Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Call Me, Maybe?

+JMJ+

Originally I wrote a long piece all about being "busy" and what that means when you're single vs. being married and having a baby...because they are both legitimate ways of being busy in entirely different ways.

But then I finished writing and realized it was an unnecessarily lengthy, more eloquent way of saying "just because I had a baby recently doesn't mean I'm too busy to receive phone calls from people - but it does mean it's more difficult for me to call my friends...so please don't worry about me being "busy" and just call me if you want to talk...because honestly I'm craving some adult conversation." And I am certainly too busy to take the time to edit and re-read all of that when I could just keep it simple like this. So I'll keep it short and sweet:

The reality is that being a stay at home mom is insanely rewarding...but it can also be insanely lonely (and thanks to posts like this one from Jenny I know this is a common issue for other SAHMs). I mean, I absolutely adore Gabriel and spending all my waking hours with him but as a three week old baby he isn't exactly the best conversationalist yet. ;)

Do you think he has enough pandas to stare at?
A glimpse of what I'm busy doing these days :)
So to whichever of my real life friends actually read this blog: please don't worry about me being "too busy." I'd really like to stay connected and catch up with my friends...but my unpredictable schedule combined with sleep deprivation and postpartum hormones makes it more difficult for me to just pick up the phone and call. But oh, if you call me - that's so much easier! If I'm truly unavailable I won't answer. No harm no foul...although I guarantee your missed phone call will motivate me much sooner to spend a few minutes in between my day-long cycle of nursing, burping, changing, holding, and entertaining Gabriel to get in touch with you...because otherwise, who knows how long it will be before I feel like I'm in enough of a routine to start calling up all my friends to chat? It may never happen for all I know.

And to all of you whom I've never met in real life that read my blog: please rest assured that your kind words of encouragement, your prayers, and all of your wonderful blogs have certainly been a source of comfort and sanity for me these past few weeks. Please keep writing so I always have something to read when I'm spending hour after hour nursing. :)

"It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?"
-Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Liebster Awards, Part 3

+JMJ+


I first heard about the "Liebster Awards" back in February when Stephanie C. of Captive the Heart nominated me for one. Shortly after, I was nominated again by Patty of Tales of Me and the Husband. Well, some people may get tired of these things but personally I think it's a really fun way to get to know new bloggers! So when Patty's sister, Annie, who blogs at This Northern Belle nominated me this month I was honored and excited to have something relatively easy to blog about in my postpartum days. Thanks so much for the nomination, Annie!

Annie actually nominated me back on August 5th - the day I gave birth to Gabriel! - so it's taken me a little while to remember and get settled enough to follow through on her nomination. Don't remember how the Liebster Awards work? Here's a recap:



Eleven facts about me:

  1. Even though I've been married for nearly 11 months I still love wedding shows (and am currently watching David Tutera's My Fair Wedding on Netflix).
  2. I think anyone who knows me would say that I'm a neat freak and a clean freak...and I'd agree with them.
  3. Even though we just moved to Florida from Michigan I am forever an Indiana girl and a proud Hoosier.
  4. I normally (meaning when I'm not pregnant or recovering from childbirth) have very thin fingers and my engagement and wedding rings are a size 4. It's kind of killing me that I haven't been able to wear them for several months!
  5. I used to donate plasma twice a week when I was in college.
  6. For the past 5 years I've been sponsoring a little boy in the Philippines through CFCA (perhaps some of you would like to do this, too?!). 
  7. After college I did a year of volunteer service through Dominican Volunteers USA. It was a tough, formative year (often not in the ways I would have expected) with lots of ups and downs and I certainly wouldn't recommend it for everyone - but no matter what I forever love love love Dominicans. :)
  8. My top 2 "love languages" (according to when I took the test 3 years ago) are Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service.
  9. My Meyers-Briggs personality is "ISFJ."
  10. I really love inspirational quotes and have a small quote book (that I need to add a LOT more to). :)
  11. I am all about doing things naturally and/or using natural products when possible...but this does not and will probably never apply to childbirth because let's be real - epidurals ARE amazing. Once I received my epidural I repeatedly said that I have absolutely zero desire to ever go through a 100% natural childbirth. Z.e.r.o.
Annie's questions for me:
  1. What is your favorite thing to cook/bake? Anything in the Crockpot (what a time-saver!).
  2. If you could invite three people to dinner (living, dead, real or fictional), who would it be? I'm going to go with my gut and not think about this too much...and just say Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis would be pretty great company.
  3. What is your dream vacation? A European tour that makes sure to stop in Rome.
  4. What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day? Staying home and cuddling with my husband...if it's a weekend and that is an option. :) Otherwise I'd say sitting on the couch and sipping on a warm beverage while reading or watching a movie.
  5. What was your dream job when you were a kid? First a pediatrician...then an orthodontist. No,
    I'm not a nerd at all.
  6. Apple or oranges? Most of my life I would have said oranges...but marrying Michael changed that and now I'd definitely say apples!
  7. What is your favorite beverage? Hmm.... Can I say coffee, hot tea, wine, and dark beer? Not all at once, of course! But normally I just drink lots and lots of water all day long.
  8. What is something that made you laugh recently? About ten minutes ago watching Gabriel sleep on my lap made me laugh because he was laughing and smiling while dreaming. :)
  9. Favorite holiday? Christmas!
  10. What book do you most recommend? I'm not sure but I'm guessing it would be something Catholic.
  11. Beach, city, new culture? Which do you prefer for a weekend getaway? I like it all! As long as there's something fun to explore - whether it's urban, rural, tropical, etc. - it doesn't matter much where I go. To me, who I'm with is more important than where we go. :)
And finally, instead of nominating new people and creating new questions I'll simply direct you to the handful of awesome people I nominated the first time around:

{1} Liz  
{2} Celeste  
{3} Teresa   
{4} Kelley

Thanks again, Annie, for the nomination! You all should head over to This Northern Belle and show her some love! 

"You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your 'friends.'"

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Facebook and Complete Trust within Our Marriage

+JMJ+

Many moons ago I wrote a piece about social media within my marriage; in short, it described the process Michael and I went through as we prepared for a lifetime of marriage and how we decided what role(s) social media would have in our lives together. Perhaps the biggest take home message from that post is that different things work for different couples - but any couple that is serious about making their marriage a top priority should probably (in this day and age) take the time to evaluate whether or not social media contributes to or takes away from their union with one another.

Back in April I also wrote a piece about giving up Facebook for Lent...and how it seemingly strengthened my friendships rather than weakening them. I guess you could say I've hardly hidden my strong feelings about Facebook and/or other social media outlets on here, but again - not everything is bad! It all depends on how you utilize it.

So where am I going with all of this? Haven't I said everything there is to say about Facebook and/or social media and marriage? You probably wish....

Recently I logged in to my husband's and my Facebook account (that's right, we share one account together) and saw that one of our friends posted this on their page:


Har har.

Well, I read the comments people had written and they were all along the lines of how people that share a Facebook account are clearly controlling and/or suspicious of their loved one (who will cheat if they want to regardless of whether or not you try and keep tabs on them)...and said friend even jokingly commented (I'm paraphrasing here to save you the crass nature of his true words) that such couples may as well do everything, including go to the bathroom, together. Imagine that general concept but in far more crude terms and I think you get the picture.

I immediately wanted to comment on the photo and point out that - believe it or not - some people share a joint account for practical reasons that have nothing to do with not trusting one another...but I didn't. After all, if people want to assume that Michael and I share an account together for particular reasons - who cares? I don't. In a way, this small scenario echoes what it is to be married in a much larger sense - because at the end of the day what matters most is not what other people think about your marriage or the decisions you and your spouse make together. Rather, what's most important is that my husband and I are on the same page...which is precisely how and why our joint Facebook account was created in the first place.

I'll be the first to admit that some couples can have very healthy marriages while utilizing various social media outlets on a daily basis...but I'm also keenly aware of how quickly such things can be abused and/or can turn into a very unhealthy, negative aspect of a relationship as well. For Michael and me, we didn't decide to share one Facebook account together out of fear or worry that the other person may become involved in inappropriate online interactions. Instead, we chose willingly to forego our separate accounts out of mutual trust, understanding what role we wanted Facebook to serve within our married lives, and authentic love that gives our whole lives to one another. Is it important to maintain our individual personalities and friendships after getting married? Absolutely! But was it really important for us to use Facebook - of all things - to do that? Not really. Because neither of us place much value in the website and we wanted it to play a minimal role in our daily lives. By sharing our account only one person needs to check it and let the other person know if they see anything noteworthy happening with one another's friends...and we can spend the rest of that free time not wasted on Facebook on what's really important: loving God and one another.

I'm sure some of you can relate to what I'm saying and I'm also sure that several of you won't. But that's the thing - different things work for different couples and a lot of Michael's and my decisions surrounding social media have to do with not only our priorities but also our personalities. I acknowledge that even people with our same priorities may not relate to our path simply because they have different personalities and use their time online in ways that work well with their real life relationships. For Michael and me, however, we simply don't place enough value in Facebook these days to have a strong desire to maintain individual accounts when we could be doing other things. Plus, through sharing one account we can easily notify all of our friends of major life changes in one, single status update. Done and done. Less time wasted online, more time spent living our lives.

Social media can do a LOT of good in this world just as it can also do a LOT of damage. So at the end of the day, who are we to judge someone based on their approach to social media? It can be utilized in sooo many ways (positive and negative) and I believe that every individual (and married couple) should discern for themselves what the best ways for them to be involved (or not) in social media are. However big of a deal it may have seemed to our friends when we created a joint Facebook account was probably equal to how big of a deal it was not to us. So do what you do without worrying about the online world's reaction...but hopefully whatever you decide leads you to glorify God and honor any Sacramental vows you've taken.

"There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love."
1 John 4:18

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How Gabriel Got His Name

+JMJ+

As I chatted with a friend last week we happened to discuss how Michael and I chose the name Gabriel for our son. While the basic explanation is relatively brief, it got me thinking that perhaps I should put it down more fully in writing for posterity's sake.

Choosing Gabriel's name was not difficult for us. Shortly before we knew the gender of the baby we spent an hour or so jotting down potential name ideas for both boys and girls. I had already been reflecting on my relationship with my husband and how we had developed a devotion to Mary together. Not only did I trust in Mary's prayers and guidance for me as I discerned whether or not I was called to marry Michael, but the rosary had become a crucial part of our shared prayer life when we were long distance (me in Chicago, him in Ann Arbor). We tried hard to always incorporate prayer into our interactions - even if it meant only a quick Hail Mary at the end of our long, late-night phone conversations from miles apart. Ultimately when Michael proposed it was after praying the rosary together at a perpetual Adoration chapel called Marytown.

Fra Angelico's Annunciation

Naturally, with all of these significant ties to our Holy Mother Mary threaded throughout our love story, the name Gabriel took on a special meaning. Gabriel was the archangel that announced to Mary that she would bear the child Jesus in her womb. Her fiat which allowed her to say "yes" to God's plan in this instance is the faith I personally strive for in my daily life...but the kicker that makes all of this even more perfect for our firstborn son's name is the fact that Michael and I happened to meet at a concert in a bar...on the Feast of the Annunciation. :)

I've always loved the name Gabriel and was quite pleased when I suggested it and Michael also liked it well enough to place it high on our list.

As if all of this weren't enough reason to choose the name Gabriel, there's one more little detail that made it nearly impossible to think of any other name for a boy: Michael and I were married on the Feast of the Archangels (Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael). :)

Archangels

With having met on the Feast of the Annunciation and getting married on the Feast of the Archangels, Gabriel seemed to be a very clear choice. However, we didn't tell anyone and wanted more time to think about it, pray about it, and wait until we would meet our son face to face to make the official decision.

Even though "Gabriel" was the front-runner in both of our minds, it took me a long time to refer to our son as Gabriel when I would speak to him within my womb. I wanted to make sure the name felt right so I had been praying about it for a long time. Then, one Sunday at church, I was praying for our baby and referred to him as Gabriel for the first time ever...and I felt such an overwhelming sense of peace. I remember looking up at the statue of Mary and asking her to pray for our growing family - and had asked her to help me know what name we should give our son before this happened.

After Mass that day I told Michael what had happened as I prayed and how I had felt incredibly confident that Gabriel was, in fact, the right name for us to choose...and Michael quickly agreed, saying that he had felt something similar during the same Mass! How awesome it is when God answers our prayers so clearly and at the very same time!

All of this made it very easy for Michael and me to know that we wanted to name this little baby Gabriel. The only missing link was to decide which middle name we'd like; we had narrowed it down to a couple of choices but I won't reveal too much about that process simply because we may be blessed with another son down the road and could potentially use the other name still. ;) At the end of the day "Alexander" flowed nicely with Gabriel and we both liked the combination a lot. Plus, with a meaning of "defender of men" it matched very well with Gabriel (which means "strong man of God" or "strength of God"). I mean, really. Strong man of God and defender of men? It hardly gets more manly, strong, or beautiful than that!

And that was how Gabriel Alexander came to be given his name. :)

15 days old today!

"Must a name mean something?" Alice asked doubtfully.
"Of course it must," Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh; "my name means the shape I am - and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost."
-Lewis Carroll

Monday, August 12, 2013

Selecting Bridesmaids, Part 2--Family, Friends, or Both?

+JMJ+

My man and his 9 groomsmen looking dapper on our wedding day. Brian Powell Photography.

Some of you may (or may not) remember Part 1 of my "Selecting Bridesmaids" guest post that was published a little over a month ago on Stephanie C.'s blog, Captive the Heart. Well, it's been a busy month for both Steph and myself (quick recap: she moved to another state, she just started a new job [congrats, Stephanie!], I moved to another state, then I delivered a baby!) but I finally found the time to let you know that Part 2 is now available for your perusal! Steph published it a week ago, not knowing that as she posted it I was already in the hospital in active labor with little Gabriel! :)

Head on over to Captive the Heart if you're interested in reading Selecting Bridesmaids, Part 2--Family, Friends, or Both? Even if you are happily married and not interested in reading any wedding-related tips or tricks, you should still head over to her blog to check out her most recent photo of her gorgeous, now-30-weeks-pregnant baby bump! Isn't she glowing??

“The greatest marriages are built on teamwork. A mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and a never-ending portion of love and grace.”
-Fawn Weaver

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lots and Lots of Love

+JMJ+

I cannot get over how perfect God's timing is in every single way. Today, August 10, was Gabriel's due date...but I cannot imagine what this week would have been like if he had waited to make his debut "on time." I mean, seriously. I would have missed out on a WHOLE lot of love and getting to smile at this face each day:

August 8 - three days old!
Look at those beautiful, baby blue-grey eyes. I cannot wait to see what color they permanently settle on! :) I think it goes without saying, but we just love him to pieces!

Apparently love was in the air this week because God blessed Michael's family and mine with some pretty exceptional and noteworthy events. 
  • First, we welcomed Gabriel into the world and have been dazed (in the best of ways!) ever since. 
  • Secondly, August 8th (Feast of St. Dominic!) marked the four year anniversary of my older sister and brother-in-law's wedding! They are such a wonderful witness of authentic love and I cannot imagine my life without them or my two precious nieces. Love love love!
  • Third, my sister-in-law (Michael's sister) got engaged! I don't know any details yet about when she plans to get married but she is very happy so I am very happy for her!!! She is a wonderful girl and deserves nothing but the best.
  • Also, today is my mother-in-law's birthday! How funny it would have been had her first grandson been born on the very same day. :)
  • Finally, within the same 24-hour time period that my sister-in-law got engaged, the Best Man from our wedding also got engaged to his wonderful girlfriend! I first met them in Bloomington the summer Michael and I began spending time together and they're pretty great people.
And as if that wasn't enough love to throw your way, there's this:

Born with lots of very light brown/blonde(ish) hair - adorable!
That's probably all the love and cuteness your hearts can handle before they simply explode, right?! Don't worry, I'll be back with more love and photos later on. Gotta pace ourselves here. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

"Where there is love there is life."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, August 5, 2013

Introducing Gabriel Alexander!

+JMJ+

I'll keep this short and sweet since I am still in the hospital...but I am so happy to announce that Gabriel Alexander was born at 10:14 this morning! He weighed in at 6 lbs. 13 oz. and is 19.5 inches long.

Thank you all so much for your support and prayers! We are feeling insanely blessed and happy to have this precious, healthy baby boy!







Sunday, August 4, 2013

Our Abode: Palm Beach County

+JMJ+

While our previous apartment in Ann Arbor holds plenty of sentimental value (after all, it was the very first home Michael and I shared!), I'm confident when I say that neither of us will miss it very much. It was a beautiful apartment - don't get me wrong - but when you compare it to our new apartment in Florida it simply can't hold a candle to this place. In fact, as soon we got our things unpacked and marveled at how much improved the appliances and storage space were (things that were lacking in our first place) Michael told me not to get used to it - because the fact of the matter is that this place will be pretty difficult to top once we leave here.

Long story short, we're in love with our new apartment in Palm Beach County! Even though Ann Arbor is in the Midwest, the housing there simply doesn't have the Midwestern price-tag Michael and I so dearly love about my home-state of Indiana. However, that meant that when we moved here our money went much further and we were able to get an apartment that's about a bajillion times nicer, bigger, and has much more impressive amenities (I didn't even know valet trash was a thing - but with lots and lots of diapers in our near future I can't say I will ever complain!).

Anyway, I want to share this place with you all not to brag about how much this new apartment rocks my world (because it does - more than any apartment probably should), but rather to express how incredibly grateful and joyful I am that God has blessed us so generously in the housing department this time around!

The Entrance
Left: front door and foyer (which has a small coat closet you can't see), Right: view as you enter


Dining Room
Left: View of the dining room from the living room, Right: our desk and the kitchen entrance

Kitchen
Everything about this room leaves me speechless.

Laundry Room
Left: view of the laundry room from the kitchen, Right: heavenly appliances (yes, this room has a sliding door that shuts)

Living Room
This room is even larger than it looks - pinch me now. Our new glider would never have fit by the couch in Ann Arbor! Far Right: view of the hallway that leads to the guest bathroom, linen closet, and the baby's bedroom

Guest Bathroom and Linen Closet
Guest bathroom? Linen closet? These things didn't exist in our Ann Arbor apartment.

Baby's Bedroom
In the beginning we'll put his bassinet in our room anyway...but it's nice to have the option to move him out! Plus,
this room has a walk-in closet that we can use to store winter gear and things we don't need in sunny Florida.

Master Bedroom
These photos really don't do our room any justice...but yes, that IS a walk-in closet that's larger than all the storage space we had combined in Ann Arbor.

Master Bathroom
With a 39-weeks pregnant belly I'm so grateful to have a counter that's double the length of our previous one -
because Michael and I can comfortably stand side by side and brush our teeth which seems a small miracle!

Hopefully none of you now hate me for highlighting how wonderful this new place is. Honestly I'm still in shock at how much space we seem to have and hope that I never ever take this for granted. We are blessed beyond measure and I pray that we may always recognize this and appreciate the luxuries so many of us live with in this first-world nation.

"There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things that we could use."
-Blessed Mother Teresa

Saturday, August 3, 2013

How the Seemingly Impossible has turned out to be the Most Blessed Path

+JMJ+

Have you ever felt that you were exactly where God wants you to be?

I'm talking about those times when you recognize His presence in whatever you're doing and know - you just know - that you're doing exactly what He desires for you at that point in time and place. I sincerely hope that all of you have experienced this at some point in your lives. Personally, I feel quite blessed to have had this sensation (and the wonderful peace and joy that comes with it!) on several occasions...but have felt it lately in overwhelmingly positive ways since our very recent (aka one week ago) move to Florida.

I've written before about my husband's job and how it forces us to completely surrender to God's will within our lives. We are not in control of anything other than whether or not Michael accepts or declines any given job opportunity. Beyond that, everything else is constantly up in the air along with several opportunities of varying lengths of time in various locations - making it very important that we prayerfully discern which position to accept and when.

In the ten months we've been married, there were several times we seriously thought we were about to move. Things started lining up and it would seem as if God was opening a door right in front of us as we continually prayed for His guidance. For whatever reason, none of those opportunities panned out (whether their funding fell through, they decided to hire internally, politics were involved, or Michael flat out declined positions that didn't seem to feel just right). Each and every time we moved forward trusting that none of those opportunities would take us where God wanted us to go.

Finally, it's as if the stars aligned and God presented us with a wonderful opportunity - and the timing worked. In fact, everything has worked...better than I could possibly imagine.

Most people would freak out at the prospect of moving 1300 miles when they're 37 or 38 weeks pregnant and/or believe that such a move would be impossible (with only 4 days notice, no less) - but Michael and I were both completely at peace with it. After praying for several months, we finally agreed that this one project seemed to be "the" next one and we moved forward without hesitation.

What was inside our fortune cookies when we got lunch with my mom at P.F. Chang's on Monday (right after our move to Florida was completed)
Since arriving in Florida we've been overwhelmed with how seemingly perfect everything has fit for us - whether it's been timing, apartment location (to everything - Michael's work, the church, the grocery store, etc.), or anything else that will affect our daily lives. We both also feel incredibly blessed to have been able to move a week before Michael's work project begins - because by giving us this week together God has helped us to do almost everything I could possibly hope to accomplish before the arrival of our baby. Everything has opened up and lined up for us as though God really wanted us to be here...and therefore gave us as few obstacles as possible. It's seriously amazing.

As if all of that hadn't been enough to help Michael and me recognize God's hand in all of this, He managed to find a way to make it blatantly known that we really are where He wants us right now. What happened that made it so crystal clear on top of all the countless other blessings, you ask?

Well, Tuesday night Michael and I decided to go out to dinner to celebrate how much we had unpacked. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory then randomly decided to head to the mall for a brief window-shopping visit. I didn't care much to go, but Michael really wanted to walk through Nordstrom and look at some things so I consented. Lo and behold, as I was thoughtlessly looking at a display of shirts and ties I saw someone walk right in front of me. I barely caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye but instantly knew who it was.

The man standing on the opposite side of the display table - looking at the same shirts and ties I was - was none other than Tom Crean...the head basketball coach for the Indiana Hoosiers! I immediately began to doubt myself thinking there was no way that this man was Tom Crean because I wasn't in Indiana. I was far from it. Why would he be in our new city at the mall on a Tuesday night of all places?? But because I have met him in person before, seen him in person multiple times on the court as well as at my parish (he's Catholic!) in college, and on TV, posters, and other media outlets, I knew that I was right. I grabbed Michael and asked him if he thought it was Coach Crean and he immediately agreed with me that it was.

With Coach Crean in Nordstrom (38 wks pregnant)
I pretended to be interested in the shirts for a moment longer then exclaimed, "Coach Crean!" He looked up so I introduced myself as an IU alum and shook his hand. The next few minutes he chatted with Michael and me about how he was on vacation for the week (in our new city - of all places!), when our baby is due, and we discovered that he and his wife got married in Ann Arbor...at our parish that we love so much there! After capturing the moment with a photo and going our separate ways I was flabbergasted...and grinning from ear to ear.

To anyone else this wouldn't have meant much. But to an Indiana Hoosier (unless you're my little sister who is clueless about sports and doesn't have any idea what Tom Crean looks like or who he is unless you tell her), this is a big deal. That's the beauty of how God works within our lives - tailoring experiences and blessings to us as individuals so He may speak more directly to each of our hearts.

Bloomington, Indiana is the city where I spent 5 awesome years in college, where Michael made amazing memories from completing his engineering co-ops and working his first post-graduate job, and the place where Michael and I met and first began dating. Needless to say...we love Bloomington and I l-o-v-e Indiana! For us to run into Coach Crean the first week we moved here was a huge, blatant sign to us both that God definitely wants us here; it's as if He gifted us with this God-incidence to help us realize it more deeply than we already had.

Even though this project is only 6 months (there's always potential for it go a bit longer but we'll see), I'm so looking forward to soaking up every minute of this paradise God has blessed us with! I'm excited to see what He has in store for us in this wonderful place where we'll meet our baby boy face to face for the first time. Maybe it's because I'm still giddy over having run into Coach Crean, I'm still absorbing the fact that I'll be able to take our baby outdoors in warmth this winter, or the fact that our apartment is nearly the same price as Ann Arbor but is undoubtedly a bajillion times better and more spacious...but right now I can only imagine this place to bless us with very good things. :) Thank you so so so much for all of your prayers as we moved, unpacked, and continue to prepare for Baby K___! I'm sure the smooth transition and the joys we've experienced are also due to the amount of prayer we've been generously covered with the past couple of weeks. Thank you again!

"Every outcome of every challenge should reveal how God supplies the grace to make it through the seemingly impossible." 
-Father Leo Patalinghug