Welcome Jubilee Rain

Three weeks ago today we welcomed our sweet daughter, Jubilee Rain, earth side. 9 pounds 7 ounces and 21.5 inches of adorable little girl.

The labor and delivery went smoothly and mommy is feeling great. (Maybe more on this later.)

She has completely captured our hearts with her sweet dimple chin, fuzzy light brown hair and sleepy grunts and coos. She fits wonderfully in our family and is such an easy baby so far. Nursing like a champ from the get go, sleeping good stretches (4-5 hrs at a time at night) and loving mama, daddy and brother snuggles.

Now to figure out what it means to gently love, nurture and raise TWO little ones... :)



The other night during our family walk I confessed to Josh that I want to do nothing. Nothing at all, except get his baby out. If an activity does not directly support the goal of helping me spontaneously go into labor, then I have 0% interest in it. Laundry. Nope. Making dinner. Nah. Blogging. Definitely not.

Give me a yoga ball, a long walk, some spicy food and some red raspberry leaf tea and I'm happy as a clam. 

Josh has argued that I find peace in blogging and processing my thoughts and a heart and body at peace is more likely to go into labor. 

I silently cursed him under my breath because I knew he was right.

These final days of pregnancy drag by. I try and keep Felix and I busy in the mornings by running errands, taking walks, doing crafts, but by the time lunch hits and nap time rolls around all I want to do is bounce on my yoga ball and then let him watch Octonauts while I read birth stories till Josh gets home. He pretty much get's what ever he wants because I have no energy to deal. More crackers? sure. Juice? ok. Another episode? Come snuggle your momma and grab the remote on your way. 

It's terrible. I keep rationalizing that "this is my last chance to be super lazy for a while" but  i know it's just a bad habit that is starting before harder times ahead with two in tow. Even though we are being lazy and indulgent, I am treasuring these days as a mom of one. 

I read an article last night on Huffington Post titled "11 Things Empty Nesters Want Parents of Little Kids to Know". I cried by the time I got to the end of it. Thinking about Felix growing up and leaving the house and how these days, as mundane and boring as they are, will become a blur. 

These beautiful days that currently make up my life. filled with peanut butter and jelly, hot wheels covering the kitchen floor and wild sticky curly red bed head hair in a pouf on the back of his head. 

How he says "come on willow" in a sweet high pitched voice every time he moves from one room to the next. How he grabs my face with both hands and squishes my cheeks pulling me in for a kiss. How he loves to help in the kitchen and even in the inconvenience of it all, it's my favorite thing to have him dump the measured water, flour, or salt into the bowl. And how it's gross, but cracks me up that he sneak licks of sugar out of the canister in the midsts of cookie baking. 

How he yells "Daddy home!" when we hear Josh's car pull into the car port then subsequently melts down in tears because he hates when willow barks and most of the time the first words josh hears upon entering the house are "willow loud!"

Even how he says "jay bird" for "scary part" when something makes him nervous (like the hippo at the zoo play ground) and he comes and buries his face in my thigh and grabs my hand for reassurance.

How he yells "Get me!" and we chase each other 50 times around the kitchen island. Him lapping me doing my largely pregnant waddle till he runs to a corner and is trapped and we dissolve in to tickles upon tickles upon tickles.

How we brave the cold to kick the soccer ball back and forth outside and he will throw his head back and wildly laugh for no apparent reason and that makes me laugh and then josh laughs and then we are all laughing and laughing till our bellies hurt like mad people.

Deep down I know much of it will inevitably be a blur. But for now, these are the things I want to remember. 

So I write. I pass the time till we add another little bundle to our messy, wild, overly-indulgent (for now) lives. And I write.



Oh hi! Let's pretend the last 6 month silence didn't happen. Ok? ok.

2015 is right around the corner. My little boy will be two and we will very soon be welcoming our second little one into our home. 

Yup. I'm pregnant. 34 weeks, to be exact. 

Last year was tough for a lot of reasons. I actually got pregnant early last year and lost the baby in March. It was a devastating time for our family. Then we got pregnant again in May and our next sweet bébé will be arriving around February 11th. We aren't finding out the gender this time again, however, I waffled on this decision. Part of me really wanted a girl. Check off having both a boy and girl off the proverbial list of things to accomplish in my life. I thought I would be disappointed if it came out another boy (making that moment of birth anti-climatic). I wanted time to adjust to the idea. but the more I thought about it, giving Felix a little brother and having two little boys playing together for life made my heart swell. Now, honestly, finding out when the baby makes their appearance to the world is going to be thrilling - boy or girl.

This pregnancy is feeling very similar to my last pregnancy, but also very different. Similar because it's been easy. No major health surprises in the beginning. No massive morning sickness. Easy peasy. (I know, I know...I'm lucky.) But different in the following ways. I started out at a healthier weight and have been very conscience of my health throughout. Walking 3+ miles 5 times a week. Watching sugar intake to avoid gestational diabetes (Which I have - Praise God!) And it has made everything easier. No carpel tunnel - so I don't have to worry about guitar playing problems on sunday morning. Lovely low blood pressure. And over all just feeling good. Baby doesn't seem to move as much as Felix did, but when baby does move, it feels wild. More intense and close to the surface than I ever remember felix's kicks to be. Sometimes it will shock me into a gasp or yelp of pain. Alarm. Whoever is in there is a strong little one. 

We have been preparing Felix as much as we possibly can. His world is about to be rocked. He likes to point to my stomach and say "baby" and we play momma and baby with his big stuffed panda and his little stuffed panda. The big panda actually has a pouch on it's belly and we stuff the smaller one in there and I try and explain how that's like the baby in mommy. One day it will come out and be a part of our family. "Come out baby" Felix will reply - yelling at my bulging middle.

Yesterday he lined up all of his new hot wheels on my bare belly and then used it as a ramp for about 20 minutes. And he kept saying "gentle" and softly patting my stretch-marked skin. I was melting. I think he will be a stellar big brother.

Some adorable things Felix does lately. 

  • When ever josh leaves for work (at his new job, BTW) I say "Don't forget your coffee and your lunch." Felix picked up on this and has started yelling "Foffee! Lunch!" every time Josh (or anyone) leaves the house.
  • The christmas tree was a big hit this year. Lots of interest in taking the ornaments off the tree - typical toddler stuff. We let  him pick out his own 2014 ornament at Hobby Lobby and he chose a small red robot - a bop-boop as he likes to call it. (Every time I see one I say "beep bop boop")
  • Him and willow have a love hate relationship. He growls at her when she gets too close to his food, but also loves to chase her and feed her snacks all day long. He actually is quite good at giving commands - sit, down, off, back up. smart boy.
  • His language is budding. He is a total parrot of two word phrases. Yesterday as clear as day he said "mickey mouse" after seeing a picture of the beloved character.
  • He currently has a runny nose and has become an expert at saying "tissue" and blowing his nose. I'm not sure why, but this is adorable to me.
  • Over christmas in bloomington with the whole extended family we discovered Felix may be an introvert. Small groups of 1 or 2 playmates and he is engaged and playing. Anything more and he clings to me like a koala bear. 
  • At G-ma and D-pas house before everyone arrived, felix kept putting on a spiderman costume and an american flag hat and saying "argh. Pirate" So precious.
  • The last 24 hours felix has insisted on nudity. When he takes off his clothes he says "Freeee!" and runs around the house playing as usual. Soccer. Painting. Cars. Snack time. All in the buff. Hilarious. An added bonus to this is he seems to do a pretty good job of telling me when he needs to go potty on the toilet when he is diaperless. I wasn't planning to tackle potty training till after #2 is sleeping through the night (maybe in summer of 2015) but it seems like Felix is quite interested in the concept. Aaaaaand as I type that he pees on the couch. whoops.
  • Felix gets a daily vitamin. To keep him interested, we call it his vitamin treat. Works every time. When he gets it he also loves to feed willow her daily dental bone. It's a lovely healthy ritual. 
  • He turns everything into a phone. Holds it up to his ear and says "Hello. Mama. Papa. Daddy. Nana. Boy. Play?" So sweet.

That's all for now. A little update on our growing family. Cheers to new beginnings and many blessings in 2015 for you and yours. 


Refreshing Weekend

We are having just about the best weekend ever. It's our first weekend in over a month that we are both home and we have no real commitments to speak of, so our family of three is just enjoying each other's company. Garage sale shopping. Park play. Walks. Sushi. Pizza. World cup watching. Breakfast in bed for father's day. Long naps. Pool time. Friend time. All topped off with the tangible presence of the Holy Ghost and it is one that can't be beat.

I feel the JOY of the Lord so much! Honestly, last Sunday was pentecost Sunday and nothing really dramatic happened at our church service, but I walked away lighter and more peaceful than I have been in months. Then this weekend I felt butterflies in my chest and warmth on my face all throughout worship and I KNOW that Jesus was closer than my skin in that very moment. A feel a personal and maybe even a corporate revival stirring in my heart and out of that a strong desire to do bold things and to love the people around me. Not just be like Jesus, but BE Jesus to my friends, family, neighbors.

Like the river in Ezekiel 47 that streams east out of the temple into the land getting deeper and deeper as it flows out and turning salt water, marshes, and swamps into fresh pools of water, so will God's love and spirit be in me. No more shallow stagnant water here. But a fresh stream that flows out of me refresh and touch others with your peace and abundant life.

Oh, and happy father's day to my awesome Papa and my wonderful husband. 


Gentle Days

As a Mom I struggle with feelings of inadequacy. I am pretty sure every single mom in the history of moms has struggled with feelings of inadequacy. Am I working too much? Am I working too little? Do I give them enough time outside? Is he learning the right things? Is he eating the right foods? Am I enough? Do I have what it takes? Can I do this?

However, even among these doubts I am coming to a place in my motherhood journey where I'm gentler on myself. I'm trusting my instincts giving myself grace. Grace for a moment stolen on the couch snuggling and reading books by window light that turns into a game of tickle monster, then building blocks, then petting willow and an hour later instead of salmon it's frozen pizza for dinner. But also grace for, dinner needs to get on the table, so let's watch Finding Nemo!

So today when Felix woke from a long nap still cranky, I trusted my gut and set up a little creative space for him to channel some of his grouchy attitude. Then when he came to me holding up his sandals saying "Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!" I knew some puddle splashing and muddy hands were next on the agenda.

This soft embrace of each moment as it comes is changing my perspective. It has allowed for a very accepting version of my daily life. Whatever it looks like. Workout or no workout. Ice Cream or Tea. Salad or Pizza. Nap or dishes. This compassion and tenderness towards myself has resulted in a more balanced and happy heart and a more peaceful home.