Thursday, December 10, 2009

what's in a name?

well, for those who voted and have been anxiously awaiting to find out what our little baby is (hehe), here is your answer!

drum roll please....... it is a..... girl!

yes, i was completely wrong, and have lost some confidence in my own maternal instincts - haha. while i truly was happy with either gender, i did not realize how much i was convinced that it was a boy until we found out that it was a girl, and suddenly i realized that every image i had towards the future, every article of clothing i had looked at, and every name that had run through my mind was all geared towards a boy! after also getting over my initial panic as i thought of everything that i had put my parents through as their oldest, strong-willed daughter, true excitement set in as we have begun to look forward to life with a little girl!

as we went through different name ideas, it was important to us that our daughter have a name that carried a good meaning behind it. leslie also lent us a book that talked about how throughout the bible times and in the hebrew language, a name is more than just a title for an object, but actually carries with it the "being" aspect of a person's identity and character. we loved this concept, and it encouraged us that much more to look at the significance behind the name that we chose.

so we have decided to name her catherine anna ficker, and we will call her anna. catherine means pure and also carries with it in this specific case the fact that she will be the fourth oldest child and daughter in a row on my mother's side of the family to be named catherine! however, we also have about a million catherines and all the variety of nicknames that go along with that on both sides of our family; we were unsure of what to do with that until one night we came across the name anna as we were reading the bible. a prophetess whose story is found in luke chapter 2, anna spent most of her life interceding in prayer and worship in the temple after she was widowed at a young age. she was one of the first two to greet jesus at a week old of age, rejoicing over the birth of the savior she had prayed for for so long. she is also linked to hannah in scripture (which also happens to be our anna's aunt's name) as in the same way, hannah spent hours int he temple praying for the gift of her son samuel. meaning gracious and merciful, we both felt right away that this was the name for our little daughter.

so in february we will welcome little anna into our life... only 2 1/2 months away and counting :) as her kicking and squirming becomes more and more frequent (and more and more forceful), we get more and more excited to meet her, see her face, and hold her.

thank you to all of you who have been praying for her... in times when we cannot see those we love, it is such a comfort and encouragement to hear of and feel their prayers.

p.s. the post below this one is also new and accounts for the long gap in my blogging :)

happy thanksgiving and a merry christmas!

well, it has been quite awhile, and once again i rely on the excuse of busy-ness... however, this time, it really is true :)

the corn project has kept us all busily working away. i, along with much help from cali, learned all about the microsoft programs access and excel. needless to say, i went into nursing and not business for very good reasons; however, i now know not only more about microsoft access and excel than i ever knew even existed to find out, but we have also been able to slowly set up a data base that will help us know general information about each family as well as keep track of the ins and outs of who is getting corn and food, when they receive it, and when we need to re-assess their need. this took most of my free time during october and november as we set up, deleted, re-set up, and then entered in the 300 families that we had at that point. i decided at one point during those weeks - as i found myself dreaming of databases and survey forms that were being used to collect data and felt that i had not actually seen aaron in weeks - that this must be what cpa's do with the months of march and april... say good-bye to a balanced lifestyle, throw themselves into the work that needs to be done, and look forward to a vacation with family that i hope each of them have coming in may before a return to "normalcy" shortly after...

at the end of my corn project data entry push, came two weeks with duane and leslie gone to israel. i could write an entire blog about all that we are still absorbing from them and all that they learned during those two weeks. day after day, they found themselves in the presence of god, worshipping with other christians on their tour in the midst of holy sites that many of us have grown up reading stories about since sunday school days, and finding themselves overloaded each day with stories and details of the way that God is continuing to show Himself moving in israel through prophecies that are just now coming to be fulfilled. how incredible!

back here on the home front, we went into "survival mode" as we call it; this pretty much consists of sticking to priorities that are otherwise considered givens: a good day consists of each person being alive, unharmed, fed, and if possible bathed; school was taught each morning, with the promise of a movie if the two girls were able to sit still in their chairs and absorb at least 20% of the content taught to them during the hour and half (there are also many reasons that i did not go into teaching instead of nursing...); lunches became an adventure as rachel and i pulled out cookbooks and looked up recipes online looking for new experiments that could be tried on the boys while they were forced to be subjected to our cooking and baking skills... a successful lunch was one in which everything was eaten... a 4 star lunch was one in which nothing was even burned! we were able to continue with canilla clinics as normal, and we saw only emergencies and food/nutrition needs in san andres and chiminisijuan. we were able to fit into the week a trip to the orphanage in san andres, where we had a fun time making some picture frames with verses on the inside with some of the teen girls, and then watching grace and abi have fun running around with the other kids there. we also got to see heidi, making a drive to quiche to meet her for lunch... she was in for the week to do surgeries in chichicastenango, and it was such a blessing to be able to reconnect with this friend that is so dear to all of our hearts! while we missed matt and isaac, we are hoping that they will make it out for the next trip...

duane and leslie returned in mid-november and we had a quick week with them to try to absorb all that we could from their israel trip, as well as soak up some good family time before aaron, rachel and i all headed off to houston for a two week trip including an eleiott family reunion for thanksgiving (rachel joined us thanksgiving day, but spent the rest of the time with hannah), some time visiting with hannah and getting some stuff taken care of in preparation for our little baby, and then gettting to celebrate hannah's graduation with her on december 5th. aaron also took four days to fly up to st louis and drive the truck down to houston - this is the truck that duane and ryan with the help of some friends got loaded up with some needed equipment and the grain bins for the corn project down here. as all "vacations"/trips to the states are, everyday was packed with people to see and things to do, but yet somehow from the chaos, i always return refreshed and with a heart full of memories and stories of family and friends.

and we had much to be grateful for this thanskgiving. this season has historically been the holiday that my dad's side of the family all get together, and therefore has always had a special place in my heart... this year, almost 40 of us eleiotts all got together for the first time in 5 years to celebrate thanskgiving together again. it was an amazing time, as we celebrated new wives and husbands and the promise of two new babies the next time we see each other! we all fit into my aunt and uncle's spacious, beautiful home for a thanksgiving dinner, and i couldn't help but thank God for all the blessings He has poured out on our family.

as my immediate family got ready to leave, and i felt like i hadn't seen them enough, my mom reminded me that if we had a year together, we would still feel that way when we leave each other... how true. i then got to enjoy a few days of returning to "girl world" as aaron headed to the states and i moved into hannah's apartment with rachel and her roomates and enjoyed chick flicks each night, doing our nails, trying on outfits in front of the mirror, trying new hair-do's, and other fun times that were so normal to my life in college. i realized, though, not only how blessed aaron and i are to see each other daily down here, but also how much i am accustomed to and enjoy my life as a married woman... it felt like a month apart from aaron instead of only four days. quite a reminder to me of how much life changes you as i thought back on a time in my life when i couldn't imagine waking up to the same person every day... now i feel out of balance if i wake up without him beside me :)

we returned to guatemalan soil this past monday, sad to say good-bye to those we love in the states, although refreshed and ready to return. there is much to look ahead to in our lives, though, as we get ready to celebrate christmas and the new year, and then as february brings our baby and a new chapter to start in our life :)

i pray that you too start this new season refreshed and looking forward to all that it brings - family, friends, and mostly celebrating the birth of our savior.... the true hope of the world.