Monday, November 28, 2011

SURPRISE!!

Chris' Version

Hey friends....well, we have some big news for you!  Today is Makaylan's 7 month birthday.....and we were officially confirmed by our Doctor to be PREGNANT!!  Again!!!.....yes, it is fast.....and yes, we are excited!  And yes, it is planned!  And yes, we know there will be some interesting months ahead!  But we also know that the Lord would never give us more than we can handle!  So....July 8th is the due date.   Did I mention that both of us are in school full-time?  And that Makaylan will be only 14 months old when Walker Baby #2 is born?  What's been going on in your life, lately....hehehe!

This is Amanda's version :)

Over the last few weeks I noticed that I was becoming increasingly agitated and emotional.  I told Chris that I was either pregnant or I was losing my mind. On October 30th, after a major cry session over something that should not make me cry, I decided I would discover if I really was losing my mind.  :)  You can imagine the relief (and then fear) that entered my heart when I saw the words "Pregnant!" Chris and I want several children, but I didn't know if I was ready to be mommy to two children only a year apart.  Yet, after the initial fear came the overwhelming peace of our Father, and I knew it was going to be OK. I have an incredible husband, who is also an awesome father.  And I knew we would tackle this new blessed challenge as a team.

I had my initial OB appointment November 9, but the baby was so small that we couldn't see much.  There was a flicker of a heartbeat, but it wasn't strong. So we decided to wait until we knew he/she was growing well...so after a LONG month of keeping a secret...we are excited to share with you guys our news.  God is blessing us with another little one, and we couldn't be more excited!!!  It still amazes me that only 5 years ago I was sitting across from a doctor who told me that biological children were most likely not a possibility for me.  I also love how our God doesn't seem to listen to what doctors say :)  God has caused our cup to overflow with abundant blessings!!!

Please keep us, Makaylan, and Baby Walker in your prayers as we travel this new journey. Pray for Makaylan as she gets ready to share mommy and daddy with another sibling. She is going to be such an awesome big sister! Pray for a healthy and event free pregnancy, but more importantly, please pray that our God would be glorified through every step of this process. We love you guys and can't wait to introduce you guys to our little bundle of joy come late June or early July.


Here are a few pics...

I texted this picture to Chris to tell him about the baby. I love Makaylan's face :)


Baby Walker #2

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Learning to Trust

I think this day will forever be marked in my memory. It was a year ago that I was pregnant with our precious Makaylan, and Chris and I had just moved to Mozambique. I was right in the middle of my first trimester with serious nausea and intense fatigue. I was also dealing with either a form of culture shock or pregnancy shock. : ) I went to work every day praying that I would make it through the day without puking, and then I would go back home (the Lechner house) and sleep until it was time to make supper. (Told you I was tired.) On this day, a year ago, I experienced one of the worst pregnant days of my entire pregnancy, and it turned out to be the biggest blessing of my life.


Here’s the story:


It was Will Lechner’s 16th birthday, and Angie made him his favorite birthday meal. I remembered he got Dr. Pepper as his gift, but I don’t really remember the meal. Reason? I was experiencing a form of nausea and stomach pain that I had not ever experienced. I knew Makaylan wasn’t in danger, but I still had some intense nausea. I got online and tried to uncover a natural remedy for my intestinal pain, but the options in Mozambique were very limited. Finally, I looked at Chris and asked him to do something. This was a HUGE step in our marriage. We were both single until we were almost 31 years old, and I was not accustomed to “needing” anyone. I remember thinking that I had never felt this sense of need for another person. I didn’t know what to do, and I saw my husband as a source of comfort. This was also one of the first times he, as a new groom, saw his wife in need, and he immediately went into action. He asked Charlie to drive him to different pharmacies to ask if they had anything to help me. They drove all over Maputo and came back home with a “cure.” I remember the triumph in Chris’ eyes as he come home holding what I needed. I also remember looking at him and thinking that he was the most amazing man I knew. It was a glorious moment!

So why do I share this with you? First, I want to brag on the incredible man I have in my life, and secondly, because I am reminded how far I (we) have come in a year. This incident was the beginning of me realizing that God did not design for me to go through life alone. For this independent woman, it was “easy” to depend upon God, but I had conditioned myself to not trust individuals. The saying, “I can do it myself” was my mantra. But, here in this moment, I couldn’t do it myself. I needed someone, and God had given me that someone in Chris. Since that time, we have moved back to Louisiana, went through a pregnancy, experienced labor and sleepless nights, AND we have learned to depend upon each other. It has been amazing to watch how God has taken two VERY independent people and taught them how to trust and rely on each other. This lesson has been a blessing to our life, our ministry, and (more importantly) our family.

Me and my man :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The "Inconvenience" of Parenthood

Every now and again I get this burning within my spirit, and I know I need to write down what God is teaching me. Today is one of those days. Over the last several months people have sought to give Chris and me some “advice” regarding parenting. The advice normally sounds like this: “Enjoy this stage because it all goes downhill from here.” “This is when they are sweet, and then they grow up to be a three-year old, a pre-teen, and a teenager.” “I remember when mine were this little and now they are a pain.” Most of the time this “advice” is given right in front of their children and my heart breaks. What this precious child hears is that they were once valued, but now they are an inconvenience.
We live in a world where we despise being inconvenienced. We eat fast food; we drive fast cars; we talk on fast cell phones; and we live in the fast lane. We even DVR our TV shows to watch when it is more convenient for us. If something does not go our way, we throw a grown up temper tantrum by holding a grudge against someone, gossiping or seeking revenge. Over the last few months I think what I’ve seen more than anything is the “inconvenience” children cause in their parent’s lives, and once again, my heart breaks.


Motherhood is a new role for me. Makaylan is 5 months old, and I’ve learned a lot about being “inconvenienced” in the last 5 months. For example, I used to get 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, but now I count it a blessing when I get 4 hours of sleep. I’ve also learned that just because your food is ready to eat does not mean that you will be eating it anytime soon. I laughed with a friend of mine the other day when she said, “I think my little girl hears the “ding” of the microwave and decides it’s time for HER to eat.” Any way you look at it, motherhood (parenthood) is inconvenient…and that is exactly how God designed it!!

Did we really think our precious children would come into our lives and not change things? From the moment you hear those amazing words “You’re pregnant!” God begins to mold and shape you into the parent who resembles His fatherly love towards us. But this shaping can only happen as we give over our rights to ourselves and allow God the freedom to shape us. The problem I’ve noticed, in myself and others, is that, often times, we push against His molding. He wants to produce within us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23), and the tool He frequently uses to teach us these virtues is our children. But, when we see and treat our children as individuals who have interrupted our nice, cozy life, then we disrupt what God desires to do in us and in them. I am saddened when I see parents (especially professing Christian parents) handle their children with contempt. God has given us children in order to serve them, mold them, disciple them, and show them Christ’s love.
The Bible speaks over and over again about the blessing of children (Ps. 127:3-4, Ps 128, Ps 139:13-19). God calls us His children, and He delights over us (John 1:12). I am SO thankful that God does not see me, His child, as an inconvenience. Instead, while I was still a sinner He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for me (Romans 5:8). When I have come to Him in need, I have never felt Him roll His eyes at me. He delights in my need of Him, and encourages me to come to Him…with anything and at ANY time. He does not demand that I wait until morning, or that I grow up first, or that I get a grip. He offers Himself, and delights as we come to Him. My prayer is that my little girl (and any future children we are blessed to raise) will always know and feel that her parents prayed for her and still find her valuable…even when she is three years old!


Makaylan at 4 months :)



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Waterfall, a County Fair, and PIGS!!

Day 6 of our Great Road Trip found us still in Steamboat Springs, with our cousins Winston, Cindy, and Luke Walker.  After a relaxing morning and an incredible breakfast made by Cindy, the six of us took off to see the sites and sounds of the surrounding area.  We started off with a short drive through Steamboat looking at houses and marveling at the beauty of the aspen trees, the lush valleys, and the high mountain peaks.  We decided to go hiking at Fish Creek Falls to look at the incredible waterfall (which Amanda loves) and enjoy the cool morning.  Unfortunately our pics are on the other camera and we can't show you how amazing the waterfall was crashing down onto the rocks near the bridge which crossed the river.

After lunch, Cindy, Amanda and MJ went to downtown Steamboat to walk around and check out all the little shops.  They went into an art gallery and enjoyed seeing all the local paintings and bronze statues of "western life."

Around 3pm we all loaded up and headed west to Hayden, CO, to see Rolle's grandkids participate in the Routt County Fair.  We met Brian and Kira Walker Ripley and their 3 boys (Tanner, Walker, and Landon).  Tanner was participating in the pig showing competition with 90 others pigs!  He walked away with "Reserve Grand Champion" which means that his pig won 2nd overall!  We enjoyed seeing Colorado's ranch lifestyle.  The drive to Hayden was beautiful....more flat ranch land with hay fields filled with cows and horses.  The road was peppered with barns and small farm houses....much more rural than the ski resort town of Steamboat. 

We came back home (Winston's and Cindy's house) sunburned, tired and ready for supper.  Makaylan was a trooper all day!  She does well in her carseat, and has been happy and "talkative" when we get her out to play.    
MJ sleeping at the Routt County Fair (notice the pig in the background)

Silverthorne, CO, welcome sign

Kremmling, CO, welcome sign as we drove north on HWY 40.

One of the picturesque barns we passed on our drive.

Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 west as we drove from Denver to Steamboat.

This was the view from Chipotle's, as we ate lunch in Silverthorne on Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hittin' the Road

Today is day 5 of the Great Road Trip! We have been weaving in and out of the mountains and it has been absolutely breathtaking!! In the last two days we have driven 586 miles. Makaylan has done incredible and is becoming quite the little traveler. She’s had only one rough night, but we also changed time zones. We are thankful that she does so well in her car seat, and the mountain elevation doesn’t seem to bother her too much. I (Amanda), on the other hand, have had some altitude headaches, but it’s nothing that some Advil can’t cure.


I’m going to let the pictures tell the story over the last few days.

We spent 3 days visiting the Richardsons in Amarillo, TX.
They were Amanda's youth ministers my senior year of high school,
and I babysat their boys. They are now 16 and 14.


Little Danny turned 16 this year...yikes

Danny and Josh holding Makaylan.  They loved her :)

Yes, I used to babysit these "kids." Danny is 6'2" and Joshy is 6'5"

Kristie, Dan, Danny, Joshy and Makaylan...we had such a blast with them.


While we were in Amarillo, Mark and Kandy Persall came to visit.
They were Amanda's supervisors while in Taiwan.  We had
an amazing time chatting and letting them meet MJ. (She wasn't too happy with
this picture.)


Yesterday (Monday) we finally made it to Colorado.
We stayed with Chris' cousin Rolle Walker. We
enjoyed our time with him and loved his hospitality.

Pike's Peak, Colorado Springs, CO.

Yes, those would be snow capped mountains...in the middle of August! Amanzing!!

Chirs, Rolle, and Makaylan...we had a wonderful time


Malaylan talking to her daddy :)  SO cute!! (This is just bonus :)  )

video










Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wide Open Spaces

This morning we left Jerry and Lacy Ritchie's house in Mansfield, TX and headed west.  We had such a good time with them, and they enjoyed seeing Makaylan and loving on her.  They had this cute dog named Amber who absolutely loved MJ.  She wasn't too fond of Chris, but she loved our child...so that made her OK :) :)  The Ritchies were incredibly hospitable to us, and we enjoyed our time with them.

Now, we are out in the wide spaces of West Texas heading towards Amarillo.  We will stay with Danny and Kristie Richardson. Dan was Amanda's youth minister when I was a Senior.  Their boys, "Little" Danny (who is now over 6 feet tall) and Josh, were my little shadows during that time.  It's been amazing how close we (the Taylors) have stayed with this family, and it will be fun to spend the weekend with them.  We will also get to see Kandy Persall, who was my supervisor while in Taiwan and now my mentor.  She always has such amazing wisdom, so I'm looking forward to gleaming some motherly advice from her.

Here are some pics we have gotten so far...enjoy



video
MJ discovered a new noise...grunting :)


Amanda's Office

Wide open spaces

The lone building



Friday, August 12, 2011

Great Road Trip...2011

Well...it's been 3 months since we were blessed with our little angel, Makaylan, so we decided we would introduce her to our nomadic lifestyle.  Chris and I have had a VERY busy summer filled with school and studying, so we decided to reward ourself with a two week road trip out west.  Chris has several aunts, uncles, and cousins in Colorado that I have never met, so we are headed out there to visit them.  We plan to stop along the way to visit with friends of mine and introduce MJ to people along the way.  We are excited to see how she will do...especially being in her car seat for 5-6 hours a day.  So far...so good (as long as Chris keeps driving).

Tonight is our first stop in Mansfield, TX.  We will stay with Jerry and Lacy Ritchie, who are Chris' uncle and aunt (his mom's brother).  We are excited to introduce them to their new niece and spend some time with them.  Tomorrow we will head on to Amarillo, TX.

We will give daily updates of our travels, so be looking for new posts.  I'm sure there will be many memories to share as we head out to the wild blue yonder.  Pray for Makaylan that she will feel safe and comfortable as we stop along the way.  It's SO good to be back on the road again! :) :)  
She loves the sites :)

Our fearless driver :)