Friday, December 28, 2007
After celebrating Christmas with the Locketts' (my mom's side of the family) on the 23rd, we had a relatively low key Christmas Eve. Nick, Carter and I went to the Christmas Eve service at Canterbury, which was our church home when we lived in Birmingham (and in many ways still feels like our church home). We were able to see many friends and share that special night and special service with Carter, who behaved like a pure angel throughout the service--and only slept through about half of it.
A little side note...as I was listening to Dr. Morgan's sermon, I was reminded of his sermon last year on Christmas Eve. Last year's sermon was called something like "The Christ Child Born Again for the First Time." Dr. Morgan talked about how each Christmas is truly a "first" which means we experience Christmas anew each year. It was a pretty special sermon, one that evidently stuck with me through what has been a truly overwhelming year. It seems especially true as I think about experiencing Christmas as a mom for the first time. I imagine that most parents will tell you that having a child of your own and loving someone so much makes it that much more awe-inspiring to think of God sending his own Son to die that we might have eternal life with Him. Truly amazing!
Okay, so back from my digression...we got back to my parents' house after the service and were able to celebrate Christmas with my immediate family! It was a fun night with a delicious dinner, fun presents and lots of laughs. Unfortunately, Carter slept through virtually all of it, but he was really excited when he saw all of his special gifts that he received.
We headed up to Decatur on Christmas morning and had a great big breakfast cooked by Popsy and Gigi and then played a nice, competitive game of Christmas Bingo...(we play Bingo for prizes instead of buying gifts!). Again, Carter slept through most of the morning, but was awake long enough to show off his rolling over skills and get loved on by his cousins! Christmas night we went over to Nick's sister's house for dinner and a little fun with the Wii they got from Santa. Sad to say that Banks, my 5 year old nephew beat me at Wii bowling.
The day after Christmas, we had one more special celebration at Debbie's house. We headed over there for some yummy breakfast and then exchanged Christmas presents one more time! It was so much fun that we headed back over there for dinner--Uncle Chris cooked us steaks and sweet potato ravioli! Yum Yum!
This has truly been such an amazing Christmas for us! We are thankful for the time that we have been able to spend with our family this Holiday Season! We thank all of our friends and family for the love and the gifts that you have showered us with! We have no doubt that we are blessed beyond what we deserve!
Pictures to come when we get home and I have the time--and the equipment--to post them!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Before we left Indianapolis to travel to Alabama for Christmas, we went to visit Dr. Bergstein for Carter's 4 month check up. He weighed in at 13lbs 15oz and has grown to 26" long. She was very pleased with his development, and he felt obligated to show off for her. He was playing with his feet and rolling over the whole time!
He is certainly proficient at rolling over now, but he is very particular about doing it only when HE wants to--wonder where he gets that? Last night, he actually woke himself (and us) up when he rolled over in his sleep. When Nick went in to get him this morning, he was asleep on his belly with his thumb in his mouth. So, he must have managed to roll over again after I put him back on his back last night without disturbing himself too much.
The doctor gave us the green light to start cereal, and so far he is not a big fan. We have only been at it about 2 1/2 days, but I think he spits more out than he swallows. I guess it just takes some time for him to figure out how to eat from a spoon. We'll keep trying...
Yesterday, we celebrated Christmas with my mom's side of the family, and it was a wonderful day. We had 14 people and six dogs at my parents' house (though 5 of the dogs were outside the whole day)! It was lots of fun to have Carter with us to celebrate. He had a busy day of being passed around and loved on...he had to take 3 long naps to recover from such a fun day.
We are looking forward to a big Lovoy family Christmas celebration tonight and then it is off to Decatur on Christmas Day for all of the Willis family Christmas celebrations.
Our family wishes your family a very Merry Christmas and hopes that God will continue to bless your family in the New Year!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Carter and Mommy
to Nick--and to Chris! Thirty years ago today, my wonderful husband joined the world...or as he says, he kicked his brother out so that he could join the world. One of my favorite stories about Nick is the one that his mom tells about not knowing that she was having twins. They were in Ft. Benning, GA on an army base at the time, and she says that at one time the doctor said that he might have heard two heartbeats, so he could refer her to a doctor off the base, but it probably wasn't anything to be concerned about. After she delivered Christopher, she said that a nurse (I think) said to her, "you didn't tell me you were having twins," and Deborah replied, "that's because you just told me!"
I am so incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful man as my husband, partner, and father to our little one. He never ceases to amaze me with his capacity for patience (much needed with me at times!) and love. It is so wonderful and awe inspiring to think that even as Nick was born 30 years ago and my mom was just newly pregnant with me, God was weaving together the tapestry that has become and will continue to be our life together.
Happy Birthday! We love you!
Nicholas and Christopher, can you guess which one is whom? (no playing, Willis family!)
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
BUT...while I have been meaning to say thanks, I wrote that to say that I feel like blogging in the true "blog" sense versus just updating y'all on what is going on with us, is incredibly beneficial to my psyche. I love reading blogs that update me on my friends and their families, but I also really love reading those that help me see the world a little differently--those that sometimes just have a post from the heart of the author. Like The Farleys blog, which I originally saw because of a post on The McMasters blog, where a mother who lost one of her daughters to Trisomy 18 shares her struggles and questions to know and love God in her situation. (read her Oct. 20 post "Thoughts on Today"--this and all of her posts are very revealing about God's love for us and the relationship we have with HIM)
BUT...again, I digress. So, lately, I have really been thinking about being a mom. About how much I love it. About how much I love Carter. About how much I love Nick. About how I am a me that I never knew I could be. And about how I think that blogging about it might be a nice release for me. Well, Nick is out of town and Carter is asleep, which provides the perfect opportunity for me to list just a (VERY) few things that I love about being a mom:
1. Falling in love all over again: I remember falling in love with Nick. It was wonderful, amazing...wanting to spend all the time possible with him, learning as much as I could about him--big things and little things, uncovering all of his quirks and habits and being surprised to learn that that he wanted to know all those things about me. I am experiencing the same thing now with Carter--wanting to be with him, learning all about him, uncovering quirks and habits. Not to mention how much love I feel towards Nick when I watch the two of them together...
2. Being surprised and, yet, not at all surprised: when I run my hands through my hair to find it matted together by spit-up; when the first thing Carter does after a bath is spit up all over himself; when I am exhausted, but find the energy to hold and love on my little guy; when I realize that each day brings a new day for learning and loving this beautiful gift whom God has entrusted to us.
3. Learning more about God's love for me and my relationship with HIM: Max Lucado wrote the following in A Gentle Thunder:
"Moms, why do you love your newborn?...For months this baby has brought you pain...She occupied space that wasn't hers and ate food she didn't fix...She didn't even tell you she was coming. She just came...Your back aches. Your head pounds. Your body is drenched in sweat. Every muscle strained and stretched.
You should be angry, but are you?
Far from it. On your face is a for-longer-than-forever love. She has done nothing for you; yet you love her. She's brought pain to your body and nausea to your morning, yet you treasure her. Her face is wrinkled and her eyes are dim, yet all you cacn talk about are her good looks and bright future. She is going to wake you up every night for the next six weeks, but that doesn't matter. I can see it on your face. You're crazy about her.
Why does a mother love her newborn? Because the baby is hers? Even more. Because the baby is her. Her blood. Her flesh. Her sinew and spine. Her hope. Her legacy. It bothers her not that the baby gives nothing."
He goes on to draw the parallel with Christ's love for us. It is something that I theoretically understood when I read it. Now, however, I understand it in on tangible, almost a physical, level.
4. That NOTHING looks the same to me as it did before August 27th: Someone told me that motherhood changes you. True. But, really, motherhood changes EVERYTHING. Everything that I see, think, feel, say, want, etc, etc is now informed by this beautiful life that has changed my world. Like I said before, I am a me that I couldn't have imagined before Carter.
I am a me who knows and is thankful that being a mom is what God intended for me all along.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
This past weekend, Nick and I ventured to Las Vegas with some friends to celebrate his 30th birthday (which is on the 18th!). We had a great time. We flew out there on Friday morning and met Kristi and Michael Galloway, Sarah and J. Long, Clint Mountain and Emily, and a few other couples from Birmingham. It was a great trip. Since Kristi and Michael are in DC, Sarah and J. in Birmingham, and Clint and Emily in Tuscaloosa, we don't get to see them very often, so it was great to catch up.
Nick was so happy because he got to spend a lot of time at the poker table...something he has really missed. He played cards with a group of guys fairly regularly when we lived in Birmingham, so it was nice for him to get to play with some of them this weekend. I was able to enjoy some time at the spa and hang out and catch up with the girls. We had some wonderful meals and just enjoyed being together and with our friends.
It was, however, my first overnight trip away from Carter, but I managed to do okay. My mom graciously came up to Indianapolis to keep him while we were gone--a huge THANK YOU to her, because without her keeping him, this trip would not have been possible for me--so I knew he was in good hands. I have to admit...I was really missing him, though, and ready to get home! It is so difficult to be away from him for that long!
Nick is actually headed out to California for a work trip, so Carter and I will be on our own until Wednesday! Hopefully, I'll survive being a single working parent for 3 days!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Some of my friends say that they have a hard time with daycare because it feels impersonal, the toys are ragged or "used" looking, etc. That isn't my issue at all. I know that when he is there he is happy and well cared for. My issue is that I just want to be with him. It is also funny how difficult it is for me to be passionate about things at work now. Somehow, those things just don't seem as important as they once were.
On the flip side, Carter seems to be doing incredibly well. His teacher told Nick that he is much more happy and less fussy than most of the babies they have during their first week. A friend that I work with (who has a son a week older than Carter, who will be in daycare with him) went by there yesterday and said Carter was on a play mat batting at the toys and talking--that he looked content and happy.
My friend, Christina, who has twins a few weeks older than Carter and also works, posted a comment to my last entry that said some days are better than others. I think that couldn't be more true. Today, I feel okay, at least for now. Who knows, by lunch time, I could be dissolved into a fit of tears. Hopefully not, but you never know. I find that I am also having a hard time because by the time I get home at night, I feel like there is so little time to do anything. Not to mention that the only thing I WANT to do is spend time with Carter.
I think that of all of this, the thing that makes me thank God the most is that I realize how precious a gift that Carter--and motherhood--is.
Getting Ready for Christmas!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Cashed out in my swing after my first day of school
Friday, November 23, 2007
Nick, our resident Big Green Egg grilling expert, smoked a turkey for our Thanksgiving feast. If you have never been privileged to experience Nick's cooking on the "Egg," his food is really fantastic. The turkey was wonderful...it was incredibly moist, and we have plenty to enjoy as leftovers, too! Carter even decided to wake up (early!) from a nap just as we were serving our plates so that he could join us at our Thanksgiving meal. He was too funny...it was as though he knew it was a family event and didn't want to be left out. He just sat with us at the table in his bouncy seat and smiled and cooed.
We truly have so many blessings to be thankful for every year, but this year, especially. Having Carter here with us has increased our joy as we celebrate the holidays. I find myself thinking, "will this be a tradition for our family?" "will Carter enjoy this when he is older?" "will this be something our children will want to do with their children?" It is wonderful to think about!
Nick and I were talking yesterday--we have been together for a little over 11 years, married for 5 this February--and we were chuckling about the first weekend that we hung out together. We laughed at how our life now was not remotely a consideration for us at that point. If you had told us "Eleven years from now, you'll be married, living in Indianapolis and will have just welcomed your first child into the world," we would have never believed it. I think that, now, I can't imagine life any other way...God has truly blessed us and we are thankful!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
We thought Clint,especially, would be proud that Carter's first dinner out was to a Mexican restaurant! He is learning to order-by-number early!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
...but I saw this on Jennie Marie's blog, and thought I should try it out. Ahhh, the beauty of being at home with one sleeping child. I have a feeling there will be less time for look-alike meters when I actually go back to work (the week after Thanksgiving, booooo!).
Friday, November 9, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
The day started with my taking Dontrelle to the vet before 7:00am (before I woke up Carter) for a root canal--and, yes, you read that correctly. When I got home from dropping him off at roughly 7:15am, Carter was upstairs crying and Nick was in the basement so he didn't hear him. After a morning nap and a trip to the grocery store, Nick met us at home for lunch. While pulling chips out of the pantry, I knocked a bottle of balsamic vinegar off the shelf on to the floor. It consequently broke into many shards and teeny pieces of glass and sent balsamic vinegar all over the kitchen floor, walls, etc. Meanwhile, the TruGreen man is knocking at the front door, asking us to bring Wrigley inside so that he can treat the backyard. So, since there is glass all over the floor (not to mention the vinegar), Nick (in his suit) picks Wrigley up and we close her in the bathroom so she won't prance all over the glass.
Okay, so fast forward to about 5:00pm. I went back to the vet to pick up Dontrelle, whose root canal went very well. However, for whatever reason (numbness, anesthesia, etc), he was salivating like crazy. So, over the course of the evening, he deposited pools of saliva all over our upstairs for me to clean. Not to mention that Nick and I had to give him a pill and some liquid antibiotic (FYI, giving medicine to cats is darn near impossible). In addition to ALL of that, we have to feed him moist food, which Wrigley could smell and decided--as we were going to sleep--to stand at the top of the stairs and whine to tell us how much she wanted some of it. Ultimately, we all crashed!
I have to admit, I am hoping today is much more low key! I am sure many more of these days await once I go back to work!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Carter's first Halloween was a huge success! Banks and Mary Reese so kindly loaned him their first Halloween costume so that he could be a frog tonight. And what a PRECIOUS frog he is! (if I do say so myself) He was a terrific sport. He didn't mind the costume at all, nor did he mind us dragging him around trick-or-treating. He even managed to grab quick snoozes in the car between stops.
Hanging Out with my Friend, Connor Murphy, on Halloween
Our first stop was at Deanna and Pat's house so that we could hang out with them and let Connor and Carter get their Halloween picture taken together. We can't wait until they can trick-or-treat together...it won't be long. After visiting with the Murphys, we headed to the Gilroys' house to trick-or-treat. Thanks to both families for having us hang out for a little bit. We tried to make a few more stops, but everyone was out trick-or-treating, so we missed a couple of people. So sad...maybe next time!
On a different note (yet equally exciting!), Carter got in to Lilly's Child Development Center! He will be in the Red Caboose room. I am beside myself with excitement! When I toured the center, I would have left him there that day if I could have (only I was pregnant at the time); that is how comfortable I felt. The children were so happy, the staff and teachers were incredible, and I just felt good about it, in general. We just got the call yesterday, and Carter will start on November 26th! Such a blessing from God. We have been on the waiting list since last January, and I have been praying that God would help us find the right place for Carter spiritually, mentally & physically, and I know this is an answer to our prayers. Please say a prayer of praise for our good news!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Later on Thursday evening, our friends Deanna and Pat, had their baby! Since they didn't know what they were having either, we were super excited to find out that Carter has a new friend to play with--Connor Murphy! Carter and I went up to the hospital on Friday to meet Connor and check on his parents. All were doing well, and Connor is too precious! It was hard for me to believe that my 12 pounder was ever that small! And it was only 2 months ago.
To round out the weekend, Nick left on Friday to go to Tampa for a fishing trip for his buddy, Matt Taylor's, 30th birthday. Martie, Matt's wife, organized a boys' weekend fishing trip to help Matt celebrate, and Nick was excited to go. Yes, my friends, that meant that I was at home with Carter by myself all weekend! My mom kindly offered to come up and help me, but we decided to take her up on that offer when we go to Vegas for the weekend to celebrate Nick's 30th birthday in December.
So, Carter and I hung out on Friday during the day and two of my girlfriends came over for a girls' night on Friday night. Luckily, their husbands were traveling home from having been out of town for work at the end of the week, so we were all husbandless on Friday night! It was fun to hang out with the girls (and Carter), and it was nice to have some adult interaction. Carter and I also hung out yesterday and watched Gameday and some football, and now we are looking forward to heading to the airport to pick up Nick!
I am sorry for the lack of pictures, but Nick took the camera with him to Tampa. If he has any from his trip, I will post them soon!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Yes, we made the trip down to Alabama for a second time! Our little man continues to be a great traveler. We went down to Alabama for the UA-UT game this past weekend...what a great day to be a Tide fan! Nothing like a 41-17 victory! It sure was fun to watch all the orange leave the stadium with roughly a quarter left in the game!
This was the first Tide game for me this year (even though I went and tailgated at two others!). A huge THANK YOU to Aunt Stacey for keeping Carter so that Nick and I could both go to the game. He told us that he had a great time! When we got to Decatur on Saturday night, Debbie was trying to teach him to ask for "prizes" at Target the next time he goes with Stacey!
On another note, as you can see from one of the pictures, Carter found his thumb this weekend. While I am not really excited about him sucking his thumb, it is nice that he can soothe himself. I just had to post a picture of it because it is too cute. Hopefully, we can break the habit before too long.
It is hard to believe that he is eight weeks old today! We go back to the doctor for his two month appointment on Thursday...and his official two month birthday is Saturday! Time sure does fly. I guess that means I will be going back to work before too long. Well, at least I have five more weeks as a stay-at-home mom!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
We enjoyed what will probably be our last hot weekend this past weekend. It was 91 degrees in Indy yesterday--super hot for October here! Carter has been enjoying the weather, too. He loves to be outside, so we walked to a cute little lunch place on Friday with my friend Casey and her daughter Maureen, who is almost 4 months old. It was a beautiful day and we were able to sit outside (in the shade) and enjoy our food, the weather and the company! Nick and I took Carter and Wrigley for a walk on Sunday, and we had Carter in the Baby Bjorn for the first time. We weren't sure if he was going to like it or not because he was fussing when I was figuring out how to put him in it, but once we got walking, he dozed right off! It was much easier than trying to navigate the stroller on the sidewalks, over the curbs, around the potholes, etc!
Nick was off work yesterday for Columbus Day, and Carter and I enjoyed having him home! We went to Petit Chou for brunch (yum!) and then Nick watched Carter so that I could run some errands child-free. I even had time to stop and get a pedicure, which was a nice treat! I am missing having him home today. :(
I am happy to say that Carter is getting to the point where he can be awake and content, which is really nice. It is much more fun to be able to play with him rather than just try to console him to get him to stop crying. He is growing and changing so fast...we go back to the doctor on the 25th and I can't wait to see how much he has grown. The bad part is that he has to get his shots this visit, but everyone says this is harder on me than it is on him!
Nick and I are getting to the point where we are ready to go out sans baby, so we have been meeting babysitters and trying to figure all of that out. What fun..we are reaching yet another milestone as parents! If anyone has any babysitters they recommend, please let us know. Now, if we could just get him to sleep through the night!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Carter is one lucky little boy! There have been so many people who just can't wait to love on him! I am incredibly humbled by the many friends and family who have been so supportive to us during this wonderful transition in our lives. We have had so many friends bring yummy dinners that have helped make our evenings a little less stressful, which has been tremendously helpful. I have loved having the opportunity to have our family and friends love on the little guy (and, I must confess, sometimes it is just nice to have an additional pair of arms to hold him!).
When people have asked me how we like Indianapolis, I have always said that we like it better than we thought we would. I go on to say that we thought we would like it, but that it is even better than we expected (minus the cold weather, of course...I mean, I am a southern girl, after all). After two years, when people ask that question, I still answer with the above response, but I add how many wonderful friends we have made and how that makes Indianapolis really feel like home. I can't imagine living here without the friendships that we have made...and I certainly couldn't imagine living here without having all of my "mom" friends to call and ask my silly questions. We are truly blessed. So, all of that to really say THANK YOU to our friends who have made living in Indy wonderful and have made having a baby 500 miles away from family much easier.
On a non-sappy note...one of my friends, Susie Lovekamp (check out her blog--it is linked on the right), turned me on to www.picasa.com which can help when posting pictures to your blog. If you are interested, check it out...it is how I made the collage above!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Carter meeting his cousins
Carter meeting Gran (my Mom's mom) and Miss Martha
Carter meeting Maw-Maw (my Dad's mom)