Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What a Joyful Day

Today while driving to a play date Kaitlyn was talking my ear off, as usual, and mentioned that Jesus always protects us. I said "yes, he does" and then she said something I will never forget. She said, with a rather worried tone of voice, "well I know He loves me but I just don't KNOW that he's really in my heart." This is not the first time this subject has come up, the previous time was also in the car and I felt ill equipped to handle something with such gravity. I wanted Ben with me to witness the moment and help us pray. But this time I knew I couldn't put it off again. My girl was aching at the core of her being to know with all certainty that what she was wishing so desperately could be true. I told her that in order for Him to live there that she has to invite Him in, and promise to follow Him forever. It was the best I could do in the moment and I was trying not to overwhelm my eager four year old with ramblings of adult theology. She simply wanted to know He was there, for sure. I told her I would pray a prayer of salvation with her and that Jesus would be in her heart if we prayed it together.

After a short lecture about how I should not close my eyes and pray while I drive because I "might bonk something with the car" and after I assured her I would keep my eyes open, we prayed. I said the words, and she repeated them carefully, word for word, head bowed, eyes closed. When we finished I assured her that Jesus had heard her prayer and that he now lived in her heart, forever. When I looked back the smile on her face was indescribable, so peaceful and joyful at the same time. Let me tell you, the rain had nothing to do with the blurred vision I was experiencing in that moment.

Then the day went on as usual. She played, laughed, sang songs and cried about losing a hand of Old Maid to her mom. But I couldn't help but wonder...does she really get it? Which immediately I answer myself in my head "do ANY of us REALLY get it?" My fear for her is that being so young she won't remember that moment, that somehow things will become stagnant, common and boring when it comes to her faith. What a huge weight it is to feel responsible for helping to guide her on this path and help keep her excited in it. Mostly today I feel grateful that God saw fit to come to earth, save me, and continue His legacy in my child. Her future was written before she was born, but today I got a small glimpse of what it could hold, and the possibilities truly are endless.

So this is her, as she is today, four years old and teaching me so much already. Part of me can't help but sigh in relief knowing that compared to her eternal fate, everything else is "easy" from here. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Family Photos

We recently had family photos done to capture our completed family. Knowing the completed dynamics of our family is so exciting to me, I love these pictures because they are the beginning of many to come. :)


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Am I a Girly Girl?

I don't think I ever put a hair bow or headband on Kaitlyn once. But now, knowing that Ava is my last little girl I have decided to take full advantage of girlishness and the cute hair bows that are everywhere right now. This is one of my favorite boutiques and they are having a sale right now just in time for Christmas! :)


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Still in That Newborn Fog

We recently had pictures taken of Ava and I love them! I love that they capture her in our home, in her own environment. I love that they capture what I will most likely remember through a fog of sleep deprivation and the crazy task of being a mother of three with no manual. :) And I love that even though I am afraid to blink and wake to find my children grown and gone, looking at these photos is so exciting to me. It shows where my kids are and makes me think to the future about where our family is going.

It seems Kaitlyn and Lance can do anything to Ava and she just smiles and coos...except when they simultaneously accidentally knock her in the head with their knees, then she cries (as shown below) but most of the time she is enamored with her siblings. Although having a newborn is challenging, these moments are precious and fleeting. I hope I never forget what is was like to hold my tiny children in my arms and smell that intoxicating smell only babies have. Here are some of the many photos...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ava is One Month Old!

Dear Ava Lynne,
You are one month old today. It feels so bittersweet watching you grow, knowing I will never again hold my own newborn baby in my arms. I still remember what it's like to be pregnant, to have a precious life growing in my womb one moment, and be given the amazing, life-changing title of mother (once again) another. But soon even those memories will fade and our family will be moving into the next stage of our lives. You seem to be growing and changing infinitely faster than the other two did, and I am grappling to hold on to each moment as it slips away. Your tiny newborn cry is such a joy to me and even the long nights seem blissful in the face of certain reality that you are the final addition to our family.

And although I insisted you were a girl my entire pregnancy, it's only been in the last few weeks that I allowed myself to realize how much I WANTED another girl. Sweet girl you are such a miraculous answer to prayer, one I never even whispered. And as much as I dread this rapid growth process, I so look forward to your first smile, tiny giggles and watching you interact with your sister and brother. It's the "lasts" that scare me. If I had known the last day I was pregnant was the last day I would have held on tighter, rubbed my belly more often and had someone take a million pictures. I would have read bedtime stories to my older children knowing things would never be the same and squeezed them a little tighter when I kissed them goodnight. I would have told them, as I tell myself now. That there are such wonderful things to come, not to be frightened about the future or heartbroken about what's behind us. But all those things seem easier said than done these days. The realization that so many things I dreamed about my whole life have been fulfilled and are behind me and the uncertainty that comes with this next phase of my life. The necessity of new hopes and dreams for myself (and mostly for my children) and the I always knew I wanted to get pregnant and HAVE children.

I am not sure I thought about actually raising those children. Getting pregnant, growing a life, piece of cake! I think most people would agree, this is the hard part. I think I gasp and have my heart hurl into my chest about 27 times a day watching Lance attempt to climb the latter at the park. And my heart hurts for Kaitlyn when she gets her feelings hurt and soars with joy when I see what a sweet heart she has for her siblings. The reality that I have been given this awesome responsibility is so overwhelming sometimes. I am responsible for three tiny lives...for helping to shape, encourage and love them. And, eventually, let them go as adults, praying I did enough things right for them to flourish in so many ways. It's days like today when I repeat Matthew 6:34 over and over to myself... "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own."

So on this very emotional milestone day I can only promise to try and love you everyday the way I do today, and promise to try and remember this post when you are 2...and 12... and 15...and 22. :)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Welcoming Ava Lynne!!!

Dear Ava Lynne,
From the moment I found out I was pregnant with you, I knew you were a girl. I waited nine months to see your beautiful face and even though your daddy and I hadn't settled on a name, the moment you were born I knew you were an Ava. You were born on a Friday morning at 10:12am...ten days early.

About the time I was ready to go to bed on Thursday night I started feeling uncomfortable. I went to bed sometime after 11pm and woke up at 2am because I couldn't sleep through the contractions. I got up and began timing my contractions and took a shower. About an hour later I knew I needed to call Daddy and tell him to come home from work. He got home and we began getting ready to go to the hospital. After about an hour we called Nono and Papa and asked if someone could come be with Kaitlyn and Lance while they slept. Papa came over and we left the house around 5:15am. I was supposed to have my first Mops meeting that morning and had prepared things for my first meeting as a table leader the night before. So on the way to the hospital we stopped by the church and dropped some things by the door. By this time my contractions were completely sporadic and I was beginning to feel nervous about if this was really it. I asked your daddy to stop at Starbucks, he had been at work all night and I knew he could use some caffeine. I thought I wanted a snack but when we got there I didn't feel like eating and after a few contractions daddy said it was time to get me to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital they checked me in and said I was 5cm...I was going to meet my baby soon! After getting into our room and settled it was only a few hours before you were ready to arrive. You arrived with an attitude of your own and came out crying before you were completely born into the world. When the doctor announced you were a girl I just smiled, like it was a secret we had shared for the last nine months. I couldn't wait to tell Kaitlyn she had a sister, she had been talking about a sister since before I was even pregnant.

You are now one week old and the perfect completion to our family. It's only been 7 days and I cannot imagine our family without you in it. Lance emphatically calls you "VA!" and Kaitlyn asks to hold you about 28 times a day. She cannot get enough of you and is always trying to soothe you when you cry and play with you while you are awake. Lance wants to hold you a lot as well and is mostly very sweet and gentle with you, he's only whacked you over the head once all week.

Here are some pictures of our adventures as a family of five from the last week...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Glimpse Into the Future...

This week Kaitlyn has been starting every sentence with "When I'm big and I'm a mommy..." She has also informed me that when she's a mommy she is going to have four babies and everyone will see her driving around in her van with her four babies. She recently stuck a balloon under her dress and exclaimed "Look Mom, I'm preganant!" So much of how she views her world comes through in her desire to be big. She is constantly saying "I wish I could do that when I'm big."

I wish I could explain to her to that these are the most wonderful, carefree days of her life. That childhood is fleeting and one day much too soon the innocence of childhood will have long since faded and the reality of adulthood will truly be upon her. I wish I could protect her from it. Yet each new skill of independence marks a milestone, a sigh of relief that we are preparing her well for the life that is ahead of her. I just wish I could look ahead, to know how better to prepare her, how to protect her from injury, and disappointment, and heartache. To know what her specific trials will be and help her before she even reaches them.

When I thought about being a mother I never imagined worrying as much as I do. Once when Kaitlyn was a newborn I remember starting to cry one day. Ben asked what was wrong and I started to blubber something about "what if she meets the wrong boy when she's a teenager and makes the wrong choices and there's nothing we can do..." I think Ben's response was something like "Honey, she's 13 days old, let's worry about day 14 and then we can worry later about when she's 13 years old."

True, I was probably a tad bit emotional and postpartum, but the point is, I think as mothers it's inherent to worry. I have perfected that skill. The skill that still needs work is trust. Trusting the Lord to know the path for my children's lives and trust He will guide me in preparing them for those paths. He knows every second of what will happen in my children's lives and I need to trust in that. Not only because I am commanded to, but also as an example to my children in where my faith lies. I think a part of me will always be a worry wart about my children but I know I need to practice less worry and more trust.

So today, despite my worry about who her future husband will be, if she'll stay close to home so I can see her often, if I will be here to see her through each trial she will face until then; I will trust in what I know. Today, she is four. She loves wearing dresses and pumping herself on the swing. Her favorite food is Macaroni and Cheese and her biggest challenge in life is living with her brother. For all the rest, I will trust in what Jeremiah 29:11 says. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I know my children have awesome, amazing futures planned for their lives. But a part of me still holds on to my mommy worry. Especially when my four year old starts pretending to be pregnant and talking about how many children she'll be loading up in the minivan.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Kaitlyn had her last day of preschool yesterday and it occurred to me to take a picture to compare to the one we took on her first day. It is amazing how quickly the school year went by and how much she has changed. She is becoming such a beautiful, sweet spirited little girl. I am so proud of her. She constantly amazes me with the things she says and does. How is it so wonderful and so heart wrenching at the same time to watch your kids grow right in front of your eyes?

Sept 2009

June 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Catching Up 2010

Since I went so long without posting there are a ton of pictures for me to share and I thought I would make it easy and just do a slide show. Here's a quick glimpse of what's been happening around the Nelson house lately!

I Have a Secret

Being pregnant is like having this amazing secret all to yourself. (Except for the whole expanding belly for the world to see thing) I can feel when the baby is awake and moving, I know when it has the hiccups, there are so many moments that are shared by only the baby and myself. Every movement is like a tiny greeting from this little person inside me.

I love being pregnant. And even though I am at peace with this little addition being the last to our family, I know a part of me will always have that maternal ache to have "just one more." Knowing this is the last time I will do this makes me cherish it that much more. Part of me can't believe we are doing this all over again, and part of me aches knowing it is the last time I will experience this awesome, miraculous experience of growing a person and bringing it into the world. The births of my children have been the most exciting and amazing times of my life. And sharing those moments with my husband has been indescribable.

Sometimes when the baby kicks I tell someone and let them feel it kick, but there are many times when I am content to smile to myself and say a silent hello to who ever this is growing inside me. And when this pregnancy is over I know I will be ready to be done and see who this is, but today, I am holding on to my body, my shape, everything just the way it is, aches and pains included, and just enjoying this miracle for what it is.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kaitlyn's 4th Birthday!

This post is so overdue but Kaitlyn turned four in February and had her first "big girl" party with lots of friends. It was a swim party (yes in February) at Kaitlyn's request at an indoor pool that she has been taking lessons at. We should have taken many more pictures but everyone was so busy swimming that pictures were low on the priority scale. :) I still can't believe she is four years old. Her personality and spirit shine through more and more each day and the little person she has become just makes me marvel at how quickly they go from helpless and tiny to so big and independent. Her favorite things to do are draw, paint, (basically anything to do with art) swing, go on walks to the park and play with her brother. I cannot wait to see what the next year brings.

We always take a picture of the kids the day before their birthdays. Here is Kaitlyn's last day being three!