Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kodak Moment

Yesterday, I was watching the 2 video clips we have from the day Stevie was born. They were taken during his bath and shampoo time. He was so cute....and soo chunky! I just realized when watching that the nurse was commenting on the size of his head..."big, big head." Yes, he had/has a big, big head, and I pushed it out, and I love it! Anyway, I'd put that up, but it's too big to post (um, the video that is).

I'm pretty sure most new parents tend to sit around with their camera, waiting to capture the big moments. Well, I tend to forget to have the camera out. This particular day (this week), I remembered to take it out after I noticed Stevie having a good play time. Here's the big moment I happened to capture:

He's been smiling since about 3 1/2 weeks (probably earlier, but at that point, I was convinced it was on purpose), and I had been wanting to capture some good play time. As you can see, I captured something else too!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15th Last Year

Wow, has it really been a year already? Yup, it's been a year since Matt came "home" (to California) from deployment. It's been a year since that picture was taken above. I flew out the day before from Indiana, after staying with Chrissy and Nathan after our family reunion. I had a ridiculously huge carry-on bag with me, and yes, I'll be honest, because I didn't want to pay to check another bag. The attendant who took my ticket gave me an awful look and said, "Where do you think you're going to put that?" I just sort of smiled nervously and waited for her to make me check it. She said nothing more, so I just kept walking. I stuffed that baby in good...and had specifically prayed for days that I would sit next to a decent guy who would help me lift it or get it out. haha Guess what? It happened! I'm a little fuzzy about the first flight, but on the 2nd one, a younger guy was in the outside seat next to me. He talked a little bit when we first boarded...asked where I was going, what I was doing there, etc. I told him about Matt coming home and I wish Matt could've seen my face talking about it. The guy was like, "Look at you. You're pretty excited about this!" "Well, yeah!! 10 months is a long time without your husband!"

It was crazy trying to occupy myself on base, pretty much alone, for about 32 hours before he got there (yeah, I didn't get much sleep). I was going nuts inside...full of anticipation, just like my wedding day, yet I had some nervousness being alone (and loneliness). I walked to the mini mart on base and ate a frozen pizza back at the room for dinner. I settled into the room I guess, and I'm pretty sure I went for a run on the track that night. Then I went back to the room to watch t.v. and try to get some sleep. The next morning, I took another walk to the mini mart for food for the day. I could've gotten everything the night before, but I knew I'd have lots of time to fill. After my lovely Easy Mac lunch, I headed back to the track to run off some energy. Of course there was a group doing their PT drills there, and I could feel the dozens of sets of eyes on me with every lap. I stayed out of their way, sticking to the outside, looking forward to having my partner (and protector...haha) beside me again. It's sort of a strange thing to be thousands of miles away from anyone I know and in the midst of palm trees. I can't remember what I ate for dinner that night...I just remember not being able to eat much because I was so excited. I kept waiting for the phone call as to the time he would arrive. It was supposed to be before 7pm originally I believe. It kept getting pushed back and pushed back...of course. I got myself ready...and waited...and waited. Matt ended up calling me from Alaska, their last leg. I kept myself "busy" by watching Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Gameshow (not much on) and A Baby Story (love that show). Finally, a friend of Matt's picked me up around 11 to take me to the terminal on base where Matt's squadron would arrive. Just before midnight the plane touched down. Matt was one of the last guys off the plane, but then I saw him! We had to dodge the other people and the baracades, and then we were together again...the pictures here show the rest.

Here we are, a year later, together with a little addition! This year went by pretty fast, and I wish that year had gone by as quickly. I definitely still think about that time often, and though it was so difficult to endure at the time, I am thankful for it. Not because I wanted to be apart from Matt (certainly not!!), but I appreciate that much more what the service members, their wives and families go through for our freedom. There are wives and families still enduring right now. Please remember to keep them, as well as our soldiers, in your prayers.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Acorns 2 Oaks

Finally, my blog name change post!

We dedicated Stephen on Father's Day. That was a few weeks ago already! I'm still trying to catch up on here. We were eager to dedicate him to the Lord pretty much as soon as possible after he was born, and we thought Father's Day would be an extra special time to do it. Afterall, we dedicated him to our heavenly Father, and he's named after his Daddy who loves him so much (Mommy does too). I really wanted to post some pictures, but we don't have any! I'm quite sad about this. We didn't take our camera out in our haste to make it to the front after coming in from a feeding time. My mom had theirs, but it was set to video on accident, and the battery ran out within a minute. Thankfully, Matt and Megan taped it for us so we will have it on DVD, but pictures are only in our memory. Here are the only pictures from the afternoon.

Daddy and son matched!

After saying our vows (with the arch blanket over Stephen that we said our wedding vows under), and my Dad praying over him, I added a portion of a song/prayer for Stephen: "A Mother's Prayer" by Rachel Aldous. I would've probably just used the song somehow but didn't have time to get it, so I read it (with tears). I just think it's absolutely beautiful, and yes every time I hear it, the tears come. You see, I'm all about the meaningful things. I searched and searched for a good dedication song. They are hard to come by! I heard this and could not stop listening to it (it has about 78,000 hits, and I'm probably 70,000 of them...haha) and praying the words over my son.

Then when my dad walked Stevie around the church for the people to get a better look at him, we had the more familiar, "I Want to be Just Like You" playing by Phillips, Craig, and Dean.

I think all parents dream and hope for big things for their children. For me, it has been my desire since a little girl to have children. Stephen is an absolute blessing and miracle. You see, it took a little more time than we were hoping it would to get pregnant. I went through rounds of testing and started herbs and other supplements (I preferred to try more natural supplements first). It was thought it may take me a couple more years when my hormonal levels just weren't getting there, but lo and behold, last September, we were so excited to finally see a plus! I am convinced God breathed his breath into Stephen's very being. My body was doing some weird things at the time, and I can't help but think a Spiritual battle was going on inside me and God willed Stephen into being. I believe He has some big things in store for our little guy, our crowned gift of God, and since conception, for that was when his life began, well, actually, even before he was conceived, it has been my dream and hope that our child/children would grow to be "oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor." Oaks are so strong. We desire Stephen and any future children to find strength in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As they seek Him and grow in their relationship with Him, we pray that relationship will be reflected with purposeful, righteous lives for Him...for His glory, that all may know it is Him who gives us life, the Creator of all things, our Savior, the Beginning and the End. Isn't that our very reason for living? We were created for His glory and splendor! So right now, Stevie is sort of a little acorn. We pray he grows into an oak with deep roots planted in Him, for Him. It is our desire also, that we as individuals, a married couple, parents, will continue growing into oaks as well. I'm a visual person, so I appreciate the visual examples and metaphors used in the Bible. When Matt and I were first courting, our first Christmas, I gave Matt a little wooden box filled with acorns with this verse, Psalm 1 ("Blessed is the man..."), and Deuteronomy 26:18 (being God's treasured possessions). We hope to plant those acorns at our first house someday...haha, if they're still good. Then as a wedding gift to Matt for our family, I got "The Oak Inside the Acorn" by Max Lucado. It's a great children's book about growing into who we were created to be. So, Matt and I hope to be 2 examples of oaks for our child/children as they grow from acorns to oaks themselves.