Thursday, December 8, 2016

Eliza's Great Escape: A Birthday Story....

All photos (except 2) were taken by Joanna Penny
**This retelling is detailed. I didn't want to forget a thing. While you're welcome to read it, I'm really writing it for myself to serve as a reminder in the future**

When I found out that I was pregnant for a 3rd time, I thought that maybe I would like to try to deliver a baby Au Naturale, without an epidural.  And as much as I have loved to see those cute Anesthesiologists, those epidurals aren't worth the eye candy when I'm hurling into the blue bags, convulsing and shaking my way into motherhood. My other 2 labors lasted between 8 and 10 hours, both chock-full of convulsing and throwing up, hours of pushing (with the first), delivering a 9 lb 8oz bouncing baby boy and then a 8lb 6oz, brown haired beauty with dimples, respectively, and both with brown eyes. So I began to prepare my mind to go the natural route. I read a number of books on the subject of natural childbirth and really started to think that maybe I could do it. But soon self doubt would kick in and I'd think "there is no way!" and just as quickly, I would tell myself that women have been doing this since, literally, the beginning of time--I'm a WOMAN. HEAR ME ROAR! I knew I was going to need support though, so I highlighted and tagged a few pages for Mr. Clean to read and told him that I was going to need his commitment and involvement. Unlike the last 2 times where he slept his way through all the "fun" and woke up in time to see a head come out. You think I'm kidding. Now one thing about Mr. Clean is when you ask him to do something, he does it. And that guy does it 100%, so when I asked him to support me and coach me through natural childbirth, he took it pretty seriously. After he read his required reading he walked into the room, book in hand and said "Ashley, you are NOT prepared for this. You really need to start training" (you can laugh out loud, I know I did!! Training? This is NOT a triathlon) and with that, my uber diligent, super focused husbandhad me on a very strict training/nagging regimen. I was not allowed into bed until I got in my required daily squatting and stretching routine. Many nights, I did it, but many nights I just stared at him and put my butt in bed.
So here we were, 40 weeks later and my confidence in myself started to wane as the inevitable was fast approaching. Here's how I envisioned this "show" playing out: On Friday, I'd go to the doctor, he'd tell me I was at 3cm, he'd strip my membranes to get the ball rolling. He'd tell me that He'd see me at the hospital later that night, I'd breathe, relax and maybe even laugh my way through those contractions, I'd ride those waves, I'd read my inspirational flashcards, we'd have dim lights and my special music playlist would serenade my baby into my arms. I'd have her Saturday morning and would be home on Sunday. You can laugh again. I am.
So what really happened? I went to the doctor on that Friday...with a cold. I had decided I didn't want to risk having a baby that night as I felt so lousy, so he checked me and I was only dilated one centimeter so he wouldn't have been able to help me anyway. I went home and cleaned and organized like a madwoman on Saturday, I went to Scalini's for their labor inducing eggplant parmesan on Sunday (my due date) and went walking and lunging my way around the neighborhood. My due date came and went and I went back to the doctor, and  that time I was at 3 cm and she stripped what she could, but I really felt as if this child would stay for another month if I let her and we scheduled an induction for the following Sunday, just in case.
As Tuesday rolled around, I felt nothing. I went along my day as usual. Took Cooper to breakfast and dropped him off at school, took a nap, spent the day with Lucy and later in the afternoon Mr. Clean told me to lace up my shoes, we were going to walk our neighborhood. He was ready for this baby to come (the house was spotless and he was caught up at work)! So we walked. We walked 2 miles and I pulled Lucy in the wagon up the hills. We came home, I cooked dinner, cleaned up the kitchen and sat down to watch Wheel of Fortune at 7pm. And then it hit. My first contraction. A couple minutes later, another and then another. I decided to start timing them and they were about 3 to 4 minutes apart and strong. I went to the bathroom, and I lost my plug and what seemed to be a pocket of water. At that point, the contractions were becoming very strong, so I told Chris that I thought it was time and to pack the kids up for grandparents and I was going to take a shower quickly. Yes, I took a shower. I had just walked forever, so I was sweaty and I wanted my hair done! I also thought maybe it would help ease the pain (that's what the books said to do). Well,  it was the quickest, most painful shower of my life. I spent most of it on my hands and knees moaning my way through the contractions...we needed to go. I went to do my hair (because, you know, pictures), but my blow dryer broke coincidentally and at that point "wet hair, don't care". It was time to GO! We loaded up and as I shut the door to the house, I told Chris I was scrapping the whole natural route, I wanted the epidural and I wanted it as soon as we got there and I didn't want him to talk me out of it. I didn't know how long this labor would last, but the pain wasn't worth it. I had called my mom and my photographer friend to tell them it was time and I collapsed in Chris's arms as the pain became unbearable. I began to cry. The time was 8:40 when we pulled out. Chris called his parents and told them we were coming in hot and they needed to meet us at the curb. He literally threw everything on the side of the road, handed off crying kids and off we went, running stop lights, hazard lights blinking and high beams flashing. It was the one time in my life I didn't mind his aggressive driving habits. At this point the contractions were coming every 2 minutes and the pain was unbearable. I braced myself and moaned and yelled our way down 575. Chris didn't know what to do, so he offered his hand for me to squeeze. I did. I put on my labor playlist and tried to breathe, I tried to remain calm, but that was easier said than done. In between contractions, I really tried to focus on the music. I remember hearing Amos Lee's "Arms of a Woman" as we sped down the highway and as we pulled into the hospital, Patty Griffin's "Oh Heavenly Day."  We got to the hospital just after 9.

As we pulled up, we left our car at the Labor and Delivery door, hazards on and Chris went on the hunt for help-- and a wheelchair. Apparently, the Labor and Delivery doors close at 9 and they want you to go to the main entrance. Wherever that is. I was growing impatient waiting on him (for about a minute and a half) to return so I started to look for my own way. I got about 10 steps before another contraction hit so hard it took me to all fours, in the middle of the breezeway, screaming at the top of my lungs. People drove by. No one stopped. At least, I don't think they did. After what seemed to be an eternity, the love of my life arrived with my chariot. A swivel chair from an office desk. I pointed for him to try another door, which again was locked, but I saw 2 people in scrubs and I began pounding on the door, yelling. The sliding doors magically opened, and they just stared at me as a yelled my way through a contraction. Still staring, Chris told them I was in labor to which the man said "I can see that, just wait til she get through that contraction." Turns out, Mr. Bedside Manner was the anesthesiologist on call that night, I wasn't as enamored with this guy as the other anesthesiologists of my past. We took what seemed to be the longest Sunday Stroll of my life up to the 3rd floor, stopping for every contraction. Mr. Bedside Manner told me if we could just get up stairs he'd hook me up with the drugs. And when we got in the elevator, he told my husband that there was no way I was going to be getting an epidural. And with his Twizzlers in hand, he left us, never to be seen again.

The women at the registration desk looked at us like we were crazy, over dramatic, first time parents or something. You think they'd never seen a woman in labor before! At this point it's some time after 9, my contractions were not stopping. I might have had a minute between each, but they were insistent I go to triage to hook me up to all the monitors, get my IV going, and find out allllllll about me. None of that ended up happening. I was pretty sure I might just die or pass out from the pain.  I remember looking at Chris and telling him I was scared. The room was a furnace, and the nurse kept telling me not to push and that I needed to calm down and wait. She checked me quickly and I was at 8cm, and she was still insisting that we go through all the formalities as she took her sweet time doing it all. In reality, we were only in there a matter of minutes, but it might as well have been hours. Things were moving quickly for me and she needed to know it. I told her I was feeling so much pressure, that I wanted to push and finally I screamed "I NEED TO POOP!!!!!!" I knew that those were all key words they need to hear to know, this is for real. She stopped what she was doing and yelled something out the door and the next thing I knew I was in a room with a half dozen people running around trying to prepare the room. It was almost like they didn't know what about to happen. My mom made it in time and they grabbed the first midwife they could find until mine could get there. I had never met her, nor did I care, but I am so glad she was the one that came. The Lord knew that she was the right person for me.  I was scared and panicked but the midwife took control beautifully and helped reign me in. She knew just what to say to help me get the job done. Things went so quickly that whatever Mr.Clean and I had read those weeks leading up to that moment was for nothing. We lost our heads and if it were a play we had been rehearsing for, this is what you would call "choking." But Leah, that wonderful midwife, fed me those lines and we made it through to that final curtain call. I pushed 5 or 6 times. No one was in that room except for me and Leah, she reminded me not to scream but to growl, deep growls to push that baby out. She encouraged me by telling me how great my pushes were. She looked in my eyes and told me that she could see her head and she had dark brown hair, I needed to push one more time so I could see my "diamond."
 The next push was a blur. Water broke everywhere and I remember with my other deliveries that I was worried I'd poop on the table. Not this time. I didn't care what came out and I didn't care how much came out, just get out! And I'm quite sure it all did come out. The next thing I knew, I looked down and a baby was in my arms. It was surreal. With my others, I had HOURS to prepare my brain for what was coming, even during the pushing, I was fully present. This time it was all business. And what has probably taken you much more time to read, and much, much longer for me to write, really only happened in less than 20 minutes from the time I got to the hospital to holding baby. We showed up at the hospital after 9pm and I had Eliza Grace at 9:33, all 8lb 7oz of her. I couldn't believe how light her hair was and I was shocked that she had blue eyes!! I thought she looked so much like Cooper and none of us could believe how big she was. Meeting a new life is surreal. I can't explain it. With a single push our world is rocked forever in the most miraculous of ways.

After she was born, my mom stayed with me while Chris went to park the car and to get us registered. They waited for him to come back to cut the cord and they had a billion questions for me after Eliza joined the world. It was slightly overwhelming. It was all a blur. I kept saying "I did it! I can't believe I did it!!"I just wanted to hold my baby and look at her, but because we bypassed all of the formal introductions and paperwork, we had to do all of that after she came. Thankfully my sweet inst-friend who came to photograph the birth made it about 2 minutes after she came, and it worked out perfectly, because I don't think I want to see any picture of me during the birth. I'm told it was not pretty, but she captured everything else and I'm so thankful for it!! Because of her pictures, I could relive what seemed like a dream at the time. That's the power of a picture.
 Her first shot when she walked in

She also came the next day to capture our kids meeting their new baby and the little "Born Day" party we had to celebrate. It was a room packed full of family and love.
I've been asked many times if I had it to do over again, just like that, would I?? Mr. Clean says YES, for sure! Me??I don't know. It was a pain I can't describe. And here we are only 3 weeks later and I'm already starting to forget just how deep, hard and fast that pain was. But it was over very quickly and I didn't throw up a single time. So, I guess maybe I would go that route again if I had to.That is the only way to do a drug free delivery. Fast and Furious.
She has been the sweetest baby and we can't get enough of her, and just like I tried to savor my last pregnancy as much as I could, I'm trying to enjoy every minute this newborn stage. It was rough the first 2 weeks as I had bronchitis and trudged through the early days of nursing, which is never a cake walk for me, but we made it through the woods! If you made it to the end of this post, Congratulations! Unfortunately I have no medal for you, just like there was no medal for me once she came out! But that, my friends, is the story of Eliza's Great Escape.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

An Ode to Pregnancy...

I'm nearing the end of this 3rd and (Mr. Clean willing) final pregnancy of my entire life and I'm not going to lie, I'm feeling a whole range of emotions. One being fear. I am sitting here in my bed, with a little free time because my other 2 kids are tucked into their own beds, because they run on a pretty good schedule these days. I can stay up a little later if I want because when my 2 get up in the morning they either play quietly in their room, or they'll put on the Disney Channel because they know how to use the remote. With every passing day, life with my growing littles gets easier and easier. They wipe their own hineys (for the most part), they sleep through the night (for the most part), they play together nicely (for the most part), and they go to bed without tears (for the most part), and I can sit in my bed and read, or write or watch House Hunters. And it's moments like right this minute that I begin to wonder "what the heck was I thinking????" I am just days away from a life altering change. I am re-upping for another 18+ years, and nothing is more physically exhausting than what these next few months have in store for me. I am panic stricken thinking about nursing, like petrified. It's the most excruciating pain in life. And before you start sending me suggestions, save your breath, I'm sure I know them all. And before you ask me "then why do it??" I'll say, "that's a great question". I am scared of sleepless nights, met with demanding days, and homeschooling on top of it all. I'm praying now for grace and patience (yikes!) and an easy transition. If you're the praying type, you can join me in this.
And if fear is the first emotion that has come to mind, excitement would be the second thing. I know that the things I fear are things that are so short lived. It may feel like it will never end, but when it does, I'm gonna miss it. I'm excited for all those lovely things that come with new babies. The smell, the snuggles, the way that a newborn forces you to sit and slow down. I'm excited for all those "firsts" that our baby will get to experience, and siblings that will get to enjoy them with her. I'm excited to see what she's going to look like, what her personality will be like, how she will enhance our family and I can't WAIT to see Mr. Clean fall in love again. I can't wait to make that final drive to the hospital and to be in that happy place that is Labor and Delivery...for the last time.
And then I get sad. Like really sad. I am one of the weirdos that LOVES being pregnant. I love it from start to finish and I'm one of the lucky ones who doesn't seem to get sick, minus heartburn. But don't worry, I pay for this handsomely when it's time to nurse and I feel like I may need stitches and it's a bloody mess. But I hope I always remember the excitement of seeing a positive pregnancy test, of hearing a baby's heartbeat at that first doctors appointment, of feeling the kicks and wiggles and the excitement of washing tiny clothes and folding blankets. I want to savor the anticipation of getting to meet a new little baby. This is the last time I will carry life and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad about it.
I am so amazed at how a woman's body works to grow and sustain life. It's a miracle that I do not take for granted. I know that it is a gift that many women would do anything to have and some may never know. I am humbled that the Lord has allowed me this privilege and I don't even know why he has 3 times over. Praise be to Him. I am going to miss this. A chapter is closing in my life and I hate when a good book ends. But I think I have enjoyed this phase fully though and am content with the closure. All good things must come to an end and so, here we are, wrapping up my child bearing years. What a  blessed gift it has been. Let's do this!
39 Weeks with Cooper

39 Weeks with Lucy

39 Weeks with Eliza

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Modern Bride and Right Thinking

There is a baby boom that is about to explode among many of my friends in the next couple of months, but there is another boom taking place as well: WEDDINGS! I feel like all these kids - yes, kids - are getting engaged! There have been a lot of weddings this year, a lot of weddings coming up and many more to come. It's just how life goes. Many of my friends - myself included - are celebrating 10 year anniversaries this year or next, so I'm sure many of us have been reflecting on just how far we've come. I bet many have dusted off those precious wedding albums - yes, I said dusted - and taken a trip down memory lane.

When I got married, it was just before social media became the way we share our lives with the world. It was before Pinterest, before Instagram and before the Hashtag, and I have seen a lot change in the world of Brides and how they view weddings in the last 10 years, and I have to say that some of it is a little concerning. There has always been comparing, there has always been the Wedding Wars, but not quite like what I've witnessed recently. Who's wedding can be the most beautiful and unique? Who has the cutest hashtag? What can I do to be different? The expectation these girls have for their day has to be exhausting. I'm sure it's fun. It is. It's exciting and it should be, but I think there should be a shift in thinking. If I were talking with a future bride, these are some things I'd love for her to hear and seriously consider. I would love for her to take the blinders off and just listen. Every bride is told, "take the money and run." They chuckle, disregard and go on their merry way, but the advice I have is a little more practical, hopefully. Please know, these words come from a good place!

Dear Blushing Bride,

#1 It's not the amount of money spent that makes the day, it's the attitude. 
I have been to lavish weddings and I've been to simple weddings, but the weddings that have been the sweetest have been the ones where the couples are just thankful. They don't have much, but they have each other. It is witnessing a ceremony between a man becoming a husband, a woman becoming a wife and together making promises to each other and the Lord. It's the humble Bride that is the sweetest. The sweetest, most beautiful bride is the one who is in awe of how the day came together, whether they spent $3,000 or $30,000, and they can't help but give thanks to those who made it happen and to those who came to share it with her. Nothing makes a more beautiful wedding than a beautiful attitude - I promise.

#2 It's NOT your day. It's NOT all about you. It's the Lord's day, let His Glory SHINE! 
Yes, your name is on the invitation. Yes, you've been told your whole life, from everyone, your wedding day is YOUR day, but I beg to differ. If you think about a wedding and a marriage, it is so much more about what God has done in your life to bring 2 people together and the plan to make 2 people into ONE. It's amazing to think about really! It's God painting a picture for the world to see of Christ and His love for His Church. And once you realize that and know "this isn't all about me," I think it relieves a lot of pressure - I promise.

#3 People are more important than having the perfect day.
If you are planning a wedding and there is tension, stress, anxiety, gossip, slander, hurt feelings, or unrealistic expectations...something needs to change. If people are feeling the stress of your expectations, you need to change your expectations. That's the bottom line. You chose these people to surround you, because you love them and they love you. Let's keep it that way. Be considerate of budgets and time constraints. Again, refer to #2 if you need a reality check. The more gracious you can be, the more those around you will want to bless you - I promise.

#4 I've NEVER met a person who wished they spent more Money. Not ONE.
Weddings are such a racket! The flowers, the dress, the cake (or whatever unique alternative that you can come up with), the awesome venue, the food, the DJ, the cars, the jewelry, the favors, and let's not forget the photographer and videographer, and the list goes on. Here's the deal: I'm a photographer, I love and appreciate pictures. They are priceless. And people always say to not skimp on your photographer, but you know what?? Even when you spend THOUSANDS of dollars on the PERFECT photographer and the PERFECT photos, you know what happens soon enough? You have the PERFECT baby and those once perfect pictures are replaced with an even more perfect picture and no other picture will ever compare. You'll put that album collect dust...and you won't look at it again until your 10 year anniversary. And then you'll gawk at how much money you spent and wonder why on earth your cake didn't have icing on it, but remember that you paid extra for that cake because Naked Cakes was "the thing to do." I promise!

#5 When it's all over, you will never open another bridal magazine or add another pin to your Big Day Pinterest board ever again and you won't care about anyone else's either. 
SO here's a suggestion, invest that time into what you really need in the future: Advice, Wisdom, Counsel. Find an older lady you respect or admire and soak up her wisdom. Ask her what she wished she knew, ask her what was easy and what was hard. You will need it. Read your Bible. Read books. Some suggestions: When Sinner's Say I Do, The Excellent Wife/The Exemplary Husband, The 5 Love Languages and Love That Lasts. Get into premarital counseling (we did and it was invaluable). The wedding is a day, a marriage is forever. You will be thankful if you invested more time into a lifetime instead of a day - I promise.

#6 No one cares as much as you do....except maybe your mom. 
I don't say this to be mean, I say it's true. People are happy for you, they wish the very best, but all that time you spend on the details - only you and your momma and your dear bridesmaids (and only because you have them tying bows until the wee hours) will notice. Sure, people notice if it's pretty or not, or if it was fun or maybe a little boring, but they talk about it for about as long as their ride home...and that's it. BUT if they are going to buy an outfit, spend 50 bucks on a shower gift, 50 bucks or more on a wedding gift, you need to feed those people. People like food. If you can, invest in blessing those people who came to take time out of their day, feed them well, even if it's just cake. They may not remember it long term, but they'll be thankful for it at the time - I promise. 

#7 The less you have, the MORE the Lord can work!!! 
Look, if you can afford an awesome wedding, more power to ya! But if you don't, it's okay. It's actually a blessing. You will be able to see so clearly how the Lord is working. This was me. I'm the oldest of 8 kids and I knew my parents couldn't afford an extravagant wedding. We were 21 year old college students and we certainly couldn't afford it. We had to make do. My parents were generous, my grandparents were generous, my in laws were generous and complete strangers were generous. I will never know the depths of everyone's generosity, but all I know is I had $6,000 and I had everything I could want and more. It wasn't making any magazine covers, but I was so humbled. I wouldn't change a thing about that day, because God was so clearly at work and if I had had more, I may not have been able to see all of the blessings - I promise.

So, that's it! There's my 2 cents...or 7 points. Dear Bride, it's not the day that is to be celebrated, it's the future, it's the Lord, it's the promises made. Love God, love others and for the love of God and others, let them eat cake!!!!! 

Love, An Old Married Woman

Thursday, February 11, 2016

On Love, Marriage and Unmet Expectations...

Since Valentine's Day is this weekend, I have some thoughts I want to share with those who are still crazy kind enough to read what I have to say. I decided to write this post because I know there are girls like me out there. Girl's that need encouraging. I've been married almost 10 years ( and it has been wonderful, but also rocky at times. I feel like I can write this now because I am finally at peace with where the Lord has us. He has grown and stretched our marriage in the last 2 years in ways I never expected. There was a time that what I'm about to say would embarrass me, it would hurt too much. But not any more. And so, because of that, here's a part of my story...

Mr. Clean and I have known each other since I was 15. We were friends for a while before we dated. We had a great foundation, we knew each other. We knew each others strengths and, of course, weaknesses. Our friendship is one of my favorite things about our relationship. But, and there is always a but, we are very different. Very, very different. Besides the fact that I'm a mess and he's OCD, that I'm carefree and he's careful, I'm a dreamer, a hopeless romantic, I love giving gifts to people and I'm nuts about surprises! I'm a GIRL! My husband, bless him, is...well....he's none of those things. He is practical. In almost every area of his life...except for cars. He loves cars. He's a GUY!

Because of the differences I listed above, you can probably guess where I'm going with this. Every night before my birthday, or Valentine's Day, every night before our anniversary, and yes, Mother's Day, I would think up what wonderful things my husband could do or might do for me. I'd build up these thoughts and expectations in my mind. The special day would come and nothing. Not a thing. I'd see girls post on social media their beautiful flowers, stunning jewelry, and the gushy, lovey dovey notes their significant other would leave for them telling them how amazingly beautiful, and wonderful they are. #Blessed. I would be pea green with envy and my husband would have to endure the wrath of ME!!!!!!!!! Didn't he know how amazingly wonderful I AM?????? Didn't I deserve a daisy or 2, for cryin' out loud?!?! A dedicated Instagram post, at least?? For a while I tried to treat him the way I wanted to be treated and shower him with notes and candy, with nothing in return. It hurt. So I quit.
Before you write my husband off as a jerk, don't (I did that for years after every holiday). You see, I spent many years telling him that I don't care about gifts and that I wanted time. I want to do things. I want dates. I want trips. I'm not one of "those girls" who needs little tokens of adoration. So those statements, combined with a practical husband, matched with the expectations he didn't even know were going on in my head, was a recipe for disaster. When those little day dreams I had in my head didn't play out, it was an unhappy night at my house. Never mind the fact that we always did "celebrate" by doing something even if it was a month later due to money or bad timing, it just was never quite what I had imagined. Unmet expectations.
A lot of things came to a head in our marriage over the last year or so, and this is one area that I had to face head on. The area of unmet expectations. The Lord is good and gracious. He knew who I would marry and while it's ironic to me that I would marry someone who has no clue what to do in the romance department, it's not to Him. While talking through and working through some big problems we were having, it dawned on me that I do like gifts and I needed to tell him that. He's not a mind reader. And it's not superficial or greedy, it just is. Once I was able to communicate that, it has been a big ol' lifted weight. I also needed to be reminded that my hope and happiness is not in a man, it should be in Christ. He never fails, He is always good and He is who I can count on, His ways and gifts are far greater than my imagination could ever dream up. That is my hope.

And you know what else? My husband may never buy me flowers or cutesy gifts, or surprise me in the ways I have dreamed in my head (I have a huge imagination), it's not natural to him. I will tell you what is natural to him though - and it wasn't until recently that I could truly appreciate it - I have come to realize that there has never (I mean never) been something that I have asked for, that I truly wanted, that he hasn't done everything in his power to make happen for me. It may not come in the form of a surprise, or with a big bow, but it comes. Does that mean he shouldn't try to be a little more romantic? No, and he knows that. But boy, have I been ungrateful?? He is beyond supportive of my goals and is my dream catcher. How have I been so blind?

I say all of this to say, if you are a girl who has expectations that are constantly squashed and are never met, I feel for you. If you are someone who is pained by these Hallmark holidays because you know you'll be disappointed, I feel ya. I encourage you to search your heart and try to find the root of your issues. Then, remember that it is Christ that never fails, not our husbands. Pray about it and then talk about it with your loved one. And then, I encourage you to think the best about them. Show grace. 
For the girl who's husband/boyfriend tries and always seems to give you something that may not be your favorite? Be thankful he tried. Men have it tough. They can never live up to the men we see in Nicholas Sparks books and movies. And then think the best of them and show grace. 

 And to the girl who has the guy that all girl's wish their guy's were more like, you are one of the few. Thank them and then thank their mother...or whoever trained him in the ways of being romantic, and then remember when you share his wonderful ways to the world that there is a girl who's hurting. And show them grace too. 

Happy Valentine's Day to you, and if you are so blessed to even have someone to share this holiday with, even if you get diddly squat from them, be thankful. My practical husband and I will be killing 2 birds with one stone this weekend by celebrating both Valentine's and our anniversary... 2 months late.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Our Girl is 3!!!

As I was sitting on the couch over the weekend, for the second day in a row, post oral surgery, I thought I'd take a peek back at my little spot on the very public diary, if you will. I have very little time to string words together these days, but our girl turns 3 this week and I can't let it go by without documenting it here, along with all of birthdays that have come and gone in my babies lives. Our girl is 3 today.
Our girl. Our girl loves babies, puppies, kittens, rabbits, birds, mice, hamsters...any animal really, and ice cream. She's nuts about her daddy and loves to play "puppies" with her Bubby. Maybe someday we'll get her a real dog and she won't have to drag her brother around all day.
photo credit Rachel Illiadis
Our girl. I spend my days dressing her and re-dressing her, usually giving up because the girl loves her some naked Monday's...and Wednesday's....and Thursday's...naked any-day-that's-a-non-school-day...and even then, I've been told she tries to make it Naked School Day. What can I say? The girl loves to be free. And when she does put clothes on, it really must be a dress.
Our girl. She likes to get into things. Like, a lot. Most of the time I don't mind, I call it "being creative" and then there are times when it's not so creative and just plain messy. But making messes is her love's mine too, so I can't get too mad. 
Our girl. Our girl has a mind of her own. Which is why she is almost 3 and still doesn't quite have the hang of the potty thing yet. It's why she has a finicky appetite, but always has room for dessert. It's why she wants what she wants when she wants it. It's why she's stubborn, but will eventually come around...which is also something we have in common.
Our girl. Our girl is strong willed, but sensitive. She is tough, but has a heart as big as the sea. She can be as serious as a heart attack, but as funny as her namesake. 
Our girl. She tells it like is (even when we can't understand her), and can hold her own when she needs to, but she is sweet as pie and prettier than a peach. Mr. Clean has no intentions of ever letting her leave when she's older and I'm cool with that. Her smile? It melts. And those eyes? Oh, those eyes.
Our girl. Our girl has taught me as much as we've taught her...maybe more. Her big little personality has helped to teach me patience. The Lord knew I was lacking in that department, and she has been the perfect tool to teach me. That--and homeschooling.
Our girl isn't a baby anymore-- At ALL. She's our big girl. Our beautiful girl. Our smart girl. Our funny girl. We spend our days saying "I just love her" and "she's just the funniest little thing" and "GAH!!!! She is so dang cute!" We love what she brings to our lives. Here's to 3...I've always said that I love 3.

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