May 27, 2013

My love turns 30 today. Like most men he hasn’t accomplished what he hoped to by age 30, but to me he’s given me everything, but the moon. My man is the most involved amazing dad I have ever seen. I love to hear the absolute glee from deep within Ellery when daddy gets her up in the morning after being gone a few days. He works hard for us, he supports my desire to stay home with our kids, and helps me dream what the future might look like for my career when they reach school age. He builds me up and points out my strengths. He loves justice and fights for me and will fight for our family. He will not settle for mediocrity, he is always seeking what the next step might look like for him. In just the past few years he has become a doctor, had 3 promotions within the same company and is so talented they let him move wherever he wanted in order to keep him. He is my favorite person, he is my home, he is the person I miss the most and the one I don’t tire of. He is the kind of man I hope our little girl marries one day and if God gives us boys I hope they aspire to be like him. He is loyal, honest, genuine, funny, patient and kind. And I’m so glad he’s mine! Love you love, happy 30th birthday, it’s gonna be a great year.



It Really Worked

May 23, 2013

When we moved into our house my mom commented the first day that we definitely needed to buy new shower heads. I told her I wanted to try one of my Pinterest ideas first before going out and spending money. I tried THIS pin and it works like magic. Literally put vinegar in a bag, rubber band it on, wait a couple hours, take it off, wipe and you’re finished. I was seriously shocked, here is how mine turned out.


10 MonthLetter

May 22, 2013

To My Congenial Ellery Wynn,

I laugh as I write the to line tonight because you screamed at me from about 6:30 until bedtime, but for the most part you are miss congeniality. We really put this to the test when we moved cross country, left you with people you didn’t know, slept you in different beds, changed up your schedule and really changed your life this month. You have gotten through most of it with a smile on your face. You have a fantastic disposition. You are hysterical and this month has been especially fun because you love to mimic us. Your daddy can get you to do some pretty silly things. I wish I could describe the noises you make, you do some weird thing with your tongue that is quite funny too. You are starting to clap and I can already tell you have a sense of rhythm, when we play music you punch the sky or wave your hand to the beat. I am one lucky mama because we have gotten moved in and nearly settled and you are still not exactly crawling. You get to where you want to go, just haven’t figured out that your knees will take you there faster. You have become very attached to me this month, understandably so, with so much transition I am your constant. Dad isn’t even the fix for sadness this month as he usually is. I’ve held you a lot this month and count myself lucky that you are still so tiny. While I might be the favorite these days you still don’t call me mama and it appears you are saying dada to your daddy. I also believe you are using the word hi correctly, and while you probably don’t know what ya means you say it a lot and often in response to a question which is just too cute for words. You are gentle and sweet and your laugh is most definitely the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard.

Love you forever,


Good Choice

May 17, 2013

I am directionally challenged. When I say this I don’t just mean I can’t find a new place. I am severely directionally challenged, as in I wouldn’t be able to get home if I was coming from a new place or I couldn’t get to a friend’s house from my parent’s if I was used to driving from my apartment a few miles away. My parents got us a GPS for our wedding and it surely has saved us from having some fights over the years. It hurts the situation that Andrew has the keenest sense of direction of anyone I know. I mean seriously, drop this man in the middle of nowhere in the morning and he would be home by dinner. I would surely die trying. In Austin the GPS was my best friend and the only way I ever found anything. I didn’t really learn street names, I relied on it to get to the airport which I drove many times, but never trusted myself to get there, and I never learned the city at all. When we moved here I made a decision. No more GPS to get around town. This has turned out to be a great choice so far. I used it the first weekend we were here and once to get to Bloomington, but besides that it has stayed tucked away in the car. I do allow myself to look up directions before leaving the house, but try to rely on asking people how to get somewhere and looking up an address and trying to figure out how to get there on my own. This has forced me to learn where we live in relation to the major streets. I would highly recommend this practice if you are moving to a new city. I already feel like I have a better grasp on this city in two weeks than I did in over two years in Austin. Also probably contributes to feeling at home, I already feel so at home.

Sometimes it seems like I have it all together, sometimes I actually do, other times not so much. So before you nominate me for mother of the year you should probably know these things. I’ve used the mum mum veggie rusks to buy myself time everyday for the past two weeks, her arsenic level is probably through the roof. I call them my secret weapon, it has gotten us through car rides, the move and unpacking. The other night I decided I didn’t feel like feeding her dinner, I was exhausted and figured nursing was probably sufficient, lucky for her at this same moment I found a peach packet that I let her suck down before bed. Yeah I was that tired. Yesterday she ate a rather large chunk of paper, didn’t gag or choke or anything. Was completely un phased by swallowing this piece of paper. While I’m sure bubble paper is a suffocation or choking hazard or some other death trap item I have let Ellery play with it everyday. Yes I’m in the room, yes I realize it still probably isn’t the best, but she loves it and it’s accessible. While unpacking my closet I let her chew on the tag of my straightener cord that was dangling down the vanity. At least I made sure it was unplugged and couldn’t fall on her. Somedays I feel like I’m failing and then I remember no ones perfect, and I cut myself some slack. So if today you feel like you’re failing remember the Johnson’s baby commercial last line “you’re doing ok mom.” Does anyone else cry every time they see this commercial?

Feeling Loved

May 8, 2013

If I didn’t know how to make someone feel loved I know how to now! This weekend we were showered with service and I could not have asked for better help. Thursday we got the keys to our new house. My mom came up to help us with our great paint extravaganza and watched Ellery during our closing. By the time we pulled into our house our neighbor from one street down (my dad’s best friend is our neighbor!) brought a basket of coffee, cups, milk, etc and had it sitting on our porch. That evening 3 friends came to help us paint, clean and move a couple non-essentials in. By the time we went to bed we had Ellery’s room, the living room, the family room, and our bedroom painted.

Friday we woke up feeling pretty rough after we all got about 3 hours of sleep. Not sure what was going on, but Ellery woke up no less than 15 times which was odd because she was sleeping in her crib. That mixed with Andrew and I sharing an air mattress and it was the perfect cocktail for no sleep, but we must press on, the move in was scheduled for 5:00. Stephanie arrived early afternoon and helped me purchase drinks, snacks, etc while others stayed at the house and painted. Our friend and her 3 girls watched Ellery at their house for a little over 3 hours which was way more helpful than I could have imagined. Our friends arrived a little after 5 and by 7 the entire truck was unloaded. We were so worried about a few pieces of our furniture, but it all was moved in and placed in 2 hours and our house was becoming our home. Friday night was a blur, but by the time we retired the laundry room was finished including our new appliances that were delivered in the afternoon, the dining room was first coated, our entry way was first coated, the carpets had been cleaned and the unpacking was well underway. The best part was we had beds!!! Thank you to whoever set our bed up for us!

Saturday we got a slow start, but eventually kicked it into gear and got a ton done. Stephanie and our friend Angie lined and unpacked our entire kitchen. At one point I heard a lawn mower, looked outside and our neighbor (dad’s friend) was mowing our lawn, so incredibly helpful and unexpected. Later that afternoon friends stopped by and dropped off delicious treats from great harvest and hung out for a bit. More painting happened, unpacking happened, friends came over and helped do all these things and my parents worked on painting and cleaning as well. By the time we hit the hay our kitchen was unpacked, our dining was painted, our bedroom was finished including our headboard being hung, our upstairs hall was first coated, we had things on our walls, all our furniture was moved in and our car even fit in the garage. All thanks to the help of friends and family. At dinner time our friend neighbors had us over for an amazing steak dinner and derby pie. It was the perfect break, we got showered, dressed in real non paint clothes and sat and enjoyed a meal that wasn’t in a box.

Ok I think you get the picture. We had so much help, we got so much done and we are so incredibly grateful. I keep saying to myself all day everyday that we are so undeserving, but so thankful. This move Illinois side could not have been easier, and surprisingly despite all the work it was a lot of fun as well. I’m giving myself until the end of this week to finish unpacking and then I will take pictures, I promise.

10 Minutes

April 22, 2013

I decided in the craziness of this packing marathon I would give myself 10 minutes to blog. A post typically takes me an hour to write and edit and edit and edit so this might be less than perfect. Here are some thoughts I’ve had today.

– I can’t decide what is important. I want to do it all, I want to have the most perfect organized move. I’m realizing this isn’t possible. I’m going to have to do another purge when we unpack and I’m coming to terms with it.

– I don’t need help with the move, I need Stephanie to come and tell me what to do. My mind is full of too much stuff and I’m paralyzed by the amount of decisions I need to make.

– I was so proud of Andrew for packing up his closet so we could show the house. And then we moved our bed to paint our wall and I was less than proud of him. He didn’t pack it, he hid it under the bed. Who hides things under their bed when they are moving…Andrew, that’s who. Yesterday I was mad, today I find it funny.

– Does anyone else find it odd that they are growing weed in this children’s book?


*yes I know they aren’t actually growing weed, it just struck me as funny!

9 Month Letter

April 21, 2013

To My Chatterbox Ellery Wynn,

You take after me in that you started talking and haven’t stopped. Whenever I’m on the phone you make it your mission to talk louder than me. You definitely want to be heard, I hope this is a quality you continue to possess. You know what you want and let us know, we take away a toy, you scream, we finish our meal, you scream, I leave the room, you scream. You get the idea, this month has been a month of tears and tantrums. I often look at your dad and say,”what are we going to do?” On the flip side you are as sweet as can be, I often say you look like an animated doll. You discovered your hands can wave, so you wave at yourself everyday, we are working on channeling that talent into waving at people. Your favorite thing to do is look at pictures on our phones or camera, you smile ear to ear every time. You love pat-a-cake, and especially love the roll it part, you are working on doing it yourself and it is super sweet. We appreciate how well you play independently, especially as we pack the house. Crawling is close, you are starting to reach and rock, trying to get up on your knees. As much as I will not enjoy your mobility, I have a feeling you will absolutely love it. Dad and I were taking a walk the other day and he said it was the first time in his life that he wasn’t wishing it away and looking toward the next phase, that he likes you just the way you are and has enjoyed each age, I couldn’t agree more.

Love you forever,

P.S. It is nearly impossible to get a decent picture when a huge sticker on your belly is involved!

My Raw Birth Story

April 19, 2013

So when Ellery was born I wrote our birth story. I read it probably once a month and it is very accurate. I still feel mostly that way about how it happened, but recently I have felt the need to write down the real raw story of how our Ellery came into the world. I’m writing this for me and I’m writing it for her and I’m writing it to never forget, but please don’t feel obligated to read it. Although you are more than welcome to.

My labor was done to me, it didn’t happen. I can no longer watch torture scenes in movies or television shows because it reminds me of my birth experience. The nurses came in every 30 minutes on the dot to increase the pitocin and near the end I would beg them to give me just 5 more minutes. They always said no, “I had to keep on track” and within a minute or two my contractions would get more severe, it especially stunk that the pitocin did just about nothing for my dilation so it was completely pointless.

I will likely never again get an epidural. Not because it wasn’t the most magical drug ever because it.was.magical. But because if by chance I have to have another c-section after laboring all day long I want a spinal, getting a c-section with an epidural was absolutely terrible. Here are the gory details of this hour in our life.

The doctor came in and told me it was time for a c-section, it was around 2 o’clock the morning of Ellery’s birthday. I signed some paperwork, she went over the risks and we were off. They wheeled me into the c-section room down the hall and assured me they would get Andrew before we began. I was glad I had previously had surgeries because I don’t remember feeling scared. Once I was in there a team of people hoisted my dead weight body from one bed to the other. I remember feeling extremely awkward and very heavy. I thought I was mentally prepared for a c-section, I had seen them on television, but somehow missed two details. The first was they strap your arms down at the wrists like you are on a cross. The second was how close the curtain is to your face. Like suffocatingly close. I vaguely remember asking if they had to strap my arms like that and he said yes in case I needed an IV or something. Looking back I would have preferred to have no curtain at all, I would have really liked to have seen my doctor, but maybe the blood would have freaked me out, I don’t know. There were 15 people in the room, some dressed in plain old street clothes, not sure how that was sterile. I knew there were a lot, Andrew told me later 15.

They started cutting me open, as they are cutting the anesthesiologist starts asking who is going to “get the dad” someone says I’ll go in a minute and he said, someone needs to get him NOW! I remember starting to panic at this point. I knew I was cut open and facing the door so Andrew would see my cut open bleeding belly when he came through the door. My husband passes out nearly every time he gives blood so I completely expected him to hit the floor when he walked in, luckily he did not, he did however see my cut open belly, yikes! How did I know that I was being cut open? I felt it, not pressure like people talk about, but pain and felt every bit of the cutting on my right side. I had a friend that communicated her pain to the doctor and they knocked her out so I decided to very calmly let them know I was in pain. Every minute I would calmly say, “I have pain on my right side,” he would put more meds in my drip, and this continued for a bit until I gave up. I was so determined to see her that I didn’t really care if I could feel the pain of her cutting me open. I was secretly panicking, but didn’t want to say anything for fear of not seeing Ellery in her first moments. Andrew was nowhere near me (or that’s how it felt) and he was too tired to talk to me. Luckily the anesthesiologist sat right next to me and did his best to distract me and keep me calm.

Here she comes…I again expected pressure, um not so much. I screamed the whole time they were pulling her out and the doctor kept saying breath like it’s a contraction. They were pulling, I was screaming, and finally she was out. My OBGYN came around the curtain holding my sweet girl, in a childish voice she said,”here’s your baby” and then she was whisked away. After they did her tests and weighed her Andrew held her and I caught my first glimpse of her, I remember saying,”oh my goodness, she’s so precious.” And then they essentially put me to sleep. The doctor pumped me so full of Benadryl that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I think he did this because he knew I was in pain, but maybe this is standard. Then I woke up on and off and would say,”I have to nurse my baby.” It amazes me that motherly instinct is that strong. I probably couldn’t have told you my name at that point, but I knew my baby needed to eat. After I did this several times my OBGYN leaned over the curtain, looked me in my eyes and said,”Laura you can’t nurse your baby right now, your job is to sleep. Your baby needs to breathe better before she can eat, you will nurse her as soon as she can.” It didn’t register with me that something was wrong with Elle, she was having breathing problems, a c-section complication, so I was pretty mad that I couldn’t feed her because our agreement was within the 1st hour I got to nurse.

It was time to go back to the room, hospital policy says only staff can carry babies in the hallways, so Andrew couldn’t carry her. My doctor asked if I wanted to hold her back to the room since I was being wheeled and I sadly told her I couldn’t because my arms weren’t working. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep in the 30 feet from the operating room to my room, I would have likely dropped her. Then they started working on Elle to clear her lungs, they did a chest x-ray and had her on oxygen, I would wake up periodically and ask Andrew to show me a picture of her because she was too far away to see. Then I came up with a plan. I told Andrew to go get some ice and shove as much in my mouth as possible. I wanted to nurse her so bad and I wanted to be alert enough to hold her. This didn’t really work like I had hoped and I continued to be extremely out of it. I remember at 4:30 the medical staff had cleared out and Ellery was left alone with us in her warming bed hooked up to stuff and had oxygen in her nose. My OBGYN came in and I asked if my family who was STILL in the waiting room could come see her. She said yes if I was sure I wanted people to come in, I said “of course” considering they had been there since noon the previous day and were waiting to see our sweetie. I vaguely remember them coming in, no one could hold Ellery because of all her tubes, so they saw her and told me they’d be back after they got a little sleep. I soon held Ellery for a few minutes with the assistance of our nurse, but after a few minutes my arms stopped working again and I had to put her back in her warm bed. Then I fell asleep holding her sweet little foot and every time she cried I would wake up, say “mommy’s here” and she would immediately settle down.

Looking back I feel like I was robbed. At the time I felt rescued. Time gives clarity, I’ve processed this for nearly nine months, and now it’s time to heal. I still love and respect my doctor, I still have no regrets about the day of the actual birth (we really did do everything we could), I don’t feel like a c-section hurt my bond with my child in anyway what so ever, and even though it wasn’t in my time frame I still got to nurse and she never had formula. I still got a beautiful, healthy, awesome kid out of the whole ordeal and I’d do it all over again for her without a second thought. Now I’m on a quest for an awesome OBGYN in our new town who will help me VBAC with our future babies or baby…one at a time.


If God Exists

April 16, 2013

This is a question we will no doubt hear over the coming weeks and have heard over the years, “if God exists, why do bad things happen to good people?” The simplest answer I can give for this is, “because evil exists too.” I don’t really believe in coincidence. I’m sure there are a few things in life that are coincidence, I’ve had examples in the past that I think might be coincidence, but I can’t think of one right this minute. Rather I think God and Satan are both at work in our lives and the good is from God and the bad is from Satan. God is good, all the time, and satan is bad, all the time. They are at war and sometimes satan wins a battle here and there, but I promise you this, God wins the war.

I’m sickened and saddened by this tragic event. As some of you know my brothers have participated in many races and we have had the privilege of spectating at marathons and an ironman competition. Just a few years ago we attended the Boston marathon to share the accomplishment with my brother Kevin. It is a joyous occasion, the entire city shuts down for this fun day where everyone comes together and cheers on the runners. I can only imagine the sheer panic, fear and chaos of the days events. While evil created this event God was in attendance. The stories of good have started coming out. God was in the hearts of the people that sacrificed their safety to help others. I watched 100s of people stick around to help, pushing wheel chairs and seeing what they could do. I saw on twitter that runners ran to the hospital after they had finished to donate blood. I’ve seen a quote going around the Internet from Mr.Rogers, “when I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

God is in the helpers. I urge you to strip the glory from evil and not dwell on the tragedy, rather praise God for the good that has been happening, pray for the victims and families, and pray for our country and the decisions the government has to make in the coming weeks. I’ve seen a lot of people post that they are “praying for Boston,” let’s really do this, not just say we are doing it.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world.” John 16:33