September 21, 2012

A Child...

Thank you, Leif, for being that child.  I never knew how much I needed you until you arrived.
All three of my children fill a very special place in my heart, all three equally loved.
But Leif is the one I didn't know I needed.  I am so thankful for him.

September 17, 2012

She's 4...

...she's beautiful, and she's mine.

August 19, 2012

Good Morning Sonshine

I hope you all have a profitable day.  Make the best of it.

August 2, 2012

2 years

What a difference 2 years makes.  August 2, 2010 was a terribly hard day for me.  I knew grief like I had never known it before.  August 2, 2012 is a much, much better day.  I get to kiss this sweet little face. 

August 1, 2012

Cousin Time

There's no time like cousin time.  Every year on July 4th my family meets up with my brother's family at our parents place.  We spend the day swimming, watching kids play, eating hot dogs and watermelons, enjoying homemade ice cream, and ending the day watching a fireworks display.  Nothing about that is big and grand, but it's very American and I'm thrilled to get to participate in such activities each year.  I thought this year I'd be sitting at home with strict orders not to eat anything after midnight in anticipation of my own little "Firecracker" making his appearance the next day.  I was really happy to be celebrating with a 14 day old "June bug" instead!

July 27, 2012

Kristen & Lia

David wanted a picture of his two best girls. I'm sure he had something nice in mind. This is what he got instead. Again, WHY??? I guess there's no such thing as "normal" when you're 3?  And I guess you can't exactly "beat 'em into submission" because what good what that do?  (Though I must admit that I wasn't exactly happy happy by the time we were done because by George I just wanted my kids to cooperate for 1 shot, that's all I was asking for!)

Sooo...if you can't beat em' join em' right?

Yes, Leif, just about how I felt!
(Cute bottom lip by the way little man.)

*these photos are no reflection of the skill of our photographer, they're a reflection of age and personality of my kids

July 25, 2012

Family Photos

When Jacob was 10 days old we had official family photos taken by the photographer I worked for.  He did an outstanding job and we have a beautiful 30X40 canvas over our fireplace.  I can stare at that photo and be transported back to that time in our life. Two and a half years later Lia was born.  We had another set of family photos taken when she was 2 weeks old.  The photographer did a great job and we have beautiful photos from then.  One day I'll have a 30X40 canvas of our family of 4 printed from that day.  Now, 3 and a half years later, here comes Baby Leif.  What does Momma want?  A nice family portrait to have printed on a canvas and proudly displayed on one of our walls.  Our photographer came over, set up her equipment, and did her thang.  All I wanted was one good shot of my new family of 5.  Just one.  I don't care if you have to take 300 photos to get one, I just want ONE good photo.  The photographer did what she was supposed to, my children did not!  I present to you just a few of the photos.  Yes, I know these show personality.  Yes, I know I can look at them and laugh.  Yes, I know I'll be so glad to have these.  But, really??? I don't think any of these qualify as 30X40 canvas material!

Yes, Leif, that's how I felt too!

Up next - Lia and I.  They're just as "good".  *sigh

July 13, 2012

Scenes From The Hospital and Coming Home

A few photos from our time in the hospital and the day we came home.  What sweet, sweet memories these are for me.

Welcome Baby Leif!

 Papa checking out his newest Grandson.

Jacob and Lia meeting Leif for the very first time.
His toes were the most interesting thing about him to them. 

Just me and my newest boy. 

Nothing like a brand spanking newborn! 

Four C. Grandsons.  "What kind of crew is this??" 

All 6 C. Grandchildren 

 Snoozin' with Daddy.  Sweetness.

Meeting Uncle Brad - they share hairlines and toes.  And middle names. 

Gettin' some education from Aunt Lesha. 



sweet sweet baby 

pure love 

Can my heart take any more sweetness? 

Finally going home! 

Sweet kisses from the sibs. 

"oh my, I just don't know if I can take it any more" 

pure perfection

July 11, 2012

Leif - Bella Baby Photography

Bella Baby Photography provides the photography service for babies delivered at the hospital where Leif was born.  It is a much, MUCH nicer service than the traditional photography most hospitals provide.  The following photos are from Bella Baby - I just made them into a collage.  These photos were taken when Leif was about 36 hours old.

July 9, 2012

Until I Met You

There was a time when I thought our family was complete.
I thought I was right.  Until I met you.

I used to think I had it all figured out.
I thought I was right.  Until I met you.

Once I thought my life was as full of joy as it could possibly get.
I thought I was right.  Until I met you.

At one point, I thought I was stretched to my limit, with nothing more to give.
I thought I was right.  Until I met you.

I used to say that I was fine with having two children.
I thought I was right.  Until I met you.

I used to think my heart held as much love as it could possibly hold.
I thought I was right.  Until I met you.

Written by McMama
one word changed by me

I have so many more posts to get caught up on but wanted to share this.  Leif is our "bonus baby", the one we didn't know we needed.  When I read this poem it struck such a cord in my heart I knew I had to save it.  I can honestly say (now) that I wouldn't want to live my life without my Baby Leif.

June 27, 2012

Leif Douglas

In my last post I stated I HOPED Baby Boy would come in a week'ish even though he wasn't due for 2 weeks.  That's not exactly true though, he wasn't officially due for 3 weeks.  But what does "official" mean anyway when it comes to babies?  That's beside the point - Mr. Leif decided to bless us with his presence the very next day!  To say I was quite surprised is an understatement!  Urgent phone calls to Grandparents ensued after a very sure and certain indication that Baby Boy would be here within a few hours.  Of course there was 2 seconds to check Facebook to see if/who he would share a birthday with and I was quite please to discover he will always share his day with THIS special little lady.  I sent a quick note off to her mother with my exciting news, asked for "secrecy" as I didn't know how the day would go down, and off we went.  So, yes, outside of my parents, Darcie was the first person to know Baby Boy was on his way.  We dropped Jacob and Lia off at another friend of our's house until Papa and Nana could make it to town.  Then we were hospital bound.  I'll spare you the details of his birth, but at 6:00 PM we had a perfect, beautiful, healthy, 6 lb 9 oz baby boy.  With quite a set of lungs!  My experience this time was nothing but wonderful.  I couldn't have asked for a better on-call physician (mine was on vacation in Alaska - the nerve!), better anesthesiologist (that's where things went horribly, terribly wrong last time), better nursing care, and most of all a better husband by my side who calmed me down during the hardest part for me.  I'm so glad I have nothing but warm and fuzzy feelings when I think about this birth experience.  It is so differnt from my experience with Lia and I can hardly stand to think about the day she was born.  So, I don't.  Or at least I try not to.  But I can tell you I shed many, many tears before Leif was born terrified of what I knew was going to be in my future.  Now, my tears are tears of joy.  For that I'm very, very thankful.

Presenting...Mr. Leif Douglas S.

More (many more) photos to come later.  The blanket in the photo was made by his 94 year old Great Grandmother Hawkins.  A HUGE thank you to my Aunt Susan for getting it mailed to him just in time!

A little something you didn't know you didn't know.  David and I had a REALLY hard time agreeing on a name.  As in we agreed on  Back when we were expecting Jacob, we thought about naming him Leif, but I was afraid it was a little to "different" and wanted to stick with something more traditional.  Boy did we ever!  Then when we were expecting Lia, we decided that if she surprised us once she was here and was a boy, Leif would be her name.  This time Leif of course was discussed again from the day we found out we were expecting a boy.  I was the one that nixed the name though as I thought it was too close to Lia and would be confusing.  Five months and no name later we were still struggling and absolutely nothing else worked for us.  On Sat we finally agreed on a different name but after sleeping on it and thinking about it, it just felt like a desperate attempt to agree on something.  At 7:00 PM Tues, the 19th we finally decided Leif was the right name for him.  We have joked he was just waiting on his name and once we got it right he decided to come.  Whatever the real truth is, we're glad he's here and we love his name.  Douglas was my Grandfather Hawkins' (D-Doug for those of you who knew him) name, one of my Uncle's middle name, and my brother's middle name.  I highly respect each one of those men and hope that Leif's life can be as useful as their lives have been/ are.

June 19, 2012

Maternity/ Father's Day Shoot

I have exactly one photo of my pregnant self when I was expecting Jacob. It was taken by my Mom the night before I went into the hospital to have him. I have exactly one photo of my pregnant self when I was expecting Lia. It was taken after I had already gone into the hospital to have her and 10 seconds before I changed into the beautiful gowns you get to parade around in for the next ?? days. This time, I wanted more. Sunday found us out on one of the trails we walk/ bike ride on frequently with my friend Crystal and her camera. A huge Thank-you to her! I've taken many photos on this bridge of Jacob and Lia at different stages of their life so it is a special place to me. An appropriate place to start shooting our next little bundle of boy. I'm 38 weeks now - Jacob and Lia both came at 39 weeks so here's HOPING Baby Boy follows in his sibling's footsteps and graces us with his presence in about a week'ish!

Daddy and 2 of his babies on Father's Day...see, they're not always looking just so for the camera!  This is the real Jacob and Lia!  Not one single "nice" shot.  Oh well, it's real life.  And we really wouldn't want it any other way.
Happy Father's Day David!  We love you to the moon and back.

photo credit:  Crystal Cronk

June 15, 2012


I'm gettin' my toes wet in the blog world again.  Time has slipped away faster that I realized.  We are all still here, happy, and healthy.  And I'm still pregnant.  I do plan to get caught up on posts that should have been written over the past 4 months, however, that's just too overwhelming right now.  I'll put up the most recent photos of Jacob and Lia and feel good that I actually did that much.  Then I'll start "making my rounds" to all of your blogs and leaving little love notes.  ;)

February 23, 2012

It's A...

My Dad and Lia went with David and I to my ultrasound appointment yesterday. I had the US tech write down the gender of the baby on a card and sent Papa and Lia shopping while I finished with my appointments. The four of us met for lunch then Papa presented us with a gift. Lia was quite excited to get new blue and green clothes for her sister. Ummm...I think we have some explaining to do!

David wanted to be with Jacob when he found out he's getting a brother.  This morning before school we gave each child a blue balloon and told them that was for their new brother.  Jacob was quite thrilled - even though he's been saying all along he wants a sister.  His smile and excitement were priceless.  Lia is still insisting that it's a girl baby in Mommy's tummy and she's going to have a sister.  Oh boy!

Cute little side story - yesterday as the US tech was checking on Baby Boy she switched modes on her machine from 2D mode to 3D mode.  Lia had been used to seeing the black and white images of the baby in 2D and did not like the orangeish/brownish images she saw in 3D.  She told the tech "I want the white baby back!".  We all had a good chuckle.