Friday, June 28, 2013

Midnight Dates

Yesterday I wrote about how Gavin has been sleeping through the night...well he decided he wanted some mamma snuggle time around 12:40 last night. Now normally I wouldn't put these late feedings on the top of my "favorite list".

However, I am beginning to realize that they may be coming to an end. He is growing fast, sleeping better, and playing hard during the day. While my sleep deprived body will be thankful for the rest, my mamma heart will ache to hold him.

So last night I soaked it up.

I listened to his breathing, and felt the rise and fall of his little chest on mine.

I stared at his chubby cheeks and long eyelashes.

Prayed that the feeling of his tiny fingers wrapped around mine would always be a part of my memories.

Smelled his hair, and his freshly cleaned PJs. The ones with the Whale on them. 

Lord, never let me forget these times.

For these moments are all mine. There are no distractions at 12:40am. No texts or phone calls, no urge to clean and get things done, no TV. Just me, my baby, the sound of crickets coming from his noise maker, and the moonlight shining on our faces.

While I DO enjoy sleeping all night, I will cherish my midnight dates with Gavin more. For in a short while, they will be a distant memory that lives only in my heart.

Love you baby boy!

Doesn't he look handsome in Red? It's almost football season, folks.
Husker onesie courtesy of his cousins Carla and Cassidy.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

All kinds of news!

Thank you all for your prayers and sweet words of encouragement!

I spoke with Dr. Hess yesterday, and the biopsies of Gavin's esophagus and tummy came back normal. They did note that there was some irritation in his esophagus, which was not a surprise - considering his reflux.

Speaking of reflux...Gavin is doing much better and...
He can sleep flat in his crib now! No more Danny Sling!!!

Jason adjusted the crib as soon as we got the news. When I went in to check on Gavin around midnight, I was overwhelmed with a sense of "NORMAL". No mom pictures her baby's crib being at an incline. It's the little things isn't it? This may be the decorator in me, but I am so excited that I can put a bed skirt on his crib now! I couldn't do that when it was slanted.

AND...... Guess who is sleeping through the night again! Last night he slept from 7:30 pm-5:30 am. *One happy mommy & daddy!*

This little guy was pretty happy too. Actually, he's always happy. Unless you take away his bottle. Don't get between a man and his food.
My favorite face right now - sucking on his lower lip.
Heart. Melts.

Oh, and one other piece of news - he is starting on solids now. Just rice cereal right now, but you've got to start somewhere, right?

Happy Thursday friends!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


My lack of posts does not mean that we are leading a boring life. Infact, it is quite the opposite. I have a lot to talk about, update, and share. The time just isn't there right now.

However, I just had to take a minute to share these adorable pictures with you all! The muscle "HUNK" tank is courtesy of his Grandma Carol.

He truly is our little baby Hunk.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

He holds us.

Some days the love I feel for Gavin knocks the wind out of me.
It is still amazing to me that so much love can be given to one little person.
It is a different kind of love than Jason and I share. 
We have a love of our own.

That got me thinking. 
How much does God's love for me, outweigh the love I have for Gavin?

He knows my fears for my son. Some that are quite honestly too real and sensitive that I can't speak them.
He knows my questions, and he sees me trying to process all that life has thrown our way.
He sees the tears. He knows the aching in my heart, deeper than I even know myself. 

I have to believe that God is just as affected by the pain in our lives as we are. This includes YOUR life too! He never intends for us to have heartache or pain. He does know what we need to go through to grow in our faith, and he knows just
how much is too much.

He knows that a couple of my co-workers today had the words I needed to hear.

One sat me down in her office and helped me see all of the good that has come into our lives. That there are some people who are sitting in the hospital with their little ones for months and months and months. Without a promise of ever being discharged with them in tow.

My other co-worker sent me the words to this song:

If you have time. Listen to it. It's my prayer for the day. Lord, take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.

I never in a MILLION years saw life playing out the way that it has. But you know what? I LOVE my life. Craziness and all! 

Wherever the Lord calls me, that is where I need to go. I am confident that my Lord holds me. He wipes the tears and kisses the "owwies" of my heart. He will repair the places in my heart that hurt. Even the ones that I am not aware of.

God loves us more than we could ever love each other!
Isn't that wonderful?

For an update on Gavin's medical stuff, follow us on caringbridge here

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I had a whole post typed out, explaining the past 3 days of chaos in our home. I deleted it. My heart didn't need to share it, and I found it to be a selfish-driven post. Instead - I chose to worship.

All of my life, in every season, you are still God. I have a reason to sing. 
I have a reason to worship!

Through the struggles of the last few days, I am choosing to focus on the Reasons. Reasons to worship.

Trying to put the hard things of the past behind me. The dessert times. Times when prayer is the only thing holding me together. Through the last weekend we have had 2 trips to the ER, one started because of Gavin's first seizure. The other was because of more brown spit up. So, what do I have to worship about?


My Savior
. He holds me together. When darkness threatens to overcome me, He is there, holding the light - showing me the way out. The thing I love most about my God, is that He knows what we have gone through, more deeply than anyone else. He has held each tear in His hand, and given us strength to push forward when we couldn't move on our own. He knows where we will be going, and we are confident that good - or bad, He will be there. Leading us, just like He always has. When I wonder if we are being punished for something we have done, I hear him gently whisper, My child - none of this is punishment. I am teaching you, growing you, molding you, and holding you tight. Hold on to me. 

My husband, who loves me. Who sees me in my lowest lows, and my highest highs. Even in my darkest days, he has loved me. An unconditional love that I don't feel I deserve. I am thankful for Him. So thankful!

We HAVE Gavin. He is ours to love, to hold, and laugh with. We dream of days ahead, and cherish each one we get to live. He is our miracle. Every shriek and squeal of joy is music to my ears! The TV is feeling very neglected, but who needs it when you have a happy baby in the house!
It is a privilege to be your mamma, baby boy!

Jason's first Father's Day. Even though it didn't go according to plan, I am so thankful that my baby boy has him for a daddy! The bond those two have fills my soul!

Our Family who support us when we need them most. Even when we don't ask for help, they are there because deep down, they know we need it.

Butterflies. They flap their beautiful painted wings and remind me of loved ones in heaven.

Legos. Let me explain this one. When Jason and I first started dating, we went up to his parents house and watched movies and put Lego sets together. Childish? Yes...but it was so much fun. Jason has a collection of Legos from when he was a little boy. An by collection, I mean a large Rubbermaid tote FULL of Lego sets. Each in their own ziploc bag, all labeled and ready for construction. Note: My organizational self LOVES this about him.
For Father's Day, Gavin gave his daddy another set to add to their collection. Turns out, he didn't want to wait for Gavin's help putting it together! I love that he hasn't lost his inner kid!

Sunshine through the clouds. This morning driving to work there were clouds in the east, but the sun was still bursting through. Touching the earth in the places that needed it most.

My job. Yes, it is work. However, it is a place I can go each day and be proud to work there. A place filled with people who genuinely care about my family. A place that I have truly enjoyed working at for the past (almost) 7 years.

Doctors & nurses who advocate for my son. Doctors who have been used by the Lord, to heal our son. In fact, the doctor who performed the esophagus surgery on Gavin, has demanded that no one touch his throat without him. A SURGEON is going to scope our son. This man is paid so much money for doing life-saving surgeries, and HE will be the one doing the endoscopy later this week. Thank you Dr. Hess, you are one in a million.

Our Home. It may still not be decorated, and there may still be boxes - but it is home! We love it, and haven't regretted  moving once!

What are your Reasons?

"God is just making the joys of parenthood sweeter for you by introducing you to the heartache early. Each anxiety we experience produces a greater appreciation for the wonderment that precious children bring into our lives." - Anon

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sweet Sleep

The other night Jason was outside working on yard work so I seized the opportunity to lay on our guest bed, holding my baby's hand while he slept. Jason snapped a few shots of our little man.

Lord, may memories like this forever be in my heart.

Sweet rosey cheeks.
Pouty lips.
Sweet Gavin, you have your mommy's heart.
 I love you, baby boy.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Can I be honest?

Just for a minute. No judging, just raw truth.
I ache for my baby when I am at work.
I am envy stay-at-home mommies, and find myself sad when they complain about staying home.
Yet, I know it is a hard job. I also know I’d do it in a heartbeat if I could.

My heart explodes with love for my husband and baby.

A trip to Target can make my day.
I believe in the simple things in life, but sometimes get caught up in wanting more.
To do more. To have more.
Then I look at the weary, busy-bodies and those who have anything they ever wanted – instantly I am content again.

I don’t fear leaving this world.
When I think of losing Jason, Gavin, my parents and siblings I am paralyzed with fear.
I cry when others get hurt, but rarely do when I am.
Forgiveness is easy when the offended is myself. Harder when it is one I love.

Some days find myself lost in memories, filled with Joy about the life I have.
Other days I feel self-pity creeping in, thinking about the beautiful first moments of Gavin’s life, where circumstances made it impossible to hold him.
Mostly I just can’t thank God enough for the sweet little boy I have to hold for the rest of my days. Or at least until he gets too big for snuggles, and the thought of that makes me want to hold him all the more.

I wish I was better at spending quiet time with my Lord.
It is something I need to fill my soul, and so often it gets put on the back burner.
I pray to Him, asking that I would find time to strengthen my Faith, but rarely do my part.

Lately I am very aware of complaining.
So many of our circumstances are unchangeable, and honestly we shouldn’t want to change them.
I do find myself wishing that I didn’t know some things. I wish I didn’t have a memory bank full of medical terms, but they are there. I wish the smell of Palmolive soap didn’t bring back a flood of emotions from the NICU, but it does. I wish I could say that fears of having to return to the hospital with Gavin weren’t a daily battle. But I would be lying.

I am trying to let life happen. We are all given one life on this earth. I want to look back on mine and be able to say I lived to the fullest. I want to be thankful for the experiences of this life, not grumbling about them.
After all, we are just passing through.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Heartbeat

My little boy is getting bigger and bigger. As the days, weeks, and months have passed, I have been overwhelmed by how my love has grown for him. I can't get over the changes I see in my baby boy. Holding him last night, I realized that his features are changing from new baby to well...bigger older baby. Profound, no?

I could just sit all day long, watching him sleep, play, and eat.

Safe in my arms.
These hands are constantly active.
Always reaching for toys, going in his tiny mouth,
holding onto his puppy, or clinging to my shirt or finger.
I have always loved his little baby hands!
His little baby mullet. I know sooner or later, I am going to
have to cut it off. For now, I'll cherish my little dude's 80s style.
Those lashes! I mean, come on!!! Why do the guys always get the good ones?
His daddy has the most beautiful, long eyelashes too!
I wear mascara to keep up with them.
I love you my baby boy, my little bit. You are everything to me!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Never Once

As we are nearing Gavin's 1/2 year mark, I am constantly reminded of the journey we have walked. A journey sprinkled with tears & smiles, fear & hope, loneliness & support. Every step of the journey we were never alone. Listening to the radio this morning, this Matt Redman song came on, and I have decided it is our Battle Cry. 

God - you are faithful. 

Never Once - Matt Redman

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Gavin - you are my miracle baby. You exceeded the expectations of all of the nurses and doctors. You are our fighter, our little spit-fire baby. You have the sweetest smile and the loudest voice. We all have a purpose in this life, and I know your (first) purpose was to strengthen your mommy's faith. Someday I'll share that journey. It is too raw, too emotional right now. But someday. It is a story that needs to be told. If not for myself, but so Gavin can see the Lord's faithfulness in his life from day one.

Weekend update

Playing a little bit of catch up today. Our "new" internet was acting goofy all weekend and in order to get it fixed I would have had to wake up my sleeping husband who was cuddling with my sleeping I left it. Can you blame me? My heart melts watching those two become a tight-knit father-son duo.

So what happened since my last post? Let me first say that there are no pictures of our anniversary weekend. I did that on purpose. Jason had mentioned one time that he was tired of people having to take pictures, in order to "enjoy" the moment. So I decided to just BE and let our minds capture the moments.

Well on our anniversary we had my sister come over to watch the babe, while we snuck away to a local restaurant that we had been wanting to try. My wonderful husband surprised me with a stop at Slumberland to get a NEW MATTRESS!!! What a great anniversary gift! In one week we will be sleeping on a mattress that doesn't slope towards the middle. I'll admit, the slope helped with cuddling time, but my neck & back are going to be much happier without it.

Friday evening we got to spend time with Jason's cousin and his wife. Zach has been in the Marines for the past 5 years, and his stint is coming to an end in July. Thanks for serving our country well, Zach! We are happy to have them back in the area, and are trying to get them to buy the lot next to ours.

Saturday we had planned to take a trip to Duluth, but instead decided to stick closer to home and hit up a bunch of garage sales. We dropped the little squirt off at Grandma's house and went on our merry way. Stopped at Panera for breakfast. Found many garage sales = lots of goodies for Gavin. Ate at a Chipolte-style restaurant. Drove for quite a few miles to a "HUGE covered sale" which turned out an old musty-smelling garage packed with over-priced items from other people's garage sales. Can't get those miles back... Spent far too long in Wal-mart, failing to find a rain gauge. Went home to watch a movie. Both of us fell asleep. Nap time without a baby is a hot commodity in our home! Woke up and were itching to see our little man. Drove to get Gavin and heard all about his exciting day meeting new friends! Thanks again for watching him Grandma Sue & Auntie Amanda.

Yesterday I woke to a chatty-happy-smiley boy. Man, has he found his voice! It is getting louder each day. Did some laundry. Went to church & praised the Lord for all we have been given. Perused the aisles at Sam's Club to determine where the better deals are between Sam's Club, Target, Cub & Aldi. Went home. Watched as my husband and son sweetly napped together. Did more laundry. Sorted through Gavin's clothes. Put the too-small stuff into a bin. Sigh. Was he really that tiny? Pulled out his too-big clothes. Another sigh. Will he really be that big soon? Jason cooked a whole chicken for dinner with my parents. Chatted with them. Got to watch my them play with Gavin...warms my heart each time! Bath time with tears. Bed time for Gavin. On to Monday we went.

Here's a few of our sweetheart.

If you think you're getting that burb rag, you are mistaken.

Sweetness. Lash LOVE!

Look ma! I'm sitting up!

Gavin has staked out his corner of the couch. He ain't movin'.
P.S. We really aren't a huge camo family,
but it works to protect the couch from spit-up.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Once upon a time...

A young man and woman vowed to love each other forever.
To stick with each other through all of life's highs and lows.
Four years ago we said "I Do"

The weather today is much like it was on June 6, 2009. Rainy & cold.
Our lives are MUCH different though. 
One house and one baby later, I can say we are still so in love!

 Have we been stretched  beyond what we thought was possible? Yes.
Would we change anything we have gone through? No.
Do we have the finest earthly possessions? No. But we have enough.
We have each other. That's enough for me.

I love you babe. You are my Mr. fix-it, sanity provider, sounding board, and snuggle bug.
You are Gavin's hero and the best daddy in the world.
You are leading our home with Faith and integrity.
You are my dream. My gift. My love.

Happy four years, handsome!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sensitive Soul

I came across a blog a few months ago, and she has forever captured my heart. She too is a former NICU mommy, has 3 adorable kids, and a strong faith. She uses the term "Feel Deeply" and "Sensitive Soul" in her blog, and I wanted to give her credit for inspiring this post. She is very real and transparent in her blog, which is so endearing.

On that note, here is my post for the day:

I have been told my whole life that I am sensitive. Too sensitive. 
That I worry too much.
That I place too much value in others' opinion of me.
I've been called a "People Pleaser".

Much of that may be true. But it is who I am.
I have tried to change, believe me.
Tried to "buck-up" and speak my mind.

That doesn't fit me. It's not who I am.

I read into what other people say.
When someone disagrees with me, I often take their opinion to heart.
I go out of my way to avoid conflict.

I feel deeply.

There have been many times where Jason has to stop me from giving away all I own.
I see other people hurting and I want to fix it.
People feel bad for us with all we have been through with Gavin, but I see friends who are struggling to have a baby.
My heart breaks for them.
Really breaks. You know?

I am a sensitive soul.
I once cried because I accidentally poked a cow in the nose with a pitch fork, when I was trying to feed him.
Almost gave away a fishing pole to a man who had a broken one. Jason had to stop me.

I never want to hurt others.
The first time I clipped Gavin's nails, I cut his finger. I cried that night.
A girl game into the bathroom at work yesterday, sobbing. I wanted to hug her.

Some may say I am too emotional. 

I prefer to say that I am a sensitive soul.

I feel deeply

Monday, June 3, 2013

Weekend Run-down

We had a wonderful weekend, full of unpacking, cleaning, & family time.

Saturday we searched our local neighborhoods for garage sales. We were hoping to find some fun stuff for our place. However, the only purchase we came home with was a silver platter for a DIY project. Not really worth driving around for 2+ hrs, but we got some good "together" time. Right honey?

Jason was kind enough to let me hit the town (for the first time in a year) with Cambria to see a local country cover band. It was their first outdoor event, which would have been great had it not been 50 degrees outside! Oh well, we still had a blast together. Who am I kidding? We would have a blast doing absolutely nothing! I love that girl.

Sunday we got to introduce Gavin to his great-grandma Lila. Of course, I had so many other things to pack that I forgot my camera. Thankfully Jason's mom got some good pictures of them, so I'll get those on here soon! It was so nice being able to sit outside and catch up with family. So blessed!

Today we are getting the sod & trees put in! Wooohoooo! With all of the rain we have been getting, the dirt is washing away from our sidewalk, so Jason has been trying to keep up with that. Once the sod goes in, the grass will keep it all in place. At least that is the hope.

I promise I'll post pictures of the new place soon. For now, here are some of our little nugget.
Too much cuteness for me to handle! 

I love how chubby those cheeks are getting!
Anyone looking for a baby model? GAP perhaps?

Future Pastor?

We have a new Speaker of the House. When he starts talking, we stop & listen. He often ends up talking himself to sleep. Probably not a good trait in a pastor, but he'll learn!

He commands the attention, just watch!

So cute, right?!
He was even more chatty & expressive with Grandpa & Grandma Hoops on moving day. Too bad my camera was packed!