Happy Birthday Old Man

I love that my husband turns another year older ahead of me. It makes me feel just a bit younger. This month is not only his birthday, but our five year marker in the Army! How time has flown by the past five years. We are also coming up on our five year wedding anniversary. I thought it appropriate to do a little reflecting on what it has been like to be married to you my dear for your birthday.

Being married to Mr. Maley

If I could describe Neil in just a few words it would be serious, brilliant, a man of character, loyal, and most recently the best dad ever. I have learned so much being married to this man.

Neil has shown me a side of the Lord that I never knew before. He has loved me unconditionally the past five years during times that I really did not deserve it. Through his steadfast love I have gotten a glimpse of how God loves me.

I have learned how to let things go and get along with people better being married to Neil. My husband gets along with everyone. I can’t think of a person who does not like Neil. Not only does he get along with people, he looks for the best in everyone. I have watched him graciously deal with people at work, situations with friends, and handling his strong willed wife. His character in spite of any situation is one of the many things that I love about him.

He has taught me to critically think more than processing life through emotions. That has been a feat within itself. I cannot count how many times, to my chagrin, he has destroyed my argument sending me back to do more research. Although frustrating at times, I love being married to an analyst.

I love being married to Neil and I always knew he was going to be a great dad, but I had no idea he would be an out-of-this-world father. His love for Caleb melts my heart and makes me fall in love with him more and more. He is a hands on dad who is always changing diapers, folding diapers, feeding the babe, taking care of him so I can sleep in or getting up with us at night to help.

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I searched my phone to find the best pictures to show just how much Caleb and Neil love each other and I was not disappointed. I also found a few gems that I’m sure Neil will appreciate.

 

Learning to stand up.

IMG_1839 A lot of teaching goes on around here.IMG_0111

  Neil asleep on the job.IMG_0148More teaching.

IMG_0569Diaper changes on our many travels.

IMG_0557Paint the Town with my boys.

IMG_0493Another lazy morning.

IMG_0442One of my favorites of the charades that go on around here.

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IMG_0350Asleep on the job again.

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These two love wrestling.

IMG_0913Getting some Vitamin D.

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 Teaching Caleb to crawl.

IMG_1188 IMG_1187

Perks of being a dad.

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My guys at the farm.IMG_1046How I make dinner.   IMG_0649

Playing with dad.

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Teaching him young.

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  There is a pattern here.

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 Always helping take care of the babe.

IMG_0900The things we do for a laugh around here.

IMG_1822This is one of Caleb’s favorite things.

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First Thanksgiving

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 Morning play time before dad heads off to work.

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Looks like someone is getting in trouble.

IMG_1519Best Dad Ever.

IMG_1430Happy Birthday babe! We love you and are so thankful to call you ours!

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I’m doing it again: Bye Bye Shampoo

About three years ago while we were stationed in Korea, I gave up shampoo and conditioner. I read online about several women who decided to try alternatives and had great success with it. I am always up for trying a more natural alternative at least once. I mean, what do I have to lose? For me, the alternative needs meet several criteria: 1. Be simple to make 2. Be cost effective 3. Contain ingredients that I can pronounce.

We have been on this journey to live healthier since we got married almost five years ago. Slowly we have gone from eating junk food, using over-the-counter hygiene items, and using all the normal cleaning supplies, to making most of our food from scratch, buying organic whenever possible, making a lot of our hygiene products, and trading most of our cleaning supplies for natural cleaning solutions. It did not happen overnight and we strive to create a balance in each of these areas. I was surprised at how easy and cost effective it is to make hygiene products. I can whip up many products like deodorant or lotion in minutes for pennies.

I have replaced my deodorant, face lotion, body wash, face wash, shaving cream, face powder, and toothpaste with a natural alternative. I tried making mascara with no luck and still use contact solution as that is something that I am okay with using store bought. I wanted to replace my hair care products, but have not found truly organic or natural replacements. Products that claim to be ‘natural’ still have a bunch of ingredients.

When I was learning about hair care back in Korea, I found that shampoo strips our hair of it’s natural oils and therefore works overtime to replenish those oils. That is why my hair would be so oily the next day. Shampoo companies claim that they make your hair healthier, but I have honestly never thought my hair became healthier/shiner/stronger using it. I decided to give shampoo-free a try to see what happened. I did it for several weeks using a baking soda mixture followed by a vinegar or lemon juice rinse.

I will be honest. I didn’t love it. My hair did stop producing a ton of oil though. I did not keep it up and went back to good old shampoo and conditioner. Fast forward several years…

We continued to try to replace commonly used products in our household. A good friend from Colorado started selling her homemade hygiene products which included a shampoo bar. She had great success with it and I thought it was worth another try! I liked the idea of using a bar of soap  vs. the baking soda that I tried.

Today was my first day giving it another go around. Your hair normally goes through an adjustment phase that can last 2-3 weeks, so I thought I should get it started before we go home for Christmas. My hair did pretty well today and since I have done it before I know what to expect. My hair is a little greasier until the oil levels adjust. I also have a lot of breakage going on from being a mommy, so I am excited to see what happens with that.

Instead of rinsing with vinegar this time, I made a rosemary and lemon juice rinse. I already had some rosemary, so I boiled it in filtered water. I strained it and added around 3 tablespoons of organic lemon juice. I washed my hair like normal with the shampoo bar then pour about 1/4-1/2 cup of the rosemary rinse on my hair leaving it in. It meets criteria 1 and 3, but I won’t know about cost effectiveness until I use it more. The shampoo bar will last a long time, so it depends on the rosemary rinse.

I was very surprised when I got out of the shower and combed out my hair. I thought for sure it would be a knotted mess and it was not at all.

So, that is my latest hygiene adventure. I will post updates for those who are curious or who have thought about trying something like this! If it doesn’t work out I may try the shampoo bar and conditioner to see how that works. Anyone interested in a shampoo bar or other quality hygiene products from my wonderful friend, Vanessa, check out her page here.

 

Here I am with the babe before I started my shampoo-free adventure. He is just the cutest!

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Buying baby clothes on a budget.

Who knew shopping for your little one could be so fun and addicting! The clothes these days are out of control cute, but I don’t want to go broke dressing my babe.

Before motherhood, I was a thrift store guru. I loved seeing what I could find for a great price. Fast forward six months into parenthood. The thought of trying to coordinate time to go browse racks of clothing in hopes of finding what I am looking for holds no appeal. And most thrift stores I have gone to are still charging $1-$2 per piece.

What about rummages or garage sales? That is a whole other beast. To get the good deals you must go early….again, no thanks. You don’t know what you are going to find or in what condition and I find people want too much for their stuff nowadays. To me, garage sale prices should be around $0.25-$0.50 per piece for infant clothing; more for sleepers or nicer outfits.

Even if you do get a great deal on some baby clothes: How long will they last? Do they already look worn? What about spit up or other stains?

Don’t get me wrong. You can find some great deals out there and most of the time the items have been worn only a few times. BUT time is money. You spend time and gas to drive around to garage sales and thrift stores without a guarantee of finding anything. If you find great bargains at these places, great- but if you would rather buy new clothes at great prices keep reading!

I buy new name brand clothes at ridiculously cheap prices without spending a ton of time! We want more kids and I want stuff to last as long as possible. We also prefer quality over quantity. So here are a few tips to save big time at department stores and online.

Department Shopping

My favorite kid’s clothing store is by far BabiesRUs. Hopefully you are lucky enough to have one close by. A close second is Kohls. Depending on how your child is shaped this could be different. We are pretty loyal to Carter’s brand, because of the quality and how they fit our cloth diapered baby.

BabiesRUs

  1. Sign up for their RewardsRUs program. The key to getting the best deal possible is getting the most out of your dollar! Once you earn 500 points they send you a $5 rewards coupon that you can use like cash in the store. Also, when you go to print off your rewards coupon there are usually other coupons that you can print off. One of my favorites is a $10 off any clothing purchase of $50 or more.
  2. Sign up for the BabiesRUs credit card if you have control with credit cards. We use it only for purchases at the store and always pay off the balance. Using the credit card for purchases gives you double points (4 points per dollar spent) instead of the normal 2 per dollar without it. Your points accumulate twice as fast this way! I will add that we use the cash envelope system. If I spend $10 at BabiesRUs on the card, I just take that cash out of my ‘Caleb’ section and put it back into the budget.
  3. By signing up for the RewardsRUs program, you will be sent special coupons in the mail. Normal coupons are 20% off one regular price item or 25% off one regular price item when you use your credit card (So many benefits for using the credit card. Ultimately, they want to make money off of you through interest and enticing you to spend more money. Pay it off on time and stay within a budget to beat them at their own game.) About twice a year they send out a 25% off coupon for your total purchase including clearance which is a favorite of mine.
  4. Know when they change seasons. The first week of July is when fall/winter clothes arrive. They have to make room, so they clearance all the summer clothes. Know when this happens in your area to get the biggest selection before it is picked over. Our store put all the summer stuff on clearance and then added a Buy One Get One FREE sale. Oh yeah!
  5. Look for clothing sets. It isn’t super important, but I have found that I get the best deals when I buy outfit sets verses a one piece item. For example: shirts and shorts were on clearance for $8 apiece. I found shirt and short sets on clearance for $8. I was able to get double the pieces for the same price.
  6. There are great Apps for your smartphone that always have coupons. I use SnipSnap and always have a coupon even if nothing came in the mail.
  7. I hear all the time how expensive BabiesRUs is compared to other stores. True, but they price match, have great sales, and offer awesome coupons! I have also found that the staff is amazing and always try to get me the best deal possible.

How do you put this all together during your trip? I printed off my $15 in reward dollars and the $10 off a $50 clothing purchase coupon before I went. I shopped the clearance racks first. (I forgot to mention that BabiesRUs almost always has clothes on sale) I used my 25% off my entire purchase coupon including clearance items, my $15 reward coupon, and the $10 off coupon because I made sure I bought over $50 worth of clothing! And then I received 4 points for every dollar during that transaction to work towards 500 points. I don’t remember the final total, but it was a great shopping trip!

Here is one of my latest BabiesRUs finds. I went to get the sleepsack, because Caleb is starting to get out of the swaddle. Somehow it rang up as part of the 90% off clearance…yes my jaw dropped when she told me it was $2. The swim trunks and shirt are for next summer. The outfit in the middle was a set (see #5 above). My total was $15 and some change making each item $2.50. Not bad at all considering the sleep sack alone is $19.99 normally.  photo(138)

Kohls

I find that Kohls is a great store to shop at online if you don’t want to get off the couch! I was looking for a shirt recently for Caleb’s dedication and saw that they were having great sales on all their summer stuff also. I seized the sales 🙂

  1. Always, always, always use Ebates if you are shopping online. To date, I have received over $150 back from my purchases (We were stationed in Korea for two years, so we did a lot of online shopping). Most stores have money back rewards for Ebates. I looked today and Kohls is offering 6% back on your purchase.
  2. Sign-up to receive mobile alerts from Kohls. Every time you shop you should always have a coupon! I either have it on my phone or get it in the mail.
  3. Sunday fliers- I noticed Kohls will put special coupons in their Sunday fliers. You just have to flip through it to see. The most recent one was $10 off your kid’s apparel purchase of $30 or more. The coupon said it could be combined with other offers such as a 20% off your total purchase coupon on your phone!
  4. Kohl’s Cash. Try to buy when they are offering Kohl’s cash. I placed an order online and received $20 in Kohl’s cash.
  5. Kohl’s Cash #2. The whole point of Kohl’s cash is to get you to buy more later. Always beat them at their own game. I went into the store with my Kohl’s cash to avoid having to spend $75 to get free shipping online.
  6. Shop the clearance racks at the end of the season. All their summer items were on clearance.
  7. Buy ahead. I bought all of Caleb’s summer clothes for next year. He fits into all the normal clothing sizes for his age, so I went ahead and bought 18 months. We also love Carter’s brand and know they will fit him the best. I have found Carter’s to be the best in quality, fit, and durability so far.

Is your head spinning yet? It really isn’t too hard and doesn’t require a lot of time. Buying ahead and at the end of the season is going to save you the most money before coupons anyways.

Here are my Kohl’s purchases from online and in-store recently. A few items are missing, because they are Christmas, shower, and birthday gifts:) Always think ahead. photo(139)

When this was all said and done, I save 72% and averaged $2.66 per piece! Brand new name brand clothing just over $2.50 a piece is a great deal and I didn’t have to leave my living room for over half of it.

Two final tips to make this even easier:

  1. Stay organized. I have bins in the garage that are labeled for each age starting at newborn up to 24 months right now. So, when you go shopping you can first go look quickly at what you have to know where you need to fill in. photo(140)
  2. Have a target price. Like I said earlier, most stores are always running sales. I do a quick calculation to see if the item is worth buying or waiting. I like to keep clothing around $3 or less a piece and sleepers $4-5 a piece depending on the brand. Right now, sleepers are about $8 each on sale because we are coming into the cooler months. In the spring, I bought sleepers for $4-$5 each at BabiesRUs!

And that is how I save a ton of money and time while getting the best deals on clothing that is going to last for the babe and future babes!

 

Deployment, Motherhood, and 3 Months

IMG_7966-001 Well hello blogging world. I have come out of my mommy cave and joined the rest of the world again…well still in the process of:) Where did the last three months go? How is it possible that our sweet baby boy is a quarter of a year old? I am a little behind, so let’s catch up!

IMG_8022-001Deployment.

We are almost through this deployment. I cannot believe Neil has been gone almost a year. So much has changed in the last year and we are grateful Caleb will only be just over four months when Neil comes home.

At times, this deployment has been hard- real hard. There have been nights when my eyes were so red from crying all day. There have been days when I thought I wouldn’t make it. But God has been faithful and he has used people to be his hands and feet during this time. I don’t know what I would have done without the support of my friends and family.

IMG_8020-001My goal now is to finish strong. I have viewed this deployment as a 400M race from my track days in high school. We just came around the last corner and it is a 100M sprint to the finish. I don’t know what the next month and a half holds, but I’m ready to give it all I have to finish well.

IMG_8013-001Motherhood.

I mean look at that face! It is a true joy to be Caleb’s mother. He is one of the best gifts I have ever received. Watching him grow, develop, and learn his capabilities is amazing. He changes every day and I absolutely love how I know everything about him.

IMG_7999-001He has become so alert and interactive. We babble back in forth with each other all the time now. I love his gummy smile after nap time when I go in to get him.

IMG_8000-001He loves watching Marley. They are already the best of friends.

IMG_7992-001He loves to stand and just recently started lifting his head during tummy time. He is not really into tummy time. He would much rather stand up.

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Not too long ago, he found his hands. Sometimes I can hear him in the nursery sucking away at them. He has found his thumb, but so far he is into putting as much of his hand in his mouth as possible.

IMG_7967-001He loves watching the phone. Every time he is doing something cute I try to video it for Neil and as soon as he sees the phone he stops. I am so thankful for technology. It has been such a blessing for Neil to be able to see Caleb almost everyday. Caleb smiled for the first time a while ago during Facetime with Neil.

IMG_8023-001A boy and his dog.

IMG_8024-001Just had to add this one in. He had reached his floor time limit. You are welcome, son.

And that is what we have been up to. Figuring this motherhood thing out and passing the time until the commander in chief of the house comes home.

To My Baby’s Momma

This is a special Mother’s Day this year as my amazing wife FINALLY gets to be celebrated for being a mom! With the birth of Caleb on 12FEB, the opportunity for Whit to shine as a mom became a reality. The last three months are a privilege to be a privy to; and I cannot think of a better woman to be raising my son. I am extremely grateful that she has taken the responsibility with the typical 100% “get after it” attitude she exhibits.

First off, as I am sure the vast majority of readers will agree, raising a child well is not a simple task. This is compounded exponentially through what is essentially a single-mother atmosphere. Whit handles all of the baby rearing right now, and excels at the job. She championed through the entire pregnancy and the first months of Caleb’s life solo, which is an impressive feat.

There are very few people who I would trust the rearing of my child and Whitney is my first draft pick. She is all about ensuring the best for Caleb, and I see it paying dividends in how he follows his sleep schedule, is sleeping through the night, feeds well, and is alert and interactive during wake times. It astounds me how well she can handle him. Although I hate being apart from those two, I rest easy at night knowing that Whit is the one with Caleb.

So what achievements of motherhood stick out the most to me from watching my wife?
• How Whit devotes herself fully to Caleb. She is always there for him, she ensures he is clean, fed, and has the opportunity to sleep. That kid cannot be loved on any more than she is already doing
• The way she has changed her diet to best support Caleb. This is huge for Whitney, as she is temporarily giving up dairy while his body develops. He does not do well when she eats dairy, and that is her favorite “food group”
• Seeing Caleb respond to her is amazing. His absolute trust and love in her is the coolest thing to watch.
• Whit does not overreact when it comes to him. She has the tactical patience to watch and see what the real issue is for Caleb, not just responding to a random cry from him.
• She is incredibly patient with the kiddo. No matter if he is not sleeping well, crying inconsolably, or talking instead of eating; she works with him and does not take her frustrations out in a way which would not help him improve
• The way Whit knows Caleb so well is another aspect I love. It blows my mind how she knows what is best for him.

Whitney is a lady deserving to be a mother. I am so thankful that God has blessed us with Caleb, and I cannot wait to see how Whitney interacts with him and our future kids in the future!
Here are some of my favorite pictures of the two together:

Welcoming Caleb to the family.

photo(39)Just resting together.

photo(56)Just excited to see mom!

photo(57)My two favorite people.

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Caleb James- Birth Story

I am finally sitting down to share Caleb’s birth story. The pregnancy, labor, and delivery were hands down one of the best experiences of my life. To be able to grow, carry, and deliver another human being is truly amazing and I am still in awe of the entire process and my body. We have been blessed beyond measure by our son and we give all glory to God. Our prayer is that we would be able to raise him up to know the Lord.

Before anyone thinks, “She is tough for the whole natural delivery thing.” Let me just clarify one thing. Tough is spending most of the pregnancy away from your wife. Tough is being across the globe while your wife labors without you and still being supportive through the entire delivery via Facetime. Tough is only getting to spend two weeks with your newborn son and then leaving again to return when he is four months old. That is the definition of tough.

And So It Begins….

photo(45)You get a stork’s nest pass as you get close to your due date for up close parking!

I went in for my 36 week appointment with everything going swell. The pregnancy had been great so far and I was fully expecting to go to term if not go over. I met with a different midwife that day as was my plan the entire time to meet as many as I could since you didn’t know who would deliver you.

I did not like going to the OB appointments. If I could have had a home birth I would have, but we came to the compromise to go to Evan’s Army Hospital to deliver. That day the midwife was running late, the nurse couldn’t find my chart, and the blood pressure machine took three times to get a reading. My blood pressure was on the higher side.

My high blood pressure was alarming to the midwife and this I believe started me down the path to delivery. I could have told you why my blood pressure was high, but they only see the numbers. I was sent for blood work and a urine test…then up to be monitored. They were testing for preeclampsia.

Even though the protein level in my urine came back well under the number that would have labeled me with preeclampsia, they still wanted to be sure. They sent me home with a 24-hour urine analysis jug.

So, what is the big deal? From day one, I had wanted a natural birth. I searched for the best hospital that would honor my wishes and help me achieve that goal. I hired a doula to also help support me. When the midwife started talking about inducing me if my protein levels were high- I immediately thought c-section. Inducing increases your risk of a c-section by 50%. Needless to say I was not having that.

I went home and later that I night I had what I call the ugly cry. I had so many emotions going on inside of me. I cried out to God and told him I had no idea what I was doing! I then decided I needed a glass of chocolate milk. Somehow I managed to spill half the glass in bed and it went every where. I pulled off all the sheets and the mattress cover that I had placed on there in case my water broke in bed. I thought I wasn’t going into labor tonight and would have time to wash everything tomorrow….

I was resting in bed when I felt a ‘pop’. I immediately thought, “Oh no!” and jumped out of bed. And water started coming out. I was messaging back and forth with Neil at the time and told him I was leaking! I ran to the bathroom and it just kept coming. This was at 11:30 p.m. and I was not ready! I had not finished packing my bag and there were so many things still to be done…

I ended up calling my friend, Ali, who was on standby if Neil was not here. I let her know my water broke and that I would keep her posted. I packed my bag and started cleaning the house. My contractions did not start for another hour after my water broke. Some time around 1:00, I called Ali to come over. My contractions were picking up at that point, so we called the doula. Emily arrived about 3:00 a.m. and I continued to labor at home.

My goal was to go in practically pushing and that almost happened. We got to the hospital around 4:00 a.m. and I had to stop every so often for a contraction. Once we got up to Labor and Delivery the nurse watched me labor through a contraction. I didn’t want them to check me and they had to admit me since my water broke. They decided to put me in a room finally.

The next few hours I labored with my awesome support team. I had not met the midwife on duty when I was admitted and she was not a fan of me. I basically refused almost everything and she had a hard time with the natural birth that I wanted. It got to the point that she just left the room! I felt that I couldn’t deliver Caleb without the midwife there, so I truly believe my labor would have been shorter if I had a different midwife to begin with.

Finally, shift change came. The new midwife was one that I had met at one of my appointments and she was super supportive. I tried laboring in what would be the traditional position for a while and there was no progress. It wasn’t until I got up and let gravity help that things started moving. Also, I was a little scared that my bottom was going to blow apart to be honest:)

The squatting bar was awesome and I wish I would have used it sooner. At one point, before the first midwife left I had her check me. I was at 8 cm and before she left I was fully dilated and she said I could start pushing. I was really confused by that, because everything that I had read said my body would naturally push and that pushing like they do in the movies actually causes more tears…and I did not want that! My body was naturally pushing anyways and I would push during the contractions.

IMG_7674Wow- was labor a work out! I was truly in labor land. I don’t remember much of what went on around me. Once in a while I would come to and then back to labor land. Eventually they had to help me onto the squatting bar during contractions, because I was so tired. The midwife told me I could touch his head if I wanted to. That was crazy. It felt so small, but gave me the extra motivation I needed.

And then at 9:35 a.m. on February 12th, Caleb James Maley, was born into this world. They helped me lay back down in the bed and put him on my stomach. He was absolutely perfect.

IMG_7679photo(40) photo(42)We spent the first hour of his life on earth cuddling and eventually he latched on and has been a milk man ever since! He weighed 6 pounds and 5 ounces and was 19.25 inches long.

photo(41)I had to have a few internal stitches, because he had his hand on his head when he came out! I didn’t tear otherwise…thanks son for that:) My placenta took longer than normal to come out, so the midwife injected the cord with a solution that brought it out. Honestly, it looked like she had murdered someone with all the blood afterwards.

They moved us to the Mother/Baby Unit and we spent the next two days cuddling and getting to know each other. It was such a precious time that I am so thankful for. photo(39)He hated that hospital hat!

photo(44)We just love him.  photo(43)Finally it was time for us to leave the hospital and go home! I could not have done it without my friends Ali and Jake. They helped us get home and settled in.

photo(46) photo(47)It was truly one of the best, most empowering experiences of my life. I knew I could do it naturally and am so thankful for all the people who supported me through the entire process. This story could not be complete without a few thank yous to some very special people.

To Neil: My best friend and baby’s daddy! Thank you for sitting for over 9 hours on Facetime and encouraging me through the entire process. Thank you for believing in me and trusting me. I am so thankful we get to do this adventure together.

To My Mom: First off- Thank you for going through labor and delivery for me. Thank you for having such a great attitude towards natural birth and being my inspiration!

To Ali: Thank you for going to all my appointments and holding my hand through labor! Thank you for all the meals and for checking in on us. You were a God send and I will never be able to thank you enough.

To Emily: Thank you for being a wonderful Doula and supporting me through everything! I couldn’t have done it without you.

Caleb, our son, we absolutely adore you. We are so thankful we get to be your parents!

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The fight for gratefulness.

I don’t know about you, but gratefulness does not come naturally for me. I have to fight for it. It can be easier sometimes to focus on the negative things in life and that is why I believe you have to fight for a grateful heart at times.

Two weeks went way too quickly and I am left by myself with a newborn. So, while it would be easier for me to have a pity party for myself- I choose to fight for gratefulness. Here are just a few things I am truly grateful for, because I need a reminder of God’s faithfulness and goodness:

  1. My husband got to come home shortly after the birth of our son for two weeks. I know women whose husbands are serving nine months and do not get to come home at all for or after the birth.
  2. Neil did not get sick while he was home. He works 100+ hours each week in Afghanistan and that was a concern with him coming back.
  3. Our son is healthy.IMG_7715
  4. We have completed over seven months of this deployment and only have about four more to go.
  5. We went out to eat Saturday night and a random person paid for our meal. Good people still exist and it was a reminder to us to be more generous.
  6. I have family and friends coming out to stay for almost two months to help me with Caleb.
  7. Caleb has an awesome dad. It was precious watching them two together. A lot of children do not have loving and caring dads.IMG_7719
  8. All of our needs are more than met. I don’t have to worry about money for diapers or any necessities. We are more than blessed.
  9. I have great friends here that I know I can depend on if I need anything.
  10. I had a great pregnancy and delivery. With my husband deployed, I could not ask for more!

I am sure the next four months will have challenges and a lot of sleepless nights. It hasn’t even been 24 hours and I miss my husband more than you can imagine.

The Lord has been good to us and I will continue to fight for a grateful heart in spite of my circumstances.

Baby Maley: 37 Weeks

37weeksWe are moving right along! Three more weeks to go and it is baby time:) The longer you are pregnant, the more proud you are of yourself when you accomplish things. As you can see I was up in the nursery working on organizing all the baby stuff! It is out of control.

Here are a few updates:

Appointments, Appointments:  I am now officially going every week to the doctor. It is pretty much a trip to get weighed and have my blood pressure taken. I have tried to see a different midwife every time, since it will be whoever is on duty when I go into labor. They have been great so far and I would feel comfortable if any of them delivered me.

And can I just say I am beyond thankful and grateful, so far I have passed every test they have given me. Ugh I just feel like they are looking for something to be wrong or that I am sick! That is for another post though.

Waiting for Dad: Neil will be home in about 2 weeks!!! So, my job is to relax and keep this baby in. Join me in praying Baby Maley stays in until then:) If not, we are ready- but we want Neil there!

Baby Classes: I have my last birth class tomorrow and am signed up for a breastfeeding class that evening. Tomorrow we go over everything about after the baby comes, so that should be fun!

Contractions?: At my last appointment, the doctor was going to measure the baby but had to wait–because I was having a contraction. My response was–“I am?” So, I knew it was common for women to have them all throughout their pregnancy, but I was unaware of what they were. If only they stayed that mild!:)

That is it for us here. We are eagerly waiting and anticipating meeting our little boy.

Baby Maley: 34 Weeks

babyI had my maternity photo shoot this past week with the talented, Kim Paine. It was so much fun and I cannot wait to see the final pictures. So, I thought I would use one of those pictures this week and not get out my tri-pod and camera!

Where is the time going? How is this pregnancy going to be over already next month? So many feelings and emotions running through this mind. Here is a little update of what I have been up to lately.

Back from Indiana: Thankfully, my mom drove back with me from Indiana after the holidays. The drive went smooth and we made it back safely. She was such a help while she was here. We were crazy busy getting the nursery ready and finishing things up around here.

We did have some fun though while she was here. Ali, mom, and I did Paint the Town and ate at the Melting Pot. It was so much fun and we were soo full:) The paintings turned out great too.

paintthetownSome of my close friends out here in Colorado threw me a wonderful shower when I got back. The theme was Ice Ice Baby and it was something straight out of Pinterest! What I like most about baby showers is that you get to spend a few hours with some of your favorite people and celebrate the new life coming.

showerThese ladies rock and I am soo thankful for them.

shower2

Baby Maley: 32 Weeks

IMG_0655Baby Maley is now 32 weeks already! It is hard to believe we are having a baby next month. I have been enjoying time back in Indiana with family and friends. It has been the longest I have been home since we were married almost 4 years ago.

We had two great baby showers while I was home. We were more than blessed by everyone and I loved getting to see so many people. I cannot wait to get back and get everything set up and ready for our little one.

I have been feeling great and baby Maley has been continuing to grow! I am so looking forward to Neil being home next month. I can hardly stand it. I will not want him to leave!

Thank you to those who have been praying for us and continue to. We have been able to get through this deployment with a peace that surpasses understanding, because of those prayers. It isn’t always easy, but we are doing it one day at a time.

Please continue to pray as my mom and I travel back to Colorado tomorrow with weather on the way. Also, that baby Maley would stay put until Neil gets here. I am planning to have a natural birth at Evan’s Army Hospital, so please pray that would go smoothly and that he would be healthy.

We cannot wait to meet him!