Grace, we are headed to your 6 month appointment. 6 months! How has time flown so fast?! I could write a book today but I will let you do the talking : )

I. Love. Your. Giggle.

Grace, I can’t believe you are going to be 6 months old in a few days. A half a year! Oh my. Time is flying. I could write volumes about how grateful I am for the last 6 months - the very hard times and the times I felt my heart would explode with joy. Lately, you are sitting up by yourself, singing and babbling like crazy - lots of babababadadadaaa, laughing, grabbing everything in sight, and…. whining. You are learning how to get what you want : )  We have your 6 month appt on Monday (the same day daddy takes his big board exam in Louisville!) and we have a lot to report. You are still eating every two hours during the day - ie a LOT. About 8-10 bottles a day. You go to sleep around 10pm and wake up at 4am to eat again. You doze till about 6 and then it’s playtime! If you want to start sleeping more, we won’t complain : ) But, we feel so blessed no matter how much you sleep. You are happy almost all the time. It’s so easy to get you to smile. That is wonderful. I could watch you discover the world all day long. You’ve transitioned from loving Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to Row Row Row Your Boat. This provides a challenge for Mommy as there is only one verse to Row Row Row Your Boat. I sing it over and over to you anyway though because you loooove it. We’ve been having a blast together with the new Bob jogging stroller I got us. It’s like your chariot and Mommy can run really well with it. It has been so refreshing to get out more and not feel chained to a bulky stroller. We have a big weekend ahead with friends from church and the outdoor service and very Southern pig-pickin’ on Sunday. Then, next week after daddy’s big test, we’re taking you on your first airplane ride to Pensacola to see Grama Celia, Grampa David, Great Grama Bunny and Uncle Stephen… and a lot of kitties and a chicken. Daddy and I can’t wait to take you to the beach and see you explore new things! OK, sweet pea. Night night. We had a fun day together. This was us in the park this afternoon and you laughing as usual. I love you. Love, Mommy

Grace, I can’t believe you are going to be 6 months old in a few days. A half a year! Oh my. Time is flying. I could write volumes about how grateful I am for the last 6 months - the very hard times and the times I felt my heart would explode with joy. Lately, you are sitting up by yourself, singing and babbling like crazy - lots of babababadadadaaa, laughing, grabbing everything in sight, and…. whining. You are learning how to get what you want : ) We have your 6 month appt on Monday (the same day daddy takes his big board exam in Louisville!) and we have a lot to report. You are still eating every two hours during the day - ie a LOT. About 8-10 bottles a day. You go to sleep around 10pm and wake up at 4am to eat again. You doze till about 6 and then it’s playtime! If you want to start sleeping more, we won’t complain : ) But, we feel so blessed no matter how much you sleep. You are happy almost all the time. It’s so easy to get you to smile. That is wonderful. I could watch you discover the world all day long. You’ve transitioned from loving Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to Row Row Row Your Boat. This provides a challenge for Mommy as there is only one verse to Row Row Row Your Boat. I sing it over and over to you anyway though because you loooove it. We’ve been having a blast together with the new Bob jogging stroller I got us. It’s like your chariot and Mommy can run really well with it. It has been so refreshing to get out more and not feel chained to a bulky stroller. We have a big weekend ahead with friends from church and the outdoor service and very Southern pig-pickin’ on Sunday. Then, next week after daddy’s big test, we’re taking you on your first airplane ride to Pensacola to see Grama Celia, Grampa David, Great Grama Bunny and Uncle Stephen… and a lot of kitties and a chicken. Daddy and I can’t wait to take you to the beach and see you explore new things! OK, sweet pea. Night night. We had a fun day together. This was us in the park this afternoon and you laughing as usual. I love you. Love, Mommy

Oh Gracie. I am convinced God blesses us mamas with these extreme moments of cuteness just when we need them most. I had a bit of a mommy meltdown last night. These moments make it all better! I love you! Love, Mommy

Your laugh makes me more excited than anything, Grace! It’s so funny. Today was a good day. It rained hard, daddy and I got to go to the gym together this morning, we made gifts for daddy’s fellow residents (their big test is next Monday in Louisville), we rolled around on the floor and played, mommy talked to Aunt Gina and Aunt Emily and we went to Thom and Beka’s for Bible study tonight. Daddy is putting you to sleep right now while I rest in the kitchen because you tend to get very energized around me. I’m not the best at making you sleep : ) I love you, sweet girl. You were so smiley tonight at Bible study. Thanks for bringing so many people such joy. Night night. Love, Mommy

I get it now. Moms would tell me that the birth of their child was the best day of their lives. Your birth was traumatic for me. But… somehow God has been changing my heart lately. While I was away with your Aunt Gina and Emily, I spent a lot of time reading the scripture and praying and being open and honest and facing my fears and breathing deeply and I started to look at the photos from your birthday in complete awe. I look at a Lara who had no idea what was ahead. The hardest time of my life.  Yet, now almost 6 months later, I FEEL how that hard time changed me completely. Like Paul rejoicing in his sufferings because they produce character. That was, in fact, the best day of my life. It was the day God took my control away. It was the day that the heart work began. It was the day I started to truly know what real love and grace really mean. I’m so grateful to be your mama, Grace. This quiet moment with you sleeping soundly on me is the sweetest gift I could ask for on this Mother’s Day. I love you and I’m so grateful for the day you were born… and every heart-opening day that followed. The best is yet to come, sweet pea. Love, Mommy

I get it now. Moms would tell me that the birth of their child was the best day of their lives. Your birth was traumatic for me. But… somehow God has been changing my heart lately. While I was away with your Aunt Gina and Emily, I spent a lot of time reading the scripture and praying and being open and honest and facing my fears and breathing deeply and I started to look at the photos from your birthday in complete awe. I look at a Lara who had no idea what was ahead. The hardest time of my life. Yet, now almost 6 months later, I FEEL how that hard time changed me completely. Like Paul rejoicing in his sufferings because they produce character. That was, in fact, the best day of my life. It was the day God took my control away. It was the day that the heart work began. It was the day I started to truly know what real love and grace really mean. I’m so grateful to be your mama, Grace. This quiet moment with you sleeping soundly on me is the sweetest gift I could ask for on this Mother’s Day. I love you and I’m so grateful for the day you were born… and every heart-opening day that followed. The best is yet to come, sweet pea. Love, Mommy

There is nothing better than coming home to you, Gracie!!!!!

Oh, sweetness! What a trip this has been! Being with Aunt Emily and Gina has been a huge blessing. God has given me such clarity about seeking my value in Him and nothing else. His word will fill me more than anything else ever could. God is more important than all my excuses. His love is so powerful. Reading the Bible this week with new eyes has been amazing. I cannot wait to come home to you in just a few hours and keep going on this path. I can’t wait to snuggle with you and love on your daddy and make decisions and truly let go of what doesn’t matter. I love you sweet pea!!! I am overflowing with gratitude tonight! Night night. Love, Mommy

Oh, sweetness! What a trip this has been! Being with Aunt Emily and Gina has been a huge blessing. God has given me such clarity about seeking my value in Him and nothing else. His word will fill me more than anything else ever could. God is more important than all my excuses. His love is so powerful. Reading the Bible this week with new eyes has been amazing. I cannot wait to come home to you in just a few hours and keep going on this path. I can’t wait to snuggle with you and love on your daddy and make decisions and truly let go of what doesn’t matter. I love you sweet pea!!! I am overflowing with gratitude tonight! Night night. Love, Mommy

Gracie!!! Oh. My. Cute. Daddy said you were fussy from teething, so he just couldn’t help himself… he gave you sweet potatoes!!! I am pretty sure they are your favorite thing ever. I love you soooooo much! Kiss daddy for me : ) Love, Mommy

I miss you, Sweet Girl. I can’t wait to kiss your cheeks in two days. God is awesome to give me this time of soul rest and focus and renewal. I’m so so so so grateful. I can’t wait to come back to you and act on this clarity I have. Note to self and everyone ever: Do what matters. Let the rest go. ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ (Matthew 6:33 NIV)

I miss you, Sweet Girl. I can’t wait to kiss your cheeks in two days. God is awesome to give me this time of soul rest and focus and renewal. I’m so so so so grateful. I can’t wait to come back to you and act on this clarity I have. Note to self and everyone ever: Do what matters. Let the rest go. ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ (Matthew 6:33 NIV)