Week one.

Monday, June 19, 2017

 



This little boy is a dream, and our first week with him has been nothing but a delight. We're tired, yes, but just rejoicing for his smooth transition into our family. Happy 1 week, Ellis Lincoln!

Welcoming Ellis Lincoln.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ellis Lincoln Newby
Born 2 weeks early on June 12, 2017 at 12:57pm
7 lbs. 4 oz., 20.5" long

Not only did God so generously give us a healthy rainbow baby, He gave us the most peaceful spirit. And dimples. Thank you, Lord!

A habit of life.

Monday, May 8, 2017

"It is always possible to be thankful for what is given rather than to complain about what is not given. One or the other becomes a habit of life." - Elisabeth Elliot

When we moved into our house three years ago, the one drawback was the lack of outside entrance to the backyard. Sure, we could wander out the side of the house or through the storage room to the yard to watch the kids play, but it wasn't exactly convenient. So we just didn't use our backyard. We'd almost always pile kids in the car and drive a few miles to a nearby playground.

So Shawn and I began to dream in color, knocking out a window and turning it into French doors in our minds... and adding a deck that would lead to our unused backyard. After a year of saving up and another year of hiring out the work, that dream became a reality. A glorious, life-changing reality for our little family. The kids see it as another room in our house, freely moseying in and out at their leisure while I make lunch or catch up on laundry. We build a gate with a hidden latch so we know they aren't going far, and it's been such a luxury to enjoy the Spring outdoors. 

The Elisabeth Elliot quote about gratitude streamed across my Facebook page the other day and I couldn't help but think of these happy kids and our new deck. We live in a small house, much smaller than most of our friends. We try to live simply, well within our means. So when I watch Liam and Lanie and how they appreciate things big and small - from a new lunchbox to a new deck, a sunny day to a newly discovered popsicle flavor - I am convicted and enamored by their gratitude. And I'm inspired to have the same perspective: choosing awe and wonder at our very good, very generous God. 

PS - Lanie was also part of this near-daily pool party, but wasn't adequately clothed to make an appearance on the internet. ;)

Easter 2017.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I've become that mom (every mom?) whose plea on major holidays is, "Can we please just try to get one picture of all of us?" And thankfully, thanks to my willing husband and father-in-law who was able to take pictures, we got more than one - and a host of outtakes. Our Easter together was sweet and full of celebrating: a joyful morning at church, a peaceful afternoon, and a fun outdoor dinner at Shawn's parents' house where they hosted an Easter egg hunt around the back yard for all three grandchildren.

But I'd have to say my favorite moment on Easter was when Liam brought me this sheet of paper:
It was totally unprompted and unassisted and he said, "God said, 'I love Liam' and so He died on the cross." Yes, little love. Day made.

30 weeks.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Dear Baby of mine,

We've been in this thing together for 30 weeks now and you're just now getting a letter. Welcome to third child-dom, my littlest love. It doesn't mean I cherish you one ounce less than your brother and sister. It's just that I never get a chance to sit down and pen a letter to you - or even sit down in general. Until now.

You're growing like a weed, and I adore the feeling of your rumblings and kicks and hiccups all day long. Our doctor has been quick to warn us that because of the anterior placement of the placenta during this pregnancy, I may not feel quite as much movement - and not to worry if that's the case. But just the opposite has been true. I think you've been our most active baby yet, and your Daddy and your brother love to watch you roll and tumble under my skin.

You've been my constant companion at the hospital and the center of many conversations with patients. The other night at work was an especially heavy one as one of my patients neared the end of his life. The medical team and the patient's family were in agreement that he should be transitioned to "comfort care" and his tube feedings (his only source of nutrition as he wasn't alert enough to eat by mouth) would stop. It fell on me - his nurse - to actually stop those feedings.

My legs felt heavier than lead as I walked to his room to stop the feedings and remove his IV. As I entered the room, I rested my hand on his smooth, bald head and whispered the words of Numbers 6:24-26:

The Lord bless you and keep you; 
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

He continued to sleep peacefully as I reached up to turn off the feeding pump. As soon as I did, you did a giant leap in my belly. It was one of your biggest movement yet, and was such a stunning reminder of life in the midst of impending death. You brought tears in my eyes with the realization that that's what we all, as believers, are called to be: a stunning reminder of life - of joy, hope, resurrection, and our incredibly bright future - in the midst of a dying world. I pray you continue to do just that, little one. Continue to remind us all of Jesus, the only true Source of life in this passing world.

I'll admit that there's a piece of me that's anxious about what life will look like as a family of five. Will we be able to handle the sleepless months, the noise, the mess? But then I remember what a gift you are: hoped for, dreamed about, prayed for, deeply desired. I know the instant you're out, I'll never be able to imagine our family without you in it. If you come along the same timeline that your siblings did, we've got less than 9 weeks with you on the inside. I can hardly wait to see your face.

I love you, little rainbow baby,
Mommy



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