Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The pups and the babe

I was unsure of how Ransom would respond to a baby in our home. He's never been the best with kids, and he gets so nervous with any type of change. Kids have always made him nervous and when we have had babies in our home, we have never let him get near them. We figured we would let him learn about them when we had one. And he isn't normally a "mounting" type of dog, but whenever I held a baby, he would mount my leg, and I would have to tackle him to the ground while holding the child so that he realized he was not the dominate one.

Their first photo together

So, we did what everyone says to do - we sent Hubs home with the hat that she wore immediately after being born. He sniffed it and wasn't interested. But, he must have known something was going on because his little nervous self gave us an unexpected homecoming.

Sometimes he would lay nearby while I fed her, which could be sweet or just that he wanted outside as soon as I was finished.

Hubs worked 12 hours the day I came home from the hospital. He went home to change, let Ransom out and clean the house before coming to get me. He was so sweet and wanted the apartment to be perfect when we got home. Unfortunately, Ransom had diarrhea-ed in his crate. [Let me just take a moment to say, "it is these rare occurrences that remind us why we do and we think everyone should crate their dog when they leave the house.] It was so odd that he had been sick. So, Hubs lit all the candles and cleaned up the mess and finally got to the hospital to get us around 8:30 pm.

Christmas Day 2014 - We haven't been able to get him to cooperate for a photo like this since.

I had just started to experience postpartum hormones at this time and was weeping because I had missed him all day. But, we buckled our tiny baby in the giant car seat and headed home, stopping at Freddy's for a super unhealthy, but oh-so-good, dinner. We walk into the apartment and it was so clean and beautiful, but there was this smell. Sure enough, Ransom had been sick again in his crate. We got him out and he proceeded to throw up 5 times on the floor. So, Hubs took him out on a walk in the snow/sleet, and I got on my hands and knees and started cleaning up the inside mess. (Which my body did not thank me for the next day.) The sickness, we can only assume, was the anxiety from having me gone for the previous days, having a strange schedule and just knowing something was different.

Sometimes he wants to be too close.

When Hubs returned, Ransom was feeling better and was interested in the bundle we brought home. At one point, Hubs was holding her and Ransom went to mount him. Knowing this was possible, we were prepared. Hubs quickly gave her to me and tackled Ransom to the ground. He went and laid down on his bed and we sat on the couch and ate our food from Freddy's.

That was the first and the last time Ransom mounted either of us or showed any dominance towards the baby. Since then, Ransom shows little interest in the baby. He chewed on one pacifier, but after a few firm "no" commands, he hasn't shown any further interest. He does always try to lick a bottle when we give her one. I think formula must have a smell he likes. He randomly gives her a lick about once a day. We are careful to make sure that he doesn't do a somersault on top of her and try to keep him off any blanket she is laying on, but I will admit there have been a couple of times where he has walked right over her head (without stepping on her).

Most of the time, he sleeps. But sometimes he just wants to be right next to us.

Anytime she plays on a blanket or comes home in her car seat, he gives those items a thorough sniff, but really he is better than we ever could imagine. I think he does like her, but I know he also wishes to go back in time when he was the center of attention. When we walk, he checks the stroller to make sure she is still there, and when she and I leave the house, he sits by the door and watches us walk to the car. She has now gotten to the point that she watches him if he walks around the room, so I hope this meant a future of friendship.

He's so much happier now that we get out for walks with the nicer weather.

I know a lot of people wondered if I would still love Ransom after having a baby. I do. It's true that, at first, it was so annoying to take him outside and feed him and love on him when all I was doing was similar things for the baby, but now that we have gotten into a routine and the weather is nicer, I am getting over those frustrations. Ultimately, I wouldn't have it any other way and am so excited for her to grow up with our pups.

Watching us leave

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Not Finding Out {good or not so good}

Eight Weeks Old

When I found out I was pregnant, I wrestled with whether or not we should find out the gender or not at our ultrasound. I had always thought it would be fun to not know, but at that point in our life we really didn't know anything about our immediate future - where we would be living, where Hubs would be working, if we would start or buy a practice, etc - so it sounded nice to at least be able to plan one aspect of life.

I'm sure most of you that know Hubs think he is the Type A personality of the family, however I tend to be WAY more Type A. I love to plan things from our future, to a vacation, to a simple dinner party. So, when Hubs said he didn't want to find out, it was probably harder for me than him. But, I agreed and it was decided.

I know it isn't for everyone, but I really loved the experience of not knowing. So if you are ever considering either way, here are my thoughts about it:
  • After our 22 week ultrasound, I regretted not finding out. I mean, as a mother, shouldn't you want to know every bit of information about your child that you can? After a day of that, however, I was fine. That one day was the hardest it ever got to not know the gender.
  • One of my concerns was that I originally wanted our first child to be a boy, and I didn't want to be disappointed if it was a girl. Guess what - I wasn't disappointed at all.
  • Because I love to plan and I love to shop, knowing the gender of our baby would have tempted me to spend a lot of money getting her room ready and getting adorable Sperrys and Toms from Zulily. Instead, we spent our money on wiser purchases like a crib and dresser.
  • I was worried that our poor child would only be dressed in neutral clothing. But, people were oh so generous and brought us adorable girl clothes in the hospital and I even had a shower after Samantha was born, which, by the way, makes showers even more fun for the attendees!
  • It was fun to tell random strangers that I didn't know what I was having. It's not the mainstream thing to do, and I think that is why I liked it so much. People either responded with, "Good for you," or "I could never do that."
  • I'm sure there is a different type of anticipation during labor when you know the gender, but the anticipation for us was two fold - we wanted to meet our child and we also wanted to know if it was a boy or girl! When it was almost time, my doctor asked us to guess what it was. Hubs guessed boy and I guessed girl. I think all the nurses and doctors (all 8 of them that were in the room) had a little more fun, too, because they wondered what it would be!
  • It was fun and special to have Richard tell me it was a girl after she was born.
Ultimately, I think either way it is a surprise and it depends on the couple as to whether or not they should find out. But, if anyone were to ask me whether they should or not, I'd say to do it at least once. For our time in life, it was a really good thing to not find out. We had a lot of other things occupying our mind, so I didn't have to stress about having the room ready or having cute clothes (that all came after she was here).

If we have another child, will we do it the same way? I honestly have no idea!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What I didn't expect

I had decided to give this blog up, but Hubs doesn't want me to. So, we will see if I can post more frequently in the coming months.

Lots has changed in our life since I posted last. Actually, lots has happened that I haven't shared since June 2013. It's been a roller coaster ride for us, with lots of disappointments, questions, searching, unknowns and confusion. And that's about all I can share on this public blog, but as we begin 2015 it looks likes his year is going to start off with more of the same. But there was another major change in our life that I will post about.

We have a daughter! On December 8, Hubs and I stared in shock as a screaming baby girl was placed on my chest. We had been waiting for that moment for months, but when it actually happened it felt so surreal with so many thoughts and emotions all at once. She may look like a typical newborn, but we happen to think she is the most adorable child on the planet!

In the days that followed her birth, there were many things that I didn't expect. Many of those were things that other moms leave you in the dark about until after the baby comes, but I'm not going to get into those things on this blog. (A little heads up would have been nice, though, but I am starting to see how those memories can fade after a few weeks.)

But there was one thing I didn't expect that was surprising and lovely: I love Hubs even more than I did when I walked into that hospital. Which is saying a lot, because I loved him so much before! Going through the process of having our daughter, though, made me love my husband so much deeper. And that was a welcomed surprise.

Perhaps it was spending the time together while in labor - although I sent Hubs out for two hours to take Ransom to the dog park. It could have been the way Hubs was making sure I got the best care possible. Seeing Hubs look at our daughter for the first time had to contribute to it. And seeing him excited to hold her was part of it, too.

Hopefully this is what happens for everyone when they have a baby - that they love their husband 10 times more than they did before. Because I believe that one of the best things for our daughter is that we love each other.

As for the other things I didn't expect, well, this is such a new adventure for us that there is bound to be a lot to learn. The learning curve is high, but when we look at her we know that it is all worth it and are excited for the time we have to be her parents!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Are you sure?

Sometimes people will ask us, "Are you sure you are ready for this?" Or, "Just you wait." It's usually when they are changing a dirty diaper, or telling a story about how little sleep they get, or their child is disobeying, or just want to remind us that we aren't used to life with little people.

We always smile and say, "Yes."

I don't blame anyone for pointing out the changes we will face. We are well aware that our life will change drastically with the addition of our son or daughter. We know our life is simple and quiet and freedom abounds. And we also understand that we will have to make some changes, things might be rough for a while and sleep will not be near as peaceful as it once was.

But, I doubt everyone has put the thought into why we should have children as we have. Having children wasn't something we both wanted right away when we got married. We both figured that the desire would come later. For me, the desire came naturally and more quickly than for Hubs, and so we talked about it for a long time. We asked others, "Why did you have kids." People said different things: "We wanted to," or "We didn't make the decision," or "God commands it," or "Companionship." None of those were bad reasons.

Ultimately, we had to come to our own answers in our minds, though. And at some point, I knew mine.

One pastor said, "We need to raise our children to be martyrs for the Lord." At first that sounds depressing. I would never desire for anyone, especially my own child, to be martyred!! However, I do desire that my child's love for the Lord to be so great that they will follow Him at all costs.

Then, I started understanding the concept of being salt and light in the world. As salt, believers somehow preserve the world from become totally corrupted by the rottenness of sin. And as light, we stand out brightly in a world that is darkened. At that point I knew; I wanted to help raise the next generation of godly men and women. The goal of Christian parenting is not moral kids. Morality will change, we know that. If we create moral kids, they will change with morality. But our goal is to raise a generation of adults who is sensitive to the Holy Spirit, committed to God's Word and devoted to our King. I knew that whether we had biological, adopted or foster children in the future, I wanted this to be my aim.

This has been my prayer as we head into parenting. I know that it isn't going to be easy. That I don't understand all the things that will be hard. That this child will be as sinful as I am from day one. That my sinful self will keep me from loving him or her as God loves me. That I'll fail to put Christ on display. That I'll fail to live out the gospel in my child's life. But, we have eight years of figuring out our marriage that has set, what I think, is a good foundation for us to be parents. And we have lost two children that has made us cherish the life of this third one even more. So, yes we're ready.

And it is just lovely when someone tells us, "You're gonna love it."

"Just you wait..." We have waited.
"Are you sure you are ready?" Yes, I'm sure.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Cancun Honeymoon (2006)

Today marks EIGHT years of our adventure as Hubs and Feath. We now look at our wedding photos and think, "We looked so young!" When we were married, we had no idea what the next years would hold, but I can say without a doubt that I love Hubs at least 100x more today than I did then.

Hawaii (2008)

I would feel a little lost without Hubs. I love having my best friend as my husband. There is nobody I'd rather talk about my day with, no one I'd rather spend my time with and no one I'd rather live life with. He challenges me to change, he encourages me to grow and he humbles me.

Israel (2011)

Long's Peak (2012)

We talked the other day about what we were like when we first got married. Hubs told me he felt bad for me having married him as he was eight years ago. I told him that I could very well say the same thing. But what is the neatest thing about our marriage is where we are today. We have changed each other in good ways. We have grown in our knowledge and love of the Lord. We have been able to learn and apply theology to our life and practically live it out. We have made God's Word our authority over any of our traditions or pre-conceived notions of what our family should look like. And what we have come up with is a marriage that we both work hard at and that we both love.

Ortho Residency Graduation (2013)

Being married has far surpassed my wildest expectations. There have been hard times and growing seasons, but never could I have imagined our relationship to have grown to the spot it is now. So today, I am doing the only thing I can. I am praising the Lord for what He has accomplished in our lives to this point. I am thanking Him for this marriage because I guarantee that neither of us would have created this on our own. And I am praying for our marriage over the next year as we add to our family and begin our newest adventure of parenthood!

Just 'normal' life (2014)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

More than we can bear

Friends, I've alluded to our situation many times, but haven't given all the details. Because there are too many. Because the details are comically depressing. Because I keep thinking they will all fall into place and then I can tell the crazy story of our life. Because they raise our blood pressure. Because there is nothing you can say that we haven't said or anyone else hasn't said.

When we start down a path, thinking this is the direction we should go, we wait to tell people. Once we tell people, they begin to think that plan will happen. Then they tell people and soon our family, friends and acquaintances all are excited about our new plan. Then, something happens that ruins the entire plan and we are back at the beginning.

So, we don't get as excited in the beginning. We cautiously tell people the direction we are headed. And every time we have gotten to the point of being ready to take the plunge and as we jump, something grabs us and keeps us from getting into the pool.

I didn't think that would happen this time. But it seems to have done just that. And so, we are left wondering what is going on. What is the Lord doing? Will this ever end? Now what?

You can't imagine the thoughts, emotional highs and lows, stress and anxiety that has come to our lives. And, each time another situation comes up, we find out if our faith is true. How are we going to respond to these circumstances. How are we going to represent Christ? How are we going to show our trust in God's providence?

You may have heard people say, "God won't give you more than you can bear." That's ridiculous. Besides it taking 1 Corinthians 10:13 completely out of context, it also doesn't match up with the whole of scripture. Of course, God will give us more than we can bear so that we learn to lean on him for everything. If you could bear everything without Christ, then what is the reason for him?

So it is okay that we are overwhelmed and don't always feel like we can handle our situation. Christ was overwhelmed in the garden before He died. The psalmists are continually overwhelmed. So we follow the Lord's example and we go to God for our strength. We find He is faithful in the midst of whatever is in our life. We [hopefully] learn to lean on Him more than ever before. We  continue on each day mindful that our life is about His glory and not our own.

Our days are tough right now. Maybe not always on the outside, but in the quiet moments while we are driving or at home, and in our minds, we struggle. Sometimes we have no idea what we should do. We are overwhelmed.

I pray earnestly that this time in our life will come to an end. But I also pray that we would both be faithful each day, no matter what. That we will find joy in knowing Christ above all else, because knowing Him is a treasure far beyond all else.