Monday, December 31, 2007


warming the bottle, december 07

We are ringing in the new year here at home.
What we're drinking...
Tommy: Miller Lite
Sara: Moet
Ella: pumped breastmilk

New Years is special to us because we got engaged on 12-31 in New York City. We were wild and crazy then...all dressed up, staying out late. Now we are content to stay home in our pajamas just 4 short years later! Rest assured though...we will be up late tonight...Isabella is quite the night owl.

I am wishy-washy about new years eve. I enjoy the thought of starting fresh...but I've never been good at change or letting go. '07 will always be a cherished year for us. A year of brand new territory for sure. We made it. She's here. And there's no one else we'd rather celebrate with tonight! We have much to thank God for.

I love this quote...
Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. ~Oprah Winfrey

Cheers indeed!
I'm off to watch the Dick Clark Show and clink glasses (and bottle) with my dear ones.
Wishing everyone another wonderful year. Hope you are having fun this evening....however you decide to celebrate!

Friday, December 28, 2007

the holidays can make you.... tired!
Christmas was very merry....
and so special with a brand new baby.
We got lots of nice things
and spent some quality time with both families.
Now we are enjoying some down time...
some relaxation.

A large stack of birth announcements/Christmas cards
kept me fairly busy before Christmas.
They were a lot of work and a lot of fun.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

pop-pop and gigi admiring miss ella, december 07

Christmas is almost here...
We opened the best gift we'll ever receive a month early...
She gave us her own little version of a Christmas gift last night...
something we really needed...
in fact, something we'd both been begging for...
F I V E sweet, straight hours of precious sleep.
Thank you, Isabella. Mommy and daddy really appreciate it!
We hate to be greedy..but we're asking for it again tonight.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


-together, d.r., summer 07

today i am thankful for you, tommy. this journey that we are know the one...the one where we get very little sleep but are so fully alive during all of the "moments" of the day..... this journey that can bring me to tears and bring us both to our knees in gratitude to God.... a journey that includes creative shift work, but returns a tiny unexpected smile that is worth more to us than we ever expected.... a journey that makes us both laugh out loud... a journey that smells a lot like a pee diaper but mostly like a huge blessing...
i really couldn't do it without you.
i'm the type of person who lives with her shoulders up around her ears. to say that i'm anxious and tense would be an understatement. but are my glass-half-full-gonna-be-alright guy. thanks for coming home to me (to us) each day. my shoulders drop, inch by inch, the moment i see your face. or, if i'm being honest...the moment i hear the garage door.
all my love to you.

**thanks to my step-mom (and one of my best friends) for taking the above picture of us...which is probably my favorite photograph of all time. you framed up, perfectly, the essence of "us."

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Hard to believe that I am 3 decades old now. In blog-style celebration...I will make a random thirty list...
1. I think it is amazing how being a mom can make me feel so old and so young at the same time. Last night on the way home from my birthday date with Tommy, he asked me (through his own yawns) if I wanted to go to one of our favorite places for a drink or two...after already having had a drink or two at the restaurant...I simply couldn't imagine being able to hold my eyes open through one more drink. (This, in case you didn't pick up on it, made me feel extremely OLD.) As we drove through downtown and saw all the people just on their way out--all I could think about was my pajama pants. (Again, feeling senior citizen old here!) On the other hand...I look at her sometimes and think...I am not old enough for this! I am way too young to be someone's mother! I don't have good advice to give...I hate vegetables....I often have coke with my breakfast...I can't even get myself ready to go somewhere on time...I have even forgotten to feed my dogs before. This is all proof that I am too young!
2. My parents came in for the weekend to help us celebrate and to watch Isabella while we ventured out on our very first date post-baby. It was so great to have them here...and also very great to go out with my husband. He started the day off right with my egg souffle breakfast from bed! And ended the day with dinner at my very favorite restaurant. We (make that I) only called home twice for an update.
3. Yikes, did I say 30 things? They are going to have to get considerably shorter.
4. Just finished an amazing book...The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It certainly took me a lot longer than it used to to finish a book--but I did finish it and it was so very good.
5. It is getting a wee bit easier to get up for that 3am-ish feeding. Big emphasis on the wee part. Still hard, but not quite as hard. Ella and I have been watching the rodeo on ESPN during her middle-of-the-night snack. Why the rodeo? If I watch something disturbing or scary--I ruin what little sleep I have the rodeo seems like a very neutral sort of thing to watch. Momma and baby are both well versed on bull riding now.
6. We are enjoying our sock advent gifts. It is such a fun thing to do. Ironically, almost more fun than actually getting the gift is the part of the note that says where to find the gift because it reminds us of good times in the past. For instance, Tommy's last note to me said to look for my gift in the very spot where I told him I was pregnant. My mind immediately flashed back to standing in the corner of the kitchen telling him the news with sweaty palms and a pounding heart.
7. Kite Runner, the movie is out! If the movie is half as good as the book...I am so excited to see it.
8. It is bitterly cold here today---but no white stuff.
9. I really need to get Ella's birth announcements out early this week. I always thought I would be the type of person who mailed them out in the first week. I clearly underestimated how sleep deprivation can squelch one's creativity.
10. I am very contradicting when it comes to Christmas gifts from Tommy. Most of me wants to say...I would really rather shop for my own gifts after Christmas so I can get things I want, etc. So just give me money or gift cards. But, this tiny immature part of my really likes the element of surprise that comes with him shopping for me.
11. I think I would like to make a family tradition of celebrating Christmas each year somewhere tropical....say, a resort in the Dominican...or Key West....or the Bahamas. Santa could stop by our place early...he could even leave a note that said "Your stockings will be filled on Christmas morning at the __________ Resort. Make sure you leave me a seashell instead of a cookie. Also, leave your balcony door cracked so I can get in (as long as you aren't on the first floor.)
12. Of the 24 hours in a day, I spend a good 7 hours putting the pacifier back in Isabella's mouth after she lets it fall out. The other 17 are spent looking for the pacifier.
14. I skipped the number between 12 and 14 because I am weird like that.
15. One of my favorite smells ever (besides the smell of my baby, of course) is Aveda products, particularly Sap Moss and Rosemary Mint. Just got some for my birthday from my sister in law. Thanks Brigit!
16. My favorite Christmas commercial this year is the Lexus one where the husband calls home to say that he can't pick the son up from practice. The wife is kind of miffed and comes out the front door to find the husband and the son in the driveway with a new Lexus and a big red bow. The husband smiles and says, "Just a little somethin'." I love it!
17. Justin and Lib sent me a Martha subscription for my birthday. I love magazines...and I love getting a subscription for a gift. It's truly the gift that keeps on giving.
18. I am LOVING the mail these days. Between baby congratulations cards, birthday cards, and Christmas cards...there is almost always something fun. As I always say, my favorite cards are those with pictures. It is especially fun to receive cards with photographs that I took!
19. Chris, Allison, and Jack will be here soon to stay with us and meet the baby. We can't wait.
20. My mother-in-law got me a baby book and I am excited to start writing in it. I plan to have 3 baby books for made online that will have all the photos from her birth and will tell her birth story, one that I will adhere one snapshot per page and journal about the picture, and one regular baby book. My pregnancy journal is huge and I still love looking through it. Hopefully she will love it, too. I totally enjoy looking through mine and Tommy's.
21. I saw a quote that said daughters and mothers are never closer than when the daughter becomes a mother. How very true.
22. I really thought that once the baby was born, my worrying would subside. I was so wrong. I have googled one million potential problems and worn out the first 50 pages of "What To Expect-First Year." I guess the worrying only gets worse the older she gets. I am in for it. Good thing I have a husband who isn't an alarmist like myself.
23. I have shopping left to do and gifts to wrap. The kids of the family all want money. Though it is easy--it isn't near as fun to give.
24. I am loving snickerdoodles and gingersnaps but have decided against baking any more of them since it takes me several hours to make them...and they seem to disappear within the evening.
25. The two baby items that we have gotten the most use out of so far (if you don't count the thousands of diapers and wipes we've gone through) have been the swing and the boppy pillow.
26. And the diaper champ...thank goodness for that.
27. And the Mylicon Gas Drops...those are very handy.
28. Lots of my tastes have changed after pregnancy but I still love doublemint gum and my favorite drink is still Moet (much to Tommy's dismay!)
29. The messy bathroom...seriously...tomorrow, I'm on it!
30. The treadmill....seriously..tomorrow, I'm on it....maybe...probably.

Glad to be thankful to God for the many, many blessings in my life. Looking forward to another great year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


seeing you with your only great grandpa made me miss my two grandpas. i wish they could have met you, held you, loved you. oh how they would have loved you. pop pop's dad would have held you in "the pocket." gigi's dad would have called you "chick-a-dee" just like he used to call me.
you may not have all of your great grandpas ... but you certainly have 2 GREAT grandpas who love you to pieces. you're very blessed that way.

{by the way, happy 3 week birthday, love! It's hard for me to believe you are that old...but it's also getting harder and harder to remember life before there was you.}

Saturday, December 08, 2007

growing up...

Ella...Just to let you know..your dad and I spent the first 2 weeks of your life praying that you would gain weight and grow. Gaining weight has never been something we've had to pray for around here! (In case you don't were more interested in playing around than actually eating.) Now that you have gained weight and seem to be growing and changing each day...we are praying that time will slow down! That you will be a tiny newborn for a little while longer. (I can't lie, we want you to be a tiny newborn but with the sleep patterns of a lazy teenager.)
I left your hospital bracelets on you for several days. It was as if cutting the tags off meant that you weren't so new anymore. Finally, your dad insisted that I cut them off because he thought they were hurting you. I cried (but of course!) as I cut them off and put them aside to tape in your baby book later. When you are grown up you will not believe that such a teeny-weeny piece of plastic ever fit around your wrist. I will save it so that you can see it and so that we can chat about it over dinner some evening. Perhaps you will be pregnant with your first baby and you will be curious about your own birth. I will tell you everything...especially about how beautiful you were and about how we had prayed for you all along. It will be a great conversation.
Last weekend, I took you in our room to change you and tears sprang to my eyes once again as I realized that the very last of your "tags" had fallen off. Your umbilical cord. This, indeed, meant that you were officially grown up and it broke my heart. I wasn't prepared. I thought we had another week with you as "Newborn Isabella." I yelled for your dad to come and see. Instead of crying, he was so excited because now we could bathe you. He's been talking about your first bath since you were about one half of an inch big, nestled cozily in my belly. Why? I don't know...but he was just sure that you would love the water and that it would be so fun. Later that evening...we put his theory to the test. Sure enough, father knows best. You seemed to love your bath. You were as content as can be and spent a big part of your tub time gazing at your reflection in the mirror. I don't blame you sweet baby...I spend a large part of my days just gazing at you. You are amazing.

You should also know a couple of things about these photos....
~Our bathroom has been crazy messy since the day you came home. I keep thinking I'll clean it...but then it's time to feed you again and the mess just gets further out of control. I think today is the day though. During one of your naps...I plan to conquer the bathroom!
~We took pictures of us with you but I decided against printing them since your dad and I are both sweating like we just ran a marathon due to the fact that we put the space heater in the bathroom to keep you from getting cold. I would guess that the temperature reached about 100 degrees by the time we finished up. Are we a bit overly concerned about you catching a cold? Maybe.
~It might appear that your dad has no decent clothing to wear since he was sporting a vintage polo t-shirt (complete with requisite hole) for your first bath experience. Later on in life, he might try to blame this on you. He might try to say that he was forced to wear tattered clothing because your diapers were so expensive. That would be something he would do...he's quite the funny guy. In reality though, I'm here to tell you that your dad has worn those extra soft, extra old polos at home for many years. They are his matter how ratty they look. He's made many sacrifices for you, that is true...but the holes in his shirt have nothing to do with the price of your pampers, sweet pea.
~Nope, your hair is not the least bit red. It's actually medium brown. For some reason, any picture we take of you with the flash on makes you look like you are a strawberry blonde.
~Lastly, we loved your first bath as much as you did. Thanks for another unforgettable experience.

PS...aunt libby, the monogrammed towel/wrap was the perfect end to a first bath. thanks.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

that day...

Baby Isabella... Some things to remember about your homecoming...
We brought you home on Thanksgiving Day and it was a Thanksgiving like no other. Never before have your dad and I been so very thankful.
It was very cold and rainy. Your dad drove slower than he ever has. I sat in the back to hold your little head in place because you were (and still are) much too small for your carseat.
We heard a song on the radio that made both of us cry. We couldn't believe that we were actually bringing you home with us. It seemed so official. We kept stealing glances at each other in the rearview if to say, "Do you think we can do this?"
You were an angel. You slept the whole way.
You wore your baby gap outfit that your aunt libby got you. Though it was very appeared to be an xl on your tiny frame. You also wore the turkey hat that one of the nurses in the hospital makes for babies who go home on a holiday. That hat is so incredibly cute. I fell in love with you all over again when they wheeled you into our room late at night wearing it.
Thanks to your dad (and some very hard work by your uncle jus and aunt lib and gigi) our house was all decorated to welcome us home. It meant so much to me. It was perfect.
The dogs greeted you with many sniffs. You didn't seem to mind. I hope you guys will grow to love each other.
We took you up to show you your nursery. It was tough to tell since you never opened your eyes...but we think you love it!
You spent the whole entire day in someones arms. No one could resist holding you...especially your pop pop.

Your dad and I think you fit perfectly here.