Friday, June 30, 2017

12 weeks and updates

Some important updates from week 12:

1) Giggles.  Oh, the giggles!  Delicious, delightful belly laughs that make sunshine overflow in my living room.  They're the greatest.

2)  Yes, it is 12 weeks later.  As of a just a few days ago, the swelling in my abdomen from my surgery has finally gone down.  Hooray!!  Three cheers!  Now if I could just get the sore feeling three inches above my incision to subside, we'd really be in business.

3)  Luke means "light-giving."  In the Bible, he is the "beloved physician." I have no words to describe just how accurate that is for our sweet little boy.  He brings light and life and healing after a difficult year, tough pregnancy and a spring that was just beyond words. It is the perfect name for this precious little boy.  We are SO, so blessed.

Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


My two big ones are absolutely amazing big siblings.  Leah and Logan simply adore babies, and they have such hearts for nurturing those precious tiny ones that I never once worried about how they would transition to having Luke here. 

But my baby.  My Livvy.  

My little sweet one who herself loves being the baby.  The girl who is still sleeping in her crib.  The one I carried on my hip or in a carrier for literally the first two years of her life.  The one who almost never smiled at anyone but mommy, and cried whenever she was passed to someone else. The one who, when pressed, will still tell you in no uncertain terms that she prefers being a baby to a big girl.

Would she make the transition with the same tenderness and love that her bigger siblings had always done?

Amazingly, the answer has been a resounding yes.

She loves being a big sister.  Each morning when she wakes up, her first question is always the same: can I hold baby Luke?  She is patient, kind and loving, and entirely understanding of how mommy has to devote a lot of time to the baby.

She shushes him when he cries, gives him his paci and is so proud when he smiles at her or holds her hand.  We have told each of our children that when the baby holds their finger, it means he knows they're his big brother or sister.  And she absolutely adores being Luke's big sister!

We are so extremely proud of our babies as they have moved out of the baby phase of life and into the season of being the older sibling.  It is an incredible thing to watch!

Friday, June 23, 2017

11 Weeks

Smiles and sunshine.  That's what he brings to this busiest season of my life so far.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

More from South Dakota

I have to admit something:  I was less than awed by the Grand Canyon.

There.  I said it.  Whew.  Glad I got that off my chest.

I know... everybody was all, WOW!  Look at that massive, incredible hole in the ground!  It's A-MA-ZING!  But I kinda thought it was exactly as its name implied: a grand canyon.  I mean, really.  You kinda get what you pay for on that one. Although it is definitely a cool sight and worth seeing, it wasn't my favorite natural wonder of all time.

The badlands, on the other hand, really wow-ed me.

The vastness of the landscape against the sky.  The way the prairie transforms suddenly at the edge of a single precipice.  The dynamic hills and valleys and intricacies of the textures and colors blew me away.  This photo is cool, but nothing like being there in person.

South Dakota is truly beautiful.  From the deep, dense Black Forrest, which conveys a sense of magic and transports one to a place where the possible lurks behind every tree, to a terrain that is altogether opposite yet somehow just as magical and alive.

We loved it.



The kids so enjoyed all the animals!  And they roam completely free, unafraid to cross roads or walk right up to the car, so close we could have touched them (ahem: some of us may have succeeded tried).

It's my kind of place.

And my little nature lovers were in heaven, because the close-ups continued in Bear Country, USA.

A drive through nature preserve that allowed us to see some really cool sights from the safety of our car.

The kids will tell you that, besides Rushmore, their favorite part of the trip was the bear who climbed up on the driver's side of our car and hung out there for several minutes. Yep.  Although I didn't get any photos, because I was too busy feeling both awestruck and mildly nervous!

There are also more traditional "zoo" style exhibits, which the kids loved as well.

Especially these adorable little bear cubs!

Here are a few of my little animals as well:

We had such a wonderful time!  It is a trip I highly recommend, and one we're pleased to be able to check off our family's bucket list.

Friday, June 16, 2017

10 weeks

That right there, my friends, is a 6 month outfit.  We've simply graduated out of everything that comes before.

And, as luck would have it, all the boys in our family so far have been late summer births: Logan end of August, Greyson and Jackson (my nephews, with whom we're clothes sharing) August and July, respectively.

So... six month clothing in the middle of summer is not something we have, despite the three boys that have come before.   Which means that my son is wearing a new outfit!

I bought almost nothing for this baby; in fact, I've joked that when you buy three, you get the fourth for free.  But who could have predicted we'd be here so quickly?  He fits into most 3-6 month clothing, but I may have tried to squeeze him into something ill-advised, and had no option but to cut him out of it.  Sooooo... on to new clothes it is!

Luckily, I have a girlfriend whose twins turned one in May.  (For the record: the babies were born at 41 weeks and weighed in at 9 and a half and 8 and a half pounds.  Yowza!  I have no idea how she was even able to walk.)  She very generously gifted us some things for my big guy.

People stop me in the grocery store to squeeze his chubby legs.  Like... a lot!

We sure love this kid.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Postcards from Rushmore

Official announcement: We're moving to Nemo, South Dakota!

Well, okay, so maybe not.  But we did have an absolutely fantastic time on our family trip visiting South Dakota and all it has to offer.  

Yes, I am a nerd.  A history nerd, even, but Mt. Rushmore has been on my bucket list for years.  I had absolutely no idea that it is a quick 6 hour drive from the state in which I've spent my entire life.  How did I miss that all this time? 

Before our trip, we read a book and watched a documentary about the history of the monument, created by John Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln from 1927-41.  What an absolutely fascinating endeavor!  To think that about 400 men scaled this mountain and blasted and chiseled it into what we see today... amazing! 

The Gutzon Borglum studio, which houses a one-twelfth scale completed rendering of the monument, was amazing to see!

The monument itself was created using measurements taken from this sculpture with a degree stick and a weighted string, as pictured above (hanging off of Lincoln's head).  AMAZING what human ingenuity and determination can do!!!

Just to give you an idea of the scale, we present: Leah!  And this is the small version. 

The entire monument was never finished according to Gutzon Borglum's specifications for three main reasons: 1) they ran out of money, 2) WWII began, and 3) John Borglum died before the project was finished.  They "settled" for just the heads.

It was pretty incredible to see in person.

And something the entire family enjoyed. 

Or, at least, as much as a person can when they're two and have missed nap time.

(Don't worry, they made up later.)  

We all took time to thoroughly appreciate the scope of history that stood before us with solemn, serious reflection.


Rushmore was probably the highlight of our trip to South Dakota, but it was also only the beginning.  There is so much to do and see; we stayed three nights, but it was nowhere near enough.  This is definitely a trip we'll make again.

Check one off the bucket list!
(I like to do that while wearing small babies.)

Friday, June 9, 2017

9 weeks and stats

My suspicious little guy would like to know why he's not being fed.

Because, well, you don't get thighs like that from skipping meals!

At his two month appointment, Luke weighed in at 13.1 lbs, in the 65th percentile.  My question? How big are the two month olds in the hundredth percentile?!

(But I should probably keep my mouth shut, since Logan was over 14lbs at two months.  Glass houses and what-not...)

Two months flies by.  Love him.

Friday, June 2, 2017

I changed my font at