The biggest bit of news, as most of you know, is that our sweet Julia Elise joined our family on March 9th. She was born at 11:13 am, and came in at 7 lbs 6 1/2 oz, 21 3/4" long. She was my smallest baby yet, but the longest of the three!
|Meeting their baby sister for the first time.|
Being a family of five has been an easier transition than what I anticipated, but it has also presented several challenges I had not. By God's grace, I am learning!
|Going home from the hospital as a family of FIVE!|
Although it has taken everyone getting used to exercising a little more patience, the older kids have not shown an ounce of "sibling rivalry" but instead have been absolutely smitten with their new baby sister. Olivia especially, has been so sweet to watch. She has become so "grown up", and has been a good helper to me! She regularly asks to hold Julia, and she has also helped with feedings. :)
|Be still, oh my beating heart!|
I have been counseling myself to keep the little things the little things, and focus on REST. I'm not sure why it has taken me three babies to figure this out, but I know myself as a Mama by now well enough to know, if I run myself into the ground, everyone else in the family will end up paying for it. Naps are not just a luxury - they are a necessary part of healing after childbirth! Those early days of living in newborn fog were much easier to navigate with an eternal perspective: in eternity, what will matter more? That I was diligent with my dishwashing? Or gentle with little hearts in the midst of my exhaustion? And yet, through my (many) failings, God is always faithful.
|First time in a carrier! Close to Mommy's heartbeat.|
So, we took it extra slow the first month or so, and Julia has woven herself down deep into all our hearts.
Nate has been anticipating for some time now the end of his time at Verizon Business. With the company consolidating his department, he has been waiting to receive word of his official "end date". That finally came in a meeting at the end of March, so he will be staying with the company through the end of the year (God willing), and then moving on to something new!
In the meantime, he will be on standby, as it were, for a possible company strike out on the East coast. Being properly prepared for the work should a strike occur, involves a week of training near Washington DC. So there is a lot of travel he will be looking forward to!
He had taken over my paper route (USA Today) for me full time after Julia was born, but the company recently downsized its carriers, so the paper route has completely gone away for good! We are both excited about the fact that this means more sleep!! We were in a different season when I accepted the position as a carrier, and our family has gone through lots of changes since then. What began as a creative way for me to contribute to the family income was starting to feel like a burden. We are thankful for God's mercy in making the decision to be done for us.
Daddy's also getting pretty good at being a lap juggler. ;)
My big girl turned four the day we brought Julia home from the hospital. She has matured so much in the last few months! I am so thankful for her.
She still loves all things ballet, and she sleeps with her cherished bunnies, although they are starting to tag along less frequently throughout the day. :) She makes cozy beds for them to sleep in while she's playing.
She received a pair of "puddle boots" as she calls them, for her birthday, so we look forward to rainy days! So far, there has only been one mishap with a face plant in the mud. :)
She is starting to enjoy her role as "big sister" and takes it quite seriously. She has taken to tutoring Levi in his letters, and she "reads" stories to him often. It's neat to see their friendship blossoming!
|Why are you taking my picture at breakfast??|
She is quirky, and funny, and she loves to act silly. She's still my sassafras - and she has plenty of sugar AND spice.
She has an amazingly compassionate spirit for someone so young, and I can't wait to see how God develops that!
He is testing his independence, along with the boundaries that Mommy and Daddy have placed, which makes for lots of interesting confrontations. Although, sometimes he tries to corner me with those dimples and long eyelashes. ;)
Oh my. Levi. <3 My son is ALL BOY. He is the definition of mischief. He has no respect whatsoever for the laws of physics, he loves to make noise with whatever he can find, and he just has to know what is behind every door, cupboard, and other forbidden places. ;)
|The "whoops, I got caught" face. Yes, that is cocoa powder. :)|
|Big boy haircut!|
|"I'm a BEEE-ear!" (Even though it's a lion costume! Ha!)|
He is extremely verbal for a little one his age - he can carry on full conversations! Maybe we have his older sister to thank for that?
|He was telling me "It's my BIRF-DAAAAAY!"|
And his most favorite person in the whole wide world right now, is his Daddy. :) Although, I admit, I am a bit envious, it does my heart good to see his whole face light up when he hears his Daddy come home. He's almost a celebrity!
Ah. I love that kid. <3
Our Springtime has been full - and the last few months have felt more like years in some ways. We are learning and growing as a family, and God is molding and shaping. Though it sometimes hurts to be held to the fire to be made more pliable, I am thankful that I can rest in knowing I am in the good hands of the Potter, who is fashioning me for his perfect purposes.
Grace and Peace,