Our Little Gender Reveal

One of my goals this month was to find out the gender of this baby. It’s not super fair to call that a “goal”, but it was something I was anxiously waiting for! Well, last week we went and had our gender sonogram, and if we’re friends on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll already know, but…

It’s a GIRL!


We had our sonogram on Thursday, and invited my Mom, Kip’s Mom, and Kip’s sister to come with us. We brought Rosie and Sam too, so we felt like quite the parade walking through the halls and into the sonogram room. Haha. At first when the doctor went over the baby’s legs, I thought I saw something there… and then the angle changed and the picture settled on a shot of two obvious little legs. I felt dumb because my first impression was that it was a boy, but then suddenly I didn’t see anything there. The doctor was just kind of staring at me like, “Do you not know how to tell the difference?” Hahaha. Finally he said, “So… it’s a girl!”


Rosie had already been saying the baby was a girl, so our shock and excitement was strange to her. Her expression kind of said, “Yeah, guys, I knew that already… I’ve been trying to tell you!” And Sam asked if it was a baby fish. So. He obviously understands what’s going on here. 🙂

I had decided at the last minute that I wanted to do a gender reveal party if we could, because, why not? I’ve always shied away from doing anything like that, because everything felt cheesey and overdone. But I’m trying to embrace the cheese this time around, and I’m so glad we did it!

I kept calling it a mini-party because the only people there that didn’t know the gender were my Dad, sister, aunt, uncle, nieces and nephews. My Mom managed to keep the secret from my Dad for two days, and then he showed up and within 2 minutes tricked Kip into telling him it’s a girl. And then I accidentally spilled the beans to my Aunt before we ever did the reveal… which I’m still laughing about. WE ARE NOT GOOD AT SECRETS.

Ps, the cupcakes had little bees on them. /theme.


Anyways, I made cupcakes and only made one pink in the middle… so when everyone took a bite only one person got the gender reveal! My nephew, who apparently didn’t know I was pregnant until that day, got the pink cupcake. It was really fun to watch and see who got it… I wasn’t even sure which one it was. If we ever decide to do a gender reveal party again, I think I will have to find out at the party too, so I don’t mess it up again. Lol!

Now that we know it’s a girl, it’s time to think of a name… which may very well occupy my time for the remaining 20ish weeks until we meet this babe! We have two names now that are in the running, but suggestions are welcome! 😉


H

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Why Mamas Have to Live Intentionally | Walking in Integrity

This little girl. She’s repeating my words. She’s using my tone. The way she says, “Yeahhh…” or, “Thanks!”, or “Oh deearrr” make us laugh every time, because she just sounds so grown up. She’s mimicking my actions. She cuddles her baby, lays her on the table and says “baby stinks?” and pretends to change a diaper. She gently lays the doll on a pillow and lies down with her, gives her a kiss and says, “Nigh-night baby.”

And basically, all this terrifies me. Those little eyes are watching me, that little heart is taking in every action, planting seeds that will grow into her soul for the rest of her life. Can I live up to this commission?

“The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!” -Proverbs 20:7

Moms, the way we live our days matters. We’ve each been given a noble post, a humble one: to live our lives faithfully and intentionally in front of little people, especially in the little things, for a handful of reasons:

1. More is caught than taught. Our babies will learn more by simply being around us than they will in the one-on-one “big lesson” moments.

2. If we live life faithfully, not only will our children learn to live the same way by our example, but what we leave behind for them when we’re gone will be a gift, not a burden. Excellent stewardship of finances, possessions, knowledge, skills, and community will outlive us – let it be a blessing to them.

3. When we walk in integrity, our lives ought to always point to the Cross, which is where we pray our Mothering leads them one day. Walking in integrity doesn’t mean being perfect, having all the answers, or pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. It means that we walk with the Truth as our constant companion – the Truth that Christ is our Righteousness.

christian mommy blogLord, your gift to me, at the greatest cost to you, is righteousness imparted to me – I have none on my own. Let me abide in you, that I may walk in integrity, for “apart from you [I] can do nothing.” Let the love you have for me be my rest, from which I find the strength to carry out the tasks you have for me to do in order to create this home. Father, every little action, even laundry, has eternal significance, when little eyes are watching. 

Finding The Gospel in Sam’s Hair

I have learned that this season of life is one that is overflowing with Gospel-saturated moments, if I just choose to see them. Some of the smallest moments can carry the most weight, if I am willing to slow down and look.

My life with little bitty ones has become a life of little things, things that always need to be done: laundry, dishes, and the like. There are little toys perpetually strewn across the carpet, little people stubbornly clinging to my legs, little bits of food invariably scattered under the table… I live my life in 900 square feet that often feel smaller, and sometimes I forget the world is, can be, so much bigger.

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But then there are those moments. When we’re sitting in the light coming in through the window and I catch a glimpse of sun reflecting off the finest strands of white gold, or the deep pools of hazel surrounding pupil, even as she’s frowning at me mid-whine, and I wonder… “How are you a person?” How are you a soul right in front of me? And right there, in the middle of a passing moment, Psalm 149:14 becomes touchable and our four walls hold more weight and eternity than I realized they could.

During the days of a clouded mind, frumpy tee shirts and nap schedules that keep us chained to the house, the ultimate challenge is to continue to abide in Christ. I can’t see Him, and I so quickly forget He is here with me. I know He is out in the mission fields, in the refugee camps, in the secret churches. But, here? In just a pile of laundry? In diaper changes? How can I find Him here?

Rosieeyes“…our perennial spiritual and psychological task is to look at things familiar until they become unfamiliar again.” [G.K. Chesterson]

Sometimes, all it takes to turn a day of tasks into a day in which we see Jesus is a change of posture. Kneeling lower allows me to see more closely my boy’s nose-wrinkled smile or my girl’s swirly little cowlick, and wonder at this creation. Descending to the perspective of a child suddenly demands an upward gaze, where now I can see my Lord.

SamuelClear“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” [Romans 12:2]

Though my days are filled with the seemingly mundane, my calling here at home is an unwieldy one: to grow people – to gather Gospel kindling around their hearts, and pray faithfully that God ignites it. When I choose to slow down and see even the smallest things as gifts from the Lord, I reach for more piece of tinder for their souls, and more fuel for my own. Growing these people means creating a home where daily tasks are done separately from God, but where we walk in the Truth that the only real Life is lived with Him.

RosieToes“I discover that slapping a sloppy brush of thanksgiving over everything in my life leaves me deeply thankful for very few things in my life.” [Ann Voskamp]

So, I’ll thank God. I’ll stare at what He’s given long and hard until what I see isn’t simply an eyeball, or little toes, but splendorous, eternal Power of a Creator. I’ll thank God for the bodies that fill the laundry, the food that dirtied the dishes, and for the toys scattered by little hands I don’t deserve to hold. This is how we abide.

“…here, you can become a current in the river of grace that redeems the world.” 

April Goals

Wahoo! It’s April!

I finally feel like I’m moving past the Winter blues and into gorgeous, wonderful Spring-dom. Living in a small apartment sort of made Winter a season of watching Curious George on repeat… two thumbs down. Because of the layout of our apartment, it feels like we live our lives in one big room. So, the list of things to do runs out pretty quick when we’re stuck inside. But since the weather change, we’ve been outside as much as we can!

stay at home mom blog

Last month, Rosie potty trained (!!!) and I started a Couch-to-5k program (!!!!!!!!).  I really can hardly believe either of those things. This week though, my knee was like “wait what?” and has been super achy. I’m opting to take a break from running for the week, but still working on endurance on a stationary bike. Downside: it’s not outside. Perk: I get to watch Bones while I work out. You win some, you lose some.

two kids under two years old

During the month of March, I’ve also been thinking a lot about discipline. Not “discipline” as in spankings, time-outs, etc., but more a long the lines of self-discipline. My habits, the habits I am instilling in my children, how I handle the charge I’ve been given as a mother and as a wife, my exercise and diet, etc… all of these things have been constantly running through my head. I can’t say I’m super happy with the structure of our day, so I’ve been slowly taking steps toward better habits, which is part of the reason for the C25K program. Another goal I have is to begin consistently waking early. And I mean… early. Our mornings suck about 80% of the time, and that’s largely due to the fact that I don’t wake up and get my act together before my babes do. But, in order to do all the things I want to do before they wake up… I feel like I should really wake up at 5. FIVE. AY. EM. No later than 5:30, but really… 5 would be ideal.

So, maybe if I write about it here… I’ll do it? 🙂 Here we go, goals for April!

Wake up consistently at 5:30AM.
…no matter what. I’ll start here, and maybe work my way back to 5. Haha.
Continue training for a 5k.
Start packing.
(Yep, we’re moving. We don’t know where, and that whole story is complicated and basically just tied to Kip’s next job move… decision pending. Our lease here is up May 9th, so hopefully before then we have made some decisions and know where we’ll call home next. This will be our 5th move in our 3 years of marriage, so. Moving is obviously our jam.)
Find a guided Bible study to add to my morning routine.
Celebrate Sam’s first birthday!
This will be the easiest goal to accomplish, hands down. 🙂 We had a birthday party for him with family last week, but we will come up with a fun plan for a day-of celebration. ❤ I can’t believe it’s been a year already. 

Being a person who usually flies by the seat of my pants, I am really hoping and praying to learn to create a better home and a more structured day for my kids. I think this will help us all in about 359 different ways. If any seasoned Mothers or just really organized people have any advice for me, I am 100% open to it. 🙂

Happy Spring!
Love,
H

In Charge of my House

House-keeping. 
Home-maker.

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Do you ever learn something that feels like a huge life lesson, only to realize you probably should have known it, like, all along? I just recently sort of realized that I am in charge of my home. Of course, the Lord is Sovereign over my life. But that’s not what I mean by “in charge.” I mean, I get to make this home. I get to keep this house. I get to run this ship. I report to the King, but He’s the one who has given me this responsibility. He charges me to be in charge.

And, of course, sweet Kip is my head and my partner, and he is by no means out of the equation. 🙂 But this particular realm of “Home” is up to me… daily disciplines, habits, moods, learning, meals, activities, schedules… they are under my watch most of the time.

When Rosie was a baby, I felt sort of enslaved to her needs. I think a lot of new moms feel this way. My entire life was essentially built around her, her needs. If she was asleep, the house better be dead quiet. If she cried, I soothed within the first 5 seconds. If she was grumpy, upset, hungry, whiney, whatever… I had to fix it. I was a slave to her every peep and need… day and night.

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Once I got pregnant with Samuel, that perspective began to slowly change. And now that he is actually here, that perspective is absolutely different. Routine is now our jam. Nap schedules keep me sane. I know every little fuss doesn’t require immediate attention. I need at least 12 hours (minimum!) in advance to actually be able to go anywhere, and really, it has to be first thing in the morning. If Rosie fusses or gets up after she’s been put down for a nap, she is disciplined (lovingly & sternly) and put back in bed. I used to think, “Oh no… she’s awake. She’s crying. She won’t sleep. I have to get her up and make her happy.” But at some point, I had an “Aha!” moment, and realized, “I’m the Mama. I make the rules. It’s naptime.” And so it was.

IMG_5104Some days are wonky. Some days go great. I am learning what things I need to do every day to be a good steward of my home, not just survive my days until my kids are old enough to help themselves…. and me. 🙂 Things like waking up before anyone else , taking time to go for a run (working on those first two), daily time spent reading the Bible and praying, and chores that keep our heads above the water/pile of laundry. 🙂

I’m just a’learnin’. 🙂 Some days I find myself thinking, “I can’t believe I get to do this as my JOB!” and then an hour later, as Samuel grabs my glasses and hits me over the head with a spatula, “I am so over this.” Haha. So it goes. But what else would I rather do than spend my days with the people I love most?

Absolutely nothing.


H

Labor Doesn’t End After Birth

These are the thoughts of the heart of a one-week-post-partum woman, learning to be a Mama of two, labor & birth still fresh on her mind and not yet used to what will become the “new normal” in her home. If you’ve been in similar shoes, this might make sense. If not, or if this seems silly, well, don’t worry about it. 😉

real small life blog

I’ve been given three.

Three gifts. Three souls. Three opportunities to sacrifice. Three gifts to offer back to the Giver, because only He is good enough to have them.

A husband who loves me and who I love deeply.
A toddler who knows Mama is her best friend, but is growing in independence out of necessity.
…and a newborn who only knows he needs me. A lot.

Labor doesn’t end after birth, does it? We only trade contractions for the needs of our precious charge.

One at a time. They come, they surge, and they go. A brief rest, and then another. And another. And another. And we keep going until they depart or our hearts give out. We can’t, but we do. We have nothing left, but life surges from within whether we think it can or not. And all the while I tell myself, “Just this one… Just do this one.”

The end is all the same. Shortly after reaching the depths of our pain, the end of ourselves, we are given life. Sweet grace and mercy and life and we keep on going ’til the muddy bottom of the River Jordan and the promises all fulfilled in Glory. But until then, we just do the next thing… Just this one…

“Dear Lord, with the prize clear before our eyes, we find the strength to press on.”