The name game.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

At 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant with Lanie, we finally landed on her name. Lane was the name that had been right in front of us (it's my middle name), but it took so much time, conversation, and angst on my part to arrive at a final decision. I spent hours upon hours on and nothing quite seemed to fit. We loved Eliot/Elliot/Eliette/Elliette for a girl, but we have so many girls in our life nicknamed "Ellie" that we wanted to stay away from that as a nickname. We love the meaning of Eliette, though, which is "My God has answered." Our Lanie has been an answered prayer in so many ways. Ultimately, it was Shawn who landed on Lane Eliette (including the spelling) and it just clicked for both of us.

Toward the end of pregnancy, I had been thinking baby names so much that I dreamt of them. In one dream, I was having twins and named them "Tandem" and "Echo" (fitting, right?). I then dreamed we had a boy and named him Canon, which I actually really like.

Anyway, if I had about a dozen more baby girls, here are some names I would throw in the hat. Not sure if we'll have any more girls though, so these are up for grabs. :)

And a few more...

Today, I can't picture our Lane Eliette (which we're pronouncing like Elliot) as anything else. Isn't that what always happens? Right now she's known as Lanie Lou, Lanie-girl, or Lanes.

I'm a self-professed name nerd and would love to hear some of your favorites... anyone?

Durant Nature Park.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A free afternoon and a wrong turn landed us here: Durant Nature Park. It was the perfect place to get lost for a few hours, hike around a gorgeous lake, explore a children's sensory garden, and get both kids good and ready for long afternoon naps. If you're in North Raleigh, it's so worth a visit!

Catching up.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Or maybe just trying to catch my breath.

It's what the past 6 weeks have felt like since I've gone back to work as a nurse. If life with two kids ages 2 and under wasn't harried enough, we've added 30+ hours per week at the hospital and juggling childcare.

With that said, though, it's what feels best for our family in this season. I'm working at a wonderful local hospital and am loving the work, the mental stimulation (adult conversation!), and especially the mom I get to be when I get home. I'm able to be fully engaged at work, fully engaged at home. On top of that, we only need childcare a few times a month, the kids are able to stay at our house, and most of the hours I miss with them they're asleep anyway (I work 3pm to 11pm). God knew exactly what we needed when he gave me this position. The only hard part is how exhausting it all is. Much less stressful than working from home, but even more tiring. Don't get me wrong: some moms of little ones are totally successful having their businesses at home. It's just not me. At least not in this season. Going back to work outside our home has actually relieved a lot of stress.

Of course there are hard moments. When Liam sees me walking down the stairs in my scrubs and cries, "Mommy not go to the hospital. Not help sick people anymore." Events I have to miss because, "Sorry, I'm working." Mostly, though, this transition has been such a gift.

4 months with Lane Eliette.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lanie love,

This has been a big month for you. Even more, this has been a big month with you. I've needed you this month, sweet girl. As I started back to work at the hospital, what has surprised me most is how sad I've felt being around patients again. For whatever reason, a large swath of my patients so far have come to me at the very end of their lives. To see their broken bodies and the broken spirits of their loved ones has made me mourn for what this world is. And what this world lacks. Our world is so fallen. So broken and dragged down and muddied by sin and toil and pain. It's broken bones and hate crimes, paper cuts and hot tears, hunger and hopelessness. It's such a dim reflection of what God originally intended for his creation.

So when I come home to you at the end of a 12-hour shift - to your quick smile, your sweet spirit, your milky breath and downy head, your innocence - my heart is lifted. All you're doing is being you, wonderful you, and you're bringing so much joy to me. And so much glory to God. You remind me of the very good gifts our Father has given us and the hope we have only in Him. That this world is not all there is. These pictures of you capture your light, playful, sweet spirit and I'll cherish them forever. You're constantly wiggling, constantly smiling, constantly drinking in the world with the biggest, bluest eyes.

This month, you took your first two flights (you were a champ), have been in three different church nurseries (and have still only ever slept one time at church), and you started sleeping through the night. You actually don't mind tummy time at all and usually flip yourself from your back to your belly so you can prop yourself up and take a look around the world. You've even started getting up onto your knees and rocking back and forth. Isn't it a little early for crawling? Slow down, Lanie girl. You'll catch up with Liam in due time.

I love watching the relationship you have with the men in this house. Your whole face lights up when you see either of them, and honestly, seeing Shawn with a daughter and Liam with a sister is more wonderful than I anticipated.

Lanie, you're a joy. You're our joy. To say we're utterly in love with you is an understatement, but we'll say it again: we love you, we love you, we love you. We pray that your life points to Jesus in powerful ways.

Wearing your great grandmother's dress

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