Saturday, June 28, 2014

A New Chapter for the Beards

Nope. No. I am not pregnant.

Do you know how, when you go on road trips with family or friends, you talk A LOT. Well, one of mine and Andrew's favorite things to do is to talk about what we see ourselves doing in the future.  We worked together (likesoclosetherewasnoseparation) in ministry for 5 years and we loved every second of it! We dream of the time we get to work together again, and especially in ministry, precisely college ministry. The possibilities of that here=slim to none.

You may know that in March I was hired at our church, Highland Park United Methodist Church, as the "college ministry coordinator".  As of now, my job is a part time job and I love every single second of it. I love hanging out with the students here and I get to work with my dear friend Phil.

Drumroll please.....As of July 1 (which also happens to be my birthday) I will also be working with ANDREW!!
The short version is this.
The Wesley Foundation at SMU (Which is the Methodist campus ministry) was looking for a new director and wanted to work directly with/through Highland Park UMC...Andrew was given the opportunity and he took it.
Since I am on College Staff at HPUMC and he is the Director of the Wesley House partnering with HPUMC, we are totally working together again!!

A few nights ago we just sat on our couch talking about ways that we are going to be able to partner and just talked about college students and how to best love them...I thought, "This. This is why we got married."

Only the Lord could have worked this out the way it has worked out. The fact that an impossibility is actually happening, it's a miracle.

Here is a look at the next chapter of our lives...We will be spending a lot of time here!!
Hey SMU...LOOK OUT, the Beards are on campus!!!!! 

Now, to Andrew, who has already approved this message, but doesn't know that I am writing anymore. You are the Man. I love and respect you so much. Starting new things is scary and exciting and wonderful and full of questions, but you and your gifts are totally created for this role. You are going to kill it! I cannot wait to see what the Lord will do in your life and in our life and in the life of the Church. I am over the moon excited to be able to walk beside you through this as your wife, and a ministry partner...oh my gosh, I could totally scream in excitement! Giddy is a good word to use here.  I just feel all kinds of blessed. I love you and am so proud of you. Foster and Keating also told me that if they were in college, they would totally go to your campus ministry: I mean, it wasn't super clear, but that is what I could formulate. (winky emoji)
You are the best. Like, for realsies. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

His Second Year

As I was thinking about all the things I wanted to say, I went back and read what I wrote last year for Foster's big birthday post. It was almost comical how identical the things I wanted to say today were. I will close with that.

What do you say when this
becomes this

and you know it isn't going to stop?

You just pray you are doing the best for him, am I right? Gosh, it is such an honor to be his parent! This kid melts me on the daily. He is so full of personality. We are doing our best to be kids with our kids and let them EXPERIENCE childhood. This is harder than I would have thought...hurry, rush, business, and schedule seem to be the antithesis of childhood magic.
So, yesterday we played in the rain for a long time. 

Some facts about two year old Foster...or mom observations, momservations, if you will:
He is perfect. Just kidding, but that really felt like the perfect thing to write after calling something a "momservation".
For real though, Fos has this thing where he just naturally does things that are cool. It's really hard to explain it, but it's in little things; The way he sits, his demeanor...just, his way. If you are around him, you totally get what I am talking about.
He sings...all the time...but no words, just "la" and never the same melody twice, except maybe "let it go".
He doesn't speak as much as other kids his age yet, but he talks all the time. And you KNOW what he is talking about. Great communicator, a little slow on the syllables...really it's those consonants.
He is a climbing fool who loves adventure but not sweets, one bite and that's enough.
Loves Dinosaurs. He Loves to ROARRR! and if it has a dinosaur and a train=mind blowing!
He still hates sleep. Doesn't need it. (so he thinks)

The most obvious difference from last year (other than the fact that he is twice the age he was last year at this time) is that he is a big bro now. He is a caring brother and I pray that his caring nature toward his brother is just the beginning of the kind of person that he is shaping up to be.
Gosh. I just love him.

Fos, you are my miracle. You are so precious. The shape of your face, those lips, and the worlds longest eyelashes...ugh, I love your face!! But your smile...the way you won't just give it away, but then you do and it is electrifying. Your clear dark rimmed mischievous eyes. Your thoughtful nature with your maniacal spirit. I refuse to tell you that forts are for playing in because you get so much joy in climbing on them!

You are loved by so many people and so deeply. And as I said earlier,  I was thinking about what to say to you when I read what I wrote last said this:

"When I hold you while you sleep, I whisper into your ear about how much I love you and how much your daddy loves you and how much our Great God Loves You. We pray that you will know that God is Good. We pray that you know that following Him is worth anything you think you may be giving up.  We pray that you know that His plans for you are so much greater than the ones we make for ourselves. I pray that you are selfless, compassionate, kind, and a humble leader. I pray that you are an encouragement to those around you (like your daddy). I pray that you Love greatly. I pray that whatever you do, you find a way to glorify the Lord through it."

This is still my hearts cry for you, Fos. These are still the prayers I pray for you. They will be forever. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. I love putting you to sleep at night, because I get to sing you songs of God's promises and faithfulness. I am praying that those are imprinted on your heart.

Your dad and I are blessed to be your parents. We know you are on loan, so we are doing our darndest not to ruin you! You are an absolute pleasure be around. Thanks for the laughs, dude. I am so excited to keep having them!

Oh. And happy second birthday buddy.

That Moment.

The moment I was most anxious about was Foster meeting Keating. Basically ever.
I remember after finding out I was pregnant, I walked into the living room and looked at Foster and thought, he isn't my only baby anymore and HE WILL KNOW HE GOT JIPPED!!
The Lord and I wrestled through this a bit until I accepted the truth that he will never know anything else and he will love having a play mate for all of his life.
It still worried me that I couldn't really prepare Fos for it, so I thought he would want to "put that baby back." (That is quoted from, I believe, my nephew Fred in reference to my nephew Charlie.)

I had read that it was a good idea to not be holding the new baby when the older child is getting ready to meet him/her so that he would not feel replaced...So I thought that was pretty dang solid logic, and I went with that...and here is how it went down. My nurse was the best and decided that putting me in a wheelchair would be the least scary, so she "de-tubed" me, and covered me with blankets to make me look as normal as possible so it wouldn't scare my 14 months old, and then....


Sweet Andrew carried him in.

Fos saw me and smiled!

"Come here baby"

I explained (For the BILLIONTH time) that he was a big brother and he has a baby brother, and that he is about to meet him! 

Andrew picked up Keating

Me, still explaining. 

The presentation. (Work your hardest to make it seem like the coolest thing in the world!)

"You can touch him"

"Oh look, your brother brought you a gift"...THANK GOD, KEATING DID NOT ACTUALLY BRING THAT WITH HIM! 

Then it was his turn to hold his baby.

he found his nose right away.

almost love at first sight

Like, he really found his nose, and he was serious about it. 

That was a lot for an hour old baby, so it was time to say goodbye for a few minutes.

our first family of 4 pic.

Foster kissing Keating goodbye. 

At this point in time, my heart figuratively exploded in my chest and I almost died from the warm fuzzies. The relief was palpable and this is the look I gave Kari, right before my eyes flooded with they still do when I see that pic.


And that is the story about how is wasn't so bad after all...
See you tomorrow...WHEN FOSTER TURNS 2!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

9. It has been 9 months!?

Foster's B-day is Friday. He will be two. While that is insane and I will def. post about him later, This post is WAYYYYY Past due.

9 months ago, the Lord kindly blessed Andrew and me with the most laid-back, smiley little guy. We named him Keating Elijah. While I have mentioned him once or twice here, I have never shared the photos from that day; or any stories really. I will just tell you this. Giving birth to Keating was 100 times easier than with Foster. However, carrying him was a brutal task (I'm talking sprained pelvic floor, crying through the night brutal)!  I was thankful that he at least gifted me with sleeping through the night at 6 weeks!

Enough words already...without any more ado about anything...a very select few first moments of Keatings life. There will be a second installment with a story tomorrow.


Seeing him for the first time!

Basically the first pic



showing off that dimple from second 1.

Meanwhile in the waiting room.

family of 4

The Entire Family...This is my team. My cheer section. The people who welcomed Keating into the world. Can you even believe how many of them there are!?

Let us not forget my dearest Kari, who so graciously captured the births of both of my children...and now graces us with delicious ice cream from her very own ice cream shop, Melt.

I love y'all, thanks for reading and sharing life with me. See you tomorrow! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

life happened

I am sad that there is a 3 month gap in my posts...but in the time that I have not been posting I have been doing a few other things. I am still working with His Voice Global, I have been hired at our church, Highland Park UMC, to work with college students - part time - It is an honor and a joy to do this work! I love it! I am a Jamberry Nails Consultant, cause if you haven't used them...oh my goodness, they are fantastic! (let me know if you want a sample or want to host a's easy) and I lead worship once a month at church as well...Oh yeah, and I have those two cute boys to raise and a marriage that I love and need to nurture! so...a lack in posting is understandable, right?!

We have been on a few different "journeys" in these last 3 months, so I thought that instead of going into detail now,  I will fill you in with separate posts. Tonight, I just wanted to reintroduce myself with you.
I will leave you with these pics, because who doesn't love pics?
Still madly in love.
 Y'all, these pics of the boys, I just can't. I mean. no words. They make me melt. 

Thanks for stopping by everyone. I'm excited to share our adventures with you!