5 weeks old

little pj's

1:46 PM

It's hard to believe that the tiny footie pajama's we bought the day we found out you were going to be our fierce little Judah Lion, and not Audrey, or Jane, or any of the other girl names we'd been tossing around, are officially too small for you.  Yesterday, on your 5 week birthday I snapped a ridiculous number of pictures of you grinning and rolling around in our bed before I took off those sweet little pj's for the last time.

While I regularly find myself thinking all the cliche sappy mom thoughts "don't ever grow up!" and "can't time just stand still?!" I usually stop myself because if I'm honest, I love each and every moment with you so much that I look forward to the hundreds of moments ahead of us.  And I'd rather live in anticipation of the sweetness ahead than in dread of moments that pass too quickly.

Thanks for being my smiley smooshy faced love.

date night

first date night "post-baby"

1:27 PM

(I have so many sweet, dear-to-my-heart, sentimental memories stored up from the past 3 weeks.  And while this first blog post "post-baby" is not the most sentimental of posts, it's a memory I don't want to forget and so I'm writing it out before that happens.)

This past Saturday we decided we needed to get out of the house and do something together.  Other than a few doctors appointments and church I hadn't really gone anywhere since having Judah, and we were all itching to do something that felt like normal life again.  (you know, where you shower and put on real clothes and go out and talk to other people?!)  We decided to go to the mall because Josh had been wanting to take me shopping for clothes for weeks but I kept telling him we had to wait until after Judah came, because hello, who feels like going clothes shopping at 9 months pregnant?

It was mid-late afternoon (4:30) when we finally decided we were going to go somewhere and started getting ready. By the time we were both dressed and ready to go, and had gotten Judah all ready and packed up (because yes, there is packing involved when you're taking a baby out in public) I realized that it was almost time for Judah to eat (5:30) so we might as well stay home a little longer so I could feed him there instead of crammed in the car in the parking lot of the mall.  I fed him and when I was done handed him off to Josh so that he could burp him while I went and got my shoes on.  As I'm handing him over Judah throws up bigger than he ever had before allllll over Josh.  I took Judah back so Josh could go change and we could go.

I then realized that if we were going to the mall we would need the stroller which we hadn't finished putting together (the main part of the stroller was put together, but the carry cot "pram" attachment had just come in the mail and we hadn't put that on.) so we'll just do that "real quick" before we leave.  Ha.  Haha.  We started around 6:30 and over an hour later, after much sweat and frustration, (and blast the man who wrote the assembly instructions for this thing!) it was finally. put. together.

Oh, and guess what?  Judah was hungry again, so.  I fed him and we looked at each other and asked if maybe it was time to give up on this idea.  At this point it was 8:30 and the mall closed in 30 min.  So new plan!  Fro-yo (because neither of us had had dinner yet) and Target!  (because gosh darnit I was going to get out of this house if it was the last thing I did!)  Judah finished eating, we threw everything in the car just daring anyone to try and stop us from leaving and over 4 hours from the time when we decided we wanted to go do something, we were off!

On the way there I realized I had forgotten to put on make-up, and had left my purse at home.  But who cares, we were going out!  Date night family style! ;)

Halfway through eating my deliiish frozen yogurt I remembered "Hello numbskull, YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EATING ANY DAIRY RIGHT NOW.  So way to go OD-ing on, um, a little bucket of straight creamy goodness."  (Josh was kind enough to finish mine for me. And thoughtful enough to apologize for it the entire time he was eating it.)

We left fro-yo, and obviously I was still hungry so we went to the best place to get bad-for-you comfort food at 9:30 at night, Mcdonalds, where I ordered the largest size fries they sold.  And then we sat in the parking lot, while our baby slept quietly in the back, eating french fries and watching Ron Swanson youtube videos.  (I'm telling you, you can't PLAN date nights this good.)

As soon as we got to Target we realized that Judah had a dirty diaper.  So I wheeled him into the restroom to change him and decided to just change him in the stroller. (It's a pram stroller, plenty big enough to change him in, and far less germy than the changing table on the wall :P)  I had almost finished changing him and Judah decided it was time to try something new: peeing while his diaper was off.  I tried to catch most of it with the diaper I was attempting to put on him but he was too quick for me and managed to christen the new stroller quite thoroughly before I got things under control.  I cleaned him and the stroller as best as I could and wheeled him back out to Josh so we could walk around Target for the 40ish minutes we had left before they closed for the night.  We eventually bought pacifiers and left.

On the way home we laughed about how crazy the evening was, how our first attempt at a "date night" looked a little different post-baby than it did pre-baby, and despite how un-romantic and stressful it may have seemed at times, it was one of my favorite memories together since Judah was born.  There's something about doing life with your best friend that makes stroller assembly+baby throwup and pee+no makeup+ and mcdonalds french fries seem like the greatest fun that could be had, simply because you're doing it with the greatest person you've ever known.

We took this picture in the parking lot on our way out of Target, make-upless, exhausted, and so happy to be a little family doing things together :)


(and then just one of my little man for fun, because he's the cutest thing I've ever seen.)


hello baby

hello baby. || week 38/39

12:58 PM

dear lil' raspberry,


you're all grown up!  this week you're officially full term and can come anytime you please ;)  it's pretty weird and exciting waking up every morning knowing that you could be here by the end of the day.  it's thrilling knowing that something (motherhood) and someone (my own little baby love) that i've dreamed of, hoped for, and waited on for so many years is about to be here.  it's almost more than i can handle to think about getting to introduce you to all your aunts, uncles, grandparents, and great grandparents who are so very eager for you to be here, but most of all I can't wait for you to meet your daddy and to watch him love on you.

i was telling your daddy just last night how these last few weeks have taught me in a new way what it's like to look forward to and "eagerly expect" Christ's return.  There are so many similarities between the way I'm waiting and preparing for you and the way I should be waiting and preparing for Christ.  I don't know the day or the hour that you'll come, no matter what doctors or midwives predict, no matter what steps I take to get my body ready for labor, only God knows when you'll officially arrive.  And yet, I wake up every day thinking "will it be today?!" and all day long no matter what I'm doing the possibility of your arrival is always there lingering in the back of my mind.  And while normal life must go on, because I can't sit around twiddling my thumbs staring at my belly waiting for you, I have found myself prioritizing everything I do all day long with the idea in mind that "if he came today, what are the most important things that I want to get done before he arrives?"  so thank you little son for teaching me more about Christ and the way he desires for me to long for His presence!

so, in the same way John says in revelation "even so, come, Lord Jesus!" i say to you little son, "come quickly!"

Much Love,
Jessica Shae

this was taken at one of your showers this past week.

hello baby

Hello Baby. || week 36/37

5:12 PM

lil' raspberry,

this week at your 37 week appointment i told my midwife that i thought you had dropped but that i wasn't sure, because i've been carrying you low for most of the pregnancy so it was hard to tell.  (not to mention i've never had a baby before, so... knowing what all of these things are supposed to feel and look like to me is a mystery--imagine that ;)  so we listened to your heartbeat and then she started feeling around on my belly to try and see what position you were in and if you had dropped.  after just a minute her eyes got really big and she said "oh wow, he's definitely dropped!  his heads already engaged!"  (basically, you were as low as you could possibly be ;)  that explained the new waddle i was sporting everywhere i walked and the fact that your hands now felt like they were punching me in my leg.

You've been hitting all the benchmarks along the way just a little bit ahead of "the norm" and i've secretly been hoping that you might come a little early.  so when my midwife said "i don't think you'll make it to your due date..." i did a little fist pump on the inside but then immediately started talking myself out of getting toooo excited because really most first born (especially boy) babies come late.  so, you'll probably be late.  but there's a chance you could come early?  but i should really just plan on the beginning of september sometime.  but just between you and me you could totes come before then.  i mean, if you're ready and all.

but you know what the greatest part is?  either way, i'm going to kiss those little feet and hands that have been poking me extra hard these days sometime in the next 3ish weeks.  and that, my lovee son, is way too much excitement for me to handle ;)

love,
mommy


rangers game with daddy!

your current favorite snacks are: really honestly the only thing I consistently want at this point is popsicles. like 4 of them.  every day.  it's just so hot all the time, and popsicles are just so cold and wet. sweet nectar from heaven i tell ya ;)

hello baby

hello baby. || week 34/35

3:47 PM

lil' raspberry,

one of my favorite things over the past few months has been to "watch" your personality develop right along with the rest of your body.  obviously i'm somewhat limited in how much i can actually get to know you right now, but believe me, spending 24/7 with someone wether you can see and talk to them or not you start to notice patterns and preferences and i've loved discovering those about you.

you're an opinionated little man (like your mommy) and you seem to know exactly what you do and don't like.  hiccups are definitely on the don't like list for you.  over the past week or so you've started having them about twice a day, usually once in the afternoon and then again around bedtime.  you always get irritated with them, and your movements get angry and feel like you're trying to get away from the continual lurching ;)  and for as much as you move around during the day, you seem to balance that out with sleeping really well at night, only waking up whenever i do.  it makes me happy to feel you lazily stretch out and wiggle around a little bit every time i have to get up to go to the bathroom and then snuggle down again once i'm back in bed and starting to doze back off.  we're buds, you and i ;)  car rides and water seem to relax you, wether it's swimming or a shower you're a fan of them both, i'm sure.  you hate it when i rest things on you, and always try to kick things off of my belly if i leave them there for any amount of time.  you have quite the little attitude ;)

your hands are my current favorite thing about you... they've gotten so big and strong here recently, that you've actually tickled me from the inside twice now, and made me jump and laugh out loud it felt so funny.  but beyond that it feels like they're always moving, exploring your little world in there, your fingertips constantly brushing along the inside of my belly feeling similar to soft little butterfly kisses.  i love that you move your hands so much, maybe that means you'll talk with your hands like me?

every day with you is so much fun little ras, so very glad you're mine to love.

love,
mommy


hello baby

hello baby. || week 32/33

1:19 PM

"i'd go hungry; i'd go black and blue,
i'd go crawling down the avenue.
no, there's nothing that i wouldn't do
to make you feel my love."
to make you feel my love || adele

lil' raspberry,

your mommy loves you so very much.  and i can't ever tell you that enough.  i whisper it to you at night when i'm falling asleep.  i giggle and tell you about my love when you're being cute and squirmy in my belly.  i sing it to you anytime one of "our" songs comes on the radio (oh yes, we have songs ;) and i love when you dance along with me.  i repeated it over and over to you as i took deep breaths while the nurse drew blood 3 times in a row for a glucose test because as much as i hate needles and blood i love you SO much that there wasn't anywhere else that i would rather be but in that doctors office being pricked and poked because it meant YOU existed and that makes everything totally worth it.

know this for certain little boy: i love you now, before ever even meeting you, not because of anything you have done to earn my love, but because you are the one that God gave me to love.  so in the future, on the days when you mess up and are afraid for me to find out, remember this, and know that (as much as is humanly possible) my love for you will never end.   and that you are a breathlessly beautiful achingly wonderful gift that i hope i never get over.

love,
mommy

p.s. we've been going to the pool a lot these days you and i.  someone jokingly told me the other day that you were going to come out tan i was laying out so much ;)  but i love the sun and swimming has become my only form of exercise these days, not to mention the fact that laying on my belly on a raft is just about the most amazing feeling now that you're too big for me to sleep on my stomach.  and i think you like it, you always settle down for a nap while i'm there, probably because the heat from the sun makes you feel warm and cozy.


the boy

the "we" in pregnancy

8:32 PM

i remember a few years ago a friend explaining why they always told people "we're pregnant" during their pregnancy with their first little one.  obviously her husband was not pregnant.  he wasn't the one experiencing morning sickness, he wasn't going to be getting any stretch marks, and he certainly wasn't going to have to experience the pain involved in birthing their baby.  but her reason for saying "we" instead of "i" stuck with me and has made so much sense ever since "we've" been pregnant.

dearest best buddy husband of mine, i'm so very glad that we are pregnant.  together.  because, yes, while i'm the one with heartburn, swollen feet, aching back, and the belly jumping all over the place from kicks + hiccups, you are the one that is faithfully loving and serving me + your little boy through it all.

your hands are the ones that rub away the swollen-ness in my feet after a long day of shooting + almost every other day of the week as well.  those same hands have spent countless late night hours rubbing knots out of my back until you're practically falling asleep so that i too can fall asleep comfortably.

you are the one who always makes sure i have (ICE-COLD) water by my bed every night before we fall asleep because you know i wake up hot and thirsty in the middle of the night, brings me popsicles (because i always want them), and has made countless cups of chocolate milk (to help with the heartburn, of course).

several mornings you have tip-toed around our bedroom as you get ready to go to work and skipped breakfast so that I can sleep in after a rough night of not enough sleep.

your patience with me has never run out, not when i want to eat at chipotle (AGAIN) for the 3rd time in a week, when i'm crying over something that no one should everrrr cry about (code word: haircut. no, not mine, yours.) or when i want to talk your ear off about registering, or something equally boring.

you have cheerfully endured far too many "pizza" and "leftover" nights in our first 9 months of marriage.

you come home from work and ask if i want to go on a walk because regardless of the fact that you're exhausted from a long day you know walking until the stars come out is one of my favorite things to do, and you love to do my favorite things. (because my favorite is your favorite, as you like to remind me all the time.)

your faithfulness to love, treasure, and delight in me, even as i've gotten a little bit chubbier/sometimes grumpier/definitely burpier over the past 8 months has left me overwhelmed with gratefulness that YOU are my adventure partner ...and that WE are pregnant ;)  i can't imagine doing this without you.


hello baby

hello baby. || week 30/31

3:46 PM

lil' raspberry,


these past two weeks have been busy!  you got to spend this past week with 11 other girls helping me teach them about photography.  the days were long and so so SO very hot (record highs for june in texas!) but you were a trooper and didn't seem to mind the fact that i was so busy all the time, or all the extra hands that wanted to touch you and feel your bumps and kicks.  i just love "sharing" you with people, i get to feel you all day long and it's one of my favorite things in the world, but seeing other people's face light up when they feel your little foot kick against their hand is pretty great as well ;)

from week 16 when i first felt you kick (which was way early for a first time mom to feel movement) you've been a non-stop bouncing/flipping/poking/pushing/moving all day long babylove.  there are times when i wonder when you sleep, because you're always so active!  here recently you like to push back whenever i have anything resting on my belly, usually my hands or arms.  whenever i put my hand on my belly i can count on the fact that within seconds you'll have found it and be kicking or pushing at it with your little hands and feet, or sometimes your little bottom.   i love feeling like I'm "playing" with you when that happens, sometimes i'll poke you (gently!) to get you to poke back.

we are just weeks away from playing with you in person, it seems a little bit surreal to try and imagine!  you measured a week ahead at your doctors appointment this week, so maybe you're planning on coming a little bit early?  (i'd be waaaaay ok with that!)

love,
mommy

thanks to one of my interns for grabbing this shot of me while shooting one night, i'm sorry i don't know which one of you took it!

your favorite snacks right now are: pineapple (still obsessed) and chic-fil-a!

hello baby

hello baby. || week 28/29

1:05 PM

(still trying so desperately to catch up, and weeks just keep rolling by faster than I can believe!  Hopefully this will be the last time I have to "double up")

lil' raspberry,

a few weeks ago i read john 17 (where Jesus prays for His disciples) and was struck with how applicable and practical a prayer that would be for me to be praying for you, precious son.  If Jesus chose those words as he prayed for the disciples God had given Him, then what better words could I be praying for you, my own little one that God has given me the task of discipling?

So here's what I've been praying for you, and what I will continue to pray for you as the years go by.

vs. 6&7: "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me... They were Yours, You gave them to Me... Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You."

that Christ would be manifest in me towards you, in the way i love your father, love you, train you, and live life out in front of you.  that you would know that i understand and believe you to be a blessing straight from God's hand, that you are not mine but His, and a treasure that I have the honor of caring for as long as you are with me.

vs. 8: "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me and they have received them..."

that your daddy and i will be faithful to the truths we have learned, and teach them to you as we lie down, and as we rise up, and as we walk along the way.  and more importantly that you would receive them and by God's grace hold fast to them all the days of your life.

vs. 9: "I pray for them..."

that this is always characteristic of my life. prayer for you and any other littles God blesses us with.

vs. 11: "...Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me..."

that i would always recognize that it is by God's grace alone that you can be "kept" both physically and spiritually safe.  i will not always be there, i will not always be able to make all the decisions for you, or protect you.  but i can trust God to do that far better than i ever could.

vs. 14: "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world..."

that as your daddy and i teach you truth we would also prepare you for the consequences of living a set a part life, and teach you how to be a bold and strong witness who stands fast in the face of adversity.

vs. 17: "Sanctify them by Your truth.  Your word is truth." 

that your life would be sanctified and molded by the truth of God's word.

vs. 18 "As you sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world."

that i would spend all of your growing up years investing in you with the purpose in mind of you being sent out to be a blessing and witness to others, to bear the glory of Christ to the lost world around you in whatever way God may call you to.  that i would not be selfish, and over-protect or hoard you, even when it hurts to let you go.

vs. 19: "And for their sakes I also sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth."

that i would never forget the weighty responsibility that i have to continue to pursue holiness in my own life before anything else, because when i am unfaithful to Christ it will directly effect you and all those closest to me.

i love you little man!

love,
mommy

thank you allix for these pictures!
yes, the belly button has officially "popped" my friends ;)

your current favorite snacks are: fruit, turkey sandwiches, and ice-cream!





hello baby

hello baby. || week 27

12:23 PM

lil' raspberry,

week 27(!!!) third trimester (!!!) 2/3 of the way there (!!!)  90ish days until I can cover your face with kisses (!!!)

there have been days here recently when I've told your daddy "he's big enough to come out now, right?  I mean, babies are born at 25-27 weeks all the time and are ok, so, why doesn't he just come now?!  I NEED TO SQUEEZE HIS SQUISHY CHEEKS, K??"  thankfully your daddy is a little bit more patient than me and is not overcome by irrational hormonal urges and keeps reminding me that you're much better off in my belly for the next 12+ weeks.

so while i'm waiting on you to "hurry up and finish growing already...!" i love any interaction i can get with you.  my new favorite thing to play with you is "try and grab the foot" every time you stretch.  you seem to have settled into a comfortable position, so for the most part your little feet are usually up at the top right hand side of my belly.  and all throughout the day you'll wake up and stretch and i can cup your tiny little foot with my hand as you push it out and then lazily slide it around.  and i love it.  can't get enough of it.  sometimes i push on my belly to see if i can get you to do it more because it's just. so. fun.   you also respond to pressure and touch really quickly.  any time i have my hand or arm resting on my belly, or if my laptop is propped up on my belly as i work, it usually only takes you a few seconds to find my hand or whatever is pushing down on you and you start pushing back.  it's ridiculous how cute i think this is.

you flew to chicago with me this past weekend for a couple of engagement sessions and a wedding, and although i missed your daddy so much, it was nice to have one of my favorite buddies there with me the whole weekend ;)

love,
mommy

thank you Lauren for this picture!

25 weeks

hello baby. || week 25/26

10:52 AM

lil' raspberry,

life is busy busy these days, and i have fallen behind on posting these letters, so we're going to have to combine a few weeks to help me catch up!  you have been busy busy growing these past few weeks and have officially "popped" out and since there's no hiding the fact that there's a little you in my belly, everyone we see loves to ask how old you are!  i got to feel your hiccups for the first time this week, and it was so funny to feel your little body "jump" over and over again every few seconds.  you're a whopping 14(ish) inches long and weigh 2lbs now!  grow baby grow!

this weekend we spent 3 days in houston with your cousin, aunt, and uncle.  when your uncle dan walked in the door from work the night we got there and saw you for the first time his first response was "oh wow."  he hadn't seen you+me since you were just about 4 weeks old, and was very impressed with how big and strong you'd gotten ;)  (at least I'm sure that's what his reaction was about... and not because of how big I was ;)  daddy and i spent the weekend playing with your cousin noah (who is a little more than a year older than you) and getting excited for the day when we get to play with our own baby boy!  i know i tell you all the time how excited i am for you to be here, in our arms, but you should know that your daddy is just as excited.  anytime we're out and about and see little boys running around, being all cute and rough and tumbly, with their crazy hair or messy face and hands, your daddy grins so big and says things like "i can't wait to play with our little boy" or "it's going to be so much fun to have a boy."  he loves you muchly!

we're wrapping up your second trimester which means that we're 2/3's of the way done and so so close to getting to see your squishy love-face.  i really can't believe how fast the weeks are moving by, i've been so busy and the rest of the summer looks like it will be just as full, so it'll be the end of august before we know it!  yay!

love you little man, keep kicking and punching, and doing all your little flips and rolls, it won't be too long before you can show off all your skills to us in person!

love,
mommy
you+me and noah!

your favorite foods right now are: pineapple, popsicles, cereal, and chic-fil-a.  oh, and turkey sandwiches!  (<---mostly because mommy can't have those very often, unless i find somewhere that makes them with fresh deli meat ;)

hello baby

hello baby. || week 24

9:02 AM

lil' raspberry,

you went on your first road trip this week!  me and you and your daddy drove all the way to virginia for your uncle Ben's graduation from college.  you were such a good little traveler, and didn't even make me have to stop and go to the bathroom every 30 minutes ;)

it was so much fun to be with some of your aunts and uncles + grandparents + great grandparents all weekend long, because they had multiple opportunities to feel and watch you bounce around in my belly.  you are quite the little celebrity in our family, and we all can't wait to meet you!

after your uncles graduation we stayed a few extra days to do some sightseeing, and as we walked around DC your daddy and i talked about how much we would love to bring you and whatever other littles God blesses us with back to DC to see all the sights someday.  i already refer to the three of us as a "family"  and love to talk about all the things your daddy and i do together as "family activities" (like, we had a family game night the other night!) it will be so much more fun when you're able to participate in those activities :)  your daddy and i already have a list of all kinds of things we want to do with you, and only 3 more months until we can start doing them!  i really can't believe how fast time is moving, i'll be kissing your cheeks and holding your sweet smelling squishy little self in no time!

love,
mommy


family

golden hours.

11:50 AM

"You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by;
but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by."
//j.a. barrie

Ice-cream dates, carnivals, exploring little downtown Keller and happening upon the "keller crawfish crawl", farmers market, batting cages, evening serenades, fun packages in the mail addressed to our little man, picnics by the river playing catch and our latest board game obsession "ticket to ride", library dates, saturday morning waffles, our six month anniversary, and reminders of love scribbled in the dust, are a few of my favorite moments and memories from the past few weeks.

So blessed and happy to be the Mrs. to my Mister, and mommy to the little raspberry.




hello baby

hello baby. || week 23

8:09 AM

lil raspberry,

this week was a busy week for you!  on top of growing and gaining weight faster than you ever have before, you "helped" shoot 3 portrait sessions + a wedding!  needless to say we were both a little tired by the end of the week, but your sweet daddy took good care of us and rubbed my swollen feet and tired back for as long as i needed him to.

i love having you always with me, little buddy.  throughout this entire pregnancy i've loved seeing all the different aspects of Gods character and truths from His word that are so much easier for me to grasp now that you're a part of my life.  our wise God has woven all kinds of analogies into every day life experiences so that we can better understand how He loves us and wants to relate to us.  never before have i understood so clearly what it means for God to "never leave us or forsake us."  until you.  now i understand so much better because for 6 months we have been inseparable   not just because we have chosen to be, but because it is physically impossible to separate you from me if you are to continue to live.  so we are never apart.  not even for a split second.  not while I'm sleeping, or going to the bathroom, or running an errand real quick, or working.  you are always there with me.  and i love it!  i'm going to miss having you with me constantly after you're born (though that will be a whole different kind of sweetness!) so for now i'm loving getting to carry you with me everywhere i go, and the sweet daily reminder it is to me of the faithfulness and love of God from which i cannot and will not ever be separated!

"For I'm persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor hight nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
// romans 8:38-39

love,
mommy


currently your favorite snacks are: popsicles! water! pineapple!  strawberries!  (basically anything thirst quenching ;)

family

hello baby. || week 22

7:57 AM

lil' raspberry,

this week I started reading through the book of jeremiah and in the very first chapter the Lord says to jeremiah: 
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations."
as i read those verses that day and ever since then i've been praying those words would be true for you, that as He is forming you in my womb and before you are even born God would sanctify you for Himself, and ordain you for the work He has prepared for you to do in your lifetime.

i love you my first born son, and as john says in 3rd john 1:4 my greatest joy through all of my life will be to see and hear that you are walking in God's truth!

love,
mommy



family

hello baby. || week 21

8:44 AM

lil' raspberry,

i realize now that we know you're a boy "lil' raspberry" may be too girly of a nickname for you, but it's what i've been calling you for almost 5 months now so it's probably going to stick for a while.  your daddy and i have talked about names and we're fairly certain we've settled on two that we like, and it's been fun to be able to call you by that name over the past week or two.  

you are growing by leaps and bounds and i can see/feel changes in you almost daily.  there's no hiding you now (which i looooove!) and everywhere i go people are starting to want to pat my belly and talk to you.  your kicks are much stronger these days and they're no longer confined to right around my belly button, you've started exploring new places and the other day you started stretching your long legs out to kick the side of my belly.

after 6+ months of looking for a church to join your daddy and i have finally found one that we just love and we're so excited to get involved and become a part of the ministry there.  this last week we went to one of their home fellowship groups and there were a lot of other new mommies there as well!  one had just had a baby girl a few weeks ago, and 3 more are due within a few months of when you're due.  you're going to have lots of buds to play with ;)

my anticipation over meeting you face to face grows every day, and there are some days i feel that there's just no way i can wait another 4.5 months to kiss your soft little cheeks and hold you tight in my arms.  i love you so much!

love,
mommy  


your favorite snacks these days: popsicles (always), bagels, and chipotle.

20 weeks

hello baby. || week 20

10:22 AM

lil raspberry,

i need to tell you something.  it is something that i want to start telling you now, so you don't ever forget it for the rest of your life.

you were not an accident.  or something that just "happened."  you have been a part of the Creators master plan since the beginning of time, and while i've only loved you for the past few months, He has loved you for all of eternity.  you are oh so very wanted, desired, prayed for, and loved.  and when i say "you" i want you to know that i'm talking about you, my first born son, specifically, not just that i "wanted" a baby to play with and you are what i got.  i want and am so excited about you son, my wiggly, fiesty child that God chose for us.  

but i also need to tell you something very sad.  you will be born into a world that is full of sin, and a nation that, more often than not, calls evil good and good evil.  and because of that sometimes people don't "want" the babies that God gives them.  i've cried multiple times this week as i read about a man who has spent his life ruthlessly ending countless little babies lives.  and as i've read these horrific tales, all i could do was hold my belly and tell you over and over how much i love you, how much i want you, and let my heart be broken for all the other mommies who believed the lie they'd been taught their entire lives, that their child was nothing more than a clump of cells, and since they were an unwanted nuisance, they were "removed."

at a recent doctors appointment my midwife asked me if i was interested in having tests run that can help check how "healthy" you are.  what she was really asking was if i wanted to try and find out if you were going to be born with any "birth defects" or major health problems.  as if finding out that you were missing a chromosome or might need more care than most children, would somehow change how much your daddy and i love and want you.  whatever your genetic make-up turns out to be, whatever your motor skills are as you grow, wether or not you have health problems that require extra care, we know and rejoice in the fact that you have been fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator who only makes and gives good gifts.

Christ desires me, He wants me, He delights in me, He loves me in spite of my overwhelming imperfections and neediness.  and to learn to mirror that love Christ has for me, his broken and imperfect child, into your life as you grow will be an honor and a delight.

so on this halfway mark of pregnancy (yay! 20 weeks!) while so many christians are raging to those around them (and very rightfully so!) about the horrific deeds that have come to light recently surrounding abortion, i wanted to take a minute whisper to you my son how precious your life is to me, how honored i am to be the one God chose to mommy you.  and how i am glad for your life even when it means minor discomforts like nausea, sleepless nights, backaches, stretch marks, a million trips to the bathroom, exhaustion, and heartburn.

so very glad.

love,
mommy



your favorite snacks these days: popsicles and cereal ;)

buddy

the best is yet to be.

11:24 AM

"sometimes I think about what it's going to be like in 50 years when we have a whole lifetime together to look back on and reminisce about.  we'll remember things like how I was always scaring you to death, and how our favorite nickname for each other was 'buddy.'"

"but we'll still call each other 'buddy' in 50 years, right?"

"of course. always."

i love being 5 months 15 days married to you with a baby on the way.  i'm excited about being 15 years married to you (hopefully) with a houseful of little people to love on.  and I can't wait for 50 years of marriage to you, when our teeth start to fall out and our skin gets saggy in all the wrong places and our bedtime is 8PM.  because by then we'll have been "buds" for a very long time.  and long time buddy's are the best kind.

and these two?  well, couples like this make me even more glad that i married my best friend.


"i truly do wonder what in the world it was we thought we had when we married.  i suppose it was a love of sorts.

but when i compare it to what we share now, i guess it was a bit immature.  or just a different season in our lives.  kind of like the tree in the winter or fall, as opposed to the tree full of blossoms and fruit in the springtime.

so yes, it was love.  it was love at it's beginning.  and i guess what we have now is love in the middle.  which makes me marvel imagining, what love will be like in the end."
// alyssa welch


thanks for being my buddy.
love,
jessica

18 weeks

hello baby. || week 18/19

10:11 AM

lil' raspberry,

i read the other day that from the very moment of conception every tiny microscopic baby has all the DNA programmed into it that is needed for its future growth.  but the even crazier thing is that long before He breathed life into you, God knew if your eyes would be blue or brown, wether you'd be tall or short,  or if your hair will be curly or straight. He knew wether or not you'll laid back and smart like your daddy or bouncy and chatter-y like your mom, and He knew if you were a boy or a girl.  and He knew all of this because He was the one who designed every last detail of your tiny self.  it boggles my mind that so much information could be programmed into such tiny cells, and that from the very moment your life began you weren't "going to be" a boy or girl, you "were" a boy or girl.

over the past 4.5 months you've gone from smaller than a poppyseed, to a 9 inch, 9 oz. fist pumping, head bobbing, never-ending-bouncy baby.  and though we know so little about you, understand this: your daddy and i love you so much already.

and last week we got to see your tiny face for the first time.  it was crazy.  it was surreal.  it was the best day.

i spent the day before our appointment frantically working, cleaning, running errands, and doing everything i could to not only make the day pass by quickly, but make sure that i was ahead on everything that i needed to get ahead on so that the next day (baby meeting day!) i could do nothing but sit and stare at your tiny perfect face for hours on end if i wanted to.

i was nervous.  i was excited.  i couldn't decide what to wear.  i painted my nails.  even though you weren't going to be able to see me, it seemed important that I look nice the first time i met you.

our appointment wednesday was first thing in the morning,  so i went to bed early to try and get some sleep.  what a ridiculous idea.  i lay there wide awake running through baby names in my head, feeling you kick and thinking how crazy it would be if we found out we were having twins.  the next morning when my alarm went off your daddy asked what time it was.  "7:10" i answered.  he looked at me a little puzzled, "ummm, we don't need to be up for a while..." and then rolled back over to sleep some more.  i didn't care.  getting up way earlier than necessary was the plan, because it meant i wouldn't be rushed and i could enjoy every minute of this day.  i agonized over what to wear, and changed clothes several times before i was satisfied.  it was a kind of chilly wet morning but that didn't stop me from wearing one of my favorite summer-y maxi dresses because summer is my favorite and summer clothes are the cutest.  we had donuts for breakfast because donuts are for special days, like saturdays, and birthdays, and meeting your baby days.

on the way to the doctor your daddy and i discussed our gender predictions.  he guessed "baby" (not a real guess.) and i guessed "boy."  i had been saying it was a girl for a lot of the pregnancy but i really didn't have a strong feeling one way or the other and so decided to guess boy just because most everyone else was guessing girl and i like to be different ;)

after the nurse/technician called my name and we started to walk back to the room, the nervous anticipation i felt pounding in my chest could only ever be matched by my pounding heart last summer when i saw your daddy standing in the middle of the botanical gardens and thought to myself as i started walking towards him "oh my gosh he's going to propose."  those 45 second walks were similar in so many ways.  knowing what was about to happen but having a hard time believing that it was happening and that it was happening to ME.

those first few seconds of seeing you were incredible lil' ras.  you are so tiny and beautiful.  your head was perfectly round and your little fists waved wildly at us.  our technician called you "feisty" because of how much you were moving around, and asked if i'd had any caffeine this morning.  "no, this is pretty much how it always is" i told her.  i smiled proudly at this, because i love your little energetic bouncy self.  it was a first of many "proud mommy moments" i'm sure i'll have over the years, but it was a little surreal to be laying there discussing how energetic my child was for the first time ;)  she said that you were bigger than what my current due date said you should be, so we get to skip ahead a week in counting!  you played with your ear and didn't suck your thumb, (thank you! keep that up!) made faces at us, and kicked and rolled all around, making it very difficult for the technician to get clear shots of all of your tiny features.

i wasn't sure what my reaction would be when she told us.  i figured i would cry happy tears, because tears come easily these days. ;)  but when she finally said the words we'd been waiting to hear, my reaction was almost exactly like when your daddy asked me to marry him.  (i didn't cry then either, even though i definitely expected to bawl my eyes out.)  i just sucked in my breath and giggled like a little girl and then didn't breathe again for what felt like forever.

(for you to be able to hear the video correctly, especially the most important part, you'll probably have to have your sound turned all the way up!)

oh sweet baby boy.  i love you so much!  i honestly didn't hope for it to be one way or the other, but i've said for as long as i can remember that i'd like to have lots of boys, so hopefully you're the first of many!  i can't wait to watch your imagination expand as we read books about pirates, and tigers, play in the mud, climb trees, and make forts on your bed (and i'll always let you be the captain!).  if you end up being the kind of boy that finds it necessary to bring home every beetle, worm, and tiny cricket you find in the yard, i will work on not screaming when you present them to me proudly, though i can't promise i'll touch them ;)  or if you would rather just cautiously watch them from afar, i'd be ok with that too ;)  i promise not to get mad every time you come in with grass stains on your knees or mud smeared across your shirt, because i understand that little boys can't always be bothered with thinking about their clothes while exploring the great outdoors.  i can't wait to teach you how to be a gentle protecter of your younger siblings (should you have them) and to watch you learn to throw the baseball with your dad.

you and me are going to be buds, i just know it ;)

i love you my feisty ear holding bouncy boy!

love,
mommy
p.s. your daddy thinks it's funny they used the word feisty to describe you, because he's always telling me i'm feisty.  sooo apparently it's a family trait ;)


baby's first picture

baby love

11:08 AM

"I could not hide this silly grin
and that's the mood that I've been in
since you."
since you // annie brooks


a full post coming later, but for now just soak in that pretty little face.  i've seen plenty of heart stopping-ly beautiful pictures in my life, but none come close to making my heart feel like it's going to explode with love like this one does.



family

hello baby. || week 17

5:48 PM

lil' raspberry,

you are huge.  just kidding, you're actually not, it just feels like you've gotten so big in the last week or two.  and it probably feels that way because you have. (this pregnancy has brought out the captain obvious in me i guess ;)  seriously though, i've been pregnant for over 4 months now and these last few weeks i've finally started to actually feel pregnant.  every time i squat, bend over, lay on my stomach, or hug your daddy it feels like theres a smallish basketball getting in the way.  but it's just you, sweet little person, and i love the growing reminders i get that you're a part of our lives!

your bounces, taps, and pokes are now a regular part of my day, you don't ever seem to sleep for long periods of time, because every hour or so you're up swimming in circles or practicing your baseball throw ;)  aparently there's a good chance that your little ears are starting to hear sound, and i love to talk to you throughout the day.  you help me decide what to make for dinner, and sometimes even help with business decisions!  (one tap means no, two means yes;)

i love you little love, can't wait to see your face in just a few days!

love,
mommy



family

small beginnings.

7:41 AM

"you're gonna miss this
you're gonna want this back
you're gonna wish these days
hadn't gone by so fast."
you're gonna miss this || trace adkins


the other night we sat out on our tiny balcony, enjoying the daylight that lingered later since we had "sprung forward", eating pizza, getting flirty and competitive with each other over over a game of bananagrams, listening to james taylor, and talking about the little person growing quietly in my tummy.  afterwards we washed dishes and cleaned the kitchen together and laughed and life felt so happy.

a few days ago I got in bed feeling hormonal, out of sorts, and frustrated knowing i just needed a good nights sleep to "fix" the irrational grumpiness i was feeling.  after we turned out the light and i had started to drift off to sleep, you reached over, wove your fingers through mine and told me you loved me.  i fell asleep grateful for a husband who didn't always "get" my hormones, but "got" me, and loved me so sweetly in spite of it all.

last friday night you came home from work after a long week and said you wanted to take me to do something fun (but low key) so we were going to a movie that night.  you asked if i minded if we stopped by a bookstore on the way because there was a book you were looking for, and of course i agreed--bookstores are our favorite.  as we left to head to the movie, i sheepishly admitted that i was feeling pretty wiped, and "would it be totally lame of to to ask if we could skip the movie, go home, climb into bed, and read our new books?"  you said it wasn't lame, so that's exactly what we did. in bed by 8:30 that night, you engrossed in john mcarthur, me in my new book about homeschooling.  it was a pitiful way to spend a friday night, or at least most people might think so, but it was one of my favorite friday nights i've had with you.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Still my soul be still, do not forsake
the truth you learned in the beginning."
still my soul be still || k & k getty

"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid
or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures,
following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
l.m. mongtomery

"This was the Lord's doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the Lord has made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it."
psalm 118:23,24

"Do not despise these small beginnings,
for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin..."
zechariah 4:10a

Season by season I watch Him, amazed
in awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
He's always been faithful || s. groves

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

there are so many things i don't want to forget about this sweet new life i've begun with you.  a year ago today i was just a girl in love with her boyfriend, but since then we've gotten engaged, and married, i've changed names/houses/towns, and became a mommy.  and if there's something all of that taught me it was this: life moves so much faster than we realize.  and when my tomorrows are looming so sweet and bright just up the road it's easy to want to run ahead and get there as fast as i can.  because i cannot wait to hold my sweet baby in my arms.  but i'm realizing that once that is a reality my today will have become a yesterday never to be gotten back.  and as much as i look forward to the excitement of tomorrow, i love my today's.  just you and me, something that we won't get again for a very long long time.

i love weeknights spent in my sweats on the couch with you, watching re-runs of The Mentalist, Boy Meets World, or Monk.  i love all the ways we find to have cheap dates: movies at the dollar theater, bike rides, picnics, and saturday morning donuts.  i love tickle fights, good morning kisses, foot rubs, dreaming big dreams, and you scaring me so bad i almost die of fright, while you laugh so hard you cry over how funny it was.  i love one car and dropping you off for work in the mornings in my sweats and morning face that you say is your favorite.  i love our fancy dates, dressing up, concerts at Bass Hall, and dinners at new places downtown.  i love evenings spent listening to you play your guitar and violin, and how you always play "tale as old as time" because it's my favorite.  i love the little traditions we've already established, wednesday night is spaghetti night, saturday mornings are for sleeping in and donut runs, psalms are what we read after dinner each night, and whoever cooks is not responsible for dishes.  i love that we both think the other person is hilarious, and i especially love when you start cheesy dancing to cheesy music.  i love how much time we spend in target and bookstores, because they're our favorites.  i love dinners on our back porch, walks to the park to throw the frisbee, and how you text or call me every day on your lunch break just to say hi.  i love realizing that we're adults supposedly living adult lives, but still feeling like kids most of the time.

we have so much to look forward to in the years ahead.  and yes, life's just going to get sweeter and crazier as our family expands, but with that comes days where we'll rarely get more than 20 minutes all to ourselves, so i don't ever want to forget these first few months of "small beginnings".

just me and you.


family

hello baby. || week 16

1:32 PM

lil' raspberry,

sixteen has been my favorite number for as long as i can remember, so it only makes sense that this would be the most eventful week of your little life so far.  i know that the weeks ahead will be full of SO many big changes and movement and growth and all kinds of new fun, but for now i'm enjoying every little bit of "new" as it comes along.  towards the end of last week i had begun to feel little bumps and taps in my belly and i wasn't sure if i could attribute those to your little hands and feet having fun or if i should just be realistic and admit that it was gas.  (because let's face it, pregnancy is lovely and sweet, but it's also gassy. and bloated. and heartburn. and burpy. and wonderful. really, it is.)

but after about 3 days of lots of "bumps" i was convinced that you'd finally decided to make your presence known to the outside world.  then, as if me getting to feel all of your little movements wasn't tear jerking enough for one week, your daddy and i were laying in bed one night i thought it would be fun to see if maybe he could feel you move as well.  you must have been very excited to impress him because the bumps got a little stronger and crazier that night as your daddy was introduced to your little fists and toes for the first time.  you've kept it up all week and while you mostly like to head-butt me while I'm laying down or sitting still, you're also a fan of car rides and country music.  (no, i'm not making that up, i turned on country music this morning and you started bouncing around. what further proof do you need?)

the other exciting development this week was that we finally were able to schedule your first sonogram!  so we're just daaaayysss away from seeing your precious little face and finding out if you're a girl or a boy.  the anticipation leading up to this day feels worse than christmas and birthday and wedding day all wrapped up together.  SO crazy excited to see your tiny self and fall even more completely in love with you.

love,
mommy

thank you kristen for documenting my favorite week of pregnancy so far!

your current favorite foods are: hamburgers, and popsicles. ;)

family

the weekend

8:23 AM

This past weekend was one of my favorite weekends we've had together since getting married.  Something about the warmer weather, the little person growing inside me, and 2 days with no exact schedule made for the most lovely relaxing days together.

I started the weekend friday afternoon with time at the pool, reading, working on my tan, and consuming several ice-pops (hello summer deliciousness!)  Friday night was date night: concert at Bass Hall downtown, and then gelato (for 3) at our favorite little gelato shop in Sundance Square.
saturday morning was sleep late, cinnamon toast, and packing up for a bike ride + picnic.
4 hours later (2 of which were spent riding our bikes in the hot sun) we staggered home and crashed on the living room floor hot, exhausted, and SO sunburnt.  dinner was burgers grilled and eaten out on our little patio, after which we braved the dollar theater near us for the first time.  (we were pleasantly surprised at its cleanliness and attempts to be well kept.  also, i did not come away with lice, winwin!)  (lice is basically my biggest fear every time i go into a questionable looking theater)
(i ate this whole thing. and wanted another one. i'm really not used to this desire to eat!all!the!food!)

i don't have any pictures from sunday, but it was comprised of church, chipotle, a little bit of shopping, (and looking at the adorable puppies they had up for adoption outside petsmart! somebody convince me that getting a puppy 5.5 months before you have a baby while living in an apartment is a stupid idea.) and an evening spent out on the porch again, soaking up the last little bits of weekend while talking about lil' ras and thinking about our hopes + plans for the next few years.

life is so much beautiful right now.