Welcome Mary Heath!

I sing for joy at the works of your hands. How great are your works O Lord.
(Psalm 92:4-5)

It’s a GIRL!

We were thrilled to welcome a baby girl into the world on Thursday, November 1, 2012, at 11:20pm.  She is healthy, weighed 7 pounds 1 ounce, was 19 inches long, and is an absolute delight.  We are so grateful for her–thank you Lord!

We named her “Mary Heath” and will call her by that double name like the sweet Southern girl she is.

Mary comes from my family–my grandfather tells me she’s the 63rd Mary on my paternal side.  The two most recent Marys in her lineage are my grandmother and great-grandmother.

Mary “Linda”
(my grandmother)
and Mary “Alice”
(my great-grandmother)

Heath comes from Fax’s maternal side.  His grandmother’s maiden name was Heath, his mother’s middle name is Heath, and his sister’s name is Heath.

Elizabeth Stewart Heath Finley
(Fax’s grandmother)

“Ann” Heath
(Fax’s mom)
and Elizabeth “Heath”
(Fax’s sister)

Mary Heath

We are loving every minute with her.  More to come on her (somewhat humorous) birth story and our life with her these first couple weeks…

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Baby Update

Just a quick update on Baby… We’re 5 days from my due date now, and the doctor says things are looking good: Baby seems happy in the womb but is making good progress toward its debut.  I’m showing (and feeling!) some mild signs of labor but nothing that would send me to the hospital immediately.  The doctor wants to induce labor by Monday 11/5 if no baby before then, so we should meet our little one sometime in the next 10-11 days–hooray!  I’m ready to get this show on the road.  Tomorrow is my last day in the office so I hope Baby comes soon.  Otherwise I’m going to be sitting around with nothing to do, and you know a watched pot never boils!  But then again, there’s nothing wrong with a few more days of sleep and independence :).

I’d LOVE for you to help me pass the time by guessing when the big day will be…

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Who Will Baby Look Like?

How cool is it that God’s design includes children resembling their parents?  I am so excited to see our baby and begin guessing who he or she is going to favor.  Boy or girl, I’m thinking this one is going to be a little Fax!



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Baby Showers

Sweet friends in Atlanta and Knoxville hosted beautiful baby showers for me last month.  Both days were such a blessing to me.

Here are a few photos from my Atlanta shower.  It was a drop-in shower so I didn’t get as many photos of the guests:

Hostesses Emily, Melissa and Susanna — I’ve got lots of pregnant friends!

Perfect Scripture

Beautiful decor

Tree of specific prayer requests for labor and mothering–each guest took one home. Such a blessing.

The grandmothers-to-be, my mom and Fax’s mom

I got some great gifts, including my diaper bag from my hostesses…

…and a handmade smocked daygown for a baby girl from my mom! (daygown for baby boy to follow)

And here are a few from my Knoxville shower:

Hostesses Kari, Kyra and Jordan

Beautiful decor

I LOVED this diaper cake, especially the sweet lamb on the top–it’s now in the baby’s crib!

Sister-in-law Sarah, who is due to have my niece Scarlett about a month after we’re due!

Friends from high school–love these girls!

My dear friend Anna who is expecting boy #3 soon!

Sister-in-law Sarah, my grandmother & stepmom Ginger

Generous friends and family

More great baby gifts, including the boy smocked daygown from my mom…

…a handmade quilt from my grandmother (who is also a Georgia fan, which is not common in my family)…

…and our car seat from several guests!

And a very fitting final gift from my friend Jordan.

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Maternity Photos

Our friend Dominique took some great maternity photos of us when I was about 7 months pregnant.  We’re thankful for her friendship and willingness to help us capture this special time.  Here are some of my favorites:


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Only 2 More Weeks!

Today I’m 38 weeks pregnant–only 2 more weeks until our little one is due!  Baby has continued to progress normally and is doing great.  Praise the Lord!

These last two months have been a flurry of activity as I worked down a mile long to-do list to prepare for Baby’s arrival.  I’ve taken a number of classes, all of which were great, including childbirth preparation, nursing, prenatal yoga, infant/child CPR and a hospital tour.  We met with 3 pediatric practices and finally selected Northside Pediatrics just last week.  I’ve had two wonderful baby showers and we turned a guest room into a nursery (posts to follow).  All that while running a small business has been a lot!

Luckily the activity is starting to slow. I’m glad for the opportunity to focus on emotional preparation–to soak in the remaining time with just Fax and me, and to imagine what it’s going to be like to see and hold our sweet baby.  The doctor says I’m showing signs of labor, but she thinks it’ll be at least another week with a “10% chance” of it happening sooner, and of course this babe could still come late!  Right now I’m fine with any of that, but we’ll see how I feel when I’m overdue :).  Prayers for a short, smooth labor and a healthy baby are much appreciated.


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Hello Third Trimester!

I can’t believe I’m a couple weeks into my third trimester now–this baby is due to be born in about 10 weeks!  What a blessing it’s been to carry this baby and await its arrival.  I’m loving feeling it move all day long.  And though I’m starting to “feel” this pregnancy more, all is going well medically which is all I can ask.

The next couple months are going to be busy.  We’ve already got a childbirth class under our belts, I’ve registered at the hospital, and we’ll soon start turning our guest room into a precious nursery.  I’ve been loving picking out baby items and am slightly obsessed with finding good deals.  We want to get everything in place in the next 6 weeks because we have friends who’ve spontaneously given birth up to 4 weeks early!  Hopefully that won’t happen, and we’ll get to spend the final month milking the freedom and spontaneity we know well and will soon miss.

It’s turned out to be really fun to not know the gender.  There’s so much mystery and surprise.  People often ask what we think it is.  It took us both a long time to have any sort of intuition, but we’ve both started thinking it’s a girl.  We don’t feel strongly about it though and would not be surprised at all if it was a boy. I haven’t found it to be too hard to plan for a baby’s arrival without knowing the gender, but what has been hard has been picking out 2 names!  Though we’re keeping them a secret until birth, I’m proud to say we are almost there.  We have the entire girl name picked out and we know what we would call a boy, but we’re still deciding between two second names for a little man.  I can’t wait to see him or her.  For some reason, I’m expecting it to look a lot like Fax but who knows, we’ll soon see!


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10 Year High School Reunion

What a blessing it was to reconnect with old friends this past weekend at my 10 year high school reunion.  I know many folks hated high school, but not me.  I loved it and look back on it fondly.

Part of the reason is because I was truly blessed with great friendships.  While some faded after graduation, I’ve stayed deeply connected with several girlfriends and continue to be strengthened and encouraged by them.

The weekend started off with a daytime potluck with my dear friends Kari and Jordan.

They both married great gentlemen and have created these little darlings.

I also had a chance to spend time with my dear friend Anna, who did not go to my high school but was an integral part of my life in those days.  She’s pregnant with #3 and is due just about a month after me.

She’s done pretty well so far with these cuties.

Saturday night was the big reunion event in downtown Knoxville.  I was glad to get to show off this guy!

I wish I’d taken more pictures throughout the night but I did get a few quick shots with these lovely ladies.

The turnout at the event was great, and our time together flew by.  I loved seeing old friends and hearing the latest in their lives.  Many people said such sweet and encouraging things about this blog and our pregnancy.  I’m grateful to have such caring people in my life, even if I only see them every 10 years.  I’m kind of hoping for a 15 year reunion because waiting another decade seems way too long!

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Family Wrightsville Beach Trip

Earlier this month, we were blessed to get to spend 10 days at Wrightsville Beach, NC, with Fax’s family!  This trip was filled with beach time (now that I’m a little older and care less about being tan, it was mostly spent under an umbrella… which is so much better, what have I been thinking!), boating, swimming, relaxing, and fun with the family.

We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary while we were there with a nice dinner, ice cream and evening walk in downtown Wilmington.

We were also there on the 4th of July, and we picnicked with a big crowd to celebrate.  Fax’s dad grew up in Wilmington and knows lots of folks  there.  It was fun to see everyone decked out for the 4th.

One of my favorite beach activities is summer bingo at the yacht club.  I was hoping to win a Snickers bar, and lady luck was on my side this year.  Plus we got some cash!

I couldn’t tube or ski this year, but I love watching Fax and his brother Ned at their many talents on the water.

Tucker does not like to be alone, but at the beach he conquers his fear in the name of sunning on the porch.  He could sit out there all day.

Another thing Tucker does not like is to get wet.  So this is the closest we come to him swimming :).

Speaking of swimming, it was so fun to see our nephew Ward growing in independence and personality.  He is quite the little swimmer!

And next year, we’re hoping t0 have 3 water babies!  Because Fax’s sister Heath and I are both pregnant!  She is due about 6 weeks before we are.  It has been fun to be pregnant at the same time, and I’m looking forward to a lifetime of fun as we watch the same-aged cousins grow.  Neither of us know the gender of our babies, so the fall will be full of joy and surprise all around!

Ten days is just enough to turn your brain to mush and help you refocus on what matters.  Fax’s parents and his siblings  are a constant blessing to us.  But if I had to boil it down to one thing I love most about them, it’s their care for others.  Through a lifetime of living this way, they’ve become naturals at perceiving and seeking to meet the needs of others.  They take the time it takes to cultivate relationships with people, and it’s very inspiring to be around.  Thanks to them for a fun trip!

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind.  And Love your neighbor as yourself.  (Luke 10:27)

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One Year After Miscarriage

One year ago this week I learned the devastating news that we’d lost our first pregnancy.  The entire week was filled with deep grief and confusion surrounding medical decisions.

One year ago today, I went on a walk in the rain–something I’d never do–just because I had to release all the anger I felt.  Then today, the same day one year later, I found myself on a walk again.  But this time with a bouncing baby inside and a prenatal appointment right afterward.  My, how things can change in a year.

On the day it all went down last year, a friend sent me the July 14th entry in Jesus Calling.  Some of it read: “Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you… Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain.  Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend.  Someday you will dance lightfooted on the high peaks.”

Then this past Sunday, one year later, I was blown away when the worship leader introduced the following song by disclosing he and his wife had miscarried their first pregnancy earlier this year.  He shared how the words were an encouragement to him, and I too had been encouraged by the hope they offered in my darkest hours.  Hearing the words in that moment, it all came together for me.  I stood there with Life moving inside me, and I  realized God had taken me to the high peaks to dance lightfooted.  One year later, I was standing on my mountaintop.  Seeing just how much He’d done.

Standing on this mountaintop. Looking just how far we’ve come. Knowing that for every step. You were with us. Kneeling on this battle ground. Seeing just how much You’ve done. Knowing every victory. Was Your power in us.  Scars and struggles on the way. But with joy our hearts can say. Yes, our hearts can say. Never once did we ever walk alone. Never once did You leave us on our own. You are faithful, God, You are faithful.  (“Never Once” by Matt Redman)

I realize not everyone’s story will turn out this way, and heck we even had to endure round 2 before we got here, but this is our story.  Never once did we ever walk alone.  My hope was to glorify God through our pain–and now I want to do the same with our joy.  He has sustained Life inside me, and I am certainly hoping for our baby’s safe arrival in a matter of months.  Thanks be to God!


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