Friday, June 27, 2008


Kate Elizabeth Shank
June 26, 2008
20 inches
8 lbs., 3 oz.

Well, it's "Tante Em" and "Gigi" posting here.  we just got home and are happy to report that little Kate graced us with her presence this evening after a smooth and fairly quick delivery.  Nora, Mom, and I woke up this morning with no suspicions of her coming today--in fact, we decided to go shopping in Scottsdale.  Ironically, we left all the bags for the hospital at home, not thinking anything was going to happen.  However, on the way to the mall, Nora noticed that her contractions were 3-5 min. apart and a bit stronger than before.  After meandering through a few stores, Nora's face revealed that these contractions were a bit different than the previous week's worth.  She then suggested that we quickly get lunch at Nordstrom Cafe 'to go,' and have Travis come pick her up straight from work.  So, Mom and I sent the two of them off to the hospital, while we ran home to retrieve the bags!  We arrived at the hospital around 1pm, to find out that Nora was 6cm and 90% effaced.  By that point, she and Travis decided to go with the epideral, and that soon put her at ease.  Over the next few hours, she steadily progressed.  Nora, Mom, and Travis were in the room, while the Shank family and I waited patiently outside.  At 7:20, Mom rushed out to announce, "It's a girl!"  Joyous laughter and smiles and screams quickly gushed forth, and lots of phone-calls and text-messages were sent. Opa Jansen arrives tomorrow afternoon, and we are simply thrilled that he will get to see Kate, as Grandpa Steve got to be here today before he leaves tomorrow for Denver.  So, on behalf of Travis, Nora, and Kate, thanks for all your prayers and support.  God's grace truly is amazing, and looking at little Kate makes us worship the Lord for His provision and grace through this whole process.  More pictures to come tomorrow...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The strength of the Father's love

I have been meditating on the Father's love this week and Octavius Winslow says it so well in Morning Thoughts: 
Behold the strength of Immanuel's love. Come, fall prostrate, adore and worship Him. Oh, what love was His! Oh the depth! Content not yourself with standing upon the shores of this ocean-enter into it, drink largely from it. It is for you, if you but feel your nothingness, your poverty, your vileness; this ocean is for you. It is not for angels, it is for men. It is not for the righteous, but for sinners. Then drink to the full from the love of Jesus. Do not be satisfied with small supplies. Take a large vessel to the fountain. The larger the demand, the larger the supply. The needier, the more welcome. The viler, more fit. ~ June 26
This ocean of love found in the cross is for us today.
We are confidant of the Father's heart of love... We are still waiting on this baby (which if it doesn't come by itself, we'll consider having my water broken tommorrow) knowing that God has a perfect plan. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lost Mail

Every day for the past 30 days we have received a note in the mail.
My brother, Peter, inspired the family to write us a note for the big T- 30 countdown to the baby. Some of them were humorous, some were spiritual encouragement; and most of all, they were a creative reminder of our supportive and loving family back East, who try to participate fully in our lives even though they are far away. I read what I thought was the last one yesterday morning.
But when we got the mail last night, there was a stray that found it's way a little later into our mailbox.
I read T-11 this morning as the manna from heaven that God must have intended that it should be. My dad wrote, "You're in good hands... with the All-mighty God!" His words were perfect, seeing as I woke up discouraged and feeling like God is distant from this situation.
He said:
He is faithful, and will watch over your moves, your quitting, your unpacking and packing, the exams, your papers/projects, your cards, your timing belts, oil changes, your dialation, breathing and birthday, your nursing, your nursery, your waking and sleeping, your crying, your hugging, your diapers and doctor's appointments. There is great upon grace, kindness upon kindness! Ephesians 3:17 : "May he dwell in your hearts through faith...may you comprehend the breadth, lenth, height and depth and know the love of Christ".
God used that passage to remind us that He does indeed love us and have this perfectly timed. From one Father's heart to another, we are reassured that we are in good hands.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I was reading the baby journal I started at the beginning of my pregnancy this morning, and I realized that the day I thought of as so far away is now here. How fast it has gone. How quickly time has flown. So many adventures between moving, travel, jobs, and school. And now we arrive at baby.
This delay is good for us. It gives us more to look forward to. We are anticipating this child with even greater joy. Yes, it is hard to wait. There have been moments of tears and frustration. But we believe that this was God's good plan and a sign of his great love and faithfulness.

Monday, June 23, 2008

According to...

On Monday night, we were invited to the Shank's for dinner. Travis was working late and was going to pick up Emily after work. Janis prepared a great dinner with about the only protein I really enjoy right now: shrimp. Must be all those hormones needing cholesterol. 
So we were eating finished eating dinner, discussing the role of older women in the church after their children are grown and other interesting topics. My mom leans over and indiscriminately points across me to where Jordan was sitting and whispers "Can you pass that?"
All I could see was a lone crouton sitting on his placemat.
I burst out laughing, asking her, "You want the crouton??"
I thought, "I mean I know they're good, but to go fishing the crumbs of rejected croutons off someone else's plate is going a little farther than I realized she would go".
She wasn't really looking to snag the extra crouton, but it still made us double over laughing. The poor Shanks-- they must think we're crazy. 
Who knew a crouton could be so funny?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Baby Update

My friend Becky calls it the walk of shame.
Well, I've walked it.
But I think I was glad to walk it...right home to my own bed, and not to a hospital bed.
I had very strong and regular contractions all Wednesday night (thanks to the full moon) and woke on Thursday with the same kind. We went to the doctor's and she checked me.
I was 4 cm and a little more effaced.
She told me to go to the hospital after walking 1-2 hours and if my contractions continued.
They did.
We waited even longer, then went in around 3pm.
They put me through triage and decided that I had progressed after an hour of walking to 4.5-5cm. But basically I was not in enough pain to keep me. So I went home. Ate dinner. Watched a movie. We went to sleep. At that point, my only thought was: "I don't want to be in labor right now, because I am just too tired." Thank you Lord we slept great.
So now we are back to start again. Still waiting.
This takes a lot of patience.
All I can do is pray. And walk.
So Travis and I are off on a walk.
And you can pray for us all.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Baby Update: Week 39-- We're still here...

Just waiting for this baby to pop.
It seems comfortable in there.
Everyday we have a stretch of contractions for a couple hours, but then they die down.
Please pray so that Gigi and Grammy can get their grandbaby fix soon. They dragged me through the mall for three hours yesterday in hopes of accelerating the process with some "walking" therapy.
No crazy therapies for me though. We want this baby to come in God's timing.
We are just praying that the full moon tonight will pull it out :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dietitian Delight

So just to dismantle some myths about me:
1) I do not live on celery
2) I do not live to workout
3) I overeat
4) I occasionally allow a trans-fat item to pass these sacred lips.

You want proof??
You don't believe me?

Here's what we did after our four mile bike ride last Saturday:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

A well worn baseball leather glove.
The long fishing pole standing in the garage.
The cherished putter.
And the fresh new basketball...
Can you imagine life without dads??
It isn't all about the toys or the sports. It is their utter difference from women that surprises and delights me.
Every dad has their sport or skill, but true manhood is beyond talent-- it is an impressive work of God.
I cannot imagine life without the three best dads I know: my father, Dennis, my father-in-law Steve and my beloved Travis, a father-to-be.
Happy Father's Day...
Come over and play a little pool golf :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Baby Update:Mommy Growth

And I thought it was me...

I could not stop itching the night before last.
Everytime I moved, something irritated my skin.
I got up.
I shaved.
I lotioned.
I prayed.
It only reminded me of my childhood when the pH of my skin was off and I just wanted to scratch my skin off.
I thought it was my hormones.
I thought it was me.
We figured out last night at dinner that I wasn't the only one.
The pH in the pool was off that day.
Me and Mickey's guest, Matthew, weren't alone in our suffering.
Thank goodness. Because I sure thought it was me going preggo crazy.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Baby Update:Who knows the day?

There is no new progress this week and the events of the weekend were...well, uneventful. On Friday the doctor told me that I hadn't changed from the previous week's assessment: I am still 3 cm and 60-70% effaced.
I wasn't disappointed. We are excited to see what this baby is and when it comes, but only the Lord knows the day. I stopped my hiatus on exercise though over the weekend hoping to encourage things to move along because my mom arrives this morning. We are grateful that God has all things planned but we feel very impatient at times. Yesterday I was so tired that we stayed home from church. I pushed it too hard on Saturday and paid the price. Then, even after only a short morning nap, I couldn't fall asleep until almost midnight. I think insomnia is common with pregnant women but since I haven't experienced this before, I was truly annoyed. But I can do nothing but trust the Lord and wait.
This is the pattern of our lives: to wait upon the Lord. We were encouraged to read this from June 8th in Octavius Winslow's Morning Thoughts:

Now the just shall live by faith: - Hebrews 10:38.

We cannot too frequently nor too deeply study the profound meaning of these words. God will have his child perpetually looking to, leaning upon, and receiving from Him. At present we are but in an immature state. We are not, therefore, in a condition to be trusted with grace for the future. Improvident and careless, we would soon squander and exhaust our resources; and when the emergency came, we should find our selves unprepared to meet it. The Lord, in wisdom and love, keeps all our grace in His own hands, and deals it out just as our circumstances demand. Oh, who that knows his own heart, and the heart of Christ, would not desire that all his supply should be in God, and not in himself? Who, so to speak, would wish to be his own spiritual treasurer? Who that knows the blessedness of a life of faith, the sweetness of going to God in everything, and for everything, would wish to transfer his mercies from Christ's keeping to his own, or wish to hold in the present the supply of the future? Be satisfied, dear reader, to walk by faith, and not by sight. You have a full Christ to draw from, and a faithful God to look to. You have a "covenant ordered in all things and sure," and the precious promise, "As your days, so shall your strength be," to lean confidently upon all your journey through. Be content, then, to be poor and dependent. Be willing to travel on empty-handed, seeing God's heart opened, and Christ's hand outstretched to supply your daily bread. Oh! it is sweet to be a dependent creature upon God- to hang upon a loving Father- to live as a poor, needy sinner, day by day, moment by moment, upon Jesus- to trace God in ten thousand ways- to mark His wisdom here, His condescension there- now His love, and then His faithfulness, all combining and exerted for our good- truly it is the most holy and blessed life upon earth. Why should we, then, shrink from any trial, or flee from any duty, or turn aside from any cross, since for that trial, and for that duty, and for that cross, Jesus has provided its required and appropriate grace? You are perhaps exclaiming, "Trouble is near!" Well, be it so. So also Divine grace is near- and strength is near - and counsel is near- and deliverance is near- and Jesus is near- and God is near- and a throne of grace is near; therefore, why must you fear, though trouble be near? "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

According to...

Chuck at dinner the other night, during a discussion of brown rice:
I don't eat colored rice

We think he may have food racism issues :)

Sunday, June 01, 2008


A decision was made after much deliberation.
We now are the proud owners of a stroller that we love.
Best part is that it is a town and country stroller, a jogger and a single that converts to a double with a simple part you can purchase separately.
A big thank you to all my mom's friends and my friend's back East who generously provided all the money we needed to buy this "investment".