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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

belly shot


that sweet belly. 
front and center in this shot.
this belly shot.

void of a large intestine.

our hearts,
our lives,
are so very full.


You are the God that works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.
Psalm 77:14




Saturday, July 05, 2014

milestones




our little miracle whip is half way to one.  half way! it all happened so fast that I am certain if I blink he will be one.  so I'm swaddling him tight and using tons of visine.  I'm determined to slow him down just a bit.









although, there is really no slowing him down these days.  I don't feed them to him, but this kids eats milestones for breakfast.  he is a mover.  at 5 months he started sitting up pretty well.  the doctor even noted that he had incredible trunk control.  as soon as he mastered sitting, he was determined to move. 


when evan isn't trying to army crawl across the floor he is busy razzing on anything he can find, still soaking him self in drool in minutes.

the boys and I have determined that drooling is his super power.  he conquers his enemies in slimy, drippy drool.

he has two perfect little bottom teeth that came in right at 6 months.

with all the crawling, sitting and pulling up... oh, did I mention he can sit himself up and pull himself up?  he pulls himself up on me all the time.  so with all with all of the pulling up we went ahead and moved his crib on down. 

he is trying new foods and hasn't found anything he doesn't like yet. I can't really tell if there is anything he likes the most either.  he just treats it all the same.


beets!


there isn't a day that passes that I don't kiss his sweet, round belly and thank the Lord.  six months later it feels like the scares we faced were a dream. or a night mare. watching evan grow is a constant reminder of His grace.  amazing grace.


 


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nolan at Three

Nolan,
You are 3!  It is almost as hard to hold up three fingers as it is to describe your dynamic personality at three years old.

Your emotions are very close to the surface.  You certainly wear your heart on your sleeve, but you also keep your frustration and anger there too.  You are so quick to tell everyone that you love "I love you" for no reason at all.  You tell me when I bend down to help you tie a shoe, get dressed, dry you off after a bath or just give you a drink.  It often comes with a sweet kiss attached.  I over hear you telling your brother "I love you, bubba." during the middle of a Lego building session or super hero rescue.  You ask me in the car if you can give me hug as soon as we get home. Nolan, you are as sweet as they come!

Snuggling is among your favorite things to do and by snuggling I mean trying to get a close as physically possible to daddy or mommy. You will push your head up into our necks so that every part of you is against us.  It is so sweet and terribly uncomfortable, but we absolutely love it.

You ADORE your brothers, both of them.  You and G are the best of friends and anything he loves you love.  Together you two love your baby.  You are proud of him and quietly (because you aren't really comfortable talking to strangers) show him off in public.
this picture speaks perfectly to the way you feel about G


But just as quick as you are to love, you are super quick to a fit.  You regularly get overly upset about decisions that you made yourself, like what cup to drink out of and where to sit at the table.  We have been working for a year and a half on communicating your desires before the meltdown screaming tantrum and we are making progress...slowly.

You have these faint freckles that scatter across your nose and melt your momma's heart.

You are fiercely attached to your dad.  You would love nothing more than to be on his shoulders all day long. Some of your biggest fits come when you are told you can't be on daddy's shoulder because he needs to do something like take a shower.  If it were up to you, you would just stay put through the shower and all.


You make random observations about the world around you and blurt them out at the funniest times.  For example, you regularly observe the entire families eye color or remind us that you are sitting in a chair or have on pants.

you picked out our spoons to match our eyes
You know all of the words to What Does a Fox Say, thanks to the book we got for Christmas and are often heard singing under your breath.

You love soccer. One of the few interests that was not sparked by your big brother.  Although, now he wants to play too.

You are starting to correct all the sweet little Nolanisms like wanting to go to Chickalay (chick-fil-a) or looking for your toy ga-grilla (gorilla).  Guess that is part of growing up but I want to remember your sweet voice saying things your own way.

We celebrate on your birthday with Spiderman, pizza, cake and family.  It was simple and quiet but just perfect for you.  We continued celebrating the next day with a trip to the Dallas Zoo.  You had a great time and enjoyed the view from daddy's shoulders most of the day.  When you ventured down, you had a blast with your best bud, Asher!  It was a sweet day and such a treat to have all of the Jones family join us in celebrating you.


You are sweet, spunky, wildly stubborn and there aren't words for how much daddy, G, Evan and I love you! We couldn't love you more and we will never love you less, Nolan.  Happy 3rd birthday!




Tuesday, February 04, 2014

just like that

Just like that time ticked right by and our smallest guy is two months old.


We are still pinching ourselves and praising the Lord that he is healthy.

We have these sweet and constant reminders of what could have been.

Like these tags I put on his blankets in preparation for our NICU stay.
They are little calls to prayer as I use them throughout the day.  I don't want this to get old.  I want to stay in this miracle.  In this place of constant gratitude. Just thankful for everything that the Lord has done in my life, including the gift of this sweet, healthy, chunky baby.


Evan has certainly eased his way right into our family and has us all wondering how we ever lived a moment with out him.  His brothers are completely smitten.  They are almost compulsive in their need to touch, hug, hold or kiss him. It can be a little much at times but is ultimately so sweet.  I have a feeling my two big boys are going to make amazing daddies one day.  They rush to help me change diapers, push the stroller, find the pacifier or grab a blanket. Not surprising considering they are learning from the best.


At two months Evan is tipping the scales at 15 pounds 15 ounces.  He's also stretching out just as quickly at 24 inches already.   That is closer to the size of a 4 or 5 month old.  Way to fast!
He has plenty of smiles and coos but saves most of them for momma, although daddy had him giggling the other day.

video


At 2 months:
15 lb 15 oz
24 inches
6 mo clothes
squeezing into size 2 diapers 
loves: milk, momma, daddy's football hold, his brothers, tummy time and bath time
dislikes: car seat (when first put in), his constant congestion, getting out of the bath 


Oh handsome boy, we are so very smitten with you!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

evan matthew

evan: young warrior, form of John meaning God has shown favor

Friday, November 29th at 11:08 we welcomed our young warrior, our miracle, our boy who God has surely shown favor into this world.

Evan Matthew, 8 lbs 12 ounces, 21 inches long
 
I wrote a post right before he was born sharing the good news we had received during our last doctors appointment and sharing that we were ready to see miracles. I had no idea how telling that post would be or how miraculous our little boys birth would prove.

Like most healthy babies do, he came into this world pink and screaming.  He didn't stop screaming.  The whole time they were evaluating him.  He just kept screaming.  I lay there crying, just so thankful for that scream, for the fight he was putting up, for the life in his lungs. They let me see him so briefly before they swept him away to the NICU.

What happened next was beyond anything we could have imagined.  After x-rays, dye tests, ultrasounds, giving him formula to see how his system would react and just five hours after his birth the neonatologist came to my postpartum room to announce that they could find nothing wrong with our boy.  That he was as healthy as they come.  We wept and asked how?  How had we gone through 19 weeks of sonograms, an MRI, seeing half a dozen doctors all telling us the same thing and then this? Healthy? You mean he has a full intestine? And it's functioning?  How is it possible? 

The good news just kept coming. His clubbed foot? Not actually clubbed. They called it positional, meaning he has full range of motion and with a little foot massage and the pressure he will put on it when he starts standing it should easily correct. 

 
Holding Evan for the first time in the middle of the night in the NICU

We held our breath.  We waited for the but.

The doctors have no explanation. We have heard them say things like "sometimes these things just happen". We have heard "I have no explanation and I never would have expected it.".

In the hospital nurses cried. Nurses and specialist made special trips back to our room to see Evan and say one more time they just couldn't believe it. Doctors questioned our neonatologist making sure he was looking at the right file and had the right kid. Our doctors not involved in delivery have called to express their disbelief and happiness for us. Those are calls I never expected to receive.

We can only call it a miracle. 

We've quickly stopped asking how and just praised the Lord for his healing in our little warrior.  We need no earthly, medical explanation. We are just thankful.

After being prepared for 4-6 weeks in the NICU, almost guaranteed surgery, possible chromosomal abnormalities and so much uncertainty Evan spent one night in the NICU. One night!  By Saturday afternoon they had transfered him to the newborn nursery.  He came home with us Monday.  

Our Celebration Dinner at the hospital

We walked into our house that afternoon, both of our big boys napping, Evan asleep in his car seat, totally unprepared to have a newborn at home and just wept.  Totally overwhelmed.  Our family all together.  Something we didn't know would ever happen and if it did it would certainly be weeks away.  We were thinking it would be a miracle to have him home by Christmas and here he was not one night away from us.

Now almost a week later we are still pinching ourselves and spending a lot of time staring at his sweet face.  I am tearing up over poopy diapers.  Because y'all our kid poops! Normal poop.  No colostomy bag, no tube feed, just poop in a diaper. 

And we are catching up.  We had been so prepared to have him in the NICU for weeks that we had not fully prepared to have him at home.  No diapers purchased. No bassinet assembled. No baby clothes washed. Thankfully after that last reassuring appointment I had Matt get the car seat down from the attic, just in case.


As long as I live I don't know that I will have words to fully express all the feelings, all of the lessons that this pregnancy and birth have taught me.  I pray that this miracle never loses its awe. I have never felt the power of prayer like I have in these past months.  I am already certain that his story has made an impact far greater than we will ever know. 

I am thankful for this sweet testimony. For each and every prayer. For this start to Evan's story because really it has just begun.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

you have...

We are so close to meeting our little guy now and yet I am still struggling to find the words.  The words that are big enough, deep enough, meaningful enough to say thank you.  I've joked that thank you is something you say when you are handed a drink or passed the salt.  But this? How do you say thank you for this? I am struggling to find the thank you big enough to say

you have changed me
you have forever altered my definition of love
you have shown me Jesus
you have covered my family in prayer
you have held
you have fed
you have carried
you have listened
you have texted
you have emailed
you have called
you have sent a card
you have just shown up
you have loved my boys well
you have drawn pictures for our baby
you have strung lights
you have organized closets
you have traced hands
you have gathered
you have given selflessly
you have loved well

You have done all of these things and more, in ways that I have never felt so collectively. It is humbling and overwhelming in the best kind of way.  We have been carried by your out pour, by your love and most certainly by your prayers.

As we prepare to welcome our son tomorrow our emotions continue to rollercoaster, but we know we have this army behind us to rejoice when we are at the top and to weep with us when we are at our lows.  We know our family and our son are being lifted up constantly. 

We know what it looks like to see love being made complete.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:11-12
 
 
We are eternally grateful for you. 



Monday, November 18, 2013

are you ready for a miracle?

I have had the Patti LaBelle/ LeAnn Rimes (think Bruce/Evan Almighty versions) in my head all day.

I have been and you all have been praying big things for our family and we started seeing them today!

Today was supposed to be our last doctor appointment day.  First at the perinatal specialist (the baby's doctor) and then on to my ob.  As you know, we had a c-section scheduled for Thursday, so this was it! The appointment at the perinatal doctor started just like any of them a nonstress test and the tech taking a long look at our guy. But when the doctor came in and started telling us what she was seeing that's when it got exciting. 

Y'all, the fluid in his abdomen is almost gone! Literally from last week to this week his fluid build up went from severe to normal. Normal! This greatly decreases the risk of the fluid putting pressure on his other organs.  The doctors aren't saying with absolute certainty why or how it has gone down but that it is a good sign that the intestine he has are most likely working. Huge Praise!

I love that the specialist even sent all of the pictures from today to her partner to get a second opinion because she was not expecting to see the fluid decrease so significantly.  She pulled up pictures of previous weeks to compare side by side while we were in the office and she was just stunned.

So this means we are going to let him keep growing, no eviction notice quite yet! No c-section this week! That is unless I go into labor. The doctors want to monitor me closely so I will have another appointment on Friday and again next Monday.  They still believe, at this point, that a c-section is necessary so I will get a new date from the hospital in the next few days.  The doctors are recommending the 29th or 30th and at that point we will be in our 38th week.

We still have a long way to go and so many more questions about his condition.  I have felt so restrained in my praise and just overall excitement over this news today but tonight I am just ready to abandon that.  This may be a small miracle in the grand scheme of his overall condition but tonight I just want to cry happy tears and give thanks and praise without worry of the future.  To celebrate today for the victory that it is!

So we will keep praying!  We will pray for miracles fully believing that we will see them in our boy.  Praying that his life will bring glory to His name. Praying Lord help my unbelief.  When I doubt your almighty power to save and heal help me to believe. Praying that my body can hold out for another week because man is this painful! We will worship Him and praise Him through it all.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for praying with us!