LOVE begat LIFE!

This phrase sums it up for us. So love is the constant. He first loved and so gave us the opportunity for life, life eternal. When our faith becomes sight and our hope is fulfilled. Love remains as the greatest. This gospel love is the foundation for our commitment to Christ, His church and the lost world. This love is the cornerstone of our family. May you be blessed by the words contained in this blog as it follows this journey we call life.


More pictures

Much to the certain entertainment & joy to Eli's favorite 'AUNTIE', there are a few more pictures on this posting (Auntie, Eli says you better make good on the chewing gum promise or there will be serious consequences).
These pictures are our favorites from the pictures that were taken on Monday as Eli's newborn pictures. He is six days old in them - man, they grow up so fast don't they?

Thank you for your continued prayers & encouragement. We certainly feel blessed knowing that God has entrusted us with Eli!


Eli is here!

Well, after 41 weeks of hanging out in his mother's womb, Johnston Elimelek "Eli" entered the world at 3:52 am on Thursday, April 9, 2009. Meg did a tremendous job naturally delivering a healthy 8 lb 9 oz 20 inch long little boy! We are tremendously grateful that the Father has blessed us with new life this Easter season. Though it pales in comparison to Christ's love expressed on the Cross, it's still a nice picture of the love our Father has for us in that He gives such wonderful gifts.
Below are pictures from his first day of life - I'll add some commentary when & where I can. I hope you enjoy! (The captions are under their respective picture.)

Here is the new mom holding our son who's only a few minutes old.
Dad & Eli (we have the same toes)

Here's Eli during his first bath - you can see he really likes to be exposed, cold & wet.

Here's the first diaper change - for both of us...

Here he is strutting his pimp robe for the little girl next door who kept eye balling him...

Loving life!

That's all for now - we'll have some more up when we can!

Thank you for your prayers and continued support.

-The Smiths


Still Pregnant!

Our dear friend, Jessica, recently took some pics of us two with "Eli" to be! We are due today and just for the record NOTHING IS HAPPENING! Lovely, just lovely! Nick is really ready to get his week or two off! Maybe tonight! We will let you know!


Page's Baby Shower

Party planning committee. I can't say that I did much. Two hours is a bit far to tote shower treats. These ladies did a beautiful job!
Page, I have got to get myself a patterned blouse! You look adorable! Sayde is going to be beautiful, look at her mom!

These ladies can really cook! And the darling cake. Page is shoe crazy!

My beloved "B"! There are some roomie traits from her that Nick has yet to master. There are just some who really make an impression on your life and B would be one of those friends. Few can you grow from, live with and sincerely enjoy! You are a blessing, B!

Andi, Page (she is due March 2nd), Jordan, and Steph!

Party favors - a little poem and a sweet spring cookie cutter. Also, a great idea to get the guests to fill out their addresses on the thank you notes. What a time saver for a new mom!

Paint & extra Padding!

Our dear brother, Laine, from church came to paint for us. We were so excited. He finished 2 rooms and this red accent wall in 8 hours. Um, definitely a professional! It would have taken me days.

Eli's blue, blue room! And he shall be all boy!

The kitchen is now this wonderful Pottery Barn green!
Don't the cabinets and applicances really pop?

Though, you can't really tell...I was matching the wall color to the painting over the stove.

Here we are at 30 weeks. Nick is positive that my belly button is going to pop. Hopefully, not! Also, this is like 11 at I wasn't looking so fresh!

My fabulous granny smith apple shoes (of course they were a gift from Cater!) appear quite small with this belly! I mean feet appear forever away!


Christams 2008

These pictures are especially for family and friends who did not get to see our home at Christmas. You will notice that we have done some painting!

I have had these snowmen for years, but just love how carefree they appear!

This is one of my favorites. I love the wreaths on top of one another. And the wall is painted a burnt red to encompass all of the holiday decorating, including the rich colors of autumn.

Notice that the wisemen are "a far of" since they were not there at the actual birth of Jesus. My mom always decorated with fresh greens. It made the house smell so festive!

We received so many cards that only a third fit on the pantry door! We are crazy loved!

I had 4 of these little trees from my doll house growing up. I decorated them all and placed them about the house. My sister Caitlyn informed me that I went a tad overboard with 4! Definitely, but I thought it was such a great idea and they turned out darling!

Oh, here is another 'lil tree!

We paid $30 for our 10 foot tree. I told Nick that I was going to get a great price. He said that if I was going to barter, he was going to be scarce. And that he was! However, his face was pretty excited when I handed him back the unspent cash! He told me I was unbelievable!
Also, my dad gave Nick a train for under the tree. Nick was thrilled and Watson was terrified. I guess he thought it could come off of the tracks and get him.

MK in Dallas

The first week of December, I ventured to Dallas for training. The corporate offices are gorgeous! And it was a great time to access the business and where the Lord is leading us concerning adding on the amazing role of motherhood! We are praying that Nick and I will be able to work out a schedule, so that Eli will always be with one of us. Please be in prayer for us as we transition this spring!

In Mary Kay's office!

In addition to a blessing of an income, we also earn fabulous prizes. Our business is no where near earning this ring this year, but maybe next! And, yes, those are all diamonds! Can you imagine that as your wedding band?

Corporate from the outside!
Mary Kay used to have this "fun" tub in her home and it is a tradition to get your picture in it! This is my maternity suit. It is dark chocolate, but you can still see a round belly!


Thanksgiving in MD!

Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving we treked an 8 hour trip to MD to see Meg's family. We only had to stop, oh, 4 or 5 times to use the facilities. Don't worry Nick regulated the liquid intake, but it didn't really help. However, due to Washington DC traffic and liquid intake again, it took us 10 hours to return.
We spent Thanksgiving Day breakfast with Dad and the four of us (Aaron, Meg, Brandon, and Caitlyn - Nick is added by default and we still just say the "four of us". It is difficult to change a term that has been used for 20 years) , then dinner with Mom at Grandma's house. We shopped late in the day on Friday and had a ham Thanksgiving dinner with Dad on Saturday. Caitlyn helped Meg find some great maternity clothes. We are all in favor of the non-frumpy style.
We played cards all together. 'Tis the tradition of the "four of us" (again Nick added by default) and watched a few action movies. Caitlyn and Meg used to pull a hearty half vote against the boys, but now Nick tips the count. Sadly, Caitlyn and Meg had to join in some activities that were slightly of the male preference. It was a reminder of growing up, where we all had to play together. It often ended up being cowboys (Aaron and Brandon) married to mommies (Meg and Caitlyn) , who stayed in the cabin (playhouse) when the Indians (by imagination) attacked. Our baby (dolls) were always so terrified by the gunshots (made by Aaron and Brandon) and arrows (again by imagination) flying into the cabin (again the playhouse). We made mud pies for meals. Of course, the fare is scarce on the prairie. It was a wonderful life!
We are so blessed by the comradery that the Lord has provided the "four of us", even as we all are now in our twenties and live all over the place. Nick and I were attempting to tag how it became as such on our trip home. Here is what we came up with (1) God's grace and provision (2) the obstacles that have been presented with Aaron's disability (3) not living in a neighborhood, but rather having always to play together growing up (4) sacrifice - our parents only permitted so many activities outside the home per season. We had to compromise on who would be permittted to play ball, dance, or be on a team each season. It could not be all of us, unless we did the same activity. Our prayer is that this comradery continues through the remainder of our lives.
Brandon & Mom!

Aaron & Nick!

Caitlyn & Meg

Nick worn out after playing 18 holes 3 days in a row in freezing weather and watching football for days. I just felt terribly sympathetic ;-)

Caitlyn & Mom

Aaron & Nick

Thanksgiving at Grandma's house!

Dancing before dinner. Can you compare the round belly to my sister's slim waistline?
Somehow, we didn't get any pics of Dad. Oops! Sorry, Dad, we love you!


Our favorite comments & questions...

(1) Can we see pics of the the baby? Here is our precious lil' blessing, Eli! We are now 20 weeks and, yes, it is a BOY! He is perfectly healthy and presently 10 oz. Nick is beyond himself excited to have a little man to raise. Praise God for the great things He has done!
Tiny fingers!

Right when they snapped it, he turned away just a little. That is his little hand up to his face. Almost everytime we get an ultrasound, that thumb is in his mouth. The doctor said he is most surely a thumb sucker!

We showed these at church and the four year old pastor's daughter, Cara, had some questions. Why is the baby black and white? Will it come out of your belly in color? And if it is in color now why do take the picture the old way (in black and white)? What little minds think of!

(2) Do you ever get to see your sister? All the time! We love her visits and she brings a vibrant delight in life like no other! She is moving to Boston in January for her master's, but not before staying 10 days with us between Christmas and the New Year!

Cater! She is crazy and we love every minute!

At the house!

All dressed up! Do you think we look like we are related?

A windy day at the beach!
(3) Do you have any friends in Wilmington? Being that all of our time is with the church and there is no one within 10-15 years our age there, it is a bit of an obstacle. Though we have forged other relationships, they do not know the Lord and this keeps us from extended time spent with them. But He is faithful and we look forward to making more friends here!
Each other! We have grown immensely in our marriage and as friends since moving here. We are grateful for the journey and for the amazing gift of one another. Please pray for us as we continue to navigate together the waves of Wilmington!

Watson, our puppy, is definitely one of our favorite friends. Great pal for a walk around the neighborhood, on the beach or just fun in the backyard!

Bonita, the senor pastor's wife- we talk almost daily, navigate children's choir together, and have dinner every few weeks as families.

This pic is for Nick. Two of his favorite teachers at the school are Karen (1st) and Ranae (2nd). Their classrooms are on the same floor as his, so he runs into them and their class all the time. Both have a heart for missions and love God's people. We are blessed by what they bring each and every day to Calvary Christian School!

Josh & Amy - Our favorite neighbors. The attend another church, however, both sets of their grandparents attend our church. They come to our services periodically for family day. Josh enjoys golf and football. Amy is a huge homemaker and nurse for twin girls. They live 4 houses down and we enjoy their company! They have recently opened their home to a new unwed 19 year old mom of 4 weeks and are ministering to her through the safe haven of their home.

(4) Do you work? I guess since you are prenant, now, you will not be getting a job? Do you "just help" Nick? Now that right there is a huge understatement for any of you friends who are ministry. Do you work somewhere in Wilmington? Yes, a resounding YES! The paycheck and these pics are the proof!

MK Formal. This is Sarah, my senor director, and Lauren, one of the consultants on my team! Being 17 weeks pregnant, my wedding dress was the only thing I could get in because of the laces in the back.

Some of you may know some these MK friends from Raleigh. We met up in Charlotte for a training event.

The beloved Jenn - my business has excelled much to her credit. She is 29, stays at home with her 2.5 year old daughter, Caylin, and has been in MK management for 5 years! She is a huge blessing - texting me verses applicable to business, sending cards, and meeting with me weekly! Thank you, Jenn, for you do and giving above & beyond!

Meg is my first friend in Wilmington! Love her! She is always checking in and has even shown up to my home to clean it from top to bottom when I was so sick months ago!

Some of our sales team from Wilmington!

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