Happy Belated Birthdays, Jesse and Joel!

We hope you had good days and got a chance to celebrate! I am so thankful to have both of you as brothers-in-law.

Thank you so much for the recent updates, Dad and Katie (and anyone else whose updates I’m not thinking of at the moment…if I am forgetting anyone, it’s because of the late hour and my pregnant fog and not because your post was not memorable).

Isaac and I are almost done with Death by Living, and we’re really enjoying it! Very encouraging and thought-provoking.

I am 37 weeks now and feeling closer to bursting every minute. I am also decreasingly mobile; sometimes just standing up and walking from our couch to the hallway feels like a huge accomplishment. Who knew that a woman could still move her legs when there is no discernible attachment between them and the rest of her body? Or that walking could feel so much like being a large yacht which moves by simultaneously sailing (with a rudder that only keeps you going generally in the right direction, sliding side-to-side constantly) and walking on stilts? As far as we can tell, though, Mrs. Franklin and I are perfectly healthy. Isaac and I talked over a birth plan with the nurse-midwife at our OB practice last week and then went and toured the hospital where I plan to deliver. It seems like a really nice place, and the nurse who gave us the tour was very friendly and helpful. The hospital isn’t quite as into natural birth as I would like, but they are definitely more favorably disposed toward it than a lot of hospitals. It seems they’ll be willing to work with us on almost every natural birth detail that we really care about.

I got the full bus commute experience with Isaac on Wednesday, when I went in to Pittsburgh with him so that I could meet some friends for the day. It was fun to see what a typical going-in-to-work day is like for him. I also had a great time at the Strip District with some old family friends who used to live in Atlanta and who I hadn’t seen in almost two years. (The Strip is a mile and a half strip of land in Pittsburgh full of neat specialty shops, many of which sell ethnic foods. There are multiple Asian grocery stores where you can apparently get fresh lychee fruit in the summer, an Italian grocery and macaroni shop, a Greek meat and grocery store, a big store that only sells cheese, another that only sells fresh fish, open-air fresh produce and flower markets, several delicious bakeries and pastry shops, a popcorn shop, and a number of other stores and restaurants.)

On Saturday, the ladies of our church gave me a perfectly lovely baby shower. Liesl was able to come, as well as one of my aunts, my grandmother, and a couple of my little first-cousins-once-removed. It was nice to have so much family there! At my mom’s request, we called her and put her on speaker phone when I opened her gift, and it made for a very special few minutes: she had sent me several little outfits and a receiving blanket that had been mine when I was a baby, as well as some pictures of me wearing those outfits. One was the little white and pink dress that I wore home from the hospital; now Isaac and I can bring Mrs. Franklin home in it! 🙂

Today, Isaac and I drove down to his office in Pittsburgh for just the middle part of the day so that we could both be there for the baby shower that Truefit gave us. The weather was beautiful (sunny and in the sixties), and the shower was really fun–they even had a cake! The cake had white icing with neon pink balloons and neon pink writing which said simply, “Best Wishes Isaac”. Isaac’s coworker, Dave, very kindly helped us carry the gifts on the journey back to our car, which involved riding a public train through the city to the parking lot where his car was parked, loading the things into his car, and driving us several more blocks to where our car was parked.

I’m thankful the baby has waited until after both of the showers because it means we now already have most of the things we will need when she gets here. Hopefully she’ll also wait until after tomorrow evening because Isaac and I are going to the Grahams’ house (they’re a family in our church with four kids; I’m close to the wife and their 8th grade daughter, and the husband is an elder at Covenant and was one of my best history professors) for a Saint Patrick’s Day dinner, complete with homemade Irish soda bread and other dishes that will all have been cooked in Guinness. 🙂

We’re still waiting to hear back from the mortgage company about our house. They are supposed to be having an appraisal done and should probably get back to us this week sometime. Closing date is set for April 8; we would appreciate prayer that the rest of the process would go smoothly and that Mrs. Franklin would come in plenty of time to allow margin for us (or at least Isaac) to make it to the closing. The more big “grown-up” steps Isaac and I take, the more I realize how much of life is out of our control and how fully we depend on God for everything. So thankful for His merciful provision and grace!

Love to you all!

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