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Today marks a full year since I jumped into my little Pontiac with our 7 week old baby and cried as I saw one of our favorite cities, Louisville, Kentucky, trail off in my rear view mirror–not knowing when or if we’d ever be back. Brian and 2.5 year old Levi led the way in the truck, all four of us making the 15 hour (turned 19 hour because children) drive down to Miami, but still without a place to call home. We knew where we were heading, but in all reality we had no clue.

A year ago today, we hit the ground running, as everything does in this giant city. A couple days of driving, a few days of hotels, a quick move to a mission house, and suddenly overnight we’re both back to work–Brian at a new store and me on my laptop–back to the daily grind in a foreign place with millions of people, but none of “our people.” Running, I tell you, freakin’ running.

And here we are. One year at lightning speed, but so heavy that I feel like my soul has aged by five. I knew this was coming too–we read all the books, we paid attention in mission school, we talked to all the people. Everyone said, by the one year mark the newness will fade. The honeymooning will be over. Real life sets in and the enemy will try to steal your vision and your joy. (Yes to all of this.)

I know for a fact that, this year, my brain has worked harder (hello more languages in Miami than I can count), my tear ducts have spilled farther, and my heart has felt lonelier than they ever have before. But praise be to God: my faith has grown deeper, my worldview grander, and my God far mightier than I had ever envisioned.

Because when we didn’t have a house for our family, He gave us the perfect one. When we felt alone, He placed lovers of Him within doors of ours. When we missed our people, He allowed us the technology to worship right along with them on Sunday mornings. When I felt that we had so little compared to many in this place, He showed me how to serve a sister who had less. When we needed to retreat as a family, the shores He made were minutes from our doorstep. When we doubted our calling and His plan for our church, He continued to lead family after family after family to our seats.

Today marks one year. To say we’ve been humbled, stretched, and hearts stirred would be a grave understatement. But one thing all the books, all the classes, all the people didn’t tell us about this milestone–a year is when it will finally feel like home.

 

 

[To all of you who have supported us financially and prayerfully over the course of this year, from the deepest parts of our hearts, we thank you. We are living in one of the most expensive cities in the US, and we can recount several times over this past year where your giving helped to offset unforeseen expenses. Just another example of God’s provision through YOU. We’re grateful.]

Henry: 13 Months Old

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Welp, Henry was 13 months old on July 25–so this is more like a “13.5 months old” post, but whatever. This has been a big month for you, Hens! You’re talking (babbling) more, even more expressive than ever before, and starting to become a lot more mobile!

EATING

Your eating is still out. of. control. You have started becoming very mad when I try to spoon feed anything to you–you just want finger foods so that you can control the pace at which you eat! And that’s actually kind of nice for me until we’re eating rice for dinner or yogurt for breakfast or applesauce for lunch, because not only are you controlling, but you’re MESSY. You’ll get food in your ears and all in your hair. Not to mention on the floor because you’ve learned the art of throwing food you don’t care for. We still love you though.

You are now drinking 4 – 4 oz bottles of regular whole milk each day. Earlier this month, I weaned you off the lactose free milk and you tolerated it really well. I was just tired of buying three different kinds of milk (almond milk for Brian), so we had to streamline it somewhere!

SLEEPING

Sleep is still awesome! You are ready for bed by 7 each night and we don’t hear a peep from you until 7 or 7:30 the next morning. Your naps have been a little weird lately–I think you are transitioning to less daytime sleep. I’m not quite ready for that though. You’ve started taking quite a while to fall asleep at each nap 😦

MOTOR SKILLS

Henry is consistently crawling around on all fours (belly up off the ground), cruising furniture, and pulling up on anything and everything. He isn’t super interested in trying to take steps while holding my hands yet. Sometimes I’ll put a toy out in front of him while he’s standing (with support) and he will refuse to try to step and drop right down to his knees to come get it. I know it’s still pretty early, but I’m having flashbacks to our 20 month old crawler (Levi) and hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.

TEETH

As of now, Henry has 8 teeth! 4 on bottom and 4 on top. He has been especially clingy to me lately and whining occasionally in the middle of the night, so I’m wondering if his 1 year molars are not too far off as well.

COMMUNICATION

While you have said a few words (ma-ma, da-da, yay) a few times each, you don’t really say them consistently quite yet. You are definitely putting together new sounds and babbling quite a bit more now that you turned one, so I’m not worried. One of mommy and daddy’s favorite things is to listen to you talk while we drive in the car. You love to sit in your car seat, look out the window, and just babble like crazy. It cracks us up.

INDEPENDENT PLAYTIME

Once that wonder week was over last month, you all of the sudden started having some independent playtime each day. And all on your own accord! While I clean the breakfast dishes each morning, you’ll often just crawl into your room and start playing. It’s so nice that you are becoming a little more independent now! Usually, once you see me, it’s all over, so I make sure to stay clear of your room. But I love hearing you play for even up to 20 minutes at a time!

SCHEDULE

7:00 AM             Bottle (4 oz cow’s milk)

7:45 or 8 AM     Breakfast with Levi

9:00 AM            Nap (wake around 10-10:30 AM)

11:00 AM           Bottle (4 oz cow’s milk)

12:00 PM           Lunch with Levi

1:00 PM             Nap

3:00 PM            Bottle (4 oz cow’s milk) and snack

5:30/6:00 PM    Dinner with family

6:30 PM            Bottle (4 oz cow’s milk)

7:00 PM           Bed

We love you so much, sweet babe! It’s so fun to watch you learn and grow.