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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Zoe

We were singing a song at church a few weeks ago.  'It's your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise.'  And all I could think about, as Zoe rolled around in my tummy, was that it is her lungs themselves that  lead us to worship the Lord.

she wouldn't move her hand away from her face

Zoe's name means 'life' in Greek.  God taught me so much through the plea for her physical life, which I wrote about here.  It is something that I think about a lot now; the fact that it is God alone who determines the beginning of and length of every person's life.

I am well aware however, especially these days, that just because life exists does not mean it feels like a blessing.  Turn on the news or talk to a friend, and it is inevitable to hear.  Life can be difficult, sorrowful, and overwhelming sometimes.

In John's gospel, he says of Jesus, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.'  In other words, not only is Jesus a physical creator who conceives babies and sparks heartbeats and sustains breathing, but knowing Him is what gives life meaning, power, and fullness.

I've had the joy of celebrating handfuls of pregnancy announcements over the past few weeks (usually with shrieks that frighten the soon-to-be-'big'-siblings, or with abundant over-sharing about pregnancy and childbirth).  We took Landon and Copeland into the doctor's office to see their baby sister on the ultrasound screen.  These moments have been beautiful gifts.  But we have also done hard things over the past month or so, walking with friends through illness, depression, and abuse.  These moments have been gifts too, only because we know a Savior who delivers peace despite our circumstances.

A week or so before the big 20 week, gender-revealing ultrasound, Landon said, "We should name the baby Zoe."  Up until this point, the names that the kids suggested were nonsense words or types of sugary treats. I was taken aback that he came up with a unique meaningful name, but honestly thought that we would find out we were having a boy.  God knew otherwise :)

I've been listening to this song a ton recently, and it describes perfectly the lesson that the Lord has taught us
through Zoe's life so far.

  

The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”  I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

Not only does God have the power to bring a new soul into a family, physical life into a womb, but perhaps more miraculously, He has the power to bring heart-pounding joy to tough circumstances, love and forgiveness to someone who did wrong, and knowledge of His presence to the doubting.  Praise God for zoe, the life only He can bring.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A BIG Summer

I think that we have squeezed every last drop out of our summer!  We have spent tons of time with friends...






and celebrated a wedding!



We learned that we are having another girl...two daughters! (Still trying to imagine what life will be like in a home with two little ladies),


Zoe Ann Snow (more on her name later)
and had an epic beach vacation as usual.




someone even learned how to swim!


We have really enjoyed our summer.  The kids have grown so much in such a short time.  As much as I have loved all of our fun, I am ready for a new season.  Maybe it is the cooler temperatures we have enjoyed over the past few days, the back to school commercials, the harvest decorations I've seen popping up, or my growing tummy, but we are ready for football, new preschool classes and friends, and a new baby in our house!  In the meantime, we will enjoy the wait.  Looking forward to what August brings...


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer baby

Three years ago today, we knew we would be meeting our daughter soon.  The kids know, thanks to one of their favorite books that describes all kinds of babies, that Landon is a fall baby and Copeland is a summer baby.  Summer baby she will always be.  She is bright like the sun, and loud like the ocean.  Whether happy or sad, girlfriend lets you know undoubtedly.  She is headstrong and confident; her joy is contagious.



There are so many things that I admire about Copeland, things that I want more of in my life.  She fearlessly converses with anyone, she takes joy in both helping others and asking for help.  She doesn't think twice to ask for what she needs.  These are child-like faith things that adults often lose as we age.  God made her in a wonderful way.  We are so grateful to be her parents.



Happy Birthday Copeland!  You are the most fun three year old I know.  We love you so much.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lately






We have been doing a lot of walks lately.  To and from the pool, to exercise the dog, to get us out of the house.  I always think about my previous pregnant walks through this neighborhood.  When Landon was a bump in my tummy, there were dozens of empty lots, and controlling Stella was a lot easier without bikes and helmets and towels and strollers and lovies to contend with.  While I was expecting Copeland, I would walk Landon with a bittersweet anticipation, fully aware that life was about to change for us three, mostly for him, and he was oblivious.  

This time around, everyone knows a new baby girl is coming.  I have two little sidekicks to share the joy with, and they are always asking, 'what's she doing in there?'  In both my pregnancies with Landon and Copeland, I was nervous in one way or another.  The complete unknown, the labor, the sleeplessness.  And this time, I'm not.  Mainly because I look at the two who have come before this baby girl, and think about all of the life that they bring.  They bring excitement to the most mundane things (like washing your hands!)  They make it easy to appreciate small blessings like cuddling with a book or picking clover from the front yard or taking a bath.  In all fairness, and to keep it real, they also created a lot of drama over things as silly as a light switch, a banana peel, or a hair bow, but hey, we are focusing on the positive here ;)




We are so enjoying our boy and girl right now!  We can't wait to see all the fun that another girl will bring in a few months.

Sunday, June 15, 2014



The kids love their Daddy for all the reasons that kids should.  He wrestles with Landon and paints Copeland's nails (alternating colors even).  He flies them up the stairs like airplanes, reads them stories, plays ball and eats the 'food' they prepare.  He is handsome and funny and strong.  Landon even said he has 'better ideas than Mommy' once!

They have a lifetime ahead of them to find out that these reasons are just the beginning of what makes their Daddy a good father.  He is wise and generous.  He is honest and selfless.  Most of all, Justin is all of these things because he knows his heavenly Father, and is teaching his son and daughter to do the same.  Happy Father's Day Justin.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Brother Sister

We spent this evening at a birthday party.  A one year old birthday party at the same park that Landon had his fourth one.  Copeland, as usual, was all questions, "Can I sing Happy Birthday to Jonah?" "What's your name? What's his name?", to everyone in earshot.  The ever-popular instructions masked as inquiries to parents, "Can you take the trash (wrapper) off his cupcake?  Will you wipe his face off?"


Our girl is so so so sweet.  We put her to bed, "Leave the door 'quackin'" aka cracked, she reminds us.  Five minutes later, she is calling us in the monitor, "Mommy, you didn't pray for me."  She is enthusiastic about life, she loves people well and thinks about others first, often (not always!)  She is like a little Mommy.  And I can't help but think of her tonight, the night before we find out if this baby will be a boy or a girl.  If we will have 'brothers' or 'sisters' in our family.

Ever since I met this guy, I knew I wanted to have another boy.


Boys were so foreign to me, and all I knew at 20 weeks pregnant with him was how I knew nothing about boys.  Come October and the years following, I learned how fun and funny and special and sweet and wild boys are, and that I wanted another one.  This pregnancy we have all always thought it was a boy.  We could name him 'Popsicle', Copeland says.

As the big day has inched closer though, I've thought more about having a girl.  Copeland's 20 week ultrasound gave us certainty about her gender, and uncertainty about her health.  It was hard. With Landon, I thought I knew girls and was clueless about boys.  With Copeland, I was so used to a boy, I didn't know what I would do with a girl.


This time, I keep thinking about my son and daughter and what they will do with their brother or sister.  I've always been able to imagine Landon wrestling over or kicking a ball toward his baby brother, and now as Copeland is getting older, I can't help but picture her holding hands, giggling with, and squeezing her baby sister.

Either way, it is going to be so great.  I am anticipating finally knowing, but also enjoying the last few moments of wondering.  Baby Snow #3, we can't wait to find out what you are.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Babyland

This week we took an awesome trip with my equally awesome Aunt to Babyland General Hospital where Cabbage Patch Kids are 'born' (I'll skip the slightly creepy description of Mama Cabbage).  I think my sister and I visited when we were kids, but I don't really remember.  Copeland was in heaven.  I had no idea she would love it so much!


they had a hair salon!

and Coco's hair twin (for $60!!)

They even had well baby check-ups!
 
Landon really wasn't feeling it, but he LOVED hanging out with Aunt Brenda
 I guess Babyland spurred baby fever in our house because the kids have been playing with babies non-stop.  I sure hope they like the real deal in October ;)


baby-wearing, on a skateboard, while 'grocery shopping', pretty impressive

"Willit"even joined Copeland's nap, who insisted the baby be swaddled
In one week we find out if Landon and Copeland will have a baby brother or sister.  One word will change the dynamic of our family, and I can't wait to know if it will be 'boy' or 'girl'!