Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | November 7, 2012

tiny prints!!

Last year, we sent out Christmas cards from one of my favorite online stores:  Tiny Prints!  If you haven’t yet ordered your cards for this year, make sure you check out their incredible line of Christmas cards here: Holiday Photo Cards.  Yes, this is a sponsored post and yes, you should totally check out their store.  It’s that good.  Here are a couple of my favorites:

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So, do yourself a favor and check out Tiny Prints for your Christmas card order this year!

PS-  It’s not just a store of cards…  There are birth announcements, gift ideas, photo books and more!

PSS-  Also make sure to check out their Special Offers Page

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | December 23, 2011

I was “that” mom.

Jonah’s 2 month appointment sneaked up on me and before I realized it, I couldn’t find a babysitter for Hannah and therefore was forced to take her with me.  “No big deal”, I thought.  The biggest problem, I surmised, would be how to tackle the carry-in.  Stroller for Hannah and ergo for Jonah?  Car seat for Jonah and let Hannah walk?  I decided on the latter and we were on our way.  Upon opening the front door, I was excited to see a very kid-friendly waiting room.  Hannah wasted no time and instantly made herself at home.  She did her usual walk around the room, laughing out loud and pointing at various, possibly even make-believe items, which of course made the front office staff smile and laugh and again I thought, “No big deal.  This isn’t so bad”.  A nurse soon appeared to take us back to our room.  Already very comfortable with the environment at this point, Hannah decided that the rest of the office must be just like the waiting room and off she went.

The next 45 minutes were terrible.  Absolutely terrible.  I became “that” mom that I have always been so quick to judge.  I became the mom who seemingly had zero control over her child.  Normally obeyed commands went in one ear and out the other.  She whined to be picked up and then as soon as she was in my arms, she whined to be let down.  Over and over.  She searched through the trash can.  Ripped up the paper on top of the exam table.  Threw toys across the room.  Dropped everything.  Wouldn’t sit still.  And wouldn’t listen.  Her usual 5 second attention span was reduced to 2 seconds.  Who was this child and where did Hannah go?

Finally, it was time to go and I sheepishly apologized to the DR for the chaos who smiled a sympathetic smile and walked out.  I wanted to cry.  I was embarrassed.  Actually, embarrassment is an understatement.  I was humiliated.

On the drive home, I began to think and pray about what had just happened and why I felt so defeated.

“Kids are kids.  She’s only one.  That’s normal.  Give yourself some grace.”  

On the other hand…

“All this work for nothing?  We’ve been so intentional about trying to teach and train her.  She has shown so much progress.  Why does it always seem like 1 step forward and 2 steps back?”

Ultimately, it came down to this:

1.  When you care too much about what people think, God just may give you lots of opportunities to swallow your pride.  Better yet, plan on it.  And then be able to find some humor in the situation.  It’s good for you.

2.  Don’t judge.  It will come back to bite you.  In fact, fess up now in the areas that you have judged.  It’s never too late to apologize and repent.

3.  Maybe your child’s behavior isn’t always contingent upon your parenting.  This isn’t a “let me off the hook” plea because truly, I don’t want to make any excuses.  Nor is it an absolute.  We’ve read numerous books and sat down with numerous “been there before us” parents and though we’ve only been doing this for a year, we aim to be as intentional and consistent as possible.  We believe that you need a plan when it comes to parenting.  Both parents, if in the picture, need to be on the same page.  Consistency is HUGE.  Parenting isn’t something that we do casually on the side.  It is far too important of a calling.  Therefore, we are trying our best.  I am trying my best.  But I’ll be honest and say… it just doesn’t show sometimes.  The end result doesn’t always accurately depict the effort put in.  And that’s OK.  What matters the most is that we love Hannah the best that we can.

Just remind me of this tomorrow.  :)

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | December 8, 2011

the fastest two months ever!

It seems like yesterday that I was holding Jonah for the first time.  And here he is in all of his two-month glory:

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How can I describe Jonah…  Well, let’s just say he’s about the complete opposite of Hannah as a baby.  He is relatively calm and content.  And he is consolable.  When he cries, I pick him up and he stops crying.  Who knew?!  He loves to be held and he is constantly nuzzling into your shoulder or chest, trying to get as cozy as possible.  He’s a great sleeper and efficient eater which I am so thankful for.  He tolerates his sister who kisses him upwards of 25 times a day.

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And by kiss, I mean head-butt.  :)

Happy Two-Months Jonah-bug.  We think that you are the greatest!

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | November 30, 2011

casual parenting in the computer age

Russell here.  Just thought I would add my $0.02.

The name of the title is exactly what I was doing.  I was supposed to give Hannah a bath while Eliza Joy was out running errands.  Hannah likes time in the tub, so I figured I would plunk her down in there for a bit and let her play – while using my laptop.  I was sitting on the toilet only 3 feet from her.  I would glance over every 10-20 seconds to make sure she wasn’t standing up, which is about the only thing that she does that would worry me.  Until today.

About five minutes into her bath I look over and see that she has something in her hands.  I had given her two floaty plastic toys that are little ducks or frogs or something like that to play with (that is how ribbiting, errr, riveting I think they are).  Anyway, they are twice the size of her hand, and it wasn’t one of those.  That is when I looked in the tub and saw it – the giant poop that she had just dispensed into the water.  It was floating all over the place.  It was also in her hand.  And she had just attempted to eat some of it.

I think I really startled her when I jumped up and starting yelling “No! No! No! No!” – though it didn’t seem to make her not want to play with this new mysterious play-dough.  Needless to say, cleaning up water logged poop chunks isn’t my new favorite activity.  So next time your kid is playing calmly in the tub, make sure you pay attention more carefully that me.

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | November 19, 2011

Tiny Prints is …

Tiny Prints is running a special deal right now where you can blog about their products and receive some free Christmas cards!  What a deal! Last year, we attached all of the Christmas cards we received to a “wreath” of sorts that may or may not still be hanging on the wall in our kitchen…. 11 months later.  This year, my goal is to do something like this:

And hopefully, the Christmas card tree will not still be displayed in my living room one year from now.  :)

 

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | October 31, 2011

hannah’s first bday

Three weeks ago, Hannah celebrated her first birthday.  Russell and I tried to pull every card in order to be released from the hospital a day early… but to no avail.  Therefore, I woke up on the morning of October 11th with a bit of a heartache knowing that my baby girl was waking up on her first birthday in somebody else’s house.  Fortunately, she was in better-than-sufficient hands and was celebrated well.

I woke up to this picture on my phone. Notice the birthday sign in the background!

A few hours later, we picked up one tuckered out (from a 48 hour marathon play date) little girl.  We brought her home and to our surprise, she slept most of the day and when she wasn’t sleeping, she was a bit of a mess.  She had come down with a nasty virus that knocked her out of her usual routine for a good week or two.  I’m happy to report that she is finally back to herself this week and therefore, I was finally able to sit down and write up a little update on the Bean.

One year ago, as we spent two weeks in the hospital, the thing that stuck out to me most about Hannah is that she was and is a fighter.  One year later, we can testify to this 100%.  Just try to make her sit down on your lap and you will see.  But seeping through her strong will and determination is a sweet little girl that I have fallen in love with.  She has filled our home with laughter (and a lot of tears) this past year.  On the rare occasion that she lets you hold her tight and she melts into your arms, we know that we are embracing a little girl who will grow up to be someone who sets the pace for those around her.  And with this understanding comes the weight of knowing that she is only ours on loan… to love and delight in, to teach and train.  This changes everything for us.  Most days, I simply don’t feel up for the challenge as she is everything but a textbook baby and I so often feel helpless and inadequate and completely in over my head.  But deep down, I know that for some reason, God chose me and He chose Russell to be the parents of this little fireball and that He will lead us as we try our best to listen to and trust Him.

So Hannah-Bean, here’s to you on your first birthday (3 weeks late).  You make our lives richer every single day and we love you to pieces.

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | October 21, 2011

the birth story- part 2

At 6cm, we knew that we were there to stay and so we walked down the hall and settled into one of the labor and delivery rooms around 3:30pm.  We requested one of the two rooms on the floor with a whirlpool tub and it just so happened that we were in luck.  After spending about twenty minutes on the monitor, I decided to spend some time in the tub.  It started out great until the contractions really started to pick up, especially in my back.  The next hour was  intense.  Full blown back labor.  I spent the majority of that time sitting on the edge of the hospital bed, draped over Russell’s shoulder, with my friend/doula, Heidi, pushing hard on my lower back.  (Shameless promotion:  Hire a Doula next time you give birth.  You won’t regret it!  And if you live in KC, hire Heidi Meythaler!)  Around 4:30pm, I had my midwife check me again.  8/9cm, she said.  I was in transition and I was feeling it!!  I tried to persuade the nurse to give me her best guess as to how much longer I had to go.  She smiled sweetly and said, “An hour?  Maybe two at the most”?  At that point, I think I cried.  There was no way I could make it that long!  Each contraction felt like a knife was stabbing me in the back and they were now so close together that it felt like there was almost no break in between.  “When will I know when it’s time to push?” I asked.  “Oh, you will know!” was the answer.  That’s always the answer.  Ten minutes later, I felt the urge to push.  I don’t know if I actually felt or if I willed myself to feel it because I couldn’t stand the pain anymore!

My midwife came in and checked me again and sure enough, I was at 10cm and it was go-time.  In came a swarm of nurses, the big light dropped out of the ceiling, and in the midst of all of the hustle and bustle, I got a charlie horse in my hamstring.  Are you kidding me?!?  Regardless, it was time to push.  In the back of my mind, I was remembering what it was like to push Hannah out.  I had grand ambitions of pushing her out quickly but an hour later, she was still semi-stuck and ended up coming out face-up (not a fan).  It was terrible (no exaggeration).  This time, however, I pushed through 2, maybe 3 contractions and out came Jonah!  The thing about labor that always gets me is how a relatively modest and very self-aware person can do the things they do in that moment.  Russell still loves the famous line from when I was pushing Hannah out and the midwife gently suggested an episiotomy.  Even though we came into that room adamantly denying the option, there I was in the worst pain of my life and screaming….  “I don’t care what you do!  Get this baby out of me!!!”   This time around, I was equally as unashamed and my normally well-behaved lungs enjoyed the workout.  In the end, however, I will always remember that exact feeling when the nurses lay that fresh-out-of-the-oven baby on your chest, all purple and wrinkly, and all you can do is sigh a deep breath of relief.

sidenote:  When I first held Hannah, my very first thought was, “OH MY WORD.  THIS IS MY DAUGHTER!!!!!!  Thank you, God!”  When I first held Jonah, it went more like this, “OH MY WORD.  I’m not in labor anymore!!!  I’m not pregnant anymore!!!  Thank you, God!!”  And then came, “This is my SON!!”  Just being honest.  :)

After several minutes of cuddling, the nurses took him to weigh him, clean him up, etc.  They were initially concerned about his breathing (it was very rapid) and so they ordered some blood work to be done and warned us that if he had an infection, they may have to take him to the NICU for a bit.  However, after Russell held him for about 30 minutes and we were able to pray for him, his breathing returned to normal and we were allowed to keep him with us.

Overall, the experience was incredible and significant on so many levels for me.  I tangibly saw and experienced the grace of God.  By grace… I mean divine enabling… supernatural help.  I experienced HIS strength in my utter weakness and pain, HIS endurance and perseverance when everything in my body was saying, “Quit!”.  And the result was the birth of our precious Jonah.  The name, Jonah, means ‘messenger’ and his middle name, Isaac, means ‘laughter’.  Our prayer for this little boy is that God would give him and make him into a living message that would bring joy and laughter to everyone he comes in contact with.

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | October 19, 2011

the birth story- Part 1

My due date of October 7th came and went. Though initially I was disappointed because we were getting so anxious to meet our little guy, I was also relieved because another day meant more time to get ready. Well, that was short lived. I woke up on Saturday morning (the 8th) with contractions. They started very mildly and were spaced out about 10-15 minutes apart. I woke Russell up and with excitement, proclaimed to him… “Today’s the day!” Little did I know that 24 hours later, I would still be having contractions, still 10-15 minutes apart. This was so different than my labor with Hannah where my water broke in the middle of the night and we drove straight to the hospital.  We spent Saturday taking care of last minute details and trying anything and everything to speed up the labor! We took a couple of walks, I did some lunges and squats, we ate Chipotle for dinner and I put a few drops of the spiciest salsa on each bite. I even got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed our kitchen floor.

I wasn’t able to sleep much on Saturday night since most of the contractions were strong enough to wake me up. After another walk around the neighborhood on Sunday morning, things finally started to pick up. By around noon, we noticed that the contractions were definitely getting closer together. By around 2pm, they were almost five minutes apart and so I made the call to my midwife who told us that it was indeed time to head to the hospital. Finally!

We gathered up Hannah’s stuff and dropped her off at our friends’ house down the street and we were on our way. As we drove down the highway, Russell turned and said to me, “Watch you already be at 7cm!” I tried to squeeze out a laugh but deep down I was thinking… ‘Yeah right, watch me still only be at 3cm’ (which is what I measured at my last DR’s appointment on Friday). With Hannah, it took me hours of contractions in the hospital to go from a 3 to a 4 and I didn’t want to get my hopes up that I was already past that stage.

We checked into the hospital and settled into the triage room where a nurse asked all of the normal questions and then some abnormal ones like “Do you have any tattoos”? Hmmm…  She then proceeded to check me and surprisingly exclaimed, “You are already measuring 6cm!” Let me tell you… that was the best news I had heard in a long time and I was pumped!!!

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | September 24, 2011

any day now…

This little guy is going to come any day now!  I have to admit that it has been pretty different this time around.  I haven’t even set up his bassinet or purchased the first box of newborn diapers but my excitement is growing rapidly.  Though I am certainly apprehensive when it comes to having two kiddos that are so close in age, I recognize that it is such a privilege and will be such a joy.

Hannah continues to be a little firecracker.  She is taking lots of steps… though they normally end up like this:

She continues to crack us up with her many faces, tumbles, and quirks…

But she also has an incredibly sweet side to her and is slowly but surely learning how to let us cuddle with her (for all of 10 seconds at a time).

And here’s the obligatory belly shot… even though I was distracted and looking the wrong way:

Next time I post… it just may be pictures of our son!

 

 

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | July 26, 2011

if it’s not this, it’ll be something else

If I could sum up the challenges of parenting in one sentence, it would be this:

This, too, shall pass.  And if it’s not this, it will be something else.  (ok, two sentences)

The greatest encouragement in the midst of the hardest trial is that the current problem will not last forever.  In fact, for babies, it will probably only last for a few weeks or a few months.  I remember the days surrounding Christmas when the GI specialist at Children’s Mercy told us to feed Hannah a special type of formula every three hours on the dot, even in the middle of the night to see if it would make a difference in her digestive system.  Even though she had started sleeping for 5-6 hour stretches at night, I had to revert back to setting an alarm and dragging  myself out of bed to wake up a sleeping baby in order to feed her.  I was absolutely exhausted.  And yet I barely remember those weeks now.  There were the hours of crying that lasted every evening from around 5pm until 10 or 11 at night.  There were the 5 outfit changes, 100+ spit-ups and 1-2 baths per day.  There were the ear-piercing screams every time the bottle was taken out of her mouth.  There were the few weeks of 6am wake up calls after months of her sleeping in until 8am.  And yet as quickly as each new challenge presented itself, another one was beginning to fade.  Stepping back, taking a deep breath, and gaining some perspective is absolutely essential for me as a new mom.

We’re starting to see the same lesson emerge but on the flip side of the coin.  As Hannah develops little habits and quirks that we just can’t get enough of, we find ourselves wishing that time would stand still.  And yet as soon as one mannerism or new skill starts to fade, another begins.  We find ourselves missing the endless raspberries she used to blow last week but loving the non-stop chatter that she is offering to us this week.

All to say, I’m experiencing the tension of wishing Hannah was older so that she could communicate why she is upset about something and simultaneously wishing time would stand still so that she would never outgrow that little cheesy toothy grin she makes when she crawls around the corner and sees you smiling at her.  Time is precious and unique and complicated and I’m learning to just enjoy today for what it’s worth and all that it offers.  Because if it’s not this, it’ll inevitably be something else.

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | July 16, 2011

moving right along…

It is the season for changes in this household!  June 30th marked my last day of being on staff at IHOP.  That same week, Russell purchased a Home Inspection franchise and left for a week-long “boot camp” in Leavenworth, Kansas.  In the coming months, he’ll slowly transition out of the remodeling/construction work as he begins getting his own inspections.  This week marked the start of my third trimester of a pregnancy that has flown by.  Around October 7th, we’ll be welcoming a little Capps boy into this world and then a few days later on October 11th, we will celebrate Hannah’s first birthday.  I received my first taste of what this fall will be like when I babysat a friend’s 8-week old little boy earlier this week.  Let’s just say… I’m not quite sure how it’s all going to work but I know that it will.  It has to.  Right?!

The good news is that Hannah seemed fascinated by the little baby.  At first she was sure that he was just a toy, a crying, wiggling, squeezable little toy.  Soon after, however, she realized that he was actually alive and after about a dozen times of “No, Hannah.  No touch”, she was content to watch him, smile at him, and crawl all around him.  Now, I still wouldn’t ever leave her alone with a newborn knowing that she may very well poke his eyes, crawl across his little tummy, and try to eat his feet… but a start is a start.

This summer has been a hot one so far but we’ve enjoyed our pool time, grilling out on the back deck that Russell built last month, and a few Saturday morning trips to the City Market.

celebrating josiah's first birthday... country style

just making sure all of josi's sunscreen was rubbed in..

 

where she spends a majority of her time each day... her first "playground"

taking some steps with the walker

 

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | July 11, 2011

nine months!

Dear Hannah,

Today marks the big nine months.  We celebrated by going to the grocery store, your favorite.  You haven’t learned the difference between friends and strangers yet and so every time that we go into public, you assume that every person is your buddy.  Big smiles, an occasional flap of the arm (aka wave) and lots of leg kicking.  Every errand takes twice as long with you but that’s OK, I like doing them with you.  Here’s a summary of what you’re like at nine months:

You like, in no particular order:

1.  shoes more than toys

2.  any and all food

3.  to carry clean diapers with you as you crawl around the house

4.  bath time and the pool and gulping as much water as possible during those two activities

5.  walks in your stroller

You don’t like:

1.  to be held while we’re sitting or laying down.  in fact, you wiggle, squirm, and then cry.

2.  naps.  not one bit.

3.  when we put sunscreen on you

4.  naps.  did i already mention that?

You have the sweetest little voice and although you usually only talk when you are playing by yourself, we love every chance we get to listen to you chatter.  You love playing with other little (and big) kids and you tend to follow around the bigger ones while crawling over the little ones.  You don’t yet have the concept of personal space but we’ll work on that.  Every time we pick you up, you kick your little legs as fast as you can as if you are treading water.  You love to crawl on us and over us.  Recently, when you start to crawl to something, you’ll lower your head and crawl with such determination and intensity that it cracks us up every time.  You’ve run into a few walls doing so but you don’t seem to mind.  You are fearless.  You fall many times a day but rarely cry unless the fall scared you.  You have one little tooth on the bottom row that is slowly making its way up.  You like being tickled, especially on your thighs and your laugh constantly makes us laugh.  You continue to be all motion, high energy, all of the time… and although you are a lot of work, we couldn’t love you any more.  You are the most wonderful little girl and I’m so excited to see your personality continue to develop.

PS- Thanks for not spitting up as much as you used to.  We’re really grateful!

PSS- “Sitting still” is an oxymoron when it comes to you.  See pictures as evidence!

take 1

take 2

that's it... i give up!

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | June 9, 2011

“show me more”

Pregnant with Hannah, I hoped and prayed that becoming a mother would teach me so much more about God as a Father.  I didn’t have to wait long.  This past fall was full of experiences where my eyes were opened.

As I held a screaming one-month old in the hospital and watched her endure so much pain….  This is how He must feel when I hurt.

As I snuck in night after night just to get one more glance at her sleeping body….  This is how much He must delight in us.

The list goes on and on.  As I grow in age as a mother, I grow in understanding of my Father.  This morning was no different.  As I have expressed before, I have a little girl who absolutely hates to nap.  As I carry her into her room and start to close the curtains, she begins to whimper.  As I lay her down in her crib, the whimper turns into a cry.  As I walk out of the room, she’s full out screaming.  And the screaming goes on and on and on.  As I peek through the crack in her doorway, I see her standing in her crib, holding on to the railing, tears streaming down her face, staring at the door.  We’ve tried every method that we know.  We’ve gone in every few minutes, we’ve let her cry for an hour… and we’ve tried everything in between.

This morning, knowing that she was beginning to get tired, I scooped her up and sat down with her in the rocking chair.  The wiggling began.  The squirming.  The whimpering.  She doesn’t like being constrained.  But the more she squirmed, the tighter I held her.  The battle went on for several minutes.  She was not going to relent and neither would I.  “Just stop fighting it,I wanted to tell her.  “Just stop fighting it,” He whispered to me.  “I know that you are tired.  It’s OK to rest.  Just let me hold you.”  “I know that you are tired.  It’s OK to rest.  Just let me hold you,” He echoed.  

After 10 minutes, she finally gave up, put her head on my chest and closed her eyes.  After a few seconds, she’d pop up, squirm some more and then dive bomb back into my chest.  This went on for several minutes until I finally stood up and walked her to her crib.

I walked out and the revelation came.  I’m just like her.  I want to know that my Father is near me but I don’t always like to be held.  I want to play.  I want to go.  I want to do.  And I get angry when He “walks out of the room”, even if it means that He’s in the room next door.  I want the benefit of His presence but I don’t want to have to stop what I’m doing to just sit with Him.  And while He enjoys watching me play, He loves it the most when I just sat on His lap and lay my head on His chest… when I let Him sing over me and tell me that He loves me just as I am.

The lyrics in this song say it best:

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | June 6, 2011

second time is a charm


Hannah’s first pool experience went something like this:

Now some bystanders claimed that Hannah’s hatred of the water had to do with the frigid temperatures.  That might have been.  All I know, however, is that Hannah’s second pool experience worked like a charm.  Here’s to lots and lots of pool days in the years to come.

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | May 31, 2011

C-ville Trip #1

It was my first time back to Charlottesville in a year and I was sure missing it!  The first day there, I took Garth Road into town and felt like a tourist.  The mountains were more beautiful than I had remembered.  The picket fences… horse farms… rolling hills…  There’s just no place like it.  And instead of just automatically wishing that we still lived there, I felt this wave of thankfulness wash over me.  “Thank you, Lord, that I get to visit this incredible place when we come back into town.  Thank you for making Charlottesville so beautiful.”

After spending a few days with both sides of the family, Hannah and I headed to Virginia beach for the weekend while Russell and Isaac enjoyed a few days together doing manly things.  The weather forecast predicted rain for the few days that we were going to be at the beach but it ended up being a beautiful weekend.  There’s nothing like being back with the people who know you the best.  We talked a ton, cooked great food, hung out on the beach, enjoyed a long walk, talked some more, went on a boat ride, ate funfetti cake,  and talked some more.  Here are a few pics from the weekend.

hannah didn't like the pool too much...

but she did like the beach!

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | May 27, 2011

what we learned on “vacation”

I learned that there is really no such thing as “vacation” once you have a baby.  It’s more like everyday life… but at somebody else’s house.  I learned that sleep schedules can be grossly interrupted.  Hello 5am wake-up sessions.  I learned that luggage triples in quantity and yet you will inevitably still forget something even though it feels like you packed your entire house.  Most of all, I learned that for the first time in four years, Kansas City is starting to feel more like home than Charlottesville.  It even feels strange to type that… but it’s true.  And surprisingly, it is a relief to finally feel that way.

Hannah, on the other hand, learned something a bit more practical:

More “vacation” stories and pictures to come!

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | May 4, 2011

you might be a redneck if….

guest post from russell:

Today something happened to me I just couldn’t believe.  I would like to think it was just because Virginia and Owensville Road were on my mind, but I was actually just listening to a sports radio station and driving to Home Depot for the third time today (really, I got the wrong size baluster again?  Brutal.  Oh wait, you are all out of the size I need and I have to drive to Lee’s Summit to get one little piece of wood?  Sweet.)  Okay, back on track.  So I am driving along my favorite road in Kansas City.  It actually has curves and is mostly wooded with a few cute houses on the east side and a lightly attended old golf course on the west side.  That is when it hit me.  It was a very specific aroma.  I drew in a deep breath to verify the familiar scent.  I thought to myself “I know this smell, it’s just like Charlottesville!”  And I liked it.  Now, what smell is it you ask?  With a gorgeous town like Cville that is regularly voted one of the best places to live in the U.S. you might be imagining the smell of honey suckle in the morning mixed with dogwood blossoms.  Or, perhaps you’d think of the smell of Bodo’s – the  best bagel place in the world and a frequented establishment of the Capps family.  Rather, after my second long whiff I realized that familiar smell – road kill.  It was a rotting, decaying carcass of some animal whose run for the other side of the road had not been successful.  And you know what?  It put a smile on my face.  That’s right.  I guess I must be a redneck, because even the ghastly fragrance of dead raccoon is a nice smell, if it reminds me a bit of the county and where I come from.  So with that said, I am much looking forward to our visit to Cville next week!

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | April 20, 2011

daddy daughter pics

I have a hunch that these two are going to be really close… and that the one in pink is going to get a bit spoiled by her Daddy.

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | April 18, 2011

the story behind baby #2 – part 1

It was the day before Russell’s birthday, February 13th, and we were getting ready to go out on a date.  I had been feeling nauseas on and off for the last few weeks but had tried to just shake it off.  I decided to take a pregnancy test to confirm that my suspicion was just, indeed, a suspicion.  As soon as those two little lines appeared, however, all I could do was laugh.  “Babe, you’re not going to believe this”, I said as I walked out into our bedroom.  As Russell glanced at what I was holding, he responded with, “No…  no, it’s probably wrong.  It can’t be.”  “Yeah, you’re probably right,” I said.  “False positives happen all the time.  Or… maybe that’s false negatives.  Come to think of it, I don’t think there are false positives.  But this one probably is.”

I took another test early the next morning and sure enough, another 2 lines.  It was true.  We were having another baby.

We set off for Colorado a couple of days later with one less set of skis hooked into the rack on top of our car.  As Russell raced down the slopes of Breckenridge and Vail, I spent a large portion of the trip huddled over the toilet.  Yes, it was definitely true.

A few weeks later, we sat inside of the ultrasound room at the doctor’s office.  “How far along do you think you are?” the technician asked.  To be honest, I had no idea.  I guessed 6 or 7 weeks.  But as soon as the image popped up on the screen, she said “Oh honey!  You are not 6 or 7 weeks along… you are 10 and a half!  That will give you a due date of…. October 7.”

October 7th??  Like just four days before Hannah’s first birthday??  Meaning we’ll have 2 babies under the age of 1??  Again, all we could do was laugh.

To be continued…

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | April 14, 2011

hello spring!

This delightful weather came just in time!  I am loving it… and so is the bean along with her friends!

hannah and josi-bear... it's a good thing josiah puts up with her antics

is he not the cutest??

her first taste of grass and dirt

hannah and sweet elisha

future wahoo??

she's not too sure about the idea, yet

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | April 11, 2011

6 months and a surprise!!

Dear Hannah-bean,

It’s hard to believe that you have been with us for half a year!  And yet, it’s hard to remember life without you.  We definitely didn’t laugh as much, that’s for sure.  You are officially all motion.  High energy.  All of the time.  You keep us on our toes.  You have learned how to scoot backwards and have taken just a handful of lunges forward.  You are still rolling over like a champ.  We had our first night away from you a week ago, a belated Christmas present for me of sorts.  We left you with your buddies, Caleb and Eden, and your dad and I enjoyed an awesome 24 hours in St. Louis.  I’ll tell you what, though… we missed you much more than I anticipated.  I didn’t like the thought of someone else getting to put you down to bed at night and someone else getting to see that first incredible smile of the day!  We’re really looking forward to these next few months ahead.  You are going to take your first beach trip in addition to getting to visit Charlottesville for the first time.  There are lots of people we are excited for you to meet!

Happy birthday, sweet girl.

Love,

Your spit-up covered (still) and very happy parents

Here you are in all of your 6 month glory:

And here you are with a little secret:

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | April 9, 2011

this little girl likes to move!

first time hanging out in the jumper

overall, i think she likes it!

saturday morning play time

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | March 31, 2011

a visit with aunt laurel

This past weekend, Russell’s sister came for a visit.  We enjoyed a low-key weekend eating great food, watching March Madness, braving the cold on a walk, and just catching up on life.  The bean especially enjoyed being spoiled with lots of attention, cuddles, and pictures!  Here are a few from our time together.

Laurel, Hannah, and Russell at Leawood Park

card-playing is a must have skill in our families. the bean got an early lesson!

hannah glued to the tv in suspense during march madness

all decked out for a chilly walk

the bean misses her aunt already!

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | March 29, 2011

the problem with coasting

This morning, I was remembering those first few weeks after Hannah was born.  It seemed like multiple times an hour, all I could do was pray and ask for help.  I remember writing in my journal…  “Motherhood will be my training grounds in learning how to hear God’s voice.  It will be my crucible.”

One of the definitions of crucible is this:

–a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development–

Yet after those first several weeks, an interesting thing happened.  I gained more confidence.  I became more aware of patterns.  I tried my hardest to develop a routine.  And as I did, I started to cry out less and less.  Those desperate “What do I do now, Lord?” prayers became few and far between.  I was figuring it out on my own.  I was coasting.

The problem with coasting, however, is that it is rooted in self-sufficiency.  And one of the greatest lies we believe is that we are self-sufficient.  Therefore, whenever I realize that I am coasting, I brace myself for what’s coming.  A divine interruption.  A holy roadblock.  The severe mercy of the Lord.

It comes in the form of a financial crisis, a complication at work, a verbal throw-down at home, and in many other uniquely fashioned, orchestrated just for you, ways.  For me, this time around, it has shown up at my door disguised as a 5 month old baby who has developed one very strong will.

It is a baby who screams when you take the bottle out of her mouth to burp her, who whines between bites of food if you take your time feeding her, who doesn’t like to nap, and who pitches the equivalent of a tantrum when she doesn’t want to do what she is doing at that moment.  I often feel like I spend my day walking on eggshells mainly because selfishly, I just can’t stand the whining.  Russell and I have talked at great lengths about how we want to parent and one thing we feel strongly about is what it means to love.  Love is meeting someone’s needs.  Love is doing what’s best for that person.  But love is not giving someone everything they want.  Love is not catering to every desire and like.  We know that all too well in our own lives.  So, how do you teach a 5 month old that the world does not revolve around her when she barely understands that her own hands and feet belong to her?  How can you determine, with 100% accuracy, what are needs and what are desires?

All of these questions are floating through my mind these days as I find myself back in the same position as those first few weeks….  “God, help me.  I don’t know what to do.”  On the surface, I don’t like being in that place.  To be honest, it’s just really hard.  It’s hard to hear His voice… if you don’t have a lot of practice.  But deep down, it’s where I want to be, and in my sober moments, I thank the Lord for it and I ask Him to bring me back there….  every time that I start to coast.

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | March 23, 2011

it doesn’t get much better…

A defining moment in my life was when I had the opportunity to go on my first missions trip to Honduras the summer after my second year of college.  I had an incredible time with a small team of people from Christ Community Church.  We spent our days driving into tiny villages surrounding the capital of Tegucigalpa and performing medical clinics for the people there.  Many of the people we encountered had not seen a doctor or dentist since the last time a team from Christ Community had come to their village.   What stood out to me most, however, was the new-to-me feeling of being able to love someone so much.  I absolutely fell in love with the children there.  Though my official job was to sign people in and take their blood pressure, I often got sidetracked playing with the children, holding them and kissing them.  After a few messy years in my life where I was often confronted with my inability to love people well, this trip was like a breath of fresh air.  I learned that love is not something that I can muster up on my own.  It’s not just an emotion that comes sputtering out.  It’s something divine and holy.  Most importantly, it’s something that is dropped into our hearts from God, the One who is Love.

Fast forward 6 years to Hannah’s arrival.  I have never been much of a baby person and to be honest, I was really nervous about becoming a mother, especially to a newborn.  You see, I’m a verbal person.  I LOVE conversations.  I love sitting down across from somebody and catching up on life.  So the thought of having a one-sided relationship with a baby who doesn’t do much besides coo and poop was daunting.

Here’s the good news.  I am absolutely, head-over-heels, did not know I could feel this way, willing to do anything for, in love with my little bean.  Not because she is so cute… though that helps.  In fact, it’s not because she does anything.  It just happened.  Every night, I sneak into her room before I go to bed just to look at her sleeping in her crib.  I get as close as I can to her and kiss her cheek, hoping to not wake her up.  Sometimes, my eyes fill with tears just as I watch her breathe in and out.  I never anticipated how much I could love her.  And yet as I walk out of her room, from time to time, I just sense that whisper in my ear that says, “This is how I feel about you, too”.  It’s too difficult to comprehend but I know it’s true.  What I feel about my daughter, God feels about me…. multiplied by a million.  There is simply no better news than that.

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | March 16, 2011

can someone please explain this to me…

Every day, I put Hannah down in her crib for her naps in the same position.  Head on the green “sheet protector”, blanket over top of her, lying on her tummy:

and yes, her face explains how she feels about naps

However, 75% of the time when I come in to get her up, she is in a completely different position:

The picture above is how I found her this morning.  Instead of her head being on the sheet protector, her feet are underneath it.  Even though she has yet to prove that she can move while we put her down on a blanket on the floor, she was able to move 180 degrees.  The blanket is also completely off.

Can somebody explain this to me?!?

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | March 12, 2011

5 months!

We celebrated Hannah’s five month birthday with incredibly fun, ever exciting…..  carrots.  Not surprisingly, she loved them.  This kid loves everything.  Even the worst tasting medicine (says the DR) is joyfully welcomed by our little bean.  This past month has been a big one.  We were able to effectively take her off of two of the medications she has been on since her time in the hospital.  We were nervous taking her off of the laxative but she is doing just great.  She is also sleeping through the night, from about 7pm to 7:30am.  What a blessing!!  She took her first long road trip (to Breckenridge, CO), is finally getting on a bit of a better nap schedule, and is rolling over like a champ.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, she has quite the strong personality peeking out!  Her smiles are contagious and her laugh is adorable… and yet she still screams with the lung power of a 5 year old.  She is 100% motion and we are continually amazed by the different positions we find her in after nap-time or in the morning.  Here are a few pictures from the carrot extravaganza… and her 5 month shot.

She loved them!

Before I had a chance to attempt another shot or two, the bean stole the sign.

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | March 11, 2011

about what??

I got the following text from my bff Jax a bit ago.

Jaclyn:  Blog!!!!!!

Me:  I can’t.  Permanent writers block.

Jaclyn:  You can blog about….

Me:  This better be good.

Jaclyn:  Camping out in your front yard and riding our bikes to subway for lunch the next day.

Jaclyn:  Being covered in “oats and raisins” by your cruel friends during a sleepover.

Jaclyn:  Having creepy cats that used to watch me tinkle.

Jaclyn:  Telly Patti, your new stepmom, that I hate fish, just to make her mad when she was serving it for dinner.

 

Just for the record, I have no recollection of that last one.  And I will spare you from the rest of the stories… though they would definitely elicit a few chuckles amongst the cville girls.

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | February 11, 2011

four months!

Time is flying!  Here’s the little bean in all her four month glory:

Dear Hannah,

You continue to be such a joy.  Every morning, your dad and I look forward to walking into your room, turning on the light, and waking you up.  We both stop whatever we are doing to take part in our little morning ritual.  Seeing that first smile of the day as we peer over your crib is the best part of our day.  It also helps that those few minutes each morning are the only minutes of the day when we know that you aren’t going to spit up on us since you have nothing left in your tummy.  But don’t worry, that’s not the main reason, just a little added benefit.  Speaking of spit up, you have rightfully earned the nickname, “Old Faithful” due to the fountains that omit from your mouth.  It just adds to your charm, really.  :)  You are starting to babble every so often and we are loving it.  Sometimes we turn down the music in the car just to listen to you talk to yourself.  You love your hands and you love putting them in your mouth.  You are just starting to reach out to touch things like the little stuffed toy on your bouncer chair.  You happily sit in your bumbo seat while I make dinner and you are starting to enjoy tummy time a bit more, too.  You have quite the strong personality and you like getting your way.  That’s ok though… we will have lots of time to work on that.  Overall, we love seeing your personality start to peek out and we just can’t wait to watch you continue to grow.  You truly are our greatest joy.

Love,

Your spit-up covered yet adoring mom and dad

tummy time!

Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | February 8, 2011

I miss Polaroids.

Poladroid.net.  Have you experienced the awesomeness of this website??

I uploaded a few pictures to try it out and loved the results!  Since bud-a-tud posted a few classic shots from college, I was inspired to look back through some of my albums and find a handful of my favorites from past years.

august 2006- our first date

Josie and Izzy's wedding in Memphis... this one might be my fave!

oh how i miss the blue ridge mountains

thanksgiving of 2008

fun in the kc snow- february 2010

cville- winter of 2006

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