Saturday, October 29, 2011

little sommer-sunshine

I. am. in. love.

These were snapped by my amazing friend Jessica (check out her site!)  Little Sommer is changing so much already.  In fact, these shots were taken just before she started to bald and broke out in a terrible case of newborn acne.  These conditions are probably God's way of battling a mother's vanity in her child.

And some priceless family photos...

"But may they who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength."  
Judges 5:31

Friday, October 21, 2011


Annike often says "the pink one is my favorite, and the purple one is my favorite and the blue one is my favorite too!"  In other words, whatever she is referring to (toy cars, characters in a book, crayon colors... whatever), they are ALL her favorite.

The teacher in me wants to explain that the word "favorite" cannot be used that way.  Favorite means you choose ONE that you like best.  

But instead of explaining my definition to my 3-year-old, I think I am starting to understand the word through her eyes.  Why?

because they are BOTH my favorite.

Different... and both more lovable because of their differences.  

The big one is my favorite and the little one is my favorite.  They are redefining the meaning of the word.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Choosing a name for our child felt like a huge responsibility to me.  It is one thing to like a name for someone else's child, and an entirely different thing to bestow a permanent title upon my own child.

And when I think about it, a name really isn't something to be taken lightly.  Historically speaking, many cultures believed that names affected the personality or character of a person.  American Indians received their names after they had accomplished something great.  There are many accounts in the Bible where a name was changed to reflect a new identity.  My favorite example is when Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter, effectively changing his name from "pebble" to "rock".  At the time of the name change, Peter was not really a "rock" yet, but Jesus changed his name in anticipation of what Peter would become... a pillar of the faith.

In our culture, naming a child is typically more about how the sound rolls off of the tongue.  However, Christian and I both felt the meaning of a child's name was too important to overlook.  We also wanted to incorporate our Scandinavian roots.  In the end, we did not actually make our final naming decision until after either of our daughters were born.  And because you might be wondering, here are a few of the specific reasons we chose what we did for our two precious daughters...

Sommer Christiana Negard
  • Sommer is the Scandinavian/German spelling of Summer, which means "Summer" of course!  Summer is defined as "the warmest season of the year."  Also, "a period of great happiness, success, or fulfillment."  A blessing we can intentionally bestow upon her.
  • Christiana is derived from my husband's name, Christian, and means "follower of Christ".  We figure he may never have a son, so our daughter can carry on his name in feminine form.

Annike May Negard
  • Annike means Grace, or favour.  Grace is the name of my prayerful, Christ-following, grandmother.  What a wonderful quality to be named for!  We chose the Danish spelling (as opposed to the more common Swedish spelling of Annika) because Christian's mother (Elke) has a family full of women with names that end in "-ke".
  • May is my maiden name.  It is more personally relevant than meaningful.  But I suppose it is also the month of the year when the flowers are blooming, the sun begins to shine, and the hope of new life is evident everywhere.

Someone pointed out to me that names can only work so far to undo genetics... but hey!  It's worth a try!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

two little lives

This whole mother-of-two thing has really got my head spinning.  It has been way harder than I ever imagined.

I know it will get easier, I know that what I am doing is no more difficult than what any other mother of two (or three, or five) is doing, and I absolutely know that God will give me the grace and patience to the kind of mom that He would like me to be... but in the meantime, it definitely feels like a stretch.

Needless to say, blog-time is not a priority.  Neither is me-time.  Come to think of it, momentarily, the only thing I have time for is taking care of two children.  The only reason I have time for that is because my husband is taking care of me.

Exhausting?  Yes.  But despite it all, I do recognize that this stage I am in right now is temporary.  And amidst the doubts and anxieties and guilt about all of the other things I should be doing (writing thank you notes, returning phone calls, cleaning the macaroni and cheese off the floor from last week), I see quite clearly that two little lives have been entrusted to me.  And that God will give me all of the strength I need to rise to the occasion and take good care of them.

Maybe that is what scares me the most?  These two little lives are a severely important responsibility, and I sure don't feel like I am capable of doing a good job.  I am sleep-deprived, emotional, impatient and anxious.  I cry a lot.  I feel like giving up once in a while.  And I wish I could take a lot more naps.  But ultimately, way down deep inside of me, I do know that God is not only giving me strength to make it through each day, but also teaching me to be a good mother.  Phase one of that lesson is dying-to-self.

So, while I happen to be here in blog-land, a few pictures of these two little lives...

One way I have learned to multi-task with a child who doesn't want to be put down.

Annike's baby doll needed to use the bouncy seat too.

Tired Momma, and happy girls.

One of Sommer's first smiles!  At 2 weeks old - she must be brilliant :)

One of Annike's many smiles.