Wednesday, June 22, 2011

it can't be

It can't be possible that my baby girl is...
completing her own puzzles easily with no help from her momma,
eating a snack while watching Elmo and sitting on the couch like a big girl,
 and asking to go" tee tee" in the big potty {no, she hasn't actually been successful yet, and yes, this will be in a slideshow someday ;)}
When did my baby girl grow up?!?
Although I sure did love this little bald headed baby {from just one year ago}...
I love my big Micah girl so so much, too!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

father's day

To say that we are blessed by the man in that picture is not adequate. He is the best daddy to our little girl, and I am so thankful for all the big and little things he does to make our lives a little easier and a lot better. More than anything, I am grateful for the way he leads our family to be more like Jesus. I am so thankful that our children will grow up watching their daddy passionately pursue the Lord.

Thank you for loving us, babe! Happy Father's Day!

I also want to wish a Happy Father's Day to Micah's Pappy and Pops. You were both amazing examples of what a father should be to Chris and me, and Micah adores you both!

Finally, to all those out there who find this day to be a little less celebratory, you are not forgotten. Prayers and thoughts are with those who have lost fathers, children, never had a man to call dad, and have yet to be able to have children. Be blessed today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

10 weeks

It's official. I am thirty weeks pregnant which means there are only 10 weeks {or less} to go before our little man joins the family. It is crazy to me how quickly this pregnancy has flown by! It really feels like just yesterday that we saw those little lines and knew we had been blessed with another precious child to love. And August felt so far away. But, now it's summer, June, and we only have two months to go!

I can definitely tell we are getting closer when I look down at my growing belly. Our sweet boy is getting bigger and bigger, and I love it! In the past couple of weeks, I think he has hit a growth spurt, and lots of friends and family have affirmed my suspicion. Here is proof:

This pregnancy has honestly been almost as smooth as Micah's was. I am seriously blessed to have such easy pregnancies. Baby boy is moving all around, especially when I sit still or his big sister is sitting in my lap. He doesn't seem to enjoy when someone or something crowds his space! I have a feeling Micah will work hard to break him of that once he's here :) He is not quite as active as Micah was, and I haven't felt him get the hiccups yet.  But, when he does move, there is no mistaking it!  He can really get going, and sometimes it hurts a little bit when he starts rolling.  I truly love it so much though and wouldn't change it for anything.

There have been a couple of things that have been different about this pregnancy.  First, I have had to deal with those yucky varicose veins.  Not only do they look bad, they also have a tendency to make my legs ache at the end of the day.  So, I often find myself vegging on the couch with my legs up after putting Micah to bed...lazy, lazy :)  Also, I had my one hour glucose test three weeks ago, and I failed it!!!  I was pretty frustrated because I only barely failed, and I scheduled it for 1:00pm instead of first thing in the morning.  Because I failed, I had to go back the next week for the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  I had to fast, drink the sugary drink, and get my fingers pricked 4 different times over the course of 3 hours.  I was really anxious about it for many reasons, but I am so thankful that I passed with no problem.  I am mostly just thankful that baby boy and I are healthy.  It was a reminder not to take the pregnancy and lack of complications for granted.

Bottom line: 10 weeks is not very long.
We have lots of fun things to do.
Better get busy because that little man will be here before we know it.
We are excited.
Life is going to change soon, but we are ready to welcome that change.
Praise the Lord for new life.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Update: Gretchen graciously allowed me to use her pictures from the evening, so I added them into the post.  Enjoy!

On Thursday night, Mercy Project hosted its very first Benefit Dinner and Art Auction in downtown Bryan. I don't have a single picture (maybe someone else took some that I can steal??), but what I do have is a completely full heart from what happened that night. I don't write much about our work with Mercy Project, although I probably should since it is a pretty huge part of our lives, but God totally showed up on Thursday night. He was there, and He blessed--in huge and completely affirming ways.

Because this was our first upscale event, we had no idea what to expect. In all honesty, we were anxious that it might be a flop. You just never know. But, I think Jesus was saying, "you of little faith!" I told Chris the day before the event that at some point we need to learn to trust Him a little more because every single Mercy Project event we've done has far exceeded our expectations. God just keeps blowing us out of the water with this, and Thursday was no exception. 140 people showed up. 7,000 slave children had their stories told. 8 paintings were auctioned off to amazingly generous people. About 15 or so items were bid on in the silent auction. A delicious dinner was served. Over $15,000 was raised. God moved. He is so faithful.

There are times that doing Mercy Project is difficult. It takes away from family time. It takes my husband away to the other side of the world a lot. I wonder if this is really what we need to be doing. And then Thursday night happens, and the Lord reminds me that we are right where He has called us to be. He has great plans, and He is using US to bring His kingdom. That is so humbling. As I've reflected on Thursday night, one of my favorite songs keeps coming to mind. I believe this and will keep asking as we pray over our ministry with MP and those kids in Ghana.

"You said, 'ask and you will receive whatever you need.'
You said, 'pray and I'll hear from heaven, and I'll heal your land.'
You said, 'lift up your eyes, the harvest is here, the kingdom is near.'"

Monday, June 6, 2011

18 months

My sweet Micah girl,

This month we got to celebrate a fun day with you because on June 2 you had your half birthday!  How in the world did my baby girl get to be 1 1/2?!?!  It is totally crazy to think that a year has passed since I was writing a half birthday letter to you when you were 6 months old.  We were so glad to celebrate you and your sweet little half birthday.  I know that they aren't a big deal, but I love any reason to celebrate you.  So, that is what we did, and it didn't hurt that your daddy got back from Ghana 2 days early on June 2.  We couldn't help but have a great day.  So, we sang "happy half birthday to you" and got you a bright pink cupcake.  I'm pretty sure you LOVED it!  Anything sweet for my girl!
 You are one funny little thing!  You are seriously cracking me up these days.  You have started using "sentences," and I only wish I could understand what you are saying.  You use them emphatically!  You love to "read" your books all by yourself now too.  You will just pick one up, sit in your little chair, and start jabbering away while pointing at the pictures.  Your favorite book to read is your Bible, and we love this about you.  We are praying that you will continue to love learning about and reading about God as you grow up.  You have added too many words to count to your vocabulary.  I feel like you are saying something new every single day.  You are a little sponge!  And, one exciting thing is that you are answering questions with both yes and no now, and you usually answer accurately.  It is so nice that you can communicate so much better with us!  I think we are ALL enjoying that!
 You love love LOVE to play!  Your favorite things are still your babies.  You love to dress them up, push them in your stroller, and feed them in the highchair.  I love watching your imagination grow as you play with them, and I cannot wait to watch that continue to come to life in the coming months and years.  You also love to color.  This is one of your newest skills.  Mimi made you a little bag to hold your crayons and coloring books, and you love to carry it around.  Now, we need to start working on putting the crayons back :)  You make the biggest mess while you are playing because you are so active and busy, just moving from one thing to the next.  But, I don't mind cleaning up your messes every day because I feel so blessed to enjoy the mess along with you!
 You still adore being outside, even in this crazy heat!  I don't think you even notice how hot it is.  Your little cheeks will turn red, and you will have sweat beads on your nose but never want to come inside.  You don't even have to have something to play with but are just content to run around everywhere.  You do still love the water, but you get bored fairly easily in the pool now.  Your attention span lasts for about 5 minutes per activity so we just have to do a lot of switching around!  You are definitely our busy girl!  That busyness is usually reflected quite well in your pictures these days too.
 Your sleeping has still been great.  I feel so blessed that for one whole year now, you have been sleeping through the night every single night.  Teething, sick, or well, you sleep all night long!  That has definitely spoiled us, and you always wake up in the morning feeling good because of it.  You take one nap in the afternoon, usually for 2-3 hours.  I love that you are getting good sleep and that I am getting some time to get things done.
 You have become much more interested in your clothes and shoes, and I love the way you say shoes.  It  sounds like "ish" and is just too precious.  You are always taking your shoes off in the car, but if you see a pair laying around, you want them on.  A girl after my own heart loving her shoes :)  You are beginning to help us get you dressed too and will try to pull on your shorts, pants, and skirts all by yourself.  You still need a little help, but you are getting there.  You also always want a bow in your hair after you get dressed.  These things make you feel like such a little girly girl!
 You are a good little helper, and you will always wipe your tray after you eat.  This little skill has made you want to wipe other things down when you are given the opportunity.  You even wipe your babies' mouths after you "feed" them.  So sweet!  You are a great eater, and you have kind of settled into what you do and don't like for now.  You still aren't super sure of veggies, but you do love green beans and sweet potatoes.  So, we will keep giving you those.  But, I am not giving up on the rest of them!  You love your fruits, breads, and cheeses.  The verdict is still out on a lot of meat.  You like turkey lunch meat, grilled fish, and a little bit of chicken, but that is about it.  You still only drink milk and water, and you are perfectly content with that!  I would rather get my sugar from things other than juice, too, my love!
 You have started a phase where you get spooked easily.  Anytime the dogs start barking suddenly, you jump, get a concerned look on your face, and run to one of us to hold you.  It's sweet, but I do hope you grow out of it because I hate for you to be afraid!  We've taught you to just tell the dogs "shhhh" in those situations, and that seems to help some.  Plus, it's just darn cute to watch!
Micah, you are growing up before our eyes!  I can't believe how much you can do and say and communicate these days.  It is amazing and such a testament to our God and His amazing creation.  I also can't believe that by the time I write another one of these 3 month updates you will be a big sister.  So, even though I am beyond excited to watch you take on that role and love on your baby brother, I plan to soak up every moment with you between now and then.  I plan to relish every moment you laugh hysterically when your daddy runs after you or tickles you or kisses you like crazy before bed.  I plan to cherish every moment I spend rocking you and singing to you before I lay you down at night.  I plan to treasure every moment we spend playing, just the two of us between now and mid-August.  You continue to teach me so much about love, joy, patience, and faithfulness.  I am so thankful for you, my sweet daughter.  Happy half birthday, Micah Elisabeth!

I love you to the moon and back!
Your Momma

Thursday, June 2, 2011

beach babe

About two weeks ago, we took a little mini vacation with some friends to Galveston.  We got a little condo on the beach and loaded up 4 adults and 5 kids on Friday around lunch time.  After we finally all made it, a feat with 5 young children, and got settled in, we headed out to our first stop...Rainforest Cafe.
Our friends' kiddos love it, but Micah had never been.  I was just hoping she wouldn't be totally freaked out by the "storms" while we were eating. 
 When we first got there, we had to wait, so we went out on the deck and did a little dancing! 
 Micah loved dancing with her daddy!  I think the feeling was mutual :)
 I don't have a picture of this, but there were some people in animal costumes roaming the patios, store, and restaurant throughout the time we were there.  I think this was Micah's reaction every single time she saw one, and she always tried to pull on the alligator's tail as he walked by!
 The big kids did a fantastic job of helping Micah enjoy her experience!  They all acted super excited and would clap when the "storms" started during dinner.  Micah decided it must be pretty fun if they were so pumped about it.  They are so sweet to her!
 We ordered the "volcano" for dessert for all 9 {well, really 8 since the baby of the crew didn't get much} of us to share.  They bring it out with a sparkler on top, and all the waiters holler "VOLCANO." The kids thought this was pretty much the best thing ever.  I love their faces in this picture.
 After dinner and dessert, we loaded back up and headed to the house to get all the kids put to bed.  The adults enjoyed some good conversation and stayed up just a little too late for this pregnant momma :)  But, it was fun!

The next morning, we headed out to the beach.  I know that Galveston isn't the most beautiful beach, and it honestly wasn't the most beautiful day--cloudy and windy.  But, the kids knew no difference, and they had a blast!
The very first time Micah saw the ocean and a beach was last May when she was only 5 months old, so this was her first true experience.  
The waves were pretty strong, and she wasn't sure what to think at first.  She wanted to make sure she knew where her daddy was at all times!
 After a few minutes and some experience with the waves, she started to warm up to the idea.  She loves water, and she eventually decided that the ocean is no exception to this love.  She started to do the sign for "more" every time the tide would roll out!  She wanted MORE waves!!!
 She would stand ready...
 ...and got soooo excited every single time.  I loved seeing her joy and hearing her sweet giggles every time the water would rush up.
 Waiting on more waves with daddy.  She did this for a good 15-20 minutes, and when we told her it was time to go, she said in a sad voice, "no, waa waa." Silly girl.
{Feel free to scroll down if you would like.  These look similar to the ones above, but they are all just too cute to pick from!}
 Once we got her to tell the water bye, she decided that maybe playing in the sand wasn't so bad either.  Sorry Ben and Emma that she totally destroyed your sand castle that you were making.  We'll work on that for next year!
 We had fun burying friends in the sand.  All the kids were into this...
 ...except Micah who was totally oblivious and kept right along digging in the sand in her own little spot.
After the morning at the beach, we headed to the condo for lunch and naps for the kids.  That afternoon, we went swimming in the pool at the beach club where we were staying.  It had gotten even more cloudy and windy, making the water pretty much freezing.  So, I didn't take any pictures because I was too busy trying to stay warm, which is saying a lot for a 6 1/2 month pregnant lady in the summer!
We ended the evening with some yummy dinner, putting worn out kids to bed, and more great conversation.
We had such a wonderful time and are already looking forward to our next vacation with the Tillerys!