Three weeks ago Lincoln School threw a surprise shower for Jake, I & the little one. Sorry no pictures yet (waiting on them to come my way) - yet, it was a wonderful to time celebrate with and receive such great support from those who I work with on a day-to-day basis. I was overwhelmed at the generosity each co-worker shared through such kind and personal gifts.
Two weeks later we attended a shower celebrating the welcoming of our little one with Jake's family and a few good friends who live in N. Indiana.
Leslee & Darcee (two former - note, not old - babysitter) plus their little ones + mom.
Alison & I
Part of the afternoon was an opportunity for guests to offer Jake & I a bit of, what we'll call, "advice". I have to share - some of the best words came from the little ones celebrating with us.
"Please make the baby laugh. It keeps them happy. When you feed the baby, smile a lot. Talk to the baby and read to the baby. Give the baby lots of hugs and kisses. Take lots of walks and look at flowers. Listen to the birds on your walk."
"A way to survive diaper changing - spray cologne or perfume on a sock, and tie it around your face! P.S. This is a technique my dad used when changing my little brother."
Leslee surprise us with a beautiful cake - such a special treat! If you're in the South Bend area and need a delicious AND beautiful cake - we have a referral for you!
Jake's aunt and two cousins were the ones to put on such a beautiful and welcoming shower where all felt welcome to celebrate the upcoming birth of our little one. We are so grateful for their kindness, generosity and intentionality at making us feel such peace about our new family and the support we have in this new journey.
I'm quite remiss that we were not more intentional at taking pictures that involved more of Jake's family - many from whom we received such special gifts. When we get a moment, we'll see if we can scrounge some up and share with each of you.
That evening we all went to visit Annie & Shorty - two dear friends of Jake's paternal grandma & grandpa. Shorty turns 100 on Aug. 14th and as smart as a whip with sharing stories dating back pre WWII and a sense of humor that would shake anyone's belly.
When we pulled into Jake's parents we saw this front end plate on a van parked across the street. Such sweet memories of when we were younger and told to get our "dupa's into bed!" came flooding back.
Over the last month or so we have been traveling to and fro to spend time with friends and family, keeping on the road with work related adventures and continuing to prepare and celebrate the up-coming arrival of our little one.
Here are some snap-shots of our time with my parents a month or so ago celebrating my mom's birthday/retirement/mother's day, Jake's graduation and father's day.
Our time home was a welcoming one with many trips down the river, visits to the celery nursery, walks in the woods and enjoying life's celebrations and seasonal transitions.
Our first stop was to visit with my cousin Chad whom we haven't seen since our wedding day when he so graciously documented our beautiful day. It was wonderful to spend time with him and catch up on the last four years of our lives.
After surprising my mom at school on her birthday we headed home to begin to preparing dinner with Dad. Highlighted gifts: Biking helmet (Because doesn't everyone look hotter in a helmet?) & vegetable steamer.
The following afternoon Jake & I were able to spend time with Rene & the little ones playing in the backyard, eating goldfish (the crackers, not the fish), and simply enjoying each others company.
I love the little hands poking up into this picture.
During our weekend away we were also fortunate to have a morning to spend with the coffee guys at Crankers. Such a beautiful time to catch up with old friends.
On an unrelated note: We also bought a van. Yes, a van. With plans unfolding for a Michigan tour up north and a moving adventure out West (following the Oregon Trail perhaps?) we decided that it would be in our best interest to invest in a van, convert it into a home/storage space/way of transportation as we pray and try to figure our where to next. Here are a couple shots of our, what Jake has begun to call, hot dog.
Oh... the beautiful Red Hot Dog (although I think most of us know that if it were a true hot dog the color would be yellow w/ white specks for mustard & onions).
The "backyard" - as seen above.
In total: Jake has stripped out the shelves (both good & bad); removed, dried and cleaned the flooring; added new Master Lock hasps and locks; rewired the entire front dash complex (crappy wiring); cleaned and reattached the air filter system and mass airflow sensor; bought, cleaned and painted a spare tire; changed the lights (everywhere); bought a new battery; cleaned, fixed and redid the air filter box complex; fixed the coolant system; done a deep cleaning in both the inside and outside; is anticipating replacing the water pump in the coming weeks; begun to build/plan for making an elevated bed in the back and best of all -
Jake & his brother were able to find this beauty of a middle seat in the junkyard - a perfect match - so we can travel across the lands with the little one between us.