair with at least one toddler refusing to eat, Sophie fussing, and the Gent and/or I returning our plates to the fridge to reheat after we get these adorable/annoying children to bed. :) Daddy gives Sophie a bath around 7 and then I nurse her and put her to bed. I get her up around 10pm to nurse one more time before I go to sleep, and then she wakes around 3am and 6am to eat.

I'm sure this will all be changing next month, but so far that's what's working.

Happy one month birthday, sweet girl! Don't grow up too fast!