July 20, 2014

Summer 2014

The first seven summers of our marriage have looked like this:
1. Raising support and conference in Fort Collins, CO
2. East Asia
3. South Africa
4. Jackson Hole, Wyoming (7 months pregnant)
5. Fort Collins, CO (with a 10 month old)
6. Jackson Hole, Wyoming (with an almost 2 year old)
7. Jackson Hole, Wyoming (with an almost 3 year old)



But THIS summer, y'all... We.Are.At.Home! And I could not be happier. I know it seems silly to complain about spending summers in Jackson Hole (and I really hope we go back next year), but it felt like we were long overdue to see what it's like to be a family at home for the summer and get a season of rest in our life.

Waiting on Charlie (impeccable timing, little man!) has enabled us to skip a summer project but we've certainly been keeping busy with other things. Andrew has been working hard to make sure our financial support is stable for the upcoming fall. I have been coaching three incoming interns by phone on their support-raising and Andrew has been coaching four. He has also been taking an online class through RTS. We've been connecting with students (although few) that are still in Hattiesburg for the summer and planning and praying for the fall!

For the sake of our family scrapbook, here are the other things we've been up to this summer while waiting on Charlie...

At the beginning of the summer we took a vacation with my family to Seagrove, Florida. It was the very first family vacation we have taken since either Allie or I have been married--so it was very special and so much fun.



We enjoyed the small pool at our house, eating good meals, and searching for crabs on the beach.









Wilson certainly did not ever want to leave. And really, neither did I. Thanks Mom and Dad for such a fun week that we will treasure forever!











We had about a week at home after the beach and then we headed to Florence, Alabama to celebrate Andrew's grandfather's 90th birthday! We had such a sweet time with his whole family. We love all of our grandparents dearly and it meant so much to celebrate a man who has honored the Lord with his life so well.







It was also fun to spend time with cousins!



There's not much guessing on what Charlie will look like! #harwellboys


The next week we had VBS at our church. What an incredible blessing it was to finally be able to participate! I helped with the five year olds and though it was a little exhausting, it left me being even more thankful (is that possible?) for our precious church who care so deeply about pointing even the littlest ones to Jesus. Always.



That weekend we packed our bags again and headed to Andrew's parents' lake house to meet our friends--the Uzzells and the Cunninghams. I'm realizing what a treasure it is to have friends where the husbands enjoy each other just as much as the wives do... and these two couples probably fulfill that role the best. The time was WAY too short but was filled with so much laughter and encouragement and vulnerability and I really just wanted to cry when it all ended. Here's to making it an annual trip!





Katherine has an Annie and Anna has a Catherine, and isn't that sweet? Also that wave is pretty precious, Annie!
This time is bottled up in my heart and saved forever!

We came home, unpacked, and said NO MORE TRAVELING UNTIL CHARLIE. (Truly the best feeling ever.) Andrew's parents kept two of our nephews for several days and decided to ride the train from Birmingham to Hattiesburg (brave souls) to hang out with us! It was super fun to host Brooks and Blake and I'm really excited about the friendship blooming between all the cousins... just wish we lived closer!

We also celebrated Baba's birthday this weekend! 



The next week, Andrew's parents turned back around to come help us with Project Nursery. I'm not really sure how to put into words how relieving it is to have all of that behind us. A year and 1/2 ago we found out that we had beams rotting under our house, specifically under our dining room (what is now the nursery). The first quote we got on what it would cost to repair brought us to our knees. I've never felt such a dark cloud over our lives (Amazing to see what an idol money is to me when I didn't think that it was.) Anyway... over the course of the last year, amidst lots of prayers and tears and confusion, we discovered that the first quote was impossibly more than it should have been. We got another much lower quote and scheduled (and then had to reschedule) the date to get it all fixed. In a nutshell, the Lord provided in every way possible... from the funds, to the timing, even in the price lowering more after the project was done. I hope this will be a hallmark for our family to look back upon and remember that God really is good and provides for our needs.

So Andrew's parents came to help us rip up the floors to get them ready for the foundation guys. They also helped us paint the walls, caulk, lay the subfloors... Mrs. Libby helped me organize and cook meals to freeze. We recovered the dining room chairs. She even made two batches of my recipe for granola so I could freeze one. Have I mentioned how incredible my in-laws are? If only I could be half of the servant to others as they are.





Andrew got their hard-working genes and in the midst of all of this craziness he has built a beautiful farmhouse table, made a pantry out of what was the entry going into the dining room, put up a new ceiling in the nursery AND tended to a vegetable/fruit garden that I really haven't touched.  He's just amazing, really.


I need to get a pic of the finished pantry (which is so nice!) and a better pic of the farmhouse table. Andrew also built the bench around this little nook a couple of years ago and also put in the bead board chair-railing. Have I mentioned how awesome he is?
One of my favorite parts of the summer has just been hanging out with friends. I told myself at the beginning of the summer to never say no to an outing with friends unless absolutely necessary, knowing that my days of being out and about were about to get a lot harder! So we have gotten a lot of fun playdates in...




We spent July 4th in our backyard with the Griffiths, (of course!), and Andrew's parents who were in to help with the floors. We almost lost a magnolia tree and a telephone wire due to the pyromaniac husbands.
A little over a week ago I was rear-ended. It was a pretty hard hit, but thankfully the guy just rammed into my hitch and didn't do any damage to our car. (Andrew wishes he got our bumper, though, which is currently being held together by zip ties because of a tire explosion... another story). I felt fine right after, besides a little bit of a stiff neck. I called my doctor just to be sure she didn't want to see me (I'm thinking... at the most she will want me to come in and do a quick heart beat check or something.) The nurse told me to go immediately to labor and delivery to be monitored for FOUR hours. I'm thankful we went because while being monitored I started having contractions (what?!?) and we were thinking this might be the real thing. Four hours later, still having inconsistent contractions, they sent me home telling me to come back if they became more intense and consistent. They didn't. But it was a fun pre-run! And I got to see the room I would be in with Charlie which is so much nicer than Auburn's was.

Pre-game! 

My sister, Allie, just came in for the last week to help me prepare and mostly just to keep Wilson occupied while I lay on the couch and complain. (Sorry, Allie!) She's simply the best.

Now everything is done, the crib is up, Charlie's clothes are washed, my house is clean... and we are sitting on nine days away from his due date! I've been having contractions on and off for six days now, so I'm getting a little impatient. I'm realizing how silly that is since I want him to wait until he is fully developed and ready to come out on his own... what a privilege it is to wait and rest and try to fill up Wilson's love tank...praying over his little heart that he will love being a brother.



Charlie Boy, I am overcome with the desire to kiss your precious cheeks and sing songs over you. Something is just not right here in the house without you... you are so wanted and loved already. Come quickly, Littlest Man!

1 comment:

Ali Grace Eiland said...

Can't wait to see pictures of sweet little Charlie! Also, LOVE your new pantry. Way to go Andrew!