Monday, June 13, 2016

A Time Away

Every so often we try to get away and spend time together as a family in a place that's away from the demands of everyday life. Times like these help us as a family regroup, plan, and just enjoy one another and the beauty of God's creation and handiwork. Recently Erin, Carson, and I (and of course little Brooklyn =), were able to make to trip to a wonderful spot in Florida. The weather was perfect, the time was so precious and I don't want to ever take them for granted.
  My biggest highlight of the trip was Erin. Spending time with her, talking, laughing, and just having fun together. She is my greatest inspiration and encourager, my dearest friend. She helps me so much with her beautiful perspective and her sweet words of wisdom.
  I wanted to capture these special moments together, especially with Erin's adorable baby bump. My brother was able to spend a day with us while we were there and helped out with our family pictures. They turned out amazing! Erin's is the cutest pregnant and not! I loved taking pictures of her and Brooklyn! I can't wait to meet our little girl! I am so excited! Carson has brought us so much joy and I know that Brooklyn will add so much to our little familyl! To say that we are thrilled is an understatement. God is so good!
  If you ever happen to be down and discouraged, be sure to stop and start thanking the Lord for all that He has given you and for those He has placed in your life. It helps me change my outlook and perspective...I hope it helps you too!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


After a cup of coffee and some time alone, I had a few moments to write out some scattered thoughts on this beautiful May morning.

One of my new years resolutions was to try and post and blog more, but alas, it's been a challenge. Between work, extra projects, playing with Carson, and helping my sweet expectant Erin, time seems to simply fade away. But I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I have found myself near tears many times just thinking about the privilege of holding Carson in my arms. He has become such a sweet little boy! He loves to cuddle with his mommy in the mornings and when he is sleepy...he gets so happy when I come home from work and wants me to hold him...I love him dearly. He is growing up soooo fast and is always on the move! It has already become a chore to keep track of where the little man is! Carson is so curious and so fascinated by the most funny things! And he definitely has an ornery and spunky side (he gets it from his cute mommy...grin =)!

Erin and I are elated (I actually looked up that word to see if it fit...and it means "make ecstatically happy" yes, it fit for sure) by our new little one on the way. Brooklyn Elise is due to arrive sometime in August. We do anticipate Erin having her sooner due to some of Erin's conditions. Erin loved the name "Brooklyn" and I absolutely adored the name "Elise", so we thought it made a beautiful name put together! Both Brooklyn and Erin are doing good. I never want to say a pregnancy is easy (I have never been there before and I admire every mother who has =), but this one has been easier for Erin as far as the nausea goes. I know that many people have been praying for her and the baby to which I am so grateful. God has truly been good to us and we can't wait to meet our little blessing!

Erin has been such an amazing girl. I admire her more and more everyday! Yesterday was her birthday, and it seems she just becomes more and more beautiful both inside and out. She is such an inspiration to me, such an encouragement, such a wonderful, loving very best friend. I couldn't be more blessed!

Some days it's easier to find and count your blessing than others. I think that it all has to do with where we place our focus and on whom we put our trust. Psalm 32:10b-11 says, "...He that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart."
Be encouraged to trust the Lord and take heart and be glad in Him today! 

~ Chad, Erin, Carson, & Brooklyn

Sunday, February 14, 2016

To My Valentine:

Dearest Erin,

   Happy Valentines Day! This is a really special time of year as I think back to the Valentines banquet six years ago where we first met. You caught my eye...and more than caught my heart. My heart just warms as I think about how sweet and shy you were that evening. I wondered what you were thinking. I couldn't keep my focus on the game that we were eyes kept wandering to you. There was something about you that was so enchanting, so beautiful, so pure, so lovely. Now I know that those things were only a small part of the beauty that I know treasure in you.You were my dream come true, the answer to so many prayers, the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me.
   My dream is you...and anything that has to do with you. I wish I could adequately put into words how much you mean to me. Your example of love, friendship, sacrifice, and Christ-likeness, inspires me to be the man that God wants me to be. Thank you for being my best friend... =')

    I love you to the moon back, Erin!  


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 ~