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. 

 

Update

Well we have been here a little over two months now so I just thought it was time for a short and sweet update.

Overall, we are doing very well and I am so so thankful for the contentment and peace and new normal the Lord has provided through this big transition.

Jobs – 

  • Micah is doing well in his new position and not only is he doing well but he really likes it! 
  • I didn’t know how working remotely would be for our family but let me tell you it is the biggest blessing. It works so well for the phase of life we are in and I am just in awe at the Lord’s provision. 

Home – 

Whenever, people ask me if I like Frederick, I say I think so! The truth is I do not get out of my house a lot. Which after the craziness of last year is honestly fine by me. We go out to eat at local restaurants sometimes, grocery stores, visit people, try churches, Home Depot, etc but mostly I stay put. However, I seriously could not love our neighborhood more and I love our townhouse too. There are sidewalks, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, pools, a pond, a pizza place – it’s just sweet. We have met a couple neighbors, there are a lot of kids here. From our home we can see both playgrounds so we may or may  not purposefully go out sometimes when we see kids Haddon’s age :)

Friends – 

There is one family specifically that has been SO sweet to us in our new neighborhood – had us over for steak dinner the first night we met, invited us to their church, a game night, brings baked goods, the mama helps watch Haddon, they have just been awesome. They have a 2 year old little girl and a 1 year old little boy. Another family we already knew but are enjoying getting to know better – The Rennies! We went to the same church in Harrisonburg and to JMU. It has been fun to dine with them, Laura is my go-to for any questions and an amazing baker/cook. We look forward to our relationships growing with them. OH and since it’s not a secret anymore… they are having a baby this fall so we are super excited to live life next to them during this time. Micah meets people to play tennis… 

Church – 

This has been the one super hard part for us. We have checked out maybe 4… but we have been out of town so much on the weekends its been hard and that doesn’t look like it is slowing down anytime soon for the summer months. We desperately miss being part of a church community. We are praying about being part of a Acts 29 church plant but it wouldn’t launch for another year… and we don’t want to go that long without being plugged in and serving somewhere. So please pray.

Family – 

We are so so glad to be together. It’s just wonderful. You try not to and you say you dont take every day for granted, but seriously “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone”. I didnt realize how hard it was on me to live without Micah during those couple months before we left. We looked at it as no big deal, we have a strong marriage, its just a couple months. While true… we made it through.. I would never want it again. I have so much respect for different types of families now. All that to say, we LOVE being together. We love living with our best friend again. We love parenting together. We love sleeping next to each other. We love getting on each other’s nerves (well sort of). Anyway, you get the picture we are so happy. Plus, its a huge added bonus to be close to our parents. They help with Haddon frequently and we just get to hang more in general. My parents are even close enough to come for like a meal and then go home.

Okay, I said short and sweet. So there is a little about the Downs lately!

 

22 Months.

Oh my little love.

You are such a boy these days and while you are starting to venture out from being called mama’s baby you prefer little man over big boy.

How will you be two in two short months?!

I seriously never imagined loving a toddler as much as I not only love you but like you and enjoy being around you. Every day is so funny, yes, they often have hard moments, but those don’t outweigh the joy you bring to your daddy and me.

Your memory astounds me. Seriously, you remember things that happened months ago.

You are starting to count more.

You love to sweep and clean the dishes. It is kind of more work for me in the long run but I definitely don’t want to stifle that desire so most of the time I let you help.

You try to sing your ABCs, you do pretty well. Whenever you see letters, you either call them “ABC or WYX” haha

You LOVE to read your little golden books.

You are still insanely obsessed with trucks, cars, really anything with wheels.

When you start running I don’t know how your little body will ever slow down but it always does.

You had two “injuries” this month that involved falling into mulch and scraping up your face and touching a lawnmower that had just been on and burning your pointer finger a little bit. So now when we go outside you announce “MULCH” and “HOT”. Like I said, you don’t really forget things…

We have to have more talks now that you are getting older and so vocal about things when you disagree but your heart is so teachable and I am forever grateful for that.

You like to watch yourself on video a lot… “watch Haddon!”

You also have a sensitive spirit and hate to disappoint, sometimes if I start talking to you in a stern voice you yell: MAMA and I remind you, “son, mama is not mad at you I am just teaching you (whatever it is at that moment)…”

Overall, your communication is excellent and so we rarely get too frustrated with each other because we just talk it out.

One of my very favorite things that you say is: “I blessed”. If you sneeze and I say “God bless you” you reply with “I blessed”. You get if from your dad who always says that as well. It has carried over to burping and tooting. You say “scuse me” after you do it and then I say “you’re excused” and then you say “I blessed”. It’s the cutest.

You are quite the little repeat, we have hit the age where we need to mind what we say around you…. here are some of the things you say on a regular basis though:

“Mom, pooped! Change ya”

“Want a couple”

“Want all of them”

“I’m coming”

“CHAPick BALL”

“Don’t touch it”

“That dananan” (dangerous)

“Be careful”

“Don’t spill it”

“Hold you” or “Mama hold”

“Want to see it”

“Want to hold it”

Sometimes I forget you are still so little because you act like such a big boy.

Two things I am nervous for in the coming months and have no idea the right way or time to do them:

1)      Transitioning you out of a crib

2)      Taking your pacifier… I don’t even like to think about it

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