Friday, May 5, 2017

The Latest & Greatest from the Past 6 Months

+JMJ+

The last time I wrote on the blog with any real consistency seems to coincide with the birth of Peter (our second child); considering he is going to be 2 years old in less than a month(!) that means it's probably time for a little family update....

For the sake of brevity, I will stick to the last 6 months since that's when we made our last move. That's right - you may remember that we moved (again)! This time, however, we are setting down roots. I mean it. My husband, Michael, is no longer consulting or working on long-term projects with clients. After moving around the country for about 4 years we had a crystal clear vision of what we wanted (and did not want) in the place we would more permanently call "home." So, after careful consideration and a whole lot of prayer we concluded that we should head to North Carolina.

We immediately began a novena to St. Joseph as Michael began job-searching and before the 9 days were up he had multiple job offers in our desired location. God is SO good (and we forever thank you, St. Joseph)! We knew our ideal radius for house-hunting (based on its proximity to jobs, schools, parks, churches, museums, restaurants, various amenities, you name it) and amazingly enough, we found exactly what we were looking for in the ONE weekend we could journey down from Boston to look around with a realtor. So, we bought our first (and last - for a long, long time at least) house!


And I love it.

I fully recognize that good jobs and dream homes don't typically fall into people's laps, let alone in the exact center of a very personally specific, desired location, so please believe me when I say that I am beyond grateful for how seamlessly everything panned out for us. Because of this, I firmly believe we are exactly where God wants us, and we are so ready to do what we can for His kingdom where we have been planted.

Others would say we are "lucky," but my husband and I know better; we are incredibly blessed, you guys (I'm still working on my "y'alls"). We had the Lord guiding us and St. Joseph interceding for us throughout our entire job-and-house-hunting process and we certainly give all rightful praise and honor to Him for taking care of us! Plus, it doesn't hurt that my husband is kind of a rockstar in his field of work and has the networking and negotiating skills of someone who attended a top-tier business school (which he didn't; that's all him). Here's a gratuitous picture of me with my man that I'm so proud of:


Ever since our move back in October we have just been settling in, slowly decorating the house, exploring our new area, making friends (I launched a Catholic moms group with a friend which certainly helps expedite that process), enjoying multiple visits from various family members and friends (who are probably happy we no longer live in apartments or townhouses with little to no space for guests), etc. We've been to the mountains, the beach, and I've been constantly seeking out all my new favorite local "mom" spots to take the kids.

Speaking of the kids, BOY have they grown!


Gabriel (pictured above on the left) is currently 3.75 years old (to be exact) and Peter (right) is 23 months. Don't be fooled - Gabriel is slouching a bit, but they aren't the same height (yet).

The vast majority of what I've been doing all these months I have been absent from the blog has been taking care of these two sweet boys. It's an honor to be their mother and something I strive not to take for granted for even one second. They are the best of brothers and are constant companions, even in the midst of play dates with several other kids their age(s).

It's a good thing that Gabriel is such a caring, thoughtful big brother because...


as he says, this coming October "we will be a 5 family!"


Peter doesn't quite understand the big news yet,


but he DOES love chocolate, which is what we promised to give each of the boys if they could smile at the camera. Look at that chocolate-loving grin:

Shout-out to Annunciation Designs on Etsy for their custom-order tees!

Meanwhile, Gabriel is genuinely excited!!! It's the first time any of our children have been old enough to really comprehend the news about a baby joining our family and participate in the anticipation. He is convinced the baby is a girl and regularly asks how big the baby is. For weeks he kept begging to "see the baby," though after witnessing a couple of ultrasounds he now understands that only the doctors have "the cameras that can see inside" my belly.


So, if nothing else, this announcement explains at least the past 3 months+ of blogging silence as I have been busy growing and taking care of a new life. All of these photos were taken when I was just shy of 12 weeks pregnant, so here's a final one to fully catch you up to speed:


And that's probably the last time I'll be able to fit in that "Mama bear" shirt for awhile. 

So there you have it! All the latest and greatest news around these parts. We are really happy, excited, and hopeful about this time and place in our lives. After years of constantly moving and "starting over" with everything, it feels good to allow ourselves to once again really live in our community with no uncertain plans for leaving any time soon. And how wonderful to know that this is my first pregnancy during which I will NOT be packing up and moving (praise God).

Here's to putting down roots, nesting in our "forever" home, and knowing which hospital in which I will for sure get to meet this child face to face!

"Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate."
Psalm 127:3-5

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