Atlas’s first birthday

Oh Atlas – our Wonder-boy.

YOU ARE SUCH A JOY.

So incredibly sweet, extra snuggly (especially with daddy), you’re quite inquisitive and tend to awkwardly stare at people until you figure them out and then give your best toothy little grin. You’re turning out to be a hilarious character and you’re shockingly soft spoken (so far 😉) whispering things like “what’s that?” And “oh yeah!”

I can’t wait to see what amazing things life has for you, little man! GOLLY, we love you!

Wrapping up a fun birthday “week”. This is our first time I didn’t have it in me to throw a big first birthday party. It was simple and just what we needed in this season.

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“So I let go and in this moment I can breathe.”

“It is the calm waterIn the middle of an anxious sea.Where heavy clouds part and the sunrise starts. A fire in the deepest part of me. {So I let go and in this moment, I can breathe.}” 

– lyrics from Joy by Sleeping At Last

I’ve felt a heaviness (not just physically 😉) lately. One I haven’t felt in quite a while. The kind that lingers- trying to settle in and find a home inside of me. It feels an awful like the depression I’ve known in the past and while I know I’m “genetically predisposed” – I don’t want it and all it comes with. “I don’t want to carry it with me anymore.” I’d like to hope it’s just the baby blue and that it’s “just a funk”, but even then I {really} hate it. 

Today, I dropped the boys off at school, and made a choice to get out.

To move. 
To breathe in fresh air and feel the sunshine. 

Everly, Atlas and I ventured out to a park and then Garden of the Gods (per Ev’s request). When I wandered through the amazing rock formations I felt reminded of the Creator, who knows the depths of who we are. 


Who is with us always, sees us, calls us worthy, even when our faulty wiring tries to convince us otherwise.  I’m reminded of this joy – not happiness – deep within me. 

“So I let go and in this moment, I can breathe.”

Finding A Rhythm  

Yesterday by 7PM I realized, besides feeding him, I hadn’t actually held Atlas. I hadn’t soaked in his newborn squishy, soft sweetness. It wasn’t intentional, of course, but it broke my heart a little. 

And then Ted captured this sweet moment where our Wonder-boy was wide awake and staring up at me. We both just sat and took each other in, it was so precious and oh so needed. 

In many ways right now, I felt like I’m re-adjusting and learning to navigate these parenting waters and often am drowning – so to speak. I was writing tonight and felt to share for someone out there who may need this. 

Moms, we all know giving and pouring out are musts as a momma. But pausing to rest, soak in, savor, take time to recharge – these all {must} be intentional. We have to find a rhythm between filling up and pouring out. 

Over the years as a mom I’ve recognized my need to fill up and have started to realize that it isn’t selfish but actually one of the best things I can do for my family. 

When I first became a mom I wish someone had taken my by the shoulders, shook me a little and said to me: It ISN’T selfish to take time for yourself. And you are NOT weak if you need to ask for help. Now I’ve had many whom I love do this to me but it’s because I’m obviously bat sh*t crazy. 😉

Don’t let yourself go, or get to this crazy state. I mean there will always be a level of CRAY as a mom, let’s be real – but I’m talking about the I-feel-like-I’m-drowning-haven’t-had-a-minute-to-myself-in-months kind of crazy. 

Take time for yourself, get out (or stay in or even just sit in your vehicle!) and do something you love. 

And if you’re local and you’re going crazy, reach out to me. Seriously. I’m here and yes I have many kiddos but that’s also a perk because well, I have many kiddos so what’s one or 4 more haha! 

I know this is a novel, but if you stuck to the end you must have needed it. We’ve got this, mommas! 

Mourning into Joy 

I have the honour of being a part of a series called mourning into joy stories started by Sharon McKeeman (@sharonmckeeman on instagram #mourningintojoystories). As I began to write, I realized that there was more I wanted to share than a few sentences on instagram hence this blog post. I feel like sharing my own process might help someone out there.

*Disclaimer, this post is super raw and real and deals a lot with loss, mess and mental illness. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, please feel free to avoid this post!*

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2017. We’ve now entered the 7th year since we lost our daughter Eisley. In some ways it definitely feels like it’s been years, and in others it feel as though it was just yesterday. Here is a bit of our journey and my own honest process through loss.

At 13 weeks pregnant I bled, they found a blood clot which ultimately killed 2/3 of my placenta by week 19. And so began our journey with our Eisley-girl. Nearly every day for months we were told that we would lose her (due to the lack of nourishment to her body). That we should abort her and get on with our lives. But she fought, she held on longer than they’d ever expected. So much longer that the day before she passed away they shared with us that they’d deemed her “viable” and they would deliver her the next Friday. While her potential death had been lingering in it minds for months, it was still a complete shock to our systems when she passed away. It felt unbelievable – she’d held on for so long (7 months). We were so close. We had prayed and believed with everything in us. Many around the world prayed for her. And yet there we were, suddenly thrown into a world of loss: deciding how to birth her (we choose induction and she came 3 days later), preparing to meet her only to say goodbye, planning arrangements for her body, a memorial service to honour her life… and then the years of grief that have followed since.

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At first, I felt peace. Along with many, many things and I let myself feel through them all. I thought I was grieving “well”, to be honest. And then year after year I noticed my heart growing harder, I realized my prayer life had died along with our sweet girl. I didn’t even know how to pray and even how to believe for the best anymore. I denied these things, of course. Until the ache and bitterness inside me seeped out. Into my marriage, my family, my friends. My dreams and desires had changed, even my beliefs shifted. 2015 was my toughest year – I found myself depressed beyond what I’d ever imagined. My marriage was falling apart due to distance I’d created. I felt angry and bitter at everything, especially with God.

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I found myself living defensively, afraid to be broken again – believing I couldn’t possibly live through anymore brokenness and I’d do my best to control all things to avoid this. Having control seemed like the place to be. It seemed safer than giving anyone or God the reigns, that much was certain. So I clenched my fists and held on. But what I found instead was I felt out of control trying to maintain control. I was always angry (still struggle with this bad habit), always defensive and overly protective, always building new walls, all while trying to appear as though I had it all together. Trying to show loss hadn’t broken me beyond repair, that God was still on the throne of my life, that having two healthy pregnancies after Eisley had “redeemed” many things. Yet beneath the hardened shell was a broken Jami who didn’t even know if she believed in God anymore, and she certainly didn’t believe the sayings she’d heard others speak over her to cover her grieving and broken heart. Beneath it all was a girl who felt she’d scarred her marriage, her children and her own life beyond repair. A girl who felt all hope was lost and constantly wondered how she’d carry on.
I hit rock bottom March 2015. I entered the new year pregnant yet lost the baby at 8 weeks. Less than a month later, our daughter Everly (almost 1) was hospitalized with RSV and it triggered memories of loss and I imagined the worst case scenario possible during the scary times with her. Though she was only in for 4 days and recovered well it triggered grief I’d shoved away and it all felt too much to handle. And to be completely honest, the best option I saw was to leave this world of pain and heartache. I walked my husband and family through hell on that terrible night in March, when I felt I couldn’t continue living the way I was.

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But Jesus met me in my brokeness. When I felt all hope was lost. He met me and I didn’t feel hopeless even though I didn’t know what was next. My husband and I started counseling. I got on medication for depression and anxiety. And we fought: for life, for restoration, for hope, for dreams.
By the time 2016 came I still felt broken though healing was happening. Ted had to move away to Alaska to provide for us as a family and I suddenly was thrown into parenting alone and actually two of my worst fears were combined: I felt so alone. And I felt judged and misunderstood by those around me.
It was unfair to place expectations on others to look after me, especially when I wasn’t honest with where I was really at emotionally/mentally. But I did. And guess what? I was wounded and expectations weren’t met. And I felt utterly alone – so alone in fact it felt physically painful.
And He met me again. Jesus, without any amount of phony sayings to get me through suffering, He just met me in my broken mess. I picture it like this: I’m sitting on the ground with huge glass mirrors shattered all around me. No one wants to come close because of the mess and the fear of being hurt themselves, but here comes this guy I’d rejected so much in the past few years. He didn’t care about the mess, the chance of being wounded… He cared about ME. In fact so much that He joined me in the thick of the mess and brokenness.

“In brokenness I see your face, the colour of your eyes and the taste of your ways.”

(I wrote this years ago and it’s so very true. I realized how close He really was. He’s in my suffering with me.)

Finals-14(September 17, 2013. Eisley’s 3rd birthday, and pregnant with our second daughter, Everly)

Suffering is so complex. And I still have my doubts, I still have questions, and still have no full answers but one thing I do believe with everything within me is that He meets me here. In this mess, in the suffering. He doesn’t shun me for asking the hard questions or for having doubt. He can handle me at my worst and is unashamed of me. He is not disappointed with me. He’s WITH me in my suffering.
Whatever you are going through currently or still processing from years and maybe decades past, HE is with you in your suffering. And anyone who tells you that you must have blind faith, and accept that He “gives and takes away”. Let it go. It isn’t true. He is a good and loving Father and He didn’t do “this” to you. (Seriously, go and watch the sermon on Job by Greg Boyd called Twisted Scripture – it wrecked me in the best way!)
People may not be able to handle you at your worst, but Jesus sure can. Go to Him, He will walk beside you until you find your feet and even then He stays put, helping you as you walk through this journey of loss, heartache and pain.

Through every ebb and flow of grief’s waves. Through every memory that still stings, through every present ache that exists.

He is with you, carrying you, holding you, crying with you…

He will be with you always.

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He can turn your mourning into joy.

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Since the loss of our Eisley-girl, we have since welcomed two healthy pregnancies and babies into our family. While they do not take the place of our sweet girl or perfectly redeem what we’ve walked through, their precious lives have helped in our healing process. We are so grateful for who they are, and how much they’ve impacted our family!

Shailo Valour (5) – We were terrified during his pregnancy yet felt so strongly that he was everything we named him, Shailo (Shiloh) – God’s gift, a place of peace and rest and worship in a time of battle and Valour (Valor) meaning courage in the face of fear/battle, brave. He has truly, even from the womb, been our brave little gift from God in the midst of fear/anxiety/battle. Seriously, our lives are so much more full, exciting and adventurous with Shailo Valour in our lives.

And Everly Selah (almost 3) –  I remember crying out to Him one evening and journaling my heart out. There was a part of me that felt we would have another daughter someday, and I decided on that evening her name would be a reflection (of who He is to us, to her and who she is to Him) and a declaration that would mean “Forever Amen”. I knew that I wanted her name to declare that He is forever sovereign, good, loving, caring, worthy, etc, etc, etc… amen. We wanted to declare that even though we’ve walked through the darkest valley (for us) He is still all of the beautiful things we believed He was. Despite our suffering and loss, He was still good and caring. We were still His and He was still our Father who loved us. I decided I wanted our next girl’s name to mean forever… so I decided on Ever and added ‘ly’ to fit with our Eisley-girl’s name. Though she ins’t here with us on Earth, I still, very much so, wanted her to be apart of our family. Even when it comes to names. 

We are now 30 weeks pregnant with our 3rd son, and we are hopeful and believing he will be joining us come early March! 

Breakthrough.

 If you’ve ever been in Colorado during the winter season, you know that it can snow one day and melt the next. In fact, it often snows and melts in the same day. True story. And also why I love Colorado: It may snow, but the sun isn’t too far behind. However, with that sunshine means quickly melted sledding hills!  Chase has been wanting to go, but I haven’t had the energy to get out on those days snowy enough to sled. Last week, we finally got out, even though the hill near our home was already melting! We made it work, and the kiddos had a blast!

This day was exactly what our family needed. A little bit of sunshine and fun. As you may have read in my most recent post, it has been an incredibly difficult season for our family. More so than I want to share (at least for now).

This day was a deliberate decision to get out and do something that would impact our family in a healthy way… yes, even something as simple as sledding. I am determined to make many more decisions that are healthy for our family, despite being so “busy” or down in this funk that this momma has been in.

This is our year of breakthrough. I believe it. And this day, I felt it. Here’s to many more…SleddingCollage_1

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SleddingCollage_4Everly’s first time sledding :)

SleddingCollage_2SleddingCollage_6Sledding and snowball fights, but of course! SleddingCollage_5

Please note the boys’ faces behind me sledding! (above)

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It was such a memorable time! Thanks photographer hubby for some fab pics of that day.

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We are about to enter the “snowiest” time of our year until spring, so hopefully that means more times sledding!

The part where I gave up.

Until 2014, I have prided myself in being “adaptive”.  5.5 years ago I had our first baby after what (at the time, before having lost a baby) I felt was the worst birth/labor ever., 14 months later we lost our Eisley-girl, 14 months after that the birth of our surprise/gift Shailo, 28 months later we had our sweet Everly!

Aside from having 4 BEAUTIFUL babies… we have moved 8 times, one of which was overseas (during my pregnancy with Everly) where I attended a counseling school. We have each had jobs simultaneously, or we have struggled along as Ted had worked his bum off. Add college for Ted for 3 of those years. Add unpredictable grief. Add all of life’s in betweens…

I felt I had (we had) taken the ebbs and flows of life pretty darn well …*pat pat pat*…

Until 2014… we entered 2014 having just moved back from Amsterdam to no home, nothing but a few boxes of memorabilia in storage. Our plans of moving to Alaska suddenly changed and we found ourselves living with family… again. (They are amazing thankfully, we were so blessed!) We had Everly just shy of 2 months into the new year, and that was INCREDIBLE. We added baby number 3 (4th baby, really. … will I ever be able to just be okay saying the number of kiddos that are with me? Probably not….) and Ted had to go back to work just a few days later. We also went through the process of finding and buying a home. Many  5 hour drives (round trip) to visit homes, and then finally at the end of May we moved and have since planted some roots.

We have a home…

And then it happened… the adaptive, roll-with-the-punches Jami snapped this fall. I have lost it.  I guess I had huge expectations that we would now have time to process the dark times of our life in a healthy way… FINALLY. And that we would have more time as a family period. But honestly, our life is so insanely busy right now, that we barely have had time to process everyday life let alone the really gnarly parts.

Also the whole “keeping the me in mommy…” I haven’t done but maybe 5 things for myself this fall, like blogging, it’s been way too long! Normally by the beginning of a new year I share a post with beautiful moments throughout our year and also a new word for our year. I’m really not in a place to do that right now. My positivity is really quenched. Maybe someday soon, or maybe this is as good as it is going to get this time around. And I’m okay with that…

This is just a season in our lives, one that I know I will look back on and be so grateful for A) making it out alive and B) I hope to make it out a stronger person … and as a stronger family. But I guess I’m kind of over the surviving and I really want to deal with the fact that we. have. lost our. child. Our Eisley-girl.. I want to STOP and just BE sometimes.

It’s ugly, it’s messy, it’s painful. I’m unbearably miserable to be around (Ted basically pushed me out the door to have time alone and to write).  I go to bed feeling guilty and I wake feeling overwhelmed…wondering how I can keep putting my family through this debilitating depression, anxiety and anger. I wish someone could shake me and scream “get ahold of yourself woman!” and I’d just simply snap out of it. But i know it’s not the simple.

I feel guilt and an ache inside when I look at my beautiful little girl as a smile brightens her face… this twinge of guilt knowing that if I continue down this path, I will look back someday, and even now, and realize what a precious time in her life that I just allowed myself to survive, instead of truly live, breathe and enjoy  these precious and fleeting moments, like I used to.

For the first time since I’ve been a mother, and particularly since we’ve lost Eisley, I have completely lost myself… even physically look in the mirror and I cannot believe my eyes. Not just the weight, but my actual eyes, seem different. You know that saying “Your eyes are the window to your soul” … it sounds dramatic but it’s almost like even my body has had enough of me trying to hold everything together over these years. It’s like screw being adaptive! Let’s face this! Every season of life we’ve entered, even when it felt impossible I always been this “I’ve got this” person and I just did it. I don’t even know how, i just thought “Well, I can’t give up” and I (we) made it.

I’ve shared briefly and vaguely on the blog about my struggle with depression. But never this transparent. Perhaps because of the stigma attached to mental illness. And even as I write that “mental illness”, I cringe. It’s like I feel I’m saying “I’m weak” but in reality I know just how strong I’ve had to be. Even when it doesn’t feel that way. I have seen MANY family and friends walk through depression and they are some of the strongest people I know.

I hide it because frankly I feel ashamed.. I feel like there is this Jami everyone thinks they know, but that’s a version of me I want people to see. But even that facade is beginning to crumble. I find myself less and less able to hide… especially in a community where you are around people all. of. the. time. I want to hide away in our home, but I actually can’t, like it’s not even a possibility due to our schedules. Which maybe is a blessing in disguise (no). But I want to just hide away from the world. I don’t want people to see me failing and falling apart. (Yet, here I am sharing! HA!)

This is a part of my journey and my process. It isn’t for attention or for people to feel sorry for me. This is just me. I want to write it out loud (and believe me this isn’t everything). I also want others who struggle with depression and anxiety and anger to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. No one wants to share this part of themselves. We always want to share the parts we feel we have all together, or appear to have figured out. I have a deep respect for those who are humble and honest with where they are at. It is beautiful to come together in these difficult and dark valleys as well as the mountain top experiences as well.

I think we often fall trap to the lie that if we share these things people will run from us or worse, stay and say something christian cliche when all I want to do is scream Do you not know the same Jesus I do?! He walked through the messy, the gnarly. I know I feel weary of the runners and cliche words hence sharing very little until now. (Unfortunately I have been a runner or a cliche talking fool myself at times!)

I didn’t make a huge list of goals this year, like last year and the years before. I actually have made very few (and that was only with the encouragement of my girl Britt!)

This fall I started believing that I just can’t do this anymore and to be honest, ALL of the members of my family have felt that. Jami – the me, the wife, the friend, the momma, the homemaker, etc…. she’s given up.

But I can’t stay here… I want to start believing that I can again even when it feels like I can’t.

Yet, I also want to be real and honest with where I am at and work through the things I need to as they come and even the moments that have past and are the darkest.

And I want to be gentle with myself along the way (I’m the hardest on myself…)

I also want to do more of the things that are me and that I love and miss.

This is a declaration…

And I’m saying it with faith because I truly don’t know how to get back up from here… but I WILL.

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For my wounded/confused/amazing husband, for my beautiful (probably traumatized) kiddos… for me.

Here’s to a year of BREAKTHROUGH …  here’s to 2015.

Sharing Eisley (on sharing child loss)

This week Chase asked me about Eisley… again. His curious mind, wondering and trying to process things he either vaguely remembers, or things he’s heard and seen. Pictures, memorabilia, even the breakdowns I’ve had (that I can’t say I’m overly proud of).

I remember before I had her as the fear of losing her became greater and greater, I struggled with wondering, do I tell my almost 14-month-old anything? I mean he wouldn’t even remember, right? I knew he wouldn’t understand but would he feel things?

While I was in labor with Eisley, I was given a nurse who had two stillborn babies,her first baby and her third. She had children between and after her losses and she shared with me that she and her husband had decided to tell her other children. They were a part of their family, and they would celebrate them each year.

But what would we do? And if I don’t share now while he was little, then when? Do I ever?

Then I had Eisley, and to be honest, I didn’t really have time to think things through… clearly, anyways. It was all kind of a blur, a fog…a nightmare.

I think I knew deep down, not sharing about her wasn’t really an option. I felt so close with her, and now I felt like a part of me was missing. How could I not share her?

And even the moments, like this week and and the weeks to come – where the haunting anniversaries arrive, memories resurface, pain feels raw all over again,… I don’t ever regret sharing her…

and I especially don’t regret sharing Eisley with Chase, and now Shailo and some day, Everly.

There is truly an Eisley-shaped hole in our family that not only are Ted and I learning to live with. But also our children. They don’t feel the magnitude of what we felt and feel, but they feel something. Chase remembers some things from that time, though he was little.

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And more than that, they too, are processing the questions that arise in them that their minds can’t wrap around. It’s funny, in a childlike way, he has had some of the same thoughts/questions I’ve had for my Heavenly Father.

Like this last week when he said to me, “I know Eisley is with Jesus… But I wish she could come here and stay in our new home with us.”

Oh my heart.

I found myself wanting to say something comforting like, “but she is in heaven with Jesus and I bet she has a super cool room!”

But I just couldn’t. Validation, Jami, it’s what helped you when you needed it most, “yeah, me too, buddy.”

“Well, we can pretend she’s here!” He said and pulled Everly’s little rocker into the hallway.

I didn’t really know what to do or to say. So I didn’t. I didn’t move the chair for hours. But when the house was quiet as all 3 kiddos napped and I spotted the sun shining perfectly on the little rocker. It just broke me. I fell to my knees, put my head down and wept on to the empty rocker.

Even in these painful moments and memories, I still don’t… And can’t… Regret sharing her with her siblings.

Or sharing her with you along the way.

I had this fear she’d be forgotten, like she’d never existed, when we first lost her.

I wanted people to know of the beautiful little girl we held for 45 minutes. I wanted people to know of who we felt she was and to remember how she impacted us and also those who prayed for her.

To not share who she was, who she is and how she impacted our lives, felt like an injustice. For her, and honestly, for myself too. I always desire authenticity, even here on my
Blog. It has helped my grieving immensely, to write about her life and my struggles since she passed, and how we are moving forward as life is speeding by.

I realized, almost four years later, the ache is still ever-present and though it seems different, it isn’t any easier to process. We are still learning how to live with this ache, with the questions that arise in ourselves and in our kids/

This week I have felt so thankful that we decided to share her life with our other kiddos. And that we don’t hide behind close doors with our grief (though at time, we do). That even though the sudden questions may take us aback, we address them.

I haven’t been proud of many moments in my grief these past four years, but this is an area I am very thankful we allowed.

That we accept this as a part of our lives and say it’s okay to grieve and to talk about her. To ask the questions that linger.

We are learning what it means to share her life, to grieve and rejoice, together. Though each grieves so very differently, it is together as a family. And for that, I am beyond thankful.

I wanted to close the doors on my emotions this year, for some reason that I can’t quite pinpoint. But Chaseyboy’s questions and that moment in the hallway broke me.

I’m thankful. So thankful, as we are less than two weeks away from anniversaries.

Thank you for reading my emo blog post. I guess I just want to be sure I keep sharing. That I don’t close the door to the blog world, too. I know this blog has touched so many grieving mommas. I want to say to you that it’s okay to grieve, it’s okay to share and to be heard and feel validated. Your child’s life happened, your loss happened. Speak it, cry it out, scream it out if needed. Be heard by at least one. I’m not saying you must write a blog in order to validate their life and your loss, but I just want to speak it out for you mommas, especially those who feel weak… don’t shut the doors to your grief, don’t fret that you will mess up your other kiddos if you cry in front of them.  It is okay to share, it might even help those around you too.

Sharing has helped in my healing. Sharing has helped in our family’s healing. It’s still painful, but it does helps.

Love,
J

 

Everly’s first week.

I did first week posts for my boys, and now here is one for our little Ever. Here are some photos from the last week.

1897825_10152017599386989_1263327183_nI know I shared this photo in the last post, but I just had to share it again. I absolutely adore this one of her!1779953_10152015058006989_2095522843_n Ever in the hospital, meeting a special lady Lindsey – she was a nurse of mine when I first entered the hospital for Eisley, she also came into work on her day off to meet Eisley and she did her footprints, etc. It was so special to us. When we had Shailo, she was our nurse in the OR room. This time she wasn’t able to be in the OR room because she’s transferred  hospitals, but she still popped by! (And she is currently 18 weeks pregnant!)1613782_10152015064006989_703563091_n

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Little ruffle bum. 1900150_10152020638081989_1212514275_n At her first baby checkup. Loving being on her tummy. 1236526_10154048434235727_2105755160_n (Ted took this with his phone) 1146608_10152028019331989_66203753_nAuntie Abba1959845_10152025049606989_1717830747_n1947872_10152019293586989_148072743_n1922512_10152021221051989_2064404429_n

Out and about… I snapped this photo because I couldn’t believe how much she looked like her daddy!1901742_10152021345811989_583403708_n 1926718_10152021805206989_1409722004_n

Ever loves the wee hours of the morning, particularly 1-3am. We’re working on changing that ;) Something that has helped is leaving a lamp on, as she seems to have her nights and days mixed up right now.
1924445_10152021969531989_1205388278_n Big brother Shai introduces her as “MY EVERLY”… oh my heart.
1948126_10152022155481989_763512388_n This is me having waaaaay too much fun having a little girl in the house.
1780728_10152022345066989_1123075007_nShailo was playing with her feet and I couldn’t help but snap this photo. photo 5-11 She snoozes like this often and I’m guessing she did this in the womb a lot. ADORE. photo 4-8 Presh’y girls face up close. Her eye colour is almost exactly what Chase’s was which means maybe just maybe she’ll have her momma’s eye colour: brown-hazel.
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Daddy and Ever: words can’t express what this does to my heart.
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Another one of my fav photos of Sweet Girl. She definitely has her momma’s wide set eyes!photo 2-17 Chicken legs :)
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Stretching.

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During the day I have to wake her to feed her (most times) and at night, she it feels like she doesn’t stop nursing ;) I can’t complain, I seriously ADORE her and am trying to cherish every newborn moment.

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They love her so much!! Shailo and Chase did get into a little physical fight (shocking!) around her and Everly ended up getting her first punch in the face by Shai. I cried with her (Can I blame hormones or….?) He felt bad and Chase even teared up! We are learning to be careful around baby sissy over her ;)1623586_10152026247746989_1270802804_n1970847_10152024376651989_1926246125_nI know it’s ridiculous … but yes, yes I did take her on her first thrift store shopping trip! Gotta start her young ;) No, really I just needed to get out of the house so my MIL droves us all to the thrift store. :)1780713_10152024450941989_1525086550_n3 kiddos in the car! SO SURREAL. I love it so much.1898045_10152025062166989_339467061_nHolding her Grandpa Matt’s finger (my dad ADORES her)1964975_10152027692376989_1945651687_n

Bright eyed beauty. Taken just yesterday.

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I’m recovering very well this time around. I’m so thankful! I was having a meltdown recently where I stood in the bathroom crying my eyes out (thanks hormones) for all of the wrong reasons: I felt fat, my “mask of pregnancy” still covers my face, and I felt way too emotional. I’ve decided to reflect on all 4 pregnancies and the beautiful gifts that came from them. Today, my body aches, my stomach is hanging to my knees (or at least is feels like it ;)), I weigh way more than on my wedding day, I have wrinkles and bags under my eyes, and I have scars and stretch marks galore, etc… They are worth it all. Every ache, every scar and stretch mark, every sleepless night, every moment where I look like a maniac screaming at my 2-year-old who’s running in the parking lot, every messy room and ruined material item I once treasured, every moment that is no longer just my own… They are truly worth it all and more. My heart is so full, content and thankful. Even for the parts that make me feel less then pretty and young. Chase Journey, Eisley Antalya, Shailo Valour and Everly Selah… You are worth it all and more!!

I am so very thankful, more than words can say.

Happy first week Everly Selah!

The meaning of the name post NEXT.

Preparing for Baby E.S.

I thought I’d do a much overdue post about our little lady…
babyes_4Our sweet girl is a little less than 25 days away from being in our arms! I am officially scheduled to have her (via C-section) February 28th, 7:30 am!

(these photos of E.S we’re taken at an appointment in Amsterdam right before we left)
babyes_6 We are currently living with relatives until we know what our next step is. It is challenging for me personally because at this point in pregnancy I usually end up redoing an entire room or two; finishing a nursery or painting a room, etc. I’ve taken on a few projects some of them are just things like sorting through all of the girls clothes we’ve been given or have thrifted. My mom has been an incredible help with that process :)babyes_7 More sorting.. I can’t even tell you how excited her little outfits make me. HOLY MOLY. babyes_8 I’ve also been researching and reading up on Cloth diapering which is a new territory for us. I’ve always wanted to do this and have never attempted it. This time around, here we go!BabyES A lifesaver for my “nesting” has been these fun little sewing projects when I have the energy and time (usually while Shailo is sleeping) to do them! I am currently in the process of making burp clothes, boppy covers, changing pads, wet bags, etc… I went with my favourite colour pallet when it comes to little girlies… coral pink, teals, pinks, etc.
babyes_3Probably my favourite project is making E.S. jersey knot headbands! I have sewn 16 so far, some for her, some for two different friends girlies too!
Below are some belly photos to play catch up:1560701_10151911087506989_2115162841_n I took one photo a week with Chaseyboy and Shailo and my 4th pregnancy, I think I’ve taken maybe 8 “nice” photos total. ;)1003078_10151944920801989_796009728_n

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1460969_10151952912611989_2038424609_nBelly meets steering wheel – 34 weeks pregnant.1497099_10151955359921989_716307619_n35 week photo, about as good as it got that week :)

This is a real, honest look into my current state of dress and mind and everything hahaha. A TOTAL MESS. 10748_10151961126781989_87012934_nFunny photo of Shai and momma aka “the whale” ;)
1012540_10151965187851989_1088837523_nI spent a couple hours in the hospital on Sunday, monitoring baby. I was in the most pain I’ve been in besides active labor with Chase. I think for my body it’s just 4 pregnancies, 4 years in a row and this pregnancy is my first which I carry up and down instead of side-to-side. So new stretching on this belly and body, My incision from the previous C-sections has given me pain and problems this pregnancy as E.S. grows. My legs go numb often throughout the day due to pressure and her having “dropped”. It’s normal pregnancy stuff, but the 4th time around I just feel it more. My body is worn out. She’s worth every ache and pain and restless night!

Having her heart monitored brought up a lot of painful memouries of my time (in that same hospital) with Eisley. I don’t want to spend the next few weeks feeling anxious but I see myself already down that path. I’m trying to stay positive and focus of the good things. Please pray for peace of mind for me?

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Above is my next project before she arrives! Craigslist $20 glider to transform into a beauty: to paint and recover it!

Thank you for stopping by!