December 28, 2012

Five on Friday

We spent Christmas Eve at a friend's house and it was so nice to be around people we love! We normally spend Christmas Eve with my family but we didn't want to drive with a newborn in the snow to Tahoe. It was tough for me to miss out on that special time with my family but so special to be invited into another family!

Christmas Day, Travis and I woke up and he opened his stocking. My mom still does mine:) Then we had cinnamon rolls and lounged around. We had fmaily coming into town so we had lots of chores to do. We made some quinoa chili for Christmas dinner and Travis made a pineapple crisp for dessert. Everyone loved it!

My four sisters and my mom came to town. There were constant "I'll burp him!" and "Can I hold him next?!" and "I'll change his diaper!" and "Ugh. You just got to hold him!":). We were all loving it. Two of my sisters had him nap on their chests in the Ergo. My twin sister even got to take a bath with him! Brody also spit up all over her chest, had a few big blowouts, peed on my mom, and probably burped in all of our faces. How are we still so enamored with him??:)

We met Travis downtown for his lunch breaks twice this week. Yesterday we walked over to campus afterwards and took some photos. I wanted a group photo of all of the girls in my family. Travis and I got one of the three of us as well. Rule of thumb: You can never have too many photos of you and your family. It is always worth it to take the camera along.

I took Brody to his one month check up today. He is technically 5 weeks and 3 days. He weighed 11 pounds & 4 ounces. He is 22 1/2 inches long and his head is in the 95th percentile. For weight and length he is in the 90th percentile. He did such a great job at the Doctor's. He was sleeping when he got there so I was nervous to have to wake him up, get him naked to get weighed, etc. He didn't even cry. He was cooing and grunting for the Doctor and she commented numerous times on how loud he is. Yes, I know:)

Okay, every parent must be so biased about their own child but, gosh, he is so cute!!

Thanks for following! I am off to take a nap. "Nap when they nap" is a lot harder than it seems!

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! 
We are so grateful for you--our friends, family, and supporters. What an amazing year this has been. Thank you!

December 21, 2012

Dear Mom:: Thank You

Dear Mom,

I don't even know how to start this. So many thoughts come to mind about the past month and all of the reasons I ought to thank you and grovel at your feet!

I have to be honest. I was nervous about Broderick's birth and the logistics of having you there. I was scared that we'd be that couple with the crazy Nurse mom who kept wanting to do things her way. And I know that you were nervous about it too--trying to separate Labor and Delivery Nurse from Mom. I understood where you were coming from. This is your field. You have been through and seen many labors. You knew what you thought I should do. But, you respected my wants and I'm so grateful for that. You never tried to take control. You let Travis and I make the decisions--just how it should be. You answered my questions and encouraged me when I needed it. 
Thank you.

When you would rub my neck and talk me through my contractions, telling me "Relax your face, relax your shoulders, relax your arms, relax your fingers...", it really helped. Telling me to breathe--seems so easy but I needed to be told. I was so nervous to start pushing but you and Travis encouraged me, telling me I could do it.
Thank you.
After Brody was born, I think I would have gone a little crazy without your "that's normal" and "you're just emotional". Because it was true and I knew that you'd tell me the truth--but more importantly--the truth in love. 
Thank you.
You know me so well. When we brought Brody home from the hospital to a full Thanksgiving feast, I truly enjoyed that. I will never forget how special it was to walk in our home, greeted by my smiling family and the mouth-watering smell of your hard work. You know that a messy house stresses me out. When I got out of the shower to find my laundry folded on my neatly made bed, I needed that. You know that there was no way I had the energy to make dinner. When I walked into the kitchen to dinner every.single.night, I appreciated that.. 
Thank you.

You know that I put on a strong front when sometimes I just needed to cry without knowing why. And when those moments came, you knew to just let me be. Then I'd walk out of my bedroom and you'd just say "It's okay honey, you're just emotional." That made me feel normal. 
Thank you.

I'm so glad that you chose the profession that you did. I felt so at ease with Brody that first week because I knew that you know babies so well. You knew how to bathe him, clean his cord, how to swaddle him, how to burp him, how to help me feed him, how to deal with engorgement, etc. Seriously, I don't know how other new moms figure it out on their own.;) I know I would have done just fine but you helped me not be a stressful wreck. 
Thank you.
It is tough to believe that at one time I was your newborn baby. You rocked me the same way that I rock my son. You had the same sleepless nights and poopy blowouts. Except with me you also had another newborn baby--twins. Oh my gosh. Thank you.

You hear that once you have a baby of your own, you appreciate your mother so much more. I had no idea how true that was until Broderick came into this world. Maybe this is God's way of humbling us after making our moms deal with our teenage years. Either way, I'm so very grateful for you Mom. 
Thank you.

Your Baby

December 20, 2012

Ten Years:: Ten Reasons

Today marks ten years of dating for us. TEN YEARS. That's a long time:) Well, we technically got married after 6 years of dating but it has been ten years since Travis asked me to be his girlfriend freshman year:) And marriage definitely includes dating!

I thought I'd celebrate by sharing ten reasons why I am so in love with this guy of mine.

One:: He is a much better communicator than me. He doesn't let me get away with pouting and not explaining my feelings.

Two:: He is seriously funny--I know most of the things that he does are done just to make me laugh.

Three:: He is dedicated to whatever he does--sometimes to a fault. People who know him know that when he gets into something, it is all or nothing.

Four:: He is a great friend and I'm thankful he's my best friend.

Five:: He tells me I'm beautiful--especially when he knows I don't feel that way.

Six:: He puts up with and loves my crazy family. That's a lot of estrogen!

Seven:: He has a heart for people--all people. 

Eight:: He encourages me spiritually--helping me to lead a better life.

Nine:: He has such a passionate, sincere, emotional side to him and I'm so happy I get to be the one he shares it with.

Ten:: He makes each year even better than the one before!

I love you and here's to making 2013 the best year yet!

December 19, 2012

Life Lately:: A New Normal

You get asked "how are things going?" a lot when you have a baby. Honestly, it is tough figuring out our new normal. In the beginning, things are daunting. I have to care for this little one throughout the day by myself?? How am I going to do that?? 

Well, you just do. And soon it becomes a new normal. Brody is 4 weeks old and things are just now falling into place. We are slow in the mornings but have learned what it takes to get out of the house.

I've realized that it is nice to have one thing planned during the day. Whether it is to go to a friend's house, run an errand(ah!), or simply go on a walk. It is something for me to look forward to and it makes the day go by so much faster. We really love it when daddy gets home. That is when I try to get a few chores done, take care of some business, and have some time to myself. 

One part of our new normal includes bath time! He loves bath time now that we can put him in the bathtub and submerge him all the way(since his cord fell off). He lays there in Travis' arms as calm as can be. This kid's faces...
Our life lately has been different but so much fun. Seeing Travis love on our son makes me so giddy. I really ought to audio record Travis talking to him--it melts me. Seeing Brody's little smirks and silly faces make me really look forward to learning his personality. I know we're obsessed but I promise this blog will soon be filled with more than just photos of our little guy!

We are so excited to start shooting again in the Spring. We are starting to book Weddings for the summer/fall so make sure to pass the word along and book your Wedding soon! We'd love to work with you! Oh, and Brody's grandmas would love a good reason to come hang out him all day.:)

Thanks for following and supporting us in our adventures! 

December 14, 2012

Five on Friday

This was our first week without any family/friends staying with us. We miss them all and are so appreciative of their help and company! It has been a good week figuring out our family's new "normal".

Travis and I are working on a few projects in our house. One is the laundry room--we had a friend build a long shelf over the washer&dryer. It's so nice to have that work space! We plan on painting it this weekend. Will post pictures when it's done:)

I realize that I have yet to do a blog post on Brody's nursery. That's because we don't have his photos/graphic art all up yet. Soon!

Travis and I went to Target last night. We all know that place is not our wallet's friend!! Well this husband of mine is on a frugality kick--reading how to be more frugal and have your money stretch farther. He read a blog where they walk around places like Target and say "Aren't you glad we don't need that?". It really does help to not overspend! It kinda sucks when you want a cute top, though!:)

I went to my first play group with Brody this week. It is really just an excuse for my girlfriends and I to get out of the house, eat cookies, and sip of coffee together.:) The babies didn't really play yet. At one point we were all feeding them. Brody slept the whole time--wish he would nap like that at home.:)

My heart goes out to all affected by the horrible school shooting in Connecticut. The children, the teachers, the parents, siblings, the family members and friends...I can't imagine the pain--there are no words. We are praying for you.

December 7, 2012

Five on Friday

Two weeks of no Five on Friday and we are back! I missed recapping my week on here. Although, my week is seeming to look a bit different these days:)

Our good friend, Michael, who was the Best Man in our Wedding came up to visit and we really enjoyed having him here. I walked into the living room one morning to find him soothing our son by Ballroom dancing with him. He is a great friend! And he is single ladies--you know you want a man who can dance and soothe a baby at the same time!

I haven't vacuumed our house in weeks. Just thought I'd share that tidbit. The vacuum has been sitting out for 2 days now just waiting to be used. I should just put it back in the closet...

Travis' family is visiting right now. We've been eating like kings! Steak, Baked Potatoes, Asparagus one night. BOMB Burritos the next. Spaghetti tonight. I love having company:) Especially when you are ordered to sit while they work!!

I am counting down the days til Christmas. Mainly because two of my sisters have yet to meet little Brody. They will get to Chico on Christmas day and I will be sure to have him dressed in a cute little Christmas outfit! 

We've been meeting Travis downtown for lunch. Today we just went and walked around a bit since we had all already eaten. Travis looks so dapper in his suit.

Thanks for following!

December 4, 2012

Broderick's Birth Story

This post is going to be really personal being that it is a birth story. I wanted to write it so that our friends and family could get a glimpse into what Travis and I agree was the most incredible day of our lives. A lot of you have been so encouraging and supportive during my pregnancy and it means so much to me. This post is for all of you. Thank you for everything! We love you.


I went into this whole pregnancy with an open mind. Yes, I had expectations, but I tried to keep them under control. I knew that I was going to go through the worst pain I've ever experienced and I was not sure how I would handle that. All that I really wanted was a healthy baby, and that was the ultimate goal. Travis and I talked about how we wanted the day to go. We prayed that God would be with us and help bring our son into the world healthy and strong. This is our story of Broderick Anthony's arrival.

The morning of November 19th Travis had a big test for some investment licenses he was studying for. He took me to breakfast at Nash's and then went to work to take his test. He got home from work around 6pm we ate dinner at home. I started to feel contractions more regularly than I had all pregnancy. I didn't want to cry wolf so I just let them continue without really saying much to Trav. After dinner we decided to go to Cold Stone to distract me (which seemed to be a fairly common habit towards the end of my pregnancy). By the time we were sharing some Coffee Lover's Cold Stone it was 7pm, and I told him "I think this is it!".I don't know exactly what it was but I just had a gut feeling that I was finally really in labor! Travis had a little sparkle in his eye but stayed calm as he walked me to the car and we made our way home.

An hour later the contractions started picking up and I had to start breathing through them. Coach Albini timed each contraction on my iPhone with precision like he was back coaching football at San Pasqual.I could tell he liked being actively involved and helpful. 

Around 9pm I called my mom. She just so happens to be a labor & delivery nurse so I let her know how I was feeling and what was going on. I was having a lot of bloody show and I texted her a picture of it(only something you can text your mom!!). Once she saw the photo, she decided it was time to make her way to Chico:). She lives in South Lake Tahoe, which is about 3 and 1/2 hours away... but she made it in 3. She rolled in at 1:30am with my youngest sister Kennedy who went straight to bed. I labored in our bath tub, on an excercise ball, and around the house for the next 3 hours. When Travis let us know that my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart we packed up our bags and headed to the Hospital.

Travis drove me to the hospital through the rain while my mom followed us. We checked in around 5:30am. It was kind of awkward when the guy at the front desk asked for my signature and he had to wait for me to be done breathing through a contraction. After we were all checked in we headed up to the 4th floor to the brand new Mother and Baby Center. We rounded the corner and were welcomed by the smiling face of our friend from church Meghan Rollins who was our first nurse!
After settling in and getting the baby all monitored Meghan said I was 2-3cm dilated, 80% effaced, and -2 station. Basically not much had changed since my doctor's appt the previous Friday. That came as a surprise and wasn't very encouraging to hear. We walked circles around the hospital for an hour to see if I would progress. After the same self-guided mini tour of the new place 15 or 20 times I was checked again. I was now a full 3cm dilated, still 80% effaced, and baby's head still at -2 station. At this point our Doctor left it up to us to make a decision--either be admitted and he will break my water or go home and labor more on our own. I was NOT leaving the hospital. At 7am we were admitted and one step closer to having a baby!
At 8:15am my doctor broke my water. Around 9am I waddled my way into the whirlpool tub that was in our room. I had been envisioning how nice it would be to labor in a tub with warm water swirling all around me. For some reason it wasn't as peaceful as it normally is when relaxing in a hot tub. Travis and my mom split time sitting with me as I labored through each contraction.

My mom was such a huge help in the labor process. She was talking me through relaxing my body, which was SO hard to do. The shooting pain made me tense up as if I had no control over my movement. It felt like my pelvis was on fire. All the pressure of his head was right in front. At this point I started talking to my nurse and doctor about my pain relief options. I had been in labor for 13 hours with no sleep for over 24 hours. I was completely exhausted. At 10:15am I was given Stadol--an IV pain relief drug. I am so grateful that my mom documented what went on from here because this drug threw me for a loop! I was slurring my words and having weird dreams about animal puzzle pieces even though I was totally awake. My only problem was that I could still feel my contractions just like before.
That is when I decided to get an epidural. I originally hoped to be able to have our son without one but I didn't feel like I had the energy or stamina to do it at this point. Dr. Loomba came in around 11am and did a perfect job on the epidural--I still felt all of the pressure of my contractions and could still move my legs. The pain of each contraction was gone except for one little window on the right side of my stomach. I was now 4cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby's head was still at -2 station. Typical post-epidural photo of a happy mama below:)
After the epidural was in place, I was able to relax and actually get some sleep. It was a great decision for my labor. My Doctor visited around noon and decided to get Pitocin started so that my contractions would become more consistent. Our second amazing nurse, Meghan K, kept coming in and checking the monitors to make sure that baby and I were doing well. I slept through most of the checks and at 2pm I was still 4cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby's head was still at -2 station.

Around 3pm I told my mom that I was feeling pressure. It wasn't the normal pressure that they tell you that you'll feel when you need to push (I didn't feel any need to poop), so we weren't too concerned. I kept going in and out of sleep. At about 4:15pm I felt even more pressure and had my mom tell our nurse that I was feeling pressure. She came in and after checking said, "Oh! Hey, Travis. You want to see his head???". We had been laboring down without even knowing it. She told me to give her one push and after I did, she told me to not push anymore and that they needed to call for my Doctor.

Our Doctor got to our room in record time. After assessing the situation he said everything was going well. My mom decided to seize the moment and ask him if she could deliver her grandson. Much to her delight he said okay!:)
That actually didn't come as a huge surprise to Travis or me. We picked our Doctor because of how calm and collected we have heard that he is during the delivery. He is also a Christian and prayed with us at our first appointment. We couldn't have asked for a better Doctor during this whole process. The picture below on the right is our Doc as cool as can be.
  I was nervous to start pushing at first--scared that I would do it wrong or that something would go wrong. Travis and I played hookie on birthing classes so we were relying on my mom and our Doctor to help me out. Once the pushing started I was in the zone and it came naturally. I felt very in control and could feel the pressure. With every push the people around me were saying things like "GREAT push, Danee!" and "You are doing awesome!" and "You can do it! Keep going!" At one point I did question if they were just saying those things to be nice:) Travis was a great coach and encouraged me the whole time. Even with all the nice talk and wonderful epidural I could still feel the insane pressure as his head crowned.
After 20 tough minutes of pushing we were suddenly face to face with our beautiful son. My mom delivered him and immediately put him on my chest where we could look at his wide-open eyes (where he stayed for an hour!). Travis instantly burst into tears of joy. I wasn't but a couple of seconds behind him. The world's strongest emotions of love and joy overwhelmed us as we soaked in the first few moments with our son. He was so perfect-- A truly amazing gift from God.
We couldn't believe how much hair he had. Or how handsome he was. Or how lucky we were to be able to call him our son. We couldn't believe that after waiting for all that time that he was finally here!
Travis was as proud as a daddy could be--calling and texting family and friends with the great news! We were able to FaceTime with Travis' family who were so anxious to meet him.
Travis cut the cord and put on Brody's first diaper. He got to hold him and take him to the weighing station were he was so helpful and attentive. He couldn't take his eyes off the little guy! 
We feel so very blessed with how smoothly everything went. I couldn't have asked for a better labor and delivery or for a more supportive and loving family and care team. Children are a gift from God and Travis and I have finally experienced that truth for ourselves. We have seen God provide for us in so many ways and Brody is another example of our Creator's love for us.

These photos were taken by both Travis and our friend Eddie Wilson. Thank you Eddie for being there to photograph our son's birth. We are so grateful for you and your willingness to document such a special moment in our lives. We will cherish these photos for a lifetime.

And thank you to our friends and family who visited us in the hospital and at home--you are Jesus' hands and feet. We are humbled by your kindness and generosity and love you all very much!