6 Months – Foundations of Parenting

It’s official Charlie is half a year old!  We have a six month old. Thursday was her half birthday.  I really can’t comprehend how this happened.  These 6 months have been smiley, exhausting, teaching, grace-filled, and an absolute memory making jackpot.

Over these last 6 months we have been learning and growing and coming together as a family.  The fact is WAY too much has happened for me to scratch the surface, so instead I want to focus on the best parenting advice that we have been given.

We have the great examples of our own parents, the support of our peers, and the Bible to guide us as we learn to parent and raise Charlie.  She is not terrible two-year-old, a threenager, or even an actual teenager yet (it will be sooner than we know!); however, now is when we start laying the foundation for the road we are headed down as parents.

As we lay this foundation here are the four key tid bits that float around in my head and guide my daily decisions with Charlie:

“A lot of things can wait while you’re holding your kids.”

“The days are long, but the years are short.”

“Just be kind to one another.” (That one is actually some marriage advice that we were given, but I think that it definitely applies to parenting).

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lam 3:22-23

What this all boils down to is priorities.  These last 6 months Charlie doesn’t know it, but she has been transforming our priorities.  Our aim is to have God first followed by family and then everything else.  That means when Charlie is napping, I do my devotions before I do the laundry.  When she’s awake, I play with her, focus on making her day great before I focus on making mine great.  If she and I get the house all clean and Izzy’s fur tumbleweeds vacuumed up that’s an A++ for us, but if all we do is snuggle because she’s having an off day, well that’s an A++ too.

No matter my mood or her mood God gives me a fresh dose of mercy and grace every day to help me be the best mom I can be that day.  Good day or bad day – I try my best to treasure them because the days can be long but the years are short.  When none of us got much sleep and when we are all well rested, we focus on being kind to each other and to Charlie.  Kindness makes the good days sweeter and redeems the hard days.  Just remember – it’s easier to clean up spilled milk than repair hurt feelings.

I do not follow these pillars perfectly.  Some days I see chores undone and feel I failed.  Other days I sit back and think it doesn’t matter if the dish washer was unloaded, if dinner was only 2 stars, and the laundry wasn’t folded because I focused on my family and on loving them like Jesus would.

I love watching Charlie learn and grow, and I am learning and growing right beside her.

Thankful Thursday 2017 Ed.

Thankfulness is a trait that Will and I have endeavored to set as a pillar of our marriage.  Considering we’ve only been married for about 4 1/2 years, I’d say that we are still early on in our marriage.  That pillar of being thankful is still being formed, and this year I plan to use this blog to help foster that.

One of my goals for 2017 is to blog weekly.  I have already failed the first two weeks… To accomplish this goal I realized that I need to ear mark a day for blogging, and Thursdays seem to jump out.  When Will and I were dating, for a while we gave is day of the week its own trait.  Thursdays were Thankful Thursday.   So, at least for the first part of the year, we are embarking on Thankful Thursday – 2017 Edition.

Thankful Thursday - 2017 Ed.

Here’s why I think Thankfulness is so important. If the love of money, or the love of more if you will, is the root of all kinds of evils (1 Tim. 6:10) – then thankfulness is the opposite.  Thankfulness is the root of all kinds of goodness.  Thankfulness fosters joy, it fosters generosity, it fosters love, patience, and selflessness. 

Short and sweet.  That is my goal for the year and my heart for this space.  I want the Pomeroy Life to keep building and strengthening that pillar of thankfulness.  I want to record our daughters smiles and frowns, firsts and falls. To cherish our friends and family. And ultimately to uplift God who blessed me with the breath in my lungs, His Son Jesus, and all the rest which is just the icing on the cake.

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Here’s to 2017, to goals, to being thankful!  What are some of your goals for 2017?  What are you thankful for?

How I told Will He’s going to be a Dad

Today I want to tell you the story of how I found out about the Little Pom Pom and how I told Will.  December 15th, 2015 was the day that our reality changed. We were not trying, we were trying to be the last hold outs in our friend group to join the parent club.

On December 11th our PRECIOUS niece Annabelle was born.  Holding her that evening was one of the happiest faces I have seen on Will in our 5 years together. In the car on the way home that evening Will started asking all kinds questions and worrying that we weren’t prepared for having a kid.  My response was “Its ok.  We don’t need to stress about it right now.  We have no reason to.  We don’t have a kid and we aren’t pregnant.”  Oh hindsight…

Will ecstatic to see his newborn niece!
Will ecstatic to see his newborn niece!

On December 14th, my good friend Joelle and I hosted a Christmas Cookie Swap for all of our girlfriends.  Afterwards she and I were talking and catching up, and she asked me about kids.  I told her we weren’t trying to jump on that train yet, but it would happen when God wanted it to.  I shared with her that I felt as if God had been softening my stubborn heart in that department.   She confirmed that by saying she had been watching the change happen in my heart as it was evidenced by the difference in my willingness to be affectionate toward her own children.

The next morning (December 15th) I took a pregnancy test, not because I was late (not abnormal), but because I have always wanted to be able to tell my family in person whenever that time comes. We were leaving for Kansas on the 18th, and on the off chance that we were pregnant I wanted to be able to tell them.

Much to my surprise, the test was positive! And for the first time in my life, my brain was TOTALLY BLANK.

To be sure that this was not a fluke, I took a second test at work later that morning, and it was only faintly positive.  Now I am really not sure what’s going on! I made a doctor’s appointment that afternoon.  When the doctor walked in the room she said “Well, you are definitely pregnant!”

So now to tell Will.

After the doctor’s office, I went to round up what I needed for telling Will.  I was late getting home, so before coming inside I changed into my gym clothes so Will wouldn’t ask me where I had been! Lol!

Will had a really nice Christmas date planned for us that evening (perfect timing!).  We were getting dressed up, going to the Cheesecake Factory, driving around to look at Christmas lights and deliver Christmas cards, and coming home to wrap presents and watch Star Wars IV.  So I decided to tell him with a gift at the end of the night.

When we got home from our date Will went to get some boxes for wrapping the presents in.  In the meantime, I took the clean Home Depot apron his store manager gave me that afternoon, wrote “DAD August 2016” on the apron, filled the box with pom poms and the positive pregnancy test, and wrapped it.

how I told Will

how I told Will
What was inside the box

Later in the evening when I finally convinced him to open the present his face was the happiest I have ever seen!  He pulled me into his lap and could say nothing but “SERIOUSLY?!” for the next few minutes.  To this day I think he glows more than I do.

how I told Will
This is the happiest that I have ever seen Will! Probably my favorite picture of him ever!

Sorry for the length of this post, but I never want to forget a moment of this adventure! Especially the joy and love of finding out and how I told Will.

Soon I will post about telling our family and friends too. Thank you for treasuring and celebrating this child with us!

Feb. 7th – My Favorite Day – Announcing the Little Pom Pom!

February 7th is one of our favorite days of the year.  It’s our “Valentine’s Day.”  Five years ago it was Super Bowl weekend and a farm boy from Kentucky (Will) had come all the way to Kansas to take a jock he met in China out on our first date.  February 7th is the day that Will and I officially started down this road of life together.

Last year on February 7th we purchased our first home!   This year on February 7th we filled our home with some of our favorite people and announced the coming our first child!  Little Pom Pom coming Aug 22nd (ish), 2016!!!!

I could tell you story after story of our shock in finding out we are pregnant, our conversations, my irrational fear that we weren’t actually pregnant, when we heard the heart beat and saw the little gummy-bear-looking baby growing inside of me, family and friends’ reactions, and ways that God has already blessed and reassured us that this is HIS timing and HIS story. I am not going to tell you those stories right now.  For now pictures are worth a thousand words.

Will and I took engangement pictures at this street sign almost 4 years ago. It seemed like the perfect prop for announcing the next addition to the Pomeroy Family!
Will and I took engagement pictures at this street sign almost 4 years ago. It seemed like the perfect prop for announcing the next addition to the Pomeroy Family!
We found out just before Christmas, so we used this picture to tell our families about the awesome Christmas present we had for them!
We found out just before Christmas, so we used this picture to tell our families about the awesome Christmas present we had for them!

Little Pom Pom - Coming Aug 2016

At our first doctor's appointment! It's really real!
At our first doctor’s appointment! It’s really real!
Little Pom Pom at 8 weeks! He/She looked like a little gummy bear. =) So precious! From right to left you are looking at the head, arms, and legs.
Little Pom Pom at 8 weeks!
He/She looked like a little gummy bear. =) So precious!
From right to left you are looking at the head, arms, and legs.

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Haiti Day 3

Today was busy. We were able to watch the debates for school president during lunch, which was pretty exciting. Judging by the cheers, I think Samuel will win.

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Watching the debate with the secondary students.

During our break we were able to do some shopping for souvenirs from a few vendors who the school allows to sell on their property. One of the vendors has a son who is in the tenth grade here, Midnight Son. He is so sweet, and his English is very good. He has been to the Kentucky Horse Park before! He was in a choir that sang at the world equestrian games.

Two of the other vendors are 20 somethings who paint to earn a living and are also going back to finish their high school education (not at this school).

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Max. His English is so good! He's been painting for 2 and a half years and is finishing his school.
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Willgins and his paintings. He is also finishing school.

We also spent and hour talking with the TOFEL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) students to help them with their conversational English.

After school Hughes (he started the school) drove us out to his farm. He had 20 acres and the school has 200. The goal is to grow the agriculture income into something that can support the school. They grow papaya, yuca, cashews, cherries, lemons, limes, oranges, sweet potatoes, several varieties of mangos, coconuts, and lots and lots of peanuts. They also keep bees and sell the honey.

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There are so many possibilities with the land. Will enjoyed seeing it and hearing Hughes’ vision to help bring jobs to the area. He sees beyond the walls of the church. He sees a beautiful and bright people who just need an opportunity to make something of themselves. His goal is to be Jesus to them by providing that opportunity.  That process gives him and his staff avenues to share the Gospel and disciple along the way.

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Haiti Day 1

Warning: I am posting from my phone. I am sorry if the pictures do not come through or if the formatting is messy.

We left Miami yesterday at lunch time bound for Haiti. We landed at what is officially the smallest airport I have ever been in, paid $10 to enter the country, and spent the next hour on a bus taking in the country side and enjoying our last hour of air conditioning.

Leaving for Haiti

Leaving for Haiti 2

Our room is right next to a pig stye and several chickens and roosters. About the time the generator kicks off shutting off the fan in our bedroom is when the rooster starts crowing…. But! A few minutes later, Adrian, the most helpful mandatory you’ll ever meet, delivered the coffee to our porch. 🙂

Haiti Day 1

Will taking in the sunset and the pig stye

Today was our first day of teaching. We taught in 30 minute segments. We are teaching English and sign language. It’s not my specialty, but I am enjoying it. My favorite was recess! The kids all mob you and say “Blanc! Blanc!”  translation: “White! White!”  They all just want to touch you. Literally I have never been so mobbed. But it was awesome. They just want you to play with them or let them stand and hold your hand.

Haiti Day 1

 

This afternoon it rained so we didn’t do anything. Tomorrow we get to tour the town after school.

For now I will leave you with this nugget –  I have been in Haiti two days and already being married to an engineer had proven it’s worth two times. Our very ingenuitively hung mosquito net and when we were locked out of our room. Who knows what he’ll MacGyver for me tomorrow!

Haiti Day 1

Year 3 – Leather Anniversary

Year 3 Wedding Anniversary

Year 3 - Colorado
These are the Leather Luggage tags we got for our Colorado adventure to celebrate our leather anniversary.

I remember writing last year for our anniversary, that not a lot that had changed on the outside part of our lives… the part that everyone gets to see.  Year 3 was different.  In fact, the majority of the landmark happenings of year 3 were the type that everyone gets to see – at least those that keep up with us regularly.

We made the largest purchase of our life this year – we bought a house!  Home ownership is awesome – even if your furnace goes out in the middle of winter (right after you buy the house).

Sold  (2)

We bought a new car for Will (Robert Red-ford) after his car Eddie, may he rest in peace, died.

We opened our home to a couple of roommates, which has enriched our lives in a way that is difficult to express.  Let’s just say that life is best lived in community – even it means late nights sometimes.

#thePomeroyDen
#thePomeroyDen

We got to go on a mini vacation to Colorado, which was a major goal for us to do last year, and we signed up for a short-term mission trip to Haiti, another goal we had set. Travel and missions are two of our passions/values that’s we don’t want to lose touch with.

Year 3 - Colorado Year 3 - Colorado

mission trip to Haiti
This is where we will be going. Ouanaminthe, Haiti.

I know it may sound repetitive, but possibly the biggest obstacle of our relationship in year 3 was communication.   Buying a home changed our lives, but the learning how to communicate our wants and needs to each other during that process will last us much longer than the house will.  Having roommates has given us another avenue to better our communication – especially about who parks where in the driveway every night!  It also has helped us to cherish our time together and communicate more effectively in those moments.

Year 3 - Colorado marriage Year 3 - Colorado

We learned a lot about how to be on each other’s side in year 2, but in year 3 we got to live it out.   We have encouraged each other in our personal goals (like Devra’s marathon and school), supported each other professionally (as Will was promoted to department head at Home Depot and starting a business together), learned how to be a shoulder for each other to lean on in the midst of adversity,and perhaps most valuably we’ve learned how to be loyal and supportive of each other even when we don’t agree. We are each other’s best friend and biggest ally.

Year 3 - Colorado Year 3 - Colorado

In summary, Year 3 has been a year of action; a year of putting into action all of the values and passions we spent years 1 & 2 formulating.  It’s not standing for it if you don’t live it out.

All things considered… we love each other very much.  Love is still a choice, and we continue to learn how to best show that love to each other.  We’ve made great strides in not going to sleep angry and being kind to one another… just like my grandpa taught us.

Year 3 - Colorado Wedding

(more on our 3 year wedding anniversary trip to come in a later post)

The Pomeroys are Heading South – Mission Trip to Haiti

mission trip to Haiti

The Pomeroy’s have some exciting news!

We are going on a mission trip to Haiti with a team from our home church, Southland Christian Church in September!

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:19-20).  We want to live out this command.  You may or may not know that we met while serving in China. We have had the opportunity to minister here locally, but we have not been able to reach out beyond our borders since before we were married.

We feel like God has called us to be involved in what He is doing globally and we are really excited to walk obediently through this opportunity to serve in Haiti.

mission trip to Haiti
This is where we will be going. Ouanaminthe, Haiti.

We are going to work with a Haitian man named Hughes, who after going to school in America felt the call of God to go back to his people.  Hughes has a vision to reach the people of Haiti with the love of God by teaching them to be sustainable. He has an orchard, an elementary school, a vocational school, and a bakery.  His vision is to educate and equip the people of Haiti while guiding them with Christian principles and sharing the Gospel with them.

We will be going to serve Hughes and his ministry in any way possible.  Will is really excited to use his passion for agriculture and self-sustainability to help Hughes and the people of Haiti, and Devra is hoping to get into the bakery.  No matter where they put us to work, we know it will be a blessing to that ministry.

The dates for the trip are September 12th – September 19th, and will cost $4,000.  As we step out in faith by committing to go on this trip, we need prayer and financial partners to turn this trip into a reality.

If you would like to partner with us financially, please make checks payable to Southland Christian Church and do not write our names in the memo line.  You can mail checks back to us or to Southland (with a note saying the check is for Will & Devra Pomeroy’s Haiti Mission Trip) at Attn: Mark Perraut PO BOX 23338, Lexington, KY 40523.

Thank you so much for being a part of our lives, and for partnering with us to see the Good News spread.  If you have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment below or email us at (thepomeroylife@gmail.com).

We will be very busy getting shots, malaria medicine, meeting with our team, praying, and fundraising over the next few weeks leading up to this trip. Stay tuned  for updates!  And for those of you who feel called to partner with us in prayer and/or finances – thank you!

Will and Devra Pomeroy

Marriage and Relationship Lessons Learned

This was supposed to be posted on Saturday, but I ran out of time… we all know how that goes.

Roughly 5 years ago he walked into my life as nice guy from Kentucky who always wore a red baseball hat (confession: at the time I didn’t know baseball – I just knew it was a red hat; I didn’t realize it was for THE Reds), obviously loved Jesus and loved people, and thought I was cute. He saw in me a girl worth risking it all for – and he proceeded to do so.  I got to know him and realize what a rare, genuine, and remarkable man he is. Fast-forward through all the cheesy, lovey-dovey stuff; today Will and I have been married for 3 years!

There will be an update on year three and a whole bunch of pictures from our weekend anniversary trip to Colorado that don’t do the grandeur of the mountains justice.  But for now, I will leave you with links to some of our other posts about Marriage and Relationship Lessons Learned:

Marriage and Relationship Lessons Learned
Grace Upon Grace
Marriage and Relationship Lessons Learned
On an Exemplary Marriage – My Parents
Marriage and Relationship Lessons Learned
Growing Up Maybe
Marriage and Relationship Lessons Learned
Mr. Right vs. Mr. Perfect

3 Years – Looking Back – Wedding and Anniversary Recap

We are about to hop on a plane to celebrate 3 years of marriage with a weekend of adventure in Colorado!!!!  Our actual anniversary isn’t till Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start reminiscing right now. =) As we board our flights today, our bags are packed with the essentials for a weekend of epic adventures, and our hearts are filled with memories of all the everyday adventures these last three years have brought.

There will most certainly be a post about our Colorado getaway and the adventures had/lessons learned in year three.  For now, we will just stick to the reminiscing anniversaries past. So here you go Looking Back – Wedding and Anniversary Recap. 

If you don’t already know how Will and I met, here is a synopsis of Our Story.  It’s a pretty crazy one, but I love how our story got started!

This is the first photo that has the both of us in it, and as you can see, it's purely by accident.
This is the first photo that has the both of us in it, and as you can see, it’s purely by accident.

We met, we talked, Will flew 600 miles, and the rest is pretty much history.  But it’s well documented history!

I don’t have post about why we made the choices that we made for our wedding.  Maybe I should write one, but for now I will summarize it by saying that we wanted a wedding that expressed the BOTH of us, who we were as a couple, who we wanted to become as a couple, and the things that we stood for.  We made basically all of the decorations ourselves and did so pretty cheaply.  We are simple, and we want to have a simple, minimal, but beautiful life. I think that we accomplished that from day one.

OUR WEDDING DAY

wedding day

OUR DIY WEDDING

DIY Wedding

After the wedding comes life together.  We have been thoroughly enjoying ours!  Every year we sit down at our anniversary and intentionally comb through the events of the previous year to glean lessons from it, savor every ounce of joy, and take note of all the emotional, spiritual, and tangible ways that God has worked.  Here are some posts recapping years one and two:

Paper Anniversary - Year one
Paper Anniversary – Year one
That was a Rookie Move - Lessons Learned from Year 1
That was a Rookie Move – Lessons Learned from Year 1

YEAR 2

2 Year Anniversary - Memories and Lessons Learned
2 Year Anniversary – Memories and Lessons Learned
cotton-anniversary
Cotton Anniversary Celebration

If you aren’t already taking moments to be like Ferris Bueller – to pause and look around at life, then I encourage you to find a moment this weekend to do so.  It really helps put things in perspective.

There will be a post coming tomorrow recapping other thoughts and lessons about marriage so far.  So come back for that.  I hope you enjoy your weekend!  Stay tuned for more on Colorado and year 3!

Looking Back - Wedding and Anniversary Recap
Ready to run off to CO for an anniversary get away to celebrate 3 years of adventuring through life together!