Our Family

Our Family

Monday, January 20, 2014

Month 9: Growing, Growing, Growing

I didn't know that it was possible to have the amount of love I have for Ellie and to only have it continue to grow. I am so proud of the little baby she is and the little toddler she is becoming. I have tears even as I write that, just thinking of our sweet girl.

She loves to eat her vegetables. Broccoli is her favorite, but she seems to eat up any of the mixes we give her.

She delights in walking around everywhere. She grasps your hands above her head and walks forward, pulling you, with her precious little head leading the way. Her new favorite spot to bring you is to the toilet, so she is starting to get acquainted with the words "No" and "ishta", as her daddy says.

We like to yell at the table together as a family.  Ellie will grunt, then me, and then Rand. It gets progressively louder and slowly more out of control with dance moves, hand shakes, and songs emerging.

She is such a healthy little girl and a superb eater. She set a new meal time PR, clocking in over 60 minutes of steady food intake at lunch. 'Atta girl!

She adores pulling books off the shelf and "reading" them.  This typically looks like her pulling them off and turning all the pages while humming and then starting all over--warms my heart.

She's getting fast! Rand mentioned that faster than he could grab it, she had snagged a piece of lint and put it in her mouth.

She likes to throw her food on the floor when she is all done eating. Kia is starting to get the hang of it too and snatches up the scraps.

She is learning high fives and likes to shake her head back and fourth.

She has mastered the words "Ba Ba" and "mama". Still working on the dada thing.

She has figured out how to turn when she is sitting on her butt! Were thinking she is going to skip this whole crawling thing.

Bath time bible character. 

Christmas giddup.

New Hat and... bag.


Auntie and mommy's hat.

Morning "real talk"

Pulling wipes out while watching daddy play bball.

Ellie "selfie".

She will play with my hair and snuggle into my neck when she is tired or when she wakes up.  Honestly, I cannot tell you anything that is more precious to my heart.

She has discovered technology.  She enjoys swiping her hands on my phone and iPad.

Her favorite book to read is "I love you through and through" and we often read it before bed time.

This month included vet trips, flu shots, wisdom teeth removal, Rand battling with a long cold, and the renewal of our weekly evening routine that includes a graduate course, bible studies, basketball, exercise classes, dates to nana's and papa's, a Thursday date night and business meetings.

How are our hearts doing? Well, mine at least feels pretty lively. I'm getting to experience the true emotion this life brings--it's dips and rises of both grief and joy.

Rand and I often speak of our deep love for our little girl.  Nothing seems more precious to us both! The idea of adding more little tikes to our mix skirts between the actions of jumping up and down and melting. I can't wait to fill our little house full of precious little hearts. Bunkbeds, mini-vans, and creating a space where little souls can develop into their destinies are what my heart desperately longs for.

I can't tell you the amount of times this month where I have sobbed over the heartbreaks a broken world creates. "These precious, vulnerable children who have nothing to offer but themselves-their need, their trust, and their love. "

Stories of miscarriages, stories of molestation, shopping trips where I see a child being shamed, a broken welfare system, the suffering of children facing disease, my own childhood pain-- these things make my heart cry out. Why suffering?

We were created for perfection and this world is not that place and it brings my heart to a place of question.

"God you say you use all things for your good, but this? How can you use this, My Lord. These innocent children."

There seems to be no response enough that I am able to wrap my head around the raw pain of this world, the raw pain in my own heart.

A quote I read recently struck something in my heart:

"One of the most profound effects of being deeply connected to God is a renewed sense of our own preciousness. When I know and can believe God cherishes me as a beloved child, I can know and believe in my worth as a person.  A young child learns to place value on whatever his or her parents value.  Self-worth is a product of consistent love from one's parents or other significant adult children can't generate it themselves." 
(Bondage to Bonding pg. 144)

How I am seeing the father renew my preciousness to him.
Where shame wants to seize and once seemed to have such power in my life, he is filling with hope.
I am beginning to realize that I am enough. I am his beloved. I am so valuable. That reality seems to grip my soul in a new way and is creating an ability to love in new ways.

How my heart longs to be sturdy enough for our children that they too too can know their preciousness to us, yes, but to God, as well.  This side of heaven I know that as parents, Rand and I won't do that perfectly, but I am confident in the work Christ is doing.

Amist the broken realities of this world He truly does make "all things new".

I will continue to offer him the tears that the losses and griefs this broken world bring. I trust him with my heart and I trust him with our heart as a family.  I am eager to see where he continues to bring us, the areas of our lives that he continues to redeem, and for us to MULTIPLY in number ;)
Cheers to more babies.