Changed Lives

May 30, 2016

One week ago two lives were forever changed. They’d prepared for it as best they could. They had the furniture, and the accessories, the clothes and the diapers. They’d had baby showers and gifts. Her name had been selected months before.

They were ready. So they thought.

But when the moment came, and that tiny new life, created from the best parts of both of them, was placed in their arms, life forever changed. And they knew they hadn’t been prepared. Not really.

Because how can you totally be prepared for the miracle of new life when she’s suddenly placed in your arms? No longer inside her mommy’s belly, being nurtured and protected only by her, this little miracle has now entered the world, totally helpless and dependent on her parents to provide for her every need. She cannot feed herself, clothe herself, or change her own diapers. She cannot put herself to bed. She cannot hold her own head up yet, cannot crawl, cannot walk.

She is totally and completely theirs, and she is relying on them for everything in her entire new little adventure into a big, and sometimes scary, new world.

They knew all of this. But until she was in their arms that first time, there was no way they really totally KNEW.

Because until you hold that little life for the very first time; until you look in her eyes together and see yourselves in her face; until you hear that first sweet cry, you cannot image the pure love that you are suddenly engulfed in. It’s a feeling that’s indescribable, and one that will never leave, no matter how old you become. The bond between child and mother and child and father is one to be cherished forever, and is not meant to be broken.

They were both totally overwhelmed with emotions they never even imagined were possible. They couldn’t believe she was theirs. It was almost more than they could comprehend. But one thing they knew…their lives were changed forever from that first moment. Changed for nothing but good, and the good only gets better and better every day.

I knew my daughter and son in law would be great parents. But I just am overwhelmed by how they’ve taken on their new roles as mommy and daddy. They both are amazing, especially Daddy, who has to take a bit more active role now because of Mommy’s C-section recovery.

Watching my daughter hold her own daughter, who looks exactly like her when she was born, is nothing short of amazing to me. There’s just something about watching your child holding and feeding her own child; you wonder where the years went, and suddenly realize, you succeeded as a mother, because your own daughter has so naturally become a mother now herself.

And for us, as new grandparents, our lives are changed as well. We now have another generation to love and nurture, and to watch as she grows up to become an amazing young woman.

There is just nothing like the feeling of holding your baby’s baby in your arms; no words to describe it, and I still cry once in awhile as I feel her softness and cuddle her closely. I marvel at her every time I hold her, and have even caught myself calling her my daughter’s name because they look so much alike. Her new granddad is already head over heels in love with her, and he’s already wrapped around her tiny finger. The love on his face as he holds her is simply amazing.

Yes, all of our lives were changed a week ago. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy one week birthday Rachel Marie!

The Mother to a Mother of a Child

Anyone who’s following my blog, or who’s read more than two of my recent posts, most likely knows we’re about to become grandparents. We’ve had about seven months to get used to the idea, just like our daughter and son-in-law have had that time to get used to the idea of becoming parents.

I remember the excitement and anticipation I felt when I was expecting our daughter. We were nervous, excited, scared to death, and thought the time to deliver her would never get here!

Like Ashley and Chris, we used the time to get our daughter’s room all ready, buy cute baby clothes, and stock up on diapers. We counted down the weeks. And worried and wondered if we’d be good parents. And every day the realization of our upcoming change in status from merely husband and wife to parents was very obvious to me, because I was carrying our daughter inside me. I felt her move, I heard her heartbeat, and saw her inside of me as the ultrasound technician moved her wand over my expanding belly.

Every day was a constant reminder of the new life that was coming.

Image2But being an expectant grandparent is different. Because I’m now going to be the mother of a mother of a child. It’s actually sort of hard for me to wrap my brain around that. My daughter, the little girl I carried inside of me for nine months, who I gave birth to, is now going through the same thing. And she is getting ready to give birth to her own daughter very soon.

And that has made me stop and reflect on what that actually means.

It sounds so different to say mother of a mother of a child. Even though that’s what a grandmother is, if you have a daughter. But that’s actually what I’m going to be.

Image3As a mother I still tend to think of my daughter as still being a child – my child – rather in terms of her being an adult who is married. She’s already been a wife for over a year, but for some reason I have an easier time thinking of her being a married woman than I do thinking of her as a mother.

Because to me, her being a mother, her and her husband being totally responsible for a new life, means I have to look at my daughter in a new way. As an adult. And that’s something I’ve had a hard time dealing with. Not that she hasn’t been an adult for several years, but this is different. We’re entering a new stage in our mother-daughter relationship. It’s going to suddenly become more of an adult-adult relationship.

How’d she ever get old enough to be married, let alone have a child?

And now I’m becoming the mother of a mother of a child. How did I get old enough to graduate to that status?

Mom and MeI’ve often wondered over the past few months if my own mother felt this way when I was expecting. Did she wonder where the years had gone? Did she have to reconcile in her own way that her only child had now totally passed over the threshold of childhood, never to return again? Because my mother’s only daughter (me!) was becoming a mother herself.

And now that mother of that child is becoming a grand mother…the mother to a mother of a child.

I don’t know if I’m ready for this or not, but I’m certainly going to do my best. I may make mistakes, and so might our daughter. We all do in this parenting/grandparenting game.

But in the end, being a mother to a child is one of the very best things a woman can be. And being the mother to a mother of a child is an honor that I cannot even begin to imagine.

The baton is being passed down our family line once again, and now it’s my turn to be the one ready to impart my wisdom and years of life experience, not only to my daughter, but eventually to my daughter’s daughter when she grows into a young woman.

May the Lord bless all of us who are the mother (or father) to the mother (or the father) of a child.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s your first official Mother’s Day, Mommy! And I wanted to be the first to wish you Happy Mother’s Day! I know I’m still inside of you, but I won’t be for much longer.

You’re already a mommy, you know. You’ve been carrying me around for over eight months now. I’ve been living inside you all that time. My heart has been beating from the moment I was conceived, and God placed me inside of you. I’ve been breathing inside you, taking nourishment from you, and growing bigger and bigger every day. I listen to your heartbeat and the sound of your voice all the time.

The only things you haven’t been able to do yet are hold me in your arms, kiss my cheeks, cuddle me close, and see my face smiling back at you when you smile at me. But that will be soon. I promise.

You know, mothers are very special. Dads are, too. But mothers are totally and completely unique…you’ve already spent over eight months carrying me inside of you, taking me everywhere you go. You never stop thinking about me, and wondering what I’ll look like. What color eyes and hair I’ll have. What my voice will sound like. Will I be happy or temperamental?

You’re also thinking, “Will I know how to take care of a baby? After all, I’ve never really done that before. I’ve babysat, but that’s not taking care of a child full time. Am I up to this? Will I be a good mother?”

If course you will, Mommy. God wouldn’t have given me to you unless He knew you’d be the very best mother for me.

Well, Mommy, I’ve never been a baby before. I’ve never lived outside of your body, except for my time up in heaven. I’ve always been safe and comfortable inside of you, so this is all new to me, too. We’re going to be learning how to do this together.

We’ll have to be patient with each other. I’ll do things you don’t understand, and I probably won’t either. We’ll both figure them out together. There’ll be times when we’re both tired and want to sleep, but we won’t be able to. Sometimes I’ll cry and you won’t know why…and possibly neither will I. That will be challenging…but we’ll get through it.

But there will be other times that will be so happy! We’ll do all kinds of fun things together. You’ll play with me while you’re giving me a bath. You’ll cuddle with me in our favorite chair, and read a book to me, and point out the pretty pictures. You’ll talk to me and share secrets with me that I won’t tell, because I won’t be able to talk yet. We’ll go for walks, with you pushing me in my stroller. You’ll watch me to learn to crawl, and then take my very first steps.

And then you’ll wonder why I’m growing up so quickly.

So Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy. This year your gift is me! And I’m going to be here soon! I promise!

Until then, good night, Mommy. I love you!

XOXOXOXOXO Pink-Roses-For-Mothers-Day

I’ll Be the Best Dressed Baby

Wow, Mommy, ever since you found out I’m a girl, you’ve really been having fun shopping! It seems like almost every day we’ve been somewhere looking at baby clothes! I hear you talking to your friends about what you’re finding, or calling my grandmother and telling her.

I wish I could see all the things you’re buying, but I can only hear you, so I just have to imagine what everything looks like. Your grandmother told me about colors while I was waiting to be placed inside of you, and I’ve already picked out my favorites, and I did hear you talking about some things you bought for me!

I really like pink; pink is probably my very favorite color. Of course I’m a girl, so you know I’m going to like pink! I know it’s not your favorite, but I AM going to be the one wearing them! I like that pretty teal blue, too, and yellow. Yellow reminds me of summer, which I’ve been told is the best season ever! I can’t wait to see the rainbow of all the colors in my closet! I bet it’s already getting full!

I heard you showing my grandmother some of the things you got the other night. She sounded excited, too! You were talking about little dresses, and cute play outfits, and even bathing suits! And flamingos. Your grandmother told me how much my grandparents like those pretty pink birds, and how you had to get some flamingo outfits for me to wear to some kind of flamingo party. It sounds like fun! I can’t wait!! And it sounds like I have the clothes for it already.

I also heard you and my grandmother talking one day about buying me some pretty little socks. Grandmom said they had bows and rhinestones on them. I’m sure I’ll love those! Your grandmother also told me you never liked to keep socks or shoes on your feet when you were a baby. She said you always found a way to kick them off, no matter what, and your mother had threatened to glue them to your feet! I don’t know how socks and shoes feel when you’re wearing
them, but I love wiggling my little toes around, so I hope they don’t squash my feet too much! Or I’ll probably do the same thing.

Of course I won’t need a lot of shoes until I learn to walk, so you don’t have to worry about that yet. Just socks. Pretty ones.

Your grandmother also told me how she used to make a lot of your own mother’s clothes when she was little. She said she had so much fun doing it. She told me she kept a lot of them because they were so pretty she just couldn’t get rid of them. Your mother still has some of them, because she couldn’t get rid of them either.

She also told me about the fun she used to have with your mother going shopping for clothes for you. You’d all three spend all day shopping and looking around to find just the right outfits for you to wear. She told me she’d love to be able to go shopping for me just one time, but she’ll just have to be happy knowing we’re having fun.

But she also told me about a very special dress that both your mother and you wore when you were christened. Your grandmother’s sister-in-law made it all by hand especially for your mother for her christening day, and you wore it as well. It’s been saved for me to wear, too, when I’m dedicated. Isn’t that exciting? And so very special. I’m part of such a wonderful loving family, aren’t I??!!!

And please, I’m a girl, so I’m really going to need a few headbands and bows. Please? They don’t need to be big….just cute!!! And they need to match my outfits!

Thank you, Mommy! I love you! I’m going to sleep now and dream about wearing my flamingo pajamas I heard you talking about! I bet they’re adorable!

XOXOXOXOXO

I Can’t Wait Til Next Year!

Before God placed me inside of you, He had your grandmother tell me all kinds of wonderful things I had to look forward to when I was born.

Of course she told me all about you, and about my grandmother and grandfather, but since she never got to meet Daddy, she could only tell me what she saw on the day you two were married. God let her and your grandfather watch. Did you know that? And from what she said, it was a beautiful day for two special people who are now going to be my parents!

One of the stories she told me was all about Christmas, and how beautiful everything is with all the lights and the bright sparkly ornaments on the trees. And about all the presents, wrapped in pretty paper and bright red and green bows. She told me how Christmas is one of your favorite times of year, and I’m sure it’ll be mine, too!

She told me about the true meaning of Christmas, about how Jesus was born on Christmas Eve, just like I’m going to be born in the spring. By the way, she knows exactly what day I’m coming, but she said I can’t tell you! You’ll have to be surprised! She also told me how Santa Claus always comes on Christmas Eve and brings toys and other gifts for us kids, as long as we behave and listen to our parents. And I will, too. That’s going to be so much fun next year to see what he brought for me!

This year you and Daddy had a great Christmas, getting gifts for ME already!!! You also got some ornaments for your tree reminding you of me, and I can’t wait to see them! I also heard you talking about your stockings that Santa had filled. I wonder what he’ll put in mine next year!!! I hope mine has my name on it, and I hope it’s really big!!

 

I’ll be crawling by next Christmas, and I’m going to really enjoy crawling around all the presents that your grandmother told me will be there for me. I hope you’ll let me open them. You’ll have to help me, of course, but we are going to have such fun!! Maybe my doggie brothers will even help.

And I loved all those cookies you and my grandmother made! Especially the white meringue ones with the chocolate chips inside. And the buttery ones with the sugar sprinkles. I didn’t quite get enough of them, and I hope when I’m old enough you’ll let me help make them. That’ll be fun, won’t it, Mommy?!

And speaking of eating, at least I did get to have a taste of my grandmother’s Christmas dinner before you started feeling bad. I’m sorry I’m making you feel so sick, but I don’t have any control over that. I guess it’s just part of having me. But I promise you I’m going to be worth it. I really am! And I sure hope you feel better soon.

I guess I should say Merry Christmas to you and Daddy now. It’s really been fun, but all the excitement has made me really tired. I know we all had fun, and I can’t wait til next year, ‘cause it’s going to be even better!!!

Good night! I love you!

XOXOXOXOXO

A Grandmother’s Dream

I guess I’ve been writing so much about baby Rachel lately it was bound to happen again. And it did. With little Rachel’s entry into the world being so close it’s natural to dream about her.

The last time I had such a dream, or should I say the first time, in that dream baby Rachel was probably about 3 months old, because she was a lot bigger than a newborn, and she was holding her head up and looking all around.

In this dream though, she was a newborn, wearing her newborn pink and blue striped hospital cap, and swaddled in her pink and blue striped hospital blanket. She was tiny…tinier than most newborns, it seemed, but then again, I haven’t held many newborns lately. Or should I say I haven’t held my newborn granddaughter yet…except in my dreams.

Like I did a few nights ago. She was so soft, and so adorable! She looked so much like her own mother when she was born almost 28 years ago! I held her in my arms and was instantly in love! She was so beautiful…so tiny…here was my own daughter’s daughter. And I was holding her, cuddling her, and just looking at her in amazement while she looked back at me with enormous blue eyes and smiled the biggest smile I’d ever seen!

Then I was feeding her, and actually using the same baby bottles Ashley had showed me in her kitchen the other day. They certainly weren’t the kind I’d used for Ashley! So…..

However, there were two other parts of my dream I’m still amazed at. Perhaps because of my newest blog series, Letters from the Womb, in which baby Rachel is talking to her mommy, my subconscious mind was working overtime. Because in my dream I was having a conversation with my NEWBORN granddaughter, who was actually talking to me. In sentences. She was telling me she was hungry, and then she suddenly started talking about my mother. Her great grandmother. Who’s been gone almost ten years.

Now imagine how I felt when I turned my head, still holding baby Rachel, and I clearly saw my own mother sitting beside me. Little Rachel was talking to her as well, in fact they were planning a birthday party and giggling like two little kids!

So this sounds strange to you? Not to me, if you look at this dream with your spiritual eyes, rather than your earthly eyes.

You see, my granddaughter is being named after my mother, Ashley’s grandmother. My mother was a very important part of my daughter’s life, and losing her was terribly difficult for Ashley. You can read more about this in Another Rachel.

For several months after my mother passed away, I’d have dreams about her. Dreams in which she was still very much alive, still living in her own home. The dreams were so real I would wake up shaking, because for a few moments I thought they were real, and I was actually wondering how to tell her I’d given her clothes away, and how to tell her we’d buried her next to my father.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Jeremiah 1:5

But this dream was different. Instead of being upset that my mom thought she was still alive when she wasn’t, in this dream seeing and hearing her talk to a newborn baby was quite natural. Because babies are a gift from the Lord. This speaks to me that our unborn babies’ spirits are living in heaven before their spirits are sent to live in their mother’s body, in the new life being created within her.

And since my own mother is living in heaven, I have no doubt she and my granddaughter have had many opportunities to connect and get to know each other. I have no doubt that baby Rachel communicated with my mother in the language of angels that is spoken in heaven.

And I have no doubt my mother is as thrilled and excited about our new granddaughter who is about to enter the world as we are! Because she already knows so much more about this little one than we do.

As I write this we are about five weeks away from meeting our granddaughter. My mother has already met her; talked with her; laughed with her; encouraged her; and loved her. Baby Rachel will bring a small part of her great-grandmother back into the world with her, along with her own unique personality and gifts the Lord has bestowed upon her.

I know when I look at this newborn baby for the first time, hold her, and look into her eyes, I will sense just a tiny part of my own mother’s love. All the way from heaven.

Thank you, Lord, for that wonderful dream!

I’m A Girl! I’m Rachel!

I’m so excited!!! You finally found out!!! I’ve wanted you to know for so long!!

You were so sure I was a boy. I’ve heard you and Daddy talking, and I couldn’t help laughing. Boy, did I surprise you both!! You were so sure, at least most of the time, but every once in a while I heard you saying, “well, maybe it IS a girl…”

2015-12-13 13.50.44My grandmother knew though, even before she found out for sure. And I’m so surprised you didn’t give in and let her go ahead and tell you. I know you wanted Daddy to find out with you, and you wanted to see each other’s reactions, but I don’t know whether I could’ve waited, knowing all you had to do was ask. I’m still amazed you wouldn’t even let her tell my grandfather though.

It was so funny that day when my grandmother said something about me, and said “he”. You were sure you knew then, and I was laughing so hard, and clapping my little hands….I almost did a cartwheel inside you, I was laughing so hard! I may be only the size of a peach right now, but I’m surprised you didn’t feel me jumping and kicking!

I heard you all making plans for the day you’d find out, and I was as excited as you were! I thought Daddy would never get home from his work!!! I know you felt the same way.

2015-12-13 13.34.45I woke up early that morning…did you feel me moving around?? I just couldn’t keep still!! You and Daddy were excited, too, and when my grandparents got there I knew it wouldn’t be long! Now I heard you talking about a big balloon, and it sounded like there was a party going on, from all the excitement I heard!

Then all of a sudden you were yelling, “Pink??? Are you sure??”

Yes! I’m sure!! I’m a girl!!! Now you all finally know!!

I don’t know how many people were there today, but I sure heard a lot of voices, and a lot of people talking about dresses and ruffles and bows and all kinds of fun girly things! Mommy, we’re going to have such a special relationship, you and me! I can’t wait! And I know Daddy will be so protective of his little girl…you’ll probably have to talk to him about that, because I heard him say when I’m older he’s not going to let me out of the house without him!

2015-12-13 13.55.49And by the way, that cake my grandmother brought over for the party? It was delicious! I’d like some more of that, please. With some ice cream? And a big glass of milk!

I’m sure you have lots of pictures from today, too, and you know I’m going to want to see them! I want to see your faces when you found out that I was Rachel and not Ryan. Ryan will come along a little later I’m sure.

So now instead of just calling me “baby” and “it”, you can call me Rachel and talk about “her” and what “she” will be like! Isn’t this exciting, Mommy? I knew you’d be happy!

And by the way, your friend who lives down the street, who was there today, well, she’s going to have a baby also. She hasn’t told you yet, and I can also tell you she’s having a little boy. How do I know this? Because God told me. I’m going to have a lot of fun playing with him, too. He might even be my first boyfriend!

But don’t tell Daddy! I don’t think you and Daddy are ready for that just yet. After all, I’m not even in your arms yet. I’m still inside of you.

And it’s been a busy day for all of us, so I’ll say good night now. I know you’re tired, because I hear you yawning. Good night, Mommy. I know you’re going to dream about me tonight. And I’m going to dream about doing fun things with you, going for walks, having you read to me, swinging on the swings in the park, oh, it’s going to be wonderful!!

Sleep good! I know I will! I love you!

XOXOXOXOXO

Love At First Sight

Today was a really big day wasn’t it mommy? You and Daddy actually got to see me for the first time! I was right there, just taking it easy, resting inside of you. I was trying to pose for the pictures but that ultrasound wand sort of tickled me and every once in a while, and I had to move around and start laughing. You couldn’t tell though, because I’m still only about the size of a raspberry.

My arms and legs aren’t quite formed yet, so I couldn’t wave at you like I wanted to, but I was smiling at you. Did you see me smiling? Your grandmother told me I have a beautiful smile, just like yours. And just like your mother’s!

I heard you and daddy talking about me while you were looking at me on the screen. You were both so amazed to see tiny little me right there inside of you. Now you really understand that I’m here with you, and you’re really going to have a baby. Me!!!

And my grandparents were excited, too! Especially Granddad, because I heard him crying. That was so cool!! And I heard my grandmother saying how she was just so overwhelmed that her little girl was having a baby of her own! I heard her starting to cry as well!!

2015-10-14 16.40.14And I heard the nurse giving you all my first baby pictures. I may not look a lot like a baby to you right now, but that’s ME in those pictures! Over the next few weeks my arms and legs, and fingers and toes, will be forming. My heart is already beating, and soon you’ll be able to hear it. Just like I hear yours every minute I’m awake. It lulls me to sleep when I’m tired, and reminds me how close we are. Mother and baby. Inseparable.

2015-10-14 16.07.05I know you’re already wondering what I’m going to look like, and in the next few months you’ll get a few glimpses from the ultrasounds, but you really won’t truly know until I’m here. Which will be sooner than you think. I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but the days will pass by quicker than you think. Not quick enough for me either, because I can’t wait to be in your arms and look into your eyes. That’s going to be the most special moment ever!!!!

Well, I need some more sleep, so I’ll say good night for now! Don’t lose those pictures, because I’m going to want to see them all when I’m old enough!

I love you soooo much!!!!

XOXOXOXO

Surprise!

Hi, Mommy! It’s me again! It’s sure been a week of surprises for everyone, hasn’t it!? And I’m so glad it’s all because of ME!!!

You had no idea at all, did you, Mommy, when you went to the doctor that you’d get such news!? You just thought you had a bad cold. Little did you know the doctor would come back in and say, “I have some good news for you. You’re going to have a baby!”

How did you feel at that moment? You actually had to ask the doctor to repeat what he’d said because you were so shocked! You and Daddy had wanted to have a baby, but you didn’t really think it would happen this soon.

I was jumping up and down for joy to know you finally knew about me. Even though I’m not quite as big as a blueberry, and you certainly couldn’t feel me moving around yet, but I was sure excited! Finally, you knew I was there!

But you had to keep the news all to yourself, because Daddy wouldn’t be home for another week, and you didn’t want to tell him on the phone, because you wanted to see his face when you told him. And it wouldn’t be fair to have told Grandmom and Granddad before Daddy, so you couldn’t tell anyone except the doggies. How in the world did you manage to keep such a secret? Were my doggie brothers excited when you told them? I couldn’t really tell from the way they were barking.

But your mother, my grandmother, knew. She knew as soon as she saw you that next weekend. I guess it’s just something that moms know. I’m sure you’ll find out one day as well. You just looked different; you acted different. And you wanted a milkshake so bad you thought you’d starve if you didn’t get one immediately. That milkshake tasted pretty good to me, too, although I would have preferred chocolate rather than vanilla. Next time, please remember that!

2015-10-11 14.31.08And when you told Daddy when he finally got home from the boat, was he ever surprised! I wish I could’ve seen the look on his face, but I can only hear your voices. I’m sure when I’m older you’ll show me the pictures so I can see his reaction for myself. I wonder what was going through his mind when it all sank in. He was going to be a daddy! Just like you’re going to be a mommy! I wanted to listen to your conversations that night, but I fell asleep. Too much excitement for one day!

And my grandparents’ reactions were wonderful! I heard the excitement in my grandmother’s voice, but what really got me was hearing my grandfather choking back tears. I’m sure he was crying. I can’t wait to meet him, because I know he’s going to be the best grandfather ever! He and I will have so much fun together! We all will.

Well, Mommy, it’s sure been an exciting week, hasn’t it?! There’s so much to think about, and dream about. Just remember when you’re dreaming about our future, I’m doing that, too. Before I left heaven, your grandmother told me all sorts of things to think about, and look forward to. And she especially asked me to smile at you every day, and kiss you as soon as I’m able to, to remind you how much she loves you. And so does your grandfather. I wish you could have met him, because he’s just as wonderful as your grandmother. My great-grandparents.

I promise to smile at you every day, and kiss you, and hold your finger tightly, and just remind you of all the love that’s surrounding you, and me, and our whole family. We have so much to look forward to!

I love you and Daddy already! And my grandparents! So very much! Good night, until we talk tomorrow!

XOXOXOXOXO

Good Morning, Mommy

Good morning Mommy. Yes, I’m talking to you. That little voice you’re hearing is me. You don’t even know about me yet, but guess what!? You’re going to be a mommy. MY Mommy! And I already know that you’re going to be the best mommy in the whole world!!

Did you know I already hear your heartbeat? I hear each and every breath you take. I hear the sound of your voice when you’re talking to Daddy. I hear you when you’re talking to my grandparents. I love to hear the sound of your voice. You don’t even know I’m in here yet, but I’m listening to every word you say.

But you will. And very soon.

Right now I’m really, really tiny. Actually I’m about the size of a poppy seed. I’ve only been here for a little while, so it’s really too early for you to know I’m here. But soon you’re going to go to the doctor, and she’s going to tell you the wonderful news. I sure hope you’re going to be as excited as I am! We’re going to have a wonderful time together, you, me, and Daddy.

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

You see, God created me just for the two of you. I have your eyes. And I have Daddy’s laugh. I have your smile. I have Daddy’s chin. Without the beard of course. I have my grandmother’s spirit, and my grandfather’s funny sense of humor.

Your grandmother, my great-grandmother, has been taking care of me for the last few months while God prepared me for you. She’s been telling me all about you. She is so proud of you, and she loves you so much. She’s so excited about giving me to you. She even knew my name before you did. Because she knew you’d be naming me after her. I’m your Rachel.

Mommy, we’re going to have so much fun together. We’ll go to the beach. We’ll play in the park. We’ll go shopping, and you’ll buy me all kinds of pretty clothes. Daddy will teach me to fish and hunt. I know they’re not really girly things to do but that’s what Daddy likes, and I know he’s going to have a great time teaching me. And I’m really going to make him proud of me. And you, too.

I can’t wait until you find out about me. We have a while to wait before we officially meet, and I’m already counting the days! And soon you will be, too!!!

Well, I’m getting tired, and I need my sleep. And so do you. You have been feeling a bit tired lately. I’m sorry, but that’s because of me. But I’ll be worth it! I promise!

I love you so much, Mommy, and I’ll talk to you later!

XOXOXOXOXO

Another Rachel…

I didn’t really think I could be this excited. But I am. And I can’t help it.

A few weeks ago a friend commented on my blog post about the empty chair at the Thanksgiving table, that next year that empty chair will be filled with a part of my mother. How prophetically true that statement was, because, even though I’ve known in my heart almost from the day we found out about Ashley and Chris expecting a baby that it would be a girl, it was confirmed ten days ago.

Ashley had asked the doctors’ office to call me to tell me the sex, because she and Chris wanted to be together to find out in some kind of gender reveal event. I very seldom ever answer my cell phone if I don’t know who is calling, and when the call came in, I almost let it go into voice mail. But I thought it was a call from a doctor’s office to confirm an appointment, so I answered. It was a doctor’s office, but not the one I thought. I remember her telling me she had Ashley’s results and was I ready to get them?

Oh my gosh, she was calling two days early! Was I ready…I’d been ready since we found out there was a grandbaby coming! I held my breath…..and then I heard her say the chromosomes came out X…and X, which meant a girl! The stork is bringing us a girl! And this ornament is now proudly hanging on our Christmas tree!2015-12-06 11.08.55

I cannot even begin to express how I felt. I remembered how I felt when I found out Ben and I were going to have a little girl, and I was so excited to tell the world! I called Ben first, of course, and told him, and then I called my mother, who was almost more overjoyed than I was, if that was possible! Another little girl in her life to make clothes for, and buy little ruffled dresses for (which of course Ashley really didn’t want to wear, and let us know as soon as she could express herself)! A little girl she could play school with, and teach to cook…my mother was over the top excited, especially since she’d waited so long for her only child to have her own child! She was so excited, and since her friends knew how much this grandchild meant to her, they even gave her a surprise grandmother’s shower!

Since Chris was out of town on a tugboat in the Chesapeake Bay, we had to wait until he came back to do the reveal. I have to say this has been the hardest secret to keep that I’ve ever been entrusted with. Because I couldn’t tell anyone except my friend who made their wedding cake, since she was making a gender reveal cake for them, and of course the salesperson at the party store who put together the gender reveal balloon. But that really doesn’t count, because I couldn’t tell my husband, or my best friends, or even Chris’ mom who is also becoming a grandmother at the same time I am!

(Chris did tell me I could tell my cats, so all three of them knew as well, but since they’re cats and it doesn’t directly affect them, well, they really didn’t seem to care all that much!)

For the last ten days, everywhere I’ve gone I’ve seen people with babies. They seem to be everywhere. They also seem to be all girl babies, even though I know that’s not true. And I just keep thinking…oh my gosh, we are going to have one of those! Even shopping last Saturday for a few little gifts for the gender reveal, it hit me as I stood in line behind this lady buying a pile of fancy little girl clothes…Ashley and I are going to be doing that soon! I wanted to buy a little Christmas outfit so badly for her for next year, but I have no idea what size she’ll be by then…. With my luck it wouldn’t fit!

Now that I know what we’re having, it’s more real. I can call her by her name, instead of saying “the baby”. It’s so much easier to think of her now as a real little person. And yes, I would be thrilled whether we were getting a boy or a girl.

But there’s a very special reason I’m doubly excited about having a granddaughter.

Because Ashley and Chris are naming her Rachel, after my mother. AshBouquet Charmley and my mom always had a very special bond; perhaps it was because she was the long-awaited and ONLY granddaughter; perhaps it was because of how much my mother loved children. Or maybe it was because when your only child has a child of her own, it’s a feeling that nothing else can compare to. Ben and I gave Ashley my mother’s name as her middle name, and now the legacy of Rachel is being carried on for another generation. My mother would be so excited….but then again, she and my dad already know all about her….

To my friend who made that statement about the empty chair being filled with a part of my mother next year, you were totally right! In a way you didn’t even imagine!

And we all cannot wait until we meet little Rachel in May! We love her already!

I Really Miss You, Mom

This was actually written on November 16….. However, it is so totally true……

There are some times I miss you more than others, Mom. Today was one of those days.

Even though you’re no longer here, I truly believe you know that your granddaughter Ashley and her long-time boyfriend Chris were married a little over six months ago. I wish you could’ve met him. I know you’d love him as much as we all do. They’re absolutely perfect for each other. They have the same temperament. The same likes and dislikes. They balance each other.

I knew from the first few dates they had, that they’d end up together permanently. There really wasn’t any doubt.

Although some may think I’m a bit crazy, I believe you and Daddy, and the rest of our family who are with you in heaven, were given the gift of seeing their wedding. There were times that day I felt your presence so strongly….like you were there giving them your blessing, as you squeezed my dad’s hand and told him how proud you were of your granddaughter…how much you loved her. Did you see the charm on her bouquet? With that picture of you and her in your kitchen…with her sunburned face as she smiled at you? That’s one of her favorite pictures of the two of you.Bouquet Charm

Today was a special day, and one that I would have so loved to have shared with you. I’m sure you already know that our baby, your granddaughter, and my daughter, is having a baby of her own. I’m sure you knew it before I did, and probably before Ashley and Chris did. In fact, as Ashley said earlier, you already know whether it’s a boy or a girl. And you’re not telling us, either.

A few weeks ago Ben and I were able to join Ashley and Chris as we saw the first ultrasound of our grandchild. That was an awesome moment. Watching the two of them as they saw the first glimpse of that new life they created…I cannot even begin to express my thoughts. Ben and I were both a bit teary eyed. Ashley and Chris were just amazed. It was still a bit hard to believe.

But today. A month later, it was so different. It was just Ashley and me in that ultrasound room. Chris was at work, and so was Ben. I watched as the technician moved that wand around on my daughter’s belly, and that little darling grandchild of ours…your great-grandchild…was there just lounging around. Once in a while the legs would kick, or the arms would wave. This time, that little baby who’s only an inch and a half long, was clearly visible as a baby. A new life…not just a collection of cells, but a little person coming into being.
Ultrasound
I so would have loved to tell you how I felt…to share that moment with you. I wanted the three of us…three generations…to be involved. I wondered how you’d felt when you found out I was having a baby. How you felt knowing your baby was having a baby of her own. Because that’s all I could think about. My baby that I carried for nine months was now carrying a baby of her own.

Jeremiah 1:5 tells us “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” The Lord already knows all about this little person. What he or she will look like. What he or she will do with their life. And I believe the Lord has already filled you in, Mom, on all of it. And you and Daddy are even more excited about all that your first great grandchild will be. And you’re excited for all of us as well!

Yes, today was one of those days I have missed you more than I can even express, because there are just those times that I need my mom to talk to and share special moments with.

Mom, even though I can’t tell you in person, I just want you to know how excited I am. I think I can finally almost imagine how you felt when Ben and I told you that you were finally going to be a grandmother.

I just wish I could share it all with you in person. I love you, Mom. And I miss you…

November 16, 2015