What a wonderful way to start the New Year - with Happy News!
2018 will bring TWO perfect little miracles into our family circle. You'll remember that Kristin and Cody are expecting their first child this May. Parker Franklin McGhee will take our grandchild count to 7.
But during all the Christmas celebrations we received the most marvelous gift of all - news that grand baby number 8 is also on the way...........
In August the SMITHS will become a party of 5!!
We are so very happy for Meagan, Nathan, Noah and Madi. The little ones are over the moon with joy about having a baby come their way.
I'm afraid the parentals may wish they hadn't told Noah and Madi so soon. Meagan says they ask every single day, multiple times, "Is the baby coming out of your tummy today?!" "No not today, sweetheart. It's a long time away."
Of course, we older ones know that August is just around the corner. Meagan is trying to gear up for the joys and challenges of having another little one to care for full-time. She's working as nanny for a newborn, so that's been good practice.
She and Nathan chose the most fun way to tell us the news. They caught us ALL completely off guard.
While Nathan's family was down for Christmas, we had planned a big gathering of both the Hawley and Smith clans. Please bear in mind, the Smith clan totals 7. The Hawley clan totals 14. Needless to say, it's an effort on both our parts.
The Smiths gear up for the noise/chaos level, which tops out around 10 on the scale. The Hawleys/Schrecks/McGhees try desperately to tone it down using only inside voices while we're together.
Our reunions truly bring JOY to all involved.
Meagan and Nathan had planned a round of "Secret Santa" where everyone draws a number then chooses a gift from the center pile. Once your gift is opened, you may exchange with someone in an attempt to get the gift you'd most like to have.
Only this time, the game was rigged. All the Hawley sisters and husbands were in on it.
We weren't allowed to unwrap our gift. It was simply a package exchange. We still had the 60 second mad dash at the end where everyone is running like crazy trying to exchange their packages.
I totally missed that at the end of that minute, the four grandparents were holding packages wrapped in matching paper.
The six younger children all unwrapped their dollar store treasures at the same time. Much cheering.
Then came the gifts for the adult children. More Cheering.
Then the grandparents.....with instruction. Unwrap your gift but don't open the package.
Steve, Becky, Frank and I try to be co-operative when being bossed around by our adult children. So we did as they asked while everyone looked on.
"Now, look at the back of your box to make sure your name is on it."
A little more switching of packages. I was feeling like I was part of some magic trick. How did she know the four of us would end up with these exact boxes?
I concluded that Meagan and Nathan had taken family pictures and we were all opening our copies together. Oh, naive mother that I am!
Final instruction: "Okay, open your boxes."
We each pulled out lovely, soft t-shirts with writing on the front. Silence hung in the room for a brief moment as the four of us read the message. Frank and I saw:
"Grandchildren My 8 Favorite Reasons to Bragg"
I think I was the first to scream when the realization hit. "Are you Expecting another baby??!!" Meagan nodded acknowledgement; Nathan stood with his arm around her beaming.
It was a priceless moment that I'll remember fondly for a long time. So special to share it with our friends and co-grandparents, Steve and Becky. (Their shirts announced 3 grandchildren, of course.)
I remember glancing over to see Steve shake his son's hand then embrace him in a big bear hug. Pretty sure Becky and I swiped at tears. Sarah (Nathan's sister) was also kept in the dark. They wanted her to enjoy being surprised right along with us. Her smile lit the room!
Hugs; Smiles; Congratulations all around as we celebrated the news.
On the car ride home, Frank and I reflected on how thankful we were. We also talked about how Meagan's birth (our third child) brought balance to our family.
When we finally held her in our arms the night she was born, we were immediately struck with how quickly children grow and time passes. I distinctly remember looking up at Frank and whispering, "Kristin (almost 5) and Joy (2) were just this little yesterday!"
Because of that delivery room epiphany, we slowly started making changes that continue to impact our lives today. Babies really do change everything, as the song says.
So there's my Happy News for today: our third baby is having a third baby in the same year that our first baby is having her first baby!
And with the delight of John and Joy's four angels enriching our lives, truly.......My cup runneth over!!
(Here is the link for Becky's blog which contains lots of fun pictures from the evening's announcement. Enjoy!! smithellaneous.com)