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Haven’s Nursery.

24 Jan

The day after we got home from Colorado I switched Haven into her own room and immediately she began sleeping through the night. (Go figure.) Before this she would only go 2 hours tops between wake ups and this mommy was pooped! Sleep is a glorious thing and I had begun to forget what being rested even felt like after 7 months of not experiencing it.

So, in celebration of these two wonderfully big milestones I figured I would share her nursery photos and the details behind the decor! I loved putting this room together for our girl and I hope it’s a theme she will enjoy for many years to come.

Enjoy the tour!

The first thing I found, that I knew I needed, was this custom painted wood sign with the quote “In a field of roses she is a wildflower.” Something about it just stuck with me so I began planning a floral nursery, but I felt the theme was lacking. I then stumbled upon the most precious watercolor fawn with flowers on it’s head and that was it!! I was in love and purchased it immediately! These two pieces inspired the rest of her nursery!

I finished up this wall with embroidery hoops that I painted gray. The top hoop is just a simple fabric, the middle I cut out fabric hearts and stitched them onto white fabric to give the appearance of them hanging on a clothes line, and the final hoop holds a cute “hello, doe” fabric. I also found an adorable changing pad cover, that fit the theme perfectly, on Etsy.

The easiest part of Haven’s nursery was this wall. I had these awesome water color flowers from when her room was the guest room and I still just love them so I decided to in-cooperate them. Once Haven had her newborn photos taken I knew this photo would be turned into a canvas and would hang between the two flower canvases. Easy!!
I was immediately drawn to the pixelated flower print of her bedding. It’s pretty but fun at the same time. (Bedding found on Etsy and the rug is from Target.) My friend Ashley had the quilt made for Haven in the colors and theme of her nursery and it has a patch inside that reads “PaPa’s Little Angel” in honor of my Dad who passed away. It makes me smile every time I wrap her in it.

This wall is probably my favorite and also took the most of my time with finding each piece. That little fawn holds my heart!! It’s just so precious! I found her on Etsy. I also found these gorgeous embroidered flowers from a wonderfully talented woman in Australia. When the piece showed up it was smaller than I had anticipated so I then found this frame in the most unlikely of places *cough* Walmart *cough again* (haha) and I distressed it with paint and sand paper to have it blend in with the other frames. I am happy with the turn out even though it wasn’t initially what I had planned. Another favorite of mine is this custom designed Bible quote of the verse that inspired Haven’s name. It’s pretty and means so much to us. (This was designed by a woman I found on Etsy as well.) The bookcase has been fun to fill with cute little nic-nacs. On top the vases and their wooden holder (Etsy) are filled with artificial flower leftovers from another nursery project and the little antique deer were (as I’m sure you can already guess)…found on Etsy. (Haha.) I’m still working on a few other things for the bookcase but it works for now.

I wanted to keep this wall simple so I stuck to a framed “H” of flowers. I made it from a cardboard letter that I cut the top off of then painted white and then artificial flowers placed inside and fastened with hot glue. I got everything from our local craft store. It was a fun afternoon project. The way I got the frame is a long and sad story, but the short version is I was having a major case of pregnancy brain and shattered the glass while trying to frame the fawn. I had to purchase a whole other frame but….I was able to re-purpose the broken one here, so it ended not as sadly as it began. I also was able to re-purpose this cute teal cart and baskets from our guest room. Instead of holding towels and bathroom products it now holds bows and blankets. I think that’s an upgrade! My friend Beckey gave me this adorable vintage lamp which I was giddy to notice matched the vintage deer on the bookcase. My talented cousin Allison made the cute mermaid doll for Haven. Girl stuff is so much fun, but I went with solid navy curtains to tone down all the girly florals and bright colors.

Alright, I have to take back what I said about the wall above the crib being the easiest wall space…this actually was because I literally didn’t do anything but print off a canvas from Haven’s newborn session and my friend Danielle gifted us the Bible verse wood art. So, I’m taking no credit for this one besides hanging them up.

There you have it!! I hope you enjoyed touring Haven’s nursery as much as I enjoyed putting it together! Nurseries are such a labor of love and I hope she feels the love in every detail. I was blessed to do this for my sweet daughter.IMG_7930IMG_7926IMG_7954IMG_7965

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Merry Christmas.

23 Dec

I pray this holiday brings you lots of love and joy.
Have yourself a Merry little Christmas!
I know we sure will!
xoxo

Early Christmas.

30 Nov

On Saturday we had Christmas early so that we could celebrate together before Scott deployed. Scott was upset that he would be missing Haven’s first Christmas as he had with Royal’s first one. So I asked him if he wanted to celebrate early and of course he said yes.

We woke up just like we would on any Christmas in our house. We turned on Christmas music, opened stockings, and had our regular Christmas breakfast, of cinnamon rolls and peppered bacon. Royal decided cinnamon rolls are better eaten unrolled. (Haha.) Over breakfast we talked to Royal about Jesus’ birthday and why we celebrate Christmas.

Once breakfast was over we opened our gifts and laughed as we watched Haven open her first ever presents. There’s something so sweet and magical about a baby’s first Christmas, even with her not understanding what’s going on. I know this meant so much to Scott to be there for these moments even if it was a month early.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing and watching all of our favorite Christmas movies while the kids played with their new toys.

All day we kept saying just how much it felt like Christmas. We were confused when no one else was posting pictures of the holiday on social media, then we’d remember it wasn’t the actual day. It was truly perfect!IMG_6113Deployments take a lot from us as a family but Christmas this year wasn’t one of them! I’m thankful for my family and the precious memories we were able to make on our little Christmas morning. IMG_5937

Haven’s dedication.

30 Oct

While home last month in Colorado we were thrilled to be able to dedicate baby Haven. The day was that much more special because it was Scott’s birthday and last year on his birthday we found out we were pregnant with her! I love when things line up like that and everything seems to come full circle. What a year it was looking forward to her arrival and wondering who she was going to be. Now we know and we’re so very thankful and blessed that God chose this darling girl for our family!

The little ceremony was sweet and filled with emotion as our pastor reminded us of the past 6 years since he performed our wedding, and also how 3 years ago he dedicated Royal. Time has flown by so quickly and it’s amazing to realize just how much God has blessed us in these years since we got married. 

Pastor Jeff prayed over our family and little Haven’s life. It was perfect. The only thing that would have made it better would have been having my dad there to witness it. I know he was rejoicing in Heaven with us though and I know he’d be so proud. 

Haven is continually living up to her name. She has brought such joy to us after such a trying and heartbreaking time. She’s a constant reminder that God will always lead us to a place of safety again. During the storms there has always been a safe haven waiting for us. I’m still amazed that she’s ours and what a perfect place she fills in our family. It’s like this spot was always made for her and I can’t even remember what life was like before her.

Life is full of ups and downs but these type of moments are what make life incredibly wonderful and worth living! My heart is so full. Thank you Jesus!

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” -Jeremiah 1:5

Murmur.

31 Aug

Last week Haven had her 2 month check-up. She’s doing awesome but while listening to her heart the doctor found a slight murmur. Dr. Byan wasn’t worried but he put in a referral to a cardio specialist in Pensacola anyway. He wanted her to have an ultrasound performed and assured us that he was only being thorough.

Yesterday we went to the appointment where the tech found a small hole between her left and right ventricle. The size and location of the hole is not worrisome and they believe it will close up on it’s own. We’ll go back in a few months to follow up and make sure it closes but they’re not concerned.

I also have a slight murmur, which has never caused me any trouble, so I wasn’t too worried but heart stuff frazzles me ever since my dad’s passing. I’m extremely grateful to know she’ll be alright. Thank you, Jesus!

Our darling daughter found the ultrasound relaxing and quickly fell asleep. She looked so peaceful that I had to capture that moment of our sweet girl sleeping while her mommy was the opposite of “at peace.” Something about that moment calmed me.

As my friend Kim reminded me, this baby is our haven and she will continue to live up to her name.

3 years old.

31 Jul

Happy birthday to the sweet boy who made me a mommy 3 years ago! I can’t wait (but please slow down) to see what God has for you as you continue to grow and develop into the man you will someday become. I am extremely proud of you, Royal! You have a tender heart and a joyful spirit, and I so appreciate that you bring that joy and energy into our lives daily. I sure love you! Happy Happy Birthday, Squish!! 

Haven’s birth story.

27 Jun

**If you don’t want to hear ALL about a baby being born please stop reading.**061417_1Wednesday the 7th I was two days past my due date and boy was I done being pregnant! I woke up determined to get this baby girl out! I walked 8 laps around the neighborhood, I did squats, and every other activity that has worked to bring on labor for others. I started having mild contractions but nothing too severe so I laid down for a nap, because I had exhausted myself. I was prepared to repeat everything again after my nap. When I woke up though the contractions were still there and the pattern was what it needed to be, but they were no where near painful. Our hospital was set to go on “divert” at midnight for two days, so we would have to go to another hospital if she came during that time. We decided to load up and just see if they would let us stay to deliver. IMG_0289When we got to the hospital, at 8 pm, I was only at a solid 3 dilated and 65% effaced. The doctor on duty was the one who was scheduled to do my induction that coming Monday, so I think she was eager to help us stay because of that. She said she could strip my membranes and send us walking for 2 hours to see where that got us. We were willing to try it if she was. The stripping alone progressed me to a 4 and 75% effaced. So we set off on our long walk! IMG_0344I was really glad that I hadn’t done a second set of laps around the neighborhood because my legs were killing me by the end of our two hour walk and I’m pretty sure I’m now an expert of the hospital hallway layout. I could probably walk the halls with a blindfold and never run into a single wall. About 30 minutes into our walk the contractions really started picking up and by the end I could barely walk through them because they were so painful. I knew at that point that Baby Girl was on the way!
Side note: As I was pushing myself to walk through strong contractions poor Scott had to stop for a leg cramp. I was really worried that he would need an epidural but luckily he was able to breathe through the pain. ;]IMG_0476Once we got back up to labor and delivery they had all of my paperwork filled out and a room was ready for us. I guess they had already decided to keep us. Thank goodness because there was no way I was going home with how painful the contractions were at that point. The doctor checked me again and I was at a 6. She said her plan was to break my water and then maybe start pitocin as well. She recommended an epidural, because the combination would become very painful, so of course I took her recommendation. IMG_0315The anesthesiologist gave me the epidural and while we were waiting for them to come back in to break my water we decided to take a “before baby” selfie. Right as we snapped the picture I told Scott “I think my water just broke…but let’s take one more picture.” I’ll never be able to look at those pictures and not laugh. The doctor came in and checked me again and of course I was right. She said that she would be back in 4 hours to check on us. We planned to sleep a bit to rest up. We guessed that we wouldn’t have a baby until around 6 or 7 that morning. (HA!) While they were rolling me to change my sheets my epidural shifted and I started feeling all of the pain on my right side. Feeling labor pain on only one side of your body is completely disconcerting. I would rather have felt it on both sides at that point. (Of course this happened during the transition phase. OWWY!) My nurse called the anesthesiologist back in and tried to get it to work the way it was positioned, but nothing helped so they needed to redo it. They laid me flat on my side and gave me a whole new one. That immediately delivered relief.IMG_0366My bed was then elevated back up and suddenly Haven’s heart rate dropped into the low 70’s. Panic set in as the whole team rushed into our room, my nurse put an oxygen mask on me, and they started flipping me one side to the other trying to get her heart rate back up. Nothing was helping and time seemed to be ticking steadily along. I had been able to hear her heart beating on the monitor the whole time we were there but as I tried listening now it was almost completely silent. I looked at Scott with terrified eyes as I worried we were losing our girl. He whispered “It’s going to be alright, Lyssa” but I didn’t believe him. I asked him afterwards about it and he said he was just as terrified but knew he couldn’t express that and risk me getting more upset which would have made the situation worse. They started asking each other to “grab the doctor” or “where is the doctor” and lastly “I can’t find her.” This mama has never been so scared. Finally she came running in and said she wanted to check me real quick before we would move to a c-section. I was complete (10) and it was time to begin pushing! Apparently what happened was while I was on my side laid flat I progressed from a 6-10 so when they elevated me back up Haven shot down into position and that shocked her because it wasn’t a slow progression down. Poor thing. Luckily her heart rate evened out before pushing began.IMG_0563Two minutes after she checked me I started pushing. I told the doctor, when we arrived, that she would need to give me an episiotomy but she assured me that wouldn’t be necessary. I knew better though. After 4 contractions and less than 10 minutes of pushing Haven was ready to make her entrance. The doctor kind of laughed, after many efforts to avoid an episiotomy, as she said “you were right” she then gave me a tiny episiotomy and Haven was born at 2:02 am on June 8th!IMG_0423When Haven came out she had the cord wrapped around her neck two times and was bright purple. The doctor quickly removed the cord and immediately placed her on my chest. I was a little worried about her coloring but knew they would have rushed her off if they were really that concerned about it. Her color returned to normal after a few minutes of them messing with her on my chest. Phew!IMG_0329Our sweet girl weighed in at 8 pounds 1.3 ounces and was 20 inches long! I’m still in shock that I carried an 8 pound baby! She is perfect in every way. The first thing I noticed was that she had my lips which I had prayed for! Everyone says she looks just like me and I LOVE hearing that. Scott’s first words about her were “ALYSSA she has hair!!” (no one in either family ever does) and as she was delivered: “She’s so beautiful, Lyssa!” He is one smitten Daddy. Really, we all are!IMG_0527Haven is such a mellow baby. We’ve only ever heard her cry a handful of times. The rest of the time she just grunts or lays there peacefully. She’s just so beautiful that we can’t stop staring at her. I was so worried that my heart couldn’t hold all this extra love but the second I saw her my heart was overflowing with love for this sweet child. I can’t even begin to imagine life without her and she’s only been with us for 2 weeks.

Royal is OBSESSED with her! I thought he would resent her for coming but all he has for her is love. He is constantly snuggling her and giving her kisses. He always says “Haven, you bess friend!” (Haven, you’re my best friend.) and “I yuv you, Baby Haven!” I completely melt as I watch their bond as siblings forming. We’re just trying to teach him not to give her kisses while she’s trying to sleep. (Haha.)IMG_0306After two years of trials and heartache, Haven couldn’t have come at a better time to us. She came to remind us that good does come around again and that God is faithful even when we feel as though things will never get better. Her name means: a place of safety or refuge. Before we found out we were pregnant I stumbled upon Psalm 107:28-30. (Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven.) These verses gave me great encouragement as I hoped our safe haven would be around the corner. A week later we found out we were expecting and when we were told we were having a girl the name Haven soared to the top of our list. It just seemed to fit her so perfectly! She’s already living up to her name. She has healed our heartache and given us a place of  joy to rest in. I’m just so thankful that God chose her for us! IMG_0516
Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes, and please continue to pray for us to have guidance as we raise this darling girl!

-Name Meaning-
Haven: a place of safety or refuge
Marie: wished for child (also my middle name)

Welcome Haven Marie, you are so very loved!
IMG_0390
“He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and He guided them to their desired haven.”

-Psalm 107:29-30 

•Photos by Olive Gray Photography