Lillian Hope Roden
January 18, 2010
7lbs 4 ozs

So this time last week I was rushing to Atlanta praying that i would make it in time to see my new niece born. Carrie was suppose to be induced on Wednesday of last week, but Lillie had other plans. So Monday morning i woke up to my mom on the phone saying that Carrie was in labor and that i would probably not make it to see Lillie be born. I was so upset because i had been in the room when both Sophie and Will were born. So Derek and i quickly packed our bags and jumped in the car and raced to Atlanta. It turned out that we arrived at the hospital about 30 minutes before Lillie was born. You will have to read Derek's post about his experience during Lillie's birth with Sophie and Will- it is priceless.

So, the time had finally come for Carrie to push. We were all so excited. It's funny, I knew that in a few minutes i would be seeing my niece, i knew she was a girl, i knew about how big she was going to be, and yet when she came out i was so surprised. I immediately started crying. Now, it is no surprise that i cried, but this time it was different from when the other kids were born. Lillie's birth was different for me. As i stared at the beautiful little girl with ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes i was reminded of all the perfect gifts and blessings the Lord has given me in my life.

I looked at my older sister and was overwhelmed with love and amazement. I was amazed at the strength of my sister. She had once again birthed a perfect beautiful child. I look at her and was overwhelmed with how much I admire and look up to her. She is one of the best mothers i have ever seen. She was born to be a mom. I thought about one day having my own kids and praying in that moment that one day i would be half as good of a mom as her. I am so glad that she is my best friend in life. I am so glad that one day when i do have kids of my own that she will be there beside me helping me not screw up :) I am so grateful that i have been able to see her be a mom up close and personally. I am so blessed to have her as such an incredible example of what a wife and mom should be. I Love her big as the sky.

I looked at my own mom and was reminded that my mom is awesome. She was standing there with tears in her eyes looking at the newest addition to our family and i prayed right then that Lille would inherit the strength that my mom had passed to each of us girls. I was grateful that my mom is a woman who loves her children and has taught us how to love others. I love that she is a mom that will drop everything in her own life to be there to experience moments- big and little- with her kids.

I then looked at Matt, my brother in law. I thought about how grateful i am that my sister has a husband that loves her so well. I watched Matt kiss his new daughter and was grateful that Lillie would grow up with a dad that will tell her everyday that she is loved and beautiful. I thought that at that moment that little girl has no idea how great of a dad she as and how much fun and laughter he will bring to her life. Watching Matt with Will and Sophie is one of the funniest things in life. He can make them laugh like no one else and i know it will be the same with Lille.

Finally i looked at Lille. I was reminded how much i love little girls. Now don't get me wrong, i love little boys and especially Will, but there is just something about girls in our family. I have a relationship with Soph that most aunts would covet. She is my best girl. We have a bond that
is like none other. So i started thinking about how much fun it was going to be to let Lillie into our girls club. I looked at her perfect little hands, feet, eyes, head full of hair, mouth- and could not believe how in an instant i could fall so in love with this little girl. I cant wait to see her grow both physically and in personality. Will she be silly or serious? Will she have blue eyes like Soph or brown like Will? Will she be a good sleeper like Will or stay up till all hours of the night like Soph? I am so excited that this new chapter in life has begun with Lille. I cant wait for our relationship to grow. I know that there are great adventures ahead.

We got "the call" and arrived in Georgia 2 days earlier than we planned for sweet Lillie's arrival. I am over the moon for her, but strangely her birth was not the most excitement my life saw these past couple of days.

Soon after we got to the hospital we were asked to pick up Sophie and Will from school. After Tori was reassured we would make it back in time for Lillie's birth we happily went to gather our niece and nephew so they could soon meet their little sister. We knew that when we arrived back at the hospital the kids clothes would need to be changed as Sophie was dressed like Juliet for a school project that day. We arrived at the school in less than 5 minutes, woke Will up from his nap and quickly got the kids to the car. As we were getting in, I got a call saying that I needed to drop Tori off at the door so she could get right in to be with Carrie as she delivered Lillie. Tori suggested that I change them in the trunk of the SUV. We dropped her off with kisses and "I love yous" then headed into the parking garage.

We parked and started moving to the trunk. Sophie asked that I close the door for privacy so I climbed in, put will in my lap and did my best to close the door from the inside. Our space was cramped with two large suitcases, a stroller and the three of us. I tried to close the stroller with Will in my lap without success so I attempted to shove it over the backseat in-between the two car seats without hitting Sophie in the face or catching it on her poufy pink princess dress. It would not fit, so I tried to unlatch and fold it up. I was successful so I moved on to the changing of the clothes.

I helped Soph get her dress undone so that she could take it off. I opened the suitcase and had to lay the top flap over me and Will to get to the clothes. Their outfits had been described for me, so I knew what I was looking for: 2 white turtlenecks, 1 pink corduroy dress, 1 pair of brown overalls and tights. Everything seemed to be right on top, so I grabbed a turtleneck and some tights so I could get Sophie started. Together we decided the bloomers from her costume should come off so we could get the tights on. I got the first leg on and left her with the then I went back and helped with the second. Tights on, check. We got the shirt on with ease. Then came the dress. It had buttons all the way down one side and a bow on the other. It seemed that it would go on much like a long vest and Sophie told me that the buttons went in front. After we got started it didn't seem quite right, so we took it off and went with buttons in the back...perfect. I handed her a pair of brown shoes with pink polka dots and gave her the task of putting them on while I started with Will.

I knew this would be trickier because he was in my lap and halfway under the suitcase reading his "Cars" book. I took his shoes off and he asked that I put them back on, but I kept on going and removed his shirt. I grabbed the closest white turtleneck and began to pull it down over his head. Something was keeping it from going all the way on and I realized that it wasn't even to his nose and ears, so I pulled harder. As I continued I began to realize that I was getting nowhere and suffocating him as he began to scream/cry. I pulled it off quickly and decided to give him a quick break while I helped Sophie take her shoes back off and put them on the right feet. Then I went back to Will and the tiny necked turtleneck. I pulled it over his head again and began to make him scream once more. I realized that this was never going to happen. So I reached over him, pushing away the pink princess dress, to dig through the suitcase to see if there was another shirt. Moments later I found a white turtleneck, with a larger neck and a little teddy bear sewn on the front. I knew this must be the one. I quickly got it on him and we were in business. I tried to get his pants off one leg at a time, but it was tricky to do so while he was on me and under the suitcase. Finally after some creative movement we were ready to get the overalls on. This was a quick task and then the shoes were a breeze. I gave the kids a quick look and we were ready to jump out so we could go in to see their new baby sister.

I felt along the back door of the SUV to find the handle, but it was nowhere to be found. Stuck! We were stuck in the trunk. The wheels in my head began to spin as I tried to figure out how to get the three of us out. Then I heard my name followed by four scary words..."Uncle Derek, I have to potty." Panic mode sets in. I look to see if I can push by her and squeeze between the car seats and over the back seat. So, I come up with a brilliant idea. I send Sophie over the back seat so that she can open the side door, go around the vehicle, open the back door and free us. She got over the seat just fine, but the door was very heavy and she couldn't quite open it. I didn't know if it was locked or not, so I had her climb to the driver's seat and try to open it. As soon as she got to the front, the side door fell open. I called to her to get out through the side. She quickly got out and walked around back. She got to the back and I shouted through the glass for her to pull the handle, but she couldn't find it. She shouted to me, "What do you want me to do?" and I shouted back, "Pull the handle!" and she shouted, "What?" and I shouted "Pull up on the handle!" I began to realize this wouldn't work, so I told her to come back around to the side. I made the decision that I would have to squeeze over the seat and try to maneuver between the car seats. I made it over and then pulled Will over from the back. We climbed out. I went to the back and realized that the trunk handle was hidden in the license plate nook. I grabbed the few things I could see that I thought we might need, locked the car and we walked as fast as our little legs would carry us to the elevator.

We went down three floors, got out, walked down the sidewalk, went into the main building, got on the elevator, went up 3 floors and found the nearest men's room. The three of us got into the only stall just in the nick of time. I kept Will from touching stuff while Sophie went potty. We went to the waiting room around the corner, got some skittles and lemonade and sat down to wait for the baby.

After a phone call from Aunt Pam, Will said, "I poop." Great. I had one diaper, no wipes and no desire to change a diaper. We quickly left, went to the nurses' desk, asked for some wipes and a changing station. They brought me a whole pack of wipes and sent me on a hunt for the changing station that could not be found. Finally after Sophie said, "You've had us walking all over this whole hospital," I decided to find a secluded place and change the diaper. I lay him down, unbutton the overalls and awkwardly pull them down. I nervously open the diaper and to my surprise, it is fresh and clean. Will looks up at me and laughs. I put him back together and all three of us go to the "play area" and amuse ourselves with broken toys. A few minutes later Tori calls to say that baby Lillie was born! This is when things calmed down.

Tori came to get us and we all went up to meet her. Sophie held her, I held her and Will just wanted to bite her. I was so glad to be an uncle again and I look forward to new adventures with my special three...Sophie, Will and Lillie.
So here we are, Derek and Tori Jones, making our first entry in our new blog. Derek and I got married on May 2, 2009 and our life has been nonstop since our "I Do's". Here is a short recap of our past few months- We like to refer to it as "Four Weddings and a Funeral".

Our adventures started on our honeymoon where each of us got horribly sick every time we ate a meal. there is nothing more romantic on a
honeymoon that violent food poisoning. By the end of the trip we were at our beautifu
l amazing all inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic dining on Doritos and Gatorade from the gift shop.
The rest of the month was full of activities
including my dad's birthday, mother's day and my little sister, Hope, graduating from High School.

The first week of June was VBS at The People's Church, and since Derek is one of the TPC Kid's pastors, this is a very big week for us. To add to the excitement of the week, we decided that we would get a dog, so we got Zeke. We thought that we had this sweet very calm puppy until Thursday of VBS when we had to rush Zeke to the emergency room at the Vet's office to find out that he had Parvo. Luckily he was treated and survived.
Later in the month we had Warrior and Princess camp again at TPC. This week was so much fun because our niece, Sophie, came and went to camp. We all had a blast. We also found out in June that my sister Carrie was pregnant and would be due in January :)

In July, we had a huge event in our lives. Sophie turned 5. We had a "Think Pink" party. Everything was pink, we all wore pink, and ate pink candy. For some reason Derek and I thought that we should make Sophie's birthday cake. After dozens of eggs and pounds of flour later we had a giant pink cup cake cake. Check out my sister Carrie's blog for all the pics.
Later in the month, Derek had Kids Summer Camp, and Zeke and i went with him. Everynight at Camp there was a different theme party and

you better believed we dressed up.

We finished the month with a family trip to the beach with my family---well it was suppose to be a family trip. My mom, dad and Matt and Hope ended up not being able to go (my grandfather had to have surgery and my Aunt Jan was diagnosed with Cancer), so Me, Derek, Sophie, Will and Carrie had a family trip to the beach.

August was yet another busy month. We had Leadership Summit at TPC. That is one of my biggest events of the year. My sister, Carrie came in to work for me that week which helped tremendously. That week was also her birthday! The biggest adventure in August was that Derek changed jobs. He went from working on the TPC franklin campus to being the TPC kids pastor at our Spring Hill Campus. With this move, he moved offices. This was the first time in 3 years that we have not worked in the same office. It was a little weird at first. However, he is back now- the Spring Hill staff is officing in Franklin until their new building is done.

In september we went to Atlanta for a few days to spend time with my sister, Carrie, Matt, Sophie and Will. We had a great time in the ATL. We spent one full day at World of Coca Cola.
Later that weekend, the girls had a special night out at The Glass Slipper Ball. Sophie was the most beautiful princess and she had a blast dancing the night away. It was during this trip that Carrie and i realized that we were married to teenage boys. Matt is the 15 year old and Derek is 13. They have teenage boy humor and like teenage boy pranks. Matt usually instigates things and Derek keeps it going.

In October we had a lot going on at Work. We had a conference, a Spring Hill party, Pumpkinfest and lets not forget the UT vs Alabama game- which was one that was a little too close for comfort. Matt, our brother-in-law also had his big 30- even though his party was postponed twice and eventually canceled :( We also celebrated Derek's dads birthday. He was the big 60 and we had a surprise party!!

In November, we had a crazy month. The week before Thanksgiving, my Aunt Jan died. It was a very sad time, but we were all glad that she did not suffer long. She died just a few months after being diagnosed with cancer. We all traveled to Alabama for her funeral on November 17 (which was also my mom's birthday). It was during that trip that we found out about a relative of Aunt Jan's- Unca Jack. Derek and Matt had quite an experience in my Aunt Jan's basement going through some of Unca Jack's most treasured possessions. I cant go in to all the details here, but in their teenage boy humor, Matt and Derek had much fun retelling all that they found. The very next week was Thanksgiving. After having Thanksgiving dinner with Derek's family on Wednesday night, we went to Alabama to have Thanksgiving with my family. We had a great time with family. We loved getting to watch the Alabama/Auburn "Iron Bowl" game at my grandparents. It was a night of yelling, cheering and laughing!

The month of December may have been our busiest month. Derek
and I both have December birthdays (the 12th and 23rd). We decided about a week out that we wanted to celebrate our Birthdays in Disney World. So we booked our trip and 9 days later flew out to Orlando. We had the best trip ever. We were only there on a Monday- Wednesday, so we packed out our days and nights. We went to the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (which was my favorite). The party had amazing decorations, parades, fireworks and a snowfall on Main Street. I will never forget all that we got to do and see on that trip. It was like a dream.
After celebrating in Disney, we came home to get ready for Christmas. We literally had 4 Christmases. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my immediate family, Christmas night with Derek's family, December 26th with my mom's family and the 27th with my Dad's family. All of these family members came to my parents house- Did i mention that my mom had knee surgery on the 23rd. She was a trooper. It was truly the craziest most exhausting Christmas of my life, but it was truly fun.

So, i am betting that you are exhausted from reading all of this. This is just a very small glimpse of all we have been doing in these first few months of marriage. I promise our blogs will never be this long again. Thanks for Keeping up with the Joneses

Tori and Derek