Ellie will be 7 weeks old on Sunday. To put it mildly, that just seems crazy. It’s not going too fast, but I sure don’t want to blink.
She smiled – really smiled – for the first time tonight; it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. She’s growing in every way. Looking back to pictures of her the day we brought her home from the hospital and comparing to now, it’s amazing how much she’s already grown and changed. She’s eating well and getting great little rolls on her arms and legs to match her adorably chubby baby cheeks.
We’ve been blessed to have great support from Wildwood Community Church and other Christian friends: lots of food, lots of volunteers to help with giving Jaimie time out while I’m at work, lots of help with little details like laundry. A few weeks ago, Jaimie’s parents came up for a visit, as well, and Jaimie’s mom spent a few days here helping take care of the little one – giving us a much-appreciated hour or so out by ourselves on a date, a first since May 27.
Last weekend, we traveled down to Fort Worth, where Elayne got to spend time with lots of doting relatives. My mother-in-law absolutely spazzed out in her delight over Ellie; it was probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen her do, but perhaps also the most terrifying.
We got to spend some time with Jaimie’s grandmother at here (very nice) retirement home just a few miles away from Jaimie’s parents place. One of my favorite moments of the whole trip was seeing all four generations of women together. Despite her slowly fading body, it was clear that Grandma Grotjan absolutely loved seeing the little baby (even if she did let her ornery side show with me a bit!).
(I do believe that is my favorite picture I’ve ever taken with a phone camera; it’s certainly one of my favorite pictures of our extended family on Jaimie’s side. Too cool.)
We then spent the evening and the next morning with our dear friends PJ and Katie and their wonderful children. It was fun seeing “Uncle PJ” and “Aunt Katie” spend time with our little girl. As ever, I found myself refreshed just spending time with people who get me, and who just roll with it even when they don’t – as, let’s face it, I’m something of an odd fellow sometimes.
Apart from Ellie, life goes on much as it ever does. I try to find time to write; I squeeze in reading time where I can find it; I am slowly getting back on track with my running (three times each of the last three weeks – here’s hoping I can make this week a four-run week tomorrow morning). I very much enjoy my new job with Quest Consultants, Inc. I appreciate my coworkers; I enjoy the small company and the correspondingly higher degrees of independence, responsibility, and trust placed in my hands; and I really love having windows that look out into the real world. I’ve had a little lull in my web development consulting, which came at a perfect time for us, and now it’s picking up again, which is great for helping us prepare for seminary.
Add on the fact that I now get to come home and have lunch with Jaimie and Elayne almost every day of the week, and I couldn’t be much happier with my work situation.
We continue to deeply enjoy the time we spend with our community group – a solid core of godly men and women in almost every life stage (we still need some grandparents and some teenagers) – and I still love teaching.
I continue to grow in appreciation for Wildwood Community Church. It’s not a perfect place, of course, and there are lots of things I would change if I could, but as I commented to a friend recently, it has been a great home for us and my main responsibility is simply to pray. In the last six months alone I have seen answers to prayers I have offered for the last 18 to 24 months. It’s been a good reminder first that God does answer prayers and second that I not only can but should trust him to accomplish his will in the church. For a young man who wants to go into vocational ministry, there is probably no single more important lesson to learn. God will establish his church with or without me. My part is prayerful reliance and obedience; his part is everything else.
I will do my best to keep this page updated more frequently, and to post photos as often as we get them, and – for our families’ sake especially – to take more pictures in general.