Law school is done.

I finished grad school a year ago, and as of today, Kyle is officially done with law school.  Together we have a whole bunch of initials after our names, which don't mean that much in the grand scheme of things, but we're pretty excited about them anyway. Frankly, I'm a little jealous that Kyle has a doctoral degree while mine is just a measly old master's degree, but that's a tale for another day. ;) Today is a day for thanks, praise, and celebration.

Thanks to our friends and family.  I can't even tell you how grateful we are to you all.  Our families have provided so much for us throughout our marriage, but especially in the last three years of this crazy grad school adventure.  We look at our lives, and so clearly see how generous our family has been to us in supporting this dream of ours.  We couldn't have done it without our parents and grandparents. We also have so many friends who have been such a blessing and so encouraging.  This has not been an easy three years, but coming to a new city, we couldn't have found a better community than our August Gate family.  Many of them have seen up close the frantic, glazed look in our eyes when we were so overwhelmed, and have walked with us through some difficult moments.  We are so thankful.

Praise to God. All the glory to Jesus. He is our great provider and sustainer. On all the days we were running on empty, he filled us with grace and turned our eyes upward rather than inward.  He gave us a deeper love for his son, and for each other.  Somehow, in the craziest three years of our marriage thus far, he managed to increase our joy and love, showing us every day that he loves us, he is good, and we can trust him.  There will be many more days in life that we are running on empty, and He will always give what we we need. We have so many reasons to praise him each and every day.

Celebration of this great moment.  We are in a "happy place." We know that troubles will come and go, but right now, life is pretty swell.  I am SO incredibly proud of my sweet, brilliant, hard-working, generous, charming, kind, and extremely attractive husband.  He is an amazing husband, daddy, friend, employee, and so much more.  I love him.  I love him more than I can say.  

Congratulations, my dear husband. We made it.  By the grace of God, and the skin of our teeth, we made it. This is a fantastic day, one that we will never forget.  I am so proud, and so thankful you are mine. Thank you for working so hard. I know that you did it in large part for our family, so that you could make a better living for us.  In the meantime, you found a career that you love, a firm that values you, and a job that excites and challenges you to use that big brain of yours every day.  You're my favorite person. You're the best.  I love this crazy little life of ours.  Thanks for making it so great. 


Four months.

Margot has been a part of our family for over a year now, since the moment we found out she existed on 4/24/12.  What a blessed year this has been.  This, her fourth month "on the outside," brought a few firsts.
She started giggling every day. This is pretty much the best thing we've ever heard. We are constantly trying to catch it on video because it just gets better and better, but the videos never seem to do it justice! We've both become addicted to that little, squealy laugh, and will make the biggest fools of ourselves and do just about anything to bring it out of her.
She went to her first (and second) Cardinals game. The first happened to fall on the same night as Kyle getting his official full-time job offer at work, so it ended up being one of the most fun, happy nights either of us can remember.  We will never forget it! Margot was super happy, all snuggled up in the Ergo carrier. Even though it was a bit chilly out, we had the PERFECT seats (thanks to the law firm) in the Redbird Club, and we were plenty warm. We even got to invite Josh and Kim to join us, meet up with a few family members who were also at the game, and see Shelby Miller get a W for our Redbirds.
First family baseball game!
MJ is trying so hard to roll over. She is getting really good at scooting on her back, and she can get over to her side pretty easily.  Most mornings we find her in some cockeyed position in her crib, and laugh at how in the world she got herself there overnight. Watson often likes to bring her his toys (see bone below). Occasionally he even brings her his frisbee or ball, and then sits in front of her waiting for her to throw it.  Some day, buddy.  Some day.
Trying to roll.
She is also enjoying more sit-up time in her Bumbo seat, strengthening that back and neck a little every day. She definitely shows preference to certain toys and teethers, and she really likes variety.  She is putting everything in her mouth, and getting very good at grabbing what she wants and bringing it to her mouth by herself.  Her favorite thing right now is being outside. She could be screaming at the top of her lungs, but once that fresh air hits her, she is a happy little clam again.  I try to take her on as many walks as I can, usually wearing her in the Ergo. I want to wear and snuggle her as much as I can while I can! It is so neat to see her face light up in wonder as she takes in trees, flowers, buildings, birds, and so much more. I can hardly imagine what it would be like to see green leaves for the first time, but if I had to judge from her face, it must be pretty spectacular.
We've yet to try any rice cereal, and we're thinking about skipping it all together. She is sleeping great and gaining weight, so we're thinking of just waiting until 6 months when we can start her on veggies and fruits. I haven't talked to many other parents about this, but from what I've read there isn't much nutritional value to the rice cereal anyway, right? Is there really a good reason to do it?
Mommy geeked out when she said her first CV syllable (that's consonant-vowel, for you non SLPs.) So far, I've heard /k, g, p, d, m, ng/. While I'm not in any huge hurry for her to get big and crawl or walk, I can't wait for her to talk!
She is such a joy, and we love her so much! We are learning every day how to be the parents she needs, and it is a challenge, but so wonderful.  My friend Megan shared this quote last week that really stuck with me:
"I thought parenting was going to portray my strengths, never realizing that God had ordained it to reveal my weaknesses." 
Boy, is that the truth! It is shaping us as parents, as husband and wife, and as followers of Christ, for the better.  It is exciting to think about what the next month will bring for Margot and us, including the conclusion of law school for Kyle. What a journey this has been! We are feeling the goodness of God as we look back and see how he carried us through every day, and thankful that he equipped us to build this life and love on him, our solid rock, our firm foundation, our only hope.
Happy four months, Margot Jane! We love you so very much.