And Taavi Makes Three

5/23/16



Taavi Ross Evans
born May 20, 2016 at 9:52 am
9 lb 6 oz
21 in

Taavi: "one dearly loved; beloved of God"
{pronounced tah-vee}


with chub to love
and a head full of hair



We are all quite smitten.

Thank you all for the prayers and congratulations via Instagram and Facebook! I read and cherished every single one.  His birth story will make it's way here soon(ish), but I will say that it was everything I hoped it would be and more.

Thankful.


Goodies for Your Weekend Hangover

5/16/16

It's Monday, folks, and I don't know about you but the weekend didn't bring any grandiose events my way. (ahem, baby, ahem)

So if, like me, you're finding yourself needing a leetle extra coffee and leisure to start the week... well, I've gotcha covered.


Serious Reads You Shouldn't Miss

The Truth About Your Clothing Donations
"Americans now buy five times as much clothing as they did in 1980, and this trend has had far-reaching side effects. In the 1990s, donations to Goodwill increased by 10 percent every single year. Despite the rapid rise in donations, today's mass produced clothing is of such poor quality that even if it's donated, it's often deemed unfit even for Goodwill."

Why I Put My Son in Ballet
"But as we walked in to the hallway crowded with kids... it happened. A precocious little girl, maybe five or six years old, walked by and asked him, 'Are you doing dance class?' He nodded. 'But you’re a boy!'  Well there it was. What I had been nervous about. Joey looked up at me and I shrugged, hoping to convey that I didn’t see what him being a boy had anything to do with it, without making it into a big deal. But I think that moment of uncertainty had done it’s damage. My normally social, go-get-em boy got very quiet. And when I asked him if he wanted to change out of his boots and put his ballet shoes on, he shook his head. Tears filled his eyes."

The Starlight of a New Life Still Present
"Whether our babies come from our own womb or from the womb of another, we cannot remain the women we once were when we take these children into our arms. We say a breathless hello to the babies at our breast, all the while leaving behind the life we once lived. And even though we are happy; even though we weep with thankfulness; we still must learn to live again. In our new lives. With our new families. As our new selves."

There's a Wideness in God's Mercy
"Every single one of you, stranger or neighbor, who have loved and held and prayed and carried us along this sorrowing, stumbling way. I understood this truth instantly, universally, with a jarring clarity that cuts into memory and opens up something deeper.  As if I could feel, on each darkening afternoon when my toe dipped down to the coldest point of despair’s pool, the rushing force of Everyone pushing me right back up to the rippling surface, leaving me gasping but breathing again. This is what I am trying to understand. There is a wideness."

image via Camp Patton

Rando Things That I Just Plain Liked 


Grace's tissue paper flower tutorial makes it look so easy! If I wasn't outnumbered 4:1 in this house I'd give 'em a go.  (Maybe I could get away with putting some up in the kitchen...?)

Lindsy posted my absolute favorite Instagram of the week. Love their family so dang much.

Disney is making a movie set in Uganda!  SO excited to see all the African names in the credits!

If you're a writer, you might want to check out the Hope*Writers Summit going on this week.  I've been a member of HW for a few months now and can vouch for the quality of content they provide.  It's valuable stuff!

Reading (and re-reading) this book as I gear up for another natural childbirth.  I read a Bradley Method book the first time around and have loved this one so.much.more!!!

*

It's due date week, so maybe - just maybe - a wittle birth announcement will make it's way to the blog one of these days! (Please Lawdy)

Happy Weekdaying, friends. You can do it.

The Waiting

5/12/16

He'll arrive any day, this baby of ours, my body dropping hints left and right that it's time.  I walk the neighborhood every afternoon, closing the door behind me with hopes for more than just an intermittent tightening and returning home again underwhelmed.  Sometimes I do it twice a day, as though my resolute sneakers could somehow best the will of this child.

My feet clod along the concrete sidewalk and I let my mind wander to the waiting.  I wait for my baby with my whole being, bracing my body to be ripped apart: shivering at the horror and mystified by the thrill, ready to feel his slippery skin on mine and breathe in the scent of creation.  It is a holy work, saying this is my body, broken for you.


I shuffle on and pray without meaning to.  For her and her who also wait, though they wait for babies yet unformed but through hope.  I pray for her and her who wait to see their babies on the beaches of The Next, whole and alive and free.  I pray for her who knows her wait is over, decided not by her desires but by the cruelty of the clock.

Is there a grief on the earth quite like the grief of a mother denied?

I will carry their names with me into labor, these mothers and sisters of mine.  Catholics believe that we can offer our sufferings to God and ask that they be used to alleviate the sufferings of another.  It's not a math equation, it's an economy shrouded in mystery, but it is unsearchably beautiful to me.

The names of these women will accompany me when the moment comes that I dip into despair and my soul threatens to break.  I will offer my pain up for their sakes - for their miracle or for their consolation - and I will never wrap my mind around the effects.  But I know in the depths of my consciousness that I will love them more, and that I will love the world more, and that love always multiplies itself.  And alongside these sisters of mine, with so much we'll never understand, I will trust that Love Wins.



'Round These Parts (in 7 Quick Takes)

5/5/16

We're officially in baby month! Woot woot!  May, you never looked better.  So without further ado, here's a little peek into our neck of the woods:

1 - Another newsletter is going out this weekend, and I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway!  Newsletter subscribers will have the chance to win a copy of the current book I'm reading, The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis.  Here's a foretaste:
“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
If you haven't subscribed to the newsletter (which is a monthly email with content that is not on the blog), you can do so by clicking here.  I'm excited for the person who wins this book! It is intellectual and challenging (at least for me) but also filled with such rich nuggets of goodness.  Thanks to Erica at Liturgy of Life for roping me in to it ;)


2 - Eric and I are trying to proactively prepare the boys for the arrival of their baby brother.  Tonight we're getting in some special family time by taking a quick trip to Des Moines ("the big city" chuckle. churtle.) and the boys are beyond excited to be staying in a hotel room.  Who am I kidding, so am I.

What they don't yet know is that the hotel also has THIS...


... so the luxury sofa bed might pale in comparison. 

I can't wait to see them lose their little minds.  :)

3 - Last week Alyosha attended a Big Brother/Sister class at the hospital where I'm delivering. The world's sweetest grandma helped them make a bib for the baby, let them practice changing a diaper on a doll, and took them up to L&D, all the while encouraging them about their very important jobs like reminding grandparents what floor button to push on the elevator.  (Which A took to heart; hell will freeze over before that child forgets about the 4th floor.)  So precious.


The class was for kids 4 and up but I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that Moses tagged along for most of it anyway.  His official class is on Monday so I'm sure he'll be an old pro, schooling the other toddlers with his wicked fast diaper changes.

4 - I've been "nesting" pretty hard these past few weeks. It has finally started to slow down, not because there's nothing left to do (*cough* deep clean kitchen and bathroom *cough*) but because I've moved on to more exciting ventures that allow me to make fun purchases, like packing my hospital bag.

Because sure, I could scrub my bathtub.  OR I could buy a new pair of yoga pants and get the same feeling of accomplishment and productivity.  So.

But! One beneficial thing I have done with that energy is organize our atrocious storage room in the basement.  This is what it's looked like since we moved in last year:



Quite the project, no? You can see why I've put it off for so long.  And I would likely have been tempted to continue that winning streak, had all of the baby things not been buried down there somewhere.  So since I was diving in anyway, it seemed like a good time to put my big girl panties on and organize that sitchiation.

Lucky for me, Eric knows the most darling ISU student who has started her own organization business.  {You can check out Emily's website here! It's pretty amazing.)  She came two different days to help me, and this was the result:


I know, right? Virtual high five for me.

5 - We've been pretty hush-hush about the baby's name and, well, for good reason: he doesn't have one yet.  Which is incredibly unlike us, or at least unlike me.  We originally thought Alyosha was going to be a girl, and had the name Evangeline picked out before we even officially started the process.  And once we were asked about a boy instead, we decided on his name less than 48 hours later.  (Actually we didn't even decide on it, God almost literally dropped it in our laps.  An amazing story, but one for another day!)  And we settled on Moses months before he made his grand appearance.

But for whatever reason, the tides have turned and neither of us feel right about choosing a name until we see the babe this time.  Right now we have a list of about 4 possibilities that we're tossing back and forth.  So only time will tell!  But if you happen to be a baby name aficionado (like myself), you might enjoy reading through my consultation at Sancta Nomina!  Be sure to read the comments as well... you might just find some hints about a few of the names that are still on the table! ;)

6 - And because bump shots are always fun... here's my first (and likely only) bare belly one for ya.  38 weeks large.



7 - If you would, say a quick prayer that little mister turns around.  I've delivered one baby sunny-side-up and I am NOT itching to do it again!  But either way, I get a baby at the end of it and that my friends is pretty hard to beat.  Can't wait to let you know when he makes his appearance!


*linking up with Kelly and all the other Takers

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