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! =)

March 26, 2011

Day 17

Day 17 — An art piece

While I was living in Germany my dad and sister came to visit and we took a train to Amsterdam. While we were there we got to go to the Vincent Van Gogh musuem. While I'm not a huge art person, it was ridicuously cool to see his work in person, and I'm fairly certain we got to see Starry Night which is one of his most well known paintings.

March 25, 2011

Day 16

Day 16 — A song that makes you cry

Every time I hear this song I am immediately taken back to my grandma's funeral, and can almost instantly be brought to tears by it. I still think about my grandma often (Grandma Maxine, who Kinley's middle name is after) and I hope someday this song won't be so hard to listen to.

March 24, 2011

Day 15

Day 15 — A person you admire

I know this sounds weird, but I am in awe of Jesus. What he endured for each and every one of us has to be the most admirable thing in the history of the world! I often think of how amazing it would be for Jesus to be alive today and to sit and learn from him about today's topics... oh the things we could learn.

March 23, 2011

Day 14

Day 14 — A vacation you would like to take
I can't really nail this down to one answer. I love all things traveling, so really just to travel is on my list. I was lucky enough to live in Europe for 5 months and got to visit many countries while there, so Europe isn't on the top of my list anymore. I've been fascinated with Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Turks & Caicos for a while, so I guess those would be the vacations that I would like to take.

What about you? Where would you recommend, or where do you want to go?

March 22, 2011

Day 13

Day 13 — A guilty pleasure

I LOVE reality TV. I can remember watching Real World as a young kid (before it got SO nasty). I know that I could/should be using my time on something better, but I just love getting into a silly reality show. I have always loved the Bachelor and have even gotten a competition going where some of my friends and I (and Matt ;-) choose our top contestants and then we keep score throughout the season on different things that they do. I am the 2 year, undefeated, champion of the Bachelor game. I was completely in love with this season, so here is a picture of Brad as he proposed to Emily... ahhh, how I love "love", I can't wait for the next season to start!

**And on a side note- Happy Birthday Dad, we hope you have a GREAT day!!!

March 21, 2011

Day 12

Day 12 — A song that you want played, or was played, at your wedding

The song that our wedding party, and then myself, walked down the aisle to is one of my all time favorite songs! I heard the song before Matt and I were engaged and I KNEW I had to walk down the aisle to it. In the middle of the song the instruments get quite loud and that's when I walked down the aisle with my dad, it was perfect! Enjoy.

March 20, 2011

Day 11 - Happy Baptism Kinley Maxine!

Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently

I'm using this day to accomplish two things, my day 11 requirement, and to blog Kinley's baptism.

Kinley was baptized at our church on March 6th. There were 18 babies baptized on that particular Sunday so no "god parents" or sponsors are really involved, it was a pretty low key event for us. My parents go to the same church as us so they were there to witness the baptism, and my grandpa and his wife Mary also came to watch.

Kinley was a champ! She didn't cry at all during the baptism and then fell asleep as soon as it was over and slept quietly for the entire church service. I like how our church approaches baptism, they use it more as a declaration of the parents saying they will raise their child knowing Christ, and that at some point Kinley will still have to proclaim Jesus as her savior in order to be saved.

Matt, Kinley & I right after her baptism.

Sweet baby Kinley with her baptism dress (that my sister and I were also baptized in) and her necklace from Grandma.

Kinley with her great grandpa, Mary and Matt & I

My parents with Kinley

March 19, 2011

Day 10

Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
My dad stumbled across this picture the other day and gave it to me...made me laugh. This is my junior year tennis picture from 2001. It was the first year I played tennis, after stopping soccer, and I LOVED it!

March 18, 2011

Day 9

Day 9 — A photo you took

This is an easy one for me (or maybe not, maybe it's harder because I have SO many!), especially since I took around 15,000 pictures last year! Since I don't want to have to choose my favorite all time picture, I'll go with the most recent photo that I've shot. Kynslie's 6 month photos were a blast, here's three of my favorites from the day. Enjoy!

March 17, 2011

Day 8

(So I realize that there has been a MAJOR break since day 7, an apology is in order. I got crazy sick, lost my voice, had a horrible headache and had a cough like a lifetime smoker, that I'm actually STILL dealing with, so blogging went on the back burner, sorry... I'm back)

Day 8 — A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life

(*Erin and her husband Paul taught our Bradley Birthing classes, the ENTIRE reason we were able to have Kinley naturally*)

Dear Erin,

I sat and thought about who I should write this letter to, and you and Paul kept coming back to mind, so here it is. Thank you for all that you did and gave me in the short 12 weeks I spent with you during our Sunday classes. I arrived at our first class a bit nervous that I may experience severe backlash from my husband for signing us up for 12 weeks of nonsense... that wasn't the case. Each week you intrigued me with the information and advice that you gave us on everything from how to have a baby naturally, to the best way to let "guests" know that it's time to leave after they've been at your house too long. =) You somehow managed to make each 2 hour session fly by and left me leaving each Sunday afternoon refreshed and confident in what I was going to attempt to take on.

Thank you. Thank you for providing us with the knowledge and skills that allowed us to enjoy the most memorable and amazing experience of our lives. I know in the deepest parts of my soul that I could not have accomplished a natural childbirth without everything that you taught us.

I know that to some this may not seem like it was anything worth "gushing" over, but they don't know how amazing it really is to be completely present, in control, and aware of each and every second that ticked by as I brought out precious babe into the world. So thank you... I am beyond thankful for all that you have done for us and can't wait for baby number two so that I can do it all over again (now how many people can say that?!) =)


March 8, 2011

Day 7

Day 7 — 5 things you could not possibly live without

This one took some thinking. And just so everyone knows, I took "things" literally and therefore did not include people or God on this list. =)

#1 My phone/blackberry - I would be miserable if I couldn't talk to family and friends daily, or text, or send adorable pictures of Kinley to Matt, or check my email on my phone. I know, it's a horrible addiction, but I can honestly say that since Kinley has been born I've been much less attached to my phone, so I am making progress. =)

#2 My camera - I truly find joy in photography. I love to see the smiles on people's faces when they see an image that I've shot that shows a "feeling" that they will be able to cherish for life. I also love to take pictures of my sweet baby girl, speaking of, did you see her new 3 month pictures that were posted yesterday?! =)

#3 My planner - I tried to go digital and use an online calendar and it drove me nuts. So I have returned to my trusty paper planner and feel SO MUCH BETTER! I am obsessed with having things planned and scheduled, especially with our photography business it's essential!

#4 Sugar/sweets - If I could change one thing about me it would be my intense desire for sweets. I am always in a constant inner struggle in an attempt to not eat candy at every moment. I LOVE candy! So far I'm doing pretty good, especially for me, staying away from sugar and candy since Kinley was born. Which has probably been a big factor in my ability to lose weight, so far I'm about 20 pounds less than when I got pregnant, that's definitely a mini victory in my book!

#5 TV - Another guilty pleasure in my life is TV. I have a few shows that I just love to watch, The Bachelor, Grey's Anatomy, Oprah, & Bethenny Ever After are my current favorites.

March 7, 2011

3 Months Old

Dear sweet pea,
How has 1/4 of your first year of life already passed us by?! We are ridiculously in love with you and every little thing that you do! Our favorite time of the week is sitting in bed with you on Saturday mornings watching you smile and squeak at us, it truly melts our hearts! Thank you for being the light of our lives!
Mommy & Daddy

And now for your latest stats:

Weight: 13lbs 5oz : 64th percentile (At 2 months: 12lbs 0oz : 75-80th percentile)

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

Diaper size: Size 1, moving to size 2's as soon as this box is empty!

Clothes size: You are mostly wearing 3 month clothes, and some 3-6 month things too.

Sleep: You are an amazing sleeper!! You are consistently sleeping 9 to 9 1/2 hours straight each night, and then go back to sleep for another 2 hours, you are such a good sleeper!

Favorite activities/things: Sleeping, KICKING- you love to kick at your gym toys and you learned how to kick in the tub now too! Sucking on things, especially blankets and tags, pretty much everything EXCEPT for a bottle, which you basically are still refusing. =(

Eating: You still are eating like a champ! You had a few weeks this month of needing to eat every 2 hours, but you are making your way back to every 3 hours right now.

Nicknames: My love, and "Buddy Boy" which grandpa calls you

Talking: You have started to make some new sounds, you can make a "m" sound and a few others too.

New adventures: You were baptized the day before you turned 3 months old. You were such a sweet girl, wide awake and quiet during your baptism and then quietly slept for the rest of the service. You went to your first wedding and apparently weren't too impressed, after about 3 minutes of the wedding you went to the lobby to hang out with daddy. You also went to your first UNI basketball game with mommy, daddy and papa. And last, but certainly not least... you attempted to take a bottle, with ZERO success (ok, you took maybe 3 sips). You basically refuse to even have it near your lips, guess we'll keep trying. =)

Love this shirt! "It's good to be king"

Don't you just love this face?!

And then she got tired of pictures and fell asleep... while touching daddy's face. Priceless.

March 6, 2011

Day 6

Day 6 — A moment you wish you could relive

Today's topic is a tie between the two most amazing days of my life!! I'm sure they aren't a surprise to anyone.

Moment #1:

I often tell Matt that I would do anything (well, hypothetically) to do our wedding day over again, not because I would change anything, but because it was ridiculously amazing! I had so much fun, and couldn't have been any happier to be marrying my best friend with our closest friends and family around to support us. I was in love with my dress, my bouquet, and everything about the day was perfect... ahhh, just thinking about it makes me giddy again.

Moment #2:

If you haven't been living under a rock, it's probably no shock that the day Kinley was born is a tie for the best moment ever! Not only was it exhilarating beyond words to give birth to her naturally, but it was TRULY indescribable to finally meet the baby girl that we had put so many tears, sweat, blood and prayers into. It was beyond words to hold her on my chest when she was just born... the moment in this picture still seems surreal looking at it.

All in all these two moments pretty much make me the happiest girl ever!

March 5, 2011

Day 5

Day 5 — A favorite quote

Proverbs 16:9
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

I've had this verse saved on a sticky note on my computer for quite awhile. I think it truly fits our lives and the roller coaster ride we have been on the last few years
as we tried to conceive. We learned to trust in God's plan and let go of our own plans as we went through our infertility treatments. Now as I sit and wonder about baby number 2, and if we will be blessed with another baby, I try to focus on this verse once again.

March 4, 2011

Day 4

Day 4 — A favorite television program

I didn't even have to THINK to come up with my answer on this one! She's the greatest talk show host to ever grace this planet, she's intriguing, intelligent and amazing. She is also about to end the greatest streak of shows, ever! Who am I talking about... Oprah. I record her show daily and nearly everyday I sit in amazement of how great her show really is. I am devastated that her show will be ending soon and would do just about anything to get to see her in this final season... guess I'll just keep dreaming.

What's your favorite t.v. program?

March 3, 2011

Day 3

3/3/11 Day 3 — A favorite book
I can't pinpoint a favorite book, but I definitely have a favorite author, Nicholas Sparks. His most famous book, turned into a movie later on, was The Notebook . He is most well known for his romance novels that can melt just about any woman's heart. His love stories are so well written you can almost feel yourself melting as the stories unfold. If you have never read his books I would highly recommend Dear John or The Wedding. Enjoy!

Got any good book recommendations for me?

March 2, 2011

Day 2

3/2/11 Day 2 — A favorite movie

I first fell in love with the movie Love And Basketball when I was in high school. I'm not sure if it is because I played basketball and loved the love story in the movie that was centered around basketball, or if I just thought it was truly that good of a movie. Either way this movie never fails to put me in a good mood. I highly recommend seeing this movie if you've never had the pleasure of viewing it. =)

March 1, 2011

30 Day Challenge- Day 1

Sorry that I have been so MIA on our blog lately. I haven't had much to write about other than the fact that I am ridiculously happy, falling more in love with our precious baby girl every day, and beyond words happy to be home and enjoying each day with her- but really, how much can I write about that without everyone getting sick of hearing how happy I am over and over??

So I thought I would take a 30 day challenge to get me writing about non-Kinley topics again (don't worry Mom, I'll still throw adorable picture of Kinley in every few days for you to stare at). I will be writing a blog every day for the next 30 days. So today is day 1, and I will write each day in March, except on March 7th I'll do Kinley's monthly blog. So here goes... feel free to join in on this challenge with me, leave me a comment if you do so I can follow your posts too!

Here's the schedule:
Day 1 — A favorite song
Day 2 — A favorite movie
Day 3 — A favorite book
Day 4 — A favorite television program
Day 5 — A favorite quote
Day 6 — A moment you wish you could relive
Day 7 — 5 things you could not possibly live without
Day 8 — A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life
Day 9 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — A song that you want played, or was played, at your wedding
Day 13 — A guilty pleasure
Day 14 — A vacation you would like to take
Day 15 — A person you admire
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry
Day 17 — An art piece
Day 18 — A time when you felt passionate and alive
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — Something you know you do differently than most people
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A way in which you want to be remembered
Day 24 — A movie no one would expect you to love
Day 25 — A recipe
Day 26 — A childhood memory
Day 27 — A physical feature you love
Day 28 — A scar you have, and its story
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — A motto or philosophy

3/1/11 Day 1 — A favorite song

My two best friends from high school and I used to be IN LOVE with Jessica Simpson. We watched her reality tv show religiously, and were heart broken when Nick and Jessica got divorced. During her reality show they showed part of her wedding, and showed her father daughter dance. Jessica had written a song to dance to with her dad. I completely fell in love with the song the first time I heard it. When Matt and I got engaged I knew I wanted to dance to her song with my dad. The song is called You Don't Have To Let Go. It meant a lot to me on my wedding day, and it means even more to me now as I look at our sweet baby girl and think about the day that she will get married. Here is one of my all time favorite songs:

I don't need your strength anymore
cause you've made me strong
You may not see the woman in me
That you dreamed of
Holding in your arms

All the days that you gave
All the moments you've saved me,
Praying for my life
Sacrificed, just to make me who I am on my own
You don't have to let go

You don't say it
But it's in your eyes
All the fears of good-bye
But I can promise
You'll always have a place, and a way to my heart

All the days that you gave
All the moments you've saved me,
Praying for my life
Sacrificed, just to make me who I am on my own
You don't have to let go

I can live
Cause you lived for me
And I can love
Because you loved me.

All the days that you gave
All the moments you've saved me,
Praying for my life
Sacrificed, just to make me who I am on my own
You don't have to let go