Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bradley Babies

What a bunch of babies!

Last night our Bradley buddies (those we took our childbirth classes with) all got together to show off our cuties and tell our birth stories. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to photograph six beautiful babies together, so I set up our studio lights and did my best to get them all looking in the same direction.

What blessings these little ones are. As we listened to each couple tell their birth story, we saw so clearly how good God has been to all of us. Six healthy babies. Six moms who survived the risks of birth. Six dads who coached and cheered and supported their wives to success. God is good!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Our little giggler

I'm not vain, really. And to prove it, I'm posting this video clip where Aaron is adorable and I'm, well, not adorable. Or showered.

He takes a minute to get going, but check out our little guy's giggle. Makes me giggle myself!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Karen Muyskens

I didn't know Karen well. Her son, John, was the star pupil in my Sunday school class a few years back at Church of the Servant CRC, in Grand Rapids. John was a quiet boy who prayed aloud for missionaries, who always raised his hand to thoughtfully answer my questions, and who, despite being part of a very rowdy and testosterone-heavy class of second graders, rarely misbehaved. From what I could observe, John was a mini-version of his parents. Quiet but thoughtful; big-hearted with a concern for others; a role-model for those watching.

It broke my heart today to learn that Karen, just 46, passed away this week. She contracted a mysterious bacterial infection that spread quickly and could not be stopped. Last week this healthy mom of three was going about the business of her life. This week, her life came to an end.

The news of her death has been something of a shock to me. It's been a smack in the face that reminds me how fragile life truly is. My grief over Karen's death has two parts. My heart aches deeply for a husband and children who are without her. It's also touched a deepest fear of mine that I will be taken from my family or, worse yet, have to say goodbye to one of them. Becoming a mother has sharpened this fear for me -- I sometimes find myself playing out terrifying scenarios in the darkness of the early morning hours. My mind can come up with a thousand ways that Mike or Aaron could be harmed. I wonder what their lives would look like without me.

As I process all of this, I'm turning to God's word and finding comfort.

Psalm 23: "...Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,for you are with me;your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

Job 5:11: "he sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety."

Revelation 21:4: "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."

I know Karen belonged, body and soul, to our faithful saviour, Jesus Christ. And I know that my family does, too. So I'll try not to borrow troubles from tomorrow, but just enjoy each day that I have, thankful for each breath. Karen's life was a witness to the grace and mercy of Christ, and I'll live mine with the same goal in mind.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I don't think we ever posted Aaron's official 3-month portrait! I think it got lost somewhere in the Christmas crunch. Can't believe he's almost ready for a 4-month pic. Yikes! Good thing he keeps getting cuter. :-)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Doc Talk

Aaron visited the doctor today, and weighed in at 13#8oz. He's now 25 inches long. "I hope he grows into those feet," the doctor joked.

Mike took a half-day off work to come with us, since today's visit was decision day on vaccinations. We went into the office with a plan - certain shots at certain times made by certain manufacturers and not others. We knew Dr. Rupal, who we had seen up to this point, was okay with our alternate schedule, but couldn't provide the brand names we were asking for (her practice has a CONTRACT with a pharm co. and can't order except from them - how's that for big business dictating medical protocol). So we found Dr. Jennifer through one of the other mom's at a La Leche League meeting. She's a mom herself, and we learned a lot from her today. Bottom line - Aaron dodged the needle once again. We will still probably vaccinate, but not until he's older and has a more developed immune system. We're trusting God for good health, and we'll be thankful for good medical treatment should some illness crop up. In the mean time, I think I'll go wash my hands again. :-)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My two snowmen...

(never mind that it's 60 degrees out today)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Holiday Roundup II

Our last post caught you up on part one of our zany holiday... but there is more!

First was a visit from Aaron's Uncle Bill on the 26th. We had a great time sharing a meal with him, catching up on what's been happening in his life. Aaron is the first baby Bill has ever held, and he proudly boasts that Aaron has never cried on his watch. :-)

Next came a weekend visit from the Wood family, all the way from Cincinnati. We see the Woods every August at Family Camp, so this was a special treat to see them mid-year. Of course, we know they only came to see Aaron, but we can't blame them. He's really darn cute. We enjoyed having them stay with us for a few days - especially having all those extra hands to hold our baby. Sarah babysat for Katie and Megan when they were little, so it was a full circle moment to watch them entertain my little guy.

The Wood's left us at about 1pm on Sunday afternoon, just in time to make room for Grandpa Lloyd and Linda. They brought us a wonderful gift... dinner! We so enjoyed spending the evening with them, and Aaron got to play Santa one more time (the outfit has limited lifespan, so we milked it for all it was worth). Who knew Santa needed a binkie?

Finally came New Year's, which we celebrated with friends Lou and Ann and their extended family. Here's how Aaron spent most of the party...

Happy 2008! We know it will be a year of firsts for us: first steps, first birthday, maybe even first words. We're excited to watch Aaron experience all of these things. Hope your year holds lots of promise, too.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Holiday Roundup

Well, we survived. I've never been so glad to see the holiday season come to a close. I did have a few moments where I could focus on what's really important, and we did have a lot of quality time with friends and family. But it was all a little crazy. Maybe good crazy, but still crazy. Here's the recap...
First was our trip to Cincinnati. Aaron travelled amazingly well, sleeping for the whole car ride both ways. He's such a good baby. We were privileged to witness the marriage of Isaac and Christy (and see many of our family camp friends and other church families who we haven't seen in ages), then spent the afternoon with Sarah's siblings and nieces. This was the first time they had met Aaron, and they spoiled him rotten with lots of gifts. We think it's funny that the person who had no idea that Christmas was even happening is the one who got the most stuff.
Niece Laura said we should have had twins so she and her sister, Deborah wouldn't have to fight over who got to hold him.
Here's the whole crowd - (L-R) Dave, Laurah, Sarah, Janet (holding Aaron), Mike, Deborah, and Michelle. Gradma Lynn (now known as Grammie) and her fiance Gary (now known as Papaw) were busy in the kitchen fixing a delicious steak dinner for all of us!
Aaron's cousin Bobbie also came to visit, but left before our group photo. She's a natural with babies, and Aaron loved cuddling with her.Every kid should have an Aunt Janet. She is the queen of spoiling (I guess right after Grandmas Lynn and Shirley - they've got spoiling Aaron down to a science, too.) Grandma Lynn found a Santa outfit for Aaron, minus the hat, but thanks to Aunt Janet, the ensemble was complete. We had our own little Santa Clause for Christmas.

Christmas day we were back in the Chicago area, spending the day with Grandma Shirley and crew. As always, the Trost-Rekich girls couldn't keep their hands off baby Aaron. Neither could Auntie Sara Christine... or Grandma Shirley...or anyone else! The poor kid definitely got handled....and after a bit, he was just overdone. Check out the fat lip he's giving Jim and Michelle.The boys give Grandma "thank-you kisses" for all the work she did to make the day special.Daddy finally got in a few Christmas cuddles...

...and so did Mama.

We had a few days to relax before our New Year celebrations began, but we'll save that for a future post. Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, too!