21 March 2014

Emery Rain's two month shoot!!

Can't believe this girl is almost three months old. She's still SUCH a good baby - only cries when she's hungry, sleepy, or sick and usually she's pretty easy to appease.

About one week post-partum, I started working for GO on the Mission again. Most of the work I can do from home and throughout the day so it fit right in with our schedule (aka, non-schedule). Emery was very still very sleepy most of the time, so it wasn't too hard to squeeze in a few to-do's each day.

When she was about a month old, she started smiling!! Best. Moment. Ever.

At about 6 weeks old, she started sleeping from 10pm to 5am most nights! Which changed my life. That's probably about the time I started feeling human again. She wakes up hunting for her pacifier, which she LOVES, about every hour or so... but all I need to do is pop it back in her cute little mouth and she goes right back to sleep.

Here we go... only a few weeks late, her two month photoshoot with By Jen Waldron!

Emery Rain's one day shoot!

Again, I'm waaaay late in posting these but I want them on the blog so that some day Emery can go back and look through everything and see her photos! Plus, let's be real... I'm not tired of looking at these at all :) Love this baby girl!

20 March 2014

a birth story.

Our beautiful Emery Rain is now just over two months old and I'm finally starting to feel like I have space in my brain and my heart to be a little bit of my own person again... first post as a mommy and, of course, it's a birth story :)

Emery Rain - 2 months old

Monday, Dec 30th of 2013
7am. Nick had just left for work and I was sitting in bed, wired wide awake (even though everyone tells you to rest while you can, you just can't during those last couple weeks of pregnancy) and facing a long day of maternity leave. Even though my due date wasn't until January 7th, I had assumed I'd be behind on baby laundry and organizing supplies and packing my bag so I wanted that last week off of work to focus on getting ready for parenthood. Turns out, I was all done with all that stuff. Which left me no other options, I just had to spend the entire day trying to kickstart my labor. Hah! Now I laugh at how impatient I was, but I SO wanted to meet Emery!!

19 September 2013

our Tiny Cottage: siding + stove!

My boys (my dad, Nick, and even our gnome!) have been working so hard these last couple weeks!! The Tiny Cottage now has a good start on its exterior siding, light boxes, hose boxes, and a door knob that locks. The exterior trim around the windows and vents is all done, and so is the weatherproofing paper. It's getting more and more snug and tidy inside. Check out all our/their progress below :)

So for starters, Nick has been working like a mad man on our siding. AND he is a ridiculous perfectionist (in a way I'm extremely grateful for), so each measurement and cut is perfect, every time. He notched around vents, windows, light boxes, etc. all with extreme precision.  I still get a nervous rush every time I run the skillsaw, so watching him cut out these puzzle pieces is amazing.

11 September 2013

our Tiny Cottage: windows + weatherproofing

Things are moving faster now! And I couldn't be happier since we've got a baby-clock ticking the time away. Seems like we may not be moved into the cottage before Emery comes just because we've had a hard time getting hours in on the cottage (vs. everything else we've been doing), but we're trying to buckle down now and make it happen!

Over the last week, Nick and my dad (and I helped a little bit) got most of the weather-proofing paper up, installed all the windows, and our front door. Yay! We've got a couple of wasps nests to kill before we can finish the papering.

06 September 2013

so excited for Emery Rain!

It's been just about two weeks since we found out we're having a baby girl!! And now that I know for sure it's a girl, I feel like we've both known since the beginning :) It's actually kind of a cool story...

Both Nick and I wanted a girl. I was afraid to be too vocal about it or hope too much, because then I'd feel bad if we had a boy... and Nick decided to start telling people he thought our baby was a boy, but I think it was a defense mechanism because he REALLY wanted a little girl. Everything just made more sense when we talked about having our little girl, even choosing a name was easier!

Then, when we were visiting some friends of ours in Mazatlan in June we had an interesting and confusing experience. Our friend Lulu, who pastors a wonderful church with her husband in one of the poorest neighborhoods surrounding Mazatlan and is a woman of powerful and sometimes prophetic prayer, asked if she could pray for us and for the baby. She doesn't speak any English, so she was praying in Spanish but we were lucky enough to have a translator with us that night so we could both understand her (I can listen and translate for myself pretty well, but I'm not fast enough to translate for others). 

In Spanish, they do not use the pronoun 'it' or even 'he or she' when talking in generics, they just 'he.' So of course during her prayer for our baby, she said 'he' over and over. In my own head, I translated this as 'it' and didn't think she was trying to make any kind of prediction, but Nick immediately decided that Lulu must know our baby is a boy. We were in a stand-off.

She had also prayed several things for our baby that did sound masculine - that she (I can say that now!) would be a warrior for Christ, a strong leader for her family, etc. etc. These statements were also on Nick's side, and made me think that mabye, maybe our baby would be a boy.

As our ultrasound got closer and name/gender arguments grew more heated (Nick and I both thrive on passionate 'discussion'), Lulu's prayer became the one point on which we had to agree to disagree. We both believed in what she asked for, and that our baby was going to a warrior and a leader.

Later, about a month ago (and two weeks before our ultrasound) I was at lunch with some friends and we were all talking baby names. Someone else happened to mention the name Nick and I had agreed on for a girl, Emery, and casually mentioned that she liked it because it means 'Warrior' or 'Strong Leader.' Lightening strike moment!!!
Right then, I knew we were having a girl and that her name was Emery. I told Nick right away, and he was as excited as I was! We still had two weeks to go, but everything we'd been hoping for just felt very confirmed. 

When we first saw Emery on the screen of the ultrasound machine, and our tech confirmed what we already knew, it felt like an arrival! This is the girl that we've been waiting for and praying for, joyfully anticipating. Emery Rain, our beautiful daughter and future warrior :) We couldn't be happier. 

05 September 2013

words of encouragement.

Over the past couple of months, I have been reading and listening (in turns) to Love Does by Bob Goff. Similar to a favorite author of mine and good friend of his, Donald Miller, Bob sets his book up as a collection of short memoirs illustrating great points. This writing style is great for me because 1) I need story movement to remain interested and 2) I like to have a lightbulb moment and arrive at my own conclusions rather than having 'the point' said right out. BTW: this is also why I love C.S. Lewis with my whole heart. And Jesus.

I appreciate the subtle way he starts with the popular idea of positive affirmation, one that we're all at least familiar with but don't practice, and then shifts the focus to others rather than ourselves. 

Positive affirmation is a hard one for me, because if I have to proactively look in a mirror and tell myself that I'm pretty or successful or confident... doesn't that mean I'm not? Why else would I be taking time out to tell myself these things? Not that I think we should think negatively of ourselves. I don't think that I'm not beautiful or successful (well, sometimes I do, but I don't do it on purpose) or any of those things... but the point is I would rather think of myself less overall. C.S Lewis even says, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” That's what I want... so positive affirmation isn't something that appeals to me, really.

First off, I like this take because it forces me to recognize how much I really do depend on God and the community he's placed me in to speak into me and lift me up. America is all about independence, and American Christianity can lots of times be very focused on having a relationship with God but independent from other people. Like I'm supposed to need ONLY God and none of the other people that he put on this earth, they're useless. Not true! I need people to encourage me and lift me up, and my soul thrives on that kind of simple investment from others. 

This next part is one step further, though...

Now the natural next thought in this train is this: If I profit so much by a few well-placed kind words or actions, can't I and shouldn't I profit others the same way? It's so easy for someone to make my day. That good and uplifted state, the one that only cost them a few minutes of being present and reaching out, lasts me a long time. I'd say the cost-benefit analysis pans out. Especially if you take into consideration how good it can feel for the day-maker! It's a win-win scenario almost every time.

So now is when I start trying harder to be the one who brings those words of encourage and initiates a change for someone. It'll brighten my day to be the brightener, and it just may help shape someone who needs a little extra shaping.