Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hadley Marie :3 Months:

So our girl time together during the day has come to an end as I jump back into the workplace. It's bittersweet really. The days of just the two of us, me soaking in that young baby smell, you soaking in my smells, just holding you and taking in your sleepy sighs, I've enjoyed them. There's just something about that time in the beginning, the newness of our lives intertwining especially now without the chaos of big brother. 

You are such a sweet baby, so easygoing and enjoy just hanging out soaking in everything. You are doing so well holding your head up which helps you watch your big brother as he is constantly on the move. You're a talker too. Lots of coos, smiles and bubble blowing. I can only imagine what all you have to say. 

You love to stretch out and kick those little legs. Your mat is especially fun. Sometimes you work out so much that you fall asleep.

I'm really having fun with your headbands and outfits which sometimes you just aren't sure about, but you can pull off anything, just take my word for it.

My Hadley, you have the most precious smile which you generously share. Keep sharing that smile because it lifts spirits and brightens the days. 

Lots of love, 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Parenting or Life as we know it

I've said it before and I still stand by it. Parenting is hard. It's messy and there's no user's manual to offer instructions. Sure, there's plenty of parenting books, but honestly, you have to find what works best for your family because nothing is ever as cut and dry as a book might suggest in this crazy adventure.

25 months is the difference between Mason and Hadley. Our household can be chaotic that's for sure. Mason is a good big brother. He has his moments where he gets frustrated when I can't just lay the baby down to help him but for the most part he will hug her or show concern when she is crying. He will bring her paci or blanket to her as well. 

Having two under the age of 2 is teaching me the art of multitasking, patience and flexibility. It's tough at times, I feel myself going in multiple directions and wonder if I have anymore to give. At times I have to step away, to take a deep breath and remember that these are only seasons that come and go. Some nights I fall into bed exhausted from the day, but ultimately I do find the strength to keep going because that's motherhood is all about. Discovering that you have more strength built up then you could ever imagine, to keep going, to keep loving on your family. 

My house is a wreck most of the time, the laundry pile is never ending and I feel like i'm running in circles but then I see this picture...

and my heart is full. This life is rewarding. I just look at my two, amazed that my body nurtured them. Amazed that they are intertwined in my life and that I'm responsible for their well being and for building their little characters. Intimidating that's for sure and I'm bound to make mistakes along the way but that's how life is, it's how we learn and grow.  


Hadley Marie : 2 Months :

My sweet Hadley,

2 months now and your sweet personality is shining through. You are extremely alert these days and enjoy "talking" with us. The best part of this age is that you really respond to us with your beautiful smile. Your smile just melts me. You continue to be an excellent nurser and thankfully are providing me with sleep through the night (which I know will not always be the case). You are such a dainty little girl and I'm having to contain myself from continuously expanding your wardrobe. You are weighing in at 9 pounds 9 ounces 22 inches. 

Some pictures from this past month:


I just look at you in awe, my sweet girl. Always remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, every inch of you. 

Love you!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hadley's Birth Story

40 weeks on my yoga ball. 

After going past 40 weeks with Mason, this time around I wasn't surprised that my body was following the same routine. This was why when asked my "due date" I preferred not to provide an actual date. (Let me just say that people really get stuck on having a date.) I was determined to work up until the day I went into labor and to maintain my normal routines, and that is exactly what I did. The day after my "due date" of September 9th, I had an ultrasound scheduled to check up on Hadley and to see if my body was making any progress and I expected to make that appointment. I was even planning on going in to work for a couple of hours that morning before my appointment. The night of the 9th was just another normal evening for us with me not feeling anything new (I had been experiencing braxton hicks for awhile now sporadically). I ended up waking up around 1:30 a.m. with some cramping, but once again, this had happened before and didn't last. I felt hungry so I got up and ate me a bowl of cereal. The cramping continued with intensity so I decided I may need to start timing (just in case).  In the mean time, I paced around trying to focus on my breathing. I took a shower to help ease some of the pain and after really looking at the timing..

I was cramping consistently every 2-4 minutes and it hit me that this probably was the real deal. I had better wake up Doug and Mason to head to the hospital. So I woke Doug up and he proceeded to take a shower (he even shaved). I woke up Mason (who literally just jumped up in his crib with a big smile on his face as if it was morning) and prepared his backpack while wondering why in the world was Doug taking a shower, did he not realize that our baby was on her way?!? (I found out later that we had some miscommunication with our plans for Mason. He thought my mom was actually coming to our house rather than meeting us at the hospital like mom and I had planned.) During this time, I'm having to stop what I'm doing to try and breathe through the pain. So another funny tidbit of the story...I asked Doug to make sure that our chickens had water for the morning (yes, I've become a crazy chicken lady, I know) but in the midst of him filling up the container, I decided we really needed to leave NOW. You know, I'm serious when I stop worrying about my chickens...

Our drive to the hospital is usually at least 20 minutes, and we made it in 10. Mom meets us there and takes Mason, so we can really focus. I haul myself out of the car and head in. Thankfully, we found a wheelchair on the way in because walking while in labor can be difficult. (Insert PSA here...remember to pre-register please.) I completely forgot to pre-register therefore I was filling out paperwork at the front desk while in labor.  

At this point it's around 3:45 a.m. or so and the nurse checks to see how far my body has progressed...I'm dilated 6-7 cm which honestly I wasn't expecting. They asked if I wanted an epidural and I ended up saying yes (originally I wanted to have a natural birth but when I actually experienced the pain I changed my mind), so they started me on a bag of fluids. My contractions intensified and the next thing I know within 30 minutes of being checked in the hospital, my body had dilated to 9 cm. 

I was going to get that natural birth after all. 

15 minutes of pushing and Hadley was born. With a head full of black hair and dark blue eyes, this little 7 lb. 2 oz. 19 in. beautiful baby girl quickly made her place in our hearts alongside her big brother. 

I look back at the 3 hour time span from the time I woke up cramping until I actually delivered her and I am still in shock at how fast my labor went. Looking back, I'm thankful that her delivery was natural. Simply put, it's amazing what our bodies can do and my recovery has been ideal. That said, it hurt and I didn't handle the pain gracefully, that's for sure. I just couldn't get a handle on my contractions with my breathing. Doug had to keep reminding me to breath. All I can say is thank goodness, it was such a fast delivery!

Hadley Marie ::1 month::

It's hard for me to grasp already that I'm once again doing monthly updates on the newest member of our family. Hadley Marie made us a family of 4 on September 10th at 4:42 a.m. (her birth story will be shared soon) weighing in at 7 lbs. 2 oz. 19 in.  She is settling in to the chaos which makes up our household these days and seems to go with the flow of things. Her favorite things are sleeping, eating, stretching out, and wondering where all the noise is coming from that she keeps hearing and who the little person is that keeps sticking things in her face. She's a noisy little sleeper so she's already made the move to her crib and seems to enjoy it. Breastfeeding is thankfully going well, and has been from the moment she latched on soon after delivery. She is a consistent eater every couple of hours, which makes for a tired mama throughout the night, but she's actually really efficient so each feeding isn't taking very long.  She had several rough days that involved more crying than usual, so I'm limiting my dairy intake which has seemed to help. I have found that babywearing is the greatest thing ever with Hadley because this time around, my time to just sit around is limited, so I can get things completed around the house (or chase/entertain a toddler) and keep Hadley cuddled up close to me.  She especially loves to get her naps out during this time. Just a few snapshots of life so far...

Dearest Hadley, I continue to be amazed that you are here in our lives now after feeling you and nurturing you for 40 weeks. Time flies by as I'm fully aware of now and I'm enjoying see you grow. Welcome to our world little one, I'm trying my best to embrace each and every moment. 
All my love, momma

Friday, August 29, 2014


"Trust Me". Those are the words that were spoken to me early on in this pregnancy during a time when I so desperately needed to hear that. I've struggled with my emotions this time around, maybe more so than before. Knowledge can do that to a person, even if it's not direct knowledge. The worries and what ifs can swirl constantly. I was blessed with one great pregnancy, so how would this one go?

Lisa Jo Baker says it best in her book, Surprised by Motherhood:

"Every second time mom knows the intimate joy of holding in her arms a being whose life is so new, so delicate that his skin is still translucent with heaven...she knows. But she also remembers. She remembers the hard work growing, carrying and delivery that child into the world. She bears scars. And she needs to gird her courage around her to do it again. Death and life. Ask any pregnant mother and you will find her thoughts equally consumed by both. Birth is hard and risky work. It is intimate and exposed at the same time."

Now here we are, I've carried this little one close to my heart, sustaining her for 38.5 weeks. Feeling her strong kicks and shoves, watching my body continue to grow (and grow). We've almost reached the end of this part of our journey and will soon welcome her into this crazy and beautiful world.  By working on my trust and letting go throughout this pregnancy, I can appreciate once again the wonder and beauty of growing this little person. I can't wait to hold you Miss Hadley!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mason : 2 years:

Dear Mason,

Well, we blinked and another year has passed with you moving from courageously taking a few stumbling steps to a full out run. It’s amazing to experience not only the physical changes from baby to toddler, but the developmental ones as well.  Words are tumbling out now, words we may not always understand completely, but that does not mean they are not thought out by you. Don’t worry though, there are words we do understand what you are sharing with us.

Your personality is shining through, in full force. You greet each morning with a smile and love to laugh. Your heart is big Mason, you freely give out hugs when leaving and enjoy saying “bye” to everyone you meet. Even your special trucks, tractors, pets, etc. hear a sweet little “bye” and wave from you each day.

You are so observant with our actions from the household routines to any project your daddy is working on. You have turned into our little helper around the home, from helping to unload the dishwasher from picking up your toys so I can vacuum. You want to be right there where you can follow along and help. You are all about routines and keeping us in line even down to the dogs. 

You enjoy watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and playing with any tractors, construction trucks, or other types of trucks. You are still enjoying books and we have to read 2 every night before bed that you pick out. Your lovey is Lion (a pacifier with a little lion stuffed animal attached) and you love him so so much which is evident by his well worn appearance. You sleep with various friends at night with this sometimes changing to include one of your tractors or your bobcat which must be tucked in under your blanket. Sleep is something you willing embrace. Play hard, sleep hard seems to be your motto.

Our family is expanding in this season of your life. At first I cried over it, worried that I would not be able to fully appreciate this season with you, but ultimately, this is our plan in life and with recent clarity and really seeing who you are becoming, I have realized that this is all ok. There are challenging times where we are learning and trying to appreciate your growing independence, but you Mason were meant to be a big brother. I can see it with your growing compassion for others, your helpful attitude, and your willingness to bring a smile.

Keep letting your braveness shine. Happy 2nd birthday Mason. We love you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Leaving on a jet plane

This girl is headed out of town in 2 days for a weekend packed with meeting women from all over, embracing my relationship with God, and some much needed personal time to recharge.
To say that I'm excited might just be an understatement. I'm ready for this time. I'll miss my guys especially since this is the longest I will have been away from Mason, but I think I'll come back a better mom and wife. We all need to be recharged now and then.
Where am I going? All the way to Dallas. To Hope Spoken.

hope spoken
"Hope Spoken is a women's conference where we all can come to know Jesus more, and make Him known in our lives. Our conference will be filled with stories. Stories of Christ in each of our lives, and how we can use these stories for His glory. This is a weekend to rest and feel His love, to lay burdens and hurts down and feel His grace. We want to let women know that they are enough, to encourage women to use their passions, their words, and their creativity for the Lord. We, above all else, want to glorify Jesus' name and share the hope we have in Him."
I'm looking forward to sharing all about my trip! Now I just need to pack...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Extended Breastfeeding

Since entering the throes of parenthood, the topic of breastfeeding has become extremely important to me. Pregnant with Mason, that was my plan, no ifs, ands, or buts. I was going to breastfeed, and not only that, but my goal was to breastfeed him at least his entire first year.

I've said it before, but breastfeeding is hard, which is difficult to grasp at times, because you would think it would be completely natural.  I mean, isn't that their purpose, to produce nourishment??

As suggested to me by friends, push through the first couple of weeks. It's painful because your body has to adjust, but it can get easier. Thankfully, other than the initial adjustment period, I have not experienced too many problems compared to others. In this post, I discuss this journey of mine, when I hit a tough spot, but we did move past this and I'm proud to say that yes, we have entered the stage termed "extended breastfeeding".
We hit that one year milestone and we just continued on. It was what we knew. Our place of comfort with the additional boost of nourishment. So here we are now. 18 months. Let me share with you how different breastfeeding looks like at this age. Nighttime only, right before bed and maybe once in the early morning hours for only about 10 minutes tops. He's weaning himself which is exactly the path I wanted for us. His main source of nourishment is food and whole milk during the day. It's definitely more of a source of comfort for him I believe, but you know what, it's something that I can provide so I will cherish that. In a world of uncertainty, where parenting is challenging at times, we can take a moment to ourselves, where all is calm and right.
This may be hard for some people to understand, but it's natural for us and I ask that you not judge. Kelly Mom discusses extended breastfeeding and its benefits. I also recommend Kelly Mom for any of your breastfeeding questions. It's an excellent resource.
Next up...Mason's 18 Month Update