Wednesday, January 30, 2013


My mother-in-law has the gift of insight and the timely word. As we were getting ready to head back to TN after our house hunting trip she shared these encouraging words...
In John 14 Jesus says, "I am preparing a place for you..." She reminded us that the word "prepared" doesn't mean something haphazardly thrown together in haste, it is something set up, planned, and purposefully laid out with thought and intention.
This house hunting trip has been one big adventure. In the past ten days the four of us have collectively traveled about 2000 miles, been through canceled flights, re-scheduled flights, bad hotel experiences, housing dead ends, bad dreams, doctor's visits, and tearful partings.
But at the same time it has been full of promises, peace, guidance, and blessings. It's been a ten days of being surrounded by family, the feeling of being home in Virginia, discovery, and excitement. It's been 10 days of seeing the intentionality with which God is preparing this move.
We boarded the plane in Baltimore last night (long story how we ended up there, ask me sometime :) and flew back to Nashville with no house successfully nailed down in Virginia. We have a house we love, but we surrender that to God as we trust His plan. We should be anxious, we should be stressed, but we are surrounded in peace.
God is preparing our home in Virginia even if we don't see it yet. God is preparing our hearts to be in tune to Him and where He wants us to live to be used by Him. We are thankful for all this trip has taught us, all that God has infinitely blessed us with, and the peace we have being held in the arms of our Father!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

27 Weeks

Pregnancy This Week 
(Another lovely sun-right-in-the-eyes picture)
How Far Along: 27 weeks
Size of Baby: About 2 and half pounds and 14 1/2 inches
Gender: Boy! Wilson Tyler
Weight Gain: Finally leveled out! I'm back to about a five pound total weight gain, no more losing what I've gained.
Maternity Clothes: Not totally. I did pull out some maternity tops for the house hunting this week so I was extra comfy riding around, but I still don't fit maternity pants and it's quite annoying and embarrassing to have them fall down, so we will wait on them.
Movement: This boy is getting stronger by the week and trying to push his boundaries making sure my ribs and other organs know their place.
Cravings: Still love sandwiches and now I'm into icy stuff like sherbert, cold drinks, shakes, and even just ice.
Symptoms: Just those awesome kicks of "Hi Mom!"
Best Moment of the Week: Starting to look for our new home in Virginia and the place where Wilson will be born!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Harrison's House Wishlist

I want a big grass (a yard) so I can run and play in mulch, mud, dirt, and explore!
I want it to have hard floors so I can ride my bike inside if it's raining outside.
I want it to be blue or have blue windows, or blue doors, or a blue room. I like blue because blue is like Optimus Prime!
I want it to have a car mailbox (a garage) and a our very own mailbox with a flag on the side.
I want it to be in Virginia!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thankful for Boxes

I love the complete peace that comes with 100% reliance on God. Sometimes we need the reminders that He doesn't need our "help" or more importantly our feelings of being the ones in control.
And so sometimes it takes lost treasures, broken laptops, no house and a three week deadline, and lots of dead ends to create that utter dependence on God who loves us more infinitely than we can imagine.
Well, who would have thought a little thing like boxes would even be something we couldn't control. Thanks to some friends we were able to get a few, but moving all of us and the boys collections is going to require some heavy duty cardboard.
After being rejected by store after store for box handouts I was starting to wonder if there was a cardboard shortage in the area. And not wanting to buy them for $10 a box at Lowes had me searching high and low.
So, between the packing, house hunting, PC repairs, phone calls, runny noses, and flight check-ins, Matt suggested a walk to just get out of the house for a bit.
And God lead our steps right by a house a few streets down being moved into, with boxes having completed their use, being thrown out. Every size, kind, shape, and weight of box you can imagine was accounted for. Even a special padded one for wall mirrors...the very specific one we needed.
So we took countless trips loading God's cardboard provision into our town home to get ready to be packed with our lives and taken home to Virginia. And it was in those trips back and forth, laughing and marveling, that we found God really is in control. He knows our steps, our plans, our future home address, our move dates, and our tomorrows, because He certainly had our boxes:)

Friday, January 18, 2013

It's All in the Details

There's been lots of little hurdles around here lately. Little obstacles that we did not see coming, but have a purpose, I'm sure. Things like our only working PC falling to the floor resulting in no working PC's. Little things like losing hours of house hunting research, all my realtor contacts, months of pictures, and the only way I can upload, back-up, and blog pictures of our craziness. Little things like fevers and coughs, sleepless nights, house hunting dead ends, lost favorite toys, current home repair issues, and car repair issues. But here's the detail I'm clinging to...they are all just little issues. None of them are life altering, life ending, or cause permanent damage. As Matt cuddled all of close last night and reminded the boys how each of them are more important than broken PC's and finding a house it reminded me how God is protecting and guiding us every step of this huge time in our lives.
In a little over three weeks we'll be home. We'll be back in Virginia, Matt will be working in the city he has dreamed about for decades, we will be surrounded by family, and the prayer of our hearts for the past 2 years will have been answered. These little hurdles can only strengthen our steps to get there.We don't have a house, we don't have a lot of the answers, we don't even have a specific move date yet (due to not having an address), but the joy in our hearts, the feeling of being held by our Heavenly Father, and the excitement of Virginia bound little boys is more than enough to keep us motivated and anticipating being back home!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

26 Weeks

Pregnancy This Week
Yep, I'm wearing a t-shirt in January, it was 72 degrees. The next day plunged to 29 and started sleeting, crazy! 
How Far Along: 26 weeks (this pregnancy is really going fast!)
Size of Baby: Just under 2lbs and about 14 long...the length of a burp cloth which I will make into a daily fashion accessory once Wilson arrives :)
Gender: Boy! Wilson Tyler
Weight Gain: No loss, no gain. I go to the doctor on Friday to test to see if I have to stay on this medicine which is aiding the weight loss. In the meantime, Arby's roast beef sandwich anyone? :)
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but like I said. I think I will keep them out once we move, maybe before then!
Movement: This boy is getting strong. He hates braxton hicks and protests the entire time. He always lets his brothers know he is around if they are trying to get comfy on my lap, and right about the time I start falling asleep at night he wants to make sure he gets in a few more minutes of jumping jacks.
Symptoms: Braxton Hicks have started pretty regularly which is always exciting since we are on the back hill side of pregnancy, but kinda scary since it reminds me he will be here sooner than later and I'm not ready at all...sorta want a house to bring him home to you know? Silly details like that.
Best Moment of the Week: This week Jefferson has started randomly coming up to kiss "Wils" right on my belly button. Even if it does leave a nice slobbery mark on the center of my shirt, I love the display of affection:)

Monday, January 14, 2013

What Happens to Bad Dream Around Here

We woke up to our brave faced three year old standing by our bed. "I had a bad dream," he announced. "Oh Buddy, we are so sorry. Do you want to tell us about it?"
"I don't think you want to hear this, but ok, here it goes...Me and Daddy were at Kroger and a huge, giant penguin came out and started shooting tons and tons of water out of his mouth!"
"That mean, bad guy penguin filled the whole store with water and everybody was killed!" But before we could offer hugs, comfort, or prayers, Harrison continued...
"But you know what I did? I just told that bad dream it had to go away and I gave it to Jesus because He is so powerful! And do you know what Jesus did with it? He took and threw it away in the trash can and it's gone forever!"
"Then I just prayed for my blessings and I went back to sleep." And that's what happens to bad dreams in this house! So proud of our little prayer warrior and his growing dependence on his Heavenly Father to protect him and bring peace.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

25 Weeks

Pregnancy This Week 
(The sun decided to shine directly in my eyes right as we were taking the quick belly shot on our way to church. This is the only picture my eyes aren't closed in...they are just closing which explains my lovely facial expression.)
How Far Along: 25 weeks
Size of Baby: About 13 1/2 inches and 1 1/2 lbs
Gender: Boy! Wilson Tyler
Weight Gain: I'm holding steady since last week. I haven't gained anymore, but I haven't lost anymore which is the goal! Thanks to all those pb&j's! :)
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, still can wear all my regular clothes which is really nice with packing for a move and not having to dig through to find the maternity stuff yet!
Movement: A ton! This guy is getting strong, opinionated about personal space, and itching to add to the chaos since he seems to get as hyper as his brothers when he hears them tackling.
Cravings: Turkey sandwiches, pb&j's, fruit, and my nightly bowl of sherbert (this has become my nightly craving with every single pregnancy)
Symptoms: Nothing except for the kicks. Really feeling great which has been such a blessing!
Best Moment of the Week: Having Jefferson and Harrison both "playing" with Wilson. He was kicking a ton and both boys would poke back at him and laugh. It's neat to already see my three boys interacting.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Heart's Desire

Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and Thou hast not withheld the request of his lips. For Thou dost meet him with the blessing of good things. Psalm 21:2-3
We are pretty familiar with the expression, "God always answers prayers, just sometimes not in the way we want." After heartbreaks, heart aches, and some dreams come true we know God has an ultimate plan and will for our lives once we give our hearts to Him.
And while some of the answers He gives aren't exactly what we wanted, once we come through the other side we've seen how He has challenged us, moved us, and grown us beyond what we thought we ever could be. And that's something Matt and I have especially clung to over the last 2 years.
Tennessee was never in our dreams, but it has become the fertile soil in which God came near and grafted into us peace, contentment, joy, and life full in Him. We've been richly blessed and overwhelmed at the presence of God in our time here and just when we have fully given every last one of our own heart's desires over to God, He has a way of moving us to tears, elation, and to our knees in gratitude and praise.
And it's with complete joy, peace, and celebration that we can officially announce that this family of (almost) five is coming home! These Virginian transplants are coming back to stay and every single one of us is filled with every emotion you can imagine. I'll post more details of the how, when, where, etc. But for right now I simply want to just say thank you God; we thank you for the opportunity to serve You and grow here in Tennessee, and we thank you for Your granting our heart's desire to move us home!
Virginia, here we come!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

These are the Jokes

Harrison has entered the comedy phase. He loves himself some slapstick humor, but he's just started to understand the wit involved in telling a joke. As you can tell from his newest self-written joke below he has a little ways to go in fully grasping comedy, but he sure has his own way of keeping us in stitches!
After Matt told Harrison the classic, "What's black and white and red all over?", we asked him to tell us a joke. This was his...
Q: What happens if you stand right in front of cannon and put your face inside the barrel?
A: It's called pain!

Friday, January 4, 2013

24 Weeks

Pregnancy This Week 
You know what I didn't do this week? Take a belly shot. You know what I did do? Took a ton of pictures of my boys. 
So since my belly hasn't really changed over this past week anyway I'm just going to show off
the big brothers:)
How Far Along: 24 weeks (ok at his point I'm a day away from 25, but it's kinda been a crazy week)
Size of Baby: About the length of a large ear of corn and weighs 1 1/3lbs.
Gender: Boy! Wilson Tyler
Weight Gain: I actually lost weight at this last appointment...not really what you want in pregnancy. Pretty sure it's due to a medication I have to take. So I got medical clearance to indulge a little more...seconds on ice cream?
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, since I carry high I can still wear all my regular pants. Though with my belly starting to round a bit I'm seeing the need for longer shirts so I'm probably going to start switching tops out soon.
Movement: A ton! I think Wilson likes the sound of water because he always starts moving a ton when I'm washing dishes or in the shower. He is also getting very pronounced in his tumbles. I can feel little feet and limbs pushing and stretching instead of just vague flutters.
Cravings: I still like junk cereal, turkey sandwiches, and fruit of any kind. But with the need for more calories in my day I've taken to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, that ought to do it :)
Symptoms: For the first time this week I have felt more tired in the evenings and very ready for bed when I can collapse onto my pillow. But that may have something to do with sleep being interrupted by my sick husband, baby on the bladder, or little boys waking with bad dreams, growing pains, or asking if it's time to get up.
Best Moment of the Week: Hearing Harrison tell strangers and the overall general public about the baby in Mommy's tummy. He is starting to develop a sense of pride about being the biggest brother in this growing family and has taken a protective stance over his little brothers. It's very sweet and encouraging to see.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On My Toes

Lately these boys have had a way of keeping the days far from mundane, predictable, or scheduled. And if you know me, you know I'm not one for operating on a daily plan, so this works for us.
Waking up to a day full of unknowns, messes beyond my imagination, wondering who will end up with the next goose egg, and if we'll fit it all in before we collapse in a good kind of exhaustion is kinda the way we all operate.
Lately Jeff's been into climbing, and I'm not talking about the stairs. By climbing I mean shelving units in the pantry, kitchen counters and cabinets, and the dining room table. Everything is a challenge as worthy as Everest to this explorer as he seeks to reach the summit and I reach extreme levels of panic.
And Harrison, well, he's informed me the house is full of bad guys that need a good fighting and beating. The "bad guys" also known as a vacuum cleaner, a dust buster, a broom, a washing machine, etc, are all opposable foes worthy of a meeting with his Nerf sword. While I love my valiant little knight, his protective services have a tendency to lengthen cleaning times.

So you can see that between my height defying son and my super hero son I've definitely been staying on my toes. The days fly by with moments of "I-did-not-see-that-coming" and "how-did-you-get-up-there?" Before we know it, Wilson will be here and I'm sure staying on my toes will be the only option.