Saturday, August 21, 2010

.4 Years.

4 years have passed by since I've seen my Mom's sweet face!
Its hard to believe its been so long.
She's picture above holding Alathea at 7 weeks old.
This is just 4 months before she died.
How I wish she could be here holding Ava right now.
God's ways are mysterious.
But His ways are perfect and loving and good.
And my faith is stronger, joy's richer and my heart ever more grateful after having to walk through losing my Mom. Its true that God is so near as you walk through the dark valley's of life. And some of the deepest sorrows in life, result in the richest blessings of the soul.
One of these day's I hope to share some of those sweet blessings,
rich things I've learned as a result of walking through the season of Mom's sickness and death.
With today being Ava's 2 month birthday, and the 4 year anniversary of Mom's death,
I'm all the more reminded of the song:

"He gives and takes away,
He gives and takes away,
but I will choose to say
Blessed be the Name of the Lord"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

::So Sweet::

The way this girl adores her baby sister just melts. my. heart.
Any time I hear Ava crying and head to help her, I'm quickly passed by a little 2-year-old rushing to help her baby sister. Abigail is so good at caring for Ava and you can tell already that Ava knows her. Its so sweet. I'm excited to watch them grow up together :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Six weeks of Ava Jean

Our little bean has been around for over six weeks now. So much had happened in the past 6 weeks, and there has been so much change, it feels like she's been part of our lives for soooo much longer than that!

Ava has quite the little personality. She will definitely let you know if she's happy or not. She reminds me so much of Alathea at this age. Both in looks and personality. Sometimes I'll look at Ava and have to remember which baby girl I'm holding. Its a funny a flash back in time since our girls look so similar as babies.

Poor girl has had some real struggles with her tummy. Its hard to know for sure whats going on. Even though she's quite "opinionated" in personality, its pretty obvious that at various times throughout the day, she's not just unhappy, she's in pain. It may be as simple as an immature digestive system that she'll soon grow out of. But we're trying to rule out other things in case its more than that. This week I'm trying to go dairy free at the recommendation of my doctor and others. I'm only on day two and haven't noticed any drastic improvement yet, but plan to stick out at least a week. The doctor also mentioned a possible mild acid reflux. She's typically unhappy right after I feed her and spits up tons, so that may be a good guess too. It sure is a guessing game with a newborn! Any suggestions you may have, send my way!

A HUGE answer to prayer is that the little girlie is now finally sleeping at night! The first 4 weeks of her life she would not (really could not) sleep more than 20 minutes at a time. We quickly learned that each time she woke up she was covered in spit-up...poor girl. She'd sleep fine when we would hold her. We could comfort her quickly back to sleep when she'd spit up. Needless to say, we were exhausted staying up all night. I may get reprimanded admitting this, but once we switched and had her sleep on her tummy, she started sleeping at night! She still wakes up to eat, but sleeps in between feedings! Hallelujah!

I'm now slowly making progress on getting her to sleep soundly for naps during the day. My other girls were amazing sleepers from birth, so having one that struggles with sleep is a new experience. She struggles to stay asleep for her naps for the same reason as she did at night. But we're making progress and she's so much happier when she's napping on a regular schedule. Even though its a bit challenging not having a regular daily napper yet, I'm not complaining since I'm getting some sleep at night now!! Those four weeks of no night time sleep put a new perspective on everything!

The sweetest thing of all is the HUGE full body smiles and happy coo's I get from my baby girl!
When her tummy's not hurting, she's a total delight and happy little thing. I'm so grateful for my sweet girl.

Friday, August 06, 2010


I've been MIA for the past couple weeks.
Just thought I'd give a little update on our post-move life.
Besides loving these three cutie's, here's what we've been up to these past two weeks...

.We're nicely settled into our rental home.
We got unpacked right away and have loved a big backyard with a play set!
And Joe's loved having a basketball hoop. And I love a pool just up the road.

.Joe & I celebrated 8 sweet years of marriage.
We enjoyed a lovely all day date with Ava in tow.
It included IKEA, BRAVO's and the movie Inception.
I LOVED having a whole day to enjoy my boy.

.Ava started sleeping at night.
(notice I didn't say through the night, just at night :)
This has been HUGE! We're still wondering if she may have mild acid reflux.
Poor girl spits up so much, making it difficult for her to stay asleep more than 20 mins at a time during the day still.

.Joe hurt his right hand pretty bad during a softball game.
He most likely tore some ligaments in his fingers...we're waiting on MRI results to confirm.
Poor guys hand is swollen and its been difficult for him to type or write (pretty essential at his job, especially since he's preaching the next two Sunday's).

.Alathea's been going to a Vacation Bible Camp all week and loving it.
Its at a small Presbyterian church up the road. One of her little buddies didn't want to go without a friend, so Alathea went with her. We're so glad she went. She's loved every minute of it! We'll definitely look for more next year. And Abigail has loved getting lots of alone time with me while Alathea's been gone. Just what Abi needed in this season.

.We're loving our three girls.
One thing for sure is that what little "down time" that once existed is gone. I'm doing really, really good if I can squeeze in lunch and a 20 minute work out video (the big girls do it with me :). Today I showered at 5pm...which I hope counts for tomorrow's shower too :) Although I may not have "me time" (free time) anymore...I am loving days full of my three girls. The past two weeks have been full of...reading stories, swinging on the swing set, running through the sprinkler, going to the pool, playdates, story time at the library, teaching the girls how to do chores and lots and lots of time holding my tiniest baby girl. Our life has simplified...we're not out and about quite as much. Yet we feel quite busy at home at the same time. Never a dull moment around here anymore! These are incredibly busy, yet incredibly sweet days.

goodbye little home

After months of waiting and wondering if our little house would actually sell and go to settlement, it actually did. On Ava's 1 month birthday we officially sold our home to another. While I've had months knowing that this day was eventually coming, I was still caught by surprise how sad I was to leave that sweet place. The Lord blessed us beyond measure in that little home of 8 years...the one we've came home to after our honeymoon and the one we've brought each of our three baby girls home too.

Even though we closed on July 21st, we were given such sort notice of the closing (try 1 1/2 hours...this whole deal has been crazy) that we had the rest of the week to pack and move out. Praise God for the army of helpers that literally packed us, moved us and unpacked us. God clearly took care of our every need...even ones we didn't know about. Everything happened so fast and I was still in my up all night with a newborn fog that I hardly knew what needed to be done. Some days people just showed up unannounced to pack up our kitchen or take our laundry or to clean. We closed on our house and began packing on a Tuesday and by Friday we were moved and unpacked in our new house! All thanks to my husband who worked 24/7 and that army of servants that came to our rescue. I was floored by the sacrificial love shown to our family. This situation...moving with a newborn...was the very thing I dreaded, yet God has proven me wrong yet again. His ways are far greater than I can imagine.

On Thursday we went back to our little house one last time. It was a trip down memory lane seeing it with no reminded me of when we first moved in as newlyweds!

I'll certainly miss our little backyard.

Our last meal in our house.

We moved into a rental house owned by some sweet friends who recently relocated and are trying to sell their house. It was sitting vacant while on the market so it was the perfect solution for us to move into for a little while. It gives us time to look for a new house without the time pressure. Its a lovely house with a huge backyard that the girls are loving. I'm so grateful that the girls and Joe love this temporary home so much and haven't thought twice about the one we left! As for me, I'm so grateful to be in a house that serves our family so well. But I still have moments that I miss the familiar and what felt like home. I've gone back to our old house to pick up mail twice and even went inside our old house this last time. The new owner just loves it and although it may sound silly, that makes me really happy.