Sunday, September 28, 2008

The First Month

It is so hard to believe that Ashton is already a month old today. In the midst of so much going ~I have done my best to take the time just to hold him in my arms. Relishing in these newborn moments. The children are adjusting well to life with a new sibling. Bella Grace is a Mother Hen. She is constantly asking to help and to hold him . She will steal a kiss or two or twenty on any given day. Big brother Bennett is very active and busy and running around doing 3 year old boy things and then will stop everything to run over and give Ashton the sweetest kiss right on his forehead. "Mama he is sooo darling"! It's funny to hear him say something like that!  Baby Pearl runs to his bassinet every time she hears him cry! "Oh ba-beeeee" ! This is her very favorite thing to say. She says this over and over again each time he cries until he finally stops ~then she tries to give him a kiss on his head (but can't reach!) and runs off to play with her older siblings.  We are all trying to find a new schedule and a new rhythm as a family! This takes time and so I am trying not to obsess about things. The house, the laundry, the meals and so on. They are only little once. They are only little once. They are only little once.....this I know so well.
Dearest Ashton,
Great Joy. This is you. You are what one is referring to when they speak about the sum total. The cherry on top. The nectar of life. The cup that is full. Pressed down. Shaken together and running over. You are the blessing that there is not room enough to receive- that the word speaks about so clearly. Our hearts are so full because of you. There is such happiness -such joy in your little sounds, and in the sounds that fill our house now. I am grateful my precious son that the One who gives chose me to be your Mother and for you to be my child. He has knit our hearts together- one for another- from the moment you were born and placed in my arms.
My arms and my heart and my soul and my spirit are overflowing because of you my sweet baby boy. I love you so.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Falling into Autumn

It's here! Oh how I love fall and every, single thing about this magnificent season! Especially the temperature dropping a little, sipping pumpkin spice lattes and waiting for my absolutely favorite type of pumpkin to make her arrival at the local market. Some call her the "Fairytale" pumpkin, others refer to her as the "Cinderella" pumpkin- either way, she is a beauty! I love taking the children pumpkin picking each October, making our way to the apple festivals and fairs, hayrides at the local nursery, drinking cinnamon cider, filling the house with the scents of the season~ caramel candles, mulling spices on the stove, crackling fires, making candy apples and baking homemade pies and other wonderful goodies! What a glorious time of year!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

To Know Him As Father

Photo by Jamie Collins
Each time I have the incredible honor and privilege of bringing a precious life into this world
the Lord attempts to break in through the enormous wall that life has built around my heart. He comes in again and again. Through the gift of a child. Through their tiny puffs of air on my neck. Through their tiny fingers grasping mine. Through the infinite amount of trust in their eyes. Through those precious coos and whimpers, and through watching my husband with our little one. How he holds, rocks and cradles. How he kisses, hugs and embraces. How with the birth of each child it brings him to his knees with thanksgiving and gratitude. And although I am demonstrating the same emotions and actions~it is an entirely different experience for me to observe my husband with our children. Time and time again the Lord has used those moments as ministry~as a time of healing and as a time of restoration for my heart. He has also used those moments to teach me and to show me that He is my Father. And that He loves me with a love that is not from this world. No matter what my earthly fathers have or haven't done. No matter how many times I was forgotten, rejected, abused or abandoned. No matter what is on my birth certificate or whether anyone was happy or sad the day I was born. He is my Father~ and that just as my husband is so joyful, so mindful and so proud. So is my Heavenly Father~ joyful, mindful and proud of me. So many of us are without an earthly father and for many different reasons, but there is One who will never leave you nor forsake you. There is One whose heart is turned toward you and One who is longing for you to know Him in that way~ as Father. His love cannot be measured. It is deeper than deep for you and me. His love is no respecter of persons. He loves us- each and every one. He fashioned us and created us on purpose and for a purpose. Here is one of my favorite scriptures and one that He uses to remind me of His love....I pray that it speaks to you today.
For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought from the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, Oh God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake I am still with You. ~ Psalm 139:13-18
To my five beautiful gifts... Macey, Bella Grace, Bennett, Emma Pearl and Ashton- May you never doubt our love for you precious ones- It is infinite. May you never wonder if you were wanted- you were- with every fiber of our being we wanted each one of you. May you always know in your mind, heart, spirit and soul that you were created with such great purpose and such tremendous destiny and nothing will ever change that. Most importantly may you come to know the everlasting love of your incredible Heavenly Father and receive every good and perfect gift that He has stored up for you. May your cup overflow all the days of your life precious ones. Love, Mommy

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Paying It Forward

While I was busy bringing our sweet baby Ashton into the world several of you sent over some 
special awards and I just wanted to send out a big "thank you" (a little late!) to each and every one of you!  Your comments, awards and kind words mean so much! 
Thank you to Granny Smith Green, One Fabulous Mom and The Beach Rose for the Diamond
Award. They are all wonderful bloggers and very special ladies- so check out their blogs if you haven't already! I just recently passed that award along ( if it is the same one and if not, then someone let me know and I will send it out to five more bloggers!)
Thank you to Cal Mom over at Running Tide for passing along this award! This was so kind of you and you made my day! Check out her wonderful blog as well if you haven't already! I would like to pass this award on to the following bloggers!
The Queen has more creativity in her hive than most of us do in our pinky fingers! I just love buzzing over and reading all about her latest projects! 
Paige has a great big, beautiful spirit that comes through the pages of her blog and touches your heart in very special ways. She is also a gifted photographer and scrapbooker!
What an incredible mom Kim is to her 3 precious children. I so enjoy visiting and keeping up with all of her adventures in motherhood. She is also a super talented photographer and frequently posts the most beautiful pictures of her little ones.
Thank you to Beaufort Belle for the " I love you this much award" and for all of your kind words and comments! I have enjoyed getting to "know" you through the blogging world!  Please make sure to visit her blog as well! I would like to pass this award along to my dear friend Kellie, who recently joined the blogging world ! Be sure to visit Kellie at This Blessed Nest and fall in love with her precious two year old and brand new twin babies! She is a beautiful Proverbs 31 woman in the truest form. Love you "B" and hope you all enjoy your awards!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First Day of School

Bella Grace's First Day of Kindergarten
8 . 26 . 08
Bennett's First Day Of School
9 . 8 . 08
In the midst of Ashton's arrival and his first week home we also had his siblings first day of school. Bella Grace has started kindergarten! I cannot believe that I am the mother of a college student and a kindergartner but that is exactly what my first two daughters made me this year! Bennett started his pre-school again and this year he is in the three's program! He loves school and is so eager to learn and participate in all of the activities! Our mornings are full and the house is buzzing with babies and back to school excitement!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The First Week

What a week. So many things happening at once. My heart has been so heavy trying to give and do for each and every person in the family. Balance. That's a good word. I'm trying to learn how to do that in a better way. Trying to let go of any feelings of guilt-as that is no way to live at all. Trying to capture, embrace and hold on to these first fleeting moments. I have found myself holding each and every one of them in my arms ~ Tighter. Longer. More often. It all goes by so fast. My first gift calls from college almost every night. Wish for the years back with her. I would do it all so much better~knowing what I know now. But wouldn't we all. That is the thorn in the rose of our lives. By the time we figure it out~ that unconditional love and time well spent is all that matters ~ they are already grown and into the next phase of life. Wish they could put a box of that on the toy shelf at Target for every parent to see.  It would be a best seller.....
I wanted to say "thank you" to each and every one of you for your beautiful comments and for all of the congratulations on the birth of our son. Your kind words have meant so much to me and have been a source of encouragement during this time. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I have printed them out to place in his baby book! A special thank you to One Fabulous Mom and A Journey To Our Daughter for the "announcements" they placed on their blogs to welcome our son. It made my heart sing. Thank you friends and I hope to catch up with my blogging and commenting very soon. I'm taking time to hold my Prince right now........

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We're Home!

Daddy, Mommy and Ashton Parks
Birth Announcement Photo Shoot
4 Days Old
Photo Credit: Jamie Collins

Monday, September 1, 2008

What Love Looks Like

My heart is full. There are no words today. Only tears of joy and my camera in hand to capture these first precious moments. Unspeakable joy. Gratitude that I have never felt before. I am  humbled and broken and filled in very special ways. Thank you Father for the five gifts I call my children. Thank you for trusting me Lord. Thank you for showing me what love looks like. Thank you for showing me that love can be seen. It is soft and gentle and delicate and fresh and tiny and new and very, very beautiful. My cup runneth over Lord.