Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Three Years of Wedded Bliss

Today was Paul and my anniversary. I thank God for giving me such loving, joyful and holy husband. I am so blessed!

Monday, May 23, 2011

One year ago today

 One year ago today, Paul and I were here in Wisconsin. We had just quit trucking and taken off on our motorcycle for a trip from Georgia to Wisconsin so that Paul could interview for his job here at camp. We had breakfast with the camp directors (now our good friends and neighbors) and then drove to Indiana Dunes State Park to camp for the night.

It was late when we made it to Indiana. We were cold and weren't sure were we were going to stay. We got to the park and they were filled, but the ranger told us about a few primitive sites that were further away from where we were and he thought they might still be available. We searched in the dark and found a spot that was open. Before you could say, "Sweet Sassy Molassy!" we had the tent up and were chowing down on s'mores that my dear hubby had been able to get get the supplies for at a little store while I was building the fire. It was lovely.

The next morning we packed up the tent (which Paul is very proud of because it was the perfect size for us and it fit on the motorcycle so well) and headed to Michigan for our best man's "going away to boot camp" party.

What a difference a year makes!

A year ago today we were footloose and fancy free. Riding a motorcycle, camping and visiting friends because we felt like it.

This morning I sat on our front stoop holding my not yet six week old watching my husband fill up the kiddie pool while playing with our two year old. The stereo was blaring a greatest hits mix of my favorite vocal memories- Garth Brook's Callin' Baton Rogue (memories of trucking), Jack Johnson songs (memories of good friends), Rascal Flatts' Bless the Broken Road (one of Paul and my songs), Josh Goban's So She Dances (listened to while trying to push Damian out!) and on and on...I began to cry as I sat there and recognized all the ways God has blessed my life in the past year.

This Tuesday, Paul and I will not be staying at a hotel in Paris Texas or going anywhere too terribly special to celebrate our third wedding anniversary as we have in the past. We would need a babysitter and money we don't have! Its okay. We have two little gifts that are so precious and valuable that words cannot even begin to explain how unimportant trips and all the other things we used to be able to do a year ago are. I am happy to sit on my step and watch my boys in our yard.

Or, even better, to snuggle up next to them!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Damian's Pre- Birth Story

I have been asked to share Damian's birth story. I think it is important that I record my memories, because they are already slipping into a blur of diaper changes and late night feedings. It was incredible and emotional, but (Surprise, surprise!) not what I expected or planned.

Curious? Well, here's what happened while we waited for the Lil' Guy to arrive-

My mom drove up just before Damian's April 3rd due date. He seemed well on his way. Just after she got here, I had a long night of contractions (strong and different than ones I had previously had) leading into the next day, but they faded away and then there was nothing. His due date came and went. Days came and went. I felt like I would never get to meet my Jellybean.

I was HUGE!!!!

 Exhibit A

My Mom insisted that she babysit Lil' Man for a night so that Paul an I could take a "Babymoon". After all, we were becoming parents for the second time in 10 months!

We checked into a nice place 10 minutes from our house and went swimming. It felt great to be weightless! I dipped my feet into the hot tub just enough for Paul to massage my feet while he relaxed in the steamy bubbles. Bliss!

We kept busy as we awaited Damian's arrival.

My mom painted the nursery blue. We didn't know if we were having a he or a she, but we figured blue and chocolate would be perfect for a boy or a girl. It was wonderful having someone around who had the energy to tackle the projects that I could not.

While mom painted, Paul and I took Lil' Man to a Maple Sugar festival where we learned about different methods of sugaring and enjoyed a beautiful day out and about as a family.

We were trying to keep busy and keep me distracted from the "joys" of  pregnancy. One of those joys was one of those unplanned/unexpected things that I previously refered to.

I hadn't had any stretch marks until those final weeks and then suddenly they popped out and I developed one of those special pregnancy induced conditions referred to as PUPPP. It's a rash that starts on your stretch marks and spreads. It feels like a cross between having poison ivy/oak and millions of mosquito and fire ant bites. Ugh! I was miserable. It was especially bad on my poor, swollen feet. Just thinking about it now makes me itch!

As per doctor's advice, I used cortizone cream, but it didn't help me. I had read that drinking V8 and showering 4 times a day with Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap would help. It may have a little. It was just one of those things you have to deal with, but I do think my mom was ready to stick socks on my hands to keep me from scratching!  I'm tempted to show the picture of the rash on my stomach, but I won't.

Finally, April10th rolled around. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny Sunday! We found out we were pregnant on a Sunday morning just before mass. I was born on a Sunday. It was bound to be a good day!

We picnicked down at the lake here at camp. It was so hot and I only had winter maternity clothes, so I had to make do. My feet were so swollen that I was wearing boots lined with shearling wool because they were the only shoes I owned that still fit! Luckily my friend, Lauren, loaned me her shoes.

Like the boots??? :-)

By evening a storm had come up complete with a lightening bolt display, gorgeous cloudy sunset and a torrential downpour. We took my mom and Lil' Man to walk around the Kalahari resort that is 5 minutes from our house. Its a great place to walk around when the weather is bad. Lil Man loves it, but he becomes quickly overstimulated by all there is to see, so we were all home and in bed by 9 or 9:30. By 10 o'clock  I knew that baby was on the way!!!

The last family picture before Damian's BIRTHday!
To be continued... ;-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Catholic Kiddies

Where to even begin??? So much has been happening that I've put anything and everything I can onto the back burner for now. 

My Lil' Snuggler was 4 weeks old yesterday. I don't know how it happened. It really feels like its been a week and a lifetime all at once. I do want to share Damian's birth story, but that will be another story for another day.

The week after Damian was born Lil' Man's Dad came to visit. He had always wanted Lil' Man to be baptized, but circumstances had made it impossible to allow him to arrange it. We had been trying to have him baptized for the past 10 months, but kept waiting for his dad to be there to present him. With his dad in town we finally had the chance, but it was problematic because it was Holy Week.

There was a huge snowstorm (yes, a snowstorm in April!) the night Lil' Man's dad arrived, so we weren't sure when he'd end up getting into town. The next morning Paul went to daily mass at our parish and asked our Pastor if it would be possible to have Lil' Man baptized that week (Father knew the situation already.). Father told us it would only be possible if we could do it that morning!

In less than two hours we had the Camp staff, my mom and our lil' family at the church. A miracle in its self!

Father explained to Lil Man that he was going to have a "church bath" that would make his soul clean. Lil' Man's response?

"I take baths in the big tub at home with bubbles!"

It was so beautiful! I couldn't stop the tears from rolling down as I watched my Little Angel become a member of the Church!

Damian's baptism wasn't far behind his big brother's.

Lil' Snuggler was born into life in the Church on May 1st- Divine Mercy Sunday, the day of Pope John Paul II's beatification and the feast of St. Joseph the Worker!!! Who could ask for a more perfect day???

He was a little angel and slept through almost the entire mass. It was beautiful and the priest who baptized him will be camp's chaplain for the summer. Fun!

Sadly, Damian's godparents, my brother Michael and his wife Ashley, weren't able to make it to the baptism, but several members of both Paul and my family were there. Paul's brother Matt stood in as proxy for Michael and my cousin Angela stood in for Ashley. I was so happy that some of the family was able to be there.

We've dreamed of this for so long!

God bless both of my Little Lambie-kins and keep them holy!
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