Saturday, January 30, 2010

little snow babies

I really didn't think it would actually snow!!
It was so fun watching the snow fall last night AND even better to see it still here this morning. This is such a treat in Charlotte. The girls are loving the snow, and may even love the hot coco afterwards better. The only sad thing is that Joe has to go to work today (he's speaking 3x tomorrow...if the meetings are on). His little car wouldn't have made it, so a friend had to come get him in his truck.

I'm grateful that if it had to be winter and be cold, that at least we have beautiful snow!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

my middle child

My little Abigail, my current "baby", is going to become a middle child in a few months. It seems that middle child is a loaded term. I've heard plenty of stories and opinions about the difficulties of a middle child, especially when the older and younger sibling are of the same gender.

While I do want to make sure my Abigail doesn't get lost in the middle of her big and little sister, I've thought lately how perfectly suited she is to be the sister in the middle. God knew exactly what he was doing when He created this special little girl.

Abigail Kathleen was named after my Mom. And its remarkable how much she reminds me of her! Sometimes I wonder if my Mom were just like Abi when she was a toddler. First of all, Mom was stuck in the middle of eight siblings, seven of them being girls! But Abi and my Mom have more than just birth order in common. They both have strong and adventurous personalities. There is little that my Abi is afraid of (except being left in childrens ministry and people with braces ;). I love that I do not see the same temptation to fear in Abigail that I do in myself. My Mom was a woman of incredible faith in God, who did not fear! I pray that Abigail becomes that sort of woman.

Abigail, just like my Mom, is steady. She is pretty much happy all the time (well, she does have her share of fits!) and her mood does not swing from one end of the spectrum to the other (unlike a big sis and Mamma of hers!!).

This doesn't resemble my Mom at all, but another thing that characterizes my Abi is she LOVES to eat!!

Speaking of that love for food, she seems to want to eat constantly. We often find her in the pantry, sitting on the floor, just staring at all the food! Any food within reach, she's going for. The other day she crossed the line when I caught her eating a stick of butter that I had left on the counter!!! I was concerned for her health, grossed out and laughing hysterically all at once!
She's caught in the act below:

Abigail LOVES babies (Daniel is one of her favorites).
And I Love her big blue eyes.

She's a Daddy's girl for sure.
We joke that she's the closest thing to a son Joe will ever have :)
She loves sitting on his lap, eating chips and watching football with him.
She loves playing catch and kicking the ball.
She loves running around like crazy outside and exploring.
We think she's gonna be our athlete.

There is never a dull moment in our house since our sweet Abigail was born.

I really don't think I'll have to worry about her getting "lost in the middle" at all.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

And we're having...

..A GIRL!!!!

No surprise here! This is the 1st time I am actually right about my guess (I thought Alathea & Abi were boys). I am actually very excited to join the "3 girls club" as some of my friends like to say. The only thing I can struggle with is thinking "oh, if we were having a boy, it would seem much more exciting to us and everyone else". I thought the same thing with Abigail. But, I have to remember how wonderful and exciting each and every baby is, no matter if its our very 1st boy or our 3rd little girl. I personally am excited. I love my life with little girls, so why not add to the sweetness? Alathea still says "but I wanted a brother". But then the next statement is about all the things she's going to do with her new sister. Hopefully she'll be OK :) And Joe, I think he's excited. I think I kinda wished this one could be a boy for his sake more than he did. He loves being king of the castle and loves how our little girlies adore him. So, there you have it, our 3rd sweet little girlie. She's due somewhere between June 13th-18th. That seems like a long time from now, but I'm sure it will come quicker than we think!! Can't wait to meet her!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Big Day Tomorrow!!

Tomorrow morning (tuesday) we have our sonogram scheduled to hopefully find out if we'll be adding our 3rd sweet girl to the family or will actually have our 1st boy! I will be excited either way (still think its a girl, and Alathea swears its a boy). I'm mostly just praying for a healthy baby. Any guesses from you all as to a boy or girl?? Everyone seemed to think Girl for Abigail and they were right! Anyways, I don't have a computer this week, but will hopefully post asap!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Christmas Morning

This picture says it all. We Love Christmas.
I thought Christmas was great when I was a kid. I think its even better when you have kids. They get excited about everything!

My girls had four "Christmas Times". We had our own little "Christmas Morning" the Monday before Christmas. It doesn't matter its not December 25th, it feels like Christmas morning to us. That evening we celebrated Christmas with the whole Lechner clan, including an entire Christmas dinner spread. The next day we headed up to MD!! I LOVE being home for Christmas (only happens every other year, so I really treasure it!!). Christmas day we celebrated with lots of family and then two days after had "Christmas #4" with my Grandpa, Jane & Miles. When you love Christmas, its hard to improve on four of them!!

More of the MD trip to come (and the 2 feet of snow!). For now here is our own little Lechner family Christmas....

We started the morning with stockings.
Notice Joe's enormous stocking. He insists on me filling it every year. I actually really enjoy doing that!

A super happy 3 year old!
And a super happy Daddy!

Stockings are one of my favorite parts about Christmas.
Being that I buy the girls Christmas gifts at Consignment sales, I think I spend more $ on their stockings than gifts!!

Abigail's favorite stocking gift... $3 mini-baby from Target. 
Actually probably her favorite gift of all :)

After stockings we take a break and make Cinnamon rolls and eat breakfast together. Yumm.
Then back to opening our gifts...

A few of Alathea's fav's

And the aftermath!

It was a blessed morning together. 
I have no pics from the big Lechner Christmas that evening because the flash on my camera broke. Big bummer! Having no flash in the short, dark winter days is so sad!

The Holidays

Just a few snapshots of our holiday season.  Above is just a pic of Alathea with some buddies, but I just love pictures of little friends together. So cute. We were attempting to take the kids outside, but it was sooooo cold that it didn't last long. This has been a COLD winter!!

Our tree. I just love Christmas tree's at night all lit up. Nothing quite as beautiful.

Me & the girls went out in the "snow". I still can't figure out how Charlotte manages to feel so cold in the winter, but never gets snow?

We had a bunch of friends over for our annual cookie decorating.
Don't they look lovely. (Joe & I deemed them inedible after all the icing-licking-while decorating!)

Alathea REALLY loved decorating the tree this year. She helped from start to finish!

Our Gingerbread House tradition. Only this year it was a train and the Swans  joined us.

A few weeks ago we house-sat for the Connolly's a week. The girls LOVED their dog (pictured with Abi above) and cat and running around their huge back yard.

And last but not least, a sweet cousins shot. I now have THREE adorable little nephews. Baby Grant makes three! My girls just love their cousins.

Next up...Christmas Morning!

Sunday, January 03, 2010


(photo credit: Jason Kovacs photography)

The start of a new decade! I still remember exactly what I was doing NYE 10 years ago. Hard to believe its been 10 years (and this summer will be 10 years since I graduated high school...that is actually sounding old!). 

We've been enjoying every minute of the holiday season this year. We  were home in MD over Christmas (my favorite place to be for Christmas!) and had one of our best Christmases ever! We also enjoyed 2 feet of snow...more on all that later, once I get my pics up, I post about it all.

This is always one of the most relaxing weeks of the year- between Christmas and the New Year. The girls have been thoroughly entertained by all their new toys, and Joe & I have had lots of free evenings at home (a rare treat!). Real life starts back up next week, but we've been enjoying the slow, daily-nap-taking, pace of life (which I think is a nice "recovery" from the wonderful craziness before Christmas)!

On the baby front, I still have a hard time remembering I am pregnant. I'll have people come up and say congratulations, and I am stumped for a brief moment as to what they are congratulating me about! The super tired and nausea's 1st trimester is long gone now (it blew by). I think I am around 16 weeks. We go in to hopefully find out if we're having a boy or girl in TWO WEEKS! Wow, that's amazing to me! Alathea will still proudly proclaim she is having a baby brother... not sure where she got that from. I'm still thinking baby is a girl. I'll be totally thrilled either way.

Some have asked what is going on with our house. We put it back on the market late November, just a week after the previous contract officially fell through. It was initially a disappointing and perplexing season. But I can see God using the disappointment to reveal just how much I was craving a new home...really making an idol out of it. And just how much I was struggling to really believe that God is in control and in his wisdom knows what is BEST for us. Through my feeble human eyes it seemed like the perfect time for us to move (amazing interest rates, new Government tax credit, great house prices and a 3rd baby on the way)...BUT I am learning to lay down what "I  think is best" and rest in the fact that God's ways are perfect and FAR above my ways.  As I pondered my desires for 2010 I thought, "I desire the Lord would bless us with a new house". I felt the Lord immediately speak to me, "I want you to desire ME". THIS is what I am most grateful for is this whole 5 month whirlwind. I've learned how quickly and subtly I begin to love and desire God's gifts above HIM, the giver. I'm learning that one of the wonderful and wise ways he loves us is to sometimes not give us what we are desiring. 

So in regards to the house, we are in a wonderful season of WAITING. My dear friend Jane wrote me a letter a few weeks back that I have read over and over. This is part of an excerpt she read from Paul Tripp's "A Shelter in the Time of Storm". He is writing about Abraham's Faith (from Romans 4:18-21). This is a bit long, but worth the read:

"Why did Abraham grow strong in faith as he waited those many long years? It isn't because he played mental denial games. No, the passage makes it clear that he faced the facts of the situation head on. In his time of waiting, Abraham had a very different experience than we often do, because Abraham did something that we often fail to do. Here it is: the temptation in times of waiting is to focus on the thing we are waiting for, all the  obstacles that are in our way, our inability to make it happen and all of the other people who haven't had to wait. Along with this we rehearse to our ourselves how essential the thing is and how much we are daily losing in its absence. All of this increased our feeling of helplessness, our tendency to think our situation is hopeless, and our judgment that waiting is futile.

While it's true that Abraham considered the facts, they weren't the focus of his meditation. No, his focus was on the God who had made this promise. Every day Abraham would get up and remind himself that the God who had made the promises on which he was waiting was absolutely able to deliver them. The God who made heaven and earth would have no trouble causing an old woman to deliver a promised child! Abraham did not fill his mind with his own weakness and the seeming futility of the situation. No, he filled his mind again and again with the glory of God's immeasurable power, and as he did he grew stronger and stronger in faith."