Monday, June 9, 2014

Our Year:)


What an amazing year.  Full of ups and downs, laughs and tears, lots of sleep deprivation.  But the one consistent this year has been the above ray of sunshine!  It has been pure joy watching her grow into the beautiful little girl she is.  Each month has brought a whole new level of fun to our household!  Sadie is full of energy; quick to laugh, always chatting away about something adorable;)  She loves books, loves "reading" to us, playing peek a boo, "walking" around outside, being the center of attention, playing with other kids, cuddling with us.  My favorite part of this year has been watching her heart for other people develop.  She loves people.  Her heart is huge, sympathetic, and sensitive to others' emotions.  She is concerned when someone is hurt, sad when they cry, happy when they smile, and quick to hug no matter what.  I'm so impressed by the little person she's become, and I learn so much about Christ's love from her every day.  Excited to see her grow even more over this next year!  Happy one year, baby girl:)  We love you more than we can express.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Baby Story Adventure

I was beginning to think my due date would never arrive.  It was the middle of May as I stared at my calendar, thinking about all the things the Lord had brought me through over the past 9 months.  
Early contractions, shingles(that left me with a nice scar on my forehead), 9 months of nausea... I just didn't know pregnancy could be like this.  But here I was, finally due...

...and thinking of any and every way I could help jump start this thing!  Let's do this!  So I tried Zumba!  (Had to have been hilarious to watch this big belly shake her thang;)  Annnd...nothing.  Spicy food, eggplant parm, daily walks, "running" stairs... I watched the days tick by.  After two weeks of this, the doctor said those beautiful words, "No matter what, you're having a baby tomorrow!"  Thank goodness.  It was Thursday morning, May 30.  I went back to work after the doctor because, well, why not.  Our bags were packed.  We were as ready as we'd ever be.  Finished out the work day, went home, turned on Parks and Recreation(love that show!), and waited.  Finally 8pm and time to check into the hospital.  They monitored me overnight to see if I'd start labor on my own.  Silly doctors, of course not.  Between me and Hank, our baby is waaay to chill to come on her own;)  7am Friday morning May 31, a seriously angelic nurse comes in and starts me on pitocin.  And labor starts.
I now have to give a shout out to my most amazing coach ever, Hank.  Walking with me, rubbing my back, best foot massages of all time!, breathing with me, running and getting me water, ice chips, yoga ball(which I stayed on until...), epidural.  Now y'all, seriously, I believe epidurals are the Lord's greatest gift to modern woman!  Holy night!  If you haven't been through this, imagine the most intense pain coming in and out every minute, and then all of a sudden it starts coming in less and less.  My eyes opened, cold washcloth on the face, Hank brushed my hair(I guess I'd been grabbing at it, and it looked like a bird's nest. Literally.), laughter coming from me, and then the most peaceful sleep.  Doctor comes in, I'm almost there.  Baby's heart rate starts to drop a little, nurses turn me on my side, heart rate comes back up and is just fine.  Hank holds my hand and reads me scripture.  Sleep.  Doctor comes in, time to push.  Say what??  Hank's eyes get huge and a smile creeps on his face.  I tell him, "It's time for the "Push It" mix!"  I think he's a little embarrassed, but I made this CD myself just for this moment.(Thank you to everyone who suggested songs on Facebook:)  First song, Push It by Salt 'n Pepa.  My doctor and the nurses start laughing and continue to laugh at my extremely diverse choice of songs.  But it was doing its job, keeping me awake and as energized as possible.  After 12 hours of labor, with one hour of pushing, it was time to meet our baby girl.  This is where I take a more serious note.  Baby girl came into this world perfectly, with 10 fingers and 10 toes and a head full of beautiful dark hair.  They laid her on my stomach to let Hank cut the umbilical cord.  Silence.  Our wonderful doctor quickly cuts the umbilical cord and rushes her to the side table.  What?  I look at Hank and look over at the table.  I can't see past the nurses surrounding her.  I hear one nurse start counting the minutes while another starts giving oxygen.  I can't tell what's happening.  "Why isn't she crying?"  No answer.  My heart stops.  "Is she okay?"  Still no answer.  Hank tells me it's okay, but his eyes are questioning right along with me.  2 minutes.  I grab Hank's hand and start praying, "Lord, help our baby girl cry.  Give me a scream.  Anything."  3 minutes, and I reached a point I thought I'd never reach.  Praying, trembling, I remember saying, "Lord, she's Yours and not ours.  You gave her to us.  You give and You take away, may Your name be praised."  I cry just thinking about that moment.  4 minutes. . . A little whimper.  The tiniest most beautiful sound I've ever heard in my life.  Then another and another.  Still so quiet and so incredibly beautiful.  Praise Jesus, maker of all things.  I used to ask people what was one thing they wish they'd known before they got pregnant.  Well, this is mine.  Sometimes it takes some babies a little longer to take that first breath.  Even 4 minutes longer.  As long as they're moving, their PH levels are good, the oxygen in their blood never drops... they are just fine.  Yes it's scary and the medical staff won't talk to you because they're focused on getting the baby breathing, but the baby is just fine.  I had gotten to the point of thinking she'd be brain dead when there was absolutely nothing wrong.  Sooo, yeah.  I wish I'd known that.  So our cute little thing quickly got pink and started singing a beautiful cry, and then I finally got to hold her.  Talk about surreal and singing endless praises to the Lord in my head.
God is good.  All the time.  Even when things seem darkest, He's in control.  And now we have the most healthy, smiley, bright eyed baby girl.  We named her Sadie Ann after her great great grandmother.  She is 7 weeks old and growing up so quickly.  She brings unspeakable joy to our hearts on a daily basis.  The Lord brought me through a hell of a pregnancy and gave me the most healthy and beautiful baby girl, and I will forever be grateful.

Here are some more pictures:)





See how Sadie has grown. From the size of a lentil...
 to this beautiful baby girl.
 "Stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God." Job 37:14

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lost Valley Ranch

This post for the Travel Blog is about one of my favorite spots of all time.  It's a place very close to my heart because it is where the Lord led Hank and I from different backgrounds and locations to meet.  It's a special place filled with wild west adventure, hospitality, music, food, and good friends.  And if you've ever had the dream of being a cowboy or cowgirl, it's a place where you will quickly feel right at home.  So if you're looking for a dude ranch experience of a lifetime, you have to take a trip to Lost Valley Ranch
 
 
Lost Valley Ranch, Colorado's premier dude ranch, is tucked back in the Pike National Forest.
 
Lost Valley
The Hayman Fire passed through here back in 2002, and you can literally see where the Lord's hand just covered and protected the valley from that fire.  Because of the fire, you now have uninhibited and gorgeous views of the Colorado Rockies.
Welcome to the ranch...
 
where every morning you are met with a view like this...
 
And every day you have so many activities to choose from:
Hiking
 
 
You can see Pikes Peak in the background.
Horseback Riding


 
Horseback riding will take you to some amazing views like this.  This spot always reminds me of a John Wayne film:)
Tubing
 
except I don't think Hank meant to end up in the water here;)hehe
 
Cookouts
with our awesome chefs! haha
Entertainment
my cowboy:)



me and my cowboy
Fine Dining
with other guests who quickly become friends
 The ranch is great for seeing wildlife:
 
All while being served and hanging out with the most fun and loving staff:

Wranglers assigning horses for the day. (Hank's on the left:) Did I mention the cute cowboys??hehe
 
So if you are in need of a break from the city or just looking for an unforgettable vacation for you and your family, you have got to check out Lost Valley Ranch.  Their website lists even more activities for adults and kids.  Hank and I loved working there, and it will forever hold a special place in our hearts.  As I sit here waiting on our baby girl to be born(she was due yesterday), I thought it was fitting to write about where our little family first got its start. :)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chicago

We took a spring break trip this year!  We wanted to make sure we got to Chicago while we still live fairly close, so we hit up the windy city.  Here is how we did it...

Where to stay

The Silversmith Hotel (I got a great Groupon deal.)  Great location.  Just two blocks from Millenium Park and the Art Institute!

Where to eat

Miller's Pub- Just one block from The Silversmith Hotel.  Old Chicago family owned restaurant.  Has an awesome and historic Chicago feel.

Hank and I wanted to find the best Chicago style hot dog and the best Chicago pizza!  The best Chicago dog we found was at a little stand by the lake outside of the Field museum...
 

Now there are a lot of awesome Chicago style pizza places, and we only tried two: Uno's and Gino's.  Both soooo so good.  I think our favorite was Gino's at the original location off of Michigan and Superior.

Places to see

The Art Institute of Chicago- They had so many famous paintings there.  I've never seen so many in one place!  Recognize any of these??




 
The Field Museum:

with the infamous T-Rex "Sue"
Wrigley Field:
Millenium Park:
The Bean



Will have to come back in the summer sometime to see a concert here!
Lake Michigan and Navy Pier:

Blue Man Group: Such a fun and awesome show!

We had such an awesome week, and it definitely did not seem long enough.  We'd love to come back one summer when I'm not preggers;)  Between all of the above and walking the Magnificent Mile(awesome shopping), my feet couldn't take another museum.  But we really want to come back and see the Museum of Science and Industry along with lots more of the city.  What are your favorite Chicago spots?