December 7, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Kinley!

Happy 1st birthday to our sweet baby girl!

A year ago...

To our magnificent 1 year old,

Where do I even begin?! This has been the most amazing year of my life. You have inspired me to be a better person. You have truly filled a gap in my heart that I never knew could be filled. You have given me passion to live every day to the fullest. You have truly given me the opportunity to fill a calling that only God could have placed on my heart, to be your mother.

I thank God every day for you and the happiness that you have brought to your daddy and me. You won’t understand for a long time what I mean, but just know that you have changed our lives in an undreamed of way.

Thank you for the bottom of your belly giggles that you let me hear every day, for your Popeye face that brings tears to my eyes, for letting me hear “momma” at just the right times, for snuggling on my chest when I’ve lost my patience and need a rest, for the biggest most sincere smiles when I walk in to get you out of your crib, and for the sweetest little kisses, and occasional lick, that make me know that I will forever be a changed person because of you.

Even though I find myself weepy and sad that this day has come, I know that it’s happy tears that fall on my cheeks. Happy tears that symbolize all of the love and joy that you have given us during the last 12 months. Thankful tears for having the opportunity to watch you grow and learn and love… something that we prayed for for so long. It is so clear that God had a plan all along for us, and unmistakably that plan was you. How could we have ever doubted His plan, you are more than we could have ever hoped for.

Happy first birthday our sweet Looney... may this second year be just as amazing as the first. May you continue to learn, laugh and love each and every day. Thank you for being an incredible gift to us.

We love you sweet girl.
Mommy & Daddy

Kinley's 1 year photos to come this week, for now I'm off to enjoy our sweet girl on her birthday!

December 6, 2011

It's been a while... ha!

Ok, so I'll be the first to admit that it's been a while, can five months even be categorized as "a while"?! Anyway, we are alive, doing amazingly well, and as would be expected, we have a lot to get caught up on.

I'll attempt to back log a few blogs as the weeks pass on, but today's post is going to be short and sweet, because I have other big things to say in tomorrow's blog. What's so big about tomorrow's blog you might be wondering... only the FIRST BIRTHDAY OF OUR BABY GIRL!!! Can you even believe that it's been an entire year since Kinley was born?! I can't. So before I get all sappy on you (because I will, and I plan to tomorrow) I'll just say that it's nice to be back. I've missed the blogging world and the support that it offers, but darnit I had ZERO time for it... which is a good thing because it meant that we were living it up with our baby girl, and swamped with our blooming photography business.

See you tomorrow for the big "1 year old" blog (and lots of updated pictures of our cutie pie!)

July 4, 2011

cloth switcheroo??

I've had this crazy thought in my head for the last few weeks... I'm not sure why I suddenly have this nagging feeling/interest to switch over, but I definitely do!! So, any suggestions or things to consider if we do switch? I don't know much about cloth diapers, but I do have several friends that use cloth and I think it may be worth it, especially if we are able to have more kids.

I know that we certainly can't handle switching until we move in 6'ish weeks. So we have time to research and would love some advice!

June 7, 2011

6 Months Old!

Dear Kin-
You are becoming quite the little lady these days! Your laugh is contagious! Daddy can make you laugh so hard, which then makes me laugh... there is nothing better in the world than all three of us laughing. You are starting to know what you want and don't want, it makes for some interesting situations, especially when you have decided that you don't want in your car seat. =) Your daddy and I still can't believe that your ours, and that we love you SO much! Thank you for being such an amazing little girl.

Mommy & Daddy

And now for your latest stats:

Weight: 16 lbs 9 oz : 50tht percentile

Length: 24 1/4 inches : 10th Percentile (Not sure how she LOST an inch, I swear the measure SO different each time... oh well)

Diaper size: Size 3

Clothes size: You are wearing 6-9 month clothes.

Sleep: You are still consistently sleeping 10 hours each night.

Favorite activities/things: Playing with the cats and grandpa's dog, Wilson. You also love it when we hold your hands so that you can "walk".

Eating: You are nursing every 3-4 hours during the day and are now eating homemade baby food twice a day, breakfast and supper. You usually eat 2 veggies, a fruit, and some baby cereal each day.

Nicknames: LooLoo

Talking: I LOVE hearing you babble and "talk", you make a lot of little sounds. You can hold quite the conversation with us now. =)

New adventures: You got to go to Chicago with mommy and daddy for a weekend. You had your very first full day with just daddy while mommy was at a photography conference, and you guys did awesome together! You were a trooper in the car and slept nearly the entire 6 hours that it took us! While you were at the hotel in Chicago you also got to take your first swim in an indoor pool, you loved sitting in the baby float that we got for you!

New Skills You can now sit up completely on your own, although we still keep a watchful eye on you since you occasionally tip over if you get really excited about something, like the cat coming close enough to you to grab (not pet- just grab). =)

June 6, 2011

Still alive...

We are still alive, I promise. We are in the middle of moving (to somewhere with dialup internet), finishing our new house plans, and trying to update some photography stuff. To say I've been swamped is an understatement.

I promise to get Kinley's 6 month post up soon!

May 7, 2011

5 Months Old

Dear Kinley-
You are such a happy, fun little girl. You are such a blessing to your daddy and I. You have the sweetest laugh EVER! There are nights that we can tickle and play with you and get you to laugh for 10 minutes straight, your laugh makes me smile so much that my cheeks hurt. Thank you for making my first first Mother's day amazing, it is truly amazing to be your mommy.
Mommy & Daddy

And now for your latest stats:

Weight: 15 lbs 6 oz : 51st percentile

Length: 25 3/4 inches : 65th Percentile

Diaper size: Size 2 (you are on the last box and will be in size 3's next week!)

Clothes size: You are mostly wearing 3-6 month clothes, and just a few 6 month outfits.

Sleep: You are still consistently sleeping 10 hours each night.

Favorite activities/things: Playing on the floor, holding your toys and chewing on them, jumping in your excersaucer, smiling and laughing at daddy, reading "touch and feel" books, and "talking" with mommy.

Eating: You are eating every 3-4 hours during the day.

Nicknames: Sweet Pea

Talking: I LOVE hearing your happy little squeal, it went missing for a few weeks and is back, louder than ever. =)

New adventures: You got to go on your first vacation, and first flight! You were a champ! You slept almost the entire flight, both ways. You had a blast with Aunt Keri in Florida and enjoyed the warm weather.

New Skills You just started to sit up all on your own!! I love watching you sit and learn about your new surroundigns and view. A few weeks ago you began to roll from your back to tummy, you've only done it a few times and only when it's been just you and daddy. It's ok... I KNOW it will be my turn to see something first next, and that means I'll see the first crawl. =)

Your photoshoot this month was painful. You wanted nothing to do with pictuers. I'm not sure if you are afraid of my new camera, just hated the wind outside, or were not a fan of the fluffy blanket I tried to put you on, but no matter what it was you were not into pictures this month.

Here are a few of the pictures that are decent, although to be honest, as a photographer these really frustrate me to look at because the focus is off, the exposure was off, but it was all we could do just to snap a few between the crying- we did it without really even checking settings. Oh well, it will make us laugh someday. =)

April 29, 2011

Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye

See ya later Cherrywood Dr!

That's right, we're moving!! We (finally) sold our house today! We close on June 16th, so now we begin the race to get everything moved, find a place to live, and get our new house plans finalized. We are super excited and thankful that everything is coming together. I CAN NOT WAIT to be sitting in our new living room, looking out the windows at an amazing sunset over the fields in about 5 months!

Kinley's 1st Easter

We had a great first Easter with Kinley! We weren't going to do a fancy Easter dress, and then last minute decided we really did want to. So off to Kohl's with Matt and my mom we went, we FINALLY all decided on this dress, I think it was darn cute!

We went to my Aunt's house, and of course, Kinley needed to nap just as we were about to start the egg hunt, so we put her in the carrier (the one that straps to me) and then she slept through every single minute of her 1st Easter egg hunt, oh well. By the time we got to our 2nd Easter she was wide awake and ready to go!

Here she is picking up her very first Easter egg- I think her daddy might have helped eat the candy this year. =)

Our first family Easter picture! It's so weird to see this, I remember being barely pregnant last year at Easter wondering what this Easter would be like.

April 25, 2011

Florida Vacation

We had an amazing time in Florida last week! We got to stay with my sister Keri, meet her boyfriend Mike, see lots of great things and enjoy 85 degree weather! Here are few highlights from our trip.

Kinley and I with my sister Keri, this is the best we could get =-/

Kinley's first trip to the ocean.

A little dip in the water, she wasn't sure what to think of it.

Then she decided she hated it, I think it was a bit too cold.

A trip to sea world to see where my sister works. This is the best picture we got the entire day of the 3 of us. oh well.

Here is an alligator topiary that my sister created.

And this manatee really wanted to see us!

The dolphin show was great, Kinley LOVED watching them jump! Here she is ready for the show to start.

The dolphins pushing the trainer with their noses under the water while spinning, so cool!

Kinley getting ready for the shamu show.

The MASSIVE "shamu", or Tilikum is his actual name, this is the same whale that tragically killed the trainer last year. It was so surreal to see how big he really is!

We thought we'd try the pool to see if kinley liked that better than the ocean (she LOVES baths so we thought she'd love the pool)... NOPE!

Our last day in Florida we decided that we needed to get 007 (my sisters dog) and Kinley to take an Easter picture together, I don't think we did too bad!

Now we are back in the 45 degree rainy weather. Keri and Mike are coming back in May and Kinley CAN'T WAIT to see them again! Thanks for a great trip sis!

April 20, 2011

On our way home from vacation!

We are on our way home from our vacation to Florida. We had a great time, saw lots of neat things, and Kinley LOVED spending time with her aunt Keri. TONS of pictures to come later this week!

April 18, 2011

Day 30

Day 30 — A motto or philosophy

Everything happens for a reason, God is in control.

Oh how true this is, and oh how many times I've had to remind myself of this(or my husband does it for me). =)

April 17, 2011

Day 29

Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days

I hope that we are able to sell our house and move into our new house. I dream that we can get pregnant with another baby. And I plan to continue to live a very happy and blessed life with an amazing husband, our beautiful baby girl, and great friends and family.

April 16, 2011

Day 28

Day 28 — A scar you have, and its story

I often find myself staring at this scar. I acquired this lovely lady a few years ago on a girls weekend trip. A bunch of us headed to a local river and went tubing down the river for a day, it was a blast! Sometime during the day I got a tiny scrape on my hand from the rocks. By the time the float was over and I could wash my hand I had a big nasty, red and infected looking cut. After lots of neosporin and bandaids, this is the beauty I ended up with.

April 15, 2011

Day 27

Day 27 — A physical feature you love

Since this doesn't say that it has to be about me, I'm going to share my favorite physical feature of my husband. Matt has the most amazing calves! I've loved them since the first time I actually saw him in shorts. There's something about his muscular calves that make him look super athletic and strong, I love it!

Now for your viewing pleasure, a picture of my husband's awesome calves:

April 14, 2011

Day 26

Day 26 — A childhood memory

I have lots of great childhood memories, but one that stands out in my mind is participating in 4-H for many years. My sister and I were in a 4-H club with lots of other farm kids. We did community service, tours, etc, but nothing was as big as preparing our projects for the fair. We brought vegetables, sewed clothes, baked, took pictures, but the biggest project of all was our sheep. We kept them on a strict diet, walked them to get their muscles toned, and worked with them so that they wouldn't freak at the show.

The one memory that stands out the most was walking the sheep. We have some VERY hot summers in Iowa, mix that with high humidity and it can be darn right miserable outside. On a side note, I'm always hot, and I HATE being hot. So walking those stinking sheep up and down the dirt road in the field was basically my defintion of misery. Eventually the sheep knew that once we got to the end of the road they got to go back to their pens, in the cool barn. Once they had the route down we would take their ropes off and they would run at full speed back to their pens. It was pretty awesome.

Although I may have hated walking the sheep, the 4-H fair is something that will always stick in my mind as a fond childhood memory. Spending time gardeing with my Grandma Maxine, sewing with my mom, and raising the sheep with my dad and sister are all amazaing memories.

April 13, 2011

Day 25

Day 25 — A recipe

One of my favorite, simple, makes me feel like I'm 8 years old, foods is jello cake. It's so easy and so darn good!



1 white cake mix
1 3 oz. package strawberry Jell-O
1 package frozen strawberries
1 container topping like Cool Whip

Bake cake according to directions on box. Mix Jell-o with 1 cup warm water. Make several holes in top of cake without going through and then pour Jell-o over cake.
Microwave strawberries until thawed and pour on cake.

Add Cool Whip over all and refrigerate until chilled.


April 12, 2011

Dday 24

Day 24 — A movie no one would expect you to love

A movie that I USED to love, that might be a surprise, is Kiss the Girls. I currently HATE scary movies, but back in the day I totally loved them. If you are into thrillers, and don't mind an oldie, you may want to check this movie out.

Here's the info from
Washington, D.C. detective and forensic psychologist Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) heads to Durham, North Carolina when his niece Naomi (Gina Ravera), a college student, is reported missing. He learns from the local police, including Nick Ruskin (Cary Elwes), that Naomi is the latest in a series of young women who have vanished. Soon after his arrival, one of the missing women is found dead, bound to a tree in a desolate forest, and shortly after that, intern Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd) is kidnapped from her home.

When she awakens from a drugged state, Kate discovers she is being held captive by a masked man calling himself Casanova, and she is one of several prisoners trapped in his lair. She manages to escape and is severely injured when she jumps from a cliff and into a river to escape from his clutches. After she recuperates, she joins forces with Cross to track down her sadomasochist captor, who Cross concludes is a collector, not a killer, unless his victims fail to follow his rules. This means there is time to rescue the other imprisoned women, just as long as they remain subservient.

Clues lead them to Los Angeles, where a series of gruesome kidnappings and murders have been credited to a man known as the Gentleman Caller. Cross deduces he is working in collusion with rather than imitating his East Coast counterpart, but his efforts to capture and question him are foiled and the man escapes. Upon returning to North Carolina, he eventually discovers the underground hideaway used by, as well as the true identity of, the man who calls himself Casanova.

April 7, 2011

4 Months Old

Dear Kinners,
You absolutely complete us. Every day is a new adventure with you, we look forward to each and every day with you. You are starting to interact more and are also becoming more playful, before we know it we won't be able to keep up with you! We love you with our whole hearts!
Daddy & Mommy

And now for your latest stats:

Weight: 14 lbs 8 oz : 70th percentile
(3 Months - 13lbs 5oz : 64th percentile, At 2 months: 12lbs 0oz : 75-80th percentile)

Length: 24 inches : 45th Percentile
(3 Months - 24 1/4 inches : 67th percentile (At 2 months: 22 3/4 inches: 50th percentile)

Diaper size: Size 2

Clothes size: You are mostly wearing 3-6 month clothes.

Sleep: You are still an amazing sleeper, you have no idea how happy that makes mommy and daddy!! You are consistently sleeping 10-12 hours each night.

Favorite activities/things: Sleeping, rolling over, standing and jumping in your excersaucer, smiling and laughing at daddy, reading "touch and feel" books, and "talking".

Eating: You are eating every 3 hours, except for the day we tried to get you to eat out of a bottle, and then you refused to eat for 6 hours, I think you were trying to make a point. Point taken, we gave completely up on bottles.

Nicknames: Sweet girl and still using Kinners.

Talking: You have started to really have conversations with us! We mimic the sounds you make and you get so excited, your sounds are starting to get much louder too!

New adventures: You got to experience your very first garage sale this month! You slept quietly in your new baby carrier for most of it while mommy picked out some cute clothes for you. You also got to experience your first cold this month, you looked so pathetic as you sat and sneezed and coughed while mommy held you. Daddy and grandpa were thrilled to take you on your first gator ride around the farm. You rode in your baby carrier strapped tightly to mommy's chest, and had mommy's watchful eye as she made sure that daddy and grandpa drove extra slow.

New Skills Rolling from tummy to back, laughing out loud, biting your tongue (which then ends in screams), standing while we hold your hands, and having "conversations".

Your new favorite way to soothe is to suck your lower lip, makes me laugh.

You finally got a bracelet, aka a fat roll. =) Love it, and so does the doctor, he says your extra healthy!

And I'll leave you with my favorite picture, how can you not love this face?!

April 6, 2011

What a difference a year can make

One year ago today I sat and nervously looked at a positive pregnancy test. I fought feelings of nervousness with hopes and excitement that this was "the one" that would stick. I still have the 10+ positive pregnancy tests in a drawer in our bedroom, I even have the last vial of hormones in our fridge. I know, I really should get rid of all of it, but something about seeing those things still makes me ridiculously happy, and maybe a bit hopeful that we'll get to do it all again sometime.

I can't even begin to explain the joys that this last year has brought for me, and Matt too. I loved nearly every minute of the last year, being pregnant, learning about what was going on with our baby, delivering our baby, and now getting to spend every single day talking to, playing with, and loving on our sweet Kinley.

I cannot thank God enough for all that he put us through, and brought us through, to get to this amazing point in our lives... what a year.

Make sure to check back tomorrow afternoon for Kinley's 4 month update and updated pictures!

Day 23

Day 23 — A way in which you want to be remembered

I would like to be remembered for being a great wife and mother. Especially now that I have resigned from my teaching position, I feel even more passionate about being a good wife to Matt and a good mother to Kinley. I truly hope people can look back someday and say that I did my best to be there for Matt and Kinley.

My two loves

April 5, 2011

Day 22

Day 22 — A website

I love the internet, I spend way too much time on it, especially lately as I investigate getting some new photography equipment. So narrowing my favorite websites down to just one to share is quite hard. I guess I'll share one of my most "useful" websites. One of our friends, Shane, shared this website with me a while back and I have used it daily since.

Google Reader

This website allows you to put all of the blogs that you read into it, and everyday it will put all of the new blogs that were written on your favorite blogs into a list for you, so no more visiting every single blog every day just to see that nothing new has been added.

If you read several blogs and haven't heard of google reader, you can thank me later for telling you all about it. Enjoy!

April 4, 2011

Day 21

Day 21 — Something you know you do differently than most people

I can't really come up with anything too spectacular, but Matt thinks the fact that I still use a paper planner is different than most people who now use an electronic version. I love my planner dearly. I LOVE crossing off all of the things in my planner that I've done. I attempted to switch to an online planner and I thoroughly missed my paper version, so now it's back, and I'm happy. =)

April 1, 2011

Day 20

Day 20 — A hobby of yours

This is going to be a lame blog today, because besides photography I truly don't think I have any other hobbies. So why don't you tell me what your hobby is, and maybe I'll get inspired to try something new! Go ahead, share with me! =)

March 30, 2011

Day 19

Day 19 — A talent of yours

I wouldn't have said this a few years ago, but I believe that photography is now my talent. Lately I've had several friends tell me how much they have enjoyed watching my photography skills progress into what they are today. It means a lot to me that other people enjoy the photos that we take.

I am thrilled to be attending a weekend long photography workshop in May with an incredibly well known photographer Me Ra Koh (she lives in California but will be in Chicago, and she's even currently teaching some techniques, etc on the Nate Berkus show!). I am also excited that my husband has agreed to build me my very own studio in our new house, which we will hopefully be building in the next few months as an offer on our current house is supposedly "in the works"!

A few of the pictures that a lot of people have continued to make comments about to me:

You can see more at

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me during this past year!

March 29, 2011

Day 18

Day 18 — A time when you felt passionate and alive

I feel like all I talk about is Kinley, but I don't think there has been a time in my life when I felt more passionate and alive as I did when Kinley was born. It was the most invigorating experience of my life. Matt by my side, our midwife encouraging me to keep going through the pain... and then it was all over and I saw our midwife lift Kinley up to put her on my chest.

I could cry just thinking about that moment. It was unreal, surreal. I had just birthed a human being, a live, breathing amazing little human being. I felt so alive and yet so out of the moment all at the same time. Life had changed as we knew it, forever.

Right after Kinley was born:

March 28, 2011

A day to remember...

I'm taking a break from the 30 day challenge today to remember a very special anniversary. One year ago today our sweet baby Kinley was conceived. I remember the nerves as we went into out very last IUI knowing that we would only have one option left (IVF) if it didn't work.

I also remember feeling distinctly different; hopeful, peaceful, content. I just knew this was the month, this was going to be the month our sweet baby would be conceived, and sure enough, it was.

As I sit here and watch our sweet baby girl on the video monitor, she is sound asleep, looking as peaceful as ever and not having a clue how very, very happy her mother is to remember this day and the amazing little girl that has blessed our lives thanks to God and his great miracles one year ago today.

We love you sweet Kinley and can not believe you have "been in our lives" for one year.

Matt & I with nurse Lois, God's helper in creating Kinley =)

Our most recent family picture with our precious little girl, I'm pretty sure I still need to blog the rest of these pictures, oops! =)