Adieu 2010 | Bonjour 2011

Friday, December 31, 2010

Much like we began 2010, Tony, Isaac and I enjoyed a mini appetizer feast and I'm drafting this will watching Miracle. I wrote today on my facebook, "I can't say that 2010 has been a complete blast, but God has continued to show His steadfast provision for our little family. I am hopeful for the growth and blessings we will see in 2011!" When I went to revisit 2010 through my blog, it truly was an amazing year.

To start the year off, Tony knocked out two major accomplishments! The first being our beautiful bathroom finally being completed. We may not walk in to just sit and admire, but it has not lost it's appeal! The second huge accomplishment was Tony's selection to referee at the Minnesota State Boys' High School Hockey Tournament. After two years at the Girls' Tournament, Tony wasn't sure if he would get the chance for the Boys' Tournament. To say the least it was the realization of a dream for Tony. We're hoping he is selected again this year, as refs are usually selected two years in a row and may never ref the Tournament again.

In April the beginning of my wedding photography career began with the brave trust of a couple who will always remain close in my heart. That same weekend we celebrated Isaac's first birthday, directly after his dedication! We celebrated a day early, so that his actual birthday was just spent at home, with ample time for reflection by his mama.

The summer afforded us the opportunity to really grow together as a couple and we had a fantastic date night! I'm not kidding you, this is one of my most favorite memories with Tony of the year! One of our areas for growth happened by eliminating a job opportunity and reclaiming our family as a priority. As a highlight of family time, we had a picnic in our backyard and got to go to the beautiful new Target Field. I have a feeling both will be repeated . . . The summer also saw the end of Tony's 30 day beard. I've never been so glad to see him shave!

In August we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. Our date involved using Levi's Christmas present and it was just in the nick of time! We made a huge change in our family organization in August by beginning meal planning and instituting a family night. It was during this time that we finally began praying together as a family at meal time and eating at the table. Imagine that. Of course we couldn't miss attending The Greatest Fair of all!

The fall provided ample opportunity for photos and video. Gina shot our family session and the sweetest video known to my eyes. With weddings finally dwindling down we got to get out and do more things as a family, like finally going apple picking! My birthday is in the fall and Tony didn't disappoint by finally taking me to The Nook [which recently was destroyed by a fire]. Shortly after my birthday, I hosted my first Ladies Wine Night with ample help from friends and family! I hope to make this an annual event.

November saw an extended focus on development of my business, first by revealing my logo and new website. And secondly by the huge decision to attend Making Things Happen in Phoenix. It was such an amazing step to leave my family to solely work on my business and take my only solo trip!

Unlike last year when the snow started to fall and we had to bunker in with Isaac, this year we've had a blast outside! Even when the conditions aren't exactly favorable . . . like when Tony has had to work hard to clear our way!

To complete the year, we were able to share the news we had most hoped for, an expected due date in 2011 by way of Isaac's first hair cut.

Those are obviously the highlights. There were plenty of posts filled with angst and drama. Tony has transitioned through three job positions, including the loss of our dream to pursue a small business. If that isn't job uncertainty, well I don't know what is. My Grandma had several health scares, including her pacemaker leads becoming dislodged. My cousin Kristi and her husband Rob lost their 2nd daughter in just a years span. And of course there was our miscarriage in July. You know, that small thing, that kind of effected us.

Right now, I'm believing that our 4th of July festivities will look a whole lot different than 2010's, because through it all God has always provided for our family. It hasn't always been in the ways we've hoped or straight up wanted, but He is soverign and knows what is best for us. Our hope for 2011 is that we continue to rely on Him.

I hope the same for you. Happy New Year!

Christmas x5 pt II

So Saturday morning we woke up bright and early so Isaac and I could open presents. Oh yes, you read that right, Tony and I weren't going to exchange presents, just like last year. Opposite of last year though, Tony got me some small gifts, while I didn't get him anything!

Earlier in the week we went through the Target Toy department and systematically gave and removed toys for Isaac to play with. What remained was a rough and rumble firetruck and tractor duplo lego set.

One of Tony's gifts to me was an ornament he had designed when he couldn't find what he was looking for. Obviously I was crying.

The final gift for Isaac was all Tony, as he bought it without my knowing, Isaac's first real hockey stick and Tony finally assembling the goal set my Mom got him last year.

Isaac got to quick work sweeping all of his toys under the couch.

We had wanted to take Isaac out for his first skate, but Tony's grandparents' brunch was at 10:00, so we were quickly out the door and on the way.

Isaac loves the simplest toys.

But he's equally as excited about new cool ones!

Wyatt got his second Mr. Potato Head which my father in law opened, so we came home with a Mr. Potato Head.

Not sure if I'm ready for this! I thought wrestling wouldn't start until at least 3!

Love my boy, so much.

Next up, we went to my Grandma's where Isaac found some black olives with help from my Mom and brother.

This cross-eyed picture is probably my favorite. I crack up everytime!

It appears he likes black olives! :)

And then someone suggested putting them up his nose! What a riot!

Christmas 2010 x5

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This past week was extremely eventful for us! From celebrating Christmas at my Mom's and our first pregnancy announcement, making goodies with Nadia, my Mom's birthday breakfast on Christmas Eve, to Christmas with my Dad, Christmas with Tony's extended family and finally Christmas with my in laws! That's a lot of festivities packed into a few day.

Nadia and I got together to make some goodies, as my Mom wasn't able to. Shoulder surgery is a great reason to get out of slaving in the kitchen.

Ample breaks were taken to feed Isaac.

When it came down to it, we didn't even bake! All we did was melt chocolate. :)

And eat hummus. For six weeks of this pregnancy I was unable to eat hummus, much like I never had a taste for Chipotle with Isaac. Thank goodness it has returned!

Isaac had no interest in play baking, he just turned it over so he could bang on it.

He was obsessed with the Tractoo in Nadia's parking garage. Good thing I kept needing more ingredients and Nadia and Isaac went to the market a few times, so he was able to see it more than once.

The next day was my Mom's birthday, which just happens to be Christmas Eve. A lot of things have changed over the years due to custody rights and now the lack of those guidelines, but we have a tradition of celebrating my Mom's birthday with breakfast. This year my Grandpa and Grandma even joined us.

I love making a big deal out of breakfast and yummy brunch foods, especially sausage, but don't do it often!

That evening we went to my Stepmom's sister's, my Aunt Sally's, house. We were so excited to finally be able to share with my Dad and Shirley! We had asked them out to dinner when we shared we were pregnant with Isaac and with a little bit of mischief we asked them out a week or so back. Both my Dad and Shirley were certain that we were going to tell them I was pregnant, so they were both upset when I ordered a raspberry daquiri! It was not one of those times that little attention was paid to what I drank, so I'm so glad I ordered a real drink! Since I had previously worked Acapulco, I excused myself from the table to say hello to a server and the bartender. Just like a charm, I was able to ask the bartender to make my drink non alcoholic when it came through!

When we walked into Sally's house, Tony and I were a bit flustered because Sally and Shirley were in the kitchen. There was no smooth way to bring them downstairs, so I just bit the bullet and asked them to join us downstairs. Everyone in the room was staring at us, after we said hello, as it was apparent we wanted to say something as we stood there without removing our coats or Isaac's hat.

Everyone that is, except for my Dad. He was completely oblivious and even though the person he had been talking with had tuned him out to listen to us, my Dad just kept jabbering away, even after I yelled "Dad!" three times. Finally, completely out of character for me, I yelled "Dad! Shut up!" Not how I wanted to do it, but I finally had his attention to take off Isaac's hat and jacket. My Stepmom was extremely excited and I could see her eyes were filled with tears, but she was hesitant to jump immediately to our indicating I was pregnant, because she thought she had just seen me drink a week previously! My Dad announced to the room, in case anyone didn't know the significance of the haircut and there were hugs all around.

And then, it was time for dinner.

There were so many kids for Isaac to play with!

Love this picture of Isaac and Amber.

Isaac was all about the cookies and had more than he should have!

Family picture, that I'm okay with.

And then the presents started.

Papa Tom and Grandma Shirley totally spoiled Isaac.

My Dad held the bag out of me to make a basket. I am a soccer player. I missed.

Isaac got his very own "own." [phone]

With how many people there were, we thought it was cute Isaac was coverin his ears since we also thought it was loud. Three days later, we found out not cute, Isaac had a double ear infection.

We always play a white elephant gift game, in which you have to bring two presents. One good [$10 value], one bad. This is Jesse reacting to his cousin's used Crocs + 1
$10 gift card. We're all about throwing people off!

Shirley got an "authentic" piece of the Metrodome.

Tony's shirt says it all.

And after it was all done, Isaac went swimming in newspaper.

Don't worry, there's more Christmas to come.

October 25th, 2010 | July 3rd, 2011

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The last drink I had was October 22nd, at my ladies wine night. I'm sure of this because 3 days later, while waiting for Tony to come home, I became so fed up with my long cycles and the agony of waiting that I decided to test without him. I figured there was no harm. My chart was the screwiest I have ever put together and I had absolutely zero belief that there was a chance we had conceived. I was at CD30 and didn't want to wait 4-5 more days to know what I already felt in my heart. Heck, FF hadn't even given me crosshairs that I had ovulated until I fudged a temp.
Isaac's chart vs Sept 2010

If it hadn't been for Jamie's gift of her leftover ovulation test strips, which I had never used previously and wasn't sure I was doing correctly, I wouldn't have even a clue if I may have ovulated. It was a bleak, bleak ugly picture my friends and I hated my 34 day cycles.

So I took that test. Not even the cheap internet HPT's that came with Jamie's ovulation strips, but no, I went straight to my last remaining digital. I wanted validation. With just a touch of bitterness, I wanted to see Not Pregnant, because I was certainly dwelling on not pregnant. Except, it didn't show two words this time. There was only one.

And I don't know if my first reaction was joy or excitement. In all honesty, I think there was a little bit of fear. I had prepared my heart for the opposite, that was the more familiar course. And yet there I was, holding the most precious piece of plastic bearing the one word I wanted so desperately.

Tony still wasn't home, so I quickly devised a plan in which to share the news with him. After about 2 minutes of trying to make Isaac a Big Brother shirt, involving cutting a floral pattern fabric and debating whether to glue stick or staple the letters to the shirt, I abandoned the project. Instead I decided to go with a running joke Tony and I have revisited in the past few years. I made Tony dinner and in homage to a D&R nestie who shared her news with her husband by putting a bun in the oven and then shared the video, I did the same to Tony.

I didn't want to make it stressful or to confuse Tony, but was convinced that he would remember the many times we've spoken about the video. Of course I can not find it now, but the nestie's husband is literally exclaiming "There's a bun in the oven! Why is there a bun in the oven? I don't understand, did you put the bun in the oven? I didn't put the bun in the oven? Who would put one bun in the oven?" And round and round it goes for almost 5 minutes before she finally clues him in on what it is he's actually saying.

So I made Tony dinner, a pasta. I waited for him to come home and then set the camera up on the counter top of the kitchen and walked out letting Tony know that there were breadsticks in the oven to accompany his meal. Odd, yes that I wouldn't take the breadsticks out, let alone bring them to him if I was leaving the kitchen, but eventually he got up to get the breadsticks. I followed him into the kitchen as he began laughing as he held the bun out to me and finally questioned, "So this is the breadsticks?" I will always remember the change in his eyes and how his face changed as those words left his mouth. He knew instantly he was holding the bun in the oven and it's meaning. He certainly wasn't mad that I tested without him! [Due to Tony being in his boxers, this video will not be viewed by the general public]

Starting October 25th, Tony and I struggled. With each other and alone, to not be too excited, but excited enough. To not forget about the developing baby, but not to bank on it's arrival. To not question God and whether it would happen again, but to be thankful for another pregnancy regardless. We didn't talk about the pregnancy much to each other and we didn't share it, with anyone. The most we talked about it was to Isaac and the prospect of his being a big brother, to which he always replies "Nice."

At 20dpo I was brought in by my midwife for Hcg testing, which measures the amount of Hcg in your blood. Hcg is the pregnancy hormone that is tested in urine and home pregnancy tests, but a blood draw is different, as there are two or more blood draws. The first establishes the baseline, as anything over 25 mIU/ml is considered positive for pregnancy, but the true test is whether the subsequent draw doubles or triples within 48 hours. At 20 dpo my draw was 1580 mIU/ml and at 22 dpo it was 3900 mIU/ml. We were ecstatic!

At 9w we had an ultrasound. We were absolutely petrified. Walking into that office, I literally felt like I was walking the plank. I wasn't certain one way or the other, I was just scared. The ultrasound machine was ancient compared to the ones we had had while pregnant with Isaac and that used to confirm our loss this summer. It didn't matter though. Tony and I were able to see that beautiful flicker immediately and for a few minutes all was right in the world, our baby had a heartbeat.
Don't worry, we can't see anything either.

Ultrasounds will only buy you at times a few days or weeks without worry. So much can change so fast, so unlike with Isaac we chose not to share after our initial positive ultrasound. Sure, most doctors will tell you that the there is less than a 5% chance that a miscarriage will occur after an ultrasound confirms a strong heartbeat, but we'd already been on the losing end of 75-80% of pregnancies being healthy. Statistics are no longer my friend, you're either on one side or the other.

Once we found out we were pregnant, I quickly realized that a Christmas announcement would align beautifully with almost completing the first trimester. Tony and I resolved to keep the news to ourselves. We did not share, at all. It was so worth it. Although we announced to my Mom when we celebrated Christmas early and had not had the pleasure of knowing the baby's progress since 9w, we enjoyed it thoroughly! The first family picture you saw last week was taken to prep everyone for the second.

With this picture, Tony announced "Everyone say, 'Leah's pregnant!'"

Such a priceless picture! Unfortunately my Grandma and Grandpa weren't able to hear Tony, but I'll never forget the look of gratitude and thankfulness to God when I was able to tell her face to face. She shared with me that she had been praying that I only "get pregnant, if able to carry the baby to term." You've just got to love my Grandma's prayers, they are very specific!

Isaac proudly wore his Big Brother shirt!

Gosh, I'm still mourning those curls.

On Wednesday, December 22nd our family again went to the hospital. I was trying to not be too dramatic, but had already prepped Tony that if the heartbeat was unable to be located by doppler, that either we had to press for an ultrasound or we wouldn't be able to share with my Dad and Tony's parents. When the nurse spent 5 minutes trying to find the heartbeat, but to no avail I tried to push down the panic. She grabbed another nurse from the hallway, who speedily grabbed the doppler wand and simultaneously identified our baby's beautiful whooshing heartbeat as she pressed the wand to my belly. I have never been so relieved. Tony held Isaac, as he squeezed my hand. Such a moment to preserve in time.

I mentioned with my post about Josiah that we have changed practices from the OBGYN we went to with my pregnancy with Isaac. We are now under the care of a midwife, who we finally got to meet, after several previous phone calls! She is absolutely worth every rave that my friend AJ has ever given her. Both Tony and I were extremely impressed and couldn't help but notice that her desire to communicate with us and get to know who we were was a priority. We didn't once feel rushed and she asked several questions to continue our conversation. And it was a conversation, not a checklist! We are so excited to go through this journey with her!

After our appointment we drove directly to get Isaac's haircut, which we then had to keep under wraps until Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when we finally were able to share with my Dad and Stepmom, and my in laws.

I have been quite a bit sicker this pregnancy than with Isaac, but still wouldn't complain with anyone that has experienced true morning sickness. I never threw up with Isaac and have only done so once with this pregnancy, so I consider myself blessed. I've been extremely tired, but that's par the course!

I didn't blog any unpublished posts. I just couldn't bring myself to, so with this, you are caught up on Baby Bless #2.

You have no idea how much we appreciate the congratulations and continued prayers!

Someone had their first haircut . . .

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On Wednesday, December 22nd our family had two really important appointments. The first deserves it's own separate post and the following is the 2nd.

Our little Willie Wonka boy, with crazy hair that only his parents could love [and miss].

Isaac wasn't too sure about Kids Hair, but he also wasn't pitching a fit, so we were all happy!

And this was when I was extremely happy to hide behind my camera, because this mama was.choking.up. Oh my gosh!

His hair was soo long!

We asked to keep it "kinda long, but not too shaggy, just a good in between length to decide what to do next." I was scared that I asked for too generalized of a hair cut, but our stylist just went to town.

And then, she said it "Oh you're just so much cuter than Justin Bieber." My son has the Justin Bieber hair cut. I don't know what the world has come to.

Drum roll please.

The final result.

[and with much gusto] BECAUSE HE'S NOT THE BABY ANYMORE.
Big Brother to be Isaac, would love to let you know that we are expanding to a family of four come July, 2011! With a due date of July 3rd, I am just nearing the end of the official first trimester at 13w2d. We've had great hcg draws, an u/s at 9w and just prior to Isaac's haircut we were able to hear the baby's heartbeat via doppler at 12w3d.

We would love your continued prayers!

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