Thursday, September 15, 2011

:: End of an Era ::

I've officially entered my last month of my 20's. At times it seems like my teenaged years were so long ago, and at times it's hard to believe that I'm stepping into a new decade.

My 20's were incredibly FULL and I went through many significant life changes. To list a few:
- Did my DTS with YWAM in Australia for 6 months, including a few weeks in New Zealand
- Became an Auntie... a role that continues to grow :)
- Completed a 2 year diploma program at Douglas College in Therapeutic Recreation
- Met, dated, got engaged to and married Josh (all in about 16 months)
- Bought our first place (condo) and our second (house)
- Lost our first baby in early miscarriage
- Had the most beautiful baby girl, Kenzie Diana
- Am currently pregnant with our next little blessing! (Due Feb 7th so I'll be 30!)

During these years I met many incredible people - some who came into my life for a short time and some who have become friends for life. Other relationships I carried over from teenage years and value them more than ever as life ebbs and flows. I don't think I could learn more than I do through relationships and even the ones that hurt... there's much to be thankful for.

Other highlights from my 20's... I was in numerous (7) wedding parties, welcomed 10 nephews and one niece plus many more babies that friend's have had, and have gone through peaks and valleys in my walk with God - never being more thankful for His faithfulness and steadfast presence in my life. Josh and I have endured many changes in employment and that's something I really hope settles down from here on in!

Thinking back, I don't think I'll ever go through another decade with as many huge life changes as I did in my 20's. In some ways, I'll miss the craziness... in others, I look forward to life becoming more stable and consistent. Or is that just a dream? :)

How about you? What are the highlights of your past 10 years?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

:: Summer ::

I think it's funny that I can have an entire post titled "Summer" :) Shows how often I blog!

I've been meaning to write more often, but keep getting intimated by how much I have to catch up on! So more time passes and the issue compounds. Ah well. I'll just start up from today! :)

Biggest news... which I'm sure you all know by now... is that I'm pregnant! I'm just over 16 weeks, Baby is due on February 7th! Josh and I are thrilled, and Kenzie is really into babies these days, so I know she'll love being a big sister. She will be 22 1/2 months old when Baby arrives - where does time go?

So far I'm feeling well, this pregnancy has been very similar to how it was with Kenzie. We had an early ultrasound at 9 weeks and then we finally heard the heartbeat yesterday! All is well with Baby, and I'm enjoying the second trimester, as it's definitely the best one! February seems like a long time away, but I know it will be here before we know it!

Otherwise... this has been a pretty low-key summer for us! Josh changed jobs a few weeks ago, so we've been adjusting to a new schedule and all the other changes that go along with a new job. I'm working two days a week, plus some hours from home each week. It's going so well and I am very blessed to work where I do!

We've gone camping once so far - to Oliver, BC - in June, and are heading out for a couple nights this weekend, down to the States. Then over the September long weekend we head to Penticton for a wedding! It's nice to have these little get-aways to look forward to.

Oh, more baby news!! I am an Auntie twice more, since July!! My sister Krista and BIL Jeff had little Rachel Kristina on July 5th and my BIL Nathan and SIL Hannah had Isaiah Edward Arthur on July 18th! Loving these little ones :)

I hope you and yours are having a most wonderful summer and getting the chance to do the things you love!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

:: June? ::

I can't believe it's JUNE!! First of all, because this year has flown by so far, and second of all... people are wearing jeans, boots and sweaters!! What's going on? If you live where I do, I'm sure you're just as ready for summer and sunshine to arrive as I am!

Yesterday marked the end of my third month being back at work. The time has gone by so quickly! To be honest, I never thought I'd work once I became a Mom - and I didn't want to. Circumstances as they were (mostly Josh being laid off during the last month of my mat leave) caused the need for me to return to work. Thankfully, I work at the BEST place ever, with great people I consider friends. And, my boss agreed to the hours and schedule I wanted, that would work best for my family. I must admit, being back at work is FAR better than I ever imagined! Josh and I are super blessed by our moms, and when Josh isn't home with Kenzie either my mom or his is with her! The Grandmas love their special time with their only grand-daughter :) Also, those Daddy-daughter days (without Mommy!) are so precious to both Josh and Kenzie. I'm enjoying the adult interaction and using my brain in a different way than I do at home. Not to mention, the paycheque is definitely appreciated!

I was brought back on a six month contract, as they've never had anyone in my position do it part time before. Three months in, I can't help but be a little nervous about my contract not being extended. Please pray with me that it will be! Ideally, I will work in my current position until we have another baby - then another year of mat leave - woohoo! :)

As for some exciting news... my sister, Krista, has been given a date for her c-section surgery! Little Rachel Kristina will be arriving on July 5 :) I can't WAIT for her to get here, to smell her sweet newborn scent and to enjoy all her perfectness!

My sister-in-law Hannah is also due in July, with her first baby. I'm dying to know if it's a little niece or nephew for us to enjoy!! I'm thrilled for Hannah, as she'll get to experience the gift of motherhood, her lifelong dream :)

Aren't babies the most wonderful, tangible way to experience a miracle? God is so good!

Anyways, those are my ramblings for today! So much is happening as we enter this busy summer season. I hope you are all enjoying special times with those you love, and treating yourself to something meaningful - you deserve it!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

:: Back At It! ::

Hello blog world!

I don't know if anyone will read this, since I haven't blogged in such a long time. But I have some time and some thoughts, so why not write them here? :)

One of the reasons I haven't blogged in so long is that I feel like I need to "catch up" from ALL the time I took off. But that's a daunting task since so much time has passed! So instead, I will do a quick catch-up and then get on with what's happening in life now.

Since I last wrote...
- Kenzie turned 1 year old!! I can't believe it... and I will write an "All-About-Kenzie" post another time :)
- We've lived in our house for 14 months and just secured our third set of tenants in our basement suite. {Please Lord, let them stay long-term!} Our coach-home tenant has been with us since the beginning and he rocks!
- Since last March, my family has welcomed 4 new babies and has 2 more babies on the way! And yes, this is between just 5 girls - me, my 2 sisters and 2 of my 4 SILs :) We like babies.
- I have returned to work, part time. Doing 20 hours per week - 16 in office (2 days) and 4 hours from home.

I'm sure there's a TON of other things that have taken place, but for now, my thoughts are still on Easter.

I don't want to get too deep or write too long, but my heart was impacted this Easter in a whole new way. I have been a Christian my whole life - grew up in a Christian home, always attended church, worked for Christian organizations and have done mission work. All that to say - the concept of Easter and Christ dying for our sins is not new. I daresay it's even taken for granted all too often.

Then I became a Mom and my world changed. I was a Mom last Easter but it was pretty new and I wasn't thinking much beyond recovering from labour/delivery, breastfeeding, and getting some sleep! Besides, I was in newborn, lovesick, bliss mode :) Okay, back on track...

So this year, the sacrifice Christ made for us hit me in a whole new way. Not only did His death and resurrection provide me with salvation and the assurance of eternity with Him, but this is available for KENZIE too! My most precious daughter. And from a Mama's heart... this impacted every fiber of my being. I pray that Kenzie will always know the love God has for her and that He would've died upon the cross even to save only her. And that brings my thankfulness to a whole other level, knowing my precious daughter can have salvation because of the love and sacrifice of our Father! Tears of gratefulness spring to my eyes as I think on this. Thank you, Lord.

On this same vein of thought, I also know now what it's like to love a child of my own. And I cannot imagine giving her up to torture and death so that others may live. Sorry, but I just couldn't do it. But God did that for US - for you, and me, and the ones you love. Wow. There are no words to express how full of thanksgiving I am.

So those are my thoughts this Easter - a heart full of thanksgiving for new perspective, deepened understanding and great love.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

:: Birth Story - Kenzie Diana ::

Ahhh, the long awaited birth story! :) I've been really wanting to write this on my blog, so I have a place to print it from for Kenzie's baby book, so it works out well! Plus you all get to share in what was the best day/experience of my life! :)

I was due on March 18 ... a day that came and went without any signs that our baby would be born soon. I had been to the doctors the day before and my doctor was away so I had the fill-in guy. He didn't check to see if I was dilated, as from what I was describing both he and the nurse thought I wasn't going into labour anytime soon. They told me to expect to go into labour the following week sometime.

The next day (Friday) I was experiencing some pain on and off. My good friend Amanda came over to lend me her Moby wrap. I told her about the pains, describing them as Braxton Hicks. She asked if I'd had BH before and I hadn't... she told me that when she was pregnant with her daughter she didn't have them either... then one day she did and they weren't BH after all - she was in labour! So that got me thinking... but I had a busy day, showing our basement suite to potential tenants and getting ready for a baby shower for my 10 day old nephew Bryson. So I went to the shower at 7pm, and used the washroom before the guests arrived... and ta-da! I had my "bloody show!" My sisters and Mom said the look on my face when I came out of the washroom was unforgettable :) This was the sign I had been waiting for - I was officially in LABOUR! I called Josh, who had just gotten home from a 16 hour work day. He was so cute, wanting me to call the hospital right away. I told him we didn't need to yet but he wanted them to know about me being in labour :) I told him to get some sleep as we didn't know what the night would hold!

I stayed at the shower, and the contractions were pretty mild, coming anywhere from 10-30 minutes apart. I drove home and got into bed, hoping for some sleep! By about 2am I wasn't getting any sleep, as the contractions were now between 7 and 20 minutes apart. We called the hospital but they told me to stay home for awhile longer and come in when the pain got too much to bear. I had a nice warm shower but it didn't really do much for me. Josh paced the downstairs with me, as we wanted to keep me moving and keep these contractions coming! By about 3:30 I was just so tired and knew I needed sleep if I was going to have a baby that day! So we both laid down on the couches downstairs and slept until 9:30. We got up and I wanted to go to the hospital. We were supposed to call but I knew they'd tell me to stay home and I wanted to be in the hospital, so we drove up there. We called our families to tell them, and the plan was for Josh to call again when I started to push, so they'd have time to get to the hospital for when the baby came.

We arrived at the hospital and the pains were getting more intense, it was more tough to talk through the contractions but they still weren't coming at very regular intervals. We described what I was feeling to the nurse at the maternity ward and she told me they'd check me but that I'd probably have to go home and come back, as "first time moms always come in too soon." So I gave them a urine sample then we waited in the examination room for what felt like forever. I got strapped to the machine that monitors the contractions and another that monitors the baby's heart rate. Of course when I laid down, the contractions slowed right down! I wanted to get up and move around but there I laid, while praying for my sweet baby who I was about to meet (yay!) and for the labour I was going through... specifically the delivery part! One nurse checked on my and told me that my contractions weren't regular or strong enough to really be doing anything. Boo :( Awhile later another nurse came in to check me, it was around 11:30am. She was shocked to discover that I was 5 cm dilated! yay!

So I got checked into a room and they called the on-call doctor while I texted people to update them. I waited in the room by myself while Josh went to get our bags from the car. And I remember thinking, "So this is labour. Huh. Well, I can do this!" :) What a special time that was for me, to be alone and contemplate this day - the day I was going to give birth and meet my precious baby! I was overwhelmed with thankfulness and expectancy. I just talked with my Heavenly Father, thanking Him and asking Him to be with me, Josh and our baby.

The nurse came and asked me a bunch of questions. I answered them between contractions! When the doctor got there he checked me and I had progressed to 7cm! I was happy about that and he told me that not many women smile when they're dilated to 7cm :) He explained that I couldn't have any medicine (which I didn't want anyways) and that I could continue to labour on my own or he could break my water and get things moving more quickly. I wanted to get on with it so he broke my water! That was at about 12 or 12:30. What an odd sensation... warm liquid flowing but knowing you didn't pee! And boy, did that ever kick the contractions into high gear! The nurse said she would set up the bed for the baby then get me set up with the laughing gas. I didn't understand why she couldn't do that in reverse order - but what can ya do? I finally starting using the gas and loved that! It did make me feel a little light-headed but I preferred that feeling over the contractions :) I also started getting tingly and numb in my toes, fingertips and lips! Apparently I was sucking the gas in but not blowing out hard or long enough so I wasn't getting enough oxygen. Oops! But again... I'd take those odd, yet somewhat familiar, feelings over the contraction pain!

I got pretty uncomfortable lying on my back (I know you're not supposed to be in this position during labour but it was working for me!) so I asked to move to my side. And oh my word!! That made the contractions REALLY hit, one on top of another. I could barely speak at this point but definitely got the point across that I couldn't do it any longer - and I meant it! I think I would've done pretty much anything to stop the pain. And then the urge to push came. I got out the word, "Push" and the nurse checked me... but nope, still had a bit more work to do. What seemed like a minute later I got "Push, NOW" out and didn't really care if I was ready or not, my body was pushing and I couldn't stop it! The nurse was surprised when she checked me and sure enough, I was ready to push! (Apparently they weren't catching on that this was happening quickly!) The nurse and Josh got me on my back but didn't even have time to get the bed apart or anything. It was happening so fast! I remember asking for the doctor... he was so short that he was there but I couldn't see him!! I didn't think he was in the room but later Josh told me he was there the whole time observing and waiting to jump in. And oh... the pain! Umm, yeah, it really hurts. I remember the "ring of fire" happening and yup - that really hurts! I had kept my eyes closed for much of my labour but since I had watched two of Lisa's deliveries, I could picture what was going on. And I hoped Josh was going okay! :) I was so thankful I had seen a couple of births and knew what to expect, to some degree.

Pushing (along with bringing a whole new sort of pain) was such a relief! Finally, I could do something with this pain rather that just breathe through it. And the natural instinct is incredible and strong, I couldn't've stopped it if I tried. There were so many people in the room - Josh, the doctor, nurses, student nurses... and at one point a nurse said to another, "She's pushing really well but not long enough." Well, would've been nice if they told ME that! So that's what I did, I pushed longer next time. And it worked! They told me the head was a few inches out and I could feel it if I wanted. I didn't - I wanted to get it done and meet my baby! And since we didn't find out the sex I also thought that the head doesn't tell me anything!! lol. So I kept on pushing and the head came all the way out! I heard the doctor tell Josh that the cord was wrapped around the baby's neck so he couldn't cut the cord. Hearing that worried me, as a good friend of mine had just lost her baby at full term because the cord was wrapped around the baby's neck. But I also knew this was common thing so I tried to just stay calm. The fear for my baby's life kept me from pushing while the doctor unwrapped the cord. Then he said I was free to push again! Josh said the rest of the body just wriggled it's way out and he was shocked at how long the baby was!

All I could ask is "Is the baby okay?" because of the cord around the neck. But I was assured everything was fine - praise God! They put the baby on my belly and the nurse asked if I could if it was a boy or a girl. I could barely see that area from how I was lying but said, "Is that a GIRL?" in disbelief. The nurse said, "There's no extra parts here!" And I repeated, "It's a GIRL?" Then I got to hold my beautiful daughter for the very first time *tears* Nothing can prepare you for that moment or the extreme love you feel for this tiny person, this little life that you were carrying in your womb for 9 months and are now holding in your arms. Incredible. God is SO good and our little girl was sure fearfully and wonderfully made.

And how did Josh do? He was incredible during the whole thing. Even though I wasn't responding directly to him, I knew he was there and he was my strength. He spoke to me a lot in calm, reassuring words and I needed that so much! We were both really glad we kept the experience for just the two of us :) Once Kenzie was born he did almost hit the floor though... the doctor asked if he wanted to trim the cord once it was cut. He asked right when Josh started to feel woozy already, from the excitement, exhaustion and emotions of it all. And, knowing it was a girl and how much I wanted that (even though I never actually said it in so many words, even to Josh, he knew) added to it all. He said he was going to faint and the nurse told him to sit right now! He did and the moment passed. He was just in love with his new girl and more in love with his wife than ever! :)

I laid back and finally admitted that, "I really wanted a girl." :) So, the "secret" was out! lol! But it's true, my heart truly desired to have a daughter and I was just so incredibly happy. And in my somewhat delirious state I also talked about how well I did during labour and delivery!! haha!! I was proud of myself, okay? I think I deserved it!! ;) I asked the nurse later how long I pushed for and it was only 17 minutes!! And Kenzie was born at 2:35pm so I was only in hard labour for about 2 1/2 hours. Whew! She was 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 21 1/4 inches long :) And perfect! Dark, thick hair, long dainty fingers and the sweetest little lips! She also had fuzz all over her back and shoulders, which I just adored!

As you know, a birth story does not end there! ;) Josh took our daughter over to get checked out. Our daughter who we knew was Kenzie Diana without even discussing it! the doctor was checking me but I just kept asking if Kenzie was alright and that everything with her checkup was okay. But I also wasn't feeling great, still lots of pressure down there :( I told the doctor and he said I'd feel better once the placenta was delivered. He gave the cord a tug but it wasn't detached enough to come out. After a couple more contractions I pushed again and the placenta came out... and he was right, I did feel a relief of pressure. He saw that I needed some stitches, as I had a 2 degree tear. He said that wasn't bad for how quick my labour was and for a first delivery. I didn't know that they set up a spotlight for the stitching part! Lovely. They gave me more laughing gas for when I got the needles to freeze me. They said I could hold Kenzie but I opted not to, in case it really hurt, I didn't trust myself just then! But it was wonderfully distracting, hearing Josh whisper to his baby girl over in the rocking chair :) The stitching went on for what seemed like forever. I just wanted to hold my baby and get my family in to show her off!

They were finally done with me and I told Josh that he just had to call my Mom! They were waiting - but not at the hospital - for his call telling them I was starting to push! So he called them and told them the baby was here, careful not to tell them the sex. Our plan was to wait until they got there, I wanted to be there when they found out! This would've happened if it had been a boy too :) So the phone calls were made and the family on their way!

I got to try breastfeeding right away and was pleased with how natural it was. Kenzie sucked on her fingers since the moment she was born and was a really good little sucker! Once that was done we finally invited the family in. The staff had given Kenzie a pink knit hat to wear and the doctor told my family to look for the colour of hat the baby was wearing and it would show what sex the baby was. Then he came in and told me to hide the hat! haha. Josh went and got everyone and in they came - my parents, Grandma and Grandpa Eddy, Wes, (pregnant) Lisa, Ethan, Brandon, Corban, Jeff, Krista, Colton and new baby Bryson. I waited until they were all there then said, "Meet Kenzie. Yes, it's a girl!!" There was a buzz in that room, everyone was so excited! Then we told my mom her middle name was Diana, after her (my mom's name is Diane and we wanted it to be slightly different plus my mom always wished her name was Diana). So of course my mom was in tears and on the phone to tell her friends! :) What a special time that was, Josh and I were so proud of our baby girl. It was all surreal but all wonderful. Well, in all honesty there were times of discomfort for me, of course, but that was almost completely overridden by the joy :)

A few hours later Josh's family came to meet little Kenzie. We did the same thing, waited until they were all there until we told them it was a girl. Art, Barb, Jason, Niki, and Ben were there first, later joined by Nathan, Hannah, Amy and Lydia (Amy's friend). It was so exciting! By then I was up and walking around :) I had had a shower and was feeling pretty good! Praise the Lord for Tylenol and Advil, plus those wonderful ice packs :) Josh and I showed off our beautiful girl and I remember showing them her adorable, fuzzy little shoulders :)

Amanda came by and tears started flowing when I introduced her to my daughter. And, as crazy and special as it was, Kenzie was born on Amanda's daughter's birthday, just 2 years later! It was so special to share my story with my dear friend. We had other visitors too - Grandma Phyllis, Steve and Katie, Auntie Cheryl, Chad, Taralyn and their boys, Paul and Sharolynn, Uncle Dave and Marnie, Meghan and Heidi, Julia and her 3 kids... I was so glad to see everyone and for them to share in our wonderful experience. Once we got home more people visited too!

That evening Kenzie got her first bath and we continued to just be in absolute awe of her. It's so incredible how you can love this little being wholly and completely and you just met! God really shows you a new depth to your heart by giving you a child to love. That night I couldn't bear to leave Kenzie in her basinette, it didn't seem right after she was used to being inside me! So I snuggled her in bed all night, not really caring if I slept or not. It was a special time for mother and daughter, as Daddy slept on his camping cot (thanks Dean and Jessi!)

The next day we just enjoyed our time as a family of 3, and had some visitors. We got to go home in the early evening. Kenzie didn't even cry during her PKU test! It was such a neat feeling walking out of the hospital with her - we were so proud!! And a new depth and love had occurred between Josh and I as well, it was all just incredible. As corny as it may sound, the world seemed different - brighter, fuller and more complete. And so the journey began! Josh and I have loved being parents right from day one and our little girls is the light of our lives!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

:: Blog Slacker ::

Just in case there is anyone out there who still checks my blog... :) I am still alive and I am such a slacker! I think about writing a new post quite often, then I think about how much has happened since I last wrote and how much my life has changed... and I don't know where to start! Or, like right now it's almost 1:00am and I really need to get to bed! So, this is just a quick note to say "hi" and to make a blogger-promise to write soon! And also... I miss you my blogger friends! I miss hearing/seeing what's new in your lives. And now that I'm a mom I have so many random questions and topics to write and ask about! So, I want to get back into blogging and catching up this way :)

But I do have a question for you... where should I start with my blog? My last bit of pregnancy? The birth story of my beautiful daughter Kenzie? Life as a Mom? Please, help me! :)

And, most of you are on my Facebook so you've probably seen tons of pictures of my sweet girl, but I will post some pics too. The last ones on here are of me pregnant! Man, that feels like a long time ago already...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

:: 37 Weeks! ::

Since I am now officially 37 weeks - technically full term - I thought I'd do a baby update!

I had a doctors appointment yesterday and wasn't too surprised that my baby bump had grown 3 cm in one week! I've been feeling rather large lately and that would be why! The good news is that I didn't gain any weight, so I'm okay with it ;) The Baby's head is down and engaged - good Baby! I'm hoping and praying that means I'll be able to deliver naturally, which is our ideal. Although I know it's important to stay flexible with our birth plan, and do what's best for both Baby and me. The Baby's heart rate was 144, which has been pretty consistent throughout my pregnancy. It's been as high as 156 and as low as 138.

The Baby gets the hiccups quite often and his/her movements have changed from kicks and jabs to big roll-overs. Sometimes my stomach goes completely sideways - it's a bit crazy! And I feel one little foot at the front quite often - so sweet!

Josh and I spent some time setting up the nursery the other day! After some help from my fantastic brother-in-laws - Jeff and Wes - who helped with the wainscoting and painting. I'm so pleased with how things are coming together! We still have lots to do, decorating and finishing touches, but it'll happen :) And we're waiting to see if Baby N is a boy or a girl, then we'll add more to the room!

On Tuesday this week I had my first baby shower!! The ladies at my work put it on and it was SO lovely! The decorations and food were awesome and we got spoiled with perfect gifts! I am so blessed and thankful to work where I do and to know these amazing women. My last day of work before going on mat leave is tomorrow and I can't believe it! It seemed so far away for so long, and now it's here - yay! I am so looking forward to having time off, to spend with Josh, to get more settled into our new house, to sleep/rest and to prepare for Baby! If anyone has any tips of what to do to prepare, please pass them along! I'd like to make and freeze extra meals and things like that.

All these things are making it more and more real that we're actually having a baby of our own. Most of the time, Josh and I are just so excited and can't wait to meet our little one! And I have to admit that I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore - it's getting rather uncomfortable. There are also moments of feeling a little overwhelmed at how much our life will change... plus the fact that I have to go through labour and delivery soon. But I know it'll all be worth it and the love we'll have for our child will be incomparable!