Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kellen James!!!

So it's Sunday afternoon and all 3 (yes 3) of my family members are napping.  Why I'm not sleeping as well...good question.  I have come to find out that I don't nap well and I feel better about my day if I've been productive and gotten things done rather than taken a nap.  Right or not...probably not and I should rest, but my mind doesn't let me if I know there's things I want to/should be getting done.

Anyways, updating my blog on Kellen's birth has been one of those "To Do" items on my list so I figured I have a few minutes so I'll see how much of it I can get typed out before nap time is over.  :)

Our son finally arrived!!  We have a healthy baby boy who has been an absolute JOY for us the last week and a half.  I wanted to write about his birth so I don't forget any of the details so here is the story....

My due date was December 1st and with Keira coming right on her due date, I wasn't anticipating going early.  I was mentally preparing to be late and having to stay pregnant for awhile longer.  I went to my 39 week checkup and Dr. Hague said I was already dilated to a 3-4.  Crazy as I wasn't feeling anything yet, just a lot of pressure and feeling awfully large.  :)  I didn't let that fact convince myself that I was going to go any earlier as last time it didn't make a difference.  I was still planning on being pregnant another week.  I stayed busy that week and tried to rest as much as I could knowing that after he was here my sleep would be much less.  My body was achy and I was so, so, so ready to be done being pregnant!  (Side note - this time around, I was ready to be done being pregnant as soon as I found out.  Not that it wasn't exciting, I just realized that I do NOT like being pregnant at all!  Yes I love feeling the baby move and it's definitely a miracle what is happening, but I don't like how I feel or getting fat or being tired all the time or not sleeping... I had crazy insomnia with Kellen and there were multiple nights in a row that I would lay awake for hours...not fun!)

Anyways, that week was Thanksgiving and we obviously stayed home.  It was actually a very relaxing Thanksgiving and we just spent it together just the 3 of us.  We went out for dinner at Ryan's Steakhouse and I actually thought I was going into labor that night.  I was having contractions about 5-10 minutes apart and so we were mentally planning that we might be going to the hospital that night.  My contractions lasted about 2-3 hours and then stopped....ugh!  I was so disappointed!  Good thing we didn't get Keira all packed up and go to the hospital only to get sent home.  That is one thing I did NOT want to happen!

I had another doctor's appointment the next Tuesday morning, November 29th first thing.  Pete came with me as I knew that we were going to schedule an induction date with my doctor and I wanted him there to figure out when would be best.  She checked me again and this time I was dilated to a 5!!!  She told me she couldn't believe I wasn't in labor yet!!  She also told me that if I have 3-4 contractions in an hour to just go to the hospital because once my labor started I wasn't going to have much time since I was already so far along.  We decided to go ahead and get induced the next day - Wednesday, November 30th.

I took Keira with me that night to my friend Angie's house where she spent the next 2 nights.  The next morning we checked into the hospital at 6:30 am.  I got changed and around 7:30ish Dr. Hague broke my water to see if that would start contractions because I still wasn't having anything regular.  That didn't work.  An hour later they started pitocin.  By 9:30 my contractions were beginning to get pretty regular and starting to really hurt.  By 10 am I was in serious pain.  No, actually I was in excruciating pain!!!  The most pain I've ever experienced!!  I wanted that epidural NOW!!!  By the time they got the anesthesiologist down there and the okay from Dr. Hague it was about 10:30 and I was just crying as each contraction came.  The doctor got the epidural in and within about 15-20 minutes it was starting to take.  I was feeling a little relief.  By the time it was all set, I was complete and ready to push.  When Dr. Hague said "It's time to have a baby" I lost it!  They all still thought I was crying from pain but in between sobs I said "No, these are happy tears!  I get to meet my baby" (it's making me cry right now as I type this thinking of those crazy emotions!!)

I pushed for an hour and a half and it was one of the most exhausting things I've ever done!  In between contractions it was all I could do to keep my eyes open as I was just so, so tired!  Kellen James finally made his entrance into this world at 1:11 pm and it was once again, one of the most incredible moments ever!!!!  Holding my baby boy for the first time was such an amazing feeling!  I was expecting a big baby as Keira was just about 9 lbs and usually boys are bigger, but Kellen was only 7 lbs 13 oz and was 19 1/4 in long.  Compared to Keira he was itty bitty.  :)  He was absolutely perfect!  10 fingers and 10 toes, perfectly healthy and a complete miracle!!  What a blessing our baby boy is to our family!!!

So far Kellen has been a great baby and the 2 kid thing hasn't been that hard (yet!).  He is nursing great and sleeping well.  He's up about twice a night which isn't horrible.  My mom was here for the week after he was born and she was such a great help.  She basically took care of Keira which gave me the freedom to just enjoy Kellen and soak him in.  :)  I healed a lot faster this time around than I did with Keira which I was so thankful for.  I was feeling more like myself about 3-4 days after he was born.  I was so ready to feel "normal" again so I was thankful that it didn't take very long to adjust!

So that's it!  And now we begin life as a family of 4.  I still can't believe I have 2 kids...I love it!!  I love spending the day with both of them and playing and laughing with Keira and snuggling with Kellen.  I am so, so blessed to have two healthy babies and I'm just so thankful that God has chosen ME to be their mother!!  What an honor!!

Here are some pictures...

Thanksgiving of our last pictures as a family of three!

Kellen's room - ready and just waiting for a baby boy!

Heading to the hospital

In the middle of it all.....

My sweet baby boy!!  Completely in love!

Pete and his son

First picture as a family of four!!

Keira meeting her baby brother

Heading home

Love him!!

Swaddled tight

Does anyone else see dimples?!?!


Seriously...MELT MY HEART!

My two babies!!  So Blessed!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

38 weeks.

Today marks the 2 week countdown (give or take).  38 weeks.  (holy smokes I look massive!!  it literally looks like someone stuffed a basketball under my shirt....yikes)

Wow this went fast.  As I sit here typing, I'm feeling our little guy shifting and moving around in my stomach - watching my tummy rumble and jumble.  I can just picture his little behind sticking out as I see it protruding heavily on my left side.  I just want to squeeze it!!!  :)  Not too much longer of this until I get to actually hold him and kiss his sweet cheeks!!  I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!

We finally got around to getting his room ready and I feel so much better now that I have somewhere to put all the things we've already accumulated for him.  Here's a few pictures of the "moving Keira out and moving out little man in" process:

I hunted for a crib for fooooorrrreeeevvveeerrrrr!  I knew I wanted an espresso colored one but didn't want to spend an arm and a leg for it.  We ended up getting this one at Baby Depot for $119.  It was a floor model and had a little ding in the right leg so they took $50 off...nice.  I found a changing table on craigslist for $50 and we added some brown knobs and everything else has been on sale or super cheap. I think total we've spent about $250 on the entire nursery set so far.  Now we just need this little guy to get here so I can start using everything.  :)

Overall I'm feeling pretty good, all things considered.  I can't complain.  I'm definitely uncomfortable and ready to be done with the whole pregnancy thing but I really do have great pregnancies.  Just ready to move onto the baby part.

Keira is keeping me on my toes these days and as tired as I get some days, I just love this stage she's in!  She's learning and talking and communicating and everything else to keep us entertained!  Halloween was fun as we took her trick or treating for the first time.  She was a little kangaroo and looked so stinking cute!!

I'm trying to find new ways to keep her entertained while we're at the house as it's starting to get a little cooler and is just going to keep moving in that direction.  I remember my mom used to let us play at the sink when we were little so the other morning we gave it a try and she loved it!!  Granted we were both soaked at the end of her hour long water play session, but she had a blast and it kept her entertained!

She's also had a few daytime baths purely for entertainment.  And who can blame her...swimming in November?!?!  Sounds like fun to me!  :)

And this last one is just cause we have such a cute little girl!  :)  She was thoroughly enjoying her dinner and who can blame her - chocolate pudding??  My baby is getting so big!!!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nearing the End

I'm 6 weeks out from the end of my second pregnancy.  And I do have to say I'm definitely ready to be finished with the whole "pregnant" part!  I was out running errands this morning with Keira and it's getting harder and harder to carry her let alone be in and out of the car seat and walking through stores and digging in my purse for things.  It's cause she's still little and while she can walk next to me, it takes 3 times as long to get where we're going when we do that.  :)  Yes, it won't be much easier to carry the car seat AND Keira but at least I'll be able to set the car seat down.  Anyways...I'm just ready to be done and hold my baby boy in my arms!

This pregnancy hasn't been much different than the first.  I think one of the things that is different is that I'm carrying our little guy much lower than I did with Keira.  I felt her all the time up in my ribs and I haven't felt that once with him.  I feel a ton of pressure on my pelvic bone and the doctor told me last week that it's because his head is so, so low already so he's resting comfortably on my bones.  :)  Last night I could barely walk without serious pain.  Even when I was laying down I just felt pressure.  He moves a lot more than I feel like Keira did.  There is constant movement in my stomach and I want to cherish it because that is what I would consider the best part of being pregnant.  I also get a ton more braxton hicks with this guy than with Keira.  And they are painful!  I literally have to stop moving and breathe through them.  I don't remember them hurting that much with Keira.

We still don't have much set for this guy's room.  Actually...all we have is the bedding, crib and clothes.  Which I suppose is all you need at the beginning.  But I'm a planner.  And not feeling ready stresses me out.  We're moving Keira downstairs (which I am dreading!!) Halloween weekend so once she's out of her room we can start getting his room set up and ready.  Pete has to paint it and then we'll get everything set up.  I'll post pictures once everything is ready.  A friend is throwing me a shower the first weekend of November which I am thoroughly grateful for and was not expecting at all so I'm taking Keira this afternoon to register at Babies r Us.  Not really sure what I'll put on the list, but I'm sure I can find a few things (aka - diapers, diapers, diapers!).

Well the girl is up from her nap so off to Babies R Us we go.  Maybe at the rate I post on here, next time I'll be sharing my delivery story.  :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thank the LORD for cooler weather!

This summer has been tortuous!!  I never thought I would ever want summer to be over.  Growing up I always said I wanted to move somewhere that it was hot and nice weather all the time...but I gotta tell ya...this summer was rough.  Kansas weather is beautiful in the spring and fall and definitely not as cold as Chicago winters, but summer is HOT!!  This summer was especially bad as it was the hottest summer since 1936!!

"September 1, 2011

2011 is officially the hottest year in Wichita's history.

The temperature reached 100 degrees late this morning, marking the 51st day Wichita's temperature has reached or exceeded 100 degrees this summer. That breaks the old mark set in 1936.

KAKEland Meteorologist Ben Pringle said the temperature should climb above 100 on Friday."

Why oh why did I pick THIS summer to be pregnant???  I told Pete the other day now that it's finally starting to cool down (and by cool I mean 80 degrees) that I feel like Keira and I have been locked in a cage for the last few months and I'm finally getting to breath fresh air!  We literally didn't do walks, no zoo, no park.  This preggo mama couldn't take it when I would take 3 steps my eyeballs felt like they were crisping over and starting to melt.  All I wanted was to lay on my cool leather couch with a fan and the air conditioning blowing on me.

Soooo....with that said, now that it's nicer out, we've been spending out much needed time outside!  Keira has learned that outside has much more to offer than the upstairs of our house and so frequently goes to the sliding door and tries to open it and looks at me and says in her own 17 month old way "Mama outside?"  And with it now 80 degrees outside instead of 113, I'm much more willing to say "LET'S GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE!"  :)

In other areas, I'm feeling good with this pregnancy.  28 weeks tomorrow which is just crazy to think.  It's gone much faster than it did with Keira which I'm so thankful for.  I'm much more active and and busy rather than just waiting in the anticipation of what having my first baby will be like.  I'm getting anxious to meet our little guy and excited to have a boy!!  That's new territory that I feel like I know nothing about.  Growing up with 3 sisters and having a girl first, I feel like I know nothing about raising boys or how they work.  I guess I'll find out soon enough right??  :)

A week and a half ago was a big marker in my life - I turned 30!  Crazy!  I feel like I'm officially in a different "class" of "adult" now.  30 sounds so much older than 29 and I will admit for maybe the first time, I really do feel older.  I'm thankful for where I'm at in my life.  I suppose it's exactly where I thought I'd be when I turned 30 - I have a husband, a house, 1.5 kids, a life of my's all so great!!  I'm thankful where God has me and I couldn't imagine it any different!!  My actual day was great!  It was a Friday so Pete had off which I was so thankful for.  My Best Buy gift card I earned from Thirty-One came a day early (that was the LORD!) so on my actual birthday morning, we got to go on a $1,600 shopping spree!!!  Awesome!!  We ate at Chili's the night before, I got free Starbucks that morning and then Chipotle for lunch....mmmmm.  :)  We had a bunch of friends over that night for a BBQ which was lots of fun.  The day couldn't have been any better!  Now to start this next decade of life hoping and praying that God does great things in our lives!!

Here are some recent pics from life lately...

My first picture with my new camera - thank you Thirty-One!  Also the first picture in my 30's.  :)

My birthday BBQ

The guys

Keira enjoying our new TV...on her perch with the fingers in her mouth.  :)

Swimming on Labor Day weekend with the cousins

Family photo

Enjoying family time!!  Love them!!

Mommy & Keira

Ahhhh....nice weather finally!!

Keira has found my bracelet drawer in the bathroom.  I wonder how many times we pick these up during the day??

mmm Coldstone

Found her just playing in the bathtub one morning.

Trip to the zoo

This is where Keira "relieves" herself each morning.  :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thirty-One update

It's been awhile since I've posted anything about my Thirty-One business....and lately, it's absolutely taken off!!  For the last year (to the day actually - August 10!), I've been "working" the parties and trying hard to be successful so I could continue to stay home with Keira.  Just in the past 6 weeks or so I'm seeing what has potential to be a huge thing for me!!  Back in February, Cindy Monroe (the founder), announced that we would be going on a recruiting freeze.  I didn't think a ton of it because when I signed up, I really had no intention of building a team and "working my way up" so to speak.  Little did I know what God had planned!

I've always known that I am a motivated and driven person when it comes to something I love.  And in the past year, I've found that I love working with Thirty-One!  The past 6 months during the recruiting freeze I began to realize how much I was enjoying what I was doing and how it could actually provide the income we needed for me to stay home with my babies.  I saw potential for it to do more.  People would ask me about it and I would give them honest answers about how much I loved it, what it had done for me as a person, as a mom, as a me something to work for at home while still being there full time for Keira.  My passion for what I was doing started to come out and I think people saw that....and wanted to be apart of it as well.

We had a waiting list and by the end of the 6 months, I had over 18 other ladies waiting to join my team (in addition to the 3 I already had).  And then as of a couple weeks ago, the freeze was officially over and somehow, I now have a team of 26 women who are under me and I am just absolutely blown away!  I have been working so, so hard these past couple weeks connecting with each of these women and helping them get started.  From phone introduction phone calls to training emails, I've been learning very fast what this is going to look like.....and I like it!!!!!  It's definitely a lot more work and I only expect it to become more as my team continues to grow, but it's so fun for me!!  And best of all.....I'm there when Keira goes to sleep and I'm there when she wakes up!

Not only do I see myself promoting very fast, but I see the amount of money I'll be making each month increasing very fast once all these ladies get started!  I want to be clear though....yes I started doing this job for the money, but it's so, so, so much more than that for me now!!!  It's something that I love and am able to work towards.  I've never been apart of something that allows me to "move up the ladder" so to speak and for me, it is extremely motivating!!  I see the ladies on the top making so much money and just loving what they do and I want to be there one day!!  Yes, the money will be nice, but like I said before, it's so much more than that for me.  I want to build a team because I want other women to experience what I have through this company.  I absolutely LOVE the morals and the motivation behind everything they do.  I love that it is a faith based company (Thirty-One = Proverbs 31!) and that it is founded on Christian morals and principles.  I LOVE knowing that I am working for a company that I completely stand behind what they are all about and any success I have is ultimately for the Kingdom!!  I know that Scott & Cindy Monroe are leading this company with God's blessing and that is just such a comfort to know and stand behind!

I've been studying Acts and just this morning read Acts 6.  The first part of the chapter talks about how some had to be delegated to "wait tables".  The apostles felt that they should pass this onto others because their job of "prayer and ministry of the word" was first priority, but the waiting of the tables still had to be done.  While that job seems trivial compared to "prayer and ministry of the word", it had huge significance.  Stephen was full of the Spirit and of wisdom (vs 2), full of faith and the Holy Spirit (vs 5), full of God's grace and power (vs 8) and had wisdom and spoke in the Spirit (vs 10) and he was one of those given the task of waiting the tables.  And in the next couple chapters we see how God used him to great, great extents!!  He was the first one martyred for his faith!!  What a bold man of God!!  I kinda feel like that's me lately.  I have been wondering and asking God what my ministry role is these days and what that's supposed to look like.  With Pete being out of youth ministry now, I'm just trying to figure out where I fit.  I kinda feel like I'm one of the ones that God has possibly taken me out of the "prayer and ministry of the word" role and called me to "wait tables".  And again, even as I type this it feels and sounds much less significant and not as "spiritual" so to say.  But I really, really know from the bottom of my heart that God has given me this opportunity and I want to use it to my greatest potential.  I'm leading a team of women who don't all know Jesus.  And I want to use that to speak truth to them in any way I can.  Whether that be through my phone conversations or whatever...God has put these women in my path for a reason and I want to bring God glory through it.  Not to mention the countless new relationships I've developed through my parties!

I'm taken back to the verse God gave me 1 year ago today when I felt him calling me to do Thirty-One:

"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."  Jeremiah 33:9

I really do from the bottom of my heart want to bring God joy, praise and honor as I do this task that he's set before me.  And through that, I trust and know that what will come of it will be abundant prosperity and peace!  What an honor to "wait tables" during this stage of life!!  Who would have ever thought??

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July Happenings!

On July 1st we found out that we are having a little BOY!!!  I can't tell you how excited I am!!  I would have loved to have another girl, but there was just something inside me that really, really, really wanted a boy this time.  Maybe so we'd have one of each and now for the next two I won't have to worry what we're having.  But regardless, we're having a SON and I am just thrilled!!  Here are a few pics of our baby boy and the proof that he's a boy.  :)

Keira was also very excited to have a little brother.  We tried getting a good picture to post on facebook but were pretty unsuccessful after many tries.  Here are some of the best ones.  :)

The Saturday before the 4th, we had a staff get together out at the Wallace farm.  It was fun to go out there and hang out with everyone and watch the kids play.  I actually got to shoot a gun!!  :)  haha.  The joke was this is what we do in Kansas....pregnant women shooting guns.  :)  Yikes!!  I felt very country! Here are some pics from that afternoon:

Our fourth of July was very, very low key.  Pete had to work a lot of the weekend and so Monday it was nice to have him just be home.  We slept in and then went to the Riverside park and there was supposedly a "Children's Parade".  I just saw it online so we decided to take Keira.  Well, that's exactly what it was, children parading on their bikes, strollers, etc.  It was still fun to be out and about and Keira got to play in the water fountains and at the park.  It was pretty warm outside already so we didn't stay for too long.

Keira's 4th of July attire.  :)

We had lunch and then Keira went down for her nap and Pete and I spent the next 3 hours doing this:

We were pretty impressed how quickly we got it done for how hard it was!!

That night I wanted to go to the fireworks so we decided to wake Keira up and head down to the river.  We found a parking spot and put our blanket out.  And waited.  And waited.  We waited with hundreds of other people and only saw fireworks off in the distance!  :(  I guess Wichita did their fireworks on Saturday night and we never got the word.  SUPER disappointed!!  Booo!!!  :(  Oh well, I suppose we'll know better for next year.  We should have just got on our roof and watched our neighbors cause from what I hear, they put on a pretty good show.

Anyways, I'm off to a Thirty-One party tonight and praying for success!  I'm officially in my DIQ right now (Director in Qualification) and if I hit the goals I need to I'll be a director next month.  THEN if I hit them 3 months in a row I'll get a $1000 bonus!!  Whoo hooo!!  The pressure's on!!  I'm still loving my job and working really hard at it!!  I just earned a $1,600 Best Buy gift card and next year will plan on earning a trip to Mexico for Pete & I.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity to work from home and still make a good income!!  And it only goes up from here!!  :)