2 years old

Luke Stevens Rice,

You are my absolute favorite 2 year old! AND one of the coolest kids I know. A year sure does make a big difference. You’ve changed so much in your second year of life—from a babe to a boy. 

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As always, I feel happy and sad watching you grow. I’m so glad you’re thriving, but the  realization of how quickly our time with you as a little one is flying by makes my heart sting a little. This is such a sweet stage (have I said that about all of them so far?). I don’t want to forget it. 

You are talking ninety-to-nothing. You just about wear us out with all that talking, but we love it. You’re LOUD and exuberant in almost everything you do. You’re smart. You don’t miss a thing, and you have an excellent memory. You light up a room with that big, infectious smile.  

You love to say “OH YEAH!” and “OKAAAAAY!” and “ALRIGHT!” You are working on counting to ten, and you’ve almost got it. You say, “One, twoooooo . . .” Sometimes you think 4 comes after 9. 

The other day, we were shopping for some clothes. I pointed out a shirt with cars on it. You ran over to the clothing rack, grabbed the shirt and loudly proclaimed, “I’ll TAKE it!”

You still love your sleep and require a lot of it. You sleep 10-11 hours at night and take a good afternoon nap. You recently transitioned from your crib to your “big boy” twin bed, and you’ve done great. . . better than I expected. You screamed when I left you the first few nights, but you never got out. You stay in your bed and play (with a ridiculous amount of toys/books) until I come and get you in the mornings. You are a slow mover in the mornings and you enjoy your “wake-up” time in bed. This makes things easier for me when I have to nurse and tend to John Wicks in the mornings. Every morning, I ask you who you dreamed about. Every time you say something different. Sometimes it’s Doc or JJ. Sometimes Thomas the Tank Engine or Nemo.  When we transitioned from nursery to big boy room decor, you would run into your room and exclaim, “BIG BOY BED! BIG BOY CURTAINS!” 

Your favorite food is fruit. When asked what you would like to eat, you always, always say fruit. You would live off it if you could. You also love veggies, cheese, cereal, yogurt, black beans, brown rice, and chips. You’re daddy gives you sips of diet coke at restaurants when I’m not looking. You love it. You think all soft drinks are coke.  Sometimes you’re a great eater and other times you are more picky. Just depends on if you’re in a growth spurt, I think. 

The biggest thing we are trying to teach you right now is that you are a person under authority and that first-time obedience is required. We talk a lot about how failing to obey us is ultimately failing to obey God. You see, we are all persons under the authority of God. God exercises His authority over you through us right now. He has commanded children to obey their parents (Eph 6:1). We want you to understand that you have to obey, not just because we are bigger than you or because we “say so” but because our good and right God requires nothing less, and we desire to please and obey Him.

This is a hard lesson. You like to test the limits and see if we really mean what we say. Sometimes when I tell you to do (or not do something) you look at me with this clear look of mischief and rebellion in those sparkling blue eyes. You often try to get as close to the line as possible. But, by God’s grace, (and discipline) you are learning. Our greatest prayer is that through this training, you will learn that you will never be able meet God’s standard for perfect obedience on your own. BUT Jesus did. He is your greatest need. Our intention is to point you toward the Gospel and your need for Christ.

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You are the sweetest big brother. When you see your brother, you exclaim, “JOHN WICKSIE!!!” and then you say, “LOVE!” You want me to hold him down so you can love him. When he’s on his playmat, you’ll crawl under there and just lay beside him. One day, you were “talking” on your play phone, and I saw you hold it up to JW’s ear so he could say “hellwo.” I can’t wait until the two of you can really play together. 

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I’ve never seen someone so passionately in love with moving vehicles. You could take or leave other toys, but if it has wheels, you’ll play with it for hours on end. You were so excited about your birthday party. You kept saying, “CAR PARTY, TRUCK PARTY, TRAIN PARTY!” You’ve probably watched the movie “Cars” about 1000 times. 

Luker, you are such precious little boy. We love you more than words can say, and we pray that God blesses you with many more years of life. 

I’ll love you forever!

-Mama

Luke’s 2nd Birthday Party

In my two short years of having children, I’ve already developed a love/hate relationship with birthday parties. On the one hand, I wouldn’t trade celebrating the milestone of another year: taking pictures, making memories, eating good food and cake amidst precious themed decor, blah, blah, blah. On the other hand, though, I would trade the extra expense, time, and stress that go into pulling together a child’s birthday party at my own house. I do it to myself though, y’all. I mean I should have done what any sane mother of two under two would do: buy a pack of Lightning McQueen plates, cups, & hats, and call it a day. That would have certainly made the Mr. Boy happy. BUT NOOO! I have to go all pinterest crazy and fly into a complete creative-juices-flowing-crafting- frenzy that I truly do not have the time or energy for. It’s the over-achiever in me, I tell ya. That cursed over-achiever that insisted I make all A’s and now insists that I keep my house spotless. I keep saying, “Next year I’m going simple. Family party and cake only.” Christy told me she’ll believe it when she sees it.
SONY DSCThat said, I am so pleased with how Luke’s “HONK, HONK! BEEP, BEEP!” vehicles party turned out. We had the party a little over a week before his actual day, and the sweetest group of “little friends” and family came for an evening cookout to celebrate the birthday boy. Most importantly, Luke had an absolute ball. Last year he was kind of clueless, but this year, he knew it was his party. And he ate. it. up. Just watching him enjoy it made my effort worth it.

{He was so excited that he even posed for a little pre-party photo shoot in his very own red car on his very own road. Shocker. He is never this cooperative.}

{Note the paparazzi in the reflection!}
SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCHe looks like such a big boy in this picture below. I can hardly stand it.
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SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCThere aren’t enough words to thank “Aunt Chritty” for all her help in pulling this party off. {No, I didn’t misspell her name. . . we actually call her “Chritty.” }. She came a day early and helped me deliberate over how to arrange the table, duct tape trash bags to the front porch, make cars out of fruit, clean the house, and a million other things. She even made the most ADORABLE cookies you have ever seen to give as favors. A truer friend is hard to find, and I’m so thankful that we still live close enough to see each other fairly often.

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All the paper items for the party were orderd off Etsy. As much as I would like to take credit, no, I did not design them.SONY DSC SONY DSC Pretzel sticks also made by Christy. SONY DSC The fruit cars were a big hit with the kids. Of course, the idea came from Pinterest. Is anything original anymore? I guess I can take credit for my trashbag road. All me. 🙂SONY DSC SONY DSCAdam smoked a Boston butt, and he outdid himself.  I must say, it was fine. Ask anyone.
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The cookie favors. CT should start a business. Seriously.SONY DSCSONY DSC Not bad for a $19 Kroger cake. I was a tad worried, but they came through!SONY DSCL was a little shy when everyone started singing to him. . .

photo (5)but he warmed up quickly and by the end of song said, “YAY!!!” while clapping his little hands.
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SONY DSC SONY DSCThe weather was unbelievably cool for an August evening, and the kids had a blast playing outside on all their riding vehicles.

IMG_6544 (1) {Luke was immediately enthralled with his new Richard Scarry book: Cars and Trucks and Things that Go.}IMG_0052

Our sweet neighbors even brought over this awesome little roller coaster. It was a hit. So much so that the youngest ones {including Luke} had a few meltdowns about having to wait their turn.
SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCAll in all, it was a great night. Everyone stayed and visited for a while, and we just savored that two-year-old birthday sugar high happiness that resonated through our house. Our little Luke is so full of life and enthusiasm, and I still find it hard to believe that it was two whole years ago when he joined our family. He has changed so much and brought us so much joy. But that sappiness is for another post, maybe on his actual day. I’m thrilled we had such a fun, successful party. And now this tired mama is even more thrilled that it’s over! 🙂

Partay

I realize that everyone has probably already seen the first birthday pics on Facebook, but for the sake of documentation, I’m doing a party post anyway. . .Because this birthday decor was a significant time investment on Mama’s part, and it needs to be remembered.

AND of course we want to remember Mr. Boy’s big day.

He woke up Saturday morning to the BEST birthday surprise ever—-his Doc-Doc and J-J downstairs in the living room. When he saw them, I could tell he remembered them.  We had a fun weekend together and spent most of Sunday getting things ready for the birthday boy’s party. I was so, so thankful to have mom and dad here. They helped me so much, and nothing makes my heart smile like watching them love on and enjoy my baby.
We had a small little party with close friends on Sunday evening.

Adam grilled his super delish wings, and we had Texas caviar, rotel, lemonade and tea.

Poor Mr. Boy has had a cold and wasn’t quite himself.

{I’m not sure what was going on with me and the goofy smile. And no, we didn’t intentionally dress like it was the 4th of July.}

But Tylenol kicked in, and he was a new child. He LOVED his push motorcycle from Doc and J.

Family shot…A tad blurry, but I love…

As always, we were so thankful to have sweet friends there. August is a big month in Rice land, and they’ve been celebratin’ it up with us.

Mr. Boy wasn’t so sure about his cake at first, and he also wasn’t a fan of the birthday hat…

But since I took the time to make it, I was determined to try to get him to wear it for a few pictures….until he FLIPPED OUT.

{just a little}

Then, somehow we distracted him and snuck it on his little head. And he decided his cake wasn’t half bad either.

Oh. my. gosh. that. cake. It was mighty fine. It came from our favorite bakery here in town, and they did not disappoint.  I have a little sugar problem, and having leftover cake in my fridge calling my name was almost too much. Which is why Adam and I had to polish it off really quickly. You know, get it out of there. 🙂After Mr. Boy had his cake, we took the party inside. Doc and J gave him his bath and then all the adults had cake and ice cream while the kids played.

{This boy has his Doc WRAPPED around his little finger.}

It was a really fun and special day celebrating our boy.

{And now I promise I’m done with the first birthday posts. Because I know we’re all birthday-ed out. And believe it or not, we do have other things going on! :)}

Because a lot can change in a year. . .

It’s Thursday night, and I spent a good portion of the day at Alumni Chapel on Southern Seminary’s campus for a “Marriage in Ministry” conference. It was great, and being in that chapel on this particular Thursday really made me think about what I was doing on this exact day  {not the exact same date because of the leap year} last year. Know what it was? Sitting in that very same chapel counting contractions. This morning as I sat on those beautiful wooden pews,  I absorbed so much truth. Last year, I fidgeted uncomfortably. I don’t think I heard a thing that was said.

I realized that I’ve never really shared Mr. Boy’s birth story, so I wanted to record some things while I can still remember. Honestly, some of the details are already a little fuzzy. According to my sister, the whole birth experience was anticlimactic {for her at least}. When she arrived at the hospital, I was propped up in bed, completely relaxed and enjoying myself thanks to a beautiful little thing called the epidural. I think she was hoping for some action. You know, screaming and yelling in pain. Loving sister, she is. 🙂

So, to start at the beginning, I woke up on Thursday morning of August 25 {my original due date} around 6:30ish. This is not my normal. I was pretty sure I was having contractions.  I hadn’t experienced any Braxton Hicks contractions at any time during the pregnancy, and what I was experiencing that morning didn’t hurt at all. So, I wasn’t totally sure. But this mild tightening-release feeling was happening pretty consistently about every 5 minutes.

I immediately texted my Dad, and I’m pretty sure the convo went something like this:

Me: Dad, I think I’m having contractions but I’m not totally sure. They don’t hurt, but they’re coming regularly. 

Dad: Call your doctor and go be seen {his famous line}. I’ll tell your mom to start packing. 

NOTE: I totally abuse my dad with medical questions/problems. It was really bad when I was pregnant.

So, since I wasn’t in any real pain, I got on up and took a shower. I had plans to pick up my friend Diana {who had just had major foot surgery and was unable to drive} and meet Adam on campus to go to chapel. We were a real sight wobbling and waddling into chapel together. We met Adam and sat on the back row. She downloaded this contraction counter app on her phone. Every time a contraction would start, I would look at her and she would start the counter. This went on for the whole hour. By the time chapel ended, the contractions were stronger and still very consistent (5 minutes apart) but still not really hurting too bad. Just the slightest discomfort.

I went ahead and called my doctor’s office. They told me that I needed to go to triage at the hospital and be checked.

But I still wasn’t in serious pain, so why rush it? I decided to go to lunch with 3 other girls. I enjoyed eating and chatting it up. Saw some other friends eating at the same restaurant. Had contractions through the whole meal. I believe one of the girls I was eating with tweeted: “Just had lunch with some girls at McAlister’s. Pretty sure one of them was in labor.” 

After eating, I mosied on along to the hospital. Adam was at work or in class {can’t remember which}, but my friends D and Christy went with me. I had to get in a gown and they checked my cervix and put this thing on me to monitor contractions. I was only 1 cm dilated. The contractions were a little more painful but nothing terrible. Still very consistent. I remember being so hot in that little room and turning blood red, but I was still able to carry on conversation and enjoy myself for the most part. I called my sister, and I remember we laughed about the neon orange toenail polish she was planning to sport to a fancy, formal wedding {random, I know}. My friends laughed at me because I was so red! The nurses at triage told me that I was having a little too much fun to be in real labor. They sent me home but told me they expected to see me back within the next 12 hours.

D came home to our apartment with me where I proceeded to go into a complete cleaning frenzy. I think I vacuumed, did some dishes, and who knows what else. By the time I sat down an hour or so later, contractions were a good bit stronger. Our sweet friends Mat and Whitney {who happend to live about 30 minutes outside of Lou at the time} were in town that evening and called to see if D and I wanted dinner. D was hungry, and I was in pain but figured I had better try to eat. Contractions were getting much stronger. They dropped in with the food, and sweet mercy, I may have scarred Mat for life. There I was, wearing Adam’s boxers and a T-shirt, wandering all around the apartment trying to get comfortable and breathe through the contractions. They were really hurting at this point. And coming about every two minutes. We made it through dinner, and then Adam walked in the door. I was trying to let him finish work for the day, but D decided it was time to head back to the hospital, so she called him. The contractions were coming so fast and hurting so badly. I was sure I was at least 4 or 5 cm. So, back to triage we went.

1 cm! I nearly flipped. How could I still be just 1 cm! They hooked me back up and monitored me for a very painful hour. At the end of the hour, I was still 1 stinkin’ cm! I was thinking, how is this possible? I am DYING! {Note: I do not claim to have a high pain tolerance}. The nurse was sweet, though. She said, “You’re having a really good, consistent contraction pattern, so we’ll call you a tight 2 cm and go ahead and take you back.”

They took me back and gave me my epidural very quickly {which, for the record, didn’t hurt at all}. After that, I must say, it was smooth sailing. I’d say they gave me the epidural about 8 or 9 pm. After that Mat and Whitney and Christy came by. I remember saying, “I feel amazing!” C and D and Adam stayed with me all night as I labored painlessly. I think things got pretty humorous as it got later and we all got delirious. I’m pretty sure I said, “My legs feel like they’re flying.” Then, at one point when everyone was “supposedly” asleep my leg fell off the bed and I exposed my derriere to everyone in the room. I thought everyone was asleep, but the girls were laughing hysterically after it happened as I was attempting to quietly wake Adam: “Adam!! Wake up. My leg fell off the bed and I can’t get it back up.” I think I may have called him on his cell phone {from across the room} to try to get him up.

Around 6 a.m. on Friday morning, my family and the Rices arrived. Bless their hearts, they all drove 8 hours through the night to be there.

 

Then, around 9 a.m. my doc came in, checked me, broke my water, told me I was 10 cm and that it was time to push. About 30 minutes later, our sweet little Mr. Boy made his way into the world, and our lives were forever changed. This was his first of many pictures…

As I look back at this year-ago experience, I have cause to rejoice and give thanks. I’m so thankful for an amazingly smooth and safe labor and delivery. I’m so thankful that our families were able to make it in time for the birth. I’m so thankful for good friends–our family away from home– who were there with us every step of the way, even when our biological families couldn’t be. Most of all, I’m so thankful for a healthy baby boy. The Lord answered my prayer and brought him safely into this world.

Thank you Lord Jesus. My cup overflows.

28

My man turned 28 today. I’m so grateful that God has given him 28 years and that I’ve gotten to share in 10 of those years. How blessed I am to call him mine!

We’ve had a fun day full of celebration, but the highlight was dinner at Rocky’s with friends. Rocky’s has really good pizza, but the main draw is the location. It’s positioned right on the edge of the Ohio River, and the view of the city skyline is gorgeous.

We lived on the wild side and stayed out until 9:30. Our friend Chris said, “You know all your friends have young kids when everyone is looking at their watches like Whoa, now, it’s 8:30!”

But you only live once.

It’s true that we don’t get together as much now that most of us have started families, but it always blesses my heart to be with these precious friends. They’ve been our core group through seminary. We probably would have chatted until the wee hours of the morning if the kids hadn’t been getting delirious.

Enjoy the abundant photo coverage of the evening.

{I’m warning you, there are an obnoxious amount of pictures.}

Princess Maeleigh is so beautiful. And so peaceful. . .unlike a certain Mr. Boy I know.  🙂

Pointing is his new thing. . .

A true friend. They go way back.

Can’t express to you how much I love. this. girl. We’ll be friends until the end of time.

Sweet pic of the Lovett fam + Ben {sorry, BT. Didn’t mean to blur you out!}

This pic is so them. . .Best girls.

Lovin’ Aunt D.

His smile is infectious. . .

See? Like I said, really into pointing. {It’s YOU with that camera again, Mom}.

Happy little family. We couldn’t be more blessed. {I realize we need to work on table manners. . . like elbows feet off the table}.

His favorite . . . plain ole’ birthday cake. I would love to take credit for the beautiful icing penmanship and excellent distribution of star-shaped sprinkles; however, that, my friends, is a $16 Kroger cake. A very good $16 Kroger cake, if you ask me.

By this point in the evening we had resorted to using a little modern technology to help us get through the meal. I think he did pretty good considering the fact that we confined him to the highchair for 2+ hours.
The view. . .

Admiring the view. . .

Chris + Adam

Had to get a best girls shot with SM.

The guy we asked to take a group shot just happened to be a real photographer. And the Belle of Louisville just happened to be floating along the river in the background. And all 3 children just happened to look in the direction of the camera at the same time. It’s a true miracle that we got such a successful group shot.

But I’m glad we did. Because who knows how many more opportunities we’ll have before everyone starts moving off and spreading out. Some of our dearest friends have already left, in fact. I really do cherish these times together.

So, happy birthday, Adam! We had a wonderful night celebrating you!

 

Top 10 things I’ve learned in the first year. . .

I’m finally done with all my work for summer classes {Hallelujer!}, and I have a minute to catch my breath.

So, birthday party prep is in full swing. Both my boys have August birthdays, and I was reminded of this fact when Adam got his free drink birthday coupon from Starbucks in the mail today. I did apologize to him for letting my mental planning of L’s birthday completely overshadow his.

It’s true. I’ve been thinking a lot about Mr. Boy’s upcoming big day and his first year in general. It’s been such a fast year. Such a good year. A year full of love and learning. So, without further adieu, here are the top 10 things I’ve learned in this first year of motherhood {while it’s fresh on my mind}.

1. “This too shall pass” is a phrase to imprint on your brain during the first year. When you feel like you’ll never sleep for a solid 8 hours ever again . . .this too shall pass. When you’re convinced you’ll never ever get back into your old skinny jeans {or anything other than pajama pants for that matter}. . .this too shall pass. When you feel like you can’t handle one more nap time battle of letting him “cry it out”. . .this too shall pass. I’m murmuring this phrase to myself even now as we struggle through the horrors  difficulties of weaning, and I’m sure I will continue to be encouraged by it through challenging seasons in the future. The truth is that challenges will always come. The good news is that most of them eventually pass. You just have to ride them out while trying to savor and enjoy both the trials and blessings of each fleeting season.

2. Breastfeeding is the most convenient and inconvenient way to feed your child. Once you and baby finally get the hang of it, nursing is the most convenient thing in the world. It’s so great to never have to get up and heat a bottle in the night or pack formula for “on the go.” You never have to worry about measuring amounts or washing bottles, not to mention you save about 800-1000 bucks on formula. And of course, the bonding factor. It’s something that no one can give baby but you. Then, there’s the flip-side. I won’t lie, those first few awkward weeks of figuring out nursing were complete torture {at least for me}. Besides the engorgement and pain from incorrect latching, it’s extremely inconvenient to get out of the house every now and then {which I desperately needed to do} and find a comfortable and PRIVATE place to nurse. Especially when the only place you really feel comfortable nursing is behind your locked bedroom door. In time, though, you move past that. I wouldn’t even nurse in front of my mother-in-law when L was first born. At the end of his first year, I can say that I’ve nursed in numerous cars, dressing rooms, and public bathroom floors. I’ve nursed with my brother and dad in the room. I’ve nursed for 30 minutes standing up in a bathroom. Heck, I’ve nursed on a bench in the middle of the Birmingham airport. All this to say, there are pros and cons to breastfeeding. You just have to do what works for you. I hope the experience gained will make my second go-round a little easier!

3. Regardless of the way you dress your child, people will call him/her the wrong gender. L could be wearing a blue outfit with trains on it and someone would stop me in the grocery store and say, “Well, isn’t she just beautiful!” Hello, people. Open you eyes.

4. Dress little boys the way you want now because it won’t be long until they want to wear Power Rangers and Angry Birds and such. I fought my husband tooth and nail on this one, but we eventually came to somewhat of a compromise {He would prefer that I dress L in a button-down and khaki pants like a little man}. The agreement is that  I can put L in sweet little smocked things (and day gowns when he was newborn) as long as they’re blue or somewhat “boyish.” I just had to promise not to put him in anything frilly or white or dress-like.

5. Speaking of clothes, one tiny addition to the family will triple the laundry. Invest in LOTS of Shout or Oxiclean {and burp cloths & bibs}. I’d be interested to know how much time I’ve spent stain treating clothes this year.

6. Getting peed on, pooped on, and spit-up on doesn’t bother you nearly as much with you own child as it did with children you were babysitting before you had your own. Adam and I both agree that we have greater measures of tolerance for all bodily functions with L than we did with other kids before L. Explosive poop all over you? You deal with it. Third time to wash the sheets in one week? Not the end of the world. Actually, I think you have a great measure of patience in all areas with your own.

7. Just getting out the house can be the best treatment for a long, hard day. Sometimes the best thing to do for a restless, screaming baby {or a stir crazy mama}is to get out of the house! Getting out the door with a baby on your own can be a challenge, but it’s worth it. Adam works a lot, which means L and I are home alone a lot. My goal is to get out once each day, even if we don’t really have anywhere to go but Target, Panera, or the park. It always lifts both our moods {especially when we meet up with friends}!

8. Having a hobby, activity, or goal completely separate from motherhood is good for stay-at-home mama. Don’t misunderstand me here. There is nothing I’d rather do than stay home with my baby. I truly believe that no career would be as fulfilling to me.  But let’s be realistic. There are days when it’s all consuming and I just need a mental {or physical} break. . . something different to focus my energy on. . . something to help me keep the right perspective when I’m overwhelmed with housework and mothering. Taking classes has done this for me. Even though it’s work, it’s different work. It’s a goal to work toward that’s completely separate from motherhood, and it helps me feel purposeful and goal-oriented to continue to work toward my degree. There are many things that could serve this purpose when I’m done with classes, though. Teaching or participating in a Bible study, taking an art class, volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center, or doing more distance running again would all be options I would enjoy.

9. Running with a stroller is twice as hard as running without it. This is my excuse for being really slow about getting back into my running {I do a lot more fast-walking these days}. It’s true, though! I have great respect for those moms I see jogging at the park with double and triple strollers. It’s seriously hard.

10. A child fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty. This {somewhat cheesy} little saying is hanging in L’s nursery, and it’s so true. I never imagined I had room in my heart to love someone so much. Literally, there are moments when my heart feels so full that I think it may burst. I never knew I would find joy and excitement in such seemingly small things. . . my baby laying his head on my shoulder and sucking his thumb, hearing him saying “da-da” for the first time, having him melt me with his smile. Yes, there have been really hard moments this first year, but those moments are worth it. I think the main thing I’ve learned this year is that a child is truly a gift. A very, very precious gift from God.

{P.S. When I asked Adam the number one thing he learned during this first year, he thought for a second and replied, “Patience is a virtue!” :)}

 

Luke Stevens Rice

On August 26, 2011, at 9:31 am, our precious son was born.

Luke Stevens Rice

7 pounds, 9 ounces, 21 and 1/2 inches long—such a precious creation. Adam and I are parents! AH!

On Christmas eve of 2010, I sat in the bathroom of my parents’ house, staring at a positive pregnancy test in absolute shock. I was so thrilled, but I never imagined the love I would feel for this child when he entered the world. Even as my pregnancy progressed, I truly had no idea. I labored for about 26 hours before Luke joined us. 12 of these hours were completely pain free thanks to the epidural—a true gift from God. I was blessed with a relatively easy pregnancy, labor, and delivery… and a healthy baby boy!

It’s hard to believe Luke has already been with us a week, and it would be a lie to say that the week hasn’t been filled with adjustments, exhaustion, and some tears. There is so much to figure out, so much to learn. Our lives have truly been changed forever. It would also be a lie to say that our hearts have not been filled with awe, joy, and deep, deep love for this little blessing that God has given us.

I am quickly learning that motherhood is a lot of work and requires self-sacrifice. But, oh, how it brings such a deep sense of joy and satisfaction! I am truly enjoying caring for our little Luke. I am loving getting to know him and trying to figure out his little personality. I love looking into his sweet little blue eyes and knowing that he is totally dependent on me right now. So far, he seems to be a pretty laid-back baby. He’s not really fussy right now (knock on wood), and he’s doing pretty well with his eating and sleeping. He loves being held and is quite the cuddle bug! I prayed that our baby would inherit his Daddy’s easy-going nature, and I’m hoping this is truly the case. It will be fun to see how his personality develops as he passes through the newborn phase.

We are thanking the Lord for this miracle, this gift to us. Furthermore, we are seeking to remember that Luke belongs to God, not us. He has been given to us for a time to love, care for, and raise in the admonition of the Lord. I pray that we would be faithful in this task both in times of joy and in times of trial…in whatever future the Lord has ordained for our little family. Pray with us!

Welcome to this world, Baby Luke!