Monday, May 5, 2014

Come Lord Jesus!

Dear Caleb and Noah,

It's been a rough couple of days at our house. Caleb has had a nasty virus and Noah has been battling reflux. There have been a lot of tears and a lot of time spent snuggling our two precious boys. As I rocked Caleb one night, his body burning with fever, I sang old hymns I remember from years and years in church. As I rocked Noah in the middle of the night and struggled to keep my eyes open I thought of the popular song, "God loves a lullaby in a mother's tears in the dead of night better than a hallelujah sometimes." My sweet boys, we live in a fallen, broken world. A world full of disease and bodies that don't work right and heartache beyond what I can express. A world so oppressed by sin that we see but a fraction of the glory God created. As I sang those old hymns to Caleb I found myself longing for the day The Lord will return and call us home. No more viruses that make us sick. No more reflux that burns our chest. No more sin warping our view of God's brilliant creation. My heart aches over the world you will grow up in - this world that pulls and tugs and distorts Truth. This world of scary bad guys and quiet lies and a revolution that threatens the definition of family.

Singing those hymns to Caleb Friday night I found my heart begging Christ to return and set us free! To call us Home and free us from the bondage of sin and death. It hurts to see you boys suffer in a broken world and I longed for the freedom of Heaven more than ever before.

But then, in the middle of the night as I rocked Noah, I remembered the verse I'd discussed with your Aunt Megan just hours before. "They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of The Lord for the display of His splendor." (Isaiah 61:3) That verse is my prayer for you - my strong boys. I pray that God would plant you firmly in the soil of Truth - that you would display His splendor!

I hate that you have to grow up in a world that is so opposed to the Truth that defines our lives. I hate that you boys will always have to fight culture tooth and nail in order to stand for what is right. But I know if God doesn't choose to call us all home, then He's going to plant you firmly and call you to stand as tall as a mighty oak! I love you, my precious boys. I love you so deeply my heart can hardly comprehend it. Please know that even in the rough weekends when you're both sick and my head is spinning from trying to clean up the throw up - I'm praying. I'm praying for your hearts to know Truth. I'm praying for your lives to display the splendor of the God who made you. I'm praying that you will be world changers!

I love you both!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

18 months

Note: I wrote this post in January when Caleb was actually 18 months old. But in January I was put on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy and life got a little crazy... When I wrote Noah's 1 month post, I found this letter waiting to be spiced up with a few pictures and posted. It's amazing how much he's changed now at 21 months!

Dear Caleb,

You are 18 months old! A year and a half! How in the world is that possible? (How often do I say that?) You have blossomed into this amazing little boy who is a whole lot more toddler than baby! You are a blur of motion most of the time. You are all boy, all action, all the time. Everything you can pick up becomes something to hit with or throw. I have wondered when you'd really begin to talk but the past few weeks, you've come out of your shell. I hear 2-3 new words each day! You also pick up sign language at an amazing pace. I find myself making up signs for fruit because you're desperate for a way to ask for the fruit you love, but don't have the words to do so yet. The only sign you refuse to use is banana, but that's ok because one of your newest words is "bana". I think it's precious and I try to find ways to make you say it throughout the day.

At your 18 month check up you were 85% for height, 75% for weight, and 98% for head circumference. I was quite surprised to find out you were ahead of every single developmental milestone Dr. Thomason mentioned. Not sure why that surprised me as much as it did - I've always known you were a smart boy. You can identify a star without fail and usually know a heart. You're also finding more and more letter "C's" in books. What a brilliant little man you are!

You have a host of words that make a regular appearance, and several that we only hear once in a while. My favorite is when you run across the room screaming "Mama" as loud as you can! You also say daw (dog), ow-si (outside), doll (ball), yesh (yes), tar (star), daaa-da (Daddy), aw don (all done), das (lights - especially Christmas lights), and mmmmm (moo). Every now and then we catch an "I love you" and it melts every heart that hears it. You also say "a-da" or "a-za" all the time but we have no clue what it means! You have typical toddler babble, but "a-da" is often said when you are pointing to something and wanting me to understand what you're saying. One of these days I'll figure it out little boy...

Your favorite toy, by far, is your box full of balls. In fact, I told everyone that you didn't need anything for Christmas except lots and lots of balls. (Don't worry - your grandparents were more than happy to oblige!) There's not a day that goes by that I don't stumble over a smattering of balls in every room in the house. You also really enjoy the potato masher. I think you're confused about why Mommy keeps such a fantastic toy in the kitchen! You run all over the house, hitting everything you can think of. Nothing is safe - including the dogs! After we took down the Christmas tree we left the furniture where it was and transformed the tree corner into a toy corner. It took you about 3 seconds to realize what a fantastic invention this is and now spend your day dumping out toys and cleaning them up. (And occasionally throwing a few balls across the room!)

You are also very much obsessed with stars. If you spy a star and we don't recognize it, you will stop everything and throw a fit until we acknowledge that there is in fact a star there. Gaga writes you letters with star stickers all over it and it is the best day of your week! We spend a good hour taking the stickers off the letter and sticking them on your hands and arms. When you're having a rough day, nothing will turn it around quite like an episode of Team Umizoomi. Your daddy and I have several episodes memorized and have found ourselves singing the theme song - even when you're not around. Praise the Lord for modern technology that lets us watch it anytime, day or night. You've grown quite attached to your waffle weave blankets. In fact, if I don't get the laundry put away fast enough, you'll insist on carrying both of them around at once. I must admit, when you were born people gave you lots of things that they hoped would become your security item. I (not so secretly) always hoped you'd choose the waffle weave blankets. It warms my heart to see you carry them around the house. I love sticking them in the diaper bag each time we leave home. It's a precious part of being a toddler I know you won't keep forever. But for now, it's a part I cherish more than you can imagine!

Lately, our home has become a flurry of activity as we prepare for the biggest change of your young life! In just 2 short months you'll officially be a big brother! We talk about baby Noah growing in my tummy and have told you that you're going to move into a big boy room (which isn't much more than an empty room with half-way painted walls at the moment), but I often wonder how much you understand. It's a big life change that's coming, little man. Please know how often I pray that the Lord will prepare your heart in ways we can't. I rest in knowing that when He chose to give us you, He knew that He'd also give us Noah. God knew what your family would look like long before we did! He knew you'd be a big brother at 20 months and He knew Noah would be the baby brother. God is amazing and has a perfect plan for your life. I'm awe-struck that I get to a front row seat to watch it all unfold.

When I look back over the last 6 months, I can see how your personality has grown as you stretched your legs into toddler-hood. Your food allergies to milk, egg, and peanuts remain but we're starting to see signs that maybe they're not as severe as they used to be. Maybe you'll grow out of some of them! You have a stubborn, independent streak that doesn't surprise me at all. But you are also happy and easy going most of the time. Your heart is big and you love deeply. Your laugh can light up a room and it fills my heart with joy overflowing. Those gorgeous blue eyes still captivate me every time you turn your head, and your blonde hair gets blonder by the day! After your first hair cut, I let it grow for quite a while and was thrilled to see the curls come back. It's starting to get long again and part of me kind of wants to see if the curls will come back once more. I love you more than I ever thought possible, my sweet pumpkin! You are my dear little buddy and I'm so blessed to be your Mommy!

I love you! Soooo much!


1 month

Dear Noah,

4 days old

One month old
You are a month old! I can hardly believe it's been a month since you surprised us with your early arrival. Before you were born I wondered how my heart would manage loving another child as deeply as I loved Caleb. But those early days in the hospital proved I had nothing to fear! I was instantly in love with this tiny baby who looked so much like his brother! Everything about you was absolutely perfect and I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have two precious boys to cradle in my arms.

The first thing your daddy said when he saw you was, "Oh my gosh! He looks just like Caleb!" Your baby pictures are identical and I'm kinda worried about bring able to tell them apart in a few years. I need to get organized now! But your looks are where your similarities end. You are quiet and only talk when there's not much going on around you. However, you are not afraid to let us know when you're not happy! You have a set of lungs on you louder than anything your brother ever threw at us. :) Where Caleb was a fast, veracious eater, your motto is "slow and steady wins the race." We struggled with nursing at first but we're trucking along now! Within a month I knew Caleb had a pretty serious milk allergy. I'm still not sure if you'll have food allergies but we're battling a nasty round of reflux! Right now the Zantac is making a difference and I'm so thankful! You don't cry as often and I'm learning a few tricks to help keep your tummy happy. But you know, even after hours of screaming, my heart swells when you settle down at the sound of my voice. I can't describe the love I feel when you snuggle in close and you sigh like my arms are finally the relief you've been looking for. In those moments when we nurse in the middle of the night - those moments when I'm absolutely exhausted - those moments when I can't see straight for all the stress in the room - it's in those moments that I know you belong here. You belong in our family just as naturally as oxygen belongs in your lungs. God knew what He was doing when He gave us you. He knew how deeply I'd fall in love with this tiny Snicker Snacker named Noah!

At your one month check up you weighed 9lbs, 1oz and were 20 and 3-4" long. Your weight gain is slow and steady and I'm thrilled! You're getting to wear all of the newborn clothes Caleb never wore and you still fit in those adorable tiny newborn diapers! I actually prayed for a smaller baby this time around so I could enjoy you being tiny for a little while before you grew...

You got to celebrate your first holiday at just 3 weeks old. You were too little for us to leave the house, so we didn't go to Easter service. But we did get to enjoy some precious family time! Your Granny, Grandaddy, Aunt Nerfer, and cousins came over for lunch and a fun egg hunt! You slept and nursed through almost all of the festivities, but I did sneak a few pictures when you had your eyes open. My heart was so full just knowing we could celebrate as a family of 4.

I love you so much, my little Snicker Snacker! I'm so thankful that God gave us you! I'm truly enjoying every sleepless moment... Please stay little for just a bit longer! I need to snuggle you some more!