Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Final Stretch

Today is three days past my due date, but--hey, who's counting?

I hated it when I was late with Kai, but at least by baby number four I knew to expect it. I create water bags made of steel that don't break until I'm pushing and my body is in no hurry to evacuate tiny residents. I'm a 42-weeker and I am content with that. I can't wait to meet my daughter, but in the meantime I'm enjoying the extra time to knock things off the to-do list, bond with Kai over his spring break, and let this baby soak up his last few days of being THE baby:

It's also nice to have a chance to pop out another blog post. I wanted a chance to write about the second half of this pregnancy. When I last wrote I was picking life back up from months of morning sickness and Brandon and I were burnt out--charred and crispy burnt right out. I remember sitting on the couch with him in November and discussing how we NEEDED a vacation, but we had no idea how to make one happen with no money set aside for it and no plan. We prayed about it and then kept on trucking. Since then, we have had not one, but two vacations! Our friends and family really gathered around us, spoiled us, and helped us along. Thanks to that I feel like we've spent the second half of this pregnancy just drinking in life and joy. Here are a couple of the highlights. :)

The Big Vacation

As a Christmas gift, Brandon's parents and my parents collaborated to watch the boys for us while we took a week long vacation. Best Christmas gift ever, right!? We drove down to Jupiter, FL to stay with Brandon's grandparents. They have a sweet home within walking distance of the beach. We treasured the time with them and with each other. A free, week-long, kid-free vacation to the beach in December---yeah, it was as awesome as it sounds. It was healing to our souls, just the fresh start we needed.

Baby Showers

I had such a grand time at my baby showers that I hardly took a minute to get pictures. In fact, I don't think I took a single photo at my first shower! Oops! Well, I'm sure I'll remember it forever even without the photos. The ladies at Brandon's office invited me to come over one day during their lunch break for a special shower. They are Brandon's coworkers, but I've known most of them for years and love and respect them to pieces. If I had a photo you would see a warm dining room with a long walnut table. Around the table are women of all ages exchanging birth stories, God stories, and laughs while feasting on Thai food and made-from-scratch cake-- all underneath a sweet, pink, baby girl banner. I can't wait to make many more memories around that table with Rebekah and her Renew Family.

My friends Susan and Jennifer hosted a friends and family shower. Another photography fail---I didn't get a single picture with the two of them! I did grab a couple with my family though and some quick photos of the decor. My pictures don't do it justice! Susan went all out with the decorations and she created them all to double as decor for Bekah's nursery. I couldn't hold back the tears when they all gathered around to pray over me and Rebekah. It's humbling to be surrounded by people that have loved me so well through all sorts of challenges--- childbirth, emergency surgeries, sickness, and the highs and lows of marriage and motherhood. Good friends and family are a treasure and I am the richest girl in the world. 

The Drama

My pregnancies wouldn't be complete without a little medical drama thrown in there! We had our first broken bone in February and in March we found out that Caleb needs another surgery! Um, yeah, I freaked out the first time I heard the word surgery again. Thankfully, it's just a hernia surgery and should be easy-peasy compared to Caleb's previous two surgeries. We're talking outpatient surgery--where you get to go home the same day you have surgery! It's scheduled for the end of May. Caleb is excited because he will get "magic stitches" that disappear on their own after a week or two. 

Kai was also quite excited about his cast. The itching the first couple days was intense, but it wasn't so bad once we made it past that. It's off now just in time to hold his baby sister. 

The Babymoon

As if one vacation wasn't enough.....

I told you I've been spoiled! Brandon had to go to Charleston for a weekend in mid-March for a work trip. Once again, our parents took the kids on for us so that I could go with him. I loved getting a glimpse into Brandon's life at work. Brandon's company has recently been working on a partnership with Water Missions International--a great non-profit that seeks to make clean drinking water accessible to developing countries and disaster areas. Water Missions is based in Charleston and we spent the weekend with them and some of their strategic partners. I was touched by their hearts and impressed by the quality of work they are doing. Check them out if you are looking for a great mission to support.

The Little Things

I've loved the big, fun happenings, but I just treasure the every day bits of joy that make up my life too. We've been doing a little more of what we love and a little less of what we "should" do these past few months. Here are a few tidbits and photos that I want to remember.

-Making homemade bread and warm soup on rainy days. Tossing a frozen pizza in the oven on busy days and choosing to be thankful instead of guilty. Throwing PB&J in a bag and spending the day at the park on the rare warm, sunny days we've had.

-Warm baths and naps. I shoot for a nap almost everyday while Joe is napping. It's so worth it right now. 

-Soaking up those moments of daddy time before bed. Brandon is an amazing father. 

-Taking good care of our animals and our imaginations. 

-Celebrating simply. We have 5 family birthdays in March! March Madness! We just let birthdays be simple this year and it was great. Joe's second birthday was perfect--sunshine, bubbles, ice cream, and people he loves.

Here's to one more birthday coming up soon!

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