The term "relaxation" on a trip with young children definately needs to be redefined, but we really enjoyed ourselves. The weather was beautiful, but the wind was crazy! We unfortunately didn't get much beach time because sand blowing in your face does not equal happy kiddos!
I had originally planned to take a million pictures on the beach, but we were only out there about 15 minutes because of the wind. Ansley would not take her eyes off the sand for anything!
My parents have a place in Florida, and it is like a second home. We absolutely love this place! We haven't gotten to go down there too much in the past few years, but it is like being on vacation at home. It is in a golf community and Zachary thoroughly enjoyed playing with my dad's golf hats (No harm was done, Pappy!!). At least, I think these are golf hats..?
It was kind of funny timing because my parents were originally going to rent the villa out, so it was decorated years ago in pastel, beachy stuff. They decided not to after having already furnished the place, so they were kind of stuck with the beachy look. They just recently decided to do a switch and our trip ending up being timed right in the middle of new furniture coming. The old had just been sold and the new hadn't yet come in, so we spent most of the time on the floor. Which, I guess, isn't really all that different from being at home. Lucky for us, we are used to no living room furniture after a mishap ordering furniture a few years ago. We ended up having camping chairs in our living room for three months when Zachary was a newborn. Fun times!
It had been since Zachary was eleven months old that we were able to go down there, so a lot had changed. There was whole new fun area called Pier Park that was so beachy and fun. It was full of cute little shops, restaraunts and even a carnival.
Doesn't it look so fun and beachy?
Daddy and Ansley love
My parent's villa is in a great golf community with a Marriot in the back. It has a huge long pier that goes out over the bay with a little restaraunt at the end. I had never really noticed before, but there is a deck on the other side of the cafe that connects to a beach. Well, lucky for us, it happened to be a completely deserted beach!
Daddy kisses.. love this picture!
Me and the little lady
Zachary loved working on sand castles for the little time we did get to spend on the beach
So, now onto the AND.... As of Saturday, Ansley did very little 'babbling.' She would make the occassional sound, but it was mostly still cooing and little grunts. As with everything she does, the Lord continues to make it undeniable that anything can be attributed to what is happening in her life other than his hand. All of that being said..... Ansley woke up yesterday talking!!!!!!!!!!! Talking!!!!!!!!!! She was saying " yayaya, babababa, dadadada, mamamama, gagagaga" and so on! She was doing it all day and it was AMAZING!!!!!! Rob took her out into the lobby at church because she was talking so loud and I could still hear her! My sister in law, Holly, was joking that ROb should have just carried her up the front of the congregation and (picture Lion King) held her up saying, "Look what God has done!!!" Last night at bedtime, Rob was upstairs with the kids, and twice Ansley looked at Zachary and said "bababa". (We call him brother to her) It wasn't quite enough to know if she was calling him brother, but it seemed like a maybe. Again, this morning, when Zachary peeked up over the side of her crib, she looked up and said,"bababa" when she saw him. Then, when I put her to bed, I got out one of her books, and she patted the front and said "bababa"...maybe??!!! Either way, a gracious gift from the Lord that He gave her this overnight!!!!
We literally just laughed all day yesterday listening to her talk. It was truly unbelievable! Holly also said the perfect verses for yesterday.
Psalm 126:2 "Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
It has been true so often that the Lord has graciously turned our weeping into songs of joy. What a beautiful gift He has given us.
vs 5 "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him
I told Ansley's developmental specialist this morning and, as usual, she was completely floored. She looked at me and said, "What am I even doing here? This little baby is amazing me!" I told her that Ansley's life was about bringing glory to the name of Jesus Christ and He is choosing to shower mercy and answers to prayer over my angel girl! It is amazing to see the work of the Lord in her life.
I will never, as long as I live, forget walking out of that dark room where we first saw that there was a problem with our baby girl's brain. We finally got out of the room and as soon as I saw my mom, I started falling apart. We walked through the waiting room into the hall, and I sank to the floor weeping. I remember wondering if my baby girl was going to live and fearing what those scans meant. It was a helpless and hopeless feeling. But, I also will never forget the first time the Lord spoke afterwards. We had gotten home, and I sat down on the couch to feed Ansley. He spoke quite possibly more clear than I have ever heard. He spoke Job 1:21 "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.. blessed be the name of the Lord." In that moment, sitting on the couch, there was no hope apart from Jesus Christ. There never has been, and there never will be. John 14:6 says "I (Jesus) am the way, the truth and the life.." There is life in Jesus Christ.
He is choosing to shower mercy on our baby girl, He is choosing to show that His word is still true and showing that there is no other source of life.. other than through Him. We are rejoicing at the merciful gift of words he has given to Ansley and pray that it continues to full on speaking! What a gift!!!!!!!
Psalm 107: 28-31 "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.
I heard the Kutless song (that is playing), "That's What Faith Can Do", shortly after her MRI results and I knew it was absolutely a gift from the Lord, written for her. Rob and I talked on the drive home from the beach that this song is literally becoming her life. The Lord is shattering 'impossible' and moving mountains out of the way! It's her song!!