Friday, December 28, 2007

Wonderful Christmas!

Every Christmas is special and wonderful, but this Christmas was even more so as we had Carter here to celebrate the birth of our Savior with us! He is such a delight and had so much fun as we celebrated Christmas with so many of our family and friends this season.

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 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

Merry Christmas...and a Happy Growing Boy!

Trying to open my present from the Locketts
Mom giving me a little help

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

Dear Santa Claus...

Bundled up on the way to see Santa

Sitting on Santa's lap

...I am wishing for an exersaucer, a bumbo, some socks and shoes and WARM WEATHER!
(our little southern boy, we're so proud of him!)

Carter had his first visit with Santa Claus on Sunday. We went to the Santa brunch at Highland with the Murphy family (check out their cute pics from the brunch!) and had a great time eating, visiting with friends and meeting Santa. Carter and Connor both were so well-behaved while the adults ate and neither one cried when they were on Santa's lap.

Carter and I have been enjoying time together this week, since I am on vacation from work. It almost seems like when I was on maternity leave except that I have been running around like a crazy woman trying to finish my Christmas shopping. Hopefully, after tomorrow, we can be a little more relaxed.

The next doctor visit for the little guy is on Thursday. We are looking forward to seeing Dr. Bergstein and finding out how much he has grown. I am not looking forward to the shots, though...I swear it is harder on me than it is on him. We'll report the stats--and the percentiles (Nick's favorite!)--after the visit.

Carter and Mommy

Happy 30th Birthday

Nick at 1 month old

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!)

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Baby Its COLD Outside!

Our house in the snow
We aren't messing really is cold outside! This weekend we got about 5 inches of snow. We got about 2.5 inches on Saturday morning and about another 2.5 inches late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Like true Southerners, Nick, Carter and I spent the entire day Saturday, not only inside, but in our PJs! It was lovely. I am not a fan of snow under any circumstances; but if I had a preference, I would rather it snow when I don't have to get out in it!
We did, however, manage to get out of our PJs today and get out of the house. That meant that Nick had to shovel the driveway, which is a task he absolutely LOVES (as I am sure you can imagine!). I had to laugh as I watched him from our upstairs window. We have twin six-year-old girls who live next door and as he was shoveling snow, they were sneak-attacking him with snowballs! He started fighting back after a while. It was priceless! I wish I had thought quickly enough to snap a picture. At least I managed to get the girls playing in the snow.
The twin girls next door playing in the snow

A look down our street
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Since the inception of our blog, we (I, mostly) have used it to update our friends and family regarding what is going on in our lives and all of the wonderful experiences we are having with Carter. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. But I have been thinking lately how cathartic it was to use the blog to express how I was struggling with being away from Carter when I first went back to work (FYI, still struggling, but doing much better). It was incredibly wonderful to receive the posts, phone calls, e-mails and cards that our amazing family and friends extended as support to me during such a difficult time. I know that I owe you all a lot of credit for getting me through all of the tears that I shed that first week and half. So, thanks.

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!
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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

my first attempt at a magnolia wreath
hanging the advent ornament on the tree
We have been decorating for Christmas around the Willis household this week. We were going to go as a family to pick out our Christmas tree last Friday night after work, but Carter was fussy and sleepy, so he napped and Nick went to get the tree while I stayed with Carter. Nick managed to get the lights on the tree on Sunday while I put up the rest of the decorations and created a magnolia wreath for our front door. For the past two years, Nick's mom has made a magnolia wreath for our door, but this year I had to tackle the assembly myself (Debbie sent me the magnolia branches! thanks!). I must say; it doesn't look too bad. It isn't as pretty as the ones Debbie and Andrea make, but not too shabby for a rookie. We capped off our Christmas decorating by putting the ornaments on the tree last night; so now our house looks as festive as we are feeling!
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