Thursday, February 20, 2014

Austin & Friends

This past weekend Caleb, Emsley and I flew to Austin, TX to visit one of our favorite families!

I mentioned in a previous post that Joe, Caleb's best friend, moved his family to Austin about a year and a half ago and it's the longest we've gone without seeing them. 

I only wish I had more pictures from the weekend, but of course we discovered our camera was dead as we were rushing out of the house to make it on time for our flight. There was no time to charge it. :( Any pictures you see of us on here are courtesy of Kim. 

We flew in late Friday night (midnight in Austin) but that didn't stop Caleb and Joe from playing games until 2 AM. 

It's always so good to see these guys reunited. :)

This picture was taken many years ago, long before Caleb and I were married.

The weather was GORGEOUS (upper 60's and low 70's) and made me even more anxious for spring to arrive here in Colorado.

Saturday Joe and Kim took us to The Salt Lick, a famous BBQ restaurant that has been on The Food Network. It was an awesome place. It's one of those restaurants that isn't just a restaurant, it's an experience. 

They have fresh squeezed lemonade, a winery so you can go and sample wine while you're waiting to be seated (no matter what time of day you go, you can expect to wait a minimum of 45 minutes), 

lots of land with outdoor picnic tables, an outdoor small stage for live bands to come and perform, 2 large fire pits and a playground for kids. 

The food was to die for! It was such a fun experience!

Other than experiencing The Salt Lick, we just spent most of our time enjoying being together.

We drove through and around Austin, seeing where Joe works and learning all of the Austin hot spots. 

In the evenings after the kids were down we spent our time watching the Olympics and playing lots of card games and board games.

Sunday we visited their ginormous (but awesome) church with them and then went to get donuts and coffee.

Really, the best thing was just getting to talk for long periods of time. Even though Joe and Caleb were the original friends, Joe's wife Kim and I have become great friends too. I have an enormous amount of respect for her and really just "click" with her. She is such a genuine person with a huge, servant's heart. She's one heck of a mama too! 

Their boys are the same ages as our Ellie and Ethan so it was fun spending time with them too. They are seriously the sweetest boys!

 This is our Elliana and their Ben 4 years ago when they were our only children. :)

We finally got to introduce the newest members of our families, our Emsley and their Madison.  

These sweet baby girls are only 2 months apart in age. Emsley is on the right in case you can't tell. ;-)

We headed home on Monday morning. As much as we wished we could stay longer, we were also ready to see and hug Ellie and Ethan. 

It's so crazy to me how much our relationships and families have grown over the years. I can't for the life of me figure out how we don't have any pictures of the 4 of us because we've done so much together! 

Anyway, we had such a fun weekend and it was hard to say goodbye. I can't wait to see these lovely faces again. You can bet we won't let so much time slip by next time!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Emsley at 8 Months

I can not believe our sweet Emsley is 8 months old already! Where is the time going?

Emsley, this is what you are like at 8 months old:

~You weigh 15 pounds and 6 ounces. I'm guessing that you are somewhere between 26 and 27 inches long. Your growth seems to have slowed just a bit but I guess that's to be expected at this age.

~You moved into size 3 diapers this past month! Just one size smaller than Ethan.

~You still wear 6-9 months in clothing. 

~You have really taken to solid foods this month. You're a pro now! Your favorites are sweet potatoes, pears and cinnamon with oatmeal, mixed fruit with oatmeal, bananas, mashed potatoes (you tried those for the first time the other night), and squash.

~You still take a bottle first thing in the morning, right before bed, and between meals. About 4-5 bottles a day. You are completely done nursing. :(

~You sleep like a champ at night and rarely wake up anymore. You are still in the bassinet in our room since you've been sick lately and I want to keep a close eye on you.

~You typically take a short nap in the morning (30-45 minutes) and a long(ish) nap in the early afternoon. Somewhere between 1-2 hours. Ethan often interrupts your sleep and I'm afraid you don't get nearly enough. I think you would nap more and longer if you could. When you are a tired baby, it really changes your mood.

~You are teething like CRAZY! You are constantly drooling and chewing on anything you can get your hands on. I STILL don't see any teeth, but I assume we won't wait too much longer...

~For the most part, you are a very happy baby. If you are well fed and well rested, you love to smile, laugh and giggle. You smile all the time now.  You LOVE to laugh with us, especially Ellie and Ethan.

~Even though you don't crawl yet, you've just started rolling around to get where you want to in the past few days. We've seen you start to roll across the room. :)

~You SO long to be mobile and I can tell you want to be able to run around and play with your siblings. 

~You sit up really well without support all of the time now.

~You love to be on the floor to play.

~You are so curious about your world now. You love to reach, grab and play with anything.

~You are beginning to outgrow the exersaucer. You have completely outgrown the swing and bouncy seat. Your prefer to be moving around on the floor.

~You and your siblings are developing great relationships. You and Ellie have mutual adoration for one another and you and Ethan have a love/hate relationship. I completely understand why. Sometimes Ethan is SO good to you, and other times he's just a bully. We're still trying to work with him. :) 

~This month you developed a new love for baths. Bath time is definitely your FAVORITE and it's the only thing that can make you go from completely angry and grumpy, to happy and giggling. You love to splash and play with the bath toys.

~You are not as content to sit and cuddle as you once were. I can tell by the way you look around that you can't wait to be mobile and explore the world around you. I guess you're too busy to cuddle. I'll take what I can get though. You'll always sit contently in my lap when I'm giving you a bottle.

~You've been sick a lot this month. :( It's been hard on both of us (me for worrying too much). This is one of the drawbacks of having a preemie. Although you are thriving beautifully, you have a weak immune system and weak lungs. We've been instructed to give you breathing treatments via nebulizer through the winter months. 

~Nicknames: Em is still your #1 nickname. We also often call you baby girl or baby sister. 

~Emsley we all love and adore you. You are definitely a light and joy to this family, and you are the perfect addition and completion to our family. I can't wait to see all that God has in store for you. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What is IF:?

My sister Jenn loves her some social media (and that's an understatement). Because of this, she is often in the know about a lot of things that I am completely unaware of. Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes it's not.

For months, maybe longer she had been so excited and talking a lot about this IF: Gathering conference she heard about on social media. Again, I had no idea what she was talking about. And to be honest, I really didn't like or understand the title of "IF". The funny thing is/was, even those that knew a lot about the conference didn't actually know that much. There weren't many details going out other than the fact that there would be this big conference with big Christian speakers (none that I had heard of) and anyone that heard about it wanted to be there. It was being held in Austin, TX this past weekend.

When tickets went on sale the conference sold out in minutes (1200 tickets to be exact) and Jenn was very disappointed. Then she heard about their plan to stream the conference live so that people all over the country could have IF: local gatherings and they could be a part of the conference too. It didn't take Jenn long to decide that Northern Colorado had to be a part of this. She felt a strong urge that God was asking her to be the one to lead and organize the local event for and with us.

When she asked who would help her plan, I agreed not knowing at all what I was even helping with. I just jumped on the bandwagon because I'm her sister and that's what we do. We help with things like this. ;)

All I knew was that I've been needing something like this. I didn't care what the topic was, because let's be honest, I didn't understand it. I've just been in a place of feeling spiritually dry and thirsty. Due to my busy schedule as a stay at home mom of 3 young ones, spending days and weeks inside avoiding the freezing cold and nursing sick little ones back to health, having little to no time to myself for bible studies, and mostly due to being without a church home at the moment (another post for another time), I needed this.

So, back in the fall Jenn put together a group of 6 women to plan for this IF: thing. I don't want to get into the details of the planning and the having to re-think and re-plan many things because this post would become a novel, but I just want to talk now about how it all actually impacted me this past weekend.

It.was... I actually don't have one word. It was moving, awesome, incredible, beautiful. It was just what I needed. The group ended up being much smaller than we originally thought or hoped, but in the end, I thought it was perfect. I don't think it was a coincidence that we had the perfect number of seats at our tables. The group was the perfect size. It was just enough to feel like we had a good turn out and just small enough to really be able to open up to one another.

I don't know what I loved more, the amazing speakers (I'll get to them), or the discussions at the table. We discussed deep and honest things with each other like our biggest fears, dreams, and how God has worked and is currently working in our lives. We talked about what it would look like if the church was unified, in every way.

We had a little help on how to get these conversations going with the IF: conversation cards. ;)

When it was all over we went from being complete strangers (some of us) to being great friends.

As for the speakers, all I can say is WOW. In my personal life I've only read and heard mostly from Beth Moore and maybe a handful of others. Probably because my mom is a HUGE Beth Moore fan. ;) I had no idea there were so many more amazing speakers out there, and that so many of them were in our age group (30 somethings). They each spoke to me in a new, fresh way and some even had me tearing up as I felt like God was speaking directly to me through them.

I have a handful of new favorites now and I hope to do their Bible studies in the future. Here's some of my new favorites:
Christine Caine

Rebekah Lyons

And Jen Hatmaker

And although these two weren't "speakers" per say, I really enjoyed the interviews/ testimonies of Melinda Doolittle and Kristin Armstrong. 

To be perfectly honest, I'm still not crazy about the title "IF". BUT, it was an incredible weekend! I feel like it started a new spark for me in my walk of faith. I can't wait for the next gathering!

About Me

My Photo
I am a daughter of the King. Saved by grace. Follower of Christ. I love my God and I believe that he is faithful and true to his word! I'm still figuring out and trying to follow his plan for my life. I am a wife to my best friend Caleb, a mother to my miracle babies (they are my greatest joy and challenge), a sister and best friend to 3 passionate women, and a daughter to 2 amazing parents that continue to teach me what it is to be real and faithful to God and his word. I am lucky to get to be a stay at home Mom (thanks to God's provision). I love music, singing, coffee, cooking, baking, traveling, our beautiful state of Colorado, and mostly being with the family and friends that I love!

Husband, Caleb

Husband, Caleb
Caleb is an amazing husband and father. He is always so good to me. He is my best friend. He is the romantic one. We love to laugh and spend time together. We've been married for 7 years and I just love that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

Our 1st Miracle

Our 1st Miracle
Elliana Faith... God blessed us with our first miracle little girl in December 2008. She is sweet, smart, spunky, funny, strong willed, precocious, extremely outgoing, vocal and so full of life! She brings us so much joy.

Our 2nd Miracle

Our 2nd Miracle
Ethan James,.. God blessed us with our little boy in March 2011. Ethan was a bit of a surprise and an even bigger miraclle. Ethan is ALL BOY! He is very active, into sports and running around. He is also sweet, introverted, affectionate, and laid back. These days he often has us laughing, he's starting to show a little bit of "clown" in him. He makes our hearts happy too. :)

Our 3rd Miracle

Our 3rd Miracle
Emsley Jeannette... Our surprise baby girl was born on June 11th, 2013 and came into the world 4 weeks early. Her first 2 weeks of life were spent in the NICU, but due to God's hands and the prayers of many people, she grew quickly and came home to join our family! She is an easy, sweet baby and we are enjoying getting to know her personality.


We fight one day and then the next day we're fine. We're always loud and crazy when we get together. We're very passionate. We've been through it all together, lots of ups and downs. We're eachother's biggest supporters.


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