Nine Months :: Elias Grows


While he keeps us busy and wears us out quick, man is this kid fun. I so love who he's turning out to be.  I have a sneaking suspicion he'll be just as emotive as his sister is. It takes very little for both our kids to swing from happy to sad, sad to happy. Maybe we'll end up with two theater kids, (Or music majors!)  It's wild to think how quickly his first year is going. Perhaps because he's reaching milestones at warp speed (in trying to keep up with his big sis') but it's been a sweet nine months.

Elias, man you're our favorite son.

Clothing cred goes to Ben's parents, plus Aunt Carol for cutting off the footies and turning them footless. Many many MANY thanks.

Life Lately :: October 2015


Woo! Have we had an incredible Fall. It's been rich and full and sunny. October has been full of reflection, laughter and getting to see our kids grow in new and exciting ways. Eowyn is singing, and acting and getting creative (Officially figuring out story telling!) and Elias is pulling himself up, scooting around furniture and stealing Eowyn's snacks. Sibling fighting has begun. He'll scream when she takes things, she doesn't like him tearing down her lego towers. It's all a wild ride.

Yet, there's a sweetness to their relationship. When we're waiting on the tram she'll lean over often and give him Eskimo kisses. I'll find them snuggling while watching good ol' Peppa, and every story that has a sister and brother always includes an exclamation by my girl, "It's ME! It's You, Elias!" No doubt, she and he are quite the pair.

We've gotten to take a few drives out in the country these past few weeks, which is always good for this girls heart. Also we're finding new food joints and good pinterest recipes as of late. These sort of discoveries are the nice kind of 'new' that we crave. After having so much change the past few seasons, to reach a season where we have routine and rest is really sweet. When our weekends aren't filled with things we HAVE to get done, adventuring comes easy.

We have some exciting things coming up as well. This weekend we get to celebrate Ben's BIG THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY! We're stoked. Being the big deal that it is, we've turned the celebrations into a week long affair. We've got his birthday bash, then on the day of his birth we're hoping on a plane for Denmark! Legoland + a roadtrip through Denmark + a sweet end in Copenhagen= A pretty great celebration indeed. In a few weeks, I'm sure we'll be posting pictures.

Our lives are slowing down enough for us to have a little bit of margin time to enjoy our hobbies more as well. I had a nice shipment of felt and yarn this week, and have LOVED bringing out my needles again (it's been over a year!) We're watching favorite t.v. shows, taking time for a bit of adventure...

It's a really sweet spot.

There's still overtime for Ben, as there always seems to be, but we're figuring out how to make those looong days go by a bit quicker. We're catching lunch with him during the week (we found a chinese buffet that has some soup that Eowyn will eat, literally, three bowls of.) and we have sweet friends that we get to visit with. We walk to go grocery shopping, (and buy kinder chocolate eggs for the little miss,) go on mini adventures to the post office, parks etc. and we're making it through.

It's getting darker again. Which has its positives and negatives. Positive: the kidlets sometimes sleep in on weekends because the sun isn't beaming in the window. Negatives: we live most of our mornings in the dark and then when the sun is highest, it's nap time. Womp. But, what will be, will be.

We've started doing "school time" in the mornings during Elias' nap. This basically looks like some craft/ activity to do together. I found some neat usbourne activity books online that Eowyn has LOVED. It's nice living in a country that pushes play over any type of curriculum style schooling, so I really have no intention of making her the smartest bee in the hive, but I'm learning that the way I like to 'play' has a bit of structure to it. So, the one-one-one mornings seem to hit a sweet spot for the both of us.

Overall, life is starting to look familiar. Sprinkled with adventure. Filled with a lot of laughter. Eowyn has just encountered the joy of bathroom you know it's a riot around here (while we try to stifle laughs and teach her appropriate times and places for such things.) We're working on developing her humour a bit. Not too much, but a bit.

The Spragues are doing what they always aim to do: finding reason to celebrate.

“And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.” 
-Ann Voskamp

If God were to tell us....


If God were to tell us that we would get pregnant with Elias (!!!) the week we moved to Finland (!!!), two things we had been praying for for over a year...

and that those very answered prayers would not save us from the heartache that my heart carried...

If he would have told us that my heart and mind would taste the darkest season I've yet to experience...

That our marriage would struggle in deeper, more excruciating ways than we could ever anticipated...

If He would have told me that I would question every angle of this move, other than his Hand on it...

That my relatively-stable identity in Him would be under rapid fire for the better part of a year and a half...

that my parenting would be seasoned with major weeks-months-of near-constant doubt and heartache...

If God would have told us that he had prepared some of the sweetest relationships we have ever tasted here...

that our marriage would grow up more tender, more steady than in any season past...

that shame, regret, and fear of future would be beaten down and in many ways entirely killed...

that freedom and giddy excitement would lace its way into our dreams and days...

If God would have told us all that would be in store for us in this season of living here,

I'm not sure how I'd respond...

It's all a bit much.

But if He then could  show me who we are on this side of it all. Who Ben is as a husband and father and Christ-Follower, who I am in Christ, who our children will get to grow to be. How our family functions on this side of the last year and a half...

If I got to taste the peace that comes when the ship I locked myself in actually fares through the storm. That my anchor proves, yet again, strong enough for the waves.

If you could let me see with my eyes the sweet faces of 'my people.'

If I got the chance to rest in the deep calm of being known deeper and being moved toward in all of the mess... 

If you'd let me get a glimpse, a taste, a sense of all that?

Then you'd have one woman, convinced of her Jesus, and oh-so-willing to go wherever he sends her.

He's worth the adventure. Following him is, in every angle, an adventure.

He's not afraid to break my heart, but he's also quite able of mending.

He's not too careful as to keep me comfortable, but he knows how to keep me from crumbling.

He certainly is unwilling to keep me living as if things that were broken, were actually just fine. He never ceases in doing his good, though sometimes painful, work.

But oh how tender of a God he is. How kind of a Father. Oh how unrelenting of a love.

Oh how kind to take all my brokenness, shame, and failure and turn it into reasons to praise.

How can all of that even be possible?

But it is. He is so worthy of praise. 

And so, I'll keep opening up the rooms of this life to Him, and handing Him back my time, my heart, and the pen to this story.

May this story have the One writing it shining out on every page.

Three + A Quarter :: Eowyn Grows



"Mommy, your my best mend"
"Ew, Elias pooped, that's too yucky for me, I don't eat it."
"I sooo firsty momma, I need some drink"
"OOOOO is sooo special for me!"
"Yeah, me too either."
"No tates" (No thanks) 
"It's her happy birday!"
"I so silly."
"I really really sorry bout dat."
"I jus playin'."

Kid, we're crazy about you.