Taylor Staycation 2015

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The big news in our family is that Dan will be starting a brand new job on June 8! His last job went well for a while but gradually the requirements began to change until he was doing work he didn’t enjoy. Finally it became obvious that it was time to find a different job and he began applying to various positions. As it turned out, he received two offers at the same time and we had a stressful weekend trying to decide between the two. The decision came down to simply praying about it and Dan settled on a new job as a quality engineer for a car company.

All this is to say that Dan is off work from now until June 8, so we’ve decided to fill the remaining days with fun family activities close to home. To kick off our fun times, we took a trip out to our favorite downtown: Plymouth. We had to go there so I could get some more pictures at our favorite Plymouth fountain, carrying on the tradition from the past two years.

2013:
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2014:
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2015:
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Lydia and Abby, 2014:
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Lydia, Abby, and Paul, 2015:
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We have a lot more fun coming, including Lydia’s fourth birthday party, a trip to Greenfield Village, and some other surprises. I’ll do my best to take some pictures so you can all share in the fun.

The Little Man Song

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Ever since we realized how much reflux was bothering Paul, we’ve been holding him almost all the time. His favorite position is to be snuggled upright on his belly, as you can see from the pictures, and he is held like this nearly 24/7. As much as we love snuggling our Big Guy, it makes it pretty hard to do much of anything else (like sleep!) and that can get hard on the attitude at times. A few days ago, as I was holding Paul, this song popped into my head and we’ve been singing it to him, and ourselves, ever since as a reminder of how short this season is and how we’ll miss it when it’s over. One time as I was singing to Paul and making up lots of new verses, Dan listened in for while. He mentioned afterward that he might take a video of my singing and play it at Paul’s wedding one day. I nearly cried just thinking about it. He’s already growing up so fast! So we vetoed that idea but decided to share it on the blog for memory’s sake. Here is a sampling of the many verses we like to sing…

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Little Man, Little Man
I’ll hold you like this while I can.
You are my favorite Little Man,
Little Man.

Little Man, you are so sweet,
from your fingers to your feet.
Someday you’ll be just like your dad
And that will make me very glad.
(Not holding you then will make me sad)
Little Man.

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Little Man, Little Man
I’ll hold you now and give you love
And when you’re big, you’ll give me hugs.
Little Man.

I’ll hold you like this for a while
I really want to see your smile.
I know you love to be held this way
So chores can wait another day.
Little Man.

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Little Man, Little Man
From your head down to your toes
I love you, you should always know.

Little Man, Little Man,
I’ll hold you like this while I can
You are my favorite Little Man,
My Little Man.

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When Dan read this he was extremely disappointed that I re-ordered some of the words from our most commonly sung versions of the song. So for the sake of our own reminiscing twenty years from now, here are our most common verses in their truest form:

Little Man, Little Man,
I’ll hold you like this while I can.
From your sweet hair to your feet,
Little Man you are so sweet.
Little Man.

Little Man, Little Man,
I’ll hold you like this while I can.
From your head down to your toes
I love you, you should always know.
Little Man.

Little Man, Little Man,
I’ll hold you like this while I can.
I’ll snuggle you and give you love
And when you’re big you’ll give me hugs.
Little Man.

Snuggle-Me-Paul

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In a few days, little Paul will be two months old, but he’s already hit double digits on his weight. According to our scale, last night Paul weighed ten pounds. He has nearly doubled his birthweight!

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The theme for this month was SNUGGLES. Paul loves to be held all the time. Most of the time, we don’t mind, except in the middle of the night. After several looong nights up with Paul, Dan and I were about to let the poor guy just cry all night before our pediatrician observed that Paul is suffering from reflux.

Once she pointed that out, Dan and I could see and hear that she was right. He’s like a pitcher! No matter how long you hold him after a feeding, as soon as you go to lay him down the milk starts gurgling right up his throat. I’ve been able to eliminate a couple of foods from my diet that have been making things worse, but Paul still needs a lot of snuggling to feel comfortable. I guess for my own future wonderings I’ll add that he eats about every two hours during the day and every three hours at night, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot as far as sleep goes because we’re up with him fighting reflux a lot longer than it takes for him to just eat.

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As the weather has warmed up, Paul has been spending lots of time in his own little jungle. This is one of our favorite baby toys. It’s not uncommon to find Lydia and Abigail lying in Paul’s jungle when he’s not using it. Actually, it’s not uncommon to find Dan or myself lounging in the jungle with Paul. He’ll (Paul, that is, not Dan) kick his legs and swing his arms and stare at the animals and the lights. It’s great fun.

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The best part about being two months old is that Paul is starting to learn how to smile! Now that we’ve seen those smiling muscles in action, Dan and I will do just about anything to get him to show us a grin. So far, he’s being Mr. Serious and we’ve only caught a couple half-hearted attempts, but we know great big smiles are coming our way. Even when he only grins a little, we just can’t tear our eyes away from his happy little face.

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The Strong Bridge

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For the past several years I have been haunted by a strange fear. The strange thing about it is that this fear always grips me just as I’m waking up from a nap. In that short amount of time when I am waking up from sleep, starting to remember where I am but not really conscious enough to control my thoughts or actions, the truth hits me like a bucket of ice cold water: I am going to die. Someday, sooner or later, I am going to die. In that conscious moment before I fully wake up, I know that heaven is for real, but so is hell, and one day I will go to one or the other.

Now, there is another reason why this fear is strange for me. When I was a very little girl, not much older than Lydia really, I learned about heaven and hell. Afraid of going to hell when I died, I asked Jesus to save me from my sins and began in a childlike way to try to live for and please Jesus. My belief wasn’t perfect, but I do believe that even as a little girl with very little knowledge, God saved me and began to change me too.

Yet, for the past several years I’ve been haunted by this fear. It’s so intense, so very real and so very dreadful. But, what’s baffled me for so long is the question: why am I still afraid?

I have tried to respond to this fear appropriately. I’ve prayed and prayed, talked it over with Dan, and tested myself to see if I really am “in the faith” (1 Corinthians 13:5) only to conclude over and over again that, yes I am. I am led by the Spirit of God. I am becoming more like Him day by day. I am depending on Him as my hope for eternity. And yet, many days after my nap, I wake up with that terrible, sometimes nearly overwhelming fear. Why?

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When Dan and I were first married, we read a book aloud together called Justification and Regeneration. It sounds old and boring, but it really isn’t. The author writes this paragraph that has always stuck in my mind:

Imagine two bridges crossing a chasm: One is very weak and untrustworthy, the other is very strong. A man may have a very strong faith in the weak bridge and confidently step out onto it. His strong faith will not keep him from plunging to his death. On the other hand, a man may have a very weak faith in the strong bridge and only barely manage with fear and trembling to venture forth upon it. The bridge will hold him securely, regardless of his weak faith. All that is necessary is for him to have enough faith to get him onto the bridge!

I love that quote. It has stuck with me for so long, because I feel like that man. I am the fearful man slowly crawling on all fours across that bridge, though I don’t need to be fearful at all because the bridge is very strong. For a long time I thought that maybe this was why I was still afraid of death in a way that seemed to be completely out of my control.

Several weeks ago I had another one of my episodes, waking up after a nap terrified of death. I was able to get up, move on, and forget for a while. But that night as I lay in bed I prayed through everything all over again and I suddenly was given a different reason for my reoccuring fear. I cannot keep this to myself.

There is a connection between my haunting fear and God’s command for me to share His truth. I realize this blog post is anything from a lighthearted story or page full of cute pictures of my little Munchkins. I realize, though sadly, that there are some who normally read my blog who won’t even make it this far because this is not what they want to read about today…or ever. The shy, people-pleasing part of me wants to preface this post: Please don’t get angry! Please, oh please, don’t leave nasty comments or stop talking to me because of this. I really don’t even want to write about something so heavy. But love and fear and Truth compel me to share this, even though in many ways, I’d rather keep it to myself.

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I will die someday. You will too. And suddenly in that moment when your life is over you will be hit with the terrible and awesome reality that you will have to stand before an Almighty God and answer for your sins. Just think about it for a while. Just sit and think about that moment when it’s too late to change your mind, when your philosophizing will mean nothing, and you will stand before God and you will have to answer for your life. Does it scare you? Or are you ready?

The only way you can be ready at all is to trust in Jesus, that Strong Bridge, to be your goodness and your hope for salvation. No other bridge will hold your weight no matter how confidently or carelessly, or even politically correct..ly…you walk across it.

And, friend, if you do believe in Jesus, I challenge you as I have been challenged many times before and now in this new way, are you telling others? It is not ok to coast through this life trusting in Jesus for yourself, posting happy pictures of your cute little family and keeping to your own happy routine within your own four walls. It is not ok for me to coast through my happy life posting pictures of my Munchkins and just keeping to myself and my own little family.

I realize that God won’t let me keep it to myself. Even if that means waking me up from my naps terrified of the reality of my coming death and judgement, God won’t let me keep Him to myself.

Now I’m coming to the end of this post, one I have honestly been avoiding for quite a while, and I feel like my words just can’t express the earnestness of my desire to share this in a way that will get through to you. In love and sincerity and urgency I ask you to take some time today to think about this brief life and your position before God. Think about eternity and imagine how real it will all be, how real, in fact, it is. And ask yourself and ask God if you are really ready. And if you are, ask yourself if you will be ready on that day to see the ones you love most, and even the ones you hardly know at all. Will you be ready for some of them not to be ready, knowing that at least you did your part in sharing with them that great and wonderful good news that there is hope for a happy eternity only in Jesus Christ.

“The bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. Some have been the chief of sinners and some have come at the very last of their days but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support. It will bear me over as it has for them.”

Charles Spurgeon

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