Wednesday, November 4, 2015

two months.

on November 3, you turned 2 months old, easton! 

This month has been so very sweet. You have started smiling and cooing and interacting with us more! We are starting to see your sweet little personality peak through!

You love watching the mobile on your swing, "talking" while we change your diaper, & watching ceiling fans. 

We {hopefully} have your acid reflux figured out and that has been a true game changer--much less crying and much less pain for you! Praise the Lord!!

You weren't super pumped about being dressed up as a fisherman for your first Halloween. Hopefully that will change because your dad has big plans to take you fishing later on in your life!
We sure love you, big guy!!

one month.

easton, on october 3 you turned one month old! (yes, i'm a bit behind--it's been a busy month!).
your first month has been a joy-filled challenge. you have battled acid reflux this month and we have tried endless things to help you feel better. 
a lot of our month has looked like this...

it's hard to think of our lives before you got here! 

right now you really like looking at ceiling fans, eating all of the time, and being awake at all hours of the night. 

you HATE any and all swaddles & despise having your diaper and clothes changed.

you've been on several walks, taken your first bath, & like car rides.

and while at times this month has seemed like the longest of our lives, we know that the days are long and the years are short. and even though it's been a challenging month, we still think you're a keeper. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

it's ok to cry.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about how I want to recap the first month as a mom. Society wants me to post smiling pictures of a sweet baby in his stain-free outfit with a tag line that talks about how in love we are with our new addition and how we can't imagine life before he got here. And while yes, we are in love with our new baby, that's not the true picture of my first month into the vast ocean called motherhood. 

What those Facebook posts don't show is that the first month after having a baby is hard. It's messy and full of tears. It's painful and emotional. It's overwhelming and exhausting. What those perfectly posed pictures don't show are the tired eyes of new parents who aren't sure if they are doing any of this parenting stuff right. Or the nights of rocking and bouncing a newborn that has cried for {what feels like} days straight. 

In the middle of the night during a marathon feeding session, I stumbled onto a blog post titled "70 things I wish someone would have told me about pregnancy" (or something of the sort). This post covered everything from the joy you would feel, to the products you should have bought. But the one that stood out to me the most? "It's ok to cry". 

It's ok to cry. 

It's ok to cry because you didn't know you could love something so much. 
It's ok to cry because you feel overwhelmed and alone in the middle of the night. 
It's ok to cry because you feel so blessed by all of the people who want to come see your new baby. 
It's ok to cry when you feel overwhelmed by people coming to visit and you just want to hide out. 
It's ok to cry because you didn't think you could love the man you married any more until you see him as a dad. 
It's ok to cry because feeding your child is one of the most painful things you have ever done. 
It's ok to cry because feeding your child is one of the most beautiful things you have ever done. 
It's ok to cry because you feel like you might never get to leave your house again. 
It's ok to cry when you feel anxious just at the thought of leaving your house again. 

It's ok. 

I write all of this not to highlight the bad that comes with the first month of having a newborn, but to remind myself of how hard these times are. To remind myself that it's important to hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection. And maybe, if you are a new mom and reading this, you will know that even though this first month feels so long, it will pass. And in the meantime, it's ok to cry. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Easton Gregory Chandler

On September 3, Easton made his way into the world and our hearts at 8:44 PM! 

8lbs. 3oz. -- 19.5 inches

Easton's "birth story" is, thankfully, a fairly uneventful one. After learning that I had high blood pressure at our 38 week appointment, I was put on bed rest. The following Wednesday we went back in for our 39 week appointment and were met with the phrase, "what are you guys doing tonight--are you ready to have a baby?" My blood pressure was still high and was beginning to become a danger to the baby. It was determined that the best option at this point was to induce labor. Zach and I were excited, nervous, scared, and relieved all rolled together.  We left the clinic, made a very important pit stop for some Chick-fil-a, made phone calls to our family and friends, and headed back to the hospital. Wednesday night we relaxed in the hospital room  while they started medicine to "get things going".  Needless to say, not a lot of sleep happened that night!

Thursday morning we were greeted bright and early by the flipping on of lights by the anesthesiologist to give me my epidural. Shortly after, I was given pitocin to start the laboring process. From then on it was just a waiting game. All day we had a parade of friends and family coming in and out to see us. Thankfully, I wasn't in much pain and was able to interact with them throughout the day. 

At 7:00 we were told that it was time to start pushing. Zach prayed over us and we spent a few minutes realizing that that would be the last time that our family would be just us. At 8:44, Zach and I got to hear the first raspy cry of our sweet little boy! What an incredibly beautiful sound! We got to spend the next couple of hours soaking up our new addition and the fact that we were now a family of 3. Soon after, our families were let into the room so that they could love on him as well. 

We stayed in the hospital Thursday night and were able to come home late Friday night. 

What an overwhelmingly beautiful experience we had welcoming our sweet Easton into this world!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

after a 4 year hiatus...

i stumbled onto an old blog post the other day and suddenly got a bit nostalgic. and then i realized that it has been 4 years (!!!!!) since i have written a post! wow! i have loved being able to look back over the posts that i have made and see how different i am now and reminisce about life back when these posts were published.

because let me tell you, life has changed just a bit!

since my last post....
zach and i got married (may 21, 2011).

i have completed 4 years of teaching 2nd grade and will start year 5 this friday!

we bought our first house in march of 2012.

we've added two fur-babies to the mix. maggie & riley. 

the past 4 years have been filled full of adventures, job changes, travels, family, and friends. but our greatest adventure will be here in just a few short weeks...

in just 5 weeks we will be adding a sweet baby boy to our family! we are so excited, nervous, anxious, and thrilled. 

i'm hoping to make these blog posts and bit more frequent (at least not 4 years apart!). i know that time is about to start moving even faster, and i want to be able to look back and remember the day-to-day celebrations and milestones. 

i have lots of sewing, classroom, and home projects to share as well! so watch out blogger-land--i'm back!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

and here we are.

oh, my little blog. i have missed coming here more than i thought i did. the passed couple of months have been filled with sweet second grade faces, lesson planning, paper grading, house hunting, lease signing, gift registering, graduating, envelope licking, invite sending, and wedding crazy-ness. wheeew. and in between it all i have left very little time for myself to sit, think, or create.

i've realized during this spell of "creative dryness" that i have to have some sort of extrinsic creative activity going on in my life in order to keep myself sane. i've missed coming to this little spot, if only a few times a week, to let myself type all of the little details and thoughts that are collected though out each day.

the wedding countdown is down to 2 days. yes, 2 days. that means we're in the middle of the wedding-tornado. this tornado is filled with ribbon and flowers and lots of final decisions to be made. but in two days, zach and i will be married, i will finally be able to breath, and i can finally get back into taking time to create once again.

i hope you haven't given up on this little corner of the web-o-sphere. i have some ideas that will be coming here soon, including a re-launching of a completely new knotted needle store. i'm excited about all of the little changes that are currently creating this new life of mine!

Monday, January 3, 2011

thank you.

a few months ago i posted about the book cold tangerines by shauna niequist. it's no secret that i love this book. i love the way that shauna is so so real in her writing and how she pours herself into her books. i've told everyone i know to read it, have given it as gifts, and written a quote from nearly every page of the book in my journal. 

shauna also has a book called bittersweet that i have been reading through recently, and let me assure you, it's every bit as good as cold tangerines. the other day while i was reading bittersweet i began thanking God for putting things in our lives at specific and designated times, like that exact book for this exact period of my life. 

the term bittersweet is a bit of an oxymoron that we can use to identify many situations in our lives. i'm currently finding myself in a bittersweet period of life. the sweet side of my life is filled with thoughts of finally receiving my degree and becoming a teacher, being married and beginning a new life with zach, and learning to live in this world as an adult rather than a full-time student. with every sweet situation a bitter one generally is along side of it. for me, the bitter part of my life right now is moving out of my comfort zone that i have known for the passed 4 years. i will have to say goodbye to friends and instead of seeing them everyday, i will only see them every-so-often. i will have to say goodbye to relying fully on my parents for support and will have to learn to adapt to having a job all day where i can't take naps between class. 

last night i began to think about this bittersweet state of life that i am in and i realized that i'm currently right in the middle of the bitter and the sweet part. semi-sweet maybe? tomorrow i will begin student teaching in my hometown with a sweet little class of 2nd graders. this means that i have moved home for the semester, leaving me in a state of limbo between being a college student and an official adult. i'm not a real teacher, only practicing, and i'm not a real wife yet, only engaged and planning for marriage. 

one of the quotes at the beginning of bittersweet states, "bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a sliver of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich when it contains a splinter of sadness."
i love that quote. what a beautiful picture these words paint of the hope that God shows us during even the most bitter of times.  

i can feel God stretching me. stretching my legs and arms, mind and soul, heart and spirit in order to prepare for the next leg of the run that is placed before me. i am so thankful for this "semi-sweet" time in life that is allowing me to reflect on who i am and who i want to be in Him as a wife and future teacher. 

thank you, God, for the bitter times and the sweet times, and even the semi-sweet times. 

"so when life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. and when life is bitter, say thank you and grow."
-bittersweet by shauna niequist
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