Our Ever Near & Helping God

Early on Sunday morning we said “see you at Christmas” to my sister who has lived in Virginia for the last 16 months. She’s decided that (at least for now) the Old Dominion isn’t for her and is moving back to Chicagoland. I wrote this when the emotions were still very raw but as this is my space for memories, I wanted to jot a post down for myself to remind me of God’s faithfulness to me and to my children. For even through this he ordained a way to help me parent through this momentary sorrow.

While I was out of town earlier in the week, Alex took J to the library and they picked out books. When I returned home, I was reading one of the titles with J, “Percy the Brave” (a Thomas the Tank Engine golden book) and a line  from the B story leapt off the page. It reads “I guess you have to be brave to say goodbye to someone too” Percy peeped. I got choked up then with anticipation of today and remarked to J how good this book was for us for this week. Last night when we pulled into our driveway after being at a birthday party and we saw her moving truck in our driveway, I once again got choked up. J asked me why I was crying and he reminded me I needed to be brave like Percy. He went inside and showed the book to my sister and has clung to it for the last 12 hours. Of course we talked about the emotions that are present in this time and I’ve encouraged him to tell the Lord about them. We’ve prayed and we’ve cried and sung songs that help but isn’t it just like God to come before us when we don’t have the words to say or we can’t bring ourselves to fully understand how to walk the road ahead? Isn’t it just like him to bring us closer to him? Indeed it is. Indeed he loves us, oh he loves us…he loves us all.

There is much more to say and write, but this will suffice for now. Off I go to hug babies and my husband and cling to the church.


9 Month Nugget


Is this really the same child we brought home from the hospital nine months ago?

D-baby as he’s been affectionately referred to over the last many months only has a few more months of being a baby in him on the calendar but lately I’ve been struck by how much more of a baby he seems to me than J did at this age. Perhaps it’s all contrast and because I didn’t know any better with J, but D is still (despite his girth) so little and helpless and that’s fine with me! I’ll treasure each baby day I get with him.

He weighed in at 22 lbs. at the doctor yesterday and was 28 inches long. I guess I didn’t record where J was at this stage in life but D is definitely bigger. He’s wearing clothes that J wore well over a year old. When people see him they comment about 1 of 3 things – his cheeks (“Hey cute cheeks” is my recent favorite from a teacher at J’s school), his eyes, or his size. I’ve got a nice right bicep built up that’s for sure.

He has three teeth to boast about and the 4th is an any day now situation and he’s finally totally mobile, though not interested in walking assisted yet. He rolls and scoots and lunges to get wherever he wants and he really does throw his weight around. He won’t sit still in my lap for any long period of time anymore without throwing his body in another direction.

Overall temperament he’s an incredibly smiling baby and we have yet to have a melt-down despite days without afternoon naps due to teething and travel/general busyness.

Without further ado, I give you his 6-9 month video…set to a song that unlike some of my other selections has literally been the soundtrack to the last three months of my  life since J is OBSESSED with it. But I felt like it fit. We’ve had an unseasonably warm winter, D’s got big blue eyes, and we often sing this song and sub out “Blue” for D. Anywho…

7 Months!


This handsome little man turned 7 months old yesterday. He refused to let me take a good picture but he’s got one tooth in there and more will likely follow soon.

Milestones: He’s still not rolling over though he did once while his dad was watching him today. Maybe it’s a motivation thing? He’s scooting in circles though and is sitting up like a pro.
Eating: I think he would eat until he explodes. We’ve added yogurt to his diet and he loves it.
Sleeping: Month 7 has been trying because of teeth and separation anxiety has reared it’s ugly head a little as well. Nighttime wakings are still quite routine.He’s down to two rather predictable naps – one in the morning from 7;30-9:30/10 and one in the afternoon from 12:30-3:00/3:00. He goes to bed at 6:00PM and wakes up the next morning between 5:45 and 6:00AM. He can sleep the whole stretch but doesn’t always want to 🙂
Temperament: He’s an incredibly happy baby. He loves to laugh and smile. When he’s really happy or he sees me enter a room his mouth opens so wide its as if his whole face is his mouth.
Words: We’ve heard some da-da’s and ma-ma’s among his babble strings but alas, we don’t think they mean anything to him yet

7 months means we’re more than half-way done with the first year…whew, it’s going fast. But time marches on and I love my three year old so we’ll press on.


Last night during the second of four times that I was in baby D’s room between 6pm and 6am (it was a rough, uncharacteristic night – darn teeth!),  I was impressed by the weight of his body as he lay in my lap. I remember this moment with little J too, perhaps it was around the same age. There is little I can write to accurately describe it, but essentially its a realization that he’s no longer a wee-little one. Though I’ve held him every single day since June 9th, his weigh gain has obviously been gradual but last night he was all of a sudden big and my brain and my heart knew it. His fingers are no longer slender instead, they like his feet and wrists are bulging with chub and though I can see it in pictures and my eyes have beheld the changes once again, last night, my arms finally felt it too.

As I sat there in his dark room and pondered the moment, my thoughts were drawn once again to a conversation I had a few weeks ago I was talking to a friend who has three girls about my particular season of life. She made a comment that has been stuck in my mind about how I only have 5 years or so of each of these precious boys lives where I am “the woman” in their lives. The one who gets their cuddles and their requests, the one who is their everything…their mama. She meant in contrast to what she sees as her relationship with her children as they grown, anticipating lunch dates and mall dates and a deep friendship with each of them. And though as it write it sounds harsh, it’s still likely true. A boys relationship with his mom is sweet and unmatched in it’s early years but it changes as they grow-up. So I recognize (with a few stinging tears in my eyes) that it’s true, but it’s weighty. Weighty in the same way that little J’s questions about life and death and Jesus and church and marriage and love are. And so if you can’t tell, lately my heart has become burdened. Burdened for my children in a new way. For their safety, for their character, for their salvation. Because I have so much to accomplish in a day that isn’t really at all about them (I mean directly, they need a clean place to live and we need clothes and food and such) and I am so incapable left to myself to do anything right or worthy. How thankful I am that I have Psalm 37:4 is true. O my soul…Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Baby Name Clues Round 2 – part 2

We’re just a couple of weeks away now, Lord willing, from meeting the newest member of the Vlk clan and I still have a three more name clues to share. You can review the first three here. Any guesses?

  1. I was very conscientious about having a “matchy-matchy” name with little J. There are a lot of names that culturally or Biblically “match” his – we didn’t choose one of those.
  2. The boys will not share any initials.
  3. Unlike little J, we will not call him by his given first name and once again, we don’t have any close friends who go by the name we’ve chosen as a nickname.

Bonus Hint: Little J has repeatedly over the last few months told people he wanted to name the newest member of the family “Awesome”.