Monday, September 22, 2014

Double Blessings

            I've never been shy about how much I adore every single one of my sister-in-laws.  They truly are sisters to me and each one is so, so dear to my heart.

             My very first sister-in-law is Laura and my relationship with her has blessed me more than I can ever say.  She's become one of my closest friends.  We both knew each other's hearts to be blessed with another baby and spent a long time praying for that very thing.  We were overjoyed to find out within a week of each other that we were expecting.  We were even more thrilled to find out we were due only one day apart!!!

             It has been more fun than I can say to go through this pregnancy with Laura!  We are both going to the same midwife clinic and are planning on delivering at the same hospital.  We've lined up our appointments together so it's so much fun to carpool together.  The best part has been having someone who never grows tired of talking about the ups, the downs, the hopes, the fears without end.  To have someone right where you are is loads of fun!

          I can't believe how close we are now!!!  Laura is due in four days and I'm due in five.  It's unbelievable to me how close we are to having these babies in our arms.  I can't wait to watch these precious little ones grow up together.  I will always look back on this pregnancy with so much fondness.  What a blessing it has been!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Just For a Little While

          What an interesting week it has been.  As we eagerly await the arrival of our precious baby, we were also faced with the reality of saying good-bye to one of the dearest women alive, my grandma. 

          Growing up with a grandma like her was such a gift.  She always encouraged, always was gentle, always had a smile, always was thinking of something special to do for you.  Even though Grandma and "Boppa" lived and hour and a half away, they were tremendously involved in our lives, even becoming very involved in the lives of our friends. 

(Grandma and little Lydia)
              As a grandma, she couldn't be improved upon in any way.  Then she became a Great-Grandma and exceeded all known possibilities of greatness.  Soon after Lydia was born, Grandma and Boppa moved in with my parents who live, literally, just down the road from us.  We never could have imagined the blessing that would bring to us all.  Grandma's world was the people she loved, and her great-grandbabies got every drop of love from her that she could possibly give.

(Baby Bethany)
            One of the many blessings of knowing Grandma and Boppa was getting to witness one of the greatest love stories ever.  These two lived out every day what it meant to truly be in love and to sacrificially love each other.  Every word spoken between them was kind and loving, and every shared look was endearing or flirtatious.  I've never known a couple more young at heart and I'll cherish the memories of their constant flirtations all my life.  Thinking of my sweet Boppa carefully leading Grandma by the arm gently and patiently wherever they went was such a precious sight.
         While Great-Gran loved every single one of her "grands and great-grands" as much as anyone could possibly imagine, there was a very special bond between Grandma (Marjorie) and her namesake, Esther Marjorie, who was also born on her birthday.  Those two were two peas in a pod and I don't know if there was any way to tell who adored each other more.  We were blessed with three priceless birthdays to celebrate these two together.  It's hard to imagine next June without Esther's birthday buddy.  Even during Grandma's last hours, Esther loved to be by her side, holding her hand or stroking her arm.  Esther was one of the very last people Grandma responded to at the very end when we didn't think she was responsive at all. 
            Grandma's body starting shutting down just a few short weeks ago and the final days she declined so rapidly I think we were all somewhat in shock.  All she had to say up to the end though was how blessed she was and how much she loved everyone around her.  We were able to kiss her, love her, say our good-byes and then hours later she was gone.  She was 92 years old.   
           Having Grandma in our lives was such a gift, such a treasure that it feels so selfish to wish for even one more moment with her.  We cry because life without her feels just a little less beautiful.  But really that's not true.  Because of her we learned to appreciate the sweet smell of every rose, the value of every child's silly song, the joy of playing "piggies".  She made this world more beautiful for all of us. 
           Grandma knew Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was ready to meet Him.  The thought of her in heaven fills us with joy!  One of my girls said it best when they said, "We are so sad Great-Gran is gone, but the only sad part is that we have to wait to see her.  Soon we will all be together and we'll never be sad again.".  We miss you now Grandma!  But we'll see in in just a little while!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Birth Plan 6.0

        It's so, so unbelievable to me that I'm here facing a birth plan again!!!  This baby is such a huge answer to prayer and every day that brings us closer and closer to meeting this precious miracle just humbles me and makes me giddy! 

          This probably sounds silly to a lot of you, but is feels like it's been a long time since I've done this!  I told David just the other day, "I hope I remember what to do!  I feel like I need a class or something!"  Thankfully his confidence in me is much more substantial than mine is.

          Starting with what is not changing this time around.  We are heading back to the same hospital that I've been at with each of my babies and with the same midwife clinic.  This combo has been such a great, great fit for us. 

          We are praying again for another natural birth.  As previously stated, I'm no great lover of pain, but the birth experience is something I wouldn't trade and honestly, I think I'm more afraid of a giant needle in my back and half of my body being numb than the pain!  So far I'm at three births with Pitocin, two births without.  I'd love, love, love to have another without.  I've never doubted that it has only been given when it was needed, but Pitocin is NO FUN!!! 

          David is my rock during labor and delivery.  To be honest, birthing times have had their highs and lows on our relationship.  He is not an emotional, softy kind of guy and he has learned soooooo much as the years have gone on.   He's a superstar now and has a master's degree on how I need to be supported during this time.

             Now onto what will be different this time.  For Ella's birth my sister Mary joined us which was a wonderful experience.  For all the other births we've loved it just being the two of us.  This time we spent a lot of time praying about the possibility of inviting others to join in this birth or just to keep it to ourselves again.  We had great peace about inviting a few new members to our birthing team this time!

            Rachel is my second sister and one of my best, best friends.  She is a rock star auntie and has one of the most beautiful, sincere hearts for Jesus that I've ever seen.  I'm so excited to share this time with her!!! 

           The next decision took a lot of prayer and a lot of wisdom.  We decided to invite.....

          Our sweet oldest girlies, Lydia and Bethany!  I'm so, so, so excited to have them be a part of this.  These girls have been such an encouragement and support for me during this pregnancy.  Their unending willingness to help and serve me every single day just brings me to tears at times.  They've prepped, asked a million questions and are ready to go!  I can't wait to share this time with them!
          As always, I'm so grateful that our plans are not the Lord's plans and that He is an all knowing, all powerful God!!!
         Only 18 days until due date!!!!!!!!!  I'm sooooooo ready to meet this little person. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Snapshot of Summer

      I know there is no way to fully catch up on all the time I've missed, so I thought I'd briefly throw out a super quick review of the past several months!!!

Esther announces our exciting news to the Facebook world!!!

Over my birthday we whisked the girls away without telling them anything and spent most of the week at a beautiful beach house.  Turns out February is the time to be at the Oregon coast!  the weather was gorgeous!!!

We gained a gorgeous new sister-in-law/ auntie that we ADORE!!!  There is hardly anything like the blessing of watching God bring together two such incredible people.  We love them both so much!  (And I got to do their engagement and wedding photos which was a blast!)
From the end of April to the beginning of June we had three very special birthdays!!!  Havilah turned 6, Lydia turned 9 and Esther turned 3!!!
Another darling, darling niece was born!!!!  Peter and Mary had their first girl, our beautiful Joanna!
In June David and I celebrated our 10th anniversary.  It was such a special time just enjoying how far God has brought us in our relationship and celebrating His grace in our lives.  So thankful for my amazing man!!!
The King Family Campout was a blast, and it was so fun to celebrate the next four King babies on the way!!!  Melissa just had their beautiful little daughter Evelyn last week.  We can't WAIT to meet her!!!
Camp time was a crazy, hard, wonderful time!!!  I got to go to Parent and Me camp with Bethany and Havilah this year which was such a blessing.  I loved watching Bethany in the older sister position and seeing her watch out for her little sister.  The day we got home from camp, David and Lydia took off for Jr. Camp.  She had so much fun!  After that we were all home together for a few days before David took off again to staff High School Camp.

Polk County Fair was as fun as ever!!!  Daddy couldn't make it this year, but Grandma and Boppa came with us which was a lifesaver for this tired, pregnant mamma!
Last weekend we had a glorious day at the beach just enjoying time together as a family.  David's work schedule has kept him running pretty ragged so it was a joy to just play and have fun together all day!
Whew!  Feels like trying to get a drink out of a fire hose, but at least now we're a little bit "caught up"!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hello Old Friend!

       I feel kind of like a stranger as I timidly step back in here with a shy wave.  It's been a long time!  It seems so strange that once I was so comfortable and familiar jumping almost daily on here and chatting about something or another. 

        These last couple of years have been part of a unexpected journey.  I have no idea how far along the journey I am, but I know I'm far enough along now to be able to look back and see the progress.  I can see the rocky bottoms.  I can see the lonely, lonely dry patches.  I can see the Lord gently carrying me through it all with grace that staggers me.  I can see the green meadows where I've been able to stand and just soak in the warm sunlight.  I can see the times I've had to just sit down and rest.

        Its difficult to jump back in after almost a year of silence.  I know I'll never be able to fully catch up, but for now I'll just give a brief summary of what I'm most thankful for here today.

     ~ I'm so grateful that the Lord is never done working and shaping us.  That He continues so lovingly to mold us into His likeness.  And that in our weaknesses we are the strongest, for it's then that we fully rely on His strength.

     ~ I am blessed beyond words when I think of how my husband has loved me.  I feel like I can't even begin to tell you.  I'm so humbled. 

    ~ We were introduced to a new "product" by a company called "Reliv" that has greatly, greatly helped with the fatigue I've been dealing with for so long.  For three months now I've been steadily feeling better and better.  After teeter-tottering back and forth for so long it is so, so encouraging to feel real progress!

     ~ On January 30th I came stumbling out of the bathroom first thing in the morning weeping.  "I'm pregnant!" was about all I could get out to David.  After months and months of praying the Lord has blessed us with a new little life on the way.  I'm 22 weeks along today.  Baby is a delightful little wiggle worm and my arms are already aching to hold this sweet one! I'm still just astounded by this and the tears flow even now as I just praise God for this amazing gift.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Few Thousand Words

     My girls are growing up faster than I can believe.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words so rather than attempting to explain how much they are growing and how much of a delight it is to have them in our life, I'll just share our Fall pictures and hope you get the message!

Every day that passes, I am more and more convinced that I am more blessed then I could ever imagine.