Well friends, we all knew this day would come, didn't we?? First the pregnancy announcement, then the gender announcement and now?  As per our previous pregnancies, we are ready and willing to share our new little guy's name with the world!  I *almost* made it a week, but who was I kidding?? I could never keep this secret!  None of us could.  In fact Ava informed me that she spilled the beans to her preschool teachers this morning, ha ha!  I do get it and can respect the decision people make to keep everything baby related a secret but that's not how we roll in this family!  Trav is not big on having to keep it quiet for the next 20ish weeks and neither am I...for me, this is all part of my nesting.  I love knowing who God is sending us and preparing our hearts and home to meet him.  I like praying for our babies specifically and just calling them by name from the beginning.  That's just how I'm wired.

Now that we have older kids too, we wanted to make this fun for them and help them transition and get used to the idea of their newest sibling.  Everybody has had a few days to get used to the idea of a little brother and I'm happy to say, Ava is officially excited and on board with the outnumbering of boys to girls in our family!  She's embracing the female bond she and I now exclusively share and it's been sweet to hear her process it all out loud.  She's not given up hope that "God will give us a baby girl next time" but I don't have the energy to have the "next time" reality check conversation yet :) This may be the last time, but I suppose only God knows that! Carter, by the way is totally on board with a brother.  When he heard the news that more trucks, cars, planes, and trains would be appearing with the birth of his new brother he thought that sounded good to him!  Of course I'm sure we've got some sharing issues and some wake-up calls about someone else loving his vehicles as much as he does, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, right?

It's amazing how little control we really have over the way God shapes our families.  I'm so thankful that HE is in charge and knows what's best for all of us!  It's humbling and awe-inspiring to think that He chose US to parent this little guy and that He chose Ava to be his big sister and Carter to be his big brother.  We love him so dearly already! We also know and believe that even now he is being knit in my womb by our Creator, fearfully and wonderfully in fact, and we can't wait to meet him.

So, just who will we be meeting in late June/early July?  I promise I won't keep you in suspense any longer but I will say that we can't wait to introduce you to...

~Walker Cole Armstrong~

We have been throwing boy names back and forth for awhile, we think it's so hard to name boys!  There are a million girl names that we liked or could agree on, but for some reason a boys' name just carries a lot of weight with it.  I always picture a baby boy grown up and leading like an executive meeting, will they appreciate the name given to them in infancy then??  Or as we found out while naming Carter, is this a name we can shout from the sidelines of a sports field and it not sound ridiculous??  Ha ha!!  We feel like Walker passes the test on both fronts!  

This time we don't have a family tie or significance for choosing Walker or Cole, we just liked both names and especially together.  However, we do appreciate the way that God has given us a prayer from scripture for Walker.  His name simply means, "to walk" and that seems so fitting given the season of studying I've just gone through for the last 8 months or so.  I just finished a long study of Colossians in order to teach on chapter 3, which is largely a portion of Paul's letter that encourages believers to take what they know to be true about Jesus and their faith and to then walk it out.  In other words, to actually live it in their daily life and with those whom He places in their life.  It's an exhortation to move beyond simply head knowledge, into a heart knowledge that produces action...steps of faith.  I've immersed myself and talked with Trav at length about this very thought, how to walk out our faith as I've been studying in Colossians.  So it's in that same vein that we are praying over Walker now, that he would not just know about Jesus but that he would believe that Jesus is his Savior and then live his life walking out his faith publicly, chasing hard after the Lord all his days.

Just as we did with Ava and with Carter, we've chosen a portion of scripture to be our prayer for Walker.  We landed on this for the third little member of our family...

"And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."  Colossians 1: 9-10, ESV  

That is exactly what we hope and pray!  That Walker will walk, in a manner worthy of the Lord from his earliest days to his last.  No matter what his future holds or what his career or family life may or may not be, our greatest desire for him is to know and love his Savior and to live his life in response to his faith so that others will see Jesus in him too.  

The other piece about Walker's name is that we are very happy with the southern and specifically Texan sound of it.  Yes, yes...we know that the first thing you may have thought about was the notorious Chuck Norris character, "Walker, Texas Ranger" and we are ok with that :) Fortunately our Walker (and his friends) will never know or understand that reference enough to tease him about it, but their parents probably will!  We just consider it our nod to Travis' Texas family and his roots from growing up there.  Cole is a name we went back and forth about for a first name, we just liked a lot but ended up liking it more as a middle name with Walker.  We do nicknames in our little family and like the possibility of them so we've been trying to figure out what will we likely call him??  Although Ava's full name is Ava Page, we often call her Pagey and from very early on Carter became Carty to us.  Walker Cole lends itself to "Coley" which we like with Carty but we also thought about Wally, which seems kind of fun and vintage-y too :) You know, like Wally from Leave it to Beaver??  I'm taking great comfort that Wally was often the more mature and less mischievous one, although he was best friends with Eddie Haskell, so there's that!  Ha ha!  We aren't tying ourselves to anything, nicknames sort of just happen and unfold but we did remember that Trav's PawPaw (hello Texas grandparent name, right??) was named Wallace and often he was called Wally too, which we thought that was kind of a sweet discovery.  Who knows, maybe we'll just always call him Walker??  Either way, we're happy about the name we have chosen for this little guy and we are even more excited to welcome him to our world.  

So Walker, someday when you read this or if you read this, I hope you will know the great joy that you are already bringing to our family and especially to your Daddy and I.  We have loved the surprise of knowing God gave you to us, discovering that you were another little boy created to be in our family, and now naming you as a treasured son.  The Lord has been so good to us in bringing us three precious miracles over these last five years and we are honored to parent our sweet Ava, our darling Carter and now our precious Walker to the best of our ability and with all the wisdom and strength we need from Him!  We love you little guy and are counting down the days until we can whisper your name in your little ears and hold you tightly in our arms.  Welcome to our family, Walker Cole!  

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