Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dear Starbucks Guy, good job.

A few weeks ago, I was able to 'get away' on a Saturday morning to Starbucks.
I ordered my drink: low fat white chocolate mocha, no whip, for those who care.
I found the perfect table in the corner.
When I entered I had noticed a college age guy sitting a table reading his Bible. I was encouraged seeing a young guy reading his Bible.  I get my drink and have a seat facing the door and the rest of the store.  After about 10 minutes an older guy comes in and its apparent that they are going to meet over coffee.  I noticed because 1. the store was small and 2. their voices carried.  I'm TOTALLY ease-dropping, but its hard not to because of the 2 reasons already mentioned.  I get the idea that they don't really know each other, but I thought, 'Cool, maybe they are meeting to start some Bible study or something'.

Well, not quite.
They chit chat for a few minutes about 'this and that' and then the guy, I deduced is a Dad, asks the college guy why he wanted to meet.
The college guy proceeds to ask the Dad if he can date his daughter, Justine!  
They continued to discuss the guy dating this dad's daughter.  The dad asked some good questions and so did the college guy.  My favorite was the college guy asking the dad, "What would it look like to you for me to date your daughter?"!!!!!!
The dad gave his permission and they continued to discussed dating and marriage.

I had to leave, but I left SO ENCOURAGED!
This scene is not unfamiliar to me or Neil or many of our friends.
This kind of interaction is practiced in our church and very much encouraged.
Neil called my dad when we started dating to get his permission and to communicate he wasn't dating me flippantly.  It really impressed, and confused, my dad.
I was so encouraged to see another young guy seek to be upfront and communicate with the dad of the girl he is interested in.  I would want and expect the same for any guy who would want to date Natalie.
I wanted so much to go over and commend both men, but I thought that would be creepy and give away that I was ease-dropping, but like I said I could help but overhear.
I also couldn't help walk away excited for and praying for this young man who gets to pursue a young girl he thinks he would like to marry.
Justine, if you read this (which you won't of course) I hope you said yes to this guy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Today is a 'trying' day.
On the outside I'm 'trying' to make it look great and it honestly mostly is fine.
I'm 'trying' to ignore the construction going on at my parent's house.  I'm 'trying' to pretend that Natalie can nap through the construction, and she might be currently.  I'm 'trying' to not FREAK OUT that today could be a hard napping day for her.  I'm 'trying' to not FREAK OUT that she has already missed a nap because we got lunch with a dear friend, which I don't regret.  I'm 'trying' to not FREAK OUT about the possibility of her not sleeping well tonight since today was off schedule.  I'm 'trying' not to be self-centered, but the battle is proving to be very 'trying'.  I'm 'trying' to be thankful because there really is plenty to be thankful for today.  I'm 'trying' to remember God's faithfulness in past 'trying' days. I'm 'trying' to stop my mind from throwing a pity party because there is not reason for a pity party.  I'm 'trying' to fight for faith and peace in the Lord and not in my understanding or in the peace of an easy day. I'm 'trying' to remember that I'm not alone even though I feel alone in parenting today.  I'm 'trying' to not just wish the days away till Neil comes home.
Today is a 'trying' day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

5 months!

Natalie is 5 months old now!!!!
I'm guessing she is a good 14lbs, but I have no idea about length.  
She still needs 6 feedings in 24hours and is still sleeping through the night!  We've had some 'seasons' where she will wake up around 3-3:30 and whine/cry until we(Neil) give her a paci.  I can only link it to bad naps.  I've tried to drop her last nap of the day, but I think she still just needs 4 naps right now.  I don't think I was very good at figuring out how to change her schedule, so I've backed off and am just going to wait and see how things go from here.  We also tried to break her of the swaddle, but I chickened out after 1 1/2 days.  She actually did WAY BETTER than we expected, but she definitely wasn't getting good rest and just looked SO pitiful!  I'm obsessive about sleep so I decided to keep swaddling her for now.  She still doesn't roll over, which is why we still swaddle, and she doesn't seem interested in learning.  Oh well.  She does seem interested in sitting up!  When I lay her on the boppy to feed her she cranes her neck inward straining to sit up, it looks like she is trying to do 'baby crunches' before I feed her.  So funny!  She can prop sit pretty well and can also sit in her bumbo pretty well.  I think she is definitely our daughter because it seems that she is social in that she wants to see whats going on, but doesn't have to be center of attention.  It seems like she will enjoy participating, but won't be the one leading the way, which is exactly like Neil and me!  We get very mixed reactions to who she looks more like, but the consensus is that she looks most like Neil.  I agree, but there are times where I think I'm looking at my baby picture come to life! 
Below is a cherished video from Memorial Day with Neil's family
 Natalie with her Grandad laughing at her Aunt Olivia,


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

3-4 months

I only have a second, but I SO MUCH want to update about Natalie.  She is 4 months now!  She is SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!  She has been since she was 12 weeks, so its pretty much the 'new normal' which is SO nice!  I finally feel like myself again and this helps SO much with enjoying Natalie and caring for Neil and her.  She is definitely a 'morning girl' and is always so smiley and happy when we come to get her up and she is already awake.  A few mornings she will be content in her crib just squealing and cooing, its really sweet to hear even at 6:30 in the morning.  She is VERY smiley and loves to squeal and laugh! We are so entertained at trying to get her to laugh and just listen to her "talk".  We have traveled with her a few times and it's been a little crazy since she doesn't love her car seat and doesn't adjust to new places very well.  Hopefully she will go out of this!  At her 4 month check up she weighed 13.3lbs and was 24 1/4 inches. She is 50% for both weight and height and only 10% for head circumference!  No wonder Neil thinks every other baby has a huge head!  It's because Natalie's is so small!!!!!  She has only rolled over once and it wasn't intentional.  I'm practicing with her but she doesn't seem real interested so I try not to stress over it.  She LOVES LOVES LOVES to stand on her legs and "walk".  She gets the biggest grin and seems SO proud of herself.  So fun!  In the past month I've really started to enjoy motherhood and settle into a little more, though I'm aware things change so much and there is constant resettling, but for now things are good.  I feel good physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and I'm thankful to be over the post-partum.  It was tough, but I'm aware of God's faithfulness in that time!  Well, to finish here are a few pictures from the last month and a video of our 'Morning Girl'!

3 months in her Bumbo!

Nana and Papa John in Kentucky!

video of our 'Morning girl'

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

10 weeks!

Here are some latest pictures of our sweet girl. The first one was taken yesterday after she received her 2 month vaccines. I was really nervous about how she would react to them, but things went MUCH better than I expected. I expected her to cry for 3-hours straight and that I would be calling the hospital or somewhere about it. She was fussy and sleepy and just not her 'self'. I love this picture of her so small in Neil's arms.

The second is Natalie with her Aunt Olivia. I am SO glad I was able to catch this picture with Natalie smiling! Olivia is the first person she has smiled at other than Neil and I!

The third is another 'lucky' shot at her smiling. She has been smiling for a few weeks now and we LOVE LOVE LOVE it! It can be tricky to capture because once she sees the camera her attention is fixated on it and you can't get to do smile anymore!
She is most smiley in the mornings and seems to be a morning person like her daddy. Which is good since I'm not and one of us needs to be in a good mood to start our day!
In a few weeks we will be traveling up to KY with her to see some family for the weekend. Please pray! I had hoped to not travel until she was sleeping through the night, but this opportunity came up and we thought it best to go ahead and try it.

At her 2 month checkup she weighed 10.5 lbs and 22'' long. She's a short lady like her momma! She isn't sleeping through the night yet and averages 5 hours at a time. Her doctor said she was too young to sleep through the night right now so I'm just going with it. I have been able to stretch her 6 or 6.5 at times and will try to continue to do this when she is feeling well. I really had NO clue you had to train a baby to sleep! I hope she will naturally go longer on her own, but she might not and Neil and I are prepared to help her if we need to, just waiting for the right time to do it.

We are starting cloth diapers tomorrow! Fingers crossed that we like them!

Well that's all I have time for now! Thanks for loving us!
p.s. I think Natalie just exploded in her diaper...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

7 weeks update

My sweet lady is 7 weeks old today!
It is hard to believe that she has grown from this:
to this:

Things are going well this week and I am trying to soak up these newborn days as much as possible because soon they will pass. She is becoming more alert and we are finding some rhythm to our days. She eats every 3-4 hours and can have awake time for up to 1 1/2 hours. She is still in newborn clothes, but sometimes we pretend that they are too big and put her in 0-3month clothes because there are more of them, they are cuter than white onesies, and we wouldn't be able to leave the house otherwise. I think she can go 4 1/2 - 5 hours at night right now, but its hard to tell because she had a growth spurt last week and it was a ROUGH week! She is getting stronger with tummy time and it is fun to watch her hold her head up. She still loves staring around and LOVES LOVES LOVES looking at lights! She can still be fussy in the evenings, but it is hit and miss and we don't know if we've missed something or if she's just fussy. I tried her in a carrier last week and she didn't hate it! I am hoping we can use it more consistently in the future. I have started putting her in the nursey at church and she is doing well. I was called this past Sunday because it was time for her to eat, but otherwise she has handled being in there well, since she is usually asleep when she goes in. I also handle it well and think it is a really good time for the both of us. Neil also kept her Friday night while I went to a Women's Retreat at church. He fed her a bottle, which she will take (PRAISE THE LORD!), and put her to bed. I am still breastfeeding, but I do admit it is a submission issue for now. I want there to be joy and contentment with it, but it is a struggle. It has nothing to do with her, its me and my thoughts towards breastfeeding. I have learned that I am a WRECK when I don't get sleep, case in point I was a WRECK last week because of her growth spurt and I had people slightly concerned for me. My 6 week checkup went well and I continue to respect and adore my doctor. I wish he could be my doctor for everything! He was so encouraging to care for me emotionally and even encourage Neil and I in our marriage and communication! How refreshing to receive that kind of counsel in a doctor's office! I am slowly getting out and about with her, though most days it isn't worth the effort. We are still getting meals for another week so I know I will have to be more brave and bite the bullet soon. I love these moments and I can't wait to share more sometime in the future!

Here are some other sweet moments from the last few weeks:

sleepy smiles visit from great grandparents visit from Papa John and Nana

visit from Grandmama and Granddaddy C and Aunt Olivia

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Our Little Lady

Introducing our sweet little Natalie Jane Williams!
Born on January 3, 2012 at 10:52pm (2 days early)
She is 4 weeks old today and we love her so much!

This is a picture right after she was born. It might be from a camera phone or my parent's camera because yes, we forgot our camera. We are 'those people' who forget their camera to record life altering events. Of course when your contractions go from 5 mins. to 3 mins. in less than 30 minutes, your water breaks and your still at home, it is a little difficult to remember things like that, let alone how to get to the hospital.
Active labor was 6 hours long and once at the hospital they said I would 'go really fast'. I didn't really believe them but of course they are the professionals and I'm not.
I was able to deliver naturally and I'm really thankful for the experience. I still LOVE LOVE LOVE my doctor and loved all my nurses and my experience at our hospital.

I will admit that I DID NOT LOVE the first week and a half or so at home. I was NOT prepared for the hormones, nursing, and a crying newborn. I really struggled with 'baby blues' those first several days and only felt despair and frustration. Praise the Lord that Neil was home for 2 weeks because I really wonder if I would have made it. However, I also experienced the kindness of the Lord to lead me in his word and through Neil.

I do NOT want to forget these things:
-Neil helping me try to nurse Natalie (even the late nights)
-Neil encouraging me in his sleep- 'Your doing great babe...' (uh, thanks Neil, I'm just laying here...)
-Neil reading scripture to me while I nursed Natalie (esp. helpful in the middle of the night)
-Neil playing and singing hymns and worship music while I nursed Natalie (also esp. helpful in the middle of the night)
-Natalie snuggling up in my chest and sticking up butt up in the air after she ate and fell asleep. (STILL MY FAVORITE!)

ok, this is all I have time for and I didn't really have time for it, but I wanted to write it all down and share.
Thanks for being excited or nosy about our family!