Monday, November 25, 2013

Nelson is WALKING!

It only seems fitting with Thanksgiving around the corner, to share with you a huge praise report in which we cannot stop thanking the Lord for...Nelson is WALKING! 

For those of you who have followed our journey, Nelson was born with bilateral club foot (club foot in both feet) ... we prayed from day one that from the Lord's healing hand through the correction of the casts and "snowboard" (shoes with a bar) he would one day be able to walk, run, and play! He wore his first pair of casts at 3 weeks and then started in his snowboard when he was around 3 months ... finishing up with the 22 hour/per day snowboard wear when he was about 6 1/2 months. At 7 months, he started crawling and he steadily got faster and faster, crawled up and down the stairs, and Brandon loved to say that "Nelson is the fastest crawler this side of the Mississippi"...
3 weeks old: Getting his first pair of casts
August 2012

It was tradition to meet Baby Crawford & his Mama for "Pinkberry" (frozen yogurt)
as a treat after Club Foot appointments! These boys are 10 days apart!!

Comfy at home with his cute leg warmers over his casts. Help "soften the look" and
prevent an ultimate mess if potential pooplosions were to occur...ha! 

4 months old: Sportin' his snowboard at Christmastime
December 2012 
The snowboard did not prevent "legs lifted high" and fun times in the jungle!
No wonder he has such strong abs now!!!

7 months old: Started crawling all over creation!!
March 2013

9 months old: Nelson started standing and cruising all around!
May 2013

...then he started standing (while holding on) and cruising around 9-10 months old...then taking a few steps (1-2 steps) towards the end of October...then the first weekend of November he took about 5-7 steps...then around mid-November (13-16th) he started taking more and more steps by himself and then took off walking...and now that is his primary way of getting around! It's too cute for words to look over my shoulder while in the kitchen and see Nelson walking towards me! Brandon and I will stop what we're doing when he's home at night and just say, "Wow! Can you believe how far he's come??!" and just watch Nelson walk all around the house. And now, not only is he walking everywhere...but he has become quite the helper! One of his favorite things to carry around is the broom!! I think he's trying to help me with the sweeping :) 

Last week on Wednesday, November 20, Nelson had a great check-up in Birmingham with his doctor at Club Foot Clinic. It was one of the sweetest days to see the team of people that have been with us since he was 3 weeks old, and literally see the ladies who sit at the front window where you sign in peek over their desks and gather each other to the window saying, "Come look at Nelson...he's WALKING!" while he was walking around the waiting room while we waited. It's too funny because since Nelson has never met a stranger, now that he is walking...he goes up to people and smiles or waves...carrying so much joy wherever he goes! It was a moment I'll never forget when his doctor walked in and Nelson lit up with a big smile and then walked right over to her!! Thank you, LORD! She said that his feet look great and are right on track with where we want them to be and keep doing what we're doing...which is stretching his feet daily and still having him sleep in his snowboard at night. We will go back for our next check up in February. 

15 months old: Great check up and
walked in front of his doctor for the first time!!!
November 2013 

In the meantime, just wanted to fill you all in on this huge milestone in the life of Team Nall. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and love for our little man and family! Tears fill my eyes when I think back on that first moment we found out he had club foot ... to where we are now! Nothing short of a miracle!! May we never forget what the LORD has done!! Be encouraged wherever you are today and with whatever you are going through that the Lord is with you, He will carry you through whatever you are going through, and He is faithful! There is not one part of our story with Nelson that we would change. Isn't it a blessing that we don't know all the details of our life beforehand? That would just be overwhelming. God's grace and peace are sufficient for the moment we are in...may we live in the moment, in His presence, and keep our eyes on Jesus. Blessings to you and your family this Thanksgiving week. There is so much to be thankful very much!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

One Year Ago Today!

It is Sunday, August 4, 2013: We had a wonderful morning at church, lunch at the house, and now Brandon is at his baseball game and Nelson is in his crib napping. The only sounds I can hear throughout the house are the dishwasher and laundry machine doing their job and it's the moment I've been waiting for...time for this mama to take a nap! As I take a quick look at the clock before I head upstairs, I see that it's 1:27pm...chills hit my body from top to bottom! Something clicks and I year ago today at this very moment, Brandon and I were in Chattanooga, TN at my parents' house...everyone was watching me like a hawk because I was due with our first baby on August 6th! So much for my nap today...I'd rather share this amazing moment with YOU! 

We had come to Chattanooga to have a home birth - since midwives are banned from Alabama and we were living in Birmingham at the time. I won't go into the whole story again since you can read about it here in a previous post we wrote last August. I will say that it was this day a year ago (Sunday, August 5, 2012) ... one day before Nelson's due date ... that we got a phone call that I will never forget. We were on our way to the pool for the afternoon when we got the voicemail from the midwife to call her immediately. I had turned my cell phone off the week prior so that I could get my mind focused on the Lord in the midst of preparing for this home birth. As any of you know that have gotten close to a due date before, the texts and calls to check in on you mean so much but at this time with some severe itching I had been having, there was too much to try and update everyone on. My liver enzymes (that normally are in the teens) had risen over 200, then over 400, then on the phone call we got a year ago to date...we found out they had risen to over 600! With things going the rate they were, my midwife did not want my Vitamin K supply to be depleted (which is common when the liver enzymes rise this much) and since the Vitamin K is what my body needed to clot, she did not want to take any risks by being at the house. On her call a year ago she made it very clear that it was time we meet at the hospital to try and get labor rolling and get baby Nelson here safe and sound! As you can imagine, going from preparing to have a home birth to packing my bags for the hospital when I wasn't even "in labor" seemed like the farthest from the plan type of thing to do BUT we had prayed from day one of pregnancy that if there were ANY red flags - for the Lord to make it clear. So far in each prenatal visit, every single thing was falling into place beautifully and right on schedule and measurement for where things should be. Then out of the blue at week 38 is when the severe itching started...first in the palms of my hands and soles of my rash anywhere...then continued to increase and was all over my body. It was beyond obvious that there was something going on and that is when my midwife was wise enough to suggest I get blood work taken. 

I will never forget what it felt like to get in the car and head to the hospital to have our baby and try and grieve the loss of a dream. Again, my phone had been off and continued to stay off and the only people that knew what was happening outside of our midwife was our doula and my parents - since that is who we were staying with at the time. Soon after that, our Lookout Mountain pastor and church got the news and we will always get teary thinking of the moment our pastor came and talked with us and prayed with us at the hospital. He was able to help us process how hard what we were going through was, but to also remember that God had us in the palm of His hand, and to remember that with each itch of the palm of my hand!! He helped point us to Jesus in a time where it would have been so easy to look at all the pieces falling around us...but instead, look at how He is providing for us. We realized that it wasn't going to be about "thinking positive thoughts" in the midst of what could be a negative situation - but preaching to ourselves the truth of the gospel at a time like this. I love how Tim Keller puts it: "We are more flawed and sinful than we ever dared believe, yet we are more loved and accepted than we ever dared hope at the same time." It reminds me of what our Nashville pastor, Matt Ballard, talked about this morning. Psalm 3:3 says, "But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head." He mentioned in the sermon this morning that "the shield doesn't keep us from the danger...the shield keeps us safe in the midst of danger" ... and that is exactly what we experienced on this Sunday one year ago when "our plans" seemed to change so drastically in an instant. I could share about this all day...but will close this part of the blog by saying that what we learned in lightning speed one year ago on that Sunday and Monday and Tuesday in the hospital, waiting for Nelson to arrive...are tools that the Lord equipped us with then to prepare us for this first year of being new parents! It's AMAZING looking back and seeing how even though things may not make sense in the moment, hindsight is 20/20! It's not about the home birth. It's not about the fact that we got to have a natural birth in the hospital. It's about Jesus. It's about how when we take our eyes off of ourselves, our to do lists, or hopes and dreams, and whatever else you can think of (that can even be GOOD things) ... but if it's not THE LORD, all these other things are finite and the desire we have to control them in our own strength is going to send us into a tailspin. 

One year ago when we were waiting on Nelson's grand debut!!

In our last post, we asked if there was anything you wanted to hear specifically from us on and we loved hearing what you wanted to know! We will do a little Q&A here to hopefully shed some light on what these things look like with Team Nall. We will post one Q&A at the bottom of our posts for as long as you all keep asking! So if there is anything that you want to hear from us on...keep asking and we will get to your post soon! For the rest of you that asked something, stay tuned as we will get to your Q&A in the upcoming blog posts!!

Question from Regina: "I would love to hear how team work looks now that you have a little one and how each of you manages time with the baby, each other, the Lord, and friends. I know that was a struggle in the beginning for us, but we seem to have figured out a good took time though. I just enjoy hearing how others navigate the challenge of time after having a baby. (Sometimes I learn new tricks)"

Answer from Team Nall: Regina! We chuckled when we read your question because this seems to be an ever evolving thing and certainly a work in progress at all times since we are navigating these new waters together in this ever changing new season. I would sum it up by saying we are learning to "dance" ... what I mean by this ... take for example that May/June/July/August is the heart of baseball season for the Baseball League that Brandon plays in. With time already being limited like it is, you can imagine that having my hubby gone to his baseball game each Sunday afternoon, plus one or sometimes two weekday nights, can be a challenge at time. We are already striving to find time for each other in the midst of busy schedules and then add that to the mix and it can be a lot. What I have noticed that has really worked this season is that when I give Brandon my blessing to go out there and have fun and let this be a life-giving thing, he in return is able to come home and be refreshed by his time away and really be a team player around the house. Whether that is helping to hang some pictures, loading the dishwasher, straightening up the living room, taking out the trash, fixing a lightbulb...he comes home ready to help and that means the WORLD to me! Also, we have realized the value of planning in advance. When I know that the expectation is for him to play in his game at either 1:00 or 3:00 on Sundays, I enjoy our family time going to and from church, having lunch afterwards, and send him off with a positive attitude come game time -- not sulking that he is leaving us on a "family day". Then we pray for the Lord to multiply our time when we are together. Nelson goes down at 7:00pm like clock work every night, so that is some time in the evenings for us to set aside time to be together. Sometimes this looks like dinner on the porch, other times this looks like Brandon having some "cave time" and watching a game on TV while I run out and do some errands. We also cherish the date nights where Brandon and I get to go somewhere out of the house - more on that specifically in an upcoming Q&A! ...We have found that the evening time is usually a great time for us to carve out time to Bible Study -- or of course any day during the week when Nelson is napping for me, if I do not nap at the same time as him that day which I often do. We both enjoy starting off our day in the Word as well - but have more time at night for extensive reading and all. ...Since I am with Nelson all day every day, Brandon's time with Nelson is when he gets home from work in the evenings - before Nelson goes down for bed. We will often times eat dinner together as a family, sometimes go on a walk around the neighborhood, and then Brandon and I together help dress Nelson for bed (diaper, pajamas, socks and snowboard ... which these days is quite the production since Nelson can hardly sit still for 5 seconds because he is Mr. Man On The Move!!) We have really learned to guard our time as family on Saturday mornings since that is a cherished day having the three of us home with usually no plans and we can enjoy each other and take time to just be and take the day as it comes!! ...As far as the time with friends go...Nelson and I see friends throughout the week which is a blessing to have a play date or errands with different people, and then Brandon is able to connect with people usually on Friday nights or Saturdays and of course, Sundays at his games. As I mentioned at the beginning, it's certainly a work in progress and a prayer for the Lord to show us new ways to prioritize and balance our schedules on an ongoing basis!! Being flexible, trying to think of the other first and the whole "out serve the other person", and planning ahead to talk through expectations has helped tremendously! Time management is key!!

PS - This was our 100th blog post!! I feel like that is quite a milestone :) Thanks to our faithful friends and family and followers for taking the time to read what we share as we open this window to you to take a little peek into our lives and our journey!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Where To Even Begin??

Nels getting familiar with his sippy cup!!

I cannot even believe it has been almost 3 MONTHS since our last post...well, actually I can believe it!! Just a "few" things have happened since...HA!

  • 10 year high school reunion for Whit at GPS
  • A week at the beach with some of our dearest friends, aka: "Settlers of Seaside"
  • Switched our car tags from AL back to TN
  • Membership class at our home church in Nashville, "Southpointe Community Church"
  • Whit's first Mother's Day
  • Club Foot Clinic for a check up on Nelson's feet
  • Baseball season has been in full swing for the "Nashville Men's Baseball League" 
  • Whit's 28th birthday!
  • Baby Showers, Rehearsal Dinners, and Weddings of precious friends
  • Visits with old and new friends throughout the week and weekends 
  • Celebration Dinner for the first 30 years of Mercy Ministries
  • B's first Father's Day
  • Confirmation that Nelson will have nothing to do with a bottle but just maybe will take sips here and there from a "sippy cup" which is our new "backup plan" for nights we do go out and leave him with a babysitter
  • Speedy crawler Nelson turning into speedy cruiser...into anything and everything!
  • Nels is babbling up a storm with "Mama" and "DaDa"
  • Little man loves to "pat pat" anyone around him that he loves! So precious!!
  • Matron of Honor for one of Whit's first friends at Auburn University...the first friend of Whit's that B ever met when we were all at Passion in Atlanta 2007!
  • "Camp Suzie and Pops" in Chattanooga for the week of Independence Day
  • As of tomorrow (July 7) we will have an 11 month old!!

...and these are just the main highlights of our April, May, June and now the first of July! Thought it would be better to stop in and say HI now or else it may be Christmas before we know it!! Seeing that we did start this blog to be a place to share our "Marriage Moments" and keepin' a realistic view into where the Lord has us and what He's teaching us through our marriage and now family...we thought we'd put the ball in YOUR court this time and see what YOU would like to hear from us on!! There seems to be soooo much (see list above) that has been happening, and with our heart for wanting to keep this relevant and not just replay every single event or conversation over the past couple of months...let's hear from YOU on what YOU would like us to share a window into!! 

Look forward to hearing!! 1, 2, 3...go! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

5 Weekends In A Row

Blessed by this father/son pair!!

A LOT has happened in the past 44 days since our last blog post...including the fact that we were at home in Nashville for 5 weekends in a ROW! I think that must be a Nall record for us :) Coming off of the "Nashville to Birmingham traveling extravaganza" from January and February, it was a real treat to stay put as our family of three for the entire month of MARCH! I would have an occasional inkling to hop on the blog and give an update, but there seemed like too much to say and not enough energy to say it! And now even more time has passed so there's even MORE to say but instead of continuing to put it off...I figure that it's better to give a short update than none at all...and you know this is just a few of the highlights! Let's hit on a few of the most common questions of the times: 

Are you all settled in your new spot? We love our new spot in Nashville! As you may have read in a previous post, we decided to keep our house (the Nashville home that we own) as a rental property ... and we are currently renting a different place! It's a super cute spot in a convenient part of town and we have friends in the neighborhood and it's been a wonderful fit for our family. We feel more and more settled each day. Let's just say that moving with a baby is a whole different kind of move. It's not like the previous moves where after the first 7-10 days everything is spick and span and in its spot. We have amazing friends that have come over and helped me crank out different projects - and that has been a huge blessing - but I also reminded myself to put "relationships over perfectionism" and that has been a great way to sum up the past couple of weeks. When you move with a baby and have feedings every couple of hours and a precious life to take care of instead of your main focus being to unpack everything and find a spot are reminded that the sweet lives in front of you are more important anyways than having things in their spot! If you were to come over for a visit, you'd say it looks like we've lived there for awhile and like everything is in order...but I still know of a few projects here and there that can be done *wink* But yes, for the most part, we are settled in (physically speaking)...but I can say that it feels like we haven't skipped a beat as far as picking up where we left off with our community of friends. People have been SO welcoming...from coming to the house to bring meals, reaching out to us at Church, and just simply loving us well in the day-to-day! 

Do you all miss Birmingham? Of course! We were very happy in Birmingham!! It would be hard to live in a spot for two years and all of a sudden move and NOT miss it!! That's just my take :) I have said all along that we could be happy wherever the Lord leads...because the Lord is the one leading us AND we are together!! We did not have any clue that the Lord would be leading us away from Nashville TO Birmingham two years ago when He did...and we did not have any clue that our next move (after living in Birmingham) would be BACK to Nashville!! The whole thing is part of the great adventure the Lord has us on as a family! We have friends that we have known for years in Birmingham (from me growing up in Chattanooga, from B growing up in Dothan, from college years at Auburn, etc) and we have friends that God connected us with during these past two years in Bible Studies, through our Church family, through the Men's Baseball League, dear neighbors, and divine appointments of people that walked with us through pregnancy and birth of our first baby!! The neat thing about this day in age is that we can stay connected with these people, just as we had been with our Nashville friends while away...these relationships will always be something that we treasure about this great city! 

How is Nelson doing? Nelson has been a champ through each stage of this whole move! He is so chill and easy going and really the one that God has provided to bring us back to the reality of how much we have to be thankful for and what truly matters...even when all around us changed very quickly! He just turned 8 months on April 7...but month 7 of his life (the month of March) was FULL of a lot of changes and new milestones!! You may have read in the last post that as of February 26, Nels went from wearing his snowboard 22 hours a day to wearing it just at night - which is generally a 12 hour time frame from the time he goes to bed around 7pm to the time he wakes up in the morning around 7am. He also moved from sleeping in his co-sleeper crib in our room to sleeping in his crib in his new room. He started sitting in a high-chair! He started playing on his A,B,C,1,2,3 bright and colorful rubber playmat! On March 21, he started crawling! We've even set up the pack-and-play in the living room for him to play in at times because if we don't watch him like a hawk, he is into everything!! We've been able to use the Ergo Carrier more since he's free of the snowboard!! He loves playing peek-a-boo! He blabbers all the time to the point you think he's going to start speaking in sentences!! We started using sign language for certain words (mommy, daddy, shoes, dog, milk, more, all done) and many more to come! He is such a happy baby and truly lives up to his Instagram hashtag of #AdorableNels!!

How are Nelson's feet? They are doing great! We had a check-up on March 28 and the doctor confirmed that they were right how they are supposed to be and to keep up the great work!! So that means that we continue to have him in the snowboard for 12 hours in the evening and we always stretch his little feet before we put him in his shoes. The doctor pointed out how she could tell that Nelson liked his shoes (Nelson LOVES his shoes and whenever he spots them in the room, grabs for them and wants to eat them) which means that the parents have made a point to make the shoes fun. Apparently there are some children at this phase of the club feet journey that still cry and fuss when the shoes come out because the parents have probably had negative body language and attitudes toward the shoes. It has been our goal since day one to make the shoes a positive experience - and we can't thank you enough for YOUR prayers for and with us in this journey because by the grace of God, we do truly see these shoes as the blessing that they really are!! He is now at the point where he will go for his next check up at the end of May! He got fitted for a new pair of shoes at his last appointment (since the others were almost too small) and tonight is his first night in his new shoes!! Growing boy!

How are you and Brandon? We are doing well! Right after the move was when we had a few "come to Jesus" type of moments of really talking through communication and expectations (the two words that have and I think always will be such a huge part of our marriage) but to God be the glory for how He is working in and through us. Funny now that I can't even remember all the details of what those talks were even about - even though in the moment they seemed like such a big deal! I think we can both attest to the fact that after a "heavy" talk, we are learning to forgive and forget and move on. Our time together is so short that it's neat to see how what used to be more of us analyzing this or that or beating the horse into the ground on a topic back when we were first married - now is something that we can deal with, drop it, and move on...which is SUCH a blessing to see that growth. Brandon has been such a blessing to me to give me time to get out and have some time to run some errands, go to the grocery, go by Babies R Us, go get my nails done, etc (!!!) in the evenings sometime so that I can have a "mommy moment" and he watches Nelson. And now that Nelson is down for the night by 7pm or 7:30pm, that gives B and I a great window of time for some quality time. We've learned to make the most of our family time as the three of us while Nels is awake in that small window between B getting home and Nels going down for the night. The other day B even said, "Ya know babe, sometimes I wish Nels got to stay up later...I love playing with him!" Melted my heart!! I am so thankful for a God-fearing husband that works hard for our family which allows me to stay home with our son! It's something I don't take for granted. God is continuing to show us how HE is the only one that is going to satisfy our every need! We pray to be more like HIM ... as HE is the ultimate example of how we are to love and forgive and walk through this LIFE with one another!! 

So much more to say...but hopefully we'll have a window of time to share another glimpse into the Nall family before another 44 days go by!! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In All Three Stages At Once : Birmingham, Nashville, Club Feet Update

Wow. I read a blog post today, "For When You Need Hope To Float Up" that really spoke right to where I am. The writer refers to the quote from the movie Hope Floats about beginnings, the middle, and endings. And I quote...

“Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. You need to remember that when you find yourself at the beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up.” --Ramona Calvert, Hope Floats

"...If you’re standing in the middle, I hope you’ll remember it hasn’t always been this way and one day it won’t be like this again. Collect what you need, be faithful where you are, and remember the sacred gift of ordinary days.
If you’re stepping into a beginning, remember love drives out fear, you are not alone, and courage will grow as you move.
And if you find yourself approaching an ending, looking back over the colorful mess of joy and sorrow that have shaped all the days before,  give yourself permission to grieve your losses, celebrate your loves, and anticipate the start of something new." --Emily, Chatting at the Sky
As I mentioned in the subject of today's blog post,
I really do feel like we are in all three stages at once . . .

We are ending a sweet chapter of life which has been two years in Birmingham. It has been remarkable at how God has literally ordered our steps to see dear friends before we go. Whether that be walking out of Church, the Whole Foods parking lot, the CAbi Show, friends bringing a meal, cookies being dropped off, or people dropping by for a visit or a's been amazing at how the opportunities have come up for us to have closure and say "see ya later"...since it's certainly not "goodbye"! I feel like I would be so sad if I didn't know that it was the LORD who brought us here and it is the LORD who is moving us along. He is the ONE guiding the ship that we are sailing in. Yet at the same time, I am thankful to feel that I will miss these dear friends, neighbors, and Church that have been such a part of our lives for the past two years - for it is a reminder that the Lord has allowed us to bloom where we've been planted. Birmingham will always hold a special place in our heart as... 5 years ago, Brandon and I went on our first date here. And then 3 years after that, we moved here for Brandon's job and have enjoyed the "quality time" God has provided for the two of us in this season, enjoyed time with Alabama friends, 9 months of pregnancy and 6 amazing months with our firstborn son. 

We are beginning another exciting chapter of life which is moving back to a place that is "home" in Nashville. Anyone who knows us well knows that Nashville is near and dear to our hearts and that it was not easy to leave two years ago...we hoped to be back one day...never knew it would be this soon...and could not be more excited! You know that feeling before a big trip when it doesn't really "click" that you're going until you're all packed and loaded on the plane and finally sitting down and taking a breather before "take off" when you realize, "oh...this is really happening"...well, that's a bit what we're feeling. Even though Brandon has been in his new position for the past 5+ weeks and we've been up in Nashville during the weeks already, it hasn't really clicked that we are actually moving back there for good. Even if you came over to our house right'd take a look around and say, "Really, I don't see any boxes!!!" Well, that's because this move is unlike any we've ever had and the moving company will show up at our door with PACKERS tomorrow morning at 8am and pack up everything we have...every piece of furniture, every dish, every picture, etc.... And instead of scurrying around and trying to "prep"...we are just enjoying a cozy night with the three of us and trusting the Lord with the details! It's really been a reminder of how the LORD is in control and He doesn't need our busy little hands to try and get all involved and try to be "on the throne"...HE is the ONE on the throne and HE is in control and just wants us to TRUST HIM. That's the picture we've had through this whole moving process and we have an unshakable peace. 

My precious bundle of JOY and I ... about to receive the good news!!!
And last but not least...we are in the middle stage of Nelson's journey with club feet and have SUPER exciting news to share this evening! For the past 6 months, if you have been following our journey, our precious baby boy has been quite the trooper through the casting and "snowboard" phases of his club foot progress. Today at his appointment, his doctor shared that Nelson is now "graduating" from wearing his snowboard 22 hours/per now wearing his snowboard for nighttime wear only. Meaning...our dear little Nels will get to be FREE during the days now (watch out, world...our little roly poly will probably start crawling in the near future or he may just take off running!!!) and then he will sleep in his snowboard at night. With tears in my eyes I type this...and I know those of you who have been with us each "step" of the way probably feel the same...because it has been a journey of hard days and easier days...but today is certainly a joyous occasion to be celebrated. We have learned that each child and each set of feet is different...and there is no telling how long he will be in nighttime wear (usually a few years) that is why I say that we are in the "middle" (refer to blog post above) and I love what she says about that: Collect what you need, be faithful where you are, and remember the sacred gift of ordinary days. I feel so encouraged today...we are not at the starting line, we are not at the finish line, but we really are somewhere in that "middle" being faithful where God has called us to and truly recognizing the GIFT that comes on those ordinary days...look for God's fingerprints...they are all around! Thank you for your prayers....please keep them coming! The next step in the game is for us to go back for a check-up in one we will certainly keep you posted! In the meantime, let the daily "legs lifted high" fun begin!!! 

Earlier when my Mom was praying over our upcoming move and I was on my knees with my Bible in front of me, precious Nels rolled over mid-prayer and put his hand on the WORD!! He is a BLESSING from above!

You know how we have said that the "Jesus Calling" devotional is always right on...well today it could not make me smile anymore! The title of today's message is "I AM LEADING YOU, STEP BY STEP" God into the details or what?!! It was such a sweet reminder to read, "Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me. I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that. Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go."

Thankful for the TRUTH of Psalm 32:8, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." Amen and Amen. Will close this last post from Birmingham and catch ya on the flip side soon in Nashville!! Thanks for all your prayers here, there, and in between! To GOD be the glory as we close this one chapter, start a new one, and enjoy where HE has us today...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Feeling The Love

Valentine's Dinner 2013

A lot to update on since our last post! We decided to break it into categories to make it easier to read and keep up...

Nashville House: Many of you have been asking if we were going to move back into our Nashville home ... You may remember when we moved to Birmingham, we decided to rent out our house in Nashville. After much prayer, we have decided to let the tenants stay in there since they are happy and taking good care of the house - and we are going to keep the house as a rental property. We will be renting a town home for a year (which just so happens to be next door to some of our dear friends that just had a baby boy!) until we figure out which part of Nashville we want to live in for the long-term. Our official move into the town home will be next Friday, March 1st! 

Current Living Situation: Since Brandon started his new position, we have been living in Nashville during the weeks and in Birmingham on the weekends. It's what we decided would be the best plan for us 3 to stay together. Obviously we didn't want to be apart for 5 the 3 of us are in Nashville for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights...and then back in Birmingham for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. It's a lot of back and forth but it has been good to have some sense of "normalcy" on the weekends - being at home. We have also been overly blessed by our dear Nashville friends that have opened their home for us to stay in during this transition...which leads me to our next update...

Valentine's Day Blessing: Not only has this dear family opened their home for us to stay in during this time of transition (see "current living situation" update above)...but for Valentine's Day they had a Candlelight Dinner for two (including steaks, potatoes, salad, AND chocolate covered strawberries) for Brandon and I...while they watched our precious Nelson and gave us some time alone! It was more than we could have asked for at the end of a what was a really busy and long very amazing to see how the Lord every detail! It was one of those "marriage moments" where you sit down in your comfy clothes and finally take a breath...saying that coming upstairs for dinner in the house where we're staying was MORE than we could have dreamed of in that current moment. Normally the fun desire is to get dressed up and go out on the town...but 5 years of marriage later, we are seeing that priorities shift and this was the "dream dinner" this year! 

Nelson's Feet: His feet continue to stretch well and stay in position in the snowboard...major praise! We have not had another visit since our last post at the end of January...but we go next Wednesday, February 27 and will certainly keep you posted. Thank you in advance for your prayers for continued healing 100% for Nelson's precious feet. 

Nelson At 6 Months: Nelson loves to ROLL! He is not yet crawling but he sure can roll everywhere! We will put toys and little stuffed animal friends all around and just watch him roll from one side of the room to the other as he discovers everything in's so cute! He will try and copy what we are he's trying to talk or something! Especially sounds like ba-ba or in the mornings he has a field day as he babbles, "ba-ba" and "da-da"...which sounds like bye bye dada! I tried to get a video of him saying it (see above) but he was so focused on trying to grab the camera from me that it looks like he got a little camera shy. I'll work on trying to capture that moment! He is such a joy! Still a great eater and sleeper...happy healthy growing boy! We thank the Lord for him everyday...we can't imagine our life without him! 

Our Rest: Thank you for your prayers since our last post for REST for the 3 of us. We have been sleeping well and getting rest whenever we can!! In fact, Nelson and I just had a nice hour and a half long nap this afternoon! Please continue to pray for this when God brings us to our days are busy and we are doing a lot of sound sleep at night (body, mind and soul!) when it's time for our heads to hit the pillow is SUCH a blessing! 

To wrap up this post, we'll close by saying that when people ask..."how's it going"...the first thing that comes to mind is that the overarching BLESSINGS of this season, farrrrr outweigh the daily challenges that arise. We thank the Lord that we know Him and are traveling this road with Him, for the health of the three of us, for Brandon's job, that we're all together, moving back to our favorite city...and choose to not let the little day-in-and-day-out things get us down....for that is how LIFE in this broken world is going to go! We are also learning to allow people to bless us. I know that may sound funny but it's not always easy to be on the receiving end...and we are learning that people are blessed by us ALLOWING THEM to bless really just asking the Lord to let us receive how He is providing and the blessings all around us. Thank you again for all YOUR prayers for us during this time. 10 more days until we're "home sweet home"...enjoying each step of the journey! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Transitions, Teething, & More!

Look closely and you will see Nelson's first TWO teeth!!! 

Hard to believe that it’s already the last week of January! 2013 started off with a bang as we were on the road to Nashville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta...all within 10 days and a 5 month old in tow! Not to mention, we discovered Nels has his first two teeth!!! A few weeks ago, our dear friend and “sister” that we affectionately call “ADM” (Aunt Doula Mary) was the one to notice his first tooth as he was gnawing on her finger...then a few days later, B noticed the second tooth! Our boy is growing up before our very eyes! 

For those that may have missed the news from our last post, Brandon has been offered a position with his company back in the Nashville territory and we will be moving back to Nashville on March 1st! We had a feeling that we could be moving from Birmingham at some point for Brandon’s job, but it was no where on our radar that we would be offered the opportunity to be back in Nashville at this point...just another testimony of how God is into the details of our lives and truly has given us the desires of our heart. It’s a different kind of move this time, since the “light at the end of the tunnel” is our dear community of friends back in Nashville...yet it still is a process to wrap up the sweet time that we have had this past year and a half (+) in Birmingham and the friends that we will miss as we start this next chapter. 

As you can probably imagine just from reading what’s been mentioned above, there is a lot going on. It’s amazing though to feel the PEACE that we know is straight from the LORD. As people ask how they can pray, help and support us through this transition...the thing that comes to mind is to ask for prayers for our REST. It’s quite a task to “shut down the mind” in the evening when it’s time for bed...and it’s a whole other issue to wake up from the short bit of sound sleep to nurture our dear teething son. The first two teeth came in with no issue but now we think it’s been a combination of being on the go PLUS the teething that have led to our sleep being a bit off! *wink* 

Thankfully we have kept the lines of communication between husband and wife wide open and are able to hear each other out on what our “needs” are...For instance, this week we have put our finger on the issue that I, as a Mom and Wife, need to make some time in the day for some “me” time...and that does not include doing dishes, laundry, or a run to the grocery store. We are making every effort for this to be some time apart for some personal exercise, bubble bath, or even today...the gift beyond my very imagination which was...a massage! God bless my dear hubby for having a play date with Nels and giving me some hours away for relaxation and rejuvenation! And vice versa, we see the importance of me really helping to guard his “cave time” to watch a TV show, read a book, or whatever it takes to wind down from the day and gear up for the next day. 

We also wanted to make sure and update you with the praise report on Nelson’s feet! Our last club foot clinic appointment was last week and the doctor said that Nelson’s feet are looking great and that we will keep him in his “snowboard” (22 hours/each day) for another month...and then at the end of February when we have our appointment, we will find out if he is ready to move into just wearing his snowboard at night when he sleeps. This would be a HUGE step! Our “mover and shaker” rolls all around (with or without his snowboard on) and at some points it looks like he is about to take off and crawl! Who knows what will happen when the sweet thing is without his snowboard all day...!!! We praise God for His faithfulness in this journey so far and know that He will be the one to direct our path from here...and that Nelson will crawl, walk, run, and play all in God’s perfect timing. Please continue to pray for Nelson and his feet when the Lord brings him to mind - that the snowboard will stay on and that his feet will continue to 100% correction. 

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. Please continue to pray that our eyes will be fixed on JESUS in the midst of all that is going on around us. We know that nothing is more important than HIM and through HIM, everything else will fall into place...