Monday, May 2, 2016


Confession...  I used to hate Sundays.  

For years I've gotten up every Sunday morning and either gone to Mass by myself or taken Barrett by myself.  For years Patrick worked on Sunday.  It's just the nature of the line of work he's in.  Granted I was rarely alone when I got there.  I usually had had least one family member there to sit with but I still longed for my little family to be there together.

It never bothered me to go to church alone before I was married.  After we had Barrett it was not as easy for me to go alone and I remember being very bitter that Patrick couldn't or wouldn't go with us. I was bitter when I saw all the young families together.  I would lash out at him every Sunday when I got home.  Then I would be mad at myself for acting out. I would blame him for ruining the day when in reality it was my attitude that ruined the day.  I tried so hard not to be bitter but I failed miserably. 

Patrick finally has a job where he is off most every Sunday and he's not so physically exhausted that he has gone with us every Sunday that we've been back with AveryAnn except the one he had to work. It has been so fun getting to go to church together.  

I'm starting to love Sundays again.  I love going together as a family.  I love that my kids are growing up with their daddy going with us to Mass.  My dad rarely went with us and I don't want that for my kids.  Patrick isn't Catholic.  I know it can be a little uncomfortable but I'm so thankful he finally realizes how important this it to me.  I've prayed for years for this.  I've thanked God everyday for answering this prayer.  I pray everyday for other young spouses and parents doing the Sunday routine alone.  I pray they're not bitter like I was, I pray that they don't have to do it alone much longer. 
Don't get me wrong it's still a struggle most Sunday mornings to get us out the door.  We will probably always have at least one heated discussion before we leave the driveway. But I'm so thankful for the effort we both make to get there.  
Keep praying!  He's listening, He hears you.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Family Fun

About a month ago, we celebrated Madelyn's baptism.  It was the prettiest day and we so enjoyed getting to spend time with family.
Barrett adores his cousins, especially Harper and Porter.
They are so sweet to include him in everything they do.

AveryAnn was trying out Madelyn's play mat.  She liked it.

Of course big brother had to try it out too.

Nana with the girls.
Aunt Stephanie and my Grandmother with AveryAnn.

Matching babies.

I'm a little obsessed with matching sibling outfits.

I love this picture.  Patrick and I were honored to be Madelyn's Godparents.  Their priest had us all place our hands on Madelyn as he was pouring the water over her head.  I loved this and this picture is just beautiful. 
I love this one too.  We're all smiling so big.  (the quality is crappy because it's from my phone).  It was such a special day and we were so happy to be a part of it.  I wish we lived closer so we could see them more.  The girls are growing and changing so quickly I feel like we're missing out.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Two Months

Two months old, say it ain't so.  I can't believe it's been two whole months since I first held you in my arms.  It's going by too quickly. We've been busy this month and I long for a day to just sit and hold you all day long but I don't know that day will ever come.  I guess that just one of the trade offs of being the second child, you'll probably get to eat cookies sooner than your brother did but I haven't gotten to hold you nearly as much. 
  • Weight: 13lbs 2 oz (95th percentile)
  • Height: 23" (95th percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 16"  (95th percentile)
  • You almost always sleep at least 6 hours at night.  This week you've slept mostly 7 hours and one 8 hours stretch. 
  • You nurse every 4 hours during the day for 10-20 minutes.  In the evenings you usually cluster feed from around 7-10.  It's a little tough to get anything done but you sleep so good I'm not changing.
  • You take 4 ounces when you take a bottle.
  • You still sleep in the rock & play.  I keep saying I'm going to move you to the crib but you're sleeping so good I don't want to move you.

  • You're very much in size 2 diapers and go through about 8 a day.
  • You're wearing mostly 3 month and 3-6 month clothes. I've put you in a few 6 month things. We're packing away most of the 0-3 month stuff.
  • You love to be outside.
  • You're smiling and laughing so much lately.  I love to see that sweet smile. Barrett loves to make you smile too.
  • We celebrated your first Easter.  It was a fun weekend.  You got to spend a lot of time with your cousin Madelyn.
  • You've been to two baptisms so you should be a pro when yours rolls around next month.
  • You've done so good at church so far. 
  • You stayed with Nana and Granddaddy for a few hours one night so Mommy and Daddy could go to dinner.  You did good.
  • We've had a busy couple of weeks at work and you've done so great being there so long.  I'm so thankful for this.
  • Your hair is out of control.  It stands straight up and it's hilarious.  It's still so dark and your eyes are still dark blue.
This month has been so much fun.  The weather is getting warmer and we've been getting outside more and more.  You're little personality is showing and you're such a joy.  Your brother adores you and your daddy and I do too.  You are the sweetest chunk we've ever known and we love that God chose you for us.  You are such an answered prayer to us.  We love you so much!
I had to go back and add this comparison from Barrett's two month post because you both bad the biggest smiles!  You got 4 shots today and you weren't happy about it.  It always breaks my heart.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

AveryAnn's Birth Story

So after we got down to labor and delivery I was hooked up to all the monitors to see if anything was happening.  We chatted with the nurse and just hung out.  I was having a lot of contractions but they weren't too painful so I wasn't sure if I was making any progress or not.  Patrick went to get Barrett and I settled in to watch Friends on tv while I waited to see if I had progressed enough to have a baby that afternoon or if it would be the next day.  I thought I would be more nervous.  But I was mainly just relieved.  Dr. Crowe came in around 1:00 and decided I'd progressed enough to have a baby that day.  I called Patrick and told him to hurry back.  She said she'd see me at 4:00 in the OR.  The nurse started my iv and started getting everything ready.  I was so ready and so excited.  Patrick got back around 2:00 and we were able to relax and just soak in what was about to happen.  I'm so thankful for that time with Patrick, just the two of us before both kids birth.

After being prepped in the triage room, it was finally time to walk down to the operating room.  I started getting a little nervous, which I imagine is pretty normal.  I was finally going to meet my baby girl.  I had to leave Patrick and Crystal (my friend and photographer) in the hall while they did the spinal block and got me all ready.  The anesthesiologist  made small talk and asked what lipstick I was wearing because it still looked great at 4:00 in the afternoon.  Before I knew it they let Patrck and Crystal in and everyone was in place, it was time. 
It didn't feel like it was long until I heard Dr. Crowe say "She's huge!  She looks like a 3 month old!"  The anesthesiologist told Patrick to stand up and look.  He was not interested in seeing anything gross so he reluctantly stood up to see the doctor pulling her out.  It felt like an eternity before she cried and I couldn't hold back my own tears.  I don't think there is a sweeter sound in the world than hearing your baby cry for the first time.
They finally brought her around for me to see.  I thought she looked so much like Barrett and she had a head full of dark hair. They weighed her and everyone just laughed when they announced she was a whopping 10 pounds and 4 ounces. 
Two pounds bigger than her brother.  They brought her back and I got to really check her out and then Patrick held her while they finished putting me back together.  It was time to wheel me out and
 they let me hold her for the first time. 

Then I started feeling sick so I gave her back to Patrick for the ride down to our room.  My parents arrived pretty quickly with Barrett after we got into the room.  You forget how much goes on right after birth.  It was a flurry of activity.  I got to do skin to skin and she immediately wanted to nurse.

 Not long after that Barrett came in to meet her and he was intimidated by all the commotion and everything hooked up to me.  He stayed glued to his daddy, which I totally expected.  He gets overwhelmed so easily, I knew this was going to be a lot for him to take in. 

We let him go and get my parents to come in a meet his sister for the first time.  He was excited for everyone else to meet her.  When my older brother came in with his family, Barrett couldn't wait to show Harper and Porter his baby. 

Patrick's parents and John and Hope and Madelyn came to see us too.  I loved seeing Madelyn and AveryAnn together.  It was so funny because AveryAnn was so much bigger than Madelyn. 
I was so hungry and begged the nurse to let me eat.  They let me have some water and said if I could keep that down I could eat.  Well I didn't immediately get sick so I begged them to let me eat.  I'm sure my nurse that night hated me.  I was a pain.  I started getting really hot and begged them to let me take off the compression things on my legs.  They said not yet.  My brother and dad were fanning me and it was terrible.  I got sick.  I'm pretty sure it's because I ate but I got sick after I had Barrett too and I thought it was because I didn't eat and they were giving me pain meds.  So who knows.  After I got sick I started to feel better.  After everyone left the nurses came in and made me get up and walk.  Patrick and I watched the end of the Bachelor.  I just sat and tried to soak in every newborn inch of my baby girl.  I was so happy to finally have my girl on the outside.  She's much easier to carry around in my arms.
We are so in love!
All photo credit goes to my friend Crystal Bailey who did an amazing job!  I'm so in love with all these pictures.  I was so thankful it worked out for her to be there. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Week Three

By week three we were back to regularly scheduled programming.  School, work and life.  It was not as bad as I thought it might be.
More group snuggles.  This time before bed.  Barrett fell asleep on me.
My first day just the three of us.  I braved putting them both in the car for a coffee/donut run.  It was worth it.
First bath!  Her cord fell off so much sooner that Barrett's did.
One night we met the Stokley family at the park for the boys to play.  Dawson and AveryAnn slept through most of their first date. 
Barrett loved pushing his sister in the stroller.
I caught Barrett reading his coloring book to his sister.  Such a sweet moment!
Ava and AveryAnn catching a nap at Nana and Granddaddy's house after church.
Showing off her muscles.
Two week checkup (at three weeks old) she weighed 10lbs 10oz and was 22inches long. She found her hand and would not look at me because she was fascinated by it.
That night we went to Brittany's to watch the bachelor finale with the girls.  It was Ruby and AveryAnn's first time to meet and their first girls night. 
I ran to the store for a couple of things and came home everyone passed out.
Love these sweet snuggles.
I had to post this because I can remember going and sitting on the bathtub while my mom went to the bathroom. She would complain but we were always right by her side. So this picture of Barrett sitting on the bathtub totally cracks me up. 
St. Patrick's day cuties!
Matching cousins.  I bought these onesies before we knew what we were having.  I love seeing our girls in them. 
We took a family trip to the zoo.  Barrett loves the zoo and I love taking him.
The Dino Discovery opened that week and members could see it for free so we took advantage. Barrett was not a fan of the TRex.
This picture cracks me up.
Daddy helped Barrett brush the goats.
Barrett and Jackson checking out the Bears.
Love this squishy baby fresh out of the bath. Look at all those rolls.
We had a mommy/son date to the Just Keep Smiling LIVE with the characters show. Barrett was not a happy camper because AveryAnn got to stay with granddaddy. But we had a fun morning.  
This girl was just a smiling at me at the office one day.