his birth story. a love letter.

Dear Lincoln Wayne,

You are here. You graced my arms just yesterday and your body conformed to mine just like you were still inside me. You were work buddy, hard laborious work, but well worth it. Right when I wanted to give up, I kept saying out loud "my baby is coming, my baby is coming." You were my motivation, I wanted to lock eyes with yours. And we did.

Only moments after you were born. 

You have already taught me so much. From the day we found out we were pregnant with you to these last 24 hours. See, I'm a planner. I like to know what my future holds and have control of it. You were a surprise pregnancy {which I'm so incredibly grateful for}. From that moment of seeing those two pink lines, I had to let go of how I thought things should go and embrace the beauty that was to come. You reminded me that faith will get us through. My pregnancy wasn't perfect, we had ups and downs and lots of extra monitoring. In fact, that's why you came two weeks early, because the uncertainty of things. Your fluid dropped very low and it was highly recommended to induce the next day. That night as we prepared for you to arrive, knowing that it wasn't what I was planning or hoping for, I held onto faith. Because I knew God had a plan for you to come just the way He wanted. I repeated to myself 'hold me Jesus.' I had no idea what to expect with induction, but I was told that certain things would probably take place and it could possibly end in a c-section because of your low fluid could cause distress on you. I did accept that fact, but I also was confident that you would come the exact way you should, I was trusting my body to God.

My son, you did so wonderful during labor. Not once did you become distressed. When I arrived at the hospital I was already 4cm and contracting pretty consistently. Boy, you were already coming on your own! "Induction" started at 9:15am on Saturday, April 28, when my water was broke. And that was it. It was you, me, and God the rest of the way. {Along with the help of your daddy who cheered us on the entire way, and your Great Aunt Steph and Aunt Hannie also helped.} We didn't even need Pitocin, and miraculously I made it through the entire labor med-free, no epidural! The only thing we needed, or should I say, I  needed was a fountain coke. And Doc gave me approval to have one just minutes before I pushed! One of my best sodas I have ever tasted. You let me know you were ready to come out and I was sure to let everyone in the room know, ahem. And in 4 minutes of pushing, I was holding you in my arms, at 1:14pm. The doctor was thoroughly impressed with how well labor went. We knew we had our King to thank for that.

Your daddy can hardly believe he has a son. I'm just going to warn you now, that he has lots of plans for you to play sports. You were born with really long skinny feet and big hands, I'm looking forward to seeing where they take you. Your sisters are already smitten for you. Okay, well your biggest sister, Audrey is. She dotes on you and holds you so gently. She made sure you had your bear blanket to sleep with before bed. Your other sister, Naomi, just a mere 18 months older than you, is pretty much ready to play tackle. You may have already been accidentally kicked in the head with her rain boot too. But your a boy, you can handle it, right? I think she will be a good match, watch out. And me? Well, I'm taking every single moment in with you. You are most likely my last pregnancy, my last squishy newborn. I've already closely traced all around your sweet little ears, wrinkly long fingers, soft pink lips, and etched them in my forever memory.

 In your "going home" outfit. Pretty darn cute. 

Thank you for joining our family. And making us a family of five.

Our first family picture as five. Buddy, let me remind you, this wasn't even 24 hours after birth, so your mama is still slightly tired in this pic. Ahem. 

I love you to the moon and back. 

Your Mama, xoxo


so this is happening.

I'm popping in to share that at some point tomorrow we will be welcoming our baby BOY! I go in at 7am! Not exactly the way I planned, but I'm embracing this and thinking on the positive side. When I went to the doctor today my amniotic fluid was very low (2.5...anything below a 5 is considered at risk). Fortunately, when I was doing the Non-Stress Test, baby did fine during my contractions-his heart rate didn't drop. After my doctor got a second opinion, he highly advised an induction today or tomorrow, and I opted for tomorrow. I'm 38 weeks (tomorrow) and already 3cm and 50% effaced (sorry for the detail stats, that's for my own record). I'm feeling very confident with my body that birth will take it's natural route once induction begins. I'm trusting in God and know that He has a special plan for Lincoln's arrival.

So tonight we embrace our last day as a family of four.

I quickly just had the hubs snap this picture. I have a hat on because my hair looked ridiculous. But hey, it's my last day of pregnancy {probably forever} so I wanted to capture it. 

You know what I love about right now? I'm not at all a bit worried about being able to love another sweet child. When I was about to give birth to Naomi, I couldn't imagine how I could possibly love another child as much as I loved Audrey. I was also so worried about Audrey not being "my world," and give her the attention I thought she needed. But then Naomi came it was so good and organic. This time around? I'm ecstatic about welcoming another baby to love and I already know the girls are going to do great with a baby brother. 

A baby brother. 


{moments} to remember.

Outside the library this morning, Audrey asks me to take a picture of them and that is the pose she gave me--eyes closed and all. 

The words that come from Audrey's mouth each day, simply astound me. I want to know her thought process that got her to say what she says. Because some things are just so darn funny. I can't wait for Naomi to join in on the conversations we have, especially while driving.

Here are some moments that I don't want to go forgotten.

Yesterday evening while driving home from a friend's house after dinner, Audrey was starting to get cranky. In the car, Audrey says "mama, say, we are going to be home soon, honey." And so I did, and she was fine after that. This girl's love language is definitely language, words of encouragement and affirmation.

Today while driving she blurts out "look, a flying person!" I'm literally looking for a flying person. I tell her I don't see it, and she says "the cloud is flying person!" And it most certainly looked like a flying person.

At the library this morning we pull in, I look back in the rearview mirror to see Audrey closing her eyes and say "dear God, please give us a parking spot so we can go into the library." You know, we found a good spot right after that.

And just before nap, she grabs a towel I'm folding, lays down on the ground and puts the towel over her and says "mama, say, the caterpillar has to build a cocoon then turn into a butterfly." So, I say that. And she stands up and flutters around with the towel.

I want to start writing more of these little moments down. Because they make my heart burst. And three years old are just so fun and creative and full of life. I'm trying my best to preserve this fleeting, beautiful time.


pregnancy and house update.

I'm going to be quick here because the girls are napping and I have doctors orders to rest, so I am going to do just that. Tomorrow I will be 37 weeks, which is technically full-term. I'm excited to hit this point, since we have had a couple of hiccups along the way with a blood clot on my uterus and now my amniotic fluid being low. I have had at least two doctor appointments a week for the last couple of weeks, with weekly stress test monitoring on baby and checking of my fluids. This morning my fluid dropped yet again (not by a lot, but still much lower than what we want to see) and while I was being monitored I had a long contraction that caused the baby's heart rate to drop. The word c-section was tossed out there, and honestly, it scared me. If I continue to have contractions that cause the baby's heart rate to drop like that, a natural delivery may not be an option. Which is really hard for me to swallow--I had plans to {hopefully} have a similar experience as I did with Naomi- fast and natural. I go back in on Monday for more monitoring, I'm very much praying that my fluid will have gone up and baby's heart rate doesn't drop. Until then, I rest.

Well, sort of. The most rest I can do with two other kiddos. [Thankfully I have great friends and family who are so willing to help out. And a husband who stops in, in the middle of the day to check in on me.]

In other news, we are still waiting to hear if got the house that we put an offer in almost three months ago. The one house we want just happens to be a short sale, which is a terrible name for it, because it actually takes forever long. But I'm hoping our offer will eventually get accepted and we will look back on this and see it as a time to wait upon the Lord. We are in an intense waiting period. I'm anxious to get word on the house, but I'm not exactly ready for Lincoln to come yet. Thankfully, I can trust in my Maker's plan, He knows what I can and cannot handle. [Apparently, He thinks I can handle more than I do. I'm just going to trust Him.]

So, here I go, shifting my attitude, leaving the dishes in the sink, and propping my feet up. I'm especially looking forward to my baby shower this weekend. I have such amazing friends, that throw me a shower even with my third baby!


caterpillar friend.

{I want to remember this.}

This morning at a friend's house, Audrey found a caterpillar, and of course, had to take it home with her. It's a pet, a real pet! Poor girl, has been asking for a kitty for probably a year now, so finally getting something, even if it is just a caterpillar, has made her day. On the way home she talked to it in the cutest baby voice. Oh, Charlotte (that's what she named it), are you hungry? Here is some grass. No? Okay. That's okay. Charlotte is my friend. Naomi do you love Charlotte?

When we got home, it had to eat lunch with us. Then, while I was laying Naomi down for a nap, apparently it was really thirsty and Audrey put some extra water in it's container. Fortunately, just enough to not drown. While reading books to Audrey before her nap, Audrey told me Charlotte didn't want to nap, but she told it, it had to if it wanted to grow big like her.

We read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and have plans to make a caterpillar and butterfly craft this afternoon.

Toys are out, caterpillars are in.
On another note, Audrey had her yearly heart check up this week. I don't really think too much about what we went through when she was five days old until she has to be hooked up again each year. Then the flood of memories comes rushing in. And my heart tries to come out of my chest to hold her and squeeze her and not let her go and keep growing up.

Right after her heart procedure, 5 days old. 

She did so well being hooked up. I think she actually enjoys the doctor checking her. 

Her heart sounds fine--doc said he could hear a couple of murmurs, and the pulmonary valve that was originally worked on, may have decompressed a little bit---but he has not immediate worries. She is a healthy little girl that just needs to make sure she always stays hydrated and have her heart checked each year. Eventually, she will probably need to have her valve replaced, but hopefully not until closer to teenage years. 

I seriously love this girl, she has the most beautiful heart inside and out. 


he is risen.

He is Risen, Indeed.

 We celebrated Easter at my dad's house--where we are staying until we get our next house. 
Church morning

35 weeks. My shoes really don't fit anymore. Enough said. 
Cousins. This picture took a lot of bribery
Cousins with their Gramps. 

We are filled up on lots of food and I even got a nap in. I'm going to call it, it's been a good day. 


good friday.

This morning at playgroup I told the Resurrection Story to a bunch of three and four year olds. (Using Resurrection eggs, have you heard of those before? They were pretty neat!) They were so into it. How could they not be? A story of Jesus and His ultimate sacrifice on the cross for us. He took the pain for us. Because He loves us so. Then He arose. The little ones had so much passion while I was telling the story, they wanted to know more. And even had their own answers. I definitely learned from them today. I'm thankful for seeing Christ through the eyes of children, with unfiltered love.

Then we had a great Easter egg hunt. These kids have been friends since in the womb, they really are growing up together. It's the best.

The kiddos are napping and I'm off to begin the fun process of making the most delicious cinnamon rolls for Easter weekend. If you haven't tried the Pioneer Woman's rolls, then you just must. They are totally worth the time and make a crazy amount for you to share. Just one word of advice, ignore the calorie count.


18 months.

It's been a really good day. We had to travel just a little ways to get a detailed ultrasound done on baby Lincoln. His amniotic fluid and blood flow around his heart was checked and it came back fine. So, so thankful. [His fluid is still lower than normal, but it has increased by two points since last week, which is great.] The only thing the doctor really had to say was he is a big boy. At almost 35 weeks he is measuring in at 6lbs 7 oz. I know this weight can be off, as much as a pound. But yeah, I'm thinking he is going to beat his sisters birth weights at least.

It's the fifth of the month, which means my current baby turns 18 months today! A whole year and a half. This age is so challenging and fun all at the same time. Her language skills are picking up each day. She tries her best to repeat all of the words we ask, sometimes not sounding anything like it and other times surprising us. My favorite is her "thank you" which sounds like "nank nu." She absolutely loves to be outside. Climbing. Swinging. Playing with bugs. In water. She is especially enjoying living at her Gramps--right behind the house are donkeys, horses, chickens, goats, and sheep. Not a day goes by when we don't visit the animals.

It took about 10 shots to get one good one. She was not wanting to stand still and smile. 
But we managed with a little bribery. Naomi is wearing a hand-me-down dress from Audrey, which I scored at a second-hand kids store.

Audrey is wearing a vintage dress and shirt that was either mine or one of her three aunts. 
A perfect twirl dress, in deed.

They really love to hug and kiss each other. They have also started "rough housing" together, resulting in one or the other sitting on top of the other. Lincoln better watch out!

On a different fun note, I was featured on the lovely, Aliya's blog, Double the Fun today! I answer some questions about pregnancy, stop on over and say hello! And those who have stopped in from over there, "nice to meet you!"