Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Our New Home

 Click to enlarge

We spent the weekend at our new home cleaning and imagining what we wanted to do with each room. Our new house has a wonderful layout. It is two stories with a two car garage.

The main floor has a cozy living room with a fireplace and a bay window, a great size kitchen with plenty of counter space and cupboards, and a casual dining room with pass-through window from the kitchen. The master bedroom is also on the main floor. It has a walk-in closet, tray ceiling and a beautiful bay window.

The upper floor has two bedrooms -- one will be the guest room and the other will soon become the baby's room. Over the garage is the family room / office combo. This is a great space with some built-in shelving that is prewired to function as an entertainment center.

Last, but not least, we have a wonderful yard - not too big and not too small. The back is fully fenced with a patio and one little tree. The front has been nicely landscaped, though it needs a little TLC (a little trimming, a few new plants...). We are very excited about this great home in a wonderful community. I can hardly wait to move.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Father's Day In-Between

Most children grow up ranking Mother's Day and Father's Day among the "lesser" holidays of the modern calendar, with nowhere near the level of interest of, say, Christmas and Easter. On these days, you see, we kids get something ... even if we are required to stop and think about the reason for the season. Perhaps holidays are a reminder that we are inherently selfish creatures, and a challenge to live beyond that and to put others first.

Such it is with Father's Day, the day beyond all days where we pause to honor our fathers and the part they have played in our lives. But Father's Day 2005 was unique and poignant in my life: My father passed away in March. I certainly spent this Father's Day thinking about him, but I cannot offer more of a tribute than what was already shared at his memorial service (read).

In April, Christy and I were stunned to learn that we'd finally managed to get pregnant. In less than nine months, I would be a father myself. That is not an easy concept to grasp; I recognize that my life will be completely altered overnight, that there will be this small human who will rely on me for all of his or her needs -- physical, mental, emotional, and perhaps even spiritual. But I have no way to imagine what daily life will be like.

We have been trying to conceive for some time, and we had also known for some time that Dad's condition was terminal. With every visit home we knew it might be the last goodbye, and I so wanted him, if he could not meet and hold my child, at least to know that our first child was on the way. I wonder why God waited until only days after his passing to bless us in this way.

Last Sunday I lived a single Father's Day in between; my own father has gone, and my son or daughter is being created before my eyes. Next year, I will be the father. But this year, in between, may I honor the Father of us all, who gives new life with his left hand and draws waning life to him with his right, building us all up in the image of Christ. I thank him for who my dad is, for who I am, and for who my child will be.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Top Baby Names

Let the guessing begin! Only two or three people have been told our almost-decided baby names, and they have been sworn to secrecy on penalty of caning. Our intended formula is: [Bible name] [Family name] [Surname]

But now the Social Security Administration has a nifty searchable database of the most popular baby names over the last several decades. Interestingly, my name has been steadily waning in popularity since it was given to me: Darren ranked in 147th place for male baby names in 1976, and steadily climbed to 334 in 2004.

Christina is still a happenin' #123 for female babies last year, down from an impressive #14 in 1976.

Visit the SSA site to see the top 10 baby names of the last year, and to search for your own name. You can also see the most popular names by year, by decade, or by state! Post your current name ranking in the comments thread.

(Hat tip: Rebecca Writes)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Big Annoucement

 Baby Sumner at 7 weeks, 2 days

It's finally time to reveal one of the main reasons that we started this blog for family and friends: We're having a baby! Christy has just finished her first trimester, and today at the doctor's office we heard the baby's heartbeat. It's absolutely amazing to witness first-hand the creation of God at work in our midst.

We've also just bought a house here in the Nashville area, and we'll close this Friday. Pictures will be forthcoming. It's a nifty three bedroom, two bath that is about to get a happy little baby's room painted upstairs. We plan to move in mid-July, provided we can find some big, strong arms to help.

The baby's due date is January 3, 2006! We are hoping for a girl for our first, but are incredibly blessed by God either way. Stay tuned for much more in the months ahead as we prepare (if that's even possible) to embark on the wonderful world of parenthood.

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