Month: March 2013

Happy Easter!


I love that Easter always seems to signal the start of Spring.  The flowers are blooming, the trees are budding, everything is starting to green up.  Another tangible reminder that Jesus Christ has conquered Death and given us new life.


We’ve spent the last 6 weeks in Lenten season preparing for this day.  On Thursday night, our church had a Maundy Thursday service with communion.  This morning we attended our Easter service and then had family over for a big barbeque lunch.  N has the rest of the week off and we can’t wait to enjoy it as a family.



(at least that big belly’s good for something, right, MG?)



MG understands very little about Easter this year, but one thing she was sure about is that she wanted to hunt eggs outside.

{a little video for the g-parents}


The more Mama I get, the more I appreciate this very special holiday.  Thank you, Jesus, for dying to take away our sins and offer us eternal life. 

(Also, a very special Happy Birthday to Aunt M! )
{we hope you got a peep cake this year}

Baby Name Game: Clue #3

Last week, we shared that Mayby’s name will have 3 parts and the third part will be  a color name.

The next few clues will focus on the first two names.

Clue #3

It’s a girl!

Traditionally, the remaining two names have always been girl names and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.

When Mayby goes to school, the roster should immediately alert the teacher that she is a female. (and here is a bonus clue: one of Mayby’s names can be turned into a common male name with the addition/subtraction of a few letters…much like Stephan/Stephanie.  The other names cannot)

Overall, Mayby’s name will  lean more frilly, romantic, and feminine and less sporty, ambitious, or daring.

Tune in next week to find out which decade has been the most favorable to her name,

clue #4

Winter Fun: Gel Balls

I first heard about this fun little experiment from: Nothing If Not Intentional


These little gel balls are designed for floral arrangements, are non-toxic, and swell to the size of a marble (they don’t get any larger than that: I tested) when soaked in water.  All that being said, they are not designed to be play toys so careful adult supervision is always recommended around children.


I purchased my gel balls from Amazon and let them soak overnight.  The next day they were ready for little hands to dive right. She loved it!




Much like the rice bin, she had fun scooping, pouring, and of course “dump out?”.  I let her within reason, because these little suckers bounce and one missed pour would scramble them all over our kitchen….much to her delight 🙂

We also let her animals swim in them and eventually her toes too 🙂


We’ve had our indoor fun, but now we really are ready for spring!  Please hurry!!!

(snow day today….really??)

Baby Name Game: Clue #2

Like I said last time, I have kept many lists of potential names throughout the years. Here is a look back at some of the names to have crossed my list (and off of it too):

5-6 years old: As a child, I loved baby dolls (no surprise there, MG).  I had three “My Child Dolls” which were a big deal for a while and they were named:

Emily (copied directly, and I mean directly after my cousin’s), Mallory, and Lucy

Then came Cabbage Patch dolls and it felt wrong to name them anything other then what their birth certificates christened them.  Mine were:

Sherry (ironically), Yolanda, Dustin (a name which, no offense, my mom abhors and has made me swear up and down that I would never name a son that.  Also ironic.)

7-9 years: I received one of my deepest desires–a doll that looked and felt like a real baby.  I blessed her as

Ruth Jane

had she been a boy? Peter.  I thought long and hard about those names and I remember them feeling “just right”.

9-11 years: I went through a (weird?) French phase and was really into having triplet sets of kids with similar names:

Collette, Babbette, Suzette

12-14 years: And then middle school came and my list became decidedly American

Kimberlie, Jacqueline, Kori/Korinne (Korinne was one of the first names that I ever truly fell in love with.  No idea what the inspiration was behind it, but I still smile extra big every time I meet a living one), Joshua, Tommy, Jason

15-16 years: Then I took Spanish class and (<<squeal>>) we got to pick our own names that the teacher would call us by every single day!!!  I carefully poured over the list of Spanish monikers and chose after much consideration


Still love it (especially with the “f”, as opposed to the “ph”).  Too bad about 7 years later it exploded in popularity.

Senior year, I made the leap from Sofia to


as Aurora from Sleeping Beauty had been a favorite since childhood.  (But not sure it exactly rolls of the Spanish tongue)

18 years: In high school, my favorite names began to sound a bit more preppy.  My “Baby Think It Over” in Child Development Class was thoughtfully named

Peyton Reed (boy) (long before “Peyton” became a unisex name)

College: My names swung a bit hippy

Willow, Sierra (another name that I truly, truly loved but has since been ruined), Mara, Malachi, Jonah, Cohen

Early Marriage: I put N through the gamut of names. I loved creative and unique names from place names and nouns to the Old Southern namesake names.   Because these names were all wildcards (for me), they didn’t last long on my list, but I had fun dreaming them up:

Mercedes, Stila, Hartley, Arden, Luna,

Gunner, Arlo, Emmett

N, the ever conservative, probably wouldn’t have gone for them anyway; but one phase we did go through together was a color phase.  We thought it would be fun if we had twins to name them matching color names.

That phase didn’t last, but our inspiration did.

Clue #2:

MAYBY’s third name will be the name of a color.  Just like MG’s.  This allows us to add a little unconventional flair to her name that really won’t be present in any documents other than her birth certificate and SS card.  Because of this reason alone, I debated continuing with the trend of a second middle name, but Daddy (ever the second-child-advocate) insisted.  And I’m glad that he did.  I just didn’t want to make the decision all by myself.

Considering MG’s color name is a name that you may not have heard before (unless you are an oil painter or Pantone color wheel enthusiast), you can probably (safely) bet that this baby’s will be something other than Scarlett, Violet, Amber, et. al.  But I’ve said too much already 🙂

More about her first two (and more commonly used) names next Friday,

clue #3

Thoughts Lately

We met with our doula on Monday night for a little refresher course……and things are suddenly starting to feel very real.


We mostly talked about my fears, my longings, my desires, and things I want to do differently with this birth.  She reminded me that I need to leave my feelings about MG’s birth with her birth and not carry them into this birth.  Different child, different pregnancy, different birth.  It is so obvious, but a lesson I am sure I will be learning many times over.

Many have asked me if I am considering a natural birth for this baby.  My simple  answer to that is “yes”.  But this time I think it looks just a little different.

Last time it was all about proving myself.  To others, to my doctor, to my baby, and (mostly) to myself that I could do it.  I didn’t know what I was doing, but I sure knew what I wanted.

But let’s just say “I’ve been there, done that” and don’t really care about winning the award anymore.  This time it is more about the experience.


(have you ever seen a baby being carried so high?  I can’t even wear maternity pants because they won’t stay up.  I have to buy regular pants a few sizes too big so they will button around my lower what’s-left-of-my- waist)

I’m sure there is a book somewhere out there about this, but I definitely see myself as having a sensationalist type of personality.  In all experiences, from ordinary to uncommon, I seek to get the most out of them I possibly can. For example, I rarely eat a meal that I walk away from disappointed.  Simply because it is so important to me, I make sure to add in things (or get dessert :)) so that in the end I am satisfied; if only because I can say, “well that was an enjoyable experience”. When I run errands, I try to think of a newer, prettier route to take that will make the routine trip more enjoyable.  And I don’t just clean my house, I add in my favorite playlist + cleaning products that smell amazing + maybe a new tip or technique to try.

I often find myself manipulating experiences to make them tangible, fulfilling, and ultimately satisfactory.

Maybe that was the reason I considered a natural birth in the first place.  I want to sense all of it. I want to feel my body working as it was designed.  I want to feel all of the mamas who have gone before me and done exactly what I am doing to be whispering in my ear, “you can do this!  You were made for this moment!” I want to have an experience that satisfies all of my senses.

I’ve picked out Scriptures I want read during the transitional stage.  I’m working on a playlist that reminds me of this pregnancy.  I want the smells and feelings and emotions in the room to always stick with me.  Yes, the pain is a part of it, but at the end of the day, I want to wring every last drop out of it and know that I experienced it all.

You only get to do this a set number of times in your life, afterall, and I want to walk away with (as much as it is in my control) no regrets.

*That is my deepest desire, but I do know that birthing is just another part of life that as much as you can plan, you cannot control.  So we will plan for what we want and take what we get.  And hopefully,  we will all walk away from this experience wiser, stronger, and better people for it*

P.S. I wrote this post mostly to explain why I want a natural birth and to show how it aligns with my god-given inclinations and personality.  But in no way do I condone others for choosing different methods or for wanting a different experience.  One thing I think we can all agree on: no matter the method of arrival, every single birth is a beautiful and miraculous experience that requires the greatest amount of strength , beauty, and love to come to fulfillment.  XO


Have you planted yours yet?  Ours are growing a little more each day.  Just waiting for a couple spring weekends to pass to put them in the ground!.

MG loved it (check out her assessment at the very last second of the video: “coooooollll”)


Next step: following in the footsteps of her Grampy and Great-Grampy and farming her own garden…

Baby Name Game: Clue #1

*In case you missed it, I posted a Baby Name Game: Intro yesterday and you should probably read that first*

My love for names reaches all the way back to when I was a little girl as I would keep lists of potential names for all of my future children (back then, I wanted at least a dozen because that meant more naming possibilities :)).  My list has grown and shrunk, been crossed through and thought over many times since then.  But probably THE MOST important thing to me is finding a baby name that I have loved for longer than a few months.  Knowing how impulsive I can be (and more importantly, how often I change my mind!), I want to make sure it is a name that has lasting value for us and not just a crazy fling that we later regret (ahem,  Rainbow Aurora*).

(*latest celebrity name to come across my newsfeed)

While I mentioned last time that I love hearing other people’s choices for their babies, it is incredibly difficult for me to truly name my own.  Whenever I hear my friends choices, I usually think, “Wow–that is a perfect baby name for them, but it definitely won’t work for us.”  So on top of wanting to find a name that we like for a reasonable amount of time; combined with a husband who has absolutely no suggestions, just vetoes (but really, I’m okay with that); and a wife (i.e. me) that thinks way too much about baby names and could talk about them for days; coupled with the pressure of finding the perfect gem in a sea of names; well you can see this is a  role that I take none too lightly :).

Understandably, Mayby’s name has been in the works for a few years.

When MG was born, we kept her name completely quiet until her birthday and had a few potentials on standby, just in case.  I mean, what if she didn’t look like an MG?  But since then, we’ve scrapped those second and third place names (and really, how can you give another child your second place name :)?) and found some new inspiration.

When MG was about 4 months old I had a burning desire to officially name her siblings.  With no potential names on our short list and the possibility of more children in the future, I wanted to find something to fall in love with for a few years before we had to think about it again.  And that’s when we came up with Mayby’s name.

Naming subsequent children is much, much harder than naming the first.  (parents, am I right?)  You have to find a name that not only works well with your first child’s name, but that you love just as much too.  Add to that: must work well with your last name, must have a good standing with Google, must not sound too similar or too different when said with eldest child’s name,  must have strong initials (and monogramming ability, of course), and must take into consideration room for future children (if you so desire)

Whew, talk about stress.

But after all of that, we found her name.  Mama suggested it, Daddy loved it (so much so, he said, “that’s the one!” and began calling our future daughter that before we were even pregnant.  This was such a rarity that I knew it was the one.)

One the day of our gender ultrasound, after hearing those beautiful words, “Well I think you can expect another little girl!”, we finalized it.  We carefully poured over the spelling, questioned a few potential changes, and then said it aloud over and over.  And that was it.  Her name was set.  (and shortly thereafter, MG picked up on it so there was no turning back even if we wanted too :))

So, without further ado, the first clue is:

MAYBY will have 3 names.

As in a first, two middle and a last.  ( I know, how very royal couple of us).  This is keeping in the tradition of  Daddy,’s Mama’s, and MG’s names.  We all have two middle names.

To read further how these names will be arranged, join us next Friday,

clue #2

The Baby Name Game: Intro

If you know me well, you know that I have a thing for baby names.  I have strong opinions about what people should/should not name their child.  Name a celebrity and I can tell you the name of their children (I have to keep current on what names are trending these days :)).  And you better believe one of the first things I did when I visited MG’s preschool was sneak a peak at a list of all the students.  (mostly because I wanted to make sure Mayby’s wasn’t springing up everywhere but also because I wanted to get an image of what MG’s friends and classmates would look like.)

One of my very favorite things about being in this season of life is having so many pregnant friends.  I love the nine months of anticipation, the changes that we laugh about going on in our bodies, and most of all, I love hearing the names that my friends choose.  When I hear the chosen name, whether it be 4.5 months in, or on the day of their baby’s birth, it affects me.  I think about it, I roll it around on my tongue, I make a mental image of what that child will look like.  Hearing the name that will be said for the rest of their life is nothing less than an earth-stopping moment for me.

And that’s why we like to keep our baby names secret.  I revel in that very dramatic moment of the all important name reveal on the day of their birth.

All that being said, I’ve decided that I’m feeling brave enough to let you in on a few clues to our baby’s name. From here on out there will be one clue posted every Friday (fingers crossed) until she’s born (starting tomorrow)

The purpose of the clues is NOT that you will be able to guess her name, but just that you can have a hint about what to expect (and if you do happen to guess her name, we still won’t tell you :)), to build some excitement/intrigue, and just like Big Sister’s, Mayby’s name has some backstory behind it.  So the more we explain now, the less we will have to explain later.  Make sense?

If you want a real clue to guessing her name, simply mention the following words to MG: “sister”, “tummy”, “baby coming”, “girl”, “belly”, etc.  She has picked up on the baby’s name and has been freely airing it for about the last ten weeks (not that you’d be able to understand her), but it’s made for a lot of awkward conversation as people say, “what is she saying”?  And we either play dumb or move on while she continues to cock her head and say, “Mayby, Mayby, Mayby, Mayby” (like don’t you understand??).  Endearing and funny at the same time.

So there ya go.

Clue #1 coming your way on Friday (tomorrow).

clue #1

The Day I Cried at Chick-Fil-A

This is totally not what I had planned to say today, but I just had a “moment”.


March 13, 2013 is a date that I have seared in my brain. It is the date when our “July baby” would have been due.  All throughout the day, it has been there. That little reminder of what life would have been like had things not changed.  Not a sad day.  No not with a joyful little girl to play with and a busy one inside kicking her love to me.  But one that felt set apart.

After a quiet morning of cleaning and kitchen play, I did something really uncharacteristic.  I took MG to Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  Just the two of us, on a whim, for a special treat.  I felt the urge to go and I went with it.


Much to my surprise, it was their 10th birthday and they were throwing a birthday party.  Free cake for all (my favorite).   That was enough.  I could feel God smiling with me.

I ordered our food and was pulling out my cash to pay as I heard, “You know what, Ma’am?  Today’s meal is on Chick-Fil-A”.

As I prayed for our food, I could not help but tear up as I felt God’s love for us.  In the way MG kept saying, “Mayby in Mommy tummy.  Little Sister Mayby.”  In her excitement over the free balloon.  In the exceptional taste of free food.  And in the literal icing on the cake.  His love was most certainly present with us today and it carries us into the future with a reminder that He creates harmonies (today) and discords (July 13, 2012) for His name’s sake.

I’ll go ahead of you, clearing and paving the road.  I’ll break down bronze city gates, smash padlocks, kick down barred entrances.  I’ll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables-Confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. It’s because of my dear servant Jacob, Israel my chosen, That I’ve singled you out, called you by name, and given you this privileged work.  And you don’t even know me!  I am God, the only God there is. Besides me there are no real gods.  I’m the one who armed you for this work, though you don’t even know me.  So that everyone, from east to west, will know that I have no god-rivals.  I am God, the only God there is.  I form light and create darkness, I make harmonies and create discords.  I, God, do all these things.”  Isaiah 45:1-7-MSG

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