Thursday, January 21, 2016

A New Year...New Resolutions

If you don't already know it, I will tell you...I am horrible at keeping up with our blog! Maybe being better about writing posts should be on my list of resolutions for 2016!
It's hard to believe that 2015 is behind us and a new year has begun!...It's hard to believe that Carson is already eight months old and it seems like yesterday that I was holding him for the first time!...It's hard to believe that I have been married to my beautiful Sweetheart, Erin, for over two years!...It's hard to believe how fast time is passing by.
The new year took me by surprise. I really like to plan and mentally prepare and anticipate for what might take place in a given year, but this year, I am definitely behind. With January almost gone, I feel like I am trying to play "catch up." =) One of the items on my mental list of things to do is to make resolutions. I was inspired when I saw Erin's list of resolutions. Each one was from her heart and each one was carefully thought out. I was truly challenged and motivated by her desire to set goals for herself that will directly affect our family. I love her dearly and I am so proud of her. I will have to say that I am not as brave as Erin is in posting her resolutions, but I do have a list that I have begun, a set of goals now for 2016 to help me stay on track and keep pressing forward.
Our little family is looking forward to this new year. Times are uncertain, but we have today to enjoy and to try and be blessing to those we love and know and those we meet along the way.
A friend at church gave this verse to me, and I have chosen it as one of my theme verses for this year. It's an amazing promise of God's goodness.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength."
Isaiah 26:3-4

God bless! 

                    Chad, Erin, & Carson

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Comfort & Joy

   I am super thrilled to finally share the exciting news! 
After months of hard work, hours of practice, and much dedication, my sweet Erin has completed her third CD, a Christmas Album, titled "Comfort & Joy".
   Creating this CD was extra noteworthy in so many ways. Christmas is full of wonderful memories for both Erin and I, and working on this project has brought so many of those memories back. We first met on a snowy cold day, and our families shared one the best Christmases together just before we were married. Erin has always wanted to produce a Christmas CD, and this accomplishment is definitely a dream come true!
   Four-time Grammy winning Andy Leftwich accompanies Erin on the fiddle and mandolin. The album is a delightful blend of sentimental hymns and classic carols that bring alive the Christmas spirit for the holidays.
It is our prayer that this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas on into the New Year will be full of Comfort & Joy!

The CD can be purchased on iTunes,  Amazon, The Bates Family Website, CD Baby and More!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Life Now

   As I was on my way home from work the other day, I noticed handfuls of leaves scattered along the roadside in various places as I drove by. Whether these leaves were falling due to the cooling temperatures or just randomly falling, I knew that fall was just around the corner.

   Thinking back to a fall day, when I came to Tennessee three years ago to ask a beautiful girl to be my girlfriend, brings a big smile to my face. My thoughts drift on to that warm summer day in August of the next year when I worked up enough courage to propose to my sweetheart, Erin Elise. I remember all the wonderful memories and emotions surrounding that special time of year. I can't help but think about the busy few months before our fall wedding in November and that incredible, wonderful, happy day when I married the girl of my dreams. All of the thrill, the love, the bliss that I experienced is nearly impossible to put into words.

   Life now...almost two years later, I find myself sitting here and marveling at how fast this time has passed and how our lives have changed so much in such a short period of time. It has been four months since I have written a post. Four months!?!? Little did I know that the day I wrote my last post was the day that our little boy, Carson, would enter the world.

   Carson's delivery is something I will never forget. The intensity, the excitement, the worry, the thrill, the love, the fear, the many emotions and feelings all packed into just a few hours before delivery. God is so good and He answered our prayers. The delivery was very quick and extremely intense due to an unknown placenta abruption. We found out later that this causes unusually hard contractions and thus speeds up the delivery process. Our plan was for Erin to have an epidural, but due to the circumstances we had to go through with an all-natural birth. Erin was so brave and strong throughout the delivery. I had never felt so helpless in all of my life. I wanted to do something to help...but I realized that I couldn't. The few hours of delivery felt like years! God protected Erin, and little Carson was brought into this world! All I could do was cry and tell Erin how proud I was of her. Every baby is a miracle, and Carson was an extra special miracle to us and an answer to so many prayers.

   Carson, (Charles Stephen Paine IV), is doing wonderfully well along with his gorgeous mommy, Erin. It's hard to even imagine me as a dad, even after four months! But I have loved every minute of it and wouldn't change it for the world. Erin has been the most loving and attentive mother to our little boy, and I am so very proud of her. Carson has brought so much joy and life to our hearts...I think only a parent would know what I am writing of. These four moths have been filled with mixed emotion as we have watched our little miracle grow out of preemie sleepers into three month old outfits! He is growing so fast! Erin and I know that all too soon he will be running around the house one day and then off on an adventure of his own the next. I am realizing more and more how precious time is and to make the most of the time the Lord allows us to spend as a family.

   I just took these pictures of Carson the other day...he is so precious to us. I hope to post more in these coming weeks about all that's going on in our little family, but I won't make any promises! =) We have a special announcement coming up that I am so thrilled to share with you all!....and I am so pumped about it, but I am bummed that I can't share now, but I will soon! stay tuned! =)

   I don't' know about you, but this summer has been so busy and rather overwhelming with so many things taking place in our lives. With all that's going on in our country and around the world, it seems as though the future is very uncertain and unnerving. It is easy to get discouraged when you focus on these things and the negativity of them. I find encouragement and hope in turning to the Lord who doesn't change. Our church has been going through a series on Hebrews 11, the heroes of faith in the bible. My faith has been strengthened by hearing the testimonies of the faith of those who have gone before us. God has already written the last chapter and He knows the future and He will take care of us.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Just a Little Time Left

I can't wait till he gets here! =)
This is just a little update on how things are going! Erin has been doing good as can be expected at over 36 weeks. She's pretty uncomfortable, but she has been so positive!  She is such a trooper! Baby Carson is growing and is doing really good!
I took this picture yesterday and just had to post it because she is so C.U.T.E.! And I couldn't resist posting this stinkin' cute picture of Jeb too!
I wanted to thank everyone who has commented, written letters, left notes of encouragement on instagram, and supported us through this really special time. It has meant so much to both of us to know that there are so many people who care. I plan to try and keep you as updated as possible with any good news! =)


~ Chad, Erin, & Carson ~

Saturday, May 2, 2015

To My Dearest Friend...Happy Birthday

Dearest Erin,

   Happy Birthday! There is so much I want to say. You mean the world to me and I wish I could adequately express how special you are, not only to me but to so many others. I am the most blessed man alive to have known you these few years and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you!
   Erin, so much has transpired this past year of your life, and I have watched you walk through many different joys and heartaches. And I have seen how you have handled each and every situation with love, gentleness, forgiveness, and such sweet care. I am blown away by your love for others I can't tell you how much I count it a privilege to be with you and to share in life with you. I know that I do not deserve such an amazing girl, but I am so honored to be your fella.  =')
   I have learned so much from your example and I know that I am going to continue to learn from you and grow. I am so excited that little Carson is going to be even more apart  of our lives once he arrives! You are going to be the absolutely best mommy ever! I get so happy when I see how much you love our little boy. You have done so much for him and I know he is going to love you so dearly!
  I hope this new year is the best one ever! My prayer is that you will continue to be the wonderful example that you are and that you will love the Lord even more. Thank you for loving me even when I am are truly my very best friend!

...I love you, Erin Elise...

~ yf....for always~
      Psalm 121:1-2

ps....did I ever tell you that you are so beautiful?? are!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Maternity Shoot

So, I have been absolutely dying to post these pictures of Erin and her A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. baby bump! =) Tori, Carlin, and Josie were kind enough to come over one morning and help us take these pictures. I think they did an outstanding job and they came up with quite a few creative ideas!
I know that I am a little  biased, but...I have to say that Erin's the cutest little pregnant lady ever! Just when I don't think she can get any cuter...she does! =)
I hope  you enjoy these pictures as much as I have!

~ Chad ~
......loves Erin & Carson

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Our Little Boy

You probably know by now....but if you don't, we are so happy to share with everyone that we are expecting a little BOY!!
Our hearts are full of joy! It almost seems like a dream that's all to good to be true! The reality of it is still sinking in for us!
Now that I know that a little fella is on the way, I can't help but try and imagine what he's going to be like! I often wondered what it would feel like to be a dad, to have all that responsibility, to provide for a family, to teach my children, to be the very best dad that I could be! Now that reality of being a dad is here and it's truly inspiring! I can't wait till our little boy arrives! Erin and I are absolutely thrilled!! =)
God has been truly good to the three of us ( I love saying the three of us! =).
Erin....I have to talk about my lovely, precious, beautiful inside and out, bubbly, amazingly sweet wife, Erin. She is the hero behind this little boy...she is the courageous, loving, ever caring mother who has been so brave these past 26 weeks. I wish I could share all the ins and out of this pregnancy...but I believe it would fill an entire book if I tried. Pushing through 20 weeks of extreme nausea, having a complete lack of appetite, and receiving daily injections, Erin has patiently bore these hardships with a dedication and love that brings tears to my eyes. I can honestly say I have never seen a more dedicated women in all the world! I can't wait to tell our little boy about how much his mommy loves him! I am so grateful for Erin and all that she means to me! I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Erin will make the very best mommy! It makes me so happy just thinking about it! =')
If you are wondering what we are planning on naming our little fella, you will have to check Erin and I's instagram! Erin shares the little guy's name and tells the story behind it here.
Thank you for praying for us! God has answered so many prayers! Looking back at our last post I wince at how long it has been since I have written and how many comments . I can't promise more posts soon, but I will do my best to try and keep you updated!


~ Chad
... for Erin always...