Author Archives: Hannah

Thanks, Mom, for the birthday post!

I saw it shortly after my birthday (since my birthday was on a Sunday, I didn’t get on the computer that day), and I greatly appreciated it. 🙂

The voxes have been great, but it would also be really nice to get some longer updates on here (if Voxer hasn’t made the family blog totally obselete…).

Today I enjoyed a walk with a lady named Bethany and her two boys, aged 2 and 2 months. We walked Tuesday, too. She and her husband just moved here from Dallas, TX, so he could take a job as an English professor at Grove City College. The have come to our church two different Sundays, but I met Bethany through a mutual friend, a lady in her late forties or early fifties who thought that Bethany and I would get along really well. It has been delightful to get to talk with someone close to my age and in a similar stage of life. There is no one else in that category here in Grove City in any of our circles, and I’ve been praying for a friend like that to move here and come to our church for a couple of years now.

I signed up to attend a women’s retreat (our presbytery is doing it) in a few weeks. I am excited because some of my closest friends from our church are going, and the speaker is supposed to be good. I am nervous, though, because it will be my first time ever away from Isaac overnight since we’ve been married, and I struggle a lot with anxiety that something will happen to him while we’re apart. Ironically, the retreat is about anxiety and facing your fears… I will also be hosting and facilitating the women’s Bible study for our church this fall. I am so glad to finally begin using our home as the place of hospitality we want it to be. Having Liesl’s friends over last Sunday during her Labor Day visit made me extra excited about the possibilities of hosting students and others in the community.

Isaac seems to like his new job pretty well so far. I am sure he will post something about it soon, but the main thing I have noticed is that he seems much less stressed and we get to see him more. When he says he’s done for the day, he’s really done, without any pressure to do more hanging over his head. (That wasn’t always or even usually the case with his former job.) I think it will be really good for our family long-term.

Right now, Isaac is down in the basement working on making shelves for our linen closet. I can hardly wait to have somewhere to put our towels and sheets other than in a large stack in our study! We will try to vox everyone some pictures.

Our bedtime alarm is going off, so I’d better go brush my teeth. 🙂 Love you all!

I am so thankful to have a small amount of quiet time this morning to read the Bible, eat breakfast, and (finally) write this post. Elsa is asleep, my friend Caroline hasn’t come downstairs yet, and Isaac is working upstairs in the study. I hope this post isn’t too confusing or convoluted; I haven’t got enough time to edit it!

So much has happened in the last month. After we moved, we had only two hectic weeks in our new house before we drove back down to the North Carolina coast to spend time with my family at Ocean Isle Beach. In the meantime, my grandpa Vandevort’s cancer spread quickly, and we spent all of Saturday, June 27 with him and my extended Vandevort family saying goodbye. He died peacefully on Thursday, July 2, and the funeral was yesterday. On Sunday, June 28, we drove down to the beach despite Isaac’s being a little bit sick, and that night, shortly after we arrived, I got really sick with the full-blown fever/throw-up version of whatever Isaac had. I felt better by Wednesday, and we enjoyed the time with my parents, siblings, my Yandle grandparents, and some aunts and uncles the rest of the week.

We arrived home from the beach at 3:30 am on Monday morning. We hit a ton of traffic in the Richmond and D.C. area, and we also stopped for a little while to meet up with Michael and Shaina Duryea (the friends who got married during the family reunion last summer) and to meet their son, Caspian, who is just a little younger than Elsa. Isaac got an hour and a half of sleep before he had to get up to drive in to Pittsburgh. Monday night, he picked my friend Caroline Scott up from the airport, and she will be staying until Saturday. Because of my grandpa’s funeral, my mom and siblings came up on Tuesday and will leave tomorrow. In the middle of it all, we are still trying to get some work done on the house. 🙂

We are thinking of you all, praying for everyone’s houses to sell, and looking forward to the family reunion. Glad to hear of Luke and Liesl’s safe returns and of the demise of the black snake. Love, Hannah

Happy Belated Birthday, Noel!

May God bless this next year of your life! Thanks for posting such sweet pictures, Becky! It is especially poignant to see those newborn pictures compared with her birthday pictures since Elsa has worn all of the clothes in the newborn pictures (and just outgrew them a couple of weeks ago!).

Elsa was nine weeks old yesterday and had her two-month doctor appointment in the morning. Isaac took her because I have some kind of fever/stomach bug virus, and she was 11.4 lbs already! The doctor said she is healthy, strong, and developmentally well beyond the two-month point. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow morning, Isaac and I will finally be moving into our new house, Lord willing. We are thankful to finally be getting our life consolidated into one location again, and we are thankful for all the progress we’ve been able to make over there. God has provided just the help we need at each step on our way to this point, and we trust that He will continue to provide as we move in and settle down into our new home.

That said, we can use a lot of prayer right now. As I mentioned, I have been sick the last couple of days with a flu bug which has rendered me even less able to help with the moving process than simply being a new, nursing mom would have. Also, last week we found out that my Grandpa Vandevort has to have a cancerous tumor removed from his bladder before it kills him, but since he is almost 94, there is a high likelihood that he won’t make it through the surgery (it is scheduled for sometime this coming week, but he was originally supposed to have the surgery today). Thankfully, since we live only 30 minutes from him and my grandma, we were able to see him last week and on Sunday, but it has been very hard for me emotionally. My parents and siblings drove up from NC for the weekend to visit him, so they are here to help with the move, which is nice. Also, although our kitchen appliances are all hooked up, we still don’t have a shower, the toilet is broken, and right now Isaac (along with my stepdad and brother) is frantically painting our bedroom floor so it will be dry before we move in tomorrow. I might be a little overwhelmed. 🙂 Our church is going to help us move, though, which is so encouraging.

We love you all so much, and we are praying for you! Love, Hannah


P.S. Happy Belated Birthday, Tobin! I hope you had a really fun day yesterday! 🙂

Mrs. Franklin is taking her time, which was nice this past weekend in that it allowed us to work on the house Friday and Saturday and to spend Easter with our church family. I’ve had a lot of contractions since yesterday around 11am or noon (even through the night), but nothing that has stayed consistent. Isaac did work from home today just in case we needed to go to the hospital instead of going into Pittsburgh as he normally does on Mondays. I am trying to be patient and not to get burned out.

We hit a deer (the third one since the fall) on Saturday night. We hadn’t yet gotten the front of the car fixed from the last deer accident. Now the plastic grille thingy on the front is totally broken and sad-looking, and the front fender has been pushed back so that we can only open the passenger door about a foot. Isaac is also afraid that if we pop open the hood, we won’t be able to close it again. Thankfully, though, none of us were hurt, and it didn’t mess up the radiator. We were on our way to Kittaning, a town about an hour from Grove City, to pick up a miter saw we bought off of Craigslist. The man who sold it to us charged us less than he had originally said he would once he found out about the deer. He said it was a contribution to the baby. 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, “Villa Caprice” is the name of one of the houses in Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright. (That would have been a very interesting name for Mrs. Franklin, Jessica; I can see how it would have been hard to wrap your mind around it!) It was a cool, old, Victorian house that had been boarded up for many years. At the end of the book, the family of the main character decides to buy it, and in the sequel, Return to Gone-Away, they move in and fix it up. We named our house after the Villa Caprice because it is an old house with new people in it. Just like the family in the Gone-Away books, we hope to infuse new life and beauty into our Villa Caprice.

Our first steps of infusing life into the Villa Caprice have involved removing every cat hair- and dust-infested curtain and rug from the house and airing it out, stripping wallpaper in the kitchen, and cleaning the kitchen sink and the bathroom sink and toilet, among bunches of other little things. We are excited to get more and more of the grossness out so that we can start fixing things and repainting and generally making it a nice place to live. Some garden-savvy friends told us that the many, many bulb plants coming up in the backyard are daffodils; I can hardly wait to see them blooming!

Dad and Jesse, we hope your work on Rivendell will successfully attract the right buyer, and soon! Glad that the visit with Grandma is going so well, and we will be happy to have Liesl back in Grove City even though we are sorry to deprive you of her, Mom and Dad and E&E! So good to hear that Kevin and Jessica had a nice, quiet Easter together. That visit from Paul McNeil does sound like the stuff of legend. I’m glad that the P. kids enjoyed Spoonerization so much; I wish I could have eavesdropped on some of their conversations about it! Praying for Luke; we are eager to hear of his safe return!

Love to you all, Hannah

No baby yet…

…but we do have some good news on our house-buying process. Our mortgage has been approved, and we were able to move our closing date from April 8 to tomorrow, April 2 (at 2pm), assuming that the sellers are able to send in a few documents in time and that the baby doesn’t come between now and then. We would appreciate your continued prayers for all the details of that to come together! There are so many “moving parts” in our lives right now, many of which affect each other. We are constantly being reminded that we are in control of nothing whatsoever–“The heart of man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps.” (can’t remember where that’s located in the Psalms, but I know it’s in there and that it’s quite true!)

As far as the baby, I have what will hopefully be my last prenatal OB appointment tomorrow morning before the closing. I’ve been having strong Braxton Hicks contractions sporadically, and I even had a “false labor” for about 6 or 7 hours on Sunday night, with contractions about 2 min. apart for one of those hours. I’m so ready for this baby to come!

Isaac has been really supportive through this entire hormonally-emotional process. He has been doing a great job of balancing his work (please pray for continued focus and energy for that!), the details of buying the house, and taking care of me/baby stuff. What a guy! I can hardly wait to see him with our daughter. 🙂

Love you all so much! We’re praying for each of you, and we’ll keep you posted on all of our craziness!

Hoonerized Spakes

This morning before Isaac and I got out of bed, we had a conversation that we thought we ought to share with you. It started with Isaac mentioning his friend Dan Gilmour (he was the tall, redheaded groomsman in our wedding)…except he called him “Gan Dilmour” by mistake. I started thinking about Spoonerisms, where you switch the first letters of words just that way, and I started thinking of all of you, dear family. The rest of the post gets the basic conclusions of our morning conversation across; I encourage you to read it out loud to get the full effect.

The spoonerized “Hannah Hake” is pretty boring: “Hannah Hake.”

“Rebecca Radman” has the same problem as “Hannah Hake,” but “Recky Badman” has a more interesting ring to it, as does “Revin Kadman.”

Some of us have names that don’t work too well when spoonerized, such as “Hsaac Iake,” “Hlizabeth Eake,” “Hlsie Eake,” and “Hlaina Eake,” but they do make for exciting pronunciation challenges.

Some of us still end up sharing last names, such as “Huke Lake” and “Hiesl Lake” or “Hesse Jake” and “Hessica Jake.”

Let’s not forget “Hevin Kake,” “Poel Joortenga,” or “Patie Koortenga.”

And finally, Mom and Dad would be “Haye Fake” and “Heve Stake.”

On a more serious note, I second Mom’s request for prayer for me and the baby… I am so ready to pop! And right now would be an ideal time to give birth for me (and for Isaac) in just about every way.

Love to you all, and praying for you–especially for Luke right now!


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!

Thinking of you all

Hello, family! No big news to share from Grove City, but you are all on my mind! For some reason, I have been missing all of you more than usual lately. Isaac and I would love to Skype with each of you sometime in the next few weeks.

Some small happenings in the Isaac Hake household recently: We have had a couple of very low-key weekends with no commitments Friday night or Saturday, so we have gone out to dinner, watched movies (Night at the Museum 2 and Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief), listened to The Two Towers, bought Isaac some nice and very functional winter shoes/boots that he can wear to work, eaten bacon and pancakes for one Saturday breakfast, talked about baby stuff and plans for our rental house/apartment search, slept in, and worked on various tasks around our apartment. We have had relatively busy weeks, and we have some bigger weekends coming up this month, so the times we have had at home the past couple of weekends have been especially nice. My appreciation of Isaac as my husband and just as a person keeps growing all the time, and it has been so fun to spend a little extra free time with him.

I have an ultrasound on Tuesday because they couldn’t get a clear enough picture of one of the exits of the baby’s heart at the anatomy ultrasound in November. The doctor’s office didn’t call to tell me about it until a week and half ago, and when they did, they freaked me out by leaving a voice mail that told me not to worry but that they needed to discuss a “finding” on my last ultrasound with me. I was grateful that the “finding” didn’t indicate anything serious and that it means we get to go in for another look at our little girl! I am 31 weeks today, and I am quite excited to see how much she has grown and developed since the 20 week ultrasound. 🙂 We will post pictures.

Speaking of the baby, I have been preparing more for her arrival by researching various cloth diapering options (there are so many that I just about cried several times this last week…just about anything makes me cry these days, though), car seats, strollers, baby carriers, nasal aspirators, and all the other apparently necessary baby items. For being such small people, babies sure need a lot of stuff! One thing that has been especially fun has been getting baby clothes and buying an extra-pretty diaper bag. A local family that we know through Grove City College (the husband is a professor) and through several mutual friends gave us a beautiful high chair and cradle that they no longer need and which happened to perfectly suit the kitchen and bedroom furniture we already have. Having clothes and furniture for our baby makes her impending arrival seem more real, and I am getting more excited. I am glad I don’t have to deliver her just yet, though… it sounds like it hurts! 😛

We are praying for all of you! This week we are especially thinking of Joel and Katie’s new baby and praying for his safe and smooth arrival. Also, like I said, I miss you all lots. Growing up, I thought a ton about getting married and becoming a mom, but I never realized how fun and joyful it would be to be a part of a new extended family. Being an aunt, sister-in-law, and daughter-in-law to all of you is a delightful privilege for which I thank our heavenly Father often. Love you all, Hannah

We’re having a…

GIRL!!! 🙂

Today we went in for my 20 week ultrasound, which was wonderful. Our little daughter was moving around a lot, making it difficult for the technician to take all the measurements she wanted to, but she eventually got them all. She told us that everything looks normal and healthy–praise God!

Here are the pictures from the ultrasound today. They aren’t as clear as the one from the last ultrasound, but they do clearly show that the baby has grown a lot in two months. And we think she’s pretty cute, even in such a fuzzy, funny, black-and-white format. 🙂

Ultrasound 2 picture 1

Ultrasound 2 picture 2

Ultrasound 2 picture 3