Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Full of Surprises

Well, I've got one hand on the pacifier and one typing. Wish me luck.

This week brought with it some great memories and milestones for the three of us. Eliot's feeding has been stepped up and he has responded splendidly. Also, he has become quite fond of his pacifier (thus, the five-finger typing project). Ginny has noticed that he begins to pucker about five minutes prior to feeding time. What a kid. Another surprising development has been Eliot's playfulness with the toys attached to his seat. Most every time that he is put into his seat, he will stare long & hard at the objects in front of him; he will then reach out and tap them. At first, we thought we were being naive and there was no way he meant to. However, he has proved us wrong as he repeatedly performs. That may fall in to "the things only a parent can appreciate" department, but we were overjoyed.

Ginny and I are loving every moment. I have decided to not go back to law school for the semester and am considering a part-time job in the afternoon. Ginny is looking forward to possibly easing back into Virginiabead ( However, truth be known, we have both cleared our plates in order to enjoy the life given to us.

Sorry, for only one picture posted. Eliot had a photo shoot this week. The picture above is a product of that time, and many more will follow when we receive the rest. Rumor is we'll post some more pictures earlier than next Wednesday, but no promises.

In the way of memories, many were made. We'll share two that stand out. First, the three of us walked (and rode) to the park a couple of blocks from our house. About a mile out from home, and without warning, it started to rain. Gradually, the drops progressed to what must have been the hardest rain, thus far, of the summer. At first, mom and dad were a little shell-shocked, feeling as if we had the "awful parents" award in the bag. But a funny thing happened- we pulled the handy cover completely over our son- and had the time of our lives. We laughed, found cover and then opted to get soaked and take it all in. Eliot has a knack for turning the potentially frightening into fantastic.

I must apologize in advance, for this next memory will not be done justice by my words. Eliot turned one month on Sunday! (Hands down, favorite sentence I have ever written.) Early in the day, Ginny and I talked of how we wished we had invited a lot of people over in order to celebrate. We wanted the full birthday experience for him- the whole nine yards. We decided to forgive ourselves since things had been a tadbit crazy, and resolved to make him a cake ourselves. About 4 O' clock in the afternoon, Ginny heard something outside our door. We were expecting a couple who had called to come visit. Ginny yelled back to me, "Oh my gosh, there's a lot of them".

Ginny grabbed Eliot and the three of us met at our front door. There before us, outside, in the sweltering heat, was 14 of our friends and 6 of their kids holding balloons and singing happy birthday. At the song's end, they all came in, bringing gifts and a birthday cake for Eliot. It was a real-deal, surprise party. They released 31 balloons to celebrate 31 days of life for Eliot. People were everywhere, Eliot's friends were crying, and all hands were grabbing for was beautiful chaos. When it was over, Ginny and I sit together crying, discussing how not a sole would ever know the significance of that event in our lives. Only the Father could have crafted such a gift. Thanks'll never know.

Updates on Wednesdays. Please continue to pray. Thanks to all those who posted last week. We wake up each morning and read them. If you don't post, we don't know.


Julia Pelton said...

Thanks so much for letting all of us know what is going on in your life. I am in tears as I sit here 32 weeks pregnant and reading your story. Eliot is precious! I admire your dependence on the Lord and allowing so many people to walk with you through this time in your life. I will be praying for all of you. You are amazing parents! Love, Julia

Becky Meredith Page said...

Matt & Gin, I swear I end up in tears every time y'all update. God bless those friends of yours there. I would hug every one of them for loving your family so well. Thanks for letting us love you from afar. Eliot, I love how God is using your life to confound us. Not only that, but you continue to be a reason for me to pray and marvel at God's goodness.

Travis Terral said...

Matt and Ginny,
It was such a blessing to get to visit with you both and to spend time with Eliot this past week. Your family ministers as much to all of us as we ever can for you. Prayers will continue for health and strength, peace and freedom from fear, and continued advancement of His Kingdom through all your circumstances. Please, please, please remember that we're not 2 hours away and are available to help with any and everything! Love from C. and the kids as well as from me.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for the updates. I want to be there to teach little Eliot some secret handshakes, and to babysit for him. Thank you Father for the gift of Eliot and the joys that he is bringing to so many. Thank you also for his parents and the testimony that they are to even more. Love you guys, I will be home soon, once wedding gets planned, to hang with the three of you guys and WATCH SOME CABLE!!! now you know.

Anonymous said...

Dear Eliot,
Happy Birthday! Your Father in heaven continues to amaze us as we keep up with your awesome family. We are coming up there to see you again. We are always praying for you and singing over you. Your sweet little life keeps making a huge impression on our lives. We love you!
Jeff and Christina
Chloe and Jaxon

Christina Graffeo Powell said...

Matt, Ginny and Eliot,

Happy Birthday! What a memorable day to have a surpirse party as your first!! Tom and I admire the strength of your family and friends and continue to keep you all in our prayers. I am so thankful you have chosen to share your story with us we look forward to your next update. Have faith knowing prayers are constant and God has a plan for your all. We love you!

Tom and Christina

Anonymous said...

Matt & Ginny -

Happy birthday to your BEAUTIFUL boy!

Just some thoughts for you today...

"We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead. And He did deliver us from mortal danger. And we are confident that He will continue to deliver us." - 2 Cor. 1:8b-10 NLT

"Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, 'My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Cor. 12:8-10 NLT

"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." - 2 Cor. 4:8-10 NLT

Dan & Catherine Arnsperger

The Bergers said...

Hi, Matt and Ginny.

I have never met you, but I found you through Andrea Mitchell. I can only imagine the joy your friends brought to you. Our Father is so wonderful. We have a little boy, Lucas, who was born 2 days after Ella Mitchell. Children are certainly a gift from the Lord. Thank you for sharing and letting me read!
In Christ,
Lucas, Christi and Little Lucas Berger

Lisa said...

Just thought I would share this funny detail with you. I was reading your post and saw where Matt listed the link to Ginny's website so I thought I would go check it out. I was thinking to myself, this is unbelievable! They have this gift of Eliot and all it encompasses and Ginny bakes bread also and has a website for it!!!! I was thinking to myself, she must do all this while he is feeding! I can tell you both are above and beyond the normal anyway, but man! Of course then I realized that I was not reading it correctly and it was Virginia Bead, not Viginia Bread! Just thought I would share that and hopefully a good laugh for today! By the way, your designs are BEAUTIFUL and I have forwarded the correct website to some friends! Hope you don't mind!

Prayers still coming from Arlington, TX - Lisa Hartsfield

On Our Way said...

God bless you all and Eliot! What a blessing and we are happy for your friends and the 1st Birthday! We are on the East Coast and discovered your blog through Norris.' We too are adopting our two children from Europe. We understand the treasure you have and we are proud of your faith in our God who is awesome and loves us very much!! Give Eliot a kiss! And Ginny your jewlery is gorgeous! Frankly, you are a model! I love the family photo. :)
p.s. I thought it was Virginia Bread at first too. Pleasant surprise!

chang said...

I'm finally posting...I'm Cary Murphy's big sister. I've been reading your blog since your pregnancy, and like everyone else, it has touched my life immensely. You just never know when and where you are going to be reminded of how prayerful and faithful God wants us to be. I really thank you for this gift - this happy, optimistic, meaningful addition to my week when I read your updates. I wish I had something profound to say or advise because I also gain so much by reading other people's prayers, verses, quotes, etc.
I DID appreciate your story about Eliot touching his toys. I remember when my 17 month old started doing that - we were so proud. I think it's great and definitely a noteworthy milestone he's achieved.
About the bread/bead mix-up - when I was reading Lisa's comment above, I started being confused, too - I knew Ginny made jewelry (amazing jewelry, I'll add) and knew the website already that you had listed, then I thought, "WHAT? She also bakes bread and has a website for that, too? I am such a loser Mom!" Eliot is CUTE...he has such sweet, content, wise expressions and eyes.
I will continue praying for each of you...

liz said...

Hi Mooneys!
It is Liz (Duckworth)Merritt! We have been reading your updates and must say that God has used little Eliot to touch lives all around the world. Harrison and I are praying for you guys and are so amazed at God's grace. We miss you terribly and thank God for the internet and blogs! Matt, you have been blessed with the gift of writing. Thank you for sharing so freely...
We love you guys and miss you terribly! I am in tears as I write this thinking of you all and precious Eliot. The mental picture of your friends standing on your doorstep will be one I will never forget, as I am sure you will not either. We are rejoicing with you out here in Cali. Thank you for sharing. Thousands of blessings on you-
Love in Him-
Liz & Harrison Merritt

Jill C said...

Your story is incredibly inspiring...the birthday story has brought tears to my eyes. I am amazed at the strength you both posess and how you have the ability to only see the positive in such a scary situation. Thank you for sharing your story and I wish you and your family a beautiful life prayers are with you!

Emily Sprott said...

Matt, Ginny, and Eliot,

I admire all three of you so, so much. Matt, I did not get to know you very well last year in school, but I want you to know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers constantly. You are such an uplifting person and so is your precious family! Thank you for doing this blog to keep everyone updated - I loved reading it and will continue to do so.

Eliot is so very lucky.
-Emily Sprott

Anonymous said...

I read this particular blog for the first time today- just going back looking at pictures because I had Eliot on my mind. This is very well written with such honesty. Wish I could have met Eliot, but know I will one day. -garrett

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