Daily Life

Jacob Jonathan Hardin

Jacob Jonathan "Jake" Hardin was born on Wednesday, September 2 at 9:12 p.m. He weighed 7 lbs, 2 oz and measured 19.5 inches long. He surprised us by being five days early, weighing 7 lbs, 2 oz (instead of 8 or 9 lbs!) and sporting a head full of honey blonde-brown hair. He is already the light and the love of our lives. 

During his first "weigh in" at only a few minutes old.

During his first "weigh in" at only a few minutes old.

All dressed up and ready to leave the hospital in his outfit from his Grandma JuJu. He is not a fan of clothing or diaper changes!

All dressed up and ready to leave the hospital in his outfit from his Grandma JuJu. He is not a fan of clothing or diaper changes!

Inspired: Psalm 71

psalm 71

One year ago today, I had surgery to remove precancerous cells from my cervix, and three days later, our dog, Porter, had his second surgery of 2014 to remove a possible mast cell tumor from his side.

It was a tough week for us. At times, 2014 was a tough year for us, but it also gave me and Jonathan the first real opportunity to work through very adult issues on our own. Throughout the ordeal, we found the most comfort in church. After years of visiting different churches infrequently and then the same church frequently, we made a commitment and found ourselves more centered than we'd ever been. Church has been the link that has connected us to God and our community. For people who had previously struggled to find their place in the world, this has been a huge blessing.

I wrote these Bible verses in my prayer journal one year ago this week, so it seemed fitting to share them here today. Today and every day, I count my blessings. 

Baby Hardin is...

Baby Hardin's second photo.

Baby Hardin's second photo.

A week ago, our prayers were answered when the ultrasound technician told us our baby was doing great. We watched in amazement as she studied each of his/her organs and body parts. The moment that stuck out to me the most was seeing our baby laying comfortably on his/her side -- that little outline, the beating heart, the perfect spine and sweet little head -- and realizing that it all belongs to this tiny person growing inside me. I have images to go along with the dream baby in my mind. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn the feelings I've been feeling lately aren't gas but tiny baby kicks and punches. 

Baby proved to be stubborn (like both of his/her parents) and refused to roll over so the ultrasound technician could get a good measurement of the aortic arch. At the end of the appointment, when she was looking at his/her legs and feet, she asked if we were ready to know...and we both already knew because it was very clearly staring at us on the screen. Yes, Baby Hardin is a BOY.

After we heard that news (I guessed wrong, Jonathan guessed right and we are both overjoyed) and the news that everything looked great, I must have relaxed, because our son started moving around and posing for us. The ultrasound technician said our pictures couldn't have been any better, and she was even able to get a photo of his aortic arch.

He looks just like Jonathan here -- his chest, the angle of his head and his profile.

He looks just like Jonathan here -- his chest, the angle of his head and his profile.

I will never forget April 9, 2015. It was one of the most blissful days of my life. I also spent a great deal of it answering sharing the news in person (with my sister and Jonathan's grandparents), via FaceTime (my mom, my dad and Jonathan's mom), text messages and Facebook messages because everyone was SO excited and happy to share in our baby joy. I have never received so many likes before...Baby Hardin is very popular!

Please continue to pray for our little one and our growing family. I count my blessings each and every day and recognize how blessed we are to be on this journey. Thank you for sharing it with us.

joan's piano

We recently inherited Joan's piano. If there is such a thing as a family heirloom, this piano would be near the top of our list. Joan received the piano from her dad for her 12th birthday on September 10, 1945. It was her most prized possession. When the family relocated from Ohio to Southern California in 1960, the piano moved into my great-grandmother's living room because it wouldn't fit in Joan's apartment. Here's a photo of my mom playing the piano before her junior prom in 1973:


After my great-grandmother passed away the following year and Joan moved into her new house in the nearby suburb of Cerritos, the piano moved into a corner of her living room. You can see it in the background along with the chandelier that now hangs in our foyer:


For the thirty years she lived in the house, the piano occupied that space. When my sister and I were kids, we loved playing the piano. It was one of our favorite pastimes as children. After we sold Joan's house in October 2011, the piano moved across the country to my mom's house in Oxford, where it stayed until this spring when my mom decided to downsize. It now lives in our living room: 


We still have some work to do in this room, but we are excited to have Joan's piano in our home. Jonathan is already practicing his piano-playing skills. Porter sings along!