Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours!
We hope you have a blessed Christmas filled with food, family and fun.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Zoo

We had the chance to go the zoo recently and we had so much fun.  Thankfully it wasn't too cold and it was a beautiful day for us.

Eli had fun watching the giraffes from a distance, but wasn't exactly sure what to think of them up close.

Here's Doug telling him about the rhino.

He really liked the playground they have at the zoo and we spent quite a while swinging and sliding and climbing.

His two favorite things were the Patagonian Cavies and the squirrel monkeys.  The cavies were actually pretty interested in Eli too and one of them followed him down the fence!
 Here we are watching the squirrel monkeys.
After our trip to the zoo, I can't wait to have more adventures with my little family!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pinterest Projects

I have been getting a lot of craft ideas from Pinterest lately.  Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to actually do many of the projects though.

But this weekend Doug and I set out to get a few started and finished, and last night we actually finished one of the three we started :)

Inspiration from here. I am sooo happy with how it turned out!  We don't have a fireplace so in the past we've always hung our stockings on the entertainment center.  It worked, but wasn't ideal because the stockings blocked most of the electronics, making it very difficult to turn the volume up and down or play a movie.  And this year, since Eli is up and moving, I was worried about him pulling the stocking holders down on himself.  We even threw in a couple extra knobs in case we need more stockings later.

The other two projects are gifts and in varying degrees of completion, but here's a little sneak peak:

My three projects, being painted

One project is a picture family tree, these little blocks will hang below the large piece with pictures of family members.  I got the inspiration from here, but mine is very different.
This is the top part of the picture family tree and a little peek at the 3rd project.
I wish I had time to do more things like this.  I've been having so much fun creating and tweaking them to be exactly the way I see them in my mind.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Shortly after Logan was born Doug had to go back to work.  We were looking at a long hospital stay and decided that it would be better for Doug to take time off when it was time to take Logan home than to use his vacation days sitting in the hospital.  Since Doug was missing so much, I was tasked with taking at least one picture per day and at least one video per week.  Looking back, I'm so thankful we set up those rules because we probably wouldn't have nearly as many pictures if we hadn't.

When I was pregnant with Eli I decided that it would be a good idea to set the same rules for Eli, one picture per day and one video per week.  I started out with good intentions and took a lot of pictures and made several videos, but before long days passed with no pictures.

To tell the truth, I've been feeling pretty guilty about it.  I mean, we have tons more pictures of Eli than we do of Logan, but that's because we had so little time with him.  I feel guilty because I made it such a priority to take pictures of Logan and I just haven't with Eli.

But it occurred to me last night, as I was on the floor playing with Eli... life is for living, not documenting.  Sure I'll cherish the pictures we have of him, but when I'm looking back on my life I want to have memories of rolling on the floor with him, big hugs and rocking him to sleep, not memories of watching him play through the lens of my camera.  I'm taking pictures in my mind every step of the way.  They won't be put in a scrapbook or hung on my walls, but they'll be cherished just the same.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

World Prematurity Day

In honor of World Prematurity Day, today I am trying to raise awareness.

I'm wearing this ribbon:

And I want to share some preemies with you.  Every single child on this list has a mommy who has lost a child.  Some of these are angels themselves while others have angel siblings.

Logan, June 27, 2008-July 14, 2008, born at 24 weeks, 6 days

Chad, Jr. 10/21/2011 19 weeks 4 days gestation

James Matthew 11/16/2010-11/18/2010,  25 weeks 2 days old

Conner born at 36 weeks 11 days in NICU now 6 years old

Alissa born at 35 weeks 9 days in NICU

Patrick Mclean Cupit II born at 24 wees 2 days, passed 6/24/10 due to NEC

Julia Swan Dorothy Cupit born at 29 weeks 

Cali Anne Dickson born at 25 weeks gestation on November 1, 2010 and she passed on November 10, 2010

Wyatt Everett Snyder born at 24.2 days gestation on November 14, 2007.  Died on January 13, 2008 after a 59 day fight for his life

Mason McCaffrey born on October 11, 2010 at 30 weeks 3 days due to my development of early onset preeclampsia.  Passed away on October 13, 2010

Dylan-36 weeks (13yrs old)

Adriana- 36 weeks (9yrs old)

Mitch- 36 weeks (4yrs) No fluid

Juanito- 21 weeks 12/29/09 subchorionic hemorrhage

Brisa- 36 weeks (7mo)

Julienne Taylor, 5/17/2011, 26 weeks 5 days

Isabel- born at 28 weeks, in NICU for 49 day, now 3 years old and healthy

Gabriel- born at 28 weeks, in NICU for 51 day, now 3 years old and healthy

Elena- born at 28 weeks, passed away at 28 days due to septic shock from staff infection at IV site. Never left the NICU.

Meshach Gordon born and died March 09, 2011 at 34 weeks

Noah Declan Schilling... born at 25 weeks.. 04/02/2011 - 04/20/2011

Wyatt Alexzander Golden born on July 26th 2011, born at 34weeks6days

Jack, 36wks, 2 weeks nicu, 2yrs old now 

CayVior Taymere Wilburn born and grew wings on 9-11-11, 24 weeks, he was 1 lb 1oz

Cameron- 12.11.07 at 24 weeks 5 days. 1 pound 9 ounces 12inches long

Kaelynn- 9.1.09 at 26 weeks 1 day. 1 pound 15 ounces 14 inches long

Anthony zecena was born at 25 weeks 2 days. He was born 3/9/08 at 1# 6oz 12.5" he passed on 3/15/08

Christopher Isaiah born 16wks. 7in long, 5oz. 12-30-07, born 3:08am, died 4:20am

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011






We even have the bruise to prove it!  Today he took off walking and was doing really good until he saw a stool and decided he could reach it without taking another step... big mistake.  He couldn't quite reach the stool with his hand so he ended up reaching it with his face.  Now he's got a big ol' shiner :(

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Yesterday on my way to pick up Eli I was listening to the radio and heard the DJ talking about a movie called "180".  I had to check it out and after watching it, I have to share.  It gave me chills.  This movie is a documentary-type film and is about abortion (and so much more).  It is 33 min. long so I suggest waiting until you have time to watch the whole thing before you start it.  Amazing how one question can change it all....

If you haven't watched the movie, don't read below...







A few things in this movie really stood out for me.

1. The picture of the 24 week old baby... obviously, this one is tough for me personally because Logan was born around that time.  He lived, he breathed, he cried, he sucked a paci... the baby in the bed next to him was born at the same age and he thrived and went home with his parents... how could anyone think that's "not a baby".

2. At one point someone mentions that if the quality of life of the child is going to be bad, then it's okay to have an abortion.  How do we know what the quality of life will be like?  I've encountered people who thought their baby was perfectly healthy until the day the child was born or even discovered the illness/disability much later than that.  I've also encountered people who were told their child would be very, very sick for their whole life, if they even made it to birth and now the child is thriving (case in point, Stellan).  And just because we think a certain life is of "bad quality", who's to say it really is?  So many illnesses/disabilities are or have been very misunderstood.  People who were at one time sent to a hospital or group home because of their "condition" are now living on their own and doing just fine.  God can and does continue to perform miracles every single day.  Some are small, like the A on the test you didn't study for or the smile you know you saw from a child too young to smile.  Some are big, like remission from cancer.  Either way, if we step in we're taking away the opportunity for a miracle.

3. One of the girls said she thought it was okay for a mother to choose abortion in some situations.  Then Ray Comfort asks her what situation is okay, she hesitates and then says she can't think of one.  How many times in life do we just simply say "it's okay, sometimes"?  Not even talking about abortion here, about everything in life.  We accept excuses without stopping to think about whether they are valid.

To me, this video is about awareness.  We all have to hold ourselves responsible for being aware about what's going on.  Sometimes so much is going on in our lives we just let things slip by, we think "someone else will take care of that" (I count myself in this group sometimes).  We have all these ribbons and months and weeks marked for awareness: a pink ribbon and the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness, November is Prematurity Awareness Month, this week is EB Awareness Week (if you don't know what EB is, please visit "EB"ing a Mommy).  I think we need a ribbon for awareness itself, it would remind us to be aware of what is going on in our community, our state, our country and our world, all the time.

Friday, October 21, 2011


After painting our kitchen, office and both bathrooms last summer I have been itching to get the last of the "builder brown" out of our house.  We have known we wanted to paint the living room gray for a while but hadn't decided on an exact shade until this fall.  We bought the paint and materials weeks ago and this week we're finally getting it painted!

Here's the living room with it's new gray...

The wall part of the tray ceiling is painted the same shade as the hall, which is lighter than the shade in the living room.  Here's the hall...

We have so much more to do in these spaces.  We are going to do a photo wall in the hallway and a tree will be painted on the short wall in our living room and pictures will go there too.  Below is the inspiration for the tree which I found here
I am planning to make fabric circles with pictures in them instead of leaves.

And eventually I'm going to paint my frames in the hall so that my photo wall looks something like this but with more pictures (and my frames aren't that fancy)

Then there's the master bedroom.  We've just started on it this morning, so there are no pictures, but here's my inspiration...

The bottom will be "paneling" like in this picture which I found on Pinterest here

The top will be stripes based loosely on these

I cannot wait to see it all come together.  I am also painting two of the doors in my room a shade of red (more maroon-y than fire engine).  That part is a little scary to me but I've seen a bunch of painted doors on Pinterest that I really like so I'm going to try it out to see what I think. Worse case scenario I just repaint them later.

Before we painted our house the first time I was almost afraid to try out bright colors but now I say bring it on!  I love making my house "ours", I know that there are lots of people that probably think I'm crazy, but you know what, it's just a little paint :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Big Boy

Yesterday afternoon my mom and I were playing with Eli and trying to get him to walk back and forth between us.  He was holding on with one hand and going back and forth and then he got distracted and took two steps completely on his own!  As soon as he realized he wasn't holding on he sat down but we got really excited even by these few accidental steps.

Then later I was in the office doing some things on the computer and he came in and said "mama"!  He said it a couple of times that night so I know he knew what he was saying (as opposed to all the other times he's said mama, just because those sounds came out).

Then this afternoon I got a text from daycare:
Eli is no longer sleeping in a crib at daycare, he now sleeps on a nap mat like all the big kids!  I can't lie, I cried.  My baby is getting so big and that makes me really happy because I know what the alternative to growing up is.  But it makes me sad too because I know that in a blink he'll be starting kindergarten... moving to college... getting married... starting his own family.  It's moments like this when I really want to savor every second with him, when I vow not to forget or take for granted even one moment of his life!

Monday, September 26, 2011

It hit me...

I think it finally hit me this morning that Eli will be 1 in just 8 days!  Sure, I've been planning his party and counting down the days but it still didn't seem real.  It wasn't until last week that I realized I needed to get some food in my house (other than party food) because in just a few days we're going to have several people staying with us and they'll need to eat :)

I also realized that until recently, I have not dared to let myself imagine him making it to this birthday.  I don't mean that I really thought he'd die... I really don't know how to explain it.  Our only real experience with 1st birthdays was Logan's.  We weren't thinking about presents or smash cakes or photo shoots.  And even though I've been planning Eli's party for quite a while, I haven't really stopped to think about what it's all about, a whole year of blessings!

Even though everything with Eli has been so different than with Logan, I kind of feel like this birthday marks a new phase.  We had a baby before Eli.  But now we'll have a toddler.  It's really just a word, but even just typing it is like a sucker punch to me.  We never got toddler Logan, and as far as I know we never will.

I've often wondered what Logan will be like when we go to heaven.  Will he still be that tiny baby we held in our arms?  Will he be the age he would have been if he had lived?  Or is heaven on a different timeline altogether?  I have read "Heaven is for Real" (and I highly suggest it if you haven't read it) and from reading it, it seems that people do age in heaven but that people who die old aren't old in heaven.  So will we see Logan in all of the different stages of life?  Will we get to experience who he truly is when we get there?  I don't know the answer to these questions, but I do know that no matter what age he is or what he looks like we'll know him when we see him... it's a love thing.

So this weekend we'll be celebrating a year full of blessings, and we'll be grieving the moments we missed with Logan.  Until Logan, I didn't know those two emotions could be experienced at the same time, but I've learned so much since he was born.  It's all a part of this road we're travelling.

I know that this post is kind of disjointed, and I've read over it several times trying to figure out how to fix that, but it is what it is... I guess I'm kind of disjointed myself :)

Friday, September 16, 2011


One year ago today was my very last day of work before maternity leave.  I was so excited about meeting Eli soon but also nervous that something could still go wrong.  I spent soo much time praying, begging God to let me  have a healthy little boy.

Last night I found myself on my knees again, begging God again.  You see, there is a little boy named Levi who is currently fighting for his life.  He was born with a diaphragmatic hernia, basically part of the muscle which keeps our organs where they are supposed to be is missing.  This condition has caused problems with his heart and lungs.  The doctors are not giving his family much hope, but they have put their hope in the Lord and are choosing to believe that He will heal little Levi.  Last night they had a prayer vigil at the hospital and they asked those who could not be there in person to pray wherever they were.  So at 7pm, I turned off HGTV, put my phone on vibrate and prayed for little Levi and his family.

Of course, Eli is too little to understand quiet time, so he was playing with all of his toys, making tons of racket and just having a good time.  At times I had tears running down my face for this sweet family facing such a tough road.  At times I would smile or even laugh as Eli did something cute or laughed at something that only a baby could find funny.  And I thought of Logan and how I felt last year waiting for Eli.  The fears and emotions I had then came flooding back.  

When I think about this family, I remember what it was like to go to that hospital every day, to face the news (good and bad) and I remember that every single day we are given is such a blessing.  When I announced here that I was pregnant with Eli I said this:
"And for right now, I am going to take every single day as a blessing.  If I am pregnant for only 2 weeks, that is 2 weeks I get to spend with this baby.  If I am pregnant for 24 weeks and 6 days, that is 24 weeks and 6 days I get to spend with this baby.  And if I bring home a baby in 9 months and get to watch that child grow, I will be blessed for every day I am pregnant and every day of that child's life.  "
It's so true!  Every day that I hold Eli, every moment spent with him is such a blessing.  My heart is so full of love for both of my boys it seems like it can't hold any more.  It has only been recently that Eli has started to wake up without screaming before I go into his room to get him.  And on those mornings when he is awake, I hear him say "hey" when I open the door and he always has a big smile on his face.  And somehow, my heart grows a little bit bigger, just enough to let more love in.  

I don't know God's plans for little Levi but I hope and pray it involves a miracle for this family.  I hope that the doctors are amazed by what God has been able to do in his life.  But most of all, I hope Levi's family feels God's presence in this journey and that they know in every moment they are blessed because of their little boy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

11 Months

We are less than one month away from Eli's first birthday!  It is so amazing to me how fast the time has gone.

Eli now weighs 22.6 lbs and is wearing 12 month clothes.  He cruises along the furniture pretty well and has stood on his own for a few seconds here and there.  He recently started crawling on his knees some, but when he wants to get somewhere fast he's back to the army crawl.

He says ball, dog, Dada and uh oh (it usually sounds more like uh uh) and said kitty this weekend.

We spent the weekend in Georgia with some friends and had an awesome time!  Eli loves them both and I'm so thankful they've been so much a part of his life since day 1.  Here are some pictures from our trip.

Headed to the Troy/Clemson game

Go Trojans!!!
The Sleepy Wrap was perfect for this game. Eli napped for almost the entire 1st half so it would have been killer to have to hold him the whole time without the wrap.
Watching the ball
Hanging out with Daddy
Eli has a Troy jersey but we had to take it off because it was sooo hot.
Thank goodness we got the Baby Banz ear muffs, it was extremely loud.
Eli is a big Troy Trojan fan!  He loved watching the ball at the game.  He really showed his Trojan pride when some guys behind us started bad mouthing Troy.  The guys were going on and on about a play and Eli looked up at them with a mean look that I can't even begin to explain.  The best part was the guys noticed the look and apologized to me for making my baby mad.  They were laughing and saying that he was gonna beat them up for talking bad about the Trojans :)

On our way to go shopping, 11 month birthday
Napping with Christie