Bittersweet //

By March 13, 2015 Parenthood

Well, we’re here…two weeks away from my due date and I keep wondering where the past several months have gone. There were days I thought my due date would never come (mostly when I was nauseous or throwing up) and then there are these current days where I look back in amazement at how fast this pregnancy has gone! I’m still feeling pretty good for the most part; sleeping is a little more challenging and I feel like I’m constantly going to the bathroom, but overall I’m not doing too bad.

The other night James and I were laying in bed laughing and talking, enjoying our time together before we called it a night and in a sudden wave of emotion, the tears started. I looked at James and said, “these are our last few weeks just you and me.” James, being the sensitive man that he is, stroked my hair, held me tight, looked into my eyes and said, “it is, but we are getting ready to add a little more love to our family.”

I am truly so excited for this new season of life; I’ve been waiting since I was a little girl to be a mom and now I’m just weeks (or days) away from that happening! But at the same time, for the past 7 1/2 years, it’s been just him and I. We’ve had years to grow together, to walk through the deep valleys of addiction and high mountains of victory and healing together. Years of sitting together laughing till we were in tears, staying up late eating ice cream and watching Netflix, having last minute dates together, and staying out late with friends playing cards or simply talking.

As hard as these past 7 1/2 years have been, they have been SO good, so rewarding, so fulfilling, so healing, so memorable. And now, we’re entering into a season of life where things are going to change…in the best way possible, of course! It’s a bitter sweet change for me. I’m saying goodbye to what I’ve known for the past several years of my life of just being “Autumn and James” and saying hello to “the Carton family”.

I’m being more intentional about soaking in these last couple weeks of enjoying time with just my husband. Just the other night we danced in the kitchen before he headed out the door and we held each other tightly, gently kissing and giggling like young high school kids in love, cherishing a moment that was so tender and sweet. It’s in these last couple weeks that I wholeheartedly look forward to making dinner together or hanging pictures up in the nursery, running errands together, or talking in the dark of the night about what our life is getting ready to look like and reminiscing of years past. I know we will still have time just him and I, but it’ll just look a little different with adding babies.

As we close this chapter in life, we both are cherishing our quality time together and yet anxiously awaiting our sweet baby girls’ arrival and with that, anticipating all the joy and love we are getting ready to experience, not only for this new little human, but for each other.

autumn

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26 //

By January 28, 2015 Daily Life

Monday was my golden birthday…26 on the 26th! I felt so celebrated and loved this year as we had a small gathering of my closest friends over at our house and on Monday night James took me out for a delicious barbecue dinner and bought me the sweetest gifts. My cup was overflowing with feelings of love, joy, and thankfulness!

25 was a really hard, yet beautiful year. I learned (and let’s be honest, am still learning) how to truly and wholeheartedly trust the Lord in all areas of life. He brought James and I through some deep valleys and days that were so wearing on our hearts. Lots of tears were shed, but through those struggles I learned to be content in simplicity, grateful for His abundant and hidden blessings, and joyful in moments where fear crept in. I learned that life isn’t about making me comfortable, but that sometimes when you truly love and care for someone, you have to put yourself in vulnerable and uncomfortable situations….and with that comes learning the art of grace for yourself and grace for others. I grew more in love with Jesus as he taught me that His perfect love casts out fear and that I can truly cast all my cares on Him because He really does care about His children. I fell more in love with James as I saw him become a stronger leader, not only in our home but with friendships and as a business owner. And the moment that we found out we were pregnant, I felt that deep love and connection he had with our unborn baby and the love I felt for my husband grew that much more. I have blogged less than I wanted and have been terrible at taking pictures, but have gone through a hard process of realizing that the personal relationships around me are far more important than an audience through social media. I have gained beautiful friendships. I traveled. I was challenged. Past wounds that I held onto from church were healed and walking in that freedom has been one of the most precious parts of this year.

The Lord has graciously given me another year to live and grow, to be challenged, and have new adventures. Since I can remember, I’ve always been ready for the next season of life. When I was in junior high, I just wanted to be in high school. When I was in high school, I wanted to date and be in college. When I was dating, I just wanted to be married. You get the idea. I’ve grown tired of trying to rush life. I’m now 26, happily married, with a beautiful baby girl on the way and I look back on my life and think, “where did the time go? how am I already 26 with a baby on the way?”

This next year will be a year of learning to be content in the season I’m in and soaking up every moment of time with my growing family. I don’t want a day to go by with me thinking about the next season of life, but rather be entirely submerged in the sweet and chaotic moments of life with a newborn. I eagerly await what the Lord has in store for me. I’m thankful that my 26th year (my golden year) is here!

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Looking Ahead //

By December 31, 2014 Daily Life

2014 was a really great and challenging year for us:

We started our own business in January, which the Lord has continually blessed

We celebrated our two year wedding anniversary and seven years of being together

We got pregnant and moved into a house!

It was a year of continued restoration between my mom and I and finding a church home after searching for years.

It was a year of growing in trusting the Lord for all things, especially finances. There were times both James and I wondered how we would pay the bills, and every time we questioned or doubted the season we were in with the business, the Lord was faithful to provide another client for James.

There were a lot of changes and challenges and through them all we’ve both grown stronger together as a couple and as individuals.

As great and full as 2014 was, I am so looking forward to the New Year! 2015 has some really monumental life happenings and I could not be more excited for them all:

January is my Golden Birthday; 26 on the 26th! It also marks the 1 year anniversary of our business, which is just so amazing.

March is the month where we get to finally meet our DAUGHTER!

In May my brother is getting married (even though I still look at him as my little 10 year old brother who will never grow up). And it’ll be my very first Mother’s day!

June will be James’ very first Father’s Day

July we will celebrate 3 years of marriage

October is James’ big 3-0. He was 21 when I met him and fell in love and it’s been an incredible journey to watch him grow from a boy to a man! It’ll also be 8 years since we started dating.

And who knows what will happen in between!

It’ll be another year of trusting the Lord for our business and taking on new challenges such as wedding photography, boudoir photography (which I’ll be doing as my own little side project), and hopefully a lot more family shoots as those are some of our favorites.

Blogging will be another part of our lives that I will be picking back up more consistently and writing about all the happenings in our neck of the woods. And, I’m hoping that for the new year, we’ll have a whole new look!

And the biggest part of all…transitioning to parenthood to a little treasure God has blessed us with. I know it’s not going to be easy and there will be a lot of hard days, but I know more than anything that it’s going to be the most rewarding thing we’ll ever do. I’ve already begun to pray grace over the next year…grace for each other, grace for Avonlea, grace for ourselves as we face new obstacles and a lot of unknowns, and lots of grace for myself as a new momma. Grace. The Lord knows we’ll need it!

As excited as I am for the things to come, I do want to finish 2014 well…with my husband, my baby bump, great friends, and some sparkling cider!

Happy New Year friends! May you be richly blessed as you wake up on the day of a new year, with a new mind set, a fresh start, some new goals, and a cup of tea (or your beverage of choice)!

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