Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Fling

I absolutely love spring. Adam hears me talk about how much I love it all the time. I love the weather, the blooming of new life, the parallel of the season to Christ's resurrection, the sunshine, being outside, long days, Easter, skirts, flowers, and everything else that comes along with Spring. Last weekend we were able to spend most of it on our front porch...i mean, carport. We don't have a front or back porch, but we do have a great carport. We sat in our pink adirondack chairs all day Friday & Saturday. It was amazing. Charis loves being outside too. She's constantly observing and looking at the trees, the neighbor's dog, sky, and really anything else. I've been looking forward to warm weather so Charis can hang out in her diaper b/c I just think babies in diapers are so cute. We are looking forward to a season of cooking out (on our new grill), hanging out on the carport, going for walks, and just being outside and experiencing a new season of life with our sweet little lady. Here are some pics from the amazing weekend.

enjoying the sunshine

so cute in her sun hat

this is Maggie, she loves when Charis visits

19 weeks in the pink adirondack

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Charis' 4th Month

I hope this isn't premature, but HAPPY SPRING!! (get ready for A LOT of pics)

Adam and I were just reminiscing the other day...we can't believe Charis is already (already) FOUR months old, yet that day back in November that forever changed our lives seems like so long ago. I say this a lot because people tell you a lot..."it just flies by." I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, yes, it has flown by. On the other hand, it's been this savory sweet flow of time.

good morning love
This past Saturday Charis "turned" 4 months old. Unbelievable. She is so FUN right now. I have no idea what her percentiles mean or if she's reached her milestones. What I do know is she fills my heart with a new and special kind of joy. This 4th month has brought some fun new observations. She loves to eat everything..her hands, burp cloths, toys, blankies, her clothes, really anything she can. Well let's just document it through some pictures and highlights:
- She is all about reaching out to things...her daddy's beard, the car seat hangie toy, my fingers. It is so fun to see her go beyond observing to enjoying and experiencing her world.

she loves her friend Sophie
- She still sleeps a lot. In fact, recently we did our first night transfer. After sleeping for a couple hours at our friends' house we woke her up to come home, she cried for a little then fell back to sleep. When we got home, I quietly tried to remove her from her seat and she grinned at me. Oh I love that sweet grin. But, it didn't sway me. I laid her down and she slept til 9:15 the next morning. crazy. we love it.

this is what we get to see EVERY time she wakes up!
- Her 4 month check up was "perfect." She's weighing in at 13 lbs 8 oz and 24 1/2 inches long. Even though she's in the "50 percentile" I think her little neck-chin is deceiving to most. She's healthy and we are thankful.

- Homegirl is intense...she is not afraid to stare you down. I just love to look into her big beautiful eyes.
- She sometimes does this funny "sit-up" position.

doing that funny sit-up/lean forward in the swing
- We recently took out her little infant bath sling thing so now she's sitting in her baby bathtub like a "big girl" and she absolutely loves it. She's even intense about her kicking and splashing.

gotta really clean under the neck-chin
- Tummy Time continues to be one of her she's starting to scoot around somehow while she's on her tummy.

hey lovey! mama needs to do some push-ups!
- With this amazing weather we've taken lots of walks up to Park Road Shopping Center. She took her first nap in her stroller while we had lunch at our favorite Sir Ed's.

hello sunshine!
- Adam had her outside exploring and she petted our neighbor's dog, let him lick her, picked a leaf off a tree, and "sat" in a tree. our little nature girl already.
- She enjoys reading and even reaches for the pages.

reading with daddy
- Got to visit with her Nonni, her Pawpaw & Mawmaw and Auntie Sara this past month. She loves all the extra loving!

pawpaw loves

her new hat and mittens

16 weeks

at the office...17 weeks

happy 4 months sweetness

Having Charis has changed our lives. Nothing anyone says to you before you have a baby can prepare you for it. The joy, exhaustion, emotion, fear, hope, love, and grace surpasses anything you could ever imagine or anticipate.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Love your neighbor as yourself

I am not as out-going, open-minded, and friendly as I thought. And maybe even others have been fooled. In reality I am shy, insecure and critical. This isn't really news to me.
We lived in an apartment/condo for the first 3 years of our marriage. It's so easy not to get to know your neighbors in this kind of setting. I mean-you'd really have to go out of your way because no one is out in their yard or anything like that. And that worked for me. Unfortunately. In August we moved into a house with a great yard on a quiet street. We began to dream about spending afternoons in our yard and maybe even getting to know our neighbors. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this and very little time doing it. I'm scared.
We quickly met Marion, our 69 year old neighbor to our left, after we moved in. He's out walking his dog, driving his granddaughters to school, and cruising in his cool vintage truck. He mentioned coming over to meet his wife, Sue, who doesn't get out. Sure, we'll be right on that. The older man across the street scowls and scares me. He has a cat and leaves early on Saturday mornings. There is a couple, her name is Catherine, that lives in the cul-de-sac with a dog. She introduced herself the first week. Then there is an assortment of other randoms that live on our block.
I felt compelled to pursue these folks, but I didn't know how. I kept thinking about how Jesus tells his disciples to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these." How was I loving my own neighbors? I wasn't.
Recently, though, we did something. I baked up some of my new bread and we made a plan to visit some of our neighbors. Plus, having Charis seemed like an easy excuse to meet people. We first went to Bill's, the scary scowling man across the street. Don't worry, he was harmless. Not the nicest man in the world, and he seemed a little thrown-off by our visit. Oh, we will be back Bill, don't you worry. Then we headed to Marion's to visit his wife. I must admit I was a little nervous...would the house smell like old people and would she be bound to a bed with sores all over her? Relax. Sue was just the sweetest lady we'd ever met. She was loving Charis too, even gave her 20 bucks. And kept referring to her and Marion as mawmaw and pawpaw. Hilarious. Now we want to give these older folks our numbers just in case they need something. That's what it's about, right?
Wait! There's one more. We were headed down the street on a walk to Ben & Jerry's when Adam spots this older woman struggling to get groceries from her car to her house. "Should I help her?" he says to me. "Uh, I don't know" and a little peeved b/c I want my ice cream. He asks again. That man has a great heart. He calls out to the woman and offers to help her. She is "blessing his heart" left and right. She, Jackie, tells us she broke her ankle in September and is still recovering. She is smitten with Charis and proceeds to tell us how she's lived in her house for 56 years, her husband died 20 years ago and she's lived alone since, he also had 5 heart attacks and died at 55, how this neighborhood was near where the Grahams lived and so on. I was soaking up her southern drawl and horse voice as she gushed over our baby. She invited us back anytime we see her car in the driveway. I'm going to bake up some bread this week and go for a visit.
I must admit it has felt so good to love on these older folks and allow them to love on our baby girl. I realize it's not about a visit here and there, but building a relationship with them and serving them and being available to them and loving them as God commands. I'm constantly being humbled as my thinking tends to be about how I can bless these people, but I realize God is working on me, not them.