Letter to Estelle | Four Months

Hello, our strong little beauty.  

You are a go-getter. These past few weeks have gone from you realizing you had hands (it was so fun watching you watch your own arms and hands flap and twist about) to you now getting into a four point stance and try to scoot/crawl during tummy times. You apparently have things to do and people to see. We are pretty sure your number one target is your brother, who you get all googly eyed over and squeal extra loud for when he takes a break from havoc wreaking play to rest next to you.

And we are still googly eyed over you, Estelle! Even more, if possible. Oh my goodness…it’s admittedly a bit nauseating how much your daddy and I fawn over you. Your brother is even getting in on the action with his awwww baby greetings and bedtime mmmwah! kisses when we have family reading time. You are quite loved and lovable.  

You are also pretty tough. You have dodged many a stepping-on’s and narrowly escaped possible concussions, but have also experienced plenty of diapered toddler sits on your head or legs. Don’t worry. He knows to move quickly and dart off. Your squawks let him know that that is not acceptable. There is a mighty spirit that rests behind your mild mannered sweetness.   

The dichotomy of your personality is getting unveiled slowly but surely these days. As you find the power of your voice and the strength of your body, we are treated to more bursts of loud and silly and demanding and passion. It is fun. It is ear splitting and eyebrow raising, too, but it is fun. 

And you are fun. You are beautiful. You are watchful. You are strong. You are giggly. You are mellow. You are feisty. You are adored. (Oh, how you are adored.)

May we always celebrate who you were wonderfully and fearfully made to be. May we be graced with the wisdom, patience and creativity to nurture you as Abba’s beloved as you grow and learn and thrive. May we simply delight in just you, Estelle, in who you are.






Life on Pichayanan | A Neighborhood Tour

We live at the very end of a side street of a bigger side street off the main road, kind of like a cul de sac except not in a development. (It really doesn’t make much sense until you see it in person.) During the day, to get a bit of exercise and to get out of the house, we go on walks. One of the joys of having a toddler is that he is always ready to go outside. And one of the downsides of a having a toddler is that he is always ready to go outside…regardless of the time of day and the temperature of the day.

Favorite times outside in this wonderful country of heat and humidity? Before lunch and before dinner…when, you know, it’s cool and there’s a breeze [eyeroll]. But I love the boy, and despite all the sweating involved, I also love the feel of the sun on my skin. And Estelle? She is our wonderful youngest child who doesn’t get much say at this point. So please enjoy this compilation of a mini tour, as guided by Louis ตะวัน (and note that you don’t see any neighbors because they, in their great wisdom, stay inside when it’s this hot outside):

LoPtour1 LoPtour2 LoPtour3 LoPtour4 LoPtour5 LoPtour6 LoPtour7  LoPtour9 LoPtour10

Most of these walks end up in a neighbor’s house. As in, we walk onto another person’s private property and are welcomed because…why not? We’ve much to learn about hospitality from this country we currently call home. Anyway this is just our little corner. There are many other walking routes in and around many other neighbors’ homes. And many many many little critters and creatures along the way. Sigh.


Letter to Estelle | Three Months

Dear Estelle,

It feels like we spend so much time together already but if these three months are an indication of how the rest of your first year is going to be then I need to start pausing more throughout the day. To pay attention to all your little movements and faces you make. To hold you a little closer and a little longer. Because it’s been a blink and you are now trying to turn over every which way, holding your head up during tummy time to take in your surroundings, waving your hands and kicking your feet.

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As you break away from the newborn stage and your personality pokes through more and more, I still get an air of mystery about you. Like there is still a sense of something about you we are only getting a glimmer of. You’re much different from your brother when he was your age; we could tell he would have a bombastic personality and time has proven that true. 

But you? You are…you. While we have had to learn to go go go for Louis, we are learning to move slower for you. We are learning to be more mindful of the small and quiet ways about you. Sure, you’ve got your big goofy grin and squeal that’s all gums and drool (which we LOVE to be on the receiving end of) but then you’ll gift us with one of your slow to spread like molasses smiles or give a one-eyed squint smirk. And it’s like you’re keeping a secret. Those looks are like promises that there’s more to come.

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But more what??? We are excited to find out. Will you be mellow and easy going? Will you be contemplative and curious? Will you be quiet? Will you be loud? Will you be mischievous? Will you be driven by emotions and outta the box ideas, like your brother (like your mama)? Or will calm logic see you more disciplined and more methodical (like your daddy)? 

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You’ll be a firecracker, we are sure of it. (You know how to demand attention and hold your own in this family.) Though Daddy and I think we are crazy for wanting you to have a bit of fire in your bones, our hope is that we can help teach and show you how powerful and courageous you are to grow and do hard things. We pray that we raise you in a home that delights in your strengths and loves in your weaknesses… and that it’ll all come together to paint a gorgeous picture of grace.

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This world groans for grace. For grace, for compassion, for mercy, for hope. May you light up the sky for folks to find the truth of these wonders in their lifetime.