Thursday, June 21

the first week

We have a sweet angel baby on our hands.  She seriously is such a sweet girl.  She only cries when tired or hungry and has slept 8 hours straight the last two nights... UNHEARD OF.  I know.  I'm so thankful.  After having several newborns, I know this is not the norm, and I've slept better the last two nights with her on the "outside" than I did almost my whole pregnancy! 

She loves to be swaddled and falls asleep like a dream when we lay her down that way.

Oh, I love her sweet face, and I don't want to her to grow!!!  This morning Annika said, "I'm so happy when we have a new baby sister." 

On a side note, we've had amazing weather this week and Gabi has been sporting her adorable tutu swimsuit!  The yellow rubber boots are an added bonus.  She has been snuggling her baby doll a little extra since Emmalie came home, and loves to "help mama" with her baby sister. 

Daddy getting in some Emmy snuggle time too, he was playing around with her hat here... she looks like a little sprite! 

Annie, our amazing baby holder!!!  She's holding her at this moment... the second she woke up and saw me sitting with Emmalie on the couch, she had to hold her. 

So we're doing really well... feeling rested too.  The first two weeks are pretty intense, and I'd forgotten how much your body has to adjust back to normal in so many ways.  I'd forgotten that your organs get pushed out of the way by the baby, and they have to get back into place...  that hurt for a couple days...  I'd forgotten how much nursing and getting a milk supply going take over your mind.  And how much it hurts the first week or two.  I can feel that light at the end of the tunnel shining brightly.  Emmalie is a little rockstar, she's a great littler nurser - I'm so thankful for her!!! 

My mom being here is seriously saving me.  She is taking care of kiddos and meals so lovingly.  Such a huge gift to us! 

Tuesday, June 19

Emmalie Claire - first days home!

A picture update of how we're doing! Not many words to accompany this post, but little Emmalie is doing beautifully, I'm feeling more like myself everyday, the milk truck arrived last night (yay!), and I'm working on catching up on that elusive sleep!

  If you've given birth, you know what I mean on all points... I'm savoring our new little beauty, and am so thankful for the love and help of family and friends. My mom is here for two weeks staying with us, keeping us sane, and taking care of kiddos and meals for us. What a lifesaver.

  Jeremy had to go back to work today, due to some logistics within his office, but it's only four days, then he's back home with us for three. I'll post about Emmalie's birth soon hopefully, it was eventful for sure! And I'm soooo thankful that I'm not still pregnant with her today on her due date, with the labor and birth still looming. 

For now, here are some snapshots of her first couple days here with us.  We hope you enjoy them. 

Fresh baby!  Oh, the relief!

First bath with Daddy the pro... 

Ah... the peaceful moments after all is done and you can just relax and savor the time.

footprints, weight, and newborn check!

Enjoying his new girl.  Oh, we love you, Emmalie Claire!!!

The whole crew!

My mom.  I love this picture.

Jeremy's parents saying hello to their new grandbaby! 

My amazingly gifted midwives.
I cannot thank God enough for them - they are so wise, patient, and encouraging - I probably would have had a c-section, had I been at the hospital... but these ladies guided Emmalie and I safely on the other side of birth. 

First morning home hellos! 

Gabi kisses...

Biggest sister gazes...


Levi smooches....

She's just so, so precious.
I want to stare at her all day long.

God's gifts are good.  So good. 

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Saturday, June 16

a daughter is born

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to our new daughter born this morning!!

Emmalie Claire

June 15, 2012
7 pounds 8 ounces
19.5 inches long

(name pronounced "Emily")

Thank you, Lord Jesus for your indescribable gifts!

Sunday, June 10

some favorites before her arrival

Before baby arrives any day now, I thought it'd be good to finish downloading the rest of my favorite photos of summer so far before my posts are taken over by everything baby!

Most of the photos don't need any explanation, but the following one does.

Gabi and Levi wandered unknowingly into the sprinkler the older kids were playing in the other day...  they were not so happy with the results.  Here, Gabi screams her ever-lovin' head off while she comforts a stunned Levi.  It captures their personalities so perfectly. 

Saturday, June 9

cheering for you

One thing I treasure so much about our children, is that they genuinely love each other and cheer each other on.  I love this series of photos from a recent warm day in the sprinkler, where Gavin and Morgan are encouraging Annika to jump over the sprinkler...  she was hesitant, and they wanted so badly for her to be able to do it.  Did I mention the water coming out of our hose is freezing???

She did it!

Feeling so alive!!!

Now on to Gavin's new sprinkler jumping prodigy = Levi.   Let's see how he does...

Not a fan, not a fan!

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Thursday, June 7

Getaway - days 5 & 6

This day, we woke up in Cannon Beach, OR and drove a few hours south to see Jeremy's sister Jennifer, our brother-in-law Jimmy, and our beautiful 8 month old niece, Aidyn!  We were so thrilled to see them, even if our visit was only from the late afternoon one day to the morning of the next. We miss living near our siblings soooo much!  But the fact that we got to see and spend time with three of them on this trip was so cool.  We treasured each moment.  

We went out to dinner, and came home and talked as late as we all could stay awake for.  Definitely something we're missing!!  We love you guys, and loved meeting Aidyn!  Thank you for having us!!

  (Don't Jimmy and Jeremy look like the siblings in the above picture??) 

I love you, sweet girl.

Uncle Jeremy getting in some snuggle time.  She was such a good sport being passed to us "strangers."

After we sadly said goodbye to these guys, we headed north on our longest drive yet all the way up to the Seattle area.  We stopped at a great outlet mall on the way up, it was so fun!!  

We had plans to drive to my Mom's best friend's home, to have dinner and see my Mom, who was visiting there, and see my sister one more time.  It was fast and furious, but we're so thankful to have seen them all!!!  

Helen, on the far left, has been best friends with my Mom (far right) for 40+ years!  
We used to live in Washington until I was eight years old, and my Dad was transferred out of state for his work, so these were our very best friends whom we hung out with nearly every waking moment.  Sarah was my best childhood friend, and it was so wonderful to see her!!  It had been around 10 years since I'd seen her, and I loved meeting her beautiful and fun daughter, Olivia.  

What a blessing of a trip this was... we fit in so much good quality time as a couple and the time with family and friends was an added blessing!  I'm excited to see my Mom in just a week - she'll be staying with us for two weeks to help out with our new baby transition!!!  She has been here with all five of our births...  love you Mama.  

I love this picture, I think I may have to have it framed... Mother and daughters.

After meeting up with this crew for dinner, we drove to SeaTac to return our rental car, took a shuttle to our hotel, finally got into our room at 1:30 am, and were up at 4:30 am to get to the airport to catch our flight!  Exhausting, but hey, we were still on vacation!!  None of that mattered - sleeplessness or not!!!  

We were so happy to see our kiddos after 6 days away - we felt refreshed, and ready to jump into the next chapter of our lives.  Seven children!!!!    

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