Weekend Recap

We had such a fun weekend! On Friday night, my Mama and Grayson’s Mom, Dad, and sister came down for his first football game of the season. They played the number one team in the state (Charlotte Catholic) and won! Grayson and I were at Waffle House celebrating at midnight – such a fun new after game tradition!

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On Saturday, we went to Boone for Fan Fest and signed Landon up for the Junior Mountaineers Club. Harper slept through the entire thing, but Landon had the time of his life running around the football field, getting the players autographs, and jumping in a bouncy house for the first time. He walked right up to Coach Satterfield and said, “put me in, Coach” and it truly was the cutest thing ever!

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I will never get over the concept of time. It was so crazy walking around my college campus with two babies. I hope they grow up loving App State like we always have. Showing them where our story began just completely wrecks my heart and makes me feel so, so thankful! Jesus writes the best stories.

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We also got to spend some time with our friends, Emily and Brett, and their sweet baby girl who is only four days younger than Harper! We can hardly wait for football season to start so we can see them more often and we’re just so excited to get to raise our babies together. It’s just real sweet, getting to share this season with our friends!

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Sunday was a slow, restful day and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We slept late, went to a little local spot for breakfast, and when the babies went down for naps, I took a long bubble bath and then we just sat on the porch and read and drank coffee and listened to it rain. It was glorious, and the slowness and simplicity was a much welcomed change from the busyness we’ve been trudging through at home.

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Hope ya’ll have a great week!

Peek-a-Bow

I have a serious problem when it comes to my obsession with bows for Harper, and my favorite kind are the headband bows made on the soft, stretchy nylon. When I stumbled across Peek-a-Bow, a small shop that makes bows and bowties, on instagram, I fell in love with all the different styles and patterns they offer.

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The shop is just getting started by two Mamas who love to create and want to offer cute accessories for both the little lady and the little gentleman in your life. The floral bows are some of my favorites offered in their shop, but I know I’ll also love their top knot headbands when Harper’s a little older. The bow ties are satin and come in a few different colors and would be super cute for a special occasion!

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Head on over to my instagram to enter a little giveaway if you’d like to win this darling mint bowtie for the little fella in your life! Giveaway will be open until Friday (8/17/18). Good luck!

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Thank you to Peek-a-Bow for providing the bows and bowtie for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Omelet Cups

These easy omelet cups are so versatile and perfect for rushed mornings. You can literally fill them with whatever your heart desires! I have been making them on Sunday for Grayson to eat on all week, and he doesn’t get tired of them because it’s so easy to change them up every time. Just pop a few in the microwave and enjoy all week… if they last that long! They’re delicious topped with salsa, too.

Ingredients:

  • 9 eggs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cheese of your choice
  • Fillers (ideas: crumbled bacon, sausage, cubed ham, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, onions…)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray a 12 count muffin tin with cooking spray or better yet, use cupcake liners (I hate cleaning muffin tins with every fiber of my being!)
  • Brown your sausage or fry bacon, saute peppers and onions, chop mushrooms or tomatoes or spinach if using as a filler
  • Crack 9 eggs in a medium sized bowl, scramble well, and add salt and pepper

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  • Fill muffin tins about halfway full with eggs, then evenly distribute fillers into each cup. Adding your fillers after the eggs have already been poured into each tin helps ensure that your fillers are evenly distributed (nobody wants to have one omelet cup packed full of goodness and another sad and empty!)

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  • Bake for 20 minutes, allow to cool completely, and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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New Every Morning

Ya’ll know when I stumble across a small shop and fall in love, I have to share! There’s something so unique and dainty about New Every Morning necklaces. With 14 options available, it is hard to choose a favorite! Austin, the owner, makes her mission clear, “as we go about our day to day life, may these items within the Etsy shop serve as a tangible reminder to pray over our stories of what Jesus has done and is doing in our lives.” I just love that! Jewelry is so much more special when it’s rich in meaning!

You can also find beautiful scripture prints and bracelets available in the New Every Morning Etsy shop. Out of all of them, this is my favorite bracelet and this is my favorite print. But like the necklaces, it’s really hard to choose just one! My favorite thing about this shop is that each necklace has a specific meaning and scripture associated with it. It would be so fun to give them as gifts – the pretty turquoise “world” necklace (Matthew 28:19-20) for a missionary friend – the “waves” necklace (Mark 4:39) for a friend undergoing a trial as a reminder that our Savior can calm the storm – or the lovely “arrow” necklace (Psalm 127:4-5) for any Mama friend. The possibilities are endless!

Austin, the owner of New Every Morning, is super sweet and a Mama of five through birth, adoption, and foster care. She’s passionate about sharing the love of Jesus and encouraging women to walk with intentionality in their prayer lives. If you’re wondering how her shop got it’s name, she explains in one of her posts, “If you were to come over for coffee and ask me about my IG, here’s what I would tell you. Every morning that we wake up to a new day we have a Savior beckoning us to come to Him. He is our God of hope, our continuous love, the mercy of Him never ceases to exist. Every morning we are made new by His mercies and are made new by the sanctification our life demands. In seasons of good and in seasons of hard, He makes us new. In day to day minutes that seem like hours, He makes us new. Each morning He is the same Father and each morning His faithfulness remains. We are made new because of what he did on the cross. We are made in His image and are new creatures because of Jesus himself. We are new every morning.”

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I chose the pearl necklace because the pearl is my birthstone and Pearl also happens to be my great-grandmother’s name. I also love the scripture associated with it, Proverbs 31:30, which says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

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This necklace was graciously gifted to me by New Every Morning but as always, all opinions are my own.

Monday Musings – A little life update

Happy Monday, friends! Just thought I’d share a little about life lately! Summer is in full swing and we’ve been so busy.

Harper is growing like a weed and is seriously the most smiley baby I’ve ever known. I know it could change at any moment, so I don’t want to jinx myself, but for now she rarely ever cries and smiles all the time. It’s just the best thing ever!

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Gray and I have been watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix and we both love it! It’s right up there with Parenthood (which is hands down the best series ever) and This Is Us. And, Gray likes that it’s about football, so it’s a win-win!

In the summer, we make a weekly trip down to a little produce and ice cream stand in Filbert, S.C. and the freestone peaches just came in. We came home with a big basket yesterday and I can hardly wait to slice them up and make smoothies, peach turnovers (you might remember this easy recipe from last year), and peaches and cream with butter toast and coffee for breakfast. All the praise hands!

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A few weeks ago, we took a little day trip to Lake Lure and it was so much fun! Landon loved playing in the water and of course, we ended the day at Moe’s BBQ in Hendersonville (our fave). Going on little road trips in the summer is one of our favorite things to do. Last year, we went to Lake Norman State Park, Greenville, S.C., Hendersonville and Asheville, N.C. and a few other easy-to-go-enjoy-in-one-day places. All the memories! And the kiddos make it even more fun!

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The fourth of July was a little different for us this year because Gray is usually off work all week and we usually spend the week in the mountains, go to the parade in Boone, and spend some time on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This year, Gray only had the 4th off work and it fell on Wednesday, so we stayed home. We found local fireworks several nights that week (which Landon loved), went to a fun little neighborhood parade that our church has a float in, and grilled out.

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I’m starting a new Bible Study with some girlfriends tonight and I am so excited about it. We’re reading The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. Her book, Uninvited changed my life, so I am really looking forward to digging into this one as well. It’s so important to intentionally set aside to do things with your friends, especially after having a baby!

Speaking of intentionally setting aside time, Gray and I are trying to have more date nights and last night we went to the drive in! We saw the new Jurassic World movie (hey, Chris Pratt) and ate corn dogs and fried pickles in the bed of his truck. So fun!

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Gray is in full swing of summer football practices and I’m looking so forward to cheering on his team this fall. He has such a passion for the game, but even more so for the kids, and I love seeing him get to do something he loves. I can hardly wait for pumpkin spice lattes, boots and scarves, pretty leaves, and Appalachian football (and tailgating with our friends!). Until then, we have pool parties, more road trips, a beach trip, and lots of backyard grilling to look forward to. Can you tell it’s always been hard for me to choose a favorite season?!

Hope ya’ll have a great week!

Landon’s 2nd Birthday Party

This Sunday, we finally celebrated Landon’s 2nd Birthday (a month late)! He turned two on May 24th, just two weeks after his sister’s birthday (she was born May 10th), so I knew we’d be celebrating his birthday late this year. We had a much smaller party this year than last and kept it simple with just hot dogs, fruit, chips, a few little snacks, and of course, my Mama made his circus-themed cake. The topper spun around while we sang “Happy Birthday” and it was just so cute!

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We reserved a shelter at one of his favorite parks that has a train and splash pad, so all the kids were kept very busy and had a great time but it was so hot (upper 90’s), so the adults who suffered through his party must really, really love him. I had been praying for pretty weather since I paid the deposit to reserve the shelter a few weeks before, and we were thankful that Jesus answered my prayers. In fact, ironically enough, the only brief shower happened during the five minute train ride, so we all got off the train soaking wet (hence my sopping wet top knot in every picture). Oh well, it’s definitely a memory we’ll remember forever!

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Landon got so many fun presents and loved playing with all his cousins and friends. Grayson and I are so thankful to everyone who came and loved on our boy and helped make his party so special. It’s hard to believe he’s already two – I don’t know what we ever did without him!

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Frozen Yogurt Bites

If you’re looking for a super easy summer treat for your kiddos, look no further! These easy fro yo bites are sure to be a hit and can be made in so many different variations.

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To make these, I just spooned some strawberry yogurt into a ziploc bag, snipped the corner, and squeezed bite-sized drops onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I sprinkled granola over some of them, and then popped the cookie sheet in the freezer for a few hours. You could add tiny bits of chopped, fresh fruit, mini chocolate chips, or even sprinkles.

Landon and I have been spending a lot of time in the backyard in his little blow up pool and these are the perfect treat on a hot day (but ya gotta eat them quickly because they melt fast!).

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Harper’s Newborn Photos // 4 Weeks Old

I can’t believe our little girl is four weeks old today. She has already brought our little family so much joy and every day we fall a little more and more in love with her. Watching Landon with her has been the sweetest – he’s so gentle and loves to hold her and kiss her head! It has taken some time to adjust to our “new normal,” and we are still finding a routine. I’m still trying to get to a place where I’m more confident driving with two babies in the car, don’t get frazzled when they’re both crying at the same time (why do they seem to always have dirty diapers or realize they’re hungry at the exact same time?!), and figuring out how to get myself ready between nap times, a newborn nursing schedule, and getting more comfortable going out and about with both of them (I feel like I need a little suitcase now instead of a diaper bag).

These are a few favorites from Harper’s newborn session, taken by the precious and very talented Bailey Smith Photography.

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Harper’s Birth Story

This is the story of the events leading up to Harper’s birth and the day she came into this world, making us a family of four. You can read Landon’s birth story here.

When I was 37 weeks pregnant, I spent a few hours in triage because my blood pressure was a little high and my swelling (pitting edema on my feet, ankles, and legs) was really, really bad. They ended up sending me home a little after midnight, as opposed to when I had to be induced with Landon at 37 weeks. I was thankful on one hand, because I was not dilated at all at that point and my experience of being induced (with a foley bulb) with Landon from 0cm was so painful and just overall not a good experience. But on the other hand, I was so miserable and swollen and just wanted to meet our baby girl so bad. Of course, first and foremost is the well-being of the baby, not my own comfort, but preeclampsia is scary and can creep up so fast at the end, so that fear was in the back of my mind. My Mama came to get Landon so he didn’t have to sit in the tiny triage room with us (and it was way past his bedtime) but before she left, she held my hand and prayed the sweetest prayer over me, asking Jesus to give me peace and calm my spirit and be in the center of every detail of my delivery, no matter when it happened. I love her and I’ll never forget that. Landon was so precious that night. I think he was a little worried about his Mama, seeing me on the hospital bed all hooked up to the monitors, and he crawled up on my lap and gave me the sweetest, longest hug – I’ll love Grayson forever for capturing that moment with him.

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The next few weeks were LONG. I never thought I would carry Harper longer than I carried Landon. Pregnancy is so hard at the end – the swelling, the aches and pains, the exhaustion, the worry of not knowing when or how everything will happen, and just the general feeling of being massive and people making comments about your size everywhere you go. Most people don’t mean any harm, but it’s hard not to be over sensitive and let it bother you, especially when you’re already overwhelmed and exhausted. I missed my ankles, being able to wear shoes other than foam flip flops, being able to bend over, sleeping longer than 30 minutes at a time, and being able to stand up without feeling like a bowling ball was going to fall right through me. It sounds dramatic, but if you’ve been there – you know exactly what I mean.

I really struggled with feeling miserable and having the urge to just complain all the time, and knowing in the deepest part of my heart what an honor it had been for the last nine months to carry this miracle inside of me. I think about women (I know so many personally) who may never get to experience the privilege of carrying a child, and I am so overwhelmed with gratitude that Jesus has entrusted me with another precious little life. I knew that every contraction brought me closer to meeting her, every pain and sleepless night was worth it, but it was still hard – physically and emotionally.

There were several nights that I had pretty intense contractions and we would time them. They went from 10 minutes apart to about 7 minutes apart and then just stopped altogether. I remember wishing that my water would just break, so I didn’t have to play the guessing game of timing contractions and could just go to the hospital without the fear that they’d send me home. With Landon, I never even had Braxton Hicks – my contractions with him were caused from the pitocin and foley bulb, which I had pain medicine for and it was just an entirely different situation.

At my 38 week appointment, I was 3cm dilated and 70% effaced. I was so encouraged to hear that because I at least knew my contractions were doing something and if I did end up having to be induced, it wouldn’t be as bad as last time because I wouldn’t be starting from 0cm. It’s funny, when you’re at that point, because people are either super encouraging (saying things like, “oh 3cm? that’s fantastic, you’re 1/3 of the way there – it won’t be long now!”) or they say things that make you just want to dig a hole and crawl inside (like, “well don’t get your hopes up, you’ll probably go overdue… I walked around at 3cm for a month.”). Again, I realize nobody means any harm when they offer their advice or opinions or their own personal experiences – it’s just what you do, because what else are you going to say? but it’s just hard when you’re scared about how things are going to go and physically so worn down.

In the last weeks, I went back and forth between sleeping every chance I got and watching movies over and over with Landon to feeling so determined to “get the baby out” that I’d walk all over our little town with one foot up on the curb (people claim this helps lower the baby into the birth canal). My feet were so swollen that I couldn’t tell if the walking helped or hurt, but everyone said to walk, walk, walk, so every time I could muster up enough energy, that’s what we did.

After expressing my concerns of delivering a potentially 9 or 10 pound baby at my 39 week appointment (at which I was 4cm dilated), my midwife had me go for an ultrasound to try and get a better estimate of how much Harper weighed (with the intention of making a decision to induce or schedule a c section based off of what the ultrasound estimated). Since my ultrasound at 35 weeks estimated she already weighed about 6lbs 3oz, I knew she was going to be bigger than Landon at birth (he was 6lbs 15oz at 37 weeks) because babies can gain anywhere from a half of a pound to a whole pound a week during the last few weeks. The ultrasound tech wasn’t able to get very accurate measurements because the baby was so big and already pretty far down into the birth canal, but the next day, my midwife called to schedule my induction for Thursday, May 10th at 7:30am.

It’s funny how you can be so ready for something like giving birth, but then when it’s scheduled for the next day, you’re like WAIT! I’M NOT READY! 

I spent that last morning with Landon snuggled up, studying his blonde hair and blue eyes, holding his little hands, giving him one last sink bath, playing with his favorite toys, and reading all his favorite books. I cried every time I thought about the fact that it would never be just me and my boy again, but at the same time was so excited to give him a sister and knowing my heart would somehow double in size within just 24 hours. Grayson’s boss sent him home at noon, telling him to enjoy his last afternoon with just me and Landon (so thoughtful and sweet!) and so we went to one of our favorite BBQ places for lunch and then met Grayson’s Mama and Daddy with Landon that evening. We thought since we had to try and get some rest that night and be at the hospital so early the next morning, it would be best for him to go ahead and stay with them. Driving away from my first baby, knowing his life was about to change forever, was harder than I expected – I was a wreck, but still so excited for all that was to come.

The next morning, we went to Chick-fil-A for breakfast on our way to the hospital. I wasn’t sure if I should eat or not, because I remembered throwing up a lot during labor with Landon, but I also knew if I didn’t eat I would be starving and who knows how long an induction can take. Grayson prayed the sweetest prayer that morning over chicken minis and my favorite crushed ice. I’ll always remember the way his hand felt in mine across the table as he asked Jesus to calm my spirit and be in the midst of every detail of the day. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I felt so overwhelmingly thankful. I’m so glad I married my best friend.

We got to the Birthplace at Gaston Memorial Hospital at 7:30am and after getting checked in, all the paperwork finalized, and settled into our room, they started me on an IV of pitocin at about 8:30am. Since I was already 4cm dilated, I was expecting to have our baby in my arms by about 2:00pm. Ha! Boy, was I in for a surprise!

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The sweet nurse came in every 30 minutes to turn the pitocin up, and although I was having some mild contractions, they were very bearable and not in any kind of regular pattern. At noon, they brought me some chicken broth and jello and then the midwife came by to check my cervix. I just knew I would be progressing, but I was still at 4cm – after four hours on pitocin. I was discouraged, but decided to ask for a birthing ball to bounce on, with hopes that it would help speed things along, and also because it is hard for me to sit still in a hospital bed for too long.

Grayson, my Mama, and my aunt Rhonda were there to distract me and keep me company, and some of my cousins came by to see me, too. Around 3:00pm, the nurse checked my cervix again and I was beyond frustrated to hear that I had not progressed and was still at 4cm. She said that what they would probably do is check one more time around supper time, and if I had not progressed, they would just turn off the pitocin, let me eat a normal meal for dinner (you can not have any solid foods during an induction) and shower, do cervadil overnight, and then start pitocin again the next morning. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. I was not happy. I had been laying there all day on pitocin and I did not like the way things were dragging on. I just wanted it to be over, and I was so confused as to why the pitocin didn’t seem to be working.

They came back around 5:00pm and sure enough, I was still at 4cm dilated, even though the pitocin had been turned up as high as it would go for hours. How had I not progressed any, after almost nine hours on pitocin?! I was starting to panic. I didn’t want to go through a long night (everything seems harder at night, for some reason) and another day of induction. I begged her to come back and check just one more time, so she agreed to come back around 6:30pm, saying that if I was still at 4cm, they would have to turn the pitocin off and do cervadil overnight.

At 6:30pm, she came back as I had asked her to check my cervix and I heard her say, “hand me the hook.” She broke my water and said, “you are at 6cm!” This is when everything really started. I don’t have any problem getting shots, finger pricks, IV’s inserted… it just doesn’t bother me anymore. But, anything down there… and I lose it. I have no pain tolerance when it comes to cervix checks, pap smears… anything like that, and I just go all to pieces… I don’t know how I’ve birthed two babies now. It is so painful, and I tense up no matter how hard I try not to, which just makes it even worse. So, when she checked my cervix, I was already tensed up and almost in tears from the pain, then when she broke my water, I wasn’t expecting it (she did it without telling me while she was already in the process of checking so that she wouldn’t have to put me through that again) and it shocked me, so I started crying, then, I heard her say, “oh, there’s meconium in the amniotic fluid,” which I knew could be very dangerous if the baby had ingested any, and I panicked… and then I started hyperventilating. It was just so much all in about a 45 second time frame, and I could not pull myself together. That’s when Kelly reached out and took my hand and said, “Katie, you are surrounded by believers. It’s going to be okay.”

Cold chills. I had never met the midwife on call that day. Her name was Kelly and she was kind and calming, but straightforward. I could tell I liked her, but I had no idea how Jesus had orchestrated the whole thing at that point. I couldn’t believe she had just been that bold about her faith. I found out later that when I went for my 39 week appointment that Monday before, the midwife I saw that day went to Kelly and said, “I have a patient who is nervous about her delivery, we think the baby is going to be pretty large, and we’ve never talked about it, but I think she’s a Christian and I think you would be a really good fit for her. Do you mind if I schedule her induction during your shift?” I don’t know how she was able to have such discernment and see the love for the Lord in my spirit, but I’m so thankful she did because Kelly was truly a perfect fit for me and I’m so thankful she was the one on call that day. You could feel the presence of the Lord and it was just unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.

Within five minutes of having my water broken, the most intense contractions I’ve ever felt in my entire life started. I couldn’t talk through them, I couldn’t breathe through them, and there’s just no way to explain that kind of pain unless you’ve experienced it for yourself. Grayson was right by my side, holding my hand, watching the monitor, telling me when another one was starting and trying his best to keep me calm. He’s so good with me – such a steady, unwavering rock in the midst of the chaos. I couldn’t have done it without him.

The anesthesiologist was there quickly and I don’t know why it struck me so funny, but he looked just like Steve Carell from the Office (and of course, in true Katie-fashion, I told him so in between contractions) and he was wearing a Star Wars du-rag with his scrubs. The stuff you remember from labor is hilarious! The nurse raised the bed all the way up, I sat on the edge, leaned over holding Grayson’s shoulders, and the anesthesiologist talked through everything he was doing. I felt the cold, scratchy soap, the numbing shot that feels like a bee sting, the plastic sheet, and then I didn’t feel anything else… then he was done. I swear, if I didn’t already have a husband, I would have married him. He was like an angel, Star Wars du-rag and all.

It took about 10-15 minutes for the epidural to start working and the contractions were unbearable until then. As soon as it took effect, though… oh, praise Jesus. It was amazing. The monitor showed contractions so big, they were off the paper, but I couldn’t feel anything. Around 8:00pm the nurse checked and told me that I was at 10cm, and to just let her know when I felt the urge to push. I didn’t feel anything. Around 9:00pm, she came back and asked if I felt like I wanted to try some “practice pushes” just to see if I was ready, and after only one, she said, “oh my goodness this baby has a lot of hair!” I started crying again, surprise surprise. I was so excited and I knew it was showtime. We were going to have a baby that day, after all, even though only a few hours before, we were having the conversation about turning off the pitocin and trying again the next day. Nope.

You don’t really know how bad an epidural is, until you have a really good epidural. Once you have one that works like it’s supposed to, you wonder how you ever survived childbirth with one that didn’t really work… or why on God’s green earth anyone would elect not to have one. I’ll never understand that. My epidural with Landon did not work well, and although I couldn’t move my legs at all, I felt the crowning, the tearing… and it was terrible. This time, the epidural worked LIKE A CHARM thanks to Mr. Star Wars du-rag and I couldn’t believe the difference. Pushing felt like I was just holding my breath and leaning forward. Unlike at Presbyterian Hospital (where I delivered Landon), everything is done in the same room at Gaston Memorial. You never change rooms, they just bring in the equipment for childbirth, quickly clean everything up, and then you stay there until you go home, which is really nice. I hadn’t even noticed all the equipment that had been brought in, and all the nurses that were suddenly there helping the midwife. Everyone was telling me I was doing a great job and Grayson kept saying how proud he was of me. After only 26 minutes of pushing, Harper Gray Bedenbaugh was placed in my arms at 9:47pm and I will NEVER forget that moment as long as I live. The weight of her little body against my chest, my tears falling all over her, looking up into Grayson’s eyes that were filled with tears too, and saying over and over again, “I did it, she’s here!” Grayson cut the cord, I held her and studied her little body, and it was just the sweetest, most perfect delivery. I couldn’t have asked for a better epidural, a better midwife and team of nurses, or a more encouraging, supportive husband. I was so glad he and I got to experience such an intimate, sacred moment again, just the two of us.

I can’t believe I ever worried that I might not feel that instant connection with Harper like I did with Landon. It’s hard to imagine ever loving another baby as much as you love your first baby, but the second you hold them in your arms, your heart really does double in size. As soon as they handed her to me, I wondered how I ever lived without her. She had so much hair and the sweetest, most beautiful little face. We couldn’t believe it when they weighed her and told us she weighed 9 pounds 2 ounces!

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I had been shaking a little bit just before pushing, but after I delivered, it became much worse. It was so bad, I couldn’t even hold her, so Grayson did skin to skin with her. It’s the weirdest feeling, shaking violently and having absolutely no control over it. It upset me so much that I started crying, which makes everything worse. I shook after delivering Landon, too, but this was much more intense. They started piling warm blankets over me and the midwife was still working hard. Because I had preeclampsia at the end of my pregnancy with Landon, I had to take a baby asprin every day after 16 weeks during my pregnancy with Harper to help reduce the risk of that happening again. Although I did have bad swelling, it kept my blood pressure at bay for the most part, however, I had terrible blood clotting and the midwife and nurses worked for an hour removing blood clots, trying to get the bleeding to stop, and I eventually had to have a shot to make it stop. I was scared, but they assured me I wasn’t hemorrhaging (it wasn’t quite to that point). I started throwing up, and I threw up on and off for hours, even though I hadn’t eaten anything all day since breakfast, which felt like a week ago. I had second degree tears again, but they were not as deep as they were with Landon, and now that it’s been almost three weeks, I’m amazed at how much easier the healing process has been this time, even though the events after-delivery were pretty horrific.

My Mama came in to meet her first granddaughter as soon as they were done working on me, and it was the sweetest moment. Harper was back in my arms and her eyes were wide open – she was so alert and she looked so intently into my Mama’s eyes as she talked to her. I will never forget that, it was so precious. My aunt Rhonda came in next, and it was just a sweet time, everyone loving on her. She stayed at the hospital with my Mama for over 16 hours that day, and I was so thankful she was there.

That night was a total blur. I felt like I had been run over by a truck and the shaking and throwing up continued for about two hours. It’s fairly normal, as you come off all the medicine, but it’s still scary, and I could tell my Mama was worried about me. I know I’ll be the same way one day when Harper is delivering her own babies. Even though my delivery with Landon was much harder, he was born at 4:45pm and we had about 30 visitors that night. This time, everything was so different, and since she wasn’t born until 9:47pm, we didn’t have any visitors and quite honestly, I was so thankful because I was in no shape for company.

The next day, my friend Meredith came to take pictures of Landon meeting his little sister for the first time. My mother-in-law had got him a special “big brother” smocked outfit and my father-in-law brought flowers. I was so nervous about how he would respond to her, but it was a sweeter moment than I could have ever hoped for. I’m so thankful that we got it all on video and for the priceless pictures that I’ll cherish forever. He was so sweet, kept saying, “my baby,” and wanted to give her all the kisses. I love his sweet, affectionate spirit.

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We made sure that she was laying in the bassinet when he came in the room, to introduce Harper to Landon (not the other way around), and we got him a little “big brother” present.

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We came home from the hospital late Saturday afternoon and my Mama made spaghetti for dinner. She had our house so clean and everything ready for us, and the prettiest pink hot air balloon announcement sign hanging on our front door. My sister-in-law got us a big, beautiful hanging basket for our porch and my father-in-law had gone out and got pink balloons and a big pink bow for the porch.

We couldn’t wait for Landon to come home (he stayed with Grayson’s parents Wednesday night-Sunday) and to find our “new normal.” For 10 days, we could say we had “two under two!” and now, our big boy is two and our sweet baby girl is almost three weeks old!


Thank you so much to everyone who has called, texted, come to visit, sent gifts, and brought us meals. Grayson and I have felt covered in prayer and we are just so thankful to be surrounded by family and friends who love us so well and have helped welcome our girl!

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One last thing – I can’t say enough about how wonderful my experience was at The Birthplace at Gaston Memorial – it was truly a night and day difference from my experience delivering Landon at Presbyterian two years ago. Every single nurse, CNA, tech, and especially the midwife who delivered Harper was AMAZING and so kind, they went above and beyond to make our stay comfortable and helped to make every little detail extra special. They were never “too busy” or made us feel like anything we asked for was an imposition to them – and best of all, they assured me that I was surrounded by believers – and we could truly feel it. When you’re in a place where the people caring for you love their jobs, genuinely care about the experience you’re having, and are bold about their love for the Lord, it makes all the difference in the world.

Thanks to my sweet friend Meredith for the pictures! I’ll cherish them forever!

Passing the Time

I’m 39 weeks now and the last two weeks especially have been so long. It’s been really hot outside and since I’m not quite up to walking our three mile loop to the park downtown and back, I knew I had to find something else fun for Landon to do outside. My cousin got him this blow up kiddie pool last year and I dug it out, blew it up, and it’s been the best way to pass the time as we wait on Harper to decide she’s ready to come out and meet us!

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What fun ways do you pass the time with your toddlers in the summer? Landon loves anything where he can “spish and spash” in the “woggum!”