Friday, August 30, 2013


So, after my last post, I did some thinking. And celebrated my birthday.

And, an epiphany has come to me.

I was putting so much pressure on this single day to be AH-MAZING, when in reality, there was no way I could make everything happen that I want to happen. It put so much pressure on me, so much pressure on Luke and those around me, and it left me in a puddle of tears at the end of the day from broken expectations (sometimes figuratively, but sometimes literally. poor poor Luke).

So, anyways, the epiphany. I was thinking about this last night on our way home from a very fun dinner with my in-laws. My birthday just happens to fall on the same day as my father-in-law's, so we celebrated together at Ruby Tuesdays, which was special and fun. But, it wasn't a huge gesture, and there were no fireworks. And I had spent the day wrangling 2 very precious, but very rambunctious boys (let's talk about the biting and toy throwing another day mmmkay?), so it really had been just another day.

But, what if I stopped putting my focus on just that one day? What if instead I made a list for the coming year, and simply saw that day as a beginning, a fun opening sentence on what is sure to be a great story? Instead of having all sorts of expectations for one day, I put together a list of expectations for that year. And, then, here's the kicker, I make them happen.

A dinner party outside with friends? Well, let's get on that. Buy some twinkle lights, make Luke build me a table, and blam. Go forward with that.

Get a tattoo? Well, I need to finalize a design and find a tattoo artist and make an appointment. And screw up my courage, but you know.

Volunteer somewhere. Learn some more about web design. Etc, etc, etc.

Instead of having a golden birthday, I have decided to have a golden year.

And really, I think that just sounds much more fun.

(oh, and for the record, Luke did come through. he always comes through. he got me some fun presents, let me order the steak I wanted at supper, and he picked me the most gorgeous bouquet of flowers and wild grasses. what more does a girl need?)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

expectations and the wreck they havoc

It's my birthday this week.

Not just my birthday, but my GOLDEN BIRTHDAY.

Yup, that's right. I turn 29 on the 29th.

I remember being a little girl, and hearing about golden birthdays for the first time. My brain really likes doubles like that, numerically speaking, so it became a big thing to me. Buuuuuut it was FOREVER away. Like years and years away.

And now it's not. It's only days away. And so I want it to be a big deal. I want it to be a big thing. It's a once in a lifetime thing. I'll have big decade birthdays, well, once a decade. But a golden birthday? I only get one shot.

It should be a day speckled with light, and love, and laughter, and that should Instagram perfectly (if I had Instagram), and I should be wearing an outfit that makes me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world, and everything should fall into place, and it should be suffused with this wonderful glowy light so it looks just like all those pictures you see on Pinterest of perfect days and perfect moments.


Poor, poor Luke.

But that's not real life is it? My birthday is during the week, so my husband will have to go to work, meaning I'll be home with the kids. I'll still have to feed them, and me. I will have to wash the dishes, do the laundry, change diapers, and keep children alive, for pete's sake! (well, not really for Pete. but, since he is my brother, I'm sure he would like his nephews to keep on keeping on).

We don't have anything in our life that looks like the pictures. No table sitting under the trees lit with Christmas lights, and canning jar lanterns, surrounded by beautifully and perfectly done decorations. A meal that just happens to take place during that perfectly glowy part of the evening when everything is soft and magnificent.

We don't live anywhere close to a city that has the 'it' place to be for dinner, where we can get dressed up in our finest pearls and suits, and head out for a night of drinks and dinner. Then someone can take a picture of me laughing, slightly blurry because I am moving with joy over the fact that someone set a plate of food down in front of me (that's why they're always so joyous in those pictures isn't it?).

It's not winter so I can't be bombing down a mountain wearing the perfect combination of warm clothes that are cutely adorable while my cheeks glow and my hair magically becomes long, flowing, and curly.

My life isn't a photo op. And it's a hard thing to reconcile.

Expectations really aren't your friend are they?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

a random Wednesday in August

we have been taken down by the plague. it has been two weeks of coughs, cries, fevers, and runny noses. I succumbed a week ago, and it has been rough. last night I spent most of the night coughing, which means I don't sleep well, and neither does Luke.

it's not a great way to end a summer.

and as a result, I feel behind on everything. my house suffers, my eating habits suffer, working out is a joke, the bookwork I do for my brother is not done promptly or extremely thoroughly, and it's all I can to keep the boys alive, let alone keep them on a prompt schedule and diet.

and the worst thing? I don't get to interact with many people. my in-laws are stuck with us, so they get to share in our germs. but, I was raised that if you're contagious, you don't go anywhere unless you have to. not to church, not to hang out with people, etc. I had to cancel a playdate I had really been looking forward to two weeks ago, and I haven't been able to reschedule because she has a wee one I don't want exposed to this. and our good friends just had a brand new baby girl I can't wait to get my baby-craving mitts on, but I had to stay a good 5 feet away when we went to see her. I want to be able to bring them meals and help out, but I can't. and there's another little baby I need to get myself up to MN to see pronto, but can't, because, once again, plague.


so, we have been spending lots of time watching Gilmore Girls and Curious George (watch da monkey! is a common refrain heard from my 2 year old), drinking hot Chai, and just feeling cruddy.

I'm over it. time to get well, time to finally enjoy the last vestiges of this summer, weird weather and all.

speaking of weird weather, my toddler is all confused as to proper weather attire. last week it was quite chilly, which maaaaaybe explains his choice of wearing two winter hats on a 90 degree day?

the boots are an all weather accessory however. he can put them on himself, and mommy is all over that!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Facebook No More

About a month ago I made a decision I never thought I would make: I deactivated my Facebook.

Those of you who know me, know this is a very big deal. I signed up for Facebook eons and eons ago, pretty much as soon as it became a 'thing'. In fact, I had to pretend I went to the college I went to my freshman year, because the community college I was at for my sophomore year didn't count, and back then it was only for college students.

I have hours upon hours trolling the site. In fact, I shudder to think how many days, weeks, and potentially months of my life I have spent looking at pictures, reading status updates and finding people I used to know.

But, when I moved away from all family and friends to live in small town Montana, hours from the nearest Walmart or fast food, it was a blessing. I was able to share pictures of my life, and my friends were able to share pictures of theirs. As I developed friendships with camp staff that came and went every summer, we were able to keep in touch.

Then my new husband and I left Montana and went to Alaska. Then we left Alaska and went to South Dakota. Then we left South Dakota and went to North Dakota. Then we left North Dakota and went back to South Dakota.

And everywhere we moved, Facebook came with. Grandparents could see their adorable grandchildren we produced, and I could see all the adorable children of my nearest and dearest. It made me feel like a part of their family, even though I didn't get to see them enough, and they don't know their Tante Rachie on sight.

Wow, I'm quickly typing myself back into reactivating my account!

But, it might be awhile yet. While I am sad that I am missing out on the news of babies, engagements, or just their average Tuesday night, I am amazed at how much more boring the Internet has become. I still have my blogs that I read, and those are wonderful, but there aren't as many links to click, or picture albums to browse, and that means I get to walk away that much sooner from my computer. Perhaps not as soon as my children would like, but I can tell a difference.


Pictures that have nothing to do with the subject matter, but what is a post without pictures? Especially now that I don't have a Facebook account to share them on!

Friday, July 26, 2013

What I Want To Remember

 All those cliches are cliches for a reason right?

Time is fleeting. They grow up so fast. The days are long but the years are short. 

Yada yada yada.

So, these are the things I want to remember about my kiddos right now.

Drew (2 yrs and 2 months):

Daddy teaching him to ride his 'micycle'

 -the way he says 'fuve you' when we tell him we love him
-the cuddles he needs with mommy in the morning when he's trying to wake up
-how much he loves his lovey, who he calls 'fuvey'
-how much he loves his 'papa' 'mas' and 'dranma' 'dranpa' (Luke's parents and my parents respectively)
-how he will happily watch 'horsies' for hours, which is what he calls my mom's eventing DVDs. 1998 Rolex is his current favorite.
-his '1,2, 3 GO' before he takes off running or jumping
-the way he runs with his shoulders all scrunched up, pumping his arms and swinging his little bum from side to side


-listening to him learn new words everyday, and start to use them in his sentences. we currently hear about how he 'throbs up' (throws up) several times a day (he really doesn't do that much anymore. but enough that he knows what its called).
-his extreme love for 'movies'. he loves Baby Einstein Baby MacDonald and World Animals and Curious George.
-his little peanut size. he is still about 6 months behind, so he's the size of an 18 month old.
-his love for all things farm, and watching him 'feed my cows hay with tractor and wagon' multiple times a day or listening to him ask to 'milk tows' with 'papa and daddee'
-how he is super outgoing/talkative at home, but stares down strangers with a death glare
-listening to him greet daddy when he comes home 'hi daddee!'
-how much he LOVES being outside, and will happily bomb around for hours at a time
-his excitement about life

Will (9 1/2 months):


-his big blue eyes that capture everyone he meets
-his big smile and contagious giggles
-the way he sucks in air over and over again very loudly when he gets really happy
-the way he books it crawling to get to whoever he is excited to see, who is mostly daddy right now
-his sweet cuddles
-the way he eats and eats and eats
-his easy going personality, unless Drew takes his toy
-listening to his motor run
-the way he burrows into his lovey or our shoulder and then comes out with a big ole' shy grin
-how much he loves hanging out outside, eating dirt, rocks and grass  
-the way he has conversations with you - he'll say a syllable (ta or ba), you repeat it to him, and he'll repeat it back to you. again and again and again.


I really am the luckiest. These two little boys are my constant companions, the ache in my heart, the joy and laughter in my day, the frustration and exhaustion behind the bags under my eyes. 

I know everyone thinks this about their kids, but the world really is better by having these 2 little munchkins running around.

a classic 'in front of the peonies' shot taken in the backyard of the house where my grandparents lived, where my dad grew up and where I spent much of my childhood. my grandma Myrtle always posed us in front of this exact bush.
 just carrying on tradition! the house is about to leave the family, so I insisted we take pictures before we didn't have a chance anymore.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

snack time

last week, I decided that I NEEDED a snack. the combination of nursing, working out, and being me was too much and I was starving.

I started in the fridge, worked my way to the cupboard, up to the freezer and back to the fridge. nothing looked good, nothing sounded good.

until, I saw the pickles. and then I knew I was set.

so I grabbed the pickles, some cheese and a Sierra Mist.

(no, I'm not pregnant. a girl can like pickles anytime. I have since I was a wee little girl and would put down a whole jar while watching some cartoon on my grandma's TV)

I went to open the pickle jar and due to some combination of my gracefulness and gravity, I ended up spilling pickle juice all over the counter, floor and my legs.

it might be a true indication of my graceful state that when I let out a yelp of surprise, my husband did not come running to my aid or ask what happened. he knew I was fine, and he knew I was being me.

anyways, if you think that this let me deter me from having my pickles, you would be sadly mistaken. I threw a towel down, grabbed a bowl of pickles and went on my merry way. pickle legs and all. Luke sure is a lucky guy!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Claiming My Blog

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Since Google is breaking my heart by taking away my beloved Reader (seriously? I use Chrome as my browser, and my Google Reader Next button is my number 1 window. that's above FACEBOOK. I'm looking at you Zimbelman. Couldn't you have done something???), I am doing what all the cool-cats are doing and checking out the different options. So far Bloglovin is kinda sorta getting my vote, but it's dueling it out with Feedly. But I'm still gonna claim my blog, because it's mine! And I wants it. Even if I neglect it terribly, those are still my dust bunnies!

That is all.

There will be a real update coming soon(ish). Promise!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Book Review :: Dirty God

In Dirty God: Jesus in the Trenches, Johnnie Moore draws on both Scripture and his extensive experience with other cultures and religions to show how the God of the Bible is unique in his willingness to be near us in all of our messiness. Moore outlines the central importance of the doctrine of grace while introducing readers to a humble and human Jesus who reaches out to us at our worst and pulls us up to our best.
Grace, Moore argues, is something that is both gotten and given, and the two-part structure of the book allows readers to explore both of these dynamics. By offering hope rather than condemnation and showing the practical applications of grace in today’s world, Dirty God will appeal to both the committed Christian and the spiritual seeker looking for a more authentic faith. Challenging and engaging, Dirty God is sure to establish Johnnie Moore as an emerging voice for Millennial and Gen-X evangelicals for years to come.
While I will be honest and say that I often gravitate toward fiction (sometimes the less thinking the better ya know?), I was struck by the picture and thought behind this book when I saw it as a review option on Booksneeze. I was ready for something that made me think and this book did not disappoint.
In this call to action, Moore focuses on the idea of Grace. Grace that is overwhelming, grace that goes above and beyond our humanness, grace that is modeled on the grace that Christ showed to us. 
There is so much hurt in this world. So much disease. So much injustice. Are we adding to it or helping to take it away?
I think that Moore has some really timely reminders about what our lives as Christians are supposed to look like. While it is easy to look at someone's life and pick apart what they are doing wrong, there is something about a log and a speck that comes to mind. Is our job to be God's rule enforcers, or is our job to be God's hands and feet to bring His love to our broken world?
While that's a hard idea for my little rule-loving soul to take in fully, I want to err on the side of love. To the least of these is what we do to Christ. Since I myself am a least, I will try to be love incarnate to those I encounter. 
Moore has some pet projects that he mentions in the book, and that is great. Instead of just giving a vague prescriptive, he gets down and dirty and tells us 'look, this is something you can actually DO'. Maybe those things aren't your thing. Cool. Go do that thing that is your thing. Just go. Do. Be His Hands and Feet, because that is ultimately what He wants from us. 
Grace. Mercy. Love. Mighty mighty love. And grace in the dirty parts of life. 
*this book was provided for me to review by Booksneeze. the opinions are all my own*

Friday, January 25, 2013

Will Bennett: What's In A Name

When it came time to name our baby, we took our sweet time. Apparently naming our children is not our strong suit, as we ran into the same situation with Drew.

As soon as we found out it was a boy at our 20 week ultrasound, we got serious about picking a name. However, we could not come to consensus. 

So, when a friend offered help on FB for naming kiddos, I jumped at the chance:

(sorry about my inelegant name covering up, but oh well. privacy for the win!)

She brought up a name choice that we hadn't thought about before. William has never been a favorite of mine, but I really liked the nickname possibilities, especially Liam. I also really liked the idea of tying it into my family, because Drew ties into Luke's side.

(for those of you who might have problems following the thread, my dad's name is Willard and my grandpa's name was Willie)

So, I kept bringing up Liam as a possiblity, but Luke was never sold on it. And I was never totally sold on Will. So, we kept throwing names out there and shooting them down. And on. And on. Ad nauseum.

And then, we had the baby. And after a couple of days, people typically like you to name your child. So, we got down to work and talked and talked and talked some more.

I had come across Bennett on one of my searches and it grew on me.I also liked that it meant 'blessed'. But, I didn't really want it to be shortened to Ben. 

So, we came back to Will. And I once again really liked how it tied into my family. And that it meant 'strong protector'. And to be honest, I liked how it was like Drew - short for a longer name and only 1 syllable.

Obviously, in the end, Will Bennett was the winner. Our blessed strong protector. 

But, man, naming children is hard work!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Failure To Thrive :: An Update

The last update I posted about Drew's struggle to gain weight mentioned that we were going to take him to one last specialist, the pediatric endocrinologist.

Well, we took him. And, like we expected, we did not really learn much. In fact, the doctor did not run any tests. From his viewpoint, all the pertinent tests had been run, and any that he could add to the mix would be more hassle than they were worth because of how intense they were. 

Basically, all he could tell us was that he did not feel Drew's problem was a result of an endocrinological problem. He did not have any of the typical signs of a kiddo who was lacking in Human Growth Hormone, and his thyroid was normal on all of his blood tests. He did throw out the possibility that his structural growth (bones and teeth) were simply 6 months behind where they should be. After Drew turns 2, we can have an x-ray done of his hand and that could tell us more definitively if that is the issue or not.

So, we took him home and decided to be all done with specialists. They weren't telling us anything our family doctor wasn't telling us, and it wasn't worth driving all the way to the city for a 15 minute appointment where we were told to keep on doing what we were doing and to come back in 2 months for the same advice.

Then, Drew got sick. And was sick for basically most of December. He cycled through a cold, the stomach flu, roseola and an ear infection.

Not only that, but he was throwing up. Majorly throwing up. I tracked it for a couple of weeks, and it was intense. I could barely keep up with his laundry. One of his sheets was almost always in the wash, along with a lovey (getting 2 loveys was one of the best decisions we have ever made!!). 

It felt like we were at the doctor's constantly. Between the throwing up and his other sickness, he started to lose weight. And that was slightly concerning. There was talk of sending us to Omaha to the Children's Hospital because of his condition.

It was a really stressful couple of weeks. We had a newborn, I was still recovering from a c-section, and our poor little kiddo was so sick. At one point, he ran such a high fever and felt so junky that he spent a couple of days basically just sleeping. He would get up from his nap and come out to the living room to fall asleep on my lap on the couch. Very unlike him!

However, we were finally able to get him on antibiotics, and we took him off of dairy to give his system a chance to reset. For a month he drank soy and almond milk, and went light on other dairy offerings. And it worked. He quit throwing up, he started to gain weight (we finally broke the 20 lb mark!!), and got his energy back. We slowly reintroduced dairy into his diet, and it's been going really well. He had one instance of throwing up last weekend, but besides that, he hasn't thrown up since before Christmas. 

His turn around was so great that our doctor went from talking about Omaha Children's to telling us that we didn't need to come back to see him for 2 months. So lovely.

So, things have settled down. Drew is eating a lot better than he ever has, he still has a ton of energy, and he is astounding us every day with his developing mind. Our doctor is going to keep a slightly closer eye on him than some of his other patients, but we're praying that we're over the hump. He might just follow his own growth curve instead of the growth curve 'they' say he should. As long as he's growing, we'll be happy!

Book Review :: Song of the Brokenhearted

Ava has a loving family, a beautiful house, and a solid faith.
Suddenly, her ideal life will be completely broken . . . in the best of ways.
Ava’s life is full of great things. Her daughter is getting married to just the right guy, her husband’s company has kept them financially thriving for years, her son is a freshman in high school, playing football and doing well, and the ministry she started is keeping her busy as she reaches out to those with “broken hearts.”
Then it all falls apart. Ava’s safe world becomes unanchored, and she is forced to face the childhood she’s run away from her entire life. Just as she’s trying to sift through the pieces, the doorbell rings and Ava is confronted with the surprise of her life.
Ava must set out on a journey that takes her back home—something Ava hasn’t done in twenty years. As she travels across the state of Texas, strangers offer her kindness and remind her of the meaning of hope and forgiveness.
It is in this journey back that Ava discovers God in a new way. She sees she's been hiding her brokenness behind good deeds and a safe life. Learning what it means to lose it all is just the start of Ava’s journey – as is the new song God is writing on her heart.

When I was scrolling through Booksneeze looking for a new book to review, this one jumped out at me. First of all, because of the beautiful artwork (what? of COURSE I judge a book by it's cover.). But, after hearing Sheila Walsh speak at Women of Faith last year, I was also really excited to read something she had written, because that woman is a storyteller.

The book did not disappoint. I like how Ava's family was human. It wasn't just people around her that were struggling, but she was struggling. She couldn't juggle it all, she let things slip through her fingers, and she was real. The authors also weren't afraid to show her failings and weaknesses. I saw myself so much in her, longing for a comfortable life, not wanting my life to make waves. If everything would fall into place, then life would be good right?

Of course, life does not work that way, and it really is for the best. No matter how hard that lesson is.

The characters that Walsh and Coloma created to bounce off of Ava were all so interesting. They were able to make them real, and a lot of them popped right off the page and into my living room. There are a lot of hurting people in this world, and these characters told just a couple of those stories. The one that I felt the most for, and who pushed against me the most, was the typical church lady who was always in the background of Ava's life, 'praying' for her, and taking upon herself the job of the Holy Spirit. It is easy to fall into that role, and it was a good reminder for me to put down my judging pen and pick up my grace-filled pen.

There was some weakness in how neatly the end of the story pulls together, but overall I found this book to be a really enjoyable read. Redemption is always a beautiful theme.

I would give it 3 1/2 stars.

*this book was provided for me to review by Booksneeze. the opinions are all my own*

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Will Bennett:: A Birth Story

For those of you who only know me through my blog, have I got a surprise for you! You see, 3 months ago, we went ahead and had ourselves another baby.

Meet Will Bennett:

(taken when he was 1 day old)

To go all the way back to his beginning, we must step back in time to last January. 

I had decided to lose my baby weight, once and for all, so I started to work out. About 3 weeks into the process, I became EXHAUSTED.

I was so tired, that it was about all I could to drag myself out to the couch in the morning so D could play with toys. I spent much of my time laying around, getting up only when necessary to change D's diaper or feed him. I couldn't understand what was going on, but figured it was just a combination of having a baby who woke up all  night long and my winter blues.

Finally, on Valentine's Day, when I couldn't summon up the energy to go on a date with my husband like we'd planned, Luke made me take a pregnancy test. I grumbled the whole time, because OF COURSE I wasn't pregnant.

Well, joke was on me, because, well, as you can see, there was indeed a baby in there!

My pregnancy was like Drew's in that I was very sick the first trimester (but this time I had a doctor, so I was able to get on medicine. it didn't make the nauseousness go away, but I was able to at least take care of D), very tired the whole time and didn't really care to be touched much. I was still nursing D when I got pregnant, and it was incredibly painful, even before I knew I was preggo. As time went on, my supply continued to drop and drop, until I finally weaned him at 13 months and my body didn't need to really adjust at all. 

However, over all I handled this pregnancy better. I was calmer, and did not have as many anxiety attacks. I knew what I was going through was worth it, which helped so much! I also didn't gain quite as much weight and my blood pressure stayed where it was supposed to, so no pre-eclampsia.

When the time came for our 20 week ultrasound, we were pretty sure it was a girl. We had even picked out a name and called the baby by that name for about a week beforehand. Well ... as you can tell, we were slightly off! However, it did not bother us at all that we were having another boy. We were so excited that Drew was getting a little brother so close in age.

So, I made it through the looooooooooooooooooooong hot summer (not always gracefully or graciously, but we all survived), and it was getting closer to our due date. Except, also like Drew, we had a bunch of due dates. LMP told us Oct 7, first ultrasound said Oct 25, and second ultrasound said Oct 19. So, basically we knew he was coming sometime in October, and we also knew that it would be bad if I went into active labor since it was too close to my c-section with D. The other kicker was that my doctor was going to a week long conference the week right before my due date (we have very bad timing with our kiddos and our doctor's travel plans. he had to put off his vacation by a day when Drew was born. we've agreed to plan a little better next time ;-)).

On Wednesday, October 10, we had supper at our friends' house, and while I was sitting at the table my stomach got really tight. It didn't really hurt per say, but I could definitely feel it. I didn't have anything like that with D, so it was a bit of a surprise. We went on with our night, and nothing like that happened again.

Then, the next morning I was talking on the phone to my friend Karla, and it happened again. We talked about whether or not it was contractions or Braxten Hicks, and she thought probably Braxten Hicks. After I got done talking to her, I texted Bethany and asked her if she had had BH with her kiddo. She said if I put my feet up and drank lots of water, they would most likely go away. So, that's what I did. Except, they didn't go away. They were never painful, but they were strong enough and often enough that I was definitely taking note.

Luke got home at 3:00, and we talked about what was happening. We agreed they were often enough and close enough together that we should at least call in. Our doctor told us to come in for a non-stress test, so we dropped D off with Grandpa (forgetting to give him diapers, a sippy cup or anything else he might need ... whoops!), and headed to town. I got hooked up, and while we saw some spikes for awhile, they mostly went away. However, our doctor is pretty cautious, so I ended up with an overnight stay to be monitored and hydrated in hopes it would cause the contractions to stop.

In the morning, another mama to be came in who was actually in labor. So, I got kicked out of our one labor room and sent to the (really nice) hospital room they save for new parents, so that I would have a claim on it if we did go in for a c-section (I LOVE LOVE LOVE the nurses at our clinic/hospital - they take such good care of us and think of things like that!). Eventually, my mother-in-law and Drew came to pick me, since the doctor wanted me to go home and see if bedrest would stop things.

Since I have some of the most wonderful in-laws a person could ask for, my MIL came home with me to take care of Drew. It was a little weird to just sit on the couch when I felt fine (I was on pretty strict limits - I could only get up to go to the bathroom and wasn't really allowed to eat much), but it gave me time to think about the contractions. And they didn't go away. I was texting with Luke on his lunch break, and we decided to pray that if it was time, God would make it really clear. I got one of my strongest contractions right then, so we took it as a sign to prepare for baby!

I called back in at 3:00, and our doctor agreed that we should just go ahead and have our c-section that night (it was Friday October 12 at this point). Since I figured it would be ok if I got up now that we knew we were having a baby, I showered and packed my bag (I had used my time on the couch to put together a list, which helped a lot!). I also packed up some clothes and whatnot for D to take to my in-laws, where he would be camping out while we were in the hospital.

Luke raced home from work, we took a couple of pictures for the last time as a family of 3, and headed to the hospital.

Well, it turns out that the mama who came in that morning was still working on having her babe, and since our doctor was also her doctor, we had to wait around a bit. But, it was finally time, and I was taken to the OR. And, at 7:37 this little cutie was born:

He was 8lbs 8oz and 20 inches long, scored perfectly on his Apgars and had no problems. We had gone into it thinking he might be a little early and with the knowledge that we might have to deal with a NICU situation, but obviously that wasn't anything we had to worry about! 

After I was stapled back together, they took me back to the recovery room, which is where we were when we started to text and call people to let them know baby had come (only our immediate families knew something was going on - so even my friends who I had talked to about Braxten Hicks were surprised!). It was also there that we found out that the hospital was on lockdown. Apparently, one of the patients was dealing with an unwanted guest. As a result, the hospital was on lockdown at night the whole weekend (when Drew was born, we had to go sit in a hallway with all the other  patients because of a tornado warning ... so apparently our presence is a sign of exciting times at the hospital!).

The rest of our time in the hospital was pretty normal: staring at our baby, telling people, trying to figure out a name, dealing with my pain, nursing, etc, etc, etc). My in-laws brought Drew to meet his brother on Saturday night. He was mostly interested in exploring, but didn't seem to mind the baby that got in his way of sitting by me!

After we got home, we were blessed to have tons of help. Since I had had a c-section, I wasn't able to lift Drew for 6 weeks (that's a loooong time!). Luke's mom came over to help the first morning, and then my mom came for the rest of the week. It was SO nice to have her here!

After my mom left, we had a weekend of Vander Ley family activity, and then my sister-in-law Julie came to help. She stayed for that next week, which was also AMAZING!

After all my family left, my MIL was so good to come over and help me as needed. It was rare to have a day where she didn't come over for at least a while. It was SO nice!! We are incredibly blessed by such loving family!

And, so here we are. 3 months later, one little boy more in our family, and as happy as can be!