Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dear Santa...

All...

I...

Want....

For...

Christmas....

Is...


My...
Two...
Front teeth... Please?!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Reflection

Doesn't it seem that this time of year, after Thanksgiving and just before yet another year begins, that many people are spending time reflecting? I know I have been. I have been so caught up in all the busyness of life that I have neglected simply spending time with God. I have gotten swept up in the blessings that He has given me, that I have allowed my time with Him to fall by the wayside. As I was surfing some blogs today (while I should have been photo-editing!), I stumbled across this song that I just had to share. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Oh Where is my hairbrush?"

"Oh where....is my hairbrush? Oh where oh where oh where oh where oh WHERE......Is my hairbrush?" Have you heard the song? You know, the one where Larry, the cucumber from Veggie Tales, sings about losing his hairbrush only to find out that Bob, the tomato, has given it to the Peach. Because he has hair. I don't know why I have that song stuck in my head, but I do. Maybe it's because I really need to brush my hair (or get a new hairdo!), since, quite honestly, I haven't showered yet today. Maybe it's because I feel so busy that I am searching for things that I just don't really need. Or, maybe it's because it's just a good song.

Maybe it's because I was just wondering where the time has gone. I seriously can not believe that it's December already. And really we are almost half way through December already. If I blink, I am afraid that it will be Christmas morning and I won't even be ready! I realized that it's been over 3 months since I blogged. I don't know if others are "blog-stalkers" like I am, who get really frustrated like me when blogs that I follow aren't updated on a daily basis (eh-hum, what about 3 months???). So when I decided to log in so that I could at least put up a note, I couldn't even remember my password! Scary!

So, what have I been doing lately? Mostly photographing, editing, posting, ordering, diaper changing, baby feeding, big kid feeding, homework, cleaning, shopping, decorating, tear-wiping, hugging, kissing, nose-wiping, medicine-giving, sleeping (not enough!).....in generaly, not much really! :) With photography, this is my busiest season, and God has blessed me with LOTS of great clients! I have had too many shoots to even put all of them up here, although some of my favorites might have to make an appearance.

God has been so good to us over the last 3 months with healthy and we are doing well. I absolutely love this time of year and can't wait to slow down to enjoy it. For now, I will continue to look for my hairbrush.

Stay tuned for updated pictures soon!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Half

I am not quite sure if I feel excited, or sad about this "half". When the kids school year is half over, there is excitment...they know that the rest of the school year will be fast until it is summer vacation. However, when you are on vacation and it's half over, you are a little sad and try to savor every minute until it's time to go home.

For this half, I am a little sad.

Leah is 6 months old. Half way through her first year! Now don't get me wrong. There is some relief that the first half is over. I mean, come on, what's not to enjoy about the first six months? The sleepless nights, the crying, the constant feedings, little interaction. There is definite relief that we have made it through! But to know that the next six months will go just as fast makes me want to slow time down, or even just freeze time, so I can savor these moments with Leah as a baby. Because I know all too well that in the blink of an eye I will be posting about her first birthday!

But, Leah at six months is so much fun! She has added so much to our family in such a little amount of time. Just ask the big kids...who can't stand to leave her when they get on the bus for school. Forget Mommy...they are having separation anxiety with their baby sis! And when they get home from school and she is sleeping they get mad and want to go wake her up! Leah is such a smily, snuggly, happy little baby. She loves to interact with others, and even seems a little shy (not something she got from her mommy!), but is always up for a good game of peek-a-boo. She loves to snuggle with her blankie and her pacifier, and goes to sleep beautifully with them! She sleeps 11 hours at night and takes 2 good naps each day. Not only has her weight gone up to 15 lbs, 12 oz, she has learned so much! Here are some things that she is up to, now that she is 6 months old....


She joined us at the kitchen table. Look how small she looks! This is the first baby we decided not to use a highchair with, and instead went straight for the booster seat!


Every night while we ate dinner, she would cry. We finally realized that she just wanted to be a part of the action! She loves sitting at the table, and the big kids love her being there with us.




Soon after she joined us at the table, we started feeding her cereal! What fun this was!


She really likes it,


But was pretty messy at first!


Soon she became a pro and wanted to try to feed herself (she is pretty advanced for her age!)
I think she likes her new adventures in food!!

She learned how to sit and perfected it quickly.

And she is learning how to crawl! I am sure it won't be long before she gets away from me quickly!

She still loves that other baby in the mirror! I think I will be sad when we move her changing pad into her new room. She will miss that cute baby!

I just wonder what she is thinking!
And she finally got 2 new teeth! Those were a lot of work.


In 6 months we have become totally, utterly head-over heals in love with the newest addition to our family! I mean, really, how could you not love this bald-headed, blue-eyed, two-teeth, chubby-cheek sweet little 6 month old?
I have a feeling the next 6 months are going to be just as fun as these first 6...if not more! Although, don't blame me for trying to slow down Father Time...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hard work.

She worked....

And she worked....

And she worked ...



And she worked some more...


And finally...


SWEET SUCCESS!!!




Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A little behind

This last week has been so crazy between Emily's tonsillectomy and hard recovery, Sam's unexpected croup, and Leah's new tooth. I have had a few photo shoots recently, and am a little behind on the editing. But it is well worth the wait! Here are a few shots from these shoots of a sweet little one year old and a six month old....










I will have some more to post soon! For now, back to editing!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby Steps...

...not for Leah, but for me.

Before Leah was born, we had a desicion to make...where to put the baby. We have never had a baby in our room with us. From day 1 with all the others, they went straight from the hospital into the nursery in their own crib. But this time, we had no nursery or bedroom available, so we reluctantly set up the crib and changing table in our bedroom. I did not think I would like having the baby so close. I thought I would wake up to every grunt and every little noise the baby would make. But, to my utter suprise, I love having Leah in my room only steps from where I sleep!

But she is getting older (almost 5 months now!), and we have been putting off a move for her. Partly because we didn't know where she would go. Would we put her in with one of her siblings or give her a room to herself and two of the older kids would have to share? But partly because I just wasnt' ready to move her out of our room yet. So after our trip to Tennesee (pictures to come soon!), we too the plunge and moved Leah into Sam's room! I had a really hard time with it. Our room looks empty now! (I guess we will have to go shopping for a new chair or something!) Big brother Sam was so excited about his new roommate, and both the girls were disappointed to not be getting one.

Leah did awesome! Since she is sleeping a sound 10-11 hours each night and no longer needs a middle-of-the-night feeding, we knew she wouldn't wake Sam up in the night. We just didn't know how things would go in the morning. We had told Sam all the rules...no getting Leah out of bed, no giving Leah toys, etc. Well, on Monday morning, I woke to sounds of coos and giggles from Leah and could hear Sam sweetly talking to Leah from the monitor. I went in, and this is what I found.....




No one told Sam he couldn't blow bubbles for his baby sis!! I thought it was so cute, I did what any other good mom would have done, I got the camera and told him to blow more! Leah has done great in her new room with Sam and Sam has adjusted well to his new roommate. I should have known it would go so well...I just have a hard time letting go.

So here's the new set up. Oh and we chose Sam's room because my very talented Father in law made Sam a loft for his 4th birthday and he has plenty of room to share.


Isn't that loft amazing??? We are taking orders! (Just kidding, I don't think he will ever tackle another loft!)
I know, it needs a little feminine touch for Leah, I am working on it! We still have the changing pad and all her clothes in my room. One day I will have all of her "stuff" in her new room (Brian hopes it's soon!) but for now, baby steps....

Friday, July 17, 2009

A long road, but well worth the journey

When I look back at the last year, I am amazed at where we have come. The year was full of hard times and really, really great times. God has been so good. God has been so faithful. And God has carried me through it when I didn't think I could make it one more day. I wish I could say that all along, I knew everything would be ok, but I can't. I knew God was in control and that he is GOOD, and I really hoped that God's plan would align with my plan....

One year ago today, at noon, I saw on the ultrasound screen as I sat in the doctors office the tiny perfect heart of our baby Leah. See....


We always wanted 4 kids. Our first three came relatively in our plan. So on June 30, 2008 when I took a pregnancy test and it was positive, we were very excited. But nervous too. We wanted 4 kids, but after 2 miscarraiges we thought God's plan for us was to have three kids, and I was so afraid that this pregnancy would end in a miscarriage as well. But on July 17th, I saw a perfect heart forming and beating strong! I still was nervous, and we weren't by any means in the clear. I started feeling VERY sick, which was not a surprise at all, but even more sick than I had felt with the other three. What was a surprise though, was the other symptoms I was feeling too. I would get up to make lunch for my kids and my heart rate would jump up to over 200 beats a minute! Quite scary! As it turns out, my thyroid had gone very overactive. And an overactive thyroid can cause miscarriage! My endocrinologist made an appointment for me to see a high risk OB with an ultrasound to "check for viability". I was 12 weeks, the same as when we had our first miscarriage, and my doc was trying to prepare me that we had probably already lost this baby. How do you "prepare" for that? My mind was whirling with thoughts and emotions. I had no idea how we were going to go through another loss like that, or how we would tell our kids....again. I prayed that God would allow this baby to survive and thrive, and I trusted in his plan and his goodness, but it was an agonizing week while we waited for the ultrasound.

On September 12, Brian and I drove down to Good Samaritan for our ultrasound and visit with the new OB. As soon as the tech started the ultrasound and I saw the screen, I started to cry! What I saw was a perfectly formed tiny baby and a heart that was obviously beating!!! See....

Look how cozy and comfy she was!

God is so good! My heart was filled with joy. I didn't want to take my eyes off the screen. The baby even "waved" at us!

But the journey wasn't over. It was really just beginning. My thyroid was untreatable because of a reaction I had had to the medication a while back, and the other treatments were impossible to do while pregnant. So my symptoms were treated and monitored, as well as my thyroid levels. And again...God is so good! Just over half way through my pregnancy, my thyroid levels evened out to just slightly overactive! But,also around the same time, at the 20 week ultrasound we found out the our little baby had yet another hurtle to overcome.

A typical umbilical cord has three vessels that wrap around each other to provide nutrients and oxygen to the baby. (Pretty cool that the Bible says that a cord of 3 strands can not be easily broken...and that is how he designed the lifeline to a baby...with 3 strands!!!) Well, our baby had just two vessels to form the cord. Of umbilical cord defects, a two vessel cord is a common one. But to us it was not common and it was quite scary. A two vessel cord can mean nothing, but it can also be a sign of problems in the baby and can lead to problems as the pregnancy progresses. The biggest concern would be failure to thrive in utero and low birth weight, along with preterm labor. All issues that an overactive thyroid can cause too! So, my appointments got bumped to every 3 weeks until 32 weeks with an ultrasound at each visit. Then, I had, or got! to go twice a week for an ultrasound and non-stress test to make sure our baby was doing well. We had a wonderful doctor who took very good care of us and calmed my fears on many occassions...thanks Dr. Brenner! I even got some of the 3D/4D ultrasounds, which was very cool! These are a couple of my favorites...




All in all, I had about 15 ultrasounds of our beautiful baby (not once finding out the gender!!!) but none were as wonderful as when we got to meet our precious Leah Joy in person on March 2!


She is 4 months old now and I can't believe the road we took to get her here. She is truly a blessing to our family and the perfect finish for us! She is everything we dreamt about. God knew the plans he had for us and he fulfilled them even more than we could have hoped or imagined. As hard as the last year has been, I would walk it all over again just to get Leah at the end! (Although, I am so glad to know that I won't walk that road again! :) ) God is so, so good!!


I have learned so much over the last year. Lessons that will never be forgotten and that are too lengthy to go into now! But thank you to all of you who walked this road with us! Thank you for being the hands of God by providing meals and childcare when needed. For being a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. Thank you for going before the throne of God on our behalf to ask for protection for me and our precious baby Leah! I am so blessed with amazing friends and family!