And all of this with a particularly cute three month old.
Charlie brings lots of light to my days. He loves "talking" (just like Brother). Even when I put a pacifier in his mouth to rock him to sleep he is still desperately trying to get out his last words.
His smiles are just the very best! He shrugs up his shoulders and puts his chin down with all sorts of coyness and it's enough to make me faint from the cuteness of it all!
I'm still rocking him to sleep for every nap, partly because I'm soaking up every bit of baby and partly because I'm not ready for crying it out just yet.
He's not sleeping through the night, although he's given us a couple six hour stretches... Only to be followed by up every hour stretches, but I know this is a season so I feel a little more reasonable about all of that than I did with Wilson.
He loves loves loves Brother and no one can make him squeel with joy quite like he can.
He has also started grabbing and holding onto things, so I've given him this little doll Mom gave us when we found out we were pregnant. We named him Mo, because that's what Wilson wanted to name Charlie... "Like on the Free (Three) Stooges!"
Charlie found his hands this month followed by his feet and he spends his time sucking on fingers and playing with toes. It's about as cute as you can imagine and also we have drool EVERYwhere.
We started this month with our Fall Retreat with students in Dauphin Island. We had 20 students come to be encouraged in the gospel and pray and think about what it would look like for God's kingdom to come at Southern Miss.
Andrew's parents came to cook and serve all the meals and I just have no words for the blessing that was... Freeing the rest of us up to linger in significant conversations with students. We love you, Grandan and Baba!
For me, it was a terribly hard weekend of Charlie's first away from home trip and I had many "Why am I here?" moments. But I'm learning that ministry makes more sense when we are in it as a family and if I can push through the hard (and be okay with the imperfection of it all) then I can experience some really sweet moments.
And my boys get to experience those sweet moments, too.
A couple of weekends later we spent our fall break at the lake with our dear friends, Nathan & Kim, and their twin girls, Abbie & Evie.
It was such a life giving weekend with intentional conversations, s'mores, fall boat rides, and silly songs. Those girls stole my heart and maybe Wilson's too!
We had a visit from a best friend, Sarah. Any time with her is good for my heart and she loves on my boys so well.
We also took a little morning trip to Auburn (and I wanted to burst into tears the whole time because Auburn!! I just love that town.) It was Charlie's first trip so I'm sure you can guess how special that was to Andrew.
The next weekend we headed to Kentucky (It had been six months since our last visit!)
My parents took us to a new local museum that had airplanes, race cars, trains, water play, fish... Basically Wilson's idea of heaven.
On Saturday they had family over for lunch and Charlie (and Wilson!) got to meet family they had never met who live far away... So many aunts and uncles and cousins were just so precious to make the drive to spend time with us. It was good to be home and good to be with family. (And good to be with fall foliage---I miss you, golden leaves!!)
This month has also been busy with ministry. One of the goals of October was to get in front of every Greek new member class and share the gospel with them. We've been doing pledge swaps, meaning pairing fraternities and sororities, and so far have been able to get in front of ten! More have been lined up for next week and we are so grateful to have such a good relationship with the Greek community here.
The Phi Mu chaplain put together a co-ed Bible study with Sigma Chi and asked Andrew and me if we would come lead it last night. What a privilege! We got to talk to over 40 students about how we can give thanks in the midst of pain and suffering... And again, offer Jesus.
Because He is not just the "Sunday School answer"... He's the answer. And as Andrew says, our ministry is only successful when we act as John the Baptist did--continually pointing to Jesus saying, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" We long for our students to just behold Jesus. And I long to do the same. My life feels like one big episode of hoarders right now--literal mess and figurative mess and it's a daily surrender to take my gaze off off the chaos and gaze upon the One who shepherds my soul.
Another post to come on Halloween because this one is long enough.