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Saturday, September 7, 2013

It's a GIRL! (and other life updates)

We found out this week that Baby #2 is a GIRL! Yay!  I really felt like she was a she the whole time, so I was relieved/overjoyed to find out I was right. :)

I told John it was his turn to surprise me, so I put him in charge of the entire gender reveal.  We were blessed with a great ultrasound in which baby was very cooperative, and we got good healthy reports on all organs/body parts, and the sweet tech showed John the gender and printed him a picture.  I also found out that my placenta is posterior (like closer to my spine) this time, which is why I feel the baby moving several times a day all over the place, unlike Jonah when my placenta was anterior (on the side of my belly in the front), and I only felt him one or two times a day.  After the ultrasound tech found the gender, John immediately took Jonah out (because A. it was nap time and Jonah was losing. his. mind. and B. John was really just there for the ultrasound, and he was OK with not meeting the actual doctor), and I got to meet our new OB/GYN.  I was overjoyed at her easy manor and relaxed, friendly bedside manor, and her total coolness about natural delivery and maybe even *gasp* unconventional pushing positions! Praise God for a good doctor who supports natural labor! I had really been praying about that a lot.

Then, after we left the doctor's office, we went to Party City and John went in there and got everything ready.  That evening we met with my parents, John's parents and his sister and kids at a restaurant in Huntsville.  John's surprise was inside a nice dark brown wicker hamper in the back of our car.  The hamper had a blue/brown polka-dotted cloth liner so I was thinking, "Poor guy, he's already given it away and it's a boy.  I guess God just called me to be a mommy of two boys, and that's OK." (Yeah, I was trying to psych myself up to be happy about a boy, lol!)  Then we got there, everyone ate, and it was reveal time!

 I went over and opened the hamper (in lieu of your typical big box).  Inside I was greeted by - BLACK balloons.  I was like, "Wha?"  John told me to pop one.  Out came SILVER sparkly stars and a tiny slip of paper.  I could only see part of the paper, but from up high I saw "BO" and thought, "Oh, it's a boy."  Then I bent down and picked up the note and it actually said, "The surprise is in the BOX."  Whew! I had to remove several layers of tissue paper - one blue sheet, then one pink sheet, alternating, just to keep us guessing even more to find a white cake box in the bottom of the hamper, under the balloons.  On top of the box were taped both pink ribbons and blue ribbons.  Inside the box was more tissue paper in blue AND pink, and then a bottle of silly string.  The silly string was totally wrapped in black Duct tape so no one could tell anything until I took off the lid and sprayed (drum roll please, da da da DAAAAA!) PINK silly string!  I was super happy.  John did a great job with his multi-layered gender reveal.  I need to set up ways he can surprise me more often, because he did very well with it.
My view looking down at my sweet 21 week belly bump.

As I think about how this little baby is a girl, I feel like there will be more pressure on me as a mom.  Not bad pressure, but change-yourself-for-the-better kind of positive pressure.  I feel like children emulate behaviors from both parents, but more frequently pick up on traits in their same-gender parent to follow for life-long choice patterns.  This means that Jonah is going to want to be like Daddy, do what Daddy does and says, both good and bad.  That pressure is on John, and he handles it well.  Now I think (and hope) baby girl will want to be like her Mommy.  This means I need to do way more self-reflection on whether I am the kind of person I want my little girl to admire and copy.  This leads me to want to work through some inner issues and really fix my self-worth totally in Christ, and let go of socially constructed definitions of "beauty" and "success".

We are naming her Karis Emily.  Karis rhymes with the capital of France, and is the Greek word for grace.  I love the name Grace for little girls, but it has become very common, and I don't want her to be Grace H. in Kindergarten because there are 3 more in her class.  Before I was even pregnant with Jonah, I remember John preaching once in Bartlett and saying it for the first time,
     "The Greek word for Grace that everyone in the New Testament would have said, was Karis...." and I knew right then I would name a daughter Karis.  Emily was my mom's mom - my Granny Em.  My grandmother died when Jonah was 12 days old, and I want to tell you all about her, but every time I start a post about her I end up in tears and just have to stop.  That's how much I loved her, how much I still miss her, how excited I am that I get to name this little girl after her.

I don't want you to think that I desired a girl so much because I don't love my son.  I love Jonah very much.  He has taught me about grace, and patience, and the unconditional love of the Father, more than anything else in my life.  I do love the way he is rapidly learning to talk, and adding new dance moves, and trying to do push ups like his daddy all the time.  However, with this uneasy move, his whole world has changed as well.  Although this means he has QUADRUPLE the amount of attention (hello 2 Grandmas and 3 Grandpas who ALL looooooooooove them some Jonah-man), this does not mean his hyper-silly-independent-rambunctious-temper-tantrum throwing behavior is any better or easier to deal with at all.  This sweet and real post about not liking your kids came just in time for me this week.

Since moving and then the fire, life has not settled down much.  We are almost fully moved into John's dad's house, but it has been a lot of hard work.  I had no idea what tedious, hard work laying hard wood flooring would be.  My husband worked so hard with his father to finish two big areas in the house so that Jonah can safely walk in there.  We have been rearranging furniture and cleaning and semi-unpacking, and trying to keep some sort of consistent daily routine for Jonah.  We have been sorting through things that were in the fire that are salvageable and those that just need to be trashed, and those that need to be washed 5 times so they will not smell like smoke any longer, and then proceeding to wash them. I have not had time to participate in some blog link-ups I was enjoying, such as Five-Minute Friday and the things we learn each month over at Chatting at the Sky.  We are looking forward to rest soon once we have finished "moving."

God is good no matter what.  Although we don't know what He's preparing us for now, in the midst of this strange season of our lives, we know that He has always used our other experiences to prepare us for what lay ahead, as He is even now.  I love the emphasis in this word picture below that all things will work for His purpose, not our own.  Great reminder.
photo credit

John has gotten calls from a few churches already, asking if he's still interested before they go further in their pastoral search, and of course he says yes each time. However, these are preliminary calls as the search committees basically narrow down old resumes from the ones still current.  It gives us hope that churches are looking at his resume, but not much promise in any of them.  I told someone the other day that we feel kind of like we are waiting in an airport terminal for our flight.  However, we don't know where the flight is going, or when, all we know is that our flight has been "delayed."  So, we will wait in this airport terminal of life, to figure out where the next flight goes. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers during this time.  It really does mean a lot to us!