An Unforgettable Weekend

I have been so excited to blog tonight because I just had the most unforgettable weekend. It started out with Ryan attending the Men's Conference at our church Friday night and Saturday until early afternoon. He shared with me some of the things they did and talked about, and he was so thankful that he went. I cannot tell you how much I love watching him be the spiritual leader of our house. Not only does he lead our small Bible study group, but he plays guitar in the church band every weekend, too, which requires a lot of practice and time on his part. I love knowing that we are both growing in Christ together and that we will be able to raise our baby with the ideals and values that we share. It's so amazing! I can't help but be attracted to him and to love him that much more for taking time out of his weekend and free time to go spend time with other male Christians for the sole purpose of growing, learning, and evolving. I am seriously the luckiest person in the world to be married to this man!

My mom came over Saturday morning, and we got to spend several hours together to celebrate Mother's Day. I took her out to lunch in Zionsville, and it was just a perfect day for it. Afterwards, we drove to Ryan's parents' house in Westfield for my last baby shower. Can you believe that I had FIVE? This shower was quite the finale to everything! My cousin's wife, Katey, invited all of the women in my family to this shower. She wanted to have tea party with some delicious desserts, and let me tell you, she pulled it off with flying colors! I walked into my in-laws' basement, and there were long tables with the most adorable tea cups, saucers, plates, flowers, etc. The dishes were all Katey's family heirlooms that she brought down from my hometown, two hours away. We had a variety of teas, and then Katey made an amazing cheesecake with fresh fruit, a chocolate strawberry shortcake, and homemade chocolates and peanut butter cups. She really out-did herself! Ryan's mom, Danette, and my sister-in-law Kristen all pitched in to help set up (and tear down) everything, so they have to be formally thanked and recognized, too! I saved my carbs from lunch so that I could indulge in the wonderful desserts, and it was well worth it! We played a game, and then Katey had everyone write a blessing/wish for the baby. One will be revealed to the baby each year on his/her birthday. How fun is that?? I opened gifts afterward, and wow...I got some really great things! It really helped us get some things we still needed, as well as some adorable items that are just fun, too. :) Katey made this incredible shadow box for me with this beautiful saying:

Once upon a time there was a child ready to be born. One day before the child left Heaven, he asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there because I am so small and helpless?" God answered, "Among the many angels, I chose one for you. She will be waiting for you and she will love you and take care of you." The little child said, "But God, here in Heaven I don't do anything else but sing and smile, and that's enough for me to be happy." God said, "Your angel will sing for you and also will smile for you every day and you will feel your angel's love and be happy." The child asked, "How am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language that men talk?" God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear and, with much patience and care, your angel will teach you to speak." The child asked, "What am I going to do when I want to talk to you?" God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray." The child said, "I heard there are bad men. Who will protect me?" God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life." The child said, "But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore." God said "Your angel will talk to you about me and will teach you the way for you to come back to me. I will always be in your heart and next to you." The child smiled and waited for the next moment. At that point, there was a great peace in Heaven, but voices from afar on the earth could already be heard. The child, in a hurry, turned to God and asked softly, "I'm about to leave. What is my angel's name?"God answered, "You will simply call her Mommy."

As soon as I got to the part about teaching the baby how to pray, I just lost it. The tears just welled up in my eyes and flowed down my face. Katey had to finish reading it aloud to everyone because I just couldn't pull it together. It was beautiful, and I can't wait to find the perfect place to hang it in our home. It meant so much to me to have the women in my family together to celebrate this new life and to feel their support and encouragement.

Mom and I drove home, and then Ryan arrived shortly after that. I showed him all of the great new gifts we had received and then (of course) started organizing everything. There is a load of laundry going as we speak. :) Ryan told me that he made a playlist of songs for me to listen to while I'm in labor, so we laid down on the floor and just went through the songs. I have to tell you, there was something very special about those moments. All of the sudden, it felt like our last night together before the baby's arrival. We were just relaxed, hanging out with each other and the pups, listening to this music that we'll play again whenever the baby is on the way. For weeks now, I've had a hard time imagining reaching the point where we are close to finally meeting the baby. Last night, we both turned a corner. The journey that lies ahead of us seems so close, and we were so at peace with life. It was beautiful!

This morning I woke up to breakfast in bed! At first I forgot why, and then I realized that it was Mother's Day. Ryan brought me scrambled eggs and mandarin oranges on the breakfast tray, along with a small vase of flowers. It was so sweet! Then, he told me to stay where I was while he worked on something. In the meantime, I read this book that my dad and Danette put together for me about daughters. The book had all of these passages written by other people, but Dad and Danette had added pictures and their own thoughts throughout the book. It was just so special reading the book, eating my first Mother's Day breakfast, and feeling the baby moving around all at the same time. Those are moments in life you just never want to forget!

Ryan came in after I finished eating and brought me a great surprise. First, his mom had given him a book in 1989 about a mother's love for her son. He found a passage in that book and asked that I read it aloud. I gave it my best shot, but before I knew it, I was in tears again. He had to finish it for me! It was just beautiful, but the surprises just kept getting better and better. The next part of the surprise a letter that Ryan had written for me. Again, tears just flowed down my face...it was just the sweetest thing ever that I know I will always cherish. The last part of my Mother's Day surprise was the best surprise of all. He bought me an iPod nano. I know what you may be thinking...hmm...what's so special about that? Well, not only had he added the playlist he had created for my labor, but Ryan had a BIG surprise for me! In the video section of the iPod, he had videotaped some of my family members and my friends, each sharing a special message for me to hear before going into labor. Words cannot even describe how much everyone's thoughts, advice, and words of encouragement mean to me. They have been dancing around in my head all day! Now you thought I had cried a lot already, well the down pour was non-stop at this point (except when Kelli, my sister-in-law, was pretending to do Lamaze breathing..."Hee, hee, hoo...Hee, hee, hoo", which totally cracked me up!). Some things have been standing out to me all day. First, a good friend of mine said something, much more eloquently than I can write it on here. She said, "Remember that this baby is God's child first. He is entrusting you and Ryan to watch over this little one as he or she grows." That has really hit home with me. I think all too often we try to take on the world when actually everything really is in God's hands. It was really incredible to think about this baby as God's child. I feel like it's such a privilege that we were chosen for this little person...amazing. It also reminds me of something my cousin's wife, Angie, said to me months ago. She told me that you can worry all the time about your child, especially when you're not right there watching over him/her. But she reminded me that when we can't watch, because we are sleeping or are away, that God is watching over the baby. That just brings me so much peace! It's not to say that accidents will never happen...we know that is untrue, but again it gets tied in with the idea that this is God's child first and foremost. We are just the lucky people who get to guide the baby throughout his or her walk on Earth. :) Another thing that stands out was another good friend of mine reminding me about part of this book we've both read, The Red Tent. I highly recommend it to all women! She reminded me that labor is what gives a woman strength to be mother. Everyone who is a parent has told me that there is nothing more wonderful and more trying than being a parent. I like to think about my experience in labor as a time to gain strength and endurance to be a good mother to this baby as he/she grows. One of my good friends shared some great thoughts with me for awhile, and then at the end of her message, she picked up her newborn baby girl and said something about how wonderful a treasure you will have after the pregnancy has ended. It will be the perfect visual to help me remember what I will be working so hard for during labor. My mom and Ryan's parents both gave me such encouraging words, reassuring me that they will be thinking about me and praying for me during the labor and delivery. My dad and Danette said beautiful things, too, and then my dad read this book that we had given him to read to the baby someday. Ryan put the speakers next to my belly while my dad read the book so that the baby could hear. It was really sweet because the baby just starting moving all over the place! I think he/she is really excited to meet all of the special people in our lives. Ryan has a couple more messages to add to the iPod, which is exciting because that means there are more to come! It made for a perfect first Mother's Day, and I truly feel that we turned a corner this weekend. The baby will be here anytime in the next four weeks, and I honestly can't wait!

I hope you've all enjoyed reading about this weekend. I will always remember it as one of the best weekends of my life...possibly one of the last weekends Ryan and I will have together before the baby comes. Now that the weekend is coming to an end, we are ready for this final gift to arrive!


ktill3 said...

Amy I am so happy you had a wonderful weekend, and thankful that I was there to spend some of it with you. Great Job to Ryan for the fantastic Mother's Day. See you both soon!

rebekahallebach said...

So I just want to know when your first blog is going to be after the baby is born! Surely Ryan can fill in for you??? I won't be able to wait! :-)

Lauren said...

What a wonderful weekend for you, Amy! I teared up reading everything that caused you to tear up!

dntill said...

It was wonderful to see you this weekend. It is so exciting to realize how close we are to holding this little one in our arms (and giving you a break...you have been carrying the little one for a long while on your own :) What a wonderful morning you had with Ryan's suprises for you on Mother's Day. He is a great husband (and will be a wonderful father too). Love you, Danette

jessicahmoore said...

I cannot believe that the baby is almost here. I cannot wait to meet him/her! I am so excited for the two of you. Keep me posted on any new developments:)

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