Like Arrows in the Hands of a Warrior...

Yes, we did have a great vacation last week.  It was priceless to be able to get away, relax and spend some quality time together...We needed it and we were thankful to get it.
But, we had a little something else on our minds too.  
A little surprise.
An unexpected blessing.
A sudden twist of events.  
A baby.
(Besides the one who's about to turn one)  
Another little Armstrong.
I'm happy to announce that...
We're officially expecting Baby #2!!!
Oh what a surprise this has been!  Somehow, what I thought was just a stomach bug or a schedule that was too busy, turned out to be the greatest little surprise ever!  I discovered I was pregnant days before we left for Florida and you can bet that after we recovered from the shock, we had a good time celebrating and getting used to the idea of becoming a family of 4!!  
Travis and I are thrilled, still a little shell shocked, but incredibly grateful for this sweet baby.  We probably wouldn't have chosen to have two kids only 18 months apart, and yet that was exactly what God had planned for us and so naturally, we are excited about it.  We are hoping this means that Ava will have a sibling who will become her closest playmate.  Unbelievably, I missed most of my first trimester and tomorrow I will already be 11 weeks.  I'm very grateful to be feeling pretty well, just a little nauseous and extremely tired.  But that's ok, I'll take that in exchange for a little life safely growing inside me.  
Travis and I are amazed at the way the Lord chooses to work in our life.  The wait for Ava was so long, so full of ups and downs, lessons learned and ruthless trust.  When we learned we were expecting her, she became a picture of God's faithfulness to us.  He granted us the desire of our hearts, in His perfect timing and He gave us little Ava.  He did have the best for us and His ways were perfect.  

To now be blessed, with the news of another little gift, is to experience his generous grace in a way we couldn't have imagined.  This baby is an unexpected blessing straight from the Lord's heart to ours.  We aren't missing the significance of that.  Months ago, I chose to release the process of even thinking or planning for another baby.  I believed it would probably be a long struggle, like it was for Ava, so I wanted to keep my heart guarded and not give in to any false expectations.  How sweet that He would know that about me and choose to add to our family, without Travis or I even realizing or thinking about it.  A bonus baby!  A surprise in its truest form!  A gift from God.  
So here we find ourselves, with a daughter who is 11 months old and another baby who is still being formed and shaped, 11 weeks after conception.  
What a miracle.  
Our little Ava is now about to become a "big" sister, which is hilarious in itself!  She might be the littlest "big" sister I've ever seen.  In fact, in an effort to announce our news, I spent the better part of an afternoon searching high and low for a "big sister" shirt for her to wear.  After much frustration, it became abundantly clear that they do not make "big sister" shirts for such "little" girls.  I finally settled on a 3T shirt that we turned into a little dress with some leggings!  Every sales clerk that helped me said the exact same thing.  "Wow! A second baby already...You sure are going to be busy!"  
Believe me, I know.   
Because my parents were vacationing with us, they were thrilled to take part in our joy!  
Two grand babies in under 2 years is pretty good, don't you think??  
"Children's children are a crown to the aged..." Prov. 17:6
We've got much on our minds to process, now that we are adding another member to our family.  We've got a big sister who isn't walking yet and hasn't even reached 20lbs!  
I think we have our work cut out for us!!  
I had an ultrasound 2 weeks ago and got to see the baby and watch it's little heart beating so strongly.  
I can't believe I'm going to be the Mom of 2 kids, but I'm so grateful that God would choose that for me. We are so thankful, so happy and so blessed.  

October 15th is our due date.  
I'm sure you know by now that there will be lots of updates between now and then!!  
Please keep us in your prayers as we get ready for another baby, as we parent and prepare Ava and as this little life continues to grow inside me.  

This was a big surprise.  But a wonderful one that we will never forget!  
We are praising the Lord for His favor on our family and for this gift to us.  
Is it a boy??  A girl??   We don't know yet, but we can't wait to find out!  
There are fun days ahead of us.  
Busy days.
Challenging days.
Precious days.  

We're going to have 2 kids!  We can hardly believe it...

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."
Psalm 127:3-5


Sonya said...

Congrats! what a wonderful surprise!

Crystal said...

Congratulations! I love reading your blog and am so happy for this unexpected blessing for you and your family!

Mary said...

What a great surprise!! You are going to be just fine! My first two kids are 14 months apart and the third one is 17 months begins the second one...none of that was planned. In fact, I asked God many times what in the world He was thinking! Ha! He of course knew best what we needed and has met us every step of the way. It has been a busy and fun few years and I wouldn't do it any other way :)

Praying for you to feel good so you can keep up with that little princess!

Erin said...

How exciting . . I am so excited for your guys and a surprise baby is the best! I am glad that it is a surprise, seems like it is perfect! Are you going to find out what you are having?

I will be thinking about you!

Kaycee said...

What a lovely surprise! Congratulations!!! :)

And Ava is TOO sweet in that Big Sister 'dress'!

Joyce said...

Congratulations! The nicest kind of surprise!

Bailey said...

Congratulations!! I've been a longtime follower just not a great commenter =)

HopefulLeigh said...

Wow! Congratulations.

Framed by Grace said...

SO Wonderful!! My oldest boys are 18 months's hard at first, but now they are really close. They certainly share different personalies though. Congrats!!

Sarah said...

Love the family photos! You all look radiant...especially you Steph! Absolutely thrilled!

Angie said...

Congratulations Steph! I've read your blog for awhile now and am so happy for you. We also had a surprise second baby and our kids are 17 months apart. Yes you'll be busy but you'll find you get the hang of it in no time!

Heather said...

AWESOME!!! Praising the Lord for your new addition! Congrats, Steph!

Holly said...

I am sooooo excited for you and I feel like our stories are so similar in that it took me along time with Ellie and then Anna was a surprise and 18 months apart. I LOVE it so much and I really think it was one of the best surprises to ever happen to us. I love that they share a room, clothes, toys, life, etc... all together! They are total opposites and I've loved to see them grow up literally together. My first piece of advice is to spend the money for a great double stroller. I used mine for the first 3 years of their lives. It kind of sits in the garage now which is so sad to me. Let's chat soon! Praising God for your miracle.

Randi House said...

Congrats! I loved watching your journey with Ava and I will love seeing your new little one as well! :)

Elisa Clark said...

Congratulations! You will love having them so close together. Pregnancy is long (in some ways) and you'll feel like Ava is practically a teenager by the time the new little one arrives. :) My first two are 18 months apart, then my third is 16 months younger than the second, and baby #4 will probably be even closer than that. Crazy...but what a blessing! Congrats!

Toni :O) said...

Awwww...what TERRIFIC news for you all! Hip Hip Hooray and a hearty congratulations! I was SO not expecting to read that but what a blessing and a joy! Ava will be the cutest, little Big Sister in all the land. Have fun and can't wait to go along on this journey with ya'll. Woot Woot!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! That's so exciting!

Rebecca Jo said...

I literally gasped out loud with excitement for you!!!!!!

Congratulations to you, Travis & the "little" big sister, Ava!!!

Brenda and Brantley said...

We're due Oct 12th! :) And we are sad to say that we are moving from the Thompsons'...buying a house in Youngsville. So happy for y'all! Fun!! Love, b

Aimee said...

Congratulations! That is a wonderful surprise! My husband and I recently had a surprise of our own...we are expecting our first child on September 15th! This is such an exciting time:)

Lindsey said...


petrii said...

Oh my stars ~~ CONGRATULATIONS!!! What terrific news!! I am over the moon for you, Travis and little Ava.

God is indeed good!!

Love you sweet girl,

Christina said...

So happy for you both!!!! Congrats to the new addition to your family. You are an incredible mother to Ava and will be to this "little one"! What a blessing from God!!!

Lindsay said...

Congratulations! God's timing is always perfect!

Meredith said...

Congratulations Armstrongs! We are full of joy for you! Our God is Awesome, Mighty and Faithful! We will be lifting your family up often in our prayers.
Much Love,
The Yoders

Anonymous said...

sooooooo happy for you...2 kids is great :) granted mine were four years apart...ahaha good luck with this ;)

Jen S. said...

I've been a blog follower for a while now, and am very happy about your news. Ava is so cute, and I'll bet she'll be an awesome big sister ;)
What a sweet family you guys are!