He’s In Love

max "meets" his little sister via text message minutes after she was born... and immediately goes to give her kisses.

I’ll never forget the look on his face as he nervously, excitedly, and purposefully walked up to his baby sister – his “Baby Anna” – and I watched my baby boy become a big brother.

He kissed her. He cuddled her. And he spontaneously broke out into “Happy Birthday” all right there in the hospital room.

be still my beating heart!

“Happy Da-ay, Babyanna!”

He gets the giggles looking at her, runs to fetch her nappies, asks for her the first thing when he wakes up, insists on kissing her goodnight, sings “Jesus loves me” when she gets upset, and at every little move she makes during a nap informs me “Babyanna awake.”

He is in love.

And I’m in love with him more as I watch him nurture and care for this precious little girl.

She “watches” him play with his toys and he holds her while we read bedtime stories. It almost feels like she’s always been here.

playmates

He must really like her because just yesterday he pointed to my tummy and said, “More babyanna please?” Later I asked him how many kids we had and he said, “Two kids…” followed quickly by a cheeky, “MORE kids!!!!” I asked him how many kids we should have in our house and he promptly replied, “Nine kids!”

Hmmm… not so sure about that one, dude!

our little loves

Two Is Due

Max turned two and our little one is due.

There was a time I worried about our baby girl coming on the same day as her big bro. Now, that the celebrations are over, I just want her to get here.

But that said, we have had fun celebrating two!

our boy is two

One was special – a rite of passage – but two is thrilling. Jared and I stayed up late the night before Max’s birthday like giddy toddlers ourselves, blowing up balloons, stringing streamers, and piecing together his gift – an art easel we found in the post-Christmas sales and have had hiding under the bed… not just because like to celebrate (although we do) but because we knew just how exciting he’d find it!

favourite breakkie muffins

In the morning as he busted through a wall of balloons, we knew it was all worth it. I love making life special for my family and though there are days that the tears outnumber the giggles, I love life with a toddler – the way every little thing seems so exciting…

Like a birthday party with his best bud, Levi. Levi’s parents graciously offered to throw a party for the boys knowing that we were a bit preoccupied with surgery and a baby due to arrive any day. And boy did they do a great job! We had so much fun celebrating these boys who are only a week and a half apart.

We are so proud of our Maxy-moo and so excited for all this next year has to offer. Oh, and hoping potty training is as easy as many have said that it is. 🙂

Maybe Falling Isn’t So Bad After All…

Jared is out getting a new dishwasher. Ours has been temperamental since we moved in and officially not working at all for over a year. But he’s had to help with the dishes so often in the past two months that I think he’s finally gotten over it…

At least there’s some silver lining in the midst of this little thing they call hyperemesis.

Its taken me a while to see it in the midst of the symptoms. I won’t go through the detail here (its vulgar) but I will say that I’ve thrown up in public so much by now that I’ve pretty much stopped going out. I cried with embarrassment the first time it happened in front of the hospital on our way to take Max in during the 8:30am rush. Heaps of people walked by as I stood over a rubbish bin filled with cigarette stubs and half chewed fast food before I was ushered away by three nurses who came rushing out of their office with tissues, bottled water, vomit bags, and a wheelchair in tow.

Jared and random nurses at the hospital haven’t been the only ones to catch me lately…

My 39-week pregnant friend (who is now a mama herself) who drove me to doctors appointments when I couldn’t take myself…

My busy mom-of-four-friend who took the time to juice veggies for me and puree pumpkin soup just to get nutrition in me when I couldn’t even keep water down…

Friends who popped by to entertain my son when I couldn’t pull myself away from the toilet and he couldn’t help but cry wondering what was wrong with mommy…

Friends who brought popsicles and smut, friends who offered to cook for my boys, friends who brought grits (because when that particular friend came off his former cocaine addiction, grits were the only thing that felt good on his stomach… man, I love that friend.)

I’ve always been so happy to be independent… to be the one offering the help… and even though I’ve done my fair share of receiving in life (hello, I’m not that naive, there have been SO many people to help me in SO many ways), it has never been to this degree with the most basic and practical things like feeding my family or changing my son’s nappy.

It was somewhere in the midst of all this, as I saw how gracious and loving and helpful and kind all my friends have been as they caught me, I realised… maybe falling isn’t so bad after all.

Last week as I sat in our weekly worship service, peaceful as a friend prayed for me, I heard the words of Jesus whispering to my heart. “Rebekah, you’ve been so eager to get out of this season of your life, but have you stopped to consider what I’ve done during it?

So. True.

A deeper gratitude… a deeper humility… a deeper understanding of friendship… a deeper intimacy with Christ… fallling in love with my husband all over again as I realised the depth with which he meant the words “in sickness…,” the joy of watching my friends succeed at things I was not strong enough to do… the preparation for life to change yet again as another little one joins us…

And while I still want out (always the optimist, now that I’ve passed 14 weeks, my next goal to be finished throwing up is 16 weeks, thanks to the advice from my friend Aimee’s mother-in-law, a nurse who suffered from hyperemesis herself), I am enjoying the moment, feeling free to fall, feeling grateful for those who catch me… and stoked to have a new dishwasher by the end of today!

Can you believe our sweet boy is 18 months old already!? GAH!

The Birthday Cake I (Almost) Didn’t Have

What is it about girlfriends? How they sometimes know what you need better than you do?

My birthday was amazing this year, right from the moment my precious little brown-eyed boy brought me a gift bag with the biggest smile a girl could imagine, followed by his brown-eyed daddy with a plate of breakfast in bed.

I didn’t expect it to be a good day and I told Jared not to do anything. I was anticipating doctors appointments and details about our upcoming fundraiser.

And when the news hit me on that morning that Max was going to need surgery soon, it was all I could do to make it through the day without crying – not because he’s not okay but because of the sadness any mother would feel for her child to go through something like that – much less finalise the events of tomorrow.

So when it came to the end of the day, I was feeling loved but ready to process the day’s emotions in a hot bath, preferrably with the tears I’d been supressing all day.

But just before I got in, there was a knock on the door… and another… and another…

And one by one the girls showed up… some with their cozy pajamas hugging their pregnant bellies, others with frayed ponytails and tired work shirts after an extra long day at the office (covering my fair share of the work, no doubt)… each with somthing in her hands… a card… flowers… baked goods…

A spontaneous gathering not just to celebrate a birthday but to celebrate friendship – the kind of friendship that makes the world seem okay even when your tempted to believe its starting to crumble around you.

With brownies and ice cream, how could it not be okay, right?

I thought I needed tears, but that night, I needed to laugh. And laugh we did… I am so so grateful for the way God gives us community to enjoy one another, to strengthen one another, and to celebrate one another.

PS – We find out more about Max tomorrow morning when we see the paediatric surgeon! Thanks for your prayers!

Keeping the ANZAC Spirit Alive In Our Hearts

The ANZAC spirit is something special.

Its similar to the way Americans feel when they see a bald eagle flying across a blue sky. Or the reason Canadians seem to plater their flag on everything from their backpacks to their underwear.

But its more than a symbol.

ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.

But its more than a history story or a battle.

Its about a spirit.

The ANZACS were known for their ability to keep their sense of humour, even in difficult times, to be resourceful when they had nothing, to give their life for their mates, to be courageous, even when others weren’t, and to respect all.

We celebrated that spirit this week.

We waved our Aussie flags at the town parade.

We cheered for our veterans and our soldiers.

We teared up as we saw the “wounded in the line of fire” soldiers driven by.

And we bowed our heads and hearts (and closed our toddler eyes) as Bishop Putney led thousands of our community in prayers of gratefulness to our God.

But we also celebrated our friends and the ANZAC spirit that lives between us.

Not because we’re soldiers fighting in some far off land, but because we would give our lives for each other.

Because the best birthday parties are the ones made of flowers clipped from your friend’s garden.

Because someone took the time to op-shop for a teaspoon for every single one of her friends. (Even though she was the birthday girl.)

Because laughing together is a lifeline, no matter whose grandparent passed away last week (for the record, there were three.)

Because it takes courage to wear a black hat with a pink and white dress, even if it is the only one you’ve got. (Too much? Definitely! As if I’m that fashion conscious, I’m sorry to say!)

Happy Birthday to the loveliest pregnant birthday girl and ANZAC friend!

Thankful.

I’m thankful for…

  1. friends who take an extra day off of work just to hang out
  2. friends who drive long distances just for a visit
  3. cousins who make each other laugh
  4. realising that the one hour visit has turned into an entire afternoon
  5. telling the kids “just 15 more minutes to play” about 17,000 times
  6. potluck lunches with a plethora of casseroles
  7. windows to watch the snow and fireplaces & quilts to keep us cozy
  8. board books and toy cars
  9. the $1 bins at target
  10. country churches and their genuine people

Its been a lovely Thanksgiving weekend.

Do I Know You?

I have this awkward, awkward quality/ability/talent to remember random details about people.

How is this awkward? Well, sometimes I “meet” people and already know their name, address, spouse, and what year their family pet died. I have to politely smile and pretend I’m not the stalker I sometimes feel like I am (and remind myself God gave me this brain and this job.)

Now that I’ve been preparing so much material from the YWAM Medical Ship outreaches to the Gulf Province, I’ve started to feel as I actually know these people whose lives have been changed. I even feel as though they are my friends. I’m on first name basis with them – and they have never even met me. I refer to them like they’re the neighbour down the street… and they don’t even know that I exist.

I felt a little bit strange and silly when I realised just how dear they are to my heart. And then I realised that is the ultimate reality. Even from miles away, it is this caring about the individual that drives me to sit in an office (or home office) with my little baby playing at my feet, helping to change their lives.

So in an attempt to embrace the loveliness that is me loving them, allow me to introduce you to some of my friends