Welcome to the World, Carter!

For all of you who have requested pictures of baby Carter, thank you for your patience! Here are a few of our favorites from the last few days, and I promise to write more later. We are so thankful for our little angel and appreciate your welcome wishes, prayers, and visits!
Samuel Carter Brown came into the world on Tuesday, January 29th at 7:30 am on the dot. He weighed in at 7 lbs 13 oz and measured at 20 3/4 ".

He was born at St. Vincent's Hospital - the same hospital that his mom was born in 29 years ago almost to the month!
Making his footprints in the world already!

Scott is a proud daddy... and a very hands-on father! He has mastered the art of swaddling and diapering much more quickly than me!

Carter with his Gram Me (Scott's mom, Libby Brown)

Carter with his Aunt Julie (Scott's sister).
Aunt Julie even got him to smile for the camera!!

Sweet feet (photography by my dear friend, Jill Aldridge).

Wide awake and alert!
Carter gets his first name "Samuel" from his daddy (Scott Samuel) and his grand dad (Sam Brown). The name actually goes back five generations. It also has significant personal meaning for me, as I was greatly encouraged by God's faithful answer to Hannah's prayer for a son, Samuel, in 1 Samuel 1. Not a day has gone by that I haven't thanked Him for blessing us with this child.

Carter loves to wiggle his hands out of his blanket and explore his face with them... hence the red scratch that appeared on day two.

No one can quite decide who Carter favors. My mom decided we should just line up baby pictures from both families, stick one of Carter in there, and take a poll. ;)

Aunt Coco (my sister Courtney) and Uncle Ivan (Courtney's fiance) are spoiling their nephew already!
This is one of my favorite pictures so far. And the blanket Carter is wrapped in was knitted by his Aunt Julie.
Carter's expression when he saw how high up his Daddy is! But with his long legs and good-sized feet, he will probably grow up to be 6'5" as well. (Funny side note: poor Scott has been having a sore back from leaning over the changing table to change diapers. We joke that we'll have to get another set of baby furniture suited for his tall stature!)
Scott was very impressed (and probably a bit scared) that I managed to "coordinate" our outfits! :)

Carter with his Grand Mary (my mom, Mary Lynn Brown). His other grandfather, Papa (Bob Brown) is in SanDiego for a business meeting and can hardly wait to get into town on Saturday to see his first grandchild! We have been sending him pictures and videos every day until he gets here!
Carter and Aunt Julie. His Uncle Stuart (Scott's twin brother) and Aunt Noelle (Stu's girlfriend) are coming in town today from Atlanta.

Carter rests before heading home from the hospital.

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The Waiting Game

My parents and my husband will attest to the fact that patience has never been one of my strongest traits. While I have improved over the years (only through the influence of the Holy Spirit in my life), I continue to struggle with waiting. Periods of transition are most challenging because I feel like I'm neither here nor there. Whether it's moving, changing jobs, going back to school, or awaiting the birth of my first child, I never know what to do with myself during that "in between" stage.

So, here I sit, 39 weeks pregnant, just waiting for the labor pains to begin. The nursery is ready, the bags are packed, baby clothes are washed and arranged by size, drawers and closets are organized, my mom is already in town, and I grow more anxious every day to meet our son, Carter. Being a planner, it is extremely challenging to wake up each morning and have no idea whether it will be the "big" day or not. Is it impatience, A.D.D., O.C.D.? Perhaps all of the above. I like to think I am just ready to embrace the next phase of life. In the meantime, I am desperately trying to entertain myself without spending large sums of money! :)

In response to your requests, here are some pictures I took of the nursery this weekend. The room has an understated safari theme. Ironically, the green material with white animals that you see on the bumper pad and curtains is actually called "Carter's Safari!" (The green fabrics look a bit neon in the photos, but they are much more subdued in person.) Scott has been teasing me that the abundance of elephants in the room (see picture of rug for example) indicate a transference of loyalty from Auburn to Alabama. However, my real purpose and strategy is to teach Carter that he should never be intimidated by elephants.

This chandelier is one of my favorite features of the room! My mother-in-law is the queen of finding treasures at garage and estate sales. She found this sweet cherub chandelier and had it painted with the shabby chic distressed look (it had been brass). I just LOVE it! Thanks Gram Me!!


Stepping Out

It seems 2008 is going to be characterized by stepping out, and in more ways than one.

First of all, I am officially venturing into the blogging world, and I admit, it’s a bit intimidating. For all of you who have been blogging for years, bear with me while I figure this all out and find what these supposed professional internet bloggers call my “blogging voice.” I am diving in for two main reasons: to update family and friends on baby Carter and the Brown family, and to keep my mind and writing skills engaged.

Having just completed seminary, I now step forward into actually living out the plan (and dream) I have had for years….writing for Christian publications. For the past two years, the path has been somewhat easy, as I was immersed in “preparation” for launching a free-lance writing career. I knew where I was heading but wasn’t putting myself out on the line yet.

Now, it is up to me to be disciplined. To take the initiative to write. To send out queries and manuscripts… and to wait for the responses. I know I must be prepared for rejection letters, as every writer experiences this. But I truly feel that I am called to write, and I keep praying that God will guide me through this personally unchartered territory. I figure that one way to generate creative and relevant writing topics is to simply share daily life stories, thoughts, and reflections on this blog. Hopefully, blogging will help me remain consistent in my writing.

Finally, I am beginning a new, lifelong role as a mother. As numerous people have warned, my life is about to drastically change! This transition is perhaps the most significant change I have ever (or will ever) experience. Marriage seemed to be an easy shift, partly because my husband is one of the most patient, understanding, encouraging, and easygoing people I know. But I also knew that marriage was a mutually dependent relationship. Simultaneously, I recognized that Scott was capable of taking care of himself if I failed at being a “good wife.”

Motherhood, on the other hand, is a completely different ballgame. My son is going to be utterly dependent on me, particularly during his first few months of life outside the womb. If I “fail” as a mother, I potentially have a negative effect on the shaping of his personality, character, and life choices, thus not enabling him to fully develop into the man God desires him to be. In some ways, this insecurity and fear I have will lead me to be more dependent on the Lord in prayer than ever before. I am counting on Him to provide me with discernment, wisdom, unconditional love, and patience to make the right decisions and raise a godly son. I know it will be quite a challenging and humbling journey, but I anxiously anticipate it.

With 12 days until Carter’s due date, I am trying to remain as patient as possible. I am so eager to meet this precious baby that has been growing inside of me for the last 9 ½ months! It has been so fun to see Scott’s excitement, and I am looking forward to discovering a new side of him as he becomes a father. Until sweet Carter decides to make his debut into the world, I am trying to plan something fun for each day so that I have something to look forward to other than his unpredictable arrival!

Here’s to a year of heading in new directions…. And seeing what lies ahead!