Peter's New Friend: Merit Paul

Here are some photos of Simon Peter's friend, Merit Paul. Merit is our friends Josh and Laura's new baby boy. 5 weeks old. Super cute. Josh and Laura are really loving parenting and it is really great to see how much they enjoy their new son. It was a pleasure to take some photos of their young family. Here are some favorites:

Thanks for looking. Praise the Lord for their great young family!

Life with Simon Peter

Life continues with Peter. It has been a great week or so. Here are some more photos of the "early days" as a family:

Grandma and Grandpa Balog came down for some time with the little guy on Sunday (our 1st Anniversary!) Here's grandma with Peter.

Grandma and Momma loving on that little guy. He gets kissed a lot.

I mentioned last time that Grandpa B lacks no excitement for grandchildren. This is what I mean. I love it.

When our friend Christi first texted "congrats" to us last week, she asked us how much hair he had - she is a hair stylist and got straight to the important questions :) As far as we can tell, the full locks must be from Megan's side, as my parents say I did not have notable hair until I was almost 2! In this photo, Grandpa B took some liberty in temporarily shaping the sleeping babe's hair style.

The grandparents - getting ready to drive back home.

Most people who know us know that Megan can really cook. So, I have had a blast getting to be the cook for the last week. I cook every meal. Well, except for the meals that are brought to us nearly every day by our great family and friends. (We are really blessed in those regards). On Monday, however, I got to cook dinner. I started us off with a lemon coriander consomme with basil garnish. I was so proud of my work. Megan said it was quite good in her opinion (which is worth more than mine because when I am proud of my cooking, I am bound to exuberantly like it!). The funny thing about the consomme is that it was the water I had drained off the pasta and green beans I was cooking. Even once I told Megs that, she still said it was tasty :)

Tuesday night's dinner was really great. Jay and Cassandra brought over homemade lasagna. That really hit the spot. Jay and I split a really good beer. We had french bread, hand-picked string beans, and a peach blackberry pie that Natalie made. We sure had it made. Jay and Cassandra showed us awesome photos from their recent Western vacation. Very cool. This photo was the sunset after dinner and before the photos, decaf, and pie.

Not only are we getting faster at diaper changes, but we are also getting more brave with venturing out into the real world with our little strong man. This morning we went to the new Scioto Audubon Metro Park. It's downtown. It's pretty. It has a climbing wall, ducks, and a place to fish. We had a nice time. Here is Peter before we bravely attempt to put him into the Moby Wrap (a.k.a. long confusing piece of fabric that is supposed to safely support our precious child . . .)

Native wildflowers. I love the meadow feeling. Often prefer it to woods.

At this point, he is hungry. Nowadays, parents like us "know better" about all sorts of things - like pacifiers. Ha! So, because we don't carry one of those (yet), Megan gave him her pinky finger. Her poor finger was prune-like by the end. Note the fancy Moby wrap. Seems to work great, but I still love poking fun at it. Photographer's Note: I have been loving pushing some of my portrait processing past my normal comfort zone. This photo of Megs is a good example. I ended up really landing on a look that I loved. Fun to experiment.

My industrial photograph for the day - or more like the year for me. Perhaps this could inspire a Drew Jones painting?

Megan and I sat on the porch tonight and talked. It was great. Sometimes no agenda is needed, just time. We were not only enjoying conversation, but the sky was also beautiful.

The pre-sunset sky from our back porch.

Megan had a vision for our back porch to be a real living space. She made it happen and I am glad she did; it is great. I go out there in the morning sometimes and drink amazing coffee that our friend Matt roasts and read my bible. Cannot be better. Part of what makes the porch space so inviting this time of year is the impressive vegetable garden Megan has planted and tended. Here are some eggplant blossoms.

Megan's hanging fuchsia. It has bloomed for about 3 months.

Tomatoes are coming along quite well too.

The sunset was so intensely colorful that it can almost look un-natural. I tend to prefer the more pastel sunset tones, so I captured this more subtle scene on the peripheral of the night sky's main event.

Here is how colorful the main sunset was. Really neat.

Final light from our back porch. A wonderful end to the day.

Thanks for looking! More to come. We have really appreciated sharing this joy with everyone, and all the kind, supportive, and encouraging words we have received.

Simon Peter

Introducing Simon Peter! We call him Peter. What a blessing from the Lord he is. He is perfect. Wonderfully made, and a bringer of great joy. Megan has been amazed by how accurate the saying "bundle of joy" is. Me too. Here are some photos from our first few days with our son (I will narrate a bit because the stories are great):

Photo 1: Megan laboring. The baby's heart rate was seeming a bit irregular, so the doctors were a bit nervous. The praise is that Peter was totally healthy and Megan had a great labor and was able to do it all without medicine. She was incredible. I was honored to get to be her coach and see what determination she is capable of.

Photo 2: It's a boy! Our first child is born. I remember the moment of seeing he was a boy. Super cool. Cutting the cord, him being placed on Megan's chest for the first time. He was crying; he was breathing; he was our son. What a neat moment. Wow. Here is the first photo ever of Simon Peter.

Photo 3: He did not like being measured, etc. Even while being measured, I loved looking in his eyes for the first time. Very cool to meet eye to eye with my son.

Photo 4: Megan holding her son. I am starting to understand why mothers have such a connection with their children.

Photo 5: Our young family about 20 minutes after delivery.

Photo 6: Mama and little Peter.

Photo 7: The grandparents! So sweet having them all there. Here they are waiting for Peter to get his first bath.

Photo 8: Peter did not enjoy his first bath. My dad is commenting on his good set of lungs in the background!

Photo 9: Grandpa Balog holds Peter for the first time. He lacks no excitement for grandchildren. I love it.

Photo 10: Grandma and Grandpa Balog loving on that little guy! They came down at just the right time - the night Megan went into labor. It was so nice to spend some time with them that night before going into the hospital.

Photo 11: He loves being held by grandma.

Photo 12: Peter Sr. holding his first grandchild. In his words, "he's perfect."

Photo 13: This one's just cute.

Photo 14: When we found out we were pregnant last fall, we figured my sister Annie had been praying for that to happen! When we asked her, she smiled and said "yep, a little" :) Well, I'm glad she had. And here she gets to be an Aunt Annie for the first time. She smiled so big; it was great to see.

Photo 15: I gather that some people maybe don't like having to stay in the hospital for a couple of days after the birth. Megan and I loved it, however. It kind of felt like a honeymoon for having a baby. People came and visited. We ate slept, and got used to taking care of the little dude.

Photo 16: I love seeing this connection between Mom and son. She is a great mother. I know her. She will be firm and require truth and uprightness from him, and she will support and encourage him. Megan is steady, she is loving, and she is strong. She is going to be a great Mom.

Photo 17: On our second afternoon, my mom came to help us get some sleep. She brought lunch and held our little sweetheart while we each took a nap. Before I dozed, I saw this scene that I had to capture. My mom is like mother hen with kids - a natural gatherer and teacher. Really fun to watch. Here she is in her element.

Photo 18: My parents custom ordered a rocking chair for us to hold the baby in. It is made of cherry - all time favorite domestic wood for me and my dad. Here's Peter with my parents in our lovely apartment's family room.

Photo 19: Peter sleeping in the beautiful crib Megan's parents ordered for us.

Photo 20: My favorite thing is to hold him on my chest. I am told it creates good bonding, but I just know that I love doing it. I am trying to set up our computer so I can hold him like this and watch a few innings of a MLB game.

Photo 21-23: He has some alert time most nights around 10 or 11pm. A few nights ago we took some photos. I love these. The middle one is him flexing. He is tall, barrel chested, and strong. I'm digging it. We love this little guy.

Thanks for looking. There will of course be more to come! Praise the Lord for little Peter and the miracle and joy of life.