Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy "Half Birthday" Madison Hope!

I had this post started on June 22nd - but with the move and the craziness of traveling, I didn't get to finish it. So better late than never, right?!

I can hardly believe that six months ago Madison was born. After 9 hours of labor and almost 2 hours of pushing she literally came flying into our lives! She has been such a blessing to Tim and I. I thought to commemorate the occasion, I would write her a letter that hopefully she can read someday when she is older.
Dear Madison Hope,

I remember the cool April day when your dad and I found out that we were going to have you. We were so excited and yet a little bit nervous that we would not be the Godly parents we wanted to be for you. Fortunately God's grace is new every morning!
Over the next 9 months, my belly grew bigger as you grew inside of me. You used to even kick daddy in the back while while we were sleeping. We prayed for you, talked to you, and sang to you. Everything we did seemed to be in preparation for your arrival. We thought we loved you as much as we possibly could -but then you were born! I will never forget the night of December 22, 2008 when we saw you for the first time. You were everything we thought you would be and more. All of the waiting was over and you were finally here! The first night we took you home was Christmas Eve and we were so excited, but to say the least - you were not! you cried just about the whole night through. It was tough at first but you got used to our home and it was all worth it. You were such a precious Christmas present for us. We dressed you in a reindeer outfit and took pictures of you on Christmas. I got to stay home with you for 14 week s while Daddy went back to work at Starbucks, The Orchard, and finished classes at TEDS.
I loved staying home with you.
I can remember your first smile- you were only a month old! Whenever your dad would come home - you would give him a big smile. We cooed over you just about any free moment we got. We dressed you up and sent out Valentines to family when you were about 2 months old.
Your first Easter - we were in PA visiting your Auntie Rachael, Uncle Joe and your soon to be born cousin, Jordan.
You celebrated with us as Daddy graduated with his MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. You were 5 months old!

It seems like the days have flown by and we have grown to love you more each day. You are a sweet baby girl with happy smile. I thank God for sending you into our lives. You a truly a precious gift!

After being back at work for almost 3 months - I am so very happy that I can stay home with you again.
I am looking forward to seeing you grow in so many more ways -not only this year, but in the years to come. I pray that I would be a Godly woman and mother that you could look up to and
that you will become everything that God wants you to be.

Happy "Half Birthday" Madison Hope Baylor. I love you more than I could have ever imagined I would. May God continue to bless you and our family in this second half of the first year of your life.

Love always,


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I am officially a S.A.H.M.

That's right folks, I have officially closed out the school year (and six years of teaching) to become a stay at home mom. I have enjoyed teaching and have always known that it is my calling. But when Madison Hope was born on December 22, 2008, my pr
iorities shifted. After maternity leave, I finished out the school year so that Tim could finish his MDiv, but my heart and calling was always with Maddy. Tim has done a fabulous job taking care of Maddy while I was away - but I have missed her so much!
I am thankful to the Lord that Tim got hired at our church: The Orchard Evangelical Free Church to begin as a full-tim College Pastor starting August 1st. God's provision has allowed me to be able to stay home with Maddy and finish my Master's of Arts in Teaching degree at Trinity Graduate School.If all goes well, I will graduate May 2010. That means that I have to finish about about 5 classes, student teach, and write my thesis. I think it will definitely be attainable as long as I begin refining my thesis topic and researching my topic this summer. I begin classes again in
August. I am looking forward to some fun summer activities with the family in Chicago. There are some great free ideas for summer fun in this city.

All in all - it has been a trying, yet rewarding time teaching at
Holy Family Lutheran School on Chicago's West-Side.
I have learned much about life, teaching, a new culture, and my God. And one thing I know for sure: God is good- all the time.I cannot express in words the elation that has come with the knowledge that I can stay home to raise my daughter - at least for now. I have never known a love like this.

I don't have a ton of pictures because our camera as gone M.I.A. - but I will post a few.

Maddy eating rice cereal - so messy!

Maddy is 5 1/2 months already- hard to believe! She is very active- up on her hands and
knees rocking back and forth- dancing -grabbing at everything in site and babbling away. Her most recent sound has been "ba -ba- ba". It's so cute! She has us wrapped around her little finger-that is for sure!

This was Maddy amidst all of the clothes at the "Swap Party"
Tonight as I reflect on a closed chapter in my life and the beginning of a new one - I am encouraged by this scripture:

Psa. 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;

my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.

My heart leaps for joy

and I will give thanks to him in song.