Anna's First Birthday Party

When I first started planning Anna's first Birthday party rain never even crossed my mind. It wouldn't rain, it just couldn't. We were inviting well over 50 people plus the kids in the neighborhood so moving the party into our tiny apartment just wasn't a possibility. The party was planned for our front yard and rain was just not an option. Well, as soon as I was able to I checked the weather. Ten days out and there was a 40% chance of rain. And the chance increased as the big day drew closer with 70% chance of rain the day of. The back-up plan? Two tents borrowed from the office and my Dad's tent he brought from Ohio attached to our front and back doors. Well it worked, we moved 50 plus people into our home, and while it was packed we were thankful that the downpour held off until after the party because guests were able to stand under the tents and even under the trees without getting soaked.

With all that to say, the party was AMAZING! Anna did awesome, she looked adorable, we were so thankful our family and friends were there to help celebrate, and she destroyed her cake (not by eating it but by playing with it!). Speaking of cake, Travis' cousin, Angel made Anna's cake, my cake (because it was my birthday too!), and the cupcakes, and let me just say Angel is brilliant! Her cakes are absolutely beautiful and delicious, to die for! She made our reveal cake too and when planning for Anna's birthday she suggested making another ombre style cake. I thought it would be perfect, and I continued the ombre theme into the rest of the decorations and even into Anna's outfit!

I'm going to stop typing now because I know why you're really here--to see the pictures, so without further ado, I give you Anna's First Birthday Party:

Pink tutu and a pop of gold for this little Lady! Mama had to match little Lady so I went with a white dress, gold flats, and gold and pink jewelry.

Here's my attempt at moving my decorations indoors:

Besides digging into the cake, Anna's favorite part was the watermelon. I swear she had like 5 slices!
Anna loves her Great Grammy! And Great Grammy loves her little Anna!

Look at these cakes! Amazing and oh so cute!! ...  :)

Happy Birthday dear Anna!!

Honestly, she was not a fan of the taste. She tried a few bites but spit most of it out. When she realized it was more fun to squish in her fingers she went at it!

By the time I took this picture some of the chalk was starting to wear off. And you read that right, Anna likes Mumford and Sons. Yep, it's the only music that'll calm her down in a car ride. Those guys are heaven sent.

The one and only good shot we got as a family. The rain and trying to host and enjoy the party was too much to ask for to stop and take more than one decent photo. 

Happy 1st Birthday, sweet Anna Jubilee! You are loved more than you'll ever know!

Decorations and Anna's outfit: DIY
Some of the photos: my sister, Stefanie


A Year Ago Today

A year ago today I was on my way to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning. Contractions were increasing in pain and in duration. I thought this was for real.

A year ago today I was sent home because I was only dilated 2 cm and they said come back when you're at 4 cm. Oh, ok, so am I the one to check that? They recanted and said come back when you can't walk or talk through your contractions. Ok, much easier to gage!

A year ago today Travis and I walked my neighborhood up and down for an hour until I was bending over during my 5 minutes apart contractions. During our time back at home this was also when I realized the only relief to my pain was a fist lodged into my lower back. Back labor reared its ugly head.

A year ago today I went back to the hospital after only a few hours of being away. I said this is it and I'm not going back home! They said fine. They hooked me up to an ultrasound monitor and I had to wait for a labor and delivery room for 3 hours!

A year ago today my sister and my mother-in-law joined us. My sister took pictures throughout labor and delivery, lodged her fist in my back and held my hand when Travis needed a break, and my mother-in-law was very supportive during the pushing (but that didn't come until the next day).

A year ago today a popsicle made me vomit. Thank God for the IV! Otherwise I would've be dehydrated. Ain't nobody got time for that when you're trying to push out a baby!

A year ago today I wasn't progressing from 7 cm to 10 cm quick enough. I spent 7 hours in transition (the worst of labor) and it was about half way through those 7 hours when they broke my water. Then the pain really came. My body was pushing for itself but I still had to wait another 2 hours before I reached 10 cm and they allowed me to push.

A year ago today, right before midnight, I realized our baby girl was going to share a birthday with me. She had an entire day to come, an entire day we were ready for her, an entire I was ready for her, an entire day I was in labor, but God decided to wait until my birthday to give me the best gift, our precious, adorable, beautiful, silly, playful, lovable, sweet Anna Jubilee.

Happy Birthday Eve, Anna Jubilee! Mommy and Daddy love you more than you'll ever know. Having you on my birthday was the best gift I could've ever received and this day will always be a special one. It is an honor to share this day with you, my Joy.



The two things that have turned my mornings around:

1. I've never been a morning person. I love the idea of sleeping in, getting out of bed without an alarm, snuggling up with blankets until the sun has long been up for a few hours. The idea of waking up before the sun rises makes me want to vomit. No joke. I've seen enough sunrises growing up I think I'm good for the rest of my life, thank you. However, Anna's schedule is a-changing yet again and now we're down to one nap from two. When she was taking two naps I'd spend the first nap doing chores around the house and during the second I'd spend some time with Jesus, re-centering myself, meditating, praying, journaling, reading, whathaveyou. With this change Anna has also started to sleep in a little later. She wakes around 5:30-6 am, I feed her, then she falls back asleep until 7 or 8. The past few weeks have been glorious because I've gotten to go back to sleep too until she wakes up again! I realized the other day though how unproductive and tired I feel throughout the day when I sleep in. Sleeping in until 8 means I get a late start to my day. And by the time her nap rolls around I'm so exhausted from getting interrupted sleep I'd rather nap too than do my chores, spend time with Jesus, or anything else. The other day I had an epiphany a crazy thought, what if I stayed up after I put her back to sleep at 5:30?! Seriously, a crazy thought and something I usually would refuse to do. However, I realized this is exactly what I need to do to give me time to get energized before Anna wakes. I tried it two days ago and it was truly amazing. I was able to get a shower without a screaming baby in her exersaucer, do my hair, brush my teeth, put on make up, eat breakfast, and spend time with God and a cup of coffee all before Anna was up! I felt like a new mom, a mom who was ready to take on the day with an almost one year old. Plus, instead of hurrying to get out the door and thus making us late for church, we were actually early to church for the first time in, oh, ever! Yesterday I went back to sleep after feeding Anna because I had a late night before (did I honestly think I could do it two days in a row? Pssh!) and I wasn't ready for my day until 10 when if I would've gotten an early start I would've been out the door to the grocery store by 8. This morning I did it. I got up, stayed up, took a nice, long, hot shower, ate breakfast, sipped my coffee, and journaled. It was another glorious morning. So I'm hoping I can keep this up. The occasional going back to sleep is bound to happen but I'm going to try hard to give myself that time in the morning because not only do I need it, Anna needs me to have that time too so I can be the best mother for her.

2. This

We purchased a screen for our doorway. This was the best 20 bucks we've spent in a long time, seriously. I've been wanting a screen door for the longest time because our living room gets so dark, our front window doesn't open, and what's better than the current season's breeze coming through your home? We went to look for doors at Home Depot and when we realized they were out of our price range we began to walk away defeated. As we walked out of the door section we saw a box full of screens and got super excited because we knew it'd be perfect for our front door! Plus it was only 20 bucks and we had a gift card for that amount! So we spend our mornings after Anna wakes up sipping some more coffee (because I've been up since 5:30, remember?), enjoying the breeze, kids at school, and the occasional visit from our little neighbor and Anna's bff, Sheila.



Your Love has Ravished My Heart

Photo Credit: Stefanie Vinsel
You see that man right there? Holding my sweet baby girl? Yeah, he's captured my heart. Almost 13 years ago to be exact. There is no one else on earth I can be myself around like this guy. I could type every single cliche out there but seriously no one gets me like he does. His birthday was September 3rd and it came and went without a post on his behalf. So this is for him.

Without getting all sappy, (because let's face it, he'd, and you'd, rather me tell him in person than on a blog post) I'm going to share a story with you that made me fall in love with him all over again. It happens often but this one just knocked my socks clear off!

Anna was just shy of two weeks old, I was still very hormonal so anything and everything made me cry. And when I say cry, it was always the ugly cry; sobs, nose running, tears flying, yep, that was me. But this moment, it would've made any woman shed a tear. I was laying in bed resting, thinking Anna was next to me. Travis was preparing a worship set for a worship gathering we were going to have with our friends later that week. He was sitting at his computer not even two feet from where I lay. I look up and notice he has Anna cradled in his arms while singing the song he's had on repeat for the past hour. The words of the song, the dim lighting of the room, the husband, the baby, it was a perfect storm for my heart to break into a million pieces. Be still, my heart! This wife and mama can't take it! I watched in amazement as my husband sang the words to our baby girl. I know the words were written with our Heavenly Father in mind but I couldn't help but think Travis was singing those words to his daughter as well. Even more I couldn't help but think about our own Heavenly Father singing those words over his children as my husband sang those words over his daughter. What a beautiful display of the Father's love not even two feet from me. I saw the Father in Travis at that moment, and let me tell you, nothing makes you fall in love more than when you see the Father through your husband. Read the lyrics below and tell me your heart wouldn't just melt to the floor as well:

Closer by Amanda Cook, sung by Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger 

Your love has ravished my heart
And taken me over, taken me over

And all I want is to be
With You forever, with You forever

Pull me a little closer
Take me a little deeper
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart
‘Cause Your love is so much sweeter
Than anything I’ve tasted
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart

And if the lyrics don't do it justice here's the music video:

Yeah, crying over here. Who else? Maybe it's the song, maybe it's the memory of that special day, maybe it's the fact that Anna turns one in 11 days! I'm holding that baby a little tighter this last week and a half hoping the days drag on! High hopes, I know but a mama can dream, right? ;)