Tuesday, December 14, 2010


My girl is fully on the move these days!  I love it!!  :)

She is exploring everything and has made her tracks over our entire house already.  Last year at Thanksgiving I felt her move for the first time inside of me and this year at Thanksgiving, I got to see her move on her own for the first time!  My life has definitely changed as now I can't just lay her down on the carpet or sit her with a few toys.  I have to constantly be watching her and making sure she's not into anything. I can only imagine that this gets more difficult as she will get faster and eventually start walking.  I just LOVE being able to stay home with her and help her learn the little things.  :)  I came into her room the other day and this is what I saw...

I'm just waiting for the teeth marks to start showing up on her crib rail.  haha.

We got to spend Thanksgiving this year down in Austin, Texas at Ben & Stacy's house.  It was a ton of fun and I thoroughly enjoy spending time with Pete's family.  I have been so blessed to get wonderful inlaws and I couldn't have asked for a better second family!  They are so great!!  We get our family pictures each's our most recent one -

And that's after many takes trying to get Keira to look at the camera.  This is the best we could do.  :)  Here's one of everyone -

We're heading home for Christmas on Christmas day this year.  It will be weird not going to the Christmas Eve service with my family, but my parents and Christy will be in Israel Dec 23 - 31st so we're spending the week after Christmas with Pete's family and then the first week of January with my family in Batavia.  We'll also be celebrating my dad's 60th birthday that week.  I love this time of year as we just get to spend a lot of good quality family time together.  This being Keira's first Christmas will make it extra special!!  :)  So if I don't post within the next couple weeks....Merry Christmas!!  :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reflective moments....

Today my heart is for some reason extra sensitive.  I feel like the littlest thing is making me cry.  Yesterday was a rough day for me.  Woke up at 4 am and couldn't fall back asleep, subbed for a 7th grade language arts class and had to physically break up a fist fight during class, got an email from a lady canceling a party, got another email from a lady expressing frustration with some things (harsh words are VERY hard for me to hear...especially when directed at me, I ponder them for days), hurt by some other things that happened, had a POUNDING headache all day long, then got some terrible news about someone I am very close with.  My heart was heavy last night and I was anxious to just crawl into bed.

This morning I woke up with that same heaviness.  My heart just hurts for the broken and hurting.  I have spent much needed time with the Lord this morning and as always it is refreshing, but it just leaves me feeling more aware of my need for his active presence in my life.  Today my heart is soft and Jesus has been extra close that which I am so thankful for.  I often picture him hanging out with Keira and I during the day.  Just watching her with complete awe as I do.  There are moments when I feel like He's telling me how beautiful she is to him.  That makes me smile and I continue to make that a prayer over her life...that she would be so fully aware of God's deep, unconditional love and pursuit of her.  She has given me joy today.  I love turning around to see her and she just squirms with excitement that I'm paying attention to her.  Her little voice and sighs as she plays absolutely melts my heart.  There is no other place that I'd rather be than here with her today.  We occasionally have these moments where we just stare into each others eyes.  She stops moving, I stop moving and we just look at each other.  It's in those moments that I know our souls are communicating.  She can't talk yet or understand my words, but it's in those moments that we share our love for each other.  It's one of the most satisfying things I've ever known.  She is physically a part of me and when they say a mother's connection with her babies is deep, I now know what they are talking about.

Anyways, I'm obviously in a deep reflective mood today.  Take my thoughts for what they are.  I'm off to put my girl down for a nap.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And we have a tooth folks.

It finally came through!  Keira's been teething for many weeks now and I could tell that just recently it was really hurting her.  All of a sudden she hasn't been taking the bottle anymore and her sudden interest in her paci (not to suck...just to chew on) had definitely picked up.  She's been more fussy than normal and I just had a feeling that it was going to poke it's way through her gums any day now.  I kept feeling around and yesterday morning I felt some bumps of the top of a tooth and today I for sure felt it and could even see the surface of it (when she would let me get a glance in her mouth).  Finally!  Except that's just one of many yet to come!!  :)

I think we've finally made it through the time change.  It didn't take too long and I think she's finally adjusted to the new schedule.  We're still working our way back up to 7:00 bedtime but the last 3 mornings she has slept in until 7:40 or so...yesterday she woke up at 8!  Yeah!!  Being the schedule freak I am, I was nervous about it and felt like we finally had things down...and then it all changes!  I suppose that's how it is with babies though and I just need to make the adjustments and loosen up a bit.

On a side note...don't you just want to EAT up these thighs!!  Oh how I love my girl!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

She's onto solids.

I wanted to make sure I write down the process I've been using with Keira so for my next baby, I can look back and use it as a reference.  I will admit, introducing solids has made me a little nervous.  Every time I feed Keira, I'm so scared she's going to have some crazy allergic reaction and not be able to breathe or she's going to choke and I'm not going to know what to do.  I make sure to mush, mush, mush up what I'm feeding her really good, but there's still a little part of me that gets nervous.  Especially with all of Pete's allergies...I think that's why I've been so cautious.

I gave Keira her first food (rice cereal) when my mom was here back in the middle of September.  Keira was just at 5 months and she loved it and did great!!  :)

Mmmm....what's that Mom??

I'm ready, let's do this eating thing!

Love it!!

We made use of the bumbo chair and that worked until we got her a big girl high chair!  :)  I, of course, researched all the high chairs and this one got 5 stars out of 193 reviews on the babiesrus website.  But don't think I spent $179 on a high chair.  I did my research and hunted and hunted and got this exact one for $86 on ebay.  Yes, the waiting paid off, I'm a bargain shopper!!  :)  Here's my girl in her new chair - 

Anyways, the eating has been going very well and Keira is loving solids.  I started with the rice cereal and then introduced bananas and then avocado.  At first Keira HATED avocado (she gagged a few times while I was giving it to her).  My mom suggested adding some cereal and breastmilk to it to soften the taste and that helped a ton.  She now loves it and gobbles it up every time I feed it to her!

I knew I wanted to make my own baby food since it was so much cheaper.  One jar of baby food is $0.79 at the store and there's no way I was going to buy a ton of those when I could make about 10x that much by doing it myself for $3.00.  I went to the grocery store and bought pears, peas, squash, sweet potato, peaches and apples.  I then had a "baby food making morning" and went to town.  I cooked the sweet potato and squash and steamed the apples and pears and peaches.  After a ton of dirty dishes, pureeing, and lots of scooping into ice cube trays and freezing, what I was left with afterwards was many, many frozen cubes of baby food that will hopefully last us for another month or so.  For a grand total of $14, I will feed my daughter healthy, homemade food for a good month.  :)  I think I'll do it this way for awhile and while the convenience of baby food jars is nice, I'm all up for saving money.  Next...bring on the Cheerios.  :) (well maybe not for a couple months)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What kind of mom am I??

I was thinking this morning of the way that I "mother" Keira and I got to thinking about all the different kind of "mom's" there are out there.  As I've gone through this whole process of being pregnant and now parenting the first 6 months of Keira's life, I'm realizing that the people I've gone to and asked questions to are people I see myself with similar parenting styles.  So here are the different types of mom's I've thought of:

* Organic Mom - I see this mom as the mom who buys all organic food, organic bedding and clothes, cloth diapers, has a super tight reign on what her kids are doing, when they are doing it, who they are friends with, what they eat, carries hand sanitizer for anyone who wants to touch her baby...basically a mom who is super, super intentional about anything and everything that has to do with parenting and raising her kids in the "right" way and making sure that they aren't subject to any "germs" so to say.

* Relaxed Mom - This mom is the one who is parenting in the way that she lives her own life - super relaxed.  Not super strict, no schedule, when the baby naps (IF the baby naps) is different everyday.  No set bedtime and her schedule didn't change one bit when the baby was born.  She carts the baby around to and from whatever she has to do that day.  The baby fits into HER schedule, not the other way around.  Super, super flexible.

* Schedule Mom - Schedule, schedule, schedule....down to the minute.  This mom has her baby tired at the exact minute every day and in bed in the exact same position.  Eating is all planned out and thought through very strategically.  Waketime is intentional and not overstimulating.  Babies schedule is first and the mom works around nap time(s).

* Do-It-Yourself Mom - This is the mom who doesn't buy anything new and makes all the baby clothing and bedding and blankets and toys.  Her lifelong dream has been to be a homemaker and a homecooked dinner is on the table every evening.

(I'm sure there are plenty more but these are just the few I thought of this morning)

It's been an interesting process to watch myself parent and learn how I do things.  It's funny because before I was a parent myself, I would look at the things that I saw other moms doing and often times be like "Are you kidding me?!?!  Ease up!!" or "Seriously, you baby has to be exposed to germs at some point.  That's why they are always sick!"  Now that I'm there myself...I find myself doing some of the things that I would get so annoyed by before parenting.  For instance...if I had to put myself into one of the categories above, I would probably place myself in the scheduled mom category.  I am a HUGE fan of routine and schedules and predictability.  This has been a major adjustment and at the beginning was extremely hard for me.  Keira didn't always sleep when I wanted her to or eat when she needed to which would throw me off.  It was frustrating and took me a few months to ease up.  This is kinda OCD and I fully admit this, but I keep track of (and have been since she was 6 weeks old) everything Keira does on my phone using an app called "Total Baby".  Everything from diapers (wet, poopy, what kind of poop), sleep schedule, eating schedule (what side, all her solids she eats, bottles), baths, medicine, vitamins, doctor's appointments, growth, vaccines.  It's kinda ridiculous....I am fully aware of that.  :)'s my brain.  Since not every day is the same (to an extent), I'm so dependent on watching my phone.

Anyways, all this to say, some of the things I'm now doing as a parent myself have surprised me.  I am a super intentional person and while I don't fall into the "organic" category... I do think about almost everything that has to do with or happens to Keira and how it's going to effect her now and in the future. I try to be intentional with the way that I talk to her and interact with her and intentional in the ways that I pray for and with her.  Before she was born I read anything and everything about what was happening to her and how she was growing.  When she's approaching a new stage, I research it to a large extent and learn everything I can about how to do it right and the most effectively.

So these were just a few of the thoughts running through my head this morning.  Keira is growing like a WEED (especially since she started eating solids....I feel like she's gained like 10 pounds!) haha.  She is SUCH a JOY these days and her laughs and kisses and giggles make me fall more in love with this little girl than I ever, ever could have imagined.  It's the deepest, most intense love (besides my husband) that I've experienced.  I guess when I reread through this before I hit the post button, the question that came to mind is not what kind of mom am I but what kind of mom does GOD want me to be?  He has given us the gift of Keira Blair and how can I parent her in the way that God desires her to be raised?  Something to think about I suppose.  Anyways...those are the thoughts going through my head.  God help me to raise this little girl in a way that honors you and may she grow up to have a kind, gentle, loving spirit.  May she come to know you at a young age and may her heart always seek to know you more.  Thank you for the blessing of my sweet, sweet baby girl!!

Friday, September 24, 2010


It's been almost a month since I've written last.  Not a ton has happened but I still feel the need to keep up with my blogging so I don't get too far behind.  :)

A few weeks ago over Labor Day weekend Ben, Stacy, Jake & Skye came to visit.  They haven't seen Keira yet so it was so fun to have them visit.  Whenever I hear friends talk about how they don't like their inlaws or husbands family, I'm so grateful that I can honestly say that I LOVE my second family!!  They really are second family.  I got so blessed to get another set of amazing parents and Pete's brother and sister, their spouses and kids are so much fun to be around.  I definitely look forward to spending holidays with them.  Thank you Jesus!!  Here are some pictures from the weekend...check out how much Keira looks like Skye as a baby!!

Jake & Keira

Skye & Keira

Stacy & Keira

Skye at 4 months...crazy how much they look alike!!

September 20th (last Monday) was Pete and I's 2 year anniversary.  It was wonderful!  The Thursday before my mom surprised me and showed up at our door and was staying through Monday.  It was so great to have her here and so fun for her to see Keira.  Saturday night we left Keira with Grandma and Pete and I left for a night away.  This was the longest time I've been without her since she's been born and it was great!  Yes, I missed her like crazy, but it was so great to just focus on Pete.  Even at home or after she's gone to bed, there is still the monitor that is on or her little face watching us as she plays in her exersaucer.  While she doesn't always require a ton of attention, it was nice to shift my focus completely to my husband.  He got us a hotel and we left around 3 on Saturday.  We swam in the pool and hot tub, went to dinner at On the Border, walked around the mall for a bit, went to Party City, got ice cream at Marble Slab and then went to the cheap theater to see the third Twilight movie.  Sunday morning we slept in and got McDonalds for breakfast and watched 500 Days of Summer in bed.  :)  It was so relaxing and just made me once again realize how in love with that man I really am!  I'm so lucky!!  And knowing that Keira was in great hands made it all the better!!  It was a perfect anniversary!  (Oh and on our actual anniversary he got me a dozen roses and made a wonderful dinner.)  I mean, who wouldn't love this man....????
mmmm....that's hotness!!  :)

Keira is quickly approaching 6 months which just blows me away!!  She's well on her way to sitting on her own and has been talking up a storm lately.  It's so fun to watch her learn different sounds and do funny things with her mouth.  She's been curling her tongue lately which just cracks me up!  She is SUCH a joy and I am so enjoying this stage!!  She's starting to be aware of where I am...whether I'm there or not.  Whenever a stranger comes up to her or holds her, she immediately looks for me to see that I'm still there and what I think about this new person.  I love being her security.  I also fed her cereal when my mom was here.  She just loved it!!  Although, since she's such a spitter...I'm not so much looking forward to the green and orange and colored spit up once she starts eating things that aren't white in color haha.  Her spitting has toned down a bit though so hopefully that will just continue and we'll be good.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lord be blessed

I'm a few weeks into my new thirty-one business and I'm totally loving it!!  As I think about it, I think it's kinda funny because I was totally never a big fan of these types of things, but now that I'm doing it...I've realized it's perfect for me.  :)  I love people and I love parties.  Seriously, and my JOB is to work with both of those things!!  And the fact that I'm selling fun girly things is even better!!!  I would consider myself a fairly motivated person so I've set up my "office" downstairs and have gotten supplies and organized my files.  I literally feel like I have a little work place in my own house.  It's AWESOME!  :)  I'm just so anxious to get started with having the parties and figuring out how to actually place orders and get that all to work.  I love thinking of ways to give hosting incentives and challenging myself to be creative.

I was watching an online training video the other night and had Keira on my lap.  As I sat there in my sweats with my daughter on my lap and I was "working", I thought to myself...this is what I want to do!  I have always for as long as I can remember wanted to stay home with my babies and now that I'm doing it, I can't imagine going back to work full time.  I absolutely love that I don't dread Monday morning or have a sinking feeling in my gut Sunday afternoon knowing that the work week is starting all over again.  Every day is the same and I just absolutely LOVE it!!

Now with this business, when Keira's napping, I can keep myself busy and give myself something to work towards.  I've got 7 parties booked through October and am hoping to get at least 5 more between now and when we go home the second week of October.

For the first time since we've moved to Kansas, I finally feel like this is something I am just loving doing and want to really pursue.  Again, I laugh at myself when I read that sentence knowing what it's about cause I never thought I'd be saying that about doing in-home parties...but I am.  I feel like the Lord has given me this door and I've walked through and now there are so many opportunities to go from here.  And with that...he's allowing me to ultimately do what I've dreamed of doing...being a mom and raising my kids.

With that said, my prayer lately and my requests to those who have asked (or to some who haven't) is that I would be successful at this.  I feel weird even writing that and saying it but I want to be successful not for the money in any way shape or form.  I want to be successful so that I will be able to make this a full time thing and I won't have to do any other part time job as well.  I'm still signed up to substitute teach and I'm willing to do that, but I really don't want to.  I'm asking the Lord to provide parties and hostesses so that I will be able to continue to stay home with Keira.

At the beginning of each party I will give God the glory and tell the girls there why I'm doing what I'm doing.  I'm trusting that He'll provide in ways I've never imagined.  Through this new journey, my hope is that the Lord will be blessed!!

This is my theme verse for my new ministry/job and my verse for this next year of my life:
Jeremiah 33:9 - Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


About a month or so ago, I had an interview for a part time office job at the Crisis Pregnancy Center.  While the job seemed like it would be great and all, I was really praying that God would make it clear to me as to whether that was the road He wanted me to go or not.  Well....I came home from the interview and cried 4 times that afternoon.  Not cause it went bad or anything, it was actually a great interview and the lady who I met with was wonderful.  I cried because the thought of going back to an office knowing my baby was home with someone else was heart breaking to me.  I couldn't stand the thought of it and as I sat at my kitchen counter, I realized I had my answer.  I was praying and as I asked the Lord if that wasn't it, what was?  I looked down and there was a little business card from a lady who was a Scentsy Candle rep.  They do in home parties selling candles.  Like most of those parties offer you can "work at home, spend more time with the people you love and make as much money as you'd want to".  Anyways, I read that and I thought maybe I could do that.  All that to didn't sign up with Scentsy Candles.  But I did sign up with a company called thirty-one.  I had heard of it a few times but never really looked at what they had to offer.  After much thought and prayer, I decided to do it.

Now let me say that I've never been a huge fan of these types of parties and now that I'm actually a rep for one of them surprises even me.  However, my perspective going into it is if it works, awesome.  If not, no big deal.  I'm not committing to specific hours on specific days and I have to be there or I'm fired.  And that flexibility of this job makes it worth a try.  My desire is to stay home with my girl and if this makes it more possible, then I'm all in.

With that said, I've gotten my start up box and I've been pleasantly surprised with the product.  I thought it was just bags but they offer everything from purses, wallets, stationary, coasters, totes, luggage, garment bags, cosmetic bags, etc.  And everything can be embroidered.  Anyways, the catalog is awesome and offers a TON of options.  I like it because it can appeal to every woman...age 15 or age 50.  We all carry purses or bags or totes and so why not make them cute.

I've always been the party planner so it's actually kinda fun for me to throw parties for my "job".  :)  And I would consider myself a highly motivated person so thinking of new ways to get contacts is actually fun for me.  I don't want to ever be perceived as the pushy "have a party?!?!" person so I don't want to ever pressure someone to have a party.  But that is how I will be successful so I'm just praying and hoping that the product sells itself and people are interested.

I've completely committed this ministry/job to the Lord. That night that I had the interview I was having a quiet time and I read Jeremiah 33:9 - "Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it." When I considered the idea of being one of these consultants and was asking God about it, I told him that if it did work out, that before every party I would, like the verse says, bring Him joy, praise and honor.  I'm trusting Him to provide the "good things" and "abundant prosperity and peace" because of it.

So with that said, I now own my own business?!?!  Weird to even say that.  :)  I'm looking for people to host parties and while I may not come right out and ask you, let me know if you're interested or would even just like to order something.  The website is and you can view the whole catalog online.  Again, I don't want to be that pushy party person, but if you're interested, just let me know.

It's all for God's glory and to spend as much time as I possibly can with the cutest little 4 month old baby girl.  Come on....wouldn't you want to look at this face all day long too????  :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To lose a child....

Keira's down for a nap and I've been just drinking my coffee and reading and reflecting while I have a few minutes.  As I sat on my couch, I was asking the Lord to teach me through Keira.  As a child of God and now being a parent, I am seeing in a new way the love that God has for us as our Father.  Ever since Keira was born, I randomly get these horrid thoughts of things happening to her or her getting hurt.  I hate when I get them and immediately have to ask God to take them away because if I think about them for too long, it scares me to death.  I don't know where they come from, but I hate it when I get them.  I think it's shown me how deep my love for my daughter is even just 4 months into her precious life.  Pete is going to a funeral today of a student and asked me the other day if I would rather lose a child when they were very young, knowing that they would go to heaven, or lose them when they were older, having been able to live life with them, but also potentially not knowing if they would be in Heaven if they didn't choose Christ.  I literally couldn't even think too long about that question because the thought of losing Keira right now makes me sick to my stomach.  In the last 4 months, I've just seen how she is so apart of me and that little girl has worked herself into the core of my heart.

Anyways, all that to say, as I sat on the couch, I was wondering what God thinks when He loses a child.  When one of his children die without having chosen Christ, I can imagine it breaks his heart!!  He has formed us and made us from his own image and created us to live a life with the fullness of Christ, but when we choose otherwise.....  I've just been thinking about this student that died and while He once lived for Christ, the last few years of his life (from what I've been told), he rejected Christ and walked his own path...and now his life has been taken from him.  I can't even conceive of having to go through that as a parent.  Even writing this right now and thinking of that happening puts a terrible knot in my heart and a sick feeling in my stomach.

My job as Christ's ambassador is to share with others God's love for them.  I know Jesus and the power of his death and resurrection and God needs me to be a tangible voice for Him to others who don't know.  I don't want to ever lose a child and I know that He doesn't either.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August Already??

I can't believe that it's already the middle of August. Seriously, where did the summer go?? I will say though that I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting the ridiculous heat to go away. There was a heat warning for yesterday and today because temperatures might get from 109-112 degrees!! And that's the actual temperature...not the heat index!! Seriously, COME on!!! Our air conditioner can't keep up with the heat so by 5 pm our house is well over 80 degrees and it's so stinking hot even inside. I never thought I would say that I was tired of the heat, but I'm looking forward to fall and when I can walk outside and be comfortable. :)

Okay well that was just me venting a little bit. I feel a little trapped inside my house cause I don't want to even take Keira outside in that heat, but I am thankful that we have air conditioning and that summer does last longer than winter...even if there's a few months that it's unbearable. Like I've always said, I'd rather be hot than cold so for that I'm thankful!!

My little girl is quickly approaching 4 months old!! It has gone so fast!! I feel like I was just telling Pete I'm 4 months pregnant. And actually, I just looked at my calendar and realized that it was one year ago TODAY that we found out we were pregnant!! That is so crazy and exciting! Wow!! I remember that day like it was yesterday!! I was working and in the afternoon I felt super nauseous. I never feel nauseous and was 4 days late. I came home, made dinner and Pete and I were laying on the couch and I still felt sick to my stomach. I was scared to death to take a test because I didn't want it to be negative again (I had convinced myself I was pregnant the month before and it was negative twice). I finally gave in to take the test and when it say "pregnant" I started immediately bawling and couldn't believe it. I kept saying "I'm going to throw up" haha. I think that was partially the nausea and partially the unbelief that we were actually going to have a baby. Wow. This day one year ago changed our lives!!! Amazing!! And now we have a 4 month old precious little girl that I can't imagine living without! Thank you Jesus for this sweet miracle of life you've given us!!!!

I'm having so much fun with Keira these days. She's giggling so much and just all grins all the time! She's getting so much more coordinated with her hands and reaching and grabbing things. Yesterday I was watching her on her playmat and was convinced she was going to roll herself over. It didn't happen but I'm sure it's coming soon. It's such a cool thing to watch her make little connections. She's found her toes as well and I just love watching her look at her little piggies with awe and curiousness. Everything is so new to her and I love it!! However, with that said, she's getting a little antsy when she eats these days because the butterfly mobile or the stuffed animals or the light in the window are far more interesting that eating....that's boring!! :) I literally have to put a blanket over her (which she doesn't like and tries to pull it off) or distract her so she's facing the right direction if you know what I mean. :) I can imagine it's only going to get more difficult to convince her that eating is more important than staring at the pink bunny haha. :)

Since my last post, we make yet another trek home. This time it was completely spontaneous. Sunday night Pete was talking to his parents on the phone and they said they had gotten a ton of flooding at their house. Pete offered to come home and help them out and so at 5 am the next morning, we packed the car up once again and headed back to Chicago. Yeah!! Jamie had just had her baby so I was so anxious to get home and see her so it just worked out perfectly. We surprised Jamie and Brandon and little Elyse at the hospital and it was so much fun seeing them and their new little baby girl. The cousins met for the first time!! We stayed in Freeport for a few nights and then I met up with my mom and we went back down to Bloomington and stayed at Jamie's for a few nights. I love being home and am missing my family more and more these days. I think the new babies make me want to be home and have them grow up together and be close to grandma and grandpa. :) But for now, God has us in Kansas and so I am trying to be content and make sure that I'm doing what He's called us to do while we're here.

Here are a few highlight pictures from the last month or so...

My two favorite people in the whole world!!!!

Keira's started using her exersaucer. She loves it and it gives me a few minutes to get some things done while she's happy. :)

My sweet girl!! This is how we hang out a lot during the day. Close to mommy yet hands free!!

My Grandma was just THRILLED to meet Keira. I loved that she got to see her.

Keira's first time swimming. :)

Keira and Elyse...they love each other already! (sorry I couldn't get it to rotate)

Proud Grandma and Grandpa with their two new grandbabies.

Pete's grandma and grandpa got to see Keira when we were in Freeport

The surprise visit to Jamie in the hospital

Yeah for the cousins!! Keira's a biiiittt bigger than Elyse haha. :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

First holiday

It's been awhile since I've posted because the computer we were using at home (Pete's computer from college...) finally had it's last day. The hard drive died on our way home from Chicago and so we've been computerless for the last month or so. It's amazing how much you realize that you use a computer, until you're without one!!! My parents knew we needed a computer so they gave us their old powerbook. Let's just say it's good to be back on a Mac!! :)

I'm anxious to get back to my blog cause I feel like I've already missed writing about Keira's new moments. :)Yesterday was July 4th and it's her very first holiday (well besides Memorial Day). Cyndi gave us a super cute dress for the holiday before she was born and so it was fitting that she wore it to church. :)
We are back home for the second time in the last month. Yeah!! It's so good to be back and my schedule is packed as always. It's great to see family and friends and I really don't even feel like I've left. I'm so thankful for them!! I got to go to Christ Community and saw so many people. We were literally the last ones out of the auditorium haha. Everyone wanted to see the babe and I just loved showing her off. :) We spent the evening with the Muellers (like we do for many holidays!) and cooked out and then went to the fireworks. Keira slept through it all!

Speaking of Keira sleeping...she slept for 13 hours last night straight! She's doing AWESOME with the whole sleeping at night thing!! I put her down at 6:45 (she was exhausted from so many people yesterday) and she didn't wake up until almost 8 am this morning. Granted...I was extremely uncomfortable by 8 am but I was so thankful for a full night's sleep. She's done that 5 times this week so I'm thinking that it's going to be a regular thing from now on (hopefully!!).

Keira's started cooing so much just in the last day. She's had a few coo's this past week but just today and yesterday it's like she's hearing her own voice and realizing that she's making noises. It is the most amazing sound!! :) I could listen to her little voice talk to me for hours!!! I made this video when we were in the car earlier today. The end of it sums up my life these days haha. Watch it and you'll understand...

One thing I noticed her doing last week is starting to reach for things. She's not too coordinated yet but I will put her in her bouncy chair on the kitchen table and I hang a toy from the kitchen light to just in front of her. She stares at it intently and moves her arms all around. She'll hit the doll when she does, she'll smile really big and do it again. It's been SO cool watching the learning process take place in her little mind. It's like I'm seeing her make the connections that she can move her arms and when she does so, she hits the doll. It's amazing and such an incredible thing to see her process through the littlest things that we take for granted every day.

If I wasn't able to be home with her right now, I don't know that I'd be noticing all these little things. I wouldn't want to miss them for the world!!! Staying home with my baby is better than I could ever have imagined...I dread going back to work eventually and having to leave her for the day. I know it will be good and I'm sure once I get into the swing of things, I'll be thankful...but for now, I just want to soak up every minute I can get with her!! I'm thankful for this summer and that God has provided for us and given me the chance to be with her! What a blessing!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Practicing the Presence of God

So like I said before in my post about being a big time "routine" person and big on schedules, it's been somewhat difficult to adjust to this time of not being on a routine. I mean like before I would know the exact minute I had to be drying my hair in the morning so I could then get dressed and put on my makeup and eat breakfast and get out the door to go to work. It's not like that with a baby. :) To say the least...

Anyways, with that said, I've been trying to figure out what my relationship with God looks like now that I don't wake up every morning at 6:20 and read the Word from 6:30 - 7:08 am and have my journal and prayer time. I will say it's been difficult and I'm trying to find what the best way is to stay connected with the Lord as well as get the things done that I need to get done. I find that I have a "chunk" of time each day when Keira naps and that time is very limited and also has to include a shower, making dinner, picking up the house, paying bills, etc. How do I fit it all in???

Lately I've been focusing on the small moments that I do have and using the extra reminders I see and focusing on them for a minute or two more that I would before. For instance...I have verses around my house on the wall or in pictures. I'm making myself meditate on them for longer than I normally would and soaking in God's Word that way. Or taking a minute or two when Keira is "playing" on her floormat or in the swing and reading a chapter in my Bible. Or this morning she fell back asleep in her crib before I went in and got her so I took advantage of those few minutes and went out on the deck and prayed for the day and committed it to the Lord.

It's been a transition and I'm not going to say this new "routine" is easier but I know that as Keira gets older and requires more and more attention and then as we eventually have more kids, it will just get harder to find those few moments. I remember reading a book by Brother Lawrence called "Practicing the Presence of God" and he would talk about how he would pray when washing the dishes and in simple task, he would experience the presence of God. I need to be more diligent with those moments and train my mind to be aware of the presence of God in the simple tasks throughout the day....He's there when I'm feeding Keira, when I'm driving in the car, when I'm eating lunch, when I'm running errands, when I'm pacing the family room trying to soothe my crying baby.

God...may I be aware of your presence at all times. Teach me to see your Glory in all things!

Friday, May 28, 2010


I read the book Babywise before I had Keira and knew that it was going to be something I wanted to try. Being such of a "routine" person myself, I knew that I would function best if Keira was on a schedule and I could know what was going to happen and how to deal with it. I've been attempting the "eat, wake, sleep" 3 hour increments for the past 4 weeks and yesterday was the first time I let her cry herself to sleep. She had been somewhat fussy and would need some help in order to get to sleep for her naps. She was alert and awake for a lot of the day and I couldn't get her to sleep at certain times. It was stressing me out.

They say you can start letting them cry themselves to sleep around 6 weeks so I was anxiously awaiting her 6 week bday (which is today...crazy!!). So last night for her evening nap, I let her cry. It was torture! She cried and I cried. She cried for about 45 minutes and finally I gave in and picked her up. It was horrible!! When Pete got home I cried to him too...seriously, I felt like someone was ripping my heart out listening to her. I put her to bed at 8:30 and she fell right asleep. I don't think it was cause of any method I used, I just think she was exhausted from crying so hard for so long. Regardless...she slept the WHOLE night!!! I fell asleep around 9:45 expecting to get woken up around 11 to eat and I didn't wake up until 5 am!! And she hadn't woken up at all throughout the whole night! At first I was worried and immediately checked her to see that she was breathing and she was doing just fine, sound asleep in the bassinet right next to me. I was extremely uncomfortable so I fed her and put her right back to bed. I then woke her up at 7:20 to eat again. It felt incredible to get a full night's sleep!! I haven't done that in months!!

I'm determined to get this babywise thing to work and I know that the outcome is a happy baby who knows how to sleep and sleep well. So this morning I tried again. I put her down for a nap around 9 am and she cried for another 45 minutes. Heart wrenching! BUT...she fell asleep! She slept for about 15 minutes and then startled herself and woke up and cried for another 10 minutes. I'd go in every 10-15 minutes and shush her and pat her and check on her. I could tell by her cry that she just wanted to be picked up. Right now she's at the end of her second nap, which she went down for no problem (again probably cause she was so exhausted from crying). We'll see how the late afternoon one does and then how she sleeps tonight. We're going home for a week next weekend and I'd love to have her on the schedule by then and sleeping well. I have a week to give it a shot. Hopefully it's successful!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

2 "milestones"

Keira had two "milestones" this past week! It's amazing the little things you look for as achievements in babies this tiny. She turned her head completely over when she was having some "tummy time" and she officially smiled at me yesterday!! These pictures weren't her real smile just a gas one :) but I still think they are super cute. :)

She's been "smiling" at me for about a week now but I think it's just been gas. But yesterday morning before church, she had just had a bath, had a clean diaper and been fed and I was just sitting on the couch talking to her and she most definitely smiled at me on purpose! :) It was one of the greatest things ever!!! She's done it a couple times since then and it just MELTS my heart every time! It's amazing how the littlest things can seem so huge. I just love seeing how she's growing and learning.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

11 lbs 4 oz.

I've decided that being a stay at home mom is absolutely wonderful. Some women don't enjoy it and like getting out and having "adult" time occasionally at work, but having been home now for almost 5 weeks, there hasn't been one day yet where I've wanted to get away or have "adult" time. Between my small group on Tuesday nights, church and stuff going on with friends, I feel like I'm not missing out on anything at all. I'm so, so, so thankful that I get to be home with Keira this summer and CAN'T imagine if I had to go back to work full time anytime soon.

This past Sunday Pete wanted to go to a movie and so we decided to see if Jamie and Carla Heintz wanted to watch Keira for a couple hours. They offered before so we decided to take them up on their offer. I got her fed and changed and we dropped her off right before the movie started. During the whole movie I was so anxious and missed her like crazy already! I about jumped out of my seat as soon as the movie ended. I know it's good for us to get out and we need to do that every now and then so I want to make that a priority, but the first time leaving her with someone else was hard.

I've been asking the Lord lately if there's anything I could do that would allow me to earn money while being at home. I haven't gotten any answers but I'm still asking. I'm planning on filling out substitute stuff and then there's a possibility of working at the Crisis Pregnancy Center part time. My prayer has been that I know God knows what would be the BEST situation for us and I want to pursue that. Even though I don't necessarily know what that is yet. I'm trusting that He will show me.

I went to a Mom's group at the hospital this morning and there were about 12 moms and their kids (all under 1) there. It was fun and I just feel like that's the type of stuff I want to do during the day. :) I loved talking with the other women there about their kids and comparing stories. They brought in a scale and weighed Keira. At 4 weeks and 5 days she weighs 11 lbs and 4 ozs!!! She's definitely not having a problem gaining weight that's for sure! She's starting to be more attentive to sounds and noises lately and if you call her name she'll slowly turn her head to look at you. I've even seen a few smiles lately when I've been talking to her! I'm not sure though if it's just gas or they are real smiles. :) I like to think that they are real and she's just smiling at her momma!! :) I can't wait till she starts responding to us and laughing. Just this past week I've heard a few coos from her so she's starting to make some sounds. There is nothing sweeter than the voice of your child. I absolutely LOVE it!!

Time has already gone so fast. Sunday she turned 1 month old and I just can't believe how quickly it's gone. She spits up a TON and I feel like I have to arm myself with burp cloths every time I feed her otherwise I'll get covered. This morning right at the beginning of the class she spits up all down the front and center of my shirt...awesome. :) She gave a good morning projectile vomit this morning in bed to Pete while he was still sleeping. I'm sure he loved the warm milk all over his arm haha. I couldn't help but laugh. The first time she spit up when he was holding her, Pete was downstairs and I was upstairs and all of a sudden I hear, "BABE, BABE!!!" I come running out and he's walking up the stairs holding her out and says to me "Cottage cheese just came out of her mouth!" hahaha. It was hilarious and so I wiped it off her shirt and got her cleaned up.

She's such a JOY and I was thinking this morning how amazing it is of how much I love her already and can't imagine life without her ever again. They say the bond between a mother and baby is great and I so believe it. She's got my heart and it is SO full of love for this sweet little baby girl!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Grandma & Grandpa G (and Aunt Jess)

So Pete's parents are here this week and it's been great having them. They just absolutely love Keira and it's been so nice having a second pair of hands when she's fussy or I need a break for a couple minutes. I was telling Pete before they got here that we are so blessed with our in-laws!! I just absolutely love Pete's whole family and we get along so great and Pete (from what he tells me) :) loves my parents and family as well. I've heard so many horror stories of "in-laws" so it just makes me appreciate mine all the more!! Jessica (Pete's sister) came in last night as well so it's been fun having her around.

Pete and his dad are building a deck extension on our teeny tiny square deck. It's going to be so great once it's done!! I'm so impressed that they can just figure out how to put a deck together like they do. I wouldn't have the SLIGHTEST clue as to where to start haha. :) Now we will be able to bring our patio set up there and eat outside. I'm so excited for that!! It's such a blessing having a husband who not only knows how to work with his hands, but is so great at it and does such an excellent job. I seriously think he could figure anything out if he tried to. He is SUCH a hard worker!!!

Here's some progress pictures from the deck:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keira Blair is HERE!!!

So I'm finally getting around to writing about our new little sweet daughter, Keira Blair. She is the most precious thing ever and I am already so incredibly in love with her! I wanted to write about the whole labor process and everything that I was feeling and thinking so I don't forget it and can read back on it one day. The whole process was amazing (although quite painful) but it made the 9 months of uncomfortableness so totally worth it!! When I saw Keira for the first time, I bawled like a baby!

When/How it happened...
Her due date was April 16th. I hadn't at all been having any labor pains or contractions so I was feeling (and preparing for the worst) like I was going to be late and mentally prepared my mind to be pregnant for another week or so. I had a doctor's appointment on Thursday the 15th and Dr. Hague said I was still 1 1/2 cm dilated, which I had been for the last 3 weeks. Kinda disappointing but we set the date of the following Thursday to be induced if I didn't go into labor on my own. Friday morning, the 16th, I got up for my last day of work and went downstairs to spend time in the Word and journaled a bit. I wrote that today was my due date but I didn't think it would happen then cause I wasn't feeling any different at all. About 7:30 I came upstairs to go about my normal routine and sat down on the couch and my water broke. I stood up and it gushed out!!! I quickly ran to the bedroom door and woke Pete up and told him that my water was breaking (meanwhile it is still flowing out of me haha...there was quite the puddle on the floor!!). He woke up in a frantic and was like "Uh okay, um, what do we do? Do we go in? Should we call the doctor? Do you have everything you need? What do I do?" haha. I just stood there and knew that if my water broke, there would be a baby that day and we just went straight into the Birthcare Center. I took a shower and we got the rest of my things together. It was crazy thinking that this baby was coming today! While 10 minutes earlier I had journaled that I didn't think it would happen that day! This little girl was prompt! haha. It honestly couldn't have happened at a better time. She was right on her due date, it was early in the morning and we had both had a full night's sleep, I got to take a shower, I was at home when my water broke (that would have been horribly embarassing if I had been in public!!), Pete was home...really, it was perfect timing!

So we got in the car and drove to the Birthcare Center at Wesley Hospital. What a surreal feeling. I remember thinking of all the times I drove to my classes at the hospital wondering what and when it would be when we drove there to have the baby. I couldn't be more excited and so nervous!! We got to the hospital and checked in. I still wasn't having any contractions so they waited about an hour to see if any would start and then they started me on pitocin around 10 am to get the process moving. I started feeling the contractions shortly after and we walked around a bit. Around 12:30 or so I was getting extremely uncomfortable. By this time I was dialiated to 2-3 cm which was still too early for the epidural. They gave me some crazy pain medication which was supposed to relax me. Let's just say that relax me it did!! I honestly don't even remember the next 3 hours. It was the WEIRDEST feeling ever!! I was in such excruciating pain but in between the contractions, I literally felt like I was dying. I think I said that out loud. I would slip into another world and I felt like I was in some dream land. I don't remember what Pete was doing, where I was or what anyone was saying around me. It was crazy. I would "wake up" for the contraction, grip the side bar on the hospital bed and then as soon as it was over, slip right back into dream world.

Around 3:30 pm they checked me and I was dialiated to 5 cm. They decided to give me the epidural at that point which I was extremely thankful for. It didn't hurt at all and I was still high on those crazy pain relaxant meds. :) About an hour after they gave it to me, I was still feeling the contractions so they called the anesthesiologist back and they gave me two extra doses. Let's just say I was as numb as you could get and my legs were DEAD weight once that stuff kicked in. Seriously, I don't know how women go through labor without the epidural. That thing was a life saver!! I can't imagine going through the rest of the day with that intense pain. No thank you!! Props to anyone who chooses to endure it!! :)

After the epidural it was smooth sailing! :) I was much more comfortable and was chatting with the nurses and just waiting. By like 6 or so I was dialiated to 8 cm and then around 7:30 pm I was "AC" or all complete - totally effaced and at 10 cm. They let me "labor down" for an hour which meant we would just wait to start pushing and let the contractions push the baby down so that I didn't have to push as long. I was so thankful that they did that because once I did start pushing, I only had to push for about 1/2 hour. Around 9:10 I started pushing and that was much harder than I expected. I thought since I couldn't feel anything it wouldn't be that bad. It didn't hurt at all, but it was still exhausting and took so much energy. I had them set up a mirror (sorry if that's a little gross) but it helped me so much especially since I couldn't feel anything to be able to see my progress when I would push. Around 9:35 the nurse said that I had to stop pushing and wait for the doctor because if I pushed again she would come out. My doctor wasn't able to be there that night so the on call doctor had to deliver (Dr. Craddock). She got there about 9:40 or so and it was like all of a sudden there were about 15 people in the room. I pushed like 2 times and there she was!! Our daughter was finally here!!!

As soon as Keira came out they immediately wrapped her in a blanket and put her skin to skin on my chest. I was absolutely bawling, she was bawling and who knows what everyone was doing around me. All I could do was look at her and I couldn't believe that she was finally here and she was ours!! They got me all taken care of and then got her cleaned up and within the half hour they had me start breastfeeding. She ate for about 45 minutes which was such a great start!!

It was such an amazing feeling to look at her and just stare thinking that she was inside me and look at her fingers and toes knowing that those were the hands and feet that I felt kicking and tickling me for the past many months. Absolutely incredible!! I had dreamed of this moment for years and years and it was everything I could have imagined. She was born at 9:53 pm on April 16th. She weighed a hefty 8 lbs. 15 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. She has a good head of dark hair and dark blue eyes (seriously...what?? we're both blond and brown eyed...?) :) Her name Keira doesn't really have any significance other than we both just liked it. I wish it had some cool meaning, but it just means "dark haired" (seems to fit her). :) However, her middle name, Blair, is the maiden name of my mom and my Grandparents last name. My Grandpa died last March so naming her after them definitely has significance. I knew I always wanted to use the name Blair if I had a girl.

The rest of our hospital stay was actually really eventful. On Saturday we had a ton of visitors and by the end of the day, I was so totally exhausted. My body hurt really bad and I just wanted to sleep. At Wesley, they don't have a baby nursery so once that baby is born, it's yours and you do everything. She slept in a little crib right next to my bed so when she woke up, I had to take care of her. The first night I was up most of the night and just lay there staring at her. I couldn't get enough of just looking at her. She is just perfect! 10 fingers, 10 toes, every part in the right place. It is such a miracle and I am so blown away by God's hand in the process. To think that she was formed in just the right was without anyone doing anything or having any role in it, is so amazing. I don't know how anyone could ever think that we were created from nothing. There is too much detail that goes into our human bodies to just come from nothing. Keira is a GIFT from the Lord that He has entrusted with. What a blessing!!

We got to go home on Sunday afternoon and our first week home was great. My mom flew in Monday night and was here to help for a week. I was so thankful for her! She knew all the tips and tricks for just about everything to keep her happy and take good care of her. It was such a help to have my mom to cook and clean around the house as well. Now that she's gone, I'm finding that it's easy to get behind. Today I had a bunch of things I wanted to get done but Keira was fussy this morning so I didn't even get lunch until she finally fell asleep around 3:00.

I absolutely LOVE being at home with her!! I am so thankful that I have the summer to take care of Keira and be with her. I'm sure it will be hard once I start working in the fall. I'm planning on substitute teaching in the fall 3 days a week and that's going to be really hard to leave her during the day. I'm trusting that God will prepare my heart for that and allow us to find the right person to help take care of her.

In the meantime, I am going to enjoy every minute I have with her. Tomorrow we have her 2 week check up and it's crazy to think it's already been that long. I want to soak in every moment that she stares at me and cuddles up on my shoulder. She is such a bright baby and when she's awake, she's completely awake!! She loves just looking at me (or whoever is holding her) and when I hold her up on my shoulder, she always props her head up to look at my face. Her big eyes draw me in and I seriously just love that little girl so much!! I can't believe she's ours and I get to keep her forever!!

Thank you God for this little life that you have given us. What a reminder it is that you long to love us like a Father. I believe that Keira is going to teach me more about YOU over the next however many years and that you're going to show me what it means to really love unconditionally. We are so blessed!! Thank you Father!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm feeling blessed.

So throughout this entire pregnancy, I have been feeling extremely blessed by the people in my life. When I went home for the shower at my parents house, there were close to 30 girls that came, all from different times of life and different places…small groups, church, middle school, high school, friends who I met through other friends, roommates, basically every area of life. I remember looking around the room and just feeling blessed. I haven’t lived in IL for almost 2 years and yet I fly home and all these girls still come out to get excited with me for our little girl.

That same weekend students I had in my HouseGroup threw me a surprise shower.
Again, haven’t seen most of them since I was married but yet they were that excited for us they all got together and surprised me with a shower. It was overwhelming that weekend to see all the people who loved me enough to bless us with gifts as well as give their time to come catch up!

Then I come back to Wichita and my friends throw me a shower and there are probably close to 20 girls that come to that. Friends that I’ve met here and begun to develop relationships with. Friends that I prayed and asked God for and He has so abundantly blessed me with. And again, one Sunday night before small groups…my students throw me another surprise shower. That’s not to mention the shower that my college friends gave me back in December. I have been completely overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and just feeling so….blessed.

Not only that…but I have people checking in on me all the time seeing how I’m doing and asking if I need anything. I’ve had a number of people tell me they check my facebook every day to see if little miss has made her appearance yet. :) I can’t even put it in words what I’m feeling and thinking. God has given me great friends and people in my life and I can only say it again…I am BLESSED.

Here are some pictures of my different showers:

Shower at parent's house

Elgin HouseGroup Girls

Bethel Girls Shower

Wichita Friends Shower

Wichita Friends Shower

"I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us— yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses." Isaiah 63:7