10 months with Liam.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Liam Worth,

A traditional monthly post just isn't possible this month with your big brown chair still in storage, but I at least wanted to document the day with a few pictures of you munching on grass in the backyard. It's a very typical look for you these days.

This month brought your first real illness. You had a nasty ear infection that scared us half to death. You were hot (103.2° at the doctor's office), listless, and just not yourself, and we happened to be away from your daddy on top of it all. Thankfully, we were back in Nashville, just minutes from your pediatrician, who brought calming words of "There's the problem" as soon as he looked in your left ear. He prescribed medicine and lots of extra naps and cuddles, and amazingly, you're back to your active self again with no apparent memory of the painful beginning of the week.

We've also had the challenge of teaching you "no" to biting me with your four sharp teeth while you nurse. It got so bad this week that we had to go back to pumping and bottle feeding for the time being. As much as I thought we'd gotten so good at nursing, it looks like we're back at square one in some ways, and that's ok. It's a healthy reminder for me that I can't take anything for granted. You're always growing and changing, and I want to grow and change right along with you. When I heal up and start to nurse you again, I want to take time to listen to your cues, look into your eyes, play with your hair, and let you know I'm fully focused on you, instead of checking my phone or reading or just being generally distracted. I know our nursing days will end soon, and I don't want to miss a minute.

A few things I love about you right now:
Hearing "Mama" over and over from your pack 'n' play first thing after you wake up
The way you light up seeing your Daddy on FaceTime (and in person, of course)
The way you love your Mimi and Poppy
Your spontaneous, unsolicited, very wet kisses
Your extra long fingers and toes
Your newly calloused knees
The way you're becoming my little buddy, sitting in the cart in stores and chatting up a storm

You're still the best thing ever. 

Happy 10 months!


From whom all blessings flow.

Friday, August 23, 2013

In the past few days, we've experienced miracles.

... We bought a house. WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!! It's a little yellow house with hardwood floors, walkable to downtown, and just a few feet from a metro park. It has space for Liam, a room for Brighter Day, a fenced backyard. Oh, and did I mention it's a 10 minute walk from our brother, sister, and niece? It's a dream. (And seriously... I cannot wait to do a few before-and-after posts and lots of DIY projects that are already swimming in my head.)
... A sweet family in our church is letting us borrow one of their cars.
... Another sweet family in our church is allowing us to stay rent-free until we close on the house in a few weeks.
... My dad (Dad of the Year!) flew to Raleigh, picked up me and Liam, and we all drove back to Nashville in his car so that we could fix my car and tie up some loose ends here.

We've had so many major prayer requests that have been answered so quickly, and we can only say, "Thank you, Lord." It is all so clearly from His hand.

I was reading Psalm 147 this morning, and this verse struck me:
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
What security I find in those words. What peace. My complete lack of understanding in the last few weeks has been such a source of stress - from not understanding home buying terms to not understanding why this transition has been so difficult - but what comfort comes knowing "his understanding has no limit". There's nothing that surprises Him. Nothing that worries or befuddles Him. His understanding is limitless, and so is His love.

Thank you for your prayers and happy Friday to you! I hope there are markers in your own life of God's hand at work, milestones that you can praise Him for.

Finding beauty.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, 
in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep."
- Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

Our new neighborhood?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

This morning, we are submitting an offer on what we hope will be our first home. For any new homeowners out there, you know that it's such a twist of emotions: excited, hopeful, scared to death. We now begin the back and forth as we negotiate with the seller, which we hope will not be painfully drawn out.

Throughout the whole process, I've felt pretty calm and (purposefully) emotionally detached. Well... as emotionally detached as you possibly can be when you're living in a basement and desperate to plant roots in a new community. I've tried to picture our family in each of the houses, but only to the point of functionality. I try not to picture first birthdays and candlelit dinners and bringing babies home from the hospital. As we were looking at the house again last night, I did feel as objective as possible. We looked in closets and at baseboards and at appliances and felt peaceful. If we got the house, it would be wonderful. If not, God had something better.

But then came a moment I didn't expect: a moment that I knew I wanted this house. Bad.

As we walked out of the house, we were discussing what we might offer and some concerns we had, and we walked to a city park close by. We looked out into the park and saw a big group of kids involved in a community program playing in the park. We saw young families with strollers taking their evening walks. There were several races represented, all coexisting happily together, and that's when I knew: I want to be here. I want us to raise Liam here. I want us to be able to walk a few steps to the park and see diversity and culture. It was a little taste of heaven for this city/culture/diversity lover. And it all suddenly made sense why we would sacrifice more space and newer properties in the suburbs for a place like this.

We will see what the Lord has in these next few days and weeks. In the meantime, we would so appreciate your prayers for peace and wisdom.

The way you look tonight.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This picture of you is exactly what I want to think of when you're all grown up and gone one day. Your tight green pajamas. Your drippy chin. Your constant smile and expressive blue eyes. Your fearlessness: the bumps and bruises on your head and your almost-falling-off-the-bed. Your shiny blond hair. Your winsome spirit. (We won't talk about restaurants. They are your downfall.)

This transition has been rough, but you haven't seemed to miss a beat. You've had the best attitude out of all three of us about the many changes in our lives.

You at almost 10 months old is my very favorite you yet. 
Life with you just keeps getting better.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

All photos taken with my iPhone
With Shawn's new schedule at the church, Sunday is the busiest work day of the week, so his weekend is now Friday and Saturday. So since Friday is the new Saturday in our family, we took a "weekend" day trip to Wilmington, North Carolina. It's an easy 2 hours from us, and it's the closest we've ever lived to the ocean. It's obvious our boy has Newby blood in his veins... he couldn't get enough of the beach. We're excited to make many more trips to the coast!

 North Carolina readers: Any other coastal spots you'd recommend? We'd love to go to Nags Head next, but would love to hear your suggestions!

Gluten free in Raleigh.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ok, ok. I know we've officially been here for 5 days, but we've already gotten to experience some delicious gluten free food here in Raleigh that I can't help but share. (We made several trips to the area before moving here, so we haven't eaten at all these places in 5 days, don't worry.) We're lucky enough to have our brother and sister-in-law here in town who have already eaten their way through Raleigh and now they serve as our guides through Raleigh's impressive culinary scene. We'll take it.

Source: Escazu Chocolates
Escazu - This quaint artisan chocolate shop makes the top of the list because we're already regulars. I think we've been there at least 5 or 6 times. It's getting a little ridiculous how much we're there. It's a chocolate shop that roasts and grinds their own chocolate on antique grinders in the store, and their ice cream push pops are to die for. We choose the dairy free coconut chocolate push pop every time. These many, many five star reviews tell the truth. It really is that good.

Source: Goodnight Raleigh
Busy Bee Cafe - This one is located in downtown Raleigh, and while there isn't a separate gluten free menu, they are happy to accommodate a gluten free diet. They serve local, in-season, farm-to-table style foods with an always changing menu. We loved the rooftop deck on a summer night a couple weeks ago. Fresh and delicious.

Source: Shaba Shabu
Shaba Shabu - While we've only had take-out from here, their Pad Thai was delicious and gluten free.

Source: Lilly's Pizza
Lilly's Pizza - This local pizza place is in a great location near historic Five Points and has a fun local atmosphere with local art covering the walls. Their gluten free crust wasn't my favorite, but the toppings were delicious and the salads were surprisingly good.

Source: WRAL.com
Coquette Brasserie - In beautiful North Hills, Coquette serves traditional French cuisine and was happy to offer gluten free options. We had Sunday brunch there and the omelette with sage sausage and goat cheese was excellent. The atmosphere is hip and fancy, and would be perfect for a date night without the baby.

Source: The Bento Box
Last but not least, The Bento Box in Wilmington, NC was a new find for us today. We headed out to the beach, which is only 2 hours from us now (yeah!!), and there were lots of gluten free items on the sushi and Thai menus. Their Pad Thai was one of the best we've ever had.

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

We moved to Raleigh three days ago, and despite the excitement of a new place and the assurance that this is clearly where the Lord has us, the past 72 hours have been some of the most stressful of our lives. From a problematic car (which required us to drive my dad's car at the last moment) to difficulty with a home loan, not much has gone smoothly.

Early this morning, I woke up to feed Liam and the reality of our situation hit me hard. My mind went straight to the many difficult things we're facing in this transition, and the prospect that we need a house, a car, and possibly another car for Shawn's commute was weighing so heavily. I sat in silence as my heart raced. When you don't feel like some of your most basic needs are met, it's hard to focus on anything else.

And then this: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?

It felt comforting. It felt convicting.

But, Lord... we need a house. This basement apartment isn't going to work for long. And until we move into a new house, I can't re-open my business.
Is anything too hard for the Lord?

But we also need a car. And maybe two cars!
Is anything too hard for the Lord? 

The answer is no. No, Lord. Nothing is too hard for you.

When I went to find that statement in the Bible, I found it first in Genesis 18. The Lord has come to visit Abraham to tell him that Sarah, despite her old age, will be blessed with a son.

Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.”But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.” 
- Genesis 18:10-15 (NLT)
I've read this passage many times before, but today, I took away this: that despite Sarah's complete lack of faith, the Lord still fulfilled His promise. Because God's promise was not dependent on her. It was completely dependent Him. He said she would be blessed with a son. She doubted him. He says, in essence, "Even though you don't believe me and you laugh, I'm still going to come through."

That bolsters my faith. It reminds me that it isn't up to me or my great faith for the Lord's work to be accomplished. Yes, He is glorified when I have faith. But He isn't limited by my lack of faith, or my small, weak prayers in the early morning. Because nothing is too hard for Him. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak (Isaiah 40:29). Those who hope in Him will not be disappointed (Isaiah 49:23). We are weak. We are weary. But we do hope in Him.

Later this morning, I heard this new song by Audrey Assad (thanks, Kels, for posting it) and it put so much into perspective.

From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me, O God

When I taste your goodness, I shall not want

Oh that that would be the cry of my heart. I have tasted His goodness, and yet I still want for so much.

Pieces of His goodness this week:
The sweetness of having family close by
A husband who trusts the Lord
A curious, giggly little boy
Gorgeous, cool weather
An incredibly welcoming church family
A place to stay that is adequate for our needs

5 more days.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Well hello! I haven't forgotten about this quiet little blog... it's just that life is happening so quickly these last few days.

I've been in the midst of
wrapping up orders from the shop
saying goodbyes
traveling to Raleigh and back
scouring Zillow for houses
hugging and kissing my boys
packing boxes

In some seasons of life, it's been natural to process what's going on in my mind and heart here on the blog. It was easy to pour out my heart during the first months of our marriage, our transition to Nashville, nursing school, and pregnancy.

But with this upcoming move, for some reason, it's felt more natural to process it quietly. To read and journal and pray. To talk with family and laugh and cry over what has been and what's coming.

Leaving Franklin has been more difficult than I'd imagined it would be. It will always be my hometown, especially because my parents are still here. But for some reason, leaving the place where Liam began has been harder than I expected.

Shawn has been patient with me and kind to remind me that though this transition is exciting on so many levels, we don't have to gloss over the fact that a chapter is closing and it's sad. This chapter was beautiful. It involved so many important milestones for us: a nursing degree, a faithful husband to put me through school, a tight knit family, a supportive church community, and the birth of a beautiful boy. It felt mundane on some days and miraculous on others.

And while I truly am excited to make Raleigh our home, I'm savoring each day this week as we say our goodbye-for-now's to our dear ones here in Tennessee.

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan