Day at the Park

Saturday, September 30, 2006 3 Comments A+ a-

Devyn and I spent the whole day alone. Daddy had to run some errands and work on the family camper, so Devyn and I spent some quality time together. It involved running a few errands of our own, lunch alone, and an hour at the neighborhood playground. We had an absolute blast today!!
Devyn manning the playground steering wheel.

Climbing the stairs on her own; who needs Mommy?!

One of my new favorite photos of Miss Devyn Paige. Doesn't she look happy?!

Devyn before throwing herself down the slide!

Geranimo!! When did she become such a big toddler?!?

Haircut Photos

Saturday, September 30, 2006 8 Comments A+ a-

Mommy and Devyn posing for the camera.
Another photo involving the ever-posing Devyn.
One of Devyn's infamous funny faces. I LOVE this photo!!

Snip, Snip

Friday, September 29, 2006 6 Comments A+ a-

I did something crazy yesterday... I chopped my hair!!

Seriously, I'd been feeling dowdy, low, and downright boring as of late and suddenly I had the brillant idea to visit a beauty salon. Within two hours I was sitting in front of a full-length mirror and my stylist was working her magic. I gave her no parameters, instructions, or ideas. I just told her to do her "thang" and make me sassy! It worked!!

I left with about eight inches gone and a cute, sassy bob that hits me about chin-length. I love it; the family loves it; Devyn didn't even notice; and the look on my husband's face was completely worth it. The look that said who are you, what have you done with my wife, and I want to keep YOU for a while. *Sigh* I feel like a new woman!!

I'll try to post a picture soon.

Much-Needed Zzzzz

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

I’m finally ready to admit it; I’m finally at the point to confess that this pregnancy is kicking my rear end. When I was pregnant with Devyn, the exhaustion and morning sickness only lasted during the first trimester. As vicious as the morning sickness was with Devyn, I was feeling like my old self by week 14 or 15 of that pregnancy. I keep waiting for the relief to show up; I haven’t taken my “magic” anti-nausea pills in weeks, hoping that in faith the nausea will abate; I keep looking for that one day where I feel rejuvenated and refreshed; and it’s just not happening.

I’m still having two to three bad days a week, where I’m leaning over the toilet just begging for relief. And the exhaustion… oh my word, there are no words to describe the utter exhaustion I feel throughout the day, every day. Last night, I handed Devyn to Jon as soon as he came home and told him she was his. I had hit my wall; I needed sleep; I wanted relief; and for the first time, I was begging for help. I don’t even remember laying down or falling asleep but for an hour and a half, I was knocked out. Although I was hoping that the much-needed nap would help, I found myself fairly comatose the rest of the evening and very much in a fog. I felt horrible neglecting Jon and Devyn as I did last night, but as I keep reminding myself, growing a baby is hard work.

When I woke from my nap last night, I laid in bed and felt Hudson moving around. An excited, happy, private smile crossed my lips and I laid my hand across my womb. As he continued his jumping, his kicks, and his summersaults for several minutes, I was reminded in a very clear way that this was all worth it. Yes, it’s hard now and I can’t sugar-coat it at the moment, but feeling his movements and hearing his heart beat remind me about the miraculous things taking place in my body. I know it’s worth it and I’m doing my best to enjoy the pregnancy as much as possible, but if someone wants to make a plea on my behalf for things to calm down a bit, I’d greatly appreciate it!!

Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

Monday, September 25, 2006 10 Comments A+ a-

After the ultrasound on Friday, my friend, Mandy, and I went out to lunch and did a little shopping to celebrate the big news. We wandered from store to store in our local mall; Mandy pulling me towards the little boy section, my instincts pulling me in the opposite direction. At one point in our shopping excursion, Mandy turned to me and said, “Jenn, I think you’re denying the fact that a little boy is on his way; you seem to be steering clear of the boy clothes.” After a moment or two of thought, I discovered that Mandy was right; I WAS steering clear of the boy clothes and not purposefully, but out of complete shock that we…are…having…a…son!

All weekend, I kept turning to Jon at intermittent moments with the exclamation, “We’re having a boy!? Are you sure it’s a boy?! What am I going to do with a boy?!” And little-by-little, realization is sinking in that God has chosen to send us a son.

I know that I’ll catch on (hopefully fast) to boyhood but I gotta admit that I’m a little scared. I feel out a little out of my league and a little frightened at all of the upcoming prospects. I was in Motherhood Maternity over the weekend and saw this package entitled “PeePee TeePees”. They were basically these little cloth-cones that you place over the tiny pee-pee while changing his diapers, to prevent any streams of urine from hitting your face. (You gotta check them out, I'm SOOOO not making them up!) Oh geez… give me hormones, give me hair ties, give me stockings, or even dollies, and I’m in my element. But mention “little streams of urine” and watch me shake!

I’m slowly coming to terms with the idea of a son; Jon and I even went to Target after church yesterday to check out some boy clothes. I found myself actually pausing to touch each sweater vest or khaki pant; I lovingly looked at the blue, baby layette set; and I even allowed myself to pick out a couple of boy outfits. As we left the cash register, I looked at Jon with bright eyes and excitedly said, “We’re having a boy!”

Drumroll, Please!

Friday, September 22, 2006 29 Comments A+ a-

I'm sure you've all been anxiously waiting to hear our news, he he, and I'm very sorry that I haven't gotten here sooner but without further ado, I present to you...
Hudson Jonathan. We are having a boy!!

Now, here's the great story. When the technician was first looking for the sex, the umbilical cord was hanging between the legs and was making it very difficult to find a clear picture. The technician finally pointed to "something" on the screen and typed the word labia, indicating a girl, and then moved on to other parts of the body. For 20 minutes we were thinking that Devyn was going to have a sister and talking about the beauty in not having to buy new clothes. As the ultrasound continued, the technician suddenly gasped and said, "Uh, wait a minute." I just KNEW at that moment she had discovered something else. Sure enough, either the baby moved his hands or the umbilical cord moved and the baby was more than proud to show off the goods. This is the first, AND last time, that I'll be showing my son's parts but here comes the proof.
As you can see from the inscription the technician wrote on the bottom, she was well aware of my dad's situation; father of four girls, zero boys, and grandfather to one granddaughter. He has waited 27 years to have a boy in the family and it has finally arrived!!

As far as the rest of the ultrasound is concerned, everything looks great!! My dates match up exactly; Hudson has 10 fingers and 10 toes; is currently weighing in at 11 ounces; and looks completely healthy. Praise God!!

Now only if someone can wipe the shocked look off my face and/or give me advice on how to raise a son, it would be greatly appreciated. We're having a boy!

With Sincere Thanks

Friday, September 22, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

I am absolutely ecstatic to present to you my new blog design by Susie at Bluebird Blogs! She, as always, has done an amazing job and I am so pleased with my new look. She is currently hosting a free blog design contest on her site and if you’d like some sprucing up, I *highly* suggest you visit her site. She is amazing to work with and is one of the most talented ladies I know.

On a personal note, Susie has become very dear to me as both a fellow blogger and friend. I see a woman full of warmth, compassion, and sincerity; a woman who is unafraid to talk about her convictions and opinions; and someone who whole-heartedly loves the Lord. When I was having a rough time with some unwanted visitors about 6-8 weeks ago and had to pull my original blog, she was one of the first to contact me with her support and encouragement. In her email, she offered to do this blog design for free. She has NO idea how much that meant to me and the offer literally brought me to tears.

So, thank you, Susie, for being such a talented designer, a supportive friend, and for this beautiful design. I’m praying for you and my hope is that God will bring wonderful blessings your way this year!

Pink or Blue?

Thursday, September 21, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

I know that the gender of this baby has been determined since before time; just as I know that God has the birth weight and length all worked out, He knows the hair and eye color already, He knows the number of hairs on his or her head, and this baby's days are already numbered. But even knowing all of this, it does nothing to prevent me from playing every gender-prediction game, nor from starting an online baby pool, just for fun.

It's hard to believe that in less than 32 hours, we're going to know whether a son or daughter is on their way and that knowledge is making me a little heady! Its not that I don't already love this beautiful creation, but being able to know whether its a boy or a girl will go a long way in making that bond, before birth, even stronger. I honestly can't wait for tomorrow's ultrasound! Just for fun, let's see what the old wives tales, the chinese lunar calendar, etc. have to say about what we're having.

Based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, we're supposed to be having a girl. However, it was wrong in the prediction for Devyn; it said she was supposed to be a boy and she most definitely is not!

Based on the Old Wives Tales Gender Prediction, there's a 60% chance that this one is a girl. Of course, this was wrong again; it predicted a 60% chance that Devyn was a boy.

Based on the Old Wives Tale concerning Baby's Heartrate, we're having a girl because her heartrate is above 140 beats per minute. This test proved right for Devyn.

Based on the Needle or Ring Test, we're having a boy because the ring swung in a straight line. This test also proved right for Devyn.

And last, but not least, based on the informal, online baby pool, out of 29 guesses, 16 family and friends feel that we're having a boy.

As you can see, three out of four tests say we're having a girl. But each test has a 50/50 chance of being right; they have nothing to do with science or God but it's so fun to play. Regardless of boy or girl, I'm just praying for a healthy baby and I'll be sure to share the news as soon as I possibly can.

Are you ready...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

...for some football?!? Do you think the family obsesses much?! Here we have 8-day-old Emerson Faith and 22-month-old Devyn Paige both sporting the infamous orange-n-blue colors, from several states away. The funny thing... neither family knew the other had the matching Bronco cheerleader outfits.

Emmie at only 8 days old is already learning the ways of the family. We'd expect nothing less from Ben and Kara!!

Although Devyn doesn't quite understand the cheers and jeers going on, she thinks Daddy is hilarious when he watches his team!

Our little cheerleader, doing her part to cheer on our team.

Recharged and Refreshed

Monday, September 18, 2006 5 Comments A+ a-

I got back from my weekend away yesterday afternoon, eager to see Jon and Devyn, my arms laden with a stuffed monkey and bible story for Devyn, only to find them both fast asleep on the couch! So much for being missed!! =) Seriously, Jon and Devyn had a wonderful weekend alone and obviously a lot of bonding took place between the two. She refused to leave my side for the rest of the day and night, but obviously Daddy did a tremendous job with her.

My weekend away was an incredible experience!! Our speaker was Jennifer Kennedy Dean and although I've never read her book or done her studies, I was bowled over by the wisdom that she shared with us about prayer, the blood of Christ, and crucifying our flesh. Actually, I'm still in the midst of processing everything and don't feel quite ready or able to share everything I've learned. But I was bowled over with the things that she shared and feel quite humbled at the things I learned, despite growing up in a Christian home.

While I'm processing everything, I did want to share one of my favorite posts that I wrote on my original blog. While it didn't happen exactly like this moment, the feelings and emotions were very much the same and the Holy Spirit permeated the whole weekend.

Moments with God
There are moments in my life when I can feel the presence of God and I’m overcome with emotion. Those are the moments that give me strength and peace to continue in my daily life; an affirmation of how God intended us to live this life. Such a moment was granted to me on Wednesday.

I had just come home from work; Nichole Nordeman was playing on the stereo and Devyn and I were alone, sans the dogs. The sun was streaming through the windows and there was such a peaceful feeling in the air. Suddenly, Nichole’s song, “Gratitude”, started playing.


“We’ll give thanks to you with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain”

As I felt the music and the words wash over my soul, I opened my eyes to see my baby girl, swaying and moving to the music. Tears welled in my eyes as I listened to her off-key singing as she did her best to join the music.

“We’ll give thanks to you with gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view
If no roof is overhead
And if we never taste that bread”


As I sat watching the innocence of my daughter, smiling, laughing, and dancing her way through the music; the words were resounding deep in my soul. Suddenly, His presence was all around me, humbling me to my core. Tears streamed down my face as I realized how truly blessed I am; awed at the thought that He calls me Daughter; so very thankful for this moment.

“We’ll give thanks to you with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need”

Weekend Away

Friday, September 15, 2006 5 Comments A+ a-

This weekend I’m heading up to the mountains for a women’s retreat with ladies from my church. I’m very excited to go and anxious to see what God has in store for me this weekend. These retreats always hold little kernels of truth for me and I’m sure some valuable lessons will be taught.

I’m also a bit anxious as well, it’s the first time I’ve been away from Devyn for that long and I really hope that everything goes smoothly. Jon has never been alone with Devyn for this amount of time and in the past has always had my sisters and mom for back-up. Since they’ll be with me in the mountains, I’ve contacted my aunt and she is willing to help in any way she can. Its unfortunate timing as Jon is on-call this weekend and the weather is calling for snow. However, knowing that my aunt is just a phone call away is going a LONG way in putting my mind at ease.

So if you think of it,
please pray for us. One, that I’ll have a wonderful, relaxing, and enjoyable weekend away; that I’ll be able to hear God’s voice and have an open heart to His lessons. And secondly, that Jon and Devyn will have a wonderful, bonding weekend together without any emergencies. See you all on Monday…

This is an actual photo of where we'll be spending the next three days, I can't wait!!

Devyn-isms

Thursday, September 14, 2006 4 Comments A+ a-

Some recent Devyn-isms to share:

  • When asked where Daddy or her doll or the doggy is, her response is now, “I don no” with a shrug of her shoulders.
  • When asked how old she is, Devyn will hold up one, two, or three fingers and say “too-oo”. She’s not yet two but she’s practicing early.
  • After a good time of running, wrestling, spinning, or a tickle war, she reaches her arms up and says “agin, agin”.
  • Devyn often follows me into the bathroom every morning and will point to the medicine cabinet above the toilet. “Teeth” she says and makes a miming motion of brushing her teeth.
  • Walking up to any toddler, child, or baby younger than herself and talking in "baby" tones. Oy vey!
  • After I get off work, we’ll often play outside in the front yard and wait for Daddy to come home. Devyn waves at every car or truck that drives by and says either “Hi” or “Bye-bye” whichever suits her best at that moment.
  • She loves the dog-gies in the home and you can often find her sitting on Haley or sitting next to Zeus. She’ll run across the room, shouting “dog-gie” and plant a BIG kiss on their nose.
  • When asked about Mommy’s baby, she lays her head on my belly and says “ba-bie” or will kiss my growing belly.
  • And last, but certainly not least, my mom recently found Devyn sitting at the bottom of the staircase, her doll wrapped in a blanket, and making newborn crying sounds for the doll. Devyn picked up her doll, patted her back, and “sang” her back to sleep.

Where they learn these things, I just don’t know, but it’s extremely precious indeed.

Congratulations to All!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 0 Comments A+ a-

This “Congratulations” post has been L-O-N-G overdue and I’m so glad to finally get around to posting it. We’ve been inundated with baby news and I’m so happy and thrilled for my friends. First and foremost, my friend Jill announced her pregnancy at the beginning of August. She and her husband experienced a tragic miscarriage earlier this year and she bravely wrote about it on her blog. I admire her ability to put such personal feelings out there and yet, still have hope in God’s plan for her life. Needless to say, we’re absolutely ecstatic for them and the new life they’re bringing into this world.

Secondly, our friends Kristin and Ryan found out that they’re having a baby girl this afternoon. This new baby will be joining big brother, Ty, and we’re so happy for them!!

Thirdly, my sister, Christine, and I went to a shower for her sister-in-law (my friend, long story) over the weekend. It was so fun to watch her open so many pink, frilly clothes for Miss Abigail Mary. It was wonderful to see Shamree and she is absolutely glowing as the pregnant, mom-to-be, she’s so happy.

And now on to the birth announcements…

Chloe Paige joined big sister, Emma, and her parents Sarah and Travis on August 13th. She weighed 8 lbs and was 19 inches long. She is already a month old and is such a doll!

Emerson Faith was born on September 9th (her due date) to parents Ben and Kara. She weighed 7 lbs, 8 ozs, and was 22 inches long. She is absolutely beautiful!

With all of the recent announcements, I thought this might be a good time for a baby roll-call.

November
Shamree and Josh – Expecting a baby girl, baby #1.

January
Jeremy and Cassie – Expecting a baby boy, their 2nd child.
Jeff and Katie – Expecting a surprise, their 3rd child.
Kristin and Ryan – Expecting a girl, their 2nd child.

February
Jon and I – Expecting a surprise (not for long), our 2nd child.
Peter and Rebecca – Expecting a surprise, baby #1.

April
Jeremy and Jill – Expecting a surprise, baby #1.

And last, but certainly not least, look at all of the babies on their way in blog-land.
Ellie, from Cum Grano Salis, is due any day now.
Mary, from Hess Hit Factory, is due in December.
Amy, from Amy, Oh My, is due a week after me.
Joy, from Joy in the Journey, is due in March but has recently said good-bye on her blog.

I just LOVE all the new babies that are here and are currently growing inside their mommies’ tummies. It’s such a beautiful blessing and I’m so happy for everyone. Congratulations to all!!

Motherhood

Sunday, September 10, 2006 3 Comments A+ a-

It's 6:30am on a Sunday morning and I'm awake, in fact, I've been awake since 6:00am. I'm in a reflective mood this morning and that's probably why I'm sitting at the computer instead of trying to go back to sleep. With a new birth in the family (congrats Ben and Kara, pics soon, I hope) and with this little life inside me making his/her presence more known on a daily basis, I'm sure they're part of the reasons I'm reflecting so much on motherhood.

Kara, the new mom, sent me a quick text message last night, a mere nine hours after the birth of her daughter, Emerson Faith, and in it she said, "We are SO in love". I read it aloud to Jon and it started us on a path of reminiscing of our first hours and days with Devyn. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can prepare first-time parents for the onslaught of emotions that overcome you when you're first handed this tiny, crying, squirming bundle called daughter or son. Awe, love, a deep sense of connection (oh, so you're the one that's been residing inside me for the past 9 months!), fear, hope, overwhelming sense of responsibility, and the list goes on.

Devyn's birth happened so fast and under such stressful circumstances, that it didn't hit Jon that he was a Daddy until a couple of hours after she was born. I distinctly remember the exact moment it hit him; he handed this little baby, wrapped in pink, over to his grandfather and the tears just leapt into his eyes. At that moment, I could see that he'd do anything to protect his little girl. It didn't hit me until hours later, tucked into our recovery room around 2:00am. Jon was sleeping on the other bed, we were finally alone, and I sat for hours tracing every wrinkle, every feature with my finger; planted kisses on her cheeks, her head, her nose, her fingers; caressed any bare skin that I could find; and let it sink in that this miracle was mine, for however long God wanted to lend her to me, but until that moment came she was mine.

When we were getting ready to leave the hospital, Devyn made it very well-known that she hated this thing called a car-seat and was extremely vocal in expressing her displeasure in having to use it. Through infant cries, Jon told me to forget it, that I should just hold her in the car so we could travel home in peace and quiet. When his dad admonished him saying, no, what are you crazy, that's when we exchanged a look of pure terror. Suddenly we realized that we were parents and our decisions were responsible for someone else. Oh, what had we gotten ourselves into?!

Motherhood still overwhelms me with all of the emotions that come with it; all of the hopes and fears for her future; the responsibility of shaping her will and spirit; the financial obligations of keeping her warm, fed, and clothed; and continually trying to do my best as her mother. But the rewards are absolutely incredible. The smiles that cross her face when she sees me; the cuddle sessons where she pulls my head in close for kisses or cheek caresses; watching her experience new things and seeing the way her eyes light up when she figures something out; feeling that sense of awe of knowing that Jon and I created her; watching her jump around, run, and dance; being called Daddy (yes, I'm still called Daddy); and watching her try to raise two fingers when asked how old she is even though we're not quite there yet. Yes, motherhood brings a multitude of things and it has been one of the most scary, overwhelming, fufilling, rewarding, and incredible journeys I've ever been on; I'm so thankful that I have been called to such a vocation!

Belly Pics - Take 1

Saturday, September 09, 2006 8 Comments A+ a-

Well, it's time to get out the camera and start chronicling the growing belly of this pregnancy. We didn't start taking pictures of the first pregnancy until about 18 weeks because with the first one, there really wasn't anything to photograph. And while I could have started a lot sooner with this pregnancy, I thought it would be fitting to wait until 18 weeks again. So, for those that are interested, here you are, a comparison of the first and second pregnancy.

Ahhh... Sweet Innocence

Thursday, September 07, 2006 6 Comments A+ a-

To see Devyn love her friend, Emma, whole-heartedly, with complete sincerity, and overwhelming joy is true innocence in all her glory.

Humbled and Blessed

Wednesday, September 06, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

Every once in a while a birthday comes along that just knocks your socks off. It's day filled with reminders of how very blessed you are; humbled by the knowledge that you have such incredible people in your life. Today was such a day! I'm celebrating 27 years of life today and while it's a little hard to admit that I've now entered my late-twenties; family and friends have made it one of my most memorable birthdays.

  • A friend, fresh from having a new baby and her toddler in tow, stopped by my job with a dozen roses and a beautiful card! I can't believe how thoughtful that was!
  • A coworker, a silver-smithing and jewelry enthusiast, made me a beautiful necklace. The pendant says Wife on one side and Mommy on the other, attached to a silver cross. She wanted to encompass everything that was important to me and she did; very meaningful!
  • Devyn and my mom showed up at work during cake time with balloons. There is nothing sweeter than seeing your little girl race across the lobby with a smile on her face and balloons in her hands.
  • Coworkers treating me to a scrumptious meal at the Olive Garden.
  • Numerous emails, e-cards, and messages wishing me a happy birthday from various family and friends.
  • My 85-year-old grandmother calling me at work just to tell me that she hopes my day is special.
I'm sitting here at the computer, overcome by the outpouring of well-wishes, love, and thoughtful gestures. I realize how truly blessed I am by the family, friends, and coworkers that I have in my life. It's days like these that make me take a step back and thank God for the treasures He's put in my life.

And now, I'm going to get ready for a hot date with my husband. He's taking me to PF Chang's and a night without the little one. As much as I love her, time alone with Jon is more than gift enough for me. Happy Birthday to me!!

Post Script: We ended up going to Chili's instead of PF Chang's. Hey, I'm pregnant, I reserve the right to change my mind, right?!

3 Weeks? Already?!

Friday, September 01, 2006 9 Comments A+ a-

I went in for my monthly appointment today and had a great one. I've gained 8 pounds so far in this pregnancy, a far cry from losing 5 pounds by this time during my pregnancy with Devyn. I'm measuring right on track, around the 17-week mark, and the baby's heart rate is in the 140's.

I was happy, content in the knowledge that things seem to be going well. And then the doctor announced that we'll be scheduling the 20-week, full OB ultrasound. I sat a little stunned, wondering how I could possibly be almost half-way through this pregnancy. With Devyn, the time seemed to drag on, each week creeping along slowly. But with this pregnancy, I constantly have to remind myself that I'm still pregnant.

So, there we sat waiting for the nurse to bring in our ultrasound authorization and date of the big day. She handed it over, without ceremony, and the date September 22nd jumped off the page. 3 weeks? Already?! Slowly it sank in... we were going to find out if we're having a son or a daughter in just three weeks. A wide, excited grin spread across my face and I realized what a BIG day we had in front of us, just 21 days away.

And now... you can't wipe the smile off my face!