Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Patch 2008

Many of you were wanting to see this year's pumpkin patch pictures. If you ask Allison what she is going to be for Halloween, she will say she is going to be Minnie Mouse and Snow White.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Nursery

Along with naming our son, I was also super excited to decorate his room. We began by having a huge garage sale and selling most of the things that made up our guest room. We also started the search for a comfortable sleeper sofa since we were getting rid of our nice guest accommodations.

The theme for Evan's room was decided long before we even had Allison. It is sort of a no brainer in our family that a boy's room would be all about sports and mostly baseball. After we cleared out the room, we found a nice khaki color for the walls. Cory and his dad painted the room one weekend and then the fun part for me began. My first purchase for his room was this great baseball lamp on eBay. We used the crib we had used for Allison (which was actually my crib from when I was born also used by my little brother Danny, and used by my cousin Essy). I had fun and his room was finally coming together with just a couple small touches still needed.

People have often asked me what I have done with his room. The truth is that I have not changed anything. I think as of right now that I will just keep his room the way it is. Although this will always be Evan's room, I guess what I really hope is that another baby will get the honor of using his nursery someday.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path.

Psalm 119:105

Allison helping paint her baby brother's room

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Name Game

After we found out we were having a boy, we were excited about deciding on his name. It only took us a week to decide on Allison's name after we found out she was a girl. I realize that many people don't even decide until the baby comes out what to name him or her, but we seem to make this decision pretty quickly. We had a couple names we were thinking about, but none of them were the obvious choice.

One night, I was watching a Hallmark movie called The Russell Girl. In the movie, the main character's boyfriend was named Evan. The first time the main character, actress Amber Tamblyn, said the name "Evan" it immediately caught my attention. Later that night, I mentioned the name Evan to Cory to feel him out and see what he thought about it (I didn't tell him I heard it in a Hallmark movie!). He seemed to like it, but didn't do any jumping jacks or anything for it. So, I just let it be and didn't bring it up again for a while.

A couple days later, Cory mentioned the name Evan to me again. I remember asking him if he really did like it better than the other names we had talked about. He said that it had been really growing on him ever since I mentioned it. That made me really happy because I was beginning to really love the name Evan. We still had not made any decisions, but we talked about possible middle names. Andrew is Cory's middle name, so it was a clear front runner.

When we were deciding on Allison's name we had a great book called the Baby Name Wizard. It gives you all kinds of facts about names and even suggests possible brother and sister names for names you might like. About a week after Cory mentioned he was still thinking about the name Evan, I looked up Allison's name in the Baby Name Wizard book. One of the suggested brother names for the name Allison was Evan! I took this as a sign and decided to tell Cory that we just had to name him Evan. Cory agreed and we were ready to announce that we had decided on the name Evan Andrew Lieder.

We love his name, and Cory is so proud that Evan has his middle name too. After we lost Evan, some people told me, all with good intentions, that maybe I should not have named him until after the he was born. What I realized is that I don't regret naming Evan before he was born. His name is Evan Andrew, and that name was meant for only him.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Jeremiah 1:5

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sharing the News and Finding Out

Once we found out we were pregnant with our second child, we decided to tell our families about our baby news over the Christmas holidays. We told them by having Allison wear a t-shirt that said, "I'm the Big Sister!" All of the grandparents, aunts and uncles were so excited and looking forward to this new addition to our family. We also began preparing Allison for life with a baby and being a big sister. She still likes to read all of her Big Sister books.

Along with many of my close friends who were pregnant or soon to be pregnant, we were also overjoyed to find out that my first cousin, Kristel, was pregnant with her first child. We were due a week apart and I was so happy that this little one would get to grow up with her little one just like we did. We took our first "belly picture" together at our family's Christmas celebration.

We couldn't wait to find out the sex of the baby. We had a sonogram around 20 weeks. Little did we know that this would be the only time we would ever actually get to see Evan alive. Everything looked healthy, and we had the nurse write down the sex of the baby and seal it in an envelope for us to open later that day at dinner. We decided we couldn't wait until dinner, so we went to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. This was the same restaurant we opened Allison's envelope at too.

We found out we were having a boy and I was surprised because I had been sure that it was another girl. I was also a little nervous about the "boy parts." The surprise quickly turned to joy and we began to dream about our son and all things boy. We also found out around the same time that my cousin Kristel would be having a boy too! So fun, they would be best friends.

Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3

Allison in her "I'm the Big Sister" shirt ~ January 2008

Kristel & April
Our first belly picture
December 2007

Jeff & Cory
First belly picture :)
December 2007

April & Kristel
Another belly pic
June 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Beginning

I guess I will begin by telling Evan's story in case you are not familiar with all of the details. I am going to tell his story over time, and not all at once.

Cory and I found out I was pregnant in December of 2007, and we were so excited. We had been hoping to be pregnant by Christmas so that Allison and this baby would be around 3 years apart and would get to go to high school together. We were laughing when we realized that this baby's due date and Allison's birthday were only 5 days apart!

My pregnancy was very healthy from the beginning. I had the typical pregnancy symptoms of being unusually tired and nauseated in the first trimester. Other than that, everything was great. I loved being pregnant with Allison and was really looking forward to this experience again.

I often compare being pregnant with being engaged to be married. You begin to plan for the big day, get lots of attention, register for gifts, have showers, dream about the future, count down to the big day, the big days comes, your life changes forever and you get to live with this person for the rest of your life!

Today I was talking with my dear friend, Marci, about how much you "plan" for from the first moment the pregnancy test is positive without even realizing it. From which room will be the nursery, to possible names, to what the holidays will be like, to what year the baby will be graduating from Baylor! I know, I know. But it's true.

I have since learned that I am not in control. My "plans" for our life with Evan will not come to be as we had hoped. Everyday I am reminded of just how many plans I had already thought of. The other day I was reminded just by driving by the pumpkin patch at Bethany UMC where we take Allison's picture every October. I thought Evan would be there too this year. It's things like this that catch me off guard and bring those emotions right to the surface when I am least expecting it.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Ladybug Allison in the Pumpkin Patch ~ October 2006

Kitty Cat Allison in the Pumpkin Patch ~ October 2007