a couple weeks ago, we packed up the mini van and headed down to Charleston for J to race in the Cooper River Bridge 10K.
our dear friends, Lee and Leah, were gracious enough to let us crash their pad for about 5 nights... such a blessing to have a free stay and good company :)
our last night there, Lee took us down by the marshes near his house for little impromptu family photo shoot.  
this literally took all of 15 minutes, but he captured some of the sweetest moments.

here are some of our favorites...

Lee's here
or here


our Easter...

every year this little life i've been given grows richer.
i'm thankful every day.  but there's this one day apart from those other 364 that i'm overwhelmed by God's grace in my life.  my debt has been paid!
seriously?!  new mercy every morning and a love too big to fathom... i'm so undeserving, but still, He chose me.
we've only just begun to explain this to Asa.  until he fully understands the love of the Father, i pray he sees it through his momma and daddy.  

John 20 blows my mind, every time.  gosh, how amazing would it have been to be standing there with Mary Magdalene when Jesus appeared to her!  how fantastic!
J and i talked about this for a bit Easter morning and then went to fetch the babes from their beds...

their Easter pails were filled with just enough little goodies...
a vintage childrens book for each : Peter Cottontail for Ace & Little Red Hen for Belle
they also both got antique paper mache eggs with treats inside
Asa got peeps bunnies, a couple chocolates, and a train whistle {to add to his growing collection}.
Belle got baby MumMums and a small antique ceramic bunny.

after a Neese's sausage and orange cinnamon roll breakfast, we dressed in our Sunday best and headed off to worship with our Branch family.
an egg hunt for the little kiddos followed service.  it was Asa's first!  a precious sight!

after this, we headed to my parents' for the day...
it's sorta rare to have all my siblings together {there are 5 of us} and pretty special when it happens.  i think so, anyway.  
my grandparents and cousin were in town as well. 

{brother Grant, Justin, brother Stacey, brother-in-law Justin, Asa, my dad (or "Ba-ba")}

{sister Gretchen, mom, sister Kathleen, Belle, me}

it's become my Grandpa Sullivan's tradition to bring Ace a giant carnival pop every time he visits.  Asa loves it.

Bellamy and her 'cousin' Truitt {my sis Gretchen's Vizsla}

 such a good day.
 J and i went to bed with full hearts that night. 


Olive or Sebastian???

we're SO thrilled to announce that baby B #3 is beautiful, healthy, and growing!
we couldn't have been more pleased with this doc visit!... although i was a wreck during the sonogram... asking every 10 seconds whether everything looked okay, if this or that was normal, etc. hah!
SO many thanks for your prayers and encouragement... it seriously touched our hearts!  
anyway, the names we had picked out were Sebastian Gaines and Olive Marie {both middle names are family names from my side}

and the little peanut shall be called....


a heavy heart...

tomorrow's the day!
will our fam add another handsome little man to the mix or will it be a another sweet little lady??
i want to get excited.
but, in this moment, my skin is crawling with nerves, my anxiety's reaching an all time high, and my stomach turns every time i let myself think on it a little too long.
i'm ashamed to admit this, because i'll preach it all day long to anyone that might be going through a dark valley in their own life.
{give it to God}
but, my ability to trust in the Lord on any given day throughout a pregnancy is pathetic, at best.
i want to.  i want him to lift this burden off my heart and chew it up and spit it out, but i hold onto it.
on a good day, i pray over this baby a hundred times, i feel it move, Justin lays hands on my belly, and i meditate on Psalm 139... 

13 you made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  your workmanship is marvelous -- how well i know it.
15 you watched me as i was being formed in utter seclusion, as i was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 you saw me before i was born. every day of my life was recorded in your book.
every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
17 how precious are your thoughts about me, O God. they cannot be numbered!
18 i can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!
and when i wake up, you are still with me.

{a very dear lady and amazing woman of God prayed this scripture over me with our second loss... Sally.  she died at 20 weeks gestation to a genetic disorder known as Turners Syndrome}

on a bad day {like most}, i convince myself that it wouldn't make sense to have another healthy baby.  it's too good to be true, isn't it??  the Lord's blessed me with two precious miracles and chances of another are growing slim.  i mean, three in a row?  if i think i might have felt the little bean kick, i tell myself it was just gas.  anything that can translate into a remotely negative sign, my mind takes it and runs with it... until i'm shaking and sobbing and calling someone close to pray because i don't trust myself to do it.

guys, motherhood has been THE greatest gift that my Saviour could ever have given me.
i count myself unbelievably blessed to have been entrusted with this responsibility.
and there's absolutely no reason why i shouldn't believe for one, two, three, four more healthy babes, that i shouldn't walk into that office tomorrow beaming with excitement and anticipation for GOOD news... but there's a wall there.
so, i'm humbly asking you to help me crack away at it.
hold me accountable.  i need to give this to my God in the most serious way.
will you pray with me?