Monday, September 30, 2013


Three and a half years ago (January 25th, 2010,) Ian and I arrived on campus for a two month long training conference before we moved overseas.

Three and a half years ago we had been trying to conceive for nearly 8 months, without success.

Three and a half years ago I spent two months longing and yearning for a child. Every day I would walk behind families with babies and dream of the day when Ian and I would go from a couple to a family.

I would open doors for moms with strollers and procure high chairs in the cafeteria. I pulled off puffy snow coats and clipped together mitten pairs in the coat rooms for families with more kids than there were parents. I babysat for families so they could have date nights. I took hundreds of pictures of children to give to their parents so they would have a good portrait. And I ached, oh I ached, when my friend would slip out of a training to go nurse her infants son.

I wept at the difficulty of getting pregnant. It was so hard.We seemed to be getting no where.

I smiled and hid tears when friends announced their pregnancies and families who we were sharing life with on a daily basis grew right before my eyes.

Today, almost four years later, I stepped foot onto that very campus again.

This time, I had a toddler in front of me and a yearling in my arms. I had to wrangle them through registration and procure our own high chairs in the cafeteria. I balanced three food trays and got straws for cartons of milk.

And I smiled through it all. Because never, in my wildest dreams would I have thought up my family. I never could have picked out a more perfect fit than Grace and Sophia. God's timing in bringing them into our lives was perfect.

It wasn't easy. We had no family around for either of their infancies and Sophia's silent reflux made her first five months torturous, but it was perfect nonetheless.

I was brimming with tears all day and kept turning to Ian saying "Can you believe we are here? Don't you remember the last time we were here? We have TWO babies now!"

I am so thankful that my plans for my life aren't followed, and that instead my Author has His way and can create the most beautiful of stories. I pray that it will bring Him glory one day.

Every night, before the girls go to bed we sing "Gracie's song."

Really, it is just the Doxology, but both girls clap their hands and Gracie can belt out the song to the best of her abilities. I hope they know that they are a blessing, and that we praise God for them every day.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

-Thomas Ken

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy First Birthday,Sophia!

Happy first birthday, Sophia Anne!

September 29th, 2012, at 2:15 am, I was made a mom all over again and we are so lucky to be a part of your life!

Today, my baby girl turns one year old.

As in, we no longer have an infant in the house.

As in, for the first time in two and a half years we do not have a baby or a baby on the way! Crazy.

Sophia's last month as an infant was a good one. She is in 12 month clothing and two days before she turned one we moved her up to size four diapers. She has a size 3.5 foot and needs it wide (as most babies do,) so she is in a size 4 wide shoe.

We have been on the road for much of this month, which means Sophia has become an amazing traveler. We've really found our rhythm with car trips. They are not always fun but at least they are manageable. She is loving her forward facing car seat and it has made travel alot easier and enjoyable.

She finally (FINALLY) got over her jet lag/sleep issues from our move to the States and began sleeping through the night again. She takes two naps during the day. One is around 9 am and last for an hour or two, depending on how quiet the house. She takes a second nap at the same time Grace does, around 2 pm and it lasts for 2 to 3 hours. Have I mentioned she is a light sleeper? I don't really know what to do about that.

Both girls go down for the night around 7 pm and they sleep for almost 12 hours. Sophia is the first to wake up.
Sophia can walk very well now. The last week of this month saw great improvement in her ability to walk farther distances, change flooring (wood to carpet,) and to get up and walk without holding onto any thing.

Sophia also likes to help pick things up and often claps or will point her fingers in the air and dance when you say "Dance, Dance!" She still likes to throw her arms up in the air when you ask "How big are you, Sophia?" She likes to mimic sounds and babbles non stop. She asks "What's that?" all day long and it is just the cutest little voice.
Sophia like just about anything you put in front of her. If she can chew it (with her six teeth!) then she will eat it. We are currently working at increasing her solid foods so that we can get rid of the bottle. She sips on milk but she doesn't drink enough to cut out milk completely. We will take that plunge once we get settled into our Orlando house in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

45, 46, 47, 48

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Happy Eleven Months, Sophia!

Sophia turned eleven months old about three weeks ago.

I know. 

I'm a little behind. 

But when my computer died I had to wait and see if a new power cord would fix the issue (it did!) and then we had to pack and move out of our temporary house and now we are on the road for the foreseeable future. 

So I am throwing all sense of normalcy out the window and doing a monthly update post sans a monthly picture, because we won't have a computer and/or reliable  Internet for about three weeks. 

Sophia has grown up so much this month! She's become interactive, an expert crawler, and a pretty terrible sleeper. She got four new teeth this month and is growing like a weed. 

Height: about 24 inches
Weight: 20 lbs
Diaper size: size three pampers
Clothes: mostly 9-12 months but growing in to 12 months things
Shoes: 6 to 9 month, short but thick so it depends

Our schedule was off the wall this month so sleep patterns were thrown out the window. At the end of the month we worked really hard at getting rid of a nighttime bottle that had snuck back in and making sure she got a morning and an afternoon nap. 

Sophia met her Aunt Heather for the first time and took her her first steps on August 23rd, 2013. My mom got to witness that which was pretty special. My mom also taught Sophia how to raise her arms up above her head anytime you ask "How big are you, Sophia?"

She went on her first domestic flight and to her first state fair! What a busy month for our sweet Sophia girl!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five On Friday

It seems that Five on Friday is my only reliable writing that is getting done these days! I love the ability to be random and wrap up the week.

{one} Well, it finally happened. After a nearly two year power struggle (quite literally,) with my laptop's power cord, it actually snapped in two when I plugged it in this week. I've ordered a new cord and I hope that it will put an end to this battle. The computer is in perfect working order but without a power source it is pretty useless. If the cord has to be wiggled and held in place like the last one then we will get all of my files off of the computer and look into something different.

{two} The Funk.

That's what Sophia and I had all week. I really thought we might be coming down with Grace's croup but it never turned into that, thank goodness. Sophia was pretty pathetic though. Every time she would cough she would look at me like "Mom! Can't you stop this? Help me!"

Poor baby girl.

{three} This is our last weekend in Tennessee. How did that happen? Where did the time go? We're trying to cram the weekend in with as much family and football in as possible all the while packing up a house and getting it ready for the next resident. Crazy.

{four} I'm on week six of Couch to 5k. Woo hoo! I hung out on week five for awhile since I was dreading the twenty minute run challenge day. I finally did it and was so proud of myself for completing that but then the funk set in and seeing as I could not breathe, running was not an option. I started back and am psyched that I am getting to the point where I can actually think about running faster and further instead of just surviving.

Happy Birthday to the best father in law! We are excited to see you in a few, short weeks! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013


A look at my heart and our story:

The dry, cracked earth has yet to grow much of anything. Sand dunes roll all around but here it is hard packed and lifeless. 

I kneel and run my fingers over the earth, searching for any cracks. 

A far off sound, almost like a memory,compels  me to fall prostrate on the ground. My ear is planted and I can just hear it. 

So faint that most would deny it. 

So improbable that many would doubt. 

But it is there all the same. 

A rumbling. 

I press my ear harder and I can practically feel it in my bones, that rumble that shakes me to my core. 

Change is coming to this dry and thirsty land. 

Hard packed soil will crack wide open and life will jump from it.

I just know it in my soul. 

I leap up to my feet and whirl around to tell of the news. 

Change! Growth! Life!

A passing stranger tells me it can't be done. This place will never see life like that. "If you want to see life, head to the jungle, but the desert is no place for that." She says I am a dreamer and am wasting my time. 

I turn, crestfallen. Not because I doubt what I heard, what I felt, but because I have no one to share my joy with. 

My soul is crushed, devastated that those doubters think so little of our God to think that it is an impossibility.  

I am a dreamer, that much is true. But I know what I heard, those rumblings. I see with my own eyes the hairline fractures in a previously unchanging landscape. 

I rest in the fact that I had no hand in ripping open the land. That I am powerless to creating life where there was none. 

I rejoice in the truth that I may be witness to it all. That I can stand on the shoulders of journeyers before me so that I can see the change coming from the direction of the rising sun. 

I am humbled by my powerlessness as the rumblings grow ever louder. They approach with a magnifying volume that vibrates all around, sending individual particles of sand dancing along the earth. 

Because even the sand dunes moved aside to reveal the hard earth for this very moment. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five on Friday

{one} We took the girls to a local splash park and enjoyed one of their last open days! Grace loved it And I loved soaking up the sun. 

{two} Last weekend we travelled to Georgia, stopping at the Chattanooga Aquarium before heading onto an Atlanta Braves night game where we (including the girls,) stayed for eleven innings! What a long and fun night!

{three} We are two months into our time in the States! So hard to believe! We had been dreaming about this time for so long that it is a little hard to believe that it is one third of the way done. I am trying not to get ahead of    myself by dreaming about house hunting and decorating when we get back and instead enjoy the present time. 

{four} Our poor Gracie came down with croup this past week. It set in pretty fast and since we knew we were about to leave her with my parents for the weekend, I decided to take her in to the doctor just as a precaution. They ran an RSV test on her and when that came back negative and her breathing rate was increasing along with her strider and barking cough, they referred us to the ER. We got in pretty quickly, were x-rayed in less than five minutes, and then told she had croup. They gave her a steroid shot since the swelling in her throat was so bad and observed her for an hour. 

All in all it was a good hospital experience and Grace enjoyed her new orange "dress."

{five} "I'm nothing if not persistent." That's what I just told the complete stranger in Starbucks. Apparently I sat in the seat with the only working outlet. And apparently she was just having one of those days and knew that her outlet wasn't going to work. So I tried her plug in four different outlets in my corner until we found one that worked. 

I think she's still miffed that I was in her seat. Oh well. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

One of those weeks

I feel a little defeated this week. I wrote two posts (on my phone) and they have been lost forever in the realm of "I can't believe I never hit save."

Oh well. 

Ian and I are currently snuggled up on the bottom bunk at perfect strangers house. We are speaking at a conference in South Carolina and enjoying getting to talk about overseas life, our calling, and our passions. 

I did get told this today though, "Oh, y'all live in the Middle East? In China or Japan?"

Cue my jaw dropping to the floor. 

We also ran into a couple who we haven't seen in almost four years! Before we both left the States neither of us had kids, now both families have two. I kept chuckling as I watched our friend hold his toddler on his hip- I had never seen them as parents before!

So much to catch up on! We are without the girls this weekend so here is to hoping I can get some thoughts written down!