a belated Christmas post

This post is waaaaay overdue but I’ve regretted not posting some of our Christmas-y things. I used to be so on top of taking pictures, editing them and posting them almost right away and now… oh wait, I had a baby! ;) But I really don’t want that to become my excuse. You find time to do the very things you love and blogging just happens to be on my list of things that I love! So I really hope to pursue one of my passions again. I miss it so much.

whoa, I digress. Here some photos of our holiday.

This was Chase’s first year helping decorate the tree. He really took tree decorating very seriously ;)

This particular holiday seemed very special and perhaps it is because Chase really joined in with me in decorating and creating. I really, really loved that part. Oh my heart! What joy he brings.

Chase and I’s handywork this year. Simple, beautiful, fun.

 Above left: “Let every heart prepare Him room” banner. Right: our activity advent calendar.

Quite possibly my favourite Christmas tradition, or maybe just my sweet tooth talking ;)…

Sugar (& other) Christmas cookie baking day!  Look at his eyes when he realized I was watching him (above right) ;)

what’s a cookie without sprinkles, sprinkles …

…and more sprinkles?!

This was Chase’s first year to enjoy in this yummy tradition.

Last year we began a tradition of opening jammies Christmas Eve, a tradition passed on from my own family. This year we added a new tradition, our own, of heading to town to see the pretty Christmas lights. Ted and I try to sing Christmas songs and Chase, sweet boy, would cut us off with, “Wonder Pets, Wonder Pets, we’re on our way…” and then wait for us to join in with {him} in finishing the Wonder Pets entire theme song. What a fun memory! :)

Ya know us, we just had to do photoshoot of the jammies before heading to see lights. Oh how I love these photos. So precious!

Little smirks. (I call this his little old man face)

(I just had to post this photo of Shailo’s facial expression when Chase first sat down with him. :) It’s like he’s saying, “Seriously mom and dad, a flashlight for big brother. REALLY?! Ahh! Get him away! “)

This year was especially fun because it was Chase’s first year he thoroughly enjoyed Christmas; the tree, lights, music (particular fond of, well Wonder Pets, but also Away in the Manger – which we changed to say “the little baby Jesus lay down his sweet head” I tried to video him but to no avail ;)) , stories of baby Jesus, presents, etc. He {loved} this year.

Our Christmas photo was another story…

({my handsome boys} opposite colouring as of now. I {love} it!)

Our Christmas photo was a challenge. You might think being married to a photographer, we’d have it set. WRONG. It was horrible. Chase was extremely wound tight, Shailo was fussy and I didn’t feel well at all.  The picture below is one of maybe 2 he actually sat for.

 However, I love the one we ended up with because it’s actually rather candid. I didn’t ask him to kiss his brother, he just did. So cute! 
Ted and I play around with bokeh and the Christmas tree lights. (what we’d hoped to do with our Christmas card but didn’t factor in a crazy-hyper 2 year old BOY! ;))
Christams-y Instagrams
Well, enough talk about Christmas in January. I hope to blog soon with some things that are heavy on my heart. Hope the holidays treated you well and you were able to enter the New Year refreshed and with a sense of hope!

{2011}

I wanted to write a post before 2012 arrives and was inspired by Chelsey from The Paper Mama to do a post of key things from each month in 2011. I gathered and shared mostly just what happened on here (my blog) the past year. What a year it’s been!

I tear up when I look at the above photos of my Chasey-Boy. I think the biggest change in our family, besides having a new baby boy obviously ;), it Chase. I mean, can you believe it? I’m in awe of how much he’s grown in just ONE year. Wow. This really makes me want to stop and savor each moment this year, so much more! As I put this collage together I showed Ted and we both agree that this year has brought the most change in Chase. He is a little man now and can actually have a conversation with us! When did this happen?! TEARS. Seriously, time is flying before our very eyes!

entered 2010 with heartache just 4 months after Eisley’s death. // Chase turned one and a half (look at how much he’s changed this year! Too fast!) // did my first ever ‘What I Wore’  post and actually posted them! My first photos I willingly posted since my major weight gain. Took a lot to do it but I did! // wrote a post about new year’s resolutions (and still feel the same about them this year!) // posted honestly about Ted and I and how losing Eisley affected us. // blogged words that resonate. // posted a few DIYs; homemade booklet, recipe box , jewelry holder  // and more… 

had a dream that spoke deeply // did a lot of Valentines DIY projects; paper heart garland, heart frame , “LOVE” display  // guest blogged at U-Create // spray painted some jars for decor // 5 months; our shock started to wear off //learned about pinterest  and got myself and many friends hooked haha! // found some awesome images that reminded me of her // i was brutally honest  // and then felt horrible about it  // posted an easy peasy DIY // and more…

wrote blurry // signed lease papers for a duplex // found out we were expecting our 3rd baby // barely made it off the couch out of fear of losing baby // turned 24 // opened my Etsy store  // posted DIY freezer paper stenciling  // did quite a few {thrifted treasures} posts; 1, 2, 3. // 6 months after losing Eisley I realized some things //

moved from my grandparent’s home into a duplex // gave a house tour on the blog // found out that baby #3 was a boy at just 13 weeks pregnant // decided on the perfect first name for S (writing a blog about his name and full meaning soon!!) // let my fear of losing Shailo paralyze me from really doing anything (see that couch there, yeah, I was on that most of this month) // april began the failing of my Etsy store, i lost all motivation when i became so anxious and fearful in pregnancy // April 26 arrived – one year since we’d found out we were pregnant with our Eisley-girl // wrote a whopping 4 blog posts  total …

 Ted turned 26 // threw an “Abie in Wonderland”  party for my sister’s 18th birthday // i made business cards and did my first ever craft fair (loved it!) // 8 months passed and I wrote ‘Grace’ // wrote about Chase’s love for music // Ted shot his first wedding! //

this was an eventful month for sure // finally fought my fears, sought after peace and His heart for me in this pregnancy and made myself get up // did the 30 Day Photo Fun challenge  // made a bunch of tissue paper flowers for two different parties (Chase destroyed most of one batch but i re-did them and they were better anyways :)  // planted a flower garden // did a simple home decor/party DIY // posted a before and after of our hallway (need to update this majorly!) // made a gate entrance sign! // finally shared we were pregnant…5 months pregnant… // threw a ‘Mustache or Bows’ gender reveal party // celebrated Ted’s 3rd Father’s Day //shared part 1 and part 2 of a new series I started called ‘Pregnancy After Loss’ // celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary // posted “Eisley’s Song” // faced our most bittersweet news in our pregnancy with S //

celebrated Chase’s 2nd birthday! // my momma turned 44 // fell in love with instagram // walked almost daily to the park nearby // spent hours at Windsor Lake Beach // shared some fun photobooth pics //

took Chase to the Zoo for the first time ever! (above photo is of when he saw a live elephant for the first time; priceless.) //Chase had his first train ride and loved it dearly and still sometimes talkes about it // whined and whined and whined about being pregnant during Colorado’s 23 days straight heat wave of high 90s with humidity. I LOVE heat and humidity just {not} pregnant apparently! // hence spending hours at Windsor Lake Beach // reached 26 weeks and 4 days // shared a remarkable memory // began the boy’s room // wrote part 3 and part 4 of ‘Pregnancy After Loss’// wrote about the anniversary of being hospitalized for Eisley and the precious memories i hold very dear to my heart // had my due date pushed back a week (insert major sad face here at the time) //

oh, September. whew. // reached the anniversary of Eisley’s death // celebrated one year since the birth of our precious Eisley-girl // shared part 2 of the boys’ room // wrote ‘anniversary reactions & shadow grief’ // got rid of the “ba-bas” (bottles) // wrote a post with pictures of Chase’s summer //

did our maternity photoshoot (which i just updated with some never before seen pics of ones with Shailo’s name) // visited the “punkin’ patch”  // painted the “baby punkin'” // started ‘No Sugar October’ and failed miserably just 2 weeks in! :) // had our first snowfall of the season // Ted and I bought our first car (well, a used van but still) First time for both of us!) // finished the boys’ room // made two separate birth announcements with two separate middle names for S, as Ted and I still couldn’t agree on one :)

shared a post with final belly pics and a prayer request // had a baby boy!!!! //  shared precious pictures of his first week // shared the (mostly) finished look of the boys’ room (only to have the landlord tell us we can’t use it as a room after all. Yes, true story where i sobbed.) // had Shailo’s first thanksgiving and first bath  // answered a frequently asked question //

celebrated Shailo’s first Christmas and the first Christmas that Chase will truly remember // actually made and finished our entire advent calendar! // had a white christmas tree // made some cute christmas decor // Eisley’s due date week passed by us again // shared pictures of Shailo’s zero and one monthly photoshoots // shared a poem and wrote honestly about where i’m at currently // posted some precious moments with Shailo //

I didn’t really share much about what’s going outside of what I shared on the blog but Ted does exist in this family and DID have things happen this year for sure :) Like finishing 2 full semesters of college // starting a photography business // doing a TON of free but portfolio building photo shoots (we’re hoping for PAID jobs this year! ;)) // entering the bathroom a bearded man with long blond hair and coming out shaved and BALD. and much to his wife’s surprise!! ;) …

We’re excited to enter 2012 and see what kinds of things God has in store for our family. Ted and I both have some major personal goals and I feel very optimistic that we will see them through. We’re going to face and conquer some mountains this year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!

New Years Giveaway Winner!

Happy New Years Day friends!!

I, in front of my sisters, Abie and Chelsea, my sister’s boyfriend Caleb (who was on skype) and my hubby, used the random.org generator to “draw” a winner!!

Congrats Jess Alley who said,

I love it!!
One new years resolution is to keep up having good quiet times!! I can be lazy and I want to be disciplined in this area!!

Jami-
You are amazing and I love you!!!!!

You are the winner of the winter coaster set!! I will get them to you ASAP!!

I kind of had too much fun with this giveaway and I will definitely be doing more giveaways throughout 2011!

I hope you welcomed in 2011 safetly and with {hopes} and {dreams} for this new year.

2010: beautiful, tragic.

I’ve been reading around on blogs lately, asking you to sum up the year 2010 in a few words or even just one… and I truly feel like I can’t sum it up in just a few words. Or maybe it’s more that if I do sum it up in one word, I would be leaving out so much that I really don’t want to. If that makes sense? Anyways, I guess this is my end of the year post, I’ve already unloaded 15 pages into my journal so don’t worry I won’t be doing that here! ;) I’ll try to sum it up the best I can.

(just last year)

When 2010 came around, I remember being so excited, maybe more so than any year before, for a few (summed up) reasons;

One, because we were beginning the year as new parents. Each new month with Chase was exciting, watching his little personality shine more and more with each month, learning every little thing about him and who he was. Figuring out how we wanted to parent as each new step came, what we wanted him to learn, what kind of traditions we wanted to establish and what traditions just came naturally, and of course documenting everything (I realized early on I am one of “those moms” :))  etc, etc, etc.

Two, we had so many exciting plans as we were beginning to take steps towards our dream as a family and for our life. We left  our positions on staff at Youth With A Mission Denver to pursue our dreams. The first step towards our dream was for Ted to head to college and I had planned to join him (just a few classes though, not full-time) at some point in 2010. We also each had little plans and goals individually and together for the new year.

We left YWAM in March and moved from Arvada to Fort Collins (where most of my family lives). Our plans slowly began to change as we found out, less than a month after moving, that we were 2 months pregnant with Eisley. We were so surprised and very excited. We would have two kiddos, just shy of 17 months apart, at Christmastime this year. What an adventure!

We spent April and May doing things as a family and spending a lot of time together because we knew our life was about to get crazy-busy again. What we didn’t realize at the time was just how crazy it actually would get. Our life first began “turning upside down” (even that feels like an understatement) as I first started bleeding at 13 weeks.

Ted began a full load at college and was working in between classes, just as I was put on light bed rest for the first time. Our summer was a whirlwind of emotions, new fears, loss of innocence to a healthy pregnancy, hoping, praying, praying, praying…etc.

We all know the story and to be honest, repeating it all seems overwhelming suddenly.

I will just say, when 2010 first came around, we never imagined that we would walk through such a tragedy. We never imagined losing a child. We had planned on trying to get pregnant in September. Instead,  this September, we were 6 months (almost 7) pregnant with our little girl and we were fighting, hoping and praying for our daughter’s life and for a few ounces more. I had worried about someday having a miscarriage, but never imagine that we would instead be a family who had a still born baby. …

2010 is both beautiful and tragic. Beautiful in that this year held the only time that I would have with my daughter, Eisley Antalya, here on earth and tragic in that we said our goodbyes to her this same year.

Ted and I are so different than we were even just one year ago. I don’t know how anyone could walk through what we have and not be changed honestly. We’re changed in really difficult and hard to explain ways, like in that we now know, even more so than ever before, of how fragile life is, of how much of a miracle it really is to have a healthy pregnancy, we’re changed in that we’ve lost our innocence and will, maybe forevermore, worry whenever I am pregnant with our next children, etc.

We have new fears and worries but also we have a new out look on life and new inspiration and drive. Our precious Eisley taught us so much in her short time with us. We are both so inspired to carry on her legacy in our own ways. For me, I am creating in a much differnt way that Iever was before and finding beauty when it seems impossible to find beauty. I also give just a tad credit to God for that one ;) He’s really carrying me right now. I really wouldn’t make it through this without Him. I couldn’t, I would have no hope.

We have aching hearts, shattered dreams and an Eisley shaped hole as we enter 2011, yet we also have dreams and hopes for the future.

I hope I will carry on my daughter’s legacy and share of the love and hope and trust I have for and in of my Saviour.

Ted’s really challenged me to challenge my abstract thinking and words with ways I can put actions to them. So how am I hoping to do the above? … a bit of the way I hope to carry on Eisley’s legacy is through creating and through opening my Etsy store. I hope to share her story with those I come across and as I share her story, the love and hope I have in my Saviour will also shine through. I hope to share of how trustworthy He is, even still.

{2011}… we know that no matter what we might face in this new year, with all of the anniversaries of our times with Eisley and memouries, we can cling to the Hope we have that is carrying us through now. It’s hard to welcome in a new year while aching so much, and I can’t say for sure that we’re ready, but it’s time… and we have hopes and dreams for 2011, so here we go!

I personally love and am inspired by goal lists and resolutions, so I make one every year and each month sometimes, I don’t think I’ll share all my resolutions here (some are more personal) but I will share something I am making! It’s a pretty cute resolutions/goals craft thingy that will inspire. I will be sharing it sometime after the first of the year.

Much love to you, as you welcome in the new year!