Family of Five


We've closed out Ben's week of paternity leave and he went back to work today. Fortunately, he is pulling half days for a while in order to ease us into the transition. Day one of me with the kidlets is officially under our belts. While it was a bit of a classic first day nightmare (giant spiders and nose bleeds included,)  we've done the hard work and it's behind us. Praise the Good, Kind, Faithful Lord.

Last week, I made mention that I would love to set up our little tripod and have a go at taking  a few pictures of all of us while we have a newborn. Ben, being the forever good sport he is, went for it. By now he's quite accustomed to me always wanting to snap a few pictures. We grabbed the marshmallows and chocolate chips to bribe the kiddies into thinking it was fun and managed to get a few sweet shots in between breakfast and snacktime.

For yet another DIY, they're precious to me. Especially considering how fleeting and tender these days are. Their little feet has me feeling all the tender feelings.

While everything feels a bit crazy right now as we adjust to this new dynamic, I couldn't feel more grateful. I've definitely pulled a few weeping minutes just thanking Jesus for how deeply beautiful this little boy is. While I ache in the grief we've experienced with losing children, when we then get to be surprised by this little soul-it just feels all so tender and miraculous. It was a very big kindness, him letting us get this little man.

Thank you Jesus for this precious family of mine.

Rowan Benjamin :: It's a BOY!


On June 2nd, at 10:13 in the morning our sweet baby BOY arrived! My mom and sister (and nephew, Cyrus) drove down at the crack of dawn to be able to help watch the kids while we stayed in the hospital. When our boy, Rowan was born he was having trouble breathing. Being born 5 weeks early translates to lungs that didn't get quite the amount of time they needed. He ended up living in the nursery for the next 4 days, and 'rooming in' with me the night before we were discharged. I had to leave after 48 hours, meaning a long and emotional week going back and forth from the hospital for feedings.

But we're here! We've survived a rough week, and with the incredible help of my sister and mom, everyone is alive and well. We aren't sure how we would have made it without them.

Our mr. Rowan is proving to be quite the peaceful little man. While some of it is still newborn, the contrast between Elias at this stage and Rowan at this stage is vast. They're quite a bit different. Elias was a hard baby from the start. Rowan, on the other hand, already seems far easier. Or perhaps we're just pros now? ;)
Thank you to everyone for the prayers as he made is early entrance into the world. While this past week has been a bit of a crazy one, we've been carried and been very aware of God's kindness to us.

Welcome to the world, little Rowan. We all deeply love you.

Life Lately :: May 2017


Today is the day we celebrate three whole months since moving back stateside! There's a weird tension of feeling like we've been here for ages and yet, not here long at all. We're officially settled in, and this month arrived the last bits of furniture (we ordered a couch and it took 12 weeks to arrive, but it arrived just in time to have my parents help set it up. Thanks Mom and dad!)

The pool opened on Mothers day, so we've been hitting that up weekly. This means lots of sunscreen, lots of freckles, and lots of working on learning to swim with little people. It has been a pretty great time though, and it's looking like I'll have two little fish on my hands pretty soon.

The braxton hicks this time around are intense. I have a pretty bad case of diastasis recti, so I'm curious how it'll all play into recovery this time around. With Eowyn, I had her just a week and half from where I'm at now! With Elias, I had him just over three weeks from now. Hopefully we can hang tight till around the 39 week mark (a little over four weeks away) so that we can have family here to help. Luckily we have a few new friends who have already offered to help if I have this one early. God has been kind in leading us to some pretty solid families.

We're getting back into the groove of figuring out budgeting, planning out our year with vacation and work, and ironing out some details for the fall when we start Eowyn in Kindergarten. We're homeschooling her this year and it has been a good thing for me to prepare for. I'm really grateful that we have the option to do this (I was homeschooled for a short season as well) and am looking forward to getting to be there for these early years.

Elias is turning into a daddy's boy overnight, which is a deep grace from Jesus. Just a few months ago I wasn't sure how things were going to go down with a new arrival, especially with how clingy he was. Eowyn never really had much preference for me... perhaps its a boy thing? So, to see him transition into really loving to be with his dad is huge, and perfectly timed.

The crazy labor dreams are happening nightly. I have dreams on the regular with different genders, so I personally am still not convinced of one or the other. I'm grateful I dont have any real 'inkling' since it makes the surprise all the sweeter. People have asked if we have a specific gender we're wanting, and while on any given day I can give solid reasons why one would be better than the other, the very next day I can support the opposite claim. Ultimately, we're excited. This baby was a surprise gift, and I'm excited to celebrate whatever God's decided to give us.

I'm large and uncomfortable. At the point of waddling. Measuring two weeks ahead. A woman walked up to me today and rubbed my belly-first time that's ever happened to me. I've gotten regular "honey, you're gonna pop!" "what's going on in there!" " goodness, any day now" on the regular from women.  We are definitely not in Helsinki anymore. I honestly dont mind though. Perhaps having to field the honest questions of a nearly five year old makes any sort of blatant comments come past me unfazed. Eowyn regularly tells me "mom, you're belly is humongous!" so I suppose a few jokes about me popping fall in line with the regular run of the mill stuff. Eowyn is absolutely fascinated with babies, and being a woman and so right now we're all about questions and observation. It's been a really tender time for me getting to explain the joy of what being a woman means. Teaching her to be proud of her body for what it is able to do-for its strength. Showing off scars and explaining answers to all her questions has given me a grace with this pregnancy body that I haven't had in years past.

We met with the pastors of the church we've been attending for the past month or so and were deeply encouraged. God has been kind in leading us to this church and I'm excited to partner alongside them for however long we stay here. We're quite open handed with all the details....leaning into the rest that this season seems to be offering us. It's quite the contrast to the hard overtime we were growing used to.

Ben commented a while ago that he actually doesn't remember much of Elias' first year. This was mostly because he wasn't around. He would go to work before Elias would wake up and was back well after Elias was down for the night. So to have the chance to spend quality time with this baby seems to be an ultra special gift. I'm grateful for how hard working he is and even more grateful for the ways he has worked to be present with his kids. It's meant a lot of changes for us but I praise God for his boldness to pastor us so well.

We've been hit with sickness like you would not believe. Ben and I both have had flu like symptoms (intensinal bugs) several times over. Eowyn has too. Elias, fortunately has only had a fever once. Eowyn had a very scary one a few weeks ago....we aren't a fan of all these new germs.

Hopefully as time goes on we'll get used to it and we'll enter into a season of relative health. Hopefully well before baby arrives in a few weeks.

So, we're leaning in and setting up shop and finally settling in. These next few weeks we have a trip to Atlanta planned and then we're hanging tight till this bundle of baby comes.

Crazy to think that by mid july we'll be a family of five!