Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mommy's birthday letter to Elise on her 5th birthday!

My dearest Elise,   
On your 5th birthday, I want to begin by recording what I tell you on a daily basis:  You are a treasure and a blessing to me.  To your family.  To the world.  You are a world changer, and we know God has amazing plans for your life!

I am overwhelmed by the strength of your character at such a young age.  You have a heart of gold that is demonstrated in your loving care of animals, bugs, and occasionally even your siblings.  You play so well with Isaac, and I see how you often yield your will to his to avoid a fight.  Of course, you also get riled up at times too!  But I know that passion, as you learn to use it carefully, will benefit you later in life. 

You are such a creative girl!  You love to paint and draw!  You also love to sing and are often coming up with your own songs.  I believe you have a songwriting gift like your Daddy!  You and he share curly hair and songwriting, and you have him wrapped around your finger! 

I love how you snuggle with me in the mornings when you crawl into Mommy and Daddy's bed.  You whisper sweet words and cuddle and tell me you love me.  Those are moments I will always cherish. 

Speaking of sleeping, you can sleep anywhere, girlfriend!  We have found you sleeping on the floor of your room, the floor of our room, the floor of the library/hallway, and sitting up in our rocking chair!  I believe this is a gift from the Lord that will benefit you in the future!  If only I could sleep anywhere like that!

Elise, I look forward to your sixth year with us.  We are going to have fun adventures and lots of opportunities to learn and grow.  And I know you're up for the journey.  You brave girl, you!

With all my heart, I love you, my precious sweet girl.  May the Lord bless you amazingly this year and for the rest of your life.  May He grant you favor and peace and a strong understanding of His infinite love for you.  May you always know the power you have as a child of God, and may you walk in the light of His love.

You are my heart,
(written 9/29/2014)

Happy 5th Birthday Elise!

Today we are celebrating Elise's 5th birthday!

This girl is a bundle of spunk!  Her amazing personality keeps us laughing and smiling! 
She is a strong, opinionated, kind-hearted, giving, animal-loving, bug-catching, singing/songwriting wonder of a human being. 
We are blessed to be her family and excited about what the Lord has in store for her! 
Happy 5th Birthday Elise Jeannette!  We love you sooooooo much!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Elise's birth story

Tomorrow is Elise's 5th birthday.  I am so thankful for this little girl and her presence in our family.  As I think back to her birth, I want to document the story of her coming into this world. 

She was due October 11, 2009, which is also Steven's birthday.  However, a few weeks before her birth, Steven felt the Lord telling him that she would come earlier.  In fact, he felt like I'd go into labor on September 29th.

Well, on September 29th, I started having regular contractions!  As they got stronger, I knew I was dilating more, so we decided to head to the hospital.  Isaac stayed with my parents, and we went in during the afternoon.  When we arrived at the maternity triage area, I was checked by a midwife and learned that I was dilated 5cm.  Woo hoo!  Half way already!  And my contractions were very manageable and not painful at all.  However, my blood pressure was high, so the midwife informed me that I'd need to stay in the bed during labor.  She also said I would need my labor to be sped up by using Pitocin.  I responded that since I'd had such a bad experience with Pitocin and my water being broken by the doctor with Isaac, I wanted to be in control of how fast the Pitocin was given in my IV.  She said that was fine and then ordered me to be admitted to a room.

Once we got to the room, the nurse administered Pitocin at the lowest dosage.  About every half hour, she asked if I would allow her to increase the amount.  I was managing the contractions well and continued to allow dosage increase.  My parents, Ray and Kati, and Isaac came to visit during the evening while I was still comfortable.  After they left, I continued working through contractions as they gradually got stronger.  I tried to rest and watch some TV, but I remember they got too intense for that sometime after midnight.  I remember that Steven was chatting with one of the nurses (the one who actually had given Isaac his first bath!).  While I am usually a very conversational and happy person, I remember thinking cynically at that point "Why won't they just stop talking!!??"  I must have been starting to feel some pain!!

After that, my water broke with a very strong and intense contraction.  The doctor checked my dilation at that point and notified me that I was at 8cm.  She said it "might be a couple more hours".  At that point, I was feeling so much pain that I didn't think I could make it another 2 hours!  I asked for some IV pain medication to help since I really didn't want an epidural but needed something to help ease the pain.  The doc left the room and so did the nurse.  My labor nurse decided to take her lunch then, but a floater nurse came in to deliver my pain meds.  At that point, it had been about 15 minutes since the doc checked me, and I was feeling the urge to push!  I told the nurse that, and she checked me.  Elise was crowning!  She said, "Hold on!  The doc is out of the room!"  I said, "I can't hold on!  I need to push!"  Then the nurse held Elise in the birth canal while calling for the doc and my labor nurse.  They hurried in the room and assumed their positions.  With three small pushes, Elise slid right out!  It was so easy! 

The nurse brought her to my chest, and Steven cut her umbilical cord.  I began uncontrollably shaking, and the doctor said that was totally normal.  She said she'd wait until my body calmed down to stitch me up.  (What a difference from Isaac's delivery!)  I soaked in the moments at 2:00 AM on Wednesday September 30, 2009 while holding my first daughter.  She was so beautiful!  She looked like a tiny doll.  I was immediately in love.

Elise nursed well and slept well.  She was so laid back and content, and we were so grateful that God had blessed us with her!

And we forever will be grateful for her life.  She is a treasure and a blessing to us. 

Happy Birthday-Eve Sweet Girl!

Monday, August 25, 2014

A new treat...

Our neighborhood HOA hosted a back-to-school pizza party at the pool this past Friday.  They gave away free pizza and ice cream to the kids.  After eating their pizza, Elise and Isaac went up to get more and saw that the HOA folks were handing out ice cream sandwiches.  They returned to our table completely ecstatic.  Elise said, "They have pop tarts with ice cream in them!!!"

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Isaac's haircut!

Isaac and my dad grew their hair out over the spring and early summer.  A couple weeks ago, Steven decided it was time for Isaac to get a hair cut.  Here he is before...


And after...

He really does like the short hair even though his face doesn't show it! :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Our backyard in Summer 2014!

Around the house this summer...

Some of our daily adventures this summer...
Isaac made a rocket out of our Sonlight curriculum box!
Elise also made a rocket out of construction paper...

The three amigos... (if you wonder what life in our house looks like, here is a taste of the everyday fun!)

Silly Gracie!

It's so fun to play in the rain!

Yes, this really happened.  Yogurt, in a bowl, overturned on top of Elise's head.  This is typical of Elise.  Things like this on a DAILY.BASIS.  We had the "You can't do that" talk, but I also took pictures and rejoiced in the fun she had.  I'm pretty sure this is a season that will pass very quickly.  She has such a fun personality!

Oh, the fun of childhood.  I am trying to embrace these messy and joyful moments and remember the wisdom from those who've gone before me... that they pass way too quickly.  I am blessed to share so many moments with these three miracles. 

As I read recently, may my house be clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be happy!

Indiana Trip 2014!

Here are some pictures from our Indiana trip...
Kati and the big kids in downtown Fort Wayne...

Kati and the big kids on the log ride at the Children's Zoo...

At the Zoo...

And on the way home when we were stopped for about 2 hours on the interstate in West Virginia due to a fatal motorcycle accident.  We were parked on the road right beside a big barn and a saw mill.  It was a great learning opportunity for Isaac, as my dad explained the saw mill to him.  And the big barn provided privacy for anyone who was in need of, ahem, relief.  Two hours is a long time for little bladders, you know!

We were so thankful to have been able to take this trip to see Kati and Ray!  What a great experience it was for us all. 

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