Updates and Changing Seasons

Another pregnancy has come and gone.

I am in awe of God’s grace and mercy to me this last week.

Little Owen’s birth was long, but very easy in comparison to some I’ve had. I’m left with a healthy, precious little one that I just can’t kiss enough.

I’m in love and I haven’t even had him a week.

He seems to be an easy baby…well, he does have his moments. He’s not particularly fond of Darby singing the high notes to her favorite song from the movie, Frozen.

He does seem to adore his papa singing to him and seems to love the car rides he has made home from the hospital and then out to the doctor and back yesterday.

He is a blessing and a comfort to my heart, (probably in more ways than he’ll ever know).

Bitter-sweet is that Joshua has worked out arrangements for housing of his own. I’m not sure I’m ready for him to be gone…my first little bird to leave my nest.

Paul, even this morning, was reminding me it’s time. Joshua has worked and saved for years for this time in his life. I know he’ll be fine and he’s ready to start a family of his own.

My heart just already misses him terribly. My home feels emptiness just knowing he’s leaving soon.

Jacob, is also in the middle of such change. He starts a new job this week. They are offering to pay for 100% of his education, as long as he keeps up his grades. This is a great opportunity for him. I know he will enjoy this new path.

Sigh. This has been a strange season of life.

-It’s an odd place to have said good-bye to so much and to be welcoming a new little one and seeing change happening all around, and wanting the world to stop *just for a while*.

…and I want to talk to my mom. When does this stop? Does it ever stop?

I want her to see Owen. I want her to see his soft, full face and his chubby fingers. I so long to hear those same stories from when I was a baby.

I want to tell her how my heart hurts as i am having to begin to let go of Joshua.

It’s not quite been a year yet, but almost. This heartache still feels so fresh sometimes.

Today, I’m smiling at my little ones. We’re homeschooling, and some are going to visit with my grandmother. There is shopping to be done and a new baby to hold. I will enjoy having my husband home for another day. I will read a bedtime story and listen to rain falling outside of my window.

No matter what, the Lord knows this season. I’m thankful for so many ways He makes Himself known to me these days.

Quick update

Courtney, breaking into Mama’s blog here for a minute. =]

Little Owen Elias arrived safely at 6:18 pm, and weighed in at 9 pounds, 16 ounces. Here is a quick “first pic”:

I’m sure there will be many more to follow. Y’all know how it is with me and cameras. :D

Have a blessed evening!
~Courtney

It’s Been Said…

“Learn the craft of knowing how to open your heart and to turn on your creativity.  There’s a light inside of you.”

                                                          —–Judith Jamison

Sunday Afternoon

Azaleas blooming in the yard.

Little girls playing in bare feet in the front yard.

Older children laughing in the kitchen.

I’ve been walking, and swaying, and doing all the things that are done as you wait for a little one to arrive.

My heart is full this afternoon. Life is full and amazing to me. I only want to be quiet and soak it all in like a sponge.

Sunday afternoons are my favorite.

This Season

The past several weeks have been shadowed by illness for our family. It seems each time we are all well, we’re exposed to something else and everyone gets sick. This last one has rounded our family- some as many as three times! It’s been a long, cold winter. I’m thrilled to see spring here. Perhaps sunshine and warm weather will clear germs.

We have still managed to visit with my grandmother in between illness. I try to visit and take her things she needs, manage her nails and hair. I feel like I’ve had to let a lot go since we’ve been ill. I am praying everyone will be well enough in the next day or two to see to her needs before the baby comes.

Please do remember two specific family members when you pray. I lost one family member recently, (younger than I). Please be praying for his immediate family.

Also, Paul’s cousin who lost her baby at 37 weeks pregnant this past week. My heart just aches for her. Please keep them in your prayers.

Paul’s dad had open-heart surgery a week ago on Wednesday. I think he is the most resilient man I have ever known. He is recovering easily, but I know could use the prayer, if you think on him.

Added to that, I received a call to come to our attorney’s office, (actually on my due date). It’s time to sign documents to close my mama’s estate, (which I did).

This past year has taught me much about death. While obvious is the lingering sadness that can accompany the loss of a dear loved one, you might not see the other things that happen around such an event. We have spent the better part of a year dealing with some hard issues concerning family. I’ve spent time each week (at times, each day!), having to talk to folks concerning taxes, bills, her home, etc.

When this all started, I prayed the Lord would allow me to handle all of this with grace and His leading. I don’t feel like I’ve been all that graceful, at times, but I’ve sure tried. I would want my mama to be happy with the way things have been handled and left.

I loved my mama. I fear these coming weeks will be especially hard for our family (for many reasons), but I know the Lord knows. I will be glad to be past the “business” of death.

I loved my mama. She was a good mother. She was a beautiful person. I’m thankful the Lord allowed me to have her for 40 years.

Some good things…

1. Jacob, it seems, has a new position as and electrician apprentice.

I had been praying for him for some time…that the Lord would give him direction and lead a path. Some friends told us they had someone they wanted Jacob to speak with…this company will pay for his schooling and supplies as long as he keeps up his grades. It all seems good. Please be praying as he transitions from his current job to this new position in the next couple of weeks.

2. This past week, Paul and I had gone to trade vehicles with Jacob at his work. It was around lunch time. A big white van pulled up right next to us. The man was watching us as we traded cars. Paul tried to crank the van and it wouldn’t start. The man jumped out of his van, grabbed jumper cables and walked toward us. Within a few minutes (and never having asked for help at all!), we were back running. A new battery later, the van is running good as new. The man just told us to have a blessed day as he drove away. (I truly believe the man was planted there by the Lord!)

3. The next morning, Paul and I were discussing a co-worker of his. It’s someone I’ve not met in person but have wanted to meet. I knew he was recently married. Not too long after they were married they learned they were expecting. He’s been speaking with Paul about his thoughts on family size and sharing his conviction that God plans families. Paul has been able to share some with him…it’s been awesome to watch the Lord work!

In any case, on the way to the doctor, Paul and I stopped for breakfast. This young man happened to walk in at the same time! We were able to visit with him and make some tentative plans for dinner after our little blessing arrives. He is a gem! I am looking forward to meeting his new wife and it was unbelievable to meet him in person the very morning Paul and I were discussing his new family.

I’m learning with each passing week that when the Lord brings us to seasons that are full…some not as pleasant as others, His mercies are wide and great. We just have to look.

May the Lord be praised!

Now We Wait.

I’m now a day over my due date.

At some point, I would like to find statistics on how many babies go past their expected due date. I’m 12 for 13, right now. (Timothy was 5 weeks early.)

This week, I’ve prepared the car seat. Our bags are packed and ready. I have the mailbox bow made and by the door. The hospital bow is ready and wrapped. Diaper bag? Check. My suitcase? Check.

I think I’m about as ready as ready can be…well, I am missing my husband until Monday. That’s a wee bit important. He’ll return and then we’re be completely ready for baby to arrive.

If he’s not here by Thursday, I’m scheduled to arrive that morning for an induction (typical for me). This morning, I was in bed feeling him wiggle deep inside of my body. It’s almost time! I’m so excited. I look at my other little ones (and not so little ones), and think what a blessing they each are…what will he bring to our family?

Please be praying for our family as we wait.