A Sprinkle for Verity.

Last weekend we were in Harrisonburg for a friend’s wedding and “A Sprinkle for Verity”.

I can’t begin to describe how much I love that place – Harrisonburg. Going back gets me teary eyed every time. 

It’s where I met God. Met my husband. It’s where the most beautiful friendships started and continue to endure beyond those mountainous views. 

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Lauren has headed up throwing my bridal shower, a Haddon shower, and now a Verity sprinkle all at our dear Beth’s house. 

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She outdoes herself in the making me feel special department every time. 

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Forget the word sprinkle, it was more like a downpour of love and encouragement.

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Our family is so thankful. Thanks to all who continue to love us through the many transitions of life. 

One thing I realized how this weekend is how lonely motherhood and moving can be… and how THANKFUL I am to have friendships that endure through graduations, marriages, moving, mommying, etc! 

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Living Quietly.

My friend said this the other day and I couldn’t agree more:

“It used to be be that one had to do research, write a dissertation, or have extensive experience in an area to be a credible expert. These days, one just needs to own a social media account or a blog. Ah, the internet; where everyone is an expert on Israel, ISIS, suicide, and Robin Williams’ personal life.”

I don’t know what it is… the drug of Facebook that keeps me going back for more. To be quite honest, half the time I’m on it I get annoyed. I love to see how everyone is doing though… maybe that’s what it is. Or maybe it really just is an addictive habit, to press like to anything that tickles my fancy… 

Let’s not even get started on… baby topics like…weaning, breastfeeding in public, unmedicated childbirth, weight loss, weight maintenance, the latest and greatest “try out this diet” fad, which XYZ is the best to use, look how I decorated my house, etc.

I don’t get on a platform every time I see something I agree or disagree with. Although sometimes I am tempted to and I guess sometimes I do. You know what though, they don’t really matter, my personal opinions about such carnal matters.

I am afraid we are becoming a culture who speaks way more than we think – thinks about others, thinks about circumstances and perspective thinks about truth, the kind of truth that actually matters.

That is where I struggle though… did we ever get anywhere in life by staying silent? Are we supposed to go out into the world and speak and make disciples? YES. So why are we wasting so much dag on time on speaking, doing, spending, etc on things that don’t matter AT ALL in light of eternity? (I’m not yelling at you I promise, I am asking myself these things). Are they important for the here and now? Are they things that should be ignored? No, not necessarily. I am just wondering where we put our efforts.

It’s great to be encouraged or be encouraging. It’s great to inform people and teach people things. I’m just not so sure Facebook/Instagram statuses are the most effective ways to do it. Because just as my friend said, everyone does it. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all have opinions.

I’m making it my ambition to live a quiet life for a while.

I’ll still be around, I’m not going on another media fast so to speak – I’m not against Facebook, Instagram, blogs, etc. I just want to fill my mind with things that matter more. I want my heart to be burdened more by eternal truths and our need for Christ.

So in trying to live a more quiet life socially, I’m going to be slower to speak, slower to hit like, slower to hit share, slower to post than I have been… quicker to listen to sermons, to read the word, to be intentional with my kids, quicker to look for ways to love those around me, etc.

We have one life and contrary to what the world tells us it isn’t about our name or fame or opinions or likes or any of those things. It’s about Him.

I was listening to a sermon last night and this line really stuck with me… “as true Christians, we aren’t supposed to look like a more cleaned up version of the world”. Being concerned with carnal things is worldly, no matter what spin we want to put on it.

We need to fix our eyes on things above.

*I’ll still share personal things on my own personal blog*

It’s a…

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GIRL

VerityDark spot is lips and nose is right above…

We had our 20 week scan today and the baby looks good.

I, however, got talked to about my weight and I do have “marginal placenta previa“. He wasn’t too concerned since I haven’t bled at all. I would appreciate all the prayers I can get to have it move though! We will check again in 8 weeks to see if the placenta has moved at all. The plus side is we get to see her again.

We can’t wait to meet you VERITY DOWNS. We are in awe of another little miracle. Thank you Lord.

OBX 2014.

Another vacation in the OBX!

George and Ruth Downs invested down there when people weren’t going down there yet! They sold their first primitive cottage and purchased a newer one in the same neighborhood about 20 years ago.

It’s on the sound side of the street but not right on the sound and a short walk or even shorter ride across the street to the beach.

Grandma Ruth uses it for friends and family and it is such a blessing.

I started going with the Downs while Micah and I were just dating and look forward to it at least once a year!

We had no idea what to expect from Haddon this year. Last year, he was small enough to nap on the beach and not wander off to far. This year he was obsessed with “police car trucks” aka the beach patrol trucks and lifeguards. Ya know the airplanes that fly by and advertise? Whenever, he would see one with letters he would announce: “airplane! ABCD” and if one flew by without letters he would say: “no ABCD that one”. He makes life so noticeable. Every little moment of it through a child’s eyes is incredible.

Haddon had a great time with his cousins! Oh my those kids can play together.

While we went with family, it was our last time at the beach as a “family of three”. I have such mixed feelings about that, which I assume is normal. At one point Micah took Haddon in the waves and I was standing on the shore trying to document it (of course). I asked myself what the heck I was doing and went in there with them. Next year, I’ll be on the shore nursing a baby. I am trying to soak up all these moments together.

4 Years.

of holy matrimony… and oh what a sacred thing it is.

Marriage.

People have so many ideas of it. So many different expectations that it and the spouse will bring to completion.

The truth is marriage is for God’s glory and He is working His perfect way in the people involved and the covenant itself. God is the one that completes the people and the work in marriage till death do they part. Oh how I pray that is not for many years, and He will have His perfect way in us and through us for years and years.

When we forget who its truly about and for,  things can feel and look pretty messy. Two imperfect people living together, making decisions together, being a family together… there is a lot of room for ugly. There is a whole lot of room for grace though, and forgiveness and learning and growing.

I am thankful for the ugly moments, especially because we are blessed to not have them too too often. When we do though beautiful grace shines through afterwards.

I am so thankful for my husband who points me to the giver and author of marriage and grace and forgiveness and mercy.

I love you Micah Downs.

24 Months.

Haddon Isaiah, you are such a joy my boy.

You turned 2 Sunday and it’s hard to believe that you have only been in our life for 2 years, but at the same time sometimes it’s hard to remember life before you.

This month you have started being really compassionate, hugging things saying “don’t cry”. It makes me so excited to see you become a big brother.

You also act “two” sometimes… but I refuse to declare the “terrible twos” over your life. You are a sweet boy but you also are a sinner. So I can’t expect you to obey and be sweet all the time! 

Your daddy and I talk about how you have brought so much unity to our relationship.

We thank God for you sweetie and hope to live a long life with you.

Little Blue Truck Birthday Party.

Our boy turned two on Sunday and it was a joyful celebration of life (and a little boy obsessed with trucks)!

Last year we had a The Very Hungry Caterpillar Party and it was so much fun to plan according to a book…At his party last year he was given three copies of Little Blue Truck! It quickly became a favorite in our house. So I decided to keep up the book themed idea.

During the week leading up as I was baking cookies, crafting, icing cupcakes, making food and to do lists – Micah asked if I liked doing these things. I absolutely do!

My birthdays were always really special growing up. One year it was an animal party and everyone took home goldfish. Another year, it was a campfire party and we all saved ashes from the fire and wrote on the little bottles. I remember when it was a “secret garden” party and a surprise location – I was blindfolded the whole way there and and ended up at the Blandy Farm where we were all given secret garden keys around necklaces. I want Haddon to have fond memories of his special day too. No, you don’t need decorations and themes to do so, but man are they fun for the planner! I will show him pictures and tell him stories some day and hope he appreciates it. Some day we may not have money, I may not have the energy and I love lavishing this boy while I can.

We started off the day with guests already in town! Our friends the Emborskis and the Frailings came all the way to celebrate with us, as did Aunt Boo! Haddon woke up from his nap 10 minutes before the party started. I think he was overwhelmed at first (even with as social as he is)… but definitely realized what it was all about when we sang Happy Birthday. Him and I had practiced blowing out his candles a couple times so he wouldnt freak out at the fire and yell “that’s dangerous!” He did great.

Enjoy a peek into our day, it was such a fun one. Thanks to all our friends and family who came out to celebrate and for ALL of you who have prayed for him and loved him and us his whole 2 years, 9 months of life.

We love you Haddon Isaiah!

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4 Months.

 4months

We’ve been praying for you for since the fall and dreaming about you for forever.

The idea of a created life living inside of me is incredible and just as much so the second time around, maybe even more so. We know what you are growing and developing into and it’s just amazing. Your big brother surprised us (and we are so glad), but you were thought through and prayed for and we are so glad to get to keep you this long already. You are my second baby and I am a second child, so for some reason I feel like we can relate already.

The first time I took a test to see if you existed, it told me no. I was really disappointed. Then two weeks later, it told me yes. I didn’t tell Haddon or daddy until after church one day, it was our little secret for a couple hours, and then I gave your daddy a toy quiver full of two arrows and your brother a book about being a big brother.

Being your mama is wonderful already.

However, I got sick a couple times and was a lot more nauseated than I was with Haddon, tired beyond belief, experienced way too many emotional waves, started showing earlier than I expected, but I am so glad to have you keeping me company and I can’t wait to find out more about who you are.

We already have your names pretty much picked out, no matter what that black and white picture show. I can’t wait to start calling you by name and telling your brother who to expect, who will be joining our family. He already tells you to “come out”. When my stomach makes noises he thinks it is you talking to him and makes a real surprised face and yells: baby talking! He also is getting more and more compassionate by the day: “don’t cry baby” to anything that looks upset and then hugs it. Although, I am so excited for you the thought of you brings me to tears. I hope I have the energy to be a good mama to you. I hope I have the patience to love and teach each of my children how they need. I know God will be my supply.

Your daddy is sweet as honey to me and started talking to you before you even developed ears. When he sees us he says: “my babies”! I am plural to him now because of you.

Whether I get to keep you 5 more months or 50 more years and no matter what you’re like, know that I love you no matter what and that you are so wanted. You are God’s creation. A life. A soul that He has entrusted to us. We will do our best to point you to Him and love you like He loves.

We find out what you are in less than a month!

PS: I wrote your brother letters each month after he was born, I hope to do the same for you…but don’t hold it against me if I don’t keep up, k?

First Trimester Wrap Up.

I am so thrilled to be in the 2nd trimester. With Haddon it was the best and I’m hoping that proves to be true this time around as well!

How I found out: We had been “trying” since November and it just hadn’t happened. We trusted God’s timing and in February I am thinking right before we moved, it happened. I found out basically as soon as I was late because I had been hoping for a few months. However, the first test I took said negative – major disappointment. Two weeks later, I took another and it said positive. I was so excited but also so confused. I had no idea how old this baby was. Was the first test wrong? Did I ovulate later due to the stress of moving, etc? My ultrasound and the baby’s size revealed it was probably the later.

How I told Micah and Haddon: I took the test in the morning and I told them later that day by handing Haddon a big brother book and Micah a toy quiver full of two arrows. I had gotten the quiver one year for Father’s Day and decided that from Haddon forward I would just keep adding play arrows to it if the Lord blessed us.

Micah is ecstatic of course. He was ready to try for another baby before I was. He was patient with me and is so excited.

I can’t really tell what Haddon knows but we talk to him about it and he touches my stomach sometimes and says baby. He also tells it to “come out”.

How I felt physically: Exhausted and more nauseated than I ever was with Haddon. My few sicknesses and queasiness are hardly worth mentioning in comparison to what some women go through. It still wasn’t fun for me though, especially since I didn’t have that with Haddon. For weeks, Haddon would wake me up asking for crackers and mints which he knew were in my nightstand.

What I ate: thank the Lord I had no aversions this time around! Aka I still drank coffee. I’ve been trying to eat semi-healthy but not depriving myself. I am not one of those “I’m not gonna eat any sugar people”. Yes, watch it. For me though, if it’s not something I’ll keep up my whole life I see no purpose in fads unless there is a specific reason for doing something for a time being.

I have been trying to seriously get my protein uptake because did you know pregnant people are supposed to get over 75g of protein. That is crazy. Some of my favorite ways to do this are: eggs, power balls (addicting), protein smoothies, string cheese, bacon cheeseburgers… and nuts!

How much weight I gained: Started out at 95 and am ending around 103. Trying not to be discouraged that I’ve already gained 7lbs… I read you aren’t supposed to gain any in the first trimester. Whoops. It is a personal goal to NOT gain as much as I did with Haddon.

How I worked out: I am still able to run and that makes me really happy, because jogging makes me happy – yay endorphins. I didn’t run before I had Haddon I started when he was a couple months old, so it’s nice to have that this time around. Although, the pressure is starting… barely but I can feel it so who knows how long running will last. I also do Tony Horton’s 10min work outs, usually only like two, but hey, it’s something! If you ran through pregnancy, how far along were you before it just got way too uncomfortable?

Funniest moments: One time my stomach growled or digested, something making a loud noise and Haddon got the most surprised look on his face and yelled: BABY TALKING! Then he put his ear down to my stomach. I laughed so hard and didn’t correct him I thought it was so cute, so now that’s what he thinks about stomachs making noise…

Happiest moments: My only two friends here in Frederick are pregnant. My bestie Lauren is pregnant and we are three days apart. My sister in law and I are a month and a half apart. I thought I would go through this pregnancy alone after the move and that’s just not the case :)

Do we have a preference of what we are having? Nope! I mean I would love to have a girl someday. We have everything boy though, Haddon and the baby will be pretty close in age, etc. So seriously, either sounds great. I’ve had a girl name picked out for years and I am still trying to convince Micah of my latest favorite boy name…

I am not one to like surprises – we find out what this little one is at the beginning of July!

Oh and I’m still scared senseless of labor. I don’t forget that pain, I don’t care what people say. I think I’m honestly the most scared of the length, that I won’t have the endurance for it again. People say that it is easier the second time around, but I won’t know that until the second time around…

Some pictures from the past couple months:

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We went out for baby back ribs the night I told him.

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My babies and I on mother’s day.

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I don’t remember exact weeks… but I know the first is as soon as I found out and the last is 13 weeks.photo 4

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My personal fave:

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23 Months.

I almost forgot! 

How fast this month went by! You will be two next month! Two! 

This is a little bittersweet because next time I write your monthly updates it will probably be the last one… I feel like once you have a two year old you don’t say, oh he is 26 months. You say, he is two. Not that I dont want to document you forever and keep all your special sayings and doings near to me – I do. I’m so emotional lately. 

Everyday it feels like I read something that has happened to a small child or baby and while the Lord really helps protect my mind from fear, I still get overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with sadness for those parents but also overwhelmed with gratitude for all these months we’ve been allowed to “keep” you. If you are the only baby I ever had, I’d be thankful forever because of how you changed us. How you continue to change us and help us see God.

You make us so happy Haddon. I try to tell you that everyday. “Haddon you make mama SO happy” Sometimes you sheepishly grin and like it and others days you are feeling honorary and tell me “no”. Then I smother you with kisses and say “What?! I do I do I do love you”.

You continue to amaze us with your speech and all you pick up on. It is so fun to watch you discover life.

Your favorite things right now are… wait for it… trucks and bugs.

Every day, “daddy find a worm”. If you find one on your own, you get more excited and run to the door and tell me “big, fat, juicy one, oooo” (even if its a little skinny squirmy one).

We are going camping this weekend and I am so excited (and semi nervous) to see how you like it.

I love you my sweet boy. 

 

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