Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sharing The News With Our Families

Christmas 2011 was full of special moments that we will never forget. Here is the scoop on how our parents found out that they are going to be "grandparents" and how our brothers found out that they are going to be "uncles"! 

For starters, I rode up to Chattanooga with a friend on Wednesday night (December 21) so that I could attend a Mother/Daughter brunch with my dear high school friends & their moms on Thursday morning. Brandon was working on Thursday and planning to drive in that night. I used every bit of self-control to not say a word on the car ride Wednesday night AND when I arrived at Mom and Dad's house that evening. We talked about work and any other topic that came up...and I was just thankful to feel somewhat decent in the evenings 'cause at that point in the pregnancy...I had been sleeping a ton and spending most of my days in the bed or on the couch with the heavy nausea. Thursday morning rolled around and I got up, got dressed, headed downstairs to the kitchen where Mom had asked me to pull the "Greek Frittata" out of the oven while she ran upstairs to finish getting ready. It was about the time that I was pulling that out of the oven where the myriad of smells hit me and I had to go back upstairs. I called Brandon and told him that I don't think I'm going to be able to push through and "fake it" with not being sick and he encouraged me to not worry and to take care of myself and the ladies would (eventually) understand. So I hopped back in my pajamas and into my bed. Mom came around the corner and said, "Ready to roll, sissy? Sissy! Are you ok, sweetheart?" I told her that I was fine and that there had been something going around the office this past week that I think had hit me. I told her that I think I better rest so that I can enjoy Christmas and not get any worse but to please go ahead to the brunch without me. She totally understood and asked if she could bring me anything. A piece of toast with almond butter later, she was on her way to the brunch and I went back to sleep. 

It would not paint the full picture for you if I didn't insert a few extra details here. First, I sleep like a rock. So for anything to wake me up, it must be loud. Second, I woke up from my sleep to this loud noise above my room -- coming from the roof. I went downstairs and asked Parker (my brother) what in the world was going on and he informed me that we were getting a new roof today! Oh perfect, right as I am trying to sleeeeeep! SO...he brings me the noise-isolating headphones that you wear while hunting. I make my way downstairs to the guest bedroom so that I'm on the first floor and no longer right under the roof work.

Here is the photo that Parker took of my heading back to sleep WITH the headphones!
Sweet Major kept me company all day...all Christmas really!!!

So on with the story...that afternoon my Mom got home and we were visiting about the brunch. "SIS! The MOMS all think you're PREGNANT!" I say, "Oh Mom, you're so sweet. No, I'm positive it's not that and I'm sorry to get your hopes up." (I had already practiced this whole speech with Brandon 'cause I didn't want to lie!! HA!) She tilts her head down and says, "Ok..." (Come to find out later that she shoots the moms a text that said: "Nope...Merry Christmas")  Meanwhile, I am on pins and needles waiting for Brandon to arrive. Sooner rather than later, Dad comes home from work, Steadman (Brandon's brother) comes in from Atlanta, Mom and Parker are already at the house, and Brandon arrives from Birmingham. PHEW! Everyone is finally at the house!! Brandon and I put a "special gift" in the tree (my Dad is notorious for hiding a special gift in the tree each Christmas) and we gather the family into the living room for ONE special gift, pre-Christmas. (We had already made the decision to share the news on Thursday night and not wait all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday to actually be on "Christmas day" since I felt so gross and didn't want to be faking it the whole time...and this would give us longer to celebrate in person and start everyone's week off on a happy note!)

We were all gathered in the living room and had given each person a gift. After the brothers had said, "Who do you want to open first?!" and we said, "How about Mom & Dad!" ... Mom and Dad started to open their present. Dad was in the middle of reminding us not to throw wrapping paper in the fireplace because of what happened one Christmas when we did...And at about that time in his story is when Mom and Dad opened the gift box and this song started playing. (It was one of those cards from LifeWay that plays a song when you open it up) Dad's story paused and that's when he saw a picture of Brandon and I with an arrow pointing to my belly saying that "Your first grand baby is on the way. Due August 2012!!!" When dad saw the word "grand baby"...he jumped up and started hugging us! Mom was reading the card and saw, "Dear Suzie & Pops"...and when she saw "SUZIE" she knew something was up...because that was the grandmother name she wanted to be called!! We all start hugging and the tears of joy start falling. It was such a special moment. We recall the details of the morning and afternoon and Mom told me that I could have won an Academy Award for the acting I did in the guest room when I convinced her that I wasn't pregnant! She really believed me which I was so thankful for because I wanted her to be surprised in THIS moment!!! Needless to say, we put the brothers' gifts back under the tree for later (!!) as that was truly a decoy for the special gift we had for Mom and Dad, which was in essence a gift for the entire family. 
After a sweet dinner filled with so much JOY, Brandon and I called his parents to deliver an "early Christmas gift" and they were beside themselves as well! The first grand baby on both sides of our families :) It's been such a blessing to share in this special time with them and have their prayers, encouragement and support. There are so many other things we could share to add to these special days...but you've read a long enough novel for now! If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! 
Closing statement from the man of the house: "As Whit shared, it was such a blessing to US to see how much joy this news gave our parents AND our brothers. We know that this baby is going to be sooo very loved! Christmas 2011 is one of those highlighted events in our marriage that we will always cherish." 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Moment We Found Out!

The night we found out we're gonna be PARENTS!!!

As you probably remember, B and I went out to San Diego at the first of December for his company's Christmas Party. I will never forget that Saturday night at dinner. We had spent a relaxing day on the beach and were all dolled up in our fancy clothes for a fun celebration that evening. They served a delicious five course dinner and had a full band breaking it down with the tunes! I remember telling B that I wasn't going to last much longer (it was around 10:30pm, San Diego time...so around 12:30am Bham time...) and that he was more than welcome to come back down and hang out with some of his friends but that I may need him to take me up to the room and tuck me in for the night. For anyone that knows me, this was a bit out of character. I am normally the one who cranks up the tunes at the later in the evening hour and B is the one who has to normally get me settled down for the night. I remember feeling awfully tired and so relieved to finally be up in our bed. That night I was reading ahead in my "Jesus Calling" devotional (cause sometimes I anticipate what the next day's message is) and the title of the day was "I Am Working On Your Behalf"...I remember the part that said: "Spend time allowing My Light to infuse your dreams with life, gradually transforming them into reality." (I remember thinking, my dream is to be a Mom. I had just had a talk at dinner with the wife of a guy Brandon worked with and I had just been sharing with her about this heart's desire). Then here are the two verses I read:

"For with you is the fountain of LIFE; in your light we see light." -Psalm 26:9

"Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his hold age, at the very time God had promised him..." -Genesis 21:1-7

I remember when I saw the word "pregnant" in that Genesis verse...I didn't even have to read the rest of the message. I had this peace in my heart that I cannot explain, where I shut the book, put it on the nightstand, closed my eyes and thanked the Lord that I was pregnant. I just knew that I was. Brandon and I had been praying for the Lord to bless my womb and I just knew in that moment that He had. We brought a pregnancy test with us on this trip for me to take a test that Sunday morning since that would have been a week after the previous test we had taken -- which had been negative. We had heard that sometimes you can take the test too soon or sometimes your hormone levels may not be high enough to show up just yet -- so we had been encouraged NOT to worry and to simply REST and take our minds off of trying to figure it all out. Needless to say, that week was not easy. It felt like every single person I saw, read about on Facebook, and so forth was pregnant or with their children...but I had to take my thoughts captive and know that God's plans for me were perfect, my body was totally in line with what He has created, and that I must trust Him in this whole process. 

When B came into the room around 1:00am San Diego time (which was 3:00am Bham time)...he was being Mr. Chatty and I told him (through half sleep talking), "Babe, don't wake me up 'cause you know in the morning when I wake up...we're taking the test and I want to have the first morning urine and right now it's still the middle of the night". At that point he starts saying, "Take the test, take the test, take the test!" Well, that was all it took to pull me out of sleep and into the bathroom. By the time I went in to take the test...B had now started falling asleep. I had the pregnancy test up on the counter and started noticing a double pink line showing up in full force and said, "Hun...you may wanna come in here!" Lo and behold, he hopped right up and into the bathroom and we celebrated together that I am pregnant! It was surreal! Our hearts were overjoyed and continue to overflow with each passing day. That night B prayed the sweetest prayer for all three of us (!!) and we both slept so soundly...after it took me awhile to fall BACK asleep after all the excitement! 

I still thank the Lord for the good health I was in on that trip of flying across the country for that long weekend. I was feeling great and truly thankful for the time of rest and togetherness we had in the midst of such a busy time of the year. It was the most precious pre-Christmas gift for us to find out this news at the beginning of the season. We got back to Birmingham and did not say a word until Christmas...and that's a story for another day! 

Closing statement from the man of the house: There is no one else I'd rather be with on this journey but Whit. We cherish every moment and look forward to sharing them with you. It's fun to be able to bring you up to speed now on what the past couple of months have looked like for us in our marriage. It's been such a sweet time."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Baby Nall is on the way!!!

Without further ado...we have some news to share with YOU!

Oh my goodness gracious! Our hearts are truly overflowing with joy as we write these words...Baby Nall is on the way and due the first week of August!!! It's been all we could do to not share the news before now but we have really had the most precious time with the Lord and with each other, soaking in this news and praising the Lord for the miracle of life! 

It feels so nice to not "keep a secret" any longer and I know our parents can agree with that statement! We shared the news with our families at Christmas and it was such a sweet Christmas gift to us to see their excitement!! It's been quite funny to sit here each week and THINK about what we CAN post on the blog (up to this point) since we haven't been sharing each and every detail of the pregnancy along the way: including the nausea that came around week 6, the purchase of a mini-van (no joke), B serving me breakfast in bed for weeks on end (without ever complaining), and many more things that I'm sure we'll have the opportunity to share at some point. 

Speaking of which...I know you have many things you want to know! One of the most commonly asked questions is, "How are you feeling" so I will go ahead and tell you...MUCH better! We counted each day of the heavy nausea ALL JOY knowing that it means the hormones are high and the baby is growing! It is a blessing to feel somewhat normal again, ie: I can do the dishes without having to sit down for a break and I can be in the kitchen without wanting to "toss my cookies" from the variety of smells. Ha! It really was true for us that the beginning of the second trimester was a real "turn of the corner" as far as all that nausea went. I'm now 15 weeks and still realizing that I'm no where close to invincible and I can take a nap at the drop of a hat! Needless to say, the "nest" on our couch has been setup since the beginning of December...B is loving that! 

SO much more we could say but we'll save other blog posts for that!!! In the meantime, we thank you in advance for all of your prayers! This has been and will continue to be a "walk of faith" and the verse that continually comes to mind is Psalm 126:3, "The LORD has done GREAT things for us, and we are filled with JOY." 

Closing statement from the man of the house: "I'm going to be a DAAAAAAD!!! I'm excited about the supernatural strength I will inherit known as 'Dad strength' ... This is from the Lord because I will have the opportunity to fight for my family in a whole new way. Hmm...heavy stuff. Whit has been amazing through the process. Team Nall is growing stronger by the day!"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Life & Peace

Dreaming of being back in this setting...soon & very soon!
This photo symbolizes LIFE & PEACE!!! 

Right now we are in the middle of a few weekends in a row where Brandon and I are out of town in separate places. On top of that, this week has been extra busy and we are pooped. {Having these weekends where we are in separate places sheds light on how much we value our quality time on the weekends because weekdays are long with working and then we're exhausted by the time we've finished dinner and so forth} It's one of those nights where there is so much to say but not enough time or energy to put it into words...I'm sure you know the feeling! 

If we could sum up what the Lord has been teaching us lately, it would be summed up in these two words: LIFE and PEACE. Here are two verses to give further insight...

"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is LIFE and PEACE." -Romans 8:6...This verse has helped remind us to SPEAK LIFE. Whether we're super busy at work, faced with the unknown, or this that and the other...we want our minds to be controlled by the Spirit. 

And even in the midst of this busy time, we are reminded that..."A heart at PEACE gives LIFE to the body..." - Proverbs 14:30 ... We desire a heart at PEACE. 

So very thankful to know the Lord...for He is our LIFE and our PEACE. Have a blessed week!