December 18, 2015

{1} month

Warning: excessive amount of pictures ahead!

You know how many pictures I take and share of my animals?  Nothing compared to how many I take of this sweet little girl!

First picture with Daddy!

It will be fun when Alex and Sarah's little one arrives in March.  The cousins will only be 3 months apart!

Ivy had so many visitors her first week!

Naps are wonderful, especially with a cuddly baby!

With her 26 week ultrasound picture.

Precious time reading God's Word to my little girl.  Nursing gives us lots of time to read together.

Meeting her cousins for the first time!

Beautiful snow and cozy sheep.

Stu has been very good around Ivy so far.  The only trouble is, he doesn't understand why he and Ivy can't share my lap. ;)

Thanksgiving was a wonderful (and rather exhausting when you're only 2 weeks postpartum) time spent with family.

My mom and dad love their granddaughter so much. :)

We had a white Thanksgiving, and it looks like we'll get a white Christmas, too!

Meeting Uncle Austin.

Four generations - Great Grandma Sue, Grandpa Todd, daddy Hank, and Ivy.  Love it!

With Hank's Aunt Sarah.

It amazes me that it's already been a month since Ivy was born.  A whole month! So much has happened in that time.  

We had a crazy wind storm come through during the first week.  Gusts up to 60 mph.  Crazy!  It knocked the power out all over the county.  Ours was out for only 2 days, praise the Lord.  Some folks had it out for a week, maybe more.  But we stayed cozy with our woodstove, and heating our meals on it.  Hank even cooked bacon!

You may have noticed there are no pictures of Ivy and the Bonnie dog.  We unfortunately had to put my Bonnie dog down only three days before I went into labor.  I believe I mentioned that Bonnie had had a tumor removed from her side in October.  It healed nicely, but only a few weeks later she had new tumors in the same place.  They got bigger and bigger.  I'm guessing it was cancer.  Since Bonnie was still happy and healthy otherwise, we just enjoyed having her with us. But it was obvious when the time to say good-bye came.  I miss her so much.  Every single day.  But, the Lord's timing is best.  And having little Ivy to cuddle has brought me so much joy.  Bonnie will always have a special place in my heart and memory.  She would have loved Ivy.

It's been a busy month, a busy new season in my life.
It's not always going to be easy, but oh, I do love being a mom!

I probably won't be on here again until the new year, so I wish all of you a very
Merry Christmas!

November 21, 2015

Ivy Rose

Our precious Ivy Rose was born at 8:25 PM on November 14th.
 6 lbs 7 oz - 20 inches

We are just in love with her!  She's so pretty and perfect.  I know we're biased, but she is!

Labor was...painful.  The most pain I have ever been in.  But, here I am, it didn't kill me!  I decided to have a water birth - best decision ever!  It's much more relaxing being in the water and less of a shock to baby.  I would totally do it this way again.  Having a great birth team is a huge part of that.  Everything was so calm and peaceful.  Nobody tried to rush me, they just let me do my thing. And when your midwife tells you during labor that she's praying for you?  Yes, I was blessed to have this birth team.

Hank was amazing.  Right there with me the entire time.  Just having him there made me more relaxed.  He read Psalms to me during the first part.  And is he smitten with his little girl?  He certainly is!

I'm so thankful for complication free birth and a healthy baby girl.  The Lord has blessed me beyond anything I could ever deserve.

I'll have more pictures next time.  But right now, Ivy and I are going to go take a nap.

October 17, 2015

A Noble Masquerade | Book Review

"Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother's old school friend, the Duke of Marshington.  Since she's never actually met the man, she has no intention of ever sending the letters and is mortified when her brother's mysterious new valet, Marlow, mistakenly mails one of the letters to the unsuspecting duke."
Synopsis from back of book

A mysterious valet, danger, and suspense.  I love a good Regency era romance novel, and this fit the bill perfectly. The plot kept me interested, and I very much enjoyed the setting.

Miranda was a fun character to get to know.  She has a curious mind and a love of fun and I liked her a lot.  Marlow, the valet, is more than he appears.  I leave it at that.  Miranda's family was interesting, although her younger sister quite irritated me (she was supposed to though, so that's alright;), and I enjoyed getting to know them a bit as well.

I will definitely say that the ending surprised me!  Well, the end of the mystery surprised me, not the happily ever after.  I do love a good "happily ever after" ending, as predictable as they are.  I will say that the middle of the book dragged a bit for me.  I got a bit tired of Miranda being in a huff because someone had kept a secret from her.  However, all in all I enjoyed this book and would read it again someday.

What are some of your favorite Regency era historical fiction books and authors? I want to know!

: : I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. : :

October 4, 2015

One Year

It's been one glorious year since I said "I do" to my Hank.

It feels like yesterday and also forever, one year ago.

Forever in a comfortable, lived in, way.

I look forward to many more years of loving, living, and learning with my husband.

Thank you Father for a year of this adventure called marriage!

October 3, 2015

Reader, I married him. | Pt. 4

Before we went in for the reception, we got a picture that I really, really wanted to have...

All of our family members that attended in one picture!  I loved having so much family there!

I'm so glad I had time before the wedding to visit with my family from out of state.  We didn't have much time on the actual wedding day.  It was so special to have so many of them with us.

In addition to family, so many friends came.  There was seating inside for 300 and it looked like almost every seat was taken.  I'm especially thankful for our wonderful church family!

Hank's siblings sang us a song that they wrote.  I honestly don't remember anything about it - everything is kind of a blur - but I'm sure it was funny. :smile:

Signing the wedding license.

The cake was exactly what I envisioned.

This was maybe one of the weirdest things I've every participated in.  Feeding each other cake.  In front of people.  It's weird.  And slightly awkward.  We did not smash the cake in each other's faces.  We are civilized, after all. :wink:  Oh, and Hank says feeding me cake was no weirder than the rest of the wedding.  I still think it was the weirdest.

I love the cake topper that I found on Etsy!

We danced our first waltz to the waltz from the movie The Young Victoria.

We tried to get our niece and nephew to dance together.  They were sure cute!

Then it was time for some swing!!

With my bro.

My mom with her sisters.

Our getaway car.  Some of the guys from church decorated it, and we found toilet paper in some of the oddest places.

And they helped my bro to put the ball and chain around Hank's ankle.

While I tossed my bouquet from the bed of the pick-up, he managed to get it off, despite the fact that he couldn't locate the key. :grin:

And then we drove off into the sunset.
It was the perfect wedding day.

Start at the beginning with Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of Reader, I married him.