Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Day In The Life

"Hello" from my 'lil blog helper!

Whew! What a past couple of days it has been!! In the past 24 hours we've had one car overheat and one car battery die. We have been counting down the days until this Friday because that is the start of our much needed family vacation! We are heading down to Dothan, AL to introduce Nelson to more family and friends...then we will make our way down to one of our favorite spots on earth...the Emerald officially introduce our dear son to the "umbrella forest" and spend time with family for a week as our toes stay hidden in the sand. Until then...

Tonight I am holding down the fort here with Nelson while Brandon is at a dinner for work. I ate the rest of the leftovers for lunch today which means I am going to be enjoying eggs for dinner! Before our heads hit the pillow tonight, there are bills to be payed, bags to be packed, cars to be charged with jumper cables, umbrellas to be dug out of the corner of the closet, and so on and so forth! Yet here I am...writing the weekly blog! We long to be "real" on here and show our true colors...and I doesn't get more real than this! Not only do we have a number of things to do around here before daybreak, but this will be our first real trip for a prolonged period of time with our baby boy! So to say there are a "few things" to be packed is an understatement!! Oh and I almost forgot to mention that I will be enjoying a piece of Ezekiel Bread with my eggs over easy...and yes, it's the bread that was salvaged after getting run over by a car last week in the Whole Foods parking lot when we left our bag of groceries on the ground and completely forgot about them until we were back at the house! See last week's post for details!! 

We were talking last night about how it's a challenge these days to find time to commit to being in the Word and connect with each other, in the midst of all the other things on our plates. Brandon was sharing how it seemed to be a lot easier for him when he was playing baseball and had "down time" when he wasn't on the field or at practice because he didn't have so many other things on his mind. I, too, was thinking back on the days when I used to have time to even...JOURNAL! Those days seem like lightyears away at this point... The marriage moment we have talked about a lot this week is how our heart's desire is to pray about finding what this new balance looks like in our lives. For any of you that are a few (or more!) steps ahead of us and a few more children down the road than us...feel free to share your thoughts or any recommendations on how to make time for our first Love, the LORD, each other, and our the midst of the busy "day in and day out" hubbub of life! We know that getting in the habit now that we're in this new season, will set the stage for many years to come...

Thank you for your prayers as we pack up tonight and hit the road tomorrow! What a treat it will be to get on I-65 South soon and very soon...! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Celebrating Progress

This week we have a lot to celebrate. When we went to the Club Foot Clinic on Wednesday for our weekly casting appointment, the doctor removed the casts as usual (this was our third set of casts) and let us know the great news that Nelson's feet are making beautiful progress. The doctor mentioned that Nelson's right foot will not need a tenotomy (the procedure that is common in between having the castings and getting the braces) and the left foot will more than likely not need a tenotomy after a few more sets of casts! This alone would have left us skipping out the door with smiles! Well...she went on to mention that Nelson will not need to get a new set of casts this week because it is time for him to be measured for his shoes and brace! In other words, we will have an entire week to bathe him, kiss his feet, rub his legs, change diapers with ease, and breastfeed what seems like a "light as a feather" baby since the casts do add quite an amount of weight. We were ecstatic! 

The 'lil cutie-pa-tootie after his bath! He loved it!!!

Leaving the doctor, we couldn't stop thanking the Lord for the wonderful progress of Nelson's feet AND for the gift of getting to love on him in all the ways mentioned above...things that may sound simple or mundane to you (and did to us before club feet) but now we have a greater appreciation for each of them. Amazing how perspective changes everything! We have so much to be thankful for and this was just a simple yet profound example to us when we experienced the joys of the little things on Wednesday! It's been the gift that keeps on giving this week as we are constantly reminded of all that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do! 

May we zoom out of the box that we get so focused on with ourselves and see the greater picture of what God is up to. Wednesday morning started off with so many praises...and by Wednesday night we had dealt with many curve balls including B getting in a fender bender (praise the Lord all are ok), Nelson and I going to pick up Brandon to get him to a meeting on time after the car situation, the three of us having a relaxing walk through Whole Foods (truly is stress relieving for us to walk around in there and enjoy the cheese samples and take it all in) to coming home from our nice outing to realize that we had left the groceries we had just purchased, and many other things in between. {Sidenote: When B went back to Whole Foods to look for the groceries, they were right where we had left the parking lot on the ground by the car! NO B said, only at the Mountain Brook Whole Foods could you leave your groceries and the people who had pulled up next to them not steal them but probably think to themselves "oh, these people forgot their items...I'm sure they'll realize it and be back in a few". When he got home with the items, he mentioned that all looks well for the most part...except for our delicious "Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread" that is now a little sideways since it got run over by a car!} Ohhhh...a day in the life! We share all that to say, we have to often remind ourselves of the quote that says, "You have to laugh at yourself or you'd cry your eyes out if you didn't!" ... Yesterday was certainly one of those days where you can feel yourself becoming more seasoned per say. Now we understand why our parents didn't freak out over the years when we called to tell them this or that...they, too, had days where they had learned from life experiences! 

Some days it seems like the plans just don't turn out how you had thought. Whether that's in a good way (for us finding out the great update on Nelson's feet) or in the hard ways (like our car situation, groceries, and everything in between) ... we are reminded by the September 17 Jesus Calling (devotional by Sarah Young) that, "You will not find my peace by engaging in excessive planning: attempting to control what will happen to you in the future...Just when you think you have prepared for all possibilities, something unexpected pops up and throws things into confusion. I did not design the human mind to figure out the future. That is beyond your capability...Commit everything into My care. Turn from the path of planning to the path of Peace." Proverbs 16:9, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." 

Tonight we are celebrating progress...both in the areas of Nelson's feet AND in our own lives. We realize more and more each day that we live in an imperfect world and nothing is in our control. As soon as we think it is, we realize that was a false expectation to begin with and are let down yet again. Thankful that HE doesn't give up on us. Each of these life scenarios bring us to our knees...right where we need to be! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Celebrating Four Years Of Marriage!

Today we are celebrating four years of marriage! It is so true that “time flies when you’re having fun”!! I remember when we first got married and Brandon was telling me one night that he had a smile on his face and how it was hard to sleep with a smile on! I thought that was too cute! Still to this day we’ll say... “Night babe, I love you! I have a smile on my face!!” Since a picture paints a thousand words...I thought it would be fun to share a few of the highlights of each year of marriage so far. 
Wedding Day - September 13, 2008
Wedding Day - September 13, 2008

A highlight of 2009...We bought our first house!

Anniversary Dinner - September 13, 2009

Celebrating our 1st Anniversary - September 2009 - Seaside, FL

A highlight of 2010...super sweet time in Nashville with dear friends! Never underestimate living in the same city with some of your favorite people :) 

Anniversary Dinner - September 13, 2010
Celebrating our 2nd Anniversary - September 2010 - Seaside, FL

In 2011...moved from Nashville, TN to Birmingham, AL 
A highlight of 2011...finding out we are pregnant (!!) while on a trip to San Diego, CA!
Anniversary Dinner - September 13, 2011

Celebrating our 3rd Anniversary - September 2011 - Seaside, FL 

A highlight of 2012...finding out that we're having a baby BOY!
Summer 2012...Good times & super HOT with a "watermelon" in my shirt! :) 

August 7, 2012 ... A day that changed our life for the better forever!
Our precious Nelson Caleb Nall was born!!!

There is nothing that brings a smile to my face like watching my dear husband love our son! 

I thank the Lord every day for answering my many, many prayers for a husband that loves the Lord with all his heart and strives to put Him first in his life. Thank you to those of you who prayed for the Lord’s guiding hand to lead us to each other, before we even met. And thank you to those of you who stood beside us on our wedding day - family and friends - to support us as we committed our lives to one another in this covenant of marriage. And to those of you who continue to walk by our side and point us to the One that teaches us how to walk in a state of forgiveness and so forth in our day-to-day lives...thank you! 

We first started this blog as a way to be real and vulnerable as we walk through the ups and downs of life. A lot of people have even been asking over these past couple of weeks since we became parents, how it’s been between the two of us since we had each other’s undivided attention for four years. Thankfully, even on the sleepless nights and at the end of tiring days, our teachable spirits and gifts of communication through the Lord's strength have helped us work through some potentially “hair pulling” moments...and end the day with a smile on our face. May we continue to seek the LORD with all our hearts - asking HIM to be our strength - in the times of joy and the times of hardship. Praising the Lord today and always for the gift of marriage and how He has drawn us closer to Himself through each “marriage moment”. Heres to many more! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Our New Journey!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

On the morning after Nelson's debut into the world, we found out that our precious baby boy was born with clubfeet. What is clubfeet you may ask? This is a condition in which the foot points downward and inward. This occurs in approximately 1 in every 1000 births and is two times more common in boys than girls. As we have said many times in the past couple of weeks, we are so thankful to live in America in this day and age where this condition can be corrected and our precious one will be able to walk! Something you don't think about every day to be thankful for!

We got three full weeks in of cuddling our precious boy's legs, feet, and toes...and then last week he got his first set of casts on! They are the cutest things!! We will go each week to get new casts and after 6 weeks or so, the position of the feet should be corrected. The next step in the journey will be for Nelson to wear these adorable shoes with a bar in between them (called the "braces) and it's very important that we as parents are diligent about him keeping these on for around 23 hours a day so that they will hold the corrected feet in position. Brandon has joked with me that "who could be a more disciplined Mom for Nelson than the one who still wears her retainers, after getting braces off in the 8th grade for her teeth!"

It's been amazing to hear people share with us that they had clubfeet, or their sister, husband, etc's apparently more common that we first thought. It's been encouraging to read about different all-star athletes that were born with clubfeet and now you would never even know. God is so into all of the details - even down to the fact that one of our good friend's moms was delivering dinner the other night and shared with us that three out of her six children had clubfeet. At first it seemed very overwhelming to process being first time parents and then facing the fact that our sweet little one will have to wear casts and braces on his feet and legs...but it's been amazing to see how the more information we have learned, the more at peace we are and the more encouraged we are that this is "short term" and the road the Lord has marked out for us to be on. 

We are excited to share this journey with you and look forward to hearing from any of you that may have had clubfeet (as a child) or have walked this road with your children (as a parent). We know that there is fellowship when we walk in the light - and we look forward to, Lord willing, being vulnerable with you about the ups and downs...because we know that people can relate to that! And please join with us in prayer that the Lord will use us and our story to be a blessing to others. If there is a doctor, nurse, office worker, etc that doesn't know the Lord...may we be a "bright spot" in their life when we're in the doctor's office each week for our new casts. Only the Lord can see the bigger picture! We know that our story is just a small part of the bigger story - we're just thankful to be part of HIS story! 

We have included two pics below so that you can see from us how adorable Nelson is in his casts! We have heard we may want to keep him "covered up" when we're in Wal-Mart though (!!) so that we don't get feedback from the peanut gallery...asking how our newborn child already got hurt! When in fact, he is in no pain at all and has NOT had a sports injury at the big boy age of...four weeks! 

Chillin' with his best bud, Crawford, at Pinkberry...after his first casting! 

These are the cute 'lil leg warmers we got to put over the keep the casts clean throughout the week!