Tuesday, August 21

:: My How Life Can Change Quickly! ::

The past two weeks have been filled with joy and filled with change.  We have celebrated the birth of our precious baby boy Knox and adjusted to the emotions, sleeplessness, joy and challenges his entrance into this world brought with it.  We have also sent our oldest son Parrish off to "big school."

As I sit here typing this post on day 2 of Kindergarten I still get weepy thinking of my sweet boy getting off the school bus yesterday afternoon or hopping out of the car in the morning and walking into school and his classroom all by himself.  I keep thinking...is he really old enough to be doing this??  Walking him in on his first day yesterday he was so happy and calm.  He marched into Mrs. Henke's classroom without a look back, got out his lunch box and snack bag and put them on the shelf and then sat down at his seat.  My heart swelled with pride and I had a sense of peace that this is where he is supposed to be.  No tears and no fussing from the boy that a few weeks ago was adamant that he was not happy about going to school - now that is an answer to prayer!  I think visiting his classroom and meeting his teacher (who we love) last week really helped to dispel his fears.

Of course I was a different story!  I was shocked that I didn't cry when I dropped him off at school for the first time, but when I walked back into the house a few minutes later I burst into tears looking at the signs of him all over the house but without him to fill it.  Knox and I managed to make it through the day, which was made easier by his sweet presence and a few visits with friends and that afternoon as we met the school bus I couldn't believe how much energy Parrish still had after school.  He bounded off the bus and we celebrated with ice cream at Jimbos and then played at the park with friends and he was still going strong enough to play with daddy in the alley after dinner last night.  Needless to say he was tired this morning and not so sure about this having to go to school every day thing!  (To be fair, I'm not so sure about it either!)  :)

Baby Knox has been a complete and total joy and I really don't think I could have sent Parrish off to Kindergarten if he was not here.  He is the hungriest baby we have ever had!  I can nurse him for 45 minutes and he's still hungry!  Last night was our best night of sleep yet....he went 4 hours between 2 feedings and 3 hours between one (which is probably why I have the energy to blog this morning!).  During the day he may eat every two hours though, so we are still just figuring it all out and trying to get into a more scheduled routine.  The good thing about Parrish being in school is that Knox and I have lots of quality, guilt-free, bonding time in the rocker and at home to ease into our routine together and I am just soaking in every minute with him, realizing that this time is precious, sometimes difficult, but always brief.  I find myself wanting to just bottle his baby smell to keep forever.  There are a million things to be done around the house, but holding him and snuggling always seem to take first priority.  :)  And thankfully that's ok because my awesome mother-in-law CC has been such an amazing help ..... she brings dinner on the nights a friend isn't bringing it, comes almost every day to freshen up my house or to grab our laundry to do at her house.  She is the epitome of "service with a smile" and we are so very thankful!!

As far as who Knox looks like...at first we didn't think he looked like Parrish or Olivia (as Parrish said, he just looks like Knox!).  But as we've pulled out old baby pictures we've decided that he does look like Parrish just without the thick, dark hair sticking up in every direction!  Compared to Parrish and Olivia, Knox is our "bald" baby!  :)  He has some features that remind me of Olivia...his nose and his coloring are more like hers to me.  I wonder what his slate blue eyes will become...true blue like Parrish or sea glass green like Livy or his own special shade of blue??

Parrish is settling into his big brother role again with ease.  He is Knox's guardian...always asking if he's awake, if he can hold him or kiss him, how he's doing, if he can help change his diaper, give him a baby massage, etc.  He is so proud to introduce him to his friends and refers to him as "my baby."  This morning he informed Cannon that staying home to help take care of baby Knox would be more fun than school.  :)  I am so blessed to have two precious boys who I pray will remain close as they grow up together.

Of course this time has also brought to the surface fears and worry about Knox's safety and the possibility of it happening all over again, but my mother-in-law shared a verse with us that we have since been reminding ourselves of often:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

We are resting and trusting in God and his plan for Knox and Parrish and our family.  We are determined not to let our sadness overshadow our sheer joy of having been given this new little life to care for.  Yes, our joy often commingles with our sadness and longing for Olivia as there are many reminders of our Livy at this age, but God is faithful to give us grace to make it through whatever sad times we face and we are blessed that he has entrusted us with this new little life.

Every night as I lay Knox down to sleep I repeat this verse:

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8

Here are some pictures from the past two weeks, which can probably tell the story of our life over the last days better than I can with words...

A HUGE thank you to our friend Terri who came to the hospital to capture the first moments of Knox's life in pictures.  It was an incredible gift to be able to just take in every moment without having to scramble for the camera....thank you, my friend...for sharing those special moments with us!

Friday, August 3

:: Have a little help from my friends.... ::

 Lately I have been struck by just how talented so many of my friends are.  Each in their own way.  As I've prepared for Knox's arrival, I have been the recipient of many of their talents and just had to take a minute to brag on them.  First off is photographer Alisha Baker of Alisha Baker Photography.  I met her for the first time not too long ago at a Blessed Be The Name photo shoot and was so impressed with her Be(tween) catalog photos I asked her if she'd take Knox's newborn pictures.

A few weeks ago she emailed and said she had an idea for a maternity photo shoot for her portfolio and would I be interested in "modeling" (I use that term VERY lightly!).  I said yes, please!  And these images are just a few from our session.  

She totally dreamed up the wish lantern idea and made them all by hand.  It was absolutely hilarious to watch us try to corral the lanterns from blowing away too fast and even more of a sight to see Cannon and Parrish on the bass cat boat going to gather them from the middle of the lake after we were done!  Parrish definitely loved the adventure and by the end of it, Cannon was already coming up with ways we could get them to stay put longer next time.  It was so much fun and Alisha is such a talented photographer.  I am so thankful I will have these images to look back on.  When I look at the pink sky I think of Livy smiling down on us...me carrying the baby boy she helped Jesus select just for our family.

Another Über talented friend is Brantley Bowden of Southern Stationery.  I've known Brantley since Auburn and at my baby shower my friend Autumn gave me some of her absolutely precious (seriously - I couldn't stop looking at them) stationery, stickers, and gift tags.  
I loved everything so much I contacted Brantley about doing Knox's announcements, and then I got a little carried away (shocker!) and had her do some cigar wraps for hospital favors too (I wrapped them around the blue bubble gum cigars and they are so precious).

And some baby bag tags for Knox...

And not to be left out...some new luggage and backpack tags for Mr. Parrish.

So many talented friends....I love being the beneficiary of their God-given gifts!  Thanks, ladies!!