April 24, 2014

she's almost here! {baby charlotte}.

It's been too long since my last Charlotte update. Things have been so busy and time has just gotten away from me.

Before I get into the update, I have to share THIS post from my friend, Lindsy. She summarized the situation with our Congolese children really well. This week, we are taking a collective deep breath from the advocacy campaign. Congress is on break and we are waiting for news that the letter signed by over 180 Congressmen and Senators was delivered to the President and Prime Minister of the DRC. The next plan of action is still forthcoming. In the meantime, we continue to pray that God will make a way. It is clear, now more than ever, that we need a miracle. We need Him to make the impossible possible.

The timing of this advocacy break is perfect, as I am now on bed rest again. As of Monday, I was having irregular contractions and was dilated a little less than 1 cm. According to Dr. D, Charlotte's head is really low and he isn't sure I'll make it to my scheduled c-section on May 16th {my due date is actually May 23rd}. He isn't concerned but we are hoping and praying that she will hold off for another week or two in order to keep on growing. But, thankfully, I am almost to a point where she is considered full-term! That is a miracle in and of itself. :)

More "weekly" pics... first set of photos HERE. {That red dress is SO comfortable... clearly, I wear it a lot. haha!}

I missed week 28 somehow?!

Ben added a little artwork to the chalkboard...not sure what that is exactly. It looks a little creepy...ha!

I'm feeling ready to meet this sweet girl. My friends and family have thrown more showers over the past month. I feel silly having a shower for my second pregnancy / fourth child but I have loved every moment celebrating this precious girl.

My friends that have been here with us for the past ten years threw me a little brunch "shower" last month. It was very low-key and absolutely perfect. We all had an excuse to get together and catch-up, which proves harder and harder to do as life gets fuller and busier.

The little cake pops matched Charlotte's mobile so perfectly.

I'll prove it to you. Cake pops...

And, mobile...

Am I right? Soooo cute. 

I'm so thankful for these girls. We have grown up together these past ten years... we have celebrated lots of weddings and babies together. We've had our share of laughter and tears and I am very blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends. 

Then, a couple of weeks ago, my sister-in-laws and friend, Marci, threw Charlotte another shower. We are spoiled.

The day was perfect. Great friends & family, yummy food, and adorable girl-y gifts...it was cuteness overload.

The decorations were perfect and have all made their way into the nursery decor.

The Marrs' girlies...

Spoiled. Ridiculously spoiled.

I wish we would have taken a photo of everyone together. I am so blessed by all of these ladies!

And, a little family pic when my boys came to pick me up...

After the heads-up that Charlotte is not as keen on hanging out for another month as I would like, I decided I better get myself into gear. Bags are packed and the nursery is finished. Photos to come soon!

Well, technically, her bag and her gift to her brothers is packed. I'm still using all of the stuff I plan to pack... I'm having the hardest time figuring out what I'll actually need. I was in the hospital for two months last time and never had a chance to pack a bag. So the whole "hospital bag" thing is foreign to me... any tips??

April 23, 2014

pure charity. {prayers for our friends}.

My heart is so very heavy this morning. Many of you know how well the Pure Charity team {the team is more like a family} has loved our family. They have supported, encouraged and rallied behind us for our adoption and our work in the Congo.

Yesterday, they announced the passing of their founder and CEO, Josh Copher.

Josh was a true servant leader full of the compassion and generous spirit of Christ. I cannot even wrap my mind around this tragic loss. The world needs more men like Josh.

My heart absolutely aches for my friend, Kristin, Josh's wife. The two of them were inseparable and radiated joy together. I consider it a great privilege to have witnessed such intense love. The Lord used these two to create a beautiful legacy.  Please, please keep Kristin in your prayers.

I love the prayer Logan posted on the Allume site yesterday and ask that you join me in praying these words this morning...

'In the name of Jesus we speak blessing on the Copher family, on the entire Pure Charity team, and over the decisions that will need to be made about what it looks like to move forward without this passionate and visionary leader.  We ask the Lord for comfort that surpasses all understanding, for peace that calms, and for joy to arise from the ashes of tragedy.  Father we thank you for the life of Josh Copher and the ways you have used him for your Kingdom, and we thank you that he is with you now in perfect peace and health.  In Jesus name, Amen.'

April 21, 2014

Easter smiles.

We had a wonderful, joy-filled weekend.

We were so blessed all weekend to be surrounded by loved ones. Laughter and joy were flowing freely. We were present and aware... computers were off, phones were silenced and memories were made.

We are truly loving this simpler, sweeter pace of life out on our "farm."

There were moments of sorrow, as there always are on holidays around here. There is a gaping hole in our hearts and our home where our daughter should be. Thankfully, the Peace of our Savior was ever-present and we could celebrate His resurrection with joy, knowing that the trials we suffer now are momentary compared to eternity with our King.

a few reasons to smile this Easter. In {lots of} photos...

1. Easter Egg hunt at pre-school last week. Who replaced my babies with these little guys?! Even if time is flying way too quickly, I really am loving this season of life with these two. This age is so much fun!

2. Easter goodies. They've been asking for Spider-man fishing poles for a while now. Along with the super important tackle boxes. Because, to quote Nathan, "they need somewhere to put their worms, bobbers and a snack." 

3. True love is: house-shoes. We are officially old. I may never take mine off. They are so comfortable.  We will be exchanging the boys' because they were too small BUT I will need a photo of us all wearing ours. Because that is just funny.  

4. Little guys that sleep in on Easter morning. Smiles all around. 

5. More goodies from Nana and Papa ...

6. Sneaking treats before breakfast. 

7. Annddd, they're off! 

8. Chiquita {pup in the lower-left corner} clearly annoyed with all of this egg hunting interrupting her beauty sleep...

9. Opening the treasures...

10. More treat-sneaking...

11. Sugar-induced smiles. 

12. Meanwhile, pennies are the key to Nate's heart. 

13. Sweet, quiet moments...watching my boys together warms my heart like nothing else can.

14. Two peas in a pod. {Easter lunch at Nana & Papa's after church}. 

15. Family photos with littles always make me smile. This one isn't half bad. The boys are almost smiling even if they're not looking anywhere near the camera.

16. These expressions are priceless. Dave and I just kept right on smiling... ha!

17. New kites!

18. Fishing success!! Pure joy!

19. Fishing is serious business with this one...

20. Tears shed when we had to release "fishy" rather than bring him home as our newest pet... this boy absolutely loves animals. His heart is so tender and compassionate. 

Friends, I hope your Easter was also full to the brim with reasons to smile!