May is one of the most beautiful months to live in Kiev! Unfortunately, our baby didn’t realize this information when choosing her due date, so I’ll have to wait until next year to experience another Kiev in May. Steve took these pictures on the last weekend of April, but they give a good idea of what May is like as well .
The month begins with “May Day”, which is normally a holiday for both May 1 and 2. The celebrations continue with Victory Day on May 9, which usually also means a 2 day holiday. Finally, the month ends with “Kiev Days” on the last weekend in May which is just a big celebration, primarily centered around “Andreivski Spusk”. This street normally has many vendors of everything from tote bags and nesting dolls (matryushkas) to beautiful hand crafted items of all kinds. On Kiev Days, there are about 3 times as many vendors there for the celebration.
The month of May is also usually when Spring has definitely arrived. Trees and flowers are blooming and it has finally gotten consistently warmer. Sometimes you might still need a light jacket in the shade or evening, but usually you can finally be free of all the extra winter layers of clothing. As a Florida/Texas girl, you can imagine how much I look forward to this time of year! I talked to Steve yesterday and he said it was warm enough yesterday that people were wearing shorts outside. Ahhhh! Although it can be a challenge to complete any kind of official business in May due to all the holidays, everyone just seems to be happy to enjoy the lovely spring weather.
In other news, thanks for your prayers as Stevie and I traveled back to the U.S. on April 11. All our flights went smoothly, arriving either on time or early, and all connections were easy. Our longest layover in Amsterdam (about an hour once we got to our gate) was made enjoyable by another little boy who played cars with Stevie while we waited to board. Of course we were tired when we arrived in Austin, but the travel could not have gone better.
Since then I’ve had 3 doctor’s appointments which have all gone well, confirming that our baby girl is healthy and growing and doesn’t show any signs of coming early before her daddy gets here on May 8 . Stevie has had a good checkup. We have visited 3 of our supporting churches and spent time with all grandparents. Whew! Now we are just waiting for Steve to join us here and then for the baby to come.
Stevie has also been able to go to Cornerstone Mother’s Day Out 2 days/week. He finished his first week and I think he enjoys it. I know that it is nice for him to be with other kids and with adults who have more energy than I do these days! The special unexpected gift of God in this situation is that the teacher’s aide in his class is from Russia! She speaks Russian (and English), so if he comes out with any Russian words or songs there is actually someone who will understand him. Amazing sometimes the little details God arranges for us .
With this pregnancy, I have not taken very many pictures of myself as things progressed. I asked my mom to take a picture while we were in Tyler a couple weekends ago so there could be at least some record! I wore the same dress to church this past Sunday and believe that I have definitely gotten larger in the last week!