Monday, July 31, 2017


It's 7 AM on a Monday. Graham got me up at 5:30 as did JoJo who thinks she is small enough to sleep under our bed which is definitely not the case. Really should start going to bed earlier but when Jake is gone I struggle. Now Graham and I are watching the sunrise and making pancakes. 

Jake just left for six weeks of training in Montgomery Alabama.  You have to say that in a southern accent. It's been pretty lonely and crazy here without him. And it's only been two days. But these boys are very hard. Love them to death but if there was a boarding school for toddlers I would probably pay big money to send them there right now. So much screaming and fighting and hitting, I think I'll start wearing headphones are on the house just to stay sane. Mckell is flying in on Friday, thank heaven. She and I will make the TWENTY hour drive to Zion sometime next week.

Until then I'll try my best to create new activities in the summer heat. They are currently obsessed with jumping on the tramp with sprinklers. Naked. I fixed up their play kitchen in hopes that it'll distract them while I'm cleaning and making meals. I'm going to try to meditate this week, which is hard for me. to sit still. But Gabrielle Bernstein says it will fix all my problems so... guess I'll give it a go. Send any tips my way! Thinking about making my extra bedroom into a dreamy zen den... whatever that means. ;) 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

love and fury

There's this thing that happened when I had another kid... my life turned into an insane zoo of diapers and potty training. Then there was the moving and traveling. Blogging wasn't important.

Over a year later and I'm like... maybe it is, because it was an outlet for me to say things. I sit here all day with two boys who are adorable but not great conversationalists. Then Jake comes home and we're both too exhausted to talk about much. My blog was a place for me to put down my thoughts and the moments that matter. Then I look back and it and am reminded why I love this crazy life I signed up for. SOOO here we go....

A lot has happened in the last year.

We learned we were leaving California to teach pilot training in Del Rio, Texas. Just a few miles from the Mexican border. I was in denial for quite some time. Now we're here, living in a house we bought and I'm like wow, this is real. Miles is one now, he runs around with his adorable curls and pot belly. He still hasn't grown teeth, he's still very much my baby. Graham is three and in preschool three times a week. The kid has soo much personality. Quite the handful. My days are a frizzy mess, trying to keep us busy, keep the house clean, etc etc. I've been battling the blues, desperately wishing I was closer to home and family.

I recently listened to Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. She describes my current situation perfectly. She says, "We get ourselves a mortgage and a minivan. We find a church. Who could ask for more? Life at home with three kids is rich, bursting at the seams with love, but I am stunned by the amount of work that caring for my children requires. Their needs are relentless. From dawn to dusk and then through the night I am reacting, responding, juggling, dripping with children. I am running a never-ending relay race, and since I am the only runner, I keep passing the baton back and forth to myself. My exhaustion is total. It is the best of times and the worst of times. I am both lonely and never alone. I am simultaneously bored out of my skull and completely overwhelmed. I am saturated with touch---desperate to get the baby off of me and the second I put him down I yearned to smell his sweet skin again. These days require more than I am physically and emotionally capable of, while requiring nothing from my brain. I had thoughts today, idea, real things to say, and no one to hear them.
    I feel manic all day, alternating between love and fury. At least once an hour I looked at their faces and thought I might not survive the tenderness of my love for them. The next moment I am furious. I feel like a dormant volcano, stead on the outside but ready to explode and spew hot lava at any moment. And then I notice he doesn't fit into his onesie anymore and I start to panic at the reminder that this will be over soon, that it's fleeting-- that this hardest time of my life is supposed to be the best time of my life. That this brutal time is also the most beautiful time. Am I enjoying it enough? Am I missing the best time of my life? Am I too tired to be properly in love? That fear and shame felt like adding a heavy, itchy blanket on top of all the hard.
    But I am not complaining, so please don't try to fix it. I wouldn't have my day or my life any other way. I'm just saying---it's a hell of a hard thing to explain---an entire day with lots of babies. It's far too much and not even close to enough."

When I listened to that. I thought, FINALLY! Someone gets it. Someone could describe so accurately how I feel during this crazy phase of my life.

So here's to the moms. Especially those far from home and family whose husbands work twelve hour days. Keep doing what your doing and know you're not alone.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Miles Jacob: Birth Story

Before we get started, I want everyone to know that I feel so blessed and happy to have another son, despite things going the exact opposite of how I wanted. So don't think of this as a pity party, it's just an honest account of the crazy crap we women go through to have babies.

For the past couple weeks, I tried everything humanly possible to get natural labor going. The birthing center, I was at, would not induce vbacs (vaginal birth after cesarian) so my options were old school and limited. I foolishly thought that with Graham being so early, this baby would have to come sometime in July. So I booked my mom a ten day trip around my 39th week and hoped it would all work out. Ohhh Courtney.

Flash forward to August 4th. My mom had left, I had been experiencing pretty consistent and uncomfortable contractions for days and had lost my plug. I thought for sure I was hours from active labor. Jake came with me to my OB appointment, we packed up the car ready to stay if we needed to. The OB checked me and I was still closed up tight! Not only that but she couldn't find my cervix. She had to look three or four times and use a speculum. We went home discouraged and frustrated once again.

The next day I woke up feeling crampy again, so I took more castor oil. Third time is the charm? Later, I woke up from my nap having more contractions and having lost more of my plug, but not wanting to get too excited, I kept on with my day. Jake came home early to help me with Graham, I got the house ready, Jake picked up pizza, I went on a walk, then around 8:00 I went to comfort Graham in his room and felt a gush. I checked my pad and it was pretty soaked! Then the contractions became more intense. They were still about five minutes apart so I took a shower and packed a bag. Afterward, I began to feel quite a bit of pain, I told Jake to pick up the sitter. It's go time.

10:00 pm and they were coming every 3-5 minutes, so I was pretty confident and excited when we went to the hospital. They hooked me up to the monitors and everything was looking good, except my blood pressure. Normally, it would have been somewhere around 109, however, this time it was up to 132. Oh crap.

11:00: they tested my fluids and took some blood while I pushed through more and more contractions. Blood pressure was getting higher and higher 142, 161... Blood work came back with platelets at 85,000. A normal range is 150,000 to 400,000. The nurses seemed confident normal delivery was still the best option. They stuck me four times before they finally got me hooked up to  an IV.

1:00 am: The OB finally came in and told us that the risk was too high for a vaginal delivery and my platelets were too low for a spinal anesthetic. I had to have another general anesthetic C section and afterward, be put on Magnesium for the following 24 hours. I began to sob. All of that extra work at the end of pregnancy, all of the hope I had for a natural delivery and it was for nothing. Once again I would be left alone in the cold, bright delivery room and I wouldn't see my baby enter this world. I was going to be drugged and miserable for days and I will never experience a normal birth. Jake assured me that the baby needed that extra time in order to be healthy. What was important was getting us both safely through this. The next two hours lasted forever, between the IV's, the catheter, and the contractions, I kept crying and shaking violently, begging them to just put me to sleep. I felt so weak and helpless. This time seemed so much worse than the last because I knew what was coming. Finally, they wheeled me to the room, and after what seemed like forever, they put a mask on me and, next thing I knew, I was waking up to a brand new baby. 8 lbs 1/2 oz 20 inches long and lots of dark hair.

Despite the Magnesium and C section pain, the recovery seemed a lot easier to handle this time around. After our baby was born, Jake had skin to skin immediately in the nursery. When I woke up, I breast fed him and held him close. I couldn't keep my eyes open for very long, but my nurses were great and kept my pain at a manageable level. Graham came and visited in the evening. He didn't quite know what to think of the baby, it kind of freaked him out, but he seemed happy none the less. The next two days went really well. They took me off Mag early, removed the catheter, and, suddenly, I felt like myself again. Luckily, my sister was there to help, thanks Lauren!

Baby was doing so well with breastfeeding, he slept with me in my hospital bed and I felt so much peace and love holding him. We hadn't decided on a name yet. I was set on Abel Jake and I thought Jake was on the same page but he wasn't! He wanted Miles. Which had been in the top four the entire time but never my number one. After Jake left Friday, the name Miles seemed to really grow on me and fit him. I felt at peace with it.

It's been a week now and I still stare at him in amazement, thinking how he fit in my tummy just a second ago. I am so very in love with him and it feels very different this time. With Graham it was a terrified intense love that exhausted me and scared me. This time I feel so much more at ease and can really soak up this precious newborn phase. Still exhausting, but he makes our family whole and I'm so grateful for him.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

21 months

Graham's last update as the only child! It's a long one. Mostly because I know I'll have a hard time keeping up here soon. Can't believe he'll be two in a couple months... and an older brother! The last year FLEW by.

This little toddler challenges us daily. He's got a lot of attitude and spunk and he NEVER stops moving. Still below average with his weight and height but not that big bobble head. He loves going to the park (still sits in his stoller) and kicking/throwing his sports balls. He runs around on his toes with one arm swinging. He swings from the bar at the top of the slide to give me a heart attack. His hair grows like a weed and is blond from the Summer sun. He loves the carousel and train at Nut Tree. He still takes a 2-3 hour nap.

Eating is a hit or miss. As long as he hasn't been snacking, I can get him to eat pretty well. He loves sharing fish burritos at Rubios. He likes hot dogs and ketchup, ravioli, sloppy joes, indian food, all fruit, etc. Veggies are usually consumed in minestrone soup or fruit and veg packets. The trick is getting him to eat it by myself with a utensil. It usually ends up being smeared, played with and put on the floor for Riley. But we'll get there...

He's finally getting better at nursery, dad has to take him while mom leaves for ten minutes so I don't hear him freak out.

We've been swimming lots, he jumps off the edge after yelling "red-eee-goooo", loves mo-da boat and is learning to kick his legs.

He loves looking at my belly and giving it kisses. I'm not sure if he fully understands that there's a real baby in there, even though he calls it baby.

He tackles, loves and kisses Riley daily, she acts like she hates it but when another dog nipped at him yesterday she FREAKED out. So I guess they're best buds.

I think he's getting his molars, his sleep has not been the greatest and he's moody, perfect timing Graham!

His language skills are coming a long but it's still hard to communicate sometimes. Words he uses on the daily...

Daddy and Momma, obviously.
Wa wa (any drink) Also uses it for flower...
Chugga chugga choo choo
He-whoa? (hello)
Woot (shoot)
Milky and Ba ba
I cree (ice cream)
No way! Hook! (Jake and the Neverland pirates)
Roooom (motorcycle)
Car, Air-bee (airplane) bike, truck
Row Row da Boat (his favorite song)
Blub, Croak, Dog, Monkey, Roars, Shark, Turtle, Bear, wootee (horse)
Elmo (also uses it for animal)
Cookie, cake, apple, nana, chip and crack (cracker)
Weesh (swing)
All done
Eye, nose

Wow, that's quite the list. Probably won't be able to keep up much longer! Which is good. I love his wittle voice. Most of those words are shouted at me with a lot of enthusiasm. Especially when it's time to wake up and he is screaming MA MAAAAAAA like he's in pain. Such a lovely way to start the morning.

We usually get "milky" after that and watch Octonauts or something until we wake up fully. Then it's time to eat and dress and maybe walk to the park, if it isn't too hot. We have to pick a flower a long the way for him to tear apart. There's usually an appointment or lunch with dad then nap time (often for both of us) afterwards we hang out and clean up until dad gets home. Our days are long and somewhat lazy, which I have loved, because at the end dad comes home, we get to eat dinner like a normal family and be together. We walk to the park and let Riley run. He splashes in the bath with his bubbles. Daddy reads to him and we sing. He is still in the crib until we're ready to put baby in there, hopefully with him... who knows. They are my world. So grateful for my boys!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Maternity Session

(32 weeks pregnant with baby boy number two.)

I've been itching to get my hands on these beautiful maternity shots taken by Cole Maxfield Photography. She took some of us last summer and amazed me, and we were blessed again to get time with her this summer! Especially since she had a newborn baby strapped to her the entire time, and we were just next door to her Rexburg apartment in a tiny field, AND we were super on edge and impatient that day. How she got these out of that.... miracle. Thank you Coley! Can't wait for our bebes to grow up together :)

Monday, July 13, 2015

37 weeks

37 weeks. 

It's been 3 months since I've written, sadly. Can't believe how fast Spring/Summer have flown by. 

My days are filled with sleepy mornings watching Octonauts with Graham, afternoon naps, and trying my best to get anything done to prepare for baby. Jake's been home for over a month which is huge for our family. We've been to Utah, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco, making the most of our time left. 

As for the pregnancy, It's been much better than my preeclampsia past. Sleeping isn't easy, my joints ache all over from the added weight. My anxiety combined with hormones have made me a roller coaster of emotions. Lucky for me I have great doctors who have helped so much, not to mention a patient husband who massages my varicose veined legs every night. 

I'm further than I ever was with Graham, and the dream of a normal birth is becoming more and more of a reality. You guys, the thought of experiencing real labor is terrifying me! But my friend from high school is my midwife at a fantastic birthing center, so I can do it. Right? 

I can't believe any day now I'll have two babies. I'm feeling more ready but still feel like I have so much to do, and guilty that my time with Graham alone will be over. I know that in the end, the Lord has a plan for my little family. That baby will come when it's right and we will love him so much. A year from now he'll have a name, the fear will be gone, and I'll look back with so much gratitude for these brothers and playmates. 

For now I just need to be patient and enjoy every second I have left of this pregnancy which includes normal milk less boobs, and sleep, lots of sleep. It's truly such a miraculous thing to grow a human. 

Friday, April 17, 2015


Can't stop watching...

Also, Younger and 
Scandal. duh. 

Thinking about... 

         Baby names.
         Adjusting to two babies.  (advice?)
         Scrambled eggs on toast. 
         Golden Grahams.


         About designing wedding dresses.
         Having my husband home.
         Cutting down our front hedge and starting a garden.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eighteen Months

I really need to take more pictures...

Can't believe my baby is a year and a half! He is no longer a baby but a little boy and his personality shines through more and more each day. Graham is sweet and so sassy. One second he's melting my heart and the next he has me swearing under my breath. Here's some fun facts about G man.

Favorite Food:

Blueberries, frozen, fresh, dried, you name it.
Scrambled eggs
Frozen peas
Anything dipped in ketchup
Chips and salsa
Maple and brown sugar oatmeal

Favorite words:

No.  no no no.   NOOOOO!  Oh no.
No'nt (no and don't)
Mom. Mommy.
Ri-weeee (Riley)
Red-dee-Goooo! (Anytime I lay down on the ground, he thinks it's airplane time)

He loves Sesame Street, temper tantrums, throwing things, climbing everything, baths, drinking from cups, tackling Riley, swings, slides going outside, Balls balls balls, jumping off things, dancing and stomping on coffee tables.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Baby Brother

I'm nearly half-way through my pregnancy and this is my first post! Shameful. Jake and I found out on Thanksgiving day. I can't say this baby was an accident but it was not entirely planned :) I thought it would take me a while to get pregnant again and I was happily mistaken.

I took a test in the morning while Jake was still sleeping (that's when I tend to take my pregnancy tests). I went about my business for a few minutes, not thinking there was really any way it was positive. When I turned the test over my hand flew to my mouth in confusion and amazement. After checking it five times, I took a shower, got dressed and brought in Graham, while dad was waking up, I gave G the test and asked him if he wanted to tell Dad he was going to be a big brother. Jake shot up from bed and was just as surprised as we were.

Since that moment I've had many times I've forgotten I was pregnant. Which seems crazy but when you're chasing a one year old. you tend not to think of it! Over all things have gone smoothly. I thought it was a girl, only because everyone else thought it was, so when I went to visit Jake in Texas, we got a gender test and received another shock, it's a boy! I'm already flashing forward to Graham and his little buddy. They'll be best of friends and partners in crime :)

We're due July 31st. It'll be a craaaaazy summer.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lauren's Bridal Shower

My wittle sister is getting married. It's been very exciting. We threw her a bridal shower last weekend and had a lot of fun! A special thanks to auntie Mary Jo and Tom for letting us take over their house yet again. Oh, and my apologies to anyone who witnessed my hormone fueled breakdown. Pregnancy + no husband for a month + intense party planning + clingy toddler = lots of tears. But I still throughly enjoyed myself! I had been planning it for a while and wanted it to be perfect, of course, nothing ever is! But Lauren liked it, which is all that matters :) Yay for marriage. And Oreo parfaits.