23 Weeks :: Baby #3


After digging out my camera and stacking all my pillows on top of eachother, I snapped a few pictures, because the weeks are racing by, and I dont want to only have one set of pictures from this pregnancy.

This has been the most challenging of pregnancies out of the lot I've experienced. The naseau was absolutely impressive. Lasting well into the second trimester, and the lack of kicks made my heart feel anxious during the initial meetings with an OB when they begin asking if we've felt kicks yet. With the other two I felt them by 14-15, so to wait till 18/19 to feel them for certain, it made my heart hold its breath.

But praise God, right before the we moved I prayed that I would begin to feel this baby, with all the uncertainty, it was all the more difficult to fight worse case scenario thoughts. Then, sure enough within the next few days I began feeling this little one regularily.

God has found all sorts of little ways to be kind to me. While many of the prayers I've prayed (like "please God make this sickness go away!" ) haven't happened in the timing I would have liked, He has proven himself trustworthy.

We just scheduled our first OB appointment here in Alabama. I'm curious how it will feel to go back to the American system of healthcare after going to the Finnish one. They asked me to bring in all medical records, which I think will be funny. When I hand them documents in a very complex language,  I wonder how useful those papers will be. Perhaps much of it is medical jargon and so it will be easily translatable.

I was sharing with Ben that this pregnancy is entirely different in every way. With Eowyn, my thoughts were often on how it would change our family. I daydreamed about our little baby coming new and making me and Ben parents. When Elias was growing, I absolutely delighted in daydreaming about the big sister Eowyn would be. Now with this pregnancy, I often find myself trying to calculate the logistics: "okay, so how do parents take three kids into a grocery store when solo?" and "how should we organize the carseats in our van?" (P.S.  we bought a minivan. No going back now.)

While on one hand, I sometimes feel at a loss at the hustle of this pregnancy-as if this baby isn't getting quite the attention the others have-on the other hand, I feel like my hopes and prayers have shifted entirely. Parenting a newborn feels much less about all the responsibilities, and I am now more excited to discover who this little person will be. See, I know that the logistics work themselves out. We've figured everything else out twice over. I do know it will be entirely different, but in the same breath, I have a comfort of the history we know. When it comes to kids, God is kind in leading us through.

So, I pray for wisdom as I discover who this new son or daughter of mine will be. I pray for kindness as I grow to manage three kids in our home, and I pray for joy in the midst of the crazy.

I especially am praying for the wisdom to recognize how wonderful the sweet moments are. There's a quote I love by Kurt Vonnegut that says 

" I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

We're finding a lot of those little moments, and I'm certain that when you arrive, there will only be more.

16 weeks left, sweetheart. Looking so forward to meeting you. I imagine i'll think something like that quote above when I first lay eyes on  you. "If this isn't beautiful, if this isn't pure blessing, if this isn't such an overflow from my Jesus,  I dont know what is."

I am humbled by the reality of getting to be your mother.

Montgomery Rain

I was very much looking forward to seeing what the kids would think of the torrential southern rains. Helsinki doesn't get much for the downpour that this place does. We went out when the rain was still falling a bit more gently and they were thrilled. Later in the evening the rain was pouring down so hard our kids were saying "ow" when putting there hands into it. Ha! Elias, ofcourse was absolutely enthralled and wept upon having to leave it. Eowyn thought it was pretty fun, till she was done. Girl knows what she wants and when she's had enough.

There's something special about a good hard rain. Filling the house with the smell that comes with it. I can't help but think of the lullaby lyrics we sing every night to our kids

"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus there's just something about that name....like the fragrance after the rain."

It's such a sweet smell, such a glimpse into the gospel to see all the dirt and grime and chalk wash away from our sidewalks and leave it clean.

Elias is counting down the days till the next rain. That boy is hooked. :)

Making Alabama Home :: An Update


An ocean has been crossed, as have many items off our to-do list and I find myself with a quiet moment while Ben builds a bedframe with his dad and I put the kid's down for a rest at our hotel.

I just poured myself some cold chai in under a minute, something I've longed for regularily for a very long time, and I'm marvelling at how much we have been able to accomplish in just a few short days. What feels like weeks can be counted on just a few fingers.

Here we are. We found a home that feels extravagant and luxurious compared to our sweet little Helsinki flat.  To be honest, I'm wrestling with the reality of such a large home. While it is nothing to everyone here, having so much space (like an actual garden area/yard and beautiful tub) feels too much. I want to treasure what a sweet gift it is, and simultaneously am honestly overwhelmed. It is obviously God's kindness, (even if we had a smaller place, it would be His kindness) and so I'm choosing to just look forward to the ways God will fill in all the space that right now feels so empty.

We've nearly set up everything we need to survive in the house and our kids are officially starting to sleep on regular intervals. God be praised. I think all of our emotions and feelings are really unstable and highly influenced by sleep/what we eat/what decisions we've had to make. So trying to problem solve this week, or have rational conversations seems to involve a bit more effort. You never really can plan for all these things can you?

But, even in the crazy of all this, there has been glorious kindness. God has come before us and is making it known in the sweetest of ways.

For instance, A few days ago we went to a Chick-Fil-A (a fried chicken chain restaurant) and the kids were playing in the play place. The first kid Eowyn has played with since moving here, was a little girl who arrived in the playplace as well.  Her name was Sadie. This is significant because Eowyn's closest little friend back in Helsinki is also named Sadie. So to discover that theres 'another friend named sadie!" was straight up God being extra sweet to my daughter. What was especially kind was that a few minutes later we met her mom, who happened to be a pastors wife at a local church and they invited us to check it out. I was crying in the kids play place when Eowyn shrieked at this tender hearted girl telling her name. I was humbled by the conversations after.

God, you're kind to my mama heart.

Ben's parents have been here helping enormously. With watching the kids while we sign three hour leases and shopping with us and getting us through all the hustle that is moving into a new place. The decision fatigue for us is greater than what I've ever known, so it's nice to have someone think clearly when really I've grown quite numb to this whole experience.

Our kids are doing okay. Elias is still hanging on to his cough, and his sister has taken over the sickness duty in his recovery. I think Eowyn has felt it the hardest out of the two. The lack of structure and complete unfamiliarity is hard, but I think its especially hard for a four year old girl.

And so we keep plugging away. Reminding ourselves it's only the first week. Patience is worth its weight, and to not panic. Our home is humbling, the logistics of cars and appliances and couches and things are falling into place, and we found a bumble bee the size of a small rodent. We're marveling at every angle of Alabama.

The biggest blessing has been how unfounded my fears were. I feared brash and passive agressive, and all I've met is kind and soft spoken. Thick drawls really do make words sound sweeter. We've already learned from years past that just because it's different doesn't mean it isn't beautiful. Alabama is full of beautiful. {It's also full of bugs. But, they're beautiful in their own right (once they learn to stop flappin in my face.)}

We've carried our dark and mildly sarcastic humor back from our British friends and it has served us well. Praise God for humor, it keeps the hearts warm and lets out the struggle.

For all of you praying for us, can I just pause here and say thank you? Thank you. This has been hard, but there has been a very clear sense of God's hand here. There have been things that have gone totally crazy, and yet we've been carried. Our patience hasn't run out, despite the pure reality that we struggle with this lack of structure, and there's been gentle reminders to have grace with eachother when miscommunication is happening, or when the kids are lashing out (and it really has been more lashing, then just acting) due to all the change. Thank you for praying. Your prayers matter.

Please pray we find a good obstetrician (Alabama is the worst state to deliver a baby in. Womp womp.) and that Ben's transition into work is wonderful, and for time and patience as we get all the details like drivers liscenses, library cards, and the rest all sorted. Pray we're able to buy the things we need, we've had to call our bank a few times because of purchasing SO MANY things in such a small time frame. It's been a hastle to try and work through. So many todos.

Looking forward to when our beds are set up and we stay in our house for the first night. Having the kids run outside in their first torrential thunderstorm, getting to the fun parts of decorating a home, and beginning to find friends.

And in the inbetween, grateful for family to help with the transition, God's kindness in allowing us to begin saving money a year ago (when we initially hoped to move) so that this transition would be easier (we have a gap of three years of no US history, so we have a lot of 'down payements' to secure heating, electricity etc.) and I'm especially thankful that we are making progress, day by day.

Day by day.