Introducing...

Monday, December 29, 2008 40 Comments A+ a-

Reagan Jacqueline
Born on December 29th, 2008
at: 6:27am

5 pounds, 10 ounces, 18 inches long

Mom and baby resting and doing well!

Isn't she beautiful!
The cousins, only 15 days apart!Sisters, best friends, and now moms TOGETHER!

Blue or Pink?

Saturday, December 27, 2008 8 Comments A+ a-

The bag is packed and in it are both of the adorable outfits above. I found these on Friday and knew that I had to have them for the coming home outfits. Which do you think we'll need?

As far as the spelling of our girl's name goes, it is still undecided even though 73% of you said you preferred the Reagan spelling. It's still a toss-up between Reagan or Raegan... I know, I know. A new option that was never even listed in the poll.

Stay tuned... We're getting anxious to find out if Baby Trece turns out to be either Gavin Jonathan or Reagan (Raegan) Jacqueline.

Let's Do That Again!

Friday, December 26, 2008 9 Comments A+ a-

Ended up in Labor and Delivery last night. The circumstances involved weird bodily fluid leakage that needed to be checked out; it turned out to be nothing but then my body decided to start having contractions every 2-3 minutes for three hours straight. Man, those hurt! But after the lights were turned out and I was able to relax, the contractions stopped too. Whew! I am so NOT ready to have this baby yet... as evidenced by the fact that Jon was frantically throwing stuff into a bag last night on our way out the door.

Yes... the bag is getting packed TONIGHT and will remain in our car until the big moment arrives.

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The biggest reason I'm not ready to have this child is that my mom is currently in the hospital and will remain there during the next 4-5 days to continue receiving treatments for Gillian-Barre.

About three weeks ago, Mom started losing sensations in her legs. The numbness and tingling turned into paralysis and pretty soon, my 50-year-old mother was bound to a wheelchair. Needless to say, we were more than concerned and quite anxious to get to the root of the problem. During this time, being the nurse that she is, Mom self-disagnosed herself with Gillian-Barre and while the nuerologist agreed at first, the prognosis then when to something called Cervical and Lumbar Plexitis.

It was, and still is, one of the most stressful situations we've faced. Especially as Courtney faced the idea that Mom might not make it to the wedding. However, we made it through the big day, Mom was able to enjoy herself, although not as fully as she would have if she weren't confined to a wheelchair and we were so thankful for her presence.

Then Christmas Eve arrived and with it, some new symptoms that concerned the nuerologist who demanded that she come to the hospital. Mom was admitted and a spinal tap was performed, taking 4 vials of spinal fluid. The test results from that fluid did indeed confirm Guillan-Barre and Mom is currently receiving infusions (not transfusions) of immunoglobins.

From what I understand of the disease (and I understand very little), a simple virus (a cold, flu, or even an innoculation) can get into the nervous system and start attacking your nerves, which is what caused Mom's paralysis. The new immunoglobins are being introduced to her system to start fighting off the bad stuff and the doctors are confident that she is already starting to regain some strength in her feet. Whoo hooo! After the infusions are complete, we may be looking at another 3-4 weeks in a rehab hospital or nursing home so Mom can have physical and occupational therapy to regain strength and muscle tone in her legs.

Quick Timeline:
Late November/Early December: Mom starts experiencing symptoms from Gillian-Barre and worsens with each passing week.
December 14th: Christine's water broke and is admitted to the hospital at 9.5 cm, is given an epidural to slow things down a little, she pushes for an hour, and ends up with an emergency c-section. But we have beautiful Elliana Faith to show for all that hard work.
December 20th: Rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
December 21st: Courtney and Jeremy's Wedding Day and all that entails.
December 24th: Mom is admitted to the hospital.
December 25th @ 10:00am: We receive an official prognosis of Gillian-Barre for Mom. Relief and optimism as we finally have an answer and a treatment plan. No more unknowns!
December 25th @ 10:00pm: I'm lying in a room on the Labor and Delivery floor, one floor below Mom, and breathing through contractions.
December 26th @ 3:00am: Jon and I climb into bed and pass out!

Whew! It's been an exciting (almost) two weeks. And we've decided that it couldn't hurt to ask the hospital if they'll offer us a family discount.

A Momentous Day

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 5 Comments A+ a-

Oh my… It was an incredibly special day. And at the end of it, all that mattered was that Courtney married her best friend and became a Mrs.
Some wonderful memories were made. We all woke up at my parents house and trooped downstairs to talk about the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. We laughed, we swapped stories, and we all agreed that it was a successful evening. We got ready and headed to the beauty salon where the bride, the mother-of-the-bride, and all the bridesmaids took turns getting their hair done. Aunt Debbie showed up with a Starbucks drink for all of us, and we all giggled at Devyn’s antics, even when I was supposed to be chastising her for sneaking sips of my coffee drink.
Then it was off to the church to finish getting ready, to put on dresses and makeup, watch the “First Look” between bride and groom, and be ordered to different poses and settings for wedding pictures. Those two hours flew by and before we knew it, the ceremony was about to begin. Devyn and Hudson did an amazing job, both making it down the aisle with little coaxing. Once at the front, Hudson threw the ring pillow down like he was spiking the football and then ran to Jeremy with arms up, begging to be picked up. It was the perfect introduction for Uncle Jeremy. Devyn made it to the front with the rest of the bridesmaids but halfway through the opening prayer, told me she was going to sit down and proceeded to sit with Uncle Brock and his girlfriend, Holly, for the rest of the ceremony.
A quick ride on the Limo Bus to the hotel and the party was in full swing. After a delicious dinner, meaningful toasts, the cake cutting, and appropriate dances, the dance floor never emptied. And my two little dancers never left the dance floor once! Oh, those two… they danced their little hearts out. At one point, Hudson had a circle around him as he got down to “Bringing Sexy Back”. Oh my, I have a heartbreaker on my hands!
Side note: My friend, Mandy, came up to me to relay a story that just leaves me in awe of my little girl. Mandy had gone up to Devyn to tell her what a beautiful flower girl she was and how pretty her dress was. After saying thank-you, Devyn pointed to her three-year-old cousin (second cousin? first cousin, once removed?) and said, “Look at her, isn’t her dress beautiful too?” And my heart melted. There are some things that parents just can’t teach and this is one of them. I am in awe of the gracious, loving, and sweet spirit that is my daughter; is it weird that I want to be more like her?
It was a day to remember and I’m so thankful that we were ALL able to be part of it. Christine was there, with her husband and seven-day-old daughter, and Mom was there too. (I have yet to relay what is going on with my mom and I hope to have a post on here soon.) But despite the fears and anxieties of the past weeks, it was a day to celebrate the arrival of a new brother-in-law and the birth of a new family as Courtney and Jeremy became one. It was a momentous day indeed!

My View of the Day

Friday, December 19, 2008 3 Comments A+ a-


This is what I get to stare at all day while her mommy and daddy take a much-deserved rest! Isn't she beautiful?! And I love that her cousin, the unborn cousin, keeps kicking her because she's crowding his/her space. Too funny!

Courtney Nicole

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 3 Comments A+ a-

It was Christmas of 1985 and all the presents under the tree had been unwrapped, except for one. It was the last gift of the morning and we all held our breath as we waited to see who it was for. The box, very light in weight, was handed to Dad and he opened the present to find a poem typed on a piece of paper. And in that poem, that fateful Christmas morning, Dad, Christine, Allison, and I learned of Mom’s pregnancy with daughter #4, Courtney Nicole.

I was six years old for that announcement and I remember a lot of that pregnancy pretty vividly. During one OB appointment, I scalded myself with boiling water in the waiting room and suffered 2nd degree burns. I remember Mom running out of her exam room to hold me while the nurses tended to my burns. I remember the night that Dad gently shook me awake in my top bunk to inform me that Mom’s water had broken and it was time to go to the hospital. I remember the phone call the following morning to find out that it was another girl. I remember the baby going unnamed for three days as we tried out various different ones to see which fit best, only to settle on the name Courtney. I remember Courtney coming home in a light pink outfit, with pink rosebuds all over it. And our little team, our claim to fame as the four sisters, was complete.

Now that baby girl is all grown up, degree in hand, a new job in a new city, and getting ready to marry her high school sweetheart in just five days. I know there will be numerous tissues in hand as I watch them exchange their vows, no doubt remembering the journey of bringing her home to toddler to tomboy to all-knowing teenager to the amazing woman she has become. All while resting peacefully in the knowledge that she has picked a wonderful man who will encourage her and support her in the years ahead. And if anyone can tell Courtney when she’s wrong, Jeremy can. She and I both need that good kick in the rear from time to time, and only Jeremy and Jon seem to be the ones who can get through to us.

I love you Baby Sister, and I’m so looking forward to your special day!!

Meeting Miss Elliana

Monday, December 15, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

Quite enamored with the newest addition.

Sharing a joke between cousins!

One of my new favorite pictures... the cousins!

We stopped by the hospital for about an hour this morning to introduce Elliana to her older cousins. Devyn is quite in love with the newest addition, constantly wanting to hold her, touch her, or kiss her. In fact, she didn't want to leave. Hudson is just curious, having to be told "gentle" and "soft" on numerous occasions. He likes to poke, what can I say?! Holding Elliana and chasing down Hudson and Devyn gave me a small idea of what I have to look forward to in just a few weeks.

Mommy is doing well, she is sore, tired, and a bit overwhelmed. They had five hospital staff visits during the one hour that we were there. I'm sure a good rest will go a long way in helping Christine. Please pray for Christine and healing from the c-section, and that Elliana will get the hang of breast-feeding. Thanks everyone for your well-wishes and prayers! They are greatly appreciated!

Presenting...

Sunday, December 14, 2008 16 Comments A+ a-

... 5 pounds and 15 ounces of pure deliciousness. Elliana Faith arrived a little after 1:00pm, after an emergency c-section. Christine's water broke about 7:45am, dilated from 5cm to 10cm in an hour, but unfortunately, her hips did not allow for a vaginal birth. Everyone is doing well and I'm quite anxious to get inside the room and hold my beautiful baby niece. Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

I'm feeling sentimental and gooey.

Friday, December 12, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

There is no Elliana news to report. Christine and her doctor are having a discussion this afternoon about options but we are preparing ourselves for a wait.

I’m finding that preparations for the third child are more relaxed, both physically and emotionally, than the first two children. I’m four weeks out from my due date and I have yet to pack a bag for the hospital, or buy coming-home outfits, or wash and set-up the bouncer, bassinet, or baby swing. All of these things were done months before the due dates of both Hudson and Devyn. And unlike my other two pregnancies, I’m not counting down days until the due, or waiting impatiently.

I’m sure part of the reason is the time of year and all that we having going on right now; but I think a bigger part of it is that I feel like I know what to expect. There doesn’t seem to be this need to hurry up and wait. Instead, I find that I’m trying to relish the time I have left in the pregnancy, both with unborn child and these last few weeks with Devyn and Hudson as a twosome.

For anyone that knows me, or has been reading this blog for a while, know that I’m an emotional, sentimental, and feeling woman. Rarely do I approach things from a logical, list-making, black and white, perspective. My emotions lead in almost everything I do, in almost every decision I make, and this is both a good and bad thing. These next few weeks are sentimental ones for sure, for many reasons. But the one that’s foremost on my mind is that life as I know it right now, is about to change.

Hudson, my little man, my Bobo, my cuddler, my all-boy, full-speed, tiny bundle of energy, is currently the baby. This is the same boy that runs circles around our house for an hour, is up and down in the blink of an eye, is constantly taking anything resembling a bat and ball and hitting it, and yet at the first inclination of being tired or sleepy, crawls into my arms. It is simply divine. He is about to become the middle child, and has no idea how his world is about to change. I wonder how he’ll adjust to no longer being the baby; I wonder how he’ll adjust when Baby Trece is nursing or sleeping or cuddling with mom or dad; I wonder about his acceptance of a new person in the house.

I don’t have any doubts about Devyn. We’ve already transitioned to big sister and it’s a role that she flourishes in. In fact, there are times that I truly believe she’s a better mother than I am. She is quick to help Hudson with anything he needs; the first to kiss a scrape; and I can’t help but smile every time she runs up to say hi to Baby Trece, or to kiss my belly. She is quick to whisper sorry to Baby Trece if my belly is bumped and constantly mothers ME as I settle in for the night, sore from the extra weight on my bones and muscles. She tells me to lay down, to rest, and grabs a pillow and blanket to tuck me in. Yes, I have no doubts that Devyn will adjust seamlessly to the new one.

And Baby Trece, oh my sweet, sweet child. The one that is constantly moving within me, poking and prodding, turning and kicking, not to mention how often you try to insert your feet up under my ribs. I’m getting most anxious to meet you, to hold you, to kiss your tiny fingers and toes. I’m anxious to know if we’re adding another son or daughter to our lives. While I didn’t appreciate your daddy’s desire to wait to find out the gender at the time, I find that this has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of all three pregnancies. The not-knowing, the unknown, has been a sweet distraction and I constantly wonder what new dynamics you’ll bring to the family. You’ll be here before we know it and I’m so looking forward to that day!

My trio, my beautiful, wonderful trio of children. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for the wonderful blessings you are and the number of ways I’m becoming a better person because of you. My wish for all of you is that you will grow close and your relationships will become strong, for you are tied together in a way that no one will ever be able to replicate. I pray that you’ll be each other’s biggest fans, strongest defenders, and greatest encouragers; for this is probably the best gift your daddy and I will ever give you, the gift of siblinghood.

In the mean time, I’m slowing down, as if to stop time. This is more than likely the last time I will be pregnant and despite the aches and pains that accompany the last weeks, I want to cherish what it feels like to have life growing inside me. I want to focus on Devyn and Hudson and lavish as much attention as I can before their world is flipped. I want to soak in the sights and sounds of this season, especially as our extended family adds three more members to it in the form of two new babies and a new brother-in-law. This is most definitely a reflective, sentimental time for this mama.

And yes, I intend to pack that bag very, very soon.

Quick Snippets

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5 Comments A+ a-

While running wedding errands last weekend, I jokingly told Christine, “Wow, you’re bossy today!”

And then a tiny, pipsqueak of a voice chimed from the backseat, “You’re bossy too, Mommy.” Thank you, my daughter.

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Do you think it’s possible to consider something that is cold, metal, and has wheels as a comfort item? Hudson has recently discovered cars and must go to bed with a matchbox car in each hand. Not only that, he wakes up with a matchbox car in each hand too. Such a boy!

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While the kids always go to sleep in their own beds each night, there are times that they still end up in our bed by morning. Devyn has suddenly adopted the foot of the bed as her own space and this morning was no exception. Daddy was a little surprised this morning when he turned on the light and saw both my feet and Devyn’s head peeking out from the covers.

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30 days until Baby Trece’s due date…
15 days until we celebrate the birth of our Lord…
11 days (and counting) until Courtney’s wedding…
7 days until out-of-state relatives and friends start arriving…
5 days until Christine is past her due date…
1 day until my next OB appointment…

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And we still haven’t decorated yet; our poor children are so deprived this year. But I am happy to report that at least we’re done Christmas shopping.

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When disciplining Devyn earlier this week, she put hands on her hip and informed me that, “Mommy, Daddy is the boss.” While biting the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing, I was more than happy to remind her that when Daddy wasn’t around, I was the boss.

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Hudson has developed a habit from watching his daddy and continually leans back in his chair at the dinner table. Despite repeated warnings and cheeky smiles in return, we decided that perhaps a natural consequence was needed. Sure enough, Hudson tipped so far back in his chair that he fell over and needless to say, a lesson was learned that night.

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The best sound at night is listening to the delighted laughter of our children playing together; the two of them are now inseparable and the best of friends. It won't always be like this but I'm soaking it in while I can.

The Correct Perspective

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10 Comments A+ a-

There are times that fear, and doubt, definitely get the better of me. When those times arise, I can hear the lies being thrown at me and I realize that this is NOT what trust looks like. Even while my head realizes that I’m buying into the lies, my heart has a hard time accepting it.

Early this morning, around 4:00am again, I laid in bed wide-awake for over an hour as I obsessed and mulled over the fact that my income is being cut in half very, very soon. “What am I thinking?” I wondered. “How can we possibly make this work?” And yet, even in the midst of these thoughts, I could sense the Truth, begging to be heard over the lies running through my mind.

I know, KNOW, this is the right thing for us! This has been something we’ve worked towards since Devyn was born. We know that this was our only decision when presented with the options of full-time or 20 hours per week. There’s not a doubt in my mind that the right decision was made. Yet as I tearfully talked to Jon about it this morning, the thought of lost income was overwhelming.

My sister, Christine, is facing much of the same fears as I, but as always she is the most trusting and faithful sister. Everything about her demeanor, her countenance, shows an unwavering faith that God will provide for their needs. Even if the budget looks undoable on paper, she is trusting that it will all work. And then she said something to me this morning that put everything back into perspective.

“Jenn, we will never get these years back.”

And she’s so right! My children may not get to have all of the opportunities that other kids get, but they will have more of their mama. And I will get to have more of these years with them. I’ve already missed out on four years of Devyn’s life, and there is only a year and a half left before I bundle her off to kindergarten every day. I intend to make the most of that time!

I’m sure the doubts and lies will continue to sneak in from time to time, after all, that is our enemy’s choice way of doing battle, isn’t it?! But I will do my best to continue to trust God for our needs. Not to mention, that it will be good for me to remember true needs vs. wants. And I’m especially thankful for a husband and sister who are willing to offer support and encouragement during my moments of doubt.

Trying to Surrender

Sunday, December 07, 2008 6 Comments A+ a-

You would think that after everything that has happened this year that I would have learned a lesson or two about trusting God and His timing for everything. But once again I find myself having to "relearn" those same lessons.

Courtney’s wedding is coming fast, very fast. In two very short weeks, we’ll be primping and getting ready to walk down the aisle and watch Courtney and Jeremy exchange vows. These last weeks include last minute alterations on dresses, hair and nail appointments, preparing for out-of-state relatives and friends, holiday shopping, and last, but certainly not least, the arrival of a little baby girl, Miss Elliana Faith.

With the dawning of each new day and Christine has not yet gone into labor, is another day that brings a stressor to the family. We’ve known this whole time that Christine’s due date was five days before the wedding and it was cutting it close; we’ve just always assumed that Elliana would be here by now. Each day Christine gets a little more miserable as she continues to contract but stays dilated at 3cm. Each day Courtney wonders and worries whether or not her sister, and soloist, will be at her wedding. This is downright inconvenient, we bemoan. Doesn’t God know what’s at stake here?!

And then there’s the little one that I’m carrying. After having two children already, I thought there were few surprises in store for this mama. And yet, this pregnancy has brought nothing but surprises. On Friday morning, Jon rolled over in bed and whispered that I should probably pack a bag for the hospital. I smiled my knowing smile and said there was no hurry; this little one isn’t arriving until after January 1st. Jon gently reminded me that my plans aren’t always God’s plans. I hmpffed and rolled out of bed.

Sure enough at my doctor appointment that afternoon, I learned that Jon may be right. With both Devyn and Hudson I always measured two weeks behind; I was often sent in for ultrasounds to make sure they were growing ok and they always were, just small babies from a small mama. However, with this pregnancy, not only have I not once measured behind, I’m actually measuring two weeks ahead! I have my reasons for wanting to wait until January 1st, one of which is that I want Courtney at the birth and they don’t return from their honeymoon until then. But as Jon said, God may have other plans.

I’m trying, really trying, to surrender my plans for Baby Trece, and our family’s plans for Baby Elliana. I don’t know the whos, whats, or whens for these situations and I need to be comfortable with the unknown. I’m surrendering my need to know and plan out each detail. I’m surrendering the idea that I know what’s best and when the timing should happen for both. I’m surrendering to the fact that no matter what happens in the coming weeks, none of it is a surprise to Him and I can trust that His plan is best.

But it doesn’t hurt to continue to pray for the earlier arrival of Miss Elliana Faith and the later arrival of Baby Trece. After all, a girl can still hope, right?!

First Snow Storm

Thursday, December 04, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

While Daddy is putting in 12- and 16-hour days right now, Devyn and Hudson are enjoying the first real snow storm of the season.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 01, 2008 6 Comments A+ a-

With Thanks - Day 30

Sunday, November 30, 2008 0 Comments A+ a-

Well, my 30 days of thankfulness have come to an end and I have really enjoyed this little project. It forced me to look beyond the circumstances happening right now. It forced me to stop and wonder if there was something, anything, that I could be thankful for later in those same circumstances. Some days were easy, others were incredibly hard. But in the end, I think I have a new-found appreciation for at least trying to see the good in everything.

With Thanks - Day 29

Sunday, November 30, 2008 4 Comments A+ a-

Day #29: I am always thankful for new life, be it in the form of pregnancy or adoption. New life is such an amazing gift, a renewed hope. And especially thankful to be sharing this time with my sister, Christine, and my cousin, Colette. Here we are: Christine at 37 weeks pregnant, I at 33 weeks pregnant, and Colette at 26 weeks pregnant.

With Thanks - Days 25-28

Friday, November 28, 2008 1 Comments A+ a-

Day #25: The sounds of Jon and Hudson playing cars together on the floor. The clashing metal, the low sound of Jon's voice, followed quickly by a toddler-esque giggle. Such sweet, simple evenings.

Day #26: Devyn's excitement over one of her birthday gifts. My friend, Mandy, knowing Devyn's love of butterflies, bought her the most perfect gift. About five larvae arrived on our doorstep and we have watched them grow and move for the past week. There are now two crystallise hanging from the top and the other three are currently forming their cocoons. Devyn is so excited over watching the transformation from larvae to caterpillar to butterfly. (And truth be told, Daddy and I are having fun too.)

Day #27: My great-grandmother died when I was 18 years old, during my senior year of high school. That was 18 Christmases, Thanksgivings, Easters, and numerous other visits with a wonderful, wise woman. Each Christmas Grammie would make her infamous chex mix and it has quickly become a favorite in this house too. Just the smells of the roasting mix coming from the oven brings back so many memories!

Day #28: Receiving a phone call from one of my dear high school friends and being told that she's pregnant with their first child. Oh, I did a happy dance right there in my kitchen and longed to be where she was for a celebratory hug! I'm going to be an auntie again come July. So many blessings this year!

With Thanks - Day 24

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 3 Comments A+ a-

Day #24: I love unexpected movie nights! I mean those nights when there's an impromptu phone call or text message asking a sister if they want to come over and hang out. Jon sent a text message to Christine and Caleb tonight, asking if they wanted to come over. To our surprise and delight, they said yes and we just finished Stars Wars: Episode III.

This is just one of the many blessings of having family so close; I hope I never take it for granted!

With Thanks - Day 23

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 6 Comments A+ a-

Day #23: It’s happening; it’s really happening! I have been dreaming of this since they first laid that beautiful baby girl in my arms, the day that I could start working part-time. And that time is finally here!

We finished our interviews yesterday, discussed the candidates, made our choice, and offered the other part-time position to a wonderful lady. She is a mother who only wants to work part-time too. She brings some great skills to the position and will be such a great balance to me with her attention to detail and organizational skills. She happily accepted our offer and starts in two weeks.

I was given my reclassification papers this morning, showing my voluntary demotion and detailing my new work schedule once I return from maternity leave. I can only imagine what its going to be like to head to work for two and a half days a week! There is so much to be thankful for this year and this new part-time schedule ranks high on the list. I’m so thankful that God provided a way, both through Jon’s promotion last year and a willing supervisor, for me to be home with our babies more.

With Thanks - Day 22

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

Day #22: No words necessary.

With Thanks - Day 21

Monday, November 24, 2008 4 Comments A+ a-

Day #21: I am so very thankful for the new Macaroni Grill Box Dinners; they are making our evenings so much easier! Now those who know me know that I hate to cook; I abhor cooking! Don’t get me wrong, give me a recipe and I can follow it, but it’s not an enjoyable task. (Now baking on the other hand, I love to do.) We have tried the Creamy Basil and the Chicken Marsala dinners and both are incredibly delicious, easy to make, and a huge time-saver. I’m thankful for anything that makes life a little easier.

With Thanks - Day 20

Sunday, November 23, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

As excited as I am about the fast-approaching Christmas season, fear not, I'm still taking stock every day of things that I am thankful for. Even today, I asked Devyn what she was thankful for and she replied exuberantly, "My friends and my house. And all my toys!" It made my heart happy.

Day #20: This morning I went to the store to pick up some much-needed diapers for Hudson. I think we were down to about two or three diapers. As I perused the aisle of diapers, looking at the different types, brands, and sizes, my eyes fell on the yellow package of Pampers Swaddlers. I laid my hand on my growing tummy and smiled as I thought about how soon Baby Trece would be with us and using those very diapers.

Before I could change my mind, I tossed a package into the cart, next to the size 3 diapers that Hudson is currently wearing. When I got home, I opened Hudson's diapers first and placed them in the basket. I then opened the Pampers Swaddlers package to put those away and the sweet smell of newborn Pampers diapers filled my senses. There is nothing that says "new baby" than those diapers. I am so thankful for little reminders like these that a baby will soon be a part of this household again.

I couldn't help myself!

Saturday, November 22, 2008 11 Comments A+ a-

I've been teaching myself how to design my own layouts and I've been working on a Christmas design for a couple of weeks now. I was hoping to wait until after Thanksgiving to debut it, but I'm just getting so excited for this Christmas season. We have much to look forward to:
  • My long-awaited niece will be making her arrival.
  • Company in the form of many friends and family.
  • My sister, Courtney, is marrying her high school sweetheart.
  • One of the best celebrations of the year... the birth of our Lord.
  • And soon after that, the arrival of Baby Trece.

In celebration of all that, I think it's time to start decking the halls!

With Thanks - Day 19

Friday, November 21, 2008 0 Comments A+ a-

Day #19: It is just after 5:00pm on a Friday evening and I’m locking up the office. It has been a L-O-N-G week, filled with sick kids, a sick husband, a sore throat myself, and two grueling days of interviews. Interviews, you ask? Yes, I am happy to report that we have just completed over half of the interviews for the other part-time person that will do a job share with me once maternity leave is over.

Suffice it to say that I’m drained and tired, and so very thankful it’s Friday. Now it’s off to the bridal shop to try on Devyn’s flower girl dress and my bridesmaid dress. I just know I’m going to look like a big, round cranberry the night of Courtney’s wedding. But who cares… TGIF!

With Thanks - Day 18

Thursday, November 20, 2008 3 Comments A+ a-

Day #18: For seven months out of the year, Jon and I leave for work about the same time; he usually leaves about ten minutes before the kids and I do. (Of course, this will be changing after maternity leave and I start working only two and a half days a week. Whoo hoo!) Anyway, after almost seven years of marriage, it still never ceases to amaze me how great Jon is at anticipating my needs before I do. There is rarely a time, unless Jon is really running behind, that I go out to the garage and my car is not already started and getting warmed up for us.

I am so thankful for a husband that does so many little things for me; be it a Pepsi waiting in the beverage holder, a warm car, or coming out of the gas station with my favorite candy bar.

With Thanks - Every Day

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 12 Comments A+ a-

by: alison mcghee

One day I counted your fingers and kissed each one.

One day the first snowflakes fell, and I held you up and watched them melt on your baby skin.

One day we crossed the street, and you held my hand tight.

Then you were my baby, and now you are my child.

Sometimes, when you sleep, I watch you dream. And I dream too...

That someday you will dive into the cool, clear water of a lake.

Someday you will walk into a deep wood.

Someday your eyes will be filled with a joy so deep that they shine.

Someday you will run so fast and so far your heart will feel like fire.

Someday you will swing high - so high, higher than you ever dared to swing.

Someday you will hear something so sad that you will fold up with sorrow.

Someday you will call a song to the wind, and the wind will carry your song away.

Someday I will stand on this porch and watch your arms waving to me until I can no longer see you.

Someday you will look at this houses and wonder how something that feels so big can look so small.

Someday you will feel a small weight against your strong back.

Someday I will watch you brushing your child's hair.

Someday, a long time from now, your own hair will glow silver in the sun.

And when that day comes, love, you will remember me.

Happy Birthday, My Devyn Paige. You have no idea how many ways, how deeply you have touched my life. Every day that I get to mother you on this earth is a blessing and I consider myself so lucky to have you as a daughter. I thank God for you every day. May this next year be another year of blossoming for you. All my love, Mommy

With Thanks - Day 16

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 1 Comments A+ a-

Day #16: Guess what I’m wearing today? Short sleeves and sandals! I’ve had the air conditioning going on my errands and its November 18th in Colorado folks! Yes, we broke new records today as we experienced an unseasonably warm day. This is one of the greatest things about living here, the ever-changing weather and seasons. There’s an old saying that goes, “You don’t like the weather here in Colorado? Just wait 10 minutes and it’ll change.” And it’s usually a pretty accurate description.

I love this state most of the time (ask me again in the middle of a blizzard in March), but today I am especially thankful to have grown up, and raise my own children, in such an amazingly gorgeous place.

With Thanks - Day 15

Monday, November 17, 2008 1 Comments A+ a-

Day #15: Last night we celebrated Devyn’s upcoming 4th birthday at a popular pizza place and I was overwhelmed, but not in the way that you think…

I was overwhelmed by the amount of people in our lives, in Devyn’s life, that love us, that love her, and who wanted to celebrate with us. We are truly blessed with amazing family and friends. We had aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins, and friends all packed into one whole row at the pizza place. I am so very thankful for the people that we get to call family and friends. You are all amazing and hold such a special place in our hearts.

With Thanks - Day 14

Sunday, November 16, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Day #14: When I've had a bad day, I am so thankful for God's promise that each dawn bring a new day and a fresh start. For the days when my patience is low; for the days when my temper is short; for the days that I'm consumed with to-do list and don't stop to play with my children; I rely heavily on this verse. There is such peace knowing that I can start over the next morning...

With Thanks - Days 12 and 13

Friday, November 14, 2008 8 Comments A+ a-

Days 12 and 13: With everything that has been going on in our family these past two weeks, there is one person that has remained a constant for all of us. In the past week and a half, our family has gone through the following crises/changes:
  • Dad was admitted to the hospital for a five-day stay. He is now home, resting and recuperating.
  • My sister, Allison, broke up with her boyfriend of almost three years.
  • I was mothered through a virus yesterday, where I wasn’t able to keep anything down.
  • My grandmother, my mom’s mom, was admitted to the hospital last night for high blood pressure.
  • And then the pièce de résistance, Christine was admitted to the same hospital last night to find the cause of an infection and, if needed, induce labor. We are happy to report, after a long night of tests, that Christine is fine, Elliana is still baking, and Christine will be released soon.

Throughout it all, my mom has been the strong pillar for all of us. Steady, unwavering, and a rock. I am so thankful for my mom, without whom I have no idea how our family would function!

With Thanks - Day 11

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-


Day #11: I’m thankful for checklists, if for nothing else, then for the mere fact that it feels oh-so-good to actually check things off my checklist. See below:
  • Call insurance company and clarify claims issue… check.
  • Order Devyn’s birthday cake for Sunday’s party… check.
    (Side note: My beautiful, sweet little girl asked for a butterfly cake with ladybugs and spiders. I happily delivered… minus the spiders.)
  • Pay two bills… check.
  • Catch-up on laundry, including folding and putting away… check.

It’s been a productive morning! Check.

With Thanks - Day 10

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 0 Comments A+ a-

Day #10: This weekend I went through 8 boxes of baby clothes! (Seriously? 8 boxes?! Seems a little ridiculous to me!) I was able to sort through everything gender-specific and came out with a enough unisex stuff to last us a little while. At least until I can start washing boy or girl clothes upon Baby Trece's arrival. I had Jon come home with Dreft to start washing the baby clothes and oh my, I am so thankful for the scent of that detergent. It is downright heavenly and reminds me of newborn smell. I even washed some of Devyn and Hudson's pajamas in it. =)

With Thanks - Day 9

Monday, November 10, 2008 3 Comments A+ a-

Taken on our honeymoon in June 2002.

Day #9: As we were going through boxes this weekend, trying our best to organize everything and start marking things off our to-do list, we came upon old photos. Photos from our wedding, photos from our honeymoon, photos from our dating years. Jon has kept every card, note, or letter I've written him during our 11-year relationship. We even have our very first "marriage license" from the Sadie Hawkins dance we went to during my senior year of high school; dated November 22, 1997. So very cool, and weird at the same time. I'm so thankful for old pictures, old memorabilia, and those trips down memory lane. (And yes, I know that I snagged a good one! He's simply the best!)

With Thanks - Days 6, 7, 8

Sunday, November 09, 2008 1 Comments A+ a-

Forgive me... I'm a bit behind.


Day #6: I'm thankful for family nights out. We took Devyn and Hudson bowling on Friday night and had a blast. It was Hudson's first time bowling and he took to it like a fish to water. I hadn't even had a chance to put my bowling shoes on, when Hudson had taken an 8-pound ball and tried throwing it down the alley himself. He decided to follow the ball and was halfway down the lane before I caught up to him. He and Devyn even bowled a spare together. We had a blast!


Day #7: Devyn was spending the night with Nana and Papa, Hudson had gone down for an early night, and that left Jon and I alone for the evening. We turned on Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and cuddled on the couch. It was reminiscent of our high school dates! I am so thankful for alone time with Jon, even if it is just watching a video at home.

Day #8: I laid in bed this morning, trying to will Hudson back to sleep, when I felt the familiar rhythmic motions of in-utero hiccups. I smiled to myself as Baby Trece stretched and kicked, showing his/her annoyance being unable to stop them. As the mom, I just thoroughly enjoyed watching my belly move from the stretches, kicks, and hiccups. I am so thankful to be pregnant, enjoying this time with the baby, sharing our secrets of hiccups, movements, and poking games.

My Freak Out

Friday, November 07, 2008 9 Comments A+ a-

Did you know that I’m pregnant with our third child?! That we’re having a baby?! And you didn’t bother to mention this to me?

“Now, Ms. So-So, here are your next two appointments. After that, the midwives would like to see you every week,” the scheduling lady told me. “We’ll schedule those next time you’re here. See you in two weeks.”

I’m having a baby…

“Jenn, would you like some help getting ready for the baby?” my mom asked. “You need to decide where to put another dresser, have you started going through baby clothes yet…”

Oh crap, I’m having a baby…

“When are you due?” asked a random employee dropping off paperwork. “Wow! That’s just around the corner!”

Oh my word, I’m REALLY having a baby…

And there I sat, across from Jon, enjoying a quick lunch-date at Wendy’s. As I listed all the things that we have to do between now and Baby Trece’s arrival, I felt the tears well up and I cried into my salted fries. I am suddenly very aware that there is only nine weeks between now and our due date… I have not done a SINGLE thing to prepare for his/her arrival.

There are newborn clothes to be sorted, washed, and put away; newborn blankets to folded and ready for use; perhaps we should start stocking up on newborn diapers; and I have yet to even go through Devyn and Hudson’s summer clothes.

Usually I am ahead of the game, so prepared in every way, that I usually find myself twiddling my thumbs as the pregnancy draws to a close. Yet I always seem to be two steps behind with pregnancy #3. It wasn’t until I was 20 to 24 weeks pregnant that it even started to sink in that there was a life growing inside me; it wasn’t until Baby Trece was constantly moving that I really started getting excited to meet this new little person; and now at almost-31-weeks, I’m realizing that Baby Trece IS going to come out and I should probably start preparing for his/her arrival.

We had a great appointment today; no extra weight gain since two weeks ago, baby’s heartrate continues to stay in the 140-range, and he/she is measuring right on track. Hang on, folks, we’re having a baby!

With Thanks - Day 5

Thursday, November 06, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

Day #5: I absolutely love my children! The things they do and say keep me in stitches most of the time that we’re together. Some priceless things that have been said, or done, in days past:

  • “Mama, your toilet is too gross. I’m going to throw-up in my toilet.” Devyn, running from our master bathroom to the hallway bathroom. (And yes, my toilet probably is THAT gross.)
  • Hudson has decided he no longer likes diapers and constantly pulls at them; it is now commonplace to see a tiny plumber-crack on our 21-month-old.
  • As I was buckling a screaming Hudson in his car seat, Devyn ran up with the toy that was causing the tantrum. As she handed it to Hudson, she turned to me, “I’m a good big sister.”
  • We have a Christian kids worship CD in the van and listen to it on a daily basis. Devyn has all the songs memorized; her favorite is track #9, she calls it “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Even Hudson sings and dances along; this morning he actually sang “La, La, La, La” to track #6.

I am SO thankful to have these beautiful babes and my husband to help me keep things in perspective. Besides, how do you NOT laugh when I have these two for entertainment?!

With Thanks - Day 4

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

Day #4: Something so sweet happened yesterday; something that makes me smile every time I think of it. Yesterday, while casting our votes, my beautiful, sweet little boy started calling me “Mama” for the first time. (He'd been saying something like "Mama" for a while, but this was crystal clear.) I had Devyn with me, and Jon had Hudson, when over the noise of the precinct, I could hear his tiny voice calling to me. I am so thankful to be called “Mama” and especially thankful that I get to mother such beautiful children.

With Thanks - Day 3

Tuesday, November 04, 2008 3 Comments A+ a-

Someone was excited to vote with Mommy and Daddy this morning!

Day #3: I am so thankful to live in a country where my voice can be heard by the vote that I place; I'm thankful to live in a country where I have a voice at all. It is an awesome responsibility, one that is not to be taken lightly. Did you vote today?