Baby Michael and memory lane

Our extended family recently grew and I have become an aunt all over again. Jason’s only younger sister, Karen, gave birth to her first baby, Michael Jr. on Thursday, April 16th. We were incredibly privileged to make the drive up to Missouri and meet this precious boy that following Sunday. I just love newborns and was completely thrilled to hold this itty bitty guy so soon. By my observation, my dear sister Karen has stepped into mothering with an extraordinary amount of ease, confidence and grace. The fact that she welcomed our gang with open arms 4 days after giving birth says something. I’m very proud of her and grateful for those moments as a family.

photo 5

photo 4The drive from Georgia to Missouri was stunning. We went through Chattanooga and Nashville. The kids pointed out every “waterfall” or as Caleb put it “falling water!” that we passed, as we winded and curved through the mountains of Tennessee. We passed through the beautiful green rolling farm lands of Kentucky. Red barns, white houses, wide open green pastures and acres of bright yellow canola flowers. Had no idea how gorgeous Kentucky was. Then we crossed into Illinois, which was similar to Kentucky just flat. I thought we lived in the “country” but these folks driveway is probably the distance it takes us to get to Walmart. I would enjoy that so much!! We got stuck in traffic at one point and were stopped for a solid 45 minutes but I was too in awe of my surroundings to mind. Off in the distance, beyond the crops, barns and windmills, you could see this little red church amongst a few charming homes scattered about. It was like a post card. I was wishing I had a camera with telescopic capabilities. Driving through all the different states and landscapes I couldn’t help but be reminded of Psalm‬ ‭8‬:‭1, 3-4, 6, 9:

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Our family had so much fun taking this little road trip. The girls are maturing more in conversation with us now and that is a real treat. We talked and laughed and made pit stops for Krispy Kreme and Super Man photo ops in Metropolis. photo 1(1)photo 3photo 2(2)I personally was ecstatic to have at least a solid 9 hours consecutively in the car with Jason there and back. There are few things that can’t be worked through, talked over, dreamed about and laughed at in the span of 18 hours. I was loving it.

We drove up Sunday and returned Tuesday so Jason could get back to work but oh was it worth it! Thankfully this all landed on the girls spring break and we enjoyed the remainder of the time at home. After seeing baby Michael it’s hard to believe how much time has gone by and how old our kids are. Micaila just turned 8, Ryann will be 7 in August and in July Caleb will be 3. My advice to my sweet sister as a new mom would be to write stuff down. Pictures are wonderful! I love pictures. But I also love our memories encapsulated in words and stories. You can read words and vividly remember moments like it was yesterday. So utilize all the wonders of technology. Take lots of pictures, yes! Of all moments, not just pretty ones. 😉 Record videos of singing, crying, dancing, playing, laughing and especially talking. And jot those moments down that you don’t capture with your camera. We hope to not forget but why risk it!

Because for me I don’t want to forget how Caleb calls his pajamas “Kajamos”. Or how he makes up phrases like “I soakin dirty!” (a combination of being soaking wet and dirty) Or that every night he tells me he wants to “Eat waffles and watch Mickey Mouse ta-morrow.” I don’t want to forget how Ryann sings “How He loves us, oh how He loves us.” Or how she spoils Caleb rotten by tending to his every want and need. I want to remember the time we spent hours folding coffee filters together to make a lamp pretty for her bedroom and she told me “I just love talking I can’t help it! I always want to talk.” To which I replied “You come by it honestly.” 🙂 I hope you never stop talking to me sweet Ryann. I don’t want to forget how the girls “take best care” of their baby dolls, their words. I want to remember that Micaila can use an entire bottle of liquid dish soap in 2 days and it’s okay because she is cheerfully washing dishes for her momma. Or how she reads every night to her siblings and tucks all her babies in bed. I want to remember how, over every other doll they own, Micaila favors Heather and George and Ryann favors Baby Shivers. Dolls that were mine and are 24 years old and no doubt have seen better days. They take them everywhere and sometimes mommy lets them push their babies in carts at “Hobby Wobby” (Calebism) and what little girl doesn’t love that!? And let’s not forget this day. That as I type up this post, Caleb took the opportunity to jump on my bed and bust his nose and lip on the foot board. We shall close this post with TP in his nose and a warm bath on the way.

Oh yes, I want to remember. Here’s to memory lane momma’s! Let’s write more of it down. 🙂

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