Friday, November 22, 2013

annie elise: six months

This post is a little late (see below) but I wanted to get it in before she got any older!

Annie girl, you are six months old!

You are on the small side, coming in the 20th percentile for weight (just under 15 pounds) and the 25th percentile for length.  You are breast fed all day and then get one bottle of formula before bed.  You are just now trying baby foods, and for the most part you are not a real big fan.

You are a happy baby, but you want to be held all the time.  All the time.
As long as your'e on my hip, you don't make a peep unless it is to shriek with delight at your brother or at the sight of Daisy.

You love attention, toys with lights and music, to be outside, and your jumperoo.
You still don't love car rides, but this is getting so much better and as long as you've got a toy, you're content for short drives.

You have two bottom teeth and you put everything straight into your mouth.
Your hair is coming back.  It is light brown and sticks straight up!

You sleep from about 7:30 at night until 6:00 in the morning, then you may or may not go back down for a few hours.  You love your crib and you will talk and coo and roll around until you fall asleep.  You take 2-3 naps a day, depending on how long you sleep at each one.

You sit up with assistance, but would prefer to stand.  You're rolling all around and you want to scoot but you're still trying to figure that one out.

You've got an opinion and your Honey thinks you are going to rule the roost. 
She's probably right.

You are adorable and precious and sweet and happy and we love you so very much.

helloooooo (calling from a crazy season)

It's crazy up in here.  Don't even know where to begin.

I've been meaning to post this picture of my adorable kiddos on Halloween.

Luke was a fireman (what else?) and Annie was his dalmatian.  We went to a fall festival at a local church and had a blast.  Luke's favorite part was the candy (what else?) and the Cheetos he got to eat at the festival (he was like, what?! these are awesome!).  Little man was in total heaven.  Annie?  Oh she was just along for the ride, as usual!

Speaking of being along for the ride.  This next picture (from August) pretty much sums up where we've been the last few months.

See that mess behind us?  That's the slab for our new house being poured.  See me?  Holding a newborn?  See him?  Holding a toddler?  We are exhausted.  And excited.  And busy.  And so excited.

We put our house on the market.  That's no easy task, let me tell you.  It sold in 2 days for over asking price.  We pulled our jaws up off the floor and started packing up, while in the meantime Adam is working his normal job and building our new home which is a full time job in itself.  We put most of our belongings in storage.  That's fun.  And moved in with my in-laws because the new house won't be ready for several more weeks.  That's fun, too.  (No, really, they are great.  And we are super thankful for their hospitality.)  And that's where we are now.

All joking aside, this is a dream come true.  Adam has always always always wanted to do this.  And we are so thankful for the opportunity.  We've chosen everything.  Everything.  This place is completely custom.  From the floor plan to the door hinges, we're doing it all.  There is lots of blood, sweat, and tears (literally, blood, sweat, and tears) being poured into this place.  And we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It's going to be amazing.

We hope to be in by Christmas.  But we've got lots of work to do and not too much time to do it.  I had someone tell me that if your marriage can survive building a house, it can survive anything.  I believe it.  This is not easy.  Being in a state of chaotic transition with two kids and a dog and a job and the holidays is tough.  But we're keeping our heads up and looking forward to the end reward.

More pictures to come!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

luke: two and a half

Oh my Luke!  You are just over two-and-a-half years old!
What a sweet joy you've been these last few months.

You weigh just under 30 lbs and you are tall for your age.
You've still got sandy blonde hair and light brown-hazel eyes.
You are becoming a picky little eater and you like "kid food" the best.

You are running and jumping and playing at home and at the park and anywhere else you go.
You can kick a ball with the best of 'em and you are learning to ride a scooter.

Your speech has been a little hard to understand, but you talk all the time now.
You have officially entered the "why?" phase oh my goodness.

You go to speech therapy (to play with Megan!) every week and love it.  You're doing great.

You've got a little dry sense of humor and now that you can use your words, it's revealing itself more and more and sometimes we just can't believe what comes out of your mouth!

You started a 2-year old class this year twice a week for half day and you absolutely love school.
You thrive there and the teachers tell me you are happy and pleasant.

first day of school

I would not describe you as high-energy or hyper.  You have your moments (like close to bedtime!) but for the most part you're more of a sit-down-and-play kind of guy.  You've got a great attention span and you are meticulous about your toys.  When you play pretend, you line all of your trucks up in rows and they must be facing the same direction.

You are introverted and analytical.

When you get tired, you tell me, "mama I wanna go ni-night now."  And you are plain serious.

You go to sleep around 8 pm, sleep until 7 am, and take a 2 hour nap every afternoon.

You love - and I mean love - firetrucks.
Every time we get in the car you say, "mama, I wanna pass da wa-wa-tuk (firetruck) home."
We drive by the fire station (you can show us the way!) and you tell us how many firetrucks are "home" and if they are "awake" or "ni-night."
You read books about firetrucks, watch shows about firetrucks, play pretend with firetrucks, and wear PJs with firetrucks.  You are going to be a fireman for Halloween, of course.

You are still a daddy's boy.  The first words out of your mouth each morning are, "mama, dada home?"  If he's already left for work, you cry.

You love your Honey, and you still call her "A-ha."
You love Annie.  You enjoy her and you ask me all the time to go wake her up!

You are physically very affectionate.  You love to hug, kiss, and snuggle.
And all of that is fine by me because I love you more than you'll ever know.

Friday, September 20, 2013


This just about sums it up, right here.

Let's start with Luke's undies.  That's right.  Potty-trained.  We used the 3-day method and he did great. We did have a week or two with frequent accidents, but he's gotten better and better and I haven't cleaned pee off the floor in over a week.

The recorder.  Thanks Alyssa.  Thank you very much.  Really, truly grateful for this new musical instrument.  Especially while Annie is trying to nap.  ;)  How could I ever repay you?

The firetruck PJs.  This kid is obsessed with all things fire truck.

Tummy time.  Little lady is just as sweet as she can be.  She is now rolling in both directions.  For several days, she could only roll from belly to back which made her really angry because she'd want to get back to her belly but could not.  As of yesterday, problem solved.  Go Annie girl.

Those eyes.  She loves her brother, and the feeling is mutual.  These two are glued together and it brings me so much joy to see them love each other.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

answered prayer

This little man had several appointments in the medical center last week and we got some of the best news about his leg.

(How do you like that hairdo huh?  Pretty sure we were out the door before the sun came up that day and neither one of us did much to fancy up.)  

We were originally told that Luke would have his first surgery between the ages of 3 and 5 because his bowing and leg length discrepancy were so severe.  On Friday, Dr. B told us that he just couldn't believe how well he was doing and he thought it was safe to say we wouldn't have our first surgery until closer to age 10!

When Luke has surgery, he'll be put in a halo cast (with screws drilled into his bone holding a bulky metal contraption to his tibia) for 3-6 months.  We will turn the screws every day to help lengthen and straighten his bone.  Sounds like a picnic, huh?

I'd always imagined my little man going to Kindergarten in a halo cast.  And it made me tear up just to think about that.  So we have prayed fervently that God would heal his leg without surgery.

The Lord is answering my prayers.

"And I will lead the blind in a way they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.  These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them."  Isaiah 42:16

We are overwhelmed with thankfulness and truly believe that the Lord is gifting us with this news and giving us hope in Him.  As always, we trust the Lord with Luke's life and his progress and his journey.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

on raising a kid with some special needs

Note:  I wrote this on September 4, 2013, but hit "save" instead of "publish."  On that day, it was a little too raw and a little too real to share with the world.  But tonight, January 27, 2014, while going through old blog posts, I ran across it and decided to let it out.  :)  I want to keep things in chronological order, so the date above is the day it was written, not the day it was made public.

When Luke was born, the shock of his leg was like a gigantic boulder, sitting on my chest and covering my eyes and crushing my head all the time.  It was weighty.  It was blinding.  It was consuming.

It was terrifying.

I have since been able to move that boulder and I am able to breathe, see, and think a little more clearly.
Let me explain.

Luke wears an AFO all day, every day.  And yet, I hardly notice it's there anymore.

Sometimes when we're out and about someone will ask me if he "broke his leg" and on several occasions, it's taken me a moment to realize what they were talking about.  His AFO is part of his body to me.  I don't think about it being different or even visible.  I see him, not his leg.

We have a team of a physician, an orthotist, and a physical therapist that we love and that we can call anytime for help.  These folks are instrumental in rolling away that boulder, allowing me to focus on being Luke's mama, and not his medical team.  I can breathe a little easier knowing that I am not in this alone.

And we have the amazing, unbeatable, unfathomable support of family to help us when we need it.  Our family has helped financially, emotionally, and practically so that Luke has everything he needs in order to get through this.  I can think about this situation without worrying about how we will make it through.

But there are days - here comes the confession - when that boulder comes right back.

An incident or an instance or just a moment out of seemingly no where when I cannot breathe for the weight on my chest.  I cannot see for the rock over my eyes.  And I cannot think for the challenges that occupy every part of my brain.

The last twenty-four hours have been like that for me.  Luke started having problems last night and our family drops everything to get him to the med center today for an appointment with his specialist.  We are being worked-in to this clinic and worked-in to that one because a two year old that can't walk is a big deal.

I was sitting in the orthotist's office today, looking at my son, and there it was.  The boulder.
One shoe off, one shoe on.  Chowing down on Nilla Wafers.  Waiting to be cast for a new AFO.
I looked at his face and couldn't hold back the tears.
This boy is my hero.  He is absolutely amazing.

Many will have more trouble in this life than Luke.  This is not a pity party.  It's not a sob story.
But there are few toddlers who have walked this road.  No pun intended.
He is so brave and so strong and so incredible and he doesn't even know it.

He looked right back at me and I think he realized that this was a weighty moment.
"I okay mama."
I know, buddy.  I'm okay too.

I am okay because I trust. 

I trust the Lord in our lives.  I trust His will and His provision and His love.  I trust His mercy and His grace.  I trust that He is enough.

God did not make a mistake when He formed my son in my womb.
This road we walk, this boulder that hits me square between the eyes -- this was not Plan B.
This was God's will for us!  His story for us!
It was his very utmost incredible best for us.  And I trust that.

I trust that I am not alone.  That we are loved by a God who would never leave us.
I trust that I was meant to be - made to be - Luke's mama. God gave Luke to me on purpose.

It's easy to hold on too tight.  For me to let that boulder entrap me and make me feel like I have to control every second of every day like this one.  For me to feel an overwhelming urgency to fix this.  It's easy to let the heaviness crush my ability to trust Him.

But the love that I have for my son -- it is a gift from God.
The support of our family -- it is a gift from God.
The medical team -- they are a gift from God.

I have seen over and over and over how God provides and cares for us.
So I will choose not to let that big damn rock get in the way of my trust.

I will be a witness to my son so that he can see me trust God with his leg.
There will come a day when he will trust God with his leg, too.
May I be his example.

I am no saint and this is scary.  It can be terrifying, really.

Luke has an appointment on Friday and I have a feeling that we will get some news that will be hard to swallow.  If not Friday, there will be a day in the near future when I will leave that doctor's office struggling to trust God with my son.  But that's okay because the harder it is for me to trust Him in this, the more I will have to trust Him in this.  And the more I will have to trust Him in this, the more I will know His unfailing Love in this.  And the more I will know His unfailing Love in this, the more I will know Him.  Amen.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

brother and sister

Just thought I'd show a little comparison of Luke and Annie each at four months.

Their smiles are just alike.  And their little button noses are just adorable to me.
Annie has a longer face than her brother and her hair has always been a little darker.
They were both born with a ton of hair and bald by about 3 months.
They are almost the exact same size at this age, too.

Oh my heart I can't believe I am a mommy to these precious kiddos.

Monday, September 2, 2013

annie elise: four months

If I thought time went by fast with the first child, I knew nothing.  I genuinely cannot believe I am typing a four month post for miss annie.

Annie girl!  What a joy you are!

You give me this great big grin every time I look at you!
You are sugar and spice, little miss.
Happy happy happy until you get hungry or tired or put in your car seat.
And then -- whoo!  Little temper!  It makes me laugh to think of you so young and so opinionated.

Nighttime sleep is still a little unpredictable.  Some weeks are great and some not so great.  For the last week or so you've slept from about 8 pm to 5 am, nurse for a bit, then go back down until around 8.  But sometimes you wake up in the 3 o'clock hour so it's just not very consistent.

You take 3-4 naps a day, depending on length.  And just like your brother at this age, you sleep for 30 minutes and then wake.  I try to enforce one long nap, even if I have to rock you back to sleep a few times.

You swaddle to sleep but we keep your hands out of the blanket.  You find a fist or a few fingers and put them in your mouth to soothe yourself to sleep.

You still breast feed every 2-3 hours during the day and we give you a bottle in the evening when you seem to be a little hungrier than mommy can keep up with.

You are just under 12 pounds and are just starting to wear your 3-6 month clothes.  But with your chubby cheeks and thick little legs, you don't look too small!

You love your play mat, your bouncy seat, and being held around the house.
You love your bath and your brother!  You will turn your head to follow him across the room.
You hate your car seat and loud noises scare you.

You are not rolling over or even giving me any signs  that you will soon.
You seem to be very content laying on your back or your belly and have "no need" to turn!

You fit our family like a glove and I can hardly remember what it was like without you here.
I love you more than I could ever write with words and I truly enjoy watching you grow.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

august update

Where has this summer gone?

Oh wait.  I know.

It's gone to the pool and the splash pad and the sprinklers.
It's gone to nursing and bouncing and tummy time.
It's gone to date nights (thank God for grandparents) and West Wing marathons.
It's gone to housework and painting and play doh.
It's gone to the mall and to play dates and to Honey's house.
It's gone to a very big project that's still sort of a secret. (More on that later!)
It's gone to mama going back to work.  And Annie learning to take a bottle. (That was no easy task.)
It's gone to speech therapy and well child checks and community group.
It's gone to girl's night out and friends from out of town and family trips to Home Depot.

It's been busy and fun and relaxed and hard and easy all at the same time.  I've enjoyed that Luke was not in school and that I was not at work (until last week).  The end of August brings a little more structure and busyness to our world, and although that's okay, I've really enjoyed our relaxed summertime.

Monday, July 15, 2013

instant grandfather

Though Luke and Annie are surrounded by our amazing families, I wanted to dedicate a special post to one man in particular.

This man became a grandparent almost overnight.  He and my mom started dating when Luke was just six months old, and they got married a year later.  Cramer does not have biological grandchildren but from the very first day, he has loved Luke with a selfless and gentle spirit, as if he came from his very flesh.  They share a love for all things motorized and both have a quiet, introverted character.

Luke and Annie will never know a time when "Mamer" was not a grandfather to them.  I am so thankful for how he loves us and it blesses my heart to see Luke love him right back.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July.  We started out this morning at the parade in town where Luke enjoyed a bomb pop for breakfast...

...and Annie enjoyed a morning nap.

Later this evening we went to the Martin's for a delicious steak dinner and playtime outside.

I love my handsome boys!

And this one is growing too fast!

Say cheese!

Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

annie girl - 2 months

(I thought time went by quickly with the first baby.  But oh my word it's gone by even quicker this time!)

Annie girl,

You are two months old.  This last month has been a bit of a roller coaster, but I think we are finally coming down from the crazy ride.  Let's just call it the month-o-reflux.  For a while there you were pretty miserable.  You cried for about an hour after every single feed.  It was awful to watch you arch your back and scream and hold your breath and cough and choke and scream some more.

But hallelujah (seriously, praise Jesus) we have gotten that under control.  You're on some pretty good drugs now and your little esophagus is starting to heal.  And you are so much happier!

You weigh 10 pounds 6 oz.  You wear 0-3 month clothes and size 1 diapers.
You are nursing so well and I love it!

You take one long nap in the morning, another long nap in the afternoon, and you cat-nap throughout the day between feeds.  You eat every 2-3 hours during the day and every 4-5 hours at night.  Last night you slept from 10 pm to 5 am (longest stretch yet!) and it made mommy so happy!

You swaddle to sleep, just like Luke did.  But you like to fall asleep on my shoulder and you don't use a paci.  In that way, you are so different than your brother.

You smile at people when they talk to you, and you smile at the toys hanging from your bouncy seat.  You will lay on your play mat for about 10 minutes at a time.  You like to be held facing out, so you can see the world!  I feel like just overnight you've gone from newborn to infant, and I love to see you awake a little more.

It may be cliche, but words cannot describe how much I love you, how deeply I care for you, and what an amazing little girl you are.  Keep growing strong, little baby.  We love you.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

happy father's day

Here's to dads who love like crazy!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

annie - one month

Annie girl!
Your first month with us has come and gone and you are fitting into our family just perfectly.

You weigh a little over 8 pounds and to me you're looking a little chunky!
You are still an eat-play-sleep kinda baby and you want to eat every 3 hours.  Even at night.
But you go right back to sleep after nighttime feedings, which is great for momma.
You sleep in your bassinet in our room.

We've had some issues with nursing, but we're working through them.
Right now you nurse and get expressed breast milk through a bottle, too.

You recognize our voices and you're starting to focus on our faces.
We are still waiting for your first smile.

You cry when you're hungry or tired or put in your car seat.
You love to be held in the baby sling and you're very content to sleep on my chest.
You just took a paci for the first time.

I cannot even describe how much I love you.
This month with you has been so sweet!

Friday, May 31, 2013

annie's birth story

Wednesday, May 1.

I met a friend at the splash pad, met my mom for lunch, and had a relaxing afternoon at home.  I cooked dinner and when Adam got home we played outside in the pool with Luke.  I had no signs of labor.  I felt great.

11 pm:  Adam and I were watching The Help.  It was just about over.  I was laying on the couch.  I had a really tight braxton-hicks contraction and felt a gush.  My shorts were wet.  I got up to go to the bathroom thinking that maybe I'd wet my pants.  Nope.  Too much fluid.  Lots of fluid.  I let the movie finish and told Adam that my water broke!

11:15 pm:  More fluid.  Lots of fluid.  But no contractions.  I didn't want to go to the hospital before contractions started, but I knew I'd have to go eventually.  My bag was just about packed, but I finished packing and Adam started packing a bag, too.  We were giddy, giggling, excited.  I realized that I might not sleep for a very long time and started to feel weary.

11:30 pm:  Contractions started.  My contractions don't joke around.  Once they start, they are for real.  They were 2-4 minutes apart and painful, though I could still talk through them.  Back pain started and never stopped.  There was no relief from back pain, even between contractions.  I straightened my hair and changed my clothes and Adam ran around like a chicken packing and cleaning.  He even remembered to pack Luke's lunch because the next day was a school day and he knew we might not be home for much longer.

Midnight:  I text my babysitter, giving her a head's up.  I wanted to labor at home for a bit and was determined to do so.  Contractions still 2-4 minutes apart and painful, but not getting any stronger.

Thursday,  May 2, 12:30 am:  Contractions got stronger.  Told my babysitter to come quick.  She's awesome, so she did.  She came in about 15 minutes.

1:00 am:  I kissed Luke goodbye and got in the car.  I cried because I knew that the next time I saw him, things would be so different.

1:15 am:  Arrived at the hospital.  Pulled into the circle drive so Adam could drop me off.  A car pulled in right behind me and a girl that I go to church with got out!  Her water broke, too! We couldn't believe that we'd run into each other under these circumstances!  Contractions getting stronger, difficult to talk and walk during them.  We checked in at the nurse's station.  They put me in a room and began the process.  Back pain was severe.

1:30 am:  Nurse says I'm 3 cm dilated and 100% effaced.  This disappoints me greatly because my contractions hurt really, really, really bad but I didn't want to get an epidural at 3 cm.  I told her I would labor on my own for a bit.  I stood beside the bed and rocked.  I was trying to turn the baby because I knew from the horrible back pain that she was anterior.  Contractions were almost unbearable.

2:30 am:  I "give in" and tell the nurse I'm ready for an epidural.  She checks me again and tells me I'm 3-4 cm dilated and calls the anesthesiologist.

3:00 am:  Anesthesiologist begins the process.  Adam has to leave the room.  He starts to text our family telling them that I was in labor.  He thought we had lots of time because I was only 3 cm.  I am crying through contractions and complaining a LOT.  This pain is no joke.  It hurts really, really bad.  There is a needle in my back and the doc keeps telling me to stay "in position."  I can't.  He seems irritated with me and that hurt my feelings.  I feel her coming.  I scream really loud, she's coming out of me!  I'm not kidding.  I felt her come out of me.  It was like someone had ripped me open.  About ten people run into the room and start gowning and gloving.  Anesthesia pulled the needle out of my back.  The nurse lays me down on my side and opens my legs just a little bit.  She was right there.  She was coming out.  The nurses held my legs together and made me stay on my side because they knew if I moved, I would deliver.  My doc was on his way.  Adam text my mom to Hurry! I screamed a lot.  I begged the nurse to just deliver her, she wouldn't do it.  They kept telling me not to push.  I couldn't help it.  I couldn't help it.  It hurt so bad.

3:15 am:  My mom comes in.  She made it!  I was in too much pain to even really realize she was there.

3:20 am:  Doc comes in.  My feet go up on stirrups.  He says, Jennifer give a gentle push, the baby is here.  My body was already pushing.  She came out.  I felt everything.  Oh. My. Gosh.  The pain.  The cord was around her neck.  He cleared the cord and let her come out the rest of the way.  Adam cut the cord and she let out a huge screaming cry.  I was hurting really really bad but seeing her was the most amazing thing.  They put her straight on my chest and finished things up down there.

4:00 am:  I held my baby girl for over an hour, skin to skin.  Adam and I cried and laughed and just stared at her and talked about how fast everything went and how we couldn't believe she was here.  She was here!

And that's Annie's birth story.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

big brother

I think one of the things that has surprised me the most in the last two weeks is how well this little man has adjusted to life with a little sister.

One of the things I worried about the most when I was pregnant was him.
How would he handle the change?  Would he be jealous?  Would he be defiant?
Would he feel neglected?  Would he regress?  Would he reject me?

My precious, precious son has done better than I could have ever dreamed. 
It's as if he was meant to be - supposed to be - as if he longed to be - her brother.
He loves his Annie.  
He has accepted her into our family completely and wholly and it's a beautiful thing.

He asks for her when he gets up in the morning.  He kisses her goodnight before bed.
He shares his toys and his juice and loves to pat her.
When she cries, he tells me to give her milk.  And when she yawns, he says, night night!

And otherwise, he's completely gone about his business.
Doesn't even seem to think things are too different around here.
OH how I love him!  

Monday, May 13, 2013

her name: annie elise

Last Friday we took a little trip to Huntsville to introduce Annie to Adam's grandmother, Annie's namesake.  Even before we knew if this baby was a boy or a girl, Adam loved the name Annie and wanted to honor his grandmother by using her name.

It couldn't be a more perfect fit.

Of course, grandma thought she was super sweet and she just laughed and laughed and laughed as she held her.  Grandma Annie is ninety years old and we counted that she has thirty three grandchildren + great grandchildren (with #34 on the way!).  She is an incredible example of grace and strength and spunk and beauty and legacy.  We couldn't be more thrilled to have a daughter named for her.

Annie Elise.  

In Hebrew, Annie means favor and grace and the English meaning of Annie is prayer.
Elise means consecrated to God or oath of God.  Elise is my middle name, too.  :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

mother's day 2013

Over the last ten days I've experienced a myriad of emotions.
Postpartum hormones, lack of sleep, and breast feeding tend to do that to me.

But mostly, I feel thankful.  Truly, truly thankful.
Thank you, Lord, for my kids.

I have never known a love like this. 
Luke and Annie have taken my heart to a place where love abounds and nothing else matters. 
I cannot imagine two greater gifts in all the world.
They are amazing and wonderful.  They are joy and humility.  They are hope and light.

Thank you, sweet babies, for making me a mom.  There is nothing else I'd rather be.  


We celebrated Mother's Day by going to church (Annie's first Sunday! She slept the entire time!), resting at home, and then having my own mom and Cramer over for dinner and splashing in the pool.  It could not have been a more perfect day.

All dressed up for church.

Just keeping it real, folks.  :)

The longer that I am a mom, the more I appreciate my own.  Funny how that works.  I have the best mom in the entire world, and I am so thankful that she models patience and selflessness and humility and love for me, so that I can model the same for my little ones.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

annie's first bath

Annie had her first real bath today, after her umbilical cord fell off a few days ago.  But what I really wanted to show was how much she and Luke look alike as newborns.

Annie's first bath:

Luke's first bath (two years ago!):

Their little faces are so similar to me.  They've got different coloring, and Luke was a little smaller, but their eyes and noses and mouths really favor each other.

They are both just so precious!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

meet Annie Elise!

Our precious, precious gift was born in the wee hours on Thursday, May 2 after a crazy fast labor and delivery.

Meet Annie Elise Martin.
She weighed 6 pounds 5 ounces, and was 19 inches long with dark brown hair and the sweetest face you've ever seen.

Big brother thinks she is pretty great, and he has been so sweet.  He wants to hold her all the time, he loves to put on her socks and her hat, and he's already tried to share his firetruck.

We came home Friday - the most beautiful, cool day that a Texas May has ever known - and we are getting settled in and adjusted to life as a family of four.  On our first afternoon at home, I went outside for a while to enjoy the weather and watch Luke play.  He crawled up in my lap and the three of us sat in a lawn chair for 20 minutes just talking and cuddling.

Oh how I wished I could just freeze time.  Hold onto that very moment forever.
It was the sweetest.

I still can't believe that she's here and that we have a daughter.  She is just beautiful and I am overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness and and love.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

37 weeks and counting!

Here we are!  Thirty-seven!  Baby girl and me -- just so thankful that we've made it this far and that it's been so blessedly easy!

I feel really good!  Weeks 30-34 were the roughest, but the last few weeks have come with a burst of energy for which I am so thankful!

Had an ultrasound at 36 weeks and girlie is head down, 5 1/2 pounds, and looking perfect!
Had my cerclage taken out yesterday and was a whopping ZERO centimeters dilated....
So I'm really thinking she'll stay tucked in for a while.

I'm still craving snow cones.  Icees.  Sorbet.  Anything cold and sweet.  Yummy.
Still exercising.  Still sleeping pretty well.  Still working.  Still chasing a toddler.  ;)
Still looking forward to the day when this little one comes out and I can see her precious face!

Monday, April 22, 2013

baby shower!

I am so thankful for four of my girlfriends who threw me an amazing baby shower this weekend.  I felt so loved and spoiled and celebrated.  Baby girl got tons of new outfits, blankets and nursery gear.  We are all ready to go!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

summertime is coming!

And this is how an eight-and-a-half month pregnant momma and a tired little boy survive a long Tuesday afternoon when it's getting hot outside!

I just love this little man and how much he loves to be outside.  He's crazy with the water hose, he loves to get all wet and when I squirt him in the face and on top of the head.

Daisy came up and took a drink out of the hose and Luke thought that was hysterical.  I look down two seconds later and he's doing the same thing.  Oh well, at least he's not peeing in the yard!  :)

I think it's supposed to be in the 30s and 40s over the next few days which is crazy because it's been so hot.  Here we go, springtime in Texas!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

family date night

This was one of the best nights ever.

If someone would have told me two years ago that I could get this much joy out of seeing my son find joy, I would have never believed.  But tonight.  Tonight I believe.

We were out to get some frozen yogurt and we saw a fire truck driving down the road. 
Luke loves fire trucks and got very excited, as usual when we pass one of the big rigs.

But tonight, even through ruby red grapefruit sorbet, he wouldn't stop asking for more firetrucks.  Over and over he would ask for more.  So Adam told him we'd drive around after dessert to look.

We stopped at the fire station by our house to show Luke where the firetrucks go night night.

There were two trucks in the garage and as we were sitting there, one of the men came out and told us we could bring Luke inside and take a look!

Then this happened.

They gave him a hat and let him go to town.  Little man was in absolute heaven.

Made his night.
My little introvert made this face all the way home.

Didn't say a word.  But just sat in his car seat, deep in thought.  Processing.  Thinking. 
Perfectly happy.

And the first thing he did when we got inside was find his fire truck and his Mickey Mouse fireman.

And he insisted on wearing his hat for the rest of the night.

As we speak, he is in his crib trying to fall asleep.  With his hat on. 
Best family date night.  Ever.  :)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

happy easter!

Christ is risen from the dead!
we are one with Him again!
Come awake! Come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave! 

We had a sweet and simple Easter.  Complete with an egg hunt after church.  

Luke was a little hesitant at first.  But after daddy showed him what was inside the eggs... he thought that picking them up was just about the coolest thing ever. 

And.  Just keepin' it real for ya....

How do ya like that cranky face? 
Happy Easter!