JD was in London the week I found out I was pregnant. I had some random heavy-ish spotting so I called our family physician (who just happens to also be one of my closest friends - we'll call her AK for privacy purposes) and she told me to go ahead and take a pregnancy test. JD and I had been trying for a second child so I was thrilled when the test revealed those two dainty pink lines. However, because of the random spotting, AK suggested that I get some bloodwork done to check hormone levels, etc. I waited until JD returned from his trip before getting my bloodwork taken because I wanted him to be there for whatever the results held. But something in me still felt uneasy about the pregnancy.
It doesn’t seem like a long time to be pregnant but, in the one week I knew a precious life was forming inside my womb, the Lord told me to celebrate that sweet little life. JD and I were both hesitant to get excited right away but God kept telling me, “Celebrate this baby. If there comes a time to mourn, I will be with you.” Even with Mia Kai, we were hesitant to truly believe I was pregnant until twelve weeks; yet, the Holy Spirit continued to whisper those words to me: "Celebrate the life. Celebrate the life." Because denial is an unfortunate strong suit of mine, I'm afraid I wouldn't have believed I was truly pregnant if we hadn't take that week to celebrate. It's just another area where Jesus knows my heart better than I know my own.
This print holds a very special place in my heart. It was inspired by our friends, Matt and Monique, and their adoption journey. I remember standing in our dining room talking about the little love they had been praying for and awaiting. I began painting one day and their family was instantly laid on my heart.
Lake Towada is beautiful yet eerie and mystical. We may not be in Scotland, but I was convinced that the Loch Ness Monster was going to come up through this fog at any moment. We visited in August so it was a bit chilly and obviously rainy. Lake Towada is known for its natural exhibition of the four seasons. It would be perfect during autumn / maple season! We would love to check it out again on a sunny day.
Who knew that rice paddy fields could be a piece of art?! This blew our minds. These fields were planted with different kinds of rice to create ginormous elaborate artwork. (You can see a person walking on the road as an example of a scale in the photo block below.) Each year, they have a different design or scene, plant the rice then reap the harvest when it's time. They did Star Wars one year and this year they have two separate Japanese scenes. The field pictured above was inspired by the Japanese folklore, "Momotaro," which means "peach boy." It was so interesting!! We read that the entire village partakes in planting and reaping. It really gives a new meaning to, "It takes a village."
We were so excited to take Mia Kai on her first trip to Japan! She loved it and the people there loved her! She made instant friends as soon as we arrived in the airport. We stayed in an apartment rather than a hotel so we learned quite a bit more about Japan than we did last time. For instance, they have an incredibly strict and organized trash system. They are serious about recycling, and we are now an official recycling family because of it. Here's a sample of what our trash schedule looked like...