Thursday, August 30, 2012

4 Years Later...

Four years ago today I was feeling very hot, tired and simply ready to meet my baby girl. Yet after numerous doctor appointments I felt like it may never happen since every time I went in it was going to be 'any day now'. I was beginning to feel like that 'day' may never come.

After Jason got home from work, we decided to spend some more time on our basement project before getting some dinner. As we were hanging the last piece of ceiling my water broke. I wasn't even sure what had happened at first, but I finally told Jason that I thought it may be time to head to the hospital.

We took our time getting there since I wasn't having strong contractions. I notified my family so they could start their journey to our side of the state. Little did I know things would go quickly and we'd meet our precious princess so soon!

After being admitted the nurses and doctor had a hard time determining if Emma was in the correct position. They finally did an ultrasound only to discover that she had flipped and was not ready to exit on her own, stubborn little thing that she is. Next thing I know they were prepping me for a c-section.

I wasn't ready for this, it was not part of by birth plan. It was exciting to know I'd be holding her in less than an hour yet terrifying that they would be cutting me open to retrieve her. Things happened so fast. The next thing I know I'm laying on the operating table numb from the chest down.

I'll never forget the look on Jason's face when he saw her. Pure wonder and joy. What a precious gift we have been given. It still hits me at random moments- the awesome responsibility of bringing up this little girl.

Emma Grace you are so  loved! Your smile brings joy to all you meet, your laughter is contagious. I'm amazed to watch you grow and change as you learn new things about the world in which we live. You are such a daddy's girl, following him any where (even into the stinky pig barns :).

I know you will do awesome in preschool this year, learning many new things and forming new friendships. Your relationship with your little brother is so wonderful- you love to make him giggle and are fiercely protective of him.

We look forward to watching you as you continue to grow into the beautiful girl God has created!

Happy fourth birthday my adventurous, goofy, fun-loving girl!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Farwell to Summer

We just returned from our final camping trip for the 2012 season and what a trip it was! Many hours were spent feeding the goats, swimming in the pool or pond, enjoying everything the game room had to offer and chasing after our adorable children. I'm pretty sure they put a lot of miles on their bikes last week. They have so much fun together and I love the memories we are making with them during these excursions.

Working on their game
Love this sweet birthday girl!
Lots of excavating was going on around our campsite

Watching a movie for a little down time for all

Easton loved sitting at the table with us

How precious are these two?

The beach offered lots of entertainment

Emma loves those Meiste boys

Easton got a kick out of hanging in the water

The three musketeers headed to the swim dock

Craft time

The kiddos trying to cause trouble just like their daddies
What an awesome week we had despite the climbing temperatures and roaming chickens who liked to leave their mark. Nothing like stepping in chicken poo barefoot.

Feeling extremely blessed to have such wonderful friends to share our time with and the ability to have another week bonding with our children. Looking forward to another trip to Triponds next year! Now on to the numerous loads of laundry that camping always leaves in it's wake....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Twist on Suspenseful Romance

I just finished yet another book for the summer, this time by an author that is new to me. Inescapable by Nancy Mehl is about Lizze, a young Mennonite woman who left a home where she felt abused and unloved to start new. After being falsely accused of a crime she didn't commit, Lizzie feels forced to return to her hometown to hide. She quickly finds that the danger hasn't been left behind, but has followed her to Kingdom.
The Mennonite community where the majority of this story takes places is a very unique setting. There are many Christian fiction novels rooted in the Amish community- this was a nice change. I was not entirely familiar with the customs and ideas behind this culture and I feel the author does a satisfactory job giving the reader insight to their way of life.

I also feel like Nancy did a great job with the underlying themes in this story. The older generation in the book almost try to limit God. There are also deep tones of forgiveness, love and grace throughout.

While I never felt a strong connection with the characters, the mystery alone kept me from putting down the book. There are many twists and turns through out that you are sometimes not sure what is coming next. It starts of slow, but once you get reading hold on for the ride!

Thanks to Bethany House publishers who sent me a free copy. It is not required that I give a positive review, but to express my own opinions of this book.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Snippets of Summer

We have been so busy this summer. I feel like I've blinked and it's almost over! Summer always seems to fly by, but this year even more so. I think between two small kiddos and a hectic schedule life just happens.

I've had so much I've wanted to share and no time to sit down at the computer and do so. I figured the fastest way to do so is through pics. As you'll see, we've been busy bees this summer!
We've spent some time pool side at Sandy Pines this summer. Easton loved his first dip in the pool!

My sister-in-law and her mother-in-law and I took the kiddos to the circus at the Civic Center

We spent some time swimming at the lake by Grandma Jen. Emma showed off her swimming skills and almost drowned Grandma

On a whim, we drove up to Muskegon to see Ice Age 3 at the drive in theatre. Emma thought it was pretty cool.

Easton wasn't so sure...

Had to hit up the county fair to see the mud runs and check out the rides.

Spent some time at the Splash pad downtown

Emma was thrilled to meet Llama, Llama Red Pajama from one of her favorite books

I took the kids to check out the street performers. It was crazy hot, but Emma loved the puppet show.

It's been so hot this summer- we've spent lots of time pool side.

Emma took her first spin on the go-carts at Craig's Cruisers. She may not be the fastest driver on the track, but she sure is the cutest!

We went to the last kid's concert in the park. Emma's down in front in the blue dress with lime green leggings getting her grove on.
It's been a crazy-busy summer, but we've had so much fun!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Family Road Trip

We set out on an adventure to celebrate six years of marriage this past weekend. It took lots of planning and a disgusting amount of packing on my part, but for once we had everything we needed (and then some). After much searching and debating our final destination was picked, reservations were made and we hit the road for Charlevoix.
My mess waiting to be loaded up

There's room for us in there... just barely!

After we arrived and checked out our house rental (which was perfect for us!) we walked to downtown Charlevoix to check out the sites.

The weather was perfect and the beach was beautiful, even if the water was frigid.

Easton's first time down the slide
We ended up heading back after a few hours to grill some hamburgers I brought along and wind down for the evening. Jason had a late night at work on Friday and the kids' schedules were goofed up, so everyone was in bed early!

On Saturday we checked out Castle Farms. It was beautiful and everyone had a good time checking out the sites. Emma decided this was where she's going to marry her beau Wes, but she told daddy, "We'll talk about that when I get a little older"... Oh boy!

Everyone loved the Railroad Garden
After that we planned on driving to Petosky, but after riding in the van for a while Jason realized there was a bike path going parallel to the water so he voted we ditch the vehicle and start peddling. I'll admit I wasn't a fan of the idea at first, but it was definitely worth it.
The kids rode so well together and Easton loved the ride!

How many bike paths have a gorgeous view like this?!?
Overall we biked a little over 7 miles. Everyone slept good after that!

On Monday morning we decided to pack up and take the scenic route home. We stopped in Traverse City first to walk around and stretch our legs. Then we hit Sleeping Bear Dunes. So beautiful, yet so deceiving! I swear no matter how high you climb you will NEVER reach the water.

Easton screamed all the way up and all the way back down. He doesn't nap well in the car and was in desperate need of some sleep.

He will stop and smile if you get a camera out though. What a ham!

Our last stop was Silver Lake. We used to spend a lot of time there, in fact that is where Jason and I had our first 'date'. At first we were going to get dinner in town, but then Jason decided we should try out the Mac Wood Dune Rides. I was all for it and so was Emma. It was a bit chilly and even rained on us at the very end, but we had a blast and even learned a few things about Silver Lake.

We had a great time and were a bit sad to come home. At least we have a camping trip with great friends to look forward to!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Half a Year

Little man, how is it possible you've been out of my belly for six months already?!? That seems so crazy to me! I love watching you grow and change, yet want to savor all of the baby moments as well since you may very well be my last baby...

I'll update with accurate stats in a few weeks after you have your 6 month check up. I'm sure you are weighing in at 15 pounds and some change and you are still high on the charts for length percentage-wise.

**Update- at 26 weeks you weighed in at 15.8 lbs (11%) and measured 27 in (59%)**

You're diapers on now on the mid-rise setting, but I can still pull the aplix tabs together until they are touching skinny boy :) You are all over the board when it comes to clothing sizes. I had to pull out the 6 months pants and jammies because your legs are so long. Good thing for cloth diapers, otherwise I'd never get the pants to stay on your rumpus! Your onesies are 3/6 month and 6 month and your shorts are 3 month and 3/6 month.

Your sleep habits during the day are improving. Typically you get two shorter naps in the first part of the day (45 min to an hour) and one longer one in the evening (about an hour and a half). However, if we are on the go all day you sometimes decide that a nap really isn't necessary. You still eat about every three hours so you tend to wake mommy up twice in the middle of the night around 1 and 4. Then you're up for the day about 7:00.

Mobility is finally catching up with me- you've figured out how to scoot around on your back to get where you want to be. Between rolling and scooting around you have no trouble getting into things already. I left you in the office to grab something the other day and came back to find you across the room pulling your sister's doll house apart and chewing on it (no worries, the only pieces he could access were not a choking hazard).

You are more than willing to share your smiles with anyone who will make contact with you. Everyone loves to stop and chat with you when we are at the store and they all comment on how you are such a happy baby. It's very true, you only cry when you are hungry or tired. You are pretty content and love to just sit and observe everything going on around you. Peek-a-boo is your new favorite game. It solicits giggles from you every time!

Still no teeth, but the drool continues! Everything goes in your mouth too. I'm sure there must be one coming any day now. This month you'll get your first taste of solids. I can't wait to see what you think.

Love you sweet boy, thank you for all the joy you've brought us!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

'Touching the Sky'

As much as I love the author Tracie Peterson, I was a little disappointed when I first started out reading Touching the Sky. It is the second book in her 'Land of the Lone Star' series. However, it turned out to be a good story in it's own right.

I was expecting a continuation of the characters from the first book, Chasing the Sun that I reviewed last month. At first I was bummed because they were no where to be found even as I advanced through the chapters. Yet as I kept reading, I began to be drawn into a whole new story line complete with a new cast.

I will say at some point in the story a few individuals make a cameo debut, but there roles are minor. While I would have liked to have their tale continue it was nice to not have to worry about whether you've completed the first story in the series to fully appreciate this one.

This story follows Laura, after the Civil War has ended. She is drawn into a relationship with a former Union solider. I loved to watch their relationship unfold and the friendly banter between the two. When her younger sister hastily marries a Confederate solider trouble begins in paradise. Laura feels she is forced between love and family.

I do feel as though this story was a little slow getting started, but it really picked up at the end making it hard to put down. I'm hoping to get my hands on Taming the Wind, Tracie's third book in the stories where it looks like book one and two meet- it comes out in September!

Thanks to Bethany House publishers who sent me a free copy. It is not required that I give a positive review, but to express my own opinions of this book