Thursday, April 28, 2011

Introducing Tristan Lucas Ring

We are proud to announce the birth of Micah and Caelan' s youngest brother, Tristan Lucas Ring. Tristan means "Valiant for the Lord" and Lucas, a derivative of Luke, means "Bringer of Truth." We tried calling him several of our top contender names, and the only one he really responded to was Tristan. So that was it!

He arrived in at 8 lbs and 4 ozs which is a whole pound heavier than Caelan. The delivery took longer than I expected, and I think it was just because he was that much larger.

Praise God, he's here and healthy and we're so excited to be a family of five. We are so grateful for this gift
that we have the privilege to raise. Here's some more pictures of his first moments. Tune back in often as I'm sure I'll be downloading many pictures to record his first few weeks of life. Micah and Caelan should be meeting him very soon!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baby Bump Update 37 3/4 Weeks

At this late stage of the pregnancy, every day counts! Everyone is asking, "Where's baby?" You know what---there is no one more anxious than me to answer that question. Last Wednesday - six full days ago - I was told by by doctor that I was 3 cm dilated and he thought it would be no more than a week. This is me minutes before we were headed to the hospital. On Easter Sunday, I was having contractions every 5 minutes or so, for a full hour and then they just...stopped.

This false labor business is driving me insane. Oh, come baby Ring, come! The good news is, we've stayed very busy around here. Still at the Hessel's house, we got to spend Easter Sunday with their family. It was a fun time! Christi set up a trail of jelly beans Easter morning that lead to their gifts.

And to ensure they didn't think Easter was about bunnies or eggs, or Power Rangers, they were read the Resurrection story, and Micah and Caelan both really got it. Jesus rose again on the third day and he gave us the gift of new life. "That's why we get a gift, mom!"

Well, they sort of got it. Caelan didn't get the part that
you don't eat jellybeans endlessly all morning.

And when he kept hearing no....

Did I mention that the timing is perfect to have a new baby while my second born discovers that he's terribly two? Oh, the joys! Exciting news is that my 4 year old is graduating to a big boy booster seat to make room for the baby carseat.

He's so proud of his new seat because he uses a real seat belt and the seat has it's own snack and beverage holder. Happy Easter to everyone from our family to yours! He has risen! (This is the happiest picture believe it or not of my kids, but don't let them fool you, they are quite joyful.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

We Found a House!

Yes, great news! After months of searching, and three rejected offers, it looks like the fourth one was the charm. We tried three short sales for ridiculously cheap prices, and we were always up against cash-buyer investors. The fourth one was a regular sale which also had a cash offer to compete with, but it turns out that the seller wanted some flexibility for their close date and so we were able to give them a June closing. So, they chose us!

Praise God. Here is our future home!

Wow, this journey has been rough in the waiting. I've learned a lot about myself, and the Lord has used this to build my trust and faith. It became quite confusing for us, as the more we sought to find answers, the more questions we would have. I felt a little like I was chasing my own tail, going in circles, trying to figure out where God wanted us to be. I've seen hundreds of properties on line, and know every neighborhood within a 10 mile radius.

We tried poor neighborhoods. We tried fixer uppers. That was a no. We tried short sales that would literally have our mortgage under $1,000/month. That was a no. We tried small single family on a culdesac. That was a no.

Our strategy was to keep the goal (downsizing to half the mortgage, half the square footage) and just to pray and ask God to close doors if that wasn't the house for us. Well, surprisingly, we were up against a cash buyer--AGAIN, He said yes. We are grateful and very excited about the townhouse we will live in.

As my hands were open to wherever He was leading, I did have my hopes set on a single family. If we were to move to a townhouse, I of course wanted to meet all my requirements such as it needed to:
1) have four bedrooms which is rare for a 2000 sq. ft. townhouse in Loudoun County
2) be an end unit (lots of light, feels like we're not closed in)

3) have a big common area that backs to trees (Patrick is not fond of mowing, and we love views)
4) have ample visitor parking for entertaining

5) have an interesting floor plan (not your cookie-cutter townhouse)

6) have plenty of storage

With the inventory of homes in our price range being VERY low, and the interest rate that we locked in LOWER than the one we had, we feel really blessed to have found this property! Another strong motivator was that Patrick REALLY liked this house, and that was really important to me. So, this one has it all, and we were really glad it was in Potomac Falls (a very desirable location that unlike some areas we were willing to live in, will appreciate) and we have a lot of friends in community only blocks away. Also, Patrick's commute would actually be reduced! Double bonus. It also works out quite nicely for a June move-in as it gives me a month of focusing on a new baby and not having to organize a move-in days from being released from the hospital!

Now, onto the fun part - the design! :) It will look totally different after I'm done with it! Can't thanks to God for all His provisions, even when I am faithless, He remains faithful.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Next Stop: The Hessel's House

Well, we've had a wonderful time at the cousin's house, but since we are under contract (YES, we got a house!!!...more details in next blog post) we thought we might continue our great adventure visiting other friends before the baby comes.

We're here at Cooper and Jenna's house. Micah and Caelan have been thoroughly enjoying themselves. They are ready to jam on with our Great Adventure.

I mean who wouldn't want to play all day and have movie nights with popcorn? This is the four of them mesmerized by Bolt, the Dog.

And the nights have been GREAT as the boys have doubled up in the huge walk in closet. We always do this on vacation, so they are used to this. They've become quite resilient sleepers.

We've been so blessed to have the hospitality of the Hessels. Christi and I go way back. We were in each other's wedding and we met 10 years ago when we went to Kenya to serve on a missions trip. A decade later and almost 5 children, it's amazing to know our friendship has endured. God is good!

In the final weeks of my pregnancy, I feel like I've hit the jackpot with family & friends who open up their homes, help distract me from my uncomfortably growing belly, dinners being prepared for our family, and built-in play dates. This was a really GREAT idea. I'm sure I will look back over this time and have such amazing and fond memories of our transitional time.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Baby Blessing

If anyone gets a chance to be celebrated just once in their lifetime the way I got to be celebrated on Sunday, they would feel as loved, cherished and refreshed as I did. I just didn't want to leave!

My sweet friends got together and planned a baby blessing for baby #3. It was absolutely perfect! Here are collages of the decorations and the food.

Everything was in a black damask with baby blue. The tables were so beautiful and the food was so scrumptious, especially the mini-bliss cupcakes.

Jessel was the one that kept encouraging me to celebrate this baby
even though I already had two boys, and I'm so glad she did.

She pulled together the best dream team, ever.
Michelle, Kathy, Jessel, Michelle and Jen
(Tanya an Kelly not pictured here)

These girls have blessed me beyond imagination. I specifically asked that it wouldn't be a time of gifts (since we really had everything BOY you can imagine), but it would be time of honoring God for this undeserved gift and to give Him the glory He alone deserves. The girls got together and gave me so much encouragement. I felt so lifted up, and prayed for! They spent time praying through every phase of the baby's life, including the pregnancy up until he chooses his wife (Lord willing) and his future job. The little son is totally covered in prayers.

Thank you ladies for such a wonderful gift!