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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

introducing capri to her family

oh, the love.  the love we have for this new baby, our Capri, it's so deep already.  she belongs here.  i want to share her birth story with you all, but first have to share these beautiful pictures of her first day here.  Remember my sweet friend who took pictures of the nursery?  Well, she offered to come on Capri's first day and take pictures of when the children met her for the first time.  It was precious.  The anticipation of their arrival, the "reveal", (they didn't know if it was a boy or girl until they walked in) and their individual reactions to her....oh, they LOVED ON HER from the first moment.  jumping on our bed and diving into her face, smothering her with awe and wonder, warmth and kisses, love and acceptance.  
see for yourself.

"What is this life if, full of care, 
we have not time to stand and stare." 

~W. H. Davies~

Sunday, June 24, 2012

annie capri

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!
Lovie is a girl!!
Our sweet Capri was born early Friday morning, 
June 22nd at 3:46am.
8lbs. 14oz.
  the children are DELIGHTED.
(more pictures and details to come....)
We REJOICE in this beautiful redemption.....

"You did it: You changed my wild lament into whirling dance; 
You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers.  
I'm about to burst with song; 
I can't keep quiet about You.  
God, my God, I can't thank You enough."
Psalm 30:11-12 (the message)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

a timely word

still patiently waiting. 
ok, so maybe not so patiently. 
we tried all the old "wives tales" on monday and tuesday to get this labor started, and thankfully they didn't work!!
the boys both came down with a nasty stomach bug around midnight on tuesday night.  oh, it was na-has-ty!!!
loads of laundry later, (including one set of curtains), one day of nothingness, and just generally taking it easy and we're back in action.  actually, yesterday was a blessing in disguise, the kids slept most of the day or watched movies and barely ate a thing. so i too sat around and relaxed.  it went through here fast and furious and for that i am grateful. 

Here's my new sign that my sweet friend Aimee made for me!  Isn't it beautiful? She is so talented. 
As most of you know I'm a "wordy" girl and LOVE my quotes, however when it came to choosing this piece, I knew short and sweet was what I wanted.  
Something simple and true. 
It's in our living room. 

Today my bones are sore. 
My mind is weary from trying to work up grace and peace that isn't needed right now.  Ironically, I'm striving for peace.  My Mother heart is longing to see the veil lifted between this sweet baby and our world.  a veil of skin.  So little separates us now.  And yet, as my midwife so wisely says, "it's like a orchestra, everything has to fall into place for labor to happen."
I've been exceptionally irritable the last 24 hours.
heat flashes like mad.
increased heart rate.
these things concerned me at first, but today at my appointment the nurse said, "you're just a body that's ready to have a baby."
ya think??

I read this tonight. 
It was a timely word. 

So we're off for one more quick grocery run. 
then an evening dip in my sister's pool.
then a blessed night sleep, (or so we pray).
My deepest desire right now is to be SURROUNDED BY PEACE, 
and that is NOT something that can be conjured up, it is a gift. Something that is surrendered to, hoped for, basked in.  

"You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You and hopes confidently in You.  So trust in the Lord, commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock, the Rock of ages."
Isaiah 26:3-4

Monday, June 18, 2012

a deck and father's day.

He starts stirring at 4:30am.
I know what's happening....he's got a project on his mind.
One hour later I get up to close the bedroom windows. 
Determined hammering and the sun is barely over the hills.

Jake built a deck on Saturday. 
Something he had wanted to do before the baby came, 
so OFFICIALLY, we are ready! 

The kids were by his side most of the time and he was so gracious with them....except when they kept trying to refill the six, 3 foot deep post holes, which he was digging by hand to avoid hitting the sewer line. BEAST I tell ya, beast!! 

This was where I perched for most of the day. 
Watching this supernatural man do his thing, he's so astounding to watch, like a force of nature! I got my notes of encouragement ready for the big day!
verses, quotes, short lines to keep repeating while I'm in labor. 
my brother asked me if one of them says "why hast Thou forsaken me?" LOL. 
I did say that my theme verse this week is 
"be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act." psalm 47:7. 

and we could throw in psalm 6:4 too, (slightly out of context)!
 "turn, o Lord, and deliver me!!"  

i'm still feeling great.
very tired of course with getting up so often at night. i'm just taking it easy around home during the day. Psychologically it's getting harder though. how can 9 months fly by and one week go SO SLOW!!??  SO READY to meet this SWEET BABY STOLTZFUS!!!!  

In typical Jake-style, he worked and drank and barely ate. He kept saying he wasn't hungry and he was drinking TONS of stuff.  He was "having so much fun!" (what the heck)?  He truly was so motivated as this was something he's been wanting to do for years. I can imagine it felt wonderful as this is part of what he does for others every day, but never enjoys the fruit of his own labors.....

Needless to say the kids loved it.  
Jake learned by watching and hopes his children will do the same.
Especially his clone, Luke.  At his side practically the entire day, working and sweating and digging and filling and drinking "refreshing water."
Jake gave him money at the end of the day. 
He was delighted. 

And of course Paisley-girl would not be left in the dust, 

 15 hours later and this is what we had!!!!
It's beautiful.  Still needs the steps and railing and some finishing touches, but for the most part, it's completed....and being enjoyed!!

Father's Day greetings. 
cards~love~kisses~gifts~breakfast in bed.

and of course, some time on the deck!!


He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, 
and let me watch him do it.  
~Clarence Budington Kelland~

Friday, June 15, 2012

Getting closer.

 Our bedroom is officially "baby ready."  I knew the feeling I wanted in there, from the curtains to the bedspread to the seating.  Jake's Mom made the curtains this week.  Truly, the finishing touch. I found a few yards of burlap and some beautiful lace at a garage sale. With the two combined, it's exactly what I was thinking.  It's special too having her handiwork surrounding us. I told Jake the other day that I can hardly wait to hole up in this room for days on end with our new baby! xoxo.

   My Mom is usually here the first few nights after our babies are born, "until my milk comes in", (LOL, doesn't that sound sexy)?  She sleeps with the baby and brings it to me to nurse through the night.  If it's fussy she will give it the tiniest amount of formula from a baby spoon.  I trust her.  She's been through this way with her own 8 children and with over 20 grandchildren.  She knows what she's doing!  How grateful I am to have her loved poured out this way.   Also, my man will be taking a few days off work!  I cannot wait to have him around day and night, to welcome our baby, lose some sleep together and get to know this new soul....and the children are super excited to have so much time with him.  They told me this morning that they will make me coffee and waffles and bring them to me in bed!  Ok, well if you insist!!  

We're welcoming a new baby, I'm no fool, it's a TRANSITION for sure, but in the grand scheme of things, these first few newborn weeks are SO SHORT!!  I know that I will sleep again, (something that scared me with my firstborn...wondering if I would ever be able to get a good night's sleep again.  I remember just crying with anxiety when I was able to get some sleep because I KNEW I'd be woken up again and I could hardly handle it)!  Is it any wonder that one of the final labor phases is called "transitioning"?   

That is a mini pack-n-play. When I was pregnant with Tyler we lived in a small one bedroom apartment so instead of registering for a full size one, we picked this one.  It's been one of the best things we've used for our babies.  It moves easily and fits nicely anywhere.  This is by far my favorite placement of it.  Fridge nook to Baby nook.  I have a feeling that when I'm not "wearing" this baby, it will be in here during waking hours. 

Um, I'm having a baby.
any day. 
technically not until the 24th of june or later....but, THAT'S SO SOON!!!!  Sometimes it just HITS me!  
Especially staring at a massive inflatable pool that's lodged in the doorway to the nursery!  It's quite the sight!  We'll fill it when I go into labor, so for now it's just inflated and ready to go. 
I'm so excited to feel those first few real contractions come on....because it means the baby will BE HERE BEFORE TOO LONG!!  Work yes, labor yes, one of the most intense experiences, YES, but SUCH GREAT REWARD on the other side!!!!

"there is power that comes to women when they give birth, (AND IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE OR HOW).  They don't ask for it, it simply invades them.  Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying a child with it.  Birth can silence our ego, and for the moment, we feel ourselves overcome by a larger life pounding through our own."  
~a wise birth by penny armstrong~

I've gone a bit collage crazy the last few months. 
Here's one in the downstairs bathroom.
I really like the way collages look, they keep the other walls clean and focus your attention on one area, giving your eye a break in other places.  

Speaking of breaks.....
Jake and I went away for 4 days and 3 nights a few weeks back.
Our 10th anniversary is in September, but we wanted to do something "baby-less" so we stayed at this
darling cabin nearby and ventured out from there.  We traveled all over Lancaster County and beyond, eating, shopping, walking, taking in the sights and sounds!  IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. 
If you're in the area, here is the information if you too would like to rent a night or two at a local place.  It's a perfect little getaway!  

 Our favorite spot. 

inspiring antique shops, this was my favorite
cannot wait to return.

This was what we came home with. 
A sign that we feel sums up our past almost TEN YEARS together!  

Well, I better take a nap. Or maybe I'll just eat some monster cookiesAll three kiddies are sleeping after walking here all morning.  I haven't been sleeping that great at night, between bouts of heartburn and potty breaks!  

The house is clean and the laundry is almost done, (it never truly reaches an end).   I get a little wacko about keeping things in order when I'm this close to having a baby.  It's stupid, but it's what I do.  You'd be hard pressed to find a crumb around my house!  Told a friend this morning that I guess it's my way of controlling, (my space) what I can't control, (wanting to go into labor tonight)!  

I'd like to put together some flower arrangements as well, being surrounded by new life, there's nothing like fresh flowers to create that.  Also, my nails need to be painted.  That would be nice too.  Pink on one foot?  Blue on the other?  Or maybe just a french manicure so it can go either way! 

"Flowers whisper "Beauty!" to the world, 
even as they fade, wilt, fall."
  ~Dr. SunWolf~

Monday, June 11, 2012

anticipation and fear.

I heard about a lady in our town who just had a stillborn baby.  
She was 39 weeks pregnant. 
I really don't have words and all the things I'd like to say sound empty and stupid.

And as my mind wanders to her and my feeble prayers go up on their behalf, my heart is shaky.  The unthinkable happens, is happening, has happened to dear friends and strangers alike.  How does one continue to trust in the midst of the "what could be's?"  That's where my thoughts are now, it's here my heart is do I trust the unknown in the light of the Known?  

Aside from the anticipation of meeting our sweet baby, (which by the way is so great I think I may burst at times), it's the unknown of each day that can and will drag you under if you let it. 

....because You are my help, 
I sing in the shadow of Your wings.
psalm 63:7

Will my husband come home today, safe and sound?  
Will my babies live to see their next birthday?  
Will our house catch on fire? 
Will.......(you fill in the blank for your own).

  There are several close friends and relatives of ours that are SMACK DAB in the middle of the unknown, (we all are to one degree or another I guess), but the unknowns that they are dealing with are literally moment to moment life altering decisions, (that are not theirs to make). 

How do you keep your sanity? 
How do you keep your thoughts "captive" among the parade of questions that march in your mind and beat their drums relentlessly inside your heart, thump, thump, thumping?

Is it possible to be at peace with your unknowns? 
I want that.

On a piece of paper by my beside I have written:
"STAY CLOSE TO ME ON THE PATH OF PEACE."  I had read it a few weeks ago and it resonated with me.  There are very few decisions I can make in this life that give me control, true control, not manipulative mirages of what I'd like to be or who I would like to see change.   

Thoughts and fears, anticipations and ideas all make their way to me, like fiery arrows and sometimes like baby breath whispers.  

They land and try to bury themselves into myself.  
It is then that I MUST MAKE A CHOICE to TRUST the One that I believe HOLDS MY LIFE, holds my babies lives.  And it's not easy, but it is better than flailing about all alone.  At the heart of each of us is a need to be WITH SOMEONE, to not be isolated or alone or abandoned.
My refuge comes on the wings of God.  

I trust that He will cover me. 
Or carry me. 
Or shelter me.
Or teach me to fly. 
Or fight for me.
Or hide me.

...hide me in the shadow of Your wings.
psalm 17:8

I read recently about feathers and the miracle that lies within their structure.  A few key points that stuck out to me:

 "To date, no amount of engineering has created a synthetic insulation as efficient as feathers."

"In all the dives I've watched, I've never seen a feather break in flight.  Wrestling on the ground with prey, sure, but never on the wing."

My soul longs for the place of Insulation.
The Space above the prey. 

...He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings SHALL YOU TRUST and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.
psalm 91:4

some commentary's I read that shed light on these verses and my soul:

"He shall cover thee with his feathers - He shall act towards thee as the hen does to her brood, - take thee under his wings when birds of prey appear, and also shelter thee from chilling blasts. This is a frequent metaphor. He will overshadow thee between his shoulders; alluding to the custom of parents carrying their weak or sick children on their backs, and having them covered even there with a mantle.

His truth shall be thy shield and buckler - His revelation; his Bible. That truth contains promises for all times and circumstances; and these will be invariably fulfilled to him that trusts in the Lord." 

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
"He shall cover thee with his feathers,.... As birds do their young, who cannot cover themselves: this they do from a tender regard to them, whereby they both keep them warm, and protect them from those that would hurt them: this represents the helpless state of the children of God, who are, like to young birds, weak and unable to defend themselves:
the tender regard of God unto them
as the eagle and other birds have to their young; and the warmth and comforts souls have, as well as protection, under his powerful and gracious presence; he comforts them under their tribulations, as well as defends them from their enemies: the word of God also, every promise in it, and doctrine of it, is as a shield and buckler to strengthen, support, and secure the faith of his people, (Proverbs 30:5)."

refuge and TRUST 
in the shelter of Your wings.
psalm 61:4

the darling pictures were taken last week by my talented friend Michelle Walls. She is hoping to print a new line of baby stationery, among other photo prints as well.  here is her beautiful etsy shop. i can't believe the way she captured lovie's room and that black and white silhouette of the two of us.  precious treasured memories. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lovie's Nursery Reveal. xoxo.

I put the finishing touches on it this afternoon. 


 my little helpers. there wasn't much they could do "wrong" as I was priming the entire room white, so I just let them help. 

Here is my pinterest board that held my inspirations. 
Love pinterest.  This was the first picture that started it all!

the fabrics and paint.

The reveal. xoxo.

It is quite a small room, approx. 8 x 10, but that doesn't have to keep you from loving the space you're in! This is my favorite room in the house right now!  Such a peaceful, happy place. 

Some of the pillows were made by Jake's Mom, Grammie.
the blanket by our sweet babysitter, Kaelin. 

Crazy doll that had to come home with me from "home goods".
ended up being part of the inspiration for the room. 

beautiful handmade curtains by grammie. xoxo. 

figured this verse was quite applicable as before i know it i'll be awake day and night. 

my friend jeane' so kindly gave me this vintage rubbing alcohol bottle. it will be used and loved. 

 that picture was made by my sweet friend and neighbor jessica, a very meaningful birthday gift.  the old creamer was jake's grandmother's. 

we love you so much and don't even know you! 

found that vintage clock last weekend. 
it glows.
it was ugly brown. 
now it is bright blue. 

essential "i'm settled in" supplies. 

 the pillow fabric, another handmade creation by grammie. 

Paisley and the baby will share a closet. 

wrapping paper i liked from target. 
lined the back of the shelves with it. 

one of the final touches found this afternoon.
i'd been searching for the right one and found it here
for free. 
wuvs it. 


sharpie meets glass. 
who knew permanent marker could do such great things?

vintage chevron blanket found at a garage sale. 

first baths. 
each of our babies had their first baths in this tub. 

and lastly, the delicious pictures my friend michelle took of this nursery....she's getting together a new line of stationery and photos to sell on her etsy shop.  you simply must check out the way she captured Lovie's room, here you go!  EYE CANDY!!   

and so we wait. 
we wonder. 
we pray. 
we hope. 
and we love. 

37 weeks. 

"Where thou art-
 is Home."  
~Emily Dickinson~