Posts filed under Family

Lily’s Nursery

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

For those of you who are unable to come visit us, I thought I would give a pictorial tour of Lily's Nursery.

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As we enter the nursery from the hallway between the two rooms, we see first the changing table, with the crib in the background.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

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This is the changing table, which is, like almost all of the nursery furniture, painted white. The changing pad sports a mint-colored cover.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Changing Table: White Sleigh Style Changing Table - Badger Basket Company


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As we move further into the nursery, we see the corner with the changing table on one side, and the crib on the other.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

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Here is the crib, with blanket made by Aunt Pattie and painting of little girl on the wall above.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

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Close-up of the crib, which is decorated in the nursery's colors of lavender and mint.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Crib: 5-in-1 Crib, Jasmine - Delta
Bedding: Seed Sprout Gingham Crib Bedding, 3-Piece Set, in Lavender


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Here we see the crib, next to the combo unit with hutch.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

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This is the combo unit with hutch, with a floral arrangement made by NaNa Elizabeth, a handmade vase from Oaxaca, Mexico, and a pink throw knitted by Aunt Pattie.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Combo Unit: Storkcraft Beatrice Combo Tower Chest
Hutch: Storkcraft Beatrice Combo Hutch


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Moving further around to the corner on the right side of the combo with hutch, is the guest bed, with Hargrove "Dear Old School Days" painting on the wall above.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

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Moving past the guest bed, we come to the corner with the bedroom's window, decorated with lavender curtains. In this corner, at the end of the bed, is the glider rocker with ottoman, and a blanket made by Aunt Helen Ann.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Glider Rocker: Classic Glider Rocker and Ottoman Honey Finish, Beige
Curtains: Seed Sprout Basics Tab Top 63" Curtains (2 Panels), Lavender Gingham


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Moving around the corner from the glider rocker is the desk, flanked by two bookcases. Next to the glider is the baby glider.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

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Finally we come back around to the door, as seen from beside the changing table, with a view into the master bedroom.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

I hope you have enjoyed this tour through Lily's nursery. We've really enjoyed setting everything up and getting the nursery ready for our little Lillian!

The Wedding is Planned!

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage

Finally! I can't tell you how excited and relieved I am to announce that we have the details planned for our wedding!

The Short Version:

We will be married Tuesday, March 27, at 3:00 PM (PST) in Las Vegas.

The Long Version:

We will be going to Indianapolis the weekend of March 24 for my cousin's wedding. The following afternoon we will fly to Las Vegas. We will be blessed to have my parents accompany us. We will be staying at The Sahara on The Strip. Monday, we will all take a tour of Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. Then Tuesday afternoon will be the moment we have anticipated for what seems like an eternity! We will be picked up in a limousine and taken to the chapel where the wedding will be held. I will get to see my beautiful bride walk down the aisle, accompanied by my father, who will also be standing with me as my best man. Afterward, we will be taken back to the hotel in the limousine, with DVD/VHS videos of the ceremony, CD of wedding pictures, and two prints in hand. Then Wednesday morning, we will all fly back to Indianapolis, and Stephanie and I will drive home to St. Louis to begin our life as a married couple.

Stephanie is concerned that I am not getting the wedding I've "always hoped for", but I keep telling her that what makes a wedding the one I've always hoped for is the person walking down the aisle - and I could not have dreamed or imagined anyone more perfect for me. And our wedding might be "unconventional", but it will be ours, and that is what is important to me. Also, it means so much to me to be able to have my parents share in the experience with us.

We apologize that not everyone who might want to share in our wedding will be able to do so. We would love to have all of you there with us, but we know that's not feasible. However, the chapel where we will be married provides a live web-cam feed of the ceremony, in case anyone would like to watch. Please let us know if you will be joining us virtually!

She’s Moving!

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood

Today both Steph and I experienced a major milestone: earlier in the day, for the first time she knew definitively that she felt the baby move! And this evening, while she was telling me about it, I felt her move, too! Soon, she will be able to hear and recognize my voice... hard to believe that we are already half way through the pregnancy, and that in four and a half months, we will be holding our daughter!

It’s a Girl!

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

We had a doctor appointment today, and got new ultrasounds. Thanks to these 19-week photos, we are ecstatic to announce that our baby is...

A Girl!

I won't post the ultrasound that proves she's a girl, but suffice it to say it was obvious. And without further ado, here she is!


4-D head/face shot: isn't she beautiful?
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Our New Home

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Missouri, Saint Louis

I am extremely happy and relieved to announce that we now have our own home! Due to everything going on, we decided to put off buying a house a while longer so that we could concentrate on preparing for the baby in the spring. So, I found a 2BD/2BA apartment less than 10 miles from the office, at Hazelwood Forest. Not only will my commute to work go from about 45 minutes down to about 10, but trips to Indy and Cincy will be much easier as well, since we can just cross the I-270 Chain of Rocks bridge, rather than deal with downtown traffic and the Poplar Street Bridge.

Here is a layout of what should be a very decently-sized home for us, our two cats, and our soon-to-arrive baby:


2 bedroom, 2 bath, 970 sq. ft.
Image by Hazelwood Forest Apartments

We moved into our new home Saturday, November 18th. Our extreme gratitude goes out to my parents, who not only brought us a washer, dryer, kitchen table and chairs, and lots of decoration; but also spent two days helping us get moved. Trekking all of our (mostly, my) stuff up to the third floor certainly wasn't easy; but it would have been impossible without my dad's help.

Now, we're trying to get everything unpacked, in place, and organized - a job that will likely go on for several weeks. Most importantly, though, I have the living room and kitchen mostly done, and have the DSL connection set up. After more than three years of broadcast-only television, I decided to get a basic cable package, so Stephanie would have more options. (I must admit, I'm already hooked on Top Chef.)

Thirteen Weeks

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

As of today, we are at thirteen weeks; we are now into the second trimester!

The nausea of the first trimester seems mostly to have passed, though it still returns on occasion - possibly due to the prenatal vitamins. Not too many esoteric food cravings so far, either. Though, I did have the pleasure last night of making a grocery-store run at 9:30 in search of a cream cheese danish - thankfully, Entenmann's makes something that fits the bill, that I was able to find.

Please tell Steph how great she continues to look:

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Steph and I at Colleen's wedding two weeks ago.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Now, we begin looking forward to our first ultrasound and finding out the gender of our baby - though, Steph is convinced we're having a L'il Chip!

An Unexpected Blessing

Filed in Personal, ReligionTags: Christianity, Family, Fatherhood

To my blog readers:

Some time ago I wrote about the story of Stephanie and I. I have stayed mostly quiet about the relationship, but we knew fairly early on where it would lead - to the point that I had already told my parents that we were looking at their anniversary next year (September 8, 2007) as our own wedding date.

One weekend, while I was visiting her in Cincinnati, we made a very wrong decision (I won't say "mistake", because the choice was knowing and willing), and had sex. We both knew it was wrong, and because of that, we decided that we wanted to do right, to honor each other and God in our relationship - so, we made the choice to stop, and not to have sex again until after we were married. However, we found out a few weeks ago that she conceived, and is now pregnant.

First, I want you to know that we both know that what we did was wrong, and I am fully willing to confess that to you, the church, and my family - just as we have already done so to God. We won't attempt to justify, rationalize, or excuse our actions - though, we did make the decision to repent of that sin, thanks to the conviction of the Spirit. Though we acted wrongly, our past decisions and actions do not have to dictate that we continue to decide and act wrongly from here, forward.

While I the gravity of our sin, have been convicted of that sin - and the sorrow for that sin has led to repentance, and the desire to right the wrong and not to continue sinning, I am not ashamed nor regretful for what happened. Likewise, while I realize that the pregnancy is a consequence of our actions, I do not think of it as a punishment. Rather, we both think of this pregnancy as a great blessing and a miracle.

(I believe we are scriptural in this viewpoint. Based on II Corinthians 7:10-11 (NIV):

10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.

And based on Isaiah 53:5 (NIV):

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Christ bore the punishment for our sins on the cross.) That said, I know that we now must deal with the consequences - intended and unintended - for our decision and action.

To be completely honest, I am nervous and slightly scared, but mostly excited and humbled that, despite our sin, God would so amazingly bless us, and give us this great responsibility. I have always maintained that the two greatest desires of my life are to be a mssionary and to be a husband and father. While I know that the timing is not ideal, and that we likely now face struggles and difficulties that we would not have had to face had we not acted as we did, I am thankful that, even through our sin, God is in control of the situation, and directing every step - working even this situation for our good (Romans 8:28) and for His glory. Despite everything, we are excited about this blessing, and are looking forward to the start of our family - but we want to make sure that we make every effort to do everything right as much as possible.

Some time ago, I went to Cincinnati and moved Stephanie here to Saint Louis - it is my desire and responsibility to participate in every part of the pregnancy, and to ensure that Stephanie and the baby are taken care of. We intend to be married, at the very least, legally, so that my medical insurance will cover both of them, and also because it is important that, while the baby was conceived out of marriage, that the baby should be born in marriage. Though the baby was conceived in sin, there is no reason that the baby should not be born into a family under God's blessing - and that is our desire.

While we work out all the details, I am moving Stephanie into the basement in the house where I now live. I don't want the living arrangement to be long-term at all, unless we can work out the details to be married very soon. (Stephanie had already been looking at job opportunities and apartments here in Saint Louis, before we found out we were pregnant. She still wants to work, as long as the doctor will allow it, and we do not want to live together, unmarried.) Again, we want to do things right.

Stephanie is worried about how this pregnancy will affect our and my standing in the church. I told her that I believe that we would not be outcast because we acted in sin. (Certainly, if we were still choosing willingly to act in sin and rebellion, by continuing to have sex outside of marriage, etc., then the church would obviously not condone such action.) I recognize that, at least until we are rightfully married in the eyes of God and the church, that certainly any type of leadership position would be compromised - but, as of yet, I have not pursued any such positions, but only positions of service. Perhaps I have jeopardized any future opportunity to serve in church leadership, according to the Biblical qualifications for elders/deacons, but I would hope that this situation would not compromise my ability to continue serving in the church.

Ultimately, this experience is extremely humbling - both in the face of confessing and repenting of sin that both of us committed knowingly and willingly, and also in the realization of the great, awesome responsibility with which we have just been blessed. I am somewhat nervous about telling family and friends, because I know many will be surprised and disappointed. (I introduced Stephanie to my parents and extended family Labor Day weekend, and that weekend we also told my parents and grandmother about our pregnancy.) That said, I know that every one of us is a sinner, and any judgemental reactions really come from an unrealistic expectation that I would be exempted from the truth that all have sinned, and have fallen short of the glory of God. I know that my family will be disappointed, and that the disappointment, especially from my parents, is fully justified. I was raised knowing right from wrong, and trained to make right decisions. I recognize that I have failed them, in addition to my sin against God (and, truly, against Stephanie).

At the same time, no matter the initial disappointment, I know that my parents will be accepting, loving, and supportive. I hope and believe that the church will be the same.

To my Destiny Church family:

We are two sinners, in need of that support. I want you to know that I submit myself, and us, to the authority and direction of the church, so that we proceed in a godly and scriptural manner. I know that I need other men in the church, to whom I can hold myself accountable, and who can offer advice and support. Stephane likewise could use people in the church, both to offer her support and advice through the pregnancy, and our relationship - but also because she has moved to a new state and city, which has her somewhat scared and nervous, as well.

And, ultimately, we need and would appreciate the prayer support of the church.

Well, that pretty much encapsulates my thoughts and feelings right now. I have pretty well gone through the gamut of emotions, but in the end I remain amazed and blessed that we now have a developing child to raise as part of our family. I have so wanted to tell everyone the news, but it was extremely important that I be able to tell my parents in person and share this experience with them as much as possible, and that Stephanie be able to tell her family, before we officially made our news public information. I hope you will share with us in our joy and excitement, and that you will pray for God's protection and direction as we move forward in our lives together, with this wonderful blessing!

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Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.