12 months: Baby Jack turns 1!

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Happy Birthday, my sweet baby! You are ONE! It is literally amazing how fast the year went! It feels like YESTERDAY when they placed you on my chest and called you mine. You have grown to be a determined, adventurous, fearless, and joyful toddler! I am often amazed (and fearful) of all you try to do and how curious you are. Little Jack, you are truely adored by me and daddy, and everyone who knows you!

This month has been a great month! You started walking! You are working on standing up without support (you need a wall or table to help pull up most times), but once you’re up, you can walk across the room with a good bit of stability! And each step you take comes with a huge smile and jabbering! If you hold my fingers, you can walk for a long time, which gives me another option when I am tired of carrying you! You also love to climb on and off things (the dishwasher door, your big boy bed, through the kitchen stools, up a flight of stairs…) and you love to open and close things (kitchen cabinets, doors, toilet lids…)

You’re favorite toys are the soccer ball (you are getting good at catching it!), kitchen utensils, and books!! I put away about 20 books a day that you pull out and flip through! You don’t enjoy walks as much now, because you get restless and want to stand in your stroller. You LOVE playing with friends!

1174882_2409605566288_511793_nMeal time has been a bigger focus this month: 3 BIG meals and 1-2 snacks. You eat so much! I can no longer get by skipping a meal here or there…I feel like I am preparing and cleaning up baby meals all day! Favorite foods are squeeze pouches, baked beans, corn, strawberries, mac and cheese, veggie soup, spaghetti, and you are eating more and more meat! (Yay!) You also love diet coke…That was a mom fail on my part– I gave you a sip and now you are hooked. When you see my cup you try and get to it or start jabbering for me to share. Sorry bud, that will not be a normal occurrence. We only do 2 bottles a day, 8oz at morning and night, but are slowly giving you smaller bottles to wean you off of formula. Per the pediatricians advice, we started offering you whole milk in a cup at all meals. You get juice or water during play time.

Sleeping is still the same, 8-8 which can fluctuate depending on the day, and 2 naps. Sometimes you can go without a morning or afternoon nap if we have a busy day, but I prefer to keep that part of your schedule for as long as possible.

993377_2411847582337_970993697_nOne funny quirk about you: You poop in the bathtub all. the. time. Its almost humorous…almost. I’m getting a little tired of taking you out, cleaning the tub, and then giving you another bath, but at least I know everything is flowing like it should be in your tiny tummy!

image-6Another fun update from the month is that we added the “big boy bed” to your room! You don’t sleep on it yet, but we talk about it, you read books on it, and we drink nighttime bottle on it. Hopefully over the next 4-5 months we can transition to it so that Baby Will can sleep in the crib, but for now you are definitely not ready to switch.

You weigh 24. 8 lbs (91st percentile!) and are 30inches long! You are strong and developing skills quickly! You may be big compared to other babies your age, but you are a TODDLER! It is so fun! I love playing with you all day and being your mama!

I get a little sad when I see you walking around in jeans, tshirts, and shoes…You are looking like such a “kid!” But you still follow me around everywhere and cling to my leg to be picked up, which tells me you still need your mama. I will cherish that as long as you let me.

Happy birthday, little Jack. I look forward to many more birthdays celebrating you and worshiping the God who created you!

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Love, Your Mamabird

It’s a…

1234823_2411009201378_1008532139_nBOY! AGAIN! We are thrilled that Jackson will be a big bro!

Today we waited all day to open the sealed ultrasound envelope and to eat our pink or blue filled cupcake baked by our friend, Jenny. After our dinner at Voltaire, this FANCY restaurant on Frankfort Avenue, we cut into our cupcake to find BLUE icing! All along I had wanted a girl, but now I can’t imagine it any other way. Jack and Will are going to be bros for life!

Will is named after many men in his life! Kevin, Kevin’s dad, and my dad all have “William” as a middle name. We are choosing to just call him “Will.” Will’s middle name is Timothy. We picked “Timothy” after Timothy in the New Testament, Paul’s best friend and co-laborer in ministry. We are praying that Will and Jack, whose middle name is “Paul,” will model their brotherhood after this pair.

Soon after Jack turns one, we will be practicing the transition to a “big boy bed,” which is just a mattress on the floor. We are taking 4-5 months with this process, to ensure that we are not rushing him. The hope is that once Will is sleeping through the night, he and Jack will share a room!

We can’t wait to be a family of 4 and to see these sweet boys grow up together! Pray for health for mama and baby in these upcoming months!

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A friend for Jack & a listening, sovereign God.

Jackson has something to say!!

We’re pregnant with baby #2!!

So let me start from the beginning…

When Kevin and I started discussing family plans, we decided to make a decision once my cycle started back up again from nursing. My supply went down when Jackson was 4 months, and then unfortunately was empty at 8. All that time I waited and waited for my period. It never came. (Awesome, right?!) Kevin wanted another baby ASAP, I at least wanted Jack to be walking. But before we even had the chance to compromise, God decided for us! I found out I was pregnant in May!

I was surprised and apprehensive at first… (how was I going to do this with a nearly 9-month-old!?) but then my apprehension turned into joy! I couldn’t wait to meet this baby and I imagined all the fun Jackson would have growing up with a sibling only 16 months behind him! We had an ultrasound to see when my due date would be and discovered that on January 21st, 2014 that tiny little blob with a beating heart would enter our world!

Having had a miscarriage in 2011, we were slow to tell people, even family. Because of that sensitivity, we wanted to wait til my first OB appointment at 11 weeks. But I couldn’t very easily fool my friends by sneaking Sprite into my champagne glass at Steph’s wedding or by ordering a coke and vodka (hold the vodka) at the bachelorette party. I eventually caved and told some close friends who committed to praying for us.

Thankfully they were, because at 9 weeks I started having some bleeding. It was heavy and red at first, and I knew I was having a miscarriage. All the signs were there. I laid down and cried, asking friends to pray, and praying to God that he would stop the bleeding. I knew that prayer and God’s sovereignty were somehow intermingled, but I had never personally experienced¬† God changing his direction of an event in response to my prayer. But I prayed anyway. I knew God was powerful enough to stop me from having a miscarriage. Hours later, the bleeding stopped. Did God have mercy on me? Did he respond to my prayers?

I continued having light spotting, nothing that my doctor was worried about, but enough to keep me praying….

And then yesterday at 11 weeks, we went to the doctor. She put the monitor on me and immediately we heard a fast, beautiful heartbeat. It was such a sweet sound. All I can do is praise the God who saves. He saved our baby from death thus far, and he answered my prayer. I don’t know what his initial plan was, if it was miscarriage or not, but I do know that God loves me and he chose to give us a great gift! I am so excited.

And so is Jackson!

Jackson Paul Martin

Welcome to the world, Baby Jack!
Born Sunday, September 16th, 2012, 3:11 pm
7 lbs, 12 oz. 21 inches long

I wrote some of this post on Tuesday morning before we were discharged from the hospital, but this week has been a whirlwind! I can’t believe how good God has been to Kevin and I. Jackson is so sweet and his arrival went so so smoothy for both mom and baby. I am so thankful. I have been surprised how difficult it has been to even answer a text message and a lot of people have asked about the experience, so here it is! (stop reading if you don’t want to know details!)

I started laboring at 10 in the morning on Saturday. Kevin and I were on a walk and enjoying a morning on Bardstown road. Contractions came on consistent, but mild. I wasn’t confident they were even the real deal. They continued into the day and evening without any real pattern….sometimes they would be strong with long breaks in between, and sometimes they would be mild and close together. This was not what I learned to be a sign of “true” labor, so I just dealt with them and tried to be patient. I figured I was in for the long haul.

After dinner with Lauren and Darlene (my birth team/friends!) I tired to sleep, but woke up 3 hours later by stronger contractions. Kevin made us go on a 3 a.m. walk to hopefully move things along. He also helped me make banana bread to bring to the hospital for our nurses. He went to bed to get rest because I was pretty sure this was it…even though my contraction pattern was random. By 8 a.m. I was in serious pain and begging Kevin to go to the hospital and sit in the jacuzzi tub they have there. Lauren and Darlene came over and helped massage my lower back and stall me to labor at home as long as possible….but eventually around noon I made my way thru the ER lobby at Clark Memorial and announced my baby’s coming by puking in an plastic umbrella bag. By the time I got up to triage, I was 5 cm dilated. Within an hour, I was in my room and had progressed to 7 cm. They were already prepping the delivery cart! I starting freaking out, knowing there was no going back, wishing I could have an epidural, or even better just be put under and get a c-section! I wondered why in the world people choose to go through this more than once!

I finally got my wish. Around 2 p.m. I got to get in the labor tub, except immediately I felt urges to push! It was a whirlwind from there on out. I pushed on the toilet, moved to the bed to kneel over the yoga ball, and then they pulled up a bar for me to squat and push. My bag of water FINALLY broke and that’s around the time when I started crying/screaming with the pushes. The midwife came in and helped me push a few more times, while Kevin and Darlene helped hold me legs back. Within 4 or 5 pushes he was out! (sorry if that’s TMI…hehe)

I couldn’t believe it. I had spent the past 23 years without a child. And now I was mom. It was the best, most awkward, surreal experience I have ever had. The whole time laboring, I just tried to focus on the truth that I am safe and secure and that nothing can hurt me. Although I was experiencing this awful pain, I could remember that it was simply a small glimpse of the pain that Jesus endured to put an end to the sin that caused the pain of childbirth in the first place. And not only did He endure it, He conquered it and was glorified at the right hand of the throne of God. Praise God I am not condemned to this pain for eternity. Therefore, all of pain I was experiencing was serving and bowing down to God’s purposes in my life. Amen!

Since then, Kevin and I have been blessed with a week together at home. Darlene came over and cleaned the apartment so that we could rest when we got home from the hospital, and we have had so many people bring over food! We have all just been enjoying getting to know each other, and Kevin and I have been working well as a team to rest and serve one another. Please continue to pray for us as Kevin transitions back to work and as Jackson’s sleepiness wears off and he becomes more demanding. Pray that God would sanctify me and humble me and draw me into deeper dependence on him.

Goodbye Starbucks!

It is hard to believe that I have been working at my Starbucks store for almost a year. When I got the job, I had no idea how thankful I would be for it today. Working at my store has been such a blessing. I have 5 co-workers, they all go to Sojourn, and they have become some of my best friends! I have become especially close to Lauren and Mary Ellen. Since we are typically really slow, we always have a ton of down time to talk and laugh. I have given them permission to be intentionally intrusive in my life. They love me so well.

ImageToday, Lauren, Mary Ellen, and Eron threw a party for me! The store had a bunch of blue balloons and signs, and they put together a little basket of all my favorite things and gift cards to my favorite restaurants! They also made a card and all of our regulars signed it wishing me luck as I leave to be a mama. Since we are such a small Starbucks, our regulars become really invested in us, so it was really sad!

ImageGod was so good in allowing me to work here. It definitely was not my plan initially, but has been such a tool God used to make me feel at home here in Louisville. I am so thankful.

One month away!

Yesterday my sweet friends Abbi, Sierra, and Christina were in town to visit! They love taking “senior pics,” and so that’s what we did– All around Louisville! Yesterday was also August 14th, which is ONE MONTH AWAY from Baby Jackson’s due date. What a day to celebrate!

Happy “one-month-til-you’re-here-day” Jack! We can’t wait to meet you!

JMart.

Caroline and Matt welcomed us at the airport with so much love!

We’re Engaged!

Last week Kevin and I got the sweet blessing to travel with his parents to their home in Florida! Little did I know, Kevin had an engagement ring! After carrying the ring around in his pocket the entire trip, missing all the moments where I was being a sweet, loving girlfriend, he instead got down on one knee at the end of a long day, while I was acting the opposite–bratty, tired, and pouty. What a reminder of the Gospel! Kevin patiently and compassionately committed his life to me in a moment where I was weak and sinful. I know that whatever the day- whether I am a godly, loving and submissive wife or not living up to that calling- Kevin’s love for me will be unchanging. I am very blessed.

I am excited to learn what it looks like to follow him and love him for as long as the Lord gives me.

Please continue to pray for us during this season and thank you to those who are celebrating with us!

Here are a couple more shots from our trip:

Kevin was so excited to visit Lego Land at Downtown Disney!

Sigh no more.

Love that will not betray you, dismay or enslave you,
It will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be.
There is a design,
An alignment to cry,
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be.

(Mumford and Sons)

Tomorrow my dear friends get married. I’m really excited to watch them experience the gospel through each other. Yeah for celebrating!