Thursday, August 2, 2012


We got all of our maternity photos back from the wonderful Sarah Scruggs (Again, Sarah, you are incredible) and I just had to share them. Rather than putting them on facebook, where the world can see them without asking, I thought I would put them up on the blog with a forewarning.

I wanted to put all of our favorites up, including some of the ones that show my bare Olive belly, because I think that fully shows the beauty of what God created our bodies to do! I am so blown away by these shots Sarah took. They really captured our joy and the emotion of that period of time in our lives, expecting Olive and delighting in how God was forming her inside of me. Seeing these pictures, especially the bare belly ones, reminds me to find thankfulness and happiness in what my body did and has been through. This is really important for me as a post partum mother, I think. We watch our bodies go through so many changes, and often times, at the end, we slip into the trap of self consciousness over our new "mummy tummy" and whatever else usually accompanies growing and birthing a child! 

So, I put myself out there and post these as a celebration of the pregnant figure and what God has done in creating Olive. For me, I think, it will be cathartic and an attempt at making peace with my body. 

Proceed only if you want to and it's appropriate for you to do so!



Friday, July 27, 2012

She Became More Than a Possibility.

One year ago today Colin and I discovered that we were having Olive. 

Of course, at that time we didn't know it was Olive. We had no idea who she was. We frequently now talk about how it was her who was in there this whole time and how crazy that is. How grateful we are that those two particular parts of of us met and it could only have resulted in her. Beautiful, sweet her. She was already growing inside of me on that day, July 27th 2011. It was a Wednesday and we were sitting at Youth Group Bible Study watching a video. I whispered to Colin to give me his itouch. I had gasped and realized that something had been missing that month... hahaha. 

I smile thinking of it now, how I raced home, skipping the FroYo with the rest of the youth group and leaders, and went to CVS. As I was waiting in line with my little three pack of pregnancy tests, an older woman in front of me told me she hoped for my sake that the test came back negative... "I have three of my own," she said bitterly. I couldn't believe it. All I could muster was that if I was pregnant it would be a blessing and a gift. 

And as Colin and I sat together on our bathroom floor, staring at the dark line that had appeared on the stick, we stared, laughed, cried, and prayed for health for our baby. I was scared. We were in shock. I didn't feel pregnant yet. The crippling tiredness and sickness would surely come within days (on our anniversary trip to DC!), and with that, growing joy.

So very pregnant. hahaha. 

God's timing is perfect. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Day of Firsts.

It's been a month since I've last updated this blog. In the world of a baby, a month can developmentally seem like an entire year!

Olive is almost four months old now and it is amazing how much she's grown and learned. It's crazy to look back at her newborn photos and think that this is the same baby! She's full of personality and so, so happy. She loves to grab for things now, and everything that she touches goes into her mouth. Big girl is wearing 6-9 month clothes already! 


This little girl had a busy day today, too! Colin worked from home, so Olive helped out with some of his sales calls:

You know you love the cloth diaper clothes line...

And, for the first time, Olive rolled herself onto her side! She had shown no interest in doing so up until today. Being the determined little girl that she is, she couldn't stop there. She decided to roll all the way over onto her tummy, too! 

On her side...
Now she loves playing on her side!

And, best of all, tonight Colin and I got our first belly laughs out of our little girl. We've gotten chuckles here and there, but tonight, while enjoying one of our favorite treats (Mochi ice cream!), we gave Olive a tiny taste (as is custom) and this is what happened.


Olive is clearly our daughter... nothing has delighted her more than food up to this point in time :) Although, it does seem that she is laughing more at our laughter (mostly her dad's, no surprise) than the mochi. 

It's incredible to me how the tiniest efforts and acquired skills can delight the heart so much. I mean, we find ourselves absolutely ecstatic over hands that can now grab for things that interest, smiles, eyes that can scan a room, and arms that push up off the ground. To a fully competent adult, these shouldn't be such a big deal. But they are. Her laughter brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. It is so pure and full of genuine and unadulterated joy. 

Grace and peace!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy First Father's Day, Colin!

Olive and I weren't able to celebrate Father's Day with our sweet husband and Daddy this year (At least not on that exact day!). It broke our hearts. An emergency in the family took us up to New York and away from him, so I figured I would take this time, almost a week later, to tell him Happy Father's Day on our blog.

Things that make Colin my favorite Dad in the world:

-His playfulness with our daughter. She fist pumps, drums, and dances (Lady Gaga is her favorite artist). She stands up, roots for Arsenal soccer, and professionally swims laps in our pool.
-He's a hot dad. C'mon, you all know you see those dads in the grocery store, wearing their babies in a sling or pushing the stroller and think how attractive that is. Well, Colin is one of those. YEYUH.
-His willingness to do anything to make my life and job comfortable and easier, whether that be him getting up with her at 6 am on a Friday morning before work to play and change diapers or putting her to sleep at night so I can have a rest. 
-When he reads Olive the book Daddy Kisses, and kisses her all over at the end. 
-How he always says he wants to shake her and squeeze her... not out of frustration, but out of sheer joy over her cuteness. 
-When he can't be with her during the day, he always asks me, "What is she wearing?". And when he gets to dress her, he always picks her sweetest little dresses. 
-Bath time is HIS time with his daughter. So tender. 
-When he calls her Babyness, Baby-Love, Olive Girl, Little Branch, Rae of Sushine, and Beauty Queen. 
-How, when she was a newborn and her eyes would still be a little crossed or far apart sometimes, he would call her "googles" and tell her, "You're going to work for GOOGLE when you grow up!"

I feel blessed by my little family every single day. Seeing Colin fall in love with our little Olive has been one of the highest joys and privileges of my life! We love you, Colin! You have grown into your new role fabulously.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

We're Here!

We're in North Carolina! ...kind of. Our stuff was left behind in South Carolina for the week, as Colin and I came up to stay with my parents while Colin started his new job this week. We'll be traveling back down just to load up our truck and clean our house before we're gone for good.

I made it through a lot of goodbyes and packing without feeling it. I don't know how we hugged our loved ones and put everything in boxes without it hitting us. When I got in the car, all alone, I broke down. The Lord blessed us with such sweet friendships in Columbia that we got to nurture and watch develop over the years. Friendships that saw us through painful things and happy things. I'm scared that we won't ever laugh so hard that we break our friends' chair again (like Colin did). Or that we'll never have the type of friends who let us waltz over for dinner, or borrow onions/any variety of missing dinner ingredient, or love us so much as to throw us any form of party that's necessary (baby shower, going away party...). We have been blessed.

So, as not to make my heart ache any more, I'll lighten this post up with a video of Olive! She has recently, in the past week or so, begun 'talking' to us a LOT. Many of times we will have back and forth conversations consisting of her cooing and me responding, and repeat. Her little sounds are adorable, and I love seeing her develop and hit little milestones! (Also, try to ignore me sounding like a complete idiot).

Hopefully soon I'll write more about our experience over the past TWO MONTHS (I can't believe it) with Olive. 

grace and peace!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

This Mother's day is a completely new experience for me, obviously. Now I am not only privileged to celebrate my two amazing mothers, but I am also privileged to be celebrated as Olive's mommy. It's funny, because I feel like I'm the one who should be giving thanks. Olive has changed me in so many ways in just her short little lifespan. 

-I've learned how to tightly swaddle, change diapers efficiently, eat in a matter of seconds, take the world's fastest showers, and to maneuver a stroller with one hand while holding a bunch of groceries in the other.
-I've learned that some babies don't just go to sleep at night, or go down for naps on their own, they need a lot of help. 
-I've learned that your heart can actually expand. And boy, does it.
-I've learned how to be more intentional when it comes to spending time with and loving on my sweet husband.
-I've learned and discovered just how much time I actually wasted before she came along! 
-I've learned that I'm not as patient of a person as I once thought. I need a lot of growth in this area. 
-I've learned that productivity is extremely healthy, and that sunshine and fresh air do everyone a lot of good.
-I've learned that no matter how bleak things seem at 4 am when I'm running on no sleep and the baby's wide awake, seeing Olive's grateful smiles (maybe coupled with a good cry :)) in the morning make every tension disappear completely. 

We had a great weekend, spent with my parents. We drank mimosas and locally brewed hard cider at the Columbia farmer's market, had seafood on Saturday night, took a NAP (courtesy of Gigi and Grandpa Fien!), and had sushi for lunch this afternoon. There was lots of loving on Olive involved-- Colin and I are officially second-class citizens (haha!) and are okay with that! 

Breakfast tacos and mimosas at the All Local Farmer's Market on Saturday morning! 

Olive all tucked in at Blue Marlin :) She slept the whole time! 

Colin thought he could smile with food in his mouth and get away with it...

Gigi and Grandpa!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Mamas in our lives. We have tremendous respect for what you do and how you pour out your hearts and energy every single day.