Sunday, November 21, 2010


It's 2006 and life in the Sweeney household is pretty great. We have our two girls, Emma is 4 and Jillian is 9 months. We have plans to move to Arkansas in January of 2007 and so far things are right on track.

.. fast forward just a couple of weeks. I am ONE day late and my mind flashes back to the day the girls took a long nap.... hmmmm....
This particular evening I am planning to go out with some girlfriends for one of the girls birthdays. But I stop off first at the DOLLAR STORE and buy... a pregnancy test.
I get to the restaurant go in the bathroom and do my thing. You may find it interesting to know that this is neither the first time I bought a dollar store pregnancy test NOR the first time I took it in a public bathroom.

From my experience.... dollar store pregnancy tests taken in public bathrooms are ALWAYS positive.

And so it was that I was pregnant, unexpectedly, with our 3rd child. I took home a to go box from the restaurant that night, stuck the positive test in it and handed it to Nate. WHAT was his response to this little surprise???

" Really... oh wow. .... where's the rolls?"

yep. that's what he said.

Eventually, we both got used to the idea. Sure, this was pretty quick and not what we were thinking, but we had talked a little about having a third, trying for that boy.. so... here we go!

The thing that really confirmed for me that I was having a boy was not an ultrasound or anything like that. It was my appetite. It was INSATIABLE. I wanted to eat all the time. I craved everything, I dreamed about food. I was NEVER full.
So, when Nathaniel was born on May 18, 2007 at 2 in the morning, 3 weeks early and weighing 7lbs 15oz ... it was no surprise that he was a very eager nurser. I can say that I never had one problem convincing that boy to eat. I didn't have to rub cold, wet clothes on him to wake him up enough. He was ALWAYS ready and willing. Although, he did prefer only the mom, of course. No bottles for this big guy.
I can't even begin to describe the difference in parenting a boy as opposed to a girl. This little man stole my heart. He was happy and content and friendly. And he had and still has the most beautiful, full kissable lips!!
Nathaniel Joseph, our little surprise baby, has brought so much joy to our family. He is such a little cut-up and ham.

He plays rough like a boy and is a little bit mischievous. He loves to wrestle with his dad and ANTAGONIZE his big sisters, especially Emma. He is still as sweet and lovable as he was as an infant. And he loves his mommy. :) He loves for me to sing to him " You Are My Sunshine and You Are My Bubby Boy" and then he sings to me " You are my Mommy Girl".
He still likes to eat. A lot. He loves sweets and he loves to get dirty. He is usually... naked...or at least nearly so. I don't know WHY but the boy just doesn't like clothing!
He continues to make friends with everyone he meets, which makes me think he would be a fabulous pastor.. or politician. Right now he is content to use this skills to get candy from the ladies at church or to sweet talk Mama Bear into an extra "turn" at her house.

He was unexpected and unplanned. We had not prepared for another baby so soon. But when I look at Nathaniel, I remember that sometimes God places unexpected things in our lives. Even though we feel unprepared or inadequate, many times God uses those situations to provide the biggest blessings.
Nathaniel- gift from God.
Joseph- God will increase.
Nathaniel, is a special surprise gift from God. The Lord knew how much we needed him and his sweet, caring, trusting personality in our family. And He has increased our joy and love beyond what we ever thought.
I love my little man and it is and always has been my prayer that he will be tender towards God at an early age, sensitive to His voice and a man after God's heart. As a baby I sang to him every night, as he nursed, "when the spirit of the Lord moves upon my heart, I will dance like David danced. I will dance, I will dance, I will dance like David danced". I pray that this will be true for him his whole life, that he will allow Gods spirit to move on him and pursue Jesus with unbridled passion.
I love you, honny man.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Jillian Faith is our second daughter and the middle child. When Nate and I first began talking about when we would like to start trying for another baby ( that day according to Nate ;) ) little did we know, she was already conceived.
By this time I had been a mom for nearly 3 years. So reality had set in and I knew what to expect... or so I thought.
Jillian proved from the very beginning that she was anything but typical. I've blogged about her health issues before so I won't go into all that now ( you are welcome to go back and read it) except to say that she is one tough little chicky.
With her diagnosis of Turner Syndrome, her birth was certainly rocky...but looking back we realize that things went a lot smoother than they could have. Weighing in at 5lbs 8oz ( one oz heavier than her sister), Jillian didn't have to spend a single minute in the NICU, which was really surprising since they had told us even that as they were beginning induction that she definitely would spend some time there.
We stayed a little longer than usual in the hospital, but Jilly Bean did amazing. She nursed so well and was such a trooper as dozens of tests were run on her. She had to most peaceful demeanor and quickly became a favorite among the nurses.

The day we came home was freezing!!! So we bundled Jillian up and placed her in the co sleeper next to our bed while we ate. When we went in to check on her she had wiggled herself to the middle of our queen size bed! We are still amazed at how strong she is!

I think the most amazing thing about Jillian is her smile.
This is the look she has on her face about 80% of the time ( the other 20% is the exact OPPOSITE of this! haha!). And she has been this way since day one. I remember the week after we came home my girl friend brought dinner over for us. She was holding Jillian and talking to her when Jillian gave her a sweet closed-lip little grin. "Oh my gosh!!! Did you see that?!?! She just SMILED at me!!" And Jilly continued to smile like this from that day forward.
One definition of her name, Jillian is "regenerate". Which means; "to cause a spiritual or moral reform in, to bring about a change, esp a good one, to be born-again spiritually, to restore a body part by the growth of new tissue". As if that wasn't great enough... another definition is "youthful". And Jillian lives up to this for sure. She makes people feel special and happy and just good. She is funny and light-hearted and easy going.
Her middle name is Faith. The substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things unseen...

While she loves her sister and looks up to her, she is perfectly content to do her own thing. And so when something comes up that she doesn't want to do.... she doesn't. She seems to feel no pressure to follow the crowd and is perfectly content to do her own thing. Most Sundays, before church, you will find her running around the sanctuary with that silly smile and singing her heart out. Sometimes she has a friend. Other times she does not. But neither way seems to bother her too much.
Her physical issues have definitely taken their toll on all of us. And we never anticipated parenting a child like her. I can't imagine how empty my life would be without her...just as she is. Nearly everyone who meets her remarks at her joyful, peaceful countenance. To know her is to love her. It's that simple. Only a few know what a miracle she is. And we take any opportunity we can to brag on our God. and our girl.

She is our sunshine.