Thursday, December 30, 2010



Yes we've seen snow before... and yes my daughter is barefoot :) but never have we seen snow here in the AZ valley before! We were quite excited today to have a few mintues of snow flurries! Trevor ran outside and shouted "THANK YOU GOD! THANK YOU GOD!" over and over.

Yes thank you God for blessing us today with your amazing creation! Pictures to come.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Gift


To think she wasn't even a thought in our minds last year and now we can't imagine life without her!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas


Celebrating the joy Jesus brings to real life! Merry Christmas!

Chris, Tara,
Taylor, Trevor, Rylee & Alexie

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Call Her Linus


Rylee is quite the piano genius. This past year she will sit down, make up a song on the piano, name it and remember it days later. It's a beautiful thing. She wrote a song for Alexie and EVERYTIME she starts crying she plays her song "Baby Sleeping". With blue blankie always by her side, we call her Linus.

Monday, December 13, 2010

2 Month Smiles

Alexie is loving life these days. Lots of smiles and coos coming from her! Just this past week she's fallen into a real nice 3 hr schedule, finally sleeping in her crib and giving me longer stretches at night! Yeah for sleep :)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Family Night


This week we had a family night with my parents and brother's family. My sister in law made this awesome wild rice turkey soup for dinner. Recipe please Danae! Afterward we loaded into the cars and drove to downtown Glendale to view and walk the lighted streets. It was beautiful, and free. On one part of the street the city had decorated a large tree with christmas lights and synced it to music. The kids loved this! My 2 yr old nephew got out and danced the night away with his cousins. Trev man was putting on quite the tap dance show, minus the tap shoes :)

It was dark and I mostly had a baby in my arms but I did manage to snap a few pictures.

It wasn't that cold... she just had to go potty :)


Our dear friends had a baby three weeks before us. Last monday they drove up and spent the day visiting.

We hope they get married one day :) f


I've been meaning to post these photo's for some time now but life just keeps moving full speed ahead. Hoping to do some updating here this weekend.

Lexie lou is so loved by her siblings. She just adores them!

She's wrapped in the blanket Taylor made her. Oh man what would I do without Taylor?!?! What a gift she is.

I love seeing Trevor's "sweet and sensitive side" with Alexie.

Rylee smothers her, literally, with constant love :) Lexie's expression here just cracks me up.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


So much to be thankful to God for this year.

How I love my little people

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To God From Trevor

Found this while cleaning up the school room this week. Precious.

*click on the picture to view larger

6 Weeks

Oh how I love her.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

1 month

This little beauty is one month old today. Time is flying too fast... I don't want her to grow up.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My *almost* 10.10 Baby Birth Story, Part 2

We arrive at OB/Triage around 12:15am. On our 15 minute drive Chris and I had pretty much sent a text out to everyone we know. This was the real deal. I'm led to a room where my first nurse says to me, "Ah, you just missed 10.10.10!" I say something nice back like, "Wow you're right. I hadn't thought of that at all today. THANKS!". They do some sort of test to see if my water really had broken. Apparently there are crazy women who come in and lie about their water breaking hoping they can stay, so telling them your water broke is not enough. I try to get comfortable in my temporary room, start dreaming about what my little girl will look like and the nurse returns and says,

"Well I'm not sure. The test is inconclusive. I even had another nurse look and neither one of us saw any fluid. I'm going to have to run another test that's more accurate."

My heart drops. I start questioning my sanity. Again. All I know is I'm not going home. With all the calls we had made there's no way on earth I'm calling them back to say I was wrong and maybe I peed on myself. NO WAY! She leaves, I cry. It didn't help that just a couple hours early some man friend of Chris and I's jokes with me about my prior hospital trip and says, "Haven't you had three kids before? Don't know when you're actually in labor?!" That's running through my mind over and over as she takes another test. I was supposed to hear back in 10 minutes but God, fully aware of my declining emotional state, had her come back after two. I wasn't crazy after all. We were having a baby today.

It's 1am and I'm wheeled upstairs to my room. Time to start the penicillin drip. My contractions were coming consistently and they were painful but the penicillin made my arm burn and hurt to the point where I wasn't sure what I'd be getting an epidural for first. Chris at this point has gone completely downhill. We were quite the pair. Once we were settled I released him to go to sleep. I think he was already asleep before I gave him permission. He was out. Drugged. Occasionally he would wake up and sneeze a bunch of times, check if I'm ok, then fall back to sleep. The nurse at this point left me alone. Our room was dark and I sat breathing through contractions by myself for a few hours. I was so thankful that I had put together a playlist of songs for my labor. The songs were my friends, reminding me of God's truth, comfort and that I was not alone, despite how I felt. Eventually, all the wires attached to me, the increasingly painful contractions, my sick husband asleep on the couch, got the best of me and I was done. I woke Chris up crying asking if I could call someone else who wasn't sick and drugged to come sit with me and help me through. I couldn't do this alone anymore. I was dead serious. His response, "Why don't you get the epidural." Oh how we laugh about this now. I didn't laugh then. I heard it as, you don't need support, you need an epidural. Not quite how he meant it. The nurse, who Chris and I affectionately call, The nurse who saved our marriage, walked in. It had been a few hours since I was checked. 6 almost 7 cm and fully effaced. She offers the epidural and I decline. My amount of pain had not increased to the point where I was no longer afraid of the epidural. I'm weird I know but I can't stand the thought of the epidural. With each one I've ended up no longer caring about my fears and wanting it. I wasn't sure I was there yet. She sat on my bed, put her hand on my leg and reminded me that my time to get the epidural would soon pass and in her opinion if I want it, now's the right time. I listened. By the time it took the epidural man to get to my room I was truly ready! You forget that they are not just stationed outside your door waiting for your word. It takes them at least a half hour to get there, set up, get it working. The fear was gone.

Rest. It was about 6 am. I could relax. At least half of my body could rest. The other half was doing better but I didn't end up with a completely successful epidural. I no longer hated the IV's and wanted to rip them out. I lay my head back and close my eyes and in a matter of minutes awake to hammers, nail guns and all sorts of construction equipment. The hospital was undergoing some construction and they chose the room beneath mine to begin in. It literally sounded like someone was shooting a gun up into our floor. No rest for the weary. The nurse comes back and I'm at 9. Lights on, nurses of all sorts start coming in and prepping the room for baby. Happiness and excitement creep in. My doctor comes and pushing begins. I'm told one more push and BANG, HAMMER, BANG. The doctor and nurses look at each other in disgust and disbelief, like where are we?! I'm laughing. Alexie is born. Those were sweet moments. I was so happy to have my beautiful, healthy, baby here. I counted her fingers and toes. She looked like every one of our other kids when they were born. But she's her own person. The kids came in shortly after and our family was all together. I had looked forward to this part for nine months. After a little while everyone headed home and I'm wheeled into a very small recovery room.

Recovery. I'm greeted by an older nurse who literally won't stop talking. Granted I haven't slept in 24 hrs but even my husband who had slept was in disbelief at her candor. She rattles off a list of things I should and shouldn't do now that my baby is here. She begins with,

"Don't sleep with your baby. Just last week a mom slept with her baby and rolled over on her and suffocated her."

WHAT Did she seriously just say that to me... I wonder.

She continues on, "Also don't fall asleep holding her, I had a girl do that too and she dropped her baby on the floor and he had a concussion.

She continued on for what felt like eternity. Telling me things like, use an emery board not nail clippers, and never use formula because it takes over 8 weeks to get out of their system. Chris and I had already talked about having the nursery give her a bottle that night so I could get some rest. It was unbelievable. I was so happy when 7pm rolled around. I sent Alexie to the nursery for some sleep and carpet cleaning began at 2am in the room next to me. 48 hrs. of no sleep. Because I was Group B strep positive Alexie had to stay in the hospital for a full 48 hrs. I asked and begged to go home but my pediatrician said no. Alexie had to stay. Therefore I had to stay. The last night and day Alexie continuously set off alarms. The little security foot tag kept slipping down. I'm grateful for the security but this got a little annoying. Especially since every time she set it off they'd come in, unbundle her, which always sent her into a fit of screaming, and then they'd tighten it back up. Which also sent her into a fit of screaming. By the time I got her calmed down and back to sleep the alarm would go off again.

I've never been more grateful and excited to return home from giving birth. Usually there's a little fear in me in adding another little one into life at home. Not this time. I knew there would be challenges but anything would be easier then the three days I spent there :)

So all of that to say... If I end up having a home birth with my next you will know why :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My *almost* 10.10 Baby Birth Story


*taken on 10.10.10

I knew it was it unreasonable. My due date was the 18th after all. I've never been more then a few days early with the other three, what's the likelihood of being a full eight days?! But nevertheless the desire was there. How fun it be to have our 4th child on 10.10.10, during our 10th year of being married! Imagine my excitement when I learn on the 7th at my dr's appointment that I'm 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced. That's a lot of progress from the barely 1 cm the week before. I saw a glimmer of hope. For three straight days I had cramping and contractions. Surely, I thought, they had to be doing something. I kicked into high gear mode. I walked miles and went up and down those stairs like nobody's business. I was given a chance for a 10.10 baby and I was going to take it.

Saturday night, 10.9-
A full day of contractions, increasing in pain, and well some "other" signs of labor happening and I put a call into my Doctor. This time around I tested positive for Group B strep and she wanted me at the hospital leaving myself with ample time to receive two doses of IV antibiotics with about four to five hours in between the doses. Being my fourth child there was no guarantee that we'd have that much time. My call resulted in another trip to OB triage to get checked out. Conveniently my parents were staying with us. We kiss the kids goodnight and drive away with our bags packed. Chris says something to the effect of "what happened to our agreement about not having anymore babies in the middle of the night?!" I never agreed to such a thing.

We were given a really sweet nurse. Man I was missing her when I was given Nurse Crachit the next day. She checks and I've effaced some more but still at a 3. Bummer. Given my other signs of labor, the contraction monitor, she does what every nurse does at this point. Sends me walking. I'm doubtful. If my three days of walking have done nothing, what's another hour going to do? But I wasn't about to give up. I walked & walked some more. And prayed. I wanted her to come in God's time way more then on a silly date. An hour passes and we walk back in. 3 1/2 cm. It's a half but no 4. She looked at me and said,

"I'm 50/50. I could keep you and get things going or send you home and let you get a good night sleep. I think you need some rest and I bet you'll be back her tomorrow in full on active labor."

That was good enough for me. Then she offered me a sleeping pill. Gosh I love this woman. She assured me that I'd wake up if I was in active labor but it would help take the edge off and let me sleep. I hadn't slept in weeks. I took that pill, swallowed it whole and that's the last thing I remember of the night. Oh there are some funny stories of getting me home, up the stairs and into bed!

I wake up after 13 hrs of sleep. Have I mentioned how much I love that nurse? I wake up to nothing. Contractions are gone. Slightly defeated and to tired to walk, I eat something and go back to bed for a couple more hours. Somewhere in all of this I notice Chris going downhill with his allergies. Some friends picked up the kids for church and this time Chris slept for a couple hours. He awoke and we both felt well enough to join our church for the after church picnic. 7pm rolls around. I realize my 10.10 dream has passed. I was grateful for the much needed rest I had gotten that day and felt rest in my soul as well. She'd come when she was ready. I made plans for the remainder of the week with some friends to pass the time. We called it a day and headed up to bed. 11:55 pm I wake up my sleepy, VERY allergy drugged husband with, "My water broke".

10.11.10- to come later...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Alexie's Newborn Photo's


I posted some newborn photo's of Lexie. But because I'm tired and don't have the patience to upload photo's to another blog I'm going to direct you to my photography blog to see her!

Oh there is still so much more I want to do as with Alexie as far as photo's are concerned but I'm thankful for that one day were I felt well and energized enough to take pictures. I'm still waiting for that next day to come :)

To view Alexie's Newborn Photo's click here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bringing Home Baby


I've never been more ready in my life to go home. Home, Sweet, Home. I'll save my hospital experience for another post. But it involves jack hammers, saws, horrid nurses and carpet cleaning at 2 in the morning. None of which should be in a birth story. I was wheeled out of the recovery ward, down the elevator, through the long hospital floor, all the while Alexie screaming at the top of her lungs in my lap. The girl has a nice set of lungs. I believe she shared my sentiment with that hospital as she hasn't cried like that since we've been home.

We arrived Wednesday morning to three very excited kids! They insisted on wearing their big sister and big brother shirts that they wore to the hospital again. I told Chris with the birth of Taylor that for whatever reason coming home celebrations were important to me. I can say this one was the best. The kids had decorated our driveway and pathway to our door with chalk drawings.

This one was a double blessing as Taylor and I have been working hard on her cursive.

Coming home with Alexie was much different then the others because the kids are older. A far cry from when I brought Rylee home to a 15 month old & 4 year old. It was madness back then. Fun. But this was so much different. It has been so peaceful here at home. Each kid has surprised me with their gentleness, tenderness, their lack of fighting over who gets to hold her. And again their patience while they hold her. They have all surprised me with their longevity in holding her. I think Taylor has the record of 45 minutes.

We have so enjoyed this little girl. She is the sweetest thing. Since being home, she has hardly let out a cry. Of course she has a mom and three little people tending to her every possible need all day but she really has a sweet, peaceful demeanor. I can't believe it's already been a week since she's been in this world and on the other hand it feels like she's always been here. I am so unbelievably blessed!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Alexie Jane Is Here!

After a whirlwind of a night, water breaking at midnight. Lexie was born at 8:58am 10.11.10, weighing 7 lbs even. She is beautiful, healthy and we are in love all over again. Thank you my love for your support and taking these beautiful pictures this morning!