Julie Faye Sutter

Family Traits

Now that we're less than two weeks away from our second ultrasound, I'm really beginning to think about our baby and imagine life with him or her.

Obviously our main prayer is for a healthy baby. The health of this baby has been our number one concern since January 4, but the feeling grows stronger each day that its tiny presence becomes a little bigger. I fully recognize that carrying this life in my body is a wonderful gift, and I feel blessed and honored that Jonathan, the baby and I are on this journey together.

People have asked if I have a gut feeling about our baby's gender. I do, but I don't have a strong preference either way. It would be fun to give my parents their second grandson or their first granddaughter. It would be thrilling to add another Hardin boy to the family or welcome the first Hardin daughter of the next generation. I would love to watch our son with his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, or know that our daughter is the next in a line of strong-willed women. 

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know how happy I am that we will learn our baby's gender on Jonathan's grandmother's birthday (April 9) and that our baby's due date is three days before my grandmother's birthday (September 10). I have spent the last two years documenting our family's history and stories, and now I'm ready to see which family traits and characteristics appear in our baby. Blue eyes and fair skin seem like the two most obvious ones, but maybe we'll have a rebel baby with brown eyes like both of its grandmothers.

Until then, I've put together a family album that goes back to our great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents. God willing, our child will grow up knowing exactly where he or she came from and who he or she looks like. What a wonderful thought and what an exciting journey.

Thanks for sharing our joy.

Jonathan and his grandmother Sadie.

Jonathan and his grandmother Sadie.

Me and my grandparents Bill and Lucy.

Me and my grandparents Bill and Lucy.

Jonathan and his mother Denise.

Jonathan and his mother Denise.

Me and my grandma Joan and my mother Julie.

Me and my grandma Joan and my mother Julie.

My dad Fred.

My dad Fred.

Jonathan's mother Denise.

Jonathan's mother Denise.

My mother Julie and grandmother Joan.

My mother Julie and grandmother Joan.

Jonathan's father Greg and his grandfather Gerald. 

Jonathan's father Greg and his grandfather Gerald. 

My grandmother Joan.

My grandmother Joan.

Jonathan's grandmother  Sadie .

Jonathan's grandmother Sadie.

Jonathan's great-grandparents Dayton and Elzie with his grandfather Gerald.

Jonathan's great-grandparents Dayton and Elzie with his grandfather Gerald.

My grandmother  Lucy .

My grandmother Lucy.

My great-grandmother  Jennie Moore  (back left), her brother Andy (back right), her mother Martha, stepfather Jacob and half-siblings Jake and Mayme Van Bibber. 

My great-grandmother Jennie Moore (back left), her brother Andy (back right), her mother Martha, stepfather Jacob and half-siblings Jake and Mayme Van Bibber. 

Jonathan's great-grandfather Dayton.

Jonathan's great-grandfather Dayton.

My great-grandmother  Elsie  (right) and her sister Myrtle.

My great-grandmother Elsie (right) and her sister Myrtle.

Jonathan's great-grandfather  Clovis Yates  (back, second from left) and his great-great grandparents William and Julia.

Jonathan's great-grandfather Clovis Yates (back, second from left) and his great-great grandparents William and Julia.

My great-grandfather Raoul with his sister Marie and parents Ernesto and Adele.

My great-grandfather Raoul with his sister Marie and parents Ernesto and Adele.

Jonathan's great-grandmother  Eliza Michael  (top right) and her siblings. 

Jonathan's great-grandmother Eliza Michael (top right) and her siblings. 

My great-grandmother Tina (front, bottom center) with her siblings and parents. 

My great-grandmother Tina (front, bottom center) with her siblings and parents. 

Little Sister

One of my very first memories took place on September 24, 1986. I was one month away from my third birthday when my little sister Lauren Victoria came into the world. I remember so many details of that day including getting ready to go to the hospital to meet her for the first time and receiving the Little Tikes car that she brought just for me. That car is now in our attic, patiently awaiting the arrival of the next generation of crazy drivers. On July 7 of this year, Lauren and her husband Chris will welcome their first child and my nephew, Hudson Glenn. I recently made Hudson's first photo album for his gender reveal party, and these photos were some of the many that made the cut. We are very excited about Baby Hudson's arrival this summer.

Three generations on a very special day.

Three generations on a very special day.

At Grandma's house in Cerritos, California. Check out those high tops!

At Grandma's house in Cerritos, California. Check out those high tops!

On Christmas morning in California. It was one of the best Christmases ever.

On Christmas morning in California. It was one of the best Christmases ever.

Baby Lauren with her pretty mother.

Baby Lauren with her pretty mother.

A very short time before Lauren's arrival at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Maidenhead, UK. Lauren and I were both delivered there two years and 11 months apart.

A very short time before Lauren's arrival at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Maidenhead, UK. Lauren and I were both delivered there two years and 11 months apart.

My mom and Lauren on Lauren's first birthday.

My mom and Lauren on Lauren's first birthday.

Lauren's First Halloween and Long Distance Memories

Perhaps the most memorable Halloween of my life to date was my sister Lauren's first Halloween. I have blurry memories of those days.

My sister was barely a month old, and somehow my mother had time to make costumes. We were bunnies.

Me and Lauren on October 31, 1986.

Me and Lauren on October 31, 1986.

The cat and her two bunnies. Here she was showing off Lauren's pom-pom tail!

The cat and her two bunnies. Here she was showing off Lauren's pom-pom tail!

Shortly before Lauren was born, my grandma Joan came to stay with us for several weeks. I remember sitting together in the kitchen on Lauren's birthday before we went to the hospital to see her for the very first time. I was eating Goldfish crackers that she brought from California out of my favorite red bowl. I can still see those crackers in the bowl after all these years, and I can hear her telling me it was almost time to go meet Lauren.

My grandma Joan and her granddaughters. 

My grandma Joan and her granddaughters. 

As you can see, we loved having her with us. Now that I'm an adult, I realize just how difficult it must have been for her to be away from her house, her dog, her job and her life for that many weeks. It's funny how time does change our perspectives about some things. 

Long faces (and whatever face I was making) as my grandma prepared to leave us to return home to California. She sure was dressed nicely for that long flight from London to LAX!

Long faces (and whatever face I was making) as my grandma prepared to leave us to return home to California. She sure was dressed nicely for that long flight from London to LAX!

I'm pretty sure she was telling me to be nice to my sister and help my mommy. 

I'm pretty sure she was telling me to be nice to my sister and help my mommy. 

In the days before Skype and the Internet, London and Los Angeles felt like different worlds. Visits were never long enough, and all of the cards and presents that were mailed lovingly back and forth across the Atlantic couldn't replace the feeling that existed when we were all in one place. It was a little easier once we moved to the States, but long distance phone calls were still expensive. During the last years of her life, she purchased a Gateway computer and we were able to enjoy using Internet messengers (specifically ICQ and Yahoo Messenger) and email to talk back and forth. I still find myself wondering what she'd think about iPhones, Skype and FaceTime. She would have loved being able to connect with us, but she probably would have hated seeing herself. I must have inherited that trait from her. 

What are your favorite Halloween memories? 

It feels like fall today...

A big storm came through last night and brought fall with it. Tonight's low is 46; tomorrow's is 44. It'll be perfect weather for a historic Ole Miss-Bama football game in Oxford. Too bad we'll be listening to it on the radio at home because we don't have cable...On the other hand, maybe we don't want to watch. It could be painful. :)

Breezy fall weather calls for more road trip photos with Joan and Sid. They did love their motorhome photos....

Ahh, fall. I love you.

My beautiful grandmother Joan.

My beautiful grandmother Joan.

Sid and the motorhome.

Sid and the motorhome.

Joan and the motorhome.

Joan and the motorhome.

My grandmother Joan and mother Julie. Not sure who the little girl with big glasses is. 

My grandmother Joan and mother Julie. Not sure who the little girl with big glasses is. 

Happy weekend, everyone!