Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas (part 2)

So, I love Christmas parties...and we definitely had our share of them this year! But, to be honest I did not anticipate just how much work it is once you have a baby. I had this Norman Rockwell picture in my head of bringing Kensie to her first family Christmas celebration. Everyone would ooo and awww at her. We would be the smiling, happy, new family excited to bring this newest little member along with us. And well, it would be perfect.

What I forgot was that Kensie still needs to nap at certain times and eat at certain times. Well, with a bazillion aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins was pretty much impossible. I found myself annoyed at others for not understanding Kensie's need to sleep. I wanted control of the schedule and it just never worked out right.

After several parties that went the same way, you can imagine how excited I was to have Christmas Eve and Christmas morning all to ourselves! Just the 3 of us. We were a VERY tired bunch, but here's some cozy, real-life, at-home pics Christmas morn...

Some of the other craziness these days....

Greg's brother #3 (Curtis) was married Monday night! It sure made for a busy weekend after Christmas, but so fun....I love weddings! I love dressing up. I love seeing family and friends all at one time. I love reminiscing about our wedding day nearly 5 years ago now (wow..that long??). And I LOVE seeing my hubby in a tux....grrrrrrrrr. :)

5 good lookin' brothers....
I'm particularly fond of the last one on the right though :)

Welcome to the family Alicia...another girl to add to the clan! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas (part 1)

What a whirlwind it has been lately. Christmas has never been so busy for us! So fun, but extremely exhausting! Here's a quick recap...

We were blessed this year to get a fresh perspective on the birth of Jesus. We volunteered (or I should say we were roped in...and later showed excitement) to play the role of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. Thankfully there were no speaking parts! Our church did a first-ever live nativity scene. It was really cool how it turned out. People entered the church, where there were live animals and shepherds who led visitors on a short walk to get to the manger scene. On the way, they told the story how an angel appeared and told them the news that Jesus was born. Greg and I were to simply act like typical new parents. We offered scraps of food to our visitors and chatted about what it must have been like back then. Little girls and boys ran up to offer baby Jesus (Kensie) little leather bracelets they had made at the craft tents. It was such a precious time for us. I kept thinking just how dirty everything must have been for Mary and Joseph. And why on earth did Joseph stick around when he had absolutely no part in creating this child? Was Mary's delivery a hard one or easy one? How much did Jesus weigh? And how did it really feel for Mary to look into the eyes of this amazing child of God?? So neat to see it in a fresh new light.

Kensie was such a little trooper too. We were there for about 3 hours. She was happy when awake and slept in the actual manger for like 45 minutes! Of course when we got home, she showed her true colors :).

Hope your Christmas was grand!

More to come...Christmas parties and another family wedding!! Stay tuned!

Monday, December 14, 2009

How do you get out of a funk?

Hey there. Havin' a pretty bad attitude over here, and just can't seem to kick it. Everything has been bugging me lately. You know, when it just seems like no one can do anything right? And every time you're around people, you just want to tell them to stop being so annoying? And even when they aren't annoying, you still want to tell them to just stop? And then the minute you think you've had enough of yourself (and your bad attitude), you start to actually enjoy the negativity you've been in?? I've been really frustrated with just plain stupid stuff these past few days. I've been impatient with people I love. I can't stop saying negative things. And well, I'm just in a funk. How do YOU get out of it?

On another note, Kensie has been my happy place lately. She is getting so much more expressive, and seems like she is doing something new I love watching her grow and learn the simplest of things (like finally being able to hold onto her toys!).
Even when she interrupts my Sunday afternoon nap because she blew out her diaper so bad she needed a bath....I seem to have SO MUCH patience with her. No matter how little sleep I get, or how much she demands, I can never be mad at her for very long. :) Maybe that's a little taste of how God loves me? Even when I have my pity parties, he just can't seem to get enough of me. Now that's some crazy love.

morning snuggles

**Also, notice the small birthmark on her arm? It just appeared one day. The doc says it will get bigger and bigger until about age 9 and then will fade. I think it's kinda cute :)**

Monday, December 7, 2009

Brought to you by the number 3...

3 more weeks 'til Christmas!

3 easy steps to a fun homemade dove ornament copied from Ballard's Designs (again)

1) Use Christmas piano sheet music to cut out doves --glued to cardstock for extra sturdiness.
2) put a thin strip of glue around the edge and sprinkle with glitter.
3) hole punch top and secure a piece of raffia to hang on tree!

3 things little miss Kensie likes to do A LOT lately:
1) smile
2) sneeze
3) smelly toots

3 month chair picture!
You're gettin' so BIG Kensie!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

1 year ago...

We moved into our first home! What a journey it has been...

We started out with a few remodeling projects...

(opened up the entryway)

(opened the space between 2 living rooms)

Learned what it means to snow plow our own driveway...
(no pic sorry)

Did LOTS and LOTS of painting (thanks to my patient and talented hubby!)...

hutch before

hutch and dining area after

Endured the "Flood of '09"...

And welcomed our first baby into this home!...

How thankful we are for this place, and can't wait to fill it with more memories!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This whole week I have been thinking of what I'm most thankful for. It seems hard to pick just one, as there are SO MANY things in my life that I am eternally grateful for....a tight knit family, faithful friends, a precious new baby, a loving husband, a home to call our own, and on and on...

But, I would like to focus on one word. PURPOSE. I am so thankful for purpose in my life. I have not always felt this in my past. For a long time I thought my purpose in life was to be the best at sports that I could. Once I thought I attained that, I felt empty. Then I thought my purpose was to look the best I could on the outside. The moment I thought I reached that, I felt hollow and ugly. My box in life was so small, and all I could think about was me, myself, and I.

So getting back to the point. In the last 2 years, I have seen a new purpose begin to blossom. There have been numerous "coincidences" in my life that have led to new and meaningful relationships. God has placed other people in my path when I needed it most, and vice versa. He has shown me that my purpose in life is not about me. Rather, His purpose is all about Him. And, His purpose is to use whatever circumstance I'm in to encourage others toward Him.

So, for now (in practical terms) purpose is to be: a faithful and loving wife to my husband, a caring and prayerful mother to my child, and an encouraging and intentional friend to others. And for that, I am thankful. Thankful that my life has meaning because it affects others. Thankful that "coincidences" don't just happen. Thankful that there is a God behind everything that happens in life. And most of all, I'm thankful that He cares enough about a spec like me to rescue me from my sin.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Stubborness = Stupidness

Yes. Yes it does.

Day #1 (last Wed). I woke up feeling under the weather. A low grade fever, a headache and a stuffy head. Took some Motrin and Sudafed (both safe for breastfeeding btw) and stayed home all day in my robe, trying my best not to touch or breath on Kensie.

Day #2. (Thursday). I went to watch a high school volleyball game. You know, cuz I thought I was feeling better. Bad idea. Hardly slept that night from what felt like fire in my throat.

Day #3 (Friday). I swear I was swallowing pins and needles all day. I rotated from the bath to the couch to the bed....all the while drinking cup upon cup of tea and sucking on cough drops like candy in between. By the end of the day, several people thought I had strep and should get checked out.

"No, not me. I've NEVER had strep in my life, let alone been on antibiotics. I'll be fine gargling my salt water 2-3 times a day. I can fight this thing" -- I realize that I basically think I'm invincible at this point.

Day #4 (Saturday). I'm pretty sure this is the worst of it and it WILL be better by tomorrow dag nabbit! So what do I do? Go to ANOTHER volleyball game that night. Nice Shannon. Like that's gonna help.

Day #5. Church. At least I was smart enough to stay home from that....starting to learn my lesson maybe? By the afternoon, I knew there was no way I could make it through another night, and it was time to head to Urgent Care.

So....after 4 miserable nights and 5 looooooong days, I took a 10 min trip to the hospital, where the doctor didn't even bother swabbing to test me for strep. She took one look in my mouth, and said, "oh that looks bad". If a doctor says it looks bad, that must mean something right?

A quick trip to Walgreens and 10 min later I was home with my prescription, feeling a mixture of emotions. Was all that torture over the last 5 days worth proving that apparently I can fix my problems?? --good reminder that God is the only one who can conquer ALL things. And secondly, why did I not listen to good advice?? -- another reminder that stubbornness = stupidness. And most importantly...thank goodness for drugs! -- reminding me how thankful I am to live in this day in age.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

2 birthdays, 1 great time!

Happy birthday to my sisters Lauren (nov. 13th) and Katelyn (nov. 14th) !

You girls always make it a great time!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

2 months!

Remember this fabric I posted a while ago? Well a blanket has been made! Not by me though. Thanks to Grandma Brink, it is finished. I would have gotten around to it by next year...maybe! Such a procrastinator, I know.

And, Kensie is 2 months now! Crazy. Here she is sporting her new blanket, and big chair...

What Kensie can do these days...

~smile :)

~sleep at night!! (8-9 hours)


~more alert during the day

~sleep with her mouth open (mommy trait)

~loves to stare people down with furled eyebrows (her daddy's no doubt)

~twitch while falling asleep (also a daddy trait)

~enjoys lights of any kind

~favorite place to poop - in her bouncey seat. every time. not even kidding.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

'tis the season!

I know. I'm already so excited for Christmas. Pathetic right? I usually get the Christmas jitters around Thanksgiving, but this year I was ready before Halloween! It might have something to do with having a new addition to the family. Makes it so much more fun!

Anyway, I've been browsing my favorite catalogues to find some Christmas inspiration. I want out of Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn, and Williams & Sonoma....but so darn expensive. Soooooo.....I'm totally copying this tree button garland I saw out of Ballard's.

Here's how I pulled off the same look for MUCH cheaper...

Vintage buttons from Hobby Lobby.

$2.50 for one container.

Purchased two of them.

Found some raffia laying around the house, to use to string the buttons together...

what I've finished so far!

Ballard Designs charges $30 for three strands. Mine cost $5! And I'm biased, but mine's got personality. I love the random shaped sizes, and shiny gold ones spaced between them. And it matches my other homemade ornaments. Can't wait to see how it looks on the tree!

Friday, October 9, 2009

A truly inspiring story...

Our pastor is wrapping up a 5 week series on the story of Hadassah (Esther), the inspiring woman from ancient times who risked her life to stand up for herself, her people, and most importantly her God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God who uses normal, everyday people to save nations. Esther was no different than you or I. Just a teenage girl trying to make the best of her daily routine...albeit mundane at times. But she loved the Lord, and was willing to let Him use her in any way possible.

Now, if you are like me, you will understand my struggle with the Old Testament. I have read and heard the stories countless times. And they very often seem like just that. Stories. It's hard to imagine these goofy sounding names as REAL people. People who took on unknown futures, unknown risks like Esther, and lived out what it means to follow God. But, I have gained a new appreciation for the story of Esther through this movie. One Night with the King (2006). FANTASTIC. It perfectly mirrors the Bible chronologically. And I LOVE the way Esther is portrayed. Now, don't get me wrong. Movies can very often be misleading, and alter what the scriptures say. But for me...I am a visual person. And this helps make it real for me. And wow. Truly inspiring.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

1 month

I can't believe 4 weeks have flown by....well sorta. The first week of bringing Kensie home from the hospital felt like for-e-ver. Between recovery, and the night feedings every three hours, I was definitely at my wits end at times. But then time began to fly, and here it is one month later already!

Above: 4 days old

Below: 1 month old

Things I LOVE so far....

~ snuggling as a family

~ picking out a cute outfit for Kensie every day

~ watching her sleep

~ staring at each and every feature on her precious face

~ the addicting baby smell that lingers after bath time

~ bows

Things I DON'T LOVE so far...

~ backaches...thought they would go away after being pregnant. Wrong. So much strain from holding, feeding, bathing and rocking a baby all day. And not to mention toting around a car seat.

~ NOT sleeping. I really get annoyed between the 1am and 4am feedings....killer.

~ hearing her scream until almost breathless

~ not enough alone time with the hubby. It's been really hard to connect for more than 10 minutes at a time

~ not being able to enjoy a meal without interruption

~ in-between maternity clothes and normal clothes. Annoying.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009


Did I see it coming?...not really. Was I warned? Yes. Everyone has told me that a new mother can be very emotional and overwhelmed the first week after delivery. 'But, not me' I thought.

I had been cruising on adrenaline all week. Everything new and exciting. A sweet new baby to ga ga over, and an excuse to use the phrase 'family time' on a daily basis. Well, Saturday night came. Greg had a hard week at work just coming off Labor Day, and seemed like he was in the office for most of it. He did what he could....kept up on the laundry, changed Kensie's diaper for midnight feedings, and helped clean up after dinners. But, I wanted more. I wanted him there a lot more. So, needless to say....things started pouring out of my mouth at dinner Saturday night, and they didn't stop. Soon, "liquid hormones" (as I like to call them) were streaming down my face, and I just couldn't control myself. I excused myself from the table and proceeded to the bedroom where I cried for about a half hour. I didn't know if I was more mad at Greg, or at how I was letting myself get so worked up about it...but either way, I said a lot of things I still regret. My dear husband could not have handled it better. He didn't say a word. He kept my dinner warm in the oven, came in the room to rub my back, and said I could take all the time I needed to recuperate. When I came back out, most of the house was picked up, and he was holding Kensie on his chest by the fireplace.

To end on a positive note, Sunday afternoon was GORGEOUS! Here are some pics from our walk to the park. And yes....some much needed 'family time'....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Details on D-day...

WARNING: Read only if interested in long and boring labor and delivery details.

Last Saturday night around 11:30pm I started having what felt like strong menstrual cramps (later found out they were contractions) every 15 minutes. They weren't strong enough to bother waking Greg, so I kept busy all night doing crafts and organizing things in the house. By 5:30am they were getting stronger and about 3-5 minutes apart. By 6:30 Greg was awake and timing them for me, as they got more painful. I kept thinking, 'if my water only broke then I would know when to go into the hospital. I just don't want to be sent home yet again'. But, the pains kept coming pretty consistent and I would have to stop to brace myself while pacing around the house. Finally Greg informed me I had 3 contractions in like 8 minutes. With little convincing we packed the car and drove to the hospital. Thankfully we live like 6 blocks away, and I literally had like 1 or 2 contractions in the car, so it was a quick ride (and I was so thankful for that!).

Once the nurse set us up in the room, the contractions quickly got more and more painful, and less and less apart. I was gripping the side rail of my bed while Greg gently rubbed my back. By 9:30 I was ready for my epidural. With a quick prick in the back, the contractions got less and less with each one. All the while, the graphs were printing out on a bedside table that showed the curves of each contraction. Greg kept saying, 'man, that was a HUGE one...did you feel that?'.....'ummm, nope.' I was numb from my sternum down. I actually felt better right then, than the whole nine months being pregnant. IT WAS AMAZING :). So....the afternoon was full of naps, and chatting with my mom, and watching baseball.

Then around 4:30 I was dilated to 10 and ready to push. With Greg on one side, a nurse on the other, and the delivery doctor in the was a whirlwind of breathing and pushing and focusing. I tried to treat it like the biggest athletic event of my life, and that's pretty much what it was. I closed my eyes and just focused on when the nurse and Greg told me to push. At this time I started feeling the contractions again, and the pelvis pain heightened tremendously. But, it helped me know when to push. I just cannot imagine the pain WITHOUT an epidural. Holy Cow. So, to wrap things up, 45 minutes later our big-beautiful-healthy girl arrived. :) When they placed her on my chest immediately afterwards is when I finally lost it. Tears and sobbing erupted. I think it was a combination of knowing I was finally done working so hard, and literally seeing the product of what God had created over the last nine months. So special. I will always remember that moment.

We both looked at her and looked at each other and just knew her name was Kensie. We had a couple other options on the list, but Kensie Michelle it was. It just had to be. The name originally started out as Mackensie, but we knew we would just call her Kensie, so why not name her that? And, Greg has always loved my middle name Michelle, so it seemed appropriate to mix it in the middle. With that, our little miracle was given life and a name. We are so grateful for how God has blessed us. What a beautiful creation she is!

She has only gotten cuter over the last 6 days. Here's one from yesterday...

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Kensie Michelle Mulder



9 lbs 7 oz

22 inches

100% perfect

Story on labor and delivery coming soon...