Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sweet Caroline

{In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.}
                                                             -Proverbs 16:9

Eek - vulnerability warning!  This is how the Lord's mighty hand is at work in my heart...

Let me start by saying that my mother's intuition was wrong in every sense of the word.  I sure do hope it gets sharper and more defined as I get older and learn to be a mother to my sweet Caroline.  ;)  As Jay and I prepared to find out the gender of our baby I tried and tried to be as open as possible to having both; however, I was convinced we were having a boy.  Like, 100% certain.  So, I think you can imagine my surprise and shock when the sonographer told us our baby was a girl.  I really, really, really thought we were having a boy, but alas, there was no sign of BOY near that tiny little bottom of our baby.  Of course, I knew this could be a possibility so why was I so surprised and in such disbelief?  I quickly picked up my jaw from the floor and gathered myself before my entourage entered the room.  I couldn't let them see me so disheveled, so surprised, so... (some other word that I'm too afraid to say on this blog).
The rest of the time in the ultrasound room was quite exciting and fun, actually.  Everyone got to see the "evidence" that, truly, the baby inside was indeed a girl and we got to see her move, yawn, kick and look straight into the "camera" (for lack of a better term even though I know well that it's not at all a camera).  In fact, if it had been a 3D ultrasound, I'm sure we would have seen a peek at our precious little girl's not-so-chubby face.  After the sonogram, everyone had such encouraging and kind words to say to me while we waited for the doctor.  I was glad to be reassured even though I felt some different emotions.  All I wanted to do was not cry.  But... I did.  How could you be crying (!) you ask?  I had just seen the most miraculous and blessed creation God could ever give and honestly, I didn't quite know myself.  Wasn't I supposed to feel overjoyed and excitement no matter the gender??  How could I be feeling scared and anxious and so... let down?  I struggled with my emotions for the next few minutes (hours even), asking myself questions and searching for answers I couldn't quite find.

It wasn't until Jay and I were in the car headed to Mimi's Cafe that we were able to process the news and share free thoughts about our daughter.  Yes, our daughter.  All I could think about was how we weren't having a son.  My wonderful and loving husband turned to me and basically said "Katherine, do not allow Satan to rob you of the joy from the gift of life God has given to our daughter - Caroline Elise."  Pause.  I need a tissue break.  OK, let me just clear my eyes here... I loved my husband so much in that moment for reminding me of that.  The God of the universe had chosen to bless me with a child who was destined to be a woman from the beginning of time.  Finally, I got it.  The Lord was asking me to trust in HIM and to lean on HIS understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)  And as we pulled into the parking lot, Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" came on the radio.  I couldn't believe my ears and knew it was affirmation from the Lord Himself.  So Jay and I burst out singing the chorus in honor of our baby girl and thanked the Lord again for the miracle inside of me.

I could not feel more sure that God knew exactly what He was doing when he chose to bless me with a daughter.  And even though my family wasn't going to be what I pictured, I knew I could trust in His will and plan and purpose to be a mother to a daughter first.  Ultimately, He is the author and perfecter of my faith, so I will fix my eyes on Him. (Hebrews 12:2a)  He is the one who knows best and His plan is always better.  Thank you, Lord, for knowing my heart and allowing me to be a part of Your kingdom as Your child and to be a mother to Your creation.

Caroline: song of happiness, joy
Elise: consecrated to God

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Great "Halfway" Weekend

This last weekend was pretty significant for the Thorpes!  We had our mid-pregnancy sonogram on Monday to reveal the gender of our baby so we invited our parents to come up and join in on the fun.  Rob actually had a business conference he was attending on Wednesday so they were already in town and decided to extend their stay!  My parents arrived mid-afternoon on Friday and thus began "the great halfway weekend"!  Jay had a softball game Friday night so we met up with his parents for dinner before the game and then headed over to the ball field to watch him play.  Mom and Dad had dinner with Leslie and after the game was over we all met up for some frozen yogurt at Orange Leaf!

Saturday morning Jay and Rob went to the Covenant Chapel Men's Ministry event while Dad, Mom, Leslie, Billie and I went to breakfast and then garage sale-ing!  It was so much fun and we all found some great stuff!  I found a rocking horse that I'm going to refurbish, a bracelet and a pair of jeans (that I won't be able to wear until after the baby...).  Mom and Billie found several things for the grandkids, Leslie found a pair of jeans and a set of dishes!  Wow, we really raked in!  After garage sale-ing, we met up for lunch at the house and rested for the afternoon.  We had reservations for dinner at Jasper's and had a wonderful time together!  I did a terrible job of documenting with pictures - so sorry about that!

Breakfast at Succotash - yummy!

Rocking horse find with yarn for a new mane and tail and button eyes!

Sunday was a special Father's Day for all, celebrating with our dads here and getting to celebrate Jay's first Father's Day, too!  We all went to church together, ate lunch at the house again and then Dad, Mom and I went to the Plaza together to see Leslie at work and shop around for a bit.  We wanted to make a special dinner at the house on Sunday night, so the boys went to McGonigle's Meat Market while we girls went to Hyvee for a few things.  Allison and the kids ended up driving to KC so we had a full house for dinner!  Sunday night was fun for all - we watched the Thunder/Heat game, opened up Father's Day cards, played with the kids and had a jolly good time!

Trying out the rocking horse :)

Family pic - that belly's getting big!

Dash loves his "Mimi and Popa"

Father/daughter pic!  Love them all so much!

Go OKC Thunder!!

Monday morning was the big day!  Our appointment was at 10:30 and we were so anxious to find out what our baby would be!  We had quite the entourage:  Mom, Billie, Allison and Leslie were there for support.  Jay and I went in first to have private time together and find out first; then we brought in the family and everybody got to see our baby GIRL live on the ultrasound!  After the actual doctor's appointment we met up with the dads and the kids for brunch at Mimi's Cafe.  Everybody was so excited about the new granddaughter/niece/cousin, Caroline Elise Thorpe!  When the dads walked in we said, "it's a... girl!" and Lucy quickly responded "I knew that!"  :-) We are beyond thrilled to be having a daughter and cannot wait to meet her in a few months.  I've been wearing pink everyday this week in her honor. ;)  Thank you all so much for your encouragement, love and support during this exciting journey.

In the ultrasound room after we found out she was a girl!

Celebrating at Mimi's

My 'Red Stamp' announcement to friends and family

20 weeks pregnant - it's a girl!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sisters Go Camping

Well summer is in full swing and that means full schedules and lots of traveling!  My sisters and I grew up camping and now that we are older, we want to carry on that tradition with each other and our growing families.  We hadn't been since 2008 so we finally got something on the calendar for this past weekend!  Allison had reserved two campsites for us at Table Rock State Park and we all arrived late Friday evening to set up camp!

Getting the campsite set up and dinner ready!

Sittin' around the campfire

Roasting marshmallows for s'mores!

Saturday was Silver Dollar City day!  It was a beautiful day for the amusement park and everyone was so excited to get there and play all day.  Unfortunately, that's what everyone else thought too...

Taking the shuttle over to the park

Stew was way too excited to be in the carriage

The girls getting measured for which rides they can go on!

Uncle Jay and Aunt Leslie taking Lucy and Amelia on the Grand Exposition Coaster

Hands in the air!

Chris and me wearing our aviators :)

Ummm... the best part of the day!  Fanny's Funnel Cakes!  Yum-O

Ice cream for everyone!

What a mess, Stew!

After our afternoon dessert, Allison and I took the kids to the Marvel Cave tour.  Leslie, Jay and Chris went to have some fun on the "big kid" rides.  

Here we are waiting for the tour to start... too hilarious not to post.

The beginning of our cave tour...  Allison ended up having to leave the tour early with the June bugs so it was just Lucy and me.  We had some really great one-on-one time together!  

Going down, down, down the stairs!

 Some cool cave features...

The train ride back up!

Overall, a great day at SDC!

Sissy pic

Saturday night we were exhausted from the long day, but not enough so that we couldn't celebrate Amelia's birthday!  Allison made a chocolate cake in the dutch oven - impressive!  We all gathered around to sing happy birthday and watch her blow out the candles.  After Chris and Allison sent the kids to bed (they were EXHAUSTED!), we sat around the fire again and talked late into the night!  We were exhausted, too, but it was worth it to spend that quality time together. 

Sunday morning we woke up to thunder so we quickly packed up camp and went into town for a last hoorah at IHOP.  We said our good-byes after breakfast and headed home.  Here's to our next camping trip and more fabulous memories!